# Explanation of Time

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You are still avoiding the issues that you yourself raised.

Do you think there is a better basis for unique states of matter?

Unique? In what way?

Take an atom of copper in Rio de Janeiro and compare with another one in Adelaide.

Are they unique?

Does Pauli make them unique or prohibit them from having the same 'state'?

Observation seems to match this expectation.

Observation?

What observation?

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As you say, the volume will be determined by the thickness of the line, and the minimum thickness of any line will be a single unit (atom) of whatever makes up the line.

And how do you non-arbitrarily set this thickness?

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You are still avoiding the issues that you yourself raised.

Unique? In what way?

Take an atom of copper in Rio de Janeiro and compare with another one in Adelaide.

Are they unique?

Does Pauli make them unique or prohibit them from having the same 'state'?

Observation?

What observation?

I don't see where I raised any "issues". Do you think that Pauli being generally accepted as the basis of our understanding of matter occupying volume is an issue? The only issue I see is that you are disappointed that you have not been able to engage me in a discussion of the details of a particular model. I freely admit that I am no expert on Pauli. I have not and will not study it further. Well, maybe, but not much further. Theory and models beyond what is generally accepted relating to normal matter hold little interest for me.

Of course the two atoms are unique. The very fact that you can identify them as different objects makes them unique, and the reason you can identify them as different objects is because they occupy volume. Now I know that many people (perhaps not you) will find it odd for anyone to say so, but I think it is quite remarkable that we can actually distinguish among objects. It seems to me that Pauli and many others have found it interesting too.

Again, it is generally accepted that the exclusion principle is the basis for our understanding of how matter occupys volume.

Well, one observation you may make immediately is to recognize that the reason you are able to sit in your chair (I assume you are seated) is that matter occupys volume.

And how do you non-arbitrarily set this thickness?

We do not set the thickness. Our choice of the material for our yardstick will determine the thickness. For our yardstick made of a single row of atoms, the thickness of the line will be determined by the volume occupied by one atom.

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Fred Champion

I don't see where I raised any "issues".

Is the following quote not true?

Studiot

You are the one who introduced the Pauli Exclusion Principle to this thread. (post#14)

I freely admit that I am no expert on Pauli. I have not and will not study it further. Well, maybe, but not much further. Theory and models beyond what is generally accepted relating to normal matter hold little interest for me.

You are clearly stating that you do not understand Pauli, or know what he actually said, yet you introduce hearsay to support your (scientific?) assertions in this thread.

Of course the two atoms are unique. The very fact that you can identify them as different objects makes them unique,

This is, of course, not accepted by any of the many models in mainstream physics.

If you had a Maxwellian Daemon that could effect a switch of the two atoms, you (or anyone else) would not be able to tell the difference.

That tenet is one of the most fundamental in physics.

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I don't see where I raised any "issues". Do you think that Pauli being generally accepted as the basis of our understanding of matter occupying volume is an issue? The only issue I see is that you are disappointed that you have not been able to engage me in a discussion of the details of a particular model. I freely admit that I am no expert on Pauli. I have not and will not study it further. Well, maybe, but not much further. Theory and models beyond what is generally accepted relating to normal matter hold little interest for me.

Of course the two atoms are unique. The very fact that you can identify them as different objects makes them unique, and the reason you can identify them as different objects is because they occupy volume. Now I know that many people (perhaps not you) will find it odd for anyone to say so, but I think it is quite remarkable that we can actually distinguish among objects. It seems to me that Pauli and many others have found it interesting too.

Again, it is generally accepted that the exclusion principle is the basis for our understanding of how matter occupys volume.

Well, one observation you may make immediately is to recognize that the reason you are able to sit in your chair (I assume you are seated) is that matter occupys volume.

We do not set the thickness. Our choice of the material for our yardstick will determine the thickness. For our yardstick made of a single row of atoms, the thickness of the line will be determined by the volume occupied by one atom.

