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Thread: Times Below the Planck Time?

  1. #31
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    I never said peer review was unjustified. I am saying idea's may not stand peer review because they do not attend to the norm. There is a big difference here.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Well I don't. I think it sums the scientific community, the majority rather well.
    And I don't think it does, we're entitled to our opinion. But, it's interesting to note that those who usually accuse the scientific community of closed minds, are the very ones who don't want anyone criticizing their own ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Look at Everette the third, creator of the universal wave function and many worlds interpretation. He is legendary today, but after his thesis on the many worlds, he left physics for good because of the harsh reception of his new theory, even from prominent scientists.
    Well, even Everette never claimed his was a theory. It was an interpretation. He also called it a metatheory. So, is it really surprising physicists didn't get on board with it? Not to mention there are quite a few interpretations of QM, all of which (even the Copenhagen) received some harsh criticism when first proposed.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    And I don't think it does, we're entitled to our opinion. But, it's interesting to note that those who usually accuse the scientific community of closed minds, are the very ones who don't want anyone criticizing their own ideas.



    Well, even Everette never claimed his was a theory. It was an interpretation. He also called it a metatheory. So, is it really surprising physicists didn't get on board with it? Not to mention there are quite a few interpretations of QM, all of which (even the Copenhagen) received some harsh criticism when first proposed.
    Who ever wants their work criticized in a negative way? I don't think you should generalize this on me.

    For instance, I already gave an example of how harsh the scientific community was to poor Hugh Everette the Third, who is considered by most standards today as a genious. Why was the scientific community so harsh towards him? (Even if his was an interpetation, it was still revolutionary at the time and required concepts the scientific community where not comfortable with).

    It's because he peddled a theory that current science at that time had not even considered. Now, I am not talking about non-scientists here. Criticism, which is mostly bad towards a crank is expectable - often cranks do tend to speak about subjects with appealing to authority figures, like Einstein, who is often mentioned frequently. But I am not talking about cranks am I? I am talking about scientific theories created by scientists which are either fringe or completely new idea's altogether and recieving very little interest.

    And do you know why they aren't receiving much interest? Because of the dogma of ''why fix something which ain't broke''.

    Well, there is plenty in science we don't know about, and I'd advise anyone in the scientific community to remember that we don't know what physics is in its totality so new idea's no matter how fringe should be weclome... with the exception of crank theories, which I am all to glad to ignore.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    And do you know why they aren't receiving much interest? Because of the dogma of ''why fix something which ain't broke''.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    It's not dogma. It's an engineering axiom. Very simply, absent evidence of a real problem don't waste time and energy trying to fix it.

    I don't think it applies here. Certainly not in the way you are trying to use it.

    (ETA: This does not apply to process engineers.)
    Last edited by Jim; 2012-Apr-30 at 12:05 AM. Reason: eta
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    It's not dogma. It's an engineering axiom. Very simply, absent evidence of a real problem don't waste time and energy trying to fix it.

    I don't think it applies here. Certainly not in the way you are trying to use it.

    (ETA: This does not apply to process engineers.)
    Sure it can.

    Alternative models of physics may be seen as trying to fix something which aint broken.

  6. #36
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    The dogma arises because we are fixed to the dogma: the current standard of beliefs.

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    There is a jokey wiki article on ''don't fix what aint broken''...

    ''If there is no evidence of a real problem, and fixing the "problem" would not effectively improve Wikipedia, then don't waste time and energy (yours or anybody else's) trying to fix it.''

    The same goes for the standard belief system in physics: I don't mean all scientists are like this, I mean that some can be and it does not help the progression of science -- more so if it scares away scientists from publishing work in reputable journals. An alternative theory can clash with the current belief... some scientists may think it clashes because it attempts to explain things in a completely different, new bizarre set of ways. So, we tend not care much about theories which challenge the mainstream because they are theories which don't need to be fixed. Like the paper I linked to on the spin microframe. Some scientists might read that and say, ''why, but oh why?''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Sure it can.

    Alternative models of physics may be seen as trying to fix something which aint broken.
    No. Alternative models of physics are developed because someone sees (or imagines) a problem with the existing model. They do think it's "broke."

