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Thread: When do neutrinos, black holes, quarks, dark matter, and dark energy become real?

  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Precisely. Indeed, I wager plutonium affects your reality quite a lot if you happen to be under a critical mass of it.
    But there is no way to experiment with "other realities", making it a moot question. It is what it is, the rest is speculation.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And before anyone asks how we can "know" that, it's because all the evidence we've ever found says so.
    That unfortunately does not follow, logically, for several reasons. First of all, you cannot "know" something simply because all the evidence we've found says so. The "evidence we've found" is very much a moving target-- did Newton "know" that his equations applied at all speeds? No, he only had constraints in a limited domain. The same holds for the role of consciousness in interacting with reality-- there is certainly a domain where that role appears to be perfectly passive. That does not in any way prove it is always passive-- notice the selection effect here in the way science chooses its questions.

    In other words, even if we have never conducted an experiment that requires we include consciousness in our description of the result, this is not evidence that there are no such experiments possible. It is merely evidence that we either have a selection bias to avoid such experiments (as they would be subjective in character), or we lack the necessary technology to carry out such experiments (as they might involve far greater understanding of what consciousness is and how it originates).

    Also, there is some evidence that consciousness may interact with reality in a complex way, in quantum erasure experiments. But I think the perception of consciousness, by consciousness, is already a pretty clear daily example of how consciousness interacts with reality. It is the single most important way that reality is altered-- it is altered when our perception of reality becomes part of reality. Without that attribute, the universe is quite an uninteresting place, no matter how sublime its physics-- and we have absolutely no idea how to include that alteration in our physics, so we just dodge the question. Nevertheless, as I keep saying, dodging an issue because it is inconvenient may be a valid thing to do, but we should always be aware when we are doing it or we are not taking the scientific perspective.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    My point here is that you don't need to assume that something generated the data when you're doing science, because in the end the data is all you'll be talking about.
    Sorry, but I don't buy that. It's a total cop-out of an answer.

    You're basically saying "look at this amazingly detailed model and paradigm we've built up of all this data! It explains it all perfectly... except what the data actually is. To which we just shrug and say that it could be what we think it is or it could be something wildly different."

    There's a very esoteric philosophical term for that -"LAAAAAME" . It's like a half-boiled theory that starts to explain something but then gives up halfway. You've got data - if you can't be bothered to explain where it came from then how the heck can you really understand what it is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    I'm going to be bold once more and state that it isn't even an assumption of science at all.
    You're right-- it is not a formal assumption of science, but it is a common assumption in the way we use science as a path to knowledge. But we could just be pretending, it's not something we can really know and there's no need to build in unnecessary assumptions if we don't need them. We tend to build that assumption in anyway, just for our own comfort as you say.
    Which is why some people get all excited and nervous when one questions these assumptions.
    Yeah, I'll say.

  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But there is no way to experiment with "other realities", making it a moot question. It is what it is, the rest is speculation.
    At the moment, yes. But the relevance is that at some point science may attempt to address that class of experiments it has so far avoided-- experiments whose outcomes cannot be understood without explicitly including the role of consciousness in the reality. We will certainly have to do that if science ever advances to the point where we are doing experiments on consciousness itself, although we might find that at least the consciousness of the experimenter need not be included. But that still doesn't rule out the possibility for experiments where the role of the experimenter's consciousness does play a crucial role, such as experiments on the experimenter. Note that such experiments may be crucial for the understanding of consciousness by consciousness, we just know so little about it right now. One might even argue that we have all already embarked on that experiment.

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That unfortunately does not follow, logically, for several reasons. First of all, you cannot "know" something simply because all the evidence we've found says so. The "evidence we've found" is very much a moving target-- did Newton "know" that his equations applied at all speeds? No, he only had constraints in a limited domain. The same holds for the role of consciousness in interacting with reality-- there is certainly a domain where that role appears to be perfectly passive. That does not in any way prove it is always passive-- notice the selection effect here in the way science chooses its questions.

