Re: Defense of Theism pt 1

From: George L. <>
Date: Mon Jun 27 2005 - 07:26:41 EDT

> George Murphy wrote:
> "Perhaps the math is at least part of things in themselves."
> Maybe to the degree that the "things" are idealized or abstracted.
Laws of gravitation apply to Earth's mass distributions, not to Earth
itself. Earth is a distribution of mass, but it is much besides; and
the stuff besides is irrelevant to gravitation.
> And if the math is part of the thing itself, which math is it, and
what does the math tell about the thing? Newton's gravitation caused
people to think masses attracted one another at a distance. If that
were true, it would be saying a lot about the thing itself. But
Einstein's gravitation tells us instead that masses curve 4-space.
That's also saying a lot. But is this the final answer, or do we look
for another? Lacking a TOE, we keep looking ( ? ).

Newton's picture of masses exerting forces on one another doesn't seem
to have much in common with Einstein's picture of curved space-time.
But the math of Newton's theory is an approximation to that of
Einstein's under well-defined conditions. & if & when we get an
adequate theory of quantum gravity Einstein's equations will be seen to
be an approximation to those of that theory, even if the way we picture
the 2 theories (curved space-time & - maybe - strings are quite
> And what about QM? Does the math have deep significance or has it
merely been cobbled up to get agreement with experiments?

It's hard to imagine that the math that can give the kind of precision
that we have with things like the calculation of the Lamb shift is just
cobbled together. Yes, the math has deep significance - which doesn't
mean it's the deepest we can get.

(On behalf of Plato)

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: George L.<>
> To:<> ;<> ;<
> ;<>
> Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:22 PM
> Subject: RE: Defense of Theism pt 1
> [Glenn Morton] You are right, but, I placeemphasis on the math
> that is what we humans understand. We really don't understand
things in
> themselves. Kant showed us that. We simply do not know the noumena;
> we can get are phenomena [end grm]
> Perhaps the math is at least part of things in themselves.
> Plato

George L. Murphy
Received on Mon Jun 27 07:29:45 2005

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