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As an FMC member, I have attended two of your sessions.
I am interested in the prospect of time "before" the Big Bang, Time and Eternity, God's foreknowledge and man's free will, the Arrow of Time (Roger Penrose), Time Reborn (lee Smolin), and the books and papers on 'time' by William Craig Lane and J P Moreland of the Apologetics Dept. in Talbot Theol. Seminary at Biola.
But what I am really into right now is writing a paper on the King James Only (KJO) controversy. I have narrowed it down to 3 essential issues: (1 which are the best manuscripts (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic) to use--the issue of Textual Criticism'? (2 if God preserved His Word perfectly throughout the ages, what mechanisms did He use, and where in the Scriptures do we find evidence that He would use these mechanisms?, and (3 how do we deal with the very intractable problem of translation from the original languages?
I have an MA in Linguistics, and I have done field work in Brazil with an indigenous tribal people. Some translation issues I have become aware of are:
~ ancient historical translations ((Coptic, Syriac, Septuigint) have used slightly different source texts. Were these the genuine Word of God?
~ Greek-to-English translation works fairly well, because both have highly developed vocabularies, but this is not the case when translating into a language with vastly different cultural emphases and interests, and
~ Greek and English are both members of the Indo-European Families. Ancient Hebrew to English is not so good a fit. When one gets into other wildly different languages, word for word translations become impossible.
I hope to join in again in one of your classes.
I have responded here.
The medium Michelson and Morley attempted to validate seems to me to have been like a fluid through which the galaxies swim. What if they had instead looked for an absolutely real medium made up of points at rest capable of being energized and transmitting this energy pattern to the points proximate to them? A medium that could contain an energy pattern such as a photon of light, an interferometer, the Earth, or Michelson and Morley themselves? And what if the number of points in the medium was finite? Energy patterns that began as a big bang in the medium would eventually reach the "edge" of this medium. If these patterns were deflected parallel to the "edge", as I suspect, they would begin to interact with each other by means of gravity. To an observer, such as Hubble, the Doppler shift would be interpreted as straight line acceleration.
I was overjoyed to run across your blog and wonder if you would enjoy occasionally discussing this concept where what we call space and mass are caused by the energy patterns and are proportional to each other. And where the "why" of gravity can be understood as easily as the "how" was explained by Newton
I'm afraid your comments here don't make much sense to me. There are too many new terms defined in too vague of a way (e.g. "energy patterns, absolutely real"), with too little connection to what we already know about Big Bang cosmology (in which, by the way, there is no "edge" in space, but only in time). In order to construct models of cosmology which cosmologists will take seriously, you have to first learn the math of GR, and then if you want to modify the theory, you have to be able to express that modification in a similarly precise language.
I hope this doesn't come across as too mean, but I presume you wanted my honest opinion...
Dear Ken Murphy: I understand your comment.
When you say "an absolutely real medium made up of points at rest capable of being energized and transmitting this energy pattern to the points proximate to them?"
You are talking about a spacetime composed of indivisible particles, or Quanta. The Quanta transfer energy to each other in the form of momentum or radiation. It is, yes, an ether. Which is a good thing. I think there must be something in space, transferring the energy. Space is not an absolute void.
I prefer ground-state neutrinos. They are Quantum fermions with as little energy as possible. Yet they take up space. In fact they fill all of space. They transfer momentum and radiation at the speed of light.
This speed slows down (as seen by an outsider) when they are packed close by gravitational fields.
This is General Relativity, except using spacetime with a lot of little points, instead of no points. It is GR using discrete math, instead of calculus.
Most physicists reject this model, because it doesn't allow a singularity.
But I say you are right. Spacetime is a medium, not a void. I go further and say it is quantized, and the Quanta are ultrastable fermions and can not be crushed out of existence.
I don't know how many physicists you've run your model by, but I doubt very much that they reject it "because it doesn't allow a singularity". Many physicists would love to have a model that gets rid of singularities.
The reason they reject it is that you haven't done the following things: (1) write down your model in terms of equations, not just words, and (2) show mathematically that in a certain approximation, the theory can be reduced to General Relativity and/or the Standard Model, at least in those domains where they are well-tested. Unless you can do that (and I am quite sure you have not) physicists like me will not take a supposed revolutionary new theory of physics seriously.
There are a great many people who are happy to produce these crackpot theories, and we physicists can detect them in a heartbeat. We reject them not because they come from a source outside academia, but because they haven't done steps (1) and (2) above.
Again, I'm not trying to be mean here, just brutally honest.
OMG! You have honed that beautiful acerbic wit into a delicate critical blade. It's been too many years since we've last talked in our mutual office at UMD in your first graduate year. I recall the shared beauty and intensity of our discussions on Spirituality and Physics. Thank you.
I was delighted to discover this haven of theoretical physics and spiritual philosophy as I searched the web for research/commentary on discredited predictions of Loop Quantum Gravity with respect to Black Hole Entropies; it was recently but briefly mentioned in a lecture by Maldacena entitled "Geometry, Entanglement and Entropy".
Regardless, it brought me to this beautifully designed webpage bejeweled with your wonderful essays. It may take a little time, but I'll probably devour them all...Lol. I was also captivated by your Doubting Thomas artwork. Oh and by the way, congratulations on receiving your Ph.D., your marriage, your post-doc appointment and of course your move to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, my alma mater.
From our last discussions at Maryland, I've continued these same pursuits. I've only now discovered your ArXiv papers and will be taking a look at your worldline ;) My own research has me on perhaps a similar Network approach (your papers should establish any similarities) as well as a purely Combinatorial approach. And let's just say that I'd enjoy demonstrating to you that "Lorentz Invariance" can arise as a purely emergent/statistical phenomena characterized by either defects in the CFTs or Wilson Loops.
And again, it was so wonderful to discover you and your awesome page. Please contact me; I'd really enjoy catching up ;)
What a pleasant surprise! I'm very pleased to see that you're still alive, and thanks so much for all of your compliments. If you're ever in the Princeton area again, please feel free to drop by. I also remember our discussions well (though I believe they mostly occured during my 2nd year). If I may take the liberty of saying so, never before have I heard such bizarre opinions expressed with such wit and sophistication! ;-).
The "Doubting Thomas" artwork was shamelessly excerpted from a larger picture by an artist named "John Granville Gregory"; you can easily find the rest online.
As I'm sure you know, Juan Maldacena is at the IAS; I've met him several times and I'm very much looking forward to interacting with him more extensively.
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