Re: Thoughts and Perceptions

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 16:44:26 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Thoughts and Perceptions"

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    From: Bill Spight <>
    Subject: Re: Thoughts and Perceptions
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    Dear Wade,

    > What gravity does is a fact of the universe. That we discover and define
    > and use it in any way (although, gibbons use it all the time, as do
    > birds...) is not due to any concept we hold about any fact.

    Well, sure it is. Galileo's laws of planetary motion are quite adequate
    to explain (predict) the extraterrestrial motions "caused" by gravity
    that we see. Newton altered our idea of gravity to include in its sway
    orbiting planets as well as falling objects on earth. Without his
    insight we might still have an earthbound notion of gravity. And that
    view could be just as accurate as our current one (although, perhaps,
    less parsimonious than the idea of universal gravity). But without the
    meme of universal gravity we would probably not have engaged in space
    exploration. The idea of escape velocity would not have occurred to us.

    > Gravity is there. Period.
    > Only an inaccuracy about gravity could be memetic, such as declaring a
    > cannonball will fall faster than a turnip. Or, magic tricks designed to
    > fool us into thinking there is none, such as levitation illusions.

    There are two major coexisting memes about the phenomena of gravity. One
    conceives gravity as a force, defined as energy/distace. The
    conservation of energy and momentum explains the movement of objects
    under the force of gravity or their tendency to move. But an alternate
    explanation exists by the minimization of action. Even with the idea of
    gravity as curved space-time, objects still follow the principle of
    least action. OC, the mathematics of each principle can be shown to be
    equivalent. Nonetheless, they are different memes, and their difference
    has nothing to do with inaccuracy.



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