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Postmodern Deconstruction Of Newtonian Science

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by drsha, May 10, 2010.

  1. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Theory & Science (2001)
    ISSN: 1527-5558
    Postmodern Deconstruction Of Newtonian Science:
    A Physical-to-social Transposition Of Causality

    L. Frederick Zaman III
    Neural Engineering Research & Development
    Hill AFB


    I came across this article that discusses deconstructing Newtonian Science from being applied to biological situations, in this case social power in natural science.

    Lacking Newtonian Credentials, I am not sure if I am onto something but it seems to state that biolgical variables are creating new schools of thought that are reducing the value of physical law as it is applied clinically to human social events.

    I am wondering if that relates to the variables that exist in human function that I believe reduce our ability to trust Newton's Laws to produce evidence worthy of being incorporated into EBP.

  2. Graham

    Graham RIP

    May the "force" be with you.

  3. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    This for me is a difficult read but I'll have a go at what I think what they are saying.
    It happens that traditionally social science uses the concepts of Newtonian physics to explain the dynamics of social interaction. I.E. Cause and Effect where cause is always precedes effect or change -(Subjective follows objective). Newtons 1st law = a body remains in a constant state until acted upon by an outside force.

    This seems to be true in terms of matter but at the atomic level cause and change are interchangeable and at any level cause and change are relative.

    Newtons basis is that things cannot effect change upon themselves (1st Law) However another theory (SAC) says that change comes first before cause. Social change can come from within, which is kind of the human condition. We are thought. energy. action, we cannot act first without thought and we require energy to accomplish objective action the subjective thought. So if we imagine a ball moved by a hand then to the mover the subjective thought came first but to the moved (or observer of the moved) the objective cause came first.

    Since we deal with matter (that is not at the atomic level) in terms of our own perspective we can only use Newtonian mechanics where we see and experience cause and effect, where the cause can only come from some outside source.

    Shoot me down in flames if you will

    Regards Dave
  4. drsha

    drsha Banned

    David Stated:
    So if we imagine a ball moved by a hand then to the mover the subjective thought came first but to the moved (or observer of the moved) the objective cause came first.

    Since we deal with matter (that is not at the atomic level) in terms of our own perspective we can only use Newtonian mechanics where we see and experience cause and effect, where the cause can only come from some outside source.

    DrSha Replies:
    Can we add to your statement that the ball can not have internal ability to alter its path or momentum in any way?

    Because if the ball was a cat and was alive it could slow down, vary its CoP, move against GRF, etc. wouldn’t that make Newtonian mechanics far less impactive and valuable clinically?


  5. [​IMG]
  6. drsha

    drsha Banned


    I knew I loved u!


    Can I get an email of a good quality jpeg (or the like) of this illustration for my lectures?

    As a special thank you, I will start a new thread discussing and listing some of the early evidence that has guided my Biomechanics EBP.
  7. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    I once ran over a cat with my car on the freeway. Apparently his owner didn't tell him that he was exempt from the laws of physics. Fortunately I taught my car about the laws of physics, otherwise the cat might have crushed my car with me in it.
  8. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    Yesterday I ordered a book called Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Human Movements. Take a look through part of this book on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736064028/ref=oss_product

    Here is part of the introduction:
    Study of the mechanics of a system must begin with knowledge of the size, shape and inertial properties of the parts that compose it. Further knowledge is required on the kinematics and frictional characteristics of the mechanical linkage of mechanical parts. The study is complicated by knowledge of the properties the motive forces driving the system. This outline relates particularly to a system that does not change once constructed. Alternatively, the biomechanical system is subject to change. Its individual parts or segments, largely constructed of bone, muscle, and fat are nonuniform and can change their size, shape and inertial characteristics with age, use and nutrition. The linkages or joints between segments have some interesting properties that can also change with these factors. Lastly, the motors or muscles driving the segments that are subject to change. It is these animal motors that not only allow us to move, but predispose us to patterns of movement depending upon the goals of our movement. This chapter concerns the structure of the human body primarily from the point of view that we are a moving machine capable of an enormous range of skills, but also capable of breakdown.

    Dennis, I think it is possible for practitioners to understand the concepts of physics that influence human locomotion and associated pathology without having a highly advanced level of education in physics. The average practitioner doesn’t need to do complex calculations to understand the effects of stress and strain on bone and soft tissue or the fundamentals of basic human movement. Therefore I believe it is import to differentiate the knowledge that is required to conduct research or evaluate research from the knowledge that is required to apply biomechanics clinically. I hope the book that I referenced above will help me better explain this perspective and that's why I ordered it yesterday. Given this new tread you started, I think my timing couldn't have been better.

