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Thread: Something out of Nothing - Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss

  1. #1 Something out of Nothing - Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss 
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    Richard Dawkins is highly intelligent "Macrobiologist", however if you go to 30:00 some where around there. Its obvious he doesn't understand much cellular biology and chemistry. He also doesn't connect Physics well to the gran scale of sciences. For example, he seems to think that Biological systems can differ independently from Physical principles, however.. that's very arrogant as a Biologists to think that. Physical properties shape biological properties and chemical properties that define biological systems. Lawrence Krauss gave him a little smirk, when he arrogantly states "I beg to differ".


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    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    Lawrence Krauss gave him a little smirk, when he arrogantly states "I beg to differ".
    He doesn't say "I beg to differ" - he says "I wouldn't bet on that."
    "I beg to differ" means that you disagree.
    "I wouldn't bet on that" means that you are not convinced.

    Lawrence Krauss: "I bet that if we discover life elsewhere then it will have exactly the same processes."
    Richard Dawkins: "I wouldn't bet on that."
    That is simply two people discussing possibilities; neither knowing the correct answer; but both having a different opinion on what the answer is likely to be.
    I do not see any arrogance beyond them both being confident about their own sphere of knowledge.
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    I found Krauss's talk about "nothing" more interesting. It starts somewhere around 47 minutes
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    Lawrence Krauss gave him a little smirk, when he arrogantly states "I beg to differ".
    He doesn't say "I beg to differ" - he says "I wouldn't bet on that."
    "I beg to differ" means that you disagree.
    "I wouldn't bet on that" means that you are not convinced.

    Lawrence Krauss: "I bet that if we discover life elsewhere then it will have exactly the same processes."
    Richard Dawkins: "I wouldn't bet on that."
    That is simply two people discussing possibilities; neither knowing the correct answer; but both having a different opinion on what the answer is likely to be.
    I do not see any arrogance beyond them both being confident about their own sphere of knowledge.

    I tend to agree with Krauss, that whatever life form that is out there, is dependent on universal physical principles. Therefore, it is more than likely to have similar structure and properties to life on this biosphere. Biology is dependent on Physics. Since the physical laws don't change, neither should the biology (atleast not by a drastic range).
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I found Krauss's talk about "nothing" more interesting. It starts somewhere around 47 minutes

    Definitely, I enjoyed their discussion, that's why I posted it up here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I found Krauss's talk about "nothing" more interesting. It starts somewhere around 47 minutes
    I agree.
    I need to find 2 hours to watch the whole thing.

    Thanks for posting the video, AndresKiani.
    I've bookmarked it and will watch it all later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    Richard always comes off a little arrogant to me, I've seen him in several debates and discussions.
    Yes - he often does to me as well.
    I think it is a combination of his accent and the amount of abuse he has received from religious people (making him defensive).
    Also his statements are often polemic - which makes him more interesting for a lot of people - but it can also makes him look a bit arrogant.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    I tend to agree with Krauss, that whatever life form that is out there, is dependent on universal physical principles. Therefore, it is more than likely to have similar structure and properties to life on this biosphere. Biology is dependent on Physics. Since the physical laws don't change, neither should the biology (atleast not by a drastic range).
    But even Krauss doesn't know the answer - and he is in a better position than you or I to know.
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    re - Something out of nothing - Was this a talk by Dawkins and Krauss or something? I saw something by those two in Netflix. It was okay I guess but I'm tired of listening to science an religion arguments.

    What I found odd was the comment made my Krauss in that documentary I watched and that was him saying, erroneously I might add, that an electron can be in two places at the same time. That's quite wrong. So much so that nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    re - Something out of nothing - Was this a talk by Dawkins and Krauss or something? I saw something by those two in Netflix. It was okay I guess but I'm tired of listening to science an religion arguments.

    What I found odd was the comment made my Krauss in that documentary I watched and that was him saying, erroneously I might add, that an electron can be in two places at the same time. That's quite wrong. So much so that nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement.
    Lawrence M. Krauss - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    I tend to agree with Krauss, that whatever life form that is out there, is dependent on universal physical principles. Therefore, it is more than likely to have similar structure and properties to life on this biosphere. Biology is dependent on Physics. Since the physical laws don't change, neither should the biology (atleast not by a drastic range).
    That - in bold - is not what he said. He said "exactly the same processes". There is a huge difference between similar and exactly the same.

    Moreover, Krauss may have been thinking about processes at a reductionist level. There has to be some form of metabolism. There may well be some form of respiration. Dawkins was likely considering things in terms of ATP and DNA, and arguing that other chemicals may take their place in alien life. Both would be arguing the same things, but defining process differently.

