Jump to content

Maths vs Belief


Gratiano
 Share

Recommended Posts

Wandering around the forum I read a moderator's(swansont) thread which included the following words: 

"You are contradicting accepted science. Accepted science has a large amount of data supporting it, so if your thesis runs contrary to experimental results, you have basically pre-falsified your work. If you are proposing a new theory, it has to do better than the one it's supplanting. Remember, you have to be consistent with all of what has been observed, not just some small subset of it."

I cannot understand the reason that we still have all science based on maths to "be accepted" by scientific community. A new discovery backed by mathematics should be ultimately accepted as a valid fact. Noone should have to convince the rest of the community for one's findings. 

Why is science to "be accepted"? Either it is or it is not. 

Accepted science existed in medieval times when priests were afraid of losing their priviledges, it should not be like this nowadays... We are spending time and money in conferences in order to demonstrate the obvious when we should spend time trying to apply new discoveries in improving our world(consequently, our lifes and ourselves). 

PS: I have in mind two disputes, the famous ether vs field theory about 12 decades ago and a non-famous one, the one between Godel and Einstein. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Gratiano said:

Wandering around the forum I read a moderator's(swansont) thread which included the following words: 

"You are contradicting accepted science. Accepted science has a large amount of data supporting it, so if your thesis runs contrary to experimental results, you have basically pre-falsified your work. If you are proposing a new theory, it has to do better than the one it's supplanting. Remember, you have to be consistent with all of what has been observed, not just some small subset of it."

I cannot understand the reason that we still have all science based on maths to "be accepted" by scientific community. A new discovery backed by mathematics should be ultimately accepted as a valid fact. Noone should have to convince the rest of the community for one's findings. 

Why is science to "be accepted"? Either it is or it is not. 

Accepted science existed in medieval times when priests were afraid of losing their priviledges, it should not be like this nowadays... We are spending time and money in conferences in order to demonstrate the obvious when we should spend time trying to apply new discoveries in improving our world(consequently, our lifes and ourselves). 

PS: I have in mind two disputes, the famous ether vs field theory about 12 decades ago and a non-famous one, the one between Godel and Einstein. 

 

New theories and discoveries are checked and re-appraised...even GR today still needs to make successful predictions and continue to match new observations to be accepted.

Those theories that do that best are accepted by the majority.                                                      With your ether and field theory inference, the ether was simply invalidated with the Michelson Morley experiment. 

But being a rank amateur at this game, I decided to do some searching for you. :)                   https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/308413/ether-vs-quantum-field-theory

"I think what distinguishes quantum field theory, where each elementary particle in the particle table defines a field all over space time, from the luminiferous aether is Lorenz invariance.

The luminiferous aether theory was falsified by the Michelson Morley experiment because it was not Lorenz invariant.

In quantum field theory an electron traversing space time is described by a quantum mechanical wave packet (which means that what "waves" is the probability of existing at (x, y, z, t)), manifested by creation and annihilation operators acting on the electron field, and the expectation value defines the location of the electron as a function of (x, y, z, t). The same for a photon, riding on the photon field. The quantum fields though by construction are Lorenz invariant and thus cannot be identified with the luminiferous aether".

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Or maybe I have misunderstood your question. 

Edited by beecee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Gratiano said:

I cannot understand the reason that we still have all science based on maths to "be accepted" by scientific community.

Because, in order for the predictions of a hypothesis to be tested, they need to be quantitative so that they can be accurately compared against experiment or observation. In order to make quantitative predictions, you need a mathematical model.

Quote

Why is science to "be accepted"? Either it is or it is not. 

Science is accepted if it accurately describes the world around us. What do you mean by "Either it is or it is not"? Is or is not what?

Quote

Accepted science existed in medieval times when priests were afraid of losing their priviledges

There wasn't really science then. And what do priests have to do with it?

Quote

We are spending time and money in conferences in order to demonstrate the obvious when we should spend time trying to apply new discoveries in improving our world(consequently, our lifes and ourselves). 

Well, the science needs to be tested and confirmed before it can be applied to technology. This is not an either-or choice. You need to do both.