    And, again, that's not a statement of dogma.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Who ever wants their work criticized in a negative way?
    Could you point out where I said criticized in a negative way? Most scientists, want critical comments and critiques on their work. I said the people who usually accuse scientists with closed minds don't want criticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    I don't think you should generalize this on me.
    But you're more than willing to generalize behavior to the scientific community. Why is it OK for you to generalize your opinion, but it's not OK for me or others to generalize our opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    For instance, I already gave an example of how harsh the scientific community was to poor Hugh Everette the Third, who is considered by most standards today as a genious. Why was the scientific community so harsh towards him?
    Get over it. The scientific community was not harsh to Everette. The scientific community was harsh to Everette's idea. Probably due to a lack of evidence or development of idea, at that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    (Even if his was an interpetation, it was still revolutionary at the time and required concepts the scientific community where not comfortable with).
    And your proof that this had anything to do with being close-minded and not simply because there wasn't enough evidence or development of the MW idea to be fully understood?

    Don't forget, Everette left school before he got his PhD. He went to work with the Pentagon, as he was losing his draft deferment (this is not a comment on choice of avoiding the draft, I probably would have don't the same in his situation). So, he was working at the Pentagon, his whole thesis wasn't published (It was cut at the his advisor's (Wheeler) recommendation), and he never went back to physics. How much of that was due to the lack of interest in his thesis and how much was due to his successful career with and as an advisor for the Pentagon is open to question. At any rate, he wasn't defending his idea in published journals. It was probably more a case of a lot of physicists not seeing the paper in the first place. And, since he wasn't defending it, probably never heard of it. Nothing sinister, as you keep hinting at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    It's because he peddled a theory that current science at that time had not even considered.
    You do realize that this happens all the time, right? It's not something that just happened to Everette. Einstein peddled a theory that people HAD considered, except for one thing, in 1905 (relativity), and still it wasn't fully accepted. As a matter of fact, it wasn't fully accepted when he won his Nobel prize, he was specifically told it was't for relativity. Accusing the scientific community of some big conspiracy where all the scientists get together and say we have to ignore this idea, it's too dangerous and will upset our theories, does not help your credibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Now, I am not talking about non-scientists here. Criticism, which is mostly bad towards a crank is expectable - often cranks do tend to speak about subjects with appealing to authority figures, like Einstein, who is often mentioned frequently. But I am not talking about cranks am I? I am talking about scientific theories created by scientists which are either fringe or completely new idea's altogether and recieving very little interest.
    Yeah, heard this before also. Heard it defended before also, much the same as you defend it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    And do you know why they aren't receiving much interest? Because of the dogma of ''why fix something which ain't broke''.
    Not dogma again. Dogma is the cry of those who are upset that either their idea or one of the pet ideas of one of their "heroes" has been rejected or ignored. If you don't like the interest it is receiving, do some more research, present that research or some more evidence and see how that goes. Don't complain about it. After all, Dewitt was a opponent of Everette's interpretation, until he found out about and read the full version of Everette's thesis. If Everette was so convinced his idea was so good, why didn't he publish his full thesis? If it's because he didn't like his reception, he was a bit thin skinned. How did he determine he was being ignored within three to four months of the publication of his thesis?

    Not only that, but it happens even when something is broke. In 1971, there was not a good theory for the weak force. In 1967, Steve Weinberg published a theory that would give mass to the weak boson through spontaneous symmetry breaking. No one cared, cause there was no reason to require it, it was just a model. It was cited once from 1967 to 1971. Then in 1971, Gerald 't Hooft realized that Yang-Mills theories, with massless bosons, were renormalizable. The weak force would qualify for being a Yang-Mills and be renormalizable, if there was a way to get massless weak bosons to match the fact the weak bosons had mass. 't Hooft cited Weinberg's paper in 1971. In 1972 Weinberg's paper was cited 65 times and over a hundred times in 1973. So, don't equate lack of attention, with being ignored or with understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Well, there is plenty in science we don't know about, and I'd advise anyone in the scientific community to remember that we don't know what physics is in its totality
    You make this sound as if this would be some sort of revelation to physicists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    so new idea's no matter how fringe should be weclome... with the exception of crank theories, which I am all to glad to ignore.
    *Exactly how do you decide between fringe and crank? The line there is very fuzzy. You seem to want everyone to recognize the value of a fringe idea right off the bat. Very seldom does it work that way. And it's even worse when it comes to something philosophical, which is what an interpretation of QM is, after all. Which is why the scientific community is so harsh on the ideas that are on the fringe. Produce some evidence, explain your concepts better. If you do those things and the idea has any kind of merit, the idea will be accepted. You seem to want the scientific community to accept fringe ideas, without the ideas having to go through any kind of vetting. Which would mean many of those crackpot ideas, that you are so glad to ignore, would get through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    No. Alternative models of physics are developed because someone sees (or imagines) a problem with the existing model. They do think it's "broke."

