What qualifies as science?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Jozen-Bo, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Change "inherent" to "potential". Does that sound more scientific?
    Synonyms for potential ;
    adj promising
    There is the list of synonyms. Take your pick.

    Oh, I personally came up with the analogy; potential = that which may become reality.
    But of course it is possible that I read that somewhere else and just don't remember.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  3. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    How many times do you want me to repeat what I said in post 320?

    Sounding scientific is not the goal. Clear communication of ideas and thoughts is.
    Using the word "potential" instead of "inherent" there makes even less sense.
    Why should I pick a word; it's your statement/thoughts!

    That's a fine definition of potential to use. Just be aware in physics it also has another meaning (as in: potential energy, scalar, and vector potentials).
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    IMO, that was entirely correct. Our neural networks respond to specific (mathematical) frequencies of wavelengths. Some wavelengths we cannot even experience, except by instruments.
    Enlighten me and teach me the correct word to use in context of the posit. I really like to make myself as clear as possible.
    Precisely, and it is up to you to know in what context I am using a word or term. Do you have a dictionary? Use it!
    I could argue that the mathematical properties of wavelengths do in fact influence our thoughts.

    And as I posted before, Max Tegmark maintains that mathematics is all there is.
    Remember (from the NOVA presentation), he specifically says that: "some people think that the universe has some mathematical properties, I submit that the universe has only mathematical properties."
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes, because you take me for a fool or a troll. I just wanted to reassure you that where we agree, I will let you know. Agreement is "suspicious" now?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  8. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    No, they respond to waves of specific (mathematical) frequencies of wavelengths. Subtle, but a big difference.

    We cannot experience wave of some wavelengths. Subtle, but a big difference.

    It's your statement; you explain to me why/how the word "potential" works here.

    How about "but I think even you must admit that everything in the universe appears to be described by certain mathematical (equations and) values, whether they be physical or geometric."?

    And it's up to you to only use words in those contexts such that they cannot be misconstrued. Dictionaries are useful, but they don't always contain all the definitions in all their glory, and they don't always give the proper context in which to use them.

    And now you're making Pythagorean claims again.

    Then he is a Pythagorean as well.

    Indeed sounds like it.

    So I guess that settles it? You're a Pythagorean. That's fine, no problem with me, just be aware a lot of scientists aren't, so you're going to have to fight an uphill battle there.

    Nope, I first just wanted to correct you on what I perceived as a minor textual issue. But it turns out it wasn't one: it was part of your core philosophy. I don't think you're a fool or a troll; it turns out you simply have a different understanding of reality. (I'm serious about this: a Pythagorean view of the world is just as valid as what most mainstream scientists believe.)

    Not suspicious in a malicious way. Just weird. For example, I think we both agree that murdering people in the street is bad. Wow, where did that come from?! But you agree with me, right? Agreement is "suspicious" now? Well, yes, because why did I feel the need to bring something like that up? It makes you wonder as to my motives/thoughts, doesn't it? That was my point there.
    exchemist likes this.
  9. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    And to try and put us back on-topic: Pythagorean views are part of philosophy. Doesn't make them any less valid, but it doesn't qualify as science either.
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think this is a good analysis of why corresponding with Write4U is often frustrating. He has bought Shapiro/Tegmark's notion that the universe IS mathematics. I do not think many scientists (or philosophers) would go along with this. Most of us, I think, see mathematics as a human construction, a highly developed, quantitative logic that we can use to describe the order we see in the world, and thus build predictive models of aspects of physical reality. As rpenner likes to say, "the map is not the territory".

    Another thing about Write4U is he does not know the meaning of many terms in mathematics or science and consequently tends to misapply them or use them confusingly. The example of "potential" that you have analysed is one instance. Another is using "function" in a way that seems to flip-flop between its mathematical sense and its everyday meaning.

    But we struggle on and occasionally make sense to one another.

