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Gravity

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Nirvanam
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Gravity

#1 Post by Nirvanam » October 17th, 2010, 2:33 pm

I have been thinking a lot about this term, gravity during the last couple of weeks. It was triggered when I was watching the 'End of the Universe' program on History channel. The astrophysicists were explaining about the universe expanding and what they term 'dark energy' is responsible for the same.

I tried to find more info about gravity but just could not find much info about how gravity works. So obviously my mind is entertaining the idea that gravity is a pseudo (coincidence is that astrophysicists are able to explain the other 3 primal forces as just diff manifestations of the very primal force but yet to determine gravity is also just a manifestation). Given this I thought maybe we are confusing gravity to be a diff force when it is already explained by some other force. I know this is blasphemous but so far the info I have gained is the following -

What is gravity? = Force of attraction between two objects
What is the amount of attraction? = The formula for gravitational force
Why gravity exists? = probably not answerable or comprehendible by human mind. Its just like why are atoms made of electrons, protons, neutrons? Just coz...they just are or say why nuclear forces exist? they just do (different from what nuclear force is).
How does gravity work? = here's where I am finding the problem. Logic tells me that any sort of interaction or communication between two objects happens because they are transferring data/information. Absence of such an exchange is absence of interaction. Sun heats up the Earth because they interact (interaction is heat energy / heat particles (i.e. data/info) sent from sun to earth). So what is that data that is being transferred between two objects that claims to be gravitational force? I remember reading somewhere the word graviton..but I am not sure maybe I am just hallucinating about that word.

Another aspect on gravity...they say gravity is a very weak force but it acts over mind-boggling distances. Has there ever been any experiments done to verify this or is it still in the realm of conjecture.

I am embarrassed about this one because I forgot to get it clarified in school...to be honest the thought didn't even occur to me till a couple of weeks ago. I'll sound very stupid here. When I was in school I was taught that tides/waves in the oceans were caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. Teacher said so I believed her until this silly thought came to my mind 2 weeks back. If moon's gravity is able to pull the ocean up by say a foot, then it should also have the same effect on other earthly bodies too right? So why don't we see rocks, river water, us, other animals, birds, etc being pulled up? Surely I won't be heavier than 3 or 4 buckets of the water in the ocean. Its a very silly question :redface: but it has been bothering me for the last 2 weeks..help!

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getreal
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Re: Gravity

#2 Post by getreal » October 17th, 2010, 4:54 pm

Well, I may be being really stupid here, too, but your statement
Logic tells me that any sort of interaction or communication between two objects happens because they are transferring data/information.
doesn't sound right to me.

as for the gravitational force of the moon being responsible for the tides, AFAIK this is correct andf it does have an effect on everything (though usually too small to be seen. Gravity even haveing an effect on a cup of tea!)

I can't explain these things on scientific terms because physics is a complete mystery to me, but if Brian Cox says it is so, I believe him.

He wrote his book, which you would, I'm sure, find informative.
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grammar king
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Re: Gravity

#3 Post by grammar king » October 17th, 2010, 6:09 pm

The way it was explained to me (something to do with M Theory I think, can't quite remember who explained it to me) is that if we think of a fifth dimension and imagine that being a trampoline, and then you put a bowling ball in the middle of the trampoline, then other objects will be drawn closer to it, looking at it from a 2-dimensional perspective. Somehow, matter bends the fifth dimension in a way which from our perspective appears to draw objects together.

Nirvanam
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Re: Gravity

#4 Post by Nirvanam » October 17th, 2010, 7:22 pm

getreal wrote:Well, I may be being really stupid here, too, but your statement
Logic tells me that any sort of interaction or communication between two objects happens because they are transferring data/information.
doesn't sound right to me.
I know it'll be difficult to specify, but you can try to see what doesn't seem right here...maybe if u try defining what would be right that thought direction may help unlock whats hidden in your mind.