    @Physicist, filling out dan hunter's point: do you really think you have the credentials to take a snipe at Krauss's grasp of quantum mechanics? Have you never heard of simplification for the layman?
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    They're both respectable men of science, I respect both of them. Dawkins is a little scary. I have an unfair bias against him for some reason.. reminds me too much of PhDemon and one of my former English Professors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    I have an unfair bias against him for some reason..
    It may not be unfair. His strident objections to creationists take on the form of dogma, the very thing he is criticising them for. On balance I believe his approach has done more harm to the cause of debunking creationists' propaganda than benefit.
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    for some reason.. reminds me too much of PhDemon and one of my former English Professors.
    Although I agree with JG's post above I'm flattered
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    I have an unfair bias against him for some reason..
    It may not be unfair. His strident objections to creationists take on the form of dogma, the very thing he is criticising them for. On balance I believe his approach has done more harm to the cause of debunking creationists' propaganda than benefit.
    It is hard to argue that he has not raised awareness though.
    Dawkins and the others like Krauss and Dennet are not only respectable professionals in their fields of science, they are dedicated to educating people about science too.
    You might view them as reactive to the antiscience fundamentalism seen in extreme religions but in many parts of the world the extreme fundamentalists are heard much more than the moderate religionists are.
    You only need to look at the recent culture wars in the USA to see the effects.
    They are still trying to pass laws making it illegal to teach evolution in biology classes in some States of USA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    It is hard to argue that he has not raised awareness though.
    I agree.
    It is just unfortunate that he needs to present it that way - but I don't think he has a choice, per se.

    One of the problems is that many people have no problems lying to get the attention/results they desire.
    And when you are happy to 'cheat' then you will probably 'win'.
    When YEC's are happy "lying for jesus" then you need to up your game else they will wipe the floor with you.

    This means that having scientists say in a calm manner: "No. That's not correct." is not good enough and will generally be ignored by the population / media.

    So, one of the ways to counter this bias is too fight fire with fire - which I think Dawkins does well.
    He has managed to keep honest but still attract publicity.


    Unfortunately, I don't think scientists can play a defensive game and expect to win.
    They need to be aggressively attacking any lies which surface in the media and elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    It is hard to argue that he has not raised awareness though.
    Dawkins and the others like Krauss and Dennet are not only respectable professionals in their fields of science, they are dedicated to educating people about science too.
    Dawkins mayhave raised awareness, but he has also raised hackles. Dennet is passionate without being emotional; direct without being abrupt; precise without being condescending. I find Dawkins to be an embarrassment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    What I found odd was the comment made my Krauss in that documentary I watched and that was him saying, erroneously I might add, that an electron can be in two places at the same time. That's quite wrong. So much so that nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement.
    I strongly disagree with your statements. My university teachers were "well educated in quantum mechanics," and often said exactly what Krauss said. As those who are well-versed in QM would point out to you, the wavefunction's squared modulus is the probability density function of position. It is perfectly proper to interpret that probability map as describing the electron as being everywhere at once. Indeed, it is that interpretation that one often uses to explain the double-slit experiment in which a succession of single electrons nonetheless builds up the classic interference pattern.

    Note that the foregoing is in no way in conflict with experiments designed to determine the position of an electron. That's merely the difference between a priori and a posteriori descriptions.
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    ”I tend to agree with Krauss, that whatever life form that is out there, is dependent on universal physical principles. Therefore, it is more than likely to have similar structure and properties to life on this biosphere.”



    Could not be better or more eloquently said. No need to grasp at some esoteric possibilities. The answers will be in what we observe here.
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    Dawkins was likely considering things in terms of ATP and DNA, and arguing that other chemicals may take their place in alien life.



    “It came from outer space”… The arguing of science from the perspective of a bad “B” movie.


    I remember when Dawkins claimed Human DNA was 98% garbage.


    He is a ideologue. Forgot capital I… Ideologue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421
    I strongly disagree with your statements. My university teachers were "well educated in quantum mechanics," and often said exactly what Krauss said.
    They too are wrong. Why bring them up? We have no idea who they are or what their reputations are so we can't determine what their knowledge is in quantum mechanics. Just because someone teaches it doesn't mean their understanding of it is perfect. Far from it. And the students, such as yourself, are even less likely to be able to see the flaws of their teachers understanding of it. Like Krauss they're thinking of the wave function as meaning that the particle is smeared out and being in more than one place. That's the danger or using the term "electron cloud". It's fine if you know what you're talking about and dangerous otherwise.

    I've probably been using QM as long if not longer then they have. Don't forget, I've been at this for well over two decades and I know very well what I'm talking about. There is simply no justification for such a claim. It's a misuse and misinterpretation of quantum mechanics. Not only am I very well educated in quantum mechanics but so are all my colleagues with whom I've confirmed this including David Griffiths, the author of the best QM textbook out there and the one that's used at MIT.

