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Lifegazer Philosophy 101 (from Faith in Science)

  1. Mar 20, 2003 #1
    Sorry Tom, but science has no choice than to look for material-causes for all things. And that's exactly what it tries to do in all areas of research.
    Science hasn't officially declared that 'God' is dead (or any other possible creative alternative), but by looking for a material-explanation to 'everything', that declaration is still infered... leaving "a material cause" as the only alternative,
    for 'everything'.
    That's not true. Science is about pattern-recognition and prediction of material-causes (and effects). But whenever a cause is predicted, it is assumed that this cause is material by nature (such as string-theory, for example).
    String-theory is especially relevant to me, because something which can move through 11-ish dimensions is entirely conceptual, meaning that it is not 4-dimensional. And it would take belief that such concepts can actually exist as a tangible entity. No one here can conceive of an 11-dimensional tangible-reality. Therefore, it takes 'faith' to believe that our 4-dimensional
    perceptions emanate from there.
    But they do. Each generation of physicists seems to have a different mindset to the last. Science evolves. Changes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2003 #2

    (Q)

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    Lifegazer

    String-theory is especially relevant to me

    Wow, I’ve never met anyone on a forum who understands the mathematics behind string theory. The closest I’ve come is attending one of Brian Greene’s lectures and meeting him afterwards.

    Could you explain what you know of string theory as best you can? Thanks.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2003 #3

    Tom Mattson

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    Since you are not involved in even a single one of those areas of research, you will just have to take my word for it that you are wrong here.

    See above. It is not about causes, it is about patterns and prediction.

    No, it would take acceptance of experimental verification of the predictions of string theory (if the theory does indeed pass the test). That is not the same as faith.
     
  5. Mar 20, 2003 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    (Q), he doesn't know it, either.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2003 #5
    If everything in the Universe has a cause and effect, meaning everything has a beginning and an end, then the Universe must be paradoxical, because Who was there to trip the "first domino?" Of course I believe in the big-bang theory myself, but that would imply God had a Mistress? ... And the whole idea was conceived in "the moment" ... Hey Zeus!
     
  7. Mar 20, 2003 #6
    What I know, and all that matters to my point, is that string-theory assumes the tangible-reality of an 11(ish)-dimensional realm.
    I don't care if your name is Stephen Hawking. I know that you cannot convince me, by reason, that such a reality can exist beyond the mind's conception of it. Therefore, you need my faith to accept your theory.
     
  8. Mar 20, 2003 #7

    Tom Mattson

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    Anyone can be stubbornly obstinate. You do not even know string theory, and you are declaring that you will never accept it. OK, I guess you miss out on this one then, if it turns out to be an accurate description of the universe, that is.

    Njorl already covered this angle in his first post on page 1. Everyone who is ignorant of scientific theories and experiments requires 'faith' to accept them. That is only because such people cannot reconcile scientific claims with anything with which they are directly familiar.

    Now, on the other hand, if someone who knows the theory, and is knowledgable of experimental tests of it (not that that many are in yet), and accepts it, then that person does not do so out of faith, but rather out of knowledge.
     
  9. Mar 20, 2003 #8
    I haven't declared that I will never accept it. I have declared that there's no reasonable way to prove that anything tangible can live in such a conceptual realm. Therefore, it requires faith to believe that it can.
    Even if any of these quantum-theories ever explain classical-reality, they wont have explained their own existence/reality. No scientific theory can ever be complete, in this regards. No one can tell us the cause for a 1-dimensional string, nor of its actions through 11 dimensions. Scientists are merely using such an imagined-concept as the basis to explain 4-dimensional phenomena. But there is no regards to explaining a 1-dimensional string which is allowed to move through 11 dimensions. Therefore, the theory is not a 'ToE', by default.
    This has got nothing to do with scientific-knowledge. My point is that such knowledge only ever unveils more questions about the universe. What is the source of a 1-dimensional string? How do you reconcile 1-dimensional strings with tangible reality? Why/how do these strings move through those particular dimensions? Etc..
    'Strings' may eventually explain many/all phenomena. But until/unless they also explain themselves, then we have to accept their own existence/reality/being via faith.
     
