Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting.

Demystifier

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One of the most fundamental branches of physics - elementary particle physics (known also as the Standard Model in its current form) - is also a kind of stamp collecting, isn't it?
 
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A Rutherfordian take on mathematics:

"All mathematics is either set theory, or tautologies".:yuck:
 

baywax

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I dunno man.. Definitions seem to change as opinions do, what we need is one grand and complete definition on what the mind, conscious experience and self awareness is, then we might be able to explain it physically.

I mean once we understand something completely there is no other way..
As far as I know mind and brain are the same thing, according to leading Neuroscientists;

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-identity/

conscious experience and self awareness are also the same, according to the discipline (and who oughta know!?)

http://consc.net/papers/puzzle.html

In fact the two have been melded into one idea which is

conscious awareness

There's nothing mysterious, metaphysical or spooky about the mind, brain, awareness or consciousness. Its all physical

Thanks to physics (NB: topic!) for helping to clarify that physcial fact about the physiology of the brain/mind/conscious awareness. Who else would have come up with an fMRI machine with accompanying accutrimonts.

Physics is like a pencil. Its how you use it that determines the outcome. This is true for all the arts and sciences. That's how I see it anyway.

But, its been said that we're "not to believe everything we think"!:tongue2:
 
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Demystifier

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A Rutherfordian take on mathematics:

"All mathematics is either set theory, or tautologies".:yuck:
All (serious) statements are either tautologies or conjectures. :biggrin:

And an old one:
There are 10 kind of people: Those that understand binary and those that do not.
 
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baywax

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It is neither possible to predict nor understand what mutations will take place at the molecular level, and which will take hold and why, using physics. Phenotypic expression and community ecology need to be taken into account to create any form of coherent theory on the matter.
Hasn't physics come up with a formula for community ecology, phenotypic expression and survivability predictions for mutations?

These are physical phenomena and so they are reducible to physics formuli.

Or are Gödel’s incompleteness theorems true? Does emergence prevent predictability? Is irreducible complexity a reality or are are physicists lazy?

The following link shows that some physicists are busy trying to extract formuli out of biological function and other stuff.


Statistical Physics, Biological Physics and Physics of Quantum Systems

http://ion.elte.hu/kredit/Intezet/PhDeloadasokangolSTAT-uj.html
 
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As far as I know mind and brain are the same thing, according to leading Neuroscientists;

:
Is a light bulb that is turned on (emitting light) the same thing as a light bulb that is turned off (not emitting light)? The energy that powers the light bulb is from an outside source and is really not part of the light bulb. The energy that powers the brain is from an outside source and not really part of the brain. The mind is really not part of brain but part of the electrochemical activity that is powered by energy from an outside source (from food). Its simple. No electrochemical activity, no mind; no outside energy, no electrochemical activity. The question is "what in the 'outside energy' allows the the brain to produce the mind?
 
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SF

What is there so special in the outside energy other than the ability to do work?:)
 
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What is there so special in the outside energy other than the ability to do work?:)
Stop the blood flow to the brain (interfere with the energy flow) for a short time and there is no consciousness. A short time more and there is no more mind. Seems like there is MORE than the ability to do work in the electrochemical activity in the brain. It seems like the really cool stuff like 'how does the graviton work?' and 'how does energy produce consciousness in the brain?', are pretty much unkowns.
 

baywax

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Is a light bulb that is turned on (emitting light) the same thing as a light bulb that is turned off (not emitting light)? The energy that powers the light bulb is from an outside source and is really not part of the light bulb. The energy that powers the brain is from an outside source and not really part of the brain. The mind is really not part of brain but part of the electrochemical activity that is powered by energy from an outside source (from food). Its simple. No electrochemical activity, no mind; no outside energy, no electrochemical activity. The question is "what in the 'outside energy' allows the the brain to produce the mind?
Equating the brain with the mind means there is no mind without the brain just as there is no visual stimulus without eyes or a visual cortex (the part of the cerebral cortex that receives and processes sensory nerve impulses from the eyes.).

The brain and the nervous system are structured, physiologically, in such a way that they produce the "electrochemical activity" you're talking about. The activities of these structures sometimes produce a result we've called "mind" or "brain activity".

food has to become an "internal source of energy" before it can help "power electrochemical activity". Actually food becomes that electrochemical soup of activity. You'd know more about this if you studied the mammalian cellular metabolic chart.

