Laws and Descriptions

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

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Aetixintro
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Laws and Descriptions

Post by Aetixintro » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:09 pm

The issue of laws and descriptions can be complicated. Sometimes you want the descriptions to have the same power as expressions (mathematical) of laws and other times, the laws are being used as mere descriptions for something, being less or more accurate.

So instead of being in conflict between laws and descriptions and statistical expressions, it's just to keep an open mind for everything you want to describe and how you want to do it. Just make certain it is sound work!

(I'll come back to this topic!)

Cheers!

Impenitent
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Re: Laws and Descriptions

Post by Impenitent » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:22 pm

who enforces these "laws" and what are the penalties for breaking them?

-Imp

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Aetixintro
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Re: Laws and Descriptions

Post by Aetixintro » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:44 am

This is not the political section, dear you! :)

For breaking a natural law, you become subject to this breach... :)

Try jumping from the 10. floor and "break" the law of gravity! :)

Impenitent
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Re: Laws and Descriptions

Post by Impenitent » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:02 pm

have to make a jail for pilots

breaking the law of gravity all the time...

-Imp

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John
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Re: Laws and Descriptions

Post by John » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:35 pm

Except that they don't.

Joseph
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Re: Laws and Descriptions

Post by Joseph » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:38 am

A couple of comments.

1. Perhaps we should define natural laws in a broad fashion to include, in your words, "statistical expressions" (though not in post hoc fashion). Is the stat. mechanics formulation (Boltzmann) of the 2nd law of thermodynamics not lawful? Sure it is, but is based on extremely strong probabilities arising from random particle motion. This way, we can have laws of, say, biology that are "legit".

2. OK, but what about the 4 fundamental interactions, and the numerous constants of the Standard Model? Using a few admittedly uncertain premises (actually, philosophical prejudices, nothing more)

[*]There is no "essential reality" (i.e. supernatural; mind of god etc.)
[*] There is no unique mathematical solution spitting out the standard model, a unique string theory, or whatever (this much is widely accepted in science)

I think it follows that in order to have a rational understanding of our universe, we must understand how the 4 forces could have evolved. Most of us have probably heard of Lee Smolin's Cosmological Natural Selection, which I like even if it is unlikely (Smolin's book got me thinking about this). But even CNS was only proposed in order to explain the constants of nature (i.e. proton to neutron mass ratio), not the laws governing their interaction (i.e. strong force).

Point 2 is somewhat off-topic, but might be of interest because if the laws either (a) evolved within our "universe" or (b) evolved over a multiverse, then at some level of analysis they must be "statistical expressions" and not essential forces.

This is all pure speculation, however, but then again, so is the "dream of a Final Theory".

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