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Cranks and Physics

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posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by moebius
Now a generalization from my side. It is funny how the most vocal critics of science are the ones who never cared to study it in the first place.


Who is criticising all of science? The critique is of mainstream academia, elitism and unjustified abstraction. Physics is the understanding of physical reality. Current Science™ does not own all knowledge of physical reality.

Are the first-principle concepts of quanta like: photons, electrons, protons and neutrons really all that hard to understand? Current dogma would say 'yes'. So do you yourself really understand the tricks and blind spots which exist in current advanced theories? I'd be very surprised if you did, because I've often seen big-hitters like Ed Witten say 'no one really understands this stuff!'.


Just because you don't understand the math, doesn't make it heuristic, irrational and arbitrary.

The math utilised to model physical data is often irrational and symbolically arbitrary. I don't think either of those statements are technically incorrect? The algorithms used in much of current Quantum Mechanics do have those properties. Differential calculus is one of the primary tools of mathematical physics, so I can quote Boole here:



Much of Quantum Chromodynamics etc is heuristic by design. This is entirely deliberate. This is what passes for mathematical physics at this moment. You observe some data, then you come up with some bendy math (hopefully with some PR friendly jargon) to force around it. Fitting math to the data and selectively forgetting other data and theory is the current art form. And maybe you even get a nice publishing/tv contract if you happen to have the right jargon and look somewhat interesting in front of a camera.




posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
The purpose of science is to discover truth.

I said 'a purpose' (not sure why you are trying to narrow it to *the* purpose?) and that stands. The development of Western science was synonymous with the notion of enlightenment. Under those conditions, knowledge and scientific demand becomes generated within the general populace, overruling the demands of the specialised classes and the intellectually privileged. I think it's fairly demonstrable that cessation and control of this enlightenment is highly desirable for elitists and established power, irrespective of 'truth'.



Feynman discusses the simple versus the complex in this video starting at around 2:10:

I think there is a certain brilliance in those simple statements about what the real purpose of science is, that I'm not sure you understand, as it seems to contradict your post.

You really worship Feynman, huh? This is like the 10th time I've seen you mention him in a few months. In fact, if you search your name and 'Feynman' you seem to have glorified him persistently for years. Nice icebergs. Suitably slippery.


If it turns out the truth is simple, that's the way we will express the math. E=mc^2 is about as simple as it gets.

So simple that you could no doubt easily and concisely explain why the speed of light is squared in that equation? Nice little physical diagram, maybe?



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 


There are many scientific theories which, mathematical backing or not, are completely unusable except as obscure bits of knowledge. Science isn't about turning a theory into something usable, that's engineering. Science is about knowledge.

With usable I meant usable for other scientists to verify and work upon.

So let me get this straight - you as a scientist claim that science is about "obscure bits of knowledge"?

Care to name your field of work and maybe cite a few scientific theories without any mathematical backing?



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 


Fitting math to the data and selectively forgetting other data and theory is the current art form.

Care to cite some cases where this happened, and what data and theory has been ignored?



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by moebius
reply to post by yampa
 


Fitting math to the data and selectively forgetting other data and theory is the current art form.

Care to cite some cases where this happened, and what data and theory has been ignored?


How about an answer to the question I already posed?

'Physically and mechanically, why is the speed of light squared in e = mc^2?'

That equation is probably the most famous in the world. So that question must have been answered clearly and repetitively on many websites and in most textbooks, right?

If that question is not readily answered by current physics, would you agree that the absence of this information is an example of overlooked, unexplained aspects of theory?



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 



So that question must have been answered clearly and repetitively on many websites and in most textbooks, right?

It is answered on hundreds of websites and in literature. Try "e=mc^2 derivation" in google.

You can read the original derivation from electrodynamics in Einsteins paper "On the electrodynamics of moving bodies"

If you want a more straightforward derivation look here: arxiv.org...
edit on 1-2-2012 by moebius because: typo



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by moebius
reply to post by yampa
 



So that question must have been answered clearly and repetitively on many websites and in most textbooks, right?