    And, again, that's not a statement of dogma.
    Who said, ''those who can entertain a theory even though they don't agree with it, is the sign of true intellect.'' ?



    Whether or not an alternative model addresses issues which attempt at solving problems is highly subjective and relative. Take the many worlds versus the Copenhagen camps. Neither one believes there are enough existing problems to warrant the alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Could you point out where I said criticized in a negative way? Most scientists, want critical comments and critiques on their work. I said the people who usually accuse scientists with closed minds don't want criticism.
    You said those who complain about the critics are usually those who don't want their work criticized.

    I am a strong believer that there is a positive criticism and there is a negative criticism. In reply to yourself, ''who wants their work criticized in a negative way?'' Most criticism unfortunately is negative and makes conversations alike ugly and not easy to digest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    But you're more than willing to generalize behavior to the scientific community. Why is it OK for you to generalize your opinion, but it's not OK for me or others to generalize our opinion?
    No. I did say outright this does not mean the entire community - only some. Please read back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Get over it. The scientific community was not harsh to Everette. The scientific community was harsh to Everette's idea. Probably due to a lack of evidence or development of idea, at that time.
    I feel somewhat you don't know you history well..



    he was met with bad reception from many phycisists.

    Léon Rosenfeld, one of Bohr's devotees, talking about Everett's visit, described Everett as being "undescribably stupid and could not understand the simplest things in quantum mechanics".

    ''After his now celebrated theory of multiple universes met scorn, Hugh Everett abandoned the world of academic physics. He turned to top secret military research and led a tragic private life''

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...rett-biography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    And your proof that this had anything to do with being close-minded and not simply because there wasn't enough evidence or development of the MW idea to be fully understood?
    Judge for yourself. I think it largely had to do with closed mindedness and a personal dislike of maveriks with new idea's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Don't forget, Everette left school before he got his PhD. He went to work with the Pentagon, as he was losing his draft deferment (this is not a comment on choice of avoiding the draft, I probably would have don't the same in his situation). So, he was working at the Pentagon, his whole thesis wasn't published (It was cut at the his advisor's (Wheeler) recommendation), and he never went back to physics. How much of that was due to the lack of interest in his thesis and how much was due to his successful career with and as an advisor for the Pentagon is open to question. At any rate, he wasn't defending his idea in published journals. It was probably more a case of a lot of physicists not seeing the paper in the first place. And, since he wasn't defending it, probably never heard of it. Nothing sinister, as you keep hinting at.
    He only worked there because of the distasteful attitudes of physicists for his MWI... this was the reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    You do realize that this happens all the time, right? It's not something that just happened to Everette. Einstein peddled a theory that people HAD considered, except for one thing, in 1905 (relativity), and still it wasn't fully accepted. As a matter of fact, it wasn't fully accepted when he won his Nobel prize, he was specifically told it was't for relativity. Accusing the scientific community of some big conspiracy where all the scientists get together and say we have to ignore this idea, it's too dangerous and will upset our theories, does not help your credibility.
    Everette is an example. I thought that would have been clear enough? Einstein actually recieved similar distasteful reception, glad you pointed that out. If it wasn't for Arthur Eddington, it would have been most likely years before an experimentalist actually took the possibility of a curved spacetime seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Yeah, heard this before also. Heard it defended before also, much the same as you defend it.
    ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Not dogma again. Dogma is the cry of those who are upset that either their idea or one of the pet ideas of one of their "heroes" has been rejected or ignored. If you don't like the interest it is receiving, do some more research, present that research or some more evidence and see how that goes. Don't complain about it. After all, Dewitt was a opponent of Everette's interpretation, until he found out about and read the full version of Everette's thesis. If Everette was so convinced his idea was so good, why didn't he publish his full thesis? If it's because he didn't like his reception, he was a bit thin skinned. How did he determine he was being ignored within three to four months of the publication of his thesis?
    Dogma is about being stuck in a particular belief system... dogmatic and narrow and unwilling to appreciate new ideas.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    You make this sound as if this would be some sort of revelation to physicists.
    Just a reminder that perhaps we have been stuck with theories which are incapable of being unified for so long, because we have so many brilliant scientists whose attentions are drawn to other things, like string theory which is an utterly ridiculous theory anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    *Exactly how do you decide between fringe and crank? The line there is very fuzzy. You seem to want everyone to recognize the value of a fringe idea right off the bat. Very seldom does it work that way. And it's even worse when it comes to something philosophical, which is what an interpretation of QM is, after all. Which is why the scientific community is so harsh on the ideas that are on the fringe. Produce some evidence, explain your concepts better. If you do those things and the idea has any kind of merit, the idea will be accepted. You seem to want the scientific community to accept fringe ideas, without the ideas having to go through any kind of vetting. Which would mean many of those crackpot ideas, that you are so glad to ignore, would get through.
    There are some crank tests. Please don't tell me you've never heard of them?

