< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 224 OF 224 ·
|Apr-11-14|| ||hms123: <VBD>
I am implying that methods are <theory-laden> and thus old methods that worked in the context of old theories may or may not work in the context of new theories.
Your electron microscope assumes all sorts of things about the nature of the world. It couldn't exist without a lot of theory behind it.
|Apr-11-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Tiggler: How would you know if it didn't? |
The central assumption is that the laws of nature are the same everywhere and at all times. If that's not true then there is no cosmology, and all the rest of science is local and provisional. Your stethoscope might explode at any moment.>
Yes all scientists assume <that the laws of nature are the same everywhere and at all times.> But like all assumptions, it could be false. Is there not a possibility that the laws of nature are different in let's say the edge of the Universe? Or some when near the beginning of everything (if there is such an epoch)? That there, stethoscopes might just explode because the laws of nature, for instance, dictate that atoms are unstable. That there, math as we know it might not work.
The above are pure speculations that I did not intend to bring up. What I am curious about now is the possibility of laws of nature that exist but are not quantifiable. Why does math (or Boolian logic if reducible to it) work? It seems to be ingrained in the 'fabric of the Universe' to use a colorful term. The same question can be asked of the scientific method.
You point out laws of nature work <at all times>. IMO that implies replicability. Is there a 'replicability' law of the universe? I bring this up because whatever is making math and the scientific method work must follow or perhaps is reducible to a 'universal replicability law'. By assuming that the laws nature <are the same everywhere and at all times> we are already assuming the existence of such a law, rule, or principle.
Hope the above helps clarify what I am trying to talk about.
|Apr-11-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <hms123: I am implying that methods are <theory-laden> and thus old methods that worked in the context of old theories may or may not work in the context of new theories.> |
That sounds to me as implying that other methods superior to the scientific method may exist, just as the scientific method is superior to alchemy and astrology.
In any case I am curious if you think that the scientific method may not work as well as in physics for some phenomena. (Eg, in the 'soft' sciences such as anthropology and sociology.)
The above may sound vague. So I will give some examples.
The scientific method produces theories that can predict things, sometimes with astounding accuracy. I have read that quantum theory for example predicts with great accuracy the electron dipole moment (although I am unfamiliar with the above physics language). Are there theories that can predict with very high accuracy actions due to subjective thoughts of individual minds?
Does the scientific method and the theories it produces work well with some human and sociological behavior and phenomena, often influenced by subjective individual thoughts, as well as predicting with great accuracy physical phenomena? Are there 'better' methods around the corner that can be used to predict human and sociological behavior and phenomena?
The scientific method only works for replicable phenomena. Most scientists usually assume all of 'reality' is replicable. I am not so sure. A burst of individual creativity that can produce say the 'The Three Musketeers' novel may not be replicable. If there was no Dumas, and no inspiration that occurred to him, there would never have been a Three Musketeers novel in our Universe. Yet the novel clearly exists; we can buy it at a bookstore and be amazed at how good it is. Since the scientific method cannot predict the existence of such things as accurately as the electron dipole moment, would this not indicate a degree of incompleteness for this method?
On a related topic, I was thinking, is it possible that many of the founders of quantum theory were so disturbed because they saw their theory as a threat to scientific prediction? Many of them seemed to have been brought up in the idea of a purely clockwork Newtonian universe, in which everything is predictable given infinite accuracy of initial measurements, and nothing is truly random. QM may have nuked this belief in one fell swoop in their minds. How else to explain their strange thoughts and behavior after 1927?
Farther off in theology and mysticism, such things as a mystical experience, if it exists, are simply not replicable and therefore not subject to the scientific method.
|Apr-12-14|| ||hms123: <VBD>
1. That sounds to me as implying that other methods superior to the scientific method may exist,
There is no "scientific method". There is a collection of methods that exist within theories and that work well for now. Other methods will be added to our current collection. Some methods will be dropped. Consider medicine. Germ theory made a big difference in our methods (treatments).
2. just as the scientific method is superior to alchemy and astrology.
Again, the problem here is that alchemy and astrology had theories that were replaced. The Babylonians made excellent, precise, and careful observations that proved useful to astronomers, but although the Babylonians used scientific methods they were no longer doing science. This is the problem with all pseudosciences: they use the trappings of method to hide the lack of any semblance of scientific theory.
|Apr-12-14|| ||hms123: <VBD>
Feyerabend had some interesting and provocative things to say on this topic.
<Nature of scientific method
In his books Against Method and Science in a Free Society Feyerabend defended the idea that there are no methodological rules which are always used by scientists. He objected to any single prescriptive scientific method on the grounds that any such method would limit the activities of scientists, and hence restrict scientific progress. In his view, science would benefit most from a "dose" of theoretical anarchism. He also thought that theoretical anarchism was desirable because it was more humanitarian than other systems of organization, by not imposing rigid rules on scientists.
