Science and Belief

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by thed, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member

    The Universe will do its own thing irregardless of what we Humans think and want it to do. We humans can believe or think what we want but that in no way alters the physical reality of the world around us.

    Some people seem to think that simply by thinking that the speed of light is not a constant, in vacuuo, we can make it go faster. The feeling seems to be that by believing we can go faster than light (just totally ignore Relativity as its flawed) the amount of time a light pulse takes to travel a fixed distance can be speeded up. This is patently wrong. There is no way the beliefs of the person doing the experiment can alter the outcome. Otherwise no two experimenters could agree with each other. In the same way, people think that all we have to do to invent anti-gravity, perpetual motion or free energy is to simply redefine a few terms, that is believe something else entirely as those scientists are just believing the wrong things

    This belief that science is another belief system, divorced from reality, is then extended. It can then be assumed that anyone who counters the belief system is a heretic or contradictory results are ignored/wiped out. As with all belief systems science must have its priests, high priests and laity. From this is fair to assume that students (the laity) are taught not to question by the teachers (the priests) and they in turn blindly follow founders of the theories (The High Priests).

    Two things are wrong with this view of science. For one, the great names of science became great by questioning the currently accepted views and showing that they had a better way of describing reality. You only become great in science if you overthrow an accepted theory by questioning it. Science is about constantly questioning and testing accepted views rather than blindly parroting some one else. Second, the Universe really does not care for what we believe. Science is about describing that reality as we measure it.

    If anyone thinks that anti-gravity is possible try this, believe in it, build a machine based on your belief and jump off a tall cliff with the machine. I think we all agree that the person who does this would be insane as we all know what would happen. Same goes for all the icons of science, free energy and what not. If any of this was possible why don't we see it in the Universe? Because it can not be done. Believing otherwise will not make it so.
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  3. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    What I don't understand is why those who invest their brain capital in belief and belief systems then ridicule science by calling it a belief system, too.

    They mean it as an insult but shouldn't it be a compliment if belief systems are inherently better than science and rationalism?
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  5. Bebelina Feminazi Messiah Valued Senior Member

    All we have... the world we believe in.

    What is your world like?

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  7. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member


    ...and actually known to more than one person.
  8. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member

    But my point is


    All we have is the reality of the Universe and this cares not one jot for our beliefs.

    The world I live in is a very simple one really. It operates according to physical laws and the best we can do is try to understand those laws.

    I can enjoy the beauty of a rainbow or a flower but I also understand that these are the result of complex physical, chemical and biological processes. Once you understand just how vast the Universe is, our place in that Universe and how little we really understand it, that knowledge can be soul destroying. It was best summed up by the phrase, pale blue dot. For all the hard, stark uncaring reality around us we can understand it in time, perhaps master it and learn in the process.

    I don't need to believe in something to help me (tell me) how to interpret the Universe. The Universe will. That probably sounds arrogant but blindly following some one elses vision will not lead to a deeper understanding of the eternal verities.

    As the old saw goes, the more I learn the more I realise how little I know.

    (I'm waxing lyrical in an attempt not to do something else more improtant

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  9. Bebelina Feminazi Messiah Valued Senior Member

    Been there, done that...

    ...then evolved. Welcome to join me in the upper class spirituality, we have a great view from here!

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    Sorry...I couldn´t resist. Yes, it is arrogant of you to believe that you alone hold the only correct view of the world. We are not separate beings from the universe, we are the universe, we created it/us with our will to be alive. With our belief of what we can become. So just as the universe that we are a part of can create it´s own reality, so can we. We are the same, but different.

    So go and learn some more.

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  10. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

    Actually, there are interpretations of quantum mechanics that say otherwise, so it may be possible.

    Relativity does not deny the possibility of things going faster than light, only accelerating past the speed of light. It is a barrier, not a limit. Also, relativity applies only locally. If people believe we can't go beyond the speed of light, we probably will never find a way. If you believe there is a way, and there is, it will probably be found.

    Why do you think antigravity is impossible? It's not ruled out in any physics I know of. Electromagnetic fields can alter gravity, so maybe we can make an antigravity field. Electromagnetic fields can at least nullify gravity if not reverse it.
  11. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member


    In no way do I believe that I hold the only correct interpretation of reality. My point is that only that the reality itself does. The best we can do is try to understand it.

    There are some people though, who think that the attempt to understand what is going on is a 'belief system'. That science is some how linked to a dogmatic religion without free thought and questioning. They espouse that things like the light speed barrier is a 'just a belief' of scientists. As I have said elsewhere if something is possible, permissible even, then I expect to see it. FTL, anti-gravity et al is not seen anywhere. This says to me it is not possible. Nothing to do with believing in it or not believing. Reality simply does not allow it.

