Is the bible a fairy tale?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2687 Jun 14, 2013
Start Over wrote:
<quoted text>
Instead of simplifying assumptions, wouldn't it be more productive to drop the assumptions and start over with a clean slate? It seems logical that if you're working with the wrong parameters it would be more productive to back up and start over. Would this approach work?
Sometimes it's just a matter of plugging in the new parameters into the same equation. Other times, the whole calculation needs to be done again. And sometimes the whole edifice must be changed.

We seldom go all the way back to Aristotle when re-thinking particle physics. Instead, we tend to use certain methods that have worked well in a wide variety of situations, looking for new models with additional features.

The problem with starting over *completely* is that it ignores the information we have already learned from previous observations. It is also not nearly as easy as you might think to create a theory that is consistent with everything we know *and* is completely new. Remember that the difference between the prediction of Newton's model of gravity and Einstein's model of gravity was 43 seconds of arc *per century* in the orbit of Mercury. But that was enough to overthrow Newton. THAT is the level of accuracy that was required 100 years ago. it is more now.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2688 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
You do realize that Einstein’s relativity fails on black holes.
*speculative* science, really? How neat.
Actually, it works rather well for everything we have been able to measure.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2689 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
We've already seen stars fall into the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Did you miss that nova program!
And guess what? General relativity worked quite well. As I was pointing out, the black hole at the center of our galaxy is too large to show the quantum effects that are needed to test our quantum theories of gravity.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2690 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
"But it has shown how it could be possible." Please fill me in on how it is scientific possible for nothing to create everything.
Through quantum fluctuations. Conservation of energy is not a problem because the total energy is zero.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2691 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
"I know it failed the first test but one test doesn't mean anything, except the test failed."
Wikipedia:
If anyone finds a case where all or part of a scientific theory is false, then that theory is either changed or thrown out.
A scientific theory in one branch of science must hold true in all of the other branches of science.
And in this case, it was changed. Specifically, the value of the mass of the Higg's boson was changed.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2692 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
Think of all the wasted careers, all the money sunk into a wrong guess. Science could never admit they hit a dead end and string theory was a wrong road.
That's part of the risk of being a scientist. And it is far from clear that it is a 'wrong guess'. At the very least, it provides and example of a theory that merges QM and GR. That alone is a huge breakthrough, even if the theory is ultimately wrong.

Hopefully, we will be able to actually test the issue of supersymmetry in the next few years.
Not Here To Convert

New York, NY

#2693 Jun 14, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Sometimes it's just a matter of plugging in the new parameters into the same equation. Other times, the whole calculation needs to be done again. And sometimes the whole edifice must be changed.
We seldom go all the way back to Aristotle when re-thinking particle physics. Instead, we tend to use certain methods that have worked well in a wide variety of situations, looking for new models with additional features.
The problem with starting over *completely* is that it ignores the information we have already learned from previous observations. It is also not nearly as easy as you might think to create a theory that is consistent with everything we know *and* is completely new. Remember that the difference between the prediction of Newton's model of gravity and Einstein's model of gravity was 43 seconds of arc *per century* in the orbit of Mercury. But that was enough to overthrow Newton. THAT is the level of accuracy that was required 100 years ago. it is more now.
Okay I can understand what your saying and it makes sense when discussing physics and the other hard sciences. My question at it's essence is related to study of any subject though. When assumptions turn out to be wrong, isn't it wise to just start over?

I'm not into science at the same level you are. I'm a historian, and that field of study calls for different methodologies in determining what most likely happened at any given point in history. Just as you have certain parameters and principles that you must obey in the lab, so does the historian.

So my question basically delves into the philosophy of learning. At what point should we stop assuming, and start over in our learning?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2694 Jun 14, 2013
Not Here To Convert wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay I can understand what your saying and it makes sense when discussing physics and the other hard sciences. My question at it's essence is related to study of any subject though. When assumptions turn out to be wrong, isn't it wise to just start over?
That depends on exactly what you mean by 'start over'. Backtracking is certainly done, checking where the failed assumptions were used is also done.
I'm not into science at the same level you are. I'm a historian, and that field of study calls for different methodologies in determining what most likely happened at any given point in history. Just as you have certain parameters and principles that you must obey in the lab, so does the historian.
So my question basically delves into the philosophy of learning. At what point should we stop assuming, and start over in our learning?
Let's put it this way. When you have to 'start over', do you go back to absolutely no knowledge of Charlemagne? Or Julius Caesar? or do you accept the broad outlines that have been covered so many times it is going to be fruitless to question them? Sure, you may question the context of a certain text, or the completeness of the records, or the reliability of reports. But do you really question whether the French revolution happened?

My guess is that you don't *really* start over in your learning. Instead, you re-evaluate a limited collection of data for its relevance and reliability. You question some of your assumptions about the motivations of people involved, but probably do not typically question their existence (although that does happen in some cases, of course).

Since: Jun 13

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#2695 Jun 14, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>Actually, it works rather well for everything we have been able to measure.
Yes it does. It's a very nice equation.
Been a great help on many things.
It's just should not be called a scientific theory because it does not work everywhere in our universe.

Science doesn't play using its own rules.

Since: Jun 13

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#2696 Jun 14, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>Through quantum fluctuations. Conservation of energy is not a problem because the total energy is zero.
There are no "quantum fluctuations" in nothing. There is Nothing in Nothing.

Since: Jun 13

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#2697 Jun 14, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>And in this case, it was changed. Specifically, the value of the mass of the Higg's boson was changed.
Ok, why do we need QM?

Since: Jun 13

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#2698 Jun 14, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>That's part of the risk of being a scientist. And it is far from clear that it is a 'wrong guess'. At the very least, it provides and example of a theory that merges QM and GR. That alone is a huge breakthrough, even if the theory is ultimately wrong.

