26 September, 2018

The Family of Differently-Orientated Physicists

Physicists come in many shapes and sizes

Coming as I do from the Working Class, I was at first only aware of one kind of scientist. There were none in my immediate family, as my dad was an unskilled labourer and my mother was a sewing-machinist working for the Co-op. But, nevertheless, every street, in the district where I lived in Manchester, had its skilled technical worker, and the best (as far as I could see) were those that could make broken things work again "as-good-as-new!". They loved engines, and clever machines, and because of their detailed experiences could find out what was wrong, and fix-it!

They were actually Mechanics. But they were also part of a continuum stretching all the way up to Engineers.

Perhaps surprisingly, these types also occurred in a Science like Physics as a special breed of Experimenters, who co-existed in the same discipline as the Theorists, and also along with the application Producers: but, again surprisingly, rarely did a single individual occupy all three of these categories.

Indeed, often the Producers separated themselves off as Engineers; while the Experimenters served Theorists as actually both enabling their required Experiments, and even confirming their theories via well-designed tester-experiments.

But, such divisions also soon became legion in all the Sciences, and the knowledge-bases of these various specialisms seemed to constantly move ever further-apart from each other, so that if a mix of all three wasn't in place within an able team, the results produced became increasingly limited in scope, and also in success!

For example, a request to a theorist for help with a technical problem would rarely result in a solution. While a request for an explanation as to why something behaved in a particular way to an Engineer would also fail more often than it should.

Now, I managed to become a qualified Physicist, but was only taught Theory during my extensive education.

University of Leeds, 1960s, where I studied Physics

It was stimulating intellectually while I was at school, but if you required a solution to anything technical, you had to ask a Technician. And, this was true at every level even to when I became a Lecturer in a College.

Questions about faults in my house invariably meant a visit to the Engineers.

But, as I was to ultimately discover, these divisions of labour were not determined solely by the participants' aptitudes, but fundamentally by major Impasses generated due to important concepts in the Reasoning associated with various different areas.

Let me clarify!

Though, within certain areas, reasoning could allow some explanations and solutions to be achieved, at certain very crucial points, these impasses always occurred - effectively prohibiting lines of reasoning from traversing them, and continuing beyond them. So, these impasses became no-go areas, or boundaries, and so divided up areas of study into separate "specialisms", within which logical consequences could be traced and used: but which always terminated at each and every one of these impasses.

And, it took over 2000 years to be understood! But, a mere 200 years ago, the German Philosopher Hegel found out why they occurred. Mankind had little or no intellectual development for almost all of its time as a separate species, because of their isolated Hunter/Gatherer mode of life, so most concepts only began to be considered after the Neolithic Revolution, when people began to live together, in static communities, and in larger groups, and begin to discuss. So, our concepts were never then, and still are not, even now, exactly correct. In fact, they are all always approximate to some extent, and when used in Reasoning are therefore guaranteed to be occasionally delivering such impasses.

In fact, the Formal Logic, used in literally all Reasoning, has always had a grave fault, inherited from Greek Mathematics, which also begat Greek Formal Logic: for it treats all concepts as fixed, because they are pluralist disciplines, which actually enable most of their manipulative qualities - and hence cause their users to stick-tightly to that assumption, even though it actually isn't true. Hegel attempted to correct Formal Logic by revealing and correcting such impasses, but the problem wasn't totally eliminated, for the key disciplines used in Science are all pluralist too, and the effective extension of Hegelian Dialectics to Reasoning in these disciplines has still not yet been comprehensively addressed. And, its further application to the material World in general hasn't either.

So, the three Physics specialisms referred to earlier, have their experts, who can only deliver within their limiting-impasses as boundaries, and the only way to ever proceed MUST involve a diverse team, who "pass-the-parcel" between specialists in the hope that one can deliver what is required.

But, clearly, that is certainly NOT the best way to tackle problems is it?

Now, this Physicist, who is also a Dialectical Materialist philosopher, has recently completed a major criticism of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Sub Atomic Physics, which he had to undertake alone, as he found no others similarly-equipped to help.

But, he did come across the Electric Universe Group, who certainly had some positions in common with him - although some pretty strange ideas too.

They were, it seemed, all defined by the above-described Impasses, and came from the so-defined specialism of Engineers. They too rejected the most recently defined Group of Theorists, who have even abandoned Physical Explanation, and now deal solely in Mathematics along with the Pragmatist tenet of "If it works, it is right!", which our Engineers also subscribe to, though they jib at the Mathematics-as-cause belief, which is what Physical Theory has now become.

For, as most mathematical frigs were invented by Engineers, they know better than to turn them into Theory!

Frankly, this theoretical Physicist could do with some Electrical Universe members on his team, but perhaps only as Engineers and Experimenters. Their 'Theory' leaves a lot to be desired, even if some of the problems and gaps they highlight are true.

"If they put up with the Mathematical Theorists, I'm sure they could put up with me!"

While Wal Thornhill's Electric Universe "Theory" seems to occupy similar territory to the criticisms of contemporary Physics published in SHAPE, he never fully explains any of his ideas. EU Theory is severely lacking, perhaps because he is an Engineer, and these categories/impasses persist, unresolved.


