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Thread: Re: Relativity Primers above...

  1. #1 Re: Relativity Primers above... 
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    I like that the primers above were set up. What I'm wondering, however, is that although the math functions to help convey meaning specifically, wouldn't it be good to have a means to explain the motivational construction and derivations prior to the math? I think of math as the specific means to aid the reasoning once things are initially introduced.

    I have personally invested time in teaching myself Calculus a long while ago only to find that the abstract nature of learning the language didn't 'stick' in my head since I had no direct means to relate to it external to the text examples. I noticed that you noted a pre-requisite of multi-variable as well as vector calculus of which these no doubt can give one an advantage in following. But the math seems like putting the cart before the horse. A case in point is that Einstein had begun his thinking on issues of relativity prior to his formalizing it using math. Another example is how Faraday began his theorizing prior to the math that Maxwell later helped to clarify specifically.

    I noticed that the conventional way of teaching this subject is highly favored by assuming one is within an educational institute that reasonably coordinates the way the texts are written within the math and the science being taught in parallel to the levels one goes through in a school or university setting. But without this collaboration under the organization of various teachers, this is not the normal way of following the logic of this theory by the lay person. One way that can help is if you present a syllabus of recommended reading of materials that tie these things together. Another, which would be more welcoming, is to find a means to explain this in a linear fashion that begin with no presumption of the reader's background.

    Sure, I have discovered books that at first appear to do this. But often, they merely begin with the assumption of the theory, explain it in abstract or general terms, but lack the appropriate means to derive it intellectually step by step. That is, we have to accept the truth of the theory first, then we are required to invest a great deal of time and expense to take study a multitude of advanced courses, and only then, are we privileged to determine whether the original assumed theory is true or flawed. As such, these present a few problems:

    (1) Upon the intensive investment required prior to appropriately determining the truth of some theory, there is a psychological tendency for people to resist going against what they've put so much effort into. If it takes four years of an ideal education that even makes one eligible to judge something true or false, with all the complex coordination of all the varying other subject materials that go into learning, one might realize that the original underlying (and simpler) logic is what is flawed and yet you'd be resistant to raise it because it would defeat your investment.

    As an example, if someone demands that I must first read the Bible cover to cover, learn the many interrelated courses and languages, etc, in order to even be considered 'qualified' rationally to determine whether a God wrote it or not (as a particular theory), even if you still only realize that the much less simpler reasoning prior to such an education was still more than sufficient to disprove the theory you were intending to measure, the investment you put into it will blind you from dismissing what you learned, even if it has no more real value.

    As to Relativity, as well as many issues in cosmology or subatomic theory, this is how these things are being imposed upon the lay person in order to even be considered qualified to argue. The popular literature meant to aid in this still more often only presumes that you must believe in the theory because it is the state of conventional authority and emphasizes explaining 'how' the theory fits rather than 'that' the theory is reasonable. In fact, when you witness most lay material (popular books or documentaries), they all only point out how unusual or strangely reality is in light of the proposed theory.

    (2)There is a tendency to dismiss any effort to clarify the theory without resorting to referencing other authorities. We don't see any effort to reconstruct an argument via the traditional Euclidean style in which a lay audience can benefit by. The effort would require beginning from simple assumptions of the listener/reader and then build the case for the theory in question. When and where any math is used, instead of requiring one to have to take a separate course in parallel, it would be more advantageous for the reader (lay person) to see the reconstruction of the necessary math relating to the subject as can be demonstrated [and] would be useful in making sense of the theory at hand.

    Instead, we are being burdened to have to go beyond the efforts of the ones who propose (or support) a theory by unending references to do ever unending homework elsewhere. But this to me defeats what the intent of those who assert authority as they should be able to address themselves through their supposed learning. If getting a degree only qualifies you to simply dictate thereafter what is true OR only demonstrate your worth by incessant referencing other material for those you advise to learn on their own, then what function does such a degree serve accept to make you appear to be a glamorized librarian? I think that we need to require that supposed experts should be able to be skilled in always relating directly to the average person by providing the linear arguments from ground up without the emphasis on external referencing except where such references only aid to demonstrate supporting evidence for one's explanation.

    I recognize that such a task is harder to do as it requires more clever thinking to be able to do this skilfully. But this is necessary if we are to be fair to expect lay audiences to actually adapt a sincere faith in the authorities who espouse their areas of expertise and the theories they support.


    Last edited by Scott Mayers; September 12th, 2014 at 01:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    (1) Upon the intensive investment required prior to appropriately determining the truth of some theory, there is a psychological tendency for people to resist going against what they've put so much effort into.
    Yes. People will do almost anything to avoid winning Nobel prizes.


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    I think of math as the specific means to aid the reasoning once things are initially introduced.
    In other words, I don't understand the math.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galileo Galilei
    “Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Cat's Cradle.
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    New crank alert
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    I think of math as the specific means to aid the reasoning once things are initially introduced.
    In other words, I don't understand the math.
    No, not necessarily. My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own. This reminds me of the way that Diderot used an algebraic statement in an argument to attempt to persuade his opponent of the existence of God. He knew that his opponent didn't have a background in this language (math) and so only used it non-sensibly to intimidate his opponent. His opponent walked out of the debate in frustration. Now if this opponent had decided to invest the extra effort to have learned algebra later to justify the standards of apparent qualification, he would only have learned that Diderot was not making any actual argument that proved nor disproved God's existence. As such, his investment in algebra didn't actually get him further to determine the truth or falsity of the theory of God's existence, even if it could be useful for other things.

    So I am suggesting that a model, for instance, be created for the reader to address how and where the formulation is derived step by step. The formulas presented, even where the terms are sometimes defined, lack the associative connection to the reader unless you have already taken the courses that already qualify you for knowing. But then why would you even need this since you expect your readers to already know this. As such, while the math can be useful for other 'equals', it has zero value for the lay reader of which I assume that a site like this is attempting to appeal to at least.

    An alternative is to present a site intent on placing the burden on others to learn to simply by providing reading material and multiple connected links to other sources. Oh wait, wasn't that the intent of Wikipedia?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    New crank alert
    Nice to meet you, Howard. But you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Thanks for alerting me anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    I think of math as the specific means to aid the reasoning once things are initially introduced.
    In other words, I don't understand the math.
    No, not necessarily. My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own. This reminds me of the way that Diderot used an algebraic statement in an argument to attempt to persuade his opponent of the existence of God. He knew that his opponent didn't have a background in this language (math) and so only used it non-sensibly to intimidate his opponent. His opponent walked out of the debate in frustration. Now if this opponent had decided to invest the extra effort to have learned algebra later to justify the standards of apparent qualification, he would only have learned that Diderot was not making any actual argument that proved nor disproved God's existence. As such, his investment in algebra didn't actually get him further to determine the truth or falsity of the theory of God's existence, even if it could be useful for other things.

    So I am suggesting that a model, for instance, be created for the reader to address how and where the formulation is derived step by step. The formulas presented, even where the terms are sometimes defined, lack the associative connection to the reader unless you have already taken the courses that already qualify you for knowing. But then why would you even need this since you expect your readers to already know this. As such, while the math can be useful for other 'equals', it has zero value for the lay reader of which I assume that a site like this is attempting to appeal to at least.

