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Christian95's avatar

Do you think that today's physics are right?

Asked by Christian95 (3258points) August 25th, 2009

I don’t mean elementary physics,I mean advanced physics like relativity,strings theory,black holes etc.I know that the calculations match the observation but what if this theories are wrong.Maybe thing happen in a different way.

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46 Answers

Jack79's avatar

No, I think they’re actually as crap as they ever got. Over the centuries, we’ve been coming up with theories, then proving them right, then coming up with new theories that either improve or completely contradict the previous ones. Right now we’ve come to a dead end. I think scientists should take a step back and consider the theory of “four white elephants on the back of a giant turtle”, as one of them put it, before taking the next leap forward into something more realistic. I’m 100% sure future scientists will have as much respect for our current assumptions as we do for the people who burnt Galileo for implying the Earth was round.

ragingloli's avatar

does your computer work?
does your car work?
does gps work?
does all the electric stuff in your home work?
If you answered all these with “yes”, then yes, today’s physics are right.

Fyrius's avatar

A good rule of thumb is that the scientific consensus is never completely right, but always the closest thing to the right answer that we have. The purpose of science is to continue getting closer.

So, to answer your question: probably not entirely.

Haffi112's avatar

@ragingloli That’s more related to electrical engineering than general physics :D There’s more to physics than electricity.

Imo the theories that physicists make usually only approximate the reality. We’re always trying to make a model for the world and until now it has worked quite well.

I however think that the world is predictable so there is a perfect model. Preferably a mathematical one :)

ragingloli's avatar

electric theory is part of physics.
today’s computers, due to the smallness of their components, rely on the correctness of quantum mechanics, otherwise they would not work.
gps relies on the correctness of the theory of relativity..
string theory is actually just a hypothesis, and still very controversial among physicists themselves.
blackholes are a fact, they have been observed.

Haffi112's avatar

@ragingloli Sorry but thanks for correcting me though. All the stuff you listed was related to electricity and I wasn’t seeing it in the broader sense.

mattbrowne's avatar

I totally agree with @Fyrius ‘s answer.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

The great thing about science and physics is that if new evidence comes to light, the theories and observations change. Nothing is set in stone… not even our understanding of gravity.

dynamicduo's avatar

Physics will never be 100% right, it just constantly approaches and refines its views on the way the world works. So in a sense, it’s always getting better and correcting itself when it finds newer evidence. Thus today’s physics are the “rightest” we’ve had up till now, especially with computer aided measurements and experiments etc.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It’s the best we have right now. The theories are based on the latest peer reviewed data and research or equations that can be duplicated in labs. As our equipment gets better the theories will get better. Basing it on “4 white elephants on the back of a giant turtle” is almost as ridiculous as basing it on translations of translations of very old books.
Nothing is perfectly right and physicists are smart enough to know that.

grumpyfish's avatar

Newtonian Physics, we discovered last century, are really just a specific case of Relativistic & Quantum physics, where the speeds are low and the scale large.

On the other hand, when you get to high speeds and/or small scales, other things come into play.

Since science is based on observations, we can only create science as detailed as our observations. As soon as an observation is found that contradicts the current science, we begin to re-examine it. It’s possible the observation was wrong, or it’s possible that the theory was wrong.

Basically, what @Fyrius said.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Relativity is right. It’s been supported by a great deal of experimental data. Quantum theory messes with my head, but it’s also been supported by a great deal of experimental data. Black holes are real; we can see them – or rather, the effects predicted for them, with telescopes. String theory is pure theory that doesn’t have much in the way of experimental data to support it. We should learn some things from the Large Hadron Collider when it’s fully operational.

PerryDolia's avatar

Right compared to what? What is the alternative to scientific inquiry?

Of course scientific theories are not totally correct. That is why they are THEORIES. No amount of data can prove a theory, but one piece of data can disprove a theory. We are never sure of our theories, they are just the best know way of explaining phenomena.

Right compared to what?

Fyrius's avatar

Isn’t “right” an absolute attribute? Does there need to be a competitor in order for a proposition to be true or false?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I think there are basic stepping stones in place, generalities, for the most part.

