911 and 77 (21)
Alright, alright, I know I will be accused of generalizing but it's almost, almost, a perfect aphorism as well as, well, actually a perfect assessment of the whole wide physical world. Did you notice I slipped in a little word there: physical, it makes all the difference but few will appreciate such a subtle difference I suspect.
If I correct an apparent oversight first, ALMOST, almost everything is made of nothing, just about. There, that's it precisely.
That subtle correction done, let me move on to the physical world and leave the rest of the world to one side for the moment.
The whole physical world - any part of it you care to define as consisting of at least one electron or just one nucleus or indeed just the pair of them together, the smallest part known to scientific man, doesn't exist, that's right, the electron, the nucleus, the proton, none of them exist, well not as particles anyway and actually not as any kind of object at all.
Apparently these things that have been called particles are not particles at all but a certain geometric structure of something. That's right 'something'. But this something is not anything at all that can be identified in any way as a 'thing' so it is not even really something and less than that generally is said to be 'nothing'. Something or nothing with well, nothing in between.
If you are not of a technical persuasion then let me point out that everything in the physical world is supposed to consist of molecules and all molecules consist of atoms and all atoms consist of a nucleus and orbitting electrons. Personally, I always wondered and wanted to know what these objects, these particles, the electron, the proton, the nucleus, were made of, because, to my mind, they had to be made of something. But the fact is that they don't consist of anything because they don't really exist or at least they don't exist in the sense that they are particles of anything at all.
These particles don't really exist, what appear to be particles don't consist of anything or they consist of a certain kind of inexact something but a something that is not really identifiable other than to call it the ether or aether. The aether is such an old fashioned and actually abandoned word, abandoned for around one hundred years but now back in fashion once again because there is a shortage of other ways to explain what this 'something' is, other than to say it is the aether and, by the way, again apparently but on good authority, this is in abundance in space, in the vacuum of space. Incidentally it seems to be an astonishing source of energy too - as well as hardly existing sufficiently to be identified as something.
This something, the aether, is marginally more substantial than hothing-at-all, so little in fact that it seems to be an exageration to call it something rather than to call it nothing.
This certain geometrical arrangement of 'something', the aether, being the basis of all physicality means, of course, that everything in the physical world or more accurately, everything of a physical nature, is made out of little more than nothing, or nothing at all.
At least this new understanding, that I gleaned recently from listening to one Eugene Mallove (in an excellent radio interview a while back) explaining this and a lot more, makes it much much simpler and easier to figure out how moving one solid object through another solid object should not present a serious problem and, as a kind of bonus, it also means that previously difficult concepts such as teleportation need be hardly more than child's play to perfect. It hardly takes a leap of imagination to see that using teleportation to move people and objects through and across the universe will probably not now be such an impossible task after all. And while this is partly 'tongue in cheek' it is also perfectly reasonable to assume because if the most solid of objects only consists of an geometric arrangement of aether then to move that 'arrangement' from one place to another is more like shifting a piece of software than shifting hardware -- that is the reality, it is not merely a joke.
The aether, it has been agreed for about a century, doesn't exist, technically, scientifically it simply doesn't exist. There has never been any scientific doubt about this for the last one hundred years almost, but, on the other hand, it certainly IS also the expert scientific view of some brilliant physicists, that, at least insofar as the atom and it's constituent parts are concerned, nothing else except the aether exists at all!
This new understanding, therefore, is a kind of meeting place or an accident blackspot if you prefer, where the realm of philosophy, at it's most sublime too, bumps into or crashes into the hard nosed physical world only to discover that it's not really there and never was and, I suppose, it then makes a determined effort not to look surprised as it encounters the puzzled faces of the scientific world arguing among themselves, about whether everything is made out of something or, as now seems to be more certainly the case, everything is made out of nothing, well nothing substantial anyway. They might all just as well add another question to spice up the confusion such as, does this mean that nothing is made out of anything?
By Paul E. Coughlin
8 May 2007