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Science as religion (Merged)
Posted: 17 February 2011 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 166 ]
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” The problem of the exact description of vacuum, in my opinion, 
is the basic problem now before physics. Really, if you can’t correctly
describe the vacuum, how it is possible to expect a correct description
of something more complex? “
  / Paul Dirac ./
# Vacuum—the very name suggests emptiness and nothingness –
is actually a realm rife with potentiality, courtesy of the laws
of quantum electrodynamics (QED). According to QED,
additional, albeit virtual, particles can be created in the vacuum,
allowing light-light interactions.
http://www.aip.org/pnu/2006/768.html
# Infinity is the cause of the crisis in Physics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity
# “Now we know that the vacuum can have all sorts of wonderful effects
over an enormous range of scales, from the microscopic to the cosmic,”
said Peter Milonni
from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
# #
Dark energy, this mysterious stuff in the vacuum of space
which makes the universe want to accelerate, is the basis
for standard cosmology today because it explains much
of what we see.
/ Research by Dr David Wiltshire, from
New Zealand’s University of Canterbury /.
Dark Energy may be Vacuum
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-01/uoc-dem011607.php
# Although we are used to thinking of empty space as containing
nothing at all, and therefore having zero energy, the quantum
rules say that there is some uncertainty about this. Perhaps each
tiny bit of the vacuum actually contains rather a lot of energy.
If the vacuum contained enough energy, it could convert this
into particles, in line with E-Mc^2.
/ Book: Stephen Hawking. Pages 147-148.
By Michael White and John Gribbin. /
# Certainly without aether, physics makes no sense.
# When the next revolution rocks physics,
chances are it will be about nothing—the vacuum, that endless
infinite void.
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18-nothingness-of-space-theory-of-everything

==============.
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Posted: 18 February 2011 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 167 ]
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socratus - 17 February 2011 10:48 PM

” The problem of the exact description of vacuum, in my opinion,  is the basic problem now before physics. Really, if you can’t correctly describe the vacuum, how it is possible to expect a correct description of something more complex? “
  / Paul Dirac ./

# Vacuum—the very name suggests emptiness and nothingness – is actually a realm rife with potentiality, courtesy of the laws of quantum electrodynamics (QED). According to QED, additional, albeit virtual, particles can be created in the vacuum,  allowing
light-light interactions.
http://www.aip.org/pnu/2006/768.html

# Infinity is the cause of the crisis in Physics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity

# “Now we know that the vacuum can have all sorts of wonderful effects over an enormous range of scales, from the microscopic to the cosmic,” said Peter Milonni from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

# Dark energy, this mysterious stuff in the vacuum of space which makes the universe want to accelerate, is the basis for standard cosmology today because it explains much of what we see.
/ Research by Dr David Wiltshire, from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury /.
Dark Energy may be Vacuum
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-01/uoc-dem011607.php

# Although we are used to thinking of empty space as containing nothing at all, and therefore having zero energy, the quantum
rules say that there is some uncertainty about this. Perhaps each tiny bit of the vacuum actually contains rather a lot of energy.
If the vacuum contained enough energy, it could convert this into particles, in line with E-Mc^2.
/ Book: Stephen Hawking. Pages 147-148.
By Michael White and John Gribbin. /

# Certainly without aether, physics makes no sense.

# When the next revolution rocks physics, chances are it will be about nothing—the vacuum, that endless infinite void.
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18-nothingness-of-space-theory-of-everything
S.

I do not disagree with any of that except that the term “vacuum” does not suggest a nothingness. It is the very definition of “nothingness”.  To give it properties invalidates the term.
However, I will entertain the proposition that there is no such thing as a true “vacuum” or “void” in reality (except perhaps on a local scale).
IMO pure space may well have dynamic metaphysical properties such as structure (geometry, i.e. fractal, folding), or have latent energy (tension, polarity), or be binary (quantum gravity), or even virtual (holographic) in nature. What is a virtual particle if not metaphysical?
I believe these conditions and properties warrant a new name, other than vacuum. IMO, my paradigm of Potential addresses all possible conditions and meets all required tests. I know it is a “generic” term, but until a better one comes along, I’ll stick with Potential…. smirk

[ Edited: 18 February 2011 12:20 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 February 2011 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 168 ]
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Write4U - 18 February 2011 12:08 AM

I believe these conditions and properties warrant a new name, other than vacuum.
IMO, my paradigm of Potential addresses all possible conditions and meets
all required tests. I know it is a “generic” term, but until a better one comes along,
I’ll stick with Potential…. smirk

About Potential factor and ‘ a new name’.
# If the vacuum contained enough energy,
it could convert this into particles, in line with E-Mc^2.
/ Book: Stephen Hawking. Pages 147-148.
By Michael White and John Gribbin. /
===.
Why physicists say: ‘ rest mass ‘and not
‘potential mass/energy E=Mc^2 ’ ?

