A substantial part of philosophy of science has devoted itself to the production of straw man arguments in the absence of any real breakthrough and substantial contribution. Especially troublesome are attempts to question the validity of empirically confirmed physical laws, such as the law of conservation of energy in mechanics, by applying them arbitrarily and without any reality check to absurd thought experiments involving the concept of infinity and point masses.
The latest paper disposed in the junk archive is a clear indication of the state of decadence in contemporary philosophy of science.
In the paper “Nonconservation of Energy and Loss of Determinism. II. Colliding with an open set“, by Atkinson, David and Johnson, Porter, which remarkably enough was published in a peer reviewed journal, the following statement is made (Section 2):
“An infinite number of identical, stationary point masses (Zeno balls) are placed at the Zeno points 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8…on a straight line.”
Let us think about this: what is a point mass? How small is a point mass? Where can one find a point mass in this universe? Why the authors do not understand that the notion of a ball and a point mass are contradictory?
If philosophy of physics cannot comply to the reality of this world, then it is only a straw man generating process. In the mentioned paper, the authors had to invent point masses because for any finite radius R > 0, such that R is smaller than a every small number M, there is a pair of adjacent Zeno points Zn and Zn+1 such than |Zn – Zn+1| < 2M, with n being an index that depends on M. As a result, after a certain point, nature does not allow the existence of infinite balls of equal finite radius at Zeno points, no matter how small the radius is, and the number of balls is finite, it cannot be infinite.
If the ball radius decreases according to some function, the same will happen. The only way to have infinite balls on infinite Zeno points is to distort the very essence of reality, which is that matter has extension. But what purpose could such distortion serve? It is clear that one of the purposes is the creation of a straw man argument to serve as the basis for the publication of a paper in a “peer” reviewed journal, which applies laws of nature to absurd distortions of reality.
Some philosophers should understand that nature insures that the law of the conservation of energy is never violated and prevents any potential violations by establishing bounds on the existence of systems that intend doing that.
Another shock from a paper in the junk `archive, a place full of epistemological and physical straw man arguments.