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Author Archives: Rag

God the Creator and Designer

The Christian doctrine of creation declares that the reason there is something and not nothing is because God created something ex nihilo, out of nothing, and that is what it means to say that God is the Creator. This is the primary creation, since the secondary creation such as the birth of new organisms occurs ex aliquo, out of something.

Did God create a mere something, that is, an entity with no identity, a whatever, a primordial blob? Or did God create and design a particular something, an entity with identity? Read the first verses of Genesis again:

1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Creation ex nihilo gets us to verse 3, with its deep, formless void and nonspecific light. After that, God is the Designer, separating and naming.

Some theologians consider design to be beneath God, as if the Divinity were merely a Platonic demiurge. But God created a particular something, which is described in terms of creating and designing rather than a single create-and-design action. We should accept the distinction between Creator and Designer, whether we separate them or not.

The theological significance of Design has been underappreciated. But it makes a difference whether the creation is made into distinct entities and kinds or is only a mass differentiated by degrees. The differences between plant and animal food and sacrifices, for example, only make sense if plant and animal are different kinds of organisms. Above all, the difference between humans and other creatures is essential to the significance of the fall and redemption of mankind.

Classical creationism underestimated the extent of within-kind variation. Modern evolutionism makes the opposite error and vastly overestimates the extent of variation. Some scientists are developing a middle position, despite much opposition, that combines natural kinds with substantial variation and adaptation. Such a moderate view is quite consistent with the biblical Creator and Designer.

Geography and democracy

I’ve written about this before, here.

The old monarchies are as much about a geographic region as they are about a people. There is a strong identification of people and place. It’s the king of France, not the king of the French, though both are correct. The patriotic song God Save the Queen (or King), is as much about the land as the people who happen to live there. A monarchy is a geocracy, we could say.

A democracy, in contrast, is about people, with their location secondary. There is an openness about the boundaries of place, or even the limits of the electorate, in a democracy. The more people, the merrier, as in universal suffrage. Political liberals (or left-liberals) emphasize democracy. The more liberal U.S. Democratic Party supports more open immigration, and has the best support in large population centers.

Conservatives are the heirs to monarchy and landed gentry, while supporting democracy. But what is there between monarchy and democracy, the land and the people? In earlier times there was suffrage based on land ownership, a form of limited democracy. Nowadays, there is a division of population based on the land, such as what separates every nation. The U.S. Senate is based first on geography, and second on democracy. The combination of geography first and democracy second could be called geodemocracy. The more conservative U.S. Republican Party has greater support in the Senate and in more rural states.

The U.S. Constitution combines democracy and geodemocracy. The House of Representatives is a democratic institution, but the Senate, as noted, is a geodemocratic institution. The Electoral College for the election of the President preserves this combination. In this way the Constitution is a centrist document, combining elements of conservatism and liberalism.

Einstein exchanged

Albert Einstein’s book Relativity: The Special and General Theory was originally published in German and translated into English in 1920. In the second chapter he introduces “The System of Co-ordinates”. The following post gives Einstein’s text followed by a revision that exchanges length with duration and space with time. First, Einstein’s text, with alternative wordings in square brackets:

End of Chapter I – If, in pursuance of our habit of thought, we now supplement the propositions of Euclidean geometry by the single proposition that two points on a practically rigid body always correspond to the same distance (line-interval), independently of any changes in position to which we may subject the body, the propositions of Euclidean geometry then resolve themselves into propositions on the possible relative position of practically rigid bodies.

Chapter II – On the basis of the physical interpretation of distance which has been indicated, we are also in a position to establish the distance between two points on a rigid body by means of measurements. For this purpose we require a “distance” (rod S) which is to be used once and for all, and which we employ as a standard measure. If, now, A and B are two points on a rigid body, we can construct the line joining them according to the rules of geometry; then, starting from A, we can mark off the distance S time after time [again and again] until we reach B. The number of these operations required is the numerical measure of the distance AB. This is the basis of all measurement of length.