According to SRT rest mass and rest energy have equivalent
meaning: E= Mc^2 or M= Ec^2. 
Why SRT and Quantum theory use word:’ rest mass /energy
E= Mc^2 and don’t say: ‘ potential mass/energy E= Mc^2 ?

When somebody says ‘ the particle in the rest . .  .’, then we
can image that particle was going maybe to sleep, maybe
to have a cup of coffee . .  . . etc.
That a strange terminology the physicists use.
==================== . .
My opinion.

In Classic physics there is ‘ potential energy’ and
  there is ‘ kinetic energy’.
And „The Law of Conservation and Transformation of
Energy/ Mass” connects them together.

In Quantum physics the ’rest mass/enegy’ looks as a static factor.
I think that there is problem here.
Because in QT there is ’rest mass/enegy E=Mc^2’ and
there is active / kinetic energy E=hf. But how „The Law of
Conservation and Transformation of Energy/ Mass”
can unite them together nobody explains.

In other words:
Dont know how to explain transforms the potenial
mass/enegy E=Mc^2 into the active / kinetic energy E=hf
the physicsts began to use new terminology and new words.
================== . .
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik.  Socratus.
=======================.

[ Edited: 18 February 2011 03:00 AM by socratus ]
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Posted: 18 February 2011 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 169 ]
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socratus - 18 February 2011 02:54 AM
Write4U - 18 February 2011 12:08 AM

I believe these conditions and properties warrant a new name, other than vacuum.
IMO, my paradigm of Potential addresses all possible conditions and meets
all required tests. I know it is a “generic” term, but until a better one comes along,
I’ll stick with Potential…. smirk

About Potential factor and ‘ a new name’.
# If the vacuum contained enough energy,  it could convert this into particles, in line with E-Mc^2.
/ Book: Stephen Hawking. Pages 147-148.
By Michael White and John Gribbin.

If the vacuum (of space) contained enough energy, it could convert this into particles, in line with E=Mc^2

I understand, but actually it is wrong terminology. A vacuum, by definition, cannot contain energy. We just have assigned a new property to something which should not have any properties. The term “space” would have been sufficient in context. To give energetic properties to a “vacuum” (space devoid of properties) is misleading, IMO.

Better to say, “if there is sufficient potential (latent) energy, anywhere, anytime, it could become kinetic (active) energy, which might convert into particles, in line with E=Mc^2”.

[ Edited: 18 February 2011 04:25 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 February 2011 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 170 ]
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What is science? From the wiki on science

Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. An older meaning still in use today is that of Aristotle, for whom scientific knowledge was a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained

Problems in the philosophy of science:

Problem of demarcation:

The philosophy of science seeks to understand the nature and justification of scientific knowledge. It has proven difficult to provide a definitive account of scientific method that can decisively serve to distinguish science from non-science. Thus there are legitimate arguments about exactly where the borders are, which is known as the problem of demarcation.

Problem with induction and infinity:

Empiricism generally encompasses inductivism, a position that tries to explain the way general theories can be justified by the finite number of observations humans can make and the hence finite amount of empirical evidence available to confirm scientific theories. This is necessary because the number of predictions those theories make is infinite, which means that they cannot be known from the finite amount of evidence using deductive logic only. It has been a long running matter of philosophical debate whether such positions require metaphysical assumptions about the structure of the world that themselves cannot be justified in a scientific way, and whether that poses a problem for science or not.

Rationalism verses empiricism:

Popper acknowledged the fact that a connection exists between observation and theories, but rejected the way that empiricism describes the nature of this connection. More specifically, Popper claimed that theories are not generated by observation, but that observation is made in the light of theories—that observation is “theory-laden”—and that the only way a theory can be affected by observation is when it comes in conflict with it.

Does no scientific method actually exist?

Contrasting his views with inductivism, he went so far as to claim that the scientific method does not actually exist: ” There is no method of discovering a scientific theory. There is no method for ascertaining the truth of a scientific hypothesis, i.e., no method of verification; There is no method for ascertaining whether a hypothesis is ‘probable’, or probably true” Instead, he claimed that there is really only one universal method, and that this method is not specific to science: The negative method of criticism, trial and error. It covers all products of the human mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, art and so on, and even extends to the evolution of life.