    When I get permission from my colleagues to post their name and content of their entire e-mail I'll do so. Leave it to say that one is a Harvard + Princeton educated physicist (well published too in such journals as the American Journal of Physics for one, a highly prestigious journal) The other was the former editor of the Einstein papers project and one of the top physicists in the country.

    They Harvard + Princeton physicist wrote
    The statement is nonsense. It arises from the mistaken idea that an electron is a little spinning object (made out of ...?). An electron is much more subtle than that.
    The other wrote (quoting the article "Nine formulations of quantum mechanics" - my friend got the journal wrong. It wasn't from Physics today)
    They take the wave function seriously, as ontologically meaningful. I sent you the article from Physics Today some time ago, with this quote:
    The wave function should be regarded as a mathematical tool for calculating the outcome of observations, not as a physical entity existing in space such as a football, a nitrogen molecule, or even an electric field. - Daniel F. Styer, Am. J. Phys. 70, (2002) pg 288-297
    Your persistent arguments by authority are, frankly, tiresome, physicist.
    It's rude comment like this why I blocked you in the other forum. You see my post and respond with arguments by authority, i.e. My university teachers were "well educated in quantum mechanics," and often said exactly what Krauss said. and then whine about me doing the same thing. Frankly not only are you being the worst type of hypocrit and very very rude but you don't understand that arguments by authority are logically valid means of arguing. Pick up and study a textbook in logic and you might learn something

    After all, he is a professional physicist with an earned doctorate in the field. You have only a bachelor's degree, with which one cannot go very far in physics.
    That's an incredibly ignorant statement and based on ignorance. I see you're going to have to go into my ignore list too since I have no time for ignorance here either. I don't have merely a bachelors degree. That's where you're ignorant about me. I have an equivalent of an MS in physics. What does "equivalent" mean? It means that I was a few credits shy from graduating when I had to stop and take care of an ill family member. However the education one gets in quantum mechanics is obtained during that period of ones education and not after getting their MS.

    The interpretation of the wave function is that the magnitude squared is the probability density - PERIOD. Any attempt at using it like Krauss does to claim that it means that the electron appears in more than one place just doesn't understand it.

    Regarding it's use MIT - That's what's known in the world of argument as "an example." That textbook and the author are well-known and highly admired throughout the entire physics community. I used MIT as an example because that's where my friends teach it.

    It is perfectly proper to interpret that probability map as describing the electron as being everywhere at once.
    This is where you don't understand what you're talking about. This is a completely incorrect interpretation of the wave function. Whoever taught you this was clueless. If you came to this conclusion yourself then you arrived at it using flawed reasoning. The probability density only tells you where you might find the electron should you measure its position. Before you measure its position the electron doesn't HAVE a position. This flawed understanding of yours and your professors are what are leading you and Krauss astray.

    Due to your highly rude style of responses and your very very poor understanding of logic (i.e. your flawed understanding of the use of authority in logical arguments), your ignorance about me (i.e. your sad lack of knowledge about my education and experience - e.g. you known nothing of the work I did which is identical to that of an MS and my experience since then which gives me much much more expertise) I gladly put you into this ignore file too.

    Take some advice from someone you attacked rudely for no reason - Grow up and stop being so rude. Talk and ask questions rather than insult and accuse

    Now - back into the kill file with you.
    Last edited by physicist; September 22nd, 2014 at 01:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tk421
    I strongly disagree with your statements. My university teachers were "well educated in quantum mechanics," and often said exactly what Krauss said.
    And they were wrong too. There is simply no justification for such a claim. It's a misuse and misinterpretation of quantum mechanics. Not only am I very well educated in quantum mechanics but so are all my colleagues with whom I've confirmed this including David Griffiths, the author of the best QM textbook out there and the one that's used at MIT.
    Your persistent arguments by authority are, frankly, tiresome, physicist. It would be far more useful to this forum if you were to provide actual arguments based on science rather than repeatedly proclaiming your mastery of the subject.

    Born gave us the meaning of the wave function. If you wish to argue that its squared modulus does not give us the probability density function of position, then I'm afraid that the weight of authority is very much against you.

