Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Old Earth and the New Earth

The Earth is an old dark star, older than the Sun, and probably older than the current accepted age of 'the Universe' (whatever that is). You could call our Earth a black dwarf or an ancient star. From a religious view I would describe the Earth as elect: one among all stars that were or ever will be.

In terms of mainstream science, this is a minority opinion, however I assume that the majority of people living today (7 billion) only have only a vague understanding of our Earth's history. They may not have ever stopped to ponder how our Earth formed, and what may have been its history. But even if most people adhered to the mainstream opinion of our Earth's formation and history called the nebular hypothesis, an individual, IMHO should never adhere to an idea so important such as this as a sheep following the crowd.

The Old Earth

Some Quotes to serve as food for thought:

If we once realize all this earth as it is, we should find ourselves in a land of miracles: we shall discover a new planet at the moment that we discover our own. Among all the strange things that men have forgotten, the most universal and catastrophic lapse of memory is that by which they have forgotten that they are living on a star.

---G.K. Chesterton from The Defendant

The different heavenly bodies are now, therefore, at different stages of development. Some of these stars shine with a white or bluish light and are in the earliest stages of development, others, which have developed further, are yellowish and our Sun is one of these. Finally, the stars which have cooled most and are already going out shine with a red light. A further stage of cooling is represented by the planets which can no longer shine with their own light. Our Earth is one of these. Thus, a study of the different heavenly bodies gives us an idea of the different stages of cooling of our own planet.

There was a time when the Earth, too, was passing through the same stage of development as the Sun, namely that of being a yellow star. Later, as it gradually radiated its heat outwards into the cold interplanetary space, it became cooler and cooler. It turned from a yellow star into a red one, its light became dimmer and dimmer and finally went out altogether. The Earth became a dark planet.

--- Alexander Oparin from Origin of Life

Unlike the nebular or “derivative hypothesis,” as I call it, in all of its permutations, which proposes that planets form from material derived from proto-stars in one process, the transformation hypothesis views individual planets as later stages in the evolution of individual stars. Thus, the transformation hypothesis can be viewed as the natural history of stellar objects as they evolve through various stages.

--- Anthony Abruzzo from Interpretations of Solar System Phenomena according to the Transformation Hypothesis

In conclusion, it can be stated that the Solar System is as old as the time when the Sun began to acquire planets, since by definition a solar system is a central stellar object that has at least one planet in orbit around it. However, at this time of acquisition, the planet or planets that gave rise to the “system” were already in existence and were not formed in the same process from which the Sun was formed.

--- Anthony Abruzzo from Formation and Age of the Solar System

Planets are ancient stars and stars are young planets . . . Planet formation is star evolution. Referring to stars as planets and planets as stars are both correct. They are synonymous terms. It should also be understood by the reader that the word planet is from the ancient Greek for “wandering star” (aster planetes). Stars are planets, they are the same objects.
--- Jeffrey Wolynski from Stellar Metamorphosis: An Alternative for the Star Sciences

. . . the Earth is a cinder of what was once a star.

--- Bill Gaede from Earth is Older than the Sun

A black dwarf is a white dwarf that has sufficiently cooled that it no longer emits significant heat or light.

--- Wikipedia from Black Dwarf

​​​​​​“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding! Who set its measurements – if you know –or who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its bases set or who laid its cornerstone – when the morning stars sang in chorus, and all the sons of God [the Angels] shouted for joy?

--- Job 38:4-7

And when Earth was an astonishing-desert with darkness over a face of abyss
and the Spirit of God oscillating over the face of waters:
God said, “Let light happen.” And light happened.

--- Genesis 1:2-3

The New Earth

My religious commentary in regards to the above quotes:

As a Roman Catholic Christian I believe that the Earth was chosen by God as an object of His special grace after the Fall of the Angels. God simply moved Heaven close to the Earth which was moving between stars, somewhere close to our Sun which was in its infancy. Then God sent forth the Spirit to the Earth and through the Spirit, miraculously transformed the face of the Earth. This is the light event prophetically described in Genesis 1. The light-event is a wondrous miracle which understanding cannot be related by sheer science. In the light-event God miraculously formed or created the first modern atmosphere, the first landmasses, new oceans, fountains, the first plants and animals, as well as Adam and Eve. God made the Earth to be home for his new children of grace, namely, Adam and Eve and their descendants who were to take the places of the fallen angels in Heaven. When God transfigured the Earth in the light-event all things were perfect, pristine and astonishingly beautiful (much more so than today).