    I hate to see good practitioners get turned off to biomechanics because of the intimidation factor. The challenge of “podiatric biomechanics” as I see it, is explain physics in a practical format for the average practitioner. That means that the average practitioner must make the effort to understand the basic language and concepts of physics. We can’t make up our own terms or language, because this creates a disconnect from the greater medial and scientific community.

    My point about running over the cat is that the laws of physics exist to help us understand the physical world around us and their action is real, regardless of how we might “feel” about them or try to explain it. The fact that we are social being has no bearing on the actions of the physical world. If a giant asteroid strikes the earth, it won’t separate who it kills by social or philosophical rules.

  9. Here's a nice paper for all the cat lovers out there which shows that cat's do obey the laws of physics... Lots of studies of gait and reflexes on cats in the literature.

    Why no photo's of the experimental set-up in this paper?
  10. Jeff:

    Excellent comment!:good:

    I am continually amazed at how little of basic biomechanics tereminology many podiatrists truly do understand. Then, there are even some podiatrists that even go so far to argue that "we are making things too complex" when we start using the same basic terminology that the physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, undergraduate and graduate biomechanics students and engineering students use daily in their studies/careers.

    Luckily, on Podiatry Arena, we have a good number of intelligent podiatrists, and even some very intelligent orthosis lab owners;), that do recognize the importance of "speaking the same language" as physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, undergraduate and graduate biomechanics students and engineering students when it comes to foot and lower extremity biomechanics.

    As the Italian orthopedic surgeon that invited me to speak in Rome said over dinner the night after the Rome seminar last week, "it was nice to hear you describe foot function in terms I understood because so many other podiatrists use 'voodoo concepts' to try and explain the mechanical function of the foot and lower extremity.":drinks
  11. drsha

    drsha Banned

    The book "Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Human Movements" states that:
    Teachers of human movement, safety equipment designers, rehabilitation specialists, and students performing advanced research in the area of human biomechanics will appreciate the scientific and mathematical focus in the text. Which one are you or I???
    There are 60 problems with answers that have equations with 20-30 symbols, most of which I can't even begin to understand?? There are areas involving calculus that are so sophisticated that it cannot possibly relate to clinicians in biomechanics practice.

    The author is a Ph.D and it states that his current interest is in computer simulation of control and performance of sporting movements, kinematic and kinetic criteria of skills involving gross body movements, and the modeling of human bodily motion using external inputs of force and internal inputs of muscle force.

    This book does not explain physics in a practical format for the average practitioner as you claim.

    It has no relationship with an encounter with a 60 year old with heel pain in my office.

    I called up two orthopedic foot surgeons and three podiatrists in my referral base who confirmed that they saw no relationship to this book and their practical careers.

    You MUST define who it is that you are claiming to be "the greater medial and scientific community" because you and I must live in a different warp.

    What are you trying to do here Jeff et al.

    I hope this is your idea of a joke or else THIS IS NO JOKE!!!

  12. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I can't wait to use this quote at an appropriate moment:
    "on Podiatry Arena, we have a good number of intelligent podiatrists, and even some very intelligent orthosis lab owners that do recognize the importance of "speaking the same language" as physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, undergraduate and graduate biomechanics students and engineering students when it comes to foot and lower extremity biomechanics".
  13. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    Let's not forget that without the laws of physics there woud be no cat juggling!

    See Steve Martin's physics demonstration on Youtube. :D

  14. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    I consider myself to be both a student and teacher of human movement because my career requires it. This is what happens when a practitioner calls me up and starts asking technical questions about the patient's gait and I then help him diagnose a peroneal spasm because I asked him to check the STJ ROM in a way that revealed the presence of a peroneal spasm. We then discuss how to write a prescription for a custom foot orthotic that will address this spastic limitation of STJ motion and also addresses the functional position of the STJ. This patient might be treated differently and the prognosis might be different had this restriction of motion not been discovered or had it resulted from something else.

    Sometimes we talk about the position of the axis of motion of a joint and how this influences the dynamic function of the foot, such as might occur in a middle aged female with a unilateral adult acquired flatfoot. I would help them design an orthosis to resist the increased degree of transverse plane motion of the forefoot to the rearfoot (i.e. excessive abduction of the forefoot on the rearfoot due to functional changes that influence the direction of motion of the forefoot at the MTJ during both static stance and gait).