    And I am directly familiar with how QM was taught to graduate students at MIT at least until around 1990. My colleagues inform me that the current situation there is a bit of a mess, with something like a half-dozen different books being used, supplemented with numerous custom-produced notes. None of that matters a whit, of course, when it comes to the argument at hand.
    Last edited by tk421; September 22nd, 2014 at 01:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    It is hard to argue that he has not raised awareness though.
    Dawkins and the others like Krauss and Dennet are not only respectable professionals in their fields of science, they are dedicated to educating people about science too.
    Dawkins mayhave raised awareness, but he has also raised hackles. Dennet is passionate without being emotional; direct without being abrupt; precise without being condescending. I find Dawkins to be an embarrassment.
    So you don't like his personality. What difference does that make to his argument?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndresKiani View Post
    They're both respectable men of science, I respect both of them. Dawkins is a little scary. I have an unfair bias against him for some reason..
    Thanks for the link Andres. I agree, Dawkins is a gifted science writer but unfortunately does not take this skill to political/theological debate. The same applies in my opinion to Krauss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    It is hard to argue that he has not raised awareness though.
    Dawkins and the others like Krauss and Dennet are not only respectable professionals in their fields of science, they are dedicated to educating people about science too.
    Dawkins mayhave raised awareness, but he has also raised hackles. Dennet is passionate without being emotional; direct without being abrupt; precise without being condescending. I find Dawkins to be an embarrassment.
    So you don't like his personality. What difference does that make to his argument?
    It doesn't get listened to by the people it is directed to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So you don't like his personality. What difference does that make to his argument?
    It doesn't get listened to by the people it is directed to.
    I am not sure who it is directed to.
    I doubt if it is directed at preachers or fundamentalist fanatics because they would not be listening anyhow.
    (At least not listening any more than it takes to be outraged at another godless infidel daring to doubt their religion.)
    Who do you think his talks are directed to?
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    Actually, come to think of it, I have the exact same graduate school education on quantum mechanics (and several other fields such as classical mechanics and special relativity) as does any college physics professor does and could teach the subject given that (i.e. the identical) education and experience. As I said before, the education in fields like QM, EM, SR, mechanics etc. are taken during the first two years of graduate school and therefore someone with an MS or equivalent such as I have has the same education as someone with a PhD. However someone with a PhD whose field of expertise is QM has much more experience than I do.

    So your ignorant claims about my BA are wrong in the sense I essentially have an MS and I have the same education as someone with a PhD does in quantum mechanics. In fact I know more about quantum mechanics and relativity than many of my PhD colleagues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Who do you think his talks are directed to?
    People teetering on the edge of uncertainty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Who do you think his talks are directed to?
    People teetering on the edge of uncertainty.
    I think that would be most of us.
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    I may titter, but I never teeter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    So your ignorant claims about my BA are wrong in the sense I essentially have an MS
    Look, physicist, either one has a degree or one does not. You say that you have "essentially an MS," but you do not have an MS. So my claim is not only not "ignorant," it is factually correct.

    I should warn you that those who have actually earned degrees do not regard kindly those who award themselves degrees. Hospitals do not recognize one's proclamations that he or she has the "equivalent of an MD" and then permit such self-anointed experts to carry out brain surgery.

    None of that should really matter, but you keep bringing it up in lieu of offering scientific explanations. I am not swayed at all by your proclamations of expertise, especially since you routinely make declarations that are incorrect -- both subtly and not. I'd much prefer science-based arguments. Neither your resume, nor those of your supposed friends at MIT who agree with everything you say, substitutes for a well-reasoned argument. It is a continuing source of puzzlement and irritation that you seem to believe otherwise.

    Finally, I note for the record here the original claim that you made about Krauss's statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by physicist
    That's quite wrong. So much so that nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement.
    Krauss himself is generally acknowledged to be well educated in QM, so your claim is falsified. Further, you still have not refuted his statement with anything other than desperate and weak appeals to authority.
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    By the way tk, when you started yapping about Krauss's PhD little did you know that what you were doing was once again using an argument based on authority. Especially when you misrepresented my physics education by either lying about it or posting ignorant claims about it as it being merely a BA when in fact it's an MS (but as I said its a few credits shy due to having to stop due to serious family illness and for which I latter learned the material and am now very much past the equivalence of an MS in physics due to experience). It's also quite revealing that you chose to tell people what your prof said rather than what your formal education in physics is, or lack of education I imagine.

    Ignorance like that in logic and information is why people get put into ignore lists, especially other illogical and rude comments which I've come to know you for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    By the way tk, when you started yapping about Krauss's PhD little did you know that what you were doing was once again using an argument based on authority. Especially when you misrepresented my physics education by either lying about it or posting ignorant claims about it as it being merely a BA when in fact it's an MS (but as I said its a few credits shy due to having to stop due to serious family illness and for which I latter learned the material and am now very much past the equivalence of an MS in physics due to experience). It's also quite revealing that you chose to tell people what your prof said rather than what your formal education in physics is, or lack of education I imagine.

    Ignorance like that in logic and information is why people get put into ignore lists, especially other illogical and rude comments which I've come to know you for.
    I don't provide a resume precisely because I don't rely on arguments from authority. However, when encountering one who routinely does, I like to gauge his intellectual honesty by trying the same tactic on him. You have failed that test.

