Discussion:
Sir Karl Popper on Einstein's Block Universe
(too old to reply)
Maarten van Reeuwijk
2005-12-17 08:42:29 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.

.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).

HTH, Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 09:07:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
classical mechanics, the following two statements can be both true:

1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.

2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.

When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
two reasons:

1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.

2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Bill Hobba
2005-12-17 10:09:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
First Mati excellent post.

But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of the
'small uncertainties of initial values'. Of course if you are getting to
that level of resolution in your measurement for the exceedingly small
uncertainties the HUP implies for classical sized objects one can question
if you should be using a classical model.

Thanks
Bill
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 16:22:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Hobba
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
First Mati excellent post.
Well, thank you.
Post by Bill Hobba
But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of the
'small uncertainties of initial values'. Of course if you are getting to
that level of resolution in your measurement for the exceedingly small
uncertainties the HUP implies for classical sized objects one can question
if you should be using a classical model.
Well, that was really the point of my comment (1) above (should've
elaborated more). Because when we use classical mechanics but invoke
QM to state that there are always uncertainties in initial values we
say, in effect, "a deterministic model doesn't fully describe the
situation if it is but an approximation to an underlying
non-deterministic model". Which is true but not very profound:-)

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Craig Franck
2005-12-17 23:55:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Hobba
But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of
the 'small uncertainties of initial values'.
I was under the impression that a probabilistic interpretation of
QM smoothed out all the finer points of judging the initial state of
a system suitable for such treatment.

So if there is a 50/50 chance a radioactive element will decay at
some point and damage my DNA, knowing exactly where in my
body these atoms are doesn't increase your ability to make a
prediction very greatly since you can't predict positively which
atoms will decay and lead to me getting cancer. Knowing the
exact location of every atom in my body still leaves it at 50/50
that I might get cancer, which is a 0 increase predictive ability.
--
Craig Franck
***@verizon.net
Cortland, NY
Bill Hobba
2005-12-18 00:35:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bill Hobba
But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of
the 'small uncertainties of initial values'.
I was under the impression that a probabilistic interpretation of
QM smoothed out all the finer points of judging the initial state of
a system suitable for such treatment.
A classical system is composed of individual particles all of which is
assumed to be both value definite and non contextual in its properties. The
Kochen-Specker theorem shows QM can not be both value definite and non
contextual. Thus if one tries to say things like 'probabilistic
interpretation of QM smoothed out all the finer points of judging the
initial state of a system suitable for such treatment.' you are trying to
mesh two incompatible treatments. Semi classical treatments exist but they
are non trivial. Indeed the emergence of a classical realm from QM is a
rather difficult issue - modern treatments pinning their hopes on
decoherence.
Post by Craig Franck
So if there is a 50/50 chance a radioactive element will decay at
some point and damage my DNA, knowing exactly where in my
body these atoms are doesn't increase your ability to make a
prediction very greatly since you can't predict positively which
atoms will decay and lead to me getting cancer. Knowing the
exact location of every atom in my body still leaves it at 50/50
that I might get cancer, which is a 0 increase predictive ability.
Your point escapes me.

Thnaks
Bill
Post by Craig Franck
--
Craig Franck
Cortland, NY
s***@yahoo.com
2005-12-19 05:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Hobba
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bill Hobba
But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of
the 'small uncertainties of initial values'.
I was under the impression that a probabilistic interpretation of
QM smoothed out all the finer points of judging the initial state of
a system suitable for such treatment.
A classical system is composed of individual particles all of which is
assumed to be both value definite and non contextual in its properties. The
Kochen-Specker theorem shows QM can not be both value definite and non
contextual.
Thanks for the reference. The KS theorem shows this only in terms of
observables if I understand correctly..
Post by Bill Hobba
Thus if one tries to say things like 'probabilistic
interpretation of QM smoothed out all the finer points of judging the
initial state of a system suitable for such treatment.' you are trying to
mesh two incompatible treatments. Semi classical treatments exist but they
are non trivial. Indeed the emergence of a classical realm from QM is a
rather difficult issue - modern treatments pinning their hopes on
decoherence.
QM emerged from a classical realm. The notation and mathematics is all
from classical statistical physics.. and it can be interpreted
accordingly:

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0112049

cheers- shevek
Bob
2005-12-19 14:34:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@yahoo.com
QM emerged from a classical realm. The notation and mathematics is all
from classical statistical physics.. and it can be interpreted
http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0112049
I wonder how many people here have read the works of ET Jaynes.
s***@yahoo.com
2005-12-19 16:18:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by s***@yahoo.com
QM emerged from a classical realm. The notation and mathematics is all
from classical statistical physics.. and it can be interpreted
http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0112049
I wonder how many people here have read the works of ET Jaynes.
Thanks!

I'm starting over at http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/node1.html.

Cheers - shevek
Mike
2005-12-17 11:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
I also must say this is an excellent post.

I wonder what is the difference between "non-deterministic" and
"indeterminacy". I suspect there is no resolution as to whether QM is
non-deterministic depending on the interpretation accepted.
Furthermore, the accepted definition of deterministic chaos is rather
dubious. Does it manifest due to integration errors starting from the
initial state and going into the future, a numerical problem per se, or
it is natural? Systems we think exhibit chaotic behavior like a
Vamderbeilt (I know I can't spell this) oscillator, do they trully do
that, or we are unable to predict their behavior due to the limited
scope of the dynamical modelling we use?

Mike
tg
2005-12-17 11:48:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
*
If the initial state can't be known in the same way between the two
beasts, then perhaps it would be less confusing if you didn't use the
"in spite of" sentence.

-tg
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
d***@hotmail.com
2005-12-17 12:05:36 UTC
Permalink
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly all -
scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may contain
important anticipations of scientific theories.

*****************************

Yup. Anything may serve as a basis for a scientific theory. Arrived at
by whatever method, under any state of mind, even, say, bipolar racing
thoughts. AS LONG AS IT PANS OUT. AS LONG AS THE THEORY VERIFYS
TRUE. Confir the "Argument against the person".

- Don
Traveler
2005-12-17 14:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
*
If the initial state can't be known in the same way between the two
beasts, then perhaps it would be less confusing if you didn't use the
"in spite of" sentence.
I agree with Meron here (ahahaha...). Even if you could know the
initial state of the universe, it would still remain
non-deterministic. The problem with QM is that its claim of
indeterminacy and uncertainty is not given as a consequence of the
theory. It is a hypothesis arising from the inability to take precise
measurements. A better theory would derive/deduce the probabilistic
nature of the universe from first principles. QM fails in this regard.

So far, indeterminacy is just a religious faith among physicists.
Forget determinism since it is is pure crackpottery. This state of
affairs is unacceptable. Contrary to what the "digital physics" school
of thought has been preaching, the reason that the universe is
probabilistic is that it is discrete. Discreteness requires a single
interaction time and a single speed. Nature cannot therefore calculate
exact durations; so it does the best and only thing it can do: it uses
probability to time interactions. This is the reason for the
probabilistic nature of particle decay durations.

Remember where you first heard this, on usenet, the ultimate
peer-review system. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 18:18:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Even if you could know the
initial state of the universe, it would still remain
non-deterministic. The problem with QM is that its claim of
indeterminacy and uncertainty is not given as a consequence of the
theory. It is a hypothesis arising from the inability to take precise
measurements. A better theory would derive/deduce the probabilistic
nature of the universe from first principles. QM fails in this regard.
You might want to read ET Jaynes comments on epistemology versus
ontology.
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 22:03:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
*
If the initial state can't be known in the same way between the two
beasts, then perhaps it would be less confusing if you didn't use the
"in spite of" sentence.
Well, sorry if it caused confusion. What I meant to say is this: in
QM, when the Hamiltonian is known and the appropriate initial
conditions (which are not the same is in classical machanics, indeed,
but are initial conditions nevertheless) provided, the wave function
is fully determined for any time in the future. In this sense, the
system is deterministic. Yet, *in spite of this*, for any dynamical
parameter, with the exception of those commuting with the Hamiltonian,
you cannot say what the value of this parameter, as measured at a
given time t will be. You can only say what the probabilities of
different values will be. This is non-determinism which has nothing
to do with lack of knowledge of initial conditions. The initial
conditions are known and the non-determinism stems from the very
nature of QM, not from missing information.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Bob
2005-12-17 15:04:38 UTC
Permalink
QM which is not fully deterministic.
Wrong. QM is fully deterministic for those quantities that are
relevant to the process under discussion. That's because the
Schrodinger Equation employs Unitary operators.

What QM tells us is there are certain quantities that are not relevant
to the process under discussion. This is a radical departure from
classical physics where such quantities are very relevant.

For example, QM tells us that the time when a particular emission
occurs is irrelevant to the process of spontaneous emission. As long
as there are a constant number of emissions per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations) the process will evolve according to the
wave function. IOW, it does not matter which emissions occur, only
that a constant number of them do per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations).

That is not what classical mechanics tells us. If I put a BB in a
large drum that is mounted horizontally thru its axis, with a slightly
larger hole on the side, and I rotate the barrel, the BB will
eventually come out of the barrel. If I trace the events backwards, I
find that the cause of the BB exiting the drum was a collision with a
specific place on the wall. QM tells us differently, that spontaneous
emission does not depend on the specific details of the interaction of
the system with Vacuum fluctuations. The emission can occur if any
fluctuation or collection of fluctuations causes the system to exceed
the activation energy.

But just because there are intrinsically unknowable quantities in QM
does not mean the process is not deterministic.
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
QM which is not fully deterministic.
Wrong. QM is fully deterministic for those quantities that are
relevant to the process under discussion. That's because the
Schrodinger Equation employs Unitary operators.
What QM tells us is there are certain quantities that are not relevant
to the process under discussion. This is a radical departure from
classical physics where such quantities are very relevant.
For example, QM tells us that the time when a particular emission
occurs is irrelevant to the process of spontaneous emission. As long
as there are a constant number of emissions per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations) the process will evolve according to the
wave function. IOW, it does not matter which emissions occur, only
that a constant number of them do per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations).
It has nothing to do with constancy. It has to do with an average
number. The average itself is absolute and deterministic as required
by the laws of conservation but it is not constant per unit of time.
However, as you pointed out, the timing of individual emissions is
probabilistic.
Post by Bob
That is not what classical mechanics tells us. If I put a BB in a
large drum that is mounted horizontally thru its axis, with a slightly
larger hole on the side, and I rotate the barrel, the BB will
eventually come out of the barrel. If I trace the events backwards, I
find that the cause of the BB exiting the drum was a collision with a
specific place on the wall. QM tells us differently, that spontaneous
emission does not depend on the specific details of the interaction of
the system with Vacuum fluctuations. The emission can occur if any
fluctuation or collection of fluctuations causes the system to exceed
the activation energy.
But just because there are intrinsically unknowable quantities in QM
does not mean the process is not deterministic.
Yes. Although I agree with QM physicists that the universe is
probabilistic, QM does not offer any proof of this observed
indeterminacy. It's a mere hypothesis. Proof must comes from first
principles. That is what is lacking in QM. QM physicists accept
indeterminacy partially on the basis of faith. This is unacceptable.
There is a reason for this state of affairs and they should get off
their collective lazy ass and figure it out. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 18:28:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Post by Bob
For example, QM tells us that the time when a particular emission
occurs is irrelevant to the process of spontaneous emission. As long
as there are a constant number of emissions per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations) the process will evolve according to the
wave function. IOW, it does not matter which emissions occur, only
that a constant number of them do per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations).
It has nothing to do with constancy.
What has nothing to do with constancy? You have to be more specific.
Post by Traveler
It has to do with an average number.
What has to do with an average number? How is that average defined?
Post by Traveler
The average itself is absolute and deterministic as required
by the laws of conservation
What "laws of conservation"?
Post by Traveler
but it is not constant per unit of time.
What is not a constant per unit time?

Have you ever studied the Poisson distribution, in particular the
first order Poisson process?
Post by Traveler
Post by Bob
But just because there are intrinsically unknowable quantities in QM
does not mean the process is not deterministic.
Yes. Although I agree with QM physicists that the universe is
probabilistic, QM does not offer any proof of this observed
indeterminacy.
What "indeterminancy"? If a certain quantity is not relevant to the
process how can it be involved in its determination?
Post by Traveler
It's a mere hypothesis. Proof must comes from first
principles. That is what is lacking in QM. QM physicists accept
indeterminacy partially on the basis of faith. This is unacceptable.
You are pontificating.
Post by Traveler
There is a reason for this state of affairs and they should get off
their collective lazy ass and figure it out. ahahaha...
Why don't you submit a paper to a mainstream refereed journal if you
are so sure of yourself.
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 22:25:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
QM which is not fully deterministic.
Wrong. QM is fully deterministic for those quantities that are
relevant to the process under discussion.
If by this you mean "quantities commuting with the Hamiltonian, then
sure, most true.
Post by Bob
That's because the Schrodinger Equation employs Unitary operators.
Indeed. The time evolution of the solutions of Shroedinger Equation
is *fully deterministic*. Neverhteless, the values of physical
quantities which do not commute with the Hamiltonian cannot be
predicted, only the probabilities of different values can. That's the
non-determinism I'm talking about. You may view it as a issue of
"quantities non relevant to the process", I prefer to view it as a
matter of "not all physical quantities do have values at the same
time. The distinction between the two is semantic rather than
physical, so I'm not about to argue about it. So if you want to
narrowly define deterministic as "the values of all quantities that
*can* have simultenously defined values, for a given process, are
fully predictable" then yes, in this sense QM is deterministic.
Post by Bob
What QM tells us is there are certain quantities that are not relevant
to the process under discussion. This is a radical departure from
classical physics where such quantities are very relevant.
I would put it in slightly different words. In classical mechanics it
doesn't matter if specific quantities are relevant to the process or
not. They still do have a value, at any given moment, and given
sufficient information this value can be established. In QM, not all
quantities do have a value, at any moment.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Bob
2005-12-18 15:18:24 UTC
Permalink
In QM, not all quantities do have a value, at any moment.
I would argue that the reason for that is because the quantities are
irrelevant to the evolution of the process.

What difference does it make for spontaneous emission if specific
precursor events transpire? No a thing. All it takes is an average
number of precursor events of an unspecified nature to cause the
emission to occur.

Imagine you are in a huge crowd at a soccer game in S. America.
Something sets the crowd off and it stampedes for the exits. You are
in that crowd and get killed. Other people also get killed.

We do not know specifically who killed you or the other people. But
that does not stop you and the others from being killed nonetheless.
The process of being killed by a stampeding crowd at a S. American
soccer game does not depend on the details of how each person gets
killed, only on the dynamics of the stampede process.

The wave function evolves in a way that the details of its evolution
are intrinsically unknowable because such detailed knowledge is not
required to cause the wave function to evolve.

A lot of my thinking about this is colored by the work of Greg Chaitin
and his Algorithmic Complexity Theory. He discusses Unknowability in
great detail. I see QM as an example of his discoveries.

The reason according to Chaitin for Unknowables in mathematics is
there is no algorithm available that can reproduce the values of
Unknowables that is logarithmically smaller than the values
themselves. In other words these Unknowables are Uncomputable in the
Turing sense. The unknowable quantities in QM are uncomputable and
therefore QM treats them as irrelevant.
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-18 20:00:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
In QM, not all quantities do have a value, at any moment.
I would argue that the reason for that is because the quantities are
irrelevant to the evolution of the process.
Not really, relevance isn't of much relevance here. Commutation
relations are. Especially commutation relations with the Hamiltonian
since it is the Hamiltonian that governs the evolution of the process.

Lets take the simple case of a 3D state with a Hamiltonian depending
only on the momentum and position along one direction, say direction
z. So, you've a Hamiltonian H = H(z,p_z). Obviously, from the
construction, z and p_z are very much relevant to the evolution of the
system, since the Hamiltonian depends on them. Now, if you take an
eigenstate of energy for this Hamiltonian, then the following
statements are true:

1) The energy of the system has a well defined value.
2) Neither z nor p_z have well defined values, in spite of both of
them being "relevant".

