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#4949 - 10/13/09 01:19 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: alternaut]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Since a moderator has stepped in to confront the OP, i will re-enter to clarify my position.

This shouldn't come as news, but believe it or not -- while tacit was so engrossed in expounding the virtues of atheism -- others here were far more interested in discussing unexplained scientific principles. How other people's faith came to be such a thorn of fixation in tacit's mind (that it totally tanked this entire thread) is still the only *meaningful* unanswered question. Could it be simply because he intensely desired to circumvent any exploration into unexplained scientific principles? (At least that pretext is more palatable than some of the other possibilities implied by his unbounded preoccupation).


Originally Posted By: alternaut
It seems to me that the issue isn't so much that you have to provide anything, but that you won't or can't. shocked
Easily falsified... and how/when did such aspects ever become "the issue" anyway -- and who cares?

To question one about their personal faith was not inherent in the initial issue -- but rather, part of the straw man established to derail this thread. One's personal faith is personal. [i.e., the answer ryck might give isn't necessarily the same answer i would give, or the same anyone else (such as Azimov, Edison, Einstein, Faraday, Franklin, Newton, Nimoy, Sagan, Shatner, Zappa, etc., etc., etc.) would give.]


Originally Posted By: alternaut
Apart from that, I'm sure you can understand why such statements would be of interest. tongue
Not really. Just as such "statements" of personal faith would differ from person to person, so would the "interest" level. [i.e., what you might find interesting about ryck's faith isn't necessarily the same as what tacit (or L. Ron Hubbard, or anyone else, etc.) might find of interest. Take for example the infantile inquiries in this thread: "what color is your god?" -- and -- "does it fit in your pocket?" -- etc. One would assume the members here were more sophisticated than that... but such assumptions can easily be disproved (apparently).

Besides, *none* of the above matters. Personal religious beliefs are not (were never) the issue here, but unexplained scientific principles are (or were supposed to be).

E.g., quantum theory...

Quote:
Though theories of quantum mechanics continue to evolve to this day, there is a basic framework for the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics which underlies most approaches and can be traced back to the mathematical work of John von Neumann. In other words, discussions about interpretation of the theory, and extensions to it, are now mostly conducted on the basis of shared assumptions about the mathematical foundations.

And even assuming the mathematical foundations are rock solid (i'd like to have Craig on my side here wink ), other issues embedded in quantum theory entail aspects such as 'the measurement problem' -- somewhat related to (but not the same as) the probabilistic nature involved in Heisenburg's uncertainty principle...

Quote:
On a different front, von Neumann originally dispatched quantum measurement with his infamous postulate on the collapse of the wavefunction, raising a host of philosophical problems. Over the intervening 70 years, the problem of measurement became an active research area and itself spawned some new formulations of quantum mechanics.

One example of this is Bell's theorem (John Stewart Bell) which seemed to resolve the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox... [is that right?] but i can't quite seem to piece together all the events in the evolution of quantum theory, or fathom what the various implications are in terms that i (and other laypeople here) can understand and discuss...

Quote:
The phenomenon of quantum entanglement that is behind violation of Bell's inequality is just one element of quantum physics which cannot be represented by any classical picture of physics; other non-classical elements are complementarity and wavefunction collapse. The problem of interpretation of quantum mechanics is intended to provide a satisfactory picture of these non-classical elements of quantum physics.

I.e., just as Einstein expanded on (or "blew the doors off") Newtonian physics, so now science is searching for something new in which to place its faith. Albert's dream was to find the 'Unified Field Equation' -- but he died before achieving success. A similar quest continues today however (under the ambitious title 'The Theory of Everything'). There is a ton of cool stuff we could be getting into (e.g., Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, the many-minds interpretation, and dozens of other items) with an amicable inquisitive spirit... instead of confrontational [know-it-all] religious debate.

This all connects back to something tacit said earlier about Einstein. Except -- instead of being petty by blaming Einstein's "religion" -- we should be talking about what that outcome meant scientifically. You know... trying to help each other understand these results and their interpretations (both in terms of science and philosophy). Instead, we get childish comments by people who think they even understand one iota of what patterns Capra might be capable of perceiving. Until someone here can get into explaining (or at least engage in adult conversation about) stuff like the "quantum mind" and the "quantum mind/body problem" -- i don't think their other judgements about any members' personal religious feelings could ever be qualified... or realistically relevant in *any* event.

The viewpoint that this thread was ever about religion (or should continue in that vein) is pure dogma.


--


edit: Here is an example of what Einstein's "religion" (hidden variables) was not ready for... The Problem of Conscious Observation


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/13/09 09:00 PM)

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#4951 - 10/13/09 02:31 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: alternaut]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: alternaut
Originally Posted By: ryck
I don't understand why you require it or why you might think that anyone should have to provide it.