On the interaction part...just consider yourself as an object in the universe...now imagine the interaction you are having with other objects in the universe...do you detect some info transportation/transfer in all those myriad interactions?
getreal wrote:as for the gravitational force of the moon being responsible for the tides, AFAIK this is correct andf it does have an effect on everything (though usually too small to be seen. Gravity even haveing an effect on a cup of tea!)
That's what...I am sure it is having an impact on us. But...oh god, I just realized while trying to complete this sentence...this may open the doors to astrology saying 'see we told ya the moon and other heavenly bodies influence your lives'. But if moon's gravity is influencing water, then it necessarily must influence us after all we are 90%(70?) water! And even if we are not water, if moon's gravity works on the oceans then it must influence everything else on Earth.
getreal wrote:I can't explain these things on scientific terms because physics is a complete mystery to me, but if Brian Cox says it is so, I believe him.
I think that's where the problem is...and I don't mean this to show you in a lesser light, I am saying this moreso because I know I am guilty of the same...I know all of us are. Its human nature, we tend to invest faith (pardon me for using that word but could not think of a more appropriate one) in some things/people/ideas than others. My teacher taught me something...I trust her and therefore I believe she can't be wrong. More recently I see Hawking propose a theory and I accept it because it comes from Hawking (o these days its Michio Kaku...he is me fav). I have come to a realization in the last few years that don't give the advantage of greater intelligence or disadvantage of lesser intelligence to any other human being. Believe them at your own peril. They may be right but unless I apply my mind to understand it and detect the logic in it I'll be in no position to feel that I am knowledgeable about the subject.

In fact I notice, reading Hawking, watching Kaku and other physicists, their woo is way more wooey than what we think is woo. Imaginary time? Straight out of Vedic concept of multiple realities. Quantum theory (wave-particle dual behavior the act of observing makes the particle 'real') very close to ancient esoteric teachings that thought (observation) causes reality (particle being observed not the wave function). And the best part is that these guys don't even have any pretence to deny that their concepts match some of these ancient teachings. So I am brought back to the same place...whom do I trust? Therefore my increasing skepticism about everything. I start with default 'pseudo' status these days, which is kinda bad.

Oh here's a big example of how we invest in faith in things/people. Now this might come as a shocker...Richard Dawkins implies Jesus was a Historical figure!!!

Edit - added 'transfer' in the second sentence

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Re: Gravity

#5 Post by Nirvanam » October 17th, 2010, 7:32 pm

grammar king wrote:The way it was explained to me (something to do with M Theory I think, can't quite remember who explained it to me) is that if we think of a fifth dimension and imagine that being a trampoline, and then you put a bowling ball in the middle of the trampoline, then other objects will be drawn closer to it, looking at it from a 2-dimensional perspective. Somehow, matter bends the fifth dimension in a way which from our perspective appears to draw objects together.
Yep I kinda understand that part...have seen the earth on a matrix bending it down CGI thing in all these programs...lol. But that is the symptom/effect of gravity. It's not explaining how gravity works. It is saying that, because there is gravity the space curves around a celestial body (also the other one they keep showing is the gravity-lens...observing a far away galaxy which is behind a closer galaxy...that galaxy appears slightly off-center coz of light bending). However, it does not explain how is the communication happening between these two bodies...it is telling us that because of some info exchange light has bent..what is that info exchanged, they haven't explained.

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Re: Gravity

#6 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 1:04 pm

Nirvanam wrote:
getreal wrote:Well, I may be being really stupid here, too, but your statement
Logic tells me that any sort of interaction or communication between two objects happens because they are transferring data/information.
doesn't sound right to me.
I know it'll be difficult to specify, but you can try to see what doesn't seem right here...maybe if u try defining what would be right that thought direction may help unlock whats hidden in your mind.

On the interaction part...just consider yourself as an object in the universe...now imagine the interaction you are having with other objects in the universe...do you detect some info transportation/transfer in all those myriad interactions?
Getreal, did that experiment work? Would you believe that any interaction in the universe between two objects necessarily requires transfer of data/info?

