Friday, July 27, 2007


This book is going to disagree with everything you’ve learned, not about science, which is the knowledge of facts, but about the theories science uses to knit those facts together.
Generally, when a book attacks scientific dogma, it starts out attacking the scientific process that produced the dogma. Many books are devoted to just such attacks, calling into question the scientific peer review process, it’s reliance only on credentialed players, it’s exclusionary treatment of any new discovery that tends to oppose it’s official line or theoretical experiments receiving vast funding.
It is true that the scientific community has insulated itself from outside criticism, splintering its disciplines into arcane fields with their own languages, and generally relying on the protection of the well-funded umbrella organizations, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. If somebody comes up with a theory opposing established dogma, the AAAS is quick to publish talking papers which can be used to abolish the opposing theory and members are encouraged to inundate editors with letters containing those talking points if they should be foolish enough to give the opposing position publicity.
This is a given in our society today, and is so common, that's it's a given. Western science and its narrative of the world are the world we in the West live in. It is like water to fish, taken for granted, invisible to the conscious, at least until someone is so bold as to disagree with it, then we immediately conclude that, since we, and everyone else, hold a belief contrary to the belief being questioned, the person questioning the belief is crazy or simplistic or just trying to get publicity.
Today’s model of scientific practice, in which only those trained by the proponents of the scientific worldview, the consensus view, have a voice in that worldview, and then only if they do not oppose it in any significant way, isn’t the way science began, and to introduce the defects of the scientific method, such as it is, it isn’t necessary to attack the specific safeguards such as peer review put in place to protect the status quo, it is only necessary to go back in history to a time when the project of science was open to anyone with an interest and talent for it. One of the first things the early thinkers of science faced was what exactly were they dealing with, what was science?
This takes us back to the 17th century, the end of the 1500s and the entire century of the 1600s. At that time, the worldview was controlled by the Church. On the continent, the Catholic Church was dominant, although well into its dethronement by widely spreading Protestant sects. In England, the whims of a King had replaced the Catholic Church with a more secular version. In the background lingered the first significant challenge to the invisible vision of humans as being the only creatures in God’s existence, Copernicus, who had diagrammed a picture of the solar system with the sun, rather than the Earth, as the center. The consequences were huge for the Catholic worldview, which sought to avoid any crack in its role as dictator of the worldview. It had long adopted Ptolemy’s vision of the Earth centered universe.
However, the Protestant sects and the Church of England had not invested in that worldview and it didn’t prohibit its members from pursuing Copernicus’ vision. When the Earth was the center of the universe, another invisibility was gravity. It was taken for granted that we were held to the surface of the Earth because that was the center of existence. When minds started to whirl, along with the Earth, around the sun at a now measurable speed, they grew dizzy wondering why everything on Earth didn’t fly off its surface into space.
When attention focused on objects falling to the Earth, questions were raised, what made them fall? With the planets now known to orbit the sun, and the apparent motion of the sun around the Earth due to its own rotation, questions began to be asked, what force is moving the planets, causing them to orbit and rotate? The notion of the invisible forces that were causing these motions started to interest all of the thinkers of the age.
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, thinker at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17 centuries, was Sir Francis Bacon. Bacon would dearly have loved to determine what the invisible forces that caused motion were. However, he realized that this was something that he couldn’t know. Dwell on this for a moment. Here is a scientific thinker, one of the most prominent of his age, saying he couldn’t know something.
When there were two opposing forces, one, the church, which controlled the worldview, and the other, science, which was attempting to wrest reality from the grasp of the church’s belief system, to state that a scientist couldn’t know the answer to something was significant. After all, even the church claimed knowledge of the physical world, such as the motion of the planets, through Aristotle. How could science expand its power over the worldview by claiming it couldn’t know something?
The answer is the scientific method, which Bacon is given credit for creating, but whose thinking on the subject is ignored, for reasons that will become more than apparent. Bacon lived at the beginning of the massive expansion of agricultural efficiency. People during the 17th century were eager to develop procedures that saved labor and produced efficiency. The question was, how do these procedures come into existence?
The answer was simple, by trial and error. While this is past Bacon’s time, one of the early supporters of the group that became The Royal Society, William Petty, was extremely interested in creating a mechanical sowing machine that would reduce the labor and time involved in planting. It took countless attempts before success was achieved. Each of the failed attempts produced additional knowledge that the experimenters could use to perfect the technology.
The development of technology by the predecessor to The Royal Society, The Oxford Group, was based on Bacon’s scientific method. Gather the facts around a problem, create a mental solution, which is to say, produce a concept of how something might work, then apply that concept to reality, test the concept to see if it stands up in reality.
