cosmic and natural laws

... are they actually "made by man"
or just discovered and named?     



last april i was reading an editorial in a magazine of that date when i was brought to a full stop -- not just taken aback. this was one of the top-level science news magazines, read by thousands of science enthusiasts as well as professionals. and it was telling me outright that laws of nature, long thought to have been sustaining the conditions for life on this planet, were not created by whatever cosmic truth underlies nature. they were made by the race of homo sapiens, which evolved into residence here about a million years ago.

i was frankly unable to decide at first whether the key words i objected to were to be taken literally. if so, thousands of readers would surely be left with the "teaching" that there are in actuality no laws of nature; there is merely a tradition of calling them that. but, it was said, in truth every one of such laws were compiled, tested, described, and had their names approved by mankind -- which is to say, by authority of science. i decided this was expected to be taken literally.

bold words along the lines of these:... human-made...a construct that is wholly human...constants made by man...nothing natural about natural laws. ideas such as these do not suggest tentative positions but solidly established tenets.

"when a scientific subject remains 95% mystery, the independent writer's main problem is how to retain a semblance of sanity."...c.bartleson,1956


on one of our home pages it is announced for all to see that metaparticles and its generators are not affiliated with any sort
of organization... philosophical, religious, scientific, commercial, fraternal, or educational.
  (so we are not taking sides in what follows. disputes or not, i have a secret for keeping cool in updates like this. the secret is my wife's cat-spray bottle, for cats who scratch on window screens. she simply watches me for signs of hyperbole and sprays my back.)


i have managed to think of a scenario in which the stand taken in that editorial might be justified. we begin with a late-era hominid. he is a fish lancer in a northern climate. when he returns to the communal cave one evening he has only four fish, and explains it is because there is too much ice floating in the water.

this often happens with fishermen over the next millennium. they always have the same excuse: ice floating in the water. but the time eventually comes when the tribal chief happens to be the curious type. in fact he is the gene-daddy of many future scientists. he muses over the floating ice phenomenon and forms an hypothesis: maybe ice always floats in water. (except in unfavorable environmental conditions.) (summer)

now "ice floats" is only part of a law, but it's convenient to use in making a point. "ice floats" becomes a rule, or rubric. so do a hundred or so other important bits of knowledge. when writing is invented, detailed information on these rules piles up in the scribe huts.

the scientific urge blossoms further when the data gets organized. later the categories are given more or less appropriate names. the subject is known as laws of nature for centuries. finally it all becomes so traditional that a certain ideation starts germinating in individuals and groups here and there.

this is where a possibly true and humanly understandable supposition comes in. the idea is still vague; it slips gradually into unspoken agreement. i don't believe much scientific analysis plays a part. by contemporary times the scientific subconscious might be suggesting thoughts like these:

"look at all the 'laws of nature' we now list as 'natural laws'. it's traditional. but cutting-edgers should no longer think in traditions. science did the observations, determining what materials are involved and how they relate. it's science that has the lengthy job of empirical testing; that doesn't come as a function of nature. everyone in experimental work knows the rules, the laws; they're standard knowledge and don't depend on fantasies."

"actually, you know, the natural laws concept is not contributing anything new to our progress nowadays. we've done the research, the classifying, created the literature and particularly the mathematics. lately the term we've been using is physical laws. what's natural about them? did science just naturally get to where we now are? we made the physical laws. the whole idea of laws was initiated by science. i say so-called natural laws are really human constructs. we just don't need the traditional habits or the old paradigms, in view of our new findings and expectations."