The question is "what in the 'outside energy' allows the the brain to produce the mind?
The answer could be as simple as "you are what you eat".

Food maintains the brain and its activities. This isn't a new thing. All organs are supported by food.

The word "mind" is an overblown human dramatization of brain activity.
This doesn't diminish the amazing potentials the human brain can realize.

We call a bile duct a "bile duct" because its a duct that carries bile. You could always lobby to change the name of the brain to "the mind duct" or "the vessel of electrochemical activity". But its called a brain, for now.:smile:
 
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S

SF

It seems like the really cool stuff like 'how does the graviton work?' and 'how does energy produce consciousness in the brain?', are pretty much unkowns.
Just curious: if you lived 100 years ago and you were introduced to a modern laptop, would you have considered "software" magic, at least as special as consciousness?:)

Software does come from 0s and 1s and that seems pretty hard to understand; just looking inside the HDD for the windows does not work :p
 
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Just curious: if you lived 100 years ago and you were introduced to a modern laptop, would you have considered "software" magic, at least as special as consciousness?:)

Software does come from 0s and 1s and that seems pretty hard to understand; just looking inside the HDD for the windows does not work :p
I hope that in 100 years we will understand and manipulate consciousness as well as we do 0s and 1s today.
 
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My humble opinion...

Mathematics is the ambiguous science. (it's attribute both nature and social)
Physics is the real science. (it's study "everything")
Chemistry is the central science. (its connects maths,phys,bio each nature)
Biology is the life science. (its always learning of organisms and enviroments)

While,
Mathematics is always partner with Physisc, whereas
Chemistry is always partner with Biology.
I guess these were everybody knew.

I'm just disagree with that statement is discriminating other sciences, who because he just to love the one he fascinates. Because all sciences are equally important.
 
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"Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

-- Ernest Rutherford
The great mathematician, David Hilbert, said something like "Physics is too difficult to be left to physicists." He meant that the math was too hard for them. That has clearly changed since his time. But he may have thought that experimentalists like Rutherford were just stamp collecting.
 

-Job-

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For any given problem there's a large number of possible adaptations. A solution to a problem is still a solution independently of it having coming up in physics or biology, or while cleaning your room. Above all what's important is the mathematics and abstract side of problems. The rest are variables.
 
I don't see much chance of physics providing the cure for cancer,or MS, or of uncovering the mysteries of human psychology for that matter, or for cracking the biology of the aging process, or explaining how the human mind works at a neurological level either: do you? Or for providing solutions to poverty and hunger, or economic difficulties, or providing us with a legal framework that works for the benefit of it's citizenry, or for controlling population or solving the issues of global warming. Or producing the next big drug for depression using x.

Anyway it's obviously just a bit of bravado from the Englishman, probably had a bit too much of the old ale when he said that. In other words it's what I tend to term the "my dad is better'n your dad", idea, whereby you are biased towards your dad because you happen to know the most about him.:smile::tongue:

Same with the maths thing, if you don't know how to do the maths, you do what Einstein did, you take it to a mathematician, sciences don't exist in a vacuum :rolleyes:
 
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ibo

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Chemistry is always partner with Biology.
Maths is used in chemisty too, as Rutherford would have known, seeing as he did work on discovering things about atoms. So i can't really understand how he could say other sciences are nothing compared to physics when he worked on things for chemistry. Unless chemistry was so insignificant back then that it was considered physics.
 
Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

"Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

-- Ernest Rutherford
No, it is a descriptive science like all others: it describes aspects of the universe the same as the rest do.
 

apeiron

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Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

The other view is that simplicity (physics) is actually just a subset of complexity (like the study of biology and systems science). Complexity may be the more general, the more fundamental, because that is the way the world actually is - in a developed state.

A classic cite here is from Schrodinger's What is Life?

“living matters, while not eluding the ‘laws of physics’ as established up to date, is likely to involve ‘other laws of physics’ hitherto unknown, which, however, once they have been revealed, will form just as integral a part of science as the former”.

Then even more bold is Robert Rosen. Here is a summary from The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms and the Order of Life by Franklin Harold.

