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Metaphysical Considerations 


Backing off a bit, and a review of other degrees of freedom.

A new idea, maybe even a good one, can be considered harmful if perceived to be destructive to previously set consensual patterns.  Words like heretical and their apostates show the hazards of past notions to consensual thinking, where even consensual may differ on degrees of authority vs. majority opinion, let alone worrying about minority views.

            The idea of metaphysics, even in this age, is a safe-house for deviant notions and offers a little more freedom for discussion without bringing the house down.  This collection of related notions follows previous essays, by particularly exploring some metaphysical considerations - other isolated angles for looking at things.  To the point, these additional short essays individually written over the years are:

Space, Time and Substance   Feb ‘05  

Dealing specifically with the meaning of dimensions, this is another but subtle argument for time as only ‘now’, but what other relevant baggage does it carry?

A Bowen Condensation Analog as applied to Scientific awareness   Jun ‘03   

            An interesting bifurcation of the role of gravity and its source, the particulate world of mass, together related to some obvious trends of the universe.

 Metaphysics and the Analog Principle  Nov  ‘04   

            An informal organizational concept for the universe from our unique but middle  entry point toward general awareness of all within our ken.

 On a Theory of Everything  Feb  ‘04             

            A realistic assertion that the conventional TOE has overstepped its purview with other examples including a little humor. 

            And a bit of philosophy:  This outline is presented in part to condition the reader that to understand an idea is not necessarily to agree with it and that the former may take a little more effort if the later is the ultimate bias.  Of course in that case, the easiest out is the assertion that the writer is at fault and unclear in his presentation.  Unfortunately, I have insufficient samples to conclude any of these alternatives on my work.  My fate, more likely totally ignored. 

Space, Time and Substance

            Are there four dimensions in space and time?

            Is a dimension real or just mathematical notation?

            How does substance fit in?

            Might these questions be answered in a non-conventional way?

Because these questions include a variety of strong preconceived concepts that channel our thinking, another approach might be philosophically insightful and fruitful.  The view here is to consider a new term with a different but comparative meaning: 

Domain - a field of activity.  While consensus states that space & time constitute four dimensions, a domain as a field of activity inherently suggests: it includes space (a field) and activity (things in motion) or in other words, substance and time.  Is this three things or two things in space or one thing inseparable?  And how might these things differ from a dimension?

            While in practical terms objects need four dimensions to be located, actually less by declaring things here or there or now and then, let’s try to relate to some physical essence of a minimum and then state a starting position.  If it can be argued that time is only ‘now’, more a point than a line of temporal continuity and space does not exist at all without three dimensions, hence only one of something, and space or time is not manifest without substance (particularly ours), then indeed, if these three are inseparable they can be considered one entity.  One entity, in that you can’t talk about one without acknowledging the existence of the others.  Time is not a free subject. Space is not a free subject.  If true, to deal so even philosophically would be intellectually invalid and in retrospect would consequently kill many of the ancient paradoxes associated with these isolated concepts, going back to the age of the Greeks.

            So this exercise is intended to do more than just raise concern about the meaning of dimensions with respect to the real universe.  I believe other pertinent clarifications can follow.  For example, while we may imagine something approaching the idea of space with less than three dimensions, such as a line with one, a plane with two, the line or plane is purely conceptual.  Their counter parts, a string or a sheet of paper are real only in actual space, again boxed into a single reality.  Similarly, if there is only ‘now’, the past and future become equally conceptual and arguably nonexistent and together: If ‘now’ is contingent on substance in space, the stated domain of ‘field of activity’ contains or says it all.

            Equally pertinent, how can we clarify the actual essence of ‘now’?  The critical aspect of time is change and our ‘being’ can be the most demonstrable evidence in appreciating this connectedness.  This is not the corollary assertion that the universe can’t or hasn’t existed without our presence.  But rather our faculties bear witness to its real nature, where real is the independent actuality of the universe however best we can rationalize it.  So if we can get it thru our head, that for living things, physiological stasis is a steady change and this change is existence, then it can follow: As we have never been anywhere except ‘now’, nothing else exists outside of ‘now’ either, or simply put, reality is Now in Substance and Space, totally inseparable.

