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Passions in Poetry

Let Me Pick Your Brain.......Please...

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Member Elite
since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada

0 posted 01-24-2001 12:14 AM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

Maria raised a question in frac's thread. (paraphrasing) "If something is broken down enough doesn't it become nothing?"

I am just a primary student of physics but isn't this where conventional physics and quantum physics separate? The convential scientist believes that the smallest anything can be broken down to is an atom but the quantum scientist believes that you can go smaller. Is this a correct assumption or am I totally off base with my understanding? (Thinking of quantum physics in the area of brain function and personality. I have reading...Roger Penrose's "Shadows of the Mind". Not grasping all of it but am trying.)
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea

1 posted 01-25-2001 07:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, last time I checked the conservation principle was still in place. Physically, nothing is ever reduced to nothing, it just changes form.

Are there still scientists who believe that we can't go further than the atom? Scientists concentrate on certain aspects, certain levels -- from astro-physics to molecular to quantum but I don't think they disagree on the productivity or the necessity of quantum physics.

I don't know this book. What's it about?  

Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032

2 posted 01-25-2001 07:58 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Wow!  I am sorry I did not get to this thread earlier.

Has anyone read Fred Alan Wolf's The Dreaming Universe?  I just read it, and was fascinated by the wide variety of different theories on the mind.  Like Marilyn, I was unable to understand all of it, however.  For example, the holographic theories of the mind are really wierd and hard for me to wrap my brain around.

From what I've so far heard and read, quantum mechanics and chaos theory are very promising ideas on how the brain operates.  But then, of course, we end up with the question of whether or not Occam's Razor can be invoked in here.  Like are chaotic or quantum explanations of the mind simply complicating things needlessly?  That's the thing that bugged me with my reductionism question.  Is the brain nothing more than just a basic set of cells that lives for a while and then dies, doing nothing too exciting in its life?  The quantum and chaotic theories make the brain sound much more interesting than the idea that it's just a part of us that's responsible for keeping us out of trouble.

But I do lean toward a blend of chaos and QM when thinking about the brain.  The brain is too complex to explain using classical physics.  But feel free to correct me on that if I'm wrong.


"If something is broken down enough doesn't it become nothing?"

I don't know about that.  The ancient greek philosophers believed that objects could be cut apart infinitely.  IE, you can cut something in half then into quarters and so on.  But then along came atomism, which would later become the foundation for classical thinking regarding matter.  However, after atomism, along came people who realized that atoms aren't just little objects that are indestructable.  They're made out of things themselves.  

But overall, it could be our humanness[word?] that complicates things.  I know that in my thinking, I have a tendancy to want to know what makes things up.  Then I want to know what makes the things that makes things up, and so on.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of other people also think that way.  

If we ever get down to the ONE AND ONLY particle that makes everything up from the ground up, we'll be left with the daunting task of explaining just where the hell the thing came from in the first place, lol.
Member Elite
since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada

3 posted 01-26-2001 10:35 AM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

Brad....I am not sure if there are sceintists that believe we can't go father then an atom but I do know that quantum physics broke away from conventinal physics because of limited thinking is this aspect. (Mind you I have limited resources behind me and that is the reason I started this tread. I'm looking for information.   )

Roger Penrose's book explores theories reguarding where the personality or soul of a human lives in the body. He talks about basic brain function and possiblities. The brain is such a complicated organ and there is so much that go on in our grey matter. The importance of electrolite balance.....snyaptic (electrical) function etc. It is absolutely fascinating and difficult to completely grasp (as a beginner

frac....I have not read that particular book but I will get my hands on it. I have not completely gone through "Shadows of the Mind" because of the fact that I don't grasp everything. I enjoy exploring these sorts of things but I seem to have a problem finding anyone who shares an interest. when you don't have anyone to share what you are learning it is difficult to balance some of the ideas the books inspire.
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA

4 posted 01-26-2001 12:08 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Most scientific "discoveries" are achieved because something occurred which could not be explained with the then current scientific theories. That prompts scientists to experiment, searching for the underlying explanation. New or extended theories are postulated then experiments are undertaken trying to determine whether those new theories can be disproven. If they prove to be incompatible with observed results then new postulates are formed and the process begins again.

If, however, scientists cannot devise experiments which disprove the theory then it is accepted as the "current fact." This, of course, does not mean it is really a fact, only that it cannot be disproved with currently available technology. By now, I suspect most, if not all, scientists accept the premise that current science is just theories and that eventually exceptions will be found for every rule. These exceptions will then lead to other new or expanded theories which will lead to new experiments to test their plausibility.

The Greeks had no way to see the need for atomic theory. There was nothing in their knowledge based which could not be explained without it. Similarly, 100 years or so ago, there was no evidence that something smaller than the atom was indicated. Then I think it was actually after WWII that experiments indicated Protons, neutrons and electrons had to be made from smaller bits, so quarks were postulated. Subatomic physics has moved on beyond that now but the subject becomes pretty mind-boggling.

I think the never-ending nature of scientific discovery and advancement may be apparent from this discussion. I don't believe we will ever know the true nature of the universe or the physical makeup of matter or atoms or anything else, when broken to its smallest possible building blocks. But I also don't believe that such knowledge is essential. It would be interesting to know but surely not necessary.

It is our nature, however, to be inquisitive. I feel confident that we will continue to press for more knowledge and understanding of our environment (in the overall sense) even though we understand that we will probably never know everything.

Well, I guess I got off the subject a bit there but that's my $0.02 worth.


Imagination is more important than knowledge
Albert Einstein
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