Is electromagnetism god?

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Is electromagnetism god?

 I just started a biology 101 class a few weeks ago. It started with atoms. As far as my understanding goes atoms react the way they do due to the electromagnetic force. They go on to form bonds based on polarity, these bonds combine to form more complex bonds, until you have life. It seems that everything can be attributed to polarity. Does this seem like an accurate statement? Is my understanding correct? And does anyone know what causes polarities? What dictates that an electron will have a negative charge and proton positive?

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marshalltenbears wrote: I

marshalltenbears wrote:

 I just started a biology 101 class a few weeks ago. It started with atoms. As far as my understanding goes atoms react the way they do due to the electromagnetic force. They go on to form bonds based on polarity, these bonds combine to form more complex bonds, until you have life. It seems that everything can be attributed to polarity. Does this seem like an accurate statement? Is my understanding correct? And does anyone know what causes polarities? What dictates that an electron will have a negative charge and proton positive?

I hate the title of the thread. I know you are looking for a natural explanation for what is. But this is the problem. I think it is wrong to keep the word "god" because it comes with so much superstitious baggage.

That word needs to be KEPT in the same way we rightfully put Thor and Isis in the category of bad claims. It is a relic of our ignorance which should be kept around like the Holocaust museum should be kept around to remind us what not to do.

It is OK to say we don't know. Theists would argue if that is the case, then you cant rule out "god".

Yes we can rule out this absurdity. Because the over all motif of the "god" word is that a human like being without a body or brain with magical powers exists.

Just because we don't have all the answers doesn't mean that our NATURAL wishful thinking won't lead our species to falsely fill in the gap with a human like super hero.

The word god needs to be treated like the plague in reference to reality and only used in the context of Harry Potter.

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 maybe I should change the

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

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against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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marshalltenbears

marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

No worries. I get it. As much as I love Sam Harris, his fascinations with Buddhist meditations drives me nuts knowing he is an atheist.

My point is there is no control. There is a language scientists use to describe our observations.

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marshalltenbears

marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

 

As far as biology is concerned, electromagnetic forces typically govern interaction.  There are four fundamental forces: strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity.   For various areas of nature various forces dominate.  Gravity is really weak in particle physics, but obviously strong on the astronomical scale. 

 

Atoms are formed by EM, strong, and weak forces.  I can't really offer an explanation as to why electrons they have the charge that they do, but I can tell you that positrons are the counterpart of electrons, i.e. same mass, same spin, opposite charge.  Positrons are a the electrons of antimatter.


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v4ultingbassist

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marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

 

As far as biology is concerned, electromagnetic forces typically govern interaction.  There are four fundamental forces: strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity.   For various areas of nature various forces dominate.  Gravity is really weak in particle physics, but obviously strong on the astronomical scale. 

 

Atoms are formed by EM, strong, and weak forces.  I can't really offer an explanation as to why electrons they have the charge that they do, but I can tell you that positrons are the counterpart of electrons, i.e. same mass, same spin, opposite charge.  Positrons are a the electrons of antimatter.

That is something I have no expertise on. But, I don't think it takes Einstein to know that the the claim of the Egyptian sun god Ra was total bullshit.

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Brian37 wrote:That is

Brian37 wrote:

That is something I have no expertise on. But, I don't think it takes Einstein to know that the the claim of the Egyptian sun god Ra was total bullshit.

 

Haha, yes.  Definitely.  At least most theists have narrowed it down to one god. (though the christian trinity is a confused method of obtaining monotheism... lol)


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Well Einstein had a concept

Well Einstein had a concept of god that pretty much came down to “the universe and how it works”. That idea is fairly close to the question in the OP. Certainly, that god does not care what you do with your dick (except if you put it in a light socket. Then the electromagnetic god will have an opinion and you may be lucky enough to know the consequences before you die – or not).

 

That much having been said, yah, the electromagnetic force is the only one that you need to pay any attention to on the level of biology or chemistry. Past that, the idea that electrical charges come in integer units is kind of borked on lower levels. Sure, electrons and protons have -1 and +1 respectively.

 

However, it turns out that on a lower level, a charge of 1/3 seems to be basic.

 

Realistically though, that is just because scientists grabbed the idea of integer charges before they knew about quantum dynamics. So you could call the smaller charge the basic unit and the math would still work out right.

 

High energy physics experiments find lots of stuff that is not fully explained but for common use, all matter is composed of three particles.