But we are barely on the tip of the ice berg when it comes to understanding sub atomic physics. Certain types of matter seem to completely fly in the face of our initial “Laws of Physics”, so there are really two different paths, one is to find a way to make these seemingly unexplainable events fit into the current theories, or completely tear down a majority of our preconceived notions of how the universe works, and start from scratch.

As a physics student, I’m attempting to start from scratch.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 – Let me know when you figured out dark energy!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@mattbrowne it’s mind boggling. Atomic teleportation, matter rotating in all directions at once, etc etc… there’s too much to try to figure out.

LexWordsmith's avatar

Today’s physical theories are thought by no scientist to be correct in every detail—otherwise, we would not keep hypothesizing and doing experiments. If you think that you have a physical hypothesis that more nearly explains all the experimental evidence so far accumulated, please present it, and do some experiments to test its predictions. If your theory better explains the evidence, it will be welcomed.

kevbo's avatar

I think a more advanced “branch” of physics was hijacked in the days of Tesla and Einstein, and the public was given “safe mode” physics to work with while a cabal has kept the advanced stuff for themselves. I’m basing this on the familiar stories of Tesla as well as a few other items I’ve read and since forgotten (otherwise I’d post them). I think there’s black technology that’s light years ahead of what is conventionally available that is based on the more advanced physics.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the LHC was declared a failure in order to get the public to
lose interest so that experiments could be conducted in secret or if there was some other entire facility built that was the real lab while the LHC is the decoy.

I realize that sounds like a crazy person talking, but it’s not all that hard to believe
if you’ve heard a few stories.

Also, this opinion seems relevant:

Western civilization has lost its most important asset: the ability to impartially seek the truth, no matter where it might lead. At its peak Western civilization used logic and science to blast away at superstition and ignorance. Any single person could, by means of evidence and logic, change the way Western civilization thought. The result was unprecedented human progress in many spheres leading to such things as the industrial revolution. However, over a hundred years ago a greedy cabal began infiltrating the West’s institutions and distorting science in the name of power lust and greed.

Now, the institutions that made the West strong have all been subverted and perverted. Scientific journals have been taken over by a cabal of financiers who use a non-transparent process of “peer review” to suppress discovery that is inconvenient to the cabal’s financial interests. At some point science developed “laws” that could not be broken, evidence be damned. Science, by its very definition is supposed to be a work in progress based on evidence and facts not “unbreakable laws.”

Inventors who break any of these “laws” (such as the so-called second law of thermodynamics) are, if necessary, murdered.

Once we have purged these parasites from the collective brain of the West and science is again set free,  world civilization will flourish as never before.


wundayatta's avatar

There’s really no right and wrong here. There are merely explanations that are simpler and that have greater predictive capability vs explanations that are much more complex and that make fewer and more inaccurate predictions about the unknown.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@kevbo did you know we have successfully teleported matter across short distances?

kevbo's avatar

I had heard/read something about that with atoms
or something. Right?

Fyrius's avatar

Take me apart, take me apart
What a way to roam
And if you have to take me apart to get me there
I’d rather stay at home.

Shuttle128's avatar

To say that any theory is “right” is impossible. Because every case in the Universe cannot be tested, we can only assume that current theories are a “best guess” at how the Universe actually functions. We can test theories to determine if they are incorrect, however we can never prove a theory.

What we can say is that we tentatively accept the scientific theories we have today as a very good approximation of the truth. We work on new problems using what we accept and try to expand our knowledge and theories of how the Universe works.

Even if we did stumble upon a theory that embodied the truth, we could never be absolutely certain that there is not more to be discovered. For the most part scientists hold very stable theories as true. If we did not assume some firm base on which to start from, very little would be accomplished in the way of science.

Zuma's avatar

Its hard to believe that Einstein’s theory of relativity is over 100 years old. And quantum theory is about 80 years old. What most people don’t know is that these two theories are incompatible; that is to say, they can’t both be right. Over the past 100 years the search has been on for a unifying theory. For most of that time particle physics was the dominant area and mode of inquiry. The more they smashed and cracked things into one another, the more subatomic particles they found, until there is such a menagerie of them that it is difficult to make any sense of them. They are looking for the Higgs boson now, but even if they find it, it may not tell us much. The big hope is that the new super-duper-Hadron Collider will open the door to something unexpected.