    In other words, even if we have never conducted an experiment that requires we include consciousness in our description of the result, this is not evidence that there are no such experiments possible. It is merely evidence that we either have a selection bias to avoid such experiments (as they would be subjective in character), or we lack the necessary technology to carry out such experiments (as they might involve far greater understanding of what consciousness is and how it originates).

    Also, there is some evidence that consciousness may interact with reality in a complex way, in quantum erasure experiments. But I think the perception of consciousness, by consciousness, is already a pretty clear daily example of how consciousness interacts with reality. It is the single most important way that reality is altered-- it is altered when our perception of reality becomes part of reality. Without that attribute, the universe is quite an uninteresting place, no matter how sublime its physics-- and we have absolutely no idea how to include that alteration in our physics, so we just dodge the question. Nevertheless, as I keep saying, dodging an issue because it is inconvenient may be a valid thing to do, but we should always be aware when we are doing it or we are not taking the scientific perspective.
    First you say we should take something as "self-evident", then you say evidence means nothing. My poor little sub-genius head is spinning.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

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    Quote Originally Posted by korjik View Post
    I see what you mean by mind independent reality, but i think that you just dont understand what quantum uncertainty is. An observer is not required for reality to go on being real, only to know what exactly is going on. Therefore, when all is said and done, mind independent reality is no different that mind dependent reality, or to put it a bit differently, the unobserved works the same as the observed.

    It is true that it can never be proved that this is true. By the very definition unobserved reality is unknown, but the assumption that physics works the same everywhere is one of the pillars of todays understanding on the universe.
    I have no pretensions of understanding quantum mechanics in any detail, but I am not sure that your statement gets to the core of the problem. When you say an observer is not required, It seems to me that within quantum mechanics, the very notion of an observer is required in which to predict weakly objective reality at the quantum level. To say that this predictive (weakly objective) reality is there without such a notion is something I certainly don't understand. Physics works everywhere where we have done physics, but it can tell us nothing about that which underlies the predictive nature of quantum mechanics, namely mind independent reality. We do not have any scientific tools in which to probe such areas. Of course we may do in the future, but to say we will, is an assumption, which is not a scientific statement.

    To clarify my position:

    Scientific statements that are objective in nature do not refer (not even implicitly) to the community of the people who know-or get informed-of their content. But others are not of this type. They explicitly or implicitly refer to some human procedure (of observation, for example). Such statements are called objective since, by definition, they are true for everybody. But their form (or context) makes it impossible to take them to be descriptions of how things actually are. These statements can be termed as weakly objective.

    To put it more formally (extract from On Physics and Philosophy, by Bernard d'Espagnat)

    "A statement is "weakly objective" when it implies (directly or indirectly) the notion of an observer but is of such a form (or occurs in such a context) that it implicitly claims to be true for any observer whatsoever."

    In the former case, in principle, one could describe the objective reality as being "out there" regardless of whether we observe it or not. In the latter case of weak objectivity, this is impossible since by definition, their form implies (directly or indirectly) the notion of an observer. That which "exists" independently of such a notion of an observer is not accessible to us at this level, therefore it is truly mind independent reality. To ask what this reality is can only be answered by saying there is no answer.

    I agree however that things are more problematical when we consider the macroscopic level, since here the notion of strong objectivity holds. However consider the traces that particles generate in a cloud chamber. We think of the particles as objects traveling through space with something like uniform motion and therefore occupying, at least approximately, a well defined place at any time. In a sense the way I have just described this is much like EGE has described objective reality existing independently of the observer, it can be thought of as "out there", just like we think of the white trails of a jet plane.

    But such a picture does not fit with quantum mechanics. The true explanation of the observed alignments lies in the fact that, when the initial conditions are sufficiently known quantum mechanics makes it possible to predict what will be observed. What quantum mechanics yields are the probabilities that for a given flow, bubbles will be observed at such and such places within the chamber. In other words, what quantum mechanics predicts (and this prediction implies the notion of an observer) is that within the chamber, we shall see alignments of bubbles consistent with what we actually observe and interpret as being traces.