Folks, what are your thoughts about gravity. I find the theory about Gravity extreme woo. Here are some reasons -
a. Gravity is comparatively very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very weak wrt say electromagnetic force or nuclear force yet our physicists claim it has an influence over humongous distances...u know distances like our sun with the central sun of our galaxy, etc.
b. We don't know how Gravity works and yet we say our Universe can be explained by gravity. All arguments I have seen go this way - "gravity holds the universe because the universe is held together by gravity". Forget the fact that the same physicists who argue this point also say that gravity explains hardly 10% of the universe.
c. gravity causes attraction because gravity causes attraction. No explanation as to how the attraction happens. For example - in case of formation of matter there is a very clear cut understanding of the phenomenon - example is H2O - two Hydrogen atoms which are positively charged combine with one Oxygen which has 2 electrons which are negatiovely charged. Opposite charges attract is the natural law (forget why it is so...we may never know...it just is just coz the sapience intended it to be that way...it did not happen accidentally).

This moon attraction of Earth is leading one to establish a fundamental contradiction in belief systems. If gravity is causing water to rise in the oceans then, the astrologists are right...heavenly objects influence our life. But since Astrology is woo, Gravity also must be woo. Unless of course we can find a suitable explanation to say one is woo and one isn't which hasn't been put forward and I suspect can never be explained.

An interesting aspect of History is that human civilization has never boxed materialism and spiritualism separately until about the late Medieval period. It is possible that the late Medieval period scientists were forced to box them separately because Western way of life was way too superstitious...they did not even know the Earth was like a ball and that it was just a planet in the solar system, which was just a star system in a huge galaxy. But increasingly I find that with the open mindedness of modern people there is slowly that union-ness between matter and spirit happening again. It can only be good for us. Anyway more about that later...let us go step by step. Let us uncover each box to become aware of the inbuilt contradiction which makes our current boxes woo based on our general understanding of what is woo. Gravity is one such box in a series of boxes I endeavor to open...will make my case on 'evolution is a random occurrence' woo pretty soon. In the end I just hope it can make my understanding of things (and hopefully others' as well) much better with the arguments here and in the process if I am making a fool of myself so be it.

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Re: Gravity

#7 Post by Nick » October 21st, 2010, 3:16 pm

Nirvanam wrote: This moon attraction of Earth is leading one to establish a fundamental contradiction in belief systems. If gravity is causing water to rise in the oceans then, the astrologists are right...heavenly objects influence our life. But since Astrology is woo, Gravity also must be woo. Unless of course we can find a suitable explanation to say one is woo and one isn't which hasn't been put forward and I suspect can never be explained.
I'm in no position to give you any satisfactory explanation to your post, but I can comment on the above paragraph.

Heavenly objects do theoretically exert a force on a human. However, because of the immense distances involved, and because (IIRC) gravitational effect decreases (squared) as distance increases, the stars and planets have no practical effect on humans through gravitational pull. There is more gravitational force between two people standing next to each other than between any human and (say) Jupiter.

Though it is possible that people born at different times of year may have different characteristics (though I don't know of any research on that) there is absolutely zero evidence that differing characteristics are attributable to the stars and planets. The gravitational pull of Mars is definitely not warning me to be careful of dealings with a friend, or any such nonsense!

Astrology is definitely woo; gravity can be measured and predicted with extreme accurancy, though how it works is not fully understood. It is perfectly OK for there to be an unknown in science. It is where an evidence-less answer is supplied that it becomes woo.

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Re: Gravity

#8 Post by getreal » October 21st, 2010, 4:18 pm

Nirvanam, I am not saying that because scientist X says something it must therefore be true, and I agree that we must be catious of giving credence to people merely because of their age or the letters after their name.

What I am trying (rather ineptly) to say is that no one can be expert on everything and there has to be an element of common sense in this. I gave the example of *Brian Cox because he is an expert in his field and is very well respected by other physicists and what he tells me (in his wonderful documentaries) seems logical and sensible to me. Compare that with Andrew Wakefield (the doctor who claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and gut problems and autism). He was making wild claims, based on one pice of work he did (later completely discredited ) and no one else in the field of immunology seemed to agree with him. It didn't make any sense at all to me and of course we all knowthe rest.