 

Electrons with a -1 charge.

Up quarks with a +2/3 charge.

Down quarks with a -1/3 charge.

 

Neutrons are composed of Up/Down/Down which sums to 0.

Protons are composed of Up/Up/Down which sums to +1.

 

If you really wanted to carry the logic through, the the electron would have a charge of -3/3. It doesn't really matter though. The math still works out just fine either way.

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Electron theory

 

Even in it's more obvious forms isn't entirely understood so I think Marshall et al are right in suggesting that the nature of EM may be integral to life at a molecular level. I like to think the 'rules' that empowered the development of life are hidden somewhere in the nature of molecules and are waiting for us to recognise them. Of course the harder we look at them the more unusual the molecular bits and bytes of life seem to become. It's a fascinating area of study.

 

 

 

 

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Aside from what's already

Aside from what's already been written so far, I'll just say that no, EM is not the only force to consider. They all come into play, though in different ways. Just like days are not the only measures of time, since there are also years (seasonal cycles) and milliseconds (many cellular processes, such as nerve impulses).

The nuclear forces are what determines the type of atom, be it Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, or other. So, they are relevant even to chemistry/biology, although they are usually treated as constants, but not always (radiometric dating of fossils, for instance, or radiological medicine such as X-ray or MRI (remember when it was called NMRI, and the N stands for Nuclear; they took it out because it sounded scary to the public, but it doesn't change the fact that nuclear forces are relevant to this technology, even if most of the work is done by giant magnets).

Next, who can honestly afford to ignore gravity in their life? I mean, seriously, think about it for a second.

[Edit: Must have been late. I was thinking about nuclear medicine (injection of radioactive materials, and detecting the radiation from inside the person), and for some reason wrote about x-rays. I guess they're sort of related (often a non-radioactive contrast agent is injected to help get better x-ray images), but x-rays themselves are entirely EM-based.]

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marshalltenbears wrote: if

marshalltenbears wrote:

if electromagnetism controls everything

 

A crash course in particle symmetry:

 

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marshalltenbears wrote:Is

marshalltenbears wrote:

Is electromagnetism god?

According to esotericism yeah, sort of. (I ought to know) Strong nuclear force, gravity and weak nuclear force is the holy trinity, and electromagnetism is one of attributes of weak nuclear force. This was relatively recently confirmed by scientists, when they unified the two forces.

It annoys me a little how in that Marquis' video they call vacuum 'nothingness.' Nope, vacuum is much greater somethingness than all matter and energy of visible and tangible universe. Most of the mass property of atoms comes from there, and who knows what else - the basic forces themselves, I think. I wonder when scientists will discover a natural principle by which atomic matter dissolves back into the primal vacuum. If there will be any scientists by then.

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If M-Theory pans out you'll

If M-Theory pans out you'll want to try worshipping gravity instead.  M-Theory attempts to derive electromagnetism (as well as pretty much everything else) from gravity.

 

Also, don't forget the strong force that binds the nuclei together.  Sure E-M governs all the bonding between atoms and molecules, but the atoms themselves wouldn't exist without the strong force.

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Zaq wrote:If M-Theory pans

Zaq wrote:

If M-Theory pans out you'll want to try worshipping gravity instead.  M-Theory attempts to derive electromagnetism (as well as pretty much everything else) from gravity.

 

Also, don't forget the strong force that binds the nuclei together.  Sure E-M governs all the bonding between atoms and molecules, but the atoms themselves wouldn't exist without the strong force.

Yep, the strong force is the highest one. Without atomic nuclei there would be no mass, no space-time curvature, no decent gravity on macroscopic level. According to esotericism, it gives rise both to gravity and weak nuclear force, which further gives rise to four other related forces, including electromagnetism. 

I don't know if you care about esotericism enough to be interested in details. Suffice it to say, that according to it these forces all undergo periods of relative activity and inactivity and they bring many characteristic associated phenomena in and out of manifestation. Mostly cultural phenomena, which includes both periods of increased faith and increased rational thought. This esoteric understanding things as a whole takes any student's mind away from emotional worship towards complex study and figuring out what the hell does that paragraph mean.

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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

No worries. I get it. As much as I love Sam Harris, his fascinations with Buddhist meditations drives me nuts knowing he is an atheist.

My point is there is no control. There is a language scientists use to describe our observations.

