The man who invented physics
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Jonathan Ainsley Bain forum physicist
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The man who invented physics
The man who invented physics was a bloke called Claudius Ptolemy and he lived 2000 years ago in Egypt. Ptolemy was a very clever chap and he devised a methodology for physics which survives right up until the present day and has been elevated into a high art form. In honour of Claudius I’ve added a new word to the lexicon of science by adopting the somewhat modern practice of turning nouns into verbs. This is my new word:
Epicycle (to) v.t. To attempt to prop up an absurd hypothesis with one or more supplementary hypotheses of escalating absurdity.
In my philosophy I often refer to physicists as epicyclists and to many this may seem a little unkind. I see it as a simple act of vengeance in retaliation against the fact that physics in its hubris has wilfully ignored millennia of human wisdom by attempting to pass off a mathematical extravaganza of spectacular virtuosity as a science.
The master epicyclist proceeds from an assumption about the nature of the physical universe and then proceeds to model this assumption mathematically. It makes no difference what the assumption is as long as it remains mathematically consistent and the master epicyclist has numerous strategies at his disposal to ensure that this consistency is maintained.
“Mathematics can be used to prove anything”....Albert Einstein.
Once the epicyclist has created his mathematical model he then proceeds to make observations and devise experiments in search of evidence to support his original assumption. This is a very ingenious trick because evidence is nothing more than raw data, which leaves the epicyclist ample room to interpret this data in such a way that it accords with his original assumption. In philosophy this is called tautologous reasoning, or rationalising, but it is remarkably effective because it means that his model is only required to confirm his own understanding of it without any reference to the truth value of his original assumption. In the event that his experiments and observations reveal data which fail to comply with his model the epicyclist has a range of options available to him. He can embellish his model with an unlimited suite of supplementary assumptions as long as they can be made to comply mathematically with his original paradigm. However he has a further masterstroke up his sleeve which should make any philosopher reach for his hemlock. In order to ensure that any new evidence remains consistent with his model the epicyclist assumes the right to invent whatever mathematical constants he pleases in order that his original assumption will continue to be validated at all costs. These constants are simply derived from his own interpretation of his own observation so the circularity of this method is both foolproof and selfevident. Nevertheless the entire house of cards that is modern physics is held together by this fragile mathematical glue and the epicyclists in their arrogance are pleased to call this knowledge.
By and large logicians have a very poor opinion of the epicyclist's methodology but the hubris of this priesthood is legendary. As they construct their exquisite mathematical edifice it doesn’t matter a jot to them if the models they devise are describing a universe which makes no sense. So tautologously perfect are these models in their mathematical consistency that the committed epicyclist would prefer to redefine what making sense means rather than consider the possibility that his original assumption might be bullshit.
Ptolemy can be justifiably proud of the legacy he left to the world but Manny Kant would probably raise a suspicious Teutonic eyebrow.
Epicycle (to) v.t. To attempt to prop up an absurd hypothesis with one or more supplementary hypotheses of escalating absurdity.
In my philosophy I often refer to physicists as epicyclists and to many this may seem a little unkind. I see it as a simple act of vengeance in retaliation against the fact that physics in its hubris has wilfully ignored millennia of human wisdom by attempting to pass off a mathematical extravaganza of spectacular virtuosity as a science.
The master epicyclist proceeds from an assumption about the nature of the physical universe and then proceeds to model this assumption mathematically. It makes no difference what the assumption is as long as it remains mathematically consistent and the master epicyclist has numerous strategies at his disposal to ensure that this consistency is maintained.
“Mathematics can be used to prove anything”....Albert Einstein.
Once the epicyclist has created his mathematical model he then proceeds to make observations and devise experiments in search of evidence to support his original assumption. This is a very ingenious trick because evidence is nothing more than raw data, which leaves the epicyclist ample room to interpret this data in such a way that it accords with his original assumption. In philosophy this is called tautologous reasoning, or rationalising, but it is remarkably effective because it means that his model is only required to confirm his own understanding of it without any reference to the truth value of his original assumption. In the event that his experiments and observations reveal data which fail to comply with his model the epicyclist has a range of options available to him. He can embellish his model with an unlimited suite of supplementary assumptions as long as they can be made to comply mathematically with his original paradigm. However he has a further masterstroke up his sleeve which should make any philosopher reach for his hemlock. In order to ensure that any new evidence remains consistent with his model the epicyclist assumes the right to invent whatever mathematical constants he pleases in order that his original assumption will continue to be validated at all costs. These constants are simply derived from his own interpretation of his own observation so the circularity of this method is both foolproof and selfevident. Nevertheless the entire house of cards that is modern physics is held together by this fragile mathematical glue and the epicyclists in their arrogance are pleased to call this knowledge.
By and large logicians have a very poor opinion of the epicyclist's methodology but the hubris of this priesthood is legendary. As they construct their exquisite mathematical edifice it doesn’t matter a jot to them if the models they devise are describing a universe which makes no sense. So tautologously perfect are these models in their mathematical consistency that the committed epicyclist would prefer to redefine what making sense means rather than consider the possibility that his original assumption might be bullshit.
Ptolemy can be justifiably proud of the legacy he left to the world but Manny Kant would probably raise a suspicious Teutonic eyebrow.
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