Bacon, however, also wished to apply the process to the things we couldn’t know, things that we can’t test in reality simply because reality gives us no handle for testing, specifically the hidden forces that produced motion. Bacon said that, while we couldn’t know these causes like we could know what makes a clock tick, we still could attempt to know. Just like an attempt to create technology involved gathering as many facts as were known, so attempting to come up with a concept that explained the things we couldn’t know should involve the collection of all known facts.
Like the development of technology, testing the concepts against reality resulted in an increase in the known facts, which resulted in a change in the concept of the workable technology. It was the trial and error testing of the concepts that allowed experimenters to alter the underlying concept. New facts altered existing concepts.
However, there was no way to test concepts dealing with the underlying forces that caused the hidden motion of things. While we wanted to have answers to the causes of these forces because we didn’t want to walk around asking why that dish fell every time a dish fell, any answer we created was a concept. As a concept, it was based on the set of facts we had to create the concept. As we obviously don’t have all the facts, our concepts can never be completely right. Perhaps at some distant point in the future, all the facts will be revealed, but until that time comes, our concepts of these hidden forces can only approximate reality and can never be accepted as reality under any circumstances.
In short, concepts can never replace facts!
Bacon’s influence among the incipient practitioners in the 17th century was enormous. Charles I had a keen interest in the development of science and supported John Wilkins, Warden of Wadham College, as he gathered around him some of the most ingenious thinkers and tinkers of the day. Even when Cromwell took Charles’ head, parliament would not dismiss Wilkins. During Cromwell’s entire period of power, Wilkins was allowed not only to work unmolested, but to employ talented offspring of royalists, including Christopher Wren, a childhood friend of the future Charles II.
When Petty became involved in the group, he brought along the most famous scientist of the day, Robert Boyle, and along with Boyle, Boyles’ laboratory technician Robert Hooke, another royalist offspring who, like Wren, was living on his uncanny ability to create the equipment needed to carry out experiments.
When Charles II claimed the throne, one of his first acts was to recognize the group and The Royal Society was born. Even at its birth, however, Bacon was present. Its motto was nullus in verba, nothing in word. This means precisely what it says: Concepts are concepts, facts are facts. Facts speak for themselves while concepts require words. The Society was embodying Bacon’s scientific method in its founding motto. Concepts have to always be changed by facts because they can never be accurate without all the facts, and since we can never have all the facts, the concepts can never be accurate.
Concepts are nothing but words, and words are nothing when it comes to science, which is the analysis of reality.
The Royal Society received a charter in 1662 (it was informally established after a lecture by Wren in 1660) and took up quarters at Gresham College. While Wren was a member, Hooke was the Curator of Experiments and as such, all ideas passed through him before being reported to the Society. The Royal Society was well established by 1666, when the Great Fire destroyed London. Rebuilding London would become Wren’s signature, although he enlisted the help of Hooke throughout the decades long endeavor. By the beginning of the 1670s, regular meetings were being held, papers and books published (Hooke’s being one of the first) and experiments conducted on a regular basis.
One of those experiments is worth mentioning because I will use it as an example of the Society’s motto and course of direction. One of the most vexing scientific problems, and in those days scientific equated with technology, was the miserable roads in England and the carriages that navigated them. The carriages didn’t provide an easy ride, delivering occupants bruised and battered. The Society early undertook the development of coach springs that would actually protect the occupants. This turned out to be more than difficult, with set after set of springs devised, tested, the information from their failure incorporated into the design of a new set. This process lasted a decade before success was finally achieved (the Society had to produce in return for its patronage).
Fifty miles north of London, and a day’s trip at the time, Cambridge housed Trinity College. Trinity College was a long way from Gresham College and The Royal Society, and definitely out of the loop when it came to the pursuit of science. Isaac Newton took a 2nd class Bachelor of Arts in 1665 and then got out of Cambridge for two years while the plague ravaged the town. He taught himself math during this period and returned to enroll at Trinity in 1667, latching himself onto his namesake, the 1st Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Isaac Barrow.
Newton and Barrow had two interests in common other than mathematics, optics and alchemy, not necessarily in that order. When Barrow moved on to greener pastures in 1669, Newton stepped in as the 2nd Lucasian Professor (the incomprehensible Stephen Hawkins, who spends much of his time on black holes, is the 17th LP).
