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HOW and WHY,

  1. Dec 18, 2004 #1
    As we know today physics pay on answering the "HOW" questions in the nature, for example how objects act under EM field and so on. Otherside, the most essential questions are "WHY" questions (or existance questions), for example why two electrons interact with eaach other or why EM interaction should be exist and so on. :approve:

    How could we construct a physics involve such "WHY" questions? Or perhaps, how could we add "WHY" questions to the today physics structure?:Bugeye:

    I think, the main restriction on today physics cause by previous physicists. They've defined a line for physics: whatever you are trying to add in physics (description or theory) should be experimentaly availabe.
    Such assumption would restrict the range of available knowledge in physics with respect to what is really going on in Nature. :Grumpy: It also has a direct consequence for Quantum Mechanics (yet the king of our today physics which every theories suppose to be consistence with it) that is its pioneers formulated Quantum Mechanics only for OBSERVABLES.
    Otherside, almost all great physcists whom fund the foundation of physics followed their philosophical ideas which surely were un-experimentable! (I guess I've invented a new word!:Bigrin:)
    So there ARE connections between what human THINK and perhaps wish for (un-experimentabel) and what they want to SEE in the Nature and the way they DESCRIBE the Nature (experimentabel).:Rolleyes:

    Again the question: How could we construct a physics involve such "WHY" questions? Or perhaps, how could we add "WHY" questions to the today physics structure?
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  3. Dec 18, 2004 #2


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    What would you have to do to observe or prove a "why" answer? Would those answers have to include a "should" or "ought" in them? In other words, would you have to assume that whatever process or system you are investigating has some well-defined goal or purpose? How would you observe or prove such a goal or purpose existed? Would the goal have to be known to the components of the system?
    The lines have been drawn, but both kinds of questions are still being investigated. The whys are just investigated by philosophical instead of physical sciences. I assume the reason for the lines is that investigating these different questions requires different methods. I'm tempted to make a hammer and screwdriver analogy, but I'm not sure who would get to Edit: on second thought, I better not go there. :blushing:
  4. Dec 18, 2004 #3
    How? ... Why? ... How? ... Why? ... How? ... Why? ... Because!

    I believe that modern physicists attempt to address the "why" questions more than they are given credit for.

    For example, string theory is, in a sense, trying to answer the "why" question of why particles behave the way they to. The answer according to string theory is simply that they behave the way they do because this is how vibrations are manifest in fields.

    In the case of particle physics scientists are trying to explain "why" particles have mass and inertia by referring to the concept of a Higgs field.

    Einstein, tried to answer the question of "why" gravity exists by appealing to the idea of warped spacetime.

    It's a close call as to which of they explanations qualify as "Why's" or "How's". Take Einstein's explanation of gravity. It's a far closer to explaining "Why" gravity exists than Newton's mysterious action-at-a-distance. In this sense Einstein did indeed address the question of "why" gravity exists. But then a pure philosopher will come along and say, "So what? WHY is spacetime warped???" Or in the case of the Higgs field, "Why does the Higgs field exist?" or in the case of String Theory, "Why do strings vibrate at all?".

    There's no end to the why questions. These questions are little children questions, "Why? Why? Why?". You finally get to a point where you just have to respond, "Just Because! Now shut up!"

    I mean, fundamentally is there really a difference between "how?" and "why?". Isn't one the answer to the other, and the other the question to the first? These are just endless circular questions that can really only end by the interjection of "Just Because! Now shut up!"
  5. Dec 18, 2004 #4


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    "It's a far closer to explaining "Why" gravity exists than Newton's mysterious action-at-a-distance."

