Re: constructs, science and religion

W Ramsay (
Mon, 17 Jun 1996 15:16:50 +0100

>Dear Bill-
>How nice to hear from you directly.
>Having grown up on the coast of Maine, and spent many a summer at the
>Jersey shore, I certainly can appreciate the phenomenon of 'tides.'
>However, I'm not sure I got your point...would you elucidate?
>Thanks, Gary

Trying to put what Lois said a bit more simply & empirically. I grew up on
the conventional explanation of tides as due to gravity. I also grew up on
Einstein (in a lay kind of way, being a chemist) but never connected the two
until a Scientific American article a few years ago pointed out the
space-time model. Blew my mind, made me reconstrue the whole thing. Point
is, to say "Gravity IS .. " thus, for me, gets a lot closer to religion than
to science, which I thought was paradoxical, given the stance you seemed to
be taking. The search by physicists for a Grand Unified Theory of
Everything is, among other things, an attempt to reconcile the 'gravity' and
'space-time curvature' models. Curiously, it's gravity that screws most of
the attempts up...

Incidentally, I always liked Einstein's expression of it: 'Space tells
matter how to move and matter tells space how to curve'. Cool!

Maine is a beautiful place. I have happy memories of a camping holiday my
wife and I spent there, around Marblehead and Bar Harbour, many years ago
when we taught at McGill, in Montreal. It's high on our list of places to
revisit the minute we retire. Too good to waste a short visit on.

Kind regards,


Bill Ramsay,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Jordanhill Campus,
G13 1PP,

'phone: +44 (0)141 950 3364
'fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367