Greylorn Ell wrote:... beon is as physical as are things like light and magnetic fields. ...
Apart from not being observable nor detectable that is.
Despite some generally unproductive exchanges with you in the past, I'm going to bite on this one. I do not expect it to affet your already made-up brain, but perhaps others will read this.
I'd love to exploit this opportunity to explain "observablity" and "detectability" from the perspective of a physicist, to a philosopher, perhaps an impossible task, but let's try. I'll need your honest cooperation.
Fire up the NASA website that shows beautiful astronomical images of distant galaxies and pick one about 1000 light-years away that engages your fancy. Note that if you go up to the top of a mountain well-situated for astronomical observations, (e.g. Cerro Tololo or Kitt Peak) which you can determine is well-situated by noting the several dozen observatories atop it, you cannot observe that galaxy. Not even with really good binoculars. Not even having its precise hour-angle and declination noted on a handy pad, with a good calculator handy and a Timex on your wrist.
No human eyes have ever seen that galaxy, or any of the millions of others out there. We know that they exist because of little electronic circuits at the focal length of the Hubble telescope that translate photons of light into ones and zeroes, and telemetry circuits that transmit these ones and zeros back to earth, where they are translated into images. Put simply, no humans have observed those galaxies.
If I sit you down in a comfy chair and you cooperate by closing your eyes, I can pass a 50,000 gauss magnet around your head and before your face and you will have no idea where it is, despite the powerful magnetic field surrounding it. You cannot tell how far away from your head the magnet is, despite knowing that the field strength drops off exponentially, with the square of distance. I could substitute it with a weak little refrigerator magnet and you'd not know the difference.
We could put your brain in a C.A.T. scanner where it is subjected to magnetic fields powerful enough to suck a pistol from its holster, and you'd only know when the scanner was on because of the sounds coming from the machinery. Put you in a fake scanner with the same sounds and you would be unable to distinguish the difference.
My point? You cannot even detect magnetic fields. By the way, magnetic fields are "PHYSICAL," just like the photons from those distant galaxies that you cannot detect either.
Suppose that you want to move beyond detection and actually observe a magnetic field. Easy, kind of. Just set the magnet beneath a piece of paper sprinkled with iron filings, or beneath a dish of little ball bearings. They'll align themselves with the field lines. But will you be actually observing the fields? Not a chance! You'll be observing an arrangement of iron-based bits of matter.
I could do the same thing with electric fields, except that to render them undetectable you'd need to be well-shaved. Electric charges can be detected by human, animal, and insect hairs. You probably did not know that if you shaved the whiskers off a cat, it will not land on its feet if dropped from an inverted position. In fact, the poor animal will have trouble even walking.
Nonetheless, if we leave you as hirsute as you came, you'd still have trouble detecting the difference between electrically induced hair movement and light manual disturbances.
You cannot even observe light unless it goes right into your eye. I could pass a 5 kilowatt red laser beam (powerful enough to fry your retinas in a millisecond) past your eyes in a dust-free clean room and you will never detect its existence. You do not even observe the gentler photons that do reach your retina from conventional sources. They are translated into electrochemical signals that are routed through a complex set of optic nerves into your brain, where they trigger neurons. YOU, per se
, observe not the photons, not the signals, and not even the triggered neurons.
The evidence about the reality of the physical universe obtained by science is entirely inferential. Without the analytical exertions of mind, evidence is meaningless.
Clearly, the physical observations of physicists are different from the limited observations that can be made or detected by the human body. Perhaps now you understand why I say that philosophers are unqualified to make any statements about physical existence.
will be formally
observed with inferential techniques devised by clever experimental physicists.
Of course it has already been informally observed, but not by anyone sufficiently competent to go from observation to theory. Imagine if, instead of a Zippo lighter, you brought a doggy magnet, a piece of paper, and a small bag of iron filings on your trip into the jungle to meet primitive people. Imagine showing them the patterns made by iron filings when the magnet was placed beneath the paper. Imagine asking them to explain this effect.
Perhaps a better example is the formal discovery of x-rays by Roentgen, early 20th century. He'd been experimenting with vacuum tubes on a lab bench with unexposed photographic plates in drawers beneath the bench. Upon developing one plate used for another purpose he found the image of a key that did not belong there. He figured out that the key had been atop the bench, between the vacuum tube and photographic plate, and set about to explain the phenomena.
After he produced a paper explaining how to use certain types of vacuum tubes to create rays that could pass through wood and human flesh, other so-called scientists came forward claiming credit on the stupid grounds that they had made similar observations-- which they'd not bothered to investigate further.
So, why are you so skeptical about a concept that you refuse to take the trouble to understand and are unqualified to investigate? Are you one of the physicists who sees no point in investigating further? Or are you just another simpleminded philosopher who has not the slightest idea what honest scientific investigation is about, and would rather promote his pre-programmed beliefs, dogmas that he'd had to learn to pass school exams, than consider a potentially interesting alternative?