2 of 2
2
The boundaries of things
Posted: 01 July 2007 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

The IBM thing really blurs the boundaries because, given that gold conducts, you will get a very different result if you look at the same thing using three different SPM techniques.  Scanning tunneling microscopy will give you one size of the atoms, Atomic Force microscopy a slightly larger size and if you attach a molecule of Buckminster fullerene to the tip and use an appropriate tunneling current you will see an entirely different shape defining the atom’s boundary than if you just use STM.  And all three are sort of right, simultaneously.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 July 2007 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  142
Joined  2007-06-17

1) Our perceptions create objects out of reality which are representations, not the things themsleves.

Yes.

2) As such, our representations cannot be said to be the true essence of the things (their Ideal Form).

Not exactly.  There is no true essence of things outside our representations (concepts, ideas, etc.), because “thing” is another way of saying “object of thought”.  There are no “things” other than when we make “things” by objectifying some part of the whole, and there are no eternal and perfect Ideas or Forms other than those we conceive (i.e., invent) ourselves.

3) However, this is not equivalent to saying the things we perceive have no intrinsic existence apart from our perceptions, for of course they do. We simply have to take our perceptions/concepts as the best available representation while still being careful not to confuse the representation with the thing itself.

Yes, except with 2 taken into account.  “A rock” is real independently of my calling it a rock, but not as a rock.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 July 2007 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  65
Joined  2007-06-19

Isnt a single atom an “ideal form”? When IBM spelled out its initials in gold atoms on a crystal lattice, the atoms lined up in absolutely (and I do mean that literally) perfectly straight lines.

IIRC, it was Cerne who showed that when paired photons are sent down fiber optic cables in opposite directions 50 km apart, they both do egzactly the same thing at egzactly the same time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 July 2007 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  142
Joined  2007-06-17

In idealism or realism an ideal form, sometimes called an Idea or Form (usually capitalized to distinguish them from the usual meaning) is never materially real.  Material reality is an imperfect, transient copy of these eternal forms.

“An atom” is not an ideal form, it is a model.  An atom is not an ideal form, is is a bit of stuff we distinguish from the rest of the universe that we model using “an atom”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2007 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  65
Joined  2007-06-19

Now, it looks like you are trying to change the definition of “atom”. Which I spoze, IBM did when it manipulated atoms one at a time on a crsystal matrix. But this is just one of many examples of recent experimental results challenging the conventional view, ever since the Greeks, of what passes for reality.

Space was always considered infinitely divisible, and infinitely large. But not any more.

They can create a chain of atoms, and run a charge from one end to the other of that chain, and they will all line up in an absolutely perfect straght line. It kinda fuzzes up the boundary issue. There is no doubt where the line is, and it is not infintessimally small. It has all the characteristics of the perfect boundary, but you can run a charge thru it, so it has a physical presence.

Free will is on the same slippery slope, We know a single nerve impulse can avalanche into a torrent which in turn triggers entire images in the mind. And we also know that such an impulse can be triggered by a cosmic ray hitting an atom on the surface of the dendrite. Seems that ideas really do hit people.

It dont make sense to damn people to hell cause they were hit in the wrong way.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2007 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4080
Joined  2006-11-28

And we also know that such an impulse can be triggered by a cosmic ray hitting an atom on the surface of the dendrite

Do we know this? Or did you just make this up because it sounds true to you?

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2007 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  65
Joined  2007-06-19

One of the problems with radiation, which includes cosmic rays, is that the impact messes with the biochemistry by altering the structure of atoms, and therefore compounds, and therefore the ionization or lack thereof, which are involved not only in how a dendrite fires, but the communication and replication of cells all over the body.

I dont think you need to find a study, just think about it. That a cosmic ray would have enough of an impact on any given dendrite is remote, but the sheer number of dendrites gives pause for thot.Dendrites are often so hair triggered that they appear to fire off randomly; so ask yourself, what could be more random than a cosmic ray? The signals between dendrites have been represented as electrical discharge. Which we know is the result of changes in ionization, and we know that the impact of radiation, both cosmic rays, but also local, as radon, can change the ionization of atoms. If that atom is on the surface of a dendrite, then there you go.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2007 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4080
Joined  2006-11-28

Sure, cosmic rays do sometimes hit neurons, and they may damage them. But your suggestion was that they strike the neurons and induce electrical activity which then leads to a cascade resulting in a coherent thought. You then implied this has something to do with free will. It is this whole chain of events that I think is highly unlikley.

Whether a complex thought can arise from an action potential in a single neuron is debatable. But even if this is true the way ion channels in the neuronal membrane work it is highly unlikley that a cosmic ray would impact a neuron in a way that would open a sufficient number of channels to change the membrane potential of the neuron leading to depolarization and an action potential that then propagated to other neurons. You suggestion is an example of basing a broad conclusion in philosophy or ethics on a poor, incomplete, or inaccurate understanding of the scientific principle from which you are extraolating. It is important to have the facts right in your initial theory, and then to develop evidence that the chain of events you hypothesize actually happens. Otherwise, you end up basing your argument on plausible sounding nonsense

[ Edited: 03 July 2007 05:11 PM by mckenzievmd ]
 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2007 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

There are all sorts of events, chemical and physical, that can affect the firing of a particular neuron.  I’m going to make an assumption just as unjustified as yours, daybrown, but probably more plausible.  Computers would have the same problem of introduced random signals, so a fair amount of redundancy is built in.  Thus, when a signal sent doesn’t agree with the other signals of the reduncancy, it’s ignored.  My assumption is that animal brains would be of little use if they kept reacting to random events, so reduncancy is built into the neural structure, too.  As such, I believe we can ignore such things as causes for aberrant behavior.

Occam

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2