    And above, you merely continue to confirm that I have been honest. You do not have an MS if you are "a few credits shy", regardless of the reason for the shyness. Please discontinue the personal attacks. I have not made a single counterfactual claim about your resume. However, you have, by your own admission. I advise you to desist. You already have a history of allowing your emotions run away. I don't think you should allow yourself to lose control again. A second conviction could be serious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    By the way tk, when you started yapping about Krauss's PhD little did you know that what you were doing was once again using an argument based on authority. Especially when you misrepresented my physics education by either lying about it or posting ignorant claims about it as it being merely a BA when in fact it's an MS (but as I said its a few credits shy due to having to stop due to serious family illness and for which I latter learned the material and am now very much past the equivalence of an MS in physics due to experience). It's also quite revealing that you chose to tell people what your prof said rather than what your formal education in physics is, or lack of education I imagine.

    Ignorance like that in logic and information is why people get put into ignore lists, especially other illogical and rude comments which I've come to know you for.
    I don't provide a resume precisely because I don't rely on arguments from authority. However, when encountering one who routinely does, I like to gauge his intellectual honesty by trying the same tactic on him. You have failed that test.

    And above, you merely continue to confirm that I have been honest. You do not have an MS if you are "a few credits shy", regardless of the reason for the shyness. Please discontinue the personal attacks. I have not made a single counterfactual claim about your resume. However, you have, by your own admission. I advise you to desist. You already have a history of allowing your emotions run away. I don't think you should allow yourself to lose control again. A second conviction could be serious.
    You have your own faults too though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    You have your own faults too though.
    Indeed!

    But what of it?

    So, by your reasoning, one must be faultless to identify faults?

    And by extension of that reasoning, shouldn't you be barred from opining about mine?

    I have been asking physicist to provide a scientific argument to back up his claims. Instead we get resumes and arguments claiming that "almost have a degree" is the same as "have a degree."

    I wish I could say that I am surprised that you injected a useless non-sequitur, but I guess history is often a guide.
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    Thank God there's a separate physics forum
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    You have your own faults too though.
    So, by your reasoning, one must be faultless to identify faults?

    And by extension of that reasoning, shouldn't you be barred from opining about mine?
    You all know mine already, I've been told about them many times. Can you remember what fault I was referring to with you?
    I could see your point as regards Physicist but what he says could still be 100%.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    Thank God there's a separate physics forum
    Oh no!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    I could see your point as regards Physicist but what he says could still be 100%.
    Of course, but once again, you seem determined to miss the point. I've simply asked him to show it. I've given him my argument, based on Born's work. In response, I've only gotten appeals to authority.

    Perhaps you don't see any difference between asserting something and showing it, but in science, it's very important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    By the way tk, when you started yapping about Krauss's PhD little did you know that what you were doing was once again using an argument based on authority. Especially when you misrepresented my physics education by either lying about it or posting ignorant claims about it as it being merely a BA when in fact it's an MS
    ...meaning that it is a BA. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it is...a duck! No matter how you try to dress it up.
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    Moderator Warning: Really! Enough already.

    Physicist: I am tired of hearing about your qualifications. Next time you mention your qualification in any context other than a direct request from another member about your qualification you will be enjoying a one week suspension.

    Several Other Members: Ignore fatuous arguments about the qualifications of other members. Note that it is an argument from authority, report the post and move one. Any of you who decide it is more appropriate to make personal remarks rather than follow those simple rules can also win that desirable vacation.

    As always, no comments in this thread, report the post if you don't like what I've said, or open a thread in the Feedback section. Whatever! But mainly get back to the science.


    Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    I could see your point as regards Physicist but what he says could still be 100%.
    Of course, but once again, you seem determined to miss the point. I've simply asked him to show it. I've given him my argument, based on Born's work. In response, I've only gotten appeals to authority.

    Perhaps you don't see any difference between asserting something and showing it, but in science, it's very important.
    In the post that prompted me to butt in you don't ask Physicist to show you anything. How would he do that anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by TK421
    I don't provide a resume precisely because I don't rely on arguments from authority. However, when encountering one who routinely does, I like to gauge his intellectual honesty by trying the same tactic on him. You have failed that test.

    And above, you merely continue to confirm that I have been honest. You do not have an MS if you are "a few credits shy", regardless of the reason for the shyness. Please discontinue the personal attacks. I have not made a single counterfactual claim about your resume. However, you have, by your own admission. I advise you to desist. You already have a history of allowing your emotions run away. I don't think you should allow yourself to lose control again. A second conviction could be serious.
    Sorry John I was typing up my post unknown to yours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    In the post that prompted me to butt in you don't ask Physicist to show you anything. How would he do that anyway.

