cladking wrote: "correct" is an ephemeral term in all cases that involve modern language.
It's an ephemeral term regardless of language. Einstein's mass/energy equivalence principle demonstrated that the properties of an electron are emergent
. To put it simply electrons are simply quanta of energy which are configured in a particular way because of processes which are occurring at the Planck scale. It is these processes
which encode for the properties of the electron at a higher order of informational complexity but the nature of these properties must then be defined by the observer of them in accordance with a pre-defined narrative, or theory. It's OK to say that the electron has the properties of mass, charge and spin as long as we understand that these definitions are a function of the subjective theoretical narrative and not an objectively real construct. This is intrinsic to the nature of science, and I'm not suggesting it could be done any other way, but maintaining a clear distinction between noumenal and phenomenal reality is pivotal to the philosophical discourse. Electrons are phenomena
, and are thus observer-specified confections with no ontological status. An electron is only an electron because that's the way the physicists have mutually agreed to codify their observations and if they can devise a better way of codifying their observations the electron will soon find its way into the wastebasket of science history, there to join phlogiston and the luminiferous aether.
cladking wrote: Perhaps on the scale at which we observe them these properties have aspects that are very dissimilar to what we know and experience.
I regard this as a flawed Platonist perspective because it assumes that at some level of interpretation the self-organising patterns in nature must have a single objectively "correct" explanation. This is a creationist paradigm which specifies for a universe which is insufficient to its own existence and is therefore an artefact of transcendent cause. A universe which depends on the existence of an external causal agent is placed beyond the reach of scientific or philosophical enquiry by its very definition, and is thus anathema to a natural philosopher of applied metaphysics. However I concede that ultimately this is a question of conceptual taste because the existence or non-existence of such a transcendent cause can never be established, even in principle. However what can be established is that such a transcendent cause is not necessary.
Mine is a model of a self-determining reality, and a self-causal universe is one which is sufficient to its own existence. The convention in both philosophy and science is that such a model should be preferred on the grounds of Occam economy.
cladking wrote:My real point wasn't so much that modern science isn't able to properly define these forces mathematically but that they don't see how they might be interrelated. That the weak force arises through gravity is quite interesting.
We ignore Kant at our peril so be careful not to conflate the map with the territory. Physicists are free to invent whatever particles, fields, waves and forces they like in order to model their observations. These are not properties of the physical world but convenient heuristics used to embed these observations within a theoretical narrative. Don't forget that all of the particles,waves, fields and forces which are currently being used in the Standard Model of Particle Physics can only be applied at the sub-atomic scale. Not even the most reactionary of physicists can deny that this is NOT the most fundamental level of physical reality and that these observed phenomena are being specified for at the Planck scale, some 20 orders of magnitude below. At this fundamental scale time, energy and gravity is all there is.
The string theorists wasted forty years trying to jam a square peg into a round hole by modelling these Planck-scale processes within the spacetime paradigm. They may as well have been trying to fly to Mars by flapping their arms, because a self-causal universe has no spatial extension other than within the consciousness of the observer of it.
cladking wrote:Frankly I have to believe that everything originates in time which is somehow the basic building block of reality.
The truth of time is the only truth needed for the unification of physics because time and gravity are simply two different ways of expressing the same thing. Time is a metric for specifying the rate of change in a physical process and gravity is simply an alternative metric for the same thing. The rate of change in the physical world is thus defined as the speed at which reality is continuously re-making itself, otherwise known as the speed of light. This is quantum gravity.