But then Adam and Eve both sinned, and the Earth and all that was on her surface was cursed by God and evolved in a fallen course for many revolutions around the Sun. When God placed Adam and Eve back down on Earth from a the disconnected Paradise (where Eve was created from Adam's side), Earth was radically different from when Adam was first formed by God using the refurbished crust in the light event. We have never seen the Earth as it was originally made by God. This is why we await the new creation in Christ Jesus. Everything on the surface of the Earth is now struggling under a just punishment administered by God. That is why things are wild and there is strife even in Nature. And of course men continue to sin and cause so much misery to each other. But after Jesus Returns there will be a new creation event and a New Earth with a transformed just human family will ensue just like the prophet Isaiah, the Apostles Peter and John; and of course Jesus predicted so long ago. And God will sustain our New Earth forever.  And there will be peace.  All is not lost, because of Jesus.  It is even said in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the last book of the Bible, that God will light up the New Earth permanently:  an everlasting Divine light event.

Then we will see the New Earth in the reign of Christ Jesus and all men together will understand that only God can solve all our problems through the death of Jesus. But the human family has many long years of sufferings and trials ahead before it arrives to the New Earth. Everything written in Sacred Scripture must come to pass. All of Mary's plans for our times will come to fruition.

The Earth is besmirched by the sins of men. The day is coming when the Lord will transform everything and you will see the beauty of creation. The beauty which is invisible to your eyes will become visible to the just ones after the definitive triumph of my Immaculate Heart. After the great tribulation, the Lord will come to your aid and you will see a new Heaven and a new Earth. (Mary's Message to Pedro Regis in Brazil, February 8th 2014)

But through it all the Earth was and always will be an old dark star which God chose a long, long time ago.  If this all sounds like a fairy tale then so be it.  Christians are suppose to live in sinless peace awaiting the joyful coming of the Lord and Savior Jesus Chirst.    

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Definition of Nothing for Physics and Philosophy

Nothing refers to that which lacks form

A synonym of nothing could be concept, for all concepts relate a minimum of two things.  Antonyms of nothing are thing, object, entity, body, etc.  

Nothing and all referred concepts alike lack the only innate, intrinsic, natural, observer independent property conceivable, namely form.  Form is synonymous with shape, architecture, pattern, figure, configuration, structure. Form refers to that which is bound or contained.  Form refers to a what, i.e. what is bound in context to the object in question, itself.  Res Ipsa Loquens.  Form implies a boundary or boundaries.  The name Form takes on a specialized meaning used to define Object, and is by far the most important name in all philosophy and physics alike.

But in any case, it is very amusing to see people waste their time on discourses De Nada.  Truly, a sign of the times.  

