At what point will we not need to advance scientifically? Is there an endgame?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Jan Ardena, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    I took this quote from DaveC in another thread...

    In the year 3535
    Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
    Everything you think, do and say
    Is in the pill you took today

    which got me thinking.

    What is the point of all this scientific advancement.

    I mean, I think it is at a stage where humans can simply chill, and enjoy.

    Why the need for anymore advancement.

  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Learning more about the universe.
    Improving conditions for humanity everywhere.
    Being a good steward of the Earth - the planet that's keeping us alive.
    Silly to think that there will never be any more beneficial/important advances, but at least you are in good company.

    Letter to the editor, 1825: "What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?"
    Charles Duell, Commissioner of US patent office, 1899: "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
    Simon Newcomb, 1900: "“Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”
    1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.”
    1909: "That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced."
    NYT, 1936: "A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
    Boeing, 1937: "There will never be a bigger plane built." (referring to the Boeing 247 which held 10 passengers.)
    Lee De Forrest, 1957: "I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage [to the Moon] will never occur regardless of all future advances."
    FCC commissioner, 1961: "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States."
    Ken Olson, 1977: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."
    TabbyStar and sideshowbob like this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    It isn't necessarily advancement, and that isn't necessarily the point.
    People are inquisitive; they'll keep nudging and poking and trying to find things out.
    If they're comfortable, they look outward. If they're hurting, they look for solutions to their problems.
    Either way, knowledge comes of their efforts - for good or ill.
    sideshowbob likes this.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    In an unfolding environment with infinite enfolded potential, the artistry of mathematically emergent patterns will keep us busy till eternity.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    An example of an inquisitive mind.

    In the double slit experiment how can the particle manifest when its wave function is in interference with itself?

    After all, only 1 particle becomes expressed on the plate, what happened to the other?

    Is the particle that does manifest of less energy or mass than the original photon?

    Is it possible for a particle to retain all its potential energy while dispersed in a self-interfering wave function?

    One would expect a harmonic wave function for the particle to become fully explicated on impact and wave collapse, no?

    Such a scenario is presented by Bohm in his development of the "Pilot Wave" model, where a particle is always a particle embedded in a larger field wave function. It is that larger wave "guiding" the photon which enters both slits but the particle enters only one of the slits carried by that part of the Pilot Wave function and just as in the other scenario, interfering with the other part of the Pilot Wave which entered the other slit and resulting in exactly the same interference pattern as in the original test. Result exactly as in the standard DS test, and in agreement with all other probability theories except the Copenhagen Interpretation.

    The enormous implication is that if there is no real particle/wave duality but merely the exact and measurable position of the photon as a physical particle at all times, every theory based on the inherently conflicted duality theory can be replaced by very simple mathematics. Occam's Razor.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Here are a few points:

    1. Human beings gotsta know stuff.
    2. Scientific advancement tends, on average, to promote human happiness and wellbeing. For instance, human life expectancy is, on average, far greater than it used to be, even as recently as 100 years ago.
    3. Humanity has some problems. Many of these are of our own making, but we can't really hope to solve them without scientific advancement. At least, not without massive and avoidable loss of life and diminishment of happiness and wellbeing (see 2, above).
    4. Viewed from a non-human perspective, or from the perspective of the uncaring universe as a whole, there might be no "point".
    5. Human beings create our own meaning. The "point" is therefore whatever we decide it is, at any given time.
    6. If you're religious and you don't believe in things like evolution, then the chances of you understanding the point are slim.

    You're lucky to be one of those who is privileged enough to have time to chill and enjoy. Try living on less than a dollar a day for a month or two (as many millions of humans do) and you might reconsider.
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    This is completely off topic.
    Seattle likes this.
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    And then, we have/had the Fundamental Fysiks Group.
    Who certainly seemed to enjoy the questions

    Science helps us find answers which lead to more questions which lead to more answers which lead to more questions which lead to more answers which lead to more questions which lead to more answers which lead to more infinitum...

    much like Jörmungandr

    I cannot imagine this circle dance of science coming to an end
  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Many moons ago, one of our ancestors saw lightning start a fire and he said to himself, "Hmmm, that could be useful."

