CHANCE / INACTION
© 2003, 2005, 2008
“… chance choices leading to the same outcome…”
Jean Buridan – a 14th century French thinker, had once adapted Aristotle's obscure allegory about the choices of food or drink to create a surprisingly potent thought experiment –
Suppose a hungry ass comes across two identical stacks of hay. How does it consciously choose to eat from stack A instead of B - or vice versa, when both choices lead to the same outcome?
Would that ass have to starve in the throes of never ending A? B? A? B? A? B? A? B? etc… indecision? Or, would it just start eating from one of the stacks by chance?
Yet Buridan could have made this world a better place had he applied his experiment to choices implicit in the outcomes historically associated with so-called supernatural entities like idols, gods, goddesses, God, etc…
How? Substitute that experiment's ass with a would-be supernatural being, the haystacks with choices leading to the same outcome and the hitherto breathtaking façade of Religion disintegrates into rubble of indecision or chance. Repeat, it's indecision or chance…
Further, equate these haystacks with any theologically relevant aspects of Reality that lead to the same outcome and all attempts to depict Religion as an intellectual rather then emotional activity – Intelligent Design, Anthropic Principle, Fine-Tuning, etc… will likewise collapse into rubble of indecision or chance. Again, it's indecision or chance …
C / I Theorem (a)
If a supposed supernatural being could exist, it would act only by chance - or not at all.
“Life had to be created by God - otherwise, all you've got is blind chance! And do you know how astronomical are the odds of something as complex as Life arising from random interactions of matter? Nigh impossible… ”
The seeming erudition of this stratagem had no doubt bluffed generations of fair, sensible people into tacit acquiescence that strengthened Religion's sway over humanity. Which shouldn't come as a surprise - after all, how do you respond to a claim that appears to ooze with scholarship but is also so conveniently unverifiable?
Well, it's payback time -
If it could exist, God would only be a Buridan's Ass utterly bamboozled by a myriad of chance choices that lead to the same outcomes – not quite the paradigm of eternal omniscience in which humanity had been indoctrinated since times immemorial.
However, slinging the petard of chance back at Religion demolishes only its intellectual pretense – not its insidious common appeal. To successfully confront the latter, we should first stop providing our unwitting assistance to theological entrepreneurs, agitators and their sympathizers.
How? By no longer parroting – hence legitimizing, their hypnotic misuse of NOUN “God”
Therefore, instead of proceeding with the C / I Theorem, let us examine how a Religion-induced disregard for properly informed communication distorts our sense of Reality.
A MISFORTUNE AND ITS BENEFICIARIES
Suppose one Sunday you've prepared a splendid seafood dinner for your family. Unfortunately, soon after the meal one of the kids complains about feeling sick. By the time an ambulance has arrived, you're all vomiting…
Except for your youngest son, who remains in intensive care, everybody's had a complete recovery by Monday noon. “Salmonella…” a lab technician explains, adding the health authorities must now be informed where you've bought that seafood from…
But your mind is on other matters -
”The whole goddamn asylum is here!” you seethe furtively, greeting your neighborhood pastor with exaggerated warmth “I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, father!”
“Your son developed a mild case of meningitis of top of food poisoning” a specialist advises late Tuesday. “He'll probably be OK by the end of next week, but at times it was so close you'd almost call it a miracle…”
Once you break the news to relatives and friends still praying in the waiting room, they glance upwards with joyous piety… “Praise be to God! Thank you, oh Lord!”
“What am I doing amongst these cattle?” you despair the next morning. Suddenly, an unexpected idea leaves you dumbfounded… “But what if my boy actually was saved by a miracle and there's some sort of personal God after all?”
BEWARE!!! The sole winners in your family's culinary misfortune - NOUNS “miracle” and “God”, had been planting such hoaxes in human minds ever since our hunter-gatherer ancestors began to invent the myths of Religion some fifty millennia ago.
How? By exploiting our cognitive expectation that any NOUN relating to the Environment stands for an object, entity, process or phenomenon already present within it.
And when our Environment fulfills that expectation thousands times a day, it becomes easy to take NOUNS for granted without suspecting how much social mischief a tiny clique of them is capable of.
THE SPONGERS OF FACTUALITY
Some quick bookkeeping – how many Religion-related NOUNS are there? Start with Evolution's instinct to “survive as long as possible” behind the concept and NOUN “Afterlife”, add a few facilitators - “soul, miracle, gods, Heaven, God, etc…” plus elaborations like “the Devine, Intelligent Design, Anthropic Principle, Fine-Tuning, etc…” and that's it. Can't be more then a dozen.
Now how many NOUNS refer to objects, entities, processes or phenomena the factuality of which can be verified from our daily experience? Say that it's only ten thousand –
Thus, from the time religious myths had arisen, the empirical 99.9 % of our NOUNS became infiltrated by 0.1 % of parasites that exploit the factuality of the rest without providing any verification of their own, supposedly exulted status.
How remedy with this rot at the core of our humanness?
A few years ago, chapter “Fools of Language” described NOUN Factuality Transfer at length and its conclusion still stands… For the sake of properly informed communication the difference between empirical and hypothetical NOUNS should always be highlighted with a semantic marker - as in NOUN "hypothetical God" rather then "God", for example.
This marker forewarns us that although asserting the factuality of objects, entities, processes or phenomena happens to be the function of NOUNS, it doesn't follow that each NOUN stands for what is factual… In principle, it is possible to create an endless procession of NOUNS that cannot be verified to represent any factuality whatsoever.
Rather then rehash this argument let us reflect on the proper use of NOUN “offence” in Western Law. Here, procedure requires that until the factuality of an offence has been verified, the hypothetical status of NOUN “offence” must at all times be highlighted with marker “alleged”. The resulting NOUN “ alleged offence” subsequently becomes mandatory in all court formalities as well as media commentaries.
The benefit? Our communication becomes properly informed – making the adjudication of legal arguments less open to crypto-factual presumptions that NOUN “offence” would have implied on its own. Indeed, had our legal system misused “offence” the way theological entrepreneurs, agitators and their sympathizers misuse “God”, more prisons would have to be built to accommodate the innocent.
So, once individual liberty is at stake, our civil society already knows the rules of properly informed communication. But when it comes to marketing a belief, Religion is still allowed to manipulate, twist and stretch Language as if those rules applied on Mars, not Earth.
The result? Hypothetical NOUNS of religious myths become confused with empirical NOUNS of our daily experience and before we know it, a handful of semantic phantoms take control of our grasp of Reality.
The need to highlight NOUN “God” with semantic markers like “alleged, hypothetical, supposed”, etc… will be pursued again in Part 2, where we'll also argue that ontological delusions behind some of the basic concepts of modern Science are likewise due to its sloppy use of NOUNS.
For now, let us examine the most chance-infested interpretation of Nature that linguistic Life in whatever Universe may ever dabble in – the supposed supernatural.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn not to question it.
Above, you'll recognize a paraphrase of Edmund Burke's timeless “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. If not, you may care to read the first couple pages of that chapter –
In “Edmund Burke”, searching for the source of social evil took us back to JUSTIFICATIONS giving Aristocracy and Religion the right to seize the bulk of humanity's earliest agricultural crops. Our problems - we've concluded, began around ten millennia ago with the enforcement of that bloodsucking tradition.
By contrast, present chapter will examine how religious myths compromise the intellectual integrity of our social existence.
Specifically, we'll focus on humanity's historical inability to pose the right questions when confounded by the myths of Religion – a shortcoming that had allowed social primitivism to prevail and exert its malign influence over our lives to this day.
How can we tell which questions are right? Simple, right questions mirror the essential features Reality. Hence, if WORDS and NUMBERS account for two different but equally fundamental aspects of Reality, then it is obvious that no valid examination of religious myths can ever be based on WORDS alone. This critical topic will be examined at a later stage but for now, let's look at a broad canvas…
THE MYTHS OF RELIGION
To begin, a myth from the Greek Antiquity -
Once upon a time, Arachne – an exceptionally skilled weaver of lowly birth but proud and quarrelsome demeanor, had challenged goddess Athena to a contest. But – their talents aside, it came to pass the goddess had been so incensed with Arachne's audacity that she turned her into a spider.
The subtext? “Don't mess with the powerful” - a notice to Greek populace that Aristocracy and Religion lording over it at the time would have found most apt.
Yet phrase “…she turned her into a spider…” also underpins the gist of all preceding and subsequent Religions, for they had emerged from the same generic concept – the myth about a supernatural capability…
From so-called “revealed Religions” to exquisite “It's the Design of Nature we're talking about - not a God with beard” dissembling by the millionaires of pseudo-Science, all depend on some supposed supernatural capability delivering a desirable outcome.
