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Does the universe dance in forms?

  1. Oct 19, 2003 #1
    Can the universe be understood entirely through the mathematical formulations of physics or is it too much in a state of fluidity and flux for human words and math to give a comprehensive, clear, and holistic vision to humans?
    My apologies for such an awkward, clumsy sentence.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2003 #2
    Who can stop the Sun from rising ?

    There is a certain fortunate inevitability about the fluidity of natural processes.

    Now I wonder what rituals there are in keeping with the natural rhythm of the city...

    ......celebrating the annual xmas panic purchase? Getting up to the screeching and hammering of the construction site next door to worship the sacred cycle of demolish/rebuild?

    Bah, how much would that suck? I just recently read something about how westerners adopted all kinds of shamanistic, tantric and whateveric practices as faddish "therapies", along with a warning that these might not do much good in the long run since they have so little to do with the rest of the western lifestyle whereas to their original practicioners every ritual was deeply integrated into their roles in society, their world-views and their daily lives.

    Or something like that. I don't really know why I'm replying to this...
  4. Oct 21, 2003 #3
    Formalized, mathematical thought is definitely necessary for human evolution and prosperity, however the idea of there being a past-future narrative inherent in the universe itself which reflects the one ingrained in our experience may be erroneous. Although galaxies and stars behave in a way that can be analogized with our earthly perception, I believe their behavior is more implicative of this perception than of anything happening out there. The universe exists above all in a perpetual state of infinite, incomprehensible chaos occuring only in the now and the everywhere-such is its true nature-however physics can be of great benefit to our technological enpowerment and the urge to erect a clear and simple vision, however subjective it may be.
  5. Oct 21, 2003 #4
    Welcome to the PFs, plum! :smile:

    As to your post (quoted above), I disagree that our subjective experience is inherently seperate from "the reality". After all, if it were really that seperate, why would it work in progressive technology? Also, if we were completely incorrect about the nature of the Universe, it would be quite shocking that we were able to think about it at all (instead of just thinking about that which we subjectively experience).
  6. Oct 21, 2003 #5
    You're suggesting that we can justify the fact that humans are capable of reflecting the nature of the external universe inside their minds through technological innovation, however if you consider the ends and not the means of this innovation, it complements not our divine knowledge but our primitive drive for personal power.
  7. Oct 22, 2003 #6
    According to Galileo it's the only way to understand it. :smile:

  8. Oct 22, 2003 #7
    Did anyone hear about the research done into sonar? Apparently nato has accepted that 'perhaps' naval sonar is the cause of driving whales to beach themselves and if so are open to change and using new technology to navigate.

    Technology technology technology. What else does it destroy in way of the fluid Universe ?
  9. Oct 22, 2003 #8
    I don't understand what you are saying here, plum. I was responding to the idea that we cannot actually become conscious of the "real" Universe, merely that which we are subjectively aware of. I disagree. I was saying that we are only subjectively aware of that which exists objectively.
  10. Oct 22, 2003 #9
    Well I guess it's impossible to know the boundary that distinguishes what is subjective and what is objective. Humans are a part of the universe and our minds are part of our bodies and our consciousness is part of our unconscious...The bubble of collective consciousness that is opening up is not a transparent blanket that hangs over reality; it is more like a dirty old cracked window. To truly "know" the universe wouldn't someone either have to be its creator or...the universe itself?
  11. Oct 22, 2003 #10
    If you are not the Creator,

    How do you justify your existence?
  12. Oct 23, 2003 #11
    Who are you making this justification to - yourself or others?
  13. Oct 24, 2003 #12
    "Who are you making this justification to - yourself or others?"

    Can the universe understand humans through any comprehensive venue ?
  14. Oct 24, 2003 #13
    It gets worse, plum. The Universe cannot be conscious, and thus it cannot even know itself. So, the only one who can "really know" the Universe would be its creator, should you choose to accept the existence of such a thing.

    Anyway, plum, there is a logical problem with trying to state that our consciousness of the objective world is "like a dirty old cracked window" or "like a transparent blanket" or anything in between, since to make such an assesment one needs to be unclouded. Therefore it causes a paradox to try to assess the clarity of your own consciousness, since you are working within the confines of that consciousness.
  15. Oct 24, 2003 #14
    That the universe is not entirely comprehensible physically or mathematically validates those sciences by relatively unlimited philosophical potentialities.
  16. Oct 24, 2003 #15
    Rephrase please, I don't quite get your meaning.

    Are you saying that the incomprehensibility of the Universe leaves a broad horizon for science to continue new discovery?
  17. Oct 24, 2003 #16
    I think he means that science can be infinitely detailed and fresh because the reality it's trying to convey is infinitely detailed. He is, however, wrong. There are limits within science because it describes only forms and their relations. What I was getting at with the original question is "is the universe best understood/ experienced/communed with through the use of abstract forms or something like building engines or farming or meditation? Does a race car driver know more about the world than a physicist?
  18. Oct 24, 2003 #17
    I think that depends. Does the universe have consciousness?
  19. Oct 24, 2003 #18
    Maybe the universe doesn't want to talk to us right now. It could be having a bad millenium.
  20. Oct 24, 2003 #19
    If you were the universe: who would YOU talk to?

    If you were the universe: who would you let get to know you? Physicst, mathamatician, philosopher, or theologen? (if those are the only choices)

    Oh Universe, YOU MAKE ME... feel so small!!
  21. Oct 25, 2003 #20
    What I mean here is that a philosophy more inclusive than physics or mathematics provides a more objective reference with which to justify those subsets themselves.
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