It seems to me that the issue isn't so much that you have to provide anything, but that you won't or can't. shocked
Apart from that, I'm sure you can understand why such statements would be of interest. tongue


Why is it an issue if I choose to keep the reasons for my beliefs to myself? To be blunt - it's nobody else's business.

It's only the atheists who seem to care why someone has a belief other than theirs. I think about the various church people who show up at my door wanting talk about their views. I simply say "Thanks anyway but I have my own beliefs" and they just go away.

They don't demand that I answer why. They don't suggest that, if I believe in something other than what they believe, there must be something wrong with me or that I'm incapable of rational thought. My guess is that if one of the zealous atheists showed up I'd be having the police remove them from my property and I'd be considering charges.

And, no, I don't understand why anyone else would care what I believe or why.

The only thing I wonder about in all of this is: What other freedoms do the atheists think should not exist?

ryck


Edited by ryck (10/13/09 05:17 PM)
Edit Reason: Grammar
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#4957 - 10/13/09 06:07 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: ryck]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
It's only the atheists who seem to care why someone has a belief other than theirs.

I think, your sources may be outdated grin
Anyway, count me out of this crowd.
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#4958 - 10/13/09 06:17 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: macnerd10]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
I too have little interest in choosing sides, and so will continue down the path of autodidacticism. wink
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The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4961 - 10/13/09 11:42 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: macnerd10]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
Quote:
It's only the atheists who seem to care why someone has a belief other than theirs.

I think, your sources may be outdated grin
Anyway, count me out of this crowd.


You're right - I painted with too wide a brush and should have been more specific within this thread. Apology extended.

ryck
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#4962 - 10/13/09 11:42 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: crarko]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: crarko
I too have little interest in choosing sides, and so will continue down the path of autodidacticism. wink


And to you, the same apology extended above.

ryck
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#4963 - 10/13/09 11:52 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: ryck]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
No need to, really! We all can get excited...
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#4966 - 10/14/09 12:12 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
never mind


Edited by sandbox (10/14/09 12:16 AM)

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#4984 - 10/14/09 12:06 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
about kps: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/trying-to-measure-the-speed-of-light.html
Comment: What is happening in US about the units of measure is really deplorable. The whole country lives in medieval times because of pounds, acres, inches and miles, and nobody wants to get modern. The politicians do not even say that it is costly but say that the country is not prepared for the transition. What a disrespect for the fellow citizens! We are the only country in the world that uses outdated unit system. At the same time, American science, as any other, formally prohibits using these archaic units; try to put any of these in a paper and it will get rejected immediately. Moreover,
Quote:
The International System of Units is a modernized version of the metric system, established by international agreement, that provides a logical and interconnected framework for all measurements in science, industry, and commerce. The system is built on a foundation of seven basic units, and all other units are derived from them. (Use of metric weights and measures was legalized in the United States in 1866, and our customary units of weights and measures are defined in terms of the meter and kilogram.)

from: http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0001658.html
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#4988 - 10/14/09 01:23 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: macnerd10]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
The metric system is not only universally used (except for the US and maybe Myanmar) but it is much easier than the English system. The metric system is based on decimals and so there is no need to deal with fractions or ridiculous things like 16 oz. in a pound or 5280 feet in a mile. Most of the resistance to it, I believe, lies in the erroneous idea that one would have to constantly convert between the two systems. Once you get into metrics, you simply stay there and never convert again.

We do have some metrics in the US, however. Beverages come in liter bottles (or parts thereof) and every drug addict knows what a kilogram is.
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#4992 - 10/14/09 02:49 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: jchuzi]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
every drug addict knows what a kilogram is.

We have really no idea what you are talking about confused
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#5001 - 10/14/09 04:17 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: "Hal Itosis"
I.e., just as Einstein expanded on (or "blew the doors off") Newtonian physics, so now science is searching for something new in which to place its faith.


Thats the seed of how this conversation got side-tracked into issues of faith; science doesn't place its 'faith' in anything, and understanding the difference between science and faith is key to even being able to talk about things like unexplained scientific principles.

As someone on my Twitter feed recently said: If you believe in science, you're doing it wrong.

There are, as has already been explained, axioms in any area of formal inquiry, but even these axioms are not statements of faith. You can not use formal arithmetic to derive a formal proof of "a + b = b + a"; in formal arithmetic, this is axiomatic.

You can, however, demonstrate that it is true. You can take a bag of three apples and add two apples to it, and then take a bag of two apples and add three apples to it, and show that in both cases the total number of apples is the same.