So my choice of yardstick determines the fundamental separation of two objects? I don't think so; that's certainly not consistent with mainstream physics. Something that is 1 meter away in my frame is 1 meter away independent of the measuring device.

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Is the following quote not true?

You are clearly stating that you do not understand Pauli, or know what he actually said, yet you introduce hearsay to support your (scientific?) assertions in this thread.

This is, of course, not accepted by any of the many models in mainstream physics.

If you had a Maxwellian Daemon that could effect a switch of the two atoms, you (or anyone else) would not be able to tell the difference.

That tenet is one of the most fundamental in physics.

I suggest if you look at Post #14, you will determine that I did not introduce Pauli. I responded to what I thought was a mis-quote of Pauli. If StringJunky was not refering to a generalization of Pauli, what was he refering to?

I think I do understand the ramifications of Pauli as it is generally accepted today. I'm not sure what an exact quote of the "official" Pauli statement would add to the discussion. The concepts presented by it have been extended such that it forms a basis for understanding uniqueness of state. I see no value in discarding current thought about it by returning to an original statement or reducing the usefullness of it by limiting it to details in a particular model.

And by the way, I make no "scientific" assertions. Science is discovery. I claim no discovery, except perhaps the understanding that time is not scientific. Time cannot be discovered, it is an invention (artifact) of intelligence (memory).

I suggest to you that any model, mainstream or not, must require the objects under consideration to be identifiable. Identity requires uniqueness. State is part, a large part, of identity.

"If", one of our most beloved concepts; the line separating sci from fi. Karma runs over dogma. Feynman attacks Maxwell's demon with a ratchet. Besides that, the demon would have the information. Identity is preserved.

So my choice of yardstick determines the fundamental separation of two objects? I don't think so; that's certainly not consistent with mainstream physics. Something that is 1 meter away in my frame is 1 meter away independent of the measuring device.

That is not what I was saying at all. Without a reference to place in absolute space and a smallest unit of measurement, the separation between two objects can be determined only in terms of other objects. The meter you refer to does not exist. There is no such "thing" as a meter. A meter is a shorthand way of describing a specific number of objects placed next to one another in a "straight" "line". The objects (perhaps atoms) chosen to be placed in the line will form your yardstick.

Since we are considering "real world" and not geometry, the separation will be in terms of objects. The objects occupy volume. The separation is thus in terms of volume. If you wish to refine the separation further, use smaller objects.

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That is not what I was saying at all. Without a reference to place in absolute space and a smallest unit of measurement, the separation between two objects can be determined only in terms of other objects. The meter you refer to does not exist. There is no such "thing" as a meter. A meter is a shorthand way of describing a specific number of objects placed next to one another in a "straight" "line". The objects (perhaps atoms) chosen to be placed in the line will form your yardstick.

Since we are considering "real world" and not geometry, the separation will be in terms of objects. The objects occupy volume. The separation is thus in terms of volume. If you wish to refine the separation further, use smaller objects.

Then tell me how I define a distance in terms of a volume, in a non-arbitrary way.

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I suggest if you look at Post #14, you will determine that I did not introduce Pauli. I responded to what I thought was a mis-quote of Pauli. If StringJunky was not refering to a generalization of Pauli, what was he refering to?

StringJunky did not mention Pauli. I don't think he has actually returned to this thread, but I'm pretty sure he has an understanding of Quantum Mechanics.

He actually said

Two objects cannot simultaneously have the same spatial and temporal co-ordnates i.e. they can only be in the same place at different times or different places at the same time. Therefore one must conclude, by deduction, that a temporal dimension exists.

Now this statement is is correct in classical physics and in relativistic physics. We can set aside the issue of time for this.

But I have already pointed out that is is not applicable in Quantum Mechanics, which does allow interpenetration of objects.

Since SJ is not here to speak for himself I cannot say for certain what he meant, but both swansont and I have been saying the statement is inapplicable to QM and therefore Pauli.