Furthermore, if we'll now direct our attention to position and
momentum along an orthiogonal direction, say x, then we can add:

3) Either x or p_x can have a well defined value, even though they're
utterly irrelevant to the process.
4) Both x and p_x cannot have simultaneously a well defined value,
and this has nothing to do with their relevance (or lack of) to the
process, only with their commutation relations.

We can now follow and consider yet additional variables, but the above
should do.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Bob
2005-12-18 21:06:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Bob
In QM, not all quantities do have a value, at any moment.
I would argue that the reason for that is because the quantities are
irrelevant to the evolution of the process.
Not really, relevance isn't of much relevance here. Commutation
relations are. Especially commutation relations with the Hamiltonian
since it is the Hamiltonian that governs the evolution of the process.
Let's take the simple case of a 3D state with a Hamiltonian depending
only on the momentum and position along one direction, say direction
z. So, you've a Hamiltonian H = H(z,p_z). Obviously, from the
construction, z and p_z are very much relevant to the evolution of the
system, since the Hamiltonian depends on them. Now, if you take an
eigenstate of energy for this Hamiltonian, then the following
1) The energy of the system has a well defined value.
2) Neither z nor p_z have well defined values, in spite of both of
them being "relevant".
I confused "not having well defined values" with "having values that
are equally probable".

Consider the case of spontaneous emission. The Heitler model states
that the probability per unit time for any particular decay is a
constant independent of the time interval. That means the time for any
particular decay is intrinsically unknown (because any value has equal
probability) and therefore irrelevant to the decay process.
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-18 22:24:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Bob
In QM, not all quantities do have a value, at any moment.
I would argue that the reason for that is because the quantities are
irrelevant to the evolution of the process.
Not really, relevance isn't of much relevance here. Commutation
relations are. Especially commutation relations with the Hamiltonian
since it is the Hamiltonian that governs the evolution of the process.
Let's take the simple case of a 3D state with a Hamiltonian depending
only on the momentum and position along one direction, say direction
z. So, you've a Hamiltonian H = H(z,p_z). Obviously, from the
construction, z and p_z are very much relevant to the evolution of the
system, since the Hamiltonian depends on them. Now, if you take an
eigenstate of energy for this Hamiltonian, then the following
1) The energy of the system has a well defined value.
2) Neither z nor p_z have well defined values, in spite of both of
them being "relevant".
I confused "not having well defined values" with "having values that
are equally probable".
Well, the second is a subset of the first, but the opposite ain't
true.
Post by Bob
Consider the case of spontaneous emission. The Heitler model states
that the probability per unit time for any particular decay is a
constant independent of the time interval. That means the time for any
particular decay is intrinsically unknown (because any value has equal
probability) and therefore irrelevant to the decay process.
This is true but as you could see from the examples above, not
characteristic of anything. The properties of "relevance" and "well
defineness" are pretty much orthogonal. If we denote by A the
property of "being relevant to the evolution of the system" (which I
interpret as "the Hamiltonian depends on it") and by B the property of
"having a well defined value at any given moment of the system's
evolution" then all four combinations:

A and B
A and not B
not A and B
not A and not B

may occur under various circumstances.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Publius
2005-12-19 11:05:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Imagine you are in a huge crowd at a soccer game in S. America.
Something sets the crowd off and it stampedes for the exits. You are
in that crowd and get killed. Other people also get killed.
We do not know specifically who killed you or the other people. But
that does not stop you and the others from being killed nonetheless.
The process of being killed by a stampeding crowd at a S. American
soccer game does not depend on the details of how each person gets
killed, only on the dynamics of the stampede process.
But it does depend on those details. The explanation, "Joe was killed in a
stampede at a soccer game," while accurate, simply ignores them.
Maarten van Reeuwijk
2005-12-17 21:01:26 UTC
Permalink
... To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements.
That was exactly what I tried to say. I used Heisenberg to put a limit onto
(1), namely that momentum and position cannot be both known up to infinite
precision simultaneously.

Best wishes,

Maarten
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
2005-12-18 17:30:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
FSVO. In the relative state interpretation it is fully deterministic,
but the determinism is of no practical value.
--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT <http://patriot.net/~shmuel>

Unsolicited bulk E-mail subject to legal action. I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail. Reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me. Do not
reply to ***@library.lspace.org
Bob
2005-12-18 20:57:05 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 12:30:08 -0500, "Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz"
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
FSVO. In the relative state interpretation it is fully deterministic,
but the determinism is of no practical value.
Determinism is essential for causality, and causality is essential for
order. Therefore determinism is essential for order.

In QM not every quantity is knowable. But that does not mean the
process is not deterministic. The fact that the Schrodinger Equation
uses Unitary operators guarantees that the evolution wave function is
deterministic.
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-18 21:59:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
FSVO. In the relative state interpretation it is fully deterministic,
but the determinism is of no practical value.
Indeed.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Traveler
2005-12-17 13:52:57 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
Spacetime is more than just deterministic. It is unchanging. Come to
think of it, it would be very hard for anybody in an unchanging to
determine anything since the act of determining precludes the
existence of change.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
I don't see the relevance of this argument when considering a block
universe. As I pointed out, the problem has nothing to do with
determinism. It has to do with the fact that a block universe is
unchanging. You observe change, don't you?
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe,
What are you, autistic? Who said anything about science being about an
unchanging universe?
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
What has been falsified is the notion preached by relativists for
close to a century that matter affects spacetime which, in turn,
affects the motion of matter in spacetime. Spacetime is unchanging. No
motion is possible in it because time is one of its dimensions.

The consequence of this observation is that there is no time travel
toward the future or the past, no geodesics, no motion in spacetime,
hence no spacetime and no time dimension. There is only the ever
changing present, the NOW. Time is not a variable, regardless of what
you have been taught or want to believe.

This immediately makes a bunch of physicists bona fide crackpots in my
book. ahahaha... That's the point of this thread. Enough with the
Star-Trek physics, please. Get with it.

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 14:54:05 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Quantum mechanics has repeatedly produced certain quantities that are
intrinsically unknowable. That is a stronger condition than chaos
produces. If the probability per unit time for the spontaneous
emission is a constant (as it is in a first order Poisson process),
then there is no way to know when the emission will occur because each
time interval t -> t +dt has the same probability for emission.

Another way to put it, in light of Greg Chaitin's research into
unknowables in mathematics, is that there is no algorithm possible
which could compute the time of an emission. The quantity is truly
random in any sense (Martin Loff, et al) (cf. Chaitin for a proof of
this).

The Schrodinger Equation is deterministic because it employs Unitary
operators. That does not mean that there cannot be certain quantities
that are unknowable. These quantities are irrelevant as far as
determinism of the process is concerned. The time when any particular
emission occurs is not relevant because any emission would work, not
just the one being observed. Determinism requires that there be a
uniform number of emissions per unit time (subject to statistical
fluctuations) but it does not require that specific emissions occur
duing that interval.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
You have stated in a very articulate manner the dilemna we face with
QM and the spacetime continuum model of Relativity. I come down fully
on the side of QM. I thing the spacetime continuum is fatally flawed,
just like the Luminiferous Ether was fatally flawed.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.

If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.

To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.

In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
tg
2005-12-17 15:23:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Quantum mechanics has repeatedly produced certain quantities that are
intrinsically unknowable. That is a stronger condition than chaos
produces. If the probability per unit time for the spontaneous
emission is a constant (as it is in a first order Poisson process),
then there is no way to know when the emission will occur because each
time interval t -> t +dt has the same probability for emission.
Another way to put it, in light of Greg Chaitin's research into
unknowables in mathematics, is that there is no algorithm possible
which could compute the time of an emission. The quantity is truly
random in any sense (Martin Loff, et al) (cf. Chaitin for a proof of
this).
The Schrodinger Equation is deterministic because it employs Unitary
operators. That does not mean that there cannot be certain quantities
that are unknowable. These quantities are irrelevant as far as
determinism of the process is concerned. The time when any particular
emission occurs is not relevant because any emission would work, not
just the one being observed. Determinism requires that there be a
uniform number of emissions per unit time (subject to statistical
fluctuations) but it does not require that specific emissions occur
duing that interval.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
You have stated in a very articulate manner the dilemna we face with
QM and the spacetime continuum model of Relativity. I come down fully
on the side of QM. I thing the spacetime continuum is fatally flawed,
just like the Luminiferous Ether was fatally flawed.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.
Too bad, you had done a good job of pointing out the source of
confusion in how people use the term deterministic, and now you are
exhibiting confusion of your own. Just as there are some things that
don't matter sometimes in physics, there are some things that don't
matter sometimes in metaphysics. Why should I care if there is 'really'
a hot stove, as long as I am being burned? Why do you wish to deny to
others that liberty which you take yourself in evolving a utilitarian
methodology?

-tg
Post by Traveler
If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.
To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.
In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
Bob
2005-12-17 18:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Too bad, you had done a good job of pointing out the source of
confusion in how people use the term deterministic, and now you are
exhibiting confusion of your own.
It is you who is confused, not me.
Post by tg
Just as there are some things that
don't matter sometimes in physics, there are some things that don't
matter sometimes in metaphysics.
Nonsense.
Post by tg
Why should I care if there is 'really'
a hot stove, as long as I am being burned? Why do you wish to deny to
others that liberty which you take yourself in evolving a utilitarian
methodology?
And this nonsense is a perfect example of it.
tg
2005-12-17 19:06:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by tg
Too bad, you had done a good job of pointing out the source of
confusion in how people use the term deterministic, and now you are
exhibiting confusion of your own.
It is you who is confused, not me.
Post by tg
Just as there are some things that
don't matter sometimes in physics, there are some things that don't
matter sometimes in metaphysics.
Nonsense.
Since you agree about the physics, you must disagree about the
metaphysics.
But what about the hot stove? Should I suffer pain, or should I act as
if my hand is really on a hot stove?

-tg
Post by Bob
Post by tg
Why should I care if there is 'really'
a hot stove, as long as I am being burned? Why do you wish to deny to
others that liberty which you take yourself in evolving a utilitarian
methodology?
And this nonsense is a perfect example of it.
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-17 19:28:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Since you agree about the physics, you must disagree about the
metaphysics.
But what about the hot stove? Should I suffer pain, or should I act as
if my hand is really on a hot stove?
How about this. You suffer pain -because- your hand is in contact with a
hot stove. THus you assert both the perception and the cause of the
perception (heat transfer from the stove to your hand because of a
temperature gradient).

Humans very rarely accept facts without some underlying notion of why or
how the fact is what it is. Virtually all our observations are loaded
with hypotheses or theories. Even something so simple as measuring a
length with a ruler presupposes:

1. The rigidity of the ruler
2. The ruler does not deform significiantly when moved from here to there.

Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-18 15:04:51 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 14:28:10 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Post by tg
Since you agree about the physics, you must disagree about the
metaphysics.
But what about the hot stove? Should I suffer pain, or should I act as
if my hand is really on a hot stove?
How about this. You suffer pain -because- your hand is in contact with a
hot stove. THus you assert both the perception and the cause of the
perception (heat transfer from the stove to your hand because of a
temperature gradient).
Humans very rarely accept facts without some underlying notion of why or
how the fact is what it is. Virtually all our observations are loaded
with hypotheses or theories. Even something so simple as measuring a
1. The rigidity of the ruler
2. The ruler does not deform significiantly when moved from here to there.
I maintain that in order to do productive physics you must adopt the
Worldview of Existential Realism, which is the epistemological and
ontological foundation for the formal rational system of propositions
and deductions that make up physics.

The axioms of Existential Realism are so obvious to a productive
physicist that they hardly require enumeration.

1) The Principle of Perception of Being as "something out there",
something real and objective (aka "Authority of the Senses").

2) The Principle of Consistency (aka "Principle of
Non-Contradiction").

3) The Principle of Efficient Causality (aka "Principle of Cause and
Effect").

Without these fundamentals physics is meaningless because order is not
possible. If the world is not ordered, then physics is impossible.

But we do not have to treat these as axiomatic because there is such
overwhelming evidence of their truth in the very world we live in. The
very laws of classical physics, quantum physics and relativistic
physics are all explicitly based those principles.
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-18 15:21:09 UTC
Permalink
Bob wrote:>
Post by Bob
I maintain that in order to do productive physics you must adopt the
Worldview of Existential Realism, which is the epistemological and
ontological foundation for the formal rational system of propositions
and deductions that make up physics.
The axioms of Existential Realism are so obvious to a productive
physicist that they hardly require enumeration.
1) The Principle of Perception of Being as "something out there",
something real and objective (aka "Authority of the Senses").
2) The Principle of Consistency (aka "Principle of
Non-Contradiction").
3) The Principle of Efficient Causality (aka "Principle of Cause and
Effect").
Without these fundamentals physics is meaningless because order is not
possible. If the world is not ordered, then physics is impossible.
More precisely, if we do not assume realism-lite (the above
metaprinciples) we just can't do physics. It does not mean the world has
ceased to exist. The above metaprinciples are a necessary consequence of
the way our brains work. Particularly the principle of consistency. We
can fudge on the matter of causality, which is why we can do quantum
physics.
Post by Bob
But we do not have to treat these as axiomatic because there is such
overwhelming evidence of their truth in the very world we live in. The
very laws of classical physics, quantum physics and relativistic
physics are all explicitly based those principles.
No, no, no. We interpret the world in the light of these principles,
which is why what we experience is taken as -support- of these
principle. All of our observational language is metaprinciple laden and
theory laden. All of these metaprinciple are part of the mental baggage
we acquire before we are ten years old. That is why they are so hard to
unlearn later in life. This is particular relevent to the matter of
causality. We get very antsy if we cannot either perceive or hypothesize
causes for events that we experience.

Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-18 17:29:27 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 10:21:09 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Robert J. Kolker
More precisely, if we do not assume realism-lite (the above
metaprinciples) we just can't do physics. It does not mean the world has
ceased to exist.
Without order in the real objective material world physics is not
possible.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
The above metaprinciples are a necessary consequence of the way our brains work.
The above metaprinciples are the way the real objective material world
works.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Particularly the principle of consistency.
The real objective material world does not allow contradictions.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
We can fudge on the matter of causality, which is why we can do quantum
physics.
There is no "fudging" causality. QM is deterministic. QM informs us
that there are certain quantities that are intrinsically unknowable
because they are not relevant to the process. They are uncomputable
because no (compressed) algorithm exists to compute them. They are
uncomputable.

That does not mean that QM is non-deterministic regarding the
quantites that are relevant to the evolution of the wave function.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Post by Bob
But we do not have to treat these as axiomatic because there is such
overwhelming evidence of their truth in the very world we live in. The
very laws of classical physics, quantum physics and relativistic
physics are all explicitly based those principles.
No, no, no. We interpret the world in the light of these principles,
which is why what we experience is taken as -support- of these
principle. All of our observational language is metaprinciple laden and
theory laden. All of these metaprinciple are part of the mental baggage
we acquire before we are ten years old. That is why they are so hard to
unlearn later in life. This is particular relevent to the matter of
causality. We get very antsy if we cannot either perceive or hypothesize
causes for events that we experience.
Would you please restate that in human-readable terms. I can't make
out if you are agruing for Phenomenology or not.

There is a real objective material world out there. Physics not only
describes it (epistemological) but it also discovers the laws that
govern it (ontological).

+++
The laws of physics create order in the universe, and result in a
generally stable environment. However, whence the laws of physics
originate and exist, and why they are of the particular form that they
are, is unknown, and in the purview of metaphysics.

Most laws are mathematical consequenses of various symmetries (see
Emmy Noether theorem as a proof of this). For example, conservation of
energy is a consequence of the symmetry of time (no moment in time is
any different than any other), while conservation of momentum is a
consequence of the symmetry of space.