            So back up a moment.  Examine the word substance.  It clearly involves mass & energy, at least as particles but in a modern sense can not exclude gravity (think gravitons) and Dirac's virtual space/energy flux*.  Contrast this to the idea of space being totally void as established by Michelson/Morley and inshrined by Einstein in relativistic space-time.  As a scientist, Einstein did the correct thing to fit his theory to the observational facts, within what appeared the primary constraint, that space was void.  This was a reasonable assumption at the time, earning the interpretation that all things in motion are relative and yielded some interesting paradox, one notably about the space twin travelers.  Now a hundred years later, we know, while individual environments seem constant to their local observers, they can significantly differ from one another, eg. the space twins really do age differently.  So stating the only realistic conclusion, taking the whole, time rate is a variable and must be judged to be tied to substance and space.  Hence, hardly a universal on its own.  So if time is some variable about our universe, how does it get tied down?  If it is considered just ‘now’ everywhere and tied to substance, a solution falls out.  Yes, Relativity equations are still required in interpretation of various subtle effects but the idea ‘now as universal’ was the original concept prior to Relativity.  Again within that framework, time can be considered equivalent to a mechanical stress and any accumulating strain, the illusion of flowing time, including its arrow.  In this interpretation, the ‘alluded to stress' includes every physical proclivity of the multiple science disciplines and consequent strain rates variable to the local environment.  And with but a single value ‘now’, it is universal by default.  Within that, Relativity works.

            Yet the bigger rationalization in accepting time as just ‘now’ is realizing the past is only the integral of previous change and present only ‘now’’ in any arbitrary volume of space and substance.  Similarly, the future is only the tendency or susceptibility to change in that same volume.  From a human perspective this can be shown and argued, the past is merely remembrance and the future is anticipation, again both only occurring ‘now’.  There is nothing else.  The whole universe is extant in just ‘now’. 

* There is still an unresolved bifurcation between the Relativistic and Quantum worlds not essentially relevant here.

 A Bowen Condensation Analog as applied to Scientific awareness

            N.L. Bowen, a renown Canadian petrologist (1887-1956), observed and hypothesized crystallization trends in a cooling magma.  Among the ideas therein were two sequential types of crystal formation: a continuous trend where minerals changed composition with cooling and a discontinuous trend where different minerals formed at respectively lower cooling temperatures.  Here I expand on the continuous & discontinuous aspect applied to natural trends in mass organization, our historical awareness of this and some philosophic interpretation of what we might call a Bowen Condensation Analog.

            The concept is depicted graphically herein as The Bowen condensation analog.  The base of the figure deals broadly with an objects size, from quarks to quasars or black holes. The vertical axis, a little more esoteric, implies a percent of mass to energy conversion relationship.  Aware that any quantify of mass binds considerable energy, to the ratio of velocity-of-light squared, and in the process of accumulation of mass or increasing object size, a portion or percentage of mass is converted back to energy.  This idea, while not as familiar regarding literally everything, two examples are better known: when 4 H combine to form 1 He about 0.75% of the four hydrogen mass evolves as fusion energy, or when a star (or any mass) falls into a black hole it is conjectured about 50% of the star mass is converted into a variety of energy forms such as x-rays.  And while it has never been calculated, say when an automobile is assembled from scattered pieces, a minute fraction of the assembly materials will be similarly converted to heat.  This latter fact is not terribly relevant, nor any reverse process except that it is applicable to everything and independent of any special terms used in different scientific disciplines.

            The diagram shows two trends identified as the Particulate and the Gravitational curves corresponding to the discontinuous and continuous type respectively.  The particulate curve has high conversion ratios for very small objects, for example, combining quarks to form nucleons and less down the line from atoms to molecules.  This trend is uniquely discontinuous as the respective particle types balk or refuse to modify within certain defined limits.  The atomic elements exothermically accumulate mass from hydrogen to iron but are less stable at the heavy uranium end and exhibit fission in natural radioactivity or diabolic human contraptions.