It’s always been the unexpected finding that overturns the established paradigm, but the way big science is funded, you almost have to report your findings in your grant application to get any money; so, most scientists stick to the safe and predictable lines of inquiry, which more or less ensures that everyone is doing what everyone else is doing. Twenty-five years ago you couldn’t get a paper published on string theory; now you practically can’t study anything else. Challenging the dominant orthodoxy is a thankless task, and many a brilliant scientist has died a broken and bitter man because his discoveries have been dismissed out of hand.

Credit for scientific discoveries goes to the person who first discovers something, coming in second gets you nothing. This “winner take all” system creates a kind of star system that breeds huge egos, cutthroat competition, exploitation of younger scientists, withdrawal from collaboration and the free exchange of information. On top of that scientists often earn less than plumbers or prison guards.

Peer review simply does not live up to it’s billing. The pressure to publish pushes academics to churn out MPU’s or “minimum publishable units,” contributing to a slide toward quantity at the expense of quality. The patronage structure of big science, and academia generally, tends to turn the peer review process into a minefield one must navigate by steering clear of unfriendly reviewers and seeking favor from friendly reviewers. Because the process is so political, no one dares offend a senior scientist or any of his promising students, so many articles pass undeservedly simply due to the name on the masthead. It should be no surprise that over half of all scientific articles are never cited, and that many go unread except for one or two people in very close areas.

String theory has become a victim of it’s own success. In the absence of decisive experimental data, there are now four distinct flavors of string theory that are of equal explanatory power. These theories can not be falsified or used to predict anything, so they are said to be “not even wrong.”

These limitations are not insurmountable. They should not be cause for abandoning science for the even more unfalsifiable or non-predictive theories of revealed religion. We have simply come to the limits of our instruments. We will have better telescopes and microscopes, and something unexpected will show up that will change everything. The lethargy, stagnation, and corruption of science can be overcome as human institutions are always renewed by paradigm shifts and other transformative events. According to David Deutsch, we are closer to a true theory of everything than ever before.

mattbrowne's avatar

A “true” theory of everything still won’t cover everything. If it did, why would anyone be interested in learning something new? I would prefer a GGUT as a name instead of ToE. A Great-Grand Unified Theory. Actually, before Planck decided what to study many physics a professor told him they already had theories for everything.

From Wikipedia: The Munich physics professor Philipp von Jolly advised Planck against going into physics, saying, “in this field, almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few holes.” Planck replied that he did not wish to discover new things, only to understand the known fundamentals of the field, and began his studies in 1874 at the University of Munich. Under Jolly’s supervision, Planck performed the only experiments of his scientific career, studying the diffusion of hydrogen through heated platinum, but transferred to theoretical physics.

Should we really make this mistake twice?

Zuma's avatar

@mattbrowne A ToE does not mean that you know everything; what it means is that the entirety of human knowledge is organized within a single coherent scheme. There aren’t any discontinuities such as an incompatibility between, say, Relativity and Quantum Theory, or between physics and epistemology, or between epistemology and computational science. (See Deutsch.) It also means you don’t have discontinuities between naturalistic and supernaturalistic explanations. Or between the social sciences and the natural sciences.

In reference to our other threads where we are discussing other aspects of this same subject: It means that you can explain people’s beliefs in God in terms of memeplexes; that is to say, in terms of cultural evolution, or simply evolution. You can evaluate these beliefs as you do any other theory. For example, we once had a theory that when something is burned it gives off “phlogiston.” It had a certain explanatory power, insofar as it explained why things whithered away to ash as they burned. But that theory could not explain what phlogiston was or where it went or anything else useful it. Nobody could see, weigh, smell, taste, or otherwise detect this phantom substance. When oxidation proved to have much greater explanatory power, the theory fell by the wayside, along with similarly obsolete constructs, such as the “ether,” “humors” and so on.

Memetics allows us to connect epistemology, sociology, psychology, moral philosophy, history, philosophy of science, and evolutionary theory. It provides a theoretical framework whereby we can explain theological constructs in terms of the aforementioned disciplines. At heart, your objection is not really that people will stop empirical investigation (how could they, given the number of careers and budgets devoted to it at this point). Your objection is that it casts God in a different light than you prefer to see Him.