Newton’s interest in optics naturally led him to tinker with telescopes, and his knowledge of the science of optics informed him immediately the cause of the rainbow halo that the telescopes of the day experienced. He ingeniously figured out if magnifying lens were replaced with mirrors, the halo would be eliminated and the reflecting telescope was invented, a telescope that’s basically unchanged to this day. Newton sent this remarkable invention to The Royal Society where it was received with the acclaim that it deserved, no objections from anyone and a speedy presentation by Hooke. It was, after all, a fact and not a bunch of words.
(To be continued next entry

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Copernican Series – A New Attempt

When I was about four, I asked my Father what made objects drop. He gave the standard explanation, gravity is a property of matter, the objects are small, the Earth is big, so the objects drop. “I don’t think so,” was my response. He shrugged and walked off, not realizing that a lifelong obsession had just been born.
Just about everything I’ve done since then has revolved around trying to come up with a coherent picture of gravity. I didn’t go to law school to learn how to practice law, I went to law school because the historical figure I thought the most impressive when it came to science, Sir Francis Bacon, said an education in law was as education in how to think.
It wasn’t until I was several years out of law school, working in the financing arena, that my ideas about gravity started to congeal. By concluding that, although clearly associated with matter, gravity was dynamic, I had to look to something dynamic matter was doing to get gravity out of hiding. It was another year or two before I eliminated everything but cooling.
Then I was faced with what it could be about cooling that would produce a force that would cause objects to move back toward the source of the cooling. It probably took another year or two staring into the fireplace to realize that I didn’t even know what was causing the fire, let alone what it might be about what the fire was emitting that would produce gravity.
Looking back over the history of light, I realized this basic question had never been addressed, at least not until all the other questions about light had been answered. The historical review, however, led me back over Young’s experiment that was supposed to prove light was a wave. Even in high school, I hadn’t understood how interference patterns could be analogized to water waves, so I started to search for a different explanation for the result.
During this period, I was also conducting some rather foolish experiments with electricity and magnets because I had concluded that everything that is recorded about electricity is merely a measurement and that the concepts underlying the field are pretty barren. I, of course, was raised, and had, as a part of my basic thinking, the concept of positive and negative, the early explanation for the motion of electricity based on the fact that it could be produced by inductive fields magnetically induced.
With Young’s puzzle in mind, and how electricity might move in the background, I was leaning against a doorframe drinking a beer one Thanksgiving afternoon. My wife had just put the turkey out on the kitchen table and asked me to watch it. As I stood there thinking, the dog took a bounding leap and ended up skidding toward the turkey. I yelled at him before he got it in his jaws and, startled, he jumped, missing it and flying onto one of the chairs.
An elementary particle with two opposing properties, one of attraction and one of repulsion, would explain everything, I thought. The idea just popped into my mind, maybe from the dog’s attraction to food (and if he’d gotten the turkey, my wife would have turned him into a turkey). I was stunned at the magnitude of the thought as my mind ran it over the Young problem and then leaped to how the emissions from a combusting Earth might operate to capture objects in their grasp (which is described in the What is Gravity entries that started this blog).
The next problem was, what to do with the concept, a concept that explained, but not in a mathematical fashion?
I decided to write a book using diagrams to explain. The diagrams worked pretty well in opening up whole new areas of thought. Diagramming the right hand rule of inductance gave a clear indication how planetary emissions would result in orbiting, rotation of the planets, as well as why they find themselves in the same plane. Further, figuring out how matter came apart in combustion forced me to face the question, how does it come together, which in turn led me to construct a new picture of the atom, one that would account for the stars and galaxies that we see. This started to become a pretty massive undertaking, running to some 700 pages. The concepts were novel, and led to pictures of reality that directly conflicted with the totality of science.
While I was writing the book, I was also attempting to contact astronomers. One I met in person told me if I wanted to know what gravity is, jump out the window. The only one that answered by mail asked the rhetorical question, why would we want to give up a theory that allowed us to measure what a planet is made of? Several well-known physicists, family friends, recognized the totality of the theory but were frank when it came to mass gravity, it couldn’t be contradicted under any circumstances.
Fat chance of ever getting the book published. I undertook other projects, one of them called, Who’s Fault is My Fault? This was a venture into how the mind produces emotions, also with diagrams, and also ending up with nowhere to go. Then, in the early 80s, I took a trip to Hungary, and, with my new computer, started banging out the original book without diagrams. By that time I had realized the fact that a cooling planet with lessening gravity would have a profound effect on concepts of evolution. I also realized that the scientific method wasn’t all it was cut out to be, wasn’t even followed in most cases, and didn’t prove anything, piling one bad concept on top of another to create the confused picture of reality we have, a reality that is claimed to be not understandable and stranger than fiction.