            In contrast, the gravitational curve is continuous as it may accumulate any of the particle types in any amounts, for example gas clouds to stars and planets, ad infinitum to black holes.  The percent of mass to energy conversion is miniscule at the small end and greater at the larger end.  It is conjectured that in the formation of the moon from a planetesimal collision with the earth, there was sufficient energy release to totally melt and even vaporize a share of the final products.  With both curves, conversion examples are endless.

            Life, which is included, is shown in the nexus of the two trends, intermediate in object size and comfortable in the lower levels of energy exchange.  Appropriately, it is particulate from bacteria to whales and redwoods but also in a Gaian like biosphere of the earth with a  somewhat different energy phenomenon of needing a continuous energy thru-put also.

            Is the Bowen Condensation Analog justified or does it tell us anything new?  It inherently lacks numerical precision.  Yet the object size and percent M/E conversion ratios are relative as are the many fields of energy exchange definitions and their limits of applicability.  For example, phase change is appropriate for crystals being particulate but include liquids or gasses dependent on gravity associations to form the hydro-sphere or atmo-sphere.  And finally the biosphere is a special melding of both trends.

            Much more can be contemplated, such as how these associations create the world we perceive but two that particularly strike me are where we enter into this scheme and our sense of awareness of the relationships.

            First, it is a vast universe with very miniscule detail.  It is an ancient universe yet with a quick pulse.  It is an energetic universe with some of it moribund.  Many think it anthropic or livable from our view but that is simply refuted by observing other things at different scales.  And as much as its been argued we are not at the center of the universe, one could say we are very much in the middle of these awesome dimensional scales and it is very anthropic or livable for that very reason.  The earth as our home is very cosy like the living room hearth with the raging storm of the universe just outside.

            Second the Greeks had elemental images of fire, air, earth & water.  Other more primitives saw animism in both real and imaginary apparitions.  All these are precursors to modern wisdom.  Prior to the last century little was known about mass relationships, their interaction with energy or even the sizes beyond our immediate observational powers.  Think of it.  Today such concepts and this analog after Bowen might generate some wonderful awe with the whole universe or to simply appreciate closer to home ”What a wonderful world”.

             The previous ideas can stand alone and are essentially original with the author but my gut feeling is that they will not see the light of day in any technical journal or even a popular scientific publication, being declared too casual, no categorical discipline, lacking peer review, etc.  Yet to the contrary, in a modest assertion, I’ll outline the major significances.

            While a number of notable conclusions can be drawn, it first must be clarified that this represents an inside to outside view of the universe, accepting it as it appears.  This differs from a top/down, black-box mathematical paradigm approach.  This method also recognizes mathematics but finds the virtue in the application concepts, not in the ‘hand of god’ behind some elegant set of equations.  As a disciple of Karl Popper and paraphrased: Math is an infinite domain from which we only pick in part and apply arbitrarily to the universe with human foibles.  It is never universally true.

            In a different way this analysis is a TOE, a ‘Theory of Everything’.  It is a unification of the substances, forces and trends that constitute our reality.  This is in contrast to the other TOE which is still an unattained imaginary set of esoteric equations.  It is also part of a larger scheme.

             Take the idea of a domain as conceptual and nonspecific.  I render that the three domains of Space-Time-Substance are more relevant and realistic than a welded two, space-time, and consider it a new alternative view.  Any sized cube of space, at ‘this’ instant with its inherent forward drive or stress, contains both the integral of substance past and its future trend.  Other than infinite ranks of these cubes that are the universe and their simultaneity in process, there is nothing else.

            Finally overall, there is the Analog principle where here Bowen is but one example. That there are many analogs also yields as much insight into the workings of the universe as any confined discipline locked into its own jargon.  It is the result of the vast scales of the universe, our middle entry into it, and our arbitrary definitions of object and process.  The real universe is a poorly defined continuum that just works.  How? is strictly our problem, not its.  Additionally, what constitutes Entropy, a concept of running down in bulk, is overwhelmed by the visual detail of building up in environments with a thru-put of energy and occurs naturally, organically and anthropically, most of which is historically forgotten over the longer haul, eg. The elements beyond iron, life itself, and our computer chips respectively.