It has sometimes been suggested that the laws of nature are not real -
that they are entirely inventions of the human mind, attempting to
make sense of the universe. This is very strongly argued against by
the spectacular efficacy of science - its power to solve otherwise
intractable problems, and make accurate predictions - and by the fact
that newly-discovered laws have typically suggested the existence of
previously unknown or undiscovered phenomena, which have then been
confirmed to exist.
+++
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-18 21:17:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Would you please restate that in human-readable terms. I can't make
out if you are agruing for Phenomenology or not.
I will give you a parable. We perceive the dots. They are out there. But
we are the ones connecting them. Reality consists of singular things.
Relations such as order are up in our heads.

There are no sets in nature. There are no numbers in nature. There are
no relations in nature. That is baggage we carry and impose on our
perceptions. That is why mathematics when done abstractly has no
empirical content whatsoever. If we had different kinds of brains we
would come up with different physics.

Bob Kolker
brian a m stuckless
2005-12-18 21:50:36 UTC
Permalink
Robert J. Kolker wrote: > > Bob wrote: > >
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Post by Bob
Would you please restate that in human-readable terms. I can't
make out if you are agruing for Phenomenology or not.
I will give you a parable. We perceive the dots. They are out
there. But we are the ones connecting them. Reality consists
of singular things.
Relations such as order are up in our heads.
There are no sets in nature. There are no numbers in nature.
There are no relations in nature. That is baggage we carry
and impose on our perceptions. That is why mathematics when
done abstractly has no empirical content whatsoever. If we
had different kinds of brains we would come up with
different physics.
Bob Kolker
You're seeing PLANCK SPOTs, dimwit.!! They ARE out there.!!

Brian A M Stuckless
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Post by Bob
<> >><> >><> >><> >><> ^
Would you please restate that in human-readable terms. I can't make
out if you are agruing for Phenomenology or not.
I will give you a parable. We perceive the dots. They are out there. But
we are the ones connecting them. Reality consists of singular things.
Relations such as order are up in our heads.
There are no sets in nature. There are no numbers in nature. There are
no relations in nature. That is baggage we carry and impose on our
perceptions. That is why mathematics when done abstractly has no
empirical content whatsoever. If we had different kinds of brains we
would come up with different physics.
Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-19 01:50:25 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 16:17:42 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Robert J. Kolker
I will give you a parable. We perceive the dots. They are out there. But
we are the ones connecting them. Reality consists of singular things.
Relations such as order are up in our heads.
Then you do not believe that the planets orbit the sun in an orderly
manner.

How do they orbit the sun if not orderly?
Post by Robert J. Kolker
There are no sets in nature. There are no numbers in nature.
I fully agree. Those are mathematical and therefore they do not exist
in the real objective physical world.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
There are no relations in nature.
That I disagree with. There are relations in the real objective
physical world. The orbits of the planets demonstrates that.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
That is baggage we carry and impose on our
perceptions. That is why mathematics when done abstractly has no
empirical content whatsoever.
I fully agree. But what you are not considering is that the Worldview
for mathematic is not the same as the Worldview for doing physics and
metaphysics.
Post by Robert J. Kolker
If we had different kinds of brains we
would come up with different physics.
The orbits of the planets do not depend on our brains.

Einstein and Bohr were walking together one Moonlit night, and
Einstein asked, "Do you really believe that the Moon will disappear
when you stop observing it?"
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-19 02:09:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Then you do not believe that the planets orbit the sun in an orderly
manner.
We see a planet here. We see a planet there. Orbits are mathematical
constructs. Order provided, courtesy of the human intellect.

I suggest you read David Hume and what he has to say on the matter.

Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-19 14:08:29 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 21:09:12 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Bob
Then you do not believe that the planets orbit the sun in an orderly
Post by Bob
manner.
We see a planet here. We see a planet there. Orbits are mathematical
constructs. Order provided, courtesy of the human intellect.
You did not answer my question. I agree that the mind perceives order.
My question is do you believe that this order actually exists in the
solar system?

If this perceived order does not actually exist in the solar system,
then what are the planets doing out there?
Post by Bob
I suggest you read David Hume and what he has to say on the matter.
I do not waste my time on vague theories. That's why I am a physicist
and not a psychologist - or a skeptic.

The problem with skeptics is that they want reality to be certain,
whereas Realists are willing to accept Reality as it is, namely,
exceedingly likely. The only thing you personally can know with
absolute certainty is that you exist. But I know you exist even though
I cannot prove it with absolute certainty.

All formal logic systems, even the ones used by science, are based on
the adoption of a Worldview, which is the epistemological and
ontological foundation for the system. If includes all the axioms
needed to prove the propositions of the rational system.

There are two dominant Worldviews: Realism and Idealism. There are
many variations in these but they serve as the most important. Your
position as expressed above is the result of adopting the Idealist
Worldview, the one needed for mathematics and other subjective
rational systems. My position is based on the Worldview of Realism,
the one needed for physics and other objective rational systems.

Because those two Worldviews are contradictory for the most part,
there is no way you and I are going to come to any agreement regarding
the propositions we present. To you, the world consists of subjective
descriptions, mental concoctions, imaginary fantasies, etc. To me, the
world consists of the real objective physical sense data and its
rational implications as discovered in the laws of physics.

To you, planetary motion is only ordered in your mind. There is no
real objective planetary motion - that is only an illusion. To me,
there is real objective planetary motion - it is not an illusion.
Bilge
2005-12-19 08:53:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
There is no "fudging" causality. QM is deterministic.
Quantum mechanics is probabilistic, but that doesn't imply
any lack of macroscopic causality. A poisson process is a
purely probablistic process, yet it has well-defined parameters
and leads to an overall result which is predictable. A perfect
poisson process (i.e., a perfectly random process) is the one
means by which a clock could in principle, keep perfect time.
Post by Bob
QM informs us
that there are certain quantities that are intrinsically unknowable
because they are not relevant to the process. They are uncomputable
because no (compressed) algorithm exists to compute them. They are
uncomputable.
That is not a good way to think of quantum mechanics. That which
you are calling uncomputable simply doesn't exist. If it did, it
_could_ be quanitified by the entropy, which tells you how many
degrees of freedom there are, independent of any knowledge of
what those degrees of freedom are. Any process which is uncomputable
due to being infinitely complex, would have an infinite entropy,
which is why the whole hidden variables idea leaves a lot more to
be desired than just the idea that nature would conspire to hide
them.
Post by Bob
That does not mean that QM is non-deterministic regarding the
quantites that are relevant to the evolution of the wave function.
Since the wave function in quantum theory contains everything there
is to know by definition, there is nothing else. In any case, even
if you imagine some underlying process, the fact that it cannot
affect the outcome of anything, begs the question of how meaningful
it is to say it exists.

[...]
Post by Bob
The laws of physics create order in the universe, and result in a
generally stable environment.
Coincidently, a probabilistic explanation is the best candidate
for explaining the stability. Deterministic systems are chaotic and
unstable, since a small change can result in radically different
behaviour.
Post by Bob
However, whence the laws of physics
originate and exist, and why they are of the particular form that they
are, is unknown, and in the purview of metaphysics.
Most laws are mathematical consequenses of various symmetries (see
Emmy Noether theorem as a proof of this). For example, conservation of
energy is a consequence of the symmetry of time (no moment in time is
any different than any other), while conservation of momentum is a
consequence of the symmetry of space.
I think you've presumed more than you are entitled to presume.
Conservation of energy is _defined_ by invariance undertime translations.
The fact that newton didn't realize there was a connection might
lead one to believe that energy could possibly mean something other
that what is conserved by invariance under a time translation. The
reason symmetry is so universally accepted as a physical principle,
is that when the nature automatically gets a bookkeeping mechanism
which is imposed by the symmetry, with no other explanation needed.
In fact, it would be unphysical to suppose any additional explanation
was required.
Post by Bob
It has sometimes been suggested that the laws of nature are not real -
that they are entirely inventions of the human mind, attempting to
make sense of the universe.
It's also silly, since it presumes reality has to be deeper than
there is any evidence to suppose it is. The fact that at the quantum
level, you have to accept a rather radically altered view of reality,
suggests that it isn't all that deep.
AllYou!
2005-12-19 13:08:46 UTC
Permalink
Hey Bilge........got caught in your own nonsense?

Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa

check out alt.morons.
Bob
2005-12-19 14:54:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
QM informs us
that there are certain quantities that are intrinsically unknowable
because they are not relevant to the process. They are uncomputable
because no (compressed) algorithm exists to compute them. They are
uncomputable.
That is not a good way to think of quantum mechanics. That which
you are calling uncomputable simply doesn't exist. If it did, it
_could_ be quanitified by the entropy, which tells you how many
degrees of freedom there are, independent of any knowledge of
what those degrees of freedom are. Any process which is uncomputable
due to being infinitely complex, would have an infinite entropy,
which is why the whole hidden variables idea leaves a lot more to
be desired than just the idea that nature would conspire to hide
them.
If the probability per unit time for a particular spontaneous emission
to occur is a constant for every time interval t -> t + dt, then it is
not possible to know which time interval the decay will occur because
all time intervals are equally probable. Therefore the time that a
particular emission will occur is intrinsically unknowable.
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
The laws of physics create order in the universe, and result in a
generally stable environment.
Coincidently, a probabilistic explanation is the best candidate
for explaining the stability. Deterministic systems are chaotic and
unstable, since a small change can result in radically different
behaviour.
"If you want to build a robust universe, one that will never go wrong,
then you don't want to build it like a clock, for the smallest bit of
grit will cause it to go awry. However, if things at the base are
utterly random, nothing can make them more disordered. Complete
randomness at the heart of things is the most stable situation
imaginable - a divinely clever way to build a universe."
-- Heinz Pagels
Post by Bilge
The reason symmetry is so universally accepted as a physical principle,
is that when the nature automatically gets a bookkeeping mechanism
which is imposed by the symmetry, with no other explanation needed.
In fact, it would be unphysical to suppose any additional explanation
was required.
Would you please translate that into human-readable form.
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
It has sometimes been suggested that the laws of nature are not real -
that they are entirely inventions of the human mind, attempting to
make sense of the universe.
It's also silly,
Metaphysically absurd is more like it. In order to arrive at that
conclusion, one must adopt the Worldview of Idealism or one of its
many derivatives. IOW, the world is subjective.

As Bertrand Russell discovered, if you adopt Idealism as your
Worldview you cannot prove anything, including your own existence, to
anyone else.

That results in a very serious contradiction because if you can't
prove you exist to anyone but yourself, then what you are proposing
about the world is not possible because you do not exist.
Post by Bilge
since it presumes reality has to be deeper than
there is any evidence to suppose it is. The fact that at the quantum
level, you have to accept a rather radically altered view of reality,
suggests that it isn't all that deep.
Please define what you mean by "deep".
brian a m stuckless
2005-12-19 16:28:36 UTC
Permalink
-=- A perfect poisson process (i.e., a perfectly random process) is
the one means by which a clock could in principle, keep perfect time.
-=-
Since the wave function in quantum theory contains everything there
is to know by definition, there is nothing else. In any case, even
if you imagine some underlying process, the fact that it cannot
affect the outcome of anything, begs the question of how meaningful
it is to say it exists.
WAVE-function isN'T meaningful ..the Hamiltonian ENTHALPY E is.

Go-go Google GROUP SEARCH: < My BiGGER bang.!! >< ENTHALPY E >.
Post by Bob
However, whence the laws of physics
originate and exist, and why they are of the particular form that
they are, is unknown, and in the purview of metaphysics.
$ No LiFE in coup GR.
LiFE, itself, is metaphysics ..in coup GR (i.e. Ph.Tivity cults).!!

Brian A M Stuckless
Post by Bob
<> >><> >><> >><> >><> ^
In fact, it would be unphysical to suppose any additional
explanation was required.
Post by Bob
It has sometimes been suggested that the laws of nature are not
real - that they are entirely inventions of the human mind,
attempting to make sense of the universe.
It's also silly, since it presumes reality has to be deeper
than there is any evidence to suppose it is. The fact that at
the quantum level, you have to accept a rather radically
altered view of reality, suggests that it isn't all that deep.
Bob
2005-12-18 14:55:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Post by Bob
Post by tg
Just as there are some things that
don't matter sometimes in physics, there are some things that don't
matter sometimes in metaphysics.
Nonsense.
Since you agree about the physics, you must disagree about the
metaphysics.
Nonsense.
Thomas Heger
2005-12-17 19:27:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
...
Post by Traveler
Quantum mechanics has repeatedly produced certain quantities that are
intrinsically unknowable. That is a stronger condition than chaos
produces. If the probability per unit time for the spontaneous
emission is a constant (as it is in a first order Poisson process),
then there is no way to know when the emission will occur because each
time interval t -> t +dt has the same probability for emission.
Yes. Its not possible to get an average emission, if the single emission is
not uncertain. Otherwise the quantums would need a mechanism of
syncronization, telling the other ones, that they have done their job.

thomas heger
Craig Franck
2005-12-18 00:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.
I don't think that's a fair characterization of alt.philosophy.
Post by Bob
If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.
Part of the problem is people not familiar with metaphysics or
positivism don't grasp the idea that, having determined that there
is in fact a hot stove in front of you, asking if it's a *really* real
hot stove and replying "Yes," doesn't add any information.
Post by Bob
To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.
Don't confuse an explanation with the thing explained. All physics
can offer is approximations of a system. It's not like the orbit of
mercury changed once we applied a relativistic interpretation.

But you're correct, there are all kinds of non-physical notions
out there that make no sense in our universe.
Post by Bob
In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
That would be nice, but I suspect that society will become so
advanced that knowing how or why anything works or is the way
it is might be seen as a distraction. Even today, less than one
percent of the population really needs to know the sun is at the
center of the solar system.
--
Craig Franck
***@verizon.net
Cortland, NY
Bob
2005-12-18 15:45:36 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 00:32:50 GMT, "Craig Franck"
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.
I don't think that's a fair characterization of alt.philosophy.
How long have you been lurking?
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.
Part of the problem is people not familiar with metaphysics or
positivism
I would not place "positivism"(*) next to "metaphysics", which in the
context of our ongoing discussions is Existential Metaphysics.
Post by Craig Franck
don't grasp the idea that, having determined that there
is in fact a hot stove in front of you, asking if it's a *really* real
hot stove and replying "Yes," doesn't add any information.
It does add information. It tells you that it exists. How you handle
that information is your business. For me that information tells me to
be careful lest I get burnt.

Our metaphysical discussions have been based on Existential Realism,
which focuses on the importance of Being. Therefore my emphasis on the
information gained by the Perception of Being.

The productive physicist does not have to be concerned with the
existence of an electron because it is assumed. Existential
Metaphysics is the extension of Physics into the Ontological realm,
the realm of Being. It uses the same Worldview that physicists must
adopt in order to be productive.
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.
Don't confuse an explanation with the thing explained.
The Phenomological Idealists do that very thing.
Post by Craig Franck
But you're correct, there are all kinds of non-physical notions
out there that make no sense in our universe.
If it weren't for the incredible dependence of physics on mathematics
we could dispense with Idealism altogether.

Ultimately physics is based on order - without order physics would not
exist. Order is based on symmetry which is dealt with by mathematics.
I believe that is a rudimentary way to express the connection. But the
symmetry is not in contained in mathematics. it is contained in the
real objective world. The Universe (totality of all material creation)
is a mode of Being and therefore inherits the fundamental properties
of Being, which includes symmetry albeit not the complete symmetry of
Pure Being.
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
That would be nice, but I suspect that society will become so
advanced that knowing how or why anything works or is the way
it is might be seen as a distraction. Even today, less than one
percent of the population really needs to know the sun is at the
center of the solar system.
But someone does have to know or else physics would not be productive
and civilization would come to a screeching halt.