Ben Goldacre covers this topic in his book Bad Science. I think perhaps I have already recommended the book to you. :D

*of course the fact that Bian is easy on the eye has nothing whatsoever to do with this. :wink:
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Re: Gravity

#9 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 4:22 pm

Nick wrote:I'm in no position to give you any satisfactory explanation to your post, but I can comment on the above paragraph.

Heavenly objects do theoretically exert a force on a human. However, because of the immense distances involved, and because (IIRC) gravitational effect decreases (squared) as distance increases, the stars and planets have no practical effect on humans through gravitational pull. There is more gravitational force between two people standing next to each other than between any human and (say) Jupiter.
Not sure about that until I solve the equation. Let's see - two men 75 kilos each stand 5 kms from each other in scenario one, and say you and me stand 5000 kms in scenario 2 (India England) and you and Jupiter are 900 million Kms (approx distance between Earth and Jup).

Jupiter's mass = 1.8987*10to the power 27 Kgs

Scenario 1, Gravitational Force = m1*m2 / distance*distance
F = 75*75/5*5 = 225 Kg/Km.sqr

Scenario 2,
F = 75*75/5000*5000 = 0.000225 Kg/Km.sqr

Scenario 3,
F = 75* 1.8987*10to the power 27 = 1.75806E+11

Myth Busted!
Nick wrote:Though it is possible that people born at different times of year may have different characteristics (though I don't know of any research on that) there is absolutely zero evidence that differing characteristics are attributable to the stars and planets. The gravitational pull of Mars is definitely not warning me to be careful of dealings with a friend, or any such nonsense!
I dunno how Astrologists practice in the west. But reading the ancient Indian texts it is very clear that Astrology was not a separate discipline...Astrology and Astronomy were one and the same...the underlying belief is that planetary and star influences although exist on animate beings, they cannot override the entity's own choices. They cannot control an entity's destiny. An entity's destiny is in his hands. Of course that is not the way Astrologists present it because u see they need to make a living and they make their living thru gullible population.
Nick wrote:Astrology is definitely woo; gravity can be measured and predicted with extreme accurancy, though how it works is not fully understood. It is perfectly OK for there to be an unknown in science. It is where an evidence-less answer is supplied that it becomes woo.
This equation alone tells you there is more than enough evidence for the effect of planets on humans.

Anyway the main point is, that if Astrology is woo then everything we know about Gravity is woo. No two ways about it, Nick...seriously just look at the Mathematics behind this.

It is only recently that intuition and examination have been explicitly split in Human consciousness...blame the Abrahamic religions for this but there is always something to be learned in any philosophy. They may not be exact sciences the way we EXPECT our modern sciences to be but they have some base. If people have just imagined this then they are more superior than the regular 21st century Human when it comes to intelligence. It takes amazing mental abilities to be able to theorize such things.

Anyway the main point, again is that if Astrology is woo then everything we know about Gravity is woo.

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Re: Gravity

#10 Post by Nick » October 21st, 2010, 4:37 pm

Nirvanam, I said 2 people standing next to each othernot 5kms, or 5000 kms apart.

Atsronomy and Astrology were once pretty much the same in the West too. However, they are now separated into science and woo respectively as we discovered more.

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Re: Gravity

#11 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 4:42 pm

getreal wrote:Nirvanam, I am not saying that because scientist X says something it must therefore be true, and I agree that we must be catious of giving credence to people merely because of their age or the letters after their name.