Metaphysics and the Analog Principle

`            Metaphysics might be considered the ‘De Remun Natura’, Titus Lucretius Caris, ancient, an early toying with mind, not over, but contemplating about matter, while physics, more the hewn path thru a morass of alternative distractions - is easier going until you get to the ‘working face’, a poignant mining term.

            This effort is a minor melding of broader options of physical awareness in the spirit of metaphysical freedom of inquiry but may be a little more restrained to modern concepts of the world about us.  One of the typical pitfalls of metaphysics is what I’d call a deluded ‘logical sense of objectivity’, confusing logical with Boolean algebra - black & white, and for objectivity, referring to conceptual ideal objects, rather than real objects which are more likely gray than anything else.  So Platonic rather than modern.  Herein is a mix, call it Universe 101, but how does it differ from anything else in print?  It deals with my declaration of the Analog Principle of the universe.  There are three specific examples here, called Size, Bowen and Roche’ and their interpretation with respect to space, time and substance.

            As an Analog, Size has no author but is common knowledge as to principle.  For example, a galaxy is like a solar system is like an atom.  Things very different have a commonality of characteristics regardless of scale.  What is this commonality, its cause and nature?  The Size analog is the reference before pressing on to the other two.  A most notable aspect of the Size analog is where we enter in.  In physical units of meters and seconds, the universe is 10E17 big, maybe 10E-23 little, 10E25 old and 10E-23 fast.  That puts us in an awesome middle scale.  For a moment conjecture yourself cluelessly entering the cockpit of a Boeing 747, the floor of an active steel mill or one I conjure the ‘working face’ of a gold mine, maybe unaware of being 4000’ down, overwhelming noisy, almost unbearably hot, dimly visible with men and tools pounding away at hard rock.  Why such allegory of stark incomprehension on what is going on?  None other than the similarity to our own awareness and position in the vast universe.  Granted we have tools of vision for all these scales but we are limited by our conceptual tools that have originated in this middle ground rather than maybe unknown fundamentals and that is where the analog concept offers insight.  Are there additional underlying properties of the universe independent of our present organizational precepts?

            The Bowen condensation scheme for the crystallization of minerals is not that well known but in the field of natural phenomenon, particularly geology, generalizations can be hard to come by, replete with exceptions or other fuzzy edges.  It took me a number of stages to formalize the analog and establish its relevance or even its applicability to larger perceptions. Principally dealing with all space and substance over all time, the Bowen concept of a discontinuous & continuous condensation path fits well with us as in some arbitrary middle.  Time and energy levels might be better discussed under other topics of universe evolution but are inherent with the trends of mass accumulation and organization dealt with here.  The Bowen analog suggests some interesting questions, some deeper insight and some metaphysical options and then new physics itself if any of these optional paths are taken into consensus. Beside the foundation paper on the Bowen Condensation Analog, is the next fallout paper on a ‘Theory of Everything’.

            First a more definitive explanation of the conceptual trend, essentially two: First, basic mass addition yields less net mass but is offset by higher mass density and free energy.  M1 + M2 = M3 + E, where M3 has greater p (rho).  E= mc2 holds on conservation and has total applicability but mass aggrandizement follows.  Second, this suggests overall there should be less mass with agglomeration over time but more mass is created by confinement of new energy into larger mass systems.  M1 + M2v = M3 + E, where M3 has confined momentum or gravitational energy into a larger mass than the original.  For example, a diffuse gas cloud evolves into a solar system, maybe not the total cloud, but a residual system with net greater mass and captured internal kinetic energy.  Much of this new mass is derived from the gravitational potential but also yields energy as in emitted photons of a hydrogen star radiating but also growing into a metallic star.  There is an important generalization here.  Mass always appears to be some kernel of mass with the additional confinement of energy as in momentum (mv) or enclosed spin.  Is this universally true?  This is the metaphysical question and maybe yes!

            More to the theme, the Bowen analog suggests this is true as the reference paper outlines but the two extremes on the condensation diagram of high M/E exchange raise relevant questions.  Is there a kernel of mass less than a quark?  Is 100% conversion, M to E or E to M occurring now? (a question raised to me by E Chaisson).  So here I raise the  consequential potential of the Bowen analog applied to these extremes.