More, from animistic primitivism of pre-history, across over 5000 Religions currently on record to the New Age spiritual gobbledygook - none of them could have prospered without adopting the same, time-proven storyline.
Which is OK… After all, what's the point of believing unless the object of that belief may be assumed to supernaturally guide one's scheme of things to a desirable outcome that Nature itself couldn't accomplish?
The trouble is that once every Tom, Dick and Harry starts declaring an own version of the supposed supernatural as the sole provider of all desirable outcomes, the franchises of Religion end-up with the toughest and slickest kids on the block. Here, that old saw “Religion is the opiate of the people” rings true in more ways then one.
THE SIMPLEST OF CHANCES
Now reflect on “…she turned her into a spider…” It's self-explanatory and everybody through the ages had known exactly what “turning the person into a spider” means – so what's the problem?
But hold it… Surely, at least two species of spider would have been known at the time to the Greeks and hence, to their goddess Athena.
Therefore, prior to turning Arachne into a spider of say, species A – was it not equally possible for Athena to supernaturally turn her into a spider of species B instead? Or vice versa?
While none of this would have brought any joy to Arachne, it opens a novel vista for challenging the myths of Religion in general – CHANCE.
To proceed further, we need to assemble a kit of conceptual tools, starting with the pattern for higher Life's interaction with Reality –
First, Life's sentient awareness arises from the processes of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON. Those processes reveal Reality to be dual – one of its forms always produces Descriptive outcomes of “same / different” and the other, Proportional “less / equal / more”.
Hence to survive, Life is challenged to evaluate the following five constants of Reality –
“same / different”
“less / equal / more”
Here, it's worth noting that linguistic Life will universally utilize Descriptive segments “same / different” to grasp Reality with WORDS and Proportional “less / equal / more” to refine that knowledge with NUMBERS.
Second, the EXISTENCE of objects, entities, processes or phenomena is generically defined by the Descriptive “same” and Proportional “equal” -
“same / ………”
“………/ equal / ………”
or, for any specific case of “x”-
SAME AS x /………”
“………. / equal / ………” of context #1 of x
“………. / equal / ………” of context #2 of x
“………. / equal / ………” of context #3 of x
“………. / equal / ………” of context #4 of x
Third, as shown – the SAME AS tells us which Descriptive pattern of Nature any object, entity, process or phenomenon belongs to, whilst Proportional “equal” – in its various Descriptive contexts, quantifies every aspect of its largely random numerical substance at any given instant.
Finally, since Descriptive Reality rests on 2 pillars of “same / different” and Proportional Reality on 3 pillars of “less / equal / more”, one should never be equated with the other. Ontologically, they are as unlike as the IDEA of say, “apple-ness” and the 97.35 grams object you buy for $ 0.65 then sink your teeth into because it happens to be called “apple”.
And when the distinction between the two remains ignored – as is the case with the myths of Religion, promise-laden WORDS invariably divert social attention from the critical importance of NUMBERS. Intellectually, the result is a disaster.
Take the myth of Resurrection – what do its WORDS claim? In essence, “A cadaver came to life”. Forget the rest…
The NUMBERS? Let us examine that hypothetical occurrence in context of “earlier / equal / later”…What about the first heartbeat in the transition from “cadaver” into “person alive”?
/ - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / X / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + /
Suppose that the first heartbeat takes place at “X”. Wouldn't its occurrence “10 seconds earlier” or “1/10 of a second later” have lead to the outcome consistent with WORDS “A cadaver came to life”?
You could spend days substituting those NUMBERS and the WORDS of the outcome would have remained the same… That's chance.
But that's a miniscule drop in the ocean of chance variables you'd discover it all NUMBERS implied by WORDS “A cadaver came to life”, were to be put under scrutiny.
THE DUALITY OF REALITY
A thespian parable…The Theater of Reality was built with two performance stages - Descriptive and Proportional, but only the Descriptive is facing an auditorium directly …
That most popular of actors – Mr. Noun, is about to star in a minimalist play entitled “The Concepts” and air is electric with anticipation -
“Apple!” he booms, the Descriptive curtain parts and everybody's concept of “apple” appears under a spotlight. “Could it be different to apple?” their memories double-check intuitively. “No, it's the SAME AS apple…” Hooray! Whoopee! Applause!
“What about a Jonathon?” somebody enquires. Not a problem – the parting of another curtain reveals the concept of “Jonathon apple”.
Picking a cue the audience enthusiastically joins in and shortly, hundreds then thousands of curtains are swishing sideways to illustrate the concept of “apple” from every ontological angle.
How many Descriptive curtains would have to part for the subject matter to be exhausted completely?
There're 6000 plus varieties of apple and phrases that range from “apple of my eye” to “rotten apple” add perhaps a thousand. Hence, it is arguable all aspects of “apple-ness” should be known after some 7500 curtains. A drop in the ocean…
“Hey mister, show us them molecules and things!” a youth has just yelled from the theatre's balcony and Mr. Noun winces. “It's going to be one of those nights”, he mutters under his breath…
“The Proportional crew, please!” the actor claps his hands and a team of gofers assembles deep past the Descriptive stage. At length, they reach a heavy drape on which “Less / Equal / More” had been embossed since the dawn of Reality, then laboriously pull it aside -
Two white circles on a black background – that's it… At first, there's a gasp of disappointment then catcalls and finally, a tomato flies past Mr. Noun's head…”We want our money back!” several ruffians roar in unison.
The actor reaches for a megaphone…“Ladies and gentlemen, it would have taken more Proportional curtains to define an apple numerically then there are atoms in our entire Solar System… We don't live long enough to look at that tiresome display, do we?”
“As for these brilliant folks over here…” Mr. Noun leans towards a group of troublemakers, “the Theatre of Reality will pay your money back multiplied a million-fold if you can solve a little problem we've been having…”
He pauses for effect and the theatergoers are now hanging onto his every word… “Look at those two white circles… What separates them is the most elemental feature of Reality – a distance. And when the Proportional curtain parts, the length of that distance may well change…”
There's a dramatic drum roll and Mr. Noun states his request; “Kindly tell me whether the length of that distance should change and if not – why not? And if you're convinced that it should, why should it become shorter rather then longer – or vice versa?”
Once you've grasped its shtick, CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON can be used to experiment with structural alternatives, regardless of their complexity -
Let's start with some trivia –
Assume you are on a beach, watching lovely girls promenade in the sun… An ethereal idea wanders across your mind; “Why is every grain of sand on this beach in its own place instead of that occupied by its neighbor?” (As a pick-up line, this needs more work)
Yet following this notion, you might say that each mote of dust ever to fall on Earth could have descended on a spot of the adjacent mote. Better still, couldn't every oxygen atom in all the Earth's oceans have bonded with the twin hydrogen atoms from some other water molecule instead of its own? Surely, water in such oceans would have been exactly the same as the one we've ended-up with.
What's the limit? In principle, CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON allows you to replace any entity in the Universe with another entity of the same kind. You could swap the neutrons from one atom of iron to another, cytosine bases between the strands of DNA, etc…etc…etc…
But then, after your imagination has rearranged all the Universe's generic contents into an incalculable number of other Universes indistinguishable from your own, the entire endeavor would have crashed into a brick wall on which Nature wrote one fatal phrase: “Potentially doesn't mean factually”
However notorious is its reputation in the natural affairs, verb “could” does redeem itself big-time in the field of supposed supernatural. Here, we need not blush when arguing; “The factual outcome of a would-be supernatural act COULD potentially be embodied in a myriad of physical variables”. Say the outcome has been theologically described as “apple”…
Here, it is legitimate to enquire; “What had decided the factual structure of apple A, when an incalculable number of its potential variables - amongst them “apple A minus 9 molecules” or “apple A plus 12 atoms” for example, would also have been consistent with that theological description?”
At what structural level would the DELIBERATE decision-making behind a supernatural act cease to apply and CHANCE kick-in? That's the seminal point to be resolved whenever the hypothesis of a supernatural act starts barking at our doorway.
Suppose that it is X% of consciously chosen details augmented with Y% of chance details... Does this ratio X/Y alter from one would-be supernatural act to another, from one purported Deity to another? And isn't that ratio X/Y itself a product of chance?
Alas, such questions are perfunctory - the hypothesis of any supernatural act is so hopelessly diseased with chance that even analyzing chance itself becomes a plaything of chance… Of course, there still remains the enticing alternative of supernatural inaction – no questions asked.
