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#5031 - 10/15/09 10:16 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: dkmarsh]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Quote:
That should be "as long as you're open to correction."

Or...
As long as your open-to-correction mother-in-law says...

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#5040 - 10/15/09 04:17 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Many non-scientists do not understand the way theories are formulated, and so say things like "Einstein proved that Newton's laws are false."

The non-scientific phrase I used was "blew the doors off Newtonian physics".

It can be [and often is] viewed that the 2nd law still holds. From that perspective however, the very nature [interpretation] of the variables and the formulation of the equation needs to be tweaked... to line up with the full facts. So there is still a 'disconnect' from reality (when viewed as Newton saw it).


Originally Posted By: tacit
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.

An ordinary calculator with a 'square root' key (such as Calculator.app in scientific mode) will do.
As mentioned in my other post, the beastly factor comes down to...
Code:
                   ----------------------------
                  /                _   __ 2
                 /                | | / /
                /    /|           | |/ /
               /    /||           |___/
              /      ||
             /       ||   ---   -------------
            /        ||             _____ 2
      \    /        ,/-'           / ___/
       \  /                       / /__
        \/                        \___/

E.g., for momentum (p = mv), the true value is: p = mv / SQRT( 1 - (v^2/c^2) )



Originally Posted By: tacit
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.

I cranked out 3 select [high velocity] samples using the above factor (as a divisor), and compared Newtonian predictions to their relativistic equivalents.

My (possibly imperfect) reckoning was:
  • for objects moving at 200 million m/s (almost 67% lightspeed),
    Newton's results are low by a factor of 1.34 -- i.e., 33% error.

     
  • for objects moving at 224 million m/s (almost 75% lightspeed),
    Newton's results are low by a factor of 1.5 -- i.e., 50% error.

     
  • for objects moving at 260 million m/s (almost 87% lightspeed),
    Newton's results are low by a factor of 2 -- i.e., 100% error.
Beyond 90% lightspeed ("warp 9"?) -- the increase in error is exponential.
[Frankly speaking, it explodes (the magnitude of error that is).]


I understand your point about a "larger set of circumstances"... but that doesn't automatically absolve all previous (historical) scientific assumptions. I doubt anyone even questioned, "Hey... does this stuff still work when mass moves faster than 100 million meters per second?". Most likely, Newton (and the entire global scientific community for almost the next 200 years) essentially took it for granted that p = mv would accurately determine the linear momentum of any object (be it particle or planet), moving at any velocity, traveling anywhere in 'De Mundi Systemate'. For all practical purposes, the feeling was that Newton had mastered physical motion in the universe.

Knowing what we know now... was that not simply faith in unfalsified theory?

If not... how would you prefer to characterize it?

Note: i'm not *faulting* science in any respect, since i don't always associate negative connotations with the word "faith" (as seems to be the current wisdom).


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/15/09 09:03 PM)

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#5041 - 10/15/09 05:03 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
I just want that pitcher in my bullpen.


P.S. The word 'verisimilitude' comes to mind here...

http://philosophy.wisc.edu/forster/220/notes_10.html
_________________________
---

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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#5042 - 10/15/09 05:13 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: dkmarsh]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Your correction is noted.

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

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

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#5044 - 10/15/09 07:28 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
Are you telling me to leave my crossbow at home, or that I won't be needing my kevlar vest?

Crossbow? Kevlar vest? shocked smirk
_________________________
alternaut moderator

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#5047 - 10/15/09 08:38 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: crarko
I just want that pitcher in my bullpen.
P.S. The word 'verisimilitude' comes to mind here...
http://philosophy.wisc.edu/forster/220/notes_10.html

Hmm, okay... read that, and i think i follow what you mean (then again -- by being so concise -- you frequently leave wiggle room for individual interpretation of what *all* you may have meant).

So in this thread then, it may not be totally clear what "the set of questions" are. But words such as reality have been put to use frequently throughout these past 12 pages. So yes... if divining the position of a baseball [tossed by a human] was the extent of 'reality' around here... then indeed Newton is as far as we need take this discussion. But apparently planet Mercury turned out a little too fleet-footed for his laws? That reminds me of an extinct band 'Made In Sweden' who had a song (instrumental actually) called "43 Seconds of Arc per Century" (wicked 4/4 beat, almost uncountable despite being common-time).