            Supposedly in an early Big Bang scenario, 1000 baryon pairs annihilated each other (99.9% reverse trend if p- + p+ = E only) or hardly holding its own if all the p’s added otherwise to only .001 p in the positive matter case.  And more subtlety, if all this annihilated baryon energy fed the expansion of the universe which ultimately yields the gravity for the remaining M to agglomerate.  This is interestingly debatable in its own right.  But in the present it seems a zero sum game, but also with an interesting exception that two photons creating a particle-antiparticle pair ultimately cancel, although during the interim, in this universe, their mutual gravitational attraction is still unknown.

            The other acknowledged extreme - a Black hole is contentious to the Bowen analog concept.  Can a Black hole contain mass contrary to the ‘mass kernel + E’ conceptual trend and/or does it run in reverse to that trend?  To explore further, this idea also introduces the Roche’ Limit principle or another analog, that beyond its basic formulation.  How does Roche’ apply?

            The Roche’ Limit is a celestial mechanical phenomenon of the breakup of a planet’s moons into Saturn like rings when the gravitational gradient from the larger attractor exceeds the binding strength across the smaller moon, easily rendering it to disassembled pieces.  Hence the the gravitational confinement of the moon is revoked and the earlier equivalent mass loss at assembly is restored in an endothermic process.  Well, if the ‘kernel mass & more confined energy’ trend truly constitutes greater mass, then any object that falls into a Black hole (with its singularity point mass concept) is reversed from this trend as progressively higher gradients toward the center will counter the confinement mechanism (gravity, chemical, atomic) of any sized mass object.  Beside the fact that this is a reverse trend from the Bowen analog, it also erodes all mass to the fundamental ‘kernel’ if there is one, or no mass at all if there isn’t.  Hence, potentially a mass-less Black hole - a contradiction.

            Metaphysically, there are some outs.  Foremost, a Black hole starts where Relativity reaches its maximum expression at the Schwarzschild radius, hence the inside is outside the boundary of known physics as to what's doable inside.  Two other things might conceptually preserve a ‘Million times Sun-mass Black hole’ - just a soup of that unknown kernel at a new high rho as the Bowen analog would require, or a new kind of energy confinement, maybe a super sized kernel unrecognized in our knowledge of what confines that basic energy of a small kernel to begin with.  I have a third speculation.   If all mass was a form of Maxwellian curl & divergence over all space creating the ponder-ability we observe, a Black hole may destroy the curl, converting mass to an unconfined ponderable divergent flux, which then may have temporal effects and dispersion range and be manifest as dark matter in galactic environments.  The magic of Maxwell’s equations are that any cube of space contains all the appropriate dynamics of the larger environment for that location.  The same might hold true for the ponder-ability issue.

             What more can be said comparing the smooth, continous trend of the gravitational attraction and the incremental quantized, or scale limited aspects of the particle trend?  First what’s common, E=mc2 or conversion conservation is always true but thereafter there is no quantization and only two deviations from the trend - pure energy forever in transit which is mass-less (except maybe when in confinement or curl) and particle/antiparticle pairs together in a quasi stable existence of masslessness - exempt from the mass aggrandizement trend.

            Finally, whatever we call all these different things , the smooth interchange of action as noted, even if there appears quantized organizations on the small scale, must be a common mettle/metal.  Therefore if true, the Bowen analog concept embraces a global process also justifying the elegant title of the TOE - Theory of everything, particularly from our middle perspective.   

On a Theory of Everything

            A Theory of Everything, and its popular acronym - TOE, is a catchy idea and in concept has been around most of the last century with Einstein an earlier player in a quest for this lofty goal.  We still hear today about tantalizing progress in this quest but as yet unattained.  While everybody has a good idea of the meaning of ‘everything’, this one is an extreme esoteric idea and endeavor of but a few workers and not many comprehendors.  Is there something more to say about this?  I think so.