Consider the ontological aspects of any empirical object within Descriptive Reality – the oft-mentioned “apple” will do just fine -
“Apple” is a repetitive pattern of Nature, which – should sentient Life arise, could lead to the CONCEPT of “apple” being formed and externalized into the social common as NOUN “apple”.
Further, apple is a generic manifestation of “sameness” - an object that is the SAME AS “apple”…
Incidentally, an apple might - in a roundabout fashion, also be identified as “different” to “non-apples” -
For example, wanting to buy some apples you may still unerringly make the selection by pointing out every fruit that you DON'T want. Eventually, your bemused greengrocer would have to surmise that the apples - the one fruit you hadn't pointed at, is what you're after. A real hoot - but don't try it in a strange city.
Now however self-explanatory the concept of “apple” may seem, let us go back to the myth of Arachne… We have established that even if goddess Athena knew of just two species of spider, then her ostensibly supernatural act would already have been subject to 50% chance. By the way, with more then 30 000 species of spider around, Athena was dealt a pretty indulgent hand by having only two alternatives to choose from…
Let this generosity end - Athena is to turn Arachne into an “apple”. Great, her concept of “apple-ness” has just been fully activated and she is off the blocks -
“Hmmm…what sort of apple should I turn that vulgar bitch into…?”
The good goddess now has a choice of over 6000 known varieties plus - if she has the wit, some variety wholly unknown on Earth. What's the chance of Arachne being turned into a Granny Smith or an “unknown apple”? It's 1 in over 6000 +1… The alternative? Supernatural indecision…
But was this evident from the description “Athena is to turn Arachne into an apple”?
Nope – we had to dig deep behind NOUN “apple” and our reluctance to dig just as deeply behind the enticing NOUNS of religious myths explains why they've been able to lead us up the garden path for so long.
So far, we've barely scratched the surface. To dig deeper, we'll first have to formalize the existence of an apple with the “same” and “equal” constants of Realty -
SAME AS “apple of variety X” / ………”
“………/ equal N-P / ………”
“Equal N-P” will be illuminating… It stands for Numerical Permutation - an aggregate of quantities accounting for all that can be measured within the substance of any object, entity, process or phenomenon in every context at any instant…
First, those numbers tick-off all nameable aspects of each part contributing to the sum-total of a given material substance Second, they keep the score of electro-kinetic interactions constantly taking place amongst those parts.
Now imagine looking at Descriptive Reality's “apple” through Proportional Reality's magnifying lens of the “………/ equal /………” You would glimpse a miniscule fragment of its N-Permutation, captured below in an ephemeral snapshot -
A whirl of numerical quantities before you permeates the substance of that object - with every magnitude but an aftereffect of the last nano-scale fizz, crackle and pop it had exchanged with the quantities next to it…
Despite the blinding speed with which these numbers are altering, a 7 has just caught your eye – would goddess Athena know its origins?
It didn't become the 7 until its forbearer had interacted with say, 4, 1 and 9 adjacent to it. But these numbers had only arrived at their final magnitudes after interacting with other neighbors – which themselves had only arrived at their final magnitudes, etc…etc…etc…
That's how Nature had harnessed billions upon billions of chance numbers into the chore of accounting for all electro-kinetic changes within our apple from one moment to the next…
Here, all so-called acts of Creation would sink into a swamp of Proportional Reality 's “less / equal / more”… For although any transient quantity – take an 8, is utterly inconsequential to Descriptive “apple-ness” of the outcome, goddess Athena would still have to choose it in preference to “less” (7) and “more” (9) as if her next supper had depended upon it.
Look at the material substance from a different perspective which goddess Athena might have found of interest when contemplating an “apple” – the now familiar IT notions of hardware and software -
The molecules, atoms and particles making-up the countable substance of our apple are its hardware.
Here, it is self-evident that “1 atom less” or “2 atoms more” in Proportional Reality can't possibly make an apple any “less apple” or “more apple” in the Descriptive – it remains the SAME AS “apple” regardless.
Hence, goddess Athena already has a gigantic range of chance variables to choose from for her supposed supernatural act of turning Arachne into an apple – the “less / equal / more” of molecules, atoms, particles in addition to the immensely pliant “less / equal / more” shape and surface topology of “apple-ness”.
Yet that's miniscule when compared to a torrent of chance electro-kinetic information that the software within our apple – the laws of Nature, forces its constituent parts to generate just by having to continually interact with one another.
And when each unit of that chance information is a composite depending on multiple sources, then its aggregate - most of which isn't even unique to “apples” or fruit in general, grows incalculably large.
Finally, that chance information kaleidoscopically alters from one instant to the next without ever repeating itself – an aspect of Nature that the ancient Greeks had celebrated with their famed “You can never step into the same river twice” adage.
The next time you enjoy an apple, reflect on its unfathomable complexity and ask; “How many other variables of that complexity could have resulted in an apple that's indistinguishable from the one I'm now eating?”
So, how many N-Permutations of apple are available to goddess Athena for punishing recalcitrant Arachne?
The long answer… It's 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
000000000… with the zeros now continuing around the Sun then returning back to this page.
The short answer is HYPER-FINITY – some incalculably vast but always a finite number.
To conclude - what is the chance of goddess Athena turning Arachne into a factual “apple” when the hyper-finity of its potential N-Permutations leads to the same outcome?
It's 1-in-hyper-finity; maybe analogous to scooping a major lottery hundred times in a row. But was this evident from “Athena is to turn Arachne into an apple?” Negative again.
TO PRAY, OR NOT TO PRAY…
TROUBLE!!! The doctor's optimistic prognosis of last Tuesday has proved wrong and your son's condition of is now deteriorating by the hour -
“Will you join us in a communion with our Savior?” As friends and relatives gather around holding hands, the pastor asks you to lead a prayer for your son's recovery. Everybody is staring in affable anticipation - what are you going to do? Here's the deal…
Goddess Athena – yep, it's always the same myth in a culturally different bottle, will now be implored
to return your boy's “sick body” into its former state of “healthy body”.
Now remember that NOUN “healthy body” is just a Descriptive label for the hyper-finity of Proportional variables that had occurred within the electro-chemistry of your son's brain, heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, liver, flesh, blood cells, etc… seconds, minutes, hours or even days prior to his illness.
How is goddess Athena to select one N-Permutation of your son's “healthy body” when quintillions upon quintillions of its N-Permutations lead to the same outcome?
Chance – she may as well pay a visit to the Sahara and select a single grain of sand in preference to all others. That's provided she could ever decide which grain to pick…
To conclude, a wholesome situation… Say that moved by your prayers, goddess Athena had just shut her eyes and selected some chance “healthy body” outcome anyway… An irritating question - how soon after becoming aware of your prayers did she act?
A hundredth of a second later? A tenth of a second? A second? A minute? An hour? The next evening perhaps?
Remarkably, even within a single minute there are more discreet temporal discontinuities at which Athena could have acted then there are leaves on all of the Earth's trees. Which non-chance leaf would she pick?
“My friend, have no doubt in the powers of God” the pastor intervenes as if sensing your thoughts “The Almighty controls all the atoms of Creation, so leave the specifics to everlasting Mystery that's beyond the comprehension of mere mortals like you and I”
At best, it's a bluff… At worst, invoking omniscience and omnipotence is self-defeating – it only makes the supposed supernatural entity responsible for your son's illness in the first place. Still feel like praying?
Why not ignore such considerations and pray even if the supernatural – if it could exist at all, would only act by chance? What have you got to loose by praying when your child's life is in peril…
Arguably, your principal duty is to protect the intellectual integrity of your own life – therefore the future prospects of your family, from other people's well-meaning but ultimately self-serving agendas.
CHANCE AND GEOMETRY
Let's finish this section on an informal note – since in any Universe there's always “more than one way to skin a cat”, any supposed supernatural act of “skinning of a cat” could have only been an act of chance. This however shouldn't be taken as accepting that the supernatural could ever be other that a purely hypothetical construct of Language.
That cleared-up, we'll keep digging the quicksand of randomness on which the NOUNS of religious myths had been so thoughtlessly erected. It is time to plunge our shovels into the basics of geometry -
Consider point A on a line. A supposed supernatural entity, call it goddess Athena, God, the Divine, Intelligent Design, Fine-Tuner, whatever… will now place point B on this line in such a way that the resulting distance A-B isn't an outcome of chance…Is this scenario ontologically possible?
Even within Descriptive Reality devoid of numbers, point B can be placed on either side of A, with both of these chance choices leading to the same outcome – distance A-B.
So, the would-be Creation of a distance had promptly become a Buridan's Ass limping on 50% “left / right” chance.