    Plus a trained mind can know whether a theory is plausible, to one which is utterly out of question.

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    All I am saying is that there are many intelligent physicists set in their ways, a belief-system about the way physics should head. Now, that is fine, you are welcome to your opinions all you want. All I am saying it would be a great deal more scientific appeasing those theories which you don't agree with, even though they are plausible. I mean, rationally-plausible. Things like string theory is not rational. Perhaps a good example of a rationally-plausible idea is ... superluminal particles. Just so long as a particle does not accelerate over the speed of light, these particles can be allowed. That's rational and plausible. And most scientists would agree with that.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    You said those who complain about the critics are usually those who don't want their work criticized.
    I also said, "Most scientists, want critical comments and critiques on their work." But, didn't seem to included that in your quote of my comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    I am a strong believer that there is a positive criticism and there is a negative criticism. In reply to yourself, ''who wants their work criticized in a negative way?'' Most criticism unfortunately is negative and makes conversations alike ugly and not easy to digest.
    But, again, I didn't say in a negative way. That's something that you characterized my comment as, not something I actually said. Those who usually claim that mainstream scientists have closed minds want no criticism, that was my statement. You were the one that changed the meaning. I don't mind you quoting me, but I would appreciate being quoted correctly, without changing my meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    No. I did say outright this does not mean the entire community - only some. Please read back.
    I did. From your post #28

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Well I don't. I think it sums the scientific community, the majority rather well.
    I said generalized. And that matches your statement of the majority rather well. Generalized does not match the common definition of some.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    I feel somewhat you don't know you history well..
    I know my history quite well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    he was met with bad reception from many phycisists.

    Léon Rosenfeld, one of Bohr's devotees, talking about Everett's visit, described Everett as being "undescribably stupid and could not understand the simplest things in quantum mechanics".

    ''After his now celebrated theory of multiple universes met scorn, Hugh Everett abandoned the world of academic physics. He turned to top secret military research and led a tragic private life''

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...rett-biography
    You want to explain exactly how Everette went to work for the military in 1956 and didn't meet with Bohr and his associates until 1959, but went to work for the military, because of his reception from many physicists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Judge for yourself. I think it largely had to do with closed mindedness and a personal dislike of maveriks with new idea's.
    Well, it doesn't match the timeline, but you can think what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    He only worked there because of the distasteful attitudes of physicists for his MWI... this was the reason.
    No, you may believe that, but it's wrong. If so, he would't have stayed at the Penagon past his 18 month requirement. About a year and a half before meeting Bohr. And remember, Wheeler wrote a supportive article, when Everette's paper was published. So, you'll have to try something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Everette is an example. I thought that would have been clear enough? Einstein actually recieved similar distasteful reception, glad you pointed that out. If it wasn't for Arthur Eddington, it would have been most likely years before an experimentalist actually took the possibility of a curved spacetime seriously.
    I feel somewhat you don't know you history well.. You know, I did specify 1905, that would be Special Relativity. And, as far as experimentalists, there was a expedition in 1914 to verify Einstein's predictions with a solar eclipse. Unfortunately for the expedition, WWI broke out and the expedition was taken prisoner by the Russians. Fortunately for Einstein, his predictions were wrong, he was still using his wrong Entwulf equations. So, I don't think it would have been years. Since there was an expedition, even before he finished GR. The point was, Einstein didn't have his feelings hurt and leave physics. He kept at it, and kept working on new things and updating his own theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    ?
    Those who claim the scientific community only believe in their own dogma, have defended their complaints about the scientific community very much as you have done. Everyone has their own version and example. But it all comes down to there either wasn't enough evidence, there wasn't enough work, or there wasn't enough followup. There may have been some later, but not at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Dogma is about being stuck in a particular belief system...
    Yeah, keep telling yourself that the scientific community is unwilling to appreciate new ideas. As I said, it's been repeated here ad nauseum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    dogmatic and narrow and unwilling to appreciate new ideas.
    You mean like people not wanting to accept String Theory or Loop Quantum Gravity? I'm not a big fan of String Theory (Loop Quantum Gravity is more my style), but I haven't seen anything that flat falsifies String Theory yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Just a reminder that perhaps we have been stuck with theories which are incapable of being unified for so long, because we have so many brilliant scientists whose attentions are drawn to other things,
    like string theory which is an utterly ridiculous theory anyway.

