<<< At the beginning
PHYSICS IN THE CAPTIVITY OF ANCIENT PREJUDICES
Boris F. Poltoratsky
It is devoted to Mr. Jerome
Malenfant, Senior Assistant Editor Physical Review Letters, for
refusal in the publication of a previous paper without any reviewing.
we again revisit old subjects concerning the hypotheses and dualism in natural
Let's begin with hypotheses.
In strict sense we should review them in terms
of the Information Theory, to be more exact, in terms of the Statistical
Hypothesis Testing theory.
However, the mathematical apparatus
of these disciplines is only partly adequate to the scale of the general problem.
Therefore, it is reasonable to address biology first, since the animal brain
works extremely efficient in this sense. A hound for example searches for a hare
in a wood not under every bush, but only where the prey most probably is hidden.
Each dog’s success is a criterion of the correctness of the hypotheses it
chooses. Historically, a homo sapiens was rather an object of hunting; therefore
everything is more complicated here. Before making a move, a human prefers to
plan and mentally goes through the active stage. For this purpose he is to look
over the hypotheses in advance. Their deficiency or unreliability provokes
discomfort, alarm and fear, all of them to be called in just one word: stress.
always instinctively want to avoid stresses, though. Those who were indifferent
were eaten up in prehistoric times already. So the lack of initial information
makes its impact on the subconscious level. It is important that this level of
human mentality appeals not only to poets, physicians and psychologists. It is
the long wished-for object of influence for all kinds of shamans and swindlers.
The classical philosophy used to appeal to obviously fair persons leaving this
aspect of issue unconsidered. It is obvious that such an approach is obsolete
these cynical days.
Thus we come to conclusion that hypotheses have not only a rational or logic essence to which mathematics is actually applicable, but also an irrational component, the Subconscious which is regulated by very subtle and vulnerable mental processes in the human brain. There is still no dualism here as it is a matter of just two attributes of the same object, like the color and size of a boot. The peculiarity of the human’s cognition process is that the researcher considers these attributes consistently, not simultaneously, starting with the second one. Here everything is simply and natural: as the empirical (experimental) data about a research subject accumulates, the researchers’ attention turns gradually to the quantitative aspect of an issue. Eventually, the objective should supersede the subconscious. Yet all researchers are humans, and humans are extremely different. For swindlers and demagogues, the distress caused by the loss of the activity field can become intolerable. Contradictions inevitably build up. This dialectics is easy to track using a specific example from geography, a rather simple area of the natural science.
all ancient people thought the Earth to be flat. In those days such a hypothesis
was rather convenient. It had a lot of local evidence and consequences. For
example, the ancient Chinese believed the Earth in China was not only flat but
also had some declination to the east. The fact that all the rivers flew one way
was expected to verify that. The inclination itself would be naturally caused by
the carelessness of the gods who quarreled and fought and somewhere incidentally
displaced one of terrestrial supports. Quite convincing. Ethnographically, this
talented people had quite a high level of abstract thinking. For us it is
essential that this hypothetic legend once helped this people overcome the
stress making up for the lack of important information. This state of affairs
continued to be till Pythagoras who assumed that the Earth was similar to a sphere.
Aristotle proved this true comparing the position of stars in Egypt and Athens.
One might expect the Great geographical Discoveries to have done away with the
legend. This was not the thing, though. It is only in the 21 century that the
resistance of the “Flat Earth Society” has calmed down a little. Was it GPS
that confused them? But this situation is not stable. The result is that there
is obvious duality (dualism) about the understanding of the object called Earth.
On the one hand, it is a planet with a shape conditioned by the gravitational
and other known forces. On the other hand, it is a part of an ancient legend
about a plane resting on turtles, elephants, etc. Notable is that the set of
categories, attributes and definitions used by people discussing the shape of
the Earth scientifically never overlaps the set of concepts contained in archaic
legends. It is therefore obvious, that under such conditions any comparison of
these points of view should be deprived of any sense. It would be actually one
discussion, but on totally different matters. This is the case where an
unverified hypothesis and a well-proved scientific fact can coexist infinitely
long. Also it is obvious that from the practical point of view a legend can
exist only inasmuch as it does not contradict the scientific interpretation, for
example as the flat scheme of streets of city.
Now we will discuss the consequences resulting from the geographical dualism. Below are only three of them:
Now that we have found
out the basic attributes of a dualism, it is possible to discuss the “photon”.
The hypotheses concerning the nature of light have
emerged long before the electrodynamics. The Arabian physicist Alhazen
(10th century) was the first man who stated that light is spread by beams from
radiating or light reflecting objects. Everyone agreed. However, Galileo
complicated the problem dramatically raising the question of the light velocity.
Obviously light beams were not enough to solve the problem. Then Newton assumed
that beams consisted of flying particles. This was the beginning of the
corpuscular hypothesis of the nature of light. Huygens
assumed that light spread by waves. These two hypotheses coexisted on equal
terms till Maxwell who proved strictly and ultimately with the help of
electrodynamics that light is actually electromagnetic waves. The particle
adherers did not believe Maxwell. This was the source of dualism. On the one
hand, light turns out to be electromagnetic waves, which is proved by a huge
number of experiments. On the other hand, light consists of flying particles
moving similarly to peas or shot in accordance with a hypothesis, although this
is not verified in any way. The portion-like absorption of electromagnetic
radiation must not be considered as a proof of the discontinuity of the field or
light itself or as an argument in favor of the hypothesis. Nobody actually
considers a soup a spooned or quantized matter just because it is consumed by
spoons. Nobody would categorize water as dropping just because it drips. The
same concerns the mineral oil, which is somehow sold by barrels etc. The
scientists of the beginning of the 20th century named the imaginary particles of
light as “photons” and stuck out for them as violently as the supporters of
the flat Earth.
Thus the world witnesses the wave-corpuscle dualism of
electromagnetic field (or light). The properties of this dualism are similar to
those inherent in the once prevailing geographical dualism. However, there are
also differences. First, those who support the “photons” have partially
adopted Maxwell’s theory but intentionally deformed the essence of his
equations. Second, they established control over the press and concentrated in
their hands other means and capacities some of which are far from harmless. For
example, in Russia they established a special commission at the Academy of
sciences which resembles the Cheka / United State Political Administration (OGPU)
or “Gestapo”. Discussions are absolutely prohibited.
As a result we have nowadays to deal not with the scientific community but with
a destructive sect of “photonists”.
look at the third property of the dualism. The geographical dualism is harmless
since both cosmonauts and captains of ships do not care a bit about it. However
“photons” have advanced to textbooks. The totalitarian policy of
“photonists” has yielded them their goal: they managed to stop the
development of physics at least for 100 years. There cannot be any way for a
disproved, obviously false hypothesis (legend) to be a source of truth.
There are substantial and real reasons for the violent behavior of the militant
ignorance. But sharing them would be another story.
<<< At the beginning