(*) Belief that natural science, based on observation, comprises the
whole of human knowledge.
Craig Franck
2005-12-19 00:52:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.
I don't think that's a fair characterization of alt.philosophy.
How long have you been lurking?
I've been posting there for quite awhile. Maybe it's the threads I get
involved in, but I don't think most people there are Idealists who do
not acknowledge the existence of the real objective world.
Post by Bob
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.
Part of the problem is people not familiar with metaphysics or
positivism
I would not place "positivism"(*) next to "metaphysics", which in the
context of our ongoing discussions is Existential Metaphysics.
Perhaps, but even if they are complete opposites -- which I don't
believe, since science posits some form of representational realism --
I think it's always important to have a grasp of both sides of a
discussion.

BTW, I was thinking of the logical positivism of Carnap who felt
that the question of whether the external world existed was so flawed
as to be next to meaningless. The fact that we exists in a world
of mind-independent entities that exist in space and endure through
time is built into language and rational discourse and implies Idealism
cannot be logically conceptualized. The world exists by default as
a raw fact.
Post by Bob
Post by Craig Franck
don't grasp the idea that, having determined that there
is in fact a hot stove in front of you, asking if it's a *really* real
hot stove and replying "Yes," doesn't add any information.
It does add information. It tells you that it exists. How you handle
that information is your business. For me that information tells me to
be careful lest I get burnt.
I see your point. I always assume that all serious metaphysical
systems need to support the exact same phenomenological facts;
your hand gets burned whether or not the stove exists or it's a
matrix simulation or all in the mind of god, etc.

If your test for the existence of the external world is whether certain
acts have certain consequences, then I don't have any problem
with that, although it is begging the question to some extent.

I'd say you are describing basic reality testing. The only people who
don't think they would get burned are schizophrenics and people on
hallucinogenic drugs.
Post by Bob
Ultimately physics is based on order - without order physics would not
exist. Order is based on symmetry which is dealt with by mathematics.
I believe that is a rudimentary way to express the connection. But the
symmetry is not in contained in mathematics. it is contained in the
real objective world. The Universe (totality of all material creation)
is a mode of Being and therefore inherits the fundamental properties
of Being, which includes symmetry albeit not the complete symmetry of
Pure Being.
That sounds like a worthwhile effort. However, many would grumble
that "symmetry is a property of Being" sounds suspiciously like "The
Absolute is Perfect."
Post by Bob
Post by Craig Franck
That would be nice, but I suspect that society will become so
advanced that knowing how or why anything works or is the way
it is might be seen as a distraction. Even today, less than one
percent of the population really needs to know the sun is at the
center of the solar system.
But someone does have to know or else physics would not be productive
and civilization would come to a screeching halt.
That's the one percent. This is a version of hyper-reality similar to
Baudrillard's. Society gets virtualized. So my 12-year-old niece knows
how to create her own Web page, but has no clue how or why the
Internet works or even what a transistor is.

But I agree there is a subset of basic knowledge that is essential
for most members of society to possess or else we may fall into
social anarchy. Being scientifically literate is a cultural requirement.
--
Craig Franck
***@verizon.net
Cortland, NY
Bob
2005-12-19 02:12:06 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 00:52:46 GMT, "Craig Franck"
Post by Craig Franck
Post by Bob
It does add information. It tells you that it exists. How you handle
that information is your business. For me that information tells me to
be careful lest I get burnt.
I see your point. I always assume that all serious metaphysical
systems need to support the exact same phenomenological facts;
your hand gets burned whether or not the stove exists or it's a
matrix simulation or all in the mind of god, etc.
Your hand gets burned because the hot stove burner burns it. If the
hot stove burner does not exist in the real objective physical world,
your hand will not get burned. You cannot have a real objective
physical burned hand in the matrix simulation or in the mind of god.

The real objective physical world is based on Being. All other worlds
are derivative, including the subjective world of your mind. That
world is the result of brain activity, which presupposes the existence
of a brain in the real objective physical world.

Being is most fundamental. It is anAct which constitutes itself by
asserting itself. Being is not a thing.
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-19 02:15:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
The real objective physical world is based on Being. All other worlds
are derivative, including the subjective world of your mind. That
world is the result of brain activity, which presupposes the existence
of a brain in the real objective physical world.
There is no doubt about. There is Stuff out there. But the relational
properties are constructs. The way our brains work cause us to order
what we perceive.

Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-19 14:32:46 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 21:15:27 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Robert J. Kolker
Post by Bob
The real objective physical world is based on Being. All other worlds
are derivative, including the subjective world of your mind. That
world is the result of brain activity, which presupposes the existence
of a brain in the real objective physical world.
There is no doubt about. There is Stuff out there. But the relational
properties are constructs. The way our brains work cause us to order
what we perceive.
The position you are taking is Phenomenology.

phenomenology: Description of experience. Hence, a philosophical
method restricted to careful analysis of the intellectual processes of
which we are introspectively aware, without making any assumptions
about their supposed causal connections to existent external objects.

Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as
experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure
of an experience is its intentionality, its being directed toward
something, as it is an experience of or about some object. An
experience is directed toward an object by virtue of its content or
meaning (which represents the object) together with appropriate
enabling conditions.
Robert J. Kolker
2005-12-18 16:01:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Craig Franck
That would be nice, but I suspect that society will become so
advanced that knowing how or why anything works or is the way
it is might be seen as a distraction. Even today, less than one
percent of the population really needs to know the sun is at the
center of the solar system.
How would the civilization stay in its advanced state if ignorance
(which you propose) became the operative mode? Without understanding
gravitation the GPS system could not be maintained for long.

What is it you propose. The the computers become the Morlocks and the
humans become the Eloi?

Bob Kolker
Bob
2005-12-18 17:43:31 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:01:06 -0500, "Robert J. Kolker"
Post by Robert J. Kolker
What is it you propose. The the computers become the Morlocks and the
humans become the Eloi?
That the computers become Cylons and the Cylons become humans?

Naw. That'll never happen.
Craig Franck
2005-12-19 01:30:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Craig Franck
That would be nice, but I suspect that society will become so
advanced that knowing how or why anything works or is the way
it is might be seen as a distraction. Even today, less than one
percent of the population really needs to know the sun is at the
center of the solar system.
How would the civilization stay in its advanced state if ignorance (which
you propose) became the operative mode? Without understanding gravitation
the GPS system could not be maintained for long.
Basic economics would take care of that. If technical people are in
demand, an education in those fields is worth much more since those
jobs would pay quite well.

But the GPS is a good example: what is the ration of users to people
who actually know how it works? In a future society, it's hard to tell
what a full education would entail. Popular culture is very superficial.

Being culturally relevant and well educated are completely unrelated
in most instances, although it's best to be both, I suppose.
What is it you propose. The the computers become the Morlocks and the
humans become the Eloi?
That, IIRC, was a society in an endgame phase. People will be as
educated as an economy requires them to be, which even today is
not very. The Leader of the Free World might actually believe the
universe is only a few thousand years old, and look where it got him.
--
Craig Franck
***@verizon.net
Cortland, NY
Bob
2005-12-19 13:56:20 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 01:30:00 GMT, "Craig Franck"
Post by Craig Franck
Basic economics would take care of that. If technical people are in
demand, an education in those fields is worth much more since those
jobs would pay quite well.
Although I too worship at the altar of Capitalism, I am also aware
that Capitalism is not infallible, Adam Smith's Invisible Hand
notwithstanding, Capitalist systems can get into metastable states
that are the farthest thing from enlightened.

Take for example the way science and engineering have evolved over the
past 50 years. In the late 1950s and all of the 1960s the govt
sponsored a huge buildup of scientists and engineers to meet the
perceived emergency of Russian space travel and weapons development.
Then all of a sudden jobs in science and technology disappeared almost
overnight. The transition occurred sometime around 1970 with huge
losses in NASA, defense contractors, national labs and academia.

The next generation of bright students would have no part of this
economic debacle and headed straight for the professions, leaving an
enormous vacuum in graduate school for cheap slave labor (aka "grad
students"). That's when foreigners were recruited with no concern for
the future. Once these foreigners were well-trained in the
fundamentals of science and technology, the brightest went back to
their homeland with high-paying jobs waiting for them.

The result is the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other high
technology weapons of war in the third world. American taxpayers
subsidized the education of foreigners so they could go back home and
make weapons that could possibly lead to our destruction one day.

What goes around comes around. The American govt never should have
destroyed its legacy in science and technology. Capitalism crapped in
Adam Smith's hand.
Mike
2005-12-17 15:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
You are using contradiction in terms, often the basis for setting up a
straw man argument.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon.
Straw man. This is an unfounded statement and experimentally
non-falsifiable.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Initial velocity of a system can be known to arbitrary accuracy allowed
by measuring instrument. What cannot be known, according to QM, is both
the velocity (actually momentum) and the position of a particle, with
arbitrary accuracy.

More importantly, there is no known connection of HUP in the
microscopic level to behavior in the macroscopic level. Actually, what
is known is the reverse, a puzzling realization indeed, that
indeterminacy at the particle level does not emerge at the macroscopic
level.

Even the 3-body problem has been shown to lead to a chaotic system. The
problem is that for some initial conditions back 1 or 2 billion yesrs
ago, our planetary system is doing pretty well now. it seems then that
deterministic chaos is related more to computational instability due to
integration error accumulation rather than a physical phenomenon.
Empirical evidence falsifies chaos theory and points to the possibility
that what we call deterministic chaos is simply our inability to come
up with accurate models of physical reality. This is actually what
Einstein believed in a sense.

http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf002/sf002p02.htm
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
it depends what this "knowledge" of yours is based on. Judging from
your post, you have limitted exposure to these concepts or even a gross
misunderstand and for a Ph.D student this is bad news. I wonder if you
have passed any qualifying exams and if you haven't yet, try to get
more informed before you do.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
It seems your "knowledge" is limited to sci.physics posts reading in
this area. Try other sources:

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20000610/fob7.asp

I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.

Mike
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
HTH, Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:25:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Mike
2005-12-17 15:32:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...
Louis Savain
Accoring to the Bible, Travelers and Sick are exempt from the rules of
fasting. You can eat [like a] big now. hahahahahahahahahahaha

Mike
Post by Traveler
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:40:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Traveler
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...
Louis Savain
Accoring to the Bible, Travelers and Sick are exempt from the rules of
fasting. You can eat [like a] big now. hahahahahahahahahahaha
ahahaha...I must have cranked you big time. You're delirious.
ahahaha... AHAHAHA... ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 18:34:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...
That's because the poster is a European.
Bob
2005-12-17 18:33:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
it seems then that
deterministic chaos is related more to computational instability due to
integration error accumulation rather than a physical phenomenon.
If you attempt to increase the precision of the computer, you will use
up all the particles in the known universe not too far from where we
are now. That's because the calculation requirements grow
exponentially with precision requirements.
Post by Mike
it depends what this "knowledge" of yours is based on. Judging from
your post, you have limitted exposure to these concepts or even a gross
misunderstand and for a Ph.D student this is bad news. I wonder if you
have passed any qualifying exams and if you haven't yet, try to get
more informed before you do.
Ad homs are not going cause belief in your position.
Maarten van Reeuwijk
2005-12-17 20:42:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
You are using contradiction in terms, often the basis for setting up a
straw man argument.
I am not an expert in GR, which is why I am posting here at sci.physics and
not at sci.physics.research or in peer-reviewed journals on this topic.
Actually I am just interested in how this stuff relates to chaos-theory.
Post by Mike
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon.
Straw man. This is an unfounded statement and experimentally
non-falsifiable.
I believe you are mistaken. Why don't you look into any textbook on
chaos-theory.
Post by Mike
Initial velocity of a system can be known to arbitrary accuracy allowed
by measuring instrument. What cannot be known, according to QM, is both
the velocity (actually momentum) and the position of a particle, with
arbitrary accuracy.
... which constitute the initial conditions. Thank you for clarifying this
for yourself.
Post by Mike
Even the 3-body problem has been shown to lead to a chaotic system. The
problem is that for some initial conditions back 1 or 2 billion yesrs
ago, our planetary system is doing pretty well now. it seems then that
deterministic chaos is related more to computational instability due to
integration error accumulation rather than a physical phenomenon.
It is a physical phenomenon. Back in the days of Henri Poincare there were
not so many computers around, so I guess that is not an argument. Clearly
you are better informed about GR than about dynamical systems theory.
Post by Mike
http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf002/sf002p02.htm
Thank you for this link, it seems interesting.
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
I suggest you do the same. And you may want to take up an elementary course
in manners and respect on the side too.

Best wishes,
Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
Ben Rudiak-Gould
2005-12-17 16:43:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon.
Chaotic behavior aside, locality alone implies that we can't predict
anything. The information available at a particular point in spacetime is
limited to the contents of that point's past light cone, but the state at a
"later" point (i.e. timelike separated, at larger t) depends on additional
information from outside the first point's light cone. Hence the prediction
horizon is zero, even assuming a deterministic universe following known
laws, perfect information gathering ability, and unlimited computational power.

-- Ben
d***@hotmail.com
2005-12-17 17:10:20 UTC
Permalink
Not to mention emergent phenomena, creating free will in intelligent
biological systems on the macroscopic level, and then those systems
combining by metasystem transition into yet higher level systems,
creating emergent phenomena, creating free will.......

Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.
Tom Roberts
2005-12-18 01:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ben Rudiak-Gould
Chaotic behavior aside, locality alone implies that we can't predict
anything.
Not true. Using current theories of physics, we can predict the behavior
of everything described by those theories, within the Cauchy horizon of
a spacelike surface on which we can measure or otherwise obtain initial
data.

In all current theories of physics, the Cauchy horizon of
a spacelike surface is the boundary of the region of the
manifold for which every non-spacelike path intersects the
surface. This extends both to the past and the future.

In practice, of course, the past lightcone of my office is VASTLY larger
than I need to know data for in order to predict what _routinely_
happens there. But yes, a meteorite could crash in at any moment without
my previous awareness of its approach.... But in principle I could erect
a "meteorite warning sytem" on a large sphere surrounding my office to
give warning....
Post by Ben Rudiak-Gould
The information available at a particular point in spacetime
is limited to the contents of that point's past light cone, but the
state at a "later" point (i.e. timelike separated, at larger t) depends
on additional information from outside the first point's light cone.
This is poorly stated. Say, rather, that the fields at a given point
depend only on the values of fields in the point's past lightcone. This
is not "information", it applies to the _fields_ of the theory.

As this applies at any point, the fields at point A do not supply enough
information to determine the fields at a later time B, as you say -- one
needs data on a spacelike surface large enough so B is within its Cauchy
horizon.
Post by Ben Rudiak-Gould
Hence the prediction horizon is zero, even assuming a deterministic
universe following known laws, perfect information gathering ability,
and unlimited computational power.
No. the prediction horizon is the Cauchy horizon of the spacelike
surface for which initial values are known. I am indeed using the
assumptions as you stated.


Tom Roberts ***@lucent.com
Immortalist
2005-12-17 18:33:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
...the growth of our knowledge is the result
of a process closely resembling what Darwin
called 'natural selection'; that is, the
natural selection of hypotheses...
--Karl Popper

Popper started with the old idea that knowledge grows by trial and
error, or in more learned terms, by conjecture and refutation. He
generalised this theory to encompass all forms of learning and
problem-solving, including the evolution of life on earth. On his
account every organism, from the amoeba to Einstein, is constantly
engaged in problem solving. In the plant and animal world this
involves the production of new reactions, new organs, new forms of
life. For humans it involves the production of new ideas. When these
forms of life or theories appear they confront selective pressures.
These may come from the biological environment or from competing forms
of life. Ideas meet the competition of alternative theories, critical
arguments and experimental tests.