    There are some crank tests. Please don't tell me you've never heard of them?

    Plus a trained mind can know whether a theory is plausible, to one which is utterly out of question.
    If you can't follow the math of "The 2D Spin and its Resonance Fringe" on what basis do you conclude that string theory is utterly ridiculous? Perhaps some inconsistency in the math, that you can point it out for us? Or, one of the axioms, that has been falsified. Which one is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    All I am saying is that there are many intelligent physicists set in their ways, a belief-system about the way physics should head.
    Well, there's always been physicists that are set in their ways. Most theoretical physicists over 40 are nothing more than department heads or figureheads. Other disciplines may have their department head uselessness delayed until 45-50. Almost all discoveries are made by researchers in the 20-30s. As a matter of fact, one quote I read specified that the easiest way change theories was to propose your theory, and wait for all the old professors in your discipline to die off. That hasn't change in.....four hundred or so years.

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    In fear or being stuck in a proverbial loop in the discussion, I will leave some of your remarks out and leave it at that... but there are two points I wish to discuss further:

    ''You want to explain exactly how Everette went to work for the military in 1956 and didn't meet with Bohr and his associates until 1959, but went to work for the military, because of his reception from many physicists?''

    From wiki

    ''Discouraged by the scorn[4] of other physicists for MWI, Everett ended his physics career after completing his Ph.D. Afterwards, he developed the use of generalized Lagrange multipliers for operations research and applied this commercially as a defense analyst and a consultant. ''

    Could be possible I picked you up wrong. He finished his PhD and ended his physics career. When did he work for the military, was that before his PhD?

    ''If you can't follow the math of "The 2D Spin and its Resonance Fringe" on what basis do you conclude that string theory is utterly ridiculous? Perhaps some inconsistency in the math, that you can point it out for us? Or, one of the axioms, that has been falsified. Which one is that?''

    I said I couldn't follow it all, but that would be a lack of understanding the mathematical proceedures in some of it. That was not meant to mean there is a flaw in the work somewhere, though quite possibly there is.

    I am a quantum loop kind of guy as well. As for why I think string theory is ridiculous, where do I begin?

    Strings are supposed to be larger than the Planck Length, yet... due to all experimental data particles actually behave like pointlike particles. If one was going to really say the idiom ''don't fix what is not broken,'' this might be a prime example. In order for string theory to solve problems back in the 80's, its created new ones which don't make sense. An electron exists way below the Planck Length, dimensionless little particles we are led to believe from experimentation... so how can an electron be a two dimensional object?

    Lets then also talk about the 11 dimensions it requires. That seems an aweful lot of dimensions required for the theory and for us to accept considering we don't see any of these dimensions at all. In fact, do I need to rehash the old statements saying that string theory is not even science? It makes no testable predictions to date... it only attempts to explain phenomenon without a shred a proof or evidence. Then some theories of string theory even entertain branes and an ''outside'' to our universe which is ridiculous in the face of GR which says there is no outside to the universe.

    I bet if I studied it longer I could come up with more examples of ridiculous predictions string theory makes.
    Last edited by Aethelwulf; 2012-Apr-30 at 08:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tensor View Post
    Well, there's always been physicists that are set in their ways. Most theoretical physicists over 40 are nothing more than department heads or figureheads. Other disciplines may have their department head uselessness delayed until 45-50. Almost all discoveries are made by researchers in the 20-30s. As a matter of fact, one quote I read specified that the easiest way change theories was to propose your theory, and wait for all the old professors in your discipline to die off. That hasn't change in.....four hundred or so years.
    As I said, by all means, have an opinion. Don't let that opinion dampen the possibility of new work being investigated. Rational work I will add again.