Quote

PS: I have in mind two disputes, the famous ether vs field theory about 12 decades ago and a non-famous one, the one between Godel and Einstein.

Well, the first was decided by the use of mathematics: aether was rejected and relativity accepted.

I'm not sure what you are referring to with Model and Einstein.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no "equation" to prove evolution and if there were one it still would probably be misapplied. 

Across the board we take things on faith that are not really established fact.  Even that math necessarily can reflect reality is based largely on faith. 

Math is quantified logic and the only reason it so often applies to what we know is that what we know is derived from experiment which is by definition reflective of reality. 

We're building models rather than understanding. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cladking said:

There is no "equation" to prove evolution and if there were one it still would probably be misapplied. 

Across the board we take things on faith that are not really established fact.  Even that math necessarily can reflect reality is based largely on faith. 

Math is quantified logic and the only reason it so often applies to what we know is that what we know is derived from experiment which is by definition reflective of reality. . 

Evolution is as certain as any reasonable thinking person could wish for. Even the Catholic church recognises it. Mathematics is the language of physics, and supports the models that best match our observational and experimental data, rather than unsupported mythical beliefs in magical spaghetti monsters.

2 hours ago, cladking said:

 We're building models rather than understanding. 

Our models help us understand, and while strictly not necessarily "truth or reality", model what we see, and make successful predictions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Gratiano said:

I cannot understand the reason that we still have all science based on maths to "be accepted" by scientific community. A new discovery backed by mathematics should be ultimately accepted as a valid fact. Noone should have to convince the rest of the community for one's findings. 

Why is science to "be accepted"? Either it is or it is not.

   Very little science is based purely on mathematics since it is delineating what we understand of the universe so it includes some non-math bits. Plus, even if there was something based solely upon mathematics, other scientists or mathematicians need to verify that all the work was done correctly and accurately applies as claimed. (People do make mistakes.)

   Besides, any time you have circumstances where something can be put forth and not questioned, you have incredible potential for abuse and misinformation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, beecee said:

New theories and discoveries are checked and re-appraised...even GR today still needs to make successful predictions and continue to match new observations to be accepted.

Those theories that do that best are accepted by the majority.                                                      With your ether and field theory inference, the ether was simply invalidated with the Michelson Morley experiment. 

But being a rank amateur at this game, I decided to do some searching for you. :)                   https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/308413/ether-vs-quantum-field-theory

"I think what distinguishes quantum field theory, where each elementary particle in the particle table defines a field all over space time, from the luminiferous aether is Lorenz invariance.

The luminiferous aether theory was falsified by the Michelson Morley experiment because it was not Lorenz invariant.

In quantum field theory an electron traversing space time is described by a quantum mechanical wave packet (which means that what "waves" is the probability of existing at (x, y, z, t)), manifested by creation and annihilation operators acting on the electron field, and the expectation value defines the location of the electron as a function of (x, y, z, t). The same for a photon, riding on the photon field. The quantum fields though by construction are Lorenz invariant and thus cannot be identified with the luminiferous aether".

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Or maybe I have misunderstood your question. 

Uhm, I have to rephrase the question... but it seems that I must dig deeper into history of physics in advance... I must keep in mind the last sentence. Roughly, the question is that physicists require a mean, either a field or ether or vacuum... Why? And there is something I still do not understand. The MM experiment proved the inexistence of ether or the invalidity of ether theory(which still is unclear to me of how it proved it). Proving that something is invalid, does it make all the rest valid? Ether theory and field theory are the only two theories that making one false forces the other one to be true? Have we proven that field theory is valid or we accept it just because ether theory is not valid?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, cladking said:

There is no "equation" to prove evolution and if there were one it still would probably be misapplied. 

Across the board we take things on faith that are not really established fact.  Even that math necessarily can reflect reality is based largely on faith. 

Math is quantified logic and the only reason it so often applies to what we know is that what we know is derived from experiment which is by definition reflective of reality. 

We're building models rather than understanding. 

