Science Philosophy

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

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:24 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
That's down to the interpreter.
Which is precisely the problem formalism solves. It eliminates interpretation as a source of entropy.
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
That's assuming that the geometry of spacetime is actually responsible for gravity. We don't know whether that story is factual.
Assuming that gravity even exists. We don't know if that story is factual either.

Starting from the phenomenological perspective, what is factual is apples falling to grounds.
Some say gravity causes that, yet we are only privy to the consequence.
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
Ah, I see you have changed your punchline. Splendid, now we agree.
Well, kind of. The geometric shape of spacetime is also deterministic. It's a function of mass and energy (which we can't observe either by the way).
As long as it's testable (e.g produces empirically verifiable consequences) our instrument (Mathematics) doesn't care what we say about it in English.

Because it's stated in the "object language" makes it "objective".

uwot
Posts: 4370
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:43 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:24 pm
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
That's down to the interpreter.
Which is precisely the problem formalism solves. It eliminates interpretation as a source of entropy.
You've lost me.
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:24 pm
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
That's assuming that the geometry of spacetime is actually responsible for gravity. We don't know whether that story is factual.
Assuming that gravity even exists. We don't know if that story is factual either.

Starting from the phenomenological perspective, what is factual is apples falling to grounds.
Some say gravity causes that, yet we are only privy to the consequence.
Gravity is just the name for whatever makes apples fall to the ground.
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:24 pm
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
Ah, I see you have changed your punchline. Splendid, now we agree.
Well, kind of. The geometric shape of spacetime is also deterministic.
Hang on a mo:
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:32 pm
So the "stretchy spacetime" narrative is just metaphysical speculation.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:37 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:43 pm
You've lost me.
A good scientific experiment is one which adheres to the "cetreris paribus" principle. Ideally - there is only one free variable to track and observe. A single source of entropy. Hence the notion of control. It is from "ceteris paribus" that the requirement for linguistic determinism emerges.

If the formalisation of your problem can be interpreted in multiple ways - your language itself becomes a variable. A source of entropy.
A non-deterministic formalism (e.g one open to interpretation of its logical consequences) is a violation of ceteris paribus.
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:49 pm
Hang on a mo:
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:32 pm
So the "stretchy spacetime" narrative is just metaphysical speculation.
Yes? Which part is unclear? The "stretchiness" of spacetime is only expressed in English. You only use the word "stretchiness" when you are using the metalanguage (English) to talk about the object language (Mathematics).

In the formal field equation (the object language itself) the "stretchiness" is not mentioned/captured/expressed anywhere.

So the notion of "stretchiness" is lost during the process of formalization. Or at the very least - translated into a geometric notion.
Last edited by Skepdick on Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:55 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:32 am
Thanks in part to Popper, 'proper scientists' have the theory to dismiss Freud, Jung et al as quacks.
One certainly does not need Popper to understand that all of psychology put over as a science is quackery since Wundt. He began the confusion between psychology, a pseudo-science, and neurology, a true physical science.
uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:32 am
As for scientists being mostly successes, that is true when they stick to instrumentalism, but frankly, when it comes to positing philosophical models, their record compares with actual philosophers. They also make all sorts of claims which turn out to be wrong. Sometimes this is politically motivated; Lysenkoism being a notorious case, cigarettes don't cause cancer, burning fossil fuels doesn't cause global warming and so on. The point Kuhn made was that science is not some abstract entity that scientists obediently follow. It's done by people who have their own theories and agendas. Which is demonstrably true.
What I referred to specifically was scientists accomplishments, ("I think it is ironic that philosophers, whose own accomplishments I regard as mostly failures, should be critical of scientists, whose accomplishments are mostly successes.") versus those of philosophers. I wasn't taking about opinions, claims, and hypotheses.

You can call scientific and technological success, "instrumentalism," if you like, but the facts of physical reality discovered by science are not true because they are, "useful," (though they certainly are), but because they correctly describe those facts of reality, which is why they reliable and useful. The nature of the chemical elements as described in the periodic table of the elements is not going to change to make it more useful and the understanding of human anatomy that makes modern medicine possible is not going to change. Of course science will continue to learn more about these and all other things, but that would not be possible if what is already known was not certain.