There is simply no room for phlogiston or a supernatural God in a modern Theory of Everything. God used to be mankind’s ToE, insofar as “He” seemed to explain everything. Why is the sky blue? Because God created it that way. Why am I so sad? Because you have sinned? Why am I here? To prove yourself worthy of a better life. There is only one problem—and it is the same one as with phlogiston: there is no detectable presence of a supernatural being that lives in the sky, who hears our thoughts and answers our prayers. Our received theories of God do not point the way to useful technologies. In fact, like a continued adherence to a belief in phlogiston, they seem a positive impediment.

I and others are proposing a quantum many-worlds cosmology in which consciousness arises through the action of time moving away from the other three fixed dimensions. The exact details remain to be worked out, such as why the partners of linked particles disappear when you measure the other particle. But let it suffice to say, such a theory would explain how we can have individual consciousness and how this can be nested within a superintelligence that meets all the customary attributes we seem to require of God—i.e., that he be omniscient, omnipotent, ever-present, eternal, and perfect.

Now, your objections elsewhere have been something like this: “Yes, you have explained that my belief in God is a meme, but you haven’t really explained God.” by which you mean I haven’t explained how your received myth-based conception of God has any basis in reality. Well, actually, I kind of have. I have proposed a cosmological explanation of how something that embodies all the characteristics we ascribe to God could exist in the natural cosmos; and I have proposed a memetic explanation that accounts for the phenomenology of such a belief, and it’s current status as a kind of theological phlogiston. Moreover, these cosmological and memetic explanations are compatible with each other, and they subsume your belief in the supernatural.

In other words, I have proposed that there is a God embedded in Nature; so there is still a god for you to believe in, since that is important to you. Its just not anything like the desert sky god you prefer to believe in. The belief that there is a supernatural realm “beyond” the “limits” of nature-based reality, belongs in the same dust bin as phlogiston, the ether, humors, magic, and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Response moderated
The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

[Mod says] Please post links instead of copying and pasting extensive text.

mattbrowne's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – I usually do and forgot this time. I apologize. Here’s the link

mattbrowne's avatar

@MontyZuma – The entirety of human knowledge as part of ToE? No way. Let me remind you what the ToE is:

The theory of everything (TOE) is a putative theory of theoretical physics that fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena. Initially, the term was used with an ironic connotation to refer to various overgeneralized theories.

Here’s the quote from Stephen Hawking:

“Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory, that can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind.”

David Deutsch is an outstanding scientist no doubt. There’s only one flaw. He lacks humility.

Memetics is great, but it’s not a panacea.

I think there’s plenty of room for God in addition to modern scientific theories.

Zuma's avatar

@mattbrowne Yes, the ToE in physics is as you describe, a putative theory of yada, yada, yada. But as you point out, it is not a theory of everything.

David Deutsch’s book, The Fabric of Reality, on the other hand, is. Or, at least, he points out four strands of inquiry (quantum theory, epistemology, evolutionary theory and computational theory) which he sees as on their way toward converging into a grand unified theory within which everything else would be subsumed. Memetics is not
being proposed as a “panacea,” it simply provides many useful integrating connections between evolutionary theory and epistemology.

I fail to see how you arrive at the assessment that Deutsch “lacks humility” or how this is a “flaw” in any case. Since Deutsch and Hawkings are talking about two different things, I don’t see how Hawkings negates what Deutsch is talking about.

And, since the Deist conception of God I have proposed is fully compatable with scientific theories, I can only wonder what “plenty of room” for what I surmise is a supernatural theistic conception of God. It would seem to me that when the main explanatory variables are accounted in scientific models, the only “room” left is in the error term.

Shuttle128's avatar

You know I feel I’ve been tossing around ideas on unifying structures since reading The Fabric of Reality (without even knowing it) and it seems I’ve tended to settle on neural topology as an explanation for a lot of things. Now that you mention memetics as a unifying explanatory structure it seems almost obvious that all fields are interconnected in such a way. I’d definitely like to learn memetics in more detail.

