The First Principle of Physics



Hubble Ultra Deep 4491Physics is the foundation of science, yet physics also has a foundation, a first principle. A first principle is an elementary conjecture that is the starting point for a chain of reasoning. A first principle cannot be proved. It is so elementary that its disciples interpret all evidence with their assumption without actually examining the basic premise. Today’s teachers do not formally discuss the foundational assumption of modern science because they are usually unaware of its existence.

Plato wrote, “For when a man knows not his own first principle, and when the conclusion and intermediate steps are also constructed out of he knows not what, how can he imagine that such a fabric of convention can ever become science?” [1]

The Greek philosophers debated for several generations seeking for a first principle (arche) to serve as the foundation for a natural science. The first principle of all people 2500 years ago was that everything changes. For example, Heraclitus of Ephesus proposed that nothing is permanent except change itself. He imagined that the cosmos is orderly because of change, like a bicycle that is stable because it keeps moving. Anaximenes of Melitus invented a science based on transmutations of air. He reasoned that cold air turned into clouds and water. If it compressed further, it turned into earth. Earth and water, if heated sufficiently, turned back to air. Changes in air, he reasoned, produced the changes we observe in nature.

A century later, Parmenides argued that if everything is really changing, today’s truth would not be the same in another era. Parmenides’ argument caused the other philosophers to search for a first principle about changelessness, rather than explain the cosmos with transmutations.

Plato admitted that everything changes since the beginning: genesis ka phthora. However, he reasoned that a world of ideas, forms, are unchanging and lie behind the appearance of stability. Plato’s student, Aristotle, rejected the invisible forms and argued that we must just assume that something underneath (hypokeimenon) does not change. Aristotle certainly understood that things are dynamic and interrelating. He wrote that a substance “remains numerically one and the same while nevertheless taking on varying, even contrary qualities.” [2] He even admitted that things change their form like a baby growing in the womb. He wrote, “In general, it is absurd to make the fact that the things of this earth are observed to change and never to remain in the same state, the basis of our judgement about the truth. For in pursuing the truth one must start from the things that are always in the same state and suffer no change.” [3]

Fifteen hundred years later, Catholic scholastics organized universities in Europe. At first they taught a version of Plato. Then Friar Thomas urged the church to adopt Aristotle’s system. He successfully convinced the scholastics, so that, the universities taught the Aristotelian system for several centuries. The Latin scholars translated the word ousia, (from Greek einai – to be) as – essentia. They translated Aristotle’s hypokeimenon, that which is under, as subiectum. They eventually simplified Aristotle’s difficult metaphysics (by its Latin translations) to: the essence of substance is changeless. Eventually Aristotle’s physics failed, but the Catholic metaphysics became the basic premise of Western science – that substances do not intrinsically change themselves, that the  properties of matter are NOT gradually emerging as things age.

Upon this first principle, generations of scientists constructed a great edifice. For example, they eventually came to believe that clocks measure linear time. Clocks DEFINE time using complex processes – they do not actually measure it, since no one ever detected any “time” or any of its “properties.” If the properties of matter are NOT fixed, then all local clocks would change their rates together. Despite the fact that all distant atomic clocks visibly beat a different tempo than local atoms, scientists use atomic clocks to define most of their measuring units. Almost all scientific definitions, measuring units, methods, mathematics and laws rely on the assumption that the properties of matter are intrinsically fixed. In its modern form, scientific empiricism depends on the notion that something is immutable and that it also dithers with perpetual motion.

What if atoms are not perpetual motion engines? If atoms change relationally with age, scientists could not measure that component of change with their operationally defined units. (Relational changes are parallel changes. Both sides of a balance scale would change equally so that the same items would continue to balance from year to year, if matter is changing relationally.) A first principle is the simplest assumption that is the foundation for an entire structure. Science is highly successful locally because it uses synthetic definitions and measuring units that were contrived with the one assumption. If matter is always changing as a relation, science would work locally but it could never understand the distant past.