That would be the method of an inquiry. From the wiki on inquiry

An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.

Inquiry in the pragmatic paradigm:

Borrowing a brace of concepts from Aristotle, Peirce examined three fundamental modes of reasoning that play a role in inquiry, commonly known as abductive, deductive, and inductive inference.

In rough terms, abduction is what we use to generate a likely hypothesis or an initial diagnosis in response to a phenomenon of interest or a problem of concern, while deduction is used to clarify, to derive, and to explicate the relevant consequences of the selected hypothesis, and induction is used to test the sum of the predictions against the sum of the data. It needs to be observed that the classical and pragmatic treatments of the types of reasoning, dividing the generic territory of inference as they do into three special parts, arrive at a different characterization of the environs of reason than do those accounts that count only two.

These three processes typically operate in a cyclic fashion, systematically operating to reduce the uncertainties and the difficulties that initiated the inquiry in question, and in this way, to the extent that inquiry is successful, leading to an increase in knowledge or in skills.

In this sense, science is fundamentally different from religion. From the wiki on religion

Religion is a cultural system that creates powerful and long-lasting meaning, by establishing symbols that relate humanity to truths and values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.

My apologies for the lengthy quotes from wikipedia. It is simpler and faster (to illustrate the point) without spending undue time to compose the post as the wikis are, generally, well thought out and written.

cheese

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Posted: 18 February 2011 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 171 ]
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kkwan - 18 February 2011 03:54 AM

My apologies for the lengthy quotes from wikipedia.
It is simpler and faster (to illustrate the point) without spending
undue time to compose the post as the wikis are, generally,
well thought out and written.

cheese

For example.
1.
An older meaning still in use today is that of Aristotle,
for whom scientific knowledge was a body of reliable
knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained
    / wikipedia.  /
# Many years ago Aristotle wrote:
‘ The Nature is afraid of Nothingness’
and now the Quantum theory agrees with him
So, maybe, Aristotle was right separating the knowledge
of Nature on two parts: Physics and Metaphysics.
2.
Descartes said: ‘I think , therefore I am’
Buddhist monk says ‘I think not, therefore I am’
And   / kkwan / wrote: I am, therefore I think.

Try to use ‘wikipedia’ to find correct answer.
==============.
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Posted: 18 February 2011 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 172 ]
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That’s a very funny cartoon, socratus. grin Sidney Harris’s joke on science are great.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 173 ]
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socratus - 18 February 2011 07:06 AM

#
Many years ago Aristotle wrote:
‘ The Nature is afraid of Nothingness’
and now the Quantum theory agrees with him
So, maybe, Aristotle was right separating the knowledge
of Nature on two parts: Physics and Metaphysics.
2.
Descartes said: ‘I think , therefore I am’
Buddhist monk says ‘I think not, therefore I am’
And   / kkwan / wrote: I am, therefore I think.

Try to use ‘wikipedia’ to find correct answer.
==============.
S.

Nothingness is the concept of no thing. From the wiki on nothing

Problem in language and logic:

Grammatically, the word “nothing” is an indefinite pronoun, which means that it refers to something. One might argue that “nothing” is a concept, and since concepts are things, the concept of “nothing” itself is a thing.

However, in philosophy:

However, “nothingness” has been treated as a serious subject worthy of research for a very long time. In philosophy, to avoid linguistic traps over the meaning of “nothing”, a phrase such as not-being is often employed to unambiguously make clear what is being discussed

So, instead of nothingness, “not-being” is used. Now, on to Parmenides:

He argued that “nothing” cannot exist by the following line of reasoning. To speak of a thing, one has to speak of a thing that exists. Since we can speak of a thing in the past, it must still exist (in some sense) now and from this concludes that there is no such thing as change. As a corollary, there can be no such things as coming-into-being, passing-out-of-being or not-being.

And Aristotle’s conclusion:

“Although these opinions seem to follow logically in a dialectical discussion, yet to believe them seems next door to madness when one considers the facts.”

If no thing is conceptually valid and it means “not-being”, then it occupies a vague realm in Meinong’s jungle

In QM, before a measurement on a quantum object, it is vague in the sense of “not-being” and is unknown.

Is it then a no thing and why does it become some thing when a measurement is made?

And, why is there always some thing instead of no thing (upon measurement)?

From this essay in the REP on metaphysics

Metaphysics is a broad area of philosophy marked out by two types of inquiry. The first aims to be the most general investigation possible into the nature of reality: are there principles applying to everything that is real, to all that is? – if we abstract from the particular nature of existing things that which distinguishes them from each other, what can we know about them merely in virtue of the fact that they exist? The second type of inquiry seeks to uncover what is ultimately real, frequently offering answers in sharp contrast to our everyday experience of the world.

