Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Eise

  1. I fully agree that 'absolute truth' does not apply to the sciences (nor to any other 'truth capable' discourse). Let's call that 'Truth' with capital 'T'. But truth, lowercase 't' certainly applies to sentences that claim to reflect part of reality. E.g. 'the Eifel tower stands in Paris' is true. See also TheVat's description: Simply said: a statement is true, if it corresponds to objective facts. So this is the most simple definition of 'truth': factual sentences are 'truth-capable'. Now, is the sentence 'The earth is flat' true? Well, we know it isn't. Is the sentence 'The earth was flat in 4000 BCE' true? Again, no, we know that 4000 BCE the world was just as round as it is today. Does it then make sense to say that ''The earth is flat' spoken by somebody in 4000 BCE is true? She might be expressing what she really thinks, so she is 'truthful' (she really thinks the earth is flat), but the sentence isn't true at all. She just can't know it. Nothing concerning the topology of the earth did change since 4000 BCE. What changed was how people saw the world. Now for science: scientific theories are abstractions from true statements. They also contain how these abstractions can be translated into concrete empirical claims. Simplified: you have a theory, you put in the initial conditions that you measured or setup (when it is about an experiment), and the output of that are predictions of what you will observe, i.e. basic statements about 'affairs in the world'. If these basic statements turn out to be correct, again and again, even in very different situations (different initial conditions), then we can call the theory true, at least provisionally. (Or you can call it "best currently accepted internally and externally consistent provisionally validated model” as iNow prefers ). Now Truth would be the ideal that for every possible state of affairs, we have a scientific theory, with which we can predict and explain all possible states of affairs. I think that in this view it becomes clear that: we will never reach Truth but we strive to explain as many truths as possible, so aiming at Truth is still a heuristic principle and that trying to falsify scientific theories is the fastest way to make progress in science; repeating the same kind of measurements again and again to confirm a theory is pretty useless.
  2. Yes, as a minimum. I think it is also important that world views or scientific theories are consistent, in themselves and between each other. Another important criterion is explanatory power: the more phenomena we can subsume under only a few basic laws of nature, the better. All this does not lead to 'absolute truth', but a better match between our theories and the reality these theories describe. But the theory never becomes reality itself! I think it is this idea of absolute truth that bothers @MigL, no? But that are interpretations, not scientific theories, unless somebody discovers experiments that can show which interpretation is correct (or wrong). We already had such a surprise (Bell's theorem). Either that, or until an experiment is designed these are speculations, or when we never find discriminative experiments, the interpretations will be meta-physics. So what changed since this antiquity? Reality or our ideas about reality? Was the earth flat once, and not anymore? It is so simple: some empirical claims are flat out wrong, independent on what people believe. As said above, it seems to me you think 'absolute truth', in the sense that we know we have 'caught' reality exactly as it is. That, surely enough, lies beyond our reach. But a map that locates the Eiffel tower in Paris, near the Seine, is definitely 'truer' than a map that locates it in Wall Street in New York. Ah, there it is. I would say there is truth, but as a heuristic principle. It shows a direction where to go, but not something that can be reached, as a the ultimate endpoint of our quest to understand the world. It is a bit like I am giving up to be a morally good person, because becoming a saint (or boddhisatva) lies beyond my reach. NO! Exactly the opposite! Our ideas about reality improve, they become more encompassing, explain more phenomena than older theories, we can base more and more technology on it: in short, they become 'truer'. More and more about reality is dis-covered. That would be a huge discovery. But in the meantime we have learned a lot about the inner perspective of this simulation. Unless the operator of the simulation starts to change parameters, e.g. the speed of light, all our knowledge of the inner workings of the universe created by the simulation stays valid. I support that.
  3. I completely agree with @TheVat. The idea of 'truth' makes no sense if we do nor relate to an objective reality. Our scientific theories are about something. And they can be wrong, or true, in their (limited) domain. The earth never was flat, we know that. A majority believing that is was (is) may have reasons to think so, but it is, and was never true. For me the expression 'my truth' makes no sense: the word 'truth' implies that it is claimed to be the case for everybody. We dis-cover reality. Maybe not as it is, but as a map of reality. If we behave according to the map, e.g. find our way to the Eiffel tower, and we get there, then the map was 'true'. There may be much left out from the map, but the map expresses at least some true aspects of reality. Science is not just a 'narrative', as many post-modernist philosopher liked to say.
