How are scintific theories produced?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut »

Its advice; considering your recent behaviour you could really do with thinking about it.
mark black
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Post by mark black »

effie,

I started to reply but then I wondered whether you would end up presenting my work to your mentor as if it were your own. I find that I cannot in good conscience aid and abet in deciet - and while I said the subject was closed, find I cannot close the subject without also closing this dialogue.

mb.
effie
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Post by effie »

mb It's fine with me :-) However, I am sorry if this kind of behaviour is considered as a sort of dialogue. Everyone could come up with witticisms in order to avoid giving a straight answer to a specific question!
mark black
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Post by mark black »

effie,

I gave you a straight answer. You are barking up the wrong tree. This idea is misconcieved and misdirected. There is no need for a mechanistic approach to producing scientific theories because knowledge of the subject naturally infers well directed hypotheses. You conjure into existence an imagined problem - and then tilt at this windmill with the same mad inexpertise as that which allows you to imagine there is a problem. I cannot give you a straighter answer than that.

mb.
effie
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Post by effie »

If , when I claim that in order to execute correctly a specialized scientific activity (in fact, the theoretical work is the most specialized scientific activity), you sustain that I am not an expert, how would you call someone who executes a completely specialized task without knowing neither the procedure nor the means they use and without being able to evaluate correctly the outcome of their effort? Which is their diffrence from an unskilled workman? I can tell the difference: craftsmen are in a more advantageous position, since at least they can distinguish the tools (means) they use!

If you are right and indeed there is no need to develop a scientific method in order to produce theories, then the innumerous wrongor illfounded theories must be figments of my imagination.

The substantial diefference between a sciΕntific and any other activity, is the fact that science presupposes the full and complete knowledge regarding all the factors that participate in it. According to my mentor, all those that execute speciaized task without having at their disposal all the essential knowledge about the execution of their specialized scientific assignment are called "workmen of intellect"- not scientists!

All the evasions and puns one could come up with cannot alter the truth of the above!
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Rortabend
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Post by Rortabend »

According to my mentor
This sounds very sinister. Who is your mentor? Form what you have said he must be published so we can all check out what he has to say.
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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut »

It is not right to demand of a person online that they divulge real-world details, and I recommend that effie not do so unless she is certain that she wants to for her own ends, and not to satisfy Rort's curiosity.
effie
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Post by effie »

Rortabend, the book will soon be published in Greek. We do not know when it will be published in English, because we first must translate it and find a publshing house. As far as my mentor is concerned, there is nothing mysterious about him. He is a scientist who realized that science has an inability to transubstantiate into understanding the data and the knowledge it has. He dedicated many years of his life to discover the causes that provoke this inability and find ways with which science wil be able not only to produce theories, but to produce correct theories.

Now, I am entitled to present his work and that's what i am trying to do :-)
Btw, who he is and his identity, at least for the time being, are not important. What's important about him are his ideas- not his identity. If you visit Athens, though, I can introduce you to him :-)


Psychonaut, thank you very much for your support and your advice. However, I would like to think that Rortabend's motives wasn't mere curiosity, but scientific search :-) We have nothing to hide, but we prefer to "stay in the dark" for now and promote these ideas. When we will have preseted a more detailed version of the new approach, we would be very glad if you expressed your opinions about them!


To conclude, I wuld like to underline that it took my menor many years to complete his approach. Now, I have the chance to provide you with a complete presentation of the theoretical work and the factors that participate in it and not some "stray" ideas. I have personally realized that whoever has this knowledge will be able to apply it to the science he serves , utiize the existing data and knowledge and interpret correctly the phenomena he deals with.

My mentor, following his approach, has come up with a new model for the living organisms and, with its help, has succeded very easily in interpreting
correctly the activities of living organisms (fom single cells to human beings), including intellectual faculties and mental disorders. In the end, by means of these interpretations, has managed (during practicing clinical medicine) to cure diseases that are consedered incurable (allergy, mental disorders such as panic attacks and psychoses etc)

Personally, by appllying all this knowledge, as a psychologist I have helped many patients suffering from psychotic disorders etc.