This time, there was simply too much for one book, so I decided to break it down. The first book would deal with theory, the second evolution and the third planetary motion and galaxies. I started the third first because that was the one I had attempted to write so many times before. All through the book I struggled with the notion of how to prove theories or concepts when theories and concepts were just that, made up stuff that was not capable of proof. Somewhere in the course of writing the book, the book on how the mind generated emotions crept into my thinking and I began to realize that the single particle with opposing properties could explain the mind, how it worked, and how it could affect the body both to act and emotionally.
I named the third volume Atoms, Stars and Minds because its basic proposition, in addition to explaining the items addressed consistently using the particle with opposing properties, was that, if the particle could explain everything that we observed and measured, and in addition could explain how the mind that could do the observing and measuring operated, I would have come as close to demonstrating the validity of the particle as possible.
In researching the second volume, I found that there was no explanation for how life got its start, so that became the central theme of The Cooling Continuum, a rather simple result of what are known as Telluric currents that course beneath the surface of the Earth. That volume, covering evolution in a cooling environment where the gravity was lessening, did become the longest book in the series. While I was writing one segment of it, I was, for some reason, driven to research the formation of the Bank of England. (I have a substantial library on banking, its history and performance). I had books all over the room opened here and there, correlating dates and participants when I came upon a very interesting set of facts. While its too long to discuss here, I had always wondered how Newton ended up as Master of the Mint, and here I found the answer in black and white.
I put off writing the first volume on theory because I wanted to finish up my thoughts on how the mind worked, which basically became the title of the unplanned 4th volume in the series. I then started with the first, seeing something that had escaped me in the third, why we see the planets moving with respect to one another when they are clearly at rest with respect to the forces acting upon them. This volume introduced the concept model.
While proofing this volume, I realized that meteorologists had been totally led astray by the restriction that the surface of the Earth could not be causing friction with the atmosphere, causing it to move. I set out to write the second most popular volume of the series, How the Weather Really Works! in which I stumbled on two other interesting concepts, one conflicting with the basic notion of what produces rain, the second not conflicting with anything, how heat moves in the atmosphere, because science doesn’t have the foggiest how it moves. Writing this volume while proofing the first, I was vacationing at the beach with my family. Both of my sons in law are mathematicians, so I had easy access to formulas. This came in handy when I got a Farmer’s Almanac to compute the seasons.
Checking the length of each season, I thought my addition was crazy. According to Kepler’s law, spring and winter should equal, as should summer and fall. Both fall and winter are longer. I was familiar with Brahe’s computation of the moon speeding up in the summer and realized it wasn’t speeding up, it was just traveling a shorter distance. Mulling this over, I realized that an elliptical orbit would be produced by a moving sun, that the orbit would travel with the sun and therefore a planet would travel a shorter distance in spring and summer because the tail of the orbit was catching up with it and longer in the fall and winter because the planet had to catch up with the moving sun. From my math classes, I knew there was a differential equation for this and asked one of my son in laws, giving him a pad. He immediately wrote it down. I realized that with this information, which disproved Kepler, I could compute the direction and speed of the sun, both of which amazed me, but which ended up being the cover diagram of the first volume.
That out of the way, I decided to face my biggest fear, light, the unification of heat, light, electricity and magnetism, no easy task, I knew. In doing so, I found out that science even messed the spectrum up, not to mention its absolutely absurd concept that white light contains all colors. That took a lot out of me. By this time I had realized I had to answer the complaint that I didn’t explain science’s position in the books before explaining my own. The reason for this was, the books were too long as it was. So I decided to write a seventh volume Where Science When Wrong, which became the most popular of the series. Then I faced another subject I knew I had to but one I didn’t want to. If I knew how the mind worked and affected the body, then I had to address how it generates behavior, which I did in the eighth volume, Human Nature. After that I took a hiatus. I had been, since the early 90s, writing weekly letters to my grandchildren, not that they could understand them, but for the record and for future interest (one actually took to them). After awhile, I decided to start writing books a bit at a time. A couple of years ago, I actually wrote the ninth volume, How the Body Works, this way.
My problem is that there are a lot of pages in the series. I have many readers that buy and read the whole set, but that’s the exception, certainly not the rule. My hope is that someday, I can get all of this stuff into a single, readable volume. I’ve been looking around for a challenge lately, and decided to try that here, so the next entries will be my attempt to put nine volumes of heresy into one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dinosaurs and Whales

My basic proposition is that gravity is not a property of matter but rather the dynamic result of what matter is doing, cooling, and as it cools, it emits an electromagnetic emission field that produces the effect on the components of the nuclei of atoms that cause those atoms to move back toward the source of emissions.