    I don't feel obligated to repeat my request each and every post to make it easy for you to understand what has been said. But if you are really interested in facts, simply read the thread, rather than injecting useless noise into an already noisy discussion. You are not being helpful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    In the post that prompted me to butt in you don't ask Physicist to show you anything. How would he do that anyway.

    I don't feel obligated to repeat my request each and every post to make it easy for you to understand what has been said. But if you are really interested in facts, simply read the thread, rather than injecting useless noise into an already noisy discussion. You are not being helpful.
    Whut!
    Last edited by Robittybob1; September 23rd, 2014 at 03:27 AM.
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    Moderator Exasperation: Posts #42 ND #43 have nothing to do with science. Which part of my Warning Post did you both not understand? (rhetorical) Stop it.
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    I doubt that you can make something out of nothing -
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    I doubt that you can make something out of nothing -
    That depends on your definition of nothing. For example, tip the contents of your hypothetical universe into a blender and achieve total isotropy and homogeneity throughout (or perfect equilibrium) and then you are left with a universe comprising 'no things' but it is still a something from within which structure can be created. The information is all there but diffusely spread throughout. That I think is the nothing that Wheeler, Krauss et al are talking about. An unbounded homogenous state within which structure can emerge through transforms.

    If you use this as your starting canvas you can avoid interpretations requiring a creation event.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
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    If space is nothing, I can achieve more of it with dark energy.

    I don't know where dark energy comes from though.


    :EDIT:

    I dunno, the Big Rip could be that "blender" to make homogeneous space. I do know that I'm not inclined to look at a two hour video, however.
    Last edited by Beer w/Straw; September 23rd, 2014 at 05:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    I doubt that you can make something out of nothing -
    That depends on your definition of nothing. For example, tip the contents of your hypothetical universe into a blender and achieve total isotropy and homogeneity throughout (or perfect equilibrium) and then you are left with a universe comprising 'no things' but it is still a something from within which structure can be created. The information is all there but diffusely spread throughout. That I think is the nothing that Wheeler, Krauss et al are talking about. An unbounded homogenous state within which structure can emerge through transforms.

    If you use this as your starting canvas you can avoid interpretations requiring a creation event.
    That is a novel form of nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1
    Perhaps you don't see any difference between asserting something and showing it, but in science, it's very important.
    In the post that prompted me to butt in you don't ask Physicist to show you anything. How would he do that anyway.
    [/QUOTE]
    I did show it. He wasn't in a listening mode. I described in as described in the American Journal of Physics, i.e.
    They take the wave function seriously, as ontologically meaningful. I sent you the article from Physics Today some time ago, with this quote:
    The wave function should be regarded as a mathematical tool for calculating the outcome of observations, not as a physical entity existing in space such as a football, a nitrogen molecule, or even an electric field. - Daniel F. Styer, Am. J. Phys. 70, (2002) pg 288-297
    i.e. that one particle can't be in more than one place is obvious. The wave function is merely a tool to calculate the probability of finding a particle at a particular position. Any attempt whatsoever to claim that it means that one particle can be in more than one place at a time is mere ignorance of quantum mechanics and the Copenhagen interpretation. Before the position of a particle is measured it doesn't even have a position so claiming it does is totally preposterous. I've already said this in one form or another. He simply doesn't appear to have a full understanding of quantum mechanics to understand what I said. This is well understood by experts in quantum mechanics.

    I asked an expert on the subject just to make sure (like I always do before I take such a stand). He just sent me permission to post his response here.

    The person I mentioned is Ralph F Baierlein (doctoral student of Charles Misner) author of a text on thermal physics. Professor of physics at Northern Arizona University - Ralph Baierlein
    The statement is nonsense. It arises from the mistaken idea
    that an electron is a little spinning object (made out of ...?). An electron is
    much more subtle than that.

    A similar confusion exists with respect to
    the photon. While teaching the course from which my book Newton to
    Einstein
    emerged, I coined the sentence, "Light travels as a wave but
    departs and arrives as a particle." No classical concept--electromagnetic wave
    or tiny solid particle--corresponds to the truly novel nature of
    light.

    Similarly, no classical concept can capture all the attributes of
    what we call "an electron."

    Best wishes.

    Ralph
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    I asked an expert on the subject just to make sure (like I always do before I take such a stand). He just sent me permission to post his response here...
    Thanks for that, but unfortunately his reply seems to have no particular relationship to my argument. It would seem that how the question was posed to him did not faithfully capture my positions (pun intended).