It is answered on hundreds of websites and in literature. Try "e=mc^2 derivation" in google.

You can read the original derivation from electrodynamics in Einsteins paper "On the electrodynamics of moving bodies"

If you want a more straightforward derivation look here: arxiv.org...
edit on 1-2-2012 by moebius because: typo


From your arxiv paper:
"it is certainly true that the reasoning in Einstein’s original derivation is not at all obvious."

I'm perfectly aware that there exists mathematical derivations of the equation. I was asking for a simple example of what is physically happening in the underlying fields (hopefully with some pictures). I realise the question is subtle and I did not expect a real answer.



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 



"it is certainly true that the reasoning in Einstein’s original derivation is not at all obvious."

So what? Btw he has been criticized by such guys as Max Planck at that time. But the derivation has still been proved to be correct.


I'm perfectly aware that there exists mathematical derivations of the equation. I was asking for a simple example of what is physically happening in the underlying fields (hopefully with some pictures). I realise the question is subtle and I did not expect a real answer.

So you are basically complaining that science is not a picture book?



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by moebius
With usable I meant usable for other scientists to verify and work upon.


Once again I will refer you to the point I made in my original post which states "Obviously their theories have to one day stand up to scientific scrutiny".


So let me get this straight - you as a scientist claim that science is about "obscure bits of knowledge"?


I never once claimed science was about 'obscure bits of knowledge', I claimed science was about knowledge.

You seem intent on cherry picking individual sentences which seem to prove your point while ignoring the content of the post as a whole, behaviour which I would expect from some fundie in the 'Origins and Creationism' Forum but did not expect to encounter here


Care to name your field of work and maybe cite a few scientific theories without any mathematical backing?


I'm a research geologist whose spent the past 6 years studying the genesis of iron oxides in banded iron formations and channel iron deposits at various mines and deposits throughout the Pilbara region of Australia. As I also minored in ecology my focus is now beginning to shift to mine site rehabilitation. I also have a degree in Anthropology/Archaeology.

The core principles of geology are a set of laws which do not have nor require nor have any mathematical backing. They include but are not limited to

* the Principle of Superposition
* the Principle of Original Horizontality
* the Principle of Lateral Continuity
* the Law of Cross Cutting Relations
* the Law of Inclusions
* the Law of Faunal Succesion

There are thousands of scientific theories which are based firstly on observation and may or may not be able to be translated into mathematical theory at a later date. Either the phenomena they describe is just not easily translated into mathematics, or we are still missing part of the equation and the maths will have to come later....




edit on 1/2/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by moebius
reply to post by yampa
 


So you are basically complaining that science is not a picture book?


No, my complaint was the long winded one across several post with the specific points made against a range of issues. As has just been mentioned, you seem to be selectively picking out sentences for your own gratification.
edit on 1-2-2012 by yampa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by yampa
So simple that you could no doubt easily and concisely explain why the speed of light is squared in that equation? Nice little physical diagram, maybe?
If you don't think E=mc^2 is simple mathematically, them I'm afraid there is no way science is going to be able to make the math simple enough for you.

It's best you stop complaining about how complex the math is and start learning some math. Your posts about the math have only demonstrated how much you don't know about it. That situation can easily be remedied by going to school.



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by yampa
So simple that you could no doubt easily and concisely explain why the speed of light is squared in that equation? Nice little physical diagram, maybe?
If you don't think E=mc^2 is simple mathematically, them I'm afraid there is no way science is going to be able to make the math simple enough for you.

It's best you stop complaining about how complex the math is and start learning some math. Your posts about the math have only demonstrated how much you don't know about it. That situation can easily be remedied by going to school.


"Shut up and calculate" amirite?