    To be of any real assistance, I would need to ask about the ROM of the STJ so that we could discuss options for orienting the patient’s cast in the frontal plane in order to resist pathological forces. I would not suggest placing the cast in a position that is inconsistent with the anatomical ROM of the STJ.

    On an almost daily basis I read about podiatrists in the U.S. wanting parity with MD’s. So what is wrong with asking them to raise the bar with regard to achieving some parity with others in the biomechanics community? This can be accomplished with the use of standard medical and biomechanical terminology.

  15. drsha

    drsha Banned

    What does any of this statement have to do with this book. I understood everything you posted and it did not mention any of the stuff in kevins language or in the formulaes of the book


    What does your posting have to do with Bio-Newton.

    What's going on?

    You MUST define who it is that you are claiming to be "the greater medial and scientific community" because you and I must live in a different warp.

    Is it the practitioner that calls you and asks a technical questions?

    Totally Lost (happens rarely).

    Somebody help this man get his podiatric (non podiatric) (intelligent lab owner) foot out of his mouth.:bang::bash::craig:
  16. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    Chapter two of my father's book, Normal and Abnormal Function of the Foot was devoted to Newton's Laws of motion. My father wrote: "Newton's laws of motion relate forces, masses, and geometry with their resultant time dependent velocity changes, both linear and angular."

    "Newton's laws of motion can be expressed in various forms. The forms used here will be intended to provide practitioners with a physical feeling for the principles involved. It is not likely, in the treatment of patients, that quantitative measurements and calculations will be made of the levels of forces involved and their directions; however, it is important to have a physical feeling and intuition regarding mechanics and to think in these terms".

    The first portion of this chapter was written by Milton G. Willie, PhD, who was a professor of mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University. They discussed vectors and Newton's first three laws, with specific reference to the human body. My father described the principle of skeletal stability, rotational moments, phasic activity of muscles, synergistic and antagonistic muscle function, mechanical efficiency of tendons, level arms, the angular relationship between a tendon and the axis of a joint, pulleys for tendons, the contribution of ligaments to stability, the elastic and plastic nature of ligaments, etc. And yes, they gave some mathematical examples to support these concepts. Chapter three discussed equilibrium of the body.

    The reason I mentioned the book Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Human Movements is because I'm hoping it will help me better understand the relationship between biomechanical function and disease and I believe it is important to look and think outside the of podiatry box. I think all of this is very consistent with my father's goal for the future of biomechanics and his hope that it would become more science based as time goes on.

    I hope this makes my position a little clearer to you. I haven't read or received the book yet, so I can't yet comment on the opinions of your colleagues.

  17. I believe you have finally hit the nail squarely on the head, Dennis.
  18. someone remember that for quote of the year. :D:D
  19. drsha

    drsha Banned

    That's such a shame as it is you (in control on The Arena) who are creating the warp.

    I am so impressed with Professor Kirby, I just can't relate to Darth.
    You forced me to create Mr. Hyde in order to get to this point of time.

    You were adversarial from day one yet you admit (should I find the post) that you use different Language to email, write, chart and talk to patients and the medical community (the real medical community).

    I think my debate with Jeff has been grand for me.

    What Jeff is saying (and I totally agree) is that I can have a knowledge of Physics in my biomechanical EBP but I don't necessarily need a knowledge of Fizzics. I can let those passionate (like you) explore for evidence and academia in the world of enfineers (misspelled for Spooner) and research scientists (Jeff refuses to define them) while I conduct my EBP looking for evidence (wow that sounds like EBM).

    The biggest hurdle that I still have to overcome is that if I have focused my EBP on wellness for thirty years and I am a good podiatrist and you have placed large amounts of your energy in developing and selling the concept of the need for evidence (of which I so agree) that you are a better research engineer and scientist than I and I am a better clinician (Robert, please explain if this is circular or carries some weight)?

    Neoteric Biomechanics translates Fizzics into Physics! It translates evidence into practice.
    Foot Typing eliminates one of the greatest variables in Bio-Newton research, the fact that when examining feet as a whole leads to poor evidence but once functionally foot typed and examined as subgroups, the floodgate of evidence will open (got that Hylton?).
    We form a team on The Arena and others have things to offer.
    But for you Kevin, I must relate, there is no I in TEAM!

    I'll make a proposal for a truce
    I'll bury Mr. Hyde if Darth exposes an open mind by looking at the huge body of evidence that we share in common.

    I was calling you to tell you that I was going to be on "Meet The Masters" so that you could participate.
    Return my call and lets talk.