For is it not possible that science as we know it today, or a "search for the truth" in the style of traditional philosophy, will create a monster? Is it not possible that an objective approach that frowns upon personal connections between the entities examined will harm people, turn them into miserable, unfriendly, self-righteous mechanisms without charm or humour? "Is it not possible," asks Kierkegaard, "that my activity as an objective [or critico-rational] observer of nature will weaken my strength as a human being?" I suspect the answer to many of these questions is affirmative and I believe that a reform of the sciences that makes them more anarchic and more subjective (in Kierkegaard's sense) is urgently needed.Against Method. p. 154.
Feyerabend's position was originally seen as radical in the philosophy of science, because it implies that philosophy can neither succeed in providing a general description of science, nor in devising a method for differentiating products of science from non-scientific entities like myths. (Feyerabend's position also implies that philosophical guidelines should be ignored by scientists, if they are to aim for progress.)
To support his position that methodological rules generally do not contribute to scientific success, Feyerabend provides counterexamples to the claim that (good) science operates according to a certain fixed method. He took some examples of episodes in science that are generally regarded as indisputable instances of progress (e.g. the Copernican revolution), and showed that all common prescriptive rules of science are violated in such circumstances. Moreover, he claimed that applying such rules in these historical situations would actually have prevented scientific revolution.>
|Apr-12-14|| ||hms123: <VBD>
One more point: physics experiments tend to be <demonstrations> rather than the randomized trials that are more common in other areas, like medicine. Why? Because medicine, for example, includes the notion of individual differences in responses to treatments, where physics assumes that it doesn't matter which cannonball gets dropped from the top of a tower.
There is certainly nothing wrong with randomization. It is just not a part of most physics experiments. (n.b., I do realize that probability plays a big role in quantum theory.)
|Apr-16-14|| ||Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor>:<Why does math (or Boolian logic if reducible to it) work? It seems to be ingrained in the 'fabric of the Universe' to use a colorful term.>|
The idea that math owes its existence to the natural universe died, according to the histories of math that I have read at least, in about the middle of the 19th century. This was presaged however by the ideas of Plato, whose ideal entities were not present in the natural universe, as he stated.
So math exists independently of the Universe. Whether the Universe can exist without math may be an open question, but I assume it can. Most bears I've met don't know any math, but they get along OK.
|Apr-17-14|| ||twinlark: Yeah, but maths exists because it is a human invention. Yet pi will hold true both in the Andromeda Galaxy and in Canberra.|
So is maths a human invention or a human discovery?
Is it even necessarily a human thing?
If we met someone from Betelgeuse or Andromeda, would maths be the language of first contact? Is it something we would share with any hypothetical species, hypothetically advanced enough to have a technological civilisation that includes, for instance, space travel?
When does maths actually spring into existence anyway?
|Apr-17-14|| ||Tiggler: <both in the Andromeda Galaxy and in Canberra.>|
Funny. Which is closer to <civilization as we know it>?
<If we met someone from Betelgeuse or Andromeda, would maths be the language of first contact?>
Probably, but someone from Canberra - probably not.
<When does maths actually spring into existence anyway?>
Not only outside space, but also outside space-time. So <When...?> is not applicable.
|Apr-18-14|| ||twinlark: <Tiggler>
<Not only outside space, but also outside space-time.>
To paraphrase: in the beginning was maths. Then it exploded.
|Apr-18-14|| ||twinlark: Although from the length of time I've been here, I'm pretty sure Canberra must have come first.|
|Apr-19-14|| ||Tiggler: <Although from the length of time I've been here>|
Sometimes ennui plays a part in the experience of time.
|Apr-19-14|| ||twinlark: <Not only outside space, but also outside space-time.>|
But, seriously? You mean it exists in a void, nothingness in which there is nothing to measure or count, and no-one to do so?
|Apr-19-14|| ||Tiggler: <twinlark: <Not only outside space, but also outside space-time.>
But, seriously? You mean it exists in a void, nothingness in which there is nothing to measure or count, and no-one to do so?>|
<Mathematical Platonism is the form of realism that suggests that mathematical entities are abstract, have no spatiotemporal or causal properties, and are eternal and unchanging.>
|Apr-19-14|| ||twinlark: Ask a question and get Wiki recycled at you...an effort at actual conversation with ideas of your own would be preferable.|
Anyway, "mathematical Platonism" makes as much sense as 1+1+1=God. Abstractions don't live separately from the mind, which is why they're abstractions. To suggest otherwise is metaphysics and that is not exactly testable.
Even a suggestion it's a mystery fit only for contemplation would be preferable aesthetically.
Maybe the universe is no more than an emerging property of mathematics?
|Apr-19-14|| ||Tiggler: Oh sorry, I thought you wanted to know. Ideas of my own about this? Even Plato would not have said these were his own ideas, but perhaps would have said he got it from the Muses. That was what they called Wiki in those days.|
|Apr-19-14|| ||Tiggler: There are not even any new questions to ask about this. Had you even read the wiki link I sent you might have noticed there the very question that you asked.|
You asked: <You mean it exists in a void, nothingness in which there is nothing to measure or count, and no-one to do so?>
Wiki says: <precisely where and how do the mathematical entities exist, and how do we know about them?>
|Apr-20-14|| ||twinlark: Actually I did read the wikipedia link. Thanks for asking.|
|Apr-20-14|| ||Everett: Just jumping in here. Saw this: <
So is maths a human invention or a human discovery?