Anyway... as far as looking at (and explaining) items such as the Big Bang or quantum phenomena? -- We need better guns!

Verisimilitude, schmerisimilitude. wink

--

What i found interesting was that 'conscious observer' paper by Zeh. He seems to be saying that the Schrödinger wave function equation may not merely represent some separate (independent) objective "reality" concept (such as 2+2=4 or distance=rate*time), but rather it expresses a function which also constitutes a 'coupling' between the observer and the observed. [i.e., more of a subjective reality.] Did you see anything like that in there, or was i hallucinating (and how can you tell)? smile


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/15/09 09:27 PM)

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#5048 - 10/15/09 09:05 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Sociology is scientific analysis of societies.
Sociology is not more or less than science, it is science.

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.

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#5049 - 10/15/09 09:20 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Wouldn't s/he be more useful on your mound? (pragmatically speaking)

Originally Posted By: crarko
I just want that pitcher in my bullpen.


P.S. The word 'verisimilitude' comes to mind here...

http://philosophy.wisc.edu/forster/220/notes_10.html

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#5050 - 10/15/09 09:57 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Hal-lelujah said:

Quote:

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


Define science?
Define faith?

It's highly unlikely that your selection of words describes what science HAD. Science as a working body would be more likely to have assurance than faith in Newton's work.

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#5051 - 10/16/09 12:07 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
Science as a working body would be more likely to have assurance than faith in Newton's work.

Aha... more likely. So, some may have had faith in Newton's work. Interesting.
But if 'assurance' works better for you, great. It is a good word too, i must say.

So -- when errors started cropping up -- they didn't experience "doubt" but... . . . what?
What's the right word for their feelings then?

Thanks.

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#5055 - 10/16/09 03:19 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: dkmarsh]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)

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#5057 - 10/16/09 04:47 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
I'll see your Einstein, and raise you a Higgs boson.

Read 'em and weep. I did.

BTW, the LHC is coming back online in the next month or so.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8309875.stm
_________________________
---

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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#5059 - 10/16/09 05:21 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: sandbox
Science as a working body would be more likely to have assurance than faith in Newton's work.

Aha... more likely. So, some may have had faith in Newton's work. Interesting.
But if 'assurance' works better for you, great. It is a good word too, i must say.

So -- when errors started cropping up -- they didn't experience "doubt" but... . . . what?
What's the right word for their feelings then?

Thanks.


It is more than likely that there were some with faith, but if asked about their faith, in Newton's work, they would probably explain their uncertainties grounded in logic and not in faith. The problem with the use of the word in a discussion about science is that it confuses the issues and does not accurately describe the scientist's position.

If the word does not have religious overtones, explain what Faith Based programs are? Explain what it is that a person needs to have when they are told that faith is needed to believe this or that, semantically speaking.

In our culture the word has been captured by a segment of the population to define them, forfeiting the broader connotation.
Notice that I didn't write sacrificing the broader connotation.
Sacrifice has been long used as a faith based word, so it would not be accurate in a scientific discussion if my intentions were to not distract the reader...leading them into subtopics.

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#5061 - 10/16/09 05:36 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Originally Posted By: crarko
I'll see your Einstein, and raise you a Higgs boson.

Read 'em and weep. I did.

BTW, the LHC is coming back online in the next month or so.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8309875.stm


I had read the times article and concluded that:

Quote:
Dr. Nielson said of the theory, “Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”


Nielson hates Higgs particles and so he's looking to blame someone for the failures of the machine. God's always a handy Whipping Boy. Egocentric one might say. If we can't do it there must be a supernatural force in our super brainiac way? It's a machine, not a contest with Zeus.

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#5066 - 10/17/09 09:23 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Quote:
Sociology is not more or less than science, it is science
.
Try telling that to Richard Feynman.

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#5068 - 10/17/09 10:11 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Is the Hadron Collider the most beautiful machine ever invented, or what?

The New York Times article on Nielson and Ninomiya has more detail, including the note that:
Quote:
"[Nielson] is known in physics as one of the founders of string theory and a deep and original thinker, “one of those extremely smart people that is willing to chase crazy ideas pretty far,” in the words of Sean Carroll, a Caltech physicist and author of a coming book about time, “From Eternity to Here.”

The quote from Niels Bohr reminds me of a seminar on "creative problem solving I once attended:
Quote:
We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.

