[Originally published as part of Wave-Particle Duality is a Triality]
Three is exact. Always. To infinite precision and regardless of how often it is used, in counting and equations, it never wears down. As is true with all integers, three is always precisely exact.
Protons are always exact as, in our experience, are all neutrons.
Like these baryons, all electrons are exact and identical to particles of their same kind whether primordial or formed just now through decay.
And as with electrons, all the other leptons of the same kind appear to be identical with others of the same kind including electron neutrinos, muons, and tau neutrinos.
Hundreds of thousands of experiments have confirmed the extraordinarily successful mathematics of quantum mechanics leading to the conclusion that all particles of the same kind are identical (Ford, 2005, The Quantum World, p. 100).
- At 1,835 times the (resting) mass of an electron, the proton is relatively enormous yet always exactly the same as all others and the two particles always have the opposite, exactly equal, electrical charges.
- Fermions, including all the particles mentioned so far, along with the quarks, all appear to be identical with others of their same kinds.
- The creatively named up and down, strange and charm, bottom, and top quarks each are identical to all others of the same kind.
- And all of the antiparticles, as expected, such as antilepton positrons, appear to be identical with all others of their same kinds.
As an aside, positron diffraction had been demonstrated in 1980 but it took almost four decades more to perform the full two-slit experiment with antimatter demonstrating the expected wave-particle duality (Ariga, et al., 2018, arxiv.org).
This interference result was first obtained with light in 1801 and then with (normal) matter beginning in 1927 with electrons, then neutrons in 1988, atoms in 1991, and molecules beginning in 1994 with the largest projectiles to date in 2013 using a synthetic carbon-based molecule of 810 atoms (Eibenberger, et al., 2013, arxiv.org) and in 2019 with molecules of 2,000 atoms (Fein, et al., Nature Physics) weighing 25,000 to 40,000 AMU (atomic mass units).
- And likewise all bosons are identical with others of their same kind including the Z particle, the Higgs, and all photons as the ubiquitous and uniform force carrier of electromagnetism. (That is, all photons of the same energy levels are identical to all other similarly energized photons.)
Manufacturing though has taught mankind about unavoidable tolerances. So, how is it that
All like particles, even those just now coming into existence, are apparently all absolutely identical?
The exactness of numbers does not surprise scientists because, though materialists are known to deny this, numbers are not physical.
Science itself cannot exist apart from numbers. And because numbers are not physical, scientific inquiry includes the non-physical. Numbers are a kind of information and, also often denied by materialists, information is not physical.
Protons appear to be physical but certainly, the statement and the concept that they are physical realities are not themselves physical. This statement, and any statement, does not consist of the photons transmitting it to your eyes nor the molecules of ink on a page nor of the sound waves expressing it.
Materialists may object, but they disqualify themselves from being taken seriously. Rules of investigation, whether used by forensic criminologists or corporate accountants, should be valued to the extent that they help discover truth. The rules of the materialist, such as methodological naturalism, accomplish the opposite. Materialism requires adherence to its rules of investigation especially if that means getting the most important answers completely wrong. Reviewing a Carl Sagan title, the famed Richard Lewontin (Jan. 9, 1997, New York Review of Books) admitted:
We take the side of [materialist] science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs [and] in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations…
Materialists’ objections are discarded because they arise from the ultimate bias, which is insistence especially if wrong. Contrary to that lack of humility, the New Testament indicates that even Christianity itself is falsifiable. If Christ is not risen, then our faith is false (1 Cor. 15:14). Yet materialists cannot match such courage, covering themselves in a layer of non-falsifiable anti-science.
So because there is no discovery, or scientific law, or technological advancement that requires or affirms atheism (Enyart, 2011, rsr.org/technology), the public posturing of materialism as more scientific than theism is dishonest.