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  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Of course you are correct in that statement. But we were talking about waves and wave functions. The point I was concentrating on is that it is the mathematical frequency of the wavelengths which determines and separates the potentials of waves (of any kind)
    IMO, one can also say that we cannot experience the wavelengths of some waves.
    Is a wave length (frequency) not a potential?
    Which are the frequencies of waves and their functions, not because they are just waves.
    How can we tell waves apart, except by their frequencies? In terms of observation and experiencing these waves, the color red has a different wave frequency than the color blue. The note C has a different wave frequency than the note D. They are all waves (and functioning as waves), but it is their specific frequency (potential) which determines their subsequent behavior or effect when interacting. Until a mathematical (physical) interaction of these potentials takes place, there is no causal effect.

    IMO, the mathematics of the wave frequencies is causal to the specific mathematical effects, when interacting.
    I agree with that except for the part "appear to be described", described by who? In reality they already exist as mathematical values which we can describe. I see a subtle but important difference there.
    I don't disagree with that, but in this discussion the context was clearly known : waves and their properties.
    If you say so. Personally, of the ancients I am most impressed with Archimedes (less controversy about his actual contributions).
    Of the modern scientists I like David Bohm and Max Tegmark and Renate Loll.
    I wouldn't know, except that Renate Loll proposed a fractal universe (CDT) which basically rests on triangulation, the simplest geometrical structure. I would guess that is clearly Pythagoran, except it addresses Planck scale phenomena.
    This may be of interest
    Proponents of one or more of the multiverse hypotheses include Stephen Hawking,[22] Brian Greene,[23][24] Max Tegmark,[25] Alan Guth,[26] Andrei Linde,[27] Michio Kaku,[28] David Deutsch,[29] Leonard Susskind,[30] Alexander Vilenkin,[31] Yasunori Nomura,[32] Raj Pathria,[33] Laura Mersini-Houghton,[34][35] Neil deGrasse Tyson,[36] and Sean Carroll [/quote] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse#Max_Tegmark.27s_four_levels [quote]So I guess that settles it? You're a Pythagorean.[/quote] ? I know the Pythagorean Theorem, but I like Bohm's perspective of our universe as a single Wholeness which solves the problems with QM and that Tegmark's perspective that any universe consists of forms of mathematical values and geometrics which would apply to the notion of a Multiverse, even as they may function each in accordance to their own mathematical properties.
    I am well aware of this, but I have not read any convincing refutation of either.
    If you say so.
    Ah, not to worry, the opposite is true. When I find agreement on a specific notion, it makes me happy. After all we are not talking about murder.
    Of course, that was the context. But IMO, it is the specific mathematical frequencies (wave lengths) which give waves and wave functions their specific identity and causal potentials.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    True, but the territory must exist before you can map it.
    In a practical sense you are correct, but the underlying principles on which the various interpretations (definitions) of a term or expression are based are the same, IMO. I try to find the definitions which address the most general fundamental meaning. Obviously they seem to be inadequate when discussing specific topics.

    And I sincerely appreciate your patience and effort to make me clarify what I am trying to say.
    And that pleases me, because in the process I usually learn things I had not considered or was ignorant of.....

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  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Of course! Most scientists I am sure must believe there is an objective physical reality to be modelled. Otherwise, what's the point?
    Write4U likes this.
  14. Nahor87 Registered Member

    Nothing (that we know) existed before time.
  15. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    Great! So you concede the point, and I was right all along: wavelengths are not physical, waves are.

    Sloppy language: wavelengths have no frequency. In fact, apart from an inversion, they are the same thing! And what are "potentials of waves"?

    And one would be wrong (under non-Pythagorean philosophies). Wavelengths cannot be experienced per definition as they are mathematical constructs.

    No. Wavelength =/= frequency, and both are not the same as a potential. Please look up the proper physical definitions of these words.

    I've already pointed out why this is wrong.

    Note that you're already assuming similar type of waves. I'm perfectly able to distinguish between a wave in water and an electromagnetic wave.

