The philosophy of physics; or, the physics of philosophy

As the holder of two degrees, one a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering, and the other a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, I have often struggled deeply with questions that relate the observable physical world to the ponderable intellectual ideas.

Can all questions be answered? Is it possible to ask a logically valid question that has no valid answer? Why are we here, who put us here, and how can we ever find out? Where does physics end and philosophy begin?

Here are just a few of the questions I am still struggling with, as well as my attempts to answer them.

1. If a flaming meteor is hurtling toward the Earth directly toward you at twice the speed of sound, would you hear it before it pulverized you and your neighbourhood into a brazillion pieces?

2. How much is a brazillion, anyway?

3. You fill a cup of coffee with a blend of fine imported Brownian motion. Before you can drink any of it, your cat, Schroedinger, knocks it to the floor, spilling half of it on the ground. Is the cup now half full or half empty?

4. What is the molecular basis of consciousness?

5. If God created everything, who created God?

6. Use your answer to question 5 to prove that God exists.

7. Use your answer to question 5 to prove that God does not exist.

8. Use the space provided to draw a four-sided triangle.

9. Was Leonardo da Vinci a physicist or a philosopher?

10. The president of Canada looks at himself in the mirror. Why is his reflection inverted left-to-right, but not upside-down?

ANSWERS (Don't peek!)

1. No.

2. More than a trillion and less than a venezuellion.

3. Yes.

4. Who knows? Try a Google search.

5. Creation is the act of putting something into existence at time t that did not exist at time t-1. Since God created time, there could not have been any notion of God himself being created, and the question is therefore meaningless.

6. The creator of time must exist in a dimension outside of time altogether. God created time, so he must exist.

7. All things that exist had to have been created. Since God could never have been created, he cannot exist.

8. The existence of a three-sided triangle over a period of time is a four-sided triangle, the fourth side being its projection in the dimension of time.

9. He was an artist.

10. This is a trick question. Canada does not have a president. The Canadian head of state is correctly referred to as the Supremely Commanding Chief Governmental Officer.


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