    An alternative is to present a site intent on placing the burden on others to learn to simply by providing reading material and multiple connected links to other sources. Oh wait, wasn't that the intent of Wikipedia?
    Definitely crank, please move away from the main forum. Into Trash, most fitting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    I think of math as the specific means to aid the reasoning once things are initially introduced.
    In other words, I don't understand the math.
    No, not necessarily. My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own. This reminds me of the way that Diderot used an algebraic statement in an argument to attempt to persuade his opponent of the existence of God. He knew that his opponent didn't have a background in this language (math) and so only used it non-sensibly to intimidate his opponent. His opponent walked out of the debate in frustration. Now if this opponent had decided to invest the extra effort to have learned algebra later to justify the standards of apparent qualification, he would only have learned that Diderot was not making any actual argument that proved nor disproved God's existence. As such, his investment in algebra didn't actually get him further to determine the truth or falsity of the theory of God's existence, even if it could be useful for other things.

    So I am suggesting that a model, for instance, be created for the reader to address how and where the formulation is derived step by step. The formulas presented, even where the terms are sometimes defined, lack the associative connection to the reader unless you have already taken the courses that already qualify you for knowing. But then why would you even need this since you expect your readers to already know this. As such, while the math can be useful for other 'equals', it has zero value for the lay reader of which I assume that a site like this is attempting to appeal to at least.

    An alternative is to present a site intent on placing the burden on others to learn to simply by providing reading material and multiple connected links to other sources. Oh wait, wasn't that the intent of Wikipedia?
    Definitely crank, please move away from the main forum. Into Trash, most fitting.
    And what are you 'professing' here? A degree in diversionary tactics? What particularly do you have a problem with what I've stated above?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    .

    As to Relativity, as well as many issues in cosmology or subatomic theory, this is how these things are being imposed upon the lay person in order to even be considered qualified to argue. The popular literature meant to aid in this still more often only presumes that you must believe in the theory because it is the state of conventional authority and emphasizes explaining 'how' the theory fits rather than 'that' the theory is reasonable. In fact, when you witness most lay material (popular books or documentaries), they all only point out how unusual or strangely reality is in light of the proposed theory.
    This. 100% crank. Professional trolling , as well.
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    You only requoted what I stated. If you believe this already speaks for itself, your remarks are merely only demonstrating your own trolling, not mine. If you are being sincere, what particularly did you interpret me to be stating above?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    You only requoted what I stated. If you believe this already speaks for itself, your remarks are merely only demonstrating your own trolling, not mine. If you are being sincere, what particularly did you interpret me to be stating above?
    Your position is : " I (Scott Mayers) do not understand the mathematical foundations of mainstream science, therefore mainstream science is declared invalid until the time the explanations are dumbed down to my level (Scott Mayers)". The classical crank position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers
    My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own.
    Intrinsic to any mathematical statement is a definition of each term within the statement. Given that, would you give an example of any mathematical statement that has insufficient meaning on its own?

    Edit: My apologies to Howard Roark. I extracted the quote of Scott's from Howard's post and deleted the wrong quote tags, thus incorrectly attributing the quote to Howard. Thanks also to Howard for alerting me to this.
    Last edited by John Galt; September 12th, 2014 at 06:45 PM.
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    As to Relativity, as well as many issues in cosmology or subatomic theory, this is how these things are being imposed upon the lay person in order to even be considered qualified to argue. The popular literature meant to aid in this still more often only presumes that you must believe in the theory because it is the state of conventional authority and emphasizes explaining 'how' the theory fits rather than 'that' the theory is reasonable. In fact, when you witness most lay material (popular books or documentaries), they all only point out how unusual or strangely reality is in light of the proposed theory.
    Howard has accused you of trolling. (Moderator Hat: Howard, I thought we had discussed this. Stop it now. There is report function. This has been reported. Leave it at that. Detail any faults you find with Scott's posts if you wish, but do not simply state opinions. That is unacceptable.)
    What has aroused his suspicion may well be the following:
    1. No one imposes anything on the lay person.
    2. We do not allow surgeons to carry out operations without detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology, surgical techniques and the like. We do not encourage lay persons to argue against well founded theories that they are inadequately trained to consider.
    3. On this site you will see posts by Markus Hanke. Markus is an autodidactic layperson who has acquired the knowledge to discuss current theory at a deep level. Ask Markus if he ever felt imposed on.
    4. The popular literature is like a Discovery channel documentary: it is entertainment. Why do you expect more of it.
    5. Why do they point out the unusual in theory? Because they are entertainment.

    Unfortunately these misapprehensions of the function of popular literature are often seen associated with cranks, rather than serious students, and that has rung warning bells for Howard. You would go a long way to setting his mind at ease if you were to acknowledge that you may have the wrong end of the stick on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own.
    Intrinsic to any mathematical statement is a definition of each term within the statement. Given that, would you give an example of any mathematical statement that has insufficient meaning on its own?
    The quote belongs to Scott Mayers, I would never post such stuff. Could you please edit your post? Thank you.
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    Now edited. Again my apologies. Senility takes years of practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Now edited. Again my apologies. Senility takes years of practice.
    :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    You only requoted what I stated. If you believe this already speaks for itself, your remarks are merely only demonstrating your own trolling, not mine. If you are being sincere, what particularly did you interpret me to be stating above?
    Your position is : " I (Scott Mayers) do not understand the mathematical foundations of mainstream science, therefore mainstream science is declared invalid until the time the explanations are dumbed down to my level (Scott Mayers)". The classical crank position.
    Then you didn't interpret what you read. I actually DO understand the foundations of mathematics. My last Calculus marks were in the high eighties and even though I haven't delved into multi-variables, I understand how it is used and can follow it if one gives a justification for it. Also, the lack of using it on a daily basis makes it less easier to be confident using it until you do. I like proof and derivation with the necessary illustrations as do any normal person.

    And where did you interpret that I have declared anything valid or invalid?? I was questioning the process of explaining to a lay audience here. (And I have the greatest respect for science!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers
    My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own.
    Intrinsic to any mathematical statement is a definition of each term within the statement. Given that, would you give an example of any mathematical statement that has insufficient meaning on its own?

    Edit: My apologies to Howard Roark. I extracted the quote of Scott's from Howard's post and deleted the wrong quote tags, thus incorrectly attributing the quote to Howard. Thanks also to Howard for alerting me to this.
    Yes, I can give an example. I'll try to use the "primer" material to show what I mean. Give me time...I gotta go. thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers
    My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own.
    Intrinsic to any mathematical statement is a definition of each term within the statement. Given that, would you give an example of any mathematical statement that has insufficient meaning on its own?

    Edit: My apologies to Howard Roark. I extracted the quote of Scott's from Howard's post and deleted the wrong quote tags, thus incorrectly attributing the quote to Howard. Thanks also to Howard for alerting me to this.
    Yes, I can give an example. I'll try to use the "primer" material to show what I mean. Give me time...I gotta go. thanks.
    We'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    . My last Calculus marks were in the high eighties
    The above contradicts your earlier statement:

    I have personally invested time in teaching myself Calculus a long while ago only to find that the abstract nature of learning the language didn't 'stick' in my head since I had no direct means to relate to it external to the text examples

    Anyways, the acid test is when you will start posting math.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    As to Relativity, as well as many issues in cosmology or subatomic theory, this is how these things are being imposed upon the lay person in order to even be considered qualified to argue. The popular literature meant to aid in this still more often only presumes that you must believe in the theory because it is the state of conventional authority and emphasizes explaining 'how' the theory fits rather than 'that' the theory is reasonable. In fact, when you witness most lay material (popular books or documentaries), they all only point out how unusual or strangely reality is in light of the proposed theory.
    Howard has accused you of trolling. (Moderator Hat: Howard, I thought we had discussed this. Stop it now. There is report function. This has been reported. Leave it at that. Detail any faults you find with Scott's posts if you wish, but do not simply state opinions. That is unacceptable.)
    What has aroused his suspicion may well be the following:
    1. No one imposes anything on the lay person.
    2. We do not allow surgeons to carry out operations without detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology, surgical techniques and the like. We do not encourage lay persons to argue against well founded theories that they are inadequately trained to consider.
    3. On this site you will see posts by Markus Hanke. Markus is an autodidactic layperson who has acquired the knowledge to discuss current theory at a deep level. Ask Markus if he ever felt imposed on.
    4. The popular literature is like a Discovery channel documentary: it is entertainment. Why do you expect more of it.
    5. Why do they point out the unusual in theory? Because they are entertainment.