    Hmm... you've equated these two before: "frequency (potential)", and now: "mathematical (physical)". You're still arguing from a Pythagorean view. I (and with me the majority of scientists) am not.

    "mathematical effects" = Pythagorean view.

    By scientists of course! Who else came up with the equations? Einstein didn't "discover" his field equations, he *invented* them.

    No. This is your Pythagorean view talking again.

    And who is this "we" describing it? I think you've just answered your own question from a single sentence ago!

    What difference?

    So you promise to use the proper term for it? I mean, there is literally no reasons to use the wrong term, right?

    You have demonstrated as such, so yes, I say so.

    Well, I guess you should brush up on Pythagoras, because you agree with him more than you know.

    ? I know the Pythagorean Theorem, but I like Bohm's perspective of our universe as a single Wholeness which solves the problems with QM and that Tegmark's perspective that any universe consists of forms of mathematical values and geometrics which would apply to the notion of a Multiverse, even as they may function each in accordance to their own mathematical properties.[/QUOTE]
    (No comment)

    And neither will I; that's not my point. My point is your usage of terms is incorrect according to the mainstream science definitions of those terms, so people will always misunderstand your terminology, and cannot evaluate your actual ideas.

    I indeed to say so.

    And we we're talking about a conscious version of mathematics either until you brought it up.

    Context does not excuse incorrect usage of words, just so you know.
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Wavelengths have values.
    As I understand it, progressive (moving) waves must have a frequency or it is not a wave, but a single event. A non moving wave with a frequency is called an oscillation.
    Because all waves have the ability (latent or expressed) to do work?
    Then how do we experience sound or colors?
    Of course they are not the same, that's why we have different names for them. But, IMO, all wavelengths of a specific frequency do have the potential to do work. Infra-red waves have the potential to give you a "sun-burn". A low frequency sound wave of sufficient volume will blow out the speakers in your stereo.
    I'll use my general definition. Potential = that which may become reality. I understand there are many types of potential, some which may remain latent, some which will be expressed. An atomic bomb has an enormous amount of potential, but not all atomic bombs explode and their potential remains latent.
    As am I, but post #323 shows the similarity between fluid dynamics and quantum mechanics under certain conditions.
    I am not really that interested in individual perspectives. The point I was trying to make is that the effects of physical interactions (perhaps even non-physical interactions) create results which can be described mathematically, because they are mathematically quantifiable.
    I understand that, but IMO, that is a misleading statement of reality itself. Einstein did not invent or create the fields, they existed in reality long before he invented the scientific language (mathematics) which identified and quantify them, because they are mathematical (have values) in nature.
    The same as with the Higgs boson. The mathematics predicted the existence of the particle, because a boson is a mathematical object and has a value.

    Let me ask a question; is there anything in the universe that does not have an inherent value or potential? If so, can you name one? (this is a serious question)

    Most cosmologists claim that they are only discovering what was there all the time.
    By your words, all those cosmologists must be Pythagorean adherents.
    Scientists of course, it is their area of expertise. I agree with that except for the part "appear to be described", described by who? In reality they already exist as mathematical values which we can describe. I see a subtle but important difference there.
    We did not invent the values, we invented the symbolic language that describes them.
    I am not sure what term you are talking about. Once context has been established, is there need to repeat the terms ad nauseum? I agree with that except for the part "appear to be described", described by who? In reality they already exist as mathematical values which we can describe. I see a subtle but important difference there.
    Problem is that there seems to be very little known about Pythagoras. Except for his Theorem, a lot of his work is attributed to others.


    I know the Pythagorean Theorem, but I like Bohm's perspective of our universe as a single Wholeness which solves the problems with QM and that Tegmark's perspective that any universe consists of forms of mathematical values and geometrics which would apply to the notion of a Multiverse, even as they may function each in accordance to their own mathematical properties.
    To my recollection, neither did I. Can you refer me to the post?
    Oh, I agree, but in the above quote I made a correction to your post (in red), because you were using incorrect usage of words. But I tried to understand the context (gist) of what you were saying and took the liberty of just correcting the error, without making a fuss about it.

