• Braindead
    37
    (Statements made are conjectures, brain candy.)

    Energy and matter are often separated due to matter being a “physical” substance, while energy is not. However, if that is so how does energy affect matter? That is because matter isn’t “physical,” or as the scale grows smaller, the physical particles appear to lack physical substance.

    Models and often show chemicals as spheres with sticks as bonds that connect to other chemicals. However if one takes a more accurate look at these sphere models, the components of those spheres typically only actually compose of a very small portion of that sphere, and if models of the smaller components are made into spheres as well, the same situation occurs. In other words, matter appears physically substantial from afar, but in reality, is as physically substantial as space.

    Matter is empty, so energy fills it up. Energy exists on every scale without a fundamental change, while matter is a mere illusion that changes according to perspective. Energy interacts with this illusion and the world as we know it functions due to this relationship.
    If matter doesn’t exist then what do we see? I don’t know. There’s obviously something there, but it has no true substance, which is why I call it an illusion. Calling matter physical is a joke. Matter doesn’t exist on any level, while energy exists on every level, which ironically makes an illusion made of light more substantial than the every day objects we recognize as matter.
  • Marchesk
    3.3k
    I think its fields all the way down. But on our level, the ordinary stuff seems material enough to call it that. But certainly old fashioned materialism was lacking. Does modern materialism survive the revision from the breakthroughs in physics to retain the name, "materialism"? I don't know. I guess that's why people tend to prefer physicaliism.
  • TheMadFool
    5.8k
    While I fully endorse the advice that when someone says, "it's obvious that...", it should set off an alarm inside our heads, I can't shake off the feeling that someone who claims the material reality we experience is an illusion is denying what is, well, obvious. Clearly, some things aren't obvious but also clearly, some things can't be denied.
  • remoku
    27


    Do you mean there are obvious perceptions that show it's real? I think that's right, there are some perceptions where seeing is proof it's real.

    I have studied sense all of my life, and the way the atom moves is not like an illusion, you can see this and think any arguments for illusions must be stray off a liden fact.
  • Braindead
    37
    I called it obvious because I can easily prove that there is something there. Even though everything we perceive is a model created by our brains through our bodily senses, verifying the existence of an object simply requires multiple perspectives. If I hold out a pen to someone, that person will see and recognize the pen just like I do, proving that there is in fact an object that we both recognize as a pen in front of us. On the other hand, whether the matter that makes up that pen is substantial or not is debatable, considering our thoughts are composed of electric signals and electric signals are essentially energy, therefore what we feel may not necessarily be the matter of the pen, but rather the energy that the “pen illusion” contains.
  • neonspectraltoast
    195
    We aren't just our brains. We're our entire bodies. Where we end and where reality begins is up for debate. At a certain distance, the eyes and the light striking them become one in the same. There is no "me" and everything else. There is only everything working in unison.

    I find this attempt to capture human life within the brain a little odd and absurd, as it clearly is not the case. Our wholeness is not within; it's on the very surface. If there can be a very surface.
  • jgill
    547
    Matter is empty, so energy fills it up.Braindead

    Goes to show that physics can be both speculative and poetic. :smile:
  • Braindead
    37


    I’ve thought about that too. What’s interesting about that would be when parts of the body are separated. Often you hear stories about people who lose body parts and feel phantom pains. Since everything is in unison, would I become less “me” if I lose a part of me? The fact that people feel the after effects of losing a physical part of themselves might then be because it damages the very being. Then there is organ transplants. You often hear about people who pick up on habits that the organ’s original owner had, even if the two people never knew each other personally. If I were to put a part of “you” into “me” it would only be natural that part of “me” would start to resemble “you” wouldn’t it? Referring back to how energy is the true substance, transplanting organs not only transplants the function of the organ, but also the way that organ guided energy, a way that was originally unique to the first owner.
  • Gnomon
    615
    If matter doesn’t exist then what do we see? I don’t know. There’s obviously something there, but it has no true substance, which is why I call it an illusion.Braindead
    Kant called that "illusion" Transcendental Idealism. In that case, ". . . what we think we see, is not absolute reality but our own ideas about reality."

    Donald Hoffman uses more modern terminology, when he calls those "illusions" Icons; alluding to the little symbols on a computer screen. Instead of throwing up his hands at our illusory reality though, he presents a metaphor by which we can make sense of Plato's shadows-in-the-cave, and make use of the encoded information they provide about the "absolute" reality outside the cavern of deception.