    Unfortunately these misapprehensions of the function of popular literature are often seen associated with cranks, rather than serious students, and that has rung warning bells for Howard. You would go a long way to setting his mind at ease if you were to acknowledge that you may have the wrong end of the stick on this one.
    I was looking through the above descriptions (primers) and am impressed. I will be taking some good time to try to read them all. My contention is a general one that I've seen in various places prior to coming here as well as some people I've met in person with regards to those who have qualifications. It also includes the popular media (books, documentaries) because I find that these are relevant for trying to appeal to the lay person, something that all of these (science forums included), is meaning to help improve.

    I didn't find anything 'wrong' with the primers here. What I think is missing in most intro materials is a motivational background to aid in helping the average person be able to bridge the everyday experiences to the full understanding of such theories like Relativity. To me, I do NOT believe that one needs to approach such understanding by first taking four years of university, even though this is more than helpful. This is what is imposed upon the lay person as Howard's initial response above is an example of the types of responses the average person would receive for merely beginning to state an opinion. If the intent of those in the know is meant to help others, we can't begin by insulting them, no matter how prevalent such unreasonable 'cracks' exist out there. You'd be surprised to discover that many of those 'quacks' are often derived by some type of abuses they've experienced in which others have diminished them with too much ridicule and close up before they are able to feel that they could let down their walls and open up. This is the very reason why many people adhere to faulty thinking that prevents them from being able to understand things as simple as evolution.

    As to (2) above, I am focusing on the way that authorities within science who are intending to spread scientific understanding to the various levels of society, not to those who use their profession elsewhere. I am assuming that the people here with background wisdom are here to help others with something they feel others lack. (Surgeons of the less-endowed minds?) As such, it defeats this if you only demand that people first do their homework and catch up on their own first in order to discuss. Otherwise, such individuals would no longer need to bother wasting their time coming to a site like this....unless, of course, they feel that they too are now qualified to play the role of 'teacher' so that they too might be able to encourage others to catch up elsewhere rather than waste their time with dealing with "cracks" themselves. If this is a site simply meant to bring others who are already qualified, then this is not a public science forum but a specialized one for professional scientists only, intended to discuss ideas among themselves.

    If NOT, then you have to accept that a wide variety of people from various backgrounds are going to be here, many of whom should actually appear more inadequate than those who are with better wisdom. And if you, who believe you have better wisdom to help, than the onus is on you to adjust how you act and react towards others in ways that don't intimidate and ridicule. Nor should you attempt to force such people into 'respecting your authority' as it only acts to snub them and close their minds to listening. But this also means to be willing to be more humble with those who even appear to be the most nuts, and recognize that you too might be able to learn something from them.

    I notice that you have a section called, "trash". To me, this is a dunce-cap section of which those professionally in education as well as politics have learned long ago is destructive to the process of appropriate learning. The political equivalent is the forced ghettos of undesirable peoples of which history has always shown only leads to more problems.

    So the reason I address these things up front is in the hope to appeal to those who believe (or KNOW) they are qualified to try to appeal to the lay people or others in general (like others from different fields of knowledge) who could truly use your wisdom by altering the ways you proceed in communicating. It is more about pedagogy than anything. I wasn't able the fortune to go to university and know that it is likely that many here are either self-motivated to learning OR that they just have not begun or completed their first years of university yet. As such, we need to be encouraged to be a part of the process that demonstrates the useful functions of science with the equal respect you might give each other. But some of the things that I have raised in this thread are intended to point out how it more often appears that this is being defeated by the very authorities in all mediums of science (including those 'entertainment' science programs as well as forums like this) because of the egotistical nature of some/many authorities to feel that they have to command (or dictate) upon the peasantry of the stupid people everywhere. But if this keeps up, instead of promoting skeptical and critical thinking skills that science needs more of, you evolve towards its destruction, even within your own ranks.

    I could probably write a book on this and so prefer to just leave it at that for now.

    @Howard

    I studied Calculus on my own years ago and only recently took some classes on it to formally prepare for University. I finished those only to find that I don't think that I feel I am fit for the classroom setting at this time. The most popular method of teaching through most institutions is suited best for those who come in with blank slated and young minds initially. I missed the boat on this when I was younger for complex reasons and so evolved to a different way of learning. ("auto-didactic") As such, I learned in a foundational approach and across various interests dependent on how things connect together in my understanding at the time I question them.

    I am certainly unconventional, but I am no quack.
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    But this is necessary if we are to be fair to expect lay audiences to actually adapt a sincere faith in the authorities who espouse their areas of expertise and the theories they support.
    I'm not sure if I agree with this. Physics is not a matter of faith, it either works or it doesn't. A lay person does not necessarily need to understand the intricate theories behind their in-car GPS devices for it to be able to get them to where they want to go; they don't need to know quantum electrodynamics to understand how the circuits work, they don't need to know relativity to understand time dilation...they only need to know that the device can safely get them to their destination, and that will make them have faith in it, and in the physics behind it. So I somehow fail to see your point, to be honest.

    I think that we need to require that supposed experts should be able to be skilled in always relating directly to the average person by providing the linear arguments from ground up without the emphasis on external referencing except where such references only aid to demonstrate supporting evidence for one's explanation.
    I agree to some extent, but there are limits. Some areas of modern physics are simply too far outside our domain of everyday experience because they deal with high energy regimes that are not part of the human world; for example, most of quantum physics is too counterintuitive to be simply build from the ground for a layperson, but that doesn't preclude it being the best and most suitable model to describe the small scale, as evidenced by experiment and observation.
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    What I think is missing in most intro materials is a motivational background to aid in helping the average person be able to bridge the everyday experiences to the full understanding of such theories like Relativity.
    This is possible for most classical theories - for example, Special Relativity can be understood as the specific relationship that relatively moving observers have to have between the measurements they take that ensures that they all experience the same laws of physics. All aspects of the theory can be developed from this simple statement. Such popular descriptions and derivations work because this particular theory is fairly close to our everyday world - GPS works because of it, old cathode ray tube TVs work because of it, gold is actually gold in colour because of it etc etc. However, the same is not true for other things such quantum chromodynamics, or gravitational radiation, or quantum gravity. These are too far removed from human experience to be easily visualisable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    New crank alert
    Nice to meet you, Howard. But you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Thanks for alerting me anyways.
    I'm beginning to like Scott.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers
    My point is that you don't begin to prove a theory by throwing out a mathematical statement as if the statement itself has sufficient meaning to its own.
    Intrinsic to any mathematical statement is a definition of each term within the statement. Given that, would you give an example of any mathematical statement that has insufficient meaning on its own?

    Edit: My apologies to Howard Roark. I extracted the quote of Scott's from Howard's post and deleted the wrong quote tags, thus incorrectly attributing the quote to Howard. Thanks also to Howard for alerting me to this.
    Have we finally got proof you are a human not a god?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    But this is necessary if we are to be fair to expect lay audiences to actually adapt a sincere faith in the authorities who espouse their areas of expertise and the theories they support.

