[extropy-chat] Gravity, Energy , Mass and my mother

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Mar 8 20:45:30 UTC 2006

On 3/7/06, Anne-Marie Taylor <femmechakra at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> >I've been trying to explain to mother (who is a diosis with the Protestant
> >Church) about science.  (Forget about evolution, that's going to take a
> >lot more convincing)
> >I may be completely off, but i'm just trying to explain to her (she is
> very, very
> >old school, pray, be nice and don't think too much:) in easy terms,
> >the concept of e=mc2 using humans as the example.

Anne, humans inhabit a world in-between the very large and the very
small.  In fact, we are roughly in the middle of the scale, with the
very large, cosmic structures like galaxies at one end, and the very
small sub-atomic particles at the the other end.

Einstein's equation e=mc^2 was discovered only recently, in the early
20th century, because its effects aren't normally noticeable and
hardly apply at the human scale.

> >Please let me know that i'm way off before I approach her with my idea:)
> >(And by the way, smileys are cute!)

<smile>  :-)  Yes, I think you are way off on this.  :-)  <smile>

> >If I quoted Albert Einstein with: (She likes him, thinks his smart:)
> >"The body's surface layer is penetrated by energy
> >quanta whose energy is converted at least partially
> >into kinetic energy of the electrons.  The simplest
> >conception is that a light quamtum transfers ! it's
> >entire energy to a single electron..)"

Usually photons transfer all of their energy to an atom at once, but
sometimes they give up their energy gradually by interaction with the
coulomb field of the atom, and there are various types of scattering
which can cause the photon's energy to gradually dissipate over
multiple steps within the body.  How much interaction and the types of
interactions depend on factors such as the energy and angle of the
arriving photon, and the nature of the material.

But I don't think this has anything to do with interactions between
humans at the human scale.

> Then I will say:
> >If we are all energy that equals mass, to be attracted
> >to someone, you would need gravity.

All bodies are subject to gravitational force in relation to their
mass, and scientists have demonstrated that even photons are subject
to gravitational attraction, but this is nothing like the emotional
attraction that people feel for each other.

> >Then, If energy equals mass times the speed of light, then
> >at certain times people meet for a specific reason.  (Or if they
> >meet and exchange energy with someone that may be causing radiation,
> >they too may become contaminated.)

This paragraph suggests to me that you may want to take a basic
conceptual physics class so you will understand the scientific meaning
of "energy", "mass", "radiation", and so on.  Your statement just
doesn't make any sense in scientific terms.

> >And if e=mc2, then couldn't it mean that their are
> >other energies that effect humans that may cause
> >electromagnetic fields based on the time.
> >(if you haven't already became radiation.)

Electromagnetic fields and radiation are all around us, and all bodies
emit, absorb, and reflect radiation in various ways that are quite
well understood.  This doesn't normally have much to do with e=mc2,
however, at the level at which it is practiced by engineers and

> >Which in turn would lead to the need to understand
> >awareness in humans? (Knowing the right time)

This is so disjointed I don't know what I could say to help here.
On a completely different tangent, I think understanding awareness is
extremely important to humans and human society, since increasing
awareness tends to lead to better decision-making.  I also think it is
important to understand what we mean by both subjective and objective

> >Which Buddha describes: To becoming a full conscious human being.!
> >(I won't tell her it was Buddha)

To become "fully conscious" as the Buddha teaches is about quieting
the mind and becoming more aware of the inner chatter, mental filters
and preconceptions that interfere with seeing things more clearly.

> >And just out of curiosity, have scientists measured awareness?

Awareness can be tested and measured in specific terms under specific
conditions, but some philosophers continue to argue about what
"awareness" really means.

> >Any comments or suggestions are always welcome,
> >it makes me smarter
> >Thanks Anna

I would comment that there is much we already know and understand
about the world we live in.  There is even more that we don't yet know
and understand.  A scientific approach is the best approach we
currently have toward refining what we think we already know and
uncovering further mysteries and new questions we can ask.

I wish you a delightful and rewarding journey along whichever path you follow.

- Jef

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