And by the way, I make no "scientific" assertions.

You assert that time does not exist.

I am calling that a scientific assertion. You can call it something else if you wish. It is certainly the main assertion attributable to yourself in this thread.

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And i think that distance IS a phenomenon. Distance has a dramatic influence on a lot of things.

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Then tell me how I define a distance in terms of a volume, in a non-arbitrary way.

Such as the number of atoms that will fit between two objects? Atoms are real things. Your choice of a real thing (a particular atom) to use as your measure may be arbitrary, but the measurement taken will not be; the measurement will be in terms of a real thing. If you are tempted to express distance in terms of the "diameter" of an atom (or anything else) remember that diameter is not a real thing; it is a geometric construct and, as all geometric constructs, that "measure" will be in terms of some real thing which has volume.

There is ample evidence (even in these forums) that geometric constructs such as distance, length, etc are considered real things. Just consider how many today accept that space is 3-D. We even have some saying that we live in 4 dimensions, 3 spatial and 1 time. How sad. Space has only 1 dimension and that is what we call volume. Everything that we refer to as normal matter is experienced only because it occupys volume. Volume cannot be reduced, nor expanded, to anything else. It may seem like a small point, but ignoring it leads to confusion.

...

You assert that time does not exist.

I am calling that a scientific assertion. You can call it something else if you wish. It is certainly the main assertion attributable to yourself in this thread.

Yes I do assert that time does not exist. Science is discovery. Time has not been discovered and cannot be discovered; it is a product of the mind, not a real thing. We discover only real things. How do we discover that something does not exist, by not discovering it? No, we cannot discover something that does not exist. What we do, at best, is counter any argument, or prove false any evidence, that the supposed thing does exist.

My argument thus far has been that the only evidence for the existence of time is our recognition of change. If time were a real thing intelligence would not be prerequisite for its application.

And i think that distance IS a phenomenon. Distance has a dramatic influence on a lot of things.

Not sure what you mean by "influence". The only things that influence any other "thing" are the objects in the thing's surroundings. Action and reaction? Distance is a measure, commonly a geometric construct. Difficult to see how a construct (a not-real thing) would interact with real things.

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Sorry, but if you accept that distance is real due to it being measurable using atoms, you also have to accept time to be "real" in the same sense. Just as length can be defined as what you measure with a ruler, time can be defined as what you measure with a clock, or if you want to go to the atomic level by the number of periods of a given oscillatory system.

It even turns out that the concepts of time and space are intimately tied together within relativity. Now as a physicist I do not like to talk about things being real or not because that would imply a philosophical argument about what real is (much like this one). All I do care about is whether or not a given theory fits with my observations

My favorite example here is the wave-particle duality in QM: is the electron (for example) a wave or a little billiard ball? The answer to this should be that it is neither - it is an electron and an electron happens to have some properties reminiscent of wave properties and some reminiscent of billiard balls. Both of these are more or less pronounced in different setups, some of which show signs of both and typically this is what seems to confuse people...

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Such as the number of atoms that will fit between two objects? Atoms are real things

Atoms may be real but are numbers real?

And What about the questions: What are atoms? What are numbers? or even What is real? or What is a thing?

I read that post and found it quite interesting. Although I could not agree with the conclusion at the end, I found the analysis part was perceptive, but incomplete.

That is because you were accepting the common notion that time requires change, or is associated with change.

Let us accept for the purposes of the following thought experiment that atoms and numbers (of atoms) exist and can be recorded as you stated in post#288.

Now let us make repeated observations on a particular plutonium atom. That is to say we fix a plutonium atom into position and then confirm a number of times that it is a plutonium atom.

We will find that after some N observations it is no longer a plutonium atom, and yes change has occurred.

But for (N-1) observations there has been no change.

If we now repeat this experiment many times for many plutonium atoms we will find many different values for N.

Notice at this point, time has not been mentioned.

Being intelligent, enquiring beings we wish to go further than this an explore the ramifications of this discovery.