  10. Mar 20, 2003 #9

    Tom Mattson

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    How do you know that?

    Of course, but scientific theories do not claim to explain why the universe is here, or why it is the way it is. They only claim to describe how it works.

    Now, you're going off the deep end. String theory is precisely a claimant to be dynamical theory of these objects through these extra dimensions. You are simply claiming that it cannot accomplish that goal without even looking at it.

    Now that requires faith!

    The "TOE" is strictly descriptive, and there is good reason to think that there is one.

    Admittedly, this is one that cannot be answered. Even if it is, it will only be answered in terms of more primitive objects.

    Now these questions, string theory tackles head on. You would have to examine the theory itself to see how.

    My point to you is that that will all change one day, because one of two things will happen:

    1. Experiment will show that string theory is wrong, and it will be rejected.
    2. Experiment will show that string theory is right, and it will be accepted.

    In neither case is faith required.
     
  11. Mar 21, 2003 #10

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    Lifegazer

    I have declared that there's no reasonable way to prove that anything tangible can live in such a conceptual realm. Therefore, it requires faith to believe that it can.

    That sounds very much like the conversation the 2-dimensional beings living in Flatland were having as a 3-dimensional sphere entered their world.

    In the same way, no one is interested in convincing you of anything unless you show the willingness to learn. You would start with having faith that one plus one equals two, and work your way up from there towards understanding string theory mathematics and models. At that point, if you still emphatically deny having faith that anything tangible can live in such a conceptual realm, your argument might then be taken seriously.

    I don’t have faith in string theory because I don’t understand the mathematics and because it has yet to be tested. I do, however, have faith in relativity. Can you see the difference?
     
  12. Mar 21, 2003 #11
    It's obvious that a 1 or 2-dimensional entity cannot exist outside the mind. For example, how can a 2-dimensional membrane exist beyond the mind, when it has zero width?
    String-theory is founded upon the existence of 1-dimensional strings. It is this issue which reason cannot accept. How can a length of string actually exist if it has zero width and zero breadth? Think about it.
     
  13. Mar 21, 2003 #12
    You are aware that 'Flatland' is a figment of someone's imagination, I assume. You should also realise that 2-dimensional entities can only exist in your mind.
    Learn what? Learn that tangible entities can exist as 1 or 2-dimensional beings. I'm sorry Q, but I'm not so gullible as to 'believe' unreasonable premises such as this. You believe what you want. I'll stick to reason.
     
  14. Mar 21, 2003 #13

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    Lifegazer

    You are aware that 'Flatland' is a figment of someone's imagination, I assume. You should also realise that 2-dimensional entities can only exist in your mind.

    I see that you’re unfamiliar with the term, “analogy.” Analogy - drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect.

    Would you like me to explain the Flatland analogy?

    Learn what? Learn that tangible entities can exist as 1 or 2-dimensional beings.

    No, that was an analogy, which appears to have gone way over your head. And it also appears you’ve completely missed the point by a country mile. Would you like me to dumb-down my explanations for you?

    The point I was making is that you must learn the basics and have confidence that those basics are well understood before moving on to the higher forms of a concept. Each phase of comprehension will provide you with more confidence in understanding. Once you’ve successfully understood the concept in its entirety, you can intelligently comment on its validity.

    In other words, you have confidence or faith in your understanding of that knowledge and therefore have faith in the knowledge itself.

    I'm sorry Q, but I'm not so gullible as to 'believe' unreasonable premises such as this. You believe what you want. I'll stick to reason.

    The only reasoning I see in your argument is circular. No one is asking you to believe anything. You must learn for yourself – then proceed to comment intelligently.

    Balking at concepts you clearly don’t understand is not reasonable.
     