But that limp becomes embarrassing within Proportional Reality - for here, any from amongst the potential infinity of distances may become distance A-B factually.
The conclusion? Any distance attributed to allegedly supernatural Creation would have only been an outcome of chance.
Now how many distances are there to be found within any material object, entity, process or phenomenon – from Life to the entire Universe, that lazy religious minds attribute to the deliberate act of a supposed Creator?
Of course, once such questioning threatens their livelihood, lazy religious minds can be enterprising…“Look, quantum mechanics has long accepted that a particle can be in two places at once – so why not a point? Can you prove that it isn't so?”
Next; “The uncertainty principle states that the smaller an entity the greater the probability range of its position and since the point is an infinitesimal - it follows that a supernatural entity could place point B simultaneously on both sides of point A in infinity of positions”
This pretty well symbolizes the quasi-scientific drivel with which Western Religion has lately been trying to modernize its obscurantist myths in order to perpetuate the benefits it receives from a society at large.
Historically, it's a vast improvement… Before MODERNITY put an end to its impunity, Western Religion was able to perpetuate those benefits simply by persecuting, torturing and killing its critics - a method still much in fashion amidst the medieval, anti-Western boondocks of this world.
Now for what it's worth, even if the consequences attributed to quantum superimposition and uncertainty are accepted, no hypothesis of Creation can ever extricate itself from the deadly embrace of chance…
The reason? Long ago, Cantor demonstrated that the Infinity of infinities is potentially possible. Hence, any infinity would still have to be chosen from the potential Infinity of infinities - leaving the premise of chance intact.
But lazy religious minds won't give up… “Look, our God is so omniscient it can place point B simultaneously on both sides of point A in the Infinity of infinities of positions…”
Again, any Infinity of infinities is a unique permutation of infinities with the potential infinity of such permutations – each numerically distinct from any other, being possible…
So, to place point B simultaneously on both sides of point A in the Infinity of infinities of positions, a supernatural capability would have to choose its unique permutation of infinities from infinity of permutations – once again leaving the premise of chance intact.
To conclude, a caveat - the above ruminations about points, infinity, the Infinity of infinities and its infinity of permutations shouldn't be construed as an examination of Reality – there're no such animals outside of our busy imaginations.
This is not the first time infinity has been challenged – indeed, as early as two and a half millennia ago Aristotle expressed grave misgivings about its ontological efficacy.
“Infinity is potential not factual!” the great man had held, insisting that it is Reality's existential potential to accommodate an un-ending mathematical process – not the process itself, that represents the sole factual aspect of infinity…
We'll pursue this in due course - when looking at “nothingness” in context of Aristotle's potential infinity.
In the meantime, let's use Aristotle's Potential in another manner - to place the potential and factual permutations of matter under the kind of scrutiny to which they should have been subjected centuries ago, if not millennia…
NOUNS - a shorthand for Numbers
Sir Isaac Pitman had a good reason to be delighted with his 1837 system of lines, dots and squiggles. From now on, written notation would match the rate of speech then be read back with every nuance of grammar and syntax perfectly preserved. Pitman Shorthand - what a superbly efficient invention has this man gifted to the world...
As such, he would probably be crestfallen if ever told that his breakthrough pales into insignificance compared to another kind of shorthand – Nature's own method of data-compression that humanity had to rely upon since the earliest days of Language.
Indeed, our communication depends on involuntarily packing astronomical amounts of dormant and overwhelmingly irrelevant numerical minutiae into little descriptive boxes - the NOUNS invented to name the objects, entities, processes or phenomena at the heart of our social interaction.
And insofar as that numerical minutiae – the longhand, isn't implicated in some allegedly otherworldly scheme, there's no need to look inside those boxes too closely… For example, had we tried to establish the numerical longhand behind say, food – instead of accepting what box “food” tells us about it in the shorthand, we would have all died of starvation.
However, when it comes to Religion the contents of those boxes must be brought into the open. Here, only looking at the numerical longhand brings to light the intellectual errors arising from the unavoidable incompleteness of data our shorthand communication is able to convey.
C / I Theorem (b)
If a supposed supernatural being could exist, it would only be an entity of chance.
So far, after examining the possibility of supernatural acts we've concluded that description (A) of any such act could potentially be performed by the hyper-finity of its numerical variables (a1, a2, a3…………aH). Therefore, any factual outcome (aF) of description (A) would only be a variable – a product of (1 /aH) chance…
In Part 2, we'll focus on supposed “idols, souls, spirits, gods, goddesses, God, the Divine, Intelligent Design, etc…” to show that those descriptions can also potentially be performed by the hyper-finity of numerical variables (a1, a2, a3…………aH). The conclusion will be the same; any factual entity (aF) consistent with description (A) would only be a variable – a product of (1 /aH) chance.
However, from now on it will be necessary to operate on a far grander scale than that applying to “chance spiders” or “chance apples”…In fact, we'll need to dissect the body of Reality.
THE EXTREMITIES OF ONTOLOGY
Whenever in the Universe Life evolves Language, an opportunity to identify the parameters of Nature will inevitably knock on its door… “What are the ultimate boundaries out there?”
In our current context, they're embodied in two ontological extremes of the shorthand – one NOUN packing the maximum numerical information about itself, plus another NOUN that does the opposite…
There's no prize for guessing the first – it's the NOUN “Universe”, a petite box that encompasses all of the numbers that the Universe is generating in the longhand…
As with the former example of an “apple”, let's formalize NOUN “Universe” with the Descriptive and Proportional constants of Reality –
“SAME AS “Universe” / …………”
“………/ equal NP /………”
Again, equal NP represents the N-Permutation – an aggregate of numbers that account for everything that's happening within the material substance of the Universe at any given instant…
How vast is that information? Rather then try to specify it conventionally by raising the 2 to some clearly arbitrary power, let its magnitude be indicated from the following illustration –
Meet Joe Fish – one of the putative protagonists from a two millennia-old myth that alleges “The miracle of loaves and fishes”. So, what's happening behind NOUN “fish” in the longhand?
Observe one molecule of Descriptive Reality's “fish” through Proportional Reality's magnifying lens of the “………/ equal / ………” as it in an instant generates enough numbers – thus multiple choices, to grind any supposed supernatural intention into a mincemeat of chance or indecision.
(Here, you can almost hear old Joe protesting; “Hey, I've said all along this miracle was strictly for the birds”)
Multiply that molecule's number-generating states by the amount of matter in the entire Universe and you shall get an idea of the numerical longhand being implied whenever we use - or misuse, NOUN “Universe”.
Now look in the opposite direction – what NOUN refers to an entity creating the minimum of numerical information about itself? The Sciences still don't know what it is, perhaps never will, so let's speculate -
On purely intuitive grounds it should be Nature's most numerous repetitive pattern – some as yet unspecified grains of existence that occur within the Universe most frequently.
How come? Extremes of Nature are inversely proportional the frequency of their occurrence. Consequently, the more complex is the structure, the less numerous must be the membership of a pattern it belongs to. It follows that members with the least complex structure must congregate inside the most frequented of patterns.
Incidentally, its inversion brings us back to the most complex of structures whose pattern has only one member - the Universe itself...
What might that least complex particle be? The usual suspects - quarks and their gluons, already create respectively 6 and three kinds of mutually exclusive numerical information, so they don't appear to fit the criterion of elemental simplicity.
Instead of bothering with the rest, let's simply state that a repetitive pattern whose members create the minimum of numerical information has to exist as a matter of ontological necessity and fuss about the details later. Those hypothetical entities also deserve an interim NOUN – so let's call them the “minfos”, as in “minimum / information”.
The postulated existence of “minfos” can henceforth be formalized with the Descriptive and Proportional constants of Reality –
SAME AS “minfo” / ………”
volume “………/ equal /………”
mass “………/ equal /………”
charge “………/ equal /………”
Volume, mass and charge? Apparently they're the most frequent physical attributes of Reality. However, once its Descriptive potential is scrutinized, we could be in for a surprise or two...
A RADICAL OPERATION
So, we've got one NOUN – “Universe”, packing the maximum of numerical information about itself, plus one NOUN – the as yet unspecified “minfo”, doing precisely the opposite…
But would it be possible for a NOUN to represent no numerical information whatsoever? To examine this, we'll need to put Reality through an open-chest surgery -
Picture two adjoining geometric planes AB and A'B' as a couple of totally impermeable membranes that divide WHITE Universe in half then continue onwards into potential infinity.
Let those impermeable membranes now move their halves of the Universe in the opposite directions - gathering every number-generating exemplar of existence along the way. What would have been left behind within a chasm previously occupied by that WHITE Universe?