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    LOL..!!

    Couldn't one tell I needed my coffee this morning? I spelled Branes, Brains hahaha

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    I want to step back a bit in the conversation, because I think that at least some of this discussion arises from a simple bit of confusion. Bell's Theorem and Bell's Inequality are not the same thing. Bell's Theorem states that no theory of local hidden variables can underlie the observed quantum behavior. Bell's Inequality holds true for any system that can be represented by a local model. That is to say, the fact that Bell's Inequality is violated by quantum theory (and by observation as well) is precisely why Bell's Theorem is true. Note that the paper talks about violations of Bell's Inequality, not violations of Bell's Theorem.

    From both quantum theory and direct observation, we can see direct violations of Bell's Inequality, with very few remaining loopholes if you really want a universe that preserves local realism. Because of that, it is almost certain that Bell's Theorem is true.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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    Rational work I will add again.
    What defines rational? Oh - that would be culture, philosophy and worldview. So it is a meaningless criteria mainly used to disparage something that baulks against our preconceptions... Wait, isn't that something you were complaining about?

    All that is required for a theory is that it is consistent (mathematically) and has predictive power. Whether it meets some culturally defined arbitrary notion of rationality is not important. String theory is more of an idea because so far its underlying mathematical model has not been worked out. It lacks predictive power. An example - would Medieval Natural Philosopher have thought that quantum theory was rational? Do most people think it is? GR falls foul of most of that too. Whereas people often say that aether theories are more 'rational'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    What defines rational? Oh - that would be culture, philosophy and worldview. So it is a meaningless criteria mainly used to disparage something that baulks against our preconceptions... Wait, isn't that something you were complaining about?

    All that is required for a theory is that it is consistent (mathematically) and has predictive power. Whether it meets some culturally defined arbitrary notion of rationality is not important. String theory is more of an idea because so far its underlying mathematical model has not been worked out. It lacks predictive power. An example - would Medieval Natural Philosopher have thought that quantum theory was rational? Do most people think it is? GR falls foul of most of that too. Whereas people often say that aether theories are more 'rational'.
    I will define what should be rational in physics - well I won't, but I can qoute an excellent passage from Einstein which describes this dichotemy very well.

    He said, along the lines of:

    ...physics should be kept simple, but no more simpler.

    Do you think Einstein would have appreciated string theory, with all of its absolutely spectacular, inconceivable and quite frankly incredible assertions?

    Rational is Einsteins way of thinking and string theory is heracy to that rational.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Do you think Einstein would have appreciated string theory, with all of its absolutely spectacular, inconceivable and quite frankly incredible assertions?
    Ironic, considering your earlier comments about rejecting ideas based on dogma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    I want to step back a bit in the conversation, because I think that at least some of this discussion arises from a simple bit of confusion. Bell's Theorem and Bell's Inequality are not the same thing. Bell's Theorem states that no theory of local hidden variables can underlie the observed quantum behavior. Bell's Inequality holds true for any system that can be represented by a local model. That is to say, the fact that Bell's Inequality is violated by quantum theory (and by observation as well) is precisely why Bell's Theorem is true. Note that the paper talks about violations of Bell's Inequality, not violations of Bell's Theorem.

    From both quantum theory and direct observation, we can see direct violations of Bell's Inequality, with very few remaining loopholes if you really want a universe that preserves local realism. Because of that, it is almost certain that Bell's Theorem is true.
    Right.

    We are indeed talking about the Bells Inequality, this object here:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Ironic, considering your earlier comments about rejecting ideas based on dogma.
    I said, theories need to be rational. Theories which are outside the box so far that your brains are dribbling matter is not good for science.

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    Rational is Einsteins way of thinking and string theory is heracy to that rational.
    So blind faith is a terrible, stifling thing unless it agrees with your blind faith. And that is how you want to do science? In one breath you say physicists reject anything remotely outside the box then accuse them of thinking too far outside the box.

    I am sorry but your position amounts to little more than "good science is science I like and feel comfortable with"

    Do you think Eratosthenes would have rejected Einstein's theory with all its (to him) ridiculous assertions and predictions?

