Re: ugabooga god of the universe(was: Re: Chapp article)

George Murphy (""
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 07:36:46 -0500 wrote:
> And never have I asserted that the Bible is only history. But I find it
> odd that so many christians in science would gladly relegate their religion
> to the realm of non-history, but they would never think of doing that at
> their work. I can see it now. "Dear Editor of Nature, Enclosed is a paper
> on cold fusion. It is a wonderful metaphor for the powerfulness of the
> universe. I hope you accept this for publication." We wouldn't do that
> because it would be ridiculous. So why do we do it with something more
> important than science?
Physicists don't say things like that because those who have given some
thought to the matter already know that the language they're using has to some extent a
metaphorical quality. E.g., hey use the word "particle" to describe a quark, knowing
quite well that it isn't the same kind of entity as a grain of sand. That doesn't
mean that there's nothing there or that we can't know anything true about it, but
just that when we get beyond the simplest indicative sentences about everyday
situations, all our language will use some metaphor, & the more so as it gets more
remote from our everyday experience.
If someone wrote a paper for Phys. Rev. about the first 10^-43 sec of the
universe & claimed that it was "just the facts" in no-nonsense non-symbolic fashion
(It's not a "model" of the universe, you understand - it's the real thing!), the refs
would probably bounce it back even faster than your cold fusion paper. The difference
might be that with the cold fusion one a kind editor might suggest submitting it to a
literary journal.

George L. Murphy