    PS: Hylton, you could consider responding to my email and Craig, you could better prepare yourself in discussing Neoteric in your next Boot Camp if you acknowledged its creator with a personal relationship. (PS: how old are the twins?)

    You have all enjoyed my debates with you and we have all learned from them. Why can't you let me bury Hyde so that we can all enjoy the ride.

    Can I Get A Thanks!!
  20. No, I don't think it does. Might take a while to explain.

    Yeah, you never did reply to my post on "wellness". Please do.

    Not circular. Carries no weight because it implies that Kevin developed and promoted the concept of evidence INSTEAD of being a clinician. Rather than AS WELL AS. Notwithstanding his maleness, some people can multitask and do both.

    You are right now in fact, you are partaking in critical analysis, theoretical discussion, promotion of concepts and reading around the topic, and hopefully learning stuff. Has it made you less of a clinician? Did your patients suffer through it?

    Or has doing both enhanced both sides of your clinical practice?

  21. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I have always been doing that without Fizzics.
    and no, my practice and patients care speak for themselves.

    But I get your point.

    I am almost complete with providing some of the early evidence that I used (and/or created) as my EBP took shape. I haven't forgotten you.

  22. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    One such research scientist who has had a significant impact or the reputation of foot orthotic therapy, not all of it positive I might add, is Thomas McPoil, PhD, PT, ATC.

    Let's assume that long ago Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Dr. Shavelstone and Dr. McPoilstone were having a debate about how Fred's car pictured below could go up a hill.
    Dr. Shavelstone says, "Well, you just push with your feet and it goes up the hill".
    And Dr. McPoilstone says" Then why can't they make it up some hills?".
    Dr. Shavelstone says, "Well, that is because we have two types of hills. I call this Functional Hill Typing (FHT) and I patented it. We have steep hills and not so steep hills. The car can go up not so steep hills but it can't go up steep hills."
    Dr. McPoilstone says, "Well why is it they can go faster up some not so steep hills than others?"
    And Dr. Shavelstone says" Because some hills are harder to climb.”
    And Dr. McPoilstone says ”Can you explain why that is?”
    To which Dr. Shavelstone replies ”Why is everybody always picking on me?"

    Attached Files:

  23. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Jeff, can you please add what your father would have said as you are obviously the prohet of The Arena.

    I am so tired of this patented thing as it has nothing to do with my work or its value you jerk. You are forcing me to say things that I haven't and shouldn't out of respect to your dad BUT

    Why can't you add what YOU would say on its own merit and stop profiting, capitalizing and being entrepeneurial on your fathers memory or your ability to state what your father is doing and thinking from the grave.

    Would you change your mind about my work if I was a ROOT?

    You are not your father and you are not a prophet and PATENT THAT

    Mr. Hyde
  24. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Jeff, in your example, if you researched all hills to determine what you should do in order to get up steep hills, your eventual evidence would be skewed and of a lower level because some of the hills bnever needed your results and in practice, you would only have to apply your evidence to those who steep hill typed making your practice more EBP with improved outcomes.
    I wouldn't use steep hill evidence to apply to the non steep hillers and hill typing would be of benefit..

  25. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    I was attempting to use humor to point out the connection between the practical side of biomechanics and research community. I'm sorry you took such personal offense to my attempt at humor in an effort to make what I believe is an important point. That point is, if you expect other to accept use your system, then someone, if not you, will eventually need to evaluate it in a scientific manner. The question is, can that be done given the vague terminology? Let's try to stay focused on the constructive points. My apologies for having offended you!

  26. drsha

    drsha Banned



    don;t quit your day job

    Dr Sha
  27. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    Dennis, that's spelled "don't" with an apostrophe, not a semicolon. What's your day job? haha??? What a compelling rebuttal to my previous argument! Now we really have a conversation of great substance! Was it really worth the energy required to hit the send button?
  28. Wow.

    Classy, Dennis, Classy.

    I hope, without optimism, that when you calm down you will look back at this post and apologise to Jeff.

    I hope that this is just you having a temper tantrum and not showing us all what you really are. I had respect for you before (not your theories, but you). If this is you then you deserve none.
  29. Two simple numerical answers required: exactly how many individuals have provided royalty payments to you to use your patented product? How much in US dollars do these payments amount to?
  30. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    You are the one who has said that Root's work "needs upgrading". When I quoted Dr. Root’s book, I did so to provide a factual basis to support the point I was attempting to make. I think I have clearly expressed my independent opinions on this forum. I agree with some of my fathers work and disagree with other aspects of it.