You know…..Deutsch’s 4 strands and interconnecting them reminds me quite a bit of the book Voyage of the Space Beagle. It’s a great book and makes great observations about how science operates and how it should operate.

LexWordsmith's avatar

@Shuttle128 : author? of VotSB—thanks.

Shuttle128's avatar

A. E. van Vogt. Should be on the Amazon link I posted. Haven’t read any of his others but “Beagle” was quite good.

Also, speaking of “Beagle,” I just read an article that proposed an interesting discipline based on the idea of Nexialism used in “Voyage of the Space Beagle.” It hasn’t been published or peer reviewed but I still found it quite thought provoking. Check it out here

LexWordsmith's avatar

I’ve read a lot of other stuff by him— Slan, Weapon Shops of Isher, World of Null-A, ... Thanks for the info!

Zuma's avatar

@LexWordsmith I highly recommend Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control for an even more commanding set of interdisciplinary linkages than memetics, which is a fairly predictable extrapolation from Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene

LexWordsmith's avatar

Thanks for the leads, folks! The “memetics” link led to the Amazon page for Selfish Gene.

Zuma's avatar

@LexWordsmith It should have taken you to The Selfish Meme , sorry.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zuma – Suppose 500 million light years away in a spiral galaxy quite similar to our own there’s sentient life about 100 times more intelligent than human beings. On the Kardashev scale the civilization’s level of technological advancement is somewhere between Type 1 and 2, sufficient enough for interstellar and intergalactic travel. Suppose they eventually reach Earth not too long after the human race became extinct. The space travelers find the cause of our extinction: a genetically engineered virus released by terrorists. Many artifacts are still intact including numerous books which allow the visitors to learn English.

Eventually they discover ‘The Fabric of Reality’ by David Deutsch. A remarkable book, they conclude, yet knowing Deutsch was a product of his time. A theory of everything? Hardly. The sentient beings – who are 100 times more intelligent – compare the content with their own knowledge of ‘everything’. Deutsch isn’t even close, but he was more advanced than Aristotle of course. Well, Aristotle’s scientific shortcomings (like the 5 elements fire, earth, air, water, aether) should not mislead one into forgetting his great advances in the many scientific fields. The same holds true for Deutsch of course. Converging into a grand unified theory within which “everything else” would be subsumed? The space travels can clearly see human hubris and arrogance. They feel sorry for the humans and that they became extinct. There would have been so much to learn.

Now imagine a singularity as described by Ray Kurzweil. It’s a million times more intelligent than our space travelers visiting Earth. Does it know everything? Well, the “event horizon” of this superintelligence just reaches out a few light years. But what is beyond? What about a singularity which is the equivalent of a supermassive black hole powering quasars? Does this supersuperintelligence know everything? Again what is beyond? An intelligent creator of the universe, perhaps? Deists would think so. They assert that God (or “The Supreme Architect”) has a plan for the universe that is not altered either by God intervening in the affairs of human life or by suspending the natural laws of the universe. Sitting back and enjoying the show.

Well, is deism enough? I don’t think so. What about moral signposts? Some say, the language of science comes with no signposts about good and bad. Science textbooks tell us how to create a nuclear reaction, but they contain no chapters asking if it’s a good or bad idea. Does David Deutsch’s theory have an answer? Will our intelligent space travelers have an answer? Kurzweil’s singularity?

Zuma's avatar

@mattbrowne Matt, Matt, Matt; your “something beyond” argument is, in essence, an appeal to ignorance, and a straw man to boot.

Its difficult to reply to your “criticisms” of Deutsch because you are commenting on what you imagine his theory to be (which, apparently, is some sort of arrogant overreaching) rather than what it actually is. As I’ve said before, Deutsch’s Theory of Everything isn’t about literally knowing everything; its about bring everything which is known into a more coherent, comprehensive, comprehensible system. Deutsch is talking about things like removing the artificial disciplinary boundaries which currently compartmentalize the four main strands of our knowledge in ways so as to remove the impediments to it’s advancement and consolidation.

Of course there are going to be horizons to our knowledge. That is not an argument against any intellectual enterprise. If it were, we wouldn’t know anything. Nor is it an invalidation of the usefulness of what we know. Just because you can imagine a fictional scenario in which another species or agency might have a better understanding of things than we do at present (oh, the shame), or that there is something “beyond” what we currently know does not reduce our present knowledge to pathetic arrogance.