A very good and deep point worth a thread in its own right. +1

By its very definition and nature the end point of an evolutionary step is not equal to the starting point.

 

I don't agree with the rest of the post, however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Gratiano said:

Proving that something is invalid, does it make all the rest valid?

No. You can disprove one theory, but that says nothing about the validity of other theories. (Although the evidence that disproves one theory may be consistent with another theory and thus provides support for that other theory. Or it might be consistent with multiple other theories and doesn't help decide between them.

Quote

Ether theory and field theory are the only two theories that making one false forces the other one to be true? Have we proven that field theory is valid or we accept it just because ether theory is not valid?

The alternatives to the aether (Maxwell's theory and Special Relativity) are both supported by much other evidence. Maxwell's theory came first and, if anyone had looked, already undermines aether theory. Special Relativity came later and was (largely) based on different evidence than that which falsified aether theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, cladking said:

We're building models rather than understanding. 

We are building models in order to understand.

But those models do not necessarily say anything about reality. (According to some people it cannot say anything about reality.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Strange said:

We are building models in order to understand.

But those models do not necessarily say anything about reality. (According to some people it cannot say anything about reality.)

The models are in essence a mnemonic to remember experiment.  The experiment necessarily reflects reality but the model does not. But to the degree a model does reflect reality it can be used to make prediction.  Models can then evolve but they will never reflect reality itself as they grow increasingly more accurate. 

At the risk of getting into semantics I doubt models will ever really impart "understanding".  They are like taxonomies and other sorts of categorization in that they are mnemonics for retaining great amounts of data.  True understanding is knowing how to apply equations properly rather than the ability to just crunch numbers.  And it's the ability to recognize when you don't really have all the quantities or know all the variables. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, cladking said:

The models are in essence a mnemonic to remember experiment.  The experiment necessarily reflects reality but the model does not. But to the degree a model does reflect reality it can be used to make prediction.  Models can then evolve but they will never reflect reality itself as they grow increasingly more accurate. 

At the risk of getting into semantics I doubt models will ever really impart "understanding".  They are like taxonomies and other sorts of categorization in that they are mnemonics for retaining great amounts of data.  True understanding is knowing how to apply equations properly rather than the ability to just crunch numbers.  And it's the ability to recognize when you don't really have all the quantities or know all the variables. 

4

Cladking - why do you insist on trying to explain the scientific method and modern scientific thinking when you clearly have no idea and have had this shown to you on multiple occasions

A scientific model is an attempt to provide a rigorous and self-consistent mathematical and theoretical system which produces results which mirror those we find through empirical observation.

An experiment does not reflect reality - it is reality.

Models do impart understanding - that is they do unless you are using some mad definition - which is quite possible.  They might not impart understanding of some platonic underlying schema - but then nothing does. 

You do realise that many scientific models are created before any specific data really becomes available - the scientists extrapolate from more general data and other models, guess, and create maths which looks beautiful and fitting.  They then work out how this would be manifest in experiment.  They then go looking for 27kilometres of superhard vacuum to smash protons together. 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, imatfaal said:

 

Quote

Cladking - why do you insist on trying to explain the scientific method and modern scientific thinking when you clearly have no idea and have had this shown to you on multiple occasions

I don't think most people understand how science works at the most basic level.  Even when they understand that science isn't the creation of consensus they still tend to accept interpolations as being part of what is known.  We simply fill in the blanks between the knowns as though what we don't see must be like what we do. 

Quote

A scientific model is an attempt to provide a rigorous and self-consistent mathematical and theoretical system which produces results which mirror those we find through empirical observation.

To the degree a model can be expressed mathematically it can be sound. 

Quote

 

This simply isn't true.  It only tests a single aspect of reality in a controlled setting.  It reflects this aspect of reality. 

Reality itself is far too complex to be determined in a single experiment. 

Quote

Models do impart understanding - that is they do unless you are using some mad definition - which is quite possible.  They might not impart understanding of some platonic underlying schema - but then nothing does. 