    I'm not sure if I agree with this. Physics is not a matter of faith, it either works or it doesn't. A lay person does not necessarily need to understand the intricate theories behind their in-car GPS devices for it to be able to get them to where they want to go; they don't need to know quantum electrodynamics to understand how the circuits work, they don't need to know relativity to understand time dilation...they only need to know that the device can safely get them to their destination, and that will make them have faith in it, and in the physics behind it. So I somehow fail to see your point, to be honest.

    I'm a skeptic and know how others often loathe the word, "faith" from experience. My definition of it is "any confidence in someone or something that you have for some practical purpose." This can be done 'blindly' as a gamble or with a belief in one's certainty of the things they have 'faith' in. You're assuming the same intentional meaning of those who place confidence in something or someone without justification. It might be too hard to get into the details of this without dwelling into epistemology. I mentioned, "faith in the authorities" of people, not reality, such as the physics of nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I think that we need to require that supposed experts should be able to be skilled in always relating directly to the average person by providing the linear arguments from ground up without the emphasis on external referencing except where such references only aid to demonstrate supporting evidence for one's explanation.

    I agree to some extent, but there are limits. Some areas of modern physics are simply too far outside our domain of everyday experience because they deal with high energy regimes that are not part of the human world; for example, most of quantum physics is too counterintuitive to be simply build from the ground for a layperson, but that doesn't preclude it being the best and most suitable model to describe the small scale, as evidenced by experiment and observation.

    Fair enough. But what is "counterintuitive" to one may not be for another. Intuitive-wise, I completely understand most of these issues and can see them without difficulty. I don't see things like Relativity nor Quantum Mechanics hard to understand at all, intuitively. But my approach is different by whatever experiences I've gone through to understand it in the way I do. The harder part is trying to prove one's intuitions (or counter-intuitions). Math is essential. But math is foundationally an extension of all the logic that must be applied in science. This includes things like linguistics and its subtopics like semantics, grammar, etc, dealing with how humans communicate their reasoning. Math supports the human models that we use to represent the variables, constants, and formulation of an argument that a model of reality is agreed to. What often gets ignored is how the interpretations of what the models are and how the problems that motivate them are created prior to the math.
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    Let me give you an example:


    Einstein explained how he was motivated intuitively to think about light. He imagined if he could travel alongside a beam of light at the same speed. (thought experiment) He wondered if he were to be facing a mirror in front of him whether he would be able to see his own reflection. He reasoned first that he shouldn't be able to see it since light would have to go even faster than his present speed for his image to even reach the surface of the mirror to reflect. At this point, he had to be assuming that the speed of light is fixed with respect to the inertial frame of the original light source that he is 'riding' on, not himself. Thus, the source of light he would need if he were to see a reflection within the mirror would have to originate in his frame, if even possible.


    So he further hypothesized: Imagine the condition that I still could see that image. If this condition (hypothesis) was true, it would suggest that light must be sent from his perspective (a source riding with him). But still, this would imply that at least something would still have to go faster than the speed of light, at least relative to the source beam he was riding on. One way to 'fix' this is to assume that time itself is dilated such that as anyone or anything that increases their inertial speed with respect to some point in space, its time 'slows' with respect to that origin.


    This is the foundational logic prior to the math or real-life experiments that went into supporting special (and later, general) relativity.


    Thus, the first stage of theorizing here is to take out what the presumptions are. Here, we see that he assumes, (a) that the speed of light is constant, and (b) that anything within different frames of interia will always experience the same 'physical' appearance.


    (a) at the time of Einstein had good justification for this experimentally. (b) was not.


    However, all of what followed to formally present his theory must be based on both. Instead, the way it was proceeded was to redress the models to fit according to the Lorentz formulation (this can be derived with geotrig with the model of something like the Michelson/Morley set up used to try to measure the ether.) This gives you the math that aids in predicting and testing future reality, especially with regards to (a) above.


    (b), however, had to wait until they could test things like a clock in different inertial frames. Because this requires accelerating such devices prior to reaching different frames of inertia, in order to measure, it had to wait for a generalized theory to develop the math necessary to predict how things could be measured in such experiments. Assuming the math is all valid without needing to go into it specifically here, assume we 'trust' the later flight experiments which actually did demonstrate perfect support for this theory. (I do.) So next, is this supportive proof that (b) is correct and that the theory is sound? Certainly.


    But what if you have another possible interpretation of the original thought experiment above that shows that not only (b) can be false, but yet that the remaining means to measure everything including the math remains as is and unchanged?


    For instance, instead of how in the thought experiment which derived Einstein to presume that TIME itself acts as an abstract entity that causes such an appearance of (b), we reverse it such that the effects of all the changes that could occur within that frame creates the illusion of TIME -- that time still remains a measure of change (like a verb) and NOT an entity (like a noun). Now, everything still fits that follows in the measures but the key difference is to recognize that should you actually ride such a beam as Einstein did, you wouldn't actually exist to be able to do this experiment. You wouldn't 'see' any reflection because your body that you observe from in this frame is 'frozen' with respect to itself. That is, you would still not see the reflection in the mirror because the physical reality at such a frame of reference is NOT possible. Einstein recognized this later but no one seems to have connected the significance in the change of perspective. In fact, later, Einstein asserted that this would not be possible because as any mass approaches the speed of light, it would increase infinitely.


    Thus, the physical reality at that frame cannot even be measurable...that (b) above is no longer relevant. You might argue that it is the approach alone that matters, right? But this still can be challenged in that unless we can show that some complex conscious entity, like the set of all the atoms of a clock (or person), could always continue to be accelerated to increasingly higher frames of inertia and then be returned without any change in the atomic structure of the clock (or person). This is what seems doubtful and I think even science should already have plenty of actual experience to show that even things moving at higher relative speeds in space will be destroyed at higher and higher speeds. If it could reach that speed of light, the matter would lose all information that it was what it was before as it would have to be completely transformed to energy in the direction of its travel.
    I used this from my own rational intuitive approach to show how the nature of the logic prior to requiring using math is even more necessary to understanding Relativity (as with many other areas of science) and the issues of contention for which other alternative views can reside reasonably and still remain scientific. In my example, the math is irrelevant as I have no contention with it, whether I know it or not, and nor is the experiments used to prove the theory because such experiments already exist and still conform to the same predictions on this alternate perspective.


    Some assume that the alternatives must require some new experiment to grant it credibility or to dislodge the old. Personally, this just reduces to presuming that whoever or however the first people came up with any theory that works, it should take precedence. Perhaps this might be practical. But then this only raises the question why we would dare resist those other beliefs of even earlier times where they still 'fit' for all practical purposes. This certainly is the rationale of many within religious circles and uses the same type of reasoning to conserve their particular theories regardless.


    [Note that I could suggest a new experiment here that could demonstrate my take on this is correct and that the original one based on (b) above is false. For instance, take various matter, do what it takes to accelerate it as close to the frame of reference of light speed, and then decelerate it back to the original frame of reference. If the object remains exactly as it was prior to that, then we'd have a counter-proof that shows I am wrong and that (b) is correct. I don't think this even needs to be done since it has been done already in varying ways. For instance, when fission occurs, the products of it are not able to naturally recombine upon returning to its initial frame of reference but requires fusion to bring it back in combination to its original form. That is, the nature of acceleration alters the physics relative to that inertial frame. And this makes sense. If acceleration didn't alter the perception of things, then not even gravity differences could be felt differently at different frames of reference. While someone living in higher altitudes can learn to "adjust" to living at such higher altitudes, this altitude really DOES affect their reality.]