Notes from Accent on Form by Whyte

It took me forever to find a book at the local university library on Form. What I found is Accent on Form by this Lancelot Law Whyte (written 1954). He was a Scottish philosopher, physicist, engineer, entrepreneur, etc. involved in various projects throughout the 20th century. Sort of an enigmatic type figure, said to have fought for the resistance in WWII and worked with Einstein in 1930. Anyway he thought Form was pretty much the most important name in all physics and philosophy. Here are some notes from his book which more or less agree with concerns raised here:
. . .
But Form is still an ambiguous and fertile conception, capable of meaning almost anything. It is pregnant with untold possibilities, for confusion if mishandled, and for new clarity when we can find the way. Form is the dark horse.
. . .
To be more exact, the twentieth century has not yet given to the concept of Form its own standard of precision, and it may be necessary to do this before other ideas such as Organism, Mind, and Unconscious Mind can also be made as precise as we would like.
. . .
But I believe that the idea of Form, suitably clarified and strengthened, will go far to achieve these aims and will transform many pressing problems, scientific, philosophical, aesthetic, and moral.
. . .
What has “form” meant in the past, and what is the best meaning we can give it today?
. . .
A complete answer would amount to a history of thought, for in one sense everything possesses form. In some contexts the Greek words Eidos, Schema, and Morphe, and the Latin word Forma, which are often translated as “form” mean no less than “the qualities which make anything what it is.”
. . .
Around 1250 we find Thomas Aquinas regarding forma as the essential quality or determining principle of every individual thing.
. . .
This is the final step (20th century): The “form,” in the new sense of the underlying structural pattern, is more important than its material components, which lack individuality. . .
Thus the twentieth-century idea of structure amounts to this. If one magnifies anything enough one reaches a characteristic structural pattern which is fundamental for the understanding of the properties of a thing. In every situation it is the ultimate structural pattern, rather than the individual material constituents and their supposed properties, which matters. The implication is that to understand anything one must penetrate sufficiently deeply toward this ultimate pattern. It is almost as though the pattern determined the properties of its constituents, rather than the other way around.
. . .
Understanding means rational insight into the simple relationship between things.
. . .
I believe that each of us is a changing form in a universe of forms . . .
Everything in this universe bears some relation to our own nature . . .
. . .
I am suggesting that an important blind spot of the present time is the failure to recognize the significance of form as a key to the understanding of natural process. In the ancient and medieval worlds form—in a vague sense—was recognized by many thinkers as being of the highest significance.
. . .
Since about 1925 the word “pattern” has become fashionable in many branches of science. Yet one might almost say that the word has come in because the idea is still missing. No one knows exactly what is meant by “pattern”!
. . .
Some years ago I met a distinguished biologist, a man with a high reputation for original thought. In his presence someone used the phrase “the problem of form,” and I heard him mutter sarcastically: “What is the problem of form anyway?”
. . .
The issue is this: when are scientists to think analytically in terms of the smallest parts they can find, and when formally (in the very old and new sense) in terms of changing forms and patterns they actually observe? For they never see or photograph a single particle on the spot . . .
. . .
The task of science is not merely to identify the changing structural pattern in everything, but to see it as simple. Science starts with an assumption which is always present, thought it may be unconscious, may be forgotten, and may sometimes even be denied: There exists a simple order in nature; a simple way of representing experience is possible; the task of science is to discover it. The true aim of science is to discover a simple theory which is necessary and sufficient to cover the facts, when they have been purified of traditional prejudices.
. . .
The latest and most powerful physical theory (quantum mechanics) appears simple to a certain highly mathematical kind of mind, but its baroque elegance is a smoke screen which conceals some rather shabby patches. Once a theory with classical simplicity and elegance has appeared, the claim that quantum mechanics satisfies the sense for simplicity will be forgotten.
. . .
Here is another voice: “The facts are as they are and can never be made less complex.” I do not remember who it was that displayed this innocent failure to understand what the Western mind has learned by hard effort during the last hundred years: that everything that we at first naively regard as “given facts” are actually interpretations biased by the organic situation of the human brains, by traditional conceptions, and by the recent experiences of the individual. Science does not begin with facts; one of its tasks is to uncover the facts by removing misconceptions.
. . .
If these suggestions are correct [holistic] physics must shortly shift its emphasis from single material particles possessing masses, charges, etc. to the changing shapes of complex structures. Indeed, this is already happening. Schrodinger has suggested that the philosopher of the past would say that the modern atoms consists of no stuff at all, but all is shape. . . . The old king Atomism with particle properties, has lost its authority; the new king, Structure with formal properties, has not yet been acclaimed.
. . .
Hitherto scientific thought has regarded change as fundamentally reducible to the relative motions of entities. In the future it may be necessary to revise this interpretation, or to generalize it, and to regard change as changes of form.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Concept Formation In Children by Vygotskii

The notes below are taken from the psychologist Vygotskii's work called Thought and Language. He did a series of experiments and meditations with children and adolescents in search for insights into conceptualization and language.

I do not agree with some of his use of language, e.g. I would not describe concept as a formation. This is a misnomer and misleading use of language. Concept has no form and does not form. He also failed to understand that the word either refers to an object or to a concept even though he was sitting right on top of this insight (no doubt his failure is due to poor language usage, for Form is wed to Object). Still these are some valuable notes taken from his book.  They add insight into the Object--Concept dichotomy which is so crucial in the work of philosophy and physics.  

This book is considered the landmark of cognitive science.

Thought and Language by Vygotskii

From Chapter:  Concept Formation in Children

Concept formation [misnomer] is the result of a complex activity in which all basic intellectual functions take part. The process cannot, however, be reduced to association, attention, imagery, inference, or determining tendencies. They are all indispensable, but they are insufficient without the use of the sign, or word, as the means by which we direct our mental operations, control their discourse, and channel them toward the solution of the problem confronting us.

Concept Formation

Phase 1

The young child takes the first step toward concept formation when he puts together a number of objects in an unorganized congeries, or “heap”, in order to solve a problem that we adults would normally solve by forming a new concept.

Phase 2

The second major phase on the way to concept formation comprises many variations of a type of thinking that we shall call thinking in complexes. In a complex, individual objects are united in the child’s mind not only by his subjective impressions but also by bonds actually existing between objects.
. . .
Remains of complex thinking persist in the language of adults. Family names are perhaps the best example of this. Any family name, “Petrov,” let us say, subsumes individuals in a manner closely resembling that of the child’s complexes. The child at that stage of development thinks in family names, as it were; the universe of individual objects becomes organized for him by being grouped into separate, mutually related “families.”