What I am trying (rather ineptly) to say is that no one can be expert on everything and there has to be an element of common sense in this. I gave the example of *Brian Cox because he is an expert in his field and is very well respected by other physicists and what he tells me (in his wonderful documentaries) seems logical and sensible to me. Compare that with Andrew Wakefield (the doctor who claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and gut problems and autism). He was making wild claims, based on one pice of work he did (later completely discredited ) and no one else in the field of immunology seemed to agree with him. It didn't make any sense at all to me and of course we all knowthe rest.
I think, just like how you have a tendency to accept already established theories, I have a tendency to study theories that potentially alter our knowledge of the universe. This is because I have a belief that modern science...well not exactly modern, but more of established western science is possibly a 7th grader compared to some other scientific methods that Human civilizations have had who possibly are graduates. Modern science...actually I should stop using the word modern...because modern science is shedding its irrational theoretical basis of only tangible things. Lemme call it western early 20th century science...it has closed itself to one faculty of the human mental system and therefore it can never come close to the understanding that a mental system, which uses both faculties can...fortunately late 20th and 21st century science is correcting that mistake. It is understandable why such a philosophy was adopted by the then scientists...because of the church.
getreal wrote:Ben Goldacre covers this topic in his book Bad Science. I think perhaps I have already recommended the book to you. :D
Actually I feel the worser science is to ignore half the mental system that we have with us.

In fact, almost all theories of the 20th century arose from the intuitive faculty of human mind...no one could see the atom yet they theorized its existence...it was woo then it is science now. If one whole faculty of human mind when we have 2 faculties is asked to shut up...then that is bad science. I hope this book does not go that way.
getreal wrote:*of course the fact that Bian is easy on the eye has nothing whatsoever to do with this. :wink:
Lol! I know...concepts that a good looking chick presents stay with me longer...lol lol lol lol lol.

See in any case, every new theory will always always find opposition from peers. Why? Because peers have more to lose than the proposer. Most proposals get killed and the proposer is ostracized from the community for just thinking different...it is such a mad world, the scientists world. Until Einstein theorized the world accepted Newtonian gravity. Until Rutherford and Schrodinger proved, the world accepted Einstein's theory. The expanding of knowledge has only one way to go for us...increase...so it is pointless to stick to any theory as final.

On this topic, if gravity exists then astrology ain't woo. Either that, or Gravity is woo...I believe the latter is probable...it could just be that Gravity is a manifestation of the 3 other forces which have already been proved to be manifestations of the primal force. In any case, even if Gravity itself does not exist as a separate force, there is nothing to say astrology is woo unless of course we have faith in someone who says it is woo hence it is woo. See the equation I solved in response to Nick...it was cross posted with yours.

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Re: Gravity

#12 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 4:53 pm

Nick wrote:Nirvanam, I said 2 people standing next to each othernot 5kms, or 5000 kms apart.
Lol Nick...are you serious here...I mean just make a guess what the difference will be. Anyway here it is...I'll take it as 1 meter for next to each other...u have the equation so you can compute it for any other distance you like

m1*m2 / d.sqr = 75*75 / 1*10tothepower-3*1*10tothepower-3 = 5625000000 kg/km.sqr << 1.75806E+11 kg/km.sqr

Myth remains busted!
Nick wrote:Atsronomy and Astrology were once pretty much the same in the West too. However, they are now separated into science and woo respectively as we discovered more.
It has lot more to do with western societal control by church and the fact that their own understanding of the universe was stone age compared to other parts of the world.

In the 3rd millenium BC egyptians built Pyramids...how did they lift those stones 50 mts in the air, it is not possible to know (don't believe your crackpot Historians saying they ferried them across miles on wooden logs and by sheer human strength lifted them and placed them so high...I'll believe it if they can at least do one exercise and pull it off successfully for proof of concept reasons). I have much better explanations for this.

Look at the Mayan and SA civilizations - they built megalithic structures so beautifully that you can't insert a blade between two stones...no mortar used!!!!! What precision! We can't do it with modern technology.

Look at Indian sciences...they are the fathers of all technology and sciences. They established the age of the universe, the concept of multiple universes, the unbelievable accuracy of time measurements like revolution time of planets around the sun, some 10 milleniums ago.

Anyway I digress, the main point - if astrology is woo then gravity is woo.