    One thing I am not yet clear about is (post # 352)
    I disagree with that. One example of a wavelength that can be experienced is
    Apparently some wavelengths do have physical properties that can be experienced.[/quote]
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  17. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    Yes, and both are not physical entities.

    This is unrelated to what I wrote.

    Ah, sure. I was afraid you were using "potential" in the scientific sense.

    Particles and waves interacting, bumping into each other, resulting in electrical impulses send to our brains. We can describe these with mathematics, but they don't consists of mathematics.

    Good, so stop using them interchangeably.

    (Already resolved.)

    (Already resolved.)

    Since there is no ether, they are not the same types of waves. There is no fluid permeating all of space(time) in quantum mechanics. The QM wave function is not propagating in a fluid. Sure, the mathematics are quite similar, but the type of waves are fundamentally different, even if they behave similarly.

    Then stop using the word "wavelength" as if it is a physical entity.

    I never stated that. Read it again: I said "field equations", not "fields".

    And here we go with the Pythagorean view again.

    And more of the Pythagorean view.

    Under the assumption that you are talking about mathematical "inherent value" (and not moral): no, I do not believe that the number three has some physical incarnation in our universe. I think numbers are a creation of humans, not nature.
    Under the assumption that you are talking about potential in a non-scientific sense (so not a gravitational potential): yes, of course. Things can potentially lead to, or become other things.

    True, but since they're also quite literally looking only at the past, I would need more context to that statement to really understand what they are talking about specifically.

    No. Cosmologists aren't looking at numbers, but at stars and galaxies. They are looking at physical things, not mathematical things.

    So we both agree you already know the answer to that question you asked. Great!

    This is the Pythagorean view again; most scientists will disagree with things existing as mathematical values.

    This is the Pythagorean view again; most scientists will say we invented the values as well. We did not set them, but we did invent them. (Please don't read to much into this; the subtly is half-lost due to my inability to express this properly.)

    Read back my very first post in this forum again.

    Irrelevant. There is a need to use the correct terms. If that means repeating them, then yes, absolutely there is a need to repeat the terms ad nauseum.

    Here you go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism

    You opened post #321 with: "I agree, maths do not consciously contribute to wave reception". "Maths" is the subject of that sentence, "contribute" the verb. "consciously" thus refers to the subject. You are talking about a conscious version of math (or rather, how one doesn't exist).
    Why do you have such trouble remembering what you wrote, and what I already referred to previously?

    *sigh* Do you really consider a typo the same as a violation of the definition of a word? Are you really that childish? You want me to start throwing out your arguments every time there's a typo anywhere?

    Also, English is not my native language. Cut me some slack, okay?

    (Well, technically you are making a fuss about it now.) But you know what would have happened if you had simply pointed out that typo? I would have corrected it immediately. Yet you, when I point out your incorrect usage of words, you don't.

    No, waves have.

    Show me a wavelength without a wave.

    Tell me how I can grasp a wavelength.

    It's not physical. Wavelengths in and of themselves are not real.


    You know, I think we're done here. I've conclusively demonstrated that you hold Pythagorean views. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not science.

