Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Implications of ZENO

The implications of ZENO

We all observe movement about us, and that is one of the constants of nature.

Indeed it may be argued that perception itself, is relativistic and that we can only perceive change.

However Science presumes laws which are changeless; for example the Newtonian laws of motion.
Essentially seeing changelessness as underpinning that change. That we can change because of some constant underlying.

This is Zeno revisited. (*1)
That if we assume a divisible reality then we get into problems with regard to movement and change. And that therefore there must be some unchanging indivisible thing underlying. And this understanding explains movement as an unfolding, much like the current space time continuum concept.

What is interesting is that whilst Science perceived changeless Laws as underpinning reality, it also sought the indivisible nature of things- the atoms, which by definition were the smallest indivisible units of matter (prior to them becoming a circumscribed list of elements from which all matter was composed). Science answered Zeno both with indivisibilty, and with an underlying continuum.

And of the two pronged attack into Zeno's dilemma, it is the search into the quantum nature of things that has really challenged our understanding of the indivisibilty of a natural continuum; that the experimenter is equally part of any experiment; in the philosophy of Science, that every experiment is theory laden.

This clearly shines through in the double split experiment where we see what we want to see, even that is after it has happened. (*2)

An idea that resonates with the Islamic conception of reality; "I am as my servant thinks of me" a Hadith Qudsi in which GOD speaks directly to man of His relationship with His servants, us. That those who say that God's hands are tied, God's hands will be tied for them. And those that see the generosity of God, God becomes generous to them.

Do we, then, make our own reality?
Even that is within the familial, social and societal levels of existence.
The Hadith Qudsi talks of the individual level of man's relationship with his Lord. But does this hold true at our other levels of existence?

Interestingly I recently had a conversation with a good Christian friend about the concept of a borderless World; a One World, so to speak. And I did not know till that time the depth of belief that he held in the essentially evil nature of man. Original Sin as a belief caused him to justify borders on the basis that people are essentially thieves, murders and bandits. When it was put to him that borders were an effective means of control against the poor people of developing Nations, but exerted no control over the rich people of the developed Nations, he was non-plussed. His view was challenged since the flow of evil was shown to be a one-sided affair. But more importantly his worry of One- World being an enactment or foretunner to an Anti-Christal Prophesy, showed me him in a new light. For whilst we both derided the gung-ho red-necked gun lobby of America, I could well imagine him in such a setting. For does not that Iobby feverently defend the right to carry guns as a means of exerting a curb on the power of the Feds (for them perhaps a forerunner to a one World government)? And could not the evil of action, and reaction, that underpins much of World Politics be lain at the door of such a belief in the essentially evil nature of man?

Whilst we Muslims regard Islam as being a Deen ul-Fitra, and that every man is born on that Fitra, and in his true heart yearns for it. That people are essentially good and wish to believe in a Good God. But when they wrong, they wrong themselves first. They are the ones to be pitied.

And is it not true that-
What goes around, comes around?
That,
You reap what you sow?

And does not the Qur'anic declaration reverberate with our souls:
"Does man think that he will be left alone and not be tried?"

That we each make our Worlds, and at the end of it, will be judged on those Worlds that we perpetuated?

Notes,
*1 Zeno's theorem was a thought experiment that stated that movement is composed of a infinite sum of steps, and is therefore impossible since it would take an infinite time to perform such. Each movement is precluded by a movement to half that distance, and even for that movement, and so on.
*2- for "double split experiment" please see Wikipedia entry.


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Location:London

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