  4. No, in the daily meaning of the word. Changing 'he' in 'she', I forgot that there still was a 'his' in the sentence... What for goods sake is the importance of that?
  5. No, not familiar with it. But on a first glance it may be a good entry point. However you take the risk of taking a too deep dive in academic philosophy. Philosophy also has its technical concepts, sometime using words borrowed from daily language (e.g. 'intentionality'). What I like is that in nearly every main topic a few references to introductory sources are given. That could be a good start. Just take care not to declare an article as nonsensical before you really understand what an author is trying to say, and in what discourse she is presenting his text.
  6. It is difficult for me to give some hints about what is done today under the header of 'philosophy'. In the first place, I am not actively studying philosophy anymore: just reading what interests me, most of them: philosophy of science, especially physics mind body problem free will So @Genady I can give you titles, if one of this topics interests you. But of course there is much more: political philosophy metaphysics (completely different from what it once was) ethics logic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Except Tyson's denigrating remarks about philosophy, I like him as a science communicator, warning tirelessly against the growing 'science analphabetization'. He speaks and writes with humor, enthusiasm and also empathy. This is very dependent on the context. When it is about how people react to events, without knowing the statistics, then it is OK. And I think this is what he meant. But of course a lot of people see it in another context, think just about people who lost friends or family in mass shootings. So, yes, this was a miss of Tyson, and he excused for it.
  7. Gave minus 1 to all obviously from AI copied reactions by Orion1. Is there no (new) rule that reactions generated by AI as if it is a posting written by the member himself is not allowed?
  8. Don't exaggerate, MigL. Pigliucci is perfect for the job. I think the problem is simply that many scientists, like Tyson and Krauss, have no idea that (nearly) no philosopher today sees philosophy as a way to empirical truths. Also see the feud between Krauss and David Albert.
  9. Sure, everybody makes mistakes. But Avi Loeb's 'It must be aliens!' is just looking for confirming evidence, not for sources of errors and looking at alternative, less spectacular possible explanations.
  10. You really don't? There is a little bit too much of speculating about von Neumann probes, among other 'alien' speculations. I know your opinion on what UFOs really are is still open. But you put far too much effort in hypotheses that it could be aliens. The 'why' is of course also speculative. But I would like to apply one of the 'derivatives' of Ockham's Razor. I gave already an example of that: there are experiments with new flying technologies. Getting people not to take too much interest in 'flying anomalies' them could help the interest in them low. This is also speculative of course, but it needs no additional, improbable hypotheses, like 'aliens', alien technology, or what else. Nope. Didn't you read my posting till the end before reacting? Of course, if it is possible. If, taking all data of a UFO sighting together do not lead to a conclusion what it was, then it is unexplained. Full stop. But for goodness, yes, we should investigate UFO sightings that cannot be explained easily (Jupiter, weather balloon, etc). I did not say anything like that. I hope it is not a willfully wrong interpretation of what I wrote. He won't get it from me. Trying to exclude all kinds of noise from your measurements is normal scientific practice. Taking the vibrations of a passing truck as some significant event, is a scientific sin. Nope. People that do not have the experience with all kind of 'aerial phenomena' might just not know what they are seeing. That is no sign of being a crackpot. But taking the observation of a solar balloon from a plane as some proof of an (alien) UFO, or secret AF or NASA technology, as the majority of the comments under that video, shows a terrible naivety from the side of UFO fanatics. Hay, I once saw a UFO! Meaning, that all possible explanations I could think of did not quite fit. Yes, it was just a red light, nearly standing still close to the horizon, no smoke visible, so not very impressive. But fact is that I did not know what it was (no, it was not Mars). And if I see how many auxiliary hypotheses are needed about technologies that we even do not know can exist, to make it at least probable that aliens are visiting us, then, no thanks. I'll wait for real empirical evidence, and so my default is 'unexplained means unexplained'. Yes, once again, investigate UFO sightings! But if the data do not positively point to aliens visiting us, then, yes, unexplained means unexplained.