    Matter is a form of Energy that our physical senses are tuned to detect. So, for all practical purposes (i.e. Science), matter is reality. But for the theoretical purposes of philosophy, there is more than meets the eye. :nerd:

    Reality is not what you see : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    Argument Against Reality : https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/

    Model Dependent Realism : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-dependent_realism
  • Braindead
    37

    Oh, icons sounds like a pretty good way to describe it. Though we see things by using light, which according to my understanding are collections of specific amounts of energy, doesn’t that mean matter is actually something outside our senses? So we use something invisible that might not exist as an icon for something that does exist, sounds like a pretty roundabout way of doing things.
  • prothero
    284
    I thought e=mc2 settled the basic relationship between matter and energy. Matter is just concentrations or configurations of energy in space time? (standing waves)
    Materialism has given way to physicalism.
    Matter is solid enough to our bodies but mostly empty to a passing neutron, "misplaced concreteness".
  • Braindead
    37


    Wouldn’t that be because a neutron is too small to actually encounter any of the matter within our bodies? It’s like a comet flying through space, the chances of hitting anything are pretty small. Which goes back to my original issue regarding models. While we represent chemical particles as balls and forces as sticks, those balls are mostly empty to begin with and the parts that make up that ball are in a similar situation. To clarify, the go to example would be atoms. An atom model is a ball and the intermolecular forces are sticks, but that atom in reality is made up of electrons, neutrons, and protons. The relative distance between the electron and nucleus is described as the distance of a football field from the perspective of the electron. But the electron model itself is a ball, and that electron is made of smaller particles we know as quarks. Who knows how much empty space there is between the quark particles? Not to mention the particles that make quarks and so on. There’s so much empty space that it makes me question if anything is really there. It kind of feels like a paradox.
  • prothero
    284
    Models are just models. Most of science is just conceptual modeling, it is when we mistake our models for "reality" itself, that we engage in the "fallacy of misplaced concreteness", a common error in science and philosophy.
  • Braindead
    37
    I understand that much, but the issue is the reality here in that matter appears to able to sub divide indefinitely, providing no concrete foundation. This furthers my impression that matter is like an “illusion” or icon as Gnomon mentioned, rather than an actual existence.
  • prothero
    284
    I don't think that is true. In that matter at the smallest structure appear to be quantum (non infinitely divisible) and it is suggested in quantum loop gravity that space-time also has a quantum structure. It only appears continuous just like the computer screen you are looking at actually is composed of small points. This controversial but it is certainly not outside the realm of rational speculation. Points with no dimension can not make a physical actual real structure..
  • Braindead
    37
    That does make sense. On top of that you also mentioned e=mc2 and matter is energy. It’s interesting how mass is usually associated with matter, but is also in the formula for energy. Then it is also said mass can’t be destroyed nor created, and I think I remember hearing something similar about energy. The only differentiation between mass and energy appears to be the fact we can sense matter since it has structure capable of transferring and reflecting energy waves. This is also weird, matter isn’t energy because it releases energy? Sounds like a self-defeating argument, so what is the differentiating factor?
  • prothero
    284
    atomic bombs convert mass to energy, atomic power plants do the same so mass can be destroyed it can also be created but that is a different "matter".
  • Braindead
    37

    Converting mass to energy is essentially disintegrating the bonds between the atoms in the bomb within a short time and space, resulting in large quantities of energy and force. Basically haven’t we just taken the hypothetical energy constructs known as matter and returned it to its base form? That just seems to reinforce the lack of difference between the two. Since you brought it up, unstable elements require more energy to temporarily exist in that state so, wouldn’t it mean it uses energy to be matter?
  • Braindead
    37
    This whole thing reminds me of when I first came to understand heat. High school teaches heat makes particles move more quickly without explaining the reason behind it. That is a misguiding statement, since the very movement of particles is heat. Similarly matter might be structures composed of energy given a new name. Walls made of brick are called walls after all.
  • prothero
    284
    Different forms of the same stuff, but somehow we consider energy to be more basic than matter.
    Fission (fusing two lighter nucleii also releases energy (the source of energy in stars) and also the source of the creation of heavier elements (hydrogen to helium).
    Werner Heisenberg — 'Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.'
  • Braindead
    37
    That is strange. According to the conservation of energy, fusion would generally consume energy in order to build the molecules/atoms right? Perhaps when combining atoms together the individual atoms stabilize each other, so the energy needed to stabilize each atom reduces to the degree where energy is actually released in the creation of molecules. Lighter atoms probably don’t need much energy to be stable to begin with, so the extra support results in excess. As for the fusing of two atoms...this is a star right? That thing is so dense it can stabilize its own atoms through sheer mass, so excess energy is produced instead of being consumed.
  • Braindead
    37
    I just realized, heat is the movement of particles then wouldn’t the core of the star be cooler because the pressure restricts movement? As a result less movement means particles will be easier to stabilize. No wonder you can find radioactive particles in stars.
  • Gnomon
    615
    Oh, icons sounds like a pretty good way to describe it. Though we see things by using light, which according to my understanding are collections of specific amounts of energy, doesn’t that mean matter is actually something outside our senses? So we use something invisible that might not exist as an icon for something that does exist, sounds like a pretty roundabout way of doing things.Braindead
    Hoffman's theory is based on a specific understanding of how evolution has constructed the human body and mind. His concept of Model Dependent Realism, which goes back to Kant's notion of "ding an sich", says that we never know the "real" object, but only a mental image of the object (subjective meaning), constructed in the mind from abstract inputs of energy (quantum dots of photons). You could think of the human mind as an old-timey telegraph operator. What his senses receive are meaningless dots & dashes of energy, which must be translated into ordinary language with conventional meanings. So, yes, Matter is like the telegraph sender, "outside the senses" of the receiver.