    In terms of the above example, that which "exists" independently of the notion of an observer is mind independent reality, and it is a reality that cannot be described by science at all with any of our currently available tools. So yes, Disinfo Agent, we can talk about mind independent reality, and perhaps it was previously badly phrased by me in this sense. What of course I mean is that, from the perspective of science, it makes no sense to try and describe ultimate reality in the sense of it being (in my opinion) mind independent reality. So yes as you rightly say, we can talk about it, imagine it, believe in it, speculate or whatever, but scientifically, we can but only say "there is no answer".
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2007-Jun-27 at 08:46 AM.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But that still doesn't rule out the possibility for experiments where the role of the experimenter's consciousness does play a crucial role, such as experiments on the experimenter.
    Maybe those kinds of experiments are already taking place.

    Several posters here have said that what interests them in the discussions over the concept of reality are its possible insights into quantum mechanics, but I thought a look at a distant science might bring a breath of fresh air to the conversation.

    A while ago I read an article that Paul Krugman wrote about Milton Friedman. I know that Krugman's politics is controversial, but in the part of this piece that I wish to highlight he's essentially writing as a historian:

    For most of the past two centuries, economic thinking has been dominated by the concept of Homo economicus. The hypothetical Economic Man knows what he wants; his preferences can be expressed mathematically in terms of a "utility function." And his choices are driven by rational calculations about how to maximize that function: whether consumers are deciding between corn flakes or shredded wheat, or investors are deciding between stocks and bonds, those decisions are assumed to be based on comparisons of the "marginal utility," or the added benefit the buyer would get from acquiring a small amount of the alternatives available.

    It's easy to make fun of this story. Nobody, not even Nobel-winning economists, really makes decisions that way. But most economists—myself included—nonetheless find Economic Man useful, with the understanding that he's an idealized representation of what we really think is going on.

    published in The New York Review of Books
    People often remark how surprising it is that mathematics is so suited for describing the physical world, but I find this at least as surprising. Here we have a model that is a "lousy" representation of reality (it's clearly false)... and yet it works! Eppur si muove.

    Economists could have told themselves "We can't use these models. They don't make any sense!", and thrown away the towel. Instead, they said "Our models are on shaky ground, but whatever. Let's see how well we can do with them, anyway."

    Why do economists hold on to assumptions that clearly do not describe the reality of economic interactions? Because they're keeping their eyes on the ball. Understanding the underlying reality is nice and all, but at the end of the day what matters the most is being able to explain the data. If that means that EDG_'s objective reality must take the back seat, then so be it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    Understanding the underlying reality is nice and all, but at the end of the day what matters the most is being able to explain the data.
    I don't disagree with that.

    If that means that EDG_'s objective reality must take the back seat, then so be it!
    What I disagree with is that people don't need to make any attempt to understand the nature of the data they're using. It's why we end up with flawed questions like "when does X become real" and such wishy-washy definitions of "real".

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    First you say we should take something as "self-evident", then you say evidence means nothing. My poor little sub-genius head is spinning.
    If something is self-evident, it is true by logic itself, not by evidence, and not by opinion. Nor did I ever say evidence was "nothing", I merely kept track of what it was evidence for, and what does not follow from that evidence. If you have an objection to the logic, point it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    If something is self-evident, it is true by logic itself, not by evidence, and not by opinion. Nor did I ever say evidence was "nothing", I merely kept track of what it was evidence for, and what does not follow from that evidence. If you have an objection to the logic, point it out.