  15. Mar 21, 2003 #14

    Tom Mattson

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    Are you sure about that? I'll be honest, I am not. I have never looked at string theory. I would not recognize the basic equations if they were put in front of me in neon lights.Could we go back to "faith in science"? As in, "what beliefs must one sustain to be a scientist?" I mean science in general, not necessarily string theory. Because, frankly, your 'reasoning' on string theory is not worth very much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2003
  16. Mar 21, 2003 #15
    And I see that you're unfamiliar with the term 'relevance'. Providing me with an imaginary-scenario (flatland) to support the tangible existence of 1 & 2-dimensional entities, is irrelevant.
    No. What I would like you to do is actually address what I have said, and explain to this forum how a 2-dimensional entity can exist outside of the mind.
    No. But perhaps I should dumb-down my reasoning of why concepts cannot be tangible for you. For it seems you do not comprehend what I am talking about.
    With all due respect, this is absolute garbage. I don't have to learn string-theory to know that it is based upon an intangible concept. And using my lack of scientific-knowledge of this theory is completely irrelevant to the issue I have raised here.
    Look pal; this is the philosophy forum - not the physics forum. When you come in here claiming that 1 or 2-dimensional concepts can exist as tangible beings, then expect your assumption to be challenged by reason.
    Furthermore, if your sole response to my posts is going to be "You need to learn more physics", then it is obvious to me that you haven't got a clue what philosophy is all about.
    Spare me a repeat performance of crap like this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2003
  17. Mar 21, 2003 #16
    As I love string theory (and personally think it's the best candidate for the T.O.E.), I would like to say that anyone who says that 11-dimensional theory is based on faith, have betrayed a lack of understanding of the topic.

    I would also like to ask lifegazer why he/she said this:

    and many other such statements. Have you abandoned the Mind hypothesis, lifegazer?
     
  18. Mar 21, 2003 #17

    Tom Mattson

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    You are wrong.

    You are the one saying, "string theory says...". You have to know string theory to make a statement like that. End of story.

    Actually, he's not claiming that. You are saying that string theory is claiming that.

    You're acting like an ass. Stop it now.
     
  19. Mar 21, 2003 #18
    I know very little about string/membrane theories. What I do know, is that they are founded upon 1 & 2-dimensional entities which cannot exist beyond our conception of them.
    Such theories are really saying that conceptual-entities can create tangible-reality. And anyone who doesn't even question such a premise as that, must be deluded.
    No. I just need a short break from it.
     
  20. Mar 21, 2003 #19

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    Lifegazer

    No. What I would like you to do is actually address what I have said, and explain to this forum how a 2-dimensional entity can exist outside of the mind.

    Huh? What are you talking about? What does “existing outside of the mind” have to do with anything?

    No. But perhaps I should dumb-down my reasoning of why concepts cannot be tangible for you.

    Please do – I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

    For it seems you do not comprehend what I am talking about.

    I don’t think anyone does.

    With all due respect, this is absolute garbage. I don't have to learn string-theory to know that it is based upon an intangible concept.

    I don’t get this – you mean to say that you can comment intelligently on anything at all which you have no knowledge or understanding? That makes no sense.

    And using my lack of scientific-knowledge of this theory is completely irrelevant to the issue I have raised here

    What issue?

    Look pal; this is the philosophy forum - not the physics forum. When you come in here claiming that 1 or 2-dimensional concepts can exist as tangible beings, then expect your assumption to be challenged by reason.

    Look buddy; no one said anything about 1-2 dimensional beings – where did you get that nonsense?

    it is obvious to me that you haven't got a clue what philosophy is all about.

    Uh… no, I just don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    Spare me a repeat performance of crap like this.

    I see now – anything that does not agree with your worldview (that is, whatever world you’re living in,) you call it crap.

    The term “tunnel-vision” comes to mind.
     
  21. Mar 21, 2003 #20

    Tom Mattson

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    Again, how do you know that?
     
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