Bernard wrote:Let me ask in a different way then: is there any certainty in the possibility that we are not being observed by some huge beings who've wondered whether or not we are 'the fundamental particles' of existence?
Micro and macro are relative in an infinite cosmos.
There are more infinities than you can shake a stick at; which, if any, apply to the universe we find ourselves in isn't clear.
The required text on scale is Horton hears a who, by Dr Seuss. We are quite at liberty to create any story we like about things we can't see and make no difference.
So no, there is no certainty that we are not being observed by giants, but there is no reason to believe we are.
Blaggard wrote:I missed this well as far as we know quarks are as fundamental as it gets we have evidence of them at least.
Philosophers since Thales have wanted to know what substance the universe is made of. Even some philosophers know about up, down, strange, charm, leptons, mesons, bosons and so ons; all very clever, but what are they made of? In a way it is irrelevant, metaphysics, what matters is control, for which you only need to measure charge, mass and spin. A bloke called Anaximander, a student of Thales, first pointed this out two and a half thousand years ago, by claiming that there is some infinite stuff, the apeiron
, but what matters is the detectable properties, hot/cold, wet/dry.
Bohr is right, natural language is not suited to matter; using it is more akin to poetry and won't put anyone on the moon, but some of us like stories. My own favourite is that particles are perturbations in quantum fields.
Blaggard wrote:String theory says that all matter is made up of vibrational modes called strings but frankly that is a fairy tale IMHO, in that it has no way of being proven by experiment as the field currently stands.
From a practical point of view, one might ask what keeps them vibrating for nearly 14 billion years. That doesn't matter in mathematics, all that 'counts' is the frequency. As you say, maths is about abstract entities, it doesn't have to 'work'.