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Alan H
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Re: Gravity

#13 Post by Alan H » October 21st, 2010, 6:24 pm

Nirvanam wrote:
Nick wrote:Nirvanam, I said 2 people standing next to each othernot 5kms, or 5000 kms apart.
Lol Nick...are you serious here...I mean just make a guess what the difference will be. Anyway here it is...I'll take it as 1 meter for next to each other...u have the equation so you can compute it for any other distance you like

m1*m2 / d.sqr = 75*75 / 1*10tothepower-3*1*10tothepower-3 = 5625000000 kg/km.sqr << 1.75806E+11 kg/km.sqr

Myth remains busted!
Where did the universal gravitational constant disappear to? It makes more sense and is more intuitive to calculate the force in Newtons rather than kg2km-2.

G = 6.6726 x 10-11 N-m2/kg2

The force between two objects is:

F = G x m1 x m2/r2

Therefore (and sticking to SI units), two masses of 75 kg, 1 m apart exert a force of just under 4 x 10-7 N on each other.

Two 75 kg masses 5,000 m apart exert a force of 1.5 x 10-14 N.

A 75 kg mass and Jupiter exert a force of 1.17 x 10-5 N.

Now, the force exerted by Jupiter is certainly larger than that of another person 1 m away, but this is still a very small force. Indeed, it is utterly swamped by the attractive force to the earth on which we stand (750 N). The attraction to Earth is over 60 million times that of Jupiter.

Also, if we want to consider the effect of Jupiter on us, then we must also consider the effect of, say, a 200 tonne object 10 m away or every 2 tonne object 1 m away (which give the same attractive force as Jupiter).
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Re: Gravity

#14 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 7:19 pm

Alan H wrote:
Nirvanam wrote:
Nick wrote:Nirvanam, I said 2 people standing next to each othernot 5kms, or 5000 kms apart.
Lol Nick...are you serious here...I mean just make a guess what the difference will be. Anyway here it is...I'll take it as 1 meter for next to each other...u have the equation so you can compute it for any other distance you like

m1*m2 / d.sqr = 75*75 / 1*10tothepower-3*1*10tothepower-3 = 5625000000 kg/km.sqr << 1.75806E+11 kg/km.sqr

Myth remains busted!
Where did the universal gravitational constant disappear to? It makes more sense and is more intuitive to calculate the force in Newtons rather than kg2km-2.

G = 6.6726 x 10-11 N-m2/kg2

The force between two objects is:

F = G x m1 x m2/r2

Therefore (and sticking to SI units), two masses of 75 kg, 1 m apart exert a force of just under 4 x 10-7 N on each other.

Two 75 kg masses 5,000 m apart exert a force of 1.5 x 10-14 N.

A 75 kg mass and Jupiter exert a force of 1.17 x 10-5 N.

Now, the force exerted by Jupiter is certainly larger than that of another person 1 m away, but this is still a very small force. Indeed, it is utterly swamped by the attractive force to the earth on which we stand (750 N). The attraction to Earth is over 60 million times that of Jupiter.

Also, if we want to consider the effect of Jupiter on us, then we must also consider the effect of, say, a 200 tonne object 10 m away or every 2 tonne object 1 m away (which give the same attractive force as Jupiter).
Thanks Alan, I forgot to include the gravitational constant. But as your calculation shows the impact that Jupiter has on a human being is more than what another 75 kg object has over a human being who is 75 kgs when the object is 1 meter or 5 kms or 5000 kms away.

Of course the influence of Jupiter on Earth will be more than the influence of Jupiter on me and you. But that isn't the contention, is it? The contention is very straightforward - if astrology, which works on the theory that heavenly bodies influence us, is woo, then necessarily gravity is woo too. I don't know how anyone can argue against this. Saying Jupiter's gravity has more influence on Earth does not prove anything other than 'Jupiter's gravity has more influence on Earth than 75 kg object'...now how is that proving astrology is woo but gravity isn't, is beyond me. Although I don't think you were trying to argue that at all.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Gravity