Similarly, while you can not derive a formal proof of "a / b != b / a", you can still show that it is true.

Science has no faith. People did not believe Albert Einstein because he was smart; people believed him because the ideas he had (well, some of them, anyway), turned out to be demonstrably true.

Likewise, there are many hypotheses which we do not currently know the truth of: string theory, the existence of the Higgs boson, the existence and properties of dark matter, and so on. But scientists do not "believe in" these things, nor take them on faith.

Rather, they derive experiments to test them. The value of these ideas depends only on what the experiments say, and not on anything else--not on the intelligence or the fame of the people who propose the ideas, not on how well the ideas sound, but only on whether or not they can be observed to be true.

Many non-scientists do not understand the way theories are formulated, and so say things like "Einstein proved that Newton's laws are false."

Einstein did not prove that Newton's laws are false. In fact, Newton's laws can not be false; if you use Newton's laws to calculate the path of a baseball or a satellite, and then you throw the baseball or launch the satellite, you'll see that Newton's laws are spot-on.

What Einstein did was show that Newton's laws apply only in certain circumstances; and created new, more complex laws that apply to more circumstances. But if you use relativity to calculate the path of a baseball--a silly thing to do, because it would be beastly complicated and difficult--but if you do it, you'll see that it arrives at the same answer Newton does.

Which it has to, because you can go out and throw the baseball and see that it's the correct answer.

Hell, if you were to have all the supercomputers the world has yet constructed at your disposal and you could duplicate all those computers a billion times over, you might have enough computing horsepower, maybe, to use quantum mechanics to calculate the path of a baseball. And if you did that, you'd find that that answer also matched Newton.

What laypeople see as one theory "proving wrong" another theory, scientists recognize as one theory being more general and applying to a larger set of circumstances as another theory. But any theory that disagrees with reality about the path the baseball takes is wrong on the face of it, no matter how elegant, because we *know* the path of that baseball. And any idea that we can't yet test against the reality isn't accepted on faith at all.
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#5003 - 10/14/09 04:23 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: jchuzi]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Most of the resistance to it, I believe, lies in the erroneous idea that one would have to constantly convert between the two systems.


It takes a generation to smooth out. My daughters grew up in the metric system so it's easy for them. Those of us who were raised in the old system spent a lot of time mentally converting.

"Man, it's hot today...it's 35."

"No, really how hot is it? (Mentally...let's see roughly double and add 30) Holy crap, it's 100 degrees. You're right...it is hot!"

It's tough being an old fart.

ryck


Edited by ryck (10/14/09 04:24 PM)
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#5004 - 10/14/09 04:30 PM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: jchuzi]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
...ridiculous things like 16 oz. in a pound...

Perhaps, but it should be noted that powers of 2 are actually more compatible with the digital world than are powers of 10. (Heck, if we'd evolved with 4 digits on each hand, we'd find the decimal-based metric system absurd, since in base eight a meter would be 144 centimeters...)
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#5006 - 10/14/09 08:10 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Thats the seed of how this conversation got side-tracked into issues of faith; science doesn't place its 'faith' in anything, and understanding the difference between science and faith is key to even being able to talk about things like unexplained scientific principles.

<snip>

Einstein did not prove that Newton's laws are false. In fact, Newton's laws can not be false; if you use Newton's laws to calculate the path of a baseball or a satellite, and then you throw the baseball or launch the satellite, you'll see that Newton's laws are spot-on.

What Einstein did was show that Newton's laws apply only in certain circumstances; and created new, more complex laws that apply to more circumstances. But if you use relativity to calculate the path of a baseball--a silly thing to do, because it would be beastly complicated and difficult--but if you do it, you'll see that it arrives at the same answer Newton does.

Which it has to, because you can go out and throw the baseball and see that it's the correct answer.

The closer and closer to lightspeed that baseball approaches, the more and more Newton (and you) get wronger and wronger results. That's one thing Einstein solved, and Newton would never have expected his equations to err (simply due to the object's high velocity).

The missing factor is something like (1 - v^2/c^2)^1/2 [causing weirdness like mass and time to change.]

Plus... Newton believed that time was a fixed, never-varying quantity. If anyone ever told Newton that on the event horizon of a black hole time actually stops... he probably would have passed out (or passed something). 3-dimensional space is actually a curved 4-dimensional continuum? Forget it. Newton's concept of "time" was that it behaved like a perfectly constantly accurate clock, always ticking at the same "rate", for all observers... everywhere in the universe, regardless of motion or gravity. [some readers may recall i already mentioned words to that effect back on page 6.]