    So let's back up for a minute and review the issues at hand. There are two. One is your first argument from authority, that "nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement" (that's a direct quote, via cut and paste). Assuming that you did not mean to commit a "no true Scotsman" fallacy, then to falsify your statement requires only one counterexample, so the burden on you is insurmountable: You have to show that there exists not a single QM-educated individual who holds the viewpoint in question. Given these assumptions, then it follows necessarily and logically that Krauss is therefore not "well educated in quantum mechanics," as he did make such a statement. Yet, his credentials are such that it is difficult to see how he could not be called "well educated." He earned a PhD in theoretical physics from MIT. Yet you reject him on arbitrary, and completely personal, grounds.

    Ok, then, can we find another (remember, it takes only one to falsify your assertion)? Physicist David Deutsch regards the double-slit experiment as compelling evidence in favor of Everett's many-worlds interpretation. In that interpretation, an electron can be in infinitely many places "at once." Deutsch's credentials are very strong, and it is once again difficult to see how he would not be regarded as "well educated" in QM, for he is the winner of the 1998 Dirac Prize, among other accomplishments. By now you should see how this is going to go, Pete, and it goes badly for your assertion.

    Thus having falsified your first statement, now let's move on to the next issue, the one concerning Krauss's statement that an electron can be at two places at once. You reject that notion outright as preposterous, but have offered nothing but a collection of arguments from authority. It is obvious why that is: There is no argument from within the framework of QM that allows a unique answer.

    Read that carefully: There is no argument from within the framework of QM that allows a unique answer.

    Despite that truth, you have taken a dogmatic stance about what reality "is," but that stance is outside of the bounds of QM. Your very own Dr. Griffiths is quite careful to make the very important point that various interpretations of QM are allowable because QM is an incomplete description of reality. The Copenhagen and Everett MW interpretations are just that -- interpretations.

    Now, if the statement had been, "Experiments can detect a single electron at two places simultaneously," I would have agreed that it is preposterous. But that is manifestly not what Krauss said. And if you had read carefully what I said earlier about a priori and a posteriori "realities," you would have at least seen a hint of the larger, more subtle topic that Krauss was discussing. That subtlety was evidently lost on you.

    Apparently you are unaware that ontological questions are unsettled in QM; all we have are measurements. To fill the gap, we have various interpretations. And some of those interpretations involve electrons -- and other entities -- "being" in more than one place at once. Independently of many-worlds, we have Feynman's path integral formulation in which the mathematical operations of "summing over all histories" may be regarded as treating reality as happening everywhere at once, but only certain outcomes surviving the superposition. Treating the electron as in multiple places in no way leads to different mathematics, and therefore cannot be said to be "wrong"; it is fully consistent with the full machinery of QM.

    The issue is a subtle one and, as I say, not resolvable within QM. Thus it is improper to assert that the electron cannot be in two places at once, and it has already been shown that there exist experts in QM who find no impropriety in treating electrons as being so. Indeed, Deutsch has taken the position that the equations of QM have an ontological definiteness.
    Last edited by tk421; September 23rd, 2014 at 05:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    I asked an expert on the subject just to make sure (like I always do before I take such a stand). He just sent me permission to post his response here...
    Thanks for that, but unfortunately his reply seems to have no particular relationship to my argument. It would seem that how the question was posed to him did not faithfully capture my positions (pun intended).

    So let's back up for a minute and review the issues at hand. There are two. One is your first argument from authority, that "nobody who's well educated in quantum mechanics would make such a statement" (that's a direct quote, via cut and paste). Assuming that you did not mean to commit a "no true Scotsman" fallacy, then to falsify your statement requires only one counterexample, so the burden on you is unsurmountable: You have to show that there exists not a single QM-educated individual who holds the viewpoint in question. Given these assumptions, then it follows necessarily and logically that Krauss is therefore not "well educated in quantum mechanics," as he did make such a statement. Yet, his credentials are such that it is difficult to see how he could not be called "well educated." He earned a PhD in theoretical physics from MIT. Yet you reject him on arbitrary, and completely personal, grounds.

    Ok, then, can we find another (remember, it takes only one to falsify your assertion)? Physicist David Deutsch regards the double-slit experiment as compelling evidence in favor of Everett's many-worlds interpretation. In that interpretation, an electron can be in infinitely many places "at once." Deutsch's credentials are very strong, and it is once again difficult to see how he would not be regarded as "well educated" in QM, for he is the winner of the 1998 Dirac Prize, among other accomplishments. By now you should see how this is going to go, Pete, and it goes badly for your assertion.

    Thus having falsified your first statement, now let's move on to the next issue, the one concerning Krauss's statement that an electron can be at two places at once. You reject that notion outright as preposterous, but have offered nothing but a collection of arguments from authority. It is obvious why that is: There is no argument from within the framework of QM that allows a unique answer.

    Read that carefully: There is no argument from within the framework of QM that allows a unique answer.