Nothingness - a seamless BLACK void bereft of any numerical information that any NOUN of any Language in any Universe could conceivably attach itself to…
Not even that most surreal of sentient entities – a WHITE geometric point, would be found wriggling within this perfect BLACK emptiness, nor would a desultory zero, let alone a number below it…
Nor would anything to which NOUNS like “Afterlife, soul, spirit, gods, God, Heaven, Intelligent Design, Anthropic Principle, Fine-Tuner, etc…etc…” are linked with so much misguided hope and brazen opportunism.
Nor indeed would anything to which NOUNS “space-time continuum, pure energy, negative energy, black matter, non-Euclidean dimensions, virtual particles, quantum foams, quantum uncertainty, gravity wormholes, infinite curvature, waves of probability, vacuum fluctuations, strings, braids, loops, nodes, manifolds, Planck lengths, Higgs fields, etc…etc…” refer with such a clubby panache… ZILCH.
Nothingness, non-existence – both NOUNS are valid in own context, but for simplicity's sake “nothingness” has to be their standard bearer. Let us now formalize it with the Descriptive and Proportional constants of Reality –
SAME AS nothingness / ………”
“NIL / ………”
Observe here the asymmetry in “NIL / ………” For once, Nature's constants of “less / equal / more” lack the potential of “less”. Why? There can be no “less” below the NIL – only the “more” above it.
Having established the smooth background of Reality, we can experiment with projecting upon it a variety of granular structures - be they conceptual, natural or even purportedly supernatural. But first, a glance at an inversion of Reality -
Let Reality consist of WHITE granularity that ranges from giant assemblies like galactic clusters to puny ”minfos” - all moving about within the BLACK void of nothingness.
Now press the INVERT button and Reality becomes an indefinitely vast slab of solid WHITE punctuated by the static holes of BLACK - a kind of cosmic Swiss cheese.
Those two geometric equivalents can be treated as repositories of inverted numerical information quantifying the volume of displacement. The means necessary to make that displacement permanent – mass, may be inferred, and the means via which masses interact – charge, follows. Or, so goes the expectation…
ARISTOTLE'S POTENTIAL INFINITY
What if the displacement is claimed to be infinitely small; a geometric point for example?
In our current context NOUN “geometric point” remains a unit of shorthand evolved to facilitate efficient communication. So, what's going on behind it in the numerical longhand?
“Chop, chop, chop – we never stop!” proclaims the plasma display above a door to Infinity Meat Supply… Wiry butcher behind the counter has raised his cleaver above a fillet steak. “Infinitely small…?” he hollers, “Watch it in inversion…”
He chops the steak in half… One half vanishes but the remainder springs back to its original size, just as everything else – the butcher, the counter, the cleaver, the shop, etc… have magically grown twice as big. Wow!
Chop! The same thing happens again – but everything is now four times as large while half of the steak once again regains its previous size.
Chop! Chop! Chop! You cringe as a cleaver's blade – now almost twice as large as your body, swoops past your nose…
Chop! Chop! Chop! The blade has by now expanded to the height of a light post. “Golly…” you scratch your head, “When is this going to end?”
“Chop, chop, chop – we never stop!” comes a low rumble from the butcher who is by now as tall as the Statue of Liberty .
If you wait long enough, that butcher will eventually become as big as the Universe itself, then as big as million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, etc…of them – for the BLACK of nothingness may accommodate potential infinity of WHITE Universes. The steak? Its size still hadn't changed. Now invert this illustration.
So, what happens in the numerical longhand behind a geometric point or indeed, any other infinity-related NOUN?
A “We don't stop!” process of addition or subtraction that can never result in the discontinuous outcome we've learnt to associate with NOUNS of our daily experience. Yet those intuitive associations are still desperately trying to convince us that an outcome is somehow inevitable “in infinity”. There's no outcome – only a never-ending process…
Thus, those who so effortlessly postulate infinitely thin physical entities - the string theorists for example, should accept they're unwittingly referring to perpetually finite entities being endlessly diminished. What's more, their so-called infinitely thin strings would be getting continually “chop, chop, chop” thinner as you're reading this sentence.
Similarly, phrases “infinity of Universes” or “Universe itself being infinite” unwittingly postulate a perpetually finite amount of matter multiplying itself before our eyes without any Science-based reason – not unlike that “chop, chop, chop” butcher from Infinity Meat Supply.
Clearly, “infinity” has been suffering from NOUN Factuality Transfer and its resultant semantic phantoms are as misleading as those that loiter behind NOUNS like “God”, “time”, “non-Euclidean dimension” and the rest of that misbegotten lot.
Above, a forlorn WHITE exemplar of existence is floating within the BLACK void of nothingness. What is it specifically? The key to Reality…
Starting at the micro-scale, let that dot symbolize our earlier postulated “minfo” – i.e. Nature's most frequent, least numerically complex venture from BLACK into WHITE.
Moving to the macro-scale, that dot illustrates how the largest exemplar of existence – the Universe, should appear were you to observe it from a distance of say, a trillion light-years away. Although, such a sighting would be impossible because the BLACK doesn't transmit information, this image is still conceptually useful for superimposing cosmologically finite entities upon the potential of infinity...
Could the owner of Infinity Meat Supply please provide us with some of his famed Universe-sized meatballs?
“Happy to oblige” the butcher shouts across the potentially infinite BLACK nothingness, appraising our WHITE a Universe with a shrug, “but we'll only do commercial orders, two billion at a time…”
Thump! The cleaver slams against an invisible block, missing our Universe by a whisker…Whoosh! One billion identical copies of our Universe spring forth from both sides of the cleaver along a perfectly straight WHITE line…
Thump! Thump! Thump! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! The WHITE line now expands so rapidly that the actual totality of Universes upon it had become meaningless…A trillion, quadrillion, quintillion…? Who cares, the numbers themselves no longer matter – only the process!
“Don't worry, it's still the same wherever you travel” is the last message coming from our over-zealous butcher…What began as a single WHITE line has just exploded into a WHITE wall of Universes maddeningly propelling us outwards – into Aristotle's BLACK potential of infinity.
It is arguable that the BLACK void capable of accommodating the potential infinity of Universes should permeate the WHITE contents of any Universe right down to its most elementary level.
However, because nothingness can neither contain nor transmit numerical information, our dissection of Reality has just exposed a vast cosmological dysfunction -
Above, a few “minfos” are shown separated by the BLACK of nothingness. How are they supposed to interact with each other via the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism plus gravity, when between them resides Nature's most perfect insulator?
Recall the end of 19 th century – the golden age of the aether as a medium of electromagnetic propagation, and assume that the entities illustrated are in fact its long-obsolescent “corpuscles”.
Although postulating such a medium did result in verifiable explanations of electromagnetism, its proponents apparently weren't bothered by that most basic of questions – what prevents the grains within such a medium from drifting apart?
Ostensibly, the “corpuscles” were gathered together by a “field” – a region of numerical information. But since this information would itself have to be embedded in WHITE grains totally insulated from each other by the BLACK of nothingness, the original question merely shifts to; “What now prevents the constituent parts of that field from drifting apart?” –
Again, we've got “minfos” floating in the midst of BLACK nothingness but each is now enclosed within own shell of YELLOW information-transmitting medium and interacts with others across the regions of their shells' mutual intersection.
Yet this only brings us back to a problem left unresolved by proponents of the aether… Should those shells become separated by nothingness, what's to bring them together again?
Or stated differently - what prevents the BLACK from infiltrating, separating and dispersing the granular contents of that kind of Universe into perpetual inconsequence?
However, the dilemma of “What's keeping the contents of the Universe together?” can be resolved by enclosing the largest exemplar of existence in a single shell of YELLOW information-transmitting medium, as illustrated in a cross-section below –
All ontological ideas expressed in “Structure of Reality” over the past few years had been based on assumption that existence can only be granular and as such, smoothness had to be equated with nothingness –
Since our YELLOW information-transmitting medium must exist but cannot be granular, this axiom has to be amended – smoothness and existence are apparently valid in more forms then one.
But can we at least be certain that our YELLOW information-transmitting medium is in fact smooth?
If you consider Hubble images of the most distant objects, the sharpness of detail they reveal – i.e. the absence of blurring, suggests that a medium transmitting that information across many billions of light-years must have been peerlessly smooth. Nothing new about it…
Besides, as emphasized already - had that YELLOW medium been granular, the BLACK would have infiltrated, fragmented and irrevocably dispersed its contents.