We mistake the knowledge for understanding.  We isolate bits and parts of nature for study and then believe we understand all of nature; all of reality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, cladking said:

We mistake the knowledge for understanding.  We isolate bits and parts of nature for study and then believe we understand all of nature; all of reality. 

You may think that, but I don't think any intelligent person does. So stop using "we" to describe your own ignorance.

45 minutes ago, cladking said:

Reality itself is far too complex to be determined in a single experiment.

And no one with any intelligence or understanding of science thinks that it can.

Edited by Strange
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes, we do isolate bits and parts and unfortunately we induce that "generally" the world works like this. Some other times, we look the same thing from different points of view but our vanity does not allow us to accept "alien" opinions or facts someone else has discovered(Leibniz vs Newton, Einstein vs Schroedinger, etc). We are only humans... 

As for the second part about reality, it reminds me of matrix. Reality has a lot to do with perception... I suppose a fly with so many eyes and sucha a small size would have a different opinion than most humans have of how an elephant looks like... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

cladking

We isolate bits and parts of nature for study and then believe we understand all of nature; all of reality. 

Less of the 'we' please.

I agree it is often forgotten or ignored but I am always promoting careful examination of the conditions under which any theory or model holds good.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Gratiano said:

Uhm, I have to rephrase the question... but it seems that I must dig deeper into history of physics in advance... I must keep in mind the last sentence. Roughly, the question is that physicists require a mean, either a field or ether or vacuum... Why? And there is something I still do not understand. The MM experiment proved the inexistence of ether or the invalidity of ether theory(which still is unclear to me of how it proved it). Proving that something is invalid, does it make all the rest valid? Ether theory and field theory are the only two theories that making one false forces the other one to be true? Have we proven that field theory is valid or we accept it just because ether theory is not valid?

 

The M/M experiment showed the ether to be invalid simply by the lack of "drag" in a particular direction, by observing that the speed of light did not change with relation to the Earth's motion.

The invalidity of any particular hypothesis, does not necessarily effect one way or the other, the validity of another hypothesis. Any hypothesis advances to theoretical stage and is generally accepted, when it best describes our observational and experimental data.                 I was taught by an Astronomer to dislike the word "prove" or "proven" with regards to physical theories, but well supported theories like GR and the BB/Inflationary model do grow in certainty over time, as they continue to make successful predictions and match further observations.

1 hour ago, Gratiano said:

Sometimes, we do isolate bits and parts and unfortunately we induce that "generally" the world works like this. Some other times, we look the same thing from different points of view but our vanity does not allow us to accept "alien" opinions or facts someone else has discovered(Leibniz vs Newton, Einstein vs Schroedinger, etc). We are only humans... 

As for the second part about reality, it reminds me of matrix. Reality has a lot to do with perception... I suppose a fly with so many eyes and sucha a small size would have a different opinion than most humans have of how an elephant looks like... 

Reality or truth imo is best described by the following video which I have supplied before in other threads: It's only 7.5 minutes long and worth watching.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, studiot said:

Less of the 'we' please.

I agree it is often forgotten or ignored but I am always promoting careful examination of the conditions under which any theory or model holds good.

 

I was referring only to actual scientists who devise or execute actual experiments of their own. 

Of course anyone who understands the nature of the experiment or how it was devised might be included. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, beecee said:

 

Reality or truth imo is best described by the following video which I have supplied before in other threads: It's only 7.5 minutes long and worth watching.

 

Excellent!

I've long thought Feynman would have made a first rate pyramid builder.  ;)

The man couldda been a prophet on any pyramid mebbe even the Anubis Priest. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, cladking said:

Excellent!

I've long thought Feynman would have made a first rate pyramid builder.  ;)

The man couldda been a prophet on any pyramid mebbe even the Anubis Priest. 

What the man most certainly is, is one of the greater minds of the 20th century and a Nobel laureate to boot., along with many other achievements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, cladking said:

I was referring only to actual scientists who devise or execute actual experiments of their own. 

Of course anyone who understands the nature of the experiment or how it was devised might be included. 

Careful what you assume.

Some of us (myself included) have published research papers to our names.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • 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.