    In other words (going back on-topic): your views do NOT qualify as science. QED
    exchemist likes this.
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    They have values and values can be symbolized by mathematics.
    It is related to what I am writing.
    I was.
    They do have values which can be symbolized by mathematics
    I don't
    OK. Seems I was correct.
    Ok, seems I was correct.
    I never mentioned the "ether", nor fluids permeating spacetime.
    Misrepresenting or misquoting what I write is a reportable offense.
    It is a measurable entity which can be symbolized with mathematics.
    It was a statement by me, not a quote.
    Things in the universe have no values that can be symbolized by mathematics? Seems science is full of mathematics. Everyone must be Pythagorean then.
    Seems unavoidable doesn't it?
    Again you are misquoting me. I am talking about values which we have symbolized into a mathematical language. Did we create the behaviors and potentials of things also?
    The fundamental definition applies universally, including gravity.
    Thus your answer is "true". Good we agree.
    Physical things such as "light-years"?
    Good, another agreement.
    Most scientists will agree things have inherent values, which can be described by a symbolic language, mathematics.
    Why don't you afford me that courtesy?
    This one ?
    That is another misquote by you of what I said;
    Such as the wavelength of the color red? Or the shorter wavelength of the color blue?
    The topic title is "what qualifies as science?". In order to be correct should we start every post with "what qualifies as science is .................
    btw. I have not heard you try to explain what qualifies as science.
    Except I was not talking about Pythagoreanism. I was talking about Pythagoras.
    Here you go:
    Oh, I remember what I said, in fact I was expressing agreement. Are you having another suspicious feeling, because I agreed with something?
    If you insist on perfection of expression, should you not be held to the same standard. What you originally wrote made no sense at all. That's why I gave you the courtesy of correcting it and bring it to your attention.
    English is not my native language either, but you don't cut me any slack........"sighhh*
    I would but there is a time-limit for editing posts.
    Show me a wave without a wavelength.
    You can measure them
    They express a value, which is quantifiable.
    OK, then you tell me who's views do. Einstein clearly doesn't qualify as a scientist: "spooky action at a distance"?
    Or the several scientists who declared "QM is magic" (at a certain level). I guess we can count them out also?
    This is a becoming a long list of non-scientists, by your standards.

    I've given it my shot. I even gave you a list of respected scientists who hold the same view. I'll stipulate that my narrative may have been flawed in parts. But then I also provided copious quotes from recognized scientists in order to clarify my posits. I like Tegmark's hypothesis. Not because he is smarter than Pythagoras was, but because he has much more in-depth information at his disposal.

    But I second your motion that we are done here. In the spirit of goodwill, lets agree to disagree.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    1) Don't be silly. He's not accusing you of claiming there is an aether. He was just pointing out that water waves and matter waves differ fundamentally. That's obvious from reading what he wrote. No need to get your knickers in a twist.

    2) Non sequitur. Just because science is "full of mathematics" does not mean that reality is mathematics. You seem remarkably (wilfully?) dense on this topic. Several people have explained to you the more usual view would be that mathematics is a tool we use in making our models of reality. Models.

    3) Einstein had metaphysical views, as most of us do - some of them apparently wrong, in his case. That does not mean he could not be a scientist. None of his theories relies on prohibiting "spooky action at a distance" as an axiom.

    4) I missed the list of scientists who hold the same view as you and Shapiro/Tegmark. Can you refer me to the post in question?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  20. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    But they are not physical.

    Then you were using the term incorrectly.

    You know, you really should stop flip-flopping between calling mathematics a real or a symbolic thing.

    Please re-re-read my first post. You are.

    Actually, you unresolved it by saying you meant "potential" in the scientific way. Seems you were wrong.

    It turns out you aren't because you were using it in the scientific way. In other words, the definition you give is the wrong one. Oops!

    Fluid dynamics only works in a medium. Tell me, what is the medium of the quantum wave function? I can only think of one candidate, ether. If you don't think ether is real, and can't come up with another candidate, I think I've just found a huge difference between the two.

    And please do report my post(s) if you think I committed a reportable offense.

    But it's a non-physical entity in and of itself.

    Erm... in that case, why are you responding to me if it's not related? You know that "misrepresenting or misquoting what I write is a reportable offense".

    Science indeed is full of maths, but physical reality is not. Subtle, but an important difference. Science aims to give a description of reality, and it uses the language of maths to do so. Reality however doesn't care about maths at all.

    Weirdly enough this only happens when you are around...

