< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 224 OF 224 ·
|Apr-10-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Tiggler: I'll only attempt the easy one for now.|
2. Almost* in its entirety, pure math is an expression of dyadic (or boolian) logic. It requires axioms, and then proves the consequences, which are tautologies given the axioms. The subject matter is entirely abstract, and has no connection to the natural world, though there can be applications to the extent that nature appears to conform to parts of it.
*"Almost" is necessary because of Godel's Theorem, which proves that there are true propositions that cannot be proved within a given set of axioms.>
By <boolian logic>, you mean what a layman like me would see as the true-false and-or way of doing math and algebra?
If Math can be reduced almost entirely into the terms of Boolian logic (with the caveat of Godel's theorem in mind), perhaps I should have rephrased my question into:
2. Why does Boolian logic/ Boolian math work true in the Universe?
|Apr-11-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <hms123: The <scientific method> is simply the set of methods within a discipline that have so far mostly given results that have <bumped up> against reality and survived. In other word, it is not so much that the methods give us any sort of <truth>, but that past uses of the methods have tended to give us results that have proven useful. If a method stopped giving us useful results, it would no longer be a scientific method.>|
Are you implying that the scientific method possibly may not work in explaining some phenomena in the Universe? To put it in another way, that the scientific method may not hold true all the time?
|Apr-11-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Boomie> Going back to the Penrose and Hameroff theory of micro-tubules being the basis for consciousness due to quantum mechanical effects, are they not simply too big? In addition, AFAIK they function mainly as a kind of cytoskeleton or internal structural support for cells. They are found in all cells and not peculiarly in neurons alone. |
Anyways if an experiment could be done supporting the role of microtubules as a basis for consciousness, I would not mind it as so.
On the other hand, synaptic 'firing' is unique in nervous system cells. The basis for electrochemical signals in the NS are synapses and neurotransmitters, not cytoskeleton. Neurotransmitters, being composed of less than 30 atoms, should also exhibit quantum mechanical effects. This is why <If you are going to ask me my opinion, if consciousness is reducible and not a fundamental property of the Universe, it would have its basis in synaptic activity, in the interaction between neurons and not in the neurons themselves.>
|Apr-11-14|| ||Boomie: <VBD: 114-Atom Molecules>|
More than big enough to cover just about all of them. Some of the peptide ones are enormous but they are rare.
I wonder how QM manifests at the synapse. Transmitters are released on one side and some of them hit receptors on the other side. Not exactly a double slit experiment there. Maybe QM helps describe how they dock at the receptors.
Anyway how does any of that shed light on self awareness? Most of the transmitters go way back in evolution. If we are to assume that only humans are self aware, which is a stretch, then if a transmitter is involved, it would have to be one not used by other life forms.
One of the spookier double slit discoveries happens when you observe after the slits. The result is the same as when you observe before the slits. The particles are clustered around two spots on the screen. So how does the waveform produced by the slits revert to particles? Do they go back in time or what? No wonder Einstein couldn't believe in QM.
|Apr-11-14|| ||Boomie: Here is a very well referenced article on the Orch-OR theory of Penrose and Hameroff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orch-OR|
|Apr-11-14|| ||Tiggler: <Why does Boolian logic/ Boolian math work true in the Universe?>|
How would you know if it didn't? Does French work on the Moon? Does one have to go there to find out? Would it take two French people to test it, or only one?
|Apr-11-14|| ||Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor>:<Are you implying that the scientific method possibly may not work in explaining some phenomena in the Universe?>|
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.
|Apr-11-14|| ||Boomie: <visayanbraindoctor: Going back to the Penrose and Hameroff theory of micro-tubules being the basis for consciousness due to quantum mechanical effects, are they not simply too big?>|
There are electrons on the tubules that may be available for quantum effects. From the link I just posted:
"Microtubules are made up of tubulin protein subunits. The tubulin protein dimers of the microtubules have hydrophobic pockets which might contain delocalized pi electrons. Tubulin has other smaller non-polar regions, for example 8 tryptophans per tubulin, which contain pi electron-rich indole rings distributed throughout tubulin with separations of roughly 2 nm. Hameroff claims that this is close enough for the tubulin pi electrons to become quantum entangled. During entanglement, particles' states become inseparably correlated."
|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?>
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