    Returning to the topic at question, does this example not show how you can intellectually operate on scientific matters even without doing the math used to aid it? In fact the philosophical and general logical factors precede the mathematical arguments. That is, the MATH being used within science does not actually prove a theory (except within math itself) but rather aids as a formal means to measure and predict what might occur elsewhere or in the future. I do believe that it is possible that you can approach this in this way. But then it lies within proving all of reality apart from experiments. As such, the area of any theories of origins in reality is still open to scrutiny without attending to the procedures of measuring them empirically. You can't have it both ways. Either you allow people to discuss theories (even if they don't fit within the empirical proofs, even if they are nuts) OR separate the theories from the baggage of the extended processes of the rest of science to back the theories up in practice. For many of you, you would prefer to keep the theories backed by PRACTICAL science separate from the philosophy without. This is fine. But as I've shown by example above, had I been required to appeal to learning all the practical methodology to be considered credible to argue scientifically, if this information can actually mean something to you, why should it matter? It all still helps the scientific process of discovery in the end.
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    In most cases "intuitive" just means it complies with our preconceptions, and most of our preconceptions are learned after we are born.
    Leonard Susskind in his first The Theoretical Minimum lecture makes the point we are hardwired to deal with space in three dimensions.
    It is within the first ten minutes I think. (I just checked, he starts talking about it at 5 minutes 30 seconds)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJfw6lDlTuA

    So, I am not sure if that is true, but he uses it to point out that imagining other multidimensional spaces is very difficult and we are forced to rely on the math to deal with them instead of our ability to visualize the situation.

    However, I do see what you mean Scott and agree that the theories we make describe our paradigm of the world and the maths describe our theories. Without the paradigm to inform the theory there is nothing more that a person can say about anything.

    The question that concerns me then becomes the question of how we can bootstrap ourselves into a new paradigm without requiring somebody who is borderline insane to lead us into it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    I mentioned, "faith in the authorities" of people, not reality, such as the physics of nature.
    I must admit that I don't really understand the point you are trying to make. Theories of physics are a description of reality, and they are subject to the scientific method - you extract numerical predictions from them, then test them against experiment and observation. There is no need to have "faith" in any authority figures, I think all that is required is to test whether or not our models correspond to reality reasonably well or not.

    But what is "counterintuitive" to one may not be for another.
    Yes, I completely agree.

    What often gets ignored is how the interpretations of what the models are and how the problems that motivate them are created prior to the math.
    Again, I agree to some extent. Take for example Special Relativity - it can be approached by just blindly memorising Lorentz transformation formulas, or it can be approached by realising that Lorentz transformations are just what leaves the metric - and hence the laws of physics - invariant when going from one frame to another. The latter gives a far more intuitive understanding of the situation. That is the road I am trying to take as well, but it is not always easy to convey this to a layperson - funny I should say that, since I am only a layperson myself

    Returning to the topic at question, does this example not show how you can intellectually operate on scientific matters even without doing the math used to aid it?
    Yes, you can do that in most circumstances. Sometimes though intuition will fail you - for example, there is a particular solution to the Einstein equations called the Kinnersley photon rocket. A basic understanding of the physics of gravitational waves will lead you to intuitively believe that this accelerating rocket should emit gravitational radiation, by virtue of there being a non-zero quadrupole moment in the system. However, when you do the ( very complicated ) maths, you will find that the radiation flux for a distant observer is in fact exactly zero, contrary to intuition. So caution needs to be employed when it comes to intuition !
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    Thanks for the responses. I know that this (or these) subjects are not easy to deal with. We are evolved necessarily to survive upon a relatively lessor ability to attend to things using formal logical processes and more on those that attend to inductive ones within our environments. Ironically, this type of thinking is still 'formally' logical with respect to our reality, but is locally flawed with respect to the fact that we cannot use the same logic to determine things at various 'distances' consciously [such as the linear speed limits of things like the speed of light to 'communicate' information instantaneously].

    If I may come across relatively 'nuts' at times on the extreme areas of science, I hope you recognize that this is not out of disrespect of the subject or those who contribute to this effort. From experience of others who may hold weird beliefs, I often discover that there is actually some good rationale in their approach and more often has to relate to their personal experiences and the troubles that they have communicating them. As such, I find it frustrating to see how we sometimes harm those who can actually contribute even in some small way to getting us further in better reasoning that can help us improve science and philosophy with respect to humans. Although there certainly are those out there who intend harm, we have to at least respect those who are deluded but are still 'intellectual' with respect to such potential delusions. It might be better to try to at least let those we might find relatively unusually odd to speak even if we can't tolerate it and be more compassionate towards them rather than insulting them. That's why I disagree with the "trash" section on this site.

    Any suggestions I argue to present material is only to help to add any 'sticky' posts that might help to foster an understanding for a general audience and not to take away what is already there.

    If I have any more to say on this, I'll try to use the 'philosophy' (or education or scientific philosophy where I can find it) section as I think these things relate more to those. As to 'relativity', while I might differ in certain interpretations or approach, I don't disagree in principle.
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    There is a scientific method, the core of which is very well established and whose value has been thoroughly demonstrated. The individuals who you speak of on the fringe areas and within pseudoscience ignore this method, while sometimes paying lip service to it.

    If they do this out of ignorance and are willing to be educated I would welcome them with open arms. If they do it out of arrogance, or reject education, then they do not - in my view - deserve compassion.
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    What is "who [I] speak of on the fringe areas..."? I only speak for myself, thank you. As for methodology in science, this is a political issue of convention among majority pluralities of participating members of some given community. This is a practice. While I might agree, this is only a humanly democratic vote; human democracy doesn't dictate the reality of nature external to humans. That is, truth is NOT a democracy!

    If you are merely stating a preference for some standard as a present paradigm, that's fine. Personally, I think that it has evaded logic for appearances since it has divorced certain functions of logic for practice ONLY (the acceptance of contradiction via authority without proof of rationality through intellectual logical inspection of 'contradiction' within the explanations). The clearest example is "superposition"within QM since it merely grants the perception of contradiction but 'settles' with it instead of questioning the nature of its irrationality. This attitude only justifies why those who argue within religious circles that 'contradictions' of their god(s) are as equally reasonable. For some reason, some of you cannot seem to be willing (or able?) to see this distinction without an actual difference. The first rule of science is "consistency". You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first and assume that what you might be witnessing (the empirical perception only) could be at fault in those explanations.

    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me. This is the same irrational reason why it took so long to discover the useful function of zero, as a number, for so long. I feel like I'm still in some type of 'Dark Age' in this respect. I don't know if this is simply political, cultural, or sincere stupidity (undeserving of compassion?). Either way, I'm still in the minority here except for those who take a step back to the logic involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    The first rule of science is "consistency". You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first
    Whut?
    Logic doesn't dictate science: observation does.

    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me.
    Uh, what, again?
    It has been observed to be both wave and particle.
    Nature is not required to conform to our logic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    As such, I find it frustrating to see how we sometimes harm those who can actually contribute even in some small way to getting us further in better reasoning that can help us improve science and philosophy with respect to humans.
    Your posts are not "contributing" in any fashion. Stop deluding yourself, you aren't doing any science. You do not realize it but in reality, you are actually denying the scientific method.
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    That was a decent rant Scott, but I would suggest that the people who are leaders in the research are aware of the problem of perception and that is why they use the maths for modeling and regard the rest as interpretation of results.
    It has lead to a not very strange at all situation where there are different interpretations of the same experimental results.
    It also presents the problem of our lack of direct access to whatever the real instead of the ideal might be.

