Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Attention Catholic Scientists! - Even Stephen Barr and Especially Father Robert Spitzer.S.J.

As in previous issues, the April 2013 issue of Scientific American contains an article on physics that cries out for the light of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysical principles - which alone can supply those unifying forces the modern cosmologist needs. The opening title sentence of the article, beginning on page 41, describes: "Ghostly Beacons of New Physics: Neutrinos, the Strangest Beasts in the Particle Zoo, may soon open the way to unexplored realms." By Martin Hirsch, Heinrich PAS and WERNER PoRod. Those "unexplored realms" can be nothing more nor less than the structural harmony and physical unity of the full Order of Creation - revealed in the first chapter of Genesis. And in Chapter two and three - God reveals the cause of all our sufferings....the wounds received by every created being as a result of the Original Sin of our First Parents, Adam and Eve, plus the establishment of the Eternal Enmities with the Promised Redemption and Final Victory of the Divine Son of God, by means of His Immaculate Mother - who crushes the head of the infernal serpent. The Psalmist compares the Divine Redeemer-Bridegroom to the Sun, who gives the light of Truth and the Fiery Heart of Love to humanity. We may note also, in stark contrast, that the fallen Angel, Lucifer, works tirelessly, until the world's End, to spread the Darkness of his lies against the Truth and the Hellish heat of his hatred against God and all the children of Mary, God's Mother and ours, who live by Love. 

At present, most modern scientists, including Catholics like Stephen Barr and Father Spitzer, labor tirelessly in the Darkness of the Evolutionary Worldview. What I am about to suggest, tentatively, and for your consideration, is based on my major premise here - which is that the Universe is a hylemorphic reality or entity, meaning that it is composed of matter and form. In the case of the Universe, the matter is the Prime Matter or First Matter of the Scholastics. This means that it is both a Cause and a Principle - but never as either without its collaborative and co-operative Cause and Principle - which is Form.

Now, to get down to the empirical level of modern particle physics. Prime Matter is the First and mathematically greatest or largest pool or source of all possible, all potentialities capable of attaining some form of existence. Now we know that God is all Act. There is no potency in Him. So, there is never any way to identify God with Prime Matter. At the same time, we must say that God knows all things, even the possible of Prime Matter. But He knows them as actual. This does not mean that they are destined to become actual in time. All that depends upon God's Will. And remember, too, that what man may deem possible, may not be so in God's Knowledge. For example, for an ape or ape-like creature to become a man is no more possible than for a circle to become a square or for a chicken to become a dinosaur. Chickens are birds. Dinosaurs are reptiles. And circles are curved, whereas squares are straight-lined. The Act of Faith proclaims: I believe all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches - because Thou hast revealed them Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. God would deceive us if Genesis taught one thing and Nature taught us something entirely different. But, Nature proclaims the Truth of Divine Revelation - even when men deny it. But back to the neutrinos.

First of all, the modern physicist is certain that it exists, because it has been observed, that is "detected" - even though detecting it requires "great effort and experimental ingenuity." (p.42) Neutrino's, then, may be in the realm of probability or mere theory, rather than real existence. But for the sake of Cosmology, let us assume they do exist! And in their favor, it is certain that if they do exist, they are to be classified as leptons, that is, a variety of electrons. They differ from the electron, however, in being electrically neutral - whereas electrons are negatively charged - and secondly, they do not form a part of any atomic structure - whereas the electron is an essential component of the atom. Like the electron, neutrinos are leptons in the class of fermions, as opposed to bosons. The difference between fermions and bosons has to do with the mathematics of their spin, and does not directly concern my cosmology, (or if it does, I am ignorant of it, as I may well be). But what does concern my Catholic cosmology - is the fact that neutrinos are particles that function apart from any atomic structure. They also belong to a class, the fermions, that along with the bosons are distinguished from photons, which are the fundamental particles of light and relate to the electromagnetic spectrum. At the same time, the electromagnetic force is a force that affects both fermions and bosons, because light penetrates all forms of matter. The most basic distinction amongst all the accidental forms of the substantial form of the Body of the Universe would seem to be, then, that between matter and light - although light is a special qualitative form of matter - light cannot be reduced to any one specific quantity as can all the atoms. And neutrinos have mass - which can be measured, even though it is said to be so near zero-mass as not to be measurable. At the same time, the fact that it is near zero - but not zero - shows that it is still matter and not spirit. Measurability is the criterion of a material form. Spiritual forms, such as the Angels and the human soul, are not measurable at all - because they are not composed of parts. They are absolutely simple and have no mass. Only material forms are complex - even when this complexity might begin at the lowest level of matter and form - those particles - whose mass is so near zero - as to be unmeasurable. This is said of the neutrino, especially of the muon and tau varieties.