    Necessity isn't really the mother of invention. Invention is more about finding uses for what we've already discovered. It's impossible to know what the uses will be until after we make the discoveries.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We have no idea. We are at the beginning - the end, if any, is a long way off.
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Witness the thread on evolution.

    If no new knowledge is necessary, what is the point in you spending page after page telling us Darwinian Evolution is false? Perhaps because you recognize that knowledge leads to better answers? Regardless of who might be more right or wrong, you still attempt to convince us your view is correct.

    So, you intuitively recognize that we - and more significantly, you - are not content to let things lie as they are.
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    When human beings no longer have curiosity.

    I hope not.

    I suppose that the end of science might come when everything that can possibly be known is known. Given the size of the universe, both spatially and temporally, I don't see that day ever arriving. The scale of the task is just too large.

    And I suppose that the theoretical physics types might decide that we know everything of interest to them when they have a stout "theory of everything" and believe that they know all the 'laws of nature', even if they don't know precisely how they have played out everywhere. Personally, I doubt if that day will ever come.

    But that isn't what the question is about, is it?

    There seems to be a suggestion that science is driven by some kind of deep spiritual dissatisfaction, an emptiness or a need, perhaps the sort of need that only getting into the right relationship with God can satisfy.

    I don't want to totally dismiss that idea. It might come close to being true if a scientist (or a philosopher or any curious person) is somehow emotionally dependent on satisfying their intellectual desire. It might be true if they can't enjoy life otherwise.

    But the thing is, most scientists and philosophers enjoy believing that the universe still contains mysteries and they enjoy pursuing them. They typically don't believe that they will ever reach the end of their path, whatever that end is. Certainly not them personally, in the space of their lifetime.

    It's making the journey and walking the path that they enjoy.
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    science can only measure that for which it has developed the tools to do that.

    did the word unfathomable
    originally mean
    the rope ain't long enough
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Are you suggesting this is settled science? I brought it up merely to illustrate remaining questions in spite of tentatively accepted science.
  18. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    It seems your content.
    So, the simple answer here is for every individual or family in the world to have the same conditions and same things you have.
    Try to achieve that without new technology. And, do it without damaging the planet for others.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    That's dangerous talk. It's dangerous because it's true. The evidence is obvious. Believers do not need science to explain nature or their relationship to it. They have God, which explains everything without need for further questions.
    And that's ok with me.

    The problem is that theists want to teach Intelligent Design in schools to malleable minds. That's dangerous, IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I'll hazard to say he is not suggesting that at all.
    He is saying that what you wrote does not attempt to answer the question(s) in the OP.
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Ok then, for clarity, I'll repeat the question in an effort to establish "at what point we will not need to advance science", i.e. "an end game" to scientific inquiry in that specific example.

    I posed the question in regard to the double slit experiment. What good is a question without an example?

    Again, in context of the OP question; is the double slit experiment settled science which does not require further scrutiny?

    Another example. We can observe down to 10-16, but Planck scale is at 10-33. Should we ignore that gap (where quantum resides) and conclude we cannot observe at deeper levels and it's no use even trying to go further down?
    i.e. The end game has been reached?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The OP question is more along the lines of: why do we care about sorting out the double slit experiment? What's the point of trying to answer outstanding questions about it? Will it ever be okay to stop?

    Do we need to know what happens at smaller length scales? What's the point of knowing that? That's what the opening post asked.
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    IMHO, it will never stop, it is part of the evolutionary process.
    Relatively speaking , the gap of which absolutely nothing is known is relatively the same size gap as exists between lifesize and 10-16 in size!!!!

    At this stage of understanding, it seems to me an important area of inquiry, being that quantum happens at that level, between 10-16 and 10-32.. We know nothing of what happens in that gap.

    Hopefully, Cern may help us penetrate that domain.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019

Share This Page