The central motif of Popper's evolutionary epistemology is the
four-step problem-solving schema:

P ---> TS ---> EE ---> P

The starting point is a problem, which evokes tentative solutions.
These are subjected to the process of error elimination by way of
critical discussion and experimental testing. In the course of these
activities new problems emerge.

http://www.the-rathouse.com/poptheoryknow.html

the view that culture originates and changes over time in a manner
analogous to the cumulative trial and error of biological evolution has
become increasingly popular among social scientists. As anthropologist
John Reader explains:

The farmers who founded and refined the wet-rice system and maintained
its high levels of production for centuries knew nothing of nitrogen
cycles and oxygen transportation in plants. They worked purely by trial
and error. In the process, however, they acquired a sound appreciation
of just what made the system work, and of how to keep it working.[8]
It cannot be doubted that the Balinese farmers are successful in
cultivating rice, but is it actually the case that they "acquired a
sound appreciation of just what made the system work"? For the
traditional farmers it is observance of Dewi Sri's calendar together
with participation in the many religious activities that are
responsible for their success. Yet it can be easily shown that such
religious observances are in no way essential to obtaining continued
good rice harvests, since good harvests are obtained elsewhere in the
world where the biological requirements of the rice plant are met and
Dewi Sri and her calendar are totally unknown. So clearly a fit exists
between Balinese farmers' agricultural practices and the requirements
of the rice plant, although individual farmers may not know (and need
not know) the underlying scientific reasons for it.

Regardless of a lack of technological or scientific understanding of
rice cultivation, the society in which the rice farmer lives is
structured in such a way to ensure continuation of the farming
practices found over the centuries to be effective. By making it appear
that these practices have divine origin and guidance, it is less likely
that an individual farmer would challenge the system. So although daily
rice offerings to the gods and frequent temple ceremonies in themselves
have no direct causal link to the success of the crop, these
traditional activities are well adapted in a larger sense since they
ensure that traditional agricultural methods which have proved
effective over the centuries will continue.

Does his lack of scientific understanding mean that the traditional
Balinese farmer is in any way irrational or illogical in his adoption
of the centuries-old methods of rice cultivation? Hardly, since for him
rice cultivation and religious practices form one integrated system. It
would be well nigh impossible for him to determine which particular
aspects of his way of life are essential for obtaining continued good
harvests and which are not. Indeed, such experiments (for example,
refusing to participate in religious activities to see if this reduces
rice yield) would possibly result in the radical farmer being
ostracized from his community and make it impossible for him to obtain
the water supply on which his crop depends. Instead, there are
important advantages for individuals to adopt the agricultural and
other traditional practices of the majority of their community.[9]

So since many aspects of traditional rice cultivation are not
individually testable, we should not be surprised to find that some of
them are not functional or are even maladapted to the requirements of
rice production. The difficulty that an individual would encounter in
attempting to analyze which aspects are actually well adapted and which
are not, save for the fact that they may play important social
functions, also argues for the rationality of accepting and observing
the total cultural package.

http://faculty.ed.uiuc.edu/g-cziko/wm/10.html

Because Galileo couldn't devise a frictionless circular path around the
Earth to prove his concept of inertia to be fact, he had to come up
with some other way to demonstrate that inertia was, in fact, a fact.

Half a century before Galileo was carrying on all of these ruminations,
a practical trial and error advocate named Tartaglia had gone out onto
the proving grounds and shot off cannonballs at different angles in
order to come up with the angle that would cause the cannonball to
travel the furthest distance. After much banging around, he determined
that the optimum angle was forty-five degrees.

Galileo allowed the balls that had rolled down the inclined plane to
roll off the end of his workbench and measured the same angle, at
forty-five degrees, the inclined plane produced the maximum trajectory.

He then said he had, in the confines of his study, by mathematics
alone, proven that which was proven by trial and error on the proving
grounds. It was acceptable procedure, then, to use mathematics to prove
facts that were not capable of being directly measured.

Of course, Tartaglia had actually shot real cannonballs out of real
cannons to produce real measurements. By duplicating the facts in his
study, Galileo had not proven a fact that was not capable of direct
measurement, he had just measured the same fact in a different way,
measuring real balls that had rolled down a real inclined plane rolling
off the end of a real workbench.

He hadn't proven anything let alone a concept, inertia, to be a fact.

Concepts about factual relationships can be demonstrated by measurement
to be fact.

Concepts, however, can never be proven to be facts

http://www.copernican-series.com/sss/induct.html

On Popper's account, the central problem of moral and political
philosophy is to formulate and criticise standards which act as 'rules
of the game' in social life. These rules of the game occur in all
groups and they may be enforced informally or by due process of law.
The question we have to face is not whether we will have rules but
whether we will try to improve them by critical discussion and trial
and error. This approach cuts through the verbalism that bogs down
academic discussions of moral and politics and it is constantly in
touch with practical problems and their possible solutions.

http://www.the-rathouse.com/poppurpose.html

This volume adds weight to Bartley's claim that Popper is on the
right track but has not received due credit because his ideas have
suffered from misreading and other mishaps. In Logik der Forschung
(1934) Popper challenged the theory that scientific knowledge grows by
a process of induction from accumulated observations. He advanced a
theory of conjectural objective knowledge that grows by trial and
error, controlled by criticism and by empirical tests. He also
presented the now-famous falsification criterion for the demarcation of
scientific statements from those of metaphysics and pseudoscience. This
criterion was widely criticised as an attempt to solve a completely
different problem, namely to define meaningful statements. This
misreading obscured his achievement for some decades and books are
still being written about the logical positivists (called logical
empiricists in the US) without mention of Popper. In the 1930s he wrote
a series of papers to refute various theories that contributed to the
collapse of civilisation in the holocaust. Mind, the most prestigious
organ of analytical philosophy, did not accept them. Eventually they
appeared in the journal Economica and later in book form as The Poverty
of Historicism (1957).

http://victorian.fortunecity.com/beardsley/700/dwarf.html

...During this process, the individual learner attempts a trial
solution. The learning processes is trial and error for which the
learner is responsible.

This is an evolutionary epistemology. Creation and elimination (or
modification) works hand in hand. Problem formulation takes precedence
over observation and there is an emphasis on the value of refutation
and the falsification of theories. Hence the development of critical
thinking, a dialectical process of continuous reflection and the
testing of current assumptions to extend understanding is vital. Popper
recognises that criticism by experimental testing, the consideration of
other peoples argument, reason and compromise, the deduction of
consequences and the emphasis on the fallibility of science are
important components in. the objectification of knowledge. These are
key strategies in the critical rationalist methodology and might become
more firmly embedded in the ecological curriculum.

The fallibilist conception of ecological theories and knowledge
requires teachers to encourage students to develop the appropriate
traits, attitudes and dispositions to begin the essential process of
critical thinking. Students of ecology, as well as the scientists
themselves, need to refine these skills, construct, identify, analyze
and evaluate arguments, rather than to accept too readily dogmatic
beliefs.

http://www.hamar.fsnet.co.uk/teg/6/DoUndergrads.html

[conjecture and refutation (trial & error)]

...Some of this confusion [about education] arises from the clash to
two antagonistic notions of scientific activity which may be called the
romantic and the rational or the poetic and the analytical. This clash
involves the opposition of activities which are in fact complementary
and it is resolved by the mode of thought which travels under the
unfortunately cumbersome title of the 'hypothetico-deductive' model of
scientific activity. Popper has called this the method of conjecture
and refutation, a high-falutin' name attached to the old-fashioned
method of trial and error. This is not entirely original and it can be
traced in the work of thinkers such as Whewell, Peirce and the French
physiologist Bernard. The leading modern exponent is Popper who has
added some wrinkles of his own, notably in rejecting 'justified belief'
as the terminus of scientific or philosophical activity.

It can be very difficult to understand philosophical ideas without
understanding the problem that the ideas were supposed to solve. Often
these problems arise outside philosophy itself, in science, religion,
politics, art etc. Popper's first major problem was 'When should a
theory be ranked as scientific?' or 'Is there a criterion for the
scientific status of a theory?'

We can understand how this arose by a study of Popper's biography. He
was born in 1902 and he grew up in Vienna with the air full of the
exciting ideas of Freud, Adler and Marx. These men formulated
impressive schemes that appeared to explain anything and everything
that happened. There was an explanation for everything, albeit
different explanations. It seemed that nothing could contradict them
and in this respect Popper noted that Einstein had a very different
attitude to his equally revolutionary theory. This was put to the test
by Edington's eclipse observations in 1919 and Einstein had announced
that a negative result would suggest a need to reconsider his theory.
In this way Einstein provided Popper with the hint for his
falsification criterion for science. This scenario provides a rational
explanation for Popper's motivation in formulating his criterion,
unlike the suggestion that he embraced falsificationism in the reckless
and irrational spirit of the Jazz Age.

=== The Line of Demarcation ===

A statement may be considered to be scientific if it is conceivable
that publicly available evidence maybe produced to show that it is
false. In other words we have to be able to look for some kind of
evidence that would clash with our statement or our theory. For example
the statement "There are no students in the library" can be refuted by
the discovery of a student in the library. Similarly, the laws of
science, formulated in universal terms along the lines 'All ravens are
black' can be refuted by the discovery of a white raven. The point is,
to make progress we need to locate weak spots in our theories in order
to stimulate the production of new ideas. This means we have to take
the risk of being wrong by making assertions that can be checked
against evidence.

The criterion of testability is not a criterion of truth, meaning or
even of importance, and it shows that we should not take the word
'science' too seriously. On the science side of the line we have
descriptive statements which say something about the world. They may be
true or false and they may be refuted by evidence. They may also be
supported by evidence but this is a great deal more problematic because
for some theories, everything that happens counts as supporting
evidence (as Popper found with the followers of Marx and Freud).

On the 'non-science' side of the line are several categories of
statements, among them the statements of pseudosciences such as
astrology, which claim to be based on evidence but can never be
refuted; the 'ought' statements of morals and ethics; theories of
method (such as the falsification criterion); and also, incidentally,
nonsense statements.

Some more needs to be said about morals, values, ethics and political
ideals. These can be formulated as proposals for various kinds of
behaviour or action. In this way they can be contrasted with
propositions which state matters of fact (this is the language used by
Popper in Chapter 5 of The Open Society and its Enemies). We may argue
about the truth or falsity of propositions but we cannot claim that
proposals are true or false. Our acceptance or rejection of proposals
is a matter of decision, though matters of fact (and hence
considerations of truth and falsity) will arise in considering the
consequences. The element of decision in relation to moral 'oughts' and
political proposals has been interpreted to mean that these decisions
are irrational or arbitrary, as indeed they may be, especially if they
are made under the influence of a theory that these matters cannot be
subjected to reasonable discussion. As indicated in Critical Preference
in Science and Ethics we can critically examine alternative moral or
political codes and we can form critical preferences that can be
modified in the light of evidence and new arguments.

Attempts to derive values from facts cannot be achieved logically,
though there have been many efforts to do so in the belief that such a
derivation would produce rational or scientific ethics. This was
considered to be a defence against unreason at a time when rationality
was supposed to apply in science but not on the other side of the line
of demarcation, for example in religion, morals and aesthetics.
However, attempts to provide a 'positive' basis for morals are likely
to lead to dogmatism, quite likely linked to conservatism by appealing
to the official or prevailing laws or morals at the time.

Popper's line of demarcation should affect the way the way we look at
science in relation to other subjects because it cuts across the bounds
that are supposed to exist between 'the sciences' and 'the rest'.
Statements in any subject such as history or literary criticism may be
considered to be scientific if they can be supported or refuted by
evidence. The convention applies to statements, not to areas of
activity.

It should not matter how a student defines the subject, because it is
very much more important to be clear about the problem that is being
investigated. A serious attempt to work on a problem should drive the
student into a whole range of subjects or disciplines, thereby making
nonsense of the narrow definition of subjects and over-specialisation.
Too much focus on subjects and examinations can make the problems and
themes invisible, but problems and themes should provide the backbone
and the organising principles amidst the mass of information that
confronts the student and the researcher.

If we lost sight of genuine problems, or never find them, it is
virtually impossible to contribute to the growth of knowledge. This
brings us to another philosophical problem - how does our knowledge
grow? Popper has suggested that our knowledge grows as a result of our
attempts to solve problems by trial and error, a process that he has
compared with the evolution of life on earth. If we are going to talk
about the growth of knowledge, we seem to imply that there is something
to grow towards, presumably the truth. But how does this come about,
and what is the truth?

...The advance of science is not due to the fact that more and more
perceptual experiences accumulate in the course of time. Nor is it due
to the fact that we are making ever better use of our senses...Bold
ideas, unjustified anticipations, and speculative thought, are our only
means for interpreting nature, our only instruments for grasping her,
and we must hazard them to win our prize.



A fierce battle has raged over the problem of induction which is
closely related to the matter of the line of demarcation because it is
sometimes suggested that the criterion of science is its inductive, or
maybe its experimental method, as against the speculative or creative
or expressionistic method of the arts, the intuitive method of
psychology, the sociological imagination, the historical method etc.
Everything depends on what is meant by induction, and if it is used to
mean the guess or the imaginative leap, then this does not distinguish
science from any other activity that involves thinking. However it
usually refers to a methodical or logical process for proceeding from
the particular to the general, or from the observation of facts to the
formulation of laws. This type of induction is not logically or
psychologically defensible and it cannot be retrieved by the use of the
probability calculus to assign numerical probabilities to theories.

=== Conclusions ===

Scientific knowledge is capable of growing by the detection and
correction or error, though its growth can never be completed. It does
not grow in a disciplined, orderly or predictable way, but rather by
unjustified leaps of imagination, controlled by the use of logic,
critical analysis and experimental tests.

Our knowledge in a given field does not consist of a mass of facts or a
set of verified laws, it consists of a body of hypotheses along with an
account of the tests and other arguments that have been used in
attempts to refute them. There is no opposition between imagination and
reason because they have different (and complementary) roles to play.
There is no antagonism between theorising and fact finding provided
that we have a clearly formulated problem in mind when we start looking
for facts.

This theory of knowledge has some political implications. The
positivist-empiricist-inductivist may have thought that he did not need
to actively make decisions about his subject matter. The task of the
scientist was to collect and collate information to steadily record the
tale told by the book of nature. However, this idea of the passive
observer-collector cannot be sustained. If the scientist wants to
advance the frontier of knowledge, even to the smallest degree that the
average honours student should aspire to achieve, he has to make an
effort and bring into action both the imagination and the critical
faculties. There is also the consideration that the findings are quite
likely to be used and the scientist (or at least the community of
scientists) is morally responsible for warning of potential dangers and
monitoring any dubious applications.