What is important to him is if you are interested in us presenting gradually the basic elements that constitute this approach and in providing us with your remarks, thoughts, judgements etc.
Diomedes71
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Post by Diomedes71 »

I don't know who said this but I kinda concur - 'There are no origonal ideas' ?

Richard Feynman says in science we make a guess and compare by observation to see if the theory is falsified. If the theories predictions match observation then it is not proved wrong, if they don't match observation then it is proved wrong. After time new better observations are observed which show a theory to be wrong or new phenomena is observed which the origonal theory fails to explain. Again proving the theory wrong. In this way science never really in the purest sense of the word proves anything. This does not debunk science since extremely good approximations are often more than great.

Anyway, why does any body communicate wtih MB, he is so quick to insult. The saying 'Don't suffer fools gladly' .. .well that is not something to be proud of. It just means he's intollerant FULL STOP. With intollerance, society, which he purports to hold with high regard holds no chance.

Regards.
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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut »

What's important about him are his ideas- not his identity.
I'd say that this is the substantive and consequential element of his identity :)
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Post by Psychonaut »

I don't know who said this but I kinda concur - 'There are no origonal ideas' ?
Whoever said it, I'm sure he copied it from someone :D
Ecclesiastes wrote:What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
effie
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Post by effie »

Diomedes and Psychonaut,
indeed there are no absolutely new and prototype ideas or ideas that have never been expressed in the past. However, we have nothing to lose (on the contrary, we can only gain) by bringing back and using to our benefit ideas that have been forgotten. We could even improve already existing ideas , since any idea or knowledge can be further improved. Besides,in any case that's exactly the quintessence of progress, including the level of ideas.

Our work is based on the above axiom and serves exactly this goal: to be able to utilize correctly what we know in order to find what we do not know. In other words, our approach aims at stepping on the known in order to take a look of the unknown!

My reference to basic truths has not been produced via parthenogenesis. On the contrary, it is a very ancient knowledge, which has been forgotten, though. Except for that, it represents a very common knowledge, since every human being has a basic truth (doctrine, axiom, fundamental belief etc) for each one of their everyday activities (scientific or not).

One of the oldest references to this knowledge is given by an ancient Greek myth, the myth of Procrustes, which presents allegorically the presence and the role of basic truths to the role of human mind. If we manage to interpret correctly the myth we will have succeded in revealing one of the most crucial functional properties of basic truths.

According to the myth, Procrustes (also known as Polypaemon or Damastes), was the son of Poseidon (who was the God of sea) and the Goddess Aethra, (who represents mental clarity). Procrustes was a terrible "bandit" who had been settled on the road that connceted ancient Athens to ancient Corinthus. He captured all the travelers that passed by this road and tied them on his iron bed (Prorustean bed). Those who fit exactly the length of this bed were set free to continue their journey, while those who were shorter were stretched in order to reach the length of the Procrustean bed and those who were taller were amputated until they fit the bed. To sum up, all the travelers that did not match the dimension of the Procrustean bed were "adjusted" to it with the appropriate (!) method (stretching or amputating).

Theseus was te only one that managed to locate Procrustes, defeat him and tie him on his own bed. For his accomplshment, which is quoted throughout Greek history, Theseus was rewarded with immortality.

Interpretation

If we interpret the myth as a literal story, none of the elements that compose it is meaningful.
1. What kind of robber was Procrustes, since he only cared about the hight of the traveleres and did not rob any valuables?
2. Travelers seem also ver weird. Why didn't they bypass Procrustes? Why didn't they travel in groups, so they could resist him?
3. Why Athens and Cornthus, two powerful and organized cities- states were not able to locate and eliminate Procrustes?
4. Why killing a mere robber has been quoted as an ultimate accomplishment?

The myth is obviously allegorical and represents the actions of a very powerful intellectual factor that is invisible, inconceivable (In greek the word ασύλληπτος means unapprehensible and something that cannot be captured) and all mighty.

The myth becomes meaningful only if we substitute Prorustes with basic truths, the Procrustean bed with the context of the basic truths, travelers with the information of any kind that "travel" from the environment to the mind and Theseus with who is able to locate basic truths and improve their context.