Hopefully, we will be able to actually test the issue of supersymmetry in the next few years.
That alone could derail science from the real theory for a long time. The correct theory might be nothing like string theory.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#2699 Jun 14, 2013
Not Here To Convert wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay I can understand what your saying and it makes sense when discussing physics and the other hard sciences. My question at it's essence is related to study of any subject though. When assumptions turn out to be wrong, isn't it wise to just start over?
I'm not into science at the same level you are. I'm a historian, and that field of study calls for different methodologies in determining what most likely happened at any given point in history. Just as you have certain parameters and principles that you must obey in the lab, so does the historian.
So my question basically delves into the philosophy of learning. At what point should we stop assuming, and start over in our learning?
You are wrong to equate science with history.

You mostly write essays. YOu can construct an argument with words and you can ramble and still get your point across.

You cannot ramble in science - everything must be verified and backed up.

That is why science and humanities are different. People who study the arts and humanities develop lazy, egotistical thinking. People in science develop rigid, analytics thinking - because every last detail has to be right - lives have to be saved with medecines. Vehicles have to be safe, electricity has to be safe etc etc.

History does not have that responsibility and is open to interpretation - the physical constraints of the universe are not.
Learning

New York, NY

#2700 Jun 14, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
You are wrong to equate science with history.
You mostly write essays. YOu can construct an argument with words and you can ramble and still get your point across.
You cannot ramble in science - everything must be verified and backed up.
That is why science and humanities are different. People who study the arts and humanities develop lazy, egotistical thinking. People in science develop rigid, analytics thinking - because every last detail has to be right - lives have to be saved with medecines. Vehicles have to be safe, electricity has to be safe etc etc.
History does not have that responsibility and is open to interpretation - the physical constraints of the universe are not.
I'm not attempting to equate science with history. What I'm questioning is the learning process and at what point in any given discipline that a person should start over. Polymath made some very good observations.

Saying that people who study the humanities are lazy is also an egotistical position itself. When we study history there are rules we have to follow in reconstructing what happened. We have to think analytically as well. And believe it or not, some of the thinking we do also saves lives. Lessons learned during Operation Overlord (D-Day) have been applied ever since in warfare with varying degrees of success.

My main position is that if we are going to understand what happened in history, and how it affects our future, we need to understand that our assumptions can get in the way, and we need to recognize or at least be ready to admit that they are.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#2701 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes it does. It's a very nice equation.
Been a great help on many things.
It's just should not be called a scientific theory because it does not work everywhere in our universe.
It is called a scientific theory because it agrees with everything we have been able to measure and is flexible enough to deal with a wide variety of phenomena.
Science doesn't play using its own rules.
That isn't one of the rules of science.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#2702 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
That alone could derail science from the real theory for a long time. The correct theory might be nothing like string theory.
And alternatives are considered. For example, loop quantum gravity is another serious contender. Unfortunately, it also has not been able to make any good testable predictions. part of the problem is that the energies required to probe quantum gravity are well beyond our current capabilities, so we have to find lower level predictions that differ from those of the standard model. Since any theory has to reduce to the standard model for low enough energies, this is a tricky thing to do.

An interesting point: in areas like the event horizon of a black hole, string theory and loop quantum gravity seem to give the same predictions.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#2703 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok, why do we need QM?
Because it has been successful for understanding a great many phenomena, from solid state theory, to lasers, to molecular bonding, to spectra, to specific heats, to superconductivity, to nuclear magnetic resonance, to kaons, why things have the colors they do, etc, etc, etc. Even in the situations where it predicts incredibly counterintuitive things, those predictions have been verified by observation (EPR paradox, Bell's inequalities, hidden detection, weak measurements, etc).

If anything, there is much more confidence that quantum effects will be active in black holes than there is that general relativity will be valid there.

The prediction of the existence of the Higg's particle included many of its properties but did not include its mass. So we had to search for it at a variety of energies (corresponding to the mass), narrowing down the range of possibilities until it was actually found.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#2704 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
There are no "quantum fluctuations" in nothing. There is Nothing in Nothing.
The easy way to understand it is that 'nothing' is unstable. It naturally decays into something.

“Rising”

Since: Dec 10

Milky Way

#2705 Jun 14, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes it does. It's a very nice equation.
Been a great help on many things.
It's just should not be called a scientific theory because it does not work everywhere in our universe.
Science doesn't play using its own rules.
Theoretically it breaks down at a single point in our reality.
Because it can't measure it accurately.
But we really haven't put it to the test, so this is not enough to scrap the theory.
Especially since it works extremely well in all other situations, and has been confirmed many times as ringing true.
You are saying since your speedometer can't measure the speed your car is going on mars it's no good. I bet you can't even describe what GR fail to do.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#2706 Jun 14, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
You are wrong to equate science with history.
You mostly write essays. YOu can construct an argument with words and you can ramble and still get your point across.
You cannot ramble in science - everything must be verified and backed up.
I think the distinction is not nearly so rigid as you seem to think. Historians are more generally limited by available data. They have to worry about the reliability of their sources, the biases and the motivations of the writers. But many areas of science are or have been similarly limited in data, especially early on in the studies.
That is why science and humanities are different. People who study the arts and humanities develop lazy, egotistical thinking. People in science develop rigid, analytics thinking - because every last detail has to be right - lives have to be saved with medecines. Vehicles have to be safe, electricity has to be safe etc etc.
History does not have that responsibility and is open to interpretation - the physical constraints of the universe are not.
That again is not so clear. It is common in the sciences to have competing theories for a given phenomenon and not enough data to distinguish between them. In some cases, the possibility of getting the data is low, at least for many years. In that case, it is common to get speculative essays on how different variations could play out.

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