(spray time.)


science's current view of the universe focuses on extended spatial possibilities to be defined as data is accumulated.

astronomers continue to add new vistas to the vastness of space, once thought totally empty. space itself is now thought to be something like a multi-level container for invisible but material realities. perhaps these consist of concentric ranges or "world-fields", existing as a continuum made of ultra-small particles.

when discovery techniques bring such possibilities into the purview of science, it is sure to be found that natural laws are in control there as they are in the universe we now deal with. it is suggested there will come a time to set apart, categorically, all laws whose controlling presence must necessarily include all of space. for if not already known, it will eventually be seen that in order to impose their effects, such "universal laws" must maintain constant and intimate contact with the substances they keep in order. my best guess is that laws are consequently not physical but hyperphysical. if thought and will are the immediate tools for the creation of laws...what keeps them created?

this would mean that pervasive, universal laws -- such as equilibrium, separation, entropy, contrast (or opposition), etc., must all co-occupy space without interfering with each other. you may agree a situation like that is easier to dismiss than to dwell upon. but it is futile to believe that such situations can be avoided. laws are essential to the comprehension of existence; each law keeps its own order in whatever it pervades, or there would be no use for it, as there is no use (that we non-scientists recognize) for chaos. therefore each universal law* presents for possible analysis its functional necessities. if these are unwelcome to our minds in this epoch, their force will surely continue without our assistance. (which is lucky for us.)

*as distinct from specific, attributive "laws" on the order of "ice floats" and "black holes have event horizons".

to understand how universal laws actually operate should be a matter of equal concern with who or what caused them to exist.

since i chose to challenge the threatened eclipse of natural laws occasioned by the idea they were produced solely by human minds, i feel uneasily obligated to show good reason why the same should, and i believe could not happen to universal laws. but it may seem superfluous -- particularly since i am flatly unable to obtain a clue relating to how such laws operate. and that barely suggests how inaccessible the prospect appears. granted of course that science abounds with intellect far surpassing mine, it may at least speak something about the difficulty involved when i admit -- metaphysics, superphysics, hyperphysics and all -- that i have completely failed to get any hold whatsoever upon this problem.

therefore, may i be brash enough to ask: what man or woman, or what assembly of human beings, past or present, can claim to have "made" such a law?

the "we are not alone" reminder

does anybody owning collegiate robes for special occasions believe that we, here, the immature blossomings of ice-fishing spearmen, are the only intelligent beings to be found in roughly ten billion galaxies?

all i can say to any of you who may be frowning is that you must be real world-class longshotters. let's suppose this is 2206 instead of 2006 and the longshotters have lost. our scientists are in touch with other scientists (wearing different robes) in at least l8 star systems.

the subject of the laws of nature comes up. what, pray tell, would be your remarks? is a convocation of the earth's scientists going to endorse a statement that all "natural, universal, and cosmic laws" were devised and put into effect by the inhabitants of one small, damaged planet in a galaxy near andromeda?

but don't worry, you other nonprofessional readers. our scientists will not claim that any kind of natural laws originated with their grandfathers. you can depend on their wisdom in such a circumstance. after all, some of those aliens from the l8 galaxies might claim their grandfathers did it.



is it definite, then, that the laws of nature
are entirely constructed by human beings?

it is not at all definite in my mind, but perhaps it is in others. what is definite is that the scientists who prefer to think that way will continue doing so as long as they wish. as for what has been discussed about it in this update, one might say all we have done is show how such a choice could be seen as an explainable option. as long as they stick with "made by man" and leave creation out of it.

i would like to close with a couple of questions:

within say 50 years (global warming willing), cosmology, astrophysics, and bigger colliders should be able to present particle physics with convincing evidence that a continuum of hypermatter does exist, mostly in the space surrounding the earth. i fortunately will not be here to remind science that those little nano-points should turn out to include the missing "greater poles" of metaparticles. (instead of which physics now has to get along with intrinsic angular momentum.) question: will somebody kindly live long enough to bring this up with the proper savants? (it will no doubt still be best not to mention my name; this was "just in an old download" you ran know?) thanks.

_  _  _  _  _  

could it be real that in some hapless scientific paper or other i read the phrase "law of random"? that's almost as bad as organized chaos.... law of random?? (spray!)  i certainly hope i did not read that. the very words are enough to make one scratch the window screen without benefit of cat.

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