My other basic proposition is that the Earth is cooling. As planets seemed to be formed hot and as they occupy the zero temperature of space, and as heat flows to cold, I find it ludicrous to believe the planet is not getting colder. Under my scheme of things all planets, and that includes moons, started out as emitters, miniature suns, and as they crusted over and cooled, their elements began to break down, with the lighter elements becoming the gas held to the cooling planet by the emission field. At some point in the cooling process, the hydrogen and oxygen atoms begin to combine and precipitate out to become the waters that cover the crust.
The moon is an example of a small planet that has run its course, barely emitting any heat and captured in the Earth’s emission field with one side forever facing it. Mars is a good way along in the evolution of a planet toward death, while Jupiter, with its immense size, is just starting to precipitate out its water. Just as the occupants of Mars are long gone, or perhaps even gone here, we are well on our way to having an uninhabitable planet as a result of cooling. Perhaps we will end up colonizing Jupiter. After all, under this set of conditions, Jupiter will eventually cool, and as it does so, its gravity will lessen, making it more accommodating to our form.
Of course, to science, gravity is fixed and unchangeable. To get rid of gravity, we have to get rid of matter. There’s no two ways about it.
However, many rational people, even practicing scientists, are coming to realize that since the dinosaurs couldn’t have fed or supported themselves, it’s a physical impossibility given their supposed bulk, heart size, mouth and throat size and so forth, that gravity must have somehow changed from the time of the dinosaurs until now.
Reviewing briefly the history of the discovery of dinosaurs, when the first bones were brought to scientists in the 19th century, the unfortunate discoverers were labeled what science always labels something it doesn’t understand, frauds. However, the sheer volume of the discovery of the bones led science to recognize the existence of these huge creatures. Then, of course, as soon as science took over, the fun really began, fun meaning obfuscation to the point of absurdity.
The first task was to determine what the creatures looked like. This, to science, was a fairly simple task. All that need be done is to measure the amount of meat the bones would hold and then to place that amount of meat on the bones. Unfortunately, the amount of meat these massive bones could hold, in today’s weight, was too much for the creatures to carry. Therefore, science hypothesized that the creatures spent their lives primarily submerged in water. Artists' conceptions of dinosaurs, before the necessity of movies required them to move about, were simply vast steamy swamps filled with huge dinosaurs.
With the advent of motion pictures, dinosaurs were pared down so that they were at least in some sort of fighting trim. However, this didn’t jibe with the calculations for the amount of flesh that the bones could hold. The divergence between the public vision and the scientific view prevailed until the early 60s when the cold v. hot-blooded dispute broke out among dinosaur scientists. This led to a melding of the public and scientific perception in Jurassic Park, where dinosaurs are presented as a mixture of the slow, oversized behemoths, and the smaller, more agile, meat eaters, with the former being cold-blooded and the later hot-blooded.
None of this really answered anything about the dinosaur’s size because, as the years have gone by, finds of larger and larger bones able to hold more and more meat produced dinosaurs so large that they were physically incapable of existing. This is when the accretion theories began to pop up, theories that said over the eons, the Earth collects meteorites and space dust that add to its mass increasing its gravity. There are several other maverick theories around which, while wilder, result in the same thing, an increase in the Earth’s mass and a resulting increase in its gravity.
The whole notion involved with this line of thinking is that, when the Earth had less mass and less gravity, the bones could support the greater amount of meat, which was lighter then than it is now.
I first ran into this backward thinking decades ago when I ventured to posit in a letter to an alternate science magazine that the reason the dinosaurs could grow so large was because the gravity was greater than it is now. The Editor very kindly published my letter and followed it up with a two-page letter railing against the absurdity of my claim and positing that the only way the dinosaurs could have existed was if there had been a black hole circling the Earth that lessened the Earth’s gravity. (I really like that one!)
Before getting into my reasoning, let’s just take a look at reality. What’s the biggest creating on Earth today? That’s simple, the whale. One reason the whale grows so large is that its displacement in water lessens the effect of gravity on its structure. We don’t have the saying for helplessness, beached whale, for nothing. Here we actually have a huge creature that evolved in a lessened gravitational environment. If the people who claim that gravity had to be less for the dinosaurs to grow so large are correct, then the whale’s bones should be just as massive as the dinosaurs.
But they aren’t. While substantial, they are nowhere near as massive, as pictures of whale skeletons illustrate.
In fact, using the logic of how much meat the bones would hold today, if we had nothing but whale skeletons littering dry land to go on, we’d have to conclude that whales couldn’t hold enough meat on their bones to survive.