How can we test whether the historical foundation of modern physics is valid? We can see the history of the universe at many ranges (through many eras) exactly as they looked eons ago. Primordial galaxies paper the sky in all directions, possibly trillions of them. Many ancient galaxies look like naked seeds, without extended arms. The most distant ones shine at tiny fractions of the light frequencies of modern atoms. We often see them in equally spaced chains with the center galaxy redder than the ones on either side. At closer ranges, we see individual galaxies surrounded by short tails made of equally spaced luminous globs. The globular tails are evidently the beginning stages of galactic arms. This is evident because at many ranges, in countless galaxies, we see how the globs rotated out, spread out, accelerated out as billions of galaxies grew from the insides into huge, local, growth spirals. Evidently both the atomic clocks and the star stream orbits accelerated together as matter continued to take up more space.

Not a single distant galaxy shines with the light frequencies of modern atoms. Scientists instinctively know that this is not allowed in their system. Consequently they invent a mathematical universe crammed full of magical, invisible things to discount all visible evidence that the properties of matter continually emerge. They claim that space time (an entity no one has ever detected in any lab) alters the frequencies of all light as it passes through the void. Space time must be a powerful force since it allegedly stretches the vacuum of space thereby pushing distant galaxies away at close to the speed of light. The scientific universe is allegedly 72% dark energy that pulls energy out of the vacuum to accelerate the undetectable vacuum expansion. Supposedly 84% of all the matter in the universe is invisible. The invisible stuff is necessary to force billions of galaxies to follow the laws of physics. Scientists conjecture that less than 5% of the universe is made of atoms. None of the just-so stories about a big bang, vacuum forces, light stretching, invisible holes in space, accretion of stars and galaxies from dust or invisible matter are necessary if one accepts what is visible, that the properties of matter continually emerge, change relationally. The most powerful evidence that the properties of matter are changing is how galaxies grew. Galaxies cannot grow from dense, naked objects into huge, local, growth-spirals unless the properties of matter are emerging. Unfortunately, scientists are not trained to examine their historical first principle. They simply assume it an go about mathematically manipulating the synthetic things they measure with their assumption. The picture with this article is Hubble Ultra Deep Field primordial galaxy 4491. Its light shines at less than half the frequencies of modern atoms.  Notice the reddish core that shows a lower light frequency than the emerging appendage made of distinct bluish clumps. Picture courtesy NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Evidence also exists locally against the first principle of science. A global expansion seam runs through every ocean continually expanding Earthforming new basaltic crust. The continents only fit together on a minuscule globe and the deep ocean floors were formed later than the continents. Scientists instinctively react to protect their first principle, even though they never discuss it. This is certainly why they invented subduction even before they looked for evidence. They continue to hold to subduction even after the drill cores showed layered, undisturbed sediments in the ocean trenches. (Millions of cubic kilometers of scrapped off sea mounts and piled up oceanic oozes are MISSING from the alleged “subduction zones”). How could oceanic oozes force their way into the high pressure, molten interior of the earth and vanish without a trace? How could dense basalt force its way into the molten earth without leaving volcanic vents or scarps? Evidently the primordial earth was minuscule and has continually grown in size. The gif of the growing Earth is from Michael Netzer who has released in under a CC 3.0 attribution license.

Proclus, the last of the pagan philosophers, lived in an age when there were several competing versions of science. He wrote: “No science demonstrates it own first principles or presents a reason for them; rather each holds them as self-evident, that is more evident than their consequences. The science knows them through themselves, and the later propositions through them. This is the way the natural scientist proceeds, positing the existence of motion and producing his ideas from a definite first principle. The same is true of the physician and of the expert in any other science or art. Whoever throws into the same pot his principles and their consequences disarranges his understanding completely by mixing up things that do not belong together. For a principle and what follows from it are by nature different from each other.” [3]

Look at the deep vistas of the ancient universe and you will be able to visually test the first principle of modern science.

[1] Plato’s Republic Book 7

[2]Aristotle’s Metaphysics Book II Part 6  Translated W.D. Ross 1923

[3] Proclus A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s Elements translation by Glenn R. Marrow Princeton University Press 1970 page 62 .


Biblical Creation without Science