I seem to recall some example where we start with 2 twins and send one off in a spacecraft traveling at near lightspeed for 20 years. When he returns to Earth his twin there has aged 20 years, but the astronaut twin is much less older... something like that? Of course that's unproven as yet... but (assuming it's possible), Newton would never have expected that.

Newton got a few key things wrong... yet science had faith in his version of the truth.  Accept it.

[i'm not saying he wasn't a genius -- he was. He did more great things than millions combined. Fine.]


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/15/09 05:46 AM)
Edit Reason: not enough (good) words

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#5008 - 10/15/09 12:37 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
You'll forgive me if I haven't read all 11 pages of this thread, I'm sure, but assuming no one has gotten around to answering the original question yet, it's my understanding, so to speak, that we don't actually know what gravity is. We basically know how it works, but not what it is, although we're pretty sure it's something. I don't think we've figured out exactly what dust is either. Despite my spiritual views, or lack of them, or perhaps because of them or not, I'm open to correction.

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#5009 - 10/15/09 12:44 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
The other big mystery, although I suppose it's more sociology than science, is why religious people have more sex than atheists.

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#5018 - 10/15/09 02:32 AM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> "every drug addict knows what a kilogram is"

Naaah... We addicts know what "dime bags" are; kilos are for dealers! grin
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#5019 - 10/15/09 03:25 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
The other big mystery, although I suppose it's more sociology than science, is why religious people have more sex than atheists.


I think it's related to the same thing Pinky and The Brain try to do every night. wink
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The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#5020 - 10/15/09 03:38 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
...religious people have more sex...

Why, JM! Almost seems as if you're...trolling. laugh

Just remember, the Lounge is a catch-and-release forum (or, in the poetic words of the State of New York, a Special No Kill Area).
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#5022 - 10/15/09 04:02 AM Re: Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: macnerd10]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
We have really no idea what you are talking about confused
May I should have said drug dealers. The international drug trade (not that I know from personal experience, of course) works with kilos, otherwise known as kilograms.
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#5026 - 10/15/09 06:02 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: crarko
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
The other big mystery, although I suppose it's more sociology than science, is why religious people have more sex than atheists.


I think it's related to the same thing Pinky and The Brain try to do every night. wink

Code:
                   /`.    /`.
                  f   \  ,f  \
      Gee Brain,  |    \/-`\  \      The same thing we do
   what do you    i.  _\';.,X j      every night, Pinky.
     want to do    `._\ (  \ \ ,-.   Try to take over
          tonight?   .'"_\ a\eY' )   the world!  _,.
                     `._ \`-' `-/            .-;'  |
                       /;-`._.-';\.        ,',"    |
                     .'/   "'   | `\.-'""-/ /      j
                   ,/ /         i,-"        (  ,/  /
                .-' .f         .'            `"/  /
               / ,,/ffj\      /          .-"`.'-.'
              / /_\`--//)     \ ,--._ .-'_,-'; /
             f  ".-"-._;'      `._ _.,-i" /_; /
             `.,'   |. \          \ \_,/-'  \'
              .'    l \ `.        f"\ _ \`  j
              f      : `-'        `.,`."/`-'
              |      `.               ,7  \
              l       j             .'/ - \`.
              /   .   <            (.'    .\ \f`. |\,'
            ,' `.  \ / \           `|      \,'||-:j
          .'  .'\   Y.  \___......__\ ._   /`.||
  __.._,-" .-"'"")  /' ,' _          \ |  /"-.`j""``---.._
    .'_.-'"     / .("-'-"":\        ._)|_(__. "'
   ;.'         /-'---"".--"'       /,_,^-._ .)
   `:=.__.,itz `---._.;'           ""      ""


Not so sure it's a matter of 'more sex' but rather less contraception/abortion.

But we digress... smirk

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#5027 - 10/15/09 06:41 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
It's the ultimate twofer, crarko! Did I hear that global warming has come your way early this year?

dk: Are you telling me to leave my crossbow at home, or that I won't be needing my kevlar vest?

Hal: It's sex, fer sher. No doubt. Settled social science. Anyone who says otherwise needs to check into rational rehab.

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#5029 - 10/15/09 09:13 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
As long as your open to correction...

Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
You'll forgive me if I haven't read all 11 pages of this thread, I'm sure, but assuming no one has gotten around to answering the original question yet, it's my understanding, so to speak, that we don't actually know what gravity is. We basically know how it works, but not what it is, although we're pretty sure it's something. I don't think we've figured out exactly what dust is either. Despite my spiritual views, or lack of them, or perhaps because of them or not, I'm open to correction.

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#5030 - 10/15/09 10:08 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

That should be "as long as you're open to correction."
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