There are certain commonsense rules in any field of science that are often overlooked. In the case of dinosaurs, the basic rule of life on Earth applies. That rule is, life that is not sustainable does not evolve. It’s as simple as that. The dinosaurs had to be normal life forms or they wouldn’t have evolved in the first place. That means that a healthy dinosaur would in all likelihood be as sleek and capable of both movement and obtaining ample food supply, as well as getting it down its throat, as you or I. I realize that elephants still roam around, so long as there isn’t a crack they have to jump, but while I believe they are a hangover from a prior era, they have evolved that marvelous trunk to take care of all of their needs. Hippos, seemingly large and ungainly, speak for themselves by being the largest killers of humans in the world.
So our starting assumption has to be, the dinosaurs had only so much meat on their bones. They were not these behemoths that could barely move, their neck substituting for an elephant trunk, and they weren’t creatures with hearts that could sustain normal weight but somehow beat for five times that weight. They were normal animals, although oversized.
Why would they be oversized?
Because in a field where the gravity is stronger, they would need stronger bones to move around. Not only would the bones have to be stronger and bigger, they would be heavier, which means, the substance necessary to carry the bones and any flesh they carried against the greater gravitational field would have to be much sturdier. This is exactly what we find when we look at dinosaur bones, large sturdy structures designed to hold a lot of weight.
But what weight?
Their own weight and the weight of the flesh that was the animate dinosaur. I have no idea what the strength of gravity was when the dinosaurs evolved, although it would be an interesting problem, probably solvable, for any scientist with an open enough mind. But for the sake of example (and going by the amount of flesh artists put on the bones), let’s say it was today’s gravity times three, three times as great as it is today. That means that when the normal amount of flesh was added to the bones, the bones would end up being designed to hold themselves and about four times their weight. (Our skeletons support 80% of our weight, elephants’ skeletons support about 84% while cattle skeletons support 90%).
Let’s then say that if we took all the meat off a dinosaur and put it in a package, it would amount to two cubic yards (I have no idea, but this is just for purposes of comparison from the dinosaurs time till our time).
Present day arrives, and we find the dinosaur bones (or bits and pieces, whole dinosaur skeletons are rare). We don’t, of course, find the two cubic yards of meat and muscle. Gravity is one third what it was in the dinosaur’s time, but being the captive of Newton’s gravity as a property of matter, we know that because gravity is constant, the weight of the dinosaur then is the same as its weight today.
So we weigh the bones. We then put them under a stress test to see how much they’d hold. We conclude that the bones would hold, not two cubic yards of meat, but six cubic yards of meat. While the bones weigh less today than they did when formed, their strength is the same as when they formed, and they formed to hold six cubic yards of meat at today’s gravity, although they would only hold two cubic yards of meat in the gravitational field in which they evolved.
Our scientists, knowing all their facts are absolutely correct (and not even thinking that gravity might be variable and therefore a factor in their calculations) proceed to put three times as much meat on the dinosaurs as they carried when the dinosaur was alive and moving easily though its environment, consuming enough to feed itself and generally having a ball.
The dinosaurs were cold-blooded simply because they lived in a hotter environment, the heat coming predominantly from the Earth. There was no need for animate matter to regulate its body temperature under these conditions. Characteristics don’t evolve that aren’t necessary.
However, as the Earth cooled, mammals evolved and dinosaurs slowly died out, unable to survive the alternating cycles of hot and cold as the environment because more dependent on the sun for its heat. The mammals, with the ability to regulate internal body temperature, fell heir to the Earth in a process that hopefully would lead to the development of sentience and the ability to develop tools that would allow animate matter to manipulate the environment in order to extend its own survival, build house as protection against the cold, and then, in the ultimate extension of itself, build space vehicles that would allow it to escape the ever cooling Earth as it spiraled into first the condition of Mars and then the moon.
And, I suspect we were well on our way until an unfortunate physical occurrence turned us into a bunch of mystical, mindless, blatherers. That occurrence was the result of the simple fact that all planets, including the Earth’s moon, evolve the same way. That means the Earth’s moon was once also warm and also precipitated out water, in short had oceans. As the moon cooled and its gravity lessened, it lost the ability to keep those oceans, and they were eventually lost to its closest companion, the Earth, resulting in the destruction of what was up till then a normally evolving civilization. The water damped the Earth, cooling it fast, leaving the survivor with little arable land on which to live, land that, as the population recovered, could only be fought over for food.
But none of this actually happened or could happen because gravity is a property of matter and therefore unchangeable.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Why Doesn’t Science Recognize Friction?

Friction would seem to be a fairly simple fact of everyday life. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about it (I avoid using this source unless it is totally objective, in which case there isn’t a bunch of backdoor sniping putting in negative information).