But Brian37 Buddhism is atheistic...just a very primitive and pre-scientific atheism.

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TGBaker wrote:Brian37

TGBaker wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

No worries. I get it. As much as I love Sam Harris, his fascinations with Buddhist meditations drives me nuts knowing he is an atheist.

My point is there is no control. There is a language scientists use to describe our observations.

But Brian37 Buddhism is atheistic...just a very primitive and pre-scientific atheism.

I have an issue with a common Buddhist practice, that I had heard about, then witnessed in practice in SE Asia (either Thailand or Laos, or both, not sure now).

This is where they put birds in small cages, then for some money they let people free the birds to get Karma points.

It reminds me of medieval Catholics selling indulgences.

Buddhist teaching is also way too obsessed with suffering, IMHO.

OTOH, many sayings attributed to the original teacher are very enlightened, especially for the period, and would not be out of place in a serious free-thinking, sceptical context.

I also enjoy remembering when we accepted some offerings from some Buddhist monks, while we were sitting at a table in the grounds of a temple in Thailand - actually second-hand offerings from the morning parade, stuff they didn't particularly want, such as packets of crisps....

Stephen Hawking seems to think gravity is the boss, based on his documentary on the history of the Universe I watched recently.

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BobSpence1 wrote:TGBaker

BobSpence1 wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

 maybe I should change the name of it. I didn't mean that literally. I meant it in a sense of asking if electromagnetism controls everything. 

No worries. I get it. As much as I love Sam Harris, his fascinations with Buddhist meditations drives me nuts knowing he is an atheist.

My point is there is no control. There is a language scientists use to describe our observations.

But Brian37 Buddhism is atheistic...just a very primitive and pre-scientific atheism.

I have an issue with a common Buddhist practice, that I had heard about, then witnessed in practice in SE Asia (either Thailand or Laos, or both, not sure now).

This is where they put birds in small cages, then for some money they let people free the birds to get Karma points.

It reminds me of medieval Catholics selling indulgences.

Buddhist teaching is also way too obsessed with suffering, IMHO.

OTOH, many sayings attributed to the original teacher are very enlightened, especially for the period, and would not be out of place in a serious free-thinking, sceptical context.

I also enjoy remembering when we accepted some offerings from some Buddhist monks, while we were sitting at a table in the grounds of a temple in Thailand - actually second-hand offerings from the morning parade, stuff they didn't particularly want, such as packets of crisps....

Stephen Hawking seems to think gravity is the boss, based on his documentary on the history of the Universe I watched recently.

Hi Bob.   There are a lot of issues I have with Buddhism  myself but as you point out the tradition seems a head of its time.  I think if you take a historical critical approach to Buddhism as employed on Christianity you do find the teaching was addressing suffering/desire but it is not so much about the external causes as the psychological state in which one responds.  That idea was detachment/compassion.  The early tradition uses gods as states of mind that prevent you from reaching enlightenment.  Buddha at the Deer Park Sermon stated I can not tell you whether there is a god, not a god or not-not god. I can tell you to follow the eightfold path and you will be where you wanna be because I got there. (paraphrase of course). There were several types of early Buddhism as well ( like Christianity it would have conflicting schools of thought). I think that Buddhism is an aproach to the fact of human suffering from a psychological perspective.  Further its philosophy in ontology and epsitemology therefore have a deeper meaning to neuroscience than any other other major brand religions.  A lot of the stuff symbols of different states found through meditation ( and I would venture psychoactives).  My position toward Buddhism is similar to that of Owen Flanagan, The Problem of the Soul. He is an author I read in my obgoing study of consciousness, Did you ever look art Dvid Chalmers work?  I see Buddhism as a body of literature that has centuries of exploring pshcological realms  mostly negected in the West.  I think Sam Harris needs a break from the criticism because of his utility of it often mistakened as practive of the religion.  The west produced a weak approach like Husserl and Heidegger ( Not that they were weak in righting by any means ) But it is in the voluminous texts of Buddhism and Hinduism that you find archeological treasure of the mind.

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TG,I definitely agree with

TG,

I definitely agree with you about Sam Harris. He does get too much flak from people seeing him as giving too much respect to the 'woo' aspects of the tradition, which he has repeatedly taken pains to explain is not what he is doing. I think he sees the strong probability that in their long exploration of the Mind from the inside, they have come up with many useful and significant techniques and insights, which should be able to be further pursued by proper empirical research.