#15 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 21st, 2010, 7:56 pm

Nirvanam wrote:Of course the influence of Jupiter on Earth will be more than the influence of Jupiter on me and you. But that isn't the contention, is it? The contention is very straightforward - if astrology, which works on the theory that heavenly bodies influence us, is woo, then necessarily gravity is woo too. I don't know how anyone can argue against this. Saying Jupiter's gravity has more influence on Earth does not prove anything other than 'Jupiter's gravity has more influence on Earth than 75 kg object'...now how is that proving astrology is woo but gravity isn't, is beyond me. Although I don't think you were trying to argue that at all.
I'm sure Alan wasn't trying to argue that, because it wasn't what he said! He wasn't talking about the effect of Jupiter on the Earth, but about the effect of the Earth on us! But the only effect he was talking about was gravitational force. Astrology is woo, not because it is based on the idea that certain heavenly bodies have a gravitational pull on us, but because it is based on the idea that certain heavenly bodies have an effect on us at the "moment" we're born, depending on their position at that moment, and that that effect outweighs any effect that the Earth itself has on us, or that the hospital building we're born in has on us, or any other close, massive objects have on us; and that the effect is not just a force acting on our physical bodies, but is on our very nature, our personalities, our abilities, our temperaments; and that the effect is something that will last for our entire lives, and will have an impact on the direction our lives will take, and the things that happen to us; and that all those things about our personalities and the things that happen to us can be predicted, on the basis of the position of those heavenly bodies at that "moment" of birth. I am convinced, Nirvanam, that it is not beyond you to see the difference.

Emma

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Re: Gravity

#16 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 8:30 pm

Although I am not arguing for Astrology I'll anyway address some questions...the larger point is that of Gravity.
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:I'm sure Alan wasn't trying to argue that, because it wasn't what he said! He wasn't talking about the effect of Jupiter on the Earth, but about the effect of the Earth on us! But the only effect he was talking about was gravitational force. Astrology is woo, not because it is based on the idea that certain heavenly bodies have a gravitational pull on us, but because it is based on the idea that certain heavenly bodies have an effect on us at the "moment" we're born, depending on their position at that moment,
But there is an influence, isn't it?
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:and that that effect outweighs any effect that the Earth itself has on us, or that the hospital building we're born in has on us, or any other close, massive objects have on us; and that the effect is not just a force acting on our physical bodies, but is on our very nature, our personalities, our abilities, our temperaments; and that the effect is something that will last for our entire lives, and will have an impact on the direction our lives will take, and the things that happen to us; and that all those things about our personalities and the things that happen to us can be predicted, on the basis of the position of those heavenly bodies at that "moment" of birth.
Is that how they say it is? I mean I dunno how astrology works but as per my knowledge Astrology never says that these influences are written in stone. It just tells u these were the influences at the time of your birth, and influences of heavenly bodies. It does not theorize anything about what hospital beds do or what mid-wives can do. My understanding is that astrology establishes the celestial contour at the time of birth but never says your life is etched in stone from now on.
Emma Woolgatherer wrote: I am convinced, Nirvanam, that it is not beyond you to see the difference. Emma
You are right, Emma. I can tell the difference. However, I must also confess I dunno as much about Astrology as you seem to know. I am not an Astrologist. My beef is straight forward - if heavenly objects can influence us then the theoretical basis for gravity and astrology seem to be the same.

The problem occurs because you are not familiar with Eastern thought. In eastern philosophy there is more mindspace given to the bigger picture i.e. subjects are understood as a whole rather than specialization which seems to be the western way. Understanding the whole is intuitive, studying the detail is based on examination...the deeper and deeper you go. Why are these sentences relevant? Because the ancients and in deed modern people also hold that the planet itself is a living organism and it undergoes influences from the heavens. These influences decide the course of the planet's evolution...we are just living cells in a multi-celled organism called Earth. So Jupiter has definitely more influence on Earth than it has on you and me. Earth itself has its own "astrological horoscope" if you will.

The theoretical basis for astrology is the existence of influence of bodies on each other...and that to me is not woo no matter how one tries to qualify it with hospitals, midwives, or any other things. Although I am not absolutely convinced this theoretical basis is beyond you, I am willing to take the risk of betting something very valuable that you will be able to figure the theoretical basis of bodily influences on things.