I didn't say it was or wasn't simple. I asked you a specific question which would allow you to prove how simple it is. I note you have not done this or provided any link which would answer that question directly and simply (pref with a physical diagram).



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 


I want the physicists to do physical experiments and model physical reality with rational, transparent and generalised mathematics.

My question still stands. Why do you want this? Simply so that you may understand physics? That is not required. What is required is for science to give us as true and accurate a representation of the physical world as possible, whether you and seven billion others understand it or not. Physics – science in general – is not popular entertainment. It is one of the few remaining fields of human activity to evade the clutches of that evil industry.

It just so happens that the physical world, as we now know it, is beyond comprehension to those – myself often among them – who cannot do the maths. That is unfortunate, but it is just the way things are. You cannot model reality with what you call 'generalised mathematics'; the mathematics of reality is in fact general, but it is not simple. You cannot model reality with high-school mathematics and that, I am afraid, is that


The public frequently does fund academic research? The public often also subsidize private entities which sponsor research?

Correct. That does not give the public the right to decide what science is done, or how, which was my point.


Science is currently done for the entertainment and maintenance of established industry.

Science is not done for anyone's entertainment except scientists.'


edit on 1/2/12 by Astyanax because: of me.



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 


Sometimes today’s cranks turn out to be tomorrow’s Einsteins.

This is often stated, but in real life it almost never happens.


Science is definitely a little too dismissive of theories which cannot be tested right now or even hint at being slightly aligned with the spiritual.

To expect otherwise would be to misunderstand what science is for or how it works.


Just because one is unable to fit one’s theories into a mathematical formula, does not necessarily mean it should be written off altogether.

That's not how it works. As others on this thread have already explained, the theory should be self-consistent and make accurate predictions about reality. It is nature, not the scientific establishment, that insists on the maths.


As such there should be no reason why one cannot relay the core concepts of the theory to the layman. The maths is secondary and only exists to prove the validity of the theory.

Have you noticed the incredible mishmash of error and superstition that is the layman's 'understanding' of quantum mechanics? Nobody can really 'get' quantum mechanics in a nonmathematical way: you can only ever make sense of it mathematically. This is only one example of a number of ideas in physics that are really only practically expressible in mathematics.

Humanity has acquired immense knowledge and understanding about the physical world since the time of Galileo. Unfortunately, this knowledge does not lie within everyone's intellectual compass. The bulk of humanity will just have to be content with the knowledge that a few clever people understand the details, and accept what those clever people say on faith.

Yes, I know that sounds like the very opposite of science. I know it sounds a lot like religion. It isn't, but it sounds like it. Sorry about that.


Science and New Age philosophy are verging ever closer.

They are absolutely not. Popular writers (who are part of the entertainment industry I mention in my post above) often pretend they are. It is not so.


Most scientist refuse to accept that many of their theories do run parallel to concepts which have been echoed by the mystics for many thousands of years.

Can you provide examples of some of these concepts? (Please note that I have already read books like The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters. The authors of these books are simply exploiting the fact that the human mind works and apprehends the world around it in certain set patterns, which have been defined for us by evolution – the ways in which are brains were 'designed' by evolution to operate. So we can skip all that and get down to the really nitty-gritty.)



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


meet Amit Goswami,

quantum physicist and author of several books including Science and Spirituality, a Quantum Integration and The Self-Aware Universe


Amit Goswami is a theoretical nuclear physicist and member of The University of Oregon Institute for Theoretical Physics since 1968, teaching physics for 32 years. After a period of distress and frustration in his private and professional life starting at the age 38, his research interests shifted to quantum cosmology, quantum measurement theory, and applications of quantum mechanics to the mind-body problem. He became best known as one of the interviewed scientists featured in the 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Goswami is also featured in the recent documentary about the Dalai Lama entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance,[1] and stars in the 2009 documentary "The Quantum Activist" [2]


the science of "what the bleep do we know?!" is becoming pretty mainstream. it's just layman's quantum physics. quantum physics has blown-up in the face of science as it proves that consciousness is the base unit of the universe, not matter.

