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Are all new ideas evolutionary in their nature?

  1. Feb 2, 2016 #1
    My question is about how new ideas come in to being.

    Are all new ideas based on some form of predictive analysis or can they arrive without direct connection to other known events?

    This is a bit of a hard question for me to get across...lol

    For example, I know the values of events A, B, C, and I am suddenly able to predict the value of event X that is distantly related to events A,B,and C. Knowing the values of A,B,C, can not in and of itself predict the value of X. So, how was I able to predict value X?

    I guess we have all seen this happen from time to time. We arrive at the answer to a pretty complex question without all the data we need to get there. When this happens, it appears to be pretty revolutionary to make this large jump in predictive ability.

    Perhaps it is not as revolutionary as it appears to be.

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2016 #2

    ZapperZ

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    You are ignoring the "Who Ordered That?" effect. Those discoveries are often revolutionary.

    Zz.
     
  4. Feb 3, 2016 #3
    Hi @ZapperZ:

    I searched the internet to find out what the "Who Ordered That?" effect is, but failed to find anything relevant. Can you help me?

    Regards,
    Buzz
     
  5. Feb 3, 2016 #4
    The AHA! moment or the Eureka Effect. I believe the mind is continually "working" on problems of importance to you even when you are not actively thinking of that particular problem. When it eventually comes up with something that comes close to fitting some criterion you have set up it submits it to the consciousness for evaluation. I have certainly had that experience when out of no where an idea pops up or a link is made leading to a resolution of some problem. Like WOW where did that come from. I referred to it as "spontaneous genius".
     
  6. Feb 3, 2016 #5

    ZapperZ

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    You didn't find anything relevant? If you had done a google search on that phrase, this page would have come up:

    http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/june-2012/through-a-muons-eyes

    It is an example of an EXPERIMENTAL discovery that no one, no theory, and no theorists, had predicted or anticipated. The discovery of superconductivity in mercury is an example of "who ordered that?". The discovery of the muon is another one. Fractional quantum hall effect? Yup, too! And the really big one? High-Tc superconductors!

    Your post seemed to have a very narrow view of "revolutionary" discoveries and ideas. You are ignoring that a large part of science, and certainly in physics, are unexpected discovery from experiments. In fact, theorist Harry Lipkin even wrote a rather scathing article in Physics Today many years ago asking an analogous question "Who Ordered Theorists?"

    Zz.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2016 #6
    Hi @ZapperZ:

    Thanks for answering my question, I apologize for not recognizing a relevant item when I searched using DuckDuckGo. Goggle was more helpful.

    Regards,
    Buzz
     
  8. Feb 3, 2016 #7

    micromass

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    Page is not available
     
  9. Feb 3, 2016 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Try this: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/53/7/10.1063/1.1292467 [Broken]

    Zz.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Feb 3, 2016 #9

    micromass

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    That worked, thanks!
     
  11. Feb 3, 2016 #10
    It would certainly be counter intuitive to me if experiments did not yield new and unexpected results. No one was looking for or expected to discover the properties of amplification when trying to produce the electric light bulb. Yet, that was what actually happened. The effect of that discovery was truly revolutionary in as much as it started the chain of events got us to where we are today. Much of our current understanding of the world around us would not exist without those basic discoveries. The method of the discovery was not exceptional, just normal observation of a experiment in progress.

    Here is what I said in my first post.

    "I guess we have all seen this happen from time to time. We arrive at the answer to a pretty complex question without all the data we need to get there. When this happens, it appears to be pretty revolutionary to make this large jump in predictive ability.

    Perhaps it is not as revolutionary as it appears to be."

    The outcome or the value of this new information may be "revolutionary" but the way it was obtained may or may not be. That is really the question I am addressing.

