July 7th, 2014
I recently returned from my journey to Cambridge University where I presented a paper titled “The Ontology of Many Worlds and Thomistic Modal Realism”. This paper is a continuation of research from this summer’s forthcoming Philosophia Christi publication “God and the Multiverse” I coauthored with Dave Beck.
The part of the paper that pertains particularly to the philosophy of science is also a part of doctoral research. There is another version of this paper that is more detailed though it excludes the initial theological/historical aspects. I included the theological preface for the presentation since it’s a continuation of “God and the Multiverse”. The current, more detailed technical paper has been submitted to a journal and is currently under review.
DOWNLOAD “The Ontology of Many Worlds and Thomistic Modal Realism”
I received excellent feedback from the attendees and I’m grateful for the critiques.
DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO THE PRESENTATION AUDIO DOWNLOAD THE CORRESPONDING POWERPOINT
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May 3rd, 2014
Philosophical Fragments is a blog with Patheos and there was a guest post (don’t hold it against he actual blog owner, it’s a guest) named Mark Goldblatt (I’m not certain that’s the author but notice his employer and notice what he’s writing on… I’m just saying…) titled “Bad Epistemology.” Let me begin by telling you what I really think… I think this post is full of bad science, bad philosophy, bad semantics, quibbling over spilled milk, and botches the multiverse is an embarrassingly bad way. Aaaand, yes, there are some good things and I won’t forget to highlight them either.
If you want to argue against the multiverse [or quantum issues], fine, but do so in an informed and more educated manner than this.
Goldblatt begins his epic rant by discussing contemporary science’s search and desire to discover the truth about the cosmos and the origin of life. Quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson from the reinstatement of Cosmos:
“If you take the universe all the way back to the Big Bang, well, the entire universe was really small. So now you take the shotgun wedding – quantum physics and general relativity. In that shotgun wedding, if you follow through with all the predictions quantum physics gives you, it allows multiple bubbles to form – one of which is our universe. These are sorts of fluctuations in the quantum foam. Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particles coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It’s whole universes coming into and out of existence.”
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April 2nd, 2014
Constants of Space and Time.
- Planck length (the minimum interval of space), lp = 1.62 x 10-33 cm.
- Planck time (the minimum interval of time), tp = 5.39 x 10-44 sec.
- Planck’s constant (this determines the minimum unit of energy emission), h = 6.6 x 10-34 joule seconds.
- Velocity of light, c = 300,000 km/sec.
- Gravitational attraction constant, G = 6.67 x 10-11 Nm2/kg2.
- Weak force coupling constant, gw = 1.43 x 10-62.
- Strong nuclear force coupling constant, gs = 15.
Individuating Constants (Composition of the Electromagnetic Force).
- Rest mass of a proton, mp =1.67 x 10-27 kg.
- Rest mass of an electron, me = 9.11 x 10-31 kg.
- The electron or proton unit charge, e = 1.6 x 10-19 coulombs.
- Minimum mass in our universe, (hc/G)½ = 2.18 x 10-8 kg.
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December 14th, 2013
Constructive empiricism (CE), primarily developed by Bas van Fraassen, regards theoretical identities rather than realistically. CE allows an empiricist approach to science without requiring the language and formulation of theory that the positivist uses. When one affirms accepts CE one must believe what the theory says about observables, that is, one must believe that the theory is empirically adequate; but one does not have to believe the whole theory, including what it says about unobservables. Van Fraassen argues that science can be understood without the strong realist approach. Science’s aim becomes set on empirical adequacy rather than the full-blown truth.
Van Fraassen defines an ‘observable’ as:
X is observable if there are circumstances such that, if X is present to us under those circumstances then we observe it.
That which serves as an observation is not necessarily in the scope of philosophy. The limits of observation are a subject for empirical science, and not for philosophical analysis. Thus, a theory is empirically adequate if and only if what it says about the observable things and events in this world is true.
Empiricism set limits on what one is rationally obligated to believe. Van Fraassen makes the distinction between acceptance and belief. There is no commitment, under CE, to believe the truth of the theory but one can accept the empirical data. This is very modest in its commitment to the informative power of a theory.
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