    Your choice of wave particle duality is not a bad example of the problem. You can knock yourself out trying to find a new paradigm that allows the photon to be both a particle and a wave, or you can ignore it and just calculate instead.

    As an end note, there are no paradoxes in nature, nature is just what it is. The paradoxes are in our minds instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    What is "who [I] speak of on the fringe areas..."? I only speak for myself, thank you.
    Really. You speak only for yourself? Then why did you post this?

    From experience of others who may hold weird beliefs, I often discover that there is actually some good rationale in their approach and more often has to relate to their personal experiences and the troubles that they have communicating them. As such, I find it frustrating to see how we sometimes harm those who can actually contribute even in some small way to getting us further in better reasoning that can help us improve science and philosophy with respect to humans.
    That appears very much as if you are speaking on behalf of others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    As for methodology in science, this is a political issue of convention among majority pluralities of participating members of some given community. This is a practice. While I might agree, this is only a humanly democratic vote; human democracy doesn't dictate the reality of nature external to humans. That is, truth is NOT a democracy!
    Science does not deal with truth. The scientific method is, as you say, a practice that has evolved through natural selection. i.e. it works.

    Might something else work better? I should be amazed if it did not. Will this new improved technique arise through ongoing modification of the existing method, or through a major change of process? I am neither informed enough, nor smart enough to say. What I am informed and smart enough to say is that your comments are empty of relevance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    If you are merely stating a preference for some standard as a present paradigm, that's fine. Personally, I think that it has evaded logic for appearances since it has divorced certain functions of logic for practice ONLY (the acceptance of contradiction via authority without proof of rationality through intellectual logical inspection of 'contradiction' within the explanations). The clearest example is "superposition"within QM since it merely grants the perception of contradiction but 'settles' with it instead of questioning the nature of its irrationality. This attitude only justifies why those who argue within religious circles that 'contradictions' of their god(s) are as equally reasonable.
    General question: do you also write in English? You should give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    For some reason, some of you cannot seem to be willing (or able?) to see this distinction without an actual difference. The first rule of science is "consistency". You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first and assume that what you might be witnessing (the empirical perception only) could be at fault in those explanations.
    Scientists can be blind to failings in their experimental methods, or to inbuilt biases. The scientific method, as currently employed, overcomes these potential problems. Every scientist knows that the explanation they are building is a provisional one and always will be, until it is changed for the next provisional explanation. So what you have written here is simply wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me. This is the same irrational reason why it took so long to discover the useful function of zero, as a number, for so long. I feel like I'm still in some type of 'Dark Age' in this respect. I don't know if this is simply political, cultural, or sincere stupidity (undeserving of compassion?). Either way, I'm still in the minority here except for those who take a step back to the logic involved.
    The reasoning has been challenged. The challenge has been met. I have no difficulty thinking of light as both a wave and particle at the same time. Just because you are unable to do this is scant reason to question the entire method.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me.
    The clearest example is "superposition"within QM since it merely grants the perception of contradiction but 'settles' with it instead of questioning the nature of its irrationality.
    I don't understand how that is a contradiction or in any way irrational, to be perfectly honest. Wave-particle duality is not some kind of "deduction" or "perception", but an empirical fact that can easily be verified experimentally and observationally, and so is superposition of states. It is a contradiction only if one assumes that the small-scale world ( sizes on order of atoms, subatomic particles, and below ) must be subject to the same rules, laws and categories as the classical world of human experience; this is a logical fallacy that demonstrably does not hold. The small-scale world is simply not classical, and quantum objects are neither waves nor particles, but in a new category that simply does not exist in our human macroscopic world ( well, actually it does, but the associated effects are negligibly small ). Saying that all domains of the universe must behave according to the Newtonian mechanics we as humans witness every day is trying to afford the human mind and scale some special status in nature - a highly irrational thought, in my mind, since there simply is no reason for the world to work that way, it is easily demonstrated that in fact it doesn't. Instead, the universe is inherently quantum in nature, and Newtonian mechanics is only an approximation to this at large scales; at still larger scales then it is again superseded by General Relativity.

    the acceptance of contradiction via authority without proof of rationality
    There is no requirement of "rationality" for a model; it either gives correct predictions, or it doesn't, and that is tested with the scientific method. That is all there is to it. Even if a model's predictions are not completely correct, it may still be a useful approximation, as for example Newtonian gravity is a good approximation to General Relativity in the weak field domain.

    Either way, I'm still in the minority here except for those who take a step back to the logic involved.
    Physics is about what model describes the world around us best. For example, wave-particle duality - and by extension quantum mechanics as a whole - is the model that best fits the available empirical data for how microscopic particles behave; one can extract predictions from it, and test those against experiment and observation, and finds that it fits the data. Whether we as humans think that the model "makes sense to us" or not is entirely irrelevant here. This is why we have the scientific method, because it helps us cut out the human bias. For example, the concept of invisible and immaterial forces acting instantaneously across vast distances like magic is irrational and illogical - and yet, Newtonian mechanics has proven very useful as a description of the classical, non-relativistic world. No one is questioning its usefulness, but if you take a step back and start thinking about it more, you will see that it is not any more or less "irrational" than any other model of physics.

    You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first and assume that what you might be witnessing (the empirical perception only) could be at fault in those explanations.
    I'm sorry, but that is not how physics works. In physics you start with the empirical data, then you build models around that to explain it. To stay with the aforementioned example - send a stream of photons straight onto a detector screen, and you get a single dot where they all hit. Send the stream through a double slit, and you get an interference pattern. This is repeatable and works every single time. You can now either start philosophising how the dot and the interference pattern are "at fault" ( whatever that is supposed to mean ) because the conclusion does not appeal to you, or you can start by accepting the empirical and testable fact that the same stream sometimes behaves like a stream of particles and sometimes like a series of wave fronts, and build a model around this observation to describe and explain it. Physics does precisely that - it makes a model that allows us to describe the data, and it allows us to calculate everything there is to this observation. That is physics - it builds models to describe the world around us, no more and no less. We know that model works because we can subject it to the scientific method. Everything else is philosophy, which may in some instances have a bearing on physics, but is by and large a separate domain of enquiry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    That is, truth is NOT a democracy!
    No, truth in the context of physics is empirical data. Truth is what you physically measure with clocks, rods, accelerometers and detectors. That is why it forms the starting point and the standard against which models in physics are evaluated, rather than human "logic". The logic part comes in when we put a mathematical formalism around our models, because mathematics is just a system of axioms, and their logical abstractions and development into higher conjectures. For example, the assertion that quantum mechanics is illogical and irrational is a meaningless claim, since the mathematics ( just elementary calculus and linear algebra ) that describe the model are perfectly self-consistent. You start with an empirical observation, then describe that observation with a system of logical axioms, aka mathematics. In my mind it really doesn't get any more rational than that, but then again I am a nerd, so maybe that's just me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    The first rule of science is "consistency". You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first
    Whut?
    Logic doesn't dictate science: observation does.
    No, they are interdependent upon each other. But unless you presume that only the egocentric human capacity to judge reality through observations acts to 'force' reality to be true or not, the truth is that even our human perceptions to observe belongs to the laws of physics and these laws are merely constructs of a logic that precedes humanity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me.
    Uh, what, again?
    It has been observed to be both wave and particle.
    Nature is not required to conform to our logic.
    Yes, but this is presumed by most scientists (or pretended ones) as contradictory. I'm not the one who finds this odd nor unusual. It is the discovery of this through the slit experiments which derived the faulty presumption of 'superposition' as a phenomena that instantaneously translates information in space simultaneously at any distance which goes against Relativity and the speed of light! I've already described how this is likely (and more rationally explained) by presuming that some origin lies between the measures of these inversely opposing positions. Instead, the state of 'belief' is that this phenomena is indistinguishable from a miracle. Just as an ancient 'observer' really could observe that someone could appear to 'walk on water', considering how this can be replicated by a magician's tricks, you are supporting the contention that we must prefer the absurdly mysterious conclusion of interpretations in a miraculous way rather than to question how this could be explained in more realistic ways. And then you place the onus on those who see such phenomena as more reasonably being able to be explained by altering one's perspective in a normal everyday explanation (non-miraculously) to be required to prove that your BELIEF is false.