Amit has been teaching physics for longer than most of us have been alive. he's "been around the block" of science and has realized that quantum mechanics proves the mystics right.


Quotations by Amit Goswami

Mission statement

"Consciousness is the ground of all being."

On life changing impulses
"Then I had a dream that felt like an admonition to me. I heard it so clearly: 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead is correct. It's your job to prove it!' […] One of those [big dreams] can change your life."

On science
"Old paradigmers […] will take a long time to change."
"We have to introduce consciousness into science, but to do this consciousness must have some structure to manifest itself. That structure requires mind, vital energies, supra-mentality, soul in other words."[10]

On mystics and scientists
"Mystics, contrary to religionists, are always saying that reality is not two things -God and the world- but one thing, consciousness. […] The problem with science has always been that most scientists believe that science must be done within a different monistic framework, one based on the primacy of matter. […] quantum physics showed us that we must change that myopic prejudice of scientists, otherwise we cannot comprehend quantum physics. So now we have science within consciousness, a new paradigm of science based on the primacy of consciousness that is gradually replacing the old materialist science. […] the new paradigm resolves many […] paradoxes of the old paradigm and explains much anomalous data."

edit on 2/1/12 by metalshredmetal because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by metalshredmetal
the science of "what the bleep do we know?!" is becoming pretty mainstream. it's just layman's quantum physics.
There is some mainstream physics in that movie, but the problem is, many laypeople don't seem to be able to tell where the quantum physics ends, and the quantum nonsense begins:

What the Bleep Do We Know!?


The film has been criticized for both misrepresenting science and containing pseudoscience and has been described as quantum mysticism....

Scientists who have reviewed What the Bleep Do We Know!? have described distinct assertions made in the film as pseudoscience.[14] Amongst the assertions in the film that have been challenged are that water molecules can be influenced by thought (as popularized by Masaru Emoto),[3] that meditation can reduce violent crime rates,[15] and that quantum physics implies that "consciousness is the ground of all being." The film was also discussed in a letter published in Physics Today that challenges how physics is taught, saying teaching fails to "expose the mysteries physics has encountered [and] reveal the limits of our understanding." In the letter, the authors write "the movie illustrates the uncertainty principle with a bouncing basketball being in several places at once. There's nothing wrong with that. It's recognized as pedagogical exaggeration. But the movie gradually moves to quantum 'insights' that lead a woman to toss away her antidepressant medication, to the quantum channeling of Ramtha, the 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior, and on to even greater nonsense." It went on to say that "Most laypeople cannot tell where the quantum physics ends and the quantum nonsense begins, and many are susceptible to being misguided...
Are you one of the people who was misguided by not being able to tell where the quantum physics ends and the quantum nonsense begins?



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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What a very good and interesting subject.
It is also notable that most (NOT ALL) of modern medical science is especially prone to "cranks" and crank theory.
This is why it is in a dead end, peddling ineffective and largely toxic drugs and treatments. The cure really is worse then the disease. (NOT in ALL cases, but most)
Everyone should read this book for perspective, 1982 book btw. I read it in early 90s, it is even more relevant now, for perspective:
en.wikipedia.org...:_Fraud_and_Deceit_in_the_Halls_of_Science

Let me quote from it (regarding medical science):



Our conclusion, in brief, is that science bears little resemblance to its conventional portrait. We believe that the logical structure discernible in scientific knowledge says nothing about the process by which the structure was built or the mentality of the builders. In the acquisition of knowledge, scientists are not guided by logic and objectivity alone, but also by such nonrational factors as rhetoric, propaganda, and personal prejudice. Scientists do not depend solely on rational thought, and have no monopoly on it


Now, I do not deny science, or inventions.
I am a very happy observer, observing both the discoveries and the idiotics.