What value of N should we expect for a given random plutonium atom?

What % of atoms will still be there after N experiments on N atoms?

and many more questions.

After a bit of head scratching and some mathematics we will be led to the inescapable conclusion that the dynamics of finding change or no change is better represented by an underlying running variable than on the number of observations or the number of atoms.

Scientifically the correct procedure in this situation is to introduce a new variable and give it a name.

I therefore dub this variable Time. Arise Sir Time!

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Sorry, but if you accept that distance is real due to it being measurable using atoms, you also have to accept time to be "real" in the same sense. Just as length can be defined as what you measure with a ruler, time can be defined as what you measure with a clock, or if you want to go to the atomic level by the number of periods of a given oscillatory system.

It even turns out that the concepts of time and space are intimately tied together within relativity. Now as a physicist I do not like to talk about things being real or not because that would imply a philosophical argument about what real is (much like this one). All I do care about is whether or not a given theory fits with my observations

My favorite example here is the wave-particle duality in QM: is the electron (for example) a wave or a little billiard ball? The answer to this should be that it is neither - it is an electron and an electron happens to have some properties reminiscent of wave properties and some reminiscent of billiard balls. Both of these are more or less pronounced in different setups, some of which show signs of both and typically this is what seems to confuse people...

One could produce a clock and define what is observed as any term one might wish. The common term is indeed time. But, I suggest you consider that we also define love, hate, fear, mind and many other "things" which do not "exist". The only way we can clain that anything exists is that the thing presents some evidence of interacting with its surroundings. The list of defined things includes many that do not. Time is one that does not. Tell me why we should accept as existent anything which requires intelligence in order to manifest itself. No, time is just another artifact of memory.

Atoms may be real but are numbers real?

And What about the questions: What are atoms? What are numbers? or even What is real? or What is a thing?

I read that post and found it quite interesting. Although I could not agree with the conclusion at the end, I found the analysis part was perceptive, but incomplete.

That is because you were accepting the common notion that time requires change, or is associated with change.

Let us accept for the purposes of the following thought experiment that atoms and numbers (of atoms) exist and can be recorded as you stated in post#288.

Now let us make repeated observations on a particular plutonium atom. That is to say we fix a plutonium atom into position and then confirm a number of times that it is a plutonium atom.

We will find that after some N observations it is no longer a plutonium atom, and yes change has occurred.

But for (N-1) observations there has been no change.

If we now repeat this experiment many times for many plutonium atoms we will find many different values for N.

Notice at this point, time has not been mentioned.

Being intelligent, enquiring beings we wish to go further than this an explore the ramifications of this discovery.

What value of N should we expect for a given random plutonium atom?

What % of atoms will still be there after N experiments on N atoms?

and many more questions.

After a bit of head scratching and some mathematics we will be led to the inescapable conclusion that the dynamics of finding change or no change is better represented by an underlying running variable than on the number of observations or the number of atoms.

Scientifically the correct procedure in this situation is to introduce a new variable and give it a name.

I therefore dub this variable Time. Arise Sir Time!

You post above: "That is because you were accepting the common notion that time requires change, or is associated with change."

Not so. I have stated that time is what we refer to when we invoke our memory of multiple observations. Your own post here affirms that change does not require time to occur. Were there to be no change, there would be no different observations, no memories and no concept of time. Time is a product of the mind.

Show me where time is manifested in non-intelligent objects. Change, through interactions with an object's surroundings is manifested of course, but not time.

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Fred Champion post#63

You post above: "That is because you were accepting the common notion that time requires change, or is associated with change."

Not so.

This is a direct contradiction to what you said earlier in the thread (Post#21)

Fred Champion post#21

In order for the state of an object to link to time it would have to include the recognition of some sort of change (velocity, momentum,etc) and change is recognized only over two or more states.

Yes I do indeed agree that change is not necessary for the concept of time and offered a practical example of where multiple repeat obervations yielding identical outcomes leads to the conclusion that a time variable is necessary to describe the situation.