  1. Re: "he never fully explains any of his ideas"

    The Electric Sky, by Don Scott - layperson overview of entire theory, slightly more technical than Wal Thornhill's version of same (I suspect that this is the book you needed to read)

    The Electric Universe, by Wal Thornhill - layperson overview of entire theory, slightly redundant of Don Scott's overview

    Physics of the Plasma Universe, 2nd Ed, by Anthony Peratt - graduate-level explanation which includes most of the formal mathematics and conceptual discussions of the modeling evidence; spans a very broad array of topics, but never straying too far from experimental results; keep in mind that Peratt does not subscribe to Velikovsky-type human-historical planetary rearrangement claims, so he will likely appeal far more to university academics; also, Peratt has acted as a technical advisor to the Department of Energy on its Non-Proliferation Treaties, so he brings both nuclear and plasma physics specializations to bear on these topics; some of the information he has presented on petroglyphs has apparently been declassified

    Toward a Real Cosmology in the 21st Century, by Wal Thornhill - Short, decent concise overview of his arguments if you're not willing to read a book, currently available at https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOAAJ/TOAAJ-4-191.pdf

    Beyond this, there exists a very large volume of very scattered publications by Hannes Alfven - these can be very technical, but also commonly accessible to the layperson; there are historical discussions in many of these papers which are still relevant to this day; astrophysicists and cosmologists ignore this body of work at their own peril!

    IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science publications - This is of course where electrical cosmology papers tend to get published, where Peratt published his infamous galactic rotation paper, and where radio astronomer Gerrit Verschuur has published his many important discussions of HI hydrogen, critical ionization velocities and allegations of local features in the CMB

    The Plasma Universe of Hannes Alfven - David Talbott's historical review of the cosmic plasma models in EdgeScience (Number 9, October-December 2011); absolutely crucial history that is not widely taught in the graduate programs - currently available at http://coincider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/edgescience-09.pdf

    plasma-universe.com - Ian Tresman's excellent wiki dedicated to the subject; they were forced to create this due to the incredible onslaught of information manipulation happening on wikipedia w regards to electrical cosmology topics; I refer to this site probably a couple of times per day

    Halton Arp's two books, Seeing Red and Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies - The EU defers, for the most part, to Arp's work on quasars and redshift. One seems meant to be read before the other, and I believe it was the first that he wrote (Seeing Red).

    Space News Youtube Channel - Mostly informal, scattered discussion, usually about trending topics; viewership is growing

    safirefilm.com - A high-level review of the very exciting work happening w this privately funded experiment; has very quickly ramped up to generating new science; based upon a Design of Experiments approach to constructing a new solar model (!!!); has already produced historical imagery and video of double layers which will come to haunt the astrophysics domain, very powerful when combined w Alfven's claims about double layers in his older papers

    holoscience.com - Wal Thornhill's personal website, decent starting point for laypeople

    (cont'd ...)

  2. (cont'd ...)

    thunderbolts.info - Their main site; they try to keep this accessible to laypeople, but there are exceptions - like ...

    The Essential Guide to the Electric Universe - This is Bob Johnson's attempt to mix in more electrodynamics discussion into teaching the EU; it was initially intended as a guide to make the technical concepts more accessible, but I think some laypeople will struggle w it; currently available at https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/eu-guides/eg-contents/

    Dwardu Cardona's thick books - This is a Velikovsky-style comparative mythology approach to the mythological archetypes which seeks to re-interpret the oldest documents through the lens of plasma physics; many thousands of pages, combined; these books remain sort of expensive, unfortunately, but I personally find his research to be meticulous and very useful; Peratt would not agree w that

    Rens van der Sluijs' Traditional Cosmology series - Rens is the more conventional version of Dwardu; same basic idea, but they come to slightly different conclusions

    Symbols of an Alien Sky - David Talbott's basic comparative mythology thesis, which is probably preferable for most to reading his text on the same subject (The Saturn Myth)

    Ev Cochrane has also published a number of books along the same lines, especially on Venus

    Controversies of Science - This is my own attempt to reformulate these materials, minus the EU branding, plus critiques of modern science, and with the added concept of tracking of scientific controversies, into a format which is more appropriate for social media; See https://twitter.com/controscience/status/1021080659803033601 for a review of THOSE resources.

    Wal Thornhill's private list of quotes dedicated to critiques of modern science - I have worked these into the search results for controversiesofscience.com. You can click the elephant and select Quotes, or one of the many categories (but many of the quotes were quite difficult to categorize).

    Anthony Peratt's historical lecture on petroglyphs - https://youtu.be/6meaU1QcSdA, this video will in due time become recognized as a big deal; but science journalists continue to completely ignore it

    Personally, I also collect critiques of modern science. So, for me, these books tend to help w the questions about why things are the way they are.

    Also, be aware that an individual, Juan Calsiano (https://twitter.com/eternodevenir), is working on a fascinating philosophical work which he is hoping will act as a philosophical introduction to the Electric Universe. He is an electrical engineer, but also VERY well read on the EU and especially aether. I am very much looking forward to this, as he claims it will be designed to help people to get past the particle bias.

    Realize as well that there are a large number of what I call "debunker hit pieces" on the Internet. These articles are mostly unreviewed and oftentimes contain glaring errors from an EU perspective. It is sad to see actual professors - like Brian Koberlein of RIT - publish such pieces. They should have run their critiques by the actual theorists - who have made themselves surprisingly available to the public - prior to publishing. It would have saved them considerable embarrassment and misrepresentation.

    I hope that this list has helped somewhat. Trust me: This subject is VAST, and I am quite sure that I have left out some very important items. If Wal Thornhill has struggled to explain the subject, there are quite good reasons for that!

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to run them by me - even if they are technical or critical. If there is need, I can pass them along to the theorists.

  3. I appreciate you entering into the electric Universe discussion. But I want to caution you against grouping the community into into such simple terms. there is actually very little consensus beyond the agreement that electricity has been underestimated as a causal factor in most physical science.

  4. Thank you Chris and Michael for your contributions and information. I have some sympathy with various EU ideas, equally critical as I am of quantum physics and modern cosmology - but I'm also aware that the lack of consensus makes for a very broad church of science outsiders - church being an operative word, perhaps. My specific comments above refer to the Wal Thornhill lecture, making generalisations about EU might be ill-advised, as you say, but that may indeed be part of the problem