At the heart of the process was, oddly enough, the suspension of judgment, not the exercise of it. Creativity requires the willingness to entertain ideas which one might ordinarily reject out of hand for a whole litany of reasons (crazy, ill-informed, off topic, illogical, counter factual etc.). The theory, so to speak, of brainstorming suggests that it is often the risible idea from one whch can actually stimulate the out -of-the-box thinking of another who comes up with a workable solution to the problem being addressed. I've often found that to be the case on an individual level, where reminding myself not to pass judgment on my own ideas too quickly has proven useful when attacking a difficult problem.

I rather think that attacking the concept of faith and God may ultimately be less, rather than more useful in that regard. After all, the ability to conceive of things that do not exist, or do not yet exist, or that theoretically do not or "cannot" exist, is a unique function of human cognition which serves many purposes. Imagination is very interesting word when you stop to think about at it. It's what we use to write drama, or a poem, or science "fiction" on the one hand, or to search for a theory of everything on the other.


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#5069 - 10/17/09 10:44 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Quote:
So -- when errors started cropping up -- they didn't experience "doubt" but... . . . what? What's the right word for their feelings then?

Thomas Kuhn and The Structure of Scientific Revolutions spring immediately to mind on the question of anomalies and shifting paradigms. Kuhn seems especially relevant to this conversation generally, as well:
Quote:
A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs.
I was in Peru when the first man walked on the moon, and I remember my amusement when the cook at my host's house dismissed the whole thing as a hoax. There's no small measure of condescension in our current view of the recalcitrant who rejected scientific evidence that the earth was not flat and that the sun does not revolve around us for so long.

In reality, that concept conflicts with the working knowledge we derive experientially in our ordinary lives, and which we are essentially asked to reject as false. The sun, and the shadows it casts, certainly appear to move across the ground. Even now, you'd have to have put away a lot of beers before you'd put your bottle down on a beach ball. We flatten out road maps to register them on paper and frankly, as an ordinary civilian, I take the edicts of the scientific priesthood more on faith than understanding. I certainly can't see most of what they tell me, and almost any educated person can tick off a liar of contemporary examples where they've proved themselves wrong. Back to Kuhn:
Quote:
A shift in professional commitments to shared assumptions takes place when an anomaly "subverts the existing tradition of scientific practice." These shifts are what Kuhn describes as scientific revolutions—"the tradition-shattering complements to the tradition-bound activity of normal science"

There are more things in heaven and earth.....

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#5070 - 10/17/09 11:00 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
I think "liar" instead of "list" is an editorial artifact of condensation, not a Freudian slip, but I could be wrong!

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#5079 - 10/17/09 02:47 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Since I appear to have this thread to myself now, I might as well just carry on.

IMO, you seem to suffer from a substantial case of confirmation bias yourself, with a series of definitions which expand and contract, as needed, and a liberal dose of "some" and "most" as strategic disclaimers.

Quote:
...then it is absolutely inevitable that some people who accept that belief system will commit acts of atrocity against people who do not.

It seems equally obvious that some will not. So too, while it may be true that "hospitals are most commonly built for reasons which are not religious," hospitals built and sponsored by religious institutions are legion. The Catholic Church, for example, currently cares for 25% of the worlds population of AIDs victims -- and I may have that percentage too low.

By the time your anti-rational snow ball gets through rolling downhill, you've defined faith as virtually any erroneous belief whatsoever, conflated the religious with the evangelical, and included virtually anyone and everyone who ever done someone else wrong -- along with a lot of folks who haven't -- in your own cosmology. With apologies for the mixed metaphor, I think the broader the brush in this instance, the less useful it becomes.

Quote:
The problem with subscribing to faith-based cosmological systems without evidence is that they lead, when they come into competition, to all sorts of reprehensible acts of atrocity.


Oddly enough, what has really struck me reading through this thread is that you are the one who seems the most determined to pose scientific and religious cosmologies as inalterably opposed competitors, the most inclined to take your own joyful experience of the physical world as the universal end state to which all ought to aspire, and the least tolerant of those who defend spirituality as both a natural and legitimate dimension of human perception.

You get there with all sorts of unsupported assertions:

Quote:
Faith describes tiny, limited worlds; the reality is majestic and beautiful beyond imagining.


One could just as easily substitute science for faith in that formulation. I'm sure Dawkins is working on it, but the imagination seems perversely resistant to scientific inquiry.