  11. What else can I do, than giving you +1
  12. Sorry, here is a language confusion. I did not mean 'crazies'. I have looked up the word from the Dutch- English dictionary ('craze'). What I mean is something like the short popularity of a phenomenon: something similar to the short popularity of 'fudget spinners'. In this case: there is some news footage about UFOs, a short time afterwards they are being seen everywhere, and then it ebbs away. I am not a native English speaker, so apology for the confusion. But hey, there are people talking about 'secretes', and one moment I thought that would be great: if we find a secrete and it turns out that it can't be from earth, then we have some evidence in our hands. But of course I recognised that Moon meant 'secrets'. My wording was of course more prone to wrong interpretation. Only one other thing, that I wonder about again and again: it is 'one phenomenon', 'more phenomena'. That's not just you, Moon, I see it everywhere. Longer reaction on the contents of your reaction hopefully tomorrow, but I wanted to have this point out of the way,
  13. @Moontanman I wonder why you buy so much into 'aliens' and 'government secrecy'. First, on physical grounds, it is extremely, nearly impossible, that aliens visit us. Special Relativity sets a clear limit to travel speed. G-forces, and collisions with dust particles set high limits. Of course, slowly travelling, with generation spaceships cannot be excluded, as von Neumann probes (but then its not aliens visiting us, but their probes, that should be able to navigate autonomously, find out by themselves what is interesting, etc). Simply said, it needs a lot of additional hypothesis that we even do not know are possible. Second, most of the UFO sighting have earthly explanations. Reaching from simple explanations (Venus, Jupiter and Mars), weather phenomena, satellites, (experimental) planes, weather (and solar!) balloons, etc), to sightings that cannot be explained, but even the latter does not mean 'aliens!' 'Unexplained' means unexplained, nothing more. Not very satisfying of course, but it is as it is. Third, UFO sightings tend to come in crazes: one fascinating UFO sighting, and often it is followed suddenly by many more UFO sightings. For me a clear indication, that people are more inclined to 'look up', and then immediately take the most improbable explanation: aliens, or even worse, an alien invasion is imminent. Fourth, for government secrets, there is a pretty simple explanation: when they are doing experiments with 'flying objects' they might be interested in people that do not pay too much attention to anomalous flying objects. This is at least my explanation for Edward Condon's very unscientific approach. Just deny that they exist, declare that all UFO sightings are fully explainable, and all observers will only think 'hey, funny what I see there, but it cannot be UFOs, because they do not exist'. That backfired of course completely, and only contributed to conspiracy theories. Fifth, a whole lot of people just want 'aliens!' to be true. They do not want to falsify (in the Popperian sense of the word) the alien hypothesis, they take every unusual sighting as confirmation of their belief, even if there are simple explanations. The solar balloon sighting, and the reactions on Youtube are great examples. The huge majority says 'aliens!, then come many with secret flying things from the Air Force, (or NASA), and then only very few come with trying to find earthly explanations, and veeeery few with the correct explanation. And nobody reacts on these correct explanations. There is no rational discourse at all. Considering all this, the question is if UFOs are a legitimate research object for science. You maybe surprised, but my answer is 'yes'. But first all these explainable sightings must be filtered out, and there must be tangible proof. And it should be serious researchers, not Loebs, who are the pseudo-scientific variants of alien believers.
  14. James Olivier had his 'Last Week Tonight' about UFOs. There is amongst others the footage of Edward Condon in it, saying exactly what @Moontanman cited. And I completely agree with Swansont about Avi Loeb. His (Loeb, of course... ) first hypothesis always seems to be 'aliens!'. And then do everything, however ridiculous, to support this hypothesis. No, this is not the way doing science and the article Swansont links to is a perfect description of Loeb's problematic stance and way of investigating, unworthy of science. I think it is very bad, it undermines the reputation of science.