I keep trying to convince my chat-mate Brian37 that Harris is scrupulously filtering out the 'woo' for the nuggets of 'gold' that could be lurking there.

I have skimmed a bit of Chalmers' stuff, and not entirely comfortable with his approach.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:TG,I

BobSpence1 wrote:

TG,

I definitely agree with you about Sam Harris. He does get too much flak from people seeing him as giving too much respect to the 'woo' aspects of the tradition, which he has repeatedly taken pains to explain is not what he is doing. I think he sees the strong probability that in their long exploration of the Mind from the inside, they have come up with many useful and significant techniques and insights, which should be able to be further pursued by proper empirical research.

I keep trying to convince my chat-mate Brian37 that Harris is scrupulously filtering out the 'woo' for the nuggets of 'gold' that could be lurking there.

I have skimmed a bit of Chalmers' stuff, and not entirely comfortable with his approach.

 

Yea Harris took a lot of LSD as a teenager.  His interest in Eastern thought  like mine may derive from that  activity. It obsesses him enough that he got his PhD in Neuroscience! I am not comfortable with either Dennett's approach or Chalmers.  I like Dennett better in presentation and girth. But Chalmers was a scientist that forced himself to learn philosophy in order to deal with the neglected subject of consciousness..  Chalmers' s idea of qualia is more convincing than Dennett's to me. I am a monist. The idea of a property dualism maintains only the physical but allows for a real consciousness to be a part the physical world. It is still do neurons fire consciousness or does consciousness fire neurons.  My guard about Chalmers is that being a scientist first his philosophical views are likely inherited from Wheeler, von Neuman and the Copenhagen school to continue to feed Schroedinger's Cat so to speak. I agree. The other four hourseman were uncomfortable about Harris's view that it may be possible for the mind to leave he body. But his systematic approach seems to be to address that which because it is woo dismiss without an analysis. At least with an analysis you can eventually put the horse to rest. We will see some amazing things about mind/consciousness from him in the next few years since he finished the PhD. 

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TGBaker wrote:The other four

TGBaker wrote:

The other four hourseman were uncomfortable about Harris's view that it may be possible for the mind to leave he body. But his systematic approach seems to be to address that which because it is woo dismiss without an analysis. At least with an analysis you can eventually put the horse to rest. We will see some amazing things about mind/consciousness from him in the next few years since he finished the PhD. 

What is the other psychologists' opposition to that view of Harris? People sometimes describe how their consciousness leaves their body and they see themselves, lying on surgery table, lying on bed sleeping or dancing frantically on a disco under a mix of MDMA and meth. 

I hope their response is not "people just make up lots of random stuff and so by chance some of that random nonsense is also observing their own person from the outside." Because it would have no logic. 

On the contrary, I think this is very unusual. We spend all our lives observing the world in first person. Unless they work in showbusiness, people are not used to observe themselves externally. It may be almost as awkward as hearing one's own recorded voice. We even spend our dreams in first person view. I hope the psychologists realize, that soMETHing extraordinary must be going on. Can you point me towards any resources on that debate? 

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Luminon wrote:TGBaker

Luminon wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

The other four hourseman were uncomfortable about Harris's view that it may be possible for the mind to leave he body. But his systematic approach seems to be to address that which because it is woo dismiss without an analysis. At least with an analysis you can eventually put the horse to rest. We will see some amazing things about mind/consciousness from him in the next few years since he finished the PhD. 

What is the other psychologists' opposition to that view of Harris? People sometimes describe how their consciousness leaves their body and they see themselves, lying on surgery table, lying on bed sleeping or dancing frantically on a disco under a mix of MDMA and meth. 

I hope their response is not "people just make up lots of random stuff and so by chance some of that random nonsense is also observing their own person from the outside." Because it would have no logic. 

On the contrary, I think this is very unusual. We spend all our lives observing the world in first person. Unless they work in showbusiness, people are not used to observe themselves externally. It may be almost as awkward as hearing one's own recorded voice. We even spend our dreams in first person view. I hope the psychologists realize, that soMETHing extraordinary must be going on. Can you point me towards any resources on that debate? 

We have plenty of third person formal reporting methods. But our First person reporting lacks a lot of formality apart from looking at Eastern thought and such pehnomenology of Husserl and Heidigger. No they are comfortable with his approach now. There are subtle implications about supernatural vs naturalin embrassing Buddhism.

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