Strictly speaking, our medium still remains a “grain of existence”, a finite YELLOW volume suspended in the midst of its potentially infinite BLACK surrounds. Throw into that volume a multiplicity of WHITE grains and the resulting interdependence gives you a permanent repetitive pattern for the phenomenon of “Universe” occurring anywhere within those surrounds.
So, Reality's longhand is written in numbers of both WHITE and YELLOW. This comes with an intriguing twist… Couldn't our “minfo”, the particle that generates the minimum of numerical information about itself, actually be BLACK rather then WHITE?
On the left, a few WHITE “minfos” exchange numerical information across their shared YELLOW surrounds… But what's that BLACK fella on the right doing there?
If an interaction between WHITE particles can expand oscillating “holes” within our YELLOW continuum, then you might be looking at the classical mass-less particle – perhaps a photon.
Further, the volume displaced by that particle would have represented the same BLACK void that surrounds the entire Universe. A “hole” without any numerical information – what a fine candidate for the “minfo”…
Not quite… Let's focus on the ontological discontinuity between YELLOW and BLACK – i.e. that particle's colloquial “surface”. Of necessity, it has to be elastic…
Since elasticity is an expression of stored information, one BLACK “minfo” could within fraction of a second disgorge more numbers then a million of WHITE “minfos”. As such, the BLACK is a non-starter.
Looks like the Universe's most frequently occurring particle that generates the minimum of information about itself should be the WHITE “minfo” on the left. Importantly, this information must discontinue from WHITE into the YELLOW in a strictly deterministic manner.
But doesn't Physics tell us that numerical information behind any physical occurrence is fuzzily smeared out over a probabilistic volume? If so – it has to happen at a secondary level of existence…
At its primary level, that information must arise in a deterministic coinage – like the pieces of gold gifted by a life-weary parent who knows they'll soon be dissipated by the schemes of chance anyway…
Where does the WHITE “minfo” fit into this?
Because of its deterministic numerical minimum, our particle ensures that there're no fuzzy blueprints at the start of Nature's assembly line. For had it been otherwise, such primordial information could have smeared itself out into probabilistic meaninglessness without leading to any lasting patterns of existence whatsoever.
Before retuning to the possibility of a supernatural entity existing as a non-random structure, if at all, we must take stock of the ontological concepts already in play –
WHITE represents Matter, BLACK – though the color of non-existence, can still duplicate existence as a “hole” within the YELLOW. But exactly where does that YELLOW – our information-transmitting medium, fit into present-day scientific thinking?
Once you've flushed the effluent of time out of a contemporary concept of space-time continuum, what's left is the indispensable YELLOW continuum of SPACE.
Above, SPACE is a classically three-dimensional YELLOW sphere featuring an external discontinuity that is as extraordinary as it is unavoidable - its surface must be impervious to the dispersing effects of the BLACK.
On the left, WHITE contents of the Universe are shown expanding from the center of a cosmologically constant shell of SPACE. While the proportions here are arbitrary, they could be taken to symbolize the state of affairs say, ten billion years after the Big Bang.
The initial stage of a reverse process – often referred to as the Big Crunch, is illustrated on the right – who knows, perhaps fifty billion years down the track.
If, as implied, two of cosmology's hallowed dogmas – time and expansion of space, are invalid, then the era of Ontological Enlightenment may yet be ahead of us –
Contextually, NOUN “time” is just a unit of shorthand evolved to facilitate efficient communication. So, what's taking place behind it in the numerical longhand?
Two fundamental phenomena – distance and velocity, contribute numerical quantities to a ratio that according to Science results in “time”. Rather then rely on what's blindingly obvious – no ratio of two fundamental phenomena becomes a third fundamental phenomenon, let us reflect on the Universe's own indispensable requirements…
JUST TWO KINDS OF BUTTONS
Imagine using one half of the Universe as an ontological lab. What would happen if you pushed the ELIMINATE VELOCITY button and everything in it froze dead in its tracks?
Simple - geometry throughout that half of the Universe would have come to a standstill. But had you visited your ontological lab a “billion years” later, every exemplar of physical substance would have still occupied the exact spot it was in at the moment that button was activated. You'd find a tranquil museum of Reality …
And if you surveyed its exhibits with a measuring tape, two distinct kinds of the numerical longhand would be available for your compilation -
One set of numbers would have accounted for the “internal” distances – all diameters of sub-atomic particles, particles and atoms. The other, for every “external” distance interconnecting them throughout SPACE…
What would happen if you pushed the ELIMINATE DISTANCES button by mistake? Curtains…
The distances within the physical substance of existence – along with their connections across SPACE, are expunged from the records of Reality and your ontological lab becomes a BLACK expanse of nothingness… All gone.
How do you bring back the missing half of the Universe? No good pushing the RESTORE VELOCITY button – there's nothing left within it to implement your command. No, in whatever Universe you would always have to push the RESTORE DISTANCES button first…
The Universe can, in a way, exist without the phenomenon of velocity but it can't do so without the phenomenon of distance. Consequently, existence itself is fundamentally a geometric phenomenon and all changes occurring within it are fundamentally geometric – not dynamic, let alone temporal…
Back to the original question – what's the story behind NOUN “time” in the numerical longhand? To begin, distance is now taking precedence over the numbers expressing it and our longhand becomes geometric…
A several paragraphs earlier we've used “billion years”, so let us look at the geometric longhand behind NOUN “year”…
Geometrically, it is the length of a distance the Earth creates traveling once around the Sun – some 600 million miles… That is our master-distance, but many other geometric constants could have done the job just as well.
And although the shorthand of its temporal off-spring like “months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, etc…” slides off our tongues with ages-old consistency, the geometric longhand behind those NOUNS is nothing more then a matching fraction of their master-distance progenitor.
Now what about the big enchilada - the geometric longhand behind NOUN “Universe”? It's the GEOMETRIC AGGREGATE of its distances assembled in a given Descriptive context -
Imagine distance as a RED line… In one context, you may run it between all the Universe's adjacent exemplars of existence. Geometric changes in your RED AGGREGATE – a dense sphere of RED triangles, would account for all that's taking place within it dynamically, every Law of Nature included.
In another context – having completed RED AGGREGATE #1, you may re-trace those RED lines over the distances all exemplars of existence had to travel way back from the Big Bang. Your RED AGGREGATE # 2 becomes a geometric record of everything that had been dynamically occurring within the Universe ever since.
In yet another – your could run those RED lines past the Big Bang right into the Big Crunch and your RED AGGREGATE # 3 would have provided a useful insight into the dynamics of their transition.
In another – you may isolate a PINK clock within your RED AGGREGATE, give it high velocity relative to its RED surrounds and argue that the rate of geometric changes within the PINK AGGREGATE of distances slows down compared to that of the RED AGGREGATE of distances, etc…etc…
THE ILLUSION OF TIME
Why indulge in such esoteric scenarios when it is plain that the numerical quantities supplied by geometry can't alone be adequate to the workings of Science? Surely, the scientists shouldn't be expected to chase after natural phenomena with just a notebook and a measuring tape in their hand…
Yet that is exactly the point – there can be no progress of Science unless the two unwieldy fundamental phenomena of distance and velocity are first synthesized into a single, easily managed concept.
However – just like with Religion, we mustn't mistake the undoubted utility of a concept for the existence of an object, entity, process or phenomenon this concept purports to represent outside of our sentient awareness.
Indeed, wherever in any Universe linguistic Life does develop Science, all measurements of what that Science calls “time” will ultimately prove to be the measurements of distance.
But heck, doesn't common sense tell us it takes time for point C to travel from A to B? No, all it takes is energy – already implied by the phenomenon of velocity, to move C from A to B. At the fundamental level of Reality, this is all that ever happens…
Hence, were you now to yell; “Why put-up with this “There's no time” crap when we all know that time exists!” – even that understandable sentiment would only be the result of billions of C's having moved across distances A-B through the electro-chemistry of your brain, larynx, tongue and facial muscles in order to communicate that objection.
So, where does it leave the so-called space-time continuum and the would-be fourth dimension – two scientific doctrines that make even the claims of Religion look like an exercise in clear thinking?
On a road of Life we step into interesting things. Science may well consider gingerly walking to the side of that road, wiping its shoes clean against the grass then marching on towards a more concise, three-dimensional future.
As with the “apple”, etc…let us begin by formalizing the existence of that phenomenon within the Descriptive and Proportional constants of Reality –
SAME AS “SPACE” /………”
“………/ C /………”
Within Descriptive Reality, our smooth YELLOW medium is essential if the neighboring WHITE exemplars of existence are to interact with each other. As such, its ontological role in Reality remains “different” to those of both, WHITE matter as well as BLACK nothingness.