Scientists can only approach the truth by conjectures and by critical
tests, and if they accept their social responsibilities they will carry
their critical attitude out of the laboratory, to participate, like
everyone else, in a continuous process of non-violent cultural
revolution.

http://www.the-rathouse.com/poprevtheory.html

At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all-or very nearly
all-scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may
contain important anticipations of scientific theories. Examples are
Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error, or Parmenides' myth
of the unchanging block universe in which nothing ever happens and
which, if we add another dimension, becomes Einstein's block universe
(in which, too, nothing ever happens, since everything is, four
dimensionally speaking, determined and laid down from the beginning). I
thus felt that if a theory is found to be non-scientific, or
"metaphysical" (as we might say), it is not thereby found to be
unimportant, or insignificant, or "meaningless," or "nonsensical." it
cannot claim to be backed by empirical evidence in the scientific
sense-although it may easily be, in some genetic sense, the "result of
observation."

http://www.cla.calpoly.edu/~fotoole/321.1/popper.html

Popper, too, locates the beginning of science in the advent of an
attitude, the appearance of the "critical" beside the "dogmatic." These
are for him psychological, not historical, categories, which are not
distinguished by means of their products or world-views. The dogmatic
attitude, "an uncontrolled wish to impose regularities" upon the world,
is succeeded by the critical attitude, "which shares with the dogmatic
attitude the quick adoption of a schema of expectations- a myth,
perhaps, or a conjecture or hypothesis- but which is ready to modify
it, to correct it, and even to give it up." (6) Popper's scientist is
not entirely removed from praxis, but takes a different attitude to his
products and experiences. For example, he writes, "The method of trial
and error is applied not only to Einstein, but, in a more dogmatic
fashion, by the amoeba also. The difference lies not so much in the
trials as in a critical and constructive attitude towards errors... ."
(7)

In the essay "Science: Conjectures and Refutations," Popper describes
his distinction as belonging to the psychology of experience, (8) while
Husserl describes his as the "genuine" history of philosophy, but in
spite of this, each ends up describing his respective "attitudes" in
both historical and psychological, or subjectivistic terms. Popper,
despite his initial psychological description, credits the Greeks with
the "discovery of the critical method," indicating that the adoption of
the critical attitude by the human psyche took place at a specific
point in history, namely with the Presocratics. (9) Husserl, in turn,
while being primarily concerned with historical description of the
origin of science among the Presocratics, ends up ascribing
"prescientific" properties to the minds of children, while scientific
rationality is the mark of a mature mind. (10) For Popper, the
prescientific attitude is "characteristic of primitives and children;
and increasing experience and maturity sometimes create an attitude of
caution and criticism rather than of dogmatism." (11) In both
investigations into the origins of science, the scientific attitude
ends up in the hands of members of a certain society at a certain point
in history, members who have certain psychological characteristics,
which make them relate to their surroundings in an entirely novel way.
Popper credits Thales, the first scientist, with the institution of the
critical attitude, which is "the attitude of reasonableness, of
rationality." Husserl marks with Thales, the first philosopher, the
advent of "a new humanity"-perhaps a more dramatic description than
Popper's, but one which results from the same sentiment: Thales, or
rather what he represents, is the beginning of the rationality, the
very humanity, we take to be proper to us today. (12)

http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Meth/MethGreb.htm

Popper's opposition to inductivism is well known. He repeatedly
insisted that there can be no successful algorithm for
theory-formation. Popper likened the position of the theorist to the

situation of a blind man who searches in a dark room for a black hat
which is--perhaps--not there. (15)

The theorist, like the blind man, proceeds by trial-and-error, coming
to learn where the hat is not, without ever reaching a certainty immune
from rejection in the force of further experience.

Popper is correct to emphasize the role of creative imagination in the
formulation of scientific hypotheses. The problem-situation does not
dictate a solution to the theorist. However, neither are hypotheses
formulated independently of the problem-situation. Popper's "black-hat
image" is quite misleading. Scientific conjectures are "blind" only in
the sense that the outcome of subsequent testing is unknown. They are
not "blind" in Campbell's sense of being "independent of the
environmental conditions of the occasion of their occurrence".

http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Scie/ScieLose.htm
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
"Inference to the Best Explanation" is a popular slogan in
philosophy these days. (Note: It was partially anticipated by N.R.
Hanson in Patterns of Discovery. He called it 'abduction'.) It's
a seductive phrase, for who so base in matters cognitive as to confess
he will be happy with a poor explanation? But the "inference to the
best explanation" slogan is only going to be helpful if accompanied
by some account of how we can identify what the best explanation
actually is, and supplying that seems a tough task. Of course, in one
sense we are all going to agree that we should accept the best
explanation, if only we can find out what it is - since presumably
nothing could be the best explanation of anything unless it was true.
Yet the whole point of inferring to the best explanation is to find the
true theory.

"Likeliness" or "Loveliness"

The 'best' explanation might be the best confirmed/likeliest
explanation or the deepest/most pleasing explanation. Since IBE is
supposed to be giving an account of support of explanatory hypotheses
by evidence, inference to the likeliest explanation would appear to
trivialize IBE - we would need an independent account of what made
an explanatory hypothesis likely. It would seem, then, that the
'best' explanation must be the one that does the explaining in the
best way - e.g., by being simple and economical.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/~phil/courses/312/13ibe.htm

abduction - A method of reasoning by which one infers to the best
explanation. See induction, deduction.

This notion was first introduced by Peirce (CP 2.511, 623; 5.270) in an
attempt to classify a certain form of syllogism. Abductive syllogisms
are of the following form:

All beans from this bag are white
These beans are white.
Therefore, these beans are from this bag.

This inference results in an explanation of the observation in the
second premise. Though this form of reasoning is logically unsound (as
the beans may be from a different source), Peirce argues that
scientists regularly engage in this sort of syllogistic reasoning.
Though scientific hypotheses are not valid by virtue of how they are
abduced, abductive reasoning was thought to constitute a "logic of
discovery" in one of Peirce's four steps of scientific investigation.
These steps are:

-observation of an anomaly

-abduction of hypotheses for the purposes of explaining the anomaly

-inductive testing of the hypotheses in experiments

-deductive confirmation that the selected hypothesis predicts the
original anomaly

Abduction is not currently thought to be well understood and Peirce's
formulation has been criticized as being restricted to language-like
mediums (Shelley, 1996). It should be noted that for Peirce, abduction
was restricted to the generation of explanatory hypotheses. The more
general characterization of abduction as inference to the best
explanation is a more recent interpretation.

http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~philos/MindDict/abduction.html

The philosophical notions introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce
(1839-1914) are helpful for researchers in understanding the nature of
knowledge and reality. In Peircean logical system, the logic of
abduction and deduction contribute to our conceptual understanding of a
phenomenon, while the logic of induction adds quantitative details to
our conceptual knowledge. Although Peirce justified the validity of
induction as a self-corrective process, he asserted that neither
induction nor deduction can help us to unveil the internal structure of
meaning. As exploratory data analysis performs the function as a model
builder for confirmatory data analysis, abduction plays a role of
explorer of viable paths to further inquiry. Thus, the logic of
abduction fits well into exploratory data analysis. At the stage of
abduction, the goal is to explore the data, find a pattern, and suggest
a plausible hypothesis; deduction is to refine the hypothesis based
upon other plausible premises; and induction is the empirical
substantiation.

Abduction is not symbolic logic but critical thinking

Abduction is to look for a pattern in a phenomenon and suggest a
hypothesis (Peirce, 1878a). Despite the long history of abduction,
abduction is still unpopular among texts of logic and research
methodology, which emphasize formal logic. Logic is divided into formal
types of reasoning (symbolic logic) and informal types (critical
thinking). Unlike deduction and induction, abduction is a type of
critical thinking rather than symbolic logic, though in the following
example abduction is illustrated with symbols for simplification:

The surprising phenomenon, X, is observed.
Among hypotheses A, B, and C, A is capable of explaining X.
Hence, there is a reason to pursue A.

Abduction is not Popperian falsification but hypothesis generationis

This process of inquiry can be well applied to exploratory data
analysis. In exploratory data analysis, after observing some surprising
facts, we exploit them and check the predicted values against the
observed values and residuals. Although there may be more than one
convincing patterns, we "abduct" only those which are more plausible.

In other words, exploratory data analysis is not trying out everything.
Rescher (1978) interpreted abduction as an opposition to Popper's
falsification (1963). There are millions of possible explanations to a
phenomenon. Due to the economy of research, we cannot afford to falsify
every possibility. As mentioned before, we don't have to know
everything to know something. By the same token, we don't have to
screen every false thing to dig out the authentic one. Peirce argued
that animals have the instinct to do the right things without
struggling, we humans, as a kind of animal, also have the innate
ability to make the right decision intuitively.

Abduction is not hasty judgment but proper categorizationis

It is dangerous to look at abduction as impulsive thinking and hasty
judgment. In the essay "The Fixation of Belief," Peirce explicitly
disregarded the tenacity of intuition as the source of knowledge. Also,
exploratory data analysis, as an application of abduction, is not a
permit for the analyst to be naive to other research related to the
investigated phenomena (Anthony, 1994). Peirce strongly criticized his
contemporaries' confusion of propositions and assertions. Propositions
can be affirmed or denied while assertions are final judgments
(Hilpinen, 1992). The objective of abduction is to determine which
hypothesis or proposition to test, not which one to adopt or assert
(Sullivan, 1991).

For Peirce, progress in science depends on the observation of the right
facts by minds furnished with appropriate ideas (Tursman, 1987).
Definitely, the intuitive judgment made by an intellectual is different
from that made by a high school student. Peirce cited several examples
of remarkable correct guesses. All success is not simply lucky.
Instead, the opportunity was taken by the people who were prepared:

a). Bacon's guess that heat was a mode of motion;

b). Young's guess that the primary colors were violet, green and red;

c). Dalton's guess that there were chemical atoms before the invention
of microscope (cited in Tursman, 1987).

Peirce stated that classification plays a major role in making
hypothesis, that is the characters of phenomenon are placed into
certain categories (Peirce, 1878b). As mentioned before, the Peircean
view of knowledge is continuous rather than revolutionary. Abduction
does not attempt to overthrow previous paradigms, frameworks and
categories. Instead, the continuity and generality of knowledge makes
intuition possible and plausible.
Peirce was an admirer of Kant. He endorsed Kant's categories in
Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1969) to help us to make judgments of the
phenomenal world:

1. quantity (universal, particular, singular);

2. quality (affirmative, negative, infinite);

3. relation (categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive);

4. modality (problematic, assertoric, apodeictic).

Also, Peirce agreed with Kant that things have internal structure of
meaning. Abductive activities are not empirical hypotheses based on our
sensory experience, but rather the very structure of the meanings
themselves (Rosenthal, 1993). Based on the Kantian framework, Peirce
(1867/1960) later developed his "New list of categories."

In short, abduction by intuition, can be interpreted as observing the
world with appropriate categories which arise from the internal
structure of meanings. The implications of abduction for researchers is
that the use of exploratory data analysis is neither exhausting all
possibilities nor making hasty decisions. Researchers must be
well-equipped with proper categories in order to sort out the invariant
features and patterns of phenomena. The statistical method, in this
sense, is not only number crunching, but also a thoughtful way of
dissecting data.

...Nonetheless, for Peirce induction still has validity. Contrary to
Hume's notion that our perception of events are devoid of generality,
Peirce argued that the existence we perceive must share generality with
other things in existence. Peirce's metaphysical system resolves the
problem of induction by asserting that the data from our perception are
not reducible to discrete, logically and ontologically independent
events (Sullivan, 1991). In addition, for Peirce all empirical
reasoning is essentially making inferences from a sample to a
population; the conclusion is "merely probably (never certainly) true"
and "merely approximately (never exactly) true" (O'Neill, 1993).
Forster (1993) justified this view with the Law of Large Numbers. On
one hand, we don't know the real probability due to our finite
existence. However, given a large number of cases, we can approximate
the actual probability. We don't have to know everything to know
something. Also, we don't have to know every case to get an
approximation. This approximation is sufficient to fix our beliefs and
lead us to further inquiry.

Conclusion

In summary, both deduction and induction have different merits and
shortcomings. For Peirce a reasoner should apply abduction, deduction
and induction altogether in order to achieve a comprehensive inquiry.
Abduction and deduction are the conceptual understanding of a
phenomena, and induction is the quantitative verification. At the stage
of abduction, the goal is to explore the data, find out a pattern, and
suggest a plausible hypothesis with the use of proper categories;
deduction is to build a logical and testable hypothesis based upon
other plausible premises; and induction is the approximation towards
the truth in order to fix our beliefs for further inquiry. In short,
abduction creates, deduction explicates, and induction verifies.

If that stuff waz interesting you might want to read more in the large
article at:
http://seamonkey.ed.asu.edu/~alex/pub/Peirce/Logic_of_EDA.html

1 Nature of scientific statements and concepts

1.1 Empiricism
1.2 Scientific realism
1.3 Instrumentalism
1.4 Social Constructivism
1.5 Reductionism

2 The Justification of Scientific Statements

2.1 Induction
2.2 Falsifiability
2.3 Coherentism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science

Abduction versus Inference to the Best Explanation - How to Analyze
Processes of Discovery?
http://logica.rug.ac.be/censs2002/abstracts/Paavola.htm
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
HTH, Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
Jeff_Relf
2005-12-17 19:47:06 UTC
Permalink
Hi Traveler,

You imagined that the spatial, static, parochial, nature of time
in Einstein's theory of General_Relativity is _Obviously_ false
because, as you say: We observe change.

Randomness is a byproduct of unknowns, nothing more.

As for GR, what's more predictible than the earth's orbit around the sun ?
Nothing is more obviously detrministic than the CMBR from the Big_Bang,
which shows that our universe has been expanding and has no center of gravity.

In other words, the Net Mass_Energy of our universe is observed to be negative,
the universe is diminishing... becoming a virtual vacuum.
Our universe once looked like this, a glob of Super_Hot_Dense plasma:

Loading Image...\

Now, contrast that simplicity, that perfect predictability,
with a photon's spin, which is observed to be random... due to unknowns.

Einstein wrote:

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation.
The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past.
...
People like us, who believe in physics, know that
the distinction between past, present, and future is
only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
...
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have [ little knowledge of and ] no control.

It is determined for the insects as well as the star.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to
a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
...
A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _Universe_,
a part limited in time and space.

He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings,
as something separated from the rest...
a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
...
The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events
the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of
this ordered regularity for causes of a different [ supernatural ] nature.
...
Every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist,
no matter how pure a _Positivist_ he may fancy himself.
[ ... He believes in ]
a conceptual system built on premises of great simplicity.
Jeff_Relf
2005-12-17 20:02:43 UTC
Permalink
Oops, that last link of mine had an extraneous character on the end of it...

Our universe once looked like this, a glob of Super_Hot_Dense plasma:

http://lambda.gsfc.Nasa.GOV/product/map/current/map_images/pub_images/ILC_Maps/ILC_b.jpg
7
2005-12-17 20:18:35 UTC
Permalink
Hello Sailor,
Ugh oh! Run for it guys.
Jeff_Relf
2005-12-17 22:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi 7, Re: Your funny claim that I bugger guys...

I don't want to fuck anyone... ever.
Nor do I want to shack up with anyone... ever.
My VC_8 programming jobs and Usenet are more than enough for me, thank you.

So I hope the two Spoiled_Brats living with me now, Ethen and Patinha_Minha,
someday become independent adults... and move out.
They call me Nanny_Jeff, by the way... ha ha.

Here's a song Patinha download, it's from Cirque_Du_Soleil:

http://www.Cotse.NET/users/jeffrelf/_Nostalgie_.MP3

It reminds me of how sad Patinha is these days.
At age 18, 5'2", 84 pounds with a C cup,
she's a once accomplished gymnast who dreams of joining Cirque_Du_Soleil.

A former stripper/hooker when she was but 15 in New_Mexico,
she has, amazingly, memorized many parts of the king_James Bible,
not to mention numerous hymns and punk songs.

She even knew this one... before I could read it to her:

Dost thou still retain thine integrity ? Curse God, and die.
__ Job's wife, upon seeing his horrid, putrid state... Job 2:9, KJV

She thought it very apropos that God should curse him with such a wife.

She dreams of quitting heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines,
and contributing more to society someday... having kids, etc.

But how do you become independent when there's
a never ending line of people offering you free rent and drugs ?
As Maroon_5 says, She_Will_Be_Loved.

Then again, maybe she is independent, her home is anywhere and everywhere.
Or, perhaps, no one is independent... and only fools are happy,
...taking pleasure in naught but Over_Glorified inanities.

Then again, what has meaning To_Me but me, here and now ?
At any rate... with all the unknowns, I find myself telling her:

Take_therefore_no_thought_for_the_morrow,
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
__ Jesus, Matthew 6:34, KJV
7
2005-12-18 01:43:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff_Relf
Hi 7, Re: Your funny claim that I bugger guys...
But don't let that stop you ranting off topic across
newsgroups.
Jeff_Relf
2005-12-18 05:12:45 UTC
Permalink
Hi 7, Why be so uptight about crossposted, off topic articles ?
Most people are primarily talking to themselves, just like me.

Pick the people and/or titles you like... and forget the rest.
I've posted my Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy's _Most_Discussed_ list below
in case you need help getting started.