Phase 3

Complex thinking of the second type consists in combing objects or the concrete impressions they make on the child into groups that closely resemble collections. Objects are placed together on the basis of some one trait in which they differ and consequently complement one another.

Phase 4

After the collection stage of thinking in complexes, we must place the chain complex—a dynamic, consecutive joining of individual links into a single chain, with meaning carried over from one link to the next. . . . An object included (in a chain complex) because of one of its attributes enters the complex not just as the carrier of that one trait but as an individual, with all its attributes. . . In complexes, the hierarchical organization is absent: All attributes are functionally equal.

Phase 5

Because the chain complex is factually inseparable from the group of concrete objects that form it, it often acquires a vague and floating quality.
. . .
The diffuse complex is marked by the fluidity of the very attribute that unites its single elements.
. . .
To go with a yellow triangle, for example, a child would in our experiments pick out trapezoids as well as triangles, because they made him think of triangles with their tops cut off.
. . .
Complexes resulting from this kind of thinking are so indefinite as to be in fact limitless.

Phase 6

To complete the picture of complex thinking, we must describe on more type of complex—the bridge, as it were, between complexes and the final, highest stage in the development of concept formation.
. . .
We call this type of complex the pseudo-concept because the generalization formed in the child’s mind, although phenotypically resembling the adult concept, is psychologically very different from the concept proper; in its essence, it is still a complex.
. . .
In the experimental setting, the child produces a pseudo-concept every time he surrounds a sample with objects that could just as well have been assembled on the basis of an abstract concept.
. . .
Pseudo concepts predominate over all other complexes in the preschool child’s thinking for the simple reason that in real life complexes corresponding to word meanings are not spontaneously developed by the child: The lines along which a complex develops are predetermined by the meaning a given word already has in the language of adults.
. . .
The language of the environment, with its stable, permanent meanings, points the way that the child’s generalizations will take. But, constrained as it is, the child’s thinking proceeds along this preordained path in the manner peculiar to his level of intellectual development. The adult cannot pass on to the child his mode of thinking. He merely supplies the ready-made meaning of a word, around which the child forms a complex—with all the structural, functional, and genetic peculiarities of thinking in complexes, even if the product of his thinking is in fact identical in its content with a generalization that could have been formed by conceptual thinking. The outward similarity between the pseudo-concept and the real concept, which makes it very difficult to “unmask” this kind of complex, is a major obstacle in the genetic analysis of thought.
. . .
The pseudo-concept serves as the connecting link between thinking in complexes and thinking in concepts. It is dual in nature: a complex already carrying the germinating seed of a concept. Verbal intercourse with adults thus becomes a powerful factor in the development of the child’s concepts. The transition from thinking in complexes to thinking in concepts passes unnoticed by the child because his pseudo-concepts already coincide in content with the adult’s concepts.
. . .
Complex formation is also responsible for the peculiar phenomenon that one word may in different situations have different or even opposite meanings as long as there is some associative link between them. Thus, a child may say before for both before and after, or tomorrow for both tomorrow and yesterday. We have here a perfect analogy with some ancient languages—Hebrew, Chinese, Latin—in which one word also sometimes indicated opposites. The Romans, for instance, had one word for high and deep. Such a marriage of opposite meanings is possible only as a result of thinking in complexes.

Phase 7

The principle function of complexes is to establish bonds and relationships. Complex thinking begins the unification of scattered impressions; by organizing discrete elements of experience into groups, it creates a basis for later generalizations.
. . .
But the advanced concept presupposes more than unification. To form such a concept it is also necessary to abstract, to single out elements, and to view abstracted elements apart from the totality of the concrete experience in which they are embedded. In genuine concept formation, it is equally important to unite and to separate: Synthesis must be combined with analysis. Complex thinking cannot do both. Its very essence is overabundance, overproduction of connections, and weakness in abstraction.

Phase 8

During the next stage in the development of abstraction, the grouping together of objects on the basis of maximum similarity is superseded by grouping on the basis of a single attribute, e.g. only round objects or only flat ones. . . we shall call such formations potential concepts.
. . .
Only the mastery of abstraction, combined with advanced complex thinking, enables the child to progress to the formation of genuine concepts. A concept emerges only when the abstracted traits are synthesized anew and the resulting abstract synthesis becomes the main instrument of thought. The decisive role in this process, as our experiments have shown, is played by the word, deliberately used to direct all the part processes of advanced concept formation.