Quote:
If you start with the premise that we are fallen from grace, created perfect by a perfect divinity and then corrupted, then we are doomed to being nothing more than we are right now.


I'm not sure how you get from your premise to your conclusion. It looks like the only place to go from there is up. Both science and religion suggest that we can make improvements in our natural state as we go. Indeed, that concept may actually be more central to religion than science, where simply understanding is often an end in itself, and where the fruits of exploration can also be perverted in the service of atrocity. I doubt you would stipulate to the inevitability of the latter though, would you?

Quote:
One of the things I find most fascinating about religious faith is the notion that there is no awe and majesty in the universe without supernatural divine power.


It would take conjuring up a logical pretzel to support this assertion, but what interests me is that you almost seem to be saying that the world is more miraculous if you take a divine creator out of the equation.

Quote:
Some people find that frightening, and want to put limits on how high we can fly. Those limits are almost invariably called 'god'.


Or "reason."

I don't think your own arguments here are free from hyperactive pattern matching, misunderstood correlations, and teleological promiscuity, but this post is long enough already, so I'll just leave it at one last comment.

Your example of "misunderstanding correlation" seems peculiar, when in fact there is a cause and effect relationship between toxins in food and sickness, whether sufficient evidence yet existed to prove it scientifically or not. While your numbers 2 through 5 can be part and parcel of confirmation bias and other potentially dangerous errors, they are also part and parcel of the impulse toward scientific exploration. While I do understand your premise here, I think you have a lot more evidence gathering to do before it satisfies your own parameters for ostensibly settled science or falsifiable conclusions.

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#5084 - 10/17/09 03:36 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
Quote:
Sociology is not more or less than science, it is science
.
Try telling that to Richard Feynman.


For myself, I don't really give a rat's p'tootie if Sociology is considered a science or not. Parts of it are, and parts are not. Parts of Geology are, and parts are not. Geologists still drink lots of beer and remain happy.

The sociological question that I would like to pose is: how do you go about disseminating science and creating interest for it within a culture where the universe of discourse seems to be pre-occupied with pirates and vampires? smile
_________________________
---

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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#5085 - 10/17/09 03:54 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
I take the edicts of the scientific priesthood more on faith than understanding.

You mean the electrons in your own body orbiting their nuclei at some 1 million m/s aren't self-evident? wink

The kicker for me is 'time'. The scientific description (as per relativity theory) is one of least intuitive concepts i've ever encountered... insomuch as 'time' is supposedly such a simple abstraction... one we *all* live with constantly and somehow think (feel, believe, assume) we understand.

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#5089 - 10/17/09 04:59 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
...how do you go about disseminating science and creating interest for it within a culture where the universe of discourse seems to be pre-occupied with pirates and vampires?

Well, for starters, I'd think you'd at least want a TV series in which top scientists humiliate each other in a manic quest for some kind of sophomoric award, wouldn't you? laugh
_________________________

dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#5090 - 10/17/09 05:04 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: JM Hanes]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
I certainly can't see most of what they tell me, and almost any educated person can tick off a liar of contemporary examples where they've proved themselves wrong.


While we were quoting Feynman, here are a few others...

“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.”

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”

“If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part.”


and my favorite

“If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.”
_________________________
---

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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#5092 - 10/17/09 05:10 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: dkmarsh]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh


Well, for starters, I'd think you'd at least want a TV series in which top scientists humiliate each other in a manic quest for some kind of sophomoric award, wouldn't you? laugh


Or maybe sing and dance with each other while juggling crystal skulls and contemplating the writings of Nostradamus.

Which reminds me, did Nostradamus ever predict anything good that was going to happen? Or just the blog of doom...
_________________________
---

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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#5093 - 10/17/09 05:53 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Quote:
....how do you go about disseminating science and creating interest....

Bring back chemistry sets?


Hal: LOL. I understand relativity theory 5 minutes at a time, immediately after it's been explained to me. The upside is that I can watch all those shows I'm addicted to on the science channel over and over again without any sense of deja vu. In fact, I was watching the 100 Greatest Hits of science the other night, and what made the biggest impression on me was that after Aristotle proposed that heavier objects drop faster than lighter ones, no one got around to testing it out for 1700 years. Must have been preoccupied with pirates and vampires. shocked


dk: You were right about the trolling, you know. [Don't tell anybody, but I totally made up that believers/atheists and sex finding.] cool

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