    Logic is never proof. It's the manipulation of symbols, nothing more. How many things have been logically "proven" only to run up against the fact that they were totally wrong? Logic is like thought-experiments; good to help you visualize something, but bad for getting scientific data. Garbage In, Garbage out.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Logic is never proof.
    I think you might want to rethink that position-- there is no such thing as "proof" except for in logic.
    It's the manipulation of symbols, nothing more.
    That's what a proof is, did you think something else? The proof has value when the symbols are associated with concepts and the rules of manipulation of the symbols in some way relfect the rules of interactions of those things the symbols represent. But the proof is still nothing but the formal symbol manipulation, according to set rules on what is allowed in terms of those manipulations, where the symbols represent unprovable axioms of the reasoning process.
    How many things have been logically "proven" only to run up against the fact that they were totally wrong?
    Logic is never wrong, but the assumption that the symbols really corresponded to something useful, and the rules of manipulation of them really corresponded well to something real, that is what may be wrong. Indeed, that is very much the point of the position I've taken all along in regard to how we learn about reality.

    Logic is like thought-experiments; good to help you visualize something, but bad for getting scientific data.
    Scientific data is a very different kettle of fish. It has strengths and weaknesses. Its strength is that it is "plugged into" reality in a way that logic is not, but its weakness is that it can never prove anything, the way logic can-- it can only express apparent patterns that we come to rely on. We have come full circle now-- you see we are right back at the ancient Greek dilemma: is it best to access knowledge about reality by thinking formally and abstractly about it (logic), or by observing it (empiricism). I think the lesson of scientific history is that there is no answer to this conundrum-- they are both tools, and good science uses both of them, playing off their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, but never completely skirting their limitations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Logic is never wrong,


    Logic is only as good as its starting assumptions! Of course it can be wrong.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2007-Jun-28 at 04:29 PM.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  14. #314
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post


    Logic is only as goot as its starting assumptions! Of course it can be wrong.
    I don't know why you're LOL-ing. I think Ken is perfectly right. Logic can't be wrong. If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. I don't think that can ever be wrong. You might have made a mistake and in reality, A does not equal B, but that's not an error in the logic. It's an error in your initial assumption.

    Proof is only possible with logic.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Logic is only as goot as its starting assumptions! Of course it can be wrong.
    Read my answer again, or Jens'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Logic is only as goot as its starting assumptions! Of course it can be wrong.
    You are confusing logic with the soundness of an argument. Arguments can be valid if the logical structure is not false, but if an interconnected premise is false then then the argument becomes unsound.

    Logic can be expressed in proveable mathematical forms.

    Formally, a proof is a list of statements, usually beginning with the premises, in which each statement that is not a premise must be true if the statements preceding it are true. In particular, the truth of the last statement, the conclusion, must follow from the truth of the first statements, the premises.
    Seems logical to me.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    For the record, the best sources of verifiable data, in descending order:

    1) Repeatable experiments
    2) Direct observation
    3) Mathematics
    4) All other forms of logic
    5) Though experiments
    6) All other forms of imagination
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

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    There is validity in what you're saying, but only in certain contexts that you have not identified or even recognized. The problem is that you cannot really see these "sources of verifiable data" in a linear fashion like you do. Mathematics and logic are very different animals than are experiments, and imagination is something different still. They are apples and oranges, and which ones are the "best sources of verifiable data" will depend quite sensitively on the context of the situation. What do you mean by "best", and what is "verifiable"? You are simply making assumptions that go unstated, and only with those unstated assumptions does that ordering have any meaning. I can easily come up with a different context in which any arbitrary ordering possible would be the appropriate one. For example, if we are going to call "verifiable data" the creation of a well regarded poem, then of course your number 6 will become my number 1. This is exactly the point I was making about truth being reliant on first choosing a prescription for judging it. When that step is overlooked or left as an unstated assumption, we end up with pretty meaningless lists like this one. I just don't get any less right the more times I have to make this point.