I am surprised that you have been taken in by the political pseudo-sciences that have put over the greatest scams in history like man-made global warming, and the perpetual scare-mongering of such lies as, 'cigarettes cause cancer.' (Here's a question for those who buy Popper's theory and believe cigarettes cause cancer: what have scientists done to falsify the hypothesis that cigarettes cause cancer?)

uwot
Posts: 4370
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:50 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:37 pm
A non-deterministic formalism (e.g one open to interpretation of its logical consequences) is a violation of ceteris paribus.
I see. So should scientists factor the entropy caused by their occasional thinking in a natural language into their equations?
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:32 pm
The "stretchiness" of spacetime is only expressed in English.
Does it follow that spacetime isn't stretchy?

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:57 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:50 pm
I see. So should scientists factor the entropy caused by their occasional thinking in a natural language into their equations?
This is subject to the is-ought gap.

Abstraction is the elimination of the irrelevant and the amplification of the essential --Robert C. Martin

If it's relevant/essential and you can formalise it - then formalise it.

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:50 pm
Does it follow that spacetime isn't stretchy?
Within the domain of applicability of the field equations, the mathematical symbols are what you are ontologically and semantically committed to. That which is stated "exists". That which is not stated "does not exist". This is your reductionist, conceptual reality.

It's meaningless to even speak about "stretchiness" - unless you can point out the Mathematical property which corresponds to your semantic.

uwot
Posts: 4370
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:03 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:55 pm
You can call scientific and technological success, "instrumentalism," if you like, but the facts of physical reality discovered by science are not true because they are, "useful," (though they certainly are), but because they correctly describe those facts of reality, which is why they reliable and useful.
Right. Well while scientists aren't much better than philosophers when describing what the universe is, no one is denying that scientists describe what happens in the universe very accurately.
Oh wait:
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:55 pm
I am surprised that you have been taken in by the political pseudo-sciences that have put over the greatest scams in history like man-made global warming, and the perpetual scare-mongering of such lies as, 'cigarettes cause cancer.'

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:05 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:03 pm
describing what the universe is
The universe is the universe.

To say X is Y, would mean you are resorting to metaphors. The conceptual birth of dualism.

User avatar
Arising_uk
Posts: 11960
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:31 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Not sure penicillin should be an acomplishment more dumb luck.

uwot
Posts: 4370
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:40 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:57 pm
If it's relevant/essential and you can formalise it - then formalise it.
Right. So how often is entropy caused by natural language relevant?
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:57 pm
It's meaningless to even speak about "stretchiness" - unless you can point out the Mathematical property which corresponds to your semantic.
Maybe, but not pointless. You clearly will not take it from me. Perhaps you will listen to a Nobel Prize winning physicist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-zWTU7X-k I've posted this clip of Richard Feynman several times and it's good enough for me.
Last edited by uwot on Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uwot
Posts: 4370
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by uwot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:42 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:05 pm
To say X is Y, would mean you are resorting to metaphors. The conceptual birth of dualism.
And special relativity, general relativity, the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, string theory...

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:34 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:30 pm
Not sure penicillin should be an acomplishment more dumb luck.
It was a little more than luck.

Alexander Fleming was a bacteriologist studying staphylococcus aureus when he observed the organism was destroyed by the penicillium notatum. It is unlikely the janitor would have had the luck to make that discovery. Besides that, it took a great deal of rigorous scientific work to make penicillin a useful antibiotic. See the history. (It's short.)

User avatar
Arising_uk
Posts: 11960
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:31 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:17 pm

You're right, it took some sloppy lab work. Good job he wasn't working on anything more dangerous.
Last edited by Arising_uk on Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

Dubious
Posts: 2209
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by Dubious » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:27 am

uwot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:32 am
Thanks in part to Popper, 'proper scientists' have the theory to dismiss Freud, Jung et al as quacks.
Do you yourself believe that Freud and Jung are in fact quacks? What theory would "proper scientists" have to dismiss them as such...especially Jung!

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Science Philosophy

Post by RCSaunders » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:41 am

Dubious wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:27 am
Do you yourself believe that Freud and Jung are in fact quacks?
I do not know what uwot will say, but Freud, his daughter Anna, and Jung were worse than quacks, they were flat-out con men whose ideas are still infecting almost every aspect of modern society.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests