On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:

>  On 7/23/2011 9:45 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
>  If you want to formulate block time without reifying spacetime, then just
> consider block time a collection of events separated by certain distances
> and directions from eachother.  You may be right that ultimately this is all
> related to a theory of observation, and I think I can understand what you
> mean by relativity explaining the organization of these
> events/observations.  In any case, a block universe seems to be a simpler
> theory than that of one in which objects become real and become unreal
> continuously, and it is consistent with observations.  There is no
> scientific justification for presentism that I am aware of.
> Jason
> Hi Jason,
>     But can't you see that I am arguing against any form of spacetime
> substantivalism, this includes block spacetime, block time, presentism (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism_%28philosophy_of_time%29),
> eternalism (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternalism_%28philosophy_of_time%29), etc.
> The idea that events exist with specific properties attached independent of
> specification of measurement - of which observation by humans is a special
> case - is what I am arguing against. See:
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-holearg/ for the full details.
> Substantivalism just a hold over of Aether theories.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories and I argue that it is an
> unnecessary hypothesis.
>     One specific observation that for me nails substantivalism is the
> observation of no delay or polarization difference between ultra high gamma
> photons and gamma photons of lower energies from the same gamma ray buster
> event. Spacetime is show to be smooth at all energy scales, this is contra
> all theories that treat spacetime as some kind of substance.
Substantivalism doesn't treat spacetime as a "substance" in the sense of
necessarily being made up of discrete grainy bits (which is all that the
gamma ray prediction was meant to test, see
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630111540.htm ), it just
says that spacetime has physical properties of its own, like the notion of
the different curvature at different points in spacetime which is present in
general relativity. See also the discussion of "sophisticated
substantivalism" on p. 9 of
also at
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0402/papers/sheffield.pdf (the author also
apparently wrote a thesis about this and is in the process of writing a
book, see the bottom of the page at
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0402/research/ )

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