    Newton himself called "action-at-a-distance" "a patently absurd idea"; I think he would have been delighted by Einstein's explanation.
  6. Dec 18, 2004 #5
    "Enough of Because, be he damned for a dog."

    from The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley
  7. Dec 18, 2004 #6
    Good Question! Ask them, son/daughter! Tell them to give you a coherent, non-bull****ing, answer to this profoundly important question! That we urgently need an answer to this fundamental question is no longer a matter of if or when, but but wholly a matter of now....or even yesterday!
  8. Dec 19, 2004 #7
    Hey guys. For simplicity let define:

    stuff=whatever we do have in the universe,
    theorem=answers to how and why questions,
    Mum=the reason which is true only and only becasue of itself! (some people called it the GOD or something and it's meanning less for some people)

    now, follow the steps:

    STEP 1- answer this: Does the Mum exist?
    If no, well just fine. There is no need to be worry about it. There is no need to answer the why's. They're meanningless.
    If yes, well just as fine as it does not. But now we can put our mind into new kind of challenge toward the Mum (of course if you are interesed yet). Just relax and proceed to the next step...

    STEP 2- What do you want to do then?
    Understand the Mum and perhaps draw the conections between the Mum and the stuff. So then we also could have the relations (laws) between stuffs.

    STEP 3- What do you possess to do so?
    Well, we can make experiments and our intelectual ability provide us tools to see the symmetries between expaerimental results. And then we may draw the connections. So, we have our mind and our eyes.

    STEP 4- How do you use your mind and your eyes?
    I just told you!

    STEP 5- Don't be stupid! Explain more.
    Well, you see, we REALIZE that there are something happening around us because we realize DIFFERENCES. We are also EXPECTED on some relation between phenomena's because we see SIMMETRIES between them. This is the role of eyes!
    Our mind can define concepts, invent pattern (logic), and design rules between concepts lyes on the pattern, to make a sensible connection (for our mind) between what our eyes can sees in DIFFERENCES and SIMMETRIES.

    STEP 6-Do you have enough tools or what?
    Well, I suppose the're enough. BUT THERE IS A POINT: You must know (and sometimes invent styles) how to use your mind as well as your eyes, properly.
    Nearly 2000 years ago, human invented a very useful style of thinking called true-false logic.
    This invention was and yet is so powerful, that nearly all the people and specially scientist and special of specials Physicsist are still use it and many of them believe it as they have forgot to celebrate it as an invention so they could not think of others.
    Though, this tool was and is so powerful, but in my opinion, it has misleaded human mind in some important points. For example, as I said we have forgoten about new tools. Or we are determind to MAKE nature in consistent with our tool but not our tool with the nature. Or we can not think of thinking about Mum because our logic predict an infinite range of How...Why... questions and so on.

    STEP 7-What do you suggest?
    I guess finally we need a new logic but not at first step.
    I think first we should try to put WHY quastions into physics. Then prevent its divergent of number of questions and guide the questions to the final question with final answer with no more question (Mum).

    (I am almost sure that if we want to do so we need new logics and hence the causality relations would not be so essensial as it is now. Hence the "How...Why..." procedure may become meaningless and finally all of what I've arranged together in this note would be rubish.)
    And then try to see the nature in new fashion.
    After that, you see, we can guess the final question and the final answer, we also know our today knowledge. So what we need is to make a way between today's knowledge and the final question and answer.

    Simply: I think we need to re-construct or improve our mind and our style of thinking and hence our desiribility of nature and the ways it works in a new fashion. So I guess we need a thought revolution!

    STEP 8-I don't know, but yet without a new logic, that was all rubish. Please do not bother me again and NEVER TRY TO PUT YOUR FINGER IN HUMAN SCIENCES AGAIN.

    OK guys.
    That's all what I repeat frequently in my mind. Is it stupid enough or I should work it out more?
    Any way, just thought to appear the main thoughts of mine rather than answer the questions and challenge on the points that you mentioned followed my previous note.
  9. Dec 19, 2004 #8


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    I disagree that great physicists followed philosophical ideas that were unexperimentable... Revolutionary ideas... relativity... QM... came from experimental data that didn't fit the current scientific theory. They were definitely trying to find a theory that fit experiments...

    The WHY is not in the domain of science... Science does definitely reduce the number of laws to a minimal set... (two different laws may be derived from a higher law)... hence the search for a theory of everything...

    But this is not a WHY... That's the domain of philosophy and metaphysics.
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