    How am I misquoting you?
    No, we did not create the behaviors and potentials. But we did create their descriptions we are currently using. We created the mathematics. We assigned values to the properties we measure. Nature doesn't care about "3 meters", it only cares about the distance that "3 meters" describes.

    Yes, it does. But it's not the same as the "gravitational potential" as the term is used in science.

    Under the caveat stated we indeed do.

    Light-years are not physical. Otherwise, please show me a basket of light-years.

    ... Wait, do you mean "properties"? I thought we were using the word "values" to refer to mathematical values, not physical properties of objects? Please clarify.

    Because scientists are able to express what you are saying into proper words. Heck, even I can! In science, there is no confusion as to when to use the word "wavelength" or the word "wave", as these are clearly defined distinct things. My statement here is very handwavy and it really depends on the interpretation of the words "set" and "invent". That's why I added a disclaimer.
    A disclaimer you've never added to your statements, as I recall. I'm asking for that courtesy for that statement, you are denying such a disclaimer is necessary for yours.

    (Sorry, that should've read "thread", not "forum". My mistake!)
    Yes, that one. Real things can only be influenced in a physical way by other real things. So your statement claims wavelengths are real things. Which they are not in science. A wavelength doesn't influence thoughts, just as the number three doesn't.

    I've disqualified certain parts of your posts as science; that counts too!

    You said you know very little about him. I give you a link about his school of thought, the only reason why he was brought up in the first place. In this discussion, I don't care about the man, only about his school of thoughts. So why are you constantly talking about the poor guy?

    Ah, you indeed agree with me that it is you who felt the need to explicitly mention maths as being non-conscious. Also remember that you shouldn't drink and drive!

    Yes, I should. If I use a word in a wrong way, please point this out to me.

    So you do consider a (common) typo the same as a violation of the definition of a word! A strange world you must live in.
    At least I'm not defending my typo.

    I *know* my English isn't perfect, so when somebody points out a mistake, I correct myself. I haven't seen you correct yourself about your wrong usage of scientific terminology. That's my I don't cut you any slack: you don't deserve it.
  21. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    So we are in agreement you've used wrong words. Great! Was it the waves vs wavelengths one, or are there most textual mistakes you want to own up to?

    Look outside. I see sunlight, but not a wavelength in sight.

    You know that's not what I meant. I take it you thus agree with me that wavelengths have no physical presence of themselves?

    Irrelevant. The quantifiability of waves does not equate to physicality of wavelengths.

    Why should I? All I'm saying is that a Pythagorean view is not a scientific one.

    Wait, so Einstein's commentary about not believing in certain quantum effects somehow invalidates his work on GR?

    Those statements are indeed not scientific. Does that make the person making them a non-scientists? Nope.

    You started listing people. I wasn't even talking about people, I was talking about philosophical views. Also, that a person holds some non-scientific believes doesn't mean they are not scientists. It means they are human.

    This is an argument from authority. I don't care how many respected scientists hold the same view: I care about the view.

    (Same here. With hindsight I could have written certain parts a lot clearer.)

    Still the same argument from authority...

    You know, I wouldn't even know. I haven't look at this, because we're still stuck with your struggle to distinguish maths from reality, and waves from wavelengths.

    So now somebody's IQ is somehow more important than the correctness of their view?

    Oh, so having more information is more important that the correctness of their view too?

    No, I shall not. You are abusing scientific terms which you claim to be using in a scientific manner. We are done here in the sense that no further progress can be made unless you make it. But you refuse to. I will have to keep pointing out your scientific flaws as long as you don't properly disclaimer them in order to (hopefully) prevent others from mis-learning science.
  22. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    (exchemist, our posts crossed, sorry.)

    It seems I'm using the wrong word (again). It'll try and correct myself in the future.
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think it just depends whether you are in Britain or N America. We Brits tend to retain the old transliteration of Greek (αἰθήρ), whereas the US opted many years ago for a rationalised spelling system that did away with many of these idiosyncrasies.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

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