I just finished talking to Patinha_Minha...

She said she's going to earn some more dirty money
and move in with a guy about my age, come the first of January,
paying half the rent. It'd be platonic, of course.

If true, I'd be somewhat happy about that, to see her become more independent.
I tried to help her get ID, a checking account, welfare and/or a job,
but she's just too ditzy... or maybe too spoiled.

She claims she's only injecting methamphetamine these days... hmm.
Ethen is injecting nothing these days... woo hoo... how long will that last ?

Here's Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy's _Most_Discussed_,
i.e. the 24 articles with the most replies, in terms of lines, 5 levels deep,
weighted by level, as shown in the number to the left of the _news:_ prefix.

Lines beginning with _>_ don't count, deeper quotes, > >, count negatively.
Only posts who's titles didn't begin with _Re:_ are shown.

1. Gus_Emberton, F Dizum.COM, G2_0_2, 12, 7.56 A
24hoursupport.Helpdesk, Alt.OS.Windows-XP, Alt.Privacy.Spyware, Alt.Usenet.Kooks, Alt.Windows-XP, Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy, Microsoft.Public.Windowsxp.Help_and_support
What would I have to lose by using linux...
1,337 news:***@you.nonviable-thick-fruit-custard.org
2. r_e_ballard_usa_net, _BQKqIE, B Googlegroups.COM, Mozilla_5_0, 12, 2.17 P
Alt.OS.Windows-XP, Alt.Windows-XP, Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
New Microsoft tactics? Re: What would I have to lose by using linux...
890 news:***@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
3. Bryson_Rivetts, H Dizum.COM, G2_0_2, 16, 9._7 A
24hoursupport.Helpdesk, Alt.Astronomy, Alt.Free.Newsservers, Alt.OS.Windows-XP, Alt.Privacy.Spyware, Alt.Usenet.Kooks, Alt.Windows-XP, Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy, Microsoft.Public.Windowsxp.Help_and_support
How could one tell?
710 news:***@smtp-out3.blueyonder.co.uk
4. thad01_tux_glaci, D Glaci.COM, tin_1_6_2, 16, _.11 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Vista borrows from Linux/Unix design
486 news:dnv718$i7h$***@tux.glaci.com
5. Graham_Woolsey, D Dizum.COM, ., 14, 3.39 P
Alt.OS.Windows-XP, Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
For the love of linux!!
430 news:***@you.stretchable-blind-drunk-shrimp.org
6. Wendy_Duzz, C Aioe.ORG, ., 16, 3.38 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy, Alt.OS.Windows-XP
More Open Source Problems In Massachusetts.
411 news:dnvj4d$1nj$***@domitilla.aioe.org
7. tab, _BRncHe, B Googlegroups.COM, Mozilla_5_0, 15, 2.14 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
ROOT - trash it
401 news:***@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
8. mlw, _borVc, E Comcast.COM, KNode_0_9_3, 12, 10.26 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
[OT] The war on Chirstmas
359 news:***@comcast.com
9. Itai_Raz, C Aioe.ORG, Microsoft, 15, 2.47 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
should I go with opensource this time>
358 news:dnrhkb$dcs$***@domitilla.aioe.org
10. rgc_nodomain_none, E Supernews.COM, knews_1_0b_1, 13, 3.48 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Installation Face Off: Linux or Windows
319 news:g73473-***@dog.did.it
11. Linønut, _BPdF8G, E Comcast.COM, slrn_0_9_8_1, 17, 6._5 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Erik and billwg -- tag team idiots?
301 news:Zt6dnTGlJcyDhjneRVn-***@comcast.com
12. mlw, _borVc, E Comcast.COM, KNode_0_9_3, 11, 8.53 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Richard M. Stallman
298 news:KLKdnb99B_gfnwDeRVn-***@comcast.com
13. Nathaniel_Clerb, _EEV7HX, B Googlegroups.COM, I_m_an_alien, 13, 2.57 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy, Can.Shad-Valley
How many punchcards do I need to store Linux ???
274 news:***@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com
14. rapskat, F Supernews.COM, Pan_0_14_2_91, 14, 2.15 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Designed for Windows?
267 news:***@rapskat.com
15. win_not_lin, A Individual.NET, Mozilla, 15, 9.21 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Windows Firefox beats Linux Firefox
260 news:***@individual.net
16. Wendy_Duzz, D Aioe.ORG, ., 13, 10.22 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy, Alt.OS.Windows-XP
Political Correctness? Christmas and other O/T stuff.
254 news:dnn3fi$13k$***@domitilla.aioe.org
17. Jim_Richardson, _BO3DND, E Comcast.COM, slrn_0_9_8_1pl1, 17, 3.54 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
More Linux Success stories.
248 news:k2le73-***@fimbul.myth
18. DFS, EKPhm, D Glorb.COM, Microsoft, 12, 2.__ P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
OT: Oh yeah!!!
233 news:7qmnf.13465$***@fe06.lga
19. r_e_ballard_usa_net, _BQLUv9, B Googlegroups.COM, Mozilla_5_0, 14, 1.38 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Linux - 20 years to become an overnight success.
228 news:***@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
20. Linønut, _BPdF8G, E Comcast.COM, slrn_0_9_8_1, 15, 1._7 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Windows XP Gets Independent Security Certification
204 news:b-WdnXko0cO6RjzeRVn-***@comcast.com
21. Reshma_Chugani_gmail, _BTG4qh, B Googlegroups.COM, Mozilla_4_0, 14, _.34 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Linsipire and some Open Source questions.
204 news:***@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com
22. Sandman, A Individual.NET, MT_NewsWatcher, 12, _.33 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Updating from one distro to another?
194 news:mr-***@individual.net
23. Linønut, _BPdF8G, E Comcast.COM, slrn_0_9_8_1, 12, 6.55 A
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Sick of the Windows crapfrastructure
188 news:Cp-***@comcast.com
24. rgc_nodomain_none, E Supernews.COM, knews_1_0b_1, 11, 5.19 P
Comp.OS.Linux.Advocacy
Linux Makes it to the NASDAQ-100 Index with Red Hat
175 news:sqvu63-***@dog.did.it

-G means _No_ Google record.
Only the last 5 Message-IDs in the _References_ header
of the last 2,000 posts were considered replies.
_No_ other deletions or retentions biased this analysis.
Generated using X.EXE, below... X.TXT has the settings:

http://www.Cotse.NET/users/jeffrelf/X.TXT
http://www.Cotse.NET/users/jeffrelf/X.EXE
My Home Page: Cotse.NET/users/jeffrelf
John Bailo
2005-12-18 09:04:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff_Relf
She said she's going to earn some more dirty money
and move in with a guy about my age, come the first of January,
paying half the rent.
Yes, somebody /like/ you, yet anybody *but* you.
Bilge
2005-12-17 22:44:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
That isn't quite correct. Chaotic systems are completely deterministic.
Chaotic systems appear non-deteministic because the solution for such a
system is highly dependent on the initial conditions and cannot be well
predicted from measurements which don't measure _all_ of the data.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Paradoxically, the uncertainty relations are an advantage in that
respect. Quantum mechanics is ergodic and not chaotic for that reason.
d***@hotmail.com
2005-12-17 22:50:06 UTC
Permalink
The chaos in the Universe comes from the conflict of free will amongst
intelligent beings.
Tom Roberts
2005-12-18 02:01:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@hotmail.com
The chaos in the Universe comes from the conflict of free will amongst
intelligent beings.
The chaos observed in the orbits of the planets does not appear to be
from any sort of "intelligent beings". Nor does the observed chaos in a
waterfall. Etc.

Certainly the mathematical models that exhibit chaos have no such
dependence.

Of course I am using "chaos" in its _technical_ sense, and you probably
are not....

Using your meaning, the "chaos" around here (sci.physics.relativity) is
mostly due to UNintelligent beings (:-().


Tom Roberts ***@lucent.com
Bob
2005-12-18 15:26:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@hotmail.com
The chaos in the Universe comes from the conflict of free will amongst
intelligent beings.
That is not chaos in the strictest meaning of the term in physics.

I would rephrase as follows:

The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will.

I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.

The fundamental reason for the existence of intrinsically unknowable
quantities in QM is because there is no (compressible) algorithm to
compute the values. The values of intrinsically unknowable quantities
are uncomputable in the Turing sense.

Greg Chaitin explains this:

http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/
ipcress
2005-12-18 15:58:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will. I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.
If there was an omniscient being, that would not indicate in itself that
there is no free will, because there is no logical incompatibility between
free will & omniscience in the first place. Predicting a thing to be the
case doesn't determine that it will be the case.
Mike
2005-12-18 16:40:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will. I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.
If there was an omniscient being, that would not indicate in itself that
there is no free will, because there is no logical incompatibility between
free will & omniscience in the first place.
But these is a problem with knowing the future with probability 1, i.e.
the certain event. In that case, what can anyone do to change that
apart from what is already planned to be done? Omniscience leadd to a
Parmenidean universe, necessarily.
Post by ipcress
Predicting a thing to be the case doesn't determine that it will be the case.
Omniscience does not involve predictions but it is the complete
knowledge of all future events. if there is a single thing unknown, of
whatever kind, then omniscience is not the case.

You could naively argue that although a supreme Being knows, does not
interfere, a common cheap argument made by priests in church
gatherings. However, this implies nobody can do anything to change
things other than the set of actions the supreme Being already knows.
Thus, you free will is contigent to the knowledge of the omniscient
being and not a property of yours. This is where the logical
contradiction comes into place.

So Bob is right.

Mike
xeno
2005-12-19 00:54:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will. I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.
If there was an omniscient being, that would not indicate in itself that
there is no free will, because there is no logical incompatibility between
free will & omniscience in the first place.
But these is a problem with knowing the future with probability 1, i.e.
the certain event. In that case, what can anyone do to change that apart
from what is already planned to be done? Omniscience leadd to a
Parmenidean universe, necessarily.
Your objection was predictable. Does that mean you didn't freely choose to
make it?
Post by Mike
Post by ipcress
Predicting a thing to be the case doesn't determine that it will be the case.
Omniscience does not involve predictions but it is the complete
knowledge of all future events.
There's no difference between complete knowledge of the future & 100%
accuracy in predicting the future.
Post by Mike
You could naively argue that although a supreme Being knows, does not
interfere, a common cheap argument made by priests in church gatherings.
Be that as it may, knowing doesn't determine things nor necesssarily
indicate that things are determined.
Post by Mike
However, this implies nobody can do anything to change things other than
the set of actions the supreme Being already knows. Thus, you free will
is contigent to the knowledge of the omniscient being and not a property
of yours. This is where the logical contradiction comes into place. So
Bob is right.
How could your actions depend on someone else if that person happens to be
able to guess what you may with 100% accuracy? & before you go into your
complete knowledge yadayadayada remember that there is no difference
between foreknowledge & 100% accuracy in prediction. Bob may be right that
omniscience is impossible because of the nature of things but there is no
logical contradiction between free will & foreknowledge.
Bob
2005-12-19 02:14:35 UTC
Permalink
knowing doesn't determine things nor necesssarily indicate that things are determined.
Please elaborate.
Bob may be right that
omniscience is impossible because of the nature of things but there is no
logical contradiction between free will & foreknowledge.
There is a contradiction between free will and infallible
foreknowledge.
N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)
2005-12-19 02:29:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
knowing doesn't determine things nor necesssarily indicate
that things are determined.
Please elaborate.
Bob may be right that
omniscience is impossible because of the nature of things
but there is no logical contradiction between free will &
foreknowledge.
There is a contradiction between free will and infallible
foreknowledge.
No. You have free will in anything internal. Emotions,
recollection, etc.

David A. Smith
N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)
2005-12-19 02:23:58 UTC
Permalink
...
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
You could naively argue that although a supreme
Being knows, does not interfere, a common cheap
argument made by priests in church gatherings.
Be that as it may, knowing doesn't determine things
nor necesssarily indicate that things are determined.
I have some issues with this last statement. Could you expound a
little more? I have precognitive dreams. One particular dream
"bound" a friend and his wife to a particular conversation, and
further bound a particular room to a certain decor, and the
artisan that painted a ceramic lamp to a particular pattern
(which was also purchased by said friend). How does "knowing"
down to such fine detail NOT imply determinism?

David A. Smith
Mike
2005-12-19 07:25:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will. I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.
If there was an omniscient being, that would not indicate in itself that
there is no free will, because there is no logical incompatibility between
free will & omniscience in the first place.
But these is a problem with knowing the future with probability 1, i.e.
the certain event. In that case, what can anyone do to change that apart
from what is already planned to be done? Omniscience leadd to a
Parmenidean universe, necessarily.
Your objection was predictable. Does that mean you didn't freely choose to
make it?
Since you are asking such question, it would be could to provide the
answer too.
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
Post by ipcress
Predicting a thing to be the case doesn't determine that it will be the case.
Omniscience does not involve predictions but it is the complete
knowledge of all future events.
There's no difference between complete knowledge of the future & 100%
accuracy in predicting the future.
Of course there is. Since there can be no 100% accuracy, there is no
such thing. Remember,
99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 is still about
100 but yet, there is a finite error. Thus, accuracy and omniscience
are incompatible concepts.
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
You could naively argue that although a supreme Being knows, does not
interfere, a common cheap argument made by priests in church gatherings.
Be that as it may, knowing doesn't determine things nor necesssarily
indicate that things are determined.
That is no simple knoweldge, which can be challenged by knew knowledge.
This is knowing the certain event. I think you are using the word
"knowing" in a loose sense because you are intending to set up a straw
man argument.
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
However, this implies nobody can do anything to change things other than
the set of actions the supreme Being already knows. Thus, you free will
is contigent to the knowledge of the omniscient being and not a property
of yours. This is where the logical contradiction comes into place. So
Bob is right.
How could your actions depend on someone else if that person happens to be
able to guess what you may with 100% accuracy? & before you go into your
complete knowledge yadayadayada remember that there is no difference
between foreknowledge & 100% accuracy in prediction. Bob may be right that
omniscience is impossible because of the nature of things but there is no
logical contradiction between free will & foreknowledge.
This is your strawman argument as expected. there is no "guess"
involved in omniscience. the, you grossly misunderstood Bob. Maybe you
did not understand what we are talking about, or maybe you like straw
man arguments.

Mike
xeno
2005-12-19 11:31:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
Omniscience does not involve predictions but it is the complete
knowledge of all future events.
There's no difference between complete knowledge of the future & 100%
accuracy in predicting the future.
Of course there is. Since there can be no 100% accuracy ...
That's not self-evident. It's contingent. & anything foretold is a
prediction.
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
You could naively argue that although a supreme Being knows, does not
interfere, a common cheap argument made by priests in church gatherings.
Be that as it may, knowing doesn't determine things nor necesssarily
indicate that things are determined.
That is no simple knoweldge, which can be challenged by knew knowledge.
This is knowing the certain event.
But anything circumstantial is contigent. It won't be logically necessary.
Just because you will certainly do such & such, it doesn't follow that you
must do such & such.
Post by xeno
Post by Mike
However, this implies nobody can do anything to change things other than
the set of actions the supreme Being already knows. Thus, you free will
is contigent to the knowledge of the omniscient being and not a property
of yours. This is where the logical contradiction comes into place. So
Bob is right.
How could your actions depend on someone else if that person happens to be
able to guess what you may [do] with 100% accuracy? & before you go
into your complete knowledge yadayadayada remember that there is no
difference between foreknowledge & 100% accuracy in prediction. Bob may
be right that omniscience is impossible because of the nature of things
but there is no logical contradiction between free will &
foreknowledge.
This is your strawman argument as expected. there is no "guess"
involved in omniscience.
A guess is just a prediction.
Bob
2005-12-19 14:40:33 UTC
Permalink
Since there can be no 100% accuracy ...
That's not self-evident. It's contingent. & anything foretold is a
prediction.
I can be 100% certain about one thing, namely that I exist. Forget all
the rest - focus on that one certainty.