  15. I just read some comments on the video. Seldom had more fun. Here a selection: This woman is a legend, first clear UFO footage in history Finally a clear picture of a ufo instead of the usual dark and blurry images (Eise: yup, therefore it was so easy to recognise) This is the best clearest footage of UFO I have ever seen. US Government: "Relax it's just a weather balloon." (Eise: no, it was't...) Literally the best footage of a “ufo” to date …bravo!! U guys deserve something as a news station SERIOUSLY! probably the best video/picture caught of a UFO ever lol 1. It wasn't fast, the aircraft was, that's why you see it zipping through the video. 2. It's a blade propelled object judging from its inclination, probably a drone. 3. The drone was operated by the government or related agency because even considering how dangerous this was for the airliner, no news about investigation had been announced. Why is everyone so scared to say what it really is?? (Eise: because it would shock your world view) That’s our own government. Stop Do you really think you caught it on your home camera and the government doesn’t know? They have been here for thousands of years. Cylinder Aka cigar shaped crafts are one of the most common UFOs. Legit sighting in my opinion. Great catch.. (Eise: obviously a real expert!) This is one of the best UFO footage in recent decades (Eise: his emoticons, sorry that they became so big...) Etc etc. Naivety, conspiracy theories... There are however a few who notice that it looks to fly fast, but that it could be the speed of the plane. Some examples: The plane flying at 2 to 300 miles per hour, if you look closely, that object could have very well been stationary given the travel direction of the plane if you look at the land while it's flying and how the object seems to fly by at a high speed but could very well be almost sitting still. Black balloon with helium? It’s not moving, you are. (Eise: close, very close...) And the price goes to:
  16. Sorry to disappoint, but I recognised it immediately: The speed is the speed of the plane. It was 'a close encounter of the daily kind'. Blow it up in a cool place on a hot day (inside your home or in the shadow), bring it into the sunlight, until it lifts and let it go, and you will never see it again. From this Swiss site. Costs 12 Swiss bucks. What a fuzz about a funny, but physically interesting toy. I once 'launched' one. Ah, there is even a wikipedia article bout it: That was a fast +1, Moontanman. Small correction: blow it up on a cool but sunny day. Obviously there also much bigger ones...
  17. ... yep. And make sure you don't let them clash together. Either they will break, because they are very brittle, or you have to remove them sideways with pincers. And I imagine assembling them into a bigger contraption might be very difficult, due to their magnetic strength. I only know this address in Switzerland, ordered a few of them: https://www.supermagnete.ch/
  18. Really? From his article that introduced the theory that later would be named 'Special Relativity': On the electrodynamics of moving bodies I think it is time to close the thread?
  19. Eise


    Thanks for your proposal, but working all day with computers, and not too far from my retirement (1.5 year), I discover that learning complete new frameworks is a little bit too much. I am working with databases, and am not too bad at it, and in that cognitive frame I am still capable of learning. But for the one or the other formula in Latex, maybe once per 2 months, I would already have forgotten how I did it. But thanks anyway, very kind of you. Best, Eise
  20. (Bold by me) What does 'stationary' mean? Against what? The Lorentzian aether? How can that be, if the LTs do not contain any reference to the velocity of light measured in this 'aether'?
  21. I think I found an even better challenge for you, @externo because it seems you have problems with even simple math. This is the formula for the Doppler effect in a medium: vr = is the speed of the receiver relative to the medium, added to ± (above the division) = if the receiver is moving towards the source, subtracted if the receiver is moving away from the source vs = is the speed of the source relative to the medium, added to ± (below the division) if the source is moving away from the receiver, subtracted if the source is moving towards the receiver And last, but not least: c = is the propagation speed of waves in the medium Now this is the Doppler formula for light, assuming the source and the receiver are moving in a straight line from/to each other: where ß is the usual v/c. Now tell me, where do you see the speed of light in a medium? How do you explain that it does not appear in the formula? The above formula, AFAIK, can be derived from the Lorentz transformations, in which, you probably noticed, the speed of light in a medium does not occur either. Another problem I seem to see, is that you are thinking that relativity has something to do with signal delay. It hasn't. So the blueshift that the observer on earth sees after the traveler has turned around, of course takes time to reach earth. That is just signal time delay, nothing special.
  22. Eise


    Nope, did not work
  23. Eise

    Today I Learned

    Except one (or two?) episodes of 'Tales from the Loop' playing with time, it is not the essence of the series, as it is in 'Dark'. The episodes of 'Tales' are relatively independent, but there are a few running threads through the episodes. But maybe this is not the place to discuss that. Maybe the admins could open a new forum for discussing movies and series? Ups, I did not say that!
  24. Again, no answer. Plugin the LTs in the Minkowski metric, and see what you get.
  25. I had no derivation to check, so I could answer very quickly.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.