    Why not just transmit meaning directly into the receiver's mind? Apparently evolution doesn't have ESP. So, just as the eye is built backward, with blood vessels in front of the light sensitive retina, Evolution sometimes gets the job done in a "roundabout way".

    For an even more roundabout explanation, In terms of my own unconventional worldview, Reality begins as Generic Information (mind stuff), which is the precursor of Energy, which then is transformed into Matter via phase changes. And light bouncing off that matter is received by the senses, and then transformed back into Mind Stuff via brain functions. Hence, the stuff you "see" is two steps away from ultimate reality. But that's another long & winding story in itself. :joke:


    Model Dependent Realism : Crick was a Metaphysical Realist : “we believe that experience accurately depicts the thing-in-itself”. By contrast, Hoffman, “despite the consensus of experts, . . . doubted that natural selection favors perceptions that describe reality”.
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page22.html

    Generic Information : omnipotential EnFormAction which generates all things. Similar to Plato's Forms.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html
  • Banno
    7.8k
    Physics without the maths is nothing.
  • Gnomon
    615
    Physics without the maths is nothing.Banno
    Physics without math is Philosophy : i.e. Metaphysics.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    That's just giving it a name. Metaphysics is nothing,
  • Gnomon
    615
    ↪Gnomon
    That's just giving it a name. Metaphysics is nothing,
    Banno
    If so, then Philosophy is nothing. :cool:

    Metaphysics : Arguably, metaphysics is the foundation of philosophy: Aristotle calls it "first philosophy" (or sometimes just "wisdom"), and says it is the subject that deals with "first causes and the principles of things".
    https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_metaphysics.html
  • Harry Hindu
    3.1k
    Yep. When watching a show on astrophysics for the layman, the scientists translate the math into words. You can say the same thing with words or with math, just like you can with any other language. They're just two different types of languages.
  • jgill
    547
    Physics without math is PhilosophyGnomon

    Possibly. But in the quantum world much of the physics is the math. For example, a virtual particle may simply be a mathematical entity, an yet amateur philosophers may refer to these things popping in and out of physical existence.

    I recently read of Feynman's lectures at Cal Tech back in the 1960s. Even there, with very bright physics students, most were unable to understand his attempts at explanation. A few followed the math and comprehended his ideas, but the majority were left in a state of confusion. When he first presented his "sum of all paths" formulation to an audience consisting of prominent physicists, very few initially comprehended what he was saying.

    Physics without math is philosophy - if the philosopher is a physicist. That's my opinion, but I'm sure others here will disagree. That's OK. :cool:
  • Banno
    7.8k

    The OP is pretty typical of a certain type of post; a physical theory without any maths. Physics has required maths since before Newton. It's a confusion of vaguely understood physical notions.

    It's not metaphysics, either. It's just bad physics.

    That should be obvious from event the first line:

    Energy and matter are often separated due to matter being a “physical” substance, while energy is not.Braindead

    It's terrible, and in multiple ways. What's terrible about it? Well, it is tempting to say that it is not even wrong, after Pauli. The very positing of the sentence demonstrates that the author is not talking the same language as physicist. Now this should be obvious, since E=mc²; and since substance is not an expression much used in physics. @Marchesk, @TheMadFool, @remoku @neonspectraltoast and even @jgill attempt rebuttals, as if there were content here to rebut.

    It's just lazy to say that the mathematics of physics can be translated into words. As if mathematics were not language. If you want to understand physics you have to understand the mathematics. And if you don't understand that, you do not understand physics.

    Metaphysics might have been central to Aristotle's concerns, but then there have been a few changes since his time. He might have dimly envisaged the physics we now understand, and doubtless would have been very pleased. Much of what we call physical science would have been considered metaphysical. Consider modern chemistry and its relation to Democritus' ideas. They are only very loosely related, chemistry giving us far more rigour because it is embedded in, expressed in, mathematics.

    All of this to say that @Braindead's OP is nonsense, in the technical sense of not saying anything.

    Of course that it is nonsense does not count against it if it has the purpose of showing us something of interest. The Tractatus being a case in point; or the poem Antigonish. But what the OP claims to show is Illusionary reality, and this is in itself another nonsense, a confusion of how reality and illusion are used. Illusions only make sense given a reality against which they can occur, and hence claiming that reality itself is an illusion is contradictory.

    Can it be honestly claimed that he world described by physicists differs markedly form that which we see around us. in such a way that we might describe as being wrong? Well, no, since physics sets out to describe that very world, and goes to great lengths to explain how it is that what we see is how we see it. So when the physicist claims that the table is mostly space, they add an explanation as to why it is that despite this the cup remains firmly on top of the table, and rejects the Dunning-Kruger suggestion that somehow the table is not solid.

    Anyway, that's far more explanation than an OP which is neither physics nor metaphysics deserves.
  • Braindead
    37
    Your right, I’m not a physicist, but nonsense like the things I post can get surprisingly good answers such as the explanations from Gnomon and Prothero. I went from braindead to brain full, and I think I’m satisfied with that.
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