            I will describe four different TOE’s of which the original is but one and then declare their composite another.  What establishes ‘everything’?  First, maybe ideas of grand fundamentals, all unified.  An example might be a grand theory of life or solar systems, but as comprehensive these topics, they are not everything.  What do we need to be all inclusive and then add for what reason?  Certainly there is a hint of that in the original TOE - uniting all the basic known forces as part of all process and interaction - but that is a far cry from everything that constitutes this universe.  I suggest the following four are the minimum but not totally independent of each other and as a group more diagnostic of the whole - hence a broader everything.

            TOE 1   Nature’s fundamental forces on things

            TOE 2  The Cosmological scheme of things

            TOE 3  The Momentary scheme of things

            TOE 4  The Platonic concept of things

            What is the relevance of each and how are they related?  Our universe is happening over expansive space and time, this is the realm of TOE 2; in very fine detail and action, covered by the rules of TOE 1; uniquely at this moment everywhere, as my interpretation of the Bowen analog as an example with TOE 3; and different kinds of things seemed to be involved, so a reality check with TOE 4.  Or reiterated:  There is some large scheme that pervades the functioning of the universe.  Whatever occurs satisfies fine underlying rules, forward or backward.  At each moment there is a forward trend so consistent choices are made that creates time’s arrow and it is our definition of what things are that control these perceptions.  The 20th century has seen many observations made and ideas formulated applicable to each of these assertions.  Some are very definitive and almost sacrosanct precluding any unexpected or likely significant future changes.  The idea of the Big bang, the universe expansion and its evolution to us, the observers, is quite well developed.  Yet there is more to unveil.  Is there sufficient separation of these four to justify this thesis and what of the fourth, just a play on words or more relevant than that?

            I see a grand separation of TOE 1 & 4 with a vast questionable middle.  If things are somewhat arbitrary and defined by us, is their mathematical interplay real to the universe or does the universe have some other continuum doing still undefined things?  The other two concepts are more related.  I see TOE 2 as the grand integration including the ‘what’ of all space & time, and TOE 3 as that instantaneous trend of choices contributing to that integral.  The knowledge of the past as in TOE 2 is more conceptual as it does not really exist anymore except as the integral sum to the present with TOE 3 all there really is, ‘now’, everywhere and say it again - time’s arrow.  This expanded set of TOEs is a rich field to explore, looking for all the interpretive connections within and between them.

            This is not an off-the-wall assertion nor am I unbiased on some interpretations.  I have considerable previous writings that might be identified with these TOE’s.  However a later concept in this effort, the Bowen Condensation Analog, might reflect a basic trend of the universe and could be a TOE 3 with my assertion of time as being only ‘now’ compatible with its drive for change.  As such, I injected a ’here’s a TOE too’ idea, then backed off to consider what might a second TOE might mean and then derived these basic four.  The Bowen idea also contributes to the TOE 2 cosmology look-back characteristics, the effect of the big integral, particularly with object and process in our middle observable universe but only teases on the equally important why.  My website, Cosmic-concerns, with discussion of the BB - Big bang, BC - Big crunch, and BA - Big appearance universes give clues as to which might provide a better ‘why’ as to distant, far removed and overall cosmologies.  And the fourth TOE, Platonic for the idea of being critical of what things might actually be outside our own or consensual heads, but inherently inclusive with the pitfalls of language, mathematics and communication.  While important as foundation to any assertion, this step is often uncritically assumed and consequently in part my rebellion with many runaway mathematical concepts of cosmology, some to me, having long left physical reality.  Beside that concern, equally important, this TOE has more bearing on all human evolution: how the universe is perceived by shaman, sorcerers, clerics or scientists and to what degree any of them are sentients.  This quest stretches over millennia and respects the tortuous path taken to the present.  Think of the many smug thought systems extant and totally intractable with one another today and more than a few in the dust-bin of history

            This four way expansion of the TOE in no way detracts from the status and elegance of the original but it does bring to mind the fatal flaw of physicist Lord Kelvin, who’s model of the cooling earth at the beginning of the 20th Century exercised undue authority over other disciplines not in tune, particularly geologists with their concepts of the earth’s age and process.  And in fact, any incompatibilities between these different TOE’s could direct inquiry to improving the notions within them as a whole, possibly yielding a grand theory of everything to everybody - the big TOE 5 and therefore a whole FOOT - Fundamental Organizational Obscurities Terminated.

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