    Are you aware that Dr. Root hated the terms rigid and flexible forefoot valgus? On the podium he said, "What the hell is a flexible forefoot valgus". He believed these terms were meaningless because they lacked any valid scientific definition. He would prefer to say that a "flexible forefoot valgus" is a foot that underwent greater compensation for the forefoot valgus during weightbearing activity than a “rigid forefoot valgus”. Knowing my father's work and opinion as well as I do, I know how he would feel about functional foot typing. But that is irrelevant.

    My opinion is there is a lack of evidence that correlates the foot types you describe to the symptoms and pathology you believe they are associated with. If you can find irrefutable evidence that correlates them, I would be interested in reading it. It seems to me that your “evidence” is that we accept your opinion that this is true based on you clinical experience and observations. It seems more faith based, than evidence based to me. But that’s just the opinion of Jeff Root!

    I have searched the internet before to find something written so I could evaluate functional foot typing more objectively, but I failed to find anything on you website or elsewhere on the internet to provide a detailed description of the process and the supporting evidence for this treatment paradigm. How can we critique it when there is nothing tangible to critique? Where is it written? I am not the one claiming to have evidence to support what I do. The fact is, EBM is the latest buzz word in medical marketing and just because someone claims something is evidence based, doesn’t mean that it is evidence based.

    And by the way, I don't think that I or Root Lab is the one attempting to exploit the name of Merton Root in their marketing.

  31. The opinion of Jeff Root is not to be underestimated. Jeff Root is one of the best biomechanical minds of our generation... And yet one of the most unassuming. He has devoted his career to the advancement of the science without fanfare or ego. Where some lucky few can boast that they were lectured by or knew Merton Root, one of the greatest visionarys of the profession, none can claim to have had such contact with him. Yet where the rest of us get shouty or sarcastic or defensive about our views and abilities he simply states his truth calmly clearly and with the humility of the true lifelong student.

    There is nothing "just" about the opinion of Jeff Root.

    This is not a love in, but sometimes things should be recognised.
  32. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    I just received the book "Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Human Movements" which I recently ordered through Amazon. I had a chance to skim through it at lunch today. I scanned pages 53 for you to read, which begins section two of the book. It says:

    The book appears to have some very practical information including the biomechanics walking and running, slipping and falling and fall avoidance. This book could potentially contain life saving information for you to pass on to your aging patients, including your sixty year old patient with heel pain who you might be treating when she's seventy or eighty years old. I am very surprised that your orthopedic surgeon and podiatrist colleagues were so quick to dismiss this book and the information it contains. Why? I look forward to reading it and learning a great deal in the process.

  33. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member


    Thanks for your kind words. I would hardly say that I have one of the best biomechanics minds of our generation.

    I gained much of my biomechanical and clinical knowledge from exposure to my father and by study on my own. I am not a podiatrist nor do I have an advanced degree, so perhaps I do represent the fact that any podiatrist who is sufficiently motivated can learn the biomechanical concepts necessary to have reasonable clinical success. Being in the orthotic manufacturing business for thirty plus years would have been very boring had it not been for the challenge and life long opportunity to continue to learn about biomechanics.

  34. drsha

    drsha Banned


    I totally agree that Roberts definition of Jeff is accuarate and Jeff's humble reply is consistent of his personna as well.

    Jeff Root need not use his fathers coattails as he can very well stand alone on his own merit.

    If I ever hold a bio conference, I will ask Jeff to lecture.

    I would love to see him become more forceful and opinionated on The Arena as I think he represents one of the true, non biased voices.

    I was reacting to your hurtful personal Dr. Shavelstone joke and your continued use of patented (which has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with our academic debate to push my buttons) and I hurtfully pushed yours in return probably too hard.

  35. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I have no doubt (reinforced by my review of the book) that there is a great deal to learn from it. I just don;t claim to have the foundational knowledge in fizzics (or the time to learn it at this stage) needed to digest it to any great extent and extrapolate the valuable content.
    I am much more productive reading and researching material where I am stronger as a podiatrist, biomechanicst and clinician.

    I am waiting for you (all) to filter these evidentuary writings and translate them into physics so that I can learn their value and apply them into my EBP as needed (and thank you in advance).

    I look forward to hearing what you believe to be the valuable teaching pearls this book hides in it's pages but clearly, the book itself does not include me as a suggested reader.

    Having said that, Is there a symbiotic place for me on The Arena?

  36. I know you wouldn't. Thats why I did;).

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