    As I said, theories have to be consistent, predictive and rigorous. That is all. Rational is a matter of opinion and not something you can test for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    So blind faith is a terrible, stifling thing unless it agrees with your blind faith. And that is how you want to do science? In one breath you say physicists reject anything remotely outside the box then accuse them of thinking too far outside the box.
    Well, shall we take a look, see if we can find a crank theory on the net... won't be hard... I'll just a check a forum...


    ahhh... here is a good one:

    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=111423

    Now... if I agreed with this theory, I'd be as bad as a crank, because it has no substance, logical character... darn... it's just make-it-up as you go along material. What makes a theory rational? When I have spoke about this in this thread, tell me, did you think I wanted the time of physicists to be wasted on such material? Would I really have a valid point about new theories, if I was willing to accept any old theory as it comes?

    There is a limit. It's called being rational. Theories which contain little to no science at all is not even worthy of being called a theory.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post

    As I said, theories have to be consistent, predictive and rigorous. That is all. Rational is a matter of opinion and not something you can test for.
    Good we agree on something, except I use rational as a ''mind-set'' to understand when a theory is good or not. Is the theory rational, or is it irrational? Is it's assertions radical, too radical indeed? Does it contain science at all? These all fall into the rational choices of what's a theory a good theory and those which do not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Good we agree on something, except I use rational as a ''mind-set'' to understand when a theory is good or not. Is the theory rational, or is it irrational? Is it's assertions radical, too radical indeed? Does it contain science at all? These all fall into the rational choices of what's a theory a good theory and those which do not.
    So long as it has a consistent, testable mathematical framework I am happy to call it a theory. So long as it is being put into those terms I am happy to call it a speculative theory. What I am not happy to do is look at something and discard it based on my personal preferences, as you appear to do with String Theory. Now I do not really like it but I have very different reasons to the ones you have expressed on here. And so long as they come up with a testable model that is useful I will not dismiss it as 'irrational'.

    I guess what I object to is your easy assumption that your standards of rationality are scientific. They are not - they are personal and subjective. What is irrational rubbish to you is solid science to others. Which is why we tend to have better criteria than "do not like" when looking at a theory. These are self-consistency, testability and predictive value. Notice that because I could not establish any of these myself I was not willing to dismiss (or endorse) the model in the paper you gave early on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    So long as it has a consistent, testable mathematical framework I am happy to call it a theory. So long as it is being put into those terms I am happy to call it a speculative theory. What I am not happy to do is look at something and discard it based on my personal preferences, as you appear to do with String Theory. Now I do not really like it but I have very different reasons to the ones you have expressed on here. And so long as they come up with a testable model that is useful I will not dismiss it as 'irrational'.

    I guess what I object to is your easy assumption that your standards of rationality are scientific. They are not - they are personal and subjective. What is irrational rubbish to you is solid science to others. Which is why we tend to have better criteria than "do not like" when looking at a theory. These are self-consistency, testability and predictive value. Notice that because I could not establish any of these myself I was not willing to dismiss (or endorse) the model in the paper you gave early on.
    No, you twist my words. I have given examples of what constitutes rational theories... true that something being rational is subjective, however, physics is far from rational. When I speak of rational, I mean is a theory plausible?

    Also, string theory does not make testable predictions. In light of this, I take it you will dismiss it as irrational then? You said if they come up with testable theories you would not think it was irrational. Since it hasn't, I can only preclude that you will.

    You know exactly what constitutes a rational theory - one which has real science behind it. I can't help but feel you are being pedantic now, maybe bordering trolling.

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    I am being very careful not to use the words rational and irrational in how I describe theories because I think they add nothing to the debate. I have spelt out what I regard as the requirements for a theory to be worthwhile and rationality is not part of it. If your definition of rationality is identical to the criteria I have laid out then we are in agreement, just using different words. I also said that if a theory is being worked on to meet those requirements then it was worth spending some time on. That covers String theory. I would not describe it as rational or irrational as they are both subjective terms that I would not regard as good criteria for the assessment of a theory. String theory is speculative - what there is is internally consistent and in a mathematical framework, however it fails the testable part. So I would not regard it as a finished theory by a long way.

    The point I have been trying to make is that in judging a theory you should not be using value judgements - that is exactly what you have been accusing physicists generally of doing. And then you proceed to do it yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    ... I can't help but feel you are being pedantic now, maybe bordering trolling.
    If you have a problem with another Member's behaviour, Report the post and let the Mods work it out. Do not even hint at accusations in-thread.
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