The first clues that lead to the correct interpretation of the myth are given by the name that has been given to the bandit: Polypaemon (Πολυπήμων) means devastating/ disastrous, Damastes (Δαμάστης) means he who can tame and Procrustes (Προκρούστης) means he who stand before the percussion= breakwater.

In contemporary terms, Procrustes is the filter that controls tha flaw of information that "travel" from the ienvironment towards intellect. It's role is obvious: the information that match the contect of the basic truth are free to pass by Procrustes- basic truth and reach the mind. On the contrary, the information (knowledge, data etc) that do not match the context of the basc truth either are rejected or they are modified (adjusted) in order o obtain a brand new form with which they will be able to access mind.

The presence of the basic truths is a natural indispensability, which is directly connected with the normal mental function. They existed, they exist and they will continue to exist in every era and in every human activity. In order to conceive the necessity that imposes their existence, we only have to think about the vast amount of information that are addressed from the environment to the mind 9which is ther final recipient) and the consequences that the absence of these filters would have as far as the normal function of the mind is concerned. In that case, mind would fall apart under the burden of the work it would have to execute by being obliged to process and understand aaaaaalllllll those information. It wouldn't be able to maintain its coherence, its homogeneity and its effectiveness.

With the support of all its filters (basic truths are not the only metal filter), mind succeds in maintaining is homogeneity and its resultfulness, but on the other hand it is trapped within the limits of a very small part of reality. Nobody can (and shouldn't, even if they could) eliminate Procrustes- basic truths, because such an action would be fatal and disasterous. The only thing that we are able and that we should do is try to improve the context of our basic truths, so that we improve the ability of mind to see a bigger part of natural reality. By improving our basic truths we step on the security the known in order to take a look of the unknown :-)

In order to be able to improve a basic truth we must
1. locate it
2. test it a) structurally (in order to do that we must know its context)
and b) functionally (in order to do that we must know its role )

If you would like a more detailed presentation, we can talk about the role of basic truths as far as mind and science are concerned.

That's all folks :-)
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Post by Richard Baron »

Hello Effie

I think that we need to consider critically the view that basic truths need to be accepted, because without them everything would fall apart. That view may be correct, but there are alternative views.

One is given by Quine's idea of a fabric of beliefs, as set out in section 6 of his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". Quine sees all of our beliefs as interconnected, and none as immune from revision. At the centre of the fabric we have really fundamental things like the laws of logic. But even they could be revised in extreme circumstances.

Another view is given by Otto Neurath in his Antispengler, with his image of sailors repairing a ship at sea. They cannot replace all of the planks at once, but any plank can be replaced. In a similar way, we might not be able to change all of our basic beliefs at once, but we could change any of them, and gradually change all of them.
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How are scintific theories produced?

Post by Aetixintro »

Hello Effie and Richard Baron

Effie, it is a pleasure to have you around. You show good attitude!

Richard Baron:
But even they could be revised in extreme circumstances.
It has never been shown what these extreme circumstances may be so it is a pure speculation or let's say sci-fi of the 50's to say that they are. It's not comparable to refer to the Riemannian modification of Euclidian geometry or non-Euclidian geometry as it's called. Two Dogmas of Empiricism is actually published in 1951 with a revised edition in 1961. The article is here: http://www.ditext.com/quine/quine.html.
Another view is given by Otto Neurath in his Antispengler, with his image of sailors repairing a ship at sea.
The picture by Neurath is used as a metaphor for the ongoing enterprise of science. We are obviously in the world, but we need to rebuild our understanding of the world. Otto Neurath has been an early member of the Vienna Circle also known as the logical positivists.

You may read more about it in Philosophy of Science in the Twentieth Century - Four Central Themes by Donald Gillies, ISBN 0-631-18358-2.
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Post by effie »

Richard, all I have written about basic truths is just a very brief introduction to the subject. I just have mentioned concisely the role that they play in mind, as mental filters, but their role is not limited to mind, since it extends to the function of science and to all human activities.

Indeed, all our basic truths (scientific, social, political, economic, cultural etc) are tightly connected to each other, support and protect each other by any attempt of external interference and altogether form a very powerful network, which protects mind and its function.