Friction is the force that opposes the relative motion or tendency toward such motion of two surfaces in contact. Friction between solid objects and fluids (gases or liquids) is called drag. In fluid dynamics, drag (sometimes called resistance) is the force that resists the movement of a solid object through a fluid (a liquid or gas). Drag is made up of friction forces, which act in a direction parallel to the object's surface, plus pressure forces, which act in a direction perpendicular to the object's surface.
In short, when we’re dealing with a solid with respect to a liquid or gas, friction slows the solid down. If we want to propel a ship through water, a plane through the atmosphere, we’re going to have to use energy, a current force, to overcome the drag caused by the friction between the sold and the liquid or gas.
Pretty simple, pretty straight forward, and not too much question about the outcome of friction. So, we’d think science would deal with friction when it came to the Earth and the oceans that cover it and the atmosphere that encases it.
You think?
Newton knew what friction was. After all, he had his planets moving in straight lines except for gravity. But Newton’s planets needed a source for their motion and Newton, one of the most devout collectors of different versions of the Bible, knew the source of the force that moved the planets in a straight line but for gravity. The source of the force was God, pure and simple, no questions need be asked.
Because God was the source of the fundamental forces, forces such as gravity, then God was also the source of the force that kept the planets in their orbits once gravity had caused their straight-line motion to be curved into circular orbits. Newton didn’t have to face the very obvious question, did gravity produce friction, cause drag, tend to make the planets slow down, simply because Newton’s planets were kept in constant motion. As to the rotation of the planets, Newton wasn’t much concerned with that little detail. A God that could cause the planets to careen around in the solar system was a God that could easily set the planets a spinning.
In reality, though, anything that could cause the planets to move from a straight-line path to a circular path did so by producing friction by definition simply because the only thing that could affect the motion of the solid through whatever it was moving through is drag.
In fact, the only person who was really concerned about friction was Galileo. Galileo was obsessed with proving that Copernicus was correct. To do so, he sought ways to show that the Earth was rotating on its axis. If he could demonstrate this, then it would show that the vision of the sun going around the Earth we see every day would be the result of the Earth rotating rather than the sun moving.
He spent a lot of time showing that the tides were the result of the Earth’s rotation. This, it would seem, is fairly obvious. While Galileo didn’t have the knowledge we have today of ocean currents, those currents are certainly caused by the action of the rotating Earth. For Galileo, the tides were caused by the water building up away from the direction in which the Earth was turning until they reached a height that could not be supported against the gravitational pull of the Earth (yes, Galileo was familiar with gravity before Newton, so familiar, he measured it).
When the building up of the tides reached its highest point, the weight of the water then pushed the ocean down on that side, causing the water level to rise at the other side of the ocean. Because the tides were repetitive, Galileo instinctively knew that some sort of force had to be driving the process. Back before Newton, people actually believed physical phenomena controlled these sorts of things, not magical mathematical formulas. Because the only force that could continuously keep the tides in motion was the rotation of the Earth, it was the rotation of the Earth that was causing the tides.
Because The Church was the source of all authority in Italy, Galileo’s “proof” of Copernicus using the tides didn’t gain much traction. The much more open England was attempting the same end using parallax, the measurement of a star at the opposite sides of the Earth’s orbit, if it had an orbit, so England wasn’t very interested in Galileo’s tidal theories either.
Thus, they sort of languished. When Newton’s gravity as a property of came along, he used the tides as an example of the effect of the moon’s gravity on the Earth and it was bought hook line and sinker. Later in the 18th century, when Laplace was replacing God as the mover of the solar system with his equally mystical swirling mass of gas, he set about demonstrating mathematically the effect of the moon’s gravity on various volumes of water. After all, if it’s mathematical, then it’s got to be right.
What would be right, of course, would be for scientists to sit down and produce a table that shows the movements of the moon predicting the tides. This they cannot do, so science makes such silly statements as "the long-known correlation of the tides with the movement of the moon." The heck with long-known correlations. Let’s see tables showing the motion of the moon predicting the tides. I have a two volume set on my bookshelf written by a scientist named Newton (no relation to Sir Isaac) in which he attempts to use Einstein’s laws of relativity to do just that. Alas, after hundreds of pages of incomprehensible equations, he admits failure, but holds out hope that further perfection of the theory will result in success – sounds like Sir Isaac saying, my math didn’t work, but more exact measurements of the moon will bring reality into accord with my theory.