As for theories built on sand, the quantum chronography and the standard model, are perhaps just such theories. Not that that means each and every part is wrong. In fact most parts are correct observations, formulas and such.
No higgs boson particle? Oh well, will just say it impossible to observe, call it an anomaly, or make up something else - this is not science!
FTL nutrinos? oh well, it just a hair faster, and anyhow it doesn't matter to our theory. It is the TRUTH, and the gospel. Wrong! Truth is an abstract (philosophical) concept with no relations to science, see below.
Please don't assume, I am invalidating all result, and science, it is pretty boring.

I challenge anyone to debunk this man, as long as this isn't done, the search for the higgs boson particle will remain a fairytale, grounded in wishful thinking, just shy of good intentioned crank theories. Btw I have no problems with the Higgs Boson particle, abstract math, however if the underlaying math is incorrect, oh well, lets have a little more faith:

nohiggs.wordpress.com...

I would also ad to the discussion that science doesn't investigate truth, but is a process of discovery.
Investigating truth leads to dogma. Humble yourself!
However, building dogma on unsound ideas, is in itself untruthful.
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Let me requote the definition of crank from the opening page, it is very good. Really!:



A ”crank” is a particular variety of pseudoscientist or “true believer” – one that tries very hard to be a real scientist but is hopelessly crippled by a combination of incompetence and a tendency to interpret their own incompetence as overwhelming genius.

edit on 2-2-2012 by BBalazs because: (no reason given)

Now, when science searches for truth, when it should be searching for understanding, it creates its own "true believer"....I rest my case.
It is a case of platos fallacy.

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oh, a word of advice on "the truth":



I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking; I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning." - Aleister Crowley.

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posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 03:07 AM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 


I never once claimed science was about 'obscure bits of knowledge', I claimed science was about knowledge.

You seem intent on cherry picking individual sentences which seem to prove your point while ignoring the content of the post as a whole, behaviour which I would expect from some fundie in the 'Origins and Creationism' Forum but did not expect to encounter here

Here is the whole statement:

You obviously missed the part in my post where I said that these theories will one day have to have to stand up to scientific scrutiny. There are many scientific theories which, mathematical backing or not, are completely unusable except as obscure bits of knowledge. Science isn't about turning a theory into something usable, that's engineering. Science is about knowledge.

What content am I ignoring here? You state clearly, that there are many theories that are completely unusable except as obscure bits of knowledge. Where is the cherry picking? What is the meaning of this sentence within context? How do you define a theory? Do you differentiate between theory, principle and observation?

I am just trying to understand what you are talking about. First you say that a theory doesn't have to be formulated mathematically and doesn't have to be usable. But then you add that, it has to stand up to scientific scrutiny some day. What does that mean for a unusable theory?


* the Principle of Superposition
* the Principle of Original Horizontality
* the Principle of Lateral Continuity
* the Law of Cross Cutting Relations
* the Law of Inclusions
* the Law of Faunal Succesion

Those are observations claimed to be true afaik. I think you scientists also call them postulates not theories.

Btw from what I can see they can be derived from material physics. It's just that you've chosen to ignore it, or don't need it in geology. But I guess I am just cherry picking again and ignoring the content, right?



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 03:24 AM
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reply to post by moebius
just saying.
i would presume this: "There are many scientific theories which, mathematical backing or not, are completely unusable except as obscure bits of knowledge"
ie. many, doesnt equal all.
there are many cars that can go above 150 miles per hour doesn't equal all can (or cannot).
just saying.

edit on 2-2-2012 by BBalazs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 04:33 AM
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Now looking at the postulates posted by @1littlewolf I have to retract my statement that mathematics is required to define a theory.

It can be formed from a set of postulates by applying deductive logic. Logic is a method utilized in mathematics, but it is not mathematics as such. Thus a theory only has to be based on verifiable postulates and be logically consistent.



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