    Despite that truth, you have taken a dogmatic stance about what reality "is," but that stance is outside of the bounds of QM. Your very own Dr. Griffiths is quite careful to make the very point that various interpretations of QM are allowable because QM is an incomplete description of reality. The Copenhagen and Everett MW interpretations are just that -- interpretations.

    Now, if the statement had been, "Experiments can detect a single electron at two places simultaneously," I would have agreed that it is preposterous. But that is manifestly not what Krauss said. And if you had read carefully what I said earlier about a priori and a posteriori "realities," you would have at least seen a hint of the larger, more subtle topic that Krauss was discussing.

    Apparently you are unaware that ontological questions are unsettled in QM; all we have are measurements. To fill the gap, we have various interpretations. And some of those interpretations involve electrons -- and other entities -- "being" in more than one place at once. Independently of many-worlds, we have Feynman's path integral formulation in which the mathematical operations of "summing over all histories" may be regarded as treating reality as happening everywhere at once, but only certain outcomes surviving the superposition. Treating the electron as in multiple places in no way leads to different mathematics.

    The issue is a subtle one and, as I say, not resolvable within QM. Thus it is improper to assert that the electron cannot be in two places at once, and it has already been shown that there exist experts in QM who find no impropriety in treating electrons as being so. Indeed, Deutsch has taken the point that the equations of QM have an ontological definiteness.
    The above is a model of scientific rebuttal. Well done!
    (I was going to point out that Ralph Bauerlein's answer had nothing to do with the issue being discussed , most likely owning to "Physicist" asking a leading or unrelated question just to support his point but I knew that it is your debate and I was confident you will handle it and handle you did).
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    Another reason why an electron can't be in more than one place is because if it was then it'd violate both charge and energy conservation. Ralph agrees with me on this. The energy conservation is an extension of that.

    You see, for something like "An electron can be in two places at the same time." it must have a physical meaning, one which can actually be verified by experiment or at the very least implied. There is one and only one meaning to the wave function in the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics - That the magnitude squared is the probability density of finding a particle at any particular place. Quantum mechanics tells us that before a measurement is made the particle has no position even to speak of. When a measurement of the position of a particle in a single particle system is made then the particle is only found in one and only one location and never in two or more. Any claim otherwise demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of quantum mechanics, or as Ralph says, and I agree, as being preposterous!
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    Another reason why an electron can't be in more than one place is because if it was then it'd violate both charge and energy conservation. Ralph agrees with me on this. The energy conservation is an extension of that.

    You see, for something like "An electron can be in two places at the same time." it must have a physical meaning,
    That, at last, is the heart of the matter, Pete. What you do not realize is that you are declaring dogmatically that it must have a physical meaning, but that is a requirement that is outside of QM. It is your personal view. Don't confuse personal beliefs with what QM says, because QM is silent on the matter. Everett's MWI reproduces fully all of the observables of the Copenhagen interpretation, and yet it grossly violates all sorts of conservation laws (if one had a "God's-eye" perspective). The interpretations are narratives that accompany the maths in a way that tries to "make sense" of the maths. As long as the maths remain fixed, all interpretations are equivalent as far as observables are concerned. You are making the mistake of thinking that the preferred interpretation is the only interpretation, which in turn is the only reality. Hogwash.

    If you look at the steps involved in, say, a path integral calculation, one could say, without affecting the outcome of the calculation at all, that an electron is everywhere until we make a determination experimentally. That's what the maths can be interpreted to say. Now, if you want to add the arbitrary requirement that an electron is not an electron until observed, I have no problem with that. However, I take strong issue with your dogmatic refusal to acknowledge the difference between an interpretation of QM, and "reality." You have selected one perfectly reasonable interpretation and elevated it to a position it does not legitimately hold.

    Quantum mechanics tells us that before a measurement is made the particle has no position even to speak of.
    That's one way to consider it. If you were better versed in the subject, however, you would understand that you can also say that the particle could have many positions. A mathematically equivalent statement is that there are many wavefunctions in superposition (half-dead cats and all that). Again, you have selected one interpretation and declared it the one true reality. You seem unaware that this is what you have been doing all along, which is why you smugly declare Krauss to have blundered when, in fact, he is succinctly acknowledging the subtlety of the situation, a subtlety which continues to evade you.

    And please stop feebly introducing Ralph's notions into this conversation. He's not here, and I have no faith that you are conveying the argument with high fidelity. I have already specifically excluded the case where one measures an electron in two different places simultaneously, so I am describing no situation in which any conservation law is violated in a measurement. Your penchant for arguments from authority is not doing you any good. Argue the science. And learn to separate what is QM and what is an interpretation of QM. They are not the same thing.
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