    This is NOT about the math either. [not that this should matter to you since you just proved that you place appearances (observations) above and prior to the math (logic)] This is severely hypocritical.

    Also note that light has only been interpreted as a wave and a particle distinctly as this is dependent upon the different perspectives. That was what the rationale of the motive behind the Uncertainty Principle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Roark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    As such, I find it frustrating to see how we sometimes harm those who can actually contribute even in some small way to getting us further in better reasoning that can help us improve science and philosophy with respect to humans.
    Your posts are not "contributing" in any fashion. Stop deluding yourself, you aren't doing any science. You do not realize it but in reality, you are actually denying the scientific method.
    You're merely stating a theory of your own here of which you are not willing to prove. Can you provide your idea of scientific method here to prove how you are so certain of your charge against me? Or, is it just possible that you are only deluding yourself here?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    No, they are interdependent upon each other.
    Yeah?

    But unless you presume that only the egocentric human capacity to judge reality through observations acts to 'force' reality to be true or not, the truth is that even our human perceptions to observe belongs to the laws of physics and these laws are merely constructs of a logic that precedes humanity!
    Largely irrelevant to your point.

    Yes, but this is presumed by most scientists (or pretended ones) as contradictory.
    How so?

    It is the discovery of this through the slit experiments which derived the faulty presumption of 'superposition' as a phenomena that instantaneously translates information in space simultaneously at any distance which goes against Relativity and the speed of light!
    Apart from your unsupported assertion that "superposition is a faulty presumption" isn't this a good example of observation confounding logic?

    I've already described how this is likely (and more rationally explained) by presuming that some origin lies between the measures of these inversely opposing positions. Instead, the state of 'belief' is that this phenomena is indistinguishable from a miracle. Just as an ancient 'observer' really could observe that someone could appear to 'walk on water', considering how this can be replicated by a magician's tricks, you are supporting the contention that we must prefer the absurdly mysterious conclusion of interpretations in a miraculous way rather than to question how this could be explained in more realistic ways. And then you place the onus on those who see such phenomena as more reasonably being able to be explained by altering one's perspective in a normal everyday explanation (non-miraculously) to be required to prove that your BELIEF is false.
    So essentially you're saying that rather than accept the (multiple and numerous) observations we've made we should believe that your "explanation" is "more correct"?

    This is NOT about the math either. [not that this should matter to you since you just proved that you place appearances (observations) above and prior to the math (logic)] This is severely hypocritical.
    I see you have severe trouble with comprehension.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    That was a decent rant Scott, but I would suggest that the people who are leaders in the research are aware of the problem of perception and that is why they use the maths for modeling and regard the rest as interpretation of results.
    It has lead to a not very strange at all situation where there are different interpretations of the same experimental results.
    It also presents the problem of our lack of direct access to whatever the real instead of the ideal might be.

    Your choice of wave particle duality is not a bad example of the problem. You can knock yourself out trying to find a new paradigm that allows the photon to be both a particle and a wave, or you can ignore it and just calculate instead.

    As an end note, there are no paradoxes in nature, nature is just what it is. The paradoxes are in our minds instead.
    I think you are correctly thinking here except that you are placing the faith that others really DO address this. While this may be occurring, this is not how we are being presented the theories. I'm only hypothesizing here: if the philosophy behind the science via the theories are actually in the 'know', perhaps they are purposely presenting it oddly for political reasons only. Just as it might favor the ancients to present the 'miracles of Jesus' as real upon the political authorities upon their explanation of the phenomena as due to a 'God', is it not just as possible for our political authorities (including the educational institute authorities) to dictate WHAT is the 'normal' interpretation of "observation" upon the masses in order to protect their interests?

    As to paradoxes, I also agree. At least, I think that if something within nature incurs a potential 'contradiction' it resolves it in a way that it is NOT contradictory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    What is "who [I] speak of on the fringe areas..."? I only speak for myself, thank you.
    Really. You speak only for yourself? Then why did you post this?

    From experience of others who may hold weird beliefs, I often discover that there is actually some good rationale in their approach and more often has to relate to their personal experiences and the troubles that they have communicating them. As such, I find it frustrating to see how we sometimes harm those who can actually contribute even in some small way to getting us further in better reasoning that can help us improve science and philosophy with respect to humans.
    That appears very much as if you are speaking on behalf of others.
    You're confusing different issues. I don't defend anyone's particular beliefs other than my own. The above quote referenced that I support those to be allowed to communicate their own views even if they appear irrational by others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    If you are merely stating a preference for some standard as a present paradigm, that's fine. Personally, I think that it has evaded logic for appearances since it has divorced certain functions of logic for practice ONLY (the acceptance of contradiction via authority without proof of rationality through intellectual logical inspection of 'contradiction' within the explanations). The clearest example is "superposition"within QM since it merely grants the perception of contradiction but 'settles' with it instead of questioning the nature of its irrationality. This attitude only justifies why those who argue within religious circles that 'contradictions' of their god(s) are as equally reasonable.
    General question: do you also write in English? You should give it a try.
    I can't help that you might not be able to interpret the way I write unless I get more familiar with your individual vocabulary base and can (and will) try where I am able to. This is just an accident of our differences of communication experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    For some reason, some of you cannot seem to be willing (or able?) to see this distinction without an actual difference. The first rule of science is "consistency". You break this rule if you simply 'trust' that all that you witness is precisely what you interpret things to be at present rather than accept the logic first and assume that what you might be witnessing (the empirical perception only) could be at fault in those explanations.
    Scientists can be blind to failings in their experimental methods, or to inbuilt biases. The scientific method, as currently employed, overcomes these potential problems. Every scientist knows that the explanation they are building is a provisional one and always will be, until it is changed for the next provisional explanation. So what you have written here is simply wrong.
    I am not against the scientific method. But this is only functional for most of science that we can deal with locally. I only question how this is being applied in isolation to issues on the fringes (the very large or very small) because in these areas, little respect is given to relate the theoretical explanations in terms of local reality without drifting into Science Fiction fantasies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    How one, for instance, goes from judging the perception that light is both a wave and a particle is contradictory AND accepting it without challenging their reasoning is beyond me. This is the same irrational reason why it took so long to discover the useful function of zero, as a number, for so long. I feel like I'm still in some type of 'Dark Age' in this respect. I don't know if this is simply political, cultural, or sincere stupidity (undeserving of compassion?). Either way, I'm still in the minority here except for those who take a step back to the logic involved.
    The reasoning has been challenged. The challenge has been met. I have no difficulty thinking of light as both a wave and particle at the same time. Just because you are unable to do this is scant reason to question the entire method.
    Your statement of me is false. I already see light as being a wave and a particle without difficulty. It was the scientific theorists who felt otherwise. Why else would QM conclude that observation of an event can actually alter the reality of something?
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  47. #46  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I can't help that you might not be able to interpret the way I write unless I get more familiar with your individual vocabulary base and can (and will) try where I am able to. This is just an accident of our differences of communication experiences.
    Yes. That is true. I learned how to write clearly. You did not.