  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    There is validity in what you're saying, but only in certain contexts that you have not identified or even recognized. The problem is that you cannot really see these "sources of verifiable data" in a linear fashion like you do. Mathematics and logic are very different animals than are experiments, and imagination is something different still. They are apples and oranges, and which ones are the "best sources of verifiable data" will depend quite sensitively on the context of the situation. What do you mean by "best", and what is "verifiable"? You are simply making assumptions that go unstated, and only with those unstated assumptions does that ordering have any meaning. I can easily come up with a different context in which any arbitrary ordering possible would be the appropriate one. For example, if we are going to call "verifiable data" the creation of a well regarded poem, then of course your number 6 will become my number 1. This is exactly the point I was making about truth being reliant on first choosing a prescription for judging it. When that step is overlooked or left as an unstated assumption, we end up with pretty meaningless lists like this one. I just don't get any less right the more times I have to make this point.

    Or any more right.

    P.S. Since "well-regarded" is a matter of opinion, it is by definition not verifiable by science, and therefore irrelevant to this discussion.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What do you mean by "best", and what is "verifiable"?
    Very well then, stating my assumptions;

    Best meaning, most reliably verifiable.

    Verifiable is self evident. It can be verified as accurate.

    Mathematics is a subset of logic.

    Thought experiments are a subset of imagination.

    ADDED: Since (deductive) logic is only as good as the premises it's based on, then you must have all the variables known beforehand (i.e., through observation) to produce accurate conclusions. Since this is not normally possible, then experimentation is usually necessary to determine what cannot be deduced.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  21. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Or any more right.

    P.S. Since "well-regarded" is a matter of opinion, it is by definition not verifiable by science, and therefore irrelevant to this discussion.
    Of course that might be true had you specified that you meant "verifiable by science", another unspoken assumption (please note of course that mathematics is never verifiable by science, it is a tool used in science, so even mentioning mathematics requires that you think you have expanded your definition of "verifiable". There is a need for consistency of meaning, sadly lacking here. But I suppose I could be wrong... maybe inconsistent use of words really is an effective way to reason and communicate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Verifiable is self evident. It can be verified as accurate.
    All you are saying is that if you are doing something for which observational data is more important to have than mathematical logic, then observational data will be more important to have than mathematical logic. If your goal is to say something fundamental about the various strengths and weaknesses of experiment versus thought, you can hardly say anything interesting with a simple rank ordering. If you are just trying to say that doing science requires making repeatable observations, I'd rather think everyone here is aware of that. If instead you are trying to assert that this is somehow more important to science than mathematical and logical reasoning, I submit that's a lot like saying that a hammer is more important to a carpenter than is a nail. Remember, the experimental apparatus itself is what is doing the experiment-- but precious little of the science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG_ View Post
    It's essentially an article of faith that what we detect represents what is actually there (because obviously we can't prove it).
    I disagree. There's no faith involved in "what we detect." What we detect are simply observations or measurements, not interpretations or hypotheses or theories about some regularity or pattern to the observations. If a scientist measures the redshift of a certain distant object - a measurement that can be repeated by anyone on the planet - that redshift is "actually there" from the vantage of our planet. What that measurement means about the redshifted object is, of course, another matter, especially to the ATMers.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But I suppose I could be wrong... maybe inconsistent use of words really is an effective way to reason and communicate.
    Well, now you're just being obnoxious. Sorry I brought it up. I tried to help you, only to get hair-splitting and insults.

    Why did I bother? Clearly, you're never wrong.

    ADDED: No doubt you will take this opportunity to make a snarky comment about my departure. Go right ahead.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    I disagree. There's no faith involved in "what we detect." What we detect are simply observations or measurements, not interpretations or hypotheses or theories about some regularity or pattern to the observations.
    No, I mean we have faith that what we detect is really what we detect. e.g. That if our senses (or sensors) indicate that an object has a certain size, then it really does have that size (so our duck really is duck-sized and duck-shaped, and not the size of a mountain).