In addition, the outer surface of its spherical volume must be impermeable to nothingness – a “different” discontinuity would have allowed the BLACK to infiltrate, fragment and disperse that YELLOW medium.
What's happening within Proportional Reality? Thus far, Science seems to have nailed SPACE with one experimentally verified “equal” – the baffling constancy of “………/ 300000 km/sec /………” Apart from that, wisps of gas keep drifting over from that gargantuan linguistic volcano called Mt. NOUN Factuality Transfer.
Recall our reason for postulating the YELLOW – the Universe had to have an information transmission medium via which its WHITE contents could interact to remain together.
Thus, the specific geometry of discontinuity between our YELLOW medium and its potentially infinite BLACK surrounds is of secondary importance. In principle, as long as it keeps the WHITE contents of the Universe localized, any YELLOW shape will do fine…
But if a sphere represents the shape that Reality repeats most frequently, our YELLOW volume might as well be spherical… A no-brainer.
Should that YELLOW volume be constant?
Take the contrary scenario – SPACE expands… This means that whatever property within it had set the C at 300000 km/sec instead of 299999 km/sec or 300001 km/sec, must likewise be affected by that expansion. Now equate that property with our standard scientific concept of “density” -
a/. If SPACE expands without loosing density then its YELLOW substance must be replenished internally. Where from?
b/. If SPACE expands and looses density then the interactions amongst the Universe's WHITE contents ought to weaken and ultimately, this kind of Universe diffuses into cosmic irrelevance.
Conversely, if due to some unforeseen Laws of Nature the loss of density actually strengthens such interactions, those WHITE contents are doomed to a Big Bang with no “Bang”.
Naturally, the last two scenarios don't prevent the Universe from evolving linguistic Life that in the meantime comments on their dire prospects. It's not impossible one of them may in fact be determining the ultimate fate of our own Universe.
But if – having converted “time” into its geometric equivalent of distance, you project that distance into the potentially infinite depths of nothingness, there's something ontologically odd about the phenomenon of “Universe” occurring but once. After all, isn't the whole of Reality embodied in a series of geometric repetitions?
So, in a circuitous way we're back to square one – our sphere of YELLOW should be constant. Within it, its WHITE contents should be expanding in a familiar “expanding Universe” manner, only to oscillate as an endless “Big Crunch > Big Bang > Big Crunch > Big Bang, etc…” geometric repetition.
Back to the key ontological context – the difference between what a NOUN relating to an object, entity, process or phenomenon communicates to us in the shorthand and the numerical quantities invariably residing behind it in the longhand…
Take the numerical longhand behind NOUN “SPACE”… For brevity's sake, let's briefly erase the WHITE contents of the Universe from the picture and treat SPACE as a pristine phenomenon with no internal discontinuities -
“………/ diameter /………”
“………/ density /………”
Just two variables; the density of SPACE and its diameter…Could even one of them be attributed to purported Creation? As suggested throughout this chapter, such a hypothetical occurrence would only have been an outcome of chance…
Why? First, there's no need for our YELLOW SPHERE to be of a particular diameter that excludes all others – its sole function is keeping the contents of the Universe together. How many diameters can fulfill this requirement factually? A hyper-finity…
Further, if you bring the WHITE contents back into the picture, they don't have to interact at 300 000 km/sec in preference some other velocity. How many variables of density within our YELLOW sphere could have set those interactions at different velocities? Again, a hyper-finity…
Remember, it only takes a lung-full of air to pronounce; “The Universe had to be created by God” in the shorthand. But once you take time to examine the longhand behind it, you'll find a bottomless pit of numerical variables, each hissing; “Choose me!”
Rather then harp on the ridiculously unfathomable longhand behind NOUN “Universe”, let's concentrate on NOUN “SPACE” as defined numerically by the two variables of diameter and density -
How would a supposed supernatural being choose any factual set of those variables when a hyper-finity of their potential N-Permutations could also have led to the same cosmological phenomenon of SPACE? Chance…
NOUN “Fine-Tuning”, et al
When expressed in the shorthand, the idea behind such NOUNS can prove irresistible. Certainly, there is no lack in otherwise accomplished scientific minds addicted to its emotive rewards…
What's the idea? In brief, it asserts that numerical values behind the Laws of Nature exist within such fine tolerances, that had they been even slightly different, the Universe would have ended-up as a disorganized mish-mash of matter incapable of evolving Life…Therefore, those Laws had to be fine-tuned by a would-be Creator.
Most gratifying – but just to be sure, let's see what old Prof. Longhand has to say about it…
A few years ago, the longhand behind this subject had been discussed in chapter “Intelligent Design?”… We'll go over it again -
Imagine a beaten-to-death “Click, click, click…” scene from old B-movies. Deftly manipulating the tumbler “left and right”, a thief is attempting to pick the combination of a safe. “Click, click…” Got it!
Now take just 5 most important constants of Nature…How many numerical “clicks to the left and right” can those constants tolerate before becoming incapable of giving birth to a Universe that sustains Life?
Look at gravity…Were it even 0.01% stronger or weaker, the number “clicks to the left or right” within that most miniscule of tolerances would have run into the millions already.
Why? The Laws of Nature aren't smooth – their magnitude can only change via discontinuous quanta; i.e. the “clicks” analogous to those encoding the combination of a safe our thief has just cleaned out.
- / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / “equal” of constant A / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / +
- / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / “equal” of constant B / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / +
- / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / “equal” of constant C / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / +
- / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / “equal” of constant D / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / +
- / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / “equal” of constant E / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / +
Above, these constants are arranged within a longhand grid of factul and potential values... The “equals” A – E represent each constant's magnitude in our Universe, with the “clicks to the left and right” extending towards the zero and potential infinity respectively.
How many N-Permutations amongst such quantum “clicks to the left and right” could have led to the same outcome as the present – a Universe that sustains Life? A hyper-finity…
Yet remember it only takes one “click to the left or right” for the Hypothesis of Fine-Tuning to enter the minefields of indecision or chance. A Buridan's Ass scenario all over – just waiting to be multiplied an incalculable number of times…
NOUN “God”, et al
Were its existence possible, a God couldn't rub two pennies together other then by chance…
But for curiosity's sake, let's pursue it one step further…If that hypothetical Mr. Chance could somehow exist, wouldn't its own structure be subject to random numerical variables leading to the same outcome?
Consider the cosmological shorthand of NOUN “God” –
That supposed Being would have to differ from the three fundamentals of Reality – the BLACK of nothingness, the WHITE of matter and the YELLOW of SPACE…
Since it is impossible to determine which of the more then 5000 historically recorded “Gods, gods, goddesses, etc…” such a Being should symbolise, we'll simply give it a colour – say PURPLE, and see whether its longhand is chance or non-chance -
Let's first superimpose the as yet unspecified PURPLE onto the potentially infinite BLACK void of nothingness. Could that hypothetically supernatural phenomenon be itself reaching towards potential infinity?
If so, its numerical longhand would either perpetually expand or contract in accordance with some mathematical algorithm mysteriously preferred over the potential infinity of such algorithms… Wouldn't other algorithms have led to the same outcome?
So, once the longhand behind the PURPLE is linked to “infinity”, we find no end of chance “smaller / larger / 1-in-infinity” alternatives hiding within that proudly waved theological trump card.
Next imagine that PURPLE phenomenon occupying a finite cosmic volume. Being finite, this volume now has to discontinue from its BLACK surrounds via a contiguous surface that's subject to topological variability -
Which from amongst the hyper-finity of such chance topological variables wouldn't have led to a Mr. Chance outcome? Would it be one with dimples, a slight cavity, or one protruding outwards?
Finally, consider a much more intriguing quandary already touched upon in context of SPACE – would that finite PURPLE phenomenon of “supposed God” be smooth or granular?
If smooth, such a PURPLE phenomenon would – like SPACE, only transmit numerical information instead of processing it and acting accordingly.
Conversely, assuming that the structure of our finite PURPLE phenomenon is granular brings us back to Mr. Chance – for wouldn't “one grain less” or “one grain more” constitute the same outcome?
“You've just demonstrated God is so omniscient and omnipotent that it can overcome all obstacles – chance included!”
Alas, that's the delightful fate awaiting any reason-based argument against the existence of a supposed supernatural Being.
What's the solution? Since those arguments and counter-arguments are founded on NOUNS, a different strategy – one that challenges the semantic validity of current religious NOUNS, has to be adopted.
Fools of Language
Several years ago, chapter “Fools of Language” – although at the time very poorly written, did explain the abovementioned strategy… Let revisit some of its salient, presently re-edited points –
There'll never be a unit of Language that – if not a NOUN, hadn't arisen as a servant of some NOUN. How come?