    Seriously, Steve, there are glimpses of interesting thoughts in your posts, but you currently lack the ability to express these concisely and precisely. I am sure the words mean something you when you commit them to writing, but that meaning is not coming across. That is primarily your responsibility as the writer. I have discharged mine as the reader.

    Edit: My thanks to Red Panda for pointing out that Steve's name is really Scott.
    Last edited by John Galt; September 16th, 2014 at 07:58 AM.
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Why else would QM conclude that observation of an event can actually alter the reality of something?
    The reality is a superposition of all possible quantum states; an observation selects one particular state out of all possibilities, and it does not "alter" anything.

    I only question how this is being applied in isolation to issues on the fringes (the very large or very small) because in these areas, little respect is given to relate the theoretical explanations in terms of local reality
    That doesn't make any sense to me. The very largest scales are global by definition, and quantum physics on the very small scales is demonstrably non-local in nature. In both cases the scientific method still holds true.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    ... While this may be occurring, this is not how we are being presented the theories. I'm only hypothesizing here: if the philosophy behind the science via the theories are actually in the 'know', perhaps they are purposely presenting it oddly for political reasons only. Just as it might favor.....
    Umm, no.
    I mean I doubt if there is any political conspiracy involved, I think it is simpler than that.
    I think the problem how we teach maths and science.
    Schools still have to teach basic maths including Euclidian geometry, Aristotelian logic, and Newtonian mechanics by the end of high school.
    (Admittedly few people will ever need anything as complicated as Newton's mechanics. Heck, some people are quite happy thinking the earth is the center of the universe and that flipping burgers is actually a profession.)
    That means our schools also teach the errors of these world views as truths just because it is part of the package, and unless the students are going to continue their education they end up with a Newtonian world view by the end of high school. (maybe more pre-Newtonian than Newtonian)
    I don't know if there is any way around that either.
    How could non-Euclidian geometries be taught without teaching Euclidian geometries first? Would there be any reason to do so for the majority of the students?
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    To expand, I think, on what Dan said:

    There is a lot of knowledge out there. The day of the Renaissance Man has long passed. To acquire sound knowledge even within a sub-set, of a specialty, in a discipline of a major field arguably requires a lifetime of seriously hard work. Consequently, most information relayed to lay people and neophytes and undergraduates contains layers of simplification.

    That's not political conspiracy, that is a bona fide survival strategy.
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  51. #50  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    TConsequently, most information relayed to lay people and neophytes and undergraduates contains layers of simplification.
    Also known as lies to children.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Also known as lies to children.
    Seriously, could they not think of a better phrase?
    One less patronising / insulting / misleading, perhaps?
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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    I have tried both approaches with graduate engineers and scientists: give them the absolute truth before they have a full grounding in a subject, or simplify it and only reveal all when they have the fundamentals. I have found very few individuals who could handle the first approach.

    However, I share Red Pandas reservation about calling these lies. I make a point when delivering a simplification of making it clear that it is one and that there are exceptions, but that it represents a useful way of thinking about the subject at this point on their learning curve.
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    TConsequently, most information relayed to lay people and neophytes and undergraduates contains layers of simplification.
    Also known as lies to children.
    From the wiki link:
    A lie-to-children is a simplified explanation of technical or complex subjects as a teaching method for children and laypeople, first described by science writers Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. The word "children" should not be taken literally, but as encompassing anyone in the process of learning about a given topic regardless of age. It is itself a simplification of certain concepts in the philosophy of science. ....
    That is a good link and it agrees with what John said, and I am glad I was clear enough in what I was saying that you guys understood me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I can't help that you might not be able to interpret the way I write unless I get more familiar with your individual vocabulary base and can (and will) try where I am able to. This is just an accident of our differences of communication experiences.
    Yes. That is true. I learned how to write clearly. You did not.

    Seriously, Steve, there are glimpses of interesting thoughts in your posts, but you currently lack the ability to express these concisely and precisely. I am sure the words mean something you when you commit them to writing, but that meaning is not coming across. That is primarily your responsibility as the writer. I have discharged mine as the reader.

    Edit: My thanks to Red Panda for pointing out that Steve's name is really Scott.
    Advice: if you are acting in a role of "moderator", woudn't it be best to speak your opinions as a 'guest'? Apparently you are acting with a severe attitude problem by expressing your position with the backing of your authoritative position. Clearly, I can see that I'm not welcome here for those like yourself to propagate your intent to dictate what is or is not intellectual wisdom here. As such, I'll leave and allow you to continue your dictates upon your preferential followers. What a waste of a site!
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    Scott, please don't take offence so easily.
    I thought a couple of times that I should ask you to edit your writing more.

    If you get too wordy people get lost in the wordiness. Maybe if you try reading your next post before sending and then try cutting out the empty words you would see something interesting. By being a little bit more Laconic you can get your points across even more clearly, and waste less ink doing it.

    It took posting on a forum that had very limited space for posts to teach me to edit heavily. Don't be afraid to edit, if you can take out a word and not lose meaning then you should take it out. If you do lose meaning you can put it back in.
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  57. #56  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Advice: if you are acting in a role of "moderator", woudn't it be best to speak your opinions as a 'guest'? Apparently you are acting with a severe attitude problem by expressing your position with the backing of your authoritative position. Clearly, I can see that I'm not welcome here for those like yourself to propagate your intent to dictate what is or is not intellectual wisdom here. As such, I'll leave and allow you to continue your dictates upon your preferential followers. What a waste of a site!
    When I act in the role of moderator you will see something like this:

    Moderator Comment: blah, blah, blah or this Moderator Warning: bleh, bleh, bleh.

    In the absence of that, I am posting as a member, just like you: and as an ordinary member, with some experience - on a daily basis - of editing and approving technical and business documents, I took my time to give you some advice that I know others have found useful. No one likes being told one of their skills is not quite as hot as they thought it was. I don't expect you to like being told that. I do hope you pay heed to it. However, that is your choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    ... I took my time to give you some advice that I know others have found useful. No one likes being told one of their skills is not quite as hot as they thought it was. I don't expect you to like being told that. I do hope you pay heed to it. However, that is your choice.
    <<like, like>>
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Mayers View Post
    Advice: if you are acting in a role of "moderator", woudn't it be best to speak your opinions as a 'guest'? Apparently you are acting with a severe attitude problem by expressing your position with the backing of your authoritative position. Clearly, I can see that I'm not welcome here for those like yourself to propagate your intent to dictate what is or is not intellectual wisdom here. As such, I'll leave and allow you to continue your dictates upon your preferential followers. What a waste of a site!
    When I act in the role of moderator you will see something like this:

    Moderator Comment: blah, blah, blah or this Moderator Warning: bleh, bleh, bleh.

    In the absence of that, I am posting as a member, just like you: and as an ordinary member, with some experience - on a daily basis - of editing and approving technical and business documents, I took my time to give you some advice that I know others have found useful. No one likes being told one of their skills is not quite as hot as they thought it was. I don't expect you to like being told that. I do hope you pay heed to it. However, that is your choice.
    I appreciate the fact that you do interact on the forum, OK I open "John Galt" posts on my threads in trepidation, wondering if the message will be green or red, but in the end the purpose of this site has to been achieved. Some might just want to chat and others do maths, I'm more into biological issues and maths don't play such a crucial role.
    A lot of users seem to have me on ignore but not all have done that yet. Long live The Science Forum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    A lot of users seem to have me on ignore
    At least you are realistic about your scientific abilities. I have to give you a high mark for getting billvon to admit he was wrong on the Ebola thread, though.
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    ...or at least how others rate them...
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