    Some folks were saying that we can't even be sure of that. I say that we HAVE to assume that the observations really indicate what is there, otherwise our entire interpretation of the universe is wrong, and that gets us nowhere. We have to believe that what we're detecting is not trying to somehow fool us into thinking it's something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Well, now you're just being obnoxious. Sorry I brought it up. I tried to help you, only to get hair-splitting and insults.
    Hair-splitting? To say that I'm not getting "any more right" when all I assert follows from pure logic and consistent definitions, in ways you've never been able to refute? This is "help"? It is I who tried to help you, to show you what your brain is really doing when you apply logic, and what you are applying that logic to. You don't want to know, that's up to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    I disagree. There's no faith involved in "what we detect." What we detect are simply observations or measurements, not interpretations or hypotheses or theories about some regularity or pattern to the observations. If a scientist measures the redshift of a certain distant object - a measurement that can be repeated by anyone on the planet - that redshift is "actually there" from the vantage of our planet. What that measurement means about the redshifted object is, of course, another matter, especially to the ATMers.
    This is simply Incredulous!

    [There's no faith involved in "what we detect."]

    How much "Faith" do you have that the Universe started off "HOT"?

    Name one test that can be performed to show that the 1st 3 minutes can be confirmed. And obviously that would include "Inflation"!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar
    What we detect are simply observations or measurements, not interpretations or hypotheses or theories about some regularity or pattern to the observations.
    You are just joking here, right? Any theory has to have some assumptions and interpretation, doesn't it?

    Here is the 'real' problem. Science has unwhittingly 'trapped' itself.

    It has done this in two ways.
    1. making decisions/Laws without having all the information to make those Laws/decisions; ie The Laws of Thermodynamics that were established for earth sciences being applied to the "Universe"!
    2. The Big Bang making and extending 'straw man' arguments and definitions that defy logic and any kind of "Reality"! Part of the 'straw man' argument being that "Light First" is 'SOMEHOW' more testable than other maybe less obvious, but still confirmable through theory, consistent and critically developed arguments.

    Here's the perfect example of that, and the 'trap' that has resulted in science only considering option "A"...a "Closed System".

    The Big Bang "Demands" that 'something' from the outside of our universe MUST be present. It then goes on to define this...[If the Universe is infinite, then it must have been infinite when the Big Bang occurred. The beginning was in that case a singularity in time, but not in space.] (per Jeff Root, but shown as this many times). It then Goes on to define that singularity as...'everywhere' the center of a finite but unbounded universe.

    Then, the justification for starting the universe of as "HOT" comes from 'shrinking the universe down to a point'...so at one time everything MUST have been closer and closer together, SO, at one time, ALL of the baryonic matter MUST have been in the form of "Energy".

    But, when they 'shrink the universe down to a point', they do not come to an Event Horizon, SO, that singularity MUST be "Naked". SO, there is NO correct gravittational collapse to even apply GR to.

    BUT, "IF" that "POINT" is "EVERYWHERE" the center of the universe, that "ALL AT ONCE at T=0 began expanding HOT Everywhere in an infinite/finite/unbounded, THEN how was it both smaller and smaller, and infinite and everywhere at the same time to even become HOT?

    They then go on to "DEFINE" what 'science' can and cannot say, and that since the Big Bang started at T=0, and since talking about anything 'outside' and existing 'before' the universe even existed at T=0, per "Definition" is "Untestable", that it has actually become career suicide to go against any of those Man Made "Scientific" digmas/bias'.

    AND then, they go on to say, that all of this is NOT even part of the Big Bang Theory...that the Big Bang Theory says NOTHING about the "Beginning" of the universe! All because they cannot get past T=10^-43!!!! (Which they defintely expected to be able to do, and when they finally came to the realization that this wasn't going to happen, definitions/interpretations started changing, just like once Inflation came into the picture, the 'explosion' changed to just 'hot expansion'!)

    And NO ONE better say that I do NOT understand this, because you KNOW I do!!!

    NOW, when Einstein came out with SR and then GR, it was just assumed that it was right, and then when the Big Bang FLRW came along, all the 'assumed correct' SR/GR was simply 'constrained' to that...and NO ONE has been able to "DISPROVED" it.