Phase 9

The transitional character of adolescent thinking becomes especially evident when we observe the actual functioning of the newly acquired concepts. Experiments specially devised to study the adolescent’s operations with concepts brings out, in the first place, a striking discrepancy between his ability to form concepts and his ability to define them.
. . .
The adolescent will form and use a concept quite correctly in a concrete situation but will find it strangely difficult to express that concept in words, and the verbal definition will, in most cases, be much narrower than might have been expected from the way he used the concept. The same discrepancy occurs also in adult thinking, even at very advanced levels.
. . .
Much more difficult than the transfer itself is the task of defining a concept when it is no longer rooted in the original situation and must be formulated on a purely abstract plane, without reference to any concrete situation.
. . .
When the process of concept formation is seen in all its complexity, it appears as a movement of thought within the pyramid of concepts, constantly alternating between two directions, from the particular to the general, and from the general to the particular.

Our investigation has shown that a concept is formed, not through interplay of associations, but through an intellectual operation in which all the elementary mental functions participate in a specific combination. This operation is guided by the use of words as the means of actively centering attention, of abstracting certain traits, synthesizing them, and symbolizing them by a sign.

The processes leading to concept formation develop along two main lines. The first is complex formation: The child unites diverse objects in groups under a common “family name”; this process passes through various stages. The second line of development is the formation of “potential concepts,” based on singling out certain common attributes. In both, the use of the word is an integral part of developing processes, and the word maintains its guiding function in the formation of genuine concepts, to which these processes lead.
. . .

Miscellaneous from other chapters of the book:

The meaning of a word represents such a close amalgam of thought and language that it is hard to tell whether it is a phenomenon of speech or a phenomenon of thought. A word without meaning is an empty sound; meaning, therefore is a criterion of “word,” its indispensable component. . . .
Word meanings are dynamic rather than static formations. They change as the child develops. . .
. . .
The relation of thought to word and word to thought is not a thing but a process. . .
. . .
Every thought tends to connect something with something else, to establish a relationship between things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Supplements to the Ontology Article (Object--Concept)

I have researched and found what I think are some valuable add-on notes to the Ontology article I wrote a few weeks ago (and have continued to add on and edit):

Ontology: Object, Form, First Form, Existence, Concept, Referrent

The first is a brief note on Gottlob Frege.

From Philosophy of Language and Logical Theory by Khatchadourian (p.309-11)

A concept-word, according to Frege, is predicative; it is a possible grammatical predicate of a range of otherwise different sentences. To predicate a concept-word of a grammatical subject is to relate a concept to a logical subject, i.e. to an object. Another way of saying this is that to predicate a concept of an object is to state that the object falls under the concept. The predicative character of concepts is what Frege calls “incompleteness” of concepts. In terms of this the difference between a concept and an object is that an object falls under a concept but that the converse is impossible. “An equation is reversible; an object’s falling under a concept is irreversible” (p. 44) [note that Frege never figured out why: objects have form, concepts lack form; they are relations between two or more objects worked out in thought]. It seems to follow from this that “completing” a concept can be regarded as stating that a given object falls or does not fall under the concept. We “complete” ‘() conquered Gaul’ by ‘Julius Caesar’, when we state that Julius Caesar falls under the concept conquered Gaul, i.e. when we make the statement ‘Julius Caesar conquered Gaul’.

Concepts are attributes. Hence what we have said about the “incompleteness” of concepts, put in terms of this notion, is that attributes are “incomplete” in isolation from objects. Another way of saying this is that attributes, in order to be attributes at all, have to be attributes of objects. An attribute is “completed” when it is related to an object, is thought of as attributed to the object [objects precede concepts]. Relations [also concepts], which are in a similar position, are functions with two arguments, i.e. are doubly “incomplete”, and so require two objects to be “completed”. Speaking about concepts Frege says:

It is clear that a concept cannot be represented independently as an object can but that it can occur only in combination. One can say that a concept can be distinguished out of it. All apparent contradictions which one can come upon here result from treating a concept as an object, contrary to its incomplete nature. (Uber die Grundlagen der Geometrie)

Black says that this suggests that Frege’s contention that functions (and so concepts) are “incomplete” is that “it is logically impossible to make a function the subject of an assertion” (p. 246).

Concepts are a relation of two or more objects.  Frege took a sort of negative approach and never completely solved the problem, see my article above.  Gaede on the other hand came up with a perfect definition of 'object' and built an entire philosophy and physics off of this insight. 

The second add-on is a very valuable set of quotes taken from Thought and Language by Vygotskii, considered to be a landmark in cognitive science.  I found it most interesting and will post the notes in the next blog because of length.

Concept Formation in Children by Vygotskii  

I cannot stress enough how important it is to discern between objects and concepts in discourse.  This simple practice has so many implications for philosophy, physics, and even theology and Sacred Scripture interpretation.