Consider the Environment – it consists of objects, entities, processes and phenomena, i.e. generic THINGS, which Life must continually respond to in order to survive.
However, Life has to offer more then a perfunctory response to the THINGS it had perceived – such responses must be survival-efficient, i.e. immediate and effective.
Meaning? Had Life ever dared to procrastinate, Evolution would promptly eliminate that genetic trait from the Environment…In a battle for survival, it is the quick or the dead.
If this constant urge for survival efficiency hard-wires Life into instinctively accepting that the THINGS it perceives must exist, what happens when Life on planet Earth begins to name them with corresponding NOUNS?
From now on, nascent humans will likewise discover that the most efficient way of surviving in a novel linguistic paradigm is to intuitively accept that NOUNS also name THINGS that must exist… In fact, it seems inconceivable that a more reflective approach to NOUNS could have worked either in this or any other Universe – it simply wouldn't be fast enough.
That's fine, but our distant predecessors hadn't anticipated one ominous contingency… How to deal with new, energizing NOUNS that name THINGS for which there exists no perceivable evidence, but whose emotive imagery proves irresistible to their believers?
“We'll interpret those new NOUNS the most efficient way – just like the rest of them” would have been the sole surviving attitude and as consequently, humanity became a Fool for the NOUNS of religious myths.
THE NOUNS OF RELIGION
Do you want to live after death? Not surprisingly, there's just the NOUN for assuaging your Evolution-driven fear of death – the “Afterlife”… How did it come about?
Imagine a scenario from some fifty thousand years ago… A savage mind, perhaps a mother whimpering over her child's lifeless body furiously wails into the future…Suddenly, Life's instinct for surviving as long is possible crystallizes into an image of her child remaining alive within that future “as long as is possible” – FOREVER!
At first a mute portent, the IDEA of “staying alive forever” will first connect to the existing words and – having discarded the cocoon if its definition, fly off into the tribal domain as NOUN “Afterlife”.
But what is it that's supposed to “stay alive forever”? Surely, not a body that visibly decomposes within days…Oh, it has to be a THING inside it and inevitably, NOUN “soul” will come to the rescue…
Over the next millennia, tribal elites will realize that they can rule simply by controlling the access to the mesmerizing IDEA of “Afterlife”. To this end, NOUNS “spirit, god, goddess, God, etc…” – the gateways to “Afterlife”, will become the foundation of humanity's Religion-based social order.
And thus, a miniscule cabal of religious NOUNS – arguably no more then 0. 01 % of all NOUNS, would eventually enable the social elites to rule over great nations and vast empires -
How? By exploiting humanity's ingrained fear of thinking that a NOUN can ever name a THING that doesn't exist… Which is understandable - after all, when interpreting a NOUN the old-established way proves safe 100% of the time, why look for trouble?
Nor all is lost… After around fifty millennia of humanity being informed by its empirical NOUNS and deluded by its religious NOUNS, the more astute segment of its civil society has taken a step to neutralize NOUN Factuality Transfer…Strangely, that seminal initiative hadn't come from the “There's no God” brigade or its philosophers, but from Western Law -
“Your Honor, word “offence” asserts that whatever my client is accused of had in fact taken place… I submit that unless phrase “alleged offence” is used instead, my client's position will remain unjustly compromised…”
Who knows when in the history of Western Jurisprudence NOUN “offence” had first been replaced by “alleged offence”… Suffice it to say that until the factuality of an offence has been established, only NOUN “alleged offence” is nowadays permitted in court proceedings and media reporting.
The reason? As already explained, our brains are hard-wired into assuming that NOUNS name THINGS that already exist -
Hence, had it not been for that wise “alleged”, NOUN “offence” would be interpreted the way all NOUNS have been since the birth of Language – as naming a THING that must exist, or, in the current context, an occurrence already established as a fact.
A RAY OF LIGHT
“Dear brethren, may our lives of today be blessed by hypothetical God who shall delivers us into hypothetical Afterlife”
Not the most inspiring of prayers, but just like with the previous example of “offence”, its NOUNS “God” and “Afterlife” can no longer bluff the unwary into thinking they name THINGS that exist…
Actually, that's not inconsistent with a position held by the mainstream of religious establishment, which had finally conceded promulgating “articles of Faith” – not statements about objects, entities, processes or phenomena that can be verified either empirically or theoretically.
The problem is that our Language had developed in such a way that unless deliberately prevented from doing so, we'll intuitively assume that NOUNS name THINGS that exist. There's no choice – for had our ancestors sought to test that assumption each time a NOUN is comprehended, their linguistic efficiency, hence social competitiveness, would have diminished. So today, we're blundering on because nothing else had worked in the past…
Consequently, no doctrinal dissembling about “articles of Faith” prevents the institutionalized illusion of factuality that NOUNS of Religion create just by being comprehended as NOUNS.
But we shouldn't expect the proprietors of Religions to altruistically qualify NOUNS “God, Afterlife, etc….” with “hypothetical” or “supposed” in order to end their colossal, humanity-wide semantic artifice -
Why? Their Afterlife-hungry customers would scurry away to competitors who still offer NOUNS “God, Afterlife, etc…” unfettered by any Satan-speak about “hypothetical” or “supposed”… It's Commerce 101.
So, what's the ray of light all about? It's about the younger generation – our children…
We've only become human the grace of Language and Language is built on the fundament of NOUNS. Sadly, it's too late for the present generation to accept that its religious beliefs are due to a quirk of Language – not sacred revelations that NOUNS “God, Afterlife, etc…” had supposedly conveyed to planet Earth from some would-be otherworldly, supernatural Being.
Still, a day may come when our children learn to more judiciously assess the status of NOUNS that will illuminate their lives. Until this happens, then no matter how extraordinary are its future advancements human race shall remain in its current state of semantic naivety – the Fools of Language.
FAIRNESS – the alternative to Religion
Generically, FAIRNESS is an echo of EQUIVALENCE – the most instructive concept that linguistic Life in any Universe can ever contemplate.
At a personal level FAIRNESS attempts to establish EQUIVALENCE in the assessment of emotions, ambitions, achievements, promises, favors, skills or talents, obligations, evaluation of tangible items, etc… ”Do you love me as much as I love you?” may well be its most poignant example.
Commercially, FAIRNESS defines a situation in which parties voluntarily agree that the benefits derived by exchanging “something” for “something else” are EQUIVALENT.
Note now the symbiotic relationship between “something” and “something else” – a mere act of exchanging one for the other already engages the five functional constants of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON at the heart of Life's sentient awareness -
“same / different”
“less / equal / more”
First, no exchange could serve a purpose within Descriptive Reality unless something “same as A” is being offered for something “different to A”…
Why? Nobody in the immemorial run of Commerce had as yet managed to benefit from exchanging “A” for another “A”…Say you swap your $ 100 for a friend's $100 – although the exchange is peerlessly FAIR, is either of you better-off a result?
Second, as it becomes intuitively axiomatic that “something A” would only be exchanged for “something B” – say, a “fish” for “some tangerines”, the events swiftly move into the Proportional realm of “less / equal / more”…
And here, our Evolution-honed instincts to get as much as possible for as little as possible inevitably raise their clever, argumentative heads -
Yet as a rule after the posturing, pleading and bluffing is over, FAIRNESS tells the participants that fish A is the “equal” of x tangerines B – not “less then x” or “more then x”, and both parties happily amble away assured that the benefits derived from their deal are indeed EQUIVALENT.
Simple enough, but lurking behind there's an enigma that in any Universe shall not only test those who exchange their wares, but also preoccupy the greatest minds ever to arise within it -
They'll discover that “something” in Nature can likewise be EQUIVALENT to “something else”. What's more, it will be found that “something A” must always be the EQUIVALENT of the “x proportion of something else B” and that in their right combination, those EQUIVALENTS of A = Bx explain the workings of their Universe.
A = Bx
Consider an enchanting feature of Reality – its segmentation into repetitive pattern of existence… From “quarks” at the one end of the spectrum to the more diffused “galactic clusters” at the other, the contents of the Universe divide into discontinuous, generically distinct repetitive patterns -
Wouldn't it therefore follow that the physical relationships between THINGS should also be subject to repetitive patterns? Of course, they're expressed through the Laws of Nature.
Fascinatingly, the Laws of Nature themselves share a mathematical pattern of expression whose roots reach deep into the social domain – the A = Bx. What is its origin and place in Reality?
To examine it, we'll again need to use colors – say, RED for A, BLUE for B and GREY for x…
(to be continued)