    SO, once you struggle through ALL of the 'limiting/biased definitions', the 'real' question about how the universe is working comes to this.

    Once you get through the 15th century limitations of Infinite/Forever universe concepts, and understand that "SOME" form of Einsteinian Relativity MUST exist and that that has to include "Singulairties" and Gravitational Collapse, then SCIENCE can begin!!!

    SO, the 'real' question does become...Option "A"; the Big Bang Closes the universe at the Naked Singularity, and at the Singularities in the MBH's.

    Where is Option "B", that the singularities are "OPEN", that materials can go 'through Black Holes???

    There is NO Option "B" because 'science' has defined it as WOO WOO, and it is like I said, Career Suicide to even go there, which as I have explained before, why Lisa Randall cannot simply say (and many other before me would have if they could) that her "Leaking Gravity" is coming 'through a Black Hole.

    Ir simply cannot be correct science if there exists Option "A" and Option "B", and only Option "A" is ever investigated!

    SO, Mainstream has been 'On the right tract' sorta, and I have the HARDEST time rembembering that this has ONLY become "Knowable" (I know, new word so it must be ATM ) in the last 10 years, since 1997.

    SO, what is "REAL" is MBH's and Non-Baryonic Dark Matter/Exotic matter (Both are NOT Big Bang Theory dependent!!!), BUT since science has NEVER investigated Option "B", what they are "REALLY" 'doing', is being completely missed.

    Now that I fully (Nearly, there are definitely questions to still be asked and answered!!!) understand this, it can be stated as simply as...the Naked Singularity doesn't work because it is NOT attached to anything on the other side, to transport 'anything' to our universe!
    Last edited by RussT; 2007-Jun-30 at 01:25 AM.

  28. #328
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    Particles become 'real' as we characterize their attributes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Weinberg
    One can imagine a category of experiments that refute well-accepted theories, theories that have become part of the standard consensus of physics. Under this category I can find no examples whatever in the past one hundred years.
    Interesting statement - does this predate the ~1998 proclaimation that there is cosmic evidence of dark energy? Weinberg has pointed out there is a great disparity between what we observe on the particle level, and the implications of dark energy on the atomic scale.

  29. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Hair-splitting? To say that I'm not getting "any more right" when all I assert follows from pure logic and consistent definitions, in ways you've never been able to refute? This is "help"? It is I who tried to help you, to show you what your brain is really doing when you apply logic, and what you are applying that logic to. You don't want to know, that's up to you.
    Okay, for this, I'll jump back in.

    Again, logic proves nothing except that statements are consistent. It does nothing to determine factual information. I'm sure you have your theories about the mind, that's fine; present them as theories and not absolutes.

    "Never been able to refute"; that's a good one. I covered that one already with "you're never wrong".

    ...

    I had more to add, but it's pointless. sums it up perfectly.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  30. #330
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername
    "Never been able to refute"; that's a good one. I covered that one already with "you're never wrong".
    I don't really understand the "you're never wrong" part of that. When I read a passage like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    In other words, even if we have never conducted an experiment that requires we include consciousness in our description of the result, this is not evidence that there are no such experiments possible. It is merely evidence that we either have a selection bias to avoid such experiments (as they would be subjective in character), or we lack the necessary technology to carry out such experiments (as they might involve far greater understanding of what consciousness is and how it originates).
    It seems that Ken G is actually trying to discuss a difficult issue (for himself as well as for us), not trying to "win an argument". It's an issue that I'm interested in a well, but I don't really think it's a question of being right or wrong, but of learning or thinking about things that we don't know. Otherwise, what's the point?

    I think this whole thread started with a question about what reality is, essentially. It's always something that's fascinated me, because everything we know (whether from scientific instruments or with our own senses) is in the end interpreted by our brains, so we really can't know for sure that what we "see" is the reality.
    As above, so below

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