But, just as when I proved your statements about quantum mechanics in general and Pauli in particular to be ill founded, you have chosen to ignore that which does not fit conveniently with your current response.

Edited by studiot
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One could produce a clock and define what is observed as any term one might wish. The common term is indeed time. But, I suggest you consider that we also define love, hate, fear, mind and many other "things" which do not "exist". The only way we can clain that anything exists is that the thing presents some evidence of interacting with its surroundings. The list of defined things includes many that do not. Time is one that does not. Tell me why we should accept as existent anything which requires intelligence in order to manifest itself. No, time is just another artifact of memory.

You are restricting the definition of real to something that is a physical object. Does pressure exist?

Show me where time is manifested in non-intelligent objects. Change, through interactions with an object's surroundings is manifested of course, but not time.

How can you have change without time?

How can you have two physical, macroscopic objects existing in the same spatial position if there is no fourth dimension to differentiate them?

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Further to what studiot and swansont have already pointed out, causality is directly dependant on time, i.e. effect must fallow cause.

I fail to see how memory can be the cause of an effect and how causality doesn't apply to non-intelligent objects.

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(....)

Show me where time is manifested in non-intelligent objects. Change, through interactions with an object's surroundings is manifested of course, but not time.

Fatigue is an example.

In materials science, fatigue is the weakening of a material caused by repeatedly applied loads. It is the progressive and localized structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic loading. The nominal maximum stress values that cause such damage may be much less than the strength of the material typically quoted as the ultimate tensile stress limit, or the yield stress limit.

Fatigue occurs when a material is subjected to repeated loading and unloading. If the loads are above a certain threshold, microscopic cracks will begin to form at the stress concentrators such as the surface, persistent slip bands (PSBs), and grain interfaces.[1] Eventually a crack will reach a critical size, the crack will propagate suddenly, and the structure will fracture. The shape of the structure will significantly affect the fatigue life; square holes or sharp corners will lead to elevated local stresses where fatigue cracks can initiate. Round holes and smooth transitions or fillets will therefore increase the fatigue strength of the structure.

In this article, time is not directly mentioned but indirectly through the words "repeatedly", "progressive".

The wiki article in French has a direct mention of time.

La fatigue est un processus (succession de mécanismes) qui sous l'action de contraintes ou déformations variables dans le temps modifie les propriétés locales d’un matériau et peut entraîner la formation de fissures et éventuellement la rupture de la structure

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You are restricting the definition of real to something that is a physical object. Does pressure exist?

How can you have change without time?

How can you have two physical, macroscopic objects existing in the same spatial position if there is no fourth dimension to differentiate them?

No, pressure does not exist. Pressure is a description of the interaction of real objects. Descriptions are not objects.

Change occurs when an object interacts with its surroundings. Action sufficient to surpass a steady state threshold must be input into the object. Change happens because some external influence causes it to happen. This is not time dependent. Ever hear the statement "an object at rest ..."? The quantuum boys tell us change happens in units, not continuously, not half way and then halfway again. There is no time component in change. Change is physical, time is mental. Jeez, I'm beginning to think this is some sort of test to see how may ways I can say it.

Two physical macroscopic objects will not exist in the same spatial position.

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The point is that your definition of what is real and not seems a bit arbitrary and mainly philosophical in nature. In addition, your philosophical view of things directly contradicts how they are described in the prevailing physical models.

In the end, all physical models and concepts are just descriptions and make no claim whatsoever to describe something "real" - only to provide a good description of what has been observed and make predictions about what will be observed.

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Further to what studiot and swansont have already pointed out, causality is directly dependant on time, i.e. effect must fallow cause.

I fail to see how memory can be the cause of an effect and how causality doesn't apply to non-intelligent objects.

In order for causality to be directly dependent upon time, each particular cause must have a time component. It doesn't. Each domino will fall if and only if another domino falls upon it. Of course there is always the question of what made the first domino fall.