Hence, metaphysics is in the realm of philosophy whereas physics is in the realm of science though the border between them is fuzzy wrt the fundamental nature of space, time, matter, energy, gravity etc.

From this article on Albert Einstein and Religion

“The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that , compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

LOL

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Posted: 18 February 2011 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 174 ]
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Found another funny Einstein joke from Harris:

2w3yv61.gif

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Posted: 18 February 2011 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 175 ]
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...who owns the fish….

[ Edited: 20 February 2011 04:51 AM by Jackson ]
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Posted: 18 February 2011 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 176 ]
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...and smokes Pall Mall… LOL

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Posted: 18 February 2011 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 177 ]
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......and commits a Freudian slip by writing “the penis mightier than the sword” instead of “the pen is…..”

LOL  red face

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Posted: 19 February 2011 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 178 ]
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Hay! What happened with ‘my thread’?

I just want to pick a few point that obviously were meant seriously.

kkwan:
In some sense of the word ‘the scientific method’ really does not exist. There is no method to find (empirical) truth, not even in mathematics. But there are methods to check if truth holds. These are consistency, repeatability, experiments, and explanatory power (the more phenomena it encompasses and relates to each other, the better a theory is). But there is really no certain way to find potential truths. There is always an element of creativity in science. Shortly said: in science there are hypothesis and there are tests of them.

psikeyhackr:
I mostly agree with your fictive Einstein (I assume he really might have said such things).

In the context of this thread, this is for me the essential sentence:

“Most systems set out to prove or rationalize something that they have made their minds up about already. But that’s a hopeless way to proceed if what you really want to know is the truth. “

Most religions are just not interested in truth, only in the rationalising of what they already think. But this position is also possible with science, or better scientific results. Instead of really understand them, and how they arise in the process that science is, one extrapolates present scientific results in an unscientific way. Then science is not science for this person anymore, but a religion.

VYAZMA:
I see you as scientific-ideology-laden exactly there: you do not allow for a critical stance for what science has given us, and you take it as truth, even identifying with it. Isn’t that the reason you get so emotional when somebody leaves an opening in science for discovering something that we cannot be 100% sure of now? That you do not see that there are limits to the areas on which science can make statements at all?

Take the free will debate: science presupposes that natural processes are determined. How could we search for natural laws when we do not think that? But if we take determinism as presupposition, how can neurology ‘discover’ that we are determined? (It would be a discovery if it turned out not to be). And in the right view of ‘freedom of the will’ (believes and wishes cause our behaviour), how can science be able to deliver arguments that we are not free? Science is at a border here, a conceptual border. Believing that we are not free is an ideological statement; believing that we are determined is very much supported by natural science: it shows that it is the case, because science works.

But you, in your sometimes hard convictions, crossed the border of science, into the realm of concepts, where science has nothing more decisive to say than any other rational arguments.

Sorry for being a bit harsh, but you are not a softy too…

Still friends?

Wünsch dir alles Gute!

[ Edited: 20 February 2011 04:33 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 20 February 2011 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 179 ]
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GdB - 19 February 2011 09:11 AM

....But there are methods to check if truth holds. These are consistency, repeatability, experiments, and explanatory power (the more phenomena it encompasses and relates to each other, the better a theory is). But there is really no certain way to find potential truths. .....

Where an inconsistency or contradiction is observed,  there is a “certain” indication of an initial path to an improved understanding of reality, if we can explain and understand the contradiction.  It seems to me that by making observations and trying to explain the observations in a consistent way we have a reasonable path (though not guaranteed to be a short one) to the truth.  I don’t think this contradicts your point—but want to check—

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Posted: 20 February 2011 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 180 ]
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Jackson - 20 February 2011 04:59 AM

Where an inconsistency or contradiction is observed,  there is a “certain” indication of an initial path to an improved understanding of reality, if we can explain and understand the contradiction.  It seems to me that by making observations and trying to explain the observations in a consistent way we have a reasonable path (though not guaranteed to be a short one) to the truth.  I don’t think this contradicts your point—but want to check—

Yes, there is a certain indication, but does not point necessary to the solution. Present inconsistencies between QM and relativity theory are a good example. Physicists know of this inconsistencies for a few decades. What are they waiting for? Obviously: the waiting is for a creative mind that proposes a theory that explains at least the same phenomena as QM and RT, and makes empirical testable claims.

[ Edited: 21 February 2011 12:28 AM by GdB ]
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