Consider, for a moment, what might be possible. Suppose, for example, that the universe is organized according a single underlying principle, say, fractal geometry, which can be seen in everything from the distribution of galactic clusters all the way down to where classical phenomena break down at the quantum level, perhaps even including the computational processes which our biology uses to allow us to create consciousness? Should we chuck such an understanding simply because we can’t envision the whole cosmos all at once? Or because it breaks down when confronted with quantum weirdness (if it does)?

Suppose the Cosmos wasn’t “created” but is “eternal” in the sense of existing independently of any given timeline (as a “many worlds” cosmology would suggest). Suppose, for sake of argument, that the Cosmos is God, suffused throughout with an intelligence that permeates aspect of it’s structure—but without the all busy little supernatural beings of myth playing favorites and commanding immoral violence setting one group against another. Suppose, for example, that our consciousness is essential a fractal microcosm partaking in the “image and likeness” of the grand intelligent whole. That, to me, is a version of God that is plausible, benign, and worthy of belief, as opposed to a violence-saturated theistic conception, which is rife with irrationality and immorality.

What about moral signposts? The 10 Commandments? A good start for jump-starting a sense of morality in an unjust and savage humanity, but is this really the work of a theistic being, or is it the work of a law-giving priest king? “Don’t kill, covet or take what isn’t yours, or lie under oath. Respect your parents; rest once in a while.” Do you call these complete? If so, why would we need Jesus’ correctional injunction to Love Thy Neighbor, including Thine Enemy. But why stop there? Why not press on with secular philosophy, with Kant’s categorical imperative, or the enumeration of civil, political and human rights movement of the Enlightenment?

Of course science text books don’t tell us about whether nuclear reactions are good ideas or bad; but moral philosophy does. And, yes, Deutsch’s theory does have an answer: consult the relevant sub-discipline if you want a specific answer to a specific question. If you want moral guidance, do you look to the disgusting, shockingly immoral example of the Old Testament theism? Do we listen to the likes of Pat Roberson and Jerry Fallwell, saying that 9/11 and Katrina are God withdrawing his protection from the nation due to it’s “immorality”? Do you seriously offer that up as moral “guidance”?

On the other hand, looking at morality in natural context it becomes quite clearly that our most basic moral imperative is to survive. But not merely survive, but to evolve, something that the bulk of theistic believers seem resolutely opposed. But evolve toward what? Obviously, toward a more robust society where individual rights are maximized and potentials realized; a society in which, of necessity, good faith and human dignity are fundamental and undeniable. Indeed, a morality that is inclusive and proactive instead of punishing and coercive—a morality that includes a regard for the dignity and survival of other species, as a means of fostering the biological diversity and the robustness of life in the ecology we all depend upon.

Theistic morality is not only incomplete, it is immoral. Just look at the violent self-aggrandizing struggles for supremacy among theistic religions; their messianic, apocalyptic and violence-saturated messages; their preoccupation with the next life at the expense of neglecting this one. Theism is a manifestly inferior morality based on the whims of incomprehensible supernatural beings, who bribe and punish humanity in the most shocking of ways. The anti-scientific, anti-intellectual bent of theistic religion is a positive impediment to morality in the modern world. It isn’t worthy of belief.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zuma – My dear friend. I think you misunderstood my comments. Appeal to ignorance? I am a fervent supporter of science and scientific thought. Humanity must continue its quest. But I strongly reject the notion that we are very close to an ultimate theory. Planck’s early academic adviser fell into this trap. And some academics today still haven’t learned this important lesson. My point is we should use different sources of wisdom. But we should also keep in mind that our impressive knowledge of the year 2009 is still tiny compared to all the undiscovered knowledge out there.

Someone once asked, have we become so spiritually bankrupt that we would rather believe in mathematical impossibility (our universe among perhaps a great many) than in a power greater than us?

I find our debates intellectually stimulating. It’s good that your thoughts and my thoughts are different. This is the source of progress. Walter Lippmann once said: “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.” Thank God for Fluther!

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