    AlphaYou raise some good points. I'll respond tomorrow after some rest. BTW, the many Worlds interpretation of quantum machanics has nothing to do with belief and a lot do with what happens to all the possible allowed probabilities of a collapsing wave function.

    Special Relativity is a 'local' (for intertial frames of reference) theory and Greneral Relativity is not but the concept of c being a maximum speed limit is emodied in both ideas. Maxwell says so.
  12. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member

    Re: Re: Science and Belief


    I don't know any interpretation of QM that says that what we believe affects reality. I assumed last night you are referring to the Many worlds interpretation?

    As I am sure you well know a wave packet/particle, when not observed, is a superposition of all possible state functions of that wave. On observation the state functions collapse to a known state within the confines of Uncertainty. Many Worlds asks what happens to all the other possible state functions. It postulates that they form new world lines, alternate realities if you will.

    As this can not be tested by any current technology, to quote Dirac, it is not even wrong.

    There are other interpretations out there, which one are you thinking of.

    Three things.

    Maxwells equations say that the speed of an EM wave in vacuo is fixed. It does not imply anything can go faster. Secondly, the lorentz transfom is a barrier. If anything goes faster than light you start getting imaginary numbers out of the maths. Lastly, as I say to Bebelina, if FTL where possible I would expect to see it, regularly. The Maths appears to reflect reality no matter what people like to do believe it does.

    That said, there are some caveates here. Special Relativity is indeed a 'local theory', general relativity is not though. General Relativity will allow things going faster than light outside the local frame. It is generally accepted that the local frame is our Universe though.

    Of course, Guth's Inflation model allows FTL expansion. But that is not of matter but of spacetime. You are also allowed to go FTL providing you carry no information. In other words if its your phase velocity component of the wave.

    But nor is it ruled in. You can simply state F= - GMm/r^2 or T<sub>&mu;&nu;</sub> = -8 &pi; G<sub>&mu;&nu;</sub> but that requires things like negative energy densties, whatever they are. GR allows anti-grav if you have things like negative pressure densities. Only thought to exist as a false vacuum / Higgs field in
    the Big Bang.

    The reality of it is that anti-gravity is not an everyday occurence and has not yet been seen in reality. No current theory provides a simple way of creating it.

    I think you mean there is some evidence that magnetic 'tubes' in a plasma can strengthen spacetime in specific circumstances? It is true that the EM forces are stronger than gravitational so a sufficiently strong EM forces will be greater than gravity, hence over come gravity. Levitating superconductors come to mind. This does not imply they 'nullify' it. To actually reverse gravity requires you alter the curvature of spacetime, EM fields are not strong enough for that.

    So, indeed things like anti-gravity/FTL may be possible in known tightly constrained circumstances. But we have no practical, first hand knowledge of these, they are just artefacts of the models/interpretations. Again, if they where possible I put it to you they would be commonplace. It would seem, from practical observation, that these koans are only possible in extemely bizarre circumstances.

    It's very true that if you don't look you will not find something. But some people seem to think that by consigning science to a belief system they can simply invent 'anti-gravity' whilst proclaiming how narrow minded scientists are. It is this mentality I am addressing. My point is that only by observing reality and understanding it will we achieve a true understanding. This is what science is.
  13. Bebelina Feminazi Messiah Valued Senior Member


    But it is we who make up the reality, because we are the reality.
    The belief in physical science is just a belief. If the scientists conducted their experiments and investigations from a different point of view than the purely materialistic, the outcome would be very different. But nobody has yet tried this. Scientists really needs to evolve to more spiritual beings. This is very necessary for the survival of humanity.
    We have collectively agreed and created this physical reality with all the physical laws in it. But we recreate it all the time. New people are born with new ideas who add to the collective consciousness and change the "reality".
    But it all takes time, for changes in the physical reality is a very slow moving process. It takes generations to create a totally new and different reality. Just as it takes 7 years for the body to replace all it´s cells, it takes an equally long time, related to the size of the whole physical reality, to totally replace itself with a new one.
    In other words, if you want to speed up the process and be one of the pioneers, then you must start altering your own belief-system right now.

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  14. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    Reality is what is self-existent.

    Science is and should be none other that a means of describing genuine aspects of Nature that exist even if there are no observers present (Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics recognize a role for the observer in their 'operations').

    Certainly one aspect of reality is Nature having given risen to humans. Humans may imagine Nature to have may different realities, but those are generally not the reality that science is attempting to describe.

