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Thread: Just to clear things up...

  1. #1 Just to clear things up... 
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    We often get posters (usually woo-mongers) resorting to the Einstein quote "Imagination is more important than knowledge".
    I've just finished re-reading Gleick's Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics (also published as Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman).
    There's a very pertinent quote (on page 324 in my copy):
    “The whole question of imagination in science is often misunderstood by people in other disciplines,” he said. “They overlook the fact that whatever we are allowed to imagine in science must be consistent with everything else we know… ” and "...not just some happy thoughts which we are free to make as we wish, but ideas which must be consistent with all the laws of physics we know. We can’t allow ourselves to seriously imagine things which are obviously in contradiction to the known laws of nature. And so our kind of imagination is quite a difficult game". (Emphases in the original text).

    So, rather than argue the point the next time someone uses Einstein's quote as "support" for drivel just point them to this post (made a sticky).


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    "with everything else we know" is relative to the individual.., and most importantly time. This changes all the time.., and is always challenged.
    He would most likely have dismissed "rocks falling from the heavens" just over a century ago when it was considered BS.
    He would most likely have been one of those people laughing at early astronomers claiming the Earth wasn't the centre of the universe.
    "Hahaha, fool. That is not consistent with the Earth being flat.., God cannot make round planets. Hahaha"

    For you to claim we are all knowing at this point in time.., is merely a repeat of what history has proven time and time again. Human arrogance.., combined with a dash of ignorance.

    If you like.., I could start making a big list of times when human's were completely wrong.., even banning books on certain scientific topics.., and threatening people.
    These facts cannot be denied.., so all that's left is you to prove that we have reached some type of technological terminal velocity.., or scientific wall.., that we will never be wrong on something.., again. What is the predicted date that human's become infallible?

    Knowledge and skills are required, but I think Einstein was saying that imagination is somewhat required to take those tools and advance, instead of simply acquiring knowledge.

    I do agree that this quote shouldn't be used to reinforce anyone's assumptions or personal opinions. This is accomplished by making observations, testing and doing experiments.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fila View Post
    For you to claim we are all knowing at this point in time.
    Please quote exactly where I wrote that. (Hint, I didn't).

    so all that's left is you to prove that we have reached some type of technological terminal velocity.., or scientific wall.., that we will never be wrong on something.., again. What is the predicted date that human's become infallible?
    Please quote the parts that led you to believe that I even implied this. (Hint, I didn't).

    You appear to be just making things up (again).

    Knowledge and skills are required, but I think Einstein was saying that imagination is somewhat required to take those tools and advance, instead of simply acquiring knowledge.
    Oh look, you missed the point...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Please quote exactly where I wrote that. (Hint, I didn't).
    That was me paraphrasing. You are basically implying it with your main argument..., aren't you?
    "...must be consistent with everything else we know?"
    And I said.., what we know.., is relative to time, location and the individual. And history has shown a pattern.... etc etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    PYou appear to be just making things up (again).
    Sorry.., please quote where I was making things up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Oh look, you missed the point...
    Perhaps. I don't think Einstein was saying "change the laws of physics to make up your own theories" was he?
    Its often misunderstood by people from other disciplines.., to me means.., even though people understand maths, and physics.., it takes imagination to advance. I.e. 10 people with the same knowledge.., but 1 has more imagination.., is better than just having knowledge.

    Why.., what do you think?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fila View Post
    That was me paraphrasing. You are basically implying it with your main argument..., aren't you?
    1) No, that's not what is implied.
    2) Try reading the post, that isn't my argument (clues"Feynman" and "he said")..
    and the individual
    Perhaps you missed an actual implication: "we know" - i.e. science as whole, not any given individual.

    Sorry.., please quote where I was making things up?
    "For you to claim we are all knowing at this point in time." - I made no such claim.
    "so all that's left is you to prove that..." - since I didn't make that claim either then it doesn't need proving.

    Perhaps. I don't think Einstein was saying "change the laws of physics to make up your own theories" was he?
    No he wasn't.

    Its often misunderstood by people from other disciplines.., to me means.., even though people understand maths, and physics.., it takes imagination to advance. I.e. 10 people with the same knowledge.., but 1 has more imagination.., is better than just having knowledge.

    Why.., what do you think?
    Still missing the point.

    Get someone to read this to you, slowly: "We often get posters (usually woo-mongers) resorting to the Einstein quote "Imagination is more important than knowledge"" and "So, rather than argue the point the next time someone uses Einstein's quote as "support" for drivel just point them to this post (made a sticky)".
    The point is that we get posters who try to push their view and dismiss science on the grounds that Einstein made the quote about imagination (they actually quote it, and usually add "therefore, since I have imagination I don't need knowledge, thus I'm right and Einstein would agree" or words to that effect).
    The Feynman quote puts Einstein's into perspective and shows that, regardless of what the nutcases would like to think, untrammelled imagination is neither a viable substitute for, nor superior to, knowledge of the subject.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; August 7th, 2018 at 02:25 AM.
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