Fia
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Re: Gravity

#17 Post by Fia » October 21st, 2010, 8:41 pm

Well said Emma :)
Nirvanam wrote:the main point - if astrology is woo then gravity is woo.
I don't think that connection is valid, Nirvanam. They have little in common. It's like saying if reiki is woo then so is brain surgery. Hmm, you might be a reiki fan, I'll try another: if talking to plants is woo then so is psychology, not as good as an analogy but it will do.
One is a human construct to make us feel a little happier in our lives - and fleece us in the process if we're gullible enough - and the other is measurable and provable even if we haven't yet completely grasped all its nuances.

crossposted

Nirvanam
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Re: Gravity

#18 Post by Nirvanam » October 21st, 2010, 8:55 pm

Fia wrote:Well said Emma :)
Nirvanam wrote:the main point - if astrology is woo then gravity is woo.
I don't think that connection is valid, Nirvanam. They have little in common. It's like saying if reiki is woo then so is brain surgery. Hmm, you might be a reiki fan, I'll try another: if talking to plants is woo then so is psychology, not as good as an analogy but it will do.
One is a human construct to make us feel a little happier in our lives - and fleece us in the process if we're gullible enough - and the other is measurable and provable even if we haven't yet completely grasped all its nuances.

crossposted
perfect example of breaking things down and boxing them in specific subjects...detailed examination, that I was trying to explain in my post to Emma. Fia, if you notice there was a lot of context to that statement...that statement came about on the basis of forces influencing us and what we influence in turn. From that perspective, if there is a force called gravity which influences Earth from heavenly objects then the theoretical basis that such objects influence Earth and its constituents (us) is the same. That was my only argument...nothing more nothing less.

Whether you think some thing is woo or not does not make it woo. As I have maintained always, what matters is not the subject or the argument..what matters for most Humans is who it is coming from. Give it a few months and most of the gang here will start believing Jesus existed. Why? Richard Dawkins thinks so as implied in his statement on a new theory about Jesus was made. Maybe me mentioning this thing might have the reverse effect of some people's views on Dawkins...can't rule that out.

There are normally two ways of looking at the world...one in which we accept we don't know everything there is. There is another in which we think what we don't know is woo (not referring to this thread). of course there are infinite variations between these two extremes. What is essential to be conscious of is the fact that most of the "knowledge" we have is not first hand or at least first-thought...it is thru faith in others/concepts/etc. Probably 90% of knowledge held by us Humans is that way...it is no different from believing in Pope or in Richard Dawkins.

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Paolo
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Re: Gravity

#19 Post by Paolo » October 21st, 2010, 9:13 pm

Nirvanam wrote:the main point - if astrology is woo then gravity is woo.
Except of course there are specific observable effects of gravity that can be repeated over and over again independently and without exception, whereas I have yet to see any specific observable effects of astrology, even without the requirement for repeatability and independence.

Gravity is an observable effect that lacks a theoretical explanation, astrology is a theoretical explanation that lacks an observable effect. That's the difference between science and woo.

Fia
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Re: Gravity

#20 Post by Fia » October 21st, 2010, 9:16 pm

Bugger, crossposted again, so will add a bit at the end and then gracefully retire :wink:
The problem occurs because you are not familiar with Eastern thought.
That may well be but
astrology establishes the celestial contour at the time of birth
So? What impact does it make on the newborn? What about women who've been induced, or have an accident which precipitates birth? You're surely not trying to tell us that where the universe happens to be in relation to the birth makes a difference to the new human's life? That the clouds of Jupiter made the poor child's mother fall down the stairs and go into labour?

Nirvanam, there are useful and distracting things in all human thought, whether Western, Eastern or any other *ern :D Many people in the UK think that many ills can be cured by a good strong cup of tea. That doesn't mean to say that tea has magical properties. If you think that we are missing something then show us the research...
what matters for most Humans is who it is coming from.
Of course it does. Despite his hair, I don't think Brian Cox has a hidden agenda, and he does have excellent academic credentials i.e. he has studied, thought, published, been peer reviewed etc. Would you like to be, say, operated on by someone who loves the human body and has read stuff or by someone who has undergone at least 7 years training?

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