    Some people wish to learn what is fundimentally real in Nature while others are perfectly willing to create their own versions of reality to suit their individual purposes.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2001
  15. thed IT Gopher Registered Senior Member


    A pity we can not try an experiment here. You obviously have a different belief system to mine and are more in touch with your spiritual side. By your own statement this should mean that if we both conducted some baseline experiment we should both get consistently different results. I for one doubt this would happen. As I say, our beliefs do not affect reality, IMO.

    M. G, well said. I concur.
  16. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Science and Belief

    I read it in this book:
    What's wrong with that? Imaginary numbers have been shown to have direct applications in reality like in electronics. Try putting imaginary numbers into Einstein's time dilation equations. It shows that time is an "imaginary" dimension of space.

    Actually electromagnetic fields flatten space. That means it nullifies gravity. I saw a show on the discovery channel that showed nomagnetic things (like live frogs for example) floating in a strong magnetic field.
  17. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member


    You mention strong magnetic forces floating non-magnetic objects, you should know that atoms rely upon magnetic forces as a preportion for their ability to bond to one another. Also that throughout the theorising on atomics, the polarised magnetics has been discussed about their quanta. (for instance Pauli and his explaination on the behaviour of an Electron)

    How a Magnetic can be made is taking something like Iron, and then using something that has an "Overpowering" magnetic field and rubbing it along the Iron. If you do so in one way strokes with a magnet you can magnetise it to become polar, because on a quantum level your aligning more and more of the atoms poles to congrigate together as a super-position (composed of smaller positions)

    To float something like a frog or an object with a Magnetic field you would have to do one of the following:

    1: Either polarise the frog/object so that it develops a magnetic alignment and then use another magnetic force of the same polarisation to float/propell it.

    2: Use a magnetic force that compensates for the Quantum Entanglement. (This one has been known to be very destructive, like having the frog fall apart)

    As for the original topic:

    Well I wouldn't say that Science is some sort of belief system, when you theorise in something it's not a belief it's a Hypothesis. When something is proven it too is not a belief as know it is known.

    A belief is when you take something for granted and don't go in search of the truth but take it's probability as near enough.

    I unlike many of you Lack a Mentor, I do not have a tutor, just my own ingenuity and passion for aquiring knowledge.
    I might find some information out that is documented, but I'm not blindly following, I'm merely looking at information that parallels my own thoughts and posturing theories.

    Some of my thoughts tally and expand on information devised by others, while other information if listened to would probably prove them wrong.

    As with Lightspeed travel... when you say Imaginary numbers, are you refering to traveling into decimal placing, or numbers that are negative?
  18. SeekerOfTruth Unemployed, but Looking Registered Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Science and Belief

    Although I agree with your statement(see this page for a recent paper in Physics Review Letters on how magnetic fields flatten spacetime), the connection to the frogs floating in a strong magnetic field is not necissarily conclusive.

    One possible explanation for things floating in an extremely varing magnetic field is that currents are induced on the object which in turn creates magnetic fields that are repulsed by the magnetic field inducing the currents, thereby levitating the object.
  19. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for the link SeekerOfTruth.
    Stryderunknown, I don't have a mentor either, and have learned what I know on my own by reading, etc. I believe they used a really powerful electromagnetic field.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "traveling into decimal placing," but I was not talking about negative numbers. I was talking about imaginary numbers, as in i<sup>2</sup> = -1
  20. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Technically speaking, the notions of Science and Belief are mutually exclusive. Science, in its purest form, is a method , nothing more. As such, it lies beyond the realm of Belief.
    Nevertheless, it is true that belief has come to play a role in contemporary science, as we have seen given various comments on Quantum Mechanics. I would argue however, that in this context, the word 'belief' is being abused; belief implies much more than a mind-set, or a point-of-view. Quantum Interpretation, collapsing a wave Eigenstate, etc, have nothing to do with the observer's belief so much as the observer's behavior .
  21. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    Alpha said:

    Perhaps a new word for you: autodidactic

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  22. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    glaucon said:

    In Science belief is a provisional turn signal one activates to indicate one's intention to take the next available freeway exit.

    Whereas in Philosophy belief is a perpetual turn signal one uses to indicate that eventually one hopefully will find the freeway exit they really would like to take.
  23. Rick Valued Senior Member

    Re: Real...

    Dreams are known to more than one person.people know dreams and see them all in all their different ways...does that point in anyways to Our world?


    definition of real in what you perceive is totally seem to talk about this seem to pointing about things that point towards the fact that you kick,bite touch and feel it to make it real,isnt it?


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