On one hand basic truths protect mind from falling apart and on the other hand are protected by it. Human mind itself uses its abilities to render its basic truths invisible and inaccessible: it does not let us locate our basic truths. As a consequence, since we cannot locate them, we can neither test them nor improve them.

The above view is confirmed if we take into account the witch-hunts and the persecutions to which were submitted those who expressed new, revolutionary scientific ideas, which collided with the respective basic trths that were dominant at the time. E.g. Galileo, Servet and many other scientists were condemned according to religious laws,while they had expressed scientific opinions (which,by the way, have been proved correct).

In addition, an argument which proves the resistance that mind poses to any attempt of mutation of its mental filters (basic truths) is the large periods that intervene from the wording of a new basic truth until it becomes accepted by the scientific community. E.g. It took 2 centuries in order for the basic truth that Copernicus expressed regarding universe to be accepted.

Nowadays, there still are basic truths which are obviously incompatible with their object, which are commonly accepted and are considered equal to verified knowledge, which have not yet been located, tested and improved.
This atitude, which has been common in every science and in every era, shows that basic truths are extremely well protected by a very powerful factor and are untouched by scientific review. The only factor that can accomplish such an achievement is mind itself.

E.g. If basic truths weren't protected so wel, everyone woud had realized by now that the basic truth of molecular biology, according to which molecules are the only active biological factor from which living organisms are consisted, is obviously incompatible with living organisms. Everyone, regardless of the science they serve, can easily ascertain that living organisms, except for molecules, are also consisted of electric and electromagnetic fileds and of intellectual faculties.

As far as the view that Quine expressed, I will try to express it in contemporary terms: the basic truth of a science is themental filter which determines which information will be able to access mind and which won't. E.g. in the case of the basic truth of molecular biology, the only information (opinions, ideas, data, knowledge, conclusions etc) that can pass by and reach mind are those that refer to molecules. On the contrary, the information that regard fields or intellectual faculties either are rejected by the basic truth- Procrustes or they are modified in order to obtain the "desirable" form.

All the information that pass by the basic truth that dominates on a science are unified and form a homogeneous total, which we can name scientific perception, program, scientific logics, optics, model, etc. All the ideas that form this total are interconnected and gathered around the central core, which is basic truth. The aggregation (scientific perception) is the "örgan" which conrols, coordinates and guides every scientific activity of the science.

In conclusion, the basic truth that supervses a given science is the creator of the respective scientific perception, which is the "organ" or the factor which guides every scientific activity. From the above relation is evident that the compatibiity as well as the effectiveness of a scientific perception is determined by the compatibiity and the effectiveness of the basic truth from which it has been produced.

To sum up, the presence of basic truths are absolutely necessary for the normal function of mind. What's more, it is essential for science, because a science becomes normal only f t is founded on a basic truth. A basic truth provides science with the essential coherence, homogeneity and effectveness. The experts who serve this science "speak the same language" and, regardless of their cultural, economic or social differences they think in the same way and they try to achieve the same goals.

The acceptance of a basic truth by every science is totally necessary for the normal function of science as well as for the normal function of mind. The handicap, which has been noted in every normal science and in every era, is the inability to locate and improve the dominant basic truth. The solution is very simple: experts must accept, respect and serve such an important scientific factor, as it is the basic truth that guides the science they serve, but they also must have all the knowledge that they need in order to be able to locate and improve this basic truth. Besides, scientists constantly try to improve all the factors that participate in their work. How can they leave the most important of them aside?

Moreover, basic truth can and should be improved because
1. It is not a verified knowledge, but an uncertain general opinion, which attempts to represent the basic elements of which the object of the science is consisted. The idea that any basic truth is complete and fully compatible with physical reality is a utopia, since reality is constantly proved "richer" than any view we have formed about it.
2. Possible improvement of a basic truth is equivalent to a scientific revolution (as Kuhn and others have realized). E.g. What happened when the classic basic truth regarding universe (according to which unverse consisted only of matter) was improved with the addition of fields?

Ps. Aetixintro, you are very kind :-) Thank you very much for the link to the article of Quine
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