The idea that the oceans or the atmosphere for that matter produced friction with the surface of the Earth was fried with Laplace’s swirling mass of gas fantasy. This picture of the past had a universe, in which the only force was gravity, taking the condensing gas that had to have been the source of the matter that made up the solar system, and starting that gas to swirl. Last time I checked, gravity is a straight-line force while swirling results from a circular force, but no matter, a straight-line force somehow got this gas that had to have been there a swirling and once it was swirling, the sun and all the planets and the moons and some other junk to be named later condensed.
What was the proof for this ad hoc explanation for the solar system? Primarily, the solar system was in motion, there was no God to put it or keep it in motion, therefore, the only logical explanation was condensation out of a swirling mass of gas. To keep the solar system moving, science reached back to Galileo, who had rolled balls down inclined planes and measured their motion as they arced into space. He concluded that what was moving the balls was something called momentum gained from the trip down the inclined plane. He decided that, but for the friction of the air through which they passed, they would travel forever. What about gravity? Galileo said, gravity does not produce friction. How did he know that? Because, if he removed the air, the balls would travel forever.
Tell that one to course correction teams or anyone attempting to keep a satellite in orbit. Oh, they’ll tell you that the satellites lose altitude because of stray molecules of atmosphere they encounter in their orbits. Let me repeat that loud and clear. SATELLITES LOSE SPEED BECAUSE THEY BUMP INTO MOLECULES OF ATMOSPHERE.
Laplace used Newton’s Celestial Mechanics and Galileo’s frictionless space to come up with an ever-moving solar system propelled by momentum, a sort of perpetual motion machine that science is always telling us can’t exist. This was all well and good so long as everyone’s attention was focused on the orbiting billiard balls called planets. However, when attention started to focus, as it did in the 20th century, on the rotation of the planets, primarily the rotation of the Earth, it produced some big trouble.
As an aside, by this time science had determined how much momentum the solar system obtained from the swirling mass of gas. Did it measure swirling masses of gas and determine the force they impart to their parts? No, that’s a little too inexact. Science determined the age of the Earth first, using the time estimated for Darwin’s species evolution as a guide, and then once it knew the age of the Earth, it could take it’s mass, produced by Newton’s unproven theory of gravity, and compute the amount of force it would take to propel that mass through frictionless space for the required period of time. Any way to check the math? Why check something that’s absolutely correct? Like determining the amount of mass in a planet, which can never be checked, science has computed the amount of momentum which has to be present to experience the conditions we are experiencing today. It’s the scientific way!
I think it’s pretty clear today that space isn’t frictionless, but since we don’t experience frictionless space as a part of our lives, science can maintain the fantasy. However, when it comes to the surface of the Earth, it’s hard to swallow that the oceans and the atmosphere operate as science says they operate, with no friction between the surface of the Earth.
All that we, the great unwashed, have to do is point out that air at the equator is moving at about 1,000 mph, air at the poles is moving at about 0 mph (theoretically, there’s so much weather from the clashing of the upper polar bound masses with the lower equatorial bound masses that it’s a maelstrom). At ground level, the air is moving at the speed of the ground, otherwise, we’d be blown over. The speed of the ground between the equator and the poles varies between 1,000mph and 0 mph. Now that’s math that can’t be denied because it’s not based on any assumptions.
The only way the lower moving masses of atmosphere traveling back toward the equator could continually increase speed is if they were interacting with the surface of the Earth. If they were interacting with the surface of the Earth, then the drag of the Earth was imparting motion to the atmosphere. By definition, the atmosphere is causing friction with the surface of the Earth.
If the atmosphere is causing friction, then it is slowing the Earth down. However, it isn’t slowing the Earth down. Therefore, the Earth has a current force causing it to rotate. Five billion year old momentum isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Science openly admits that five billion year old momentum isn’t going to cut the mustard. So what does it conclude?
Since the Earth is still rotating, there is no friction between the Earth and it’s atmosphere (or its oceans).
With one stroke, the entire field of meteorology is rendered dumb, spouting things like high and low pressure areas to explain the movement of the atmosphere. When the movement of the atmosphere causes enough friction to destroy a city such as New Orleans, it wasn’t the movement of the atmosphere, it was a hurricane, which, I guess, is something else.
Go outside on a windy day and see how much friction the atmosphere is causing with your body. Then wonder how science can profess such ignorance when all it has to do is face the real questions of reality, what is the current force that is causing the planets to orbit and rotate?
Afterthought: I just finished watching a special on the 54th Sidney to Hobart yacht race that ended in catastrophe when weather got out of control. It seems the polar winds switched direction to match the waves, causing them to increase from a normal 50' to an astounding 100'. Now here's an example of the frictionless atmosphere whipping water into a frenzy.
Don't think so.