Is it even necessarily a human thing? >
Would language be an equivalent, as any system that gives values to observed and
theoretical realities and possibilities?
|Apr-20-14|| ||Tiggler: <Everett> I think the discussion is more about epistemology, than about physics, maths, metaphysics, or even metamaths. So in that sense you are correct.|
Metamaths is the most relevant, however, closing the loop of the discussion back to Godel's theorem, mentioned earlier. That requires reasoning outside math to make a theorem about math.
Since it may be hard to have new ideas, one has to have a nodding acquaintance with the old ones to even start.
|Apr-22-14|| ||twinlark: <Since it may be hard to have new ideas, one has to have a nodding acquaintance with the old ones to even start.>|
I've found something curiously sterile and unproductive about some of these "discussions". Seems like some of them are motivated to pick flaws, lecture the plebs and disrespect the host rather than to exchange ideas, generally chat or make connections.
The message in the above extract from your post seems to convey an agenda to not even bother discussing ideas unless one has read comprehensively on science, maths, philosophy or whatever subject a kibitzer cares to raise.
Not everyone wants to compete. Sometimes people like to bounce ideas, have discussions, and engage in social intercourse over whatever subject takes their fancy.
So rest assured that anyone who comes to <my forum> to chat is freely encouraged to initiate discussions on subjects with ideas about which they have not read, even if they discover there is nothing new under the sun. In any event, everyone has read something, and some people have read comprehensively - it's not a big deal either way as long as people's bona fides are genuine.
Everyone has their own take on the world, regardless of the number of previous iterations of whatever idea is being explored.
Capish? I won't ban you from "tiggling" on my forum, but I suspect you may run out of people who want to talk to you. Which is what will happen if you intellectually intimidate or alienate people who like to chat about diverse subjects.
I may even be less polite next time.
|Apr-23-14|| ||twinlark: Seeing as my responses to <Tiggler>'s mocking post on his forum have been deleted by that worthy, below is a step by step summary of our dispute so far:|
<1.> In response to my post of 22 April (see my previous post here on my forum), <Tiggler> posted the following on his own forum:
<Apr-22-14 Premium Chessgames Member Tiggler: Amusing ad hominem rant about <Tiggler>'s posting style may be found here:
Note the use of Italian <capish>, seemingly used as the vernacular of threats.
Enjoy!> (Tiggler chessforum)
<2.> To which I responded on his forum as follows:
<<Pretty much what I expected from you.
Anyone caring to take up the offer of reading my "ad hominem" rant should also read the preceding pages in which he engages people in discussion to understand the context of my criticism.
<Note the use of Italian <capish>, seemingly used as the vernacular of threats.>
Wrong. No threat involved. Simply - no correspondence will be entered into.
<capish: to understand. (Usually as a question. From an Italian dialect.)
: The matter is settled. No more talk. Capish?>
<3.> <Tiggler> quickly deleted my post.
<4.> I posted another response as follows:
I see. You can dish it out but you can't take it, right?
I did not delete any of your comments from my forum. If you are going to post something like your previous mocking and somewhat patronising take on my so-called "ad hominem rant" for the enjoyment of punters, it is only fair that I be given the right of response.
So here in response to you post as follows:
[text of Tiggler chessforum repeated]
Here is my responding post:
[Repost of text in <2.> above]
Let everyone see the whole truth and allow them to make up their own minds.
Do you have the balls to do so?>
<5.> Tiggler quickly deleted my second attempt at a response.
<6.> To which I left the following response: <Didn't think so.>
There is stands.
|Apr-23-14|| ||OhioChessFan: I generally think posts should stand. Deleting them sort of changes history and changes the context of discussion.|
As for the point under consideration of math as an invention or discovery of man, I am strongly on the side of discovery. The natural state of affairs always existed as is, whether man even knew about it or not. That infamous tree falling with nobody around fell at a specific speed with a specific force, whether anyone was around to record it or not. The one point I will suggest does trend torward the invention side is the categorization of the findings, which I think amounts to an invention of a filing system of the discoveries.
|Apr-23-14|| ||Boomie: <OhioChessFan: I generally think posts should stand. Deleting them sort of changes history and changes the context of discussion.>|
One exception I make is when an important historical page is spammed by a flame war. Then I take action. Just a couple of days ago, I reported some sandbox comments on the Morphy page. The Admins must feel as I do about that page because the offending posts were gone the next day. We don't trash our shrines here.
But that aside, I agree that posts should be left alone. We either learn something about our shortcomings or the "other guy" does. I don't see the downside.
|Apr-23-14|| ||twinlark: Yeah, I leave posts alone as a rule unless someone asks me to delete them for whatever reason.|
If someone is being an arse, then it remains a testament to that fact.
In this case, I have no idea how people will adjudge the situation but I felt the need for completeness, warts and all, and to let the proverbial chips fall where they may.
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 224 OF 224 ·
Hardinge Simpole Publishing