    If Gleem's answer is correct, and it seems likely that it could be, then the " AHA! moment or Eureka Effect" is a function of connecting some or all of the dots through considering the issue at some subconscious level. Because we do not know how the subconscious mind is processing information we do not know how it arrived at the "AHA! moment" My guess is that this " subconscious mind processing" would more likely work the same as the conscious mine works. This statement is certainly just a guess. I would have a very different guess about " subconscious mind processing" if while trying to invent a light bulb someone had jumped ahead to the transistor.

    My theory is that all new information is fundamentally evolutionary in nature. That is, it evolves more or less step by step. This step by step progression most likely happens both consciously and subconsciously. Our imagination on the other hand seems to be much less limited. Much of what was science fiction a few years in the past is now science fact.

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  12. Feb 3, 2016 #11
    Could this term also be what we refer to as serendipity?
     
  13. Feb 3, 2016 #12
    I have not researched "Who Ordered That?" well enough yet to comment. Give me a bit And I will respond.
     
  14. Feb 3, 2016 #13
    This is from symmetrymagazine
    "The muon was so unexpected that, regarding its discovery, Nobel laureate Isidor Isaac Rabi famously quipped, “Who ordered that?” "
    I like this version....lol
    axnL9D0.png

    My question is not about how important or how "revolutionary" something is but how we arrive at the information. I am not addressing the fact that it was expected or unexpected.

    My use of the words Revolutionary and Evolutionary perhaps, were not well chosen.

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  15. Feb 3, 2016 #14
    From the moment of birth we begin to learn gathering visual , audio and tactile information. The raw material is assemble by some primordial process from which we begin to make "sense" of the world. What it is and our place in it. We did not start with some known logical way of doing this, but seemingly constructed a process on the fly so to speak which will serve us for the rest of our lives (our conscious reasoning process). Is it possible that the capability so valuable in infancy continues to serve us?

    Our reasoning process has built in constraints (conscious or not) which guide our thought processes. These constraint define the "box" in which we will think. This of course lead to the phrase for developing unconventional ideas as "thinking outside the box". Is it possible to ease the constraints so that we can more easily tap into this primordial process?
     
  16. Feb 3, 2016 #15
    Hi Planobilly:

    From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology
    It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which knowledge pertinent to any given subject or entity can be acquired.​

    Regards,
    Buzz
     
  17. Feb 3, 2016 #16

    Sounds to me like intuition. Some people are very good at it.

    Computers have developed very good intuition, but they require large training sets. Humans can sometimes do it with very skimpy data. It is not understood how this is done. If it WAS understood, they'd be able to teach a computer to do it too.

    My guess is that such understanding is not too far away.
     
  18. Feb 3, 2016 #17
    Hi Buzz

    A bit of a complex read...lol but interesting! Thanks for posting the link.

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  19. Feb 4, 2016 #18
    Hi Hornbein,

    I understand the meaning of the word intuition to means the following, more or less. 1. Something that is known or understood without proof or evidence. 2. A feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why. 3. A natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence.

    There are many things that can be known or understood without the need for proof or evidence. I do not need proof or evidence to know what the likely outcome of jumping off a tall building would be. The computer on the other hand would have no way of knowing that unless it was programmed to know that and accessed it's programming.

    Cheers'

    Billy
     
  20. Feb 4, 2016 #19
    Hi Gleem,

    I assume that this is possible.

    I think it is not only possible but done from time to time by people who are aware that constraints exist. The "AHA!" moment often comes about when one purposely calms the conscious mind. Perhaps in that condition one is a little more in touch with the subconscious mind.

    The issue with these ideas are that other than anecdotal evidence devising test or proofs are pretty hard to come by.

    Cheers,

    Billy
     
  21. Feb 4, 2016 #20

    mfb

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    Really? You have never been in such a situation, because you do have evidence what the outcome is. You always had - even a small child understands the concept of falling (hopefully just from a standing position) and that it can hurt. Your parents probably told you to stay away from unsecured cliffs and related situations where falling down is a risk, and you probably saw multiple news reports of people falling to death.

    If intuition is more successful than random chance, it is based on evidence - even if the person is not aware of the evidence.
    Computer programs can learn new things as well.
     
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