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Intellectual hierarchies

Societies have an intellectual hierarchy reflected in their academic hierarchy that exhibit their scale of concepts and values. There are basically three groups of intellectual disciplines: the study of divinity (theology), the humanities, and the sciences. There are six possible ways of ordering these three, which shows the intellectual state of a society.

(1) Theology, humanities, sciences: This is the medieval and Renaissance order.

(2) Theology, sciences, humanities: This is the early modern order, which is deistic with scientific realism.

(3) Humanities, theology, sciences: This is the conservative Catholic order, which is humanistic and traditionalist.

(4) Humanities, sciences, theology: This is the liberal Catholic order, which is humanistic with scientific realism.

(5) Sciences, theology, humanities: This is the conservative Protestant order, which is scientistic with theological realism.

(6) Sciences, humanities, theology: This is the late modern order, which is scientistic and humanistic.

Order number (1) is the proper one because it places the highest truth (God) first, then humanity second, then the world after these are properly understood.

Deep time postulate

This subject was previously mentioned, e.g., here.

James Hutton proposed introducing deep time into modern science in 1788. In the early 19th century it was accepted for the geologic time scale. Biologists followed with Darwinism in the late 19th century. Astronomers accepted it to explain cosmology.

What’s wrong with the deep time postulate (DTP)?

The DTP is a large expansion of explanatory resources. It may be compared with explaining crimes by assuming that everyone has access to a large amount of cash. That may make it easier to explain crimes, but such an assumption leads to poor quality explanations.

Similarly, the DTP makes scientific explanations easier, but not better. The more time there is, the more time that one has to fit all the events that might have happened to bring about some state of affairs. But easier does not make better.

This is most egregious in evolutionary biology, in which the possibility of the extremely unlikely happening becomes seemingly more likely the more time there is. It leads to the evolutionary imagination running riot with possibilities. Such a science turns away from what actually occurred.

The DTP invents a whole history that is discontinuous with history based on documents and testimonies. Such a time is not the time of memory but of calculation. It obscures the difference between science and history. History seeks key particulars, whereas science looks for universals. It will not do to replace history with science, as the 19th century ideologues tried to do (Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx).

Science is based on induction, not explanation. The slow accumulation of evidence, the incremental formation of hypotheses and laws, and experimental testing are the hallmarks of science. Grandiose postulates are contrary to this careful effort. The DTP should be rejected.

Objects and subjects in motion

An object is stable. A rock is an object. Water is an object if it is in a container. A rigid rod is an object.

A subject changes. A person is a subject. Air is a subject since it keeps moving. A clock is a subject.

The grammatical subject and object are distinguished in a sentence, though they both may be things. For example, “The rock rolled down the hill.” Both the rock and the hill are things, that is objects, but in the sentence the rock is the subject and the hill is the object.

Objects are acted upon. A predicate is required to go with an object. An object apart from a sentence is a thing, something passive.

Subjects are active. A verb is required to go with a subject. A subject apart from a sentence is still a potential change agent.

Space is like an object and time is like a subject. If we start with objects and then discuss their motions, we are beginning with the passive objects of space and then adding the active subjects of time. If we start with subjects, we get their motions, too, and may then bring in the objects of space. That is beginning with an active time and adding the passive objects of space.

A reference motion must be active and so include a subject. A comparative motion is passive in relation to the reference motion and so must include an object.

Bodies and things may be subjects or objects, though many are usually one or the other. The difference is in whether they change or move. An object need not move. A subject is usually moving.

Objects are in space. Subjects are in time. Space never moves. Time always moves.

Moving bodies in space and time

Let us compare the motions of two bodies. Let the motion of one body be the reference motion. Let the motion of the other body be the comparative motion. Let the two bodies begin together at one place.


A place is the general term for an answer to Where? A point-place, or simply a point, is the smallest place. A translation is a vector from one point-place to another. Travel distance is the arc length of the trajectory of a motion, which includes any retracing of the trajectory.

Space and time refer to different perspectives of the universe of motion.