Handedness or chirality is also a property of all particles. Hirsch, Pas and Porod explain that a particle must be left-handed to react to the beta force responsible for radio-active "decay" or emission. Neutrinos react only to the force of gravity (thought to be the weakest of the four forces) - and to the weak beta force of radioactive decay. The scientists believe that a right-handed neutrino "would be impervious - even to the weak force." (p.43) The biggest question for the modern physicist, however, is from whence do these ultimate, fundamental particles derive their mass? Mass is a body's measurable quantity of matter. And any body's quantity of matter will be determined by the nature of the body's matter-form relationship. When one considers that both the elephant and the mouse are classified as mammals, then weight by quantity of matter may not be very helpful in the determination of a being's nature.
At the level of the smallest fundamental particles, however, it is extremely important. And the authors Hirsch, Pas and Porod take us from this consideration directly into the question of anti-matter and dark matter.

I suggest that antimatter and dark matter are nothing but the shadow cast by a body when light shines upon it at any one of the many possible angles, from noon to noon. But the real question is from whence all particles receive not only their mass, but everything else that defines their existential essence. The first thing to note is that matter never exists without some degree of form. And so, to speak of matter as if it existed alone and in some kind of hypothetical, fictional realm of semi-or pseudo-being, is counter-productive, to say the least. What the modern physicist needs most of all, is a good definition and descriptive application of Prime or Primary First Matter in relation to its Substantial Form. Now, since we are saying Prime, that is, First Matter, we must be talking about what God created first of all, insofar as He has deigned to reveal that to us, - Genesis says: 
In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.
And the earth was void and empty - and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved over the waters.
And God said: Be light made. And light was made.
And God saw the light - that it was good, and He divided the light from the darkness. And He called the light - Day, and the darkness, - Night. And there was evening and morning, one Day. (Genesis, 1:1-4.)

The matter created on this Day One, included the heavens, the earth, the waters, and light. The form of this matter is clearly indicated by the making of the succession of the light, or the movement of the light - so as to cause the following of Night upon the Day in a circuit. This first day, then, really had no specified morning until light was made. And I am suggesting that the light was made from the Primary Matter created in the heavens, earth and water. And I believe we should see all of these elements as coming into existence from nothing, (ex nihilo) and in their whole substance, as Lateran IV in 1215 has it, simultaneously. This whole substance, I suggest, indicates that the Substantial Form - that is the Body of the Universe, and includes as its material cause (or "Matter"), the Prime Matter, the Material cause with the Substantial, Formal Cause of the Body of the Universe. This is the wholeness specified by the Council, Lateran IV, of which the members of the Kolbe Center - rightly make so much. 
But what exactly, does this Prime Matter mean? 
Well, for one thing, it supplies the mass for all existing particles. It contains the so-called Higgs boson, which is said to do for "matter" what the photon does for light. (p.43). The photon is the carrier for light! Therefore, the Higgs boson must be a kind of material support for matter-particles. But, all these entities are but accidental forms of some larger and much more important Substance. That Substance is the Form of all these material particles -- the Body of the Universe, spherical and hierarchical. Matter is a principle of Potency as Form is the principle of Actuality or Existence. Both of these Principles are also Causes. Therefore, the Body of the Universe, as composed of both these Principles and Causes is the actualizing, governing, controlling and limiting Source - under God and directly under His power as Creator of Day One - of all that goes on amongst the particles that so fascinate and even obsess, the modern physicists.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments charitable. Comments are not reviewed, but inappropriate comments may be removed.