Now according to the traditional doctrine on omnisicsnce, it is
infallible. That means that the moment I cease to exist (at death) is
known with absolute certainty by some entity who possesses
omniscience. Therefore the moment that I cease to exist is
predetermined.

If I decide to kill myself in 37 minutes from now, this omniscient
being will claim that was the time foretold. If at 37 minutes I decide
to call it off, this omniscient being will claim that was also
foretold. Therefore the actual time I cease to exist is not knowable.

There is a similar thing that happens when you try to predict if a
Turing Machine will halt. You end up with the same contradiction.
Bob
2005-12-18 17:40:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
The existence of intrinsically unknowable quantities results in free
will. I would go so far as to extend this to Existential Metaphysics and
maintain that even the Supreme Being cannot know everything in the
Universe. That also is required for free will.
If there was an omniscient being, that would not indicate in itself that
there is no free will, because there is no logical incompatibility between
free will & omniscience in the first place. Predicting a thing to be the
case doesn't determine that it will be the case.
Omniscience in the theological sense of the term means infallible
prediction.
Bob
2005-12-18 15:19:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bilge
Quantum mechanics is ergodic and not chaotic for that reason.
Please elaborate in the context of the current discussion.
ipcress
2005-12-18 16:18:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
Quantum mechanics is ergodic and not chaotic for that reason.
Please elaborate in the context of the current discussion.
ergodic: "positive recurrent aperiodic state of stochastic systems;
tending in probability to a limiting form that is independent of the
initial conditions".
Bob
2005-12-18 17:38:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
Quantum mechanics is ergodic and not chaotic for that reason.
Please elaborate in the context of the current discussion.
ergodic: "positive recurrent aperiodic state of stochastic systems;
tending in probability to a limiting form that is independent of the
initial conditions".
I meant elaborate why you think that QM is ergodic and not chaotic.

I think I remember what ergodicity means in terms of phase space
trajectories in classical physics because I learned it while getting
my doctorate in physics many years ago.

But I can't recall the Ergodic Hypothesis being applied to QM,
probably because I did not find it important at the time.

Ergodicity is similar to the fact that no substring in a true random
number repeats. IOW, this non-repetition is a property of true
ransomness. That's why true random numbers are uncomputable - if they
were computable the algorithm would necessarily repeat substrings,
resulting in a contraction.
Bilge
2005-12-19 00:52:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by ipcress
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
Quantum mechanics is ergodic and not chaotic for that reason.
Please elaborate in the context of the current discussion.
ergodic: "positive recurrent aperiodic state of stochastic systems;
tending in probability to a limiting form that is independent of the
initial conditions".
I meant elaborate why you think that QM is ergodic and not chaotic.
I think I remember what ergodicity means in terms of phase space
trajectories in classical physics because I learned it while getting
my doctorate in physics many years ago.
A system is ergodic if the time average and the phase space average
of the phase functions is equal.
Post by Bob
But I can't recall the Ergodic Hypothesis being applied to QM,
probably because I did not find it important at the time.
In quantum mechanics all of the information about a system is specified
by the wavefunction. The information is obtained from the set of operators
which are diagonal in a particular representation. For the represention in
which the energy is a good quantum number, the comlete set of operators
which define the possible measurements on the system, break all of the
degeneracies (by definition - the existence of a degeneracy implies the
existence of another observable). In terms of the ergodic theorem, the
equivalent statement is that a system is ergodic if and only if its energy
spectrum is non-degenerate. While this might appear to be a tautology,
the number of states that the system can have is defined by the number
of energy levels and the number of particles which occupy each level.
If two particles occupy a single level, and there is no operator which
splits the level, then one cannot treat such a system classically.
Or rather it was assumed that one could do that in classical mechanics,
and that assumption resulted in gibbs paradox. The classical entropy
ends up being a factor of N! too large from overcounting the states.

By treating identical particles as literally indistinguishable, you are
no longer counting particles, but quantum states. If the position was a
good quantum number, you couldn't do this, because it would be possible to
distinguish between two particles by their positions and a measurement of
their momenta. Quantum mechanics tells you that this information doesn't
exist through the uncertainty relations. We really do observe the effects
of quantum statistics in superconductors and super fluids.

You could hypothesize that the individual positions and momenta really do
exist, but are merely experimentally inaccessible. However, that implies
either the existence of another observable for a quantum theory, or a
theory which is not ergodic.
Post by Bob
Ergodicity is similar to the fact that no substring in a true random
number repeats. IOW, this non-repetition is a property of true
ransomness. That's why true random numbers are uncomputable - if they
were computable the algorithm would necessarily repeat substrings,
resulting in a contraction.
Randomness is a characteristic of ergodicity. If you consider your
letters to be the observables, then like the ergodic system, any
individual measurement will result in repetitions. If you have only
26 letters, then once you have a sequence of 27 you must have at
least 1 reptition and the odds are you have more than that, even
though the 26 letters might all occur with equal frequency. The randomness
is a characteristic of the ergodicity. A system which is chaotic does
not produce a random sequence. It produces a sequence which is unpredictable
due to the fact that small differences in the inital data input to the
algorithm yield very different sequences.
Bob
2005-12-19 02:01:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bilge
A system is ergodic if the time average and the phase space average
of the phase functions is equal.
+++
From William Feller, "An Introduction To Probability Theory and Its
Applications", 3rd ed.:

p.152:
Warning: It is usual to read into the law of large numbers things
which it definitely does not imply. If Peter and Paul toss a perfect
coin 10,000 times, it is customary to expect that Peter will be in the
lead roughly half the time. This is not true. In a large number of
different coin-tossing games it is reasonable to expect that at any
fixed moment heads will be in the lead in roughly half of all cases.
But it is quite likely that the player who ends at the winning side
has been in the lead for practically the whole duration of the game.
Thus, contrary to widespread belief, the time average for any
individual game has nothing to do with the ensemble average at any
given moment.

From p. 67:
"We shall encounter theoretical conclusions which not only are
unexpected but actually come as a shock to intuition and common sense.
They will reveal that commonly accepted notions concerning chance
fluctuations are without foundation and that the implications of the
law of large numbers are widely misconstrued. For example, in various
applications it is assumed that observations on an individual
coin-tossing game during a long time interval will yield the same
statistical characteristics as the observation of the results of a
huge number of independent games at one given instant. This is not so.
Indeed, using a currently popular jargon we reach the conclusion that
in a population of normal coins the majority is necessarily
maladjusted."

From p. 71:
"Refined models [of coin-tossing and its relation to stochastic
processes] take into account that the changes and their probabilities
vary from trial to trial, but even the simple coin-tossing model
leads to surprising, indeed shocking, results. They are of practical
importance because they show that, contrary to accepted views, the
laws governing a prolonged series of individual observations will show
patterns and averages far removed from those derived for a whole
population. In other words, currently popular psychological tests
would lead one to say that in a population of "normal" coins most
individual coins are "maladjusted".
+++
Post by Bilge
In quantum mechanics all of the information about a system is specified
by the wavefunction. The information is obtained from the set of operators
which are diagonal in a particular representation. For the represention in
which the energy is a good quantum number, the comlete set of operators
which define the possible measurements on the system, break all of the
degeneracies (by definition - the existence of a degeneracy implies the
existence of another observable). In terms of the ergodic theorem, the
equivalent statement is that a system is ergodic if and only if its energy
spectrum is non-degenerate. While this might appear to be a tautology,
the number of states that the system can have is defined by the number
of energy levels and the number of particles which occupy each level.
If two particles occupy a single level, and there is no operator which
splits the level, then one cannot treat such a system classically.
Or rather it was assumed that one could do that in classical mechanics,
and that assumption resulted in gibbs paradox. The classical entropy
ends up being a factor of N! too large from overcounting the states.
By treating identical particles as literally indistinguishable, you are
no longer counting particles, but quantum states. If the position was a
good quantum number, you couldn't do this, because it would be possible to
distinguish between two particles by their positions and a measurement of
their momenta. Quantum mechanics tells you that this information doesn't
exist through the uncertainty relations. We really do observe the effects
of quantum statistics in superconductors and super fluids.
You could hypothesize that the individual positions and momenta really do
exist, but are merely experimentally inaccessible. However, that implies
either the existence of another observable for a quantum theory, or a
theory which is not ergodic.
Thanks for that explanation. Now maybe the posters on alt.philosophy
can appreciate the metaphysical implications of QM. Perhaps you can
extend these considerations to the level of Being.
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
Ergodicity is similar to the fact that no substring in a true random
number repeats. IOW, this non-repetition is a property of true
ransomness. That's why true random numbers are uncomputable - if they
were computable the algorithm would necessarily repeat substrings,
resulting in a contraction.
Randomness is a characteristic of ergodicity. If you consider your
letters to be the observables, then like the ergodic system, any
individual measurement will result in repetitions. If you have only
26 letters, then once you have a sequence of 27 you must have at
least 1 reptition and the odds are you have more than that, even
though the 26 letters might all occur with equal frequency. The randomness
is a characteristic of the ergodicity. A system which is chaotic does
not produce a random sequence. It produces a sequence which is unpredictable
due to the fact that small differences in the inital data input to the
algorithm yield very different sequences.
A quantum system produces a sequence that cannot be predicted because
it is uncomputable. There is no (compressed) algorith to generate it.
Bilge
2005-12-19 08:16:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
A system is ergodic if the time average and the phase space average
of the phase functions is equal.
+++
From William Feller, "An Introduction To Probability Theory and Its
Warning: It is usual to read into the law of large numbers things
which it definitely does not imply. If Peter and Paul toss a perfect
coin 10,000 times, it is customary to expect that Peter will be in the
lead roughly half the time. This is not true. In a large number of
Sure, but I assumed you would realize what the statement regarding
equality means and the physical circumstances under which one can apply
it. For example, there are 6.02 x 10^23 gas molecules in 22.4 liters of
gas at STP, so the fluctuations away from the equilibrium distribution are
pretty small. Putting it another way, I haven't seen anywhere close to
that number of rocks fall toward the earth when dropped, yet I'd be more
than happy to bet money if someone assured me that rocks could fall up
occasionally. While it might be possible, it's unlikely enough that
I'm not going to learn much about nature by doubting everything which
isn't 100% certain to be true.


[...]
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
You could hypothesize that the individual positions and momenta really do
exist, but are merely experimentally inaccessible. However, that implies
either the existence of another observable for a quantum theory, or a
theory which is not ergodic.
Thanks for that explanation. Now maybe the posters on alt.philosophy
can appreciate the metaphysical implications of QM. Perhaps you can
extend these considerations to the level of Being.
Not in a any way that would be appealing to anyone who is
convinced that reality is really deep.

[...]
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
is a characteristic of the ergodicity. A system which is chaotic does
not produce a random sequence. It produces a sequence which is unpredictable
due to the fact that small differences in the inital data input to the
algorithm yield very different sequences.
A quantum system produces a sequence that cannot be predicted because
it is uncomputable. There is no (compressed) algorith to generate it.
No, quantum mechanics is probabilistic, which is somewhat different
from uncomputable. An example of uncomputable set I gave in another
thread is the complement of the mandelbrot set. Any point _in_ the
mandelbrot set can be computed by iterating the algorithm, yet there
exists no algorithm to determine the points which are not in the set.
There is nothing probabilistic about the points not in the set. On the
other hand, quantum mechanics is completely probabilistic. If you have
a radioactive nucleus, there is a finite probability that it will not
ever decay regardless of how short the mean lifetime is. There is
also a finite probability that it will decay in the next instant,
no matter how long the mean lifetime is. You can even remove all of
the kinematic factors which are responsible for the different lifetimes
of nuclei which decay by the same process (e.g., beta decay) and you
will get a single number for the mean lifetime, but in the end, there
is simply nothing more _to_ compute. (As an aside, if you are interested
in algorithmic information, compression and that sort of thing, check
out the textbook by vitanyi and li on kolmogorov complexity)
AllYou!
2005-12-19 13:09:11 UTC
Permalink
Hey Bilge........got caught in your own nonsense?

Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa

check out alt.morons.
Bilge
2005-12-19 17:07:00 UTC
Permalink
AllYou!, idiot meat puppet:

Did you decide to come back for more abuse or what? Go do something
useful, like sign up to detonate ieds in iraq.
Post by AllYou!
Hey Bilge........got caught in your own nonsense?
Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa
check out alt.morons.
Bob
2005-12-19 14:24:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
A system is ergodic if the time average and the phase space average
of the phase functions is equal.
+++
From William Feller, "An Introduction To Probability Theory and Its
Warning: It is usual to read into the law of large numbers things
which it definitely does not imply. If Peter and Paul toss a perfect
coin 10,000 times, it is customary to expect that Peter will be in the
lead roughly half the time. This is not true. In a large number of
Sure, but I assumed you would realize what the statement regarding
equality means and the physical circumstances under which one can apply
it.
Why would you imagine that my quoting Feller implies that I did not
"realize what the statement regarding equality means and the physical
circumstances under which one can apply it."

Rest assured that I studied ergodicity in graduate school when I was
earning my doctorate in physics.
Post by Bilge
For example, there are 6.02 x 10^23 gas molecules in 22.4 liters of
gas at STP, so the fluctuations away from the equilibrium distribution are
pretty small. Putting it another way, I haven't seen anywhere close to
that number of rocks fall toward the earth when dropped, yet I'd be more
than happy to bet money if someone assured me that rocks could fall up
occasionally. While it might be possible, it's unlikely enough that
I'm not going to learn much about nature by doubting everything which
isn't 100% certain to be true.
That's all good stuff. But what does it have to do with QM and its
relationship to ergodicity?
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
You could hypothesize that the individual positions and momenta really do
exist, but are merely experimentally inaccessible. However, that implies
either the existence of another observable for a quantum theory, or a
theory which is not ergodic.
Thanks for that explanation. Now maybe the posters on alt.philosophy
can appreciate the metaphysical implications of QM. Perhaps you can
extend these considerations to the level of Being.
Not in a any way that would be appealing to anyone who is
convinced that reality is really deep.
Give it a try anyway.
Post by Bilge
Post by Bob
Post by Bilge
is a characteristic of the ergodicity. A system which is chaotic does
not produce a random sequence. It produces a sequence which is unpredictable
due to the fact that small differences in the inital data input to the
algorithm yield very different sequences.
A quantum system produces a sequence that cannot be predicted because
it is uncomputable. There is no (compressed) algorith to generate it.
No, quantum mechanics is probabilistic, which is somewhat different
from uncomputable.
As I stated earlier I now realize that I over extended my comments
about intrinsically unknowable quantities to include all probabilistic
quantities. However when the outcome of a particular event, such as
spontaneous emission, is equally probable to be any of the allowed
values, then the quantity is intrinsically unknowable and therefore
uncomputable. You will have to read Greg Chaitin for the connection
between unknowable and uncomputable. It has to do with there being no
(compressible) algorithm with which to compute the value. What that
says is that as far as QM is concerned, the time of a particular
emission is not relevant - any emission will do as far as the process
is concerned.

That is radically different from classical chaos, where the end result
depends critically on the details of every participant. If the only
way a BB can exit a hole on the side of a rotating drum is for it to
bounce off a precise single location inside the drum, then that
particular event must happen. That is not the case with spontaneous
emission in QM. Although the next click in your detector came from a
particular event it was not necessary for that to be the particular
event - any other event would have causes the process to evolve
according to the wave function.
Post by Bilge
check out the textbook by vitanyi and li on kolmogorov complexity)
I already have.

An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications
Li and Vitani
Hardcover: 642 pages
Springer Verlag
2nd edition (March 1997)
ISBN: 0387948686

But I believe it is critically important to keep a high wall between
physics and mathematics. They are not the same when it comes to
understanding the way the Universe operates.
AllYou!
2005-12-19 13:08:56 UTC
Permalink
Hey Bilge........got caught in your own nonsense?

Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa

check out alt.morons.
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