Space is the locus of all potential places for the comparative motion, which is said to be “in space.” Displacement is a translation vector from one point to another point of the comparative motion. The travel distance from the beginning point to the ending point of the comparative motion, is the travel length for a motion in space.

Time is the locus of all potential places for the reference motion, which is said to be “in time.” Distimement is a translation vector from one point to another point of the reference motion. The travel distance from the beginning point to the ending point of the reference motion, is the travel time for a motion in time.

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Balancing contraries

Other posts on contraries include this.

Contrary opposites entail one another. There is no north without south or tall without short, for example. Some things such as sex are contraries in some respects but not in all respects.

Contrary opposites are symmetric. Contraries can be reversed or inverted, and they are still there. Since mirror opposites do not necessarily exist, mirror images are not contraries, though they exhibit a symmetry.

Because contraries entail one another and are symmetric, it is arbitrary to always prefer one to the other. One could just as well prefer the opposite contrary.

Contrary opposites can be unified into a higher perspective that contains them both. Unification is an expanded position that incorporates contraries.

Contrary opposites can be balanced in a duality that resists unification. A static equilibrium or dynamic harmony favors contrary opposites equally.

Ancient science prefers static contraries in balanced duality. Modern science prefers dynamic contraries in progressive unification.

Replicating time

In mathematical finance, a replicating portfolio for a given asset is a portfolio of assets with the same properties. Here we replicate time through motions that have the same properties as time.

Step 1. Consider the motion of a rigid body A with a translation and a rotation around the same axis, such that the translation and rotation begin and end together. Measure the displacement of the translation as a multiple of the rigid body length along the axis. Count the number of rotations and any fractional rotation of the rigid body. The assertion here is that the quantity of rotations is a measure of the distimement, that is, the duration of motion around the axis of rotation.

Step 2. Separate the motion of rigid body A into a translation of rigid body B and a rotation of rigid body C such that the displacement of B and the distimement of C are the same as the displacement and distimement of A in step 1. Then the displacement of B is a measure of the displacement of A, and the distimement of C is a measure of the distimement of A.

Step 3. Construct an independent clock as a rotating rigid body that matches the rotation of rigid bodies A and C but runs continuously. Note the marking on the clock when rigid bodies A and C start and stop moving. The quantity of rotations between the start and stop is equal to the duration of motion of rigid bodies A and C. The reading on the clock is a measure of scalar time.

Conclusion. In order to generalize this the clock needs to move at a constant rate that is standardized for all clocks. Then allow another rotation so that the motion of translation and rotation replicates any rigid body motion per Chasles [shahl] Theorem of kinematics.

Chasles [shahl] Theorem states: Every rigid body motion can be realized by a rotation about an axis combined with a translation parallel to that axis. (Reference)

The independent clock generates a scalar time because it is not associated with any axis or direction. If the clock is associated with an axis of motion, then it generates a vector time, just as a rigid rod along an axis generates a vector length.

All theories are limited

This post continues previous posts on this topic, such as here.

Once a theory becomes established, it is always valid. It is never falsified. What happens is that its limits are discovered. Any pretense to being universal breaks down.

All theories are limited. Theories are analogies, and all analogies have limits. It is the scientific fashion to initially present a theory as universal, but this is a manner of speaking, not to be taken literally. No theory is universal because all theories have their limits.

When the limits of a theory are known, it is what Werner Heisenberg called a closed theory. An open theory is one whose limits are not known. It may be considered universal, even though it is not. But until its limits are known, no one knows its limits so it’s as if there are none. Eventually, limits will be found.

This means for example, there are three valid theories of the figure of the earth: the flat earth, the spherical earth, and the ellipsoidal earth. Each is valid within a certain domain of accuracy and precision.

There are several valid theories of the celestial bodies: simple geocentrism, Ptolemaic geocentrism, Copernican heliocentrism, Tychonic geoheliocentrism, Keplerian heliocentrism, Newtonian barycentrism, and Einsteinian cosmology. They are all valid within their domain of applicability.

Several theories of biological diversity are valid: fixed species, fixed kinds with limited change, and change over time (evolution). None of these are universal. They all have their limits.