How does belief in tachyons differ in kind from belief in God?

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Given that the limiting velocity in our universe is the speed of light and tachyons move at greater than light speed and can never slow down to light speed, therefore being doomed to exist (if at all) forever beyond our event horizon how can their existence ever be proved? And if proof of their existence is not possible then is belief in their existence similar in kind to a belief in God, i.e., requiring faith?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyon
[????] – Just to set the record straight, I was not here suggesting (nor would I ever suggest) that tachyons or any other hypothetical construct could be compared to the notion of God. What I was asking (note, “asking,” not “suggesting”) was whether there was a similarity in the form of thought between the one and the other. The question basically has to do with the notion that just possibly, in their farthest, most remote extremities the fundamental approaches to understanding the universe of religion and science might actually be tangential. That is, do faith and the scientific method at some point actually touch one another peaceably, embrace even? See, if that were the case then that final apocalyptic battle between faith and reason might never have to take place.
(continued below)
Sadly, it seems the scientists (at least most of them) won’t budge an inch here. So get ready to man the battle stations. Me? Personally I don’t like to take sides. I’m gonna get me a nice seat on the 50 yard line, bring a warm blanket, maybe some booze, and just sit back and enjoy all the fun. Its gonna be the most fun anyone has had since those Greek gods of yore watched (and, I’m sure, had a good laugh at ) the mortals of Troy and Mycenae face off at one another.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply the answers here weren’t open to a truce of some sort. See, however, a few of the answers I got when I entered this same question in the Physics category. Some were OK, some even good, but a few….Well you’ll see what I mean. Here’s the link to make your travels easier:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AnNbZi4ERakJ5JwvdvJz8nDsy6IX?qid=20061103073020AAckHyU
efw – “Objective reality” versus “darkness and ignorance?” See, now them’s fightin’ words. I might accept the first part of that premise but I think it gets a little lopsided and biased toward the end. Why can’t we all just be friends?
Glad I got you all riled ’cause now I know how you all REALLY feel.

6 Comments

  1. All great answers above, all showing logic and rationality at work. Talking about a supernatural deity, however, requires that all logic and rationality be left at the door. Faith in a supernatural deity does not require proof or evidence, while the research on tachyons, cosmic rays, photons, dark matter, and other sub atomic particles or cosmic phenomena requires observation and cold investigation by scientists, theoretical physicists and assorted astronomers.

  2. Is this a tachyon trap to catch the unsuspecting anomalous universal travelers? 🙂
    But to answer your question: It sounds like you already know quite a bit about tachyons ? at least the rudimentary stuff (and what you don?t know you could always easily ?google?) ? so I am not gonna bore you to death with technical details here. Just keep in mind that tachyons, at least as they stand in today?s physics, are considered purely hypothetical particles/theoretical constructs, although a number of serious researcher have long proposed exceedingly clever experiments aiming at verifying their existence indirectly. As an avid enthusiast in the subject, you might also find their string theory treatments refreshingly fascinating. In any event, no scientist, to my knowledge at least, has ever claimed that a tachyon must have created/originated the Universe. Nor has any scientist ever declared having faith in its omnipotent and omnipresent powers. Just because there is a valid theoretical basis for the existence of a ?hypothetical? particle, it does not mean that it can be compared with the notion of God, at least not anymore than any other hypothetical/theoretical construct/axiom, such as a ?point? or a ?line?, etc., could be.
    P.S. The singularity of the Big Bang Model is perhaps somewhat closer to the general idea of what you had in mind here – but even then it is NEVER a question of faith.

  3. Tachyons are potentially prove-able. God is necessarily beyond human experience. So its the difference between me asking you to believe in some directions I give you to a store that you haven;t been too before and do not know the way too, and asking you to believe in invisible and intangible faeries that are all pervasive and wear cute socks but can never interact with you or anyone else.

  4. I suppose some physicists “believe” in tachyons. Some physicists also believe in God. If you looked hard enough you might find that most scientists also have some belief in some kind of divinity. Whether that divinity has the properties described in the Bible, the Koran or any other scripture is another matter entirely.
    Incidentally I have read that according to relativity theory, or some version of it, some particles may travel at the speed of light (the ones without rest mass?), for instance, photons. However there appears to be no prohibition on some particles travelling faster than the speed of light. Many proposed particles are mathematical constructs rather than things with an objective reality. However the development of physics over the past 120 years has shown that some of the mathematical constructs turn out to have an objective reality.
    The existence of some gizmo A that is not directly detectable may be deduced from it’s effect on something that is detectable. If the effect is consistent with the proposed properties of A and nothing else, then it is reasonable to presume that A has been detected.
    Since dieties are now said to refuse to prove that they exist, then it is very difficult to find objective evidence that they do.
    Remember this. History is littered with abandoned gods.

  5. Well, first of all, no one has died from belief in the existance or non-existence of tachyons. Second of all, no one has actually said they they DO exist, just that they might. So, these are kinda like…tachyon agnostics. But any true scientist does not take anything on belief alone, it violates the scientific method.

  6. Belief in a theory which has some compelling evidence (or in this case, can be used to explain other phenomina in the natural universe) does not require a change in your lifestyle, nor in your day to day actions without proof. “God” does.
    Furthermore, those who believe that tachyons MAY or MAY NOT exist are actively trying to further the theory and prove it one way or the other. Christians have no interest in such work… all they do is refer back to the bible which is of no use if you don’t believe in God.
    This would be like the proponents of tachyon theory saying something along the lines of “for proof of the existence of tachyons, lets assume that tachyons exist.
    Christians flatly refuse to apply the scientific method to the existence of god, because if they did so the religion would be finished.

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