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Idea concerning the direction of science.

  1. Jan 31, 2004 #1
    Imagine you are a computer programmer, and you have knowledge of the theory of everything and decide to put this equation into the computer to find out the most efficient way of living your life in opulent splendour.

    You plug in the equation and the compuet scans the surroundings and plots these parameters into the equation and begins calculating.

    In the first few seconds the computer develops the most simple methods of completing it's task. As it continues it's calculations it develops more and more complex methods of achieving goals. However you find that your computer is flawed as it spends all of it's time calculating the individual growth of cells within plants and all their chemical processes which takes hours and hours and hours. So you decide to take it's perspective of science to your level, so that it sees plants as you see plants and does not waste time calculating the most likely way to develop agriculture.

    The computer tells you that this would be unwise, as your perspective of the workings of the universe is not perfectly precise and is merely based on judgements and not certainties. To which you explain that you cannot it would be unreasonable to believe certain things are for certain, causing the computer to malfunction and spend eternity calculating every single possible scenario that could occur (infinite).

    What can we learn from this?

    We can learn that science starts from the basics and increases it's complexity and that we cannot start from the basics* and so science for us has 2 directions: Increasing real complexity** and decreasing real complexity***.

    *(as we have not discoverred the theory of everything)
    **(computer science, ecosystems etc.)
    ***(classical physics --> Quantum physics --> etc..)

    For us, both computer science and physics are perceived to be complex, when in fact physics is simpler than computer science.

    Basically, increasing real complex science knowledge is the usage of our knowledge to make things better and decreasing real complex science knowledge is finding out how things occur, to increase the choice and ease of making things better.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2004 #2
    If understanding, not application, of the most fundamentals workings of the universe increase in simplicity then physics is for terribly simple minds.
  4. Feb 4, 2004 #3
    "If understanding, not application, of the most fundamentals workings of the universe increase in simplicity then physics is for terribly simple minds."

    This would apply if we were the 'computer'. Understanding more about the properties of the physical world is more difficult for us, basically because we have to find out what they are.
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