Memory is not a cause; I never claimed that. We recognize now and we remember what we call "earlier". What we call time is just that perception of change. Without memory there would be no perception of change, nothing that we could call time.

Fatigue is an example.

In this article, time is not directly mentioned but indirectly through the words "repeatedly", "progressive".

The wiki article in French has a direct mention of time.

I know what fatigue is; I have worked directly with it at Lockheed. At each cycle, a small change occurs. There is no time component. The loading and subsequent failure will occur after a number of cycles independent of the frequency of application, given that thermal loading is not induced.

The point is that your definition of what is real and not seems a bit arbitrary and mainly philosophical in nature. In addition, your philosophical view of things directly contradicts how they are described in the prevailing physical models.

In the end, all physical models and concepts are just descriptions and make no claim whatsoever to describe something "real" - only to provide a good description of what has been observed and make predictions about what will be observed.

Yes, I understand that "real" is a hotly debated philosophical term. Of course I don't see my view of real as arbitrary or in conflict with prevaling physics. To me, what is real is what "is". I do think some confuse what is real with what we can know. I suggest that our capacity to know it or about it is not a prerequsite for something to be real.

I can see no value in any model in physics which fails to describe what is. A description of what has been and predictions about what may be observed is not good enough. A good model should recognize the capacity to, and limits of, observation and the potential distortions implicit therein.

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Yes, I understand that "real" is a hotly debated philosophical term. Of course I don't see my view of real as arbitrary or in conflict with prevaling physics. To me, what is real is what "is". I do think some confuse what is real with what we can know. I suggest that our capacity to know it or about it is not a prerequsite for something to be real.

Then in some sense your definition is circular or dependent on the definition of what "is". Cogito ergo sum? This debate is then completely philosophical in nature and has nothing to do with science.

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Hi guys, I just bumped into this thread. If swanson will let me speak, I can tell you something about the subject. I wrote an essay on time back in 2006 and have been improving it constantly. There's a version on this forum called "Time Explained v3.0" which is in the speculations section.

Are you there swanson? Farsight here. Permission to speak?

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Hi guys, I just bumped into this thread. If swanson will let me speak, I can tell you something about the subject. I wrote an essay on time back in 2006 and have been improving it constantly. There's a version on this forum called "Time Explained v3.0" which is in the speculations section.

Are you there swanson? Farsight here. Permission to speak?

That was back in 2007!

I have a totally different POV on what time "is".

Somewhere along your posts I found this:

If the universe consisted of no objects whatsoever, we could not say the universe even existed. We could hold no concept of time, and no concept of space. If the universe consisted of one object and that object alone, we could hold no concept of space, for that object is the whole universe. If the universe consisted of two objects and two objects alone, separated by some distance, we could then hold a concept of space. But if those objects do not move, we can hold no concept of time. When those objects do move, then and only then can we conceive of time, for it is not time and space that are cofounded, it is time and motion that are cofounded.

IMHO it is completeley wrong. The premise is wrong.

"If the universe consisted of one object and that object alone" is a statement that supposes that something can "exist" just like that. Frozen in time, without space. Without interactions. Without any of the 4 fundamental interactions. This cannot be.

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Then in some sense your definition is circular or dependent on the definition of what "is". Cogito ergo sum? This debate is then completely philosophical in nature and has nothing to do with science.

Yes, most discussions on what we know and can know eventually reduce to an a priori notion of some sort.

I'll say this, not as a defence of philosophy in science, but just as an observation: the PH in your PHD stands for what? Yep. And what is that PH that you are a doctor of? Yep. That sheepskin says you understand the PH. I suggest that a person's PH about or relative to a given subject to be that person's approach to the subject. We cannot approach any subject without a PH about it. That PH may not be fully developed or codified, but it will be what it is. So, the way you approach science is your PH of science and it will determine the way you go about it.

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While all science is philosophy, not all philosophy is science.

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