Why? Well, if it's something I'm taking my time to write back to one on, then it's on a matter that is owed some degree of intellectual pursuit. Or I'm drunk. Or both. Whatever.
Oh, right. Small detail: if you can't get the little bits right, you should probably not be overly surprised when people who've been successfully graduated from (a non-public?) high school don't take your more 'refined' claims all that seriously. For instance. You knew there would be one, right? After all, it's not like I just randomly blog about any old nothing! No, I blog about particular nothings. And here's one. Nothing exists outside of our minds.
It's a fair enough conversation to have if one wants to keep things out of the realm of science. But A. Hughman is clearly not happy with that. So, we have, apparently, philosophy, science and poetry all in one. He makes mention that sound is a pressure wave in air. Well, more than that. It's a wave of pressure propagating through air which hits an eardrum. But more importantly it is interpreted by a brain. (and ultimately, dear readers, it's really about language) This is important because of the non-thought experiment asked in circles of self-styled sophisticates: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? See. Well, Hear. Just ask yourself. Somewhere in the world a tree has just fallen. Did you hear it?
Apparently, you'll be happy to know, it doesn't. You
If Richard Feynman were still alive, I'd go kick him right in the nuts for filling my head with notions that it wasn't an antenna that made Moscow Radio exist, or that made the radio waves materialize. He lied to me saying that they were there the whole time.
Fair-minded readers might take his first sentence or two at face value: he's not really saying that things stop existing if a brain isn't there in the mix. Rather, only, our ability to comment on them is absent. Clearly, I'm not so generous because, again, he undertakes to explain physics in this sketch of his. This means it's not a 'what-if' or 'gee-whiz' question, the likes of which a properly educated philosopher might think is a legitimate variety of question a respectable person can straight-faced ask in polite society. No, he's drawing this as a direct model of our actual universe. A statement of how information propagates through a 'sound' wave (through air!).
Why does this matter, and why do I care, or why should you?
He's not alone. This is the kind of routine, fundamental lack of education in mathematics and the sciences that infects the core of the 'skeptic' movement as regards people of a certain generation. Or rather, I should say, is the apparent core of that generation. The skeptically competent are too busy working in careers of import on matters of relevance. No longer burdened by such mind-straining dilemmas as whether a displacement wave continues to propagate in the absence of an eardrum and the brain to which it's attached, they've cloistered themselves in 'labs' at 'research facilities' where they 'study' slightly more complex problems about this universe of ours.
But 'we' don't hear you. You run obscurely popular blogs (obscure to the public, popular among those who also do 'research', pr 'care' about knowing something about something) that most people aren't aware of. So, in your stead, your proxies are this ilk of vocal, intellectually curious but perhaps, um, academically wanting skeptics who are, talkative, funny and pleasant. I suppose they're also my proxies too because they're willing to ask the questions the average person is willing to ask. Unfortunately, unlike the competent, they're unwilling to answer these questions.
They have a show they run live each Tuesday. On blog tv. And they'll discuss anything (plush toys was one of the more heartwarming ones I watched. Got me right there.)
At bat, we have a musician who likes to contemplate philosophy, logic and say really stupid shit about science (Newtonian mechanics are almost entirely wrong; Relativity 'we know' is almost certainly entirely wrong) and other such pearls of wisdom.
There's a gentleman who likes to subtly peddle his vague religious hankerings and has a master's of science degree in an unspecified field and tells us about, say, water and 'other, more subatomic molecules'.
Michael Payton (yes, the one who had his ass handed to him by William Lame Craig) appears occasionally. He's the one who gave me the study to shore up the claim of "general knowledge' that 'everyone just knows' about 16 year old, black, runaway, homeless, crack addicted hookers (an awfully specific group!), and then rage quit when the publication to which he cited addressed none of the parameters noted above, with the reminder that 'it is kinda' common knowledge.
This is all an outcrop of youtube and, I'm not sure what it is that I'm aiming for here. I go there, and I address some of the issues, but, you know, I'm condescending and a jerk and an asshole (so I'm told!). So, maybe some of you other science types who have superior personalities can give it a go. Because, and you're welcome for the guilt trip, this is who quite a lot (if video views are an indication) of the skeptical, atheist community hear talking. And they think these people are making good sense, and talking about profound Deepities.
In the last month, I've heard that water is like other 'subatomic molecules', Galileo was executed, pressure waves are a language that doesn't exist unless and until someone is listening to it, General Relativity is almost certainly entirely wrong (twice I've heard this one), and I am nonplussed.
Why is it that these people who go around saying things and not immediately standing appropriately embarrassed and apologizing for saying such a stupid, stupid thing are garnering so much attention? Is there some wave that is sweeping the skeptic community where having delusions of mediocrity is a step in the right direction?
So, um, someone clue me in here. What. The. Fuck. Is. Happening?