“[Rosen's] quest for principles that make organic systems different from inorganic ones does not lead him to invoke mysterious forces that breathe life into the common clay, but he does bid us to rethink the relationship between biology and physics, and that is quite radical enough. Both disciplines deal with systems, and for the past two centuries biologists have sought to interpret their subject by the extension of laws inferred by physicists from the study of simple mechanisms. That, in Rosen’s view, puts the cart before the horses: in reality, simple systems such as gases or planetary orbits are special and limited instances, while complex systems represent the general case. If organisms are ever to be understood as material physical entities, physics will first have to be transformed into a science of complex systems”.

Where does the future of fundamental physics lie? Perhaps in the principles of systems already uncovered by theoretical biology.

We are of course seeing the likes of Smolin picking up selection theory to talk about Darwinian cosmology.

Which is nice, but that bit of insight is what, 150 years old? Cutting edge stuff in theoretical biology is semiotics, or evo-devo, or dissipative structure theory.

(I should give an honorable mention to cosmologists like Charley Lineweaver who are using current concepts - http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/)
 
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Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

You guys do realize this thread is three years old right?
 

apeiron

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Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

You guys do realize this thread is three years old right?
Yes, but physicists still believe the premise to be true!
 
Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

A silly statement of Rutherford's indicative of the all-too common physicist's flaw of wholly unjustified arrogance.

The inability of physics to come up with any useful predictions within fields like biology or the social sciences (due to the mathematically unmanageable wealth of parameters involved) is a case in point.

And who cares, really, whether a star light-years away from us has a lot higher density than our own sun (and that we may predict&compute it)?

The activity to develop conceptual tools effective in the study of fields like biology or the social sciences is no less intellectually challenging than developing the mathematical tools usable in physics.
Ingenious experiments must be thought out to show this or that in biology, and Emile Durkheim's thoughtful analysis of the suicide phenomenon must be considered good research.
Aequating if some thing is a science to how useful it is, or how 'intellectually challenging' it is nonsensical. I daresay that chess is intellectually challenging, or that whiping your bum is useful, neither are sciences.

Science is the process of inferring truth via the scientific method, since physics stays the strictest to objectivity, falsifiability, lack of human interpretation and manipulation of data, surely at the least physics is the most scientific of the empirical sciences. That has nothing to do with use, and indeed, pure science, per definition is scientific research done only for knowledge without any practical use for it, at the point in time the research is done.

Physics without a single debate to it since Newton on is the most, if not the only empirical scientific discipline out there, because in physics, new theories are expected to default to the old theories under special circumstances. Relativistic mechanics approximates Newtonian mechanics under every day velocity, the standard model approximates special relativity under macroscopic scales.

Thereby, physics truly improves and becomes closer and closer to the truth and becomes more praecise, however chemistry and biology often contradict their old theories with new ones, to me, that may not happen, if a scientific method of deduction allows that, then I can no longer call it science, albeit practical, which is a completely different thing. Science is simply a methodology and if a new accepted theory outright contradicts an older one, than one of those per definition was not inferred and tested by the scientific method.
 
Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

I would say that mathematics is more fundamental, and computer science is right along there. Physics may tell you how this reality works at a fundamental level, but if we look at complex systems or even consider that there may be more than just this reality, the truths obtained through mathematics and computer science could very well be more fundamental they can be theories about the nature of all possible conceivable states of existence.

Having the fundamental laws as they relate to say something like biology, is like having the assembly language instructions of a particular cpu and relating that to a complex program like say photoshop. The program may be composed of sequences of those simple instructions when you boil it all down, but it would be ridiculous to expect one to easily derive any of the infinity of possible programs from that. Another example would be deriving Hamlet or Moby Dick from an english dictionary and the rules of english grammar, obtaining this out of the infinite of possibilities allowed by the rules is preposterous .

In fact in more complex systems it is simply better to study the relationships between elements at various scales and elucidate how new properties emerge at different levels of organization. Some properties require higher level description to better understand what is going on, the concept of emergence.
 
Re: "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

"Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."

-- Ernest Rutherford

How valid is this statement. I think it has a lot of validity considering the fact that you are learning the fundamental laws of the universe and nature. You are basically studying the "Mind Of God". Where as other sciences such as social science, geology, biology and even chemistry are more specific into detail that may be more mundane that what physics teaches. Physics seems to be the big picture of science, and thus its essence as well.
I think there is much to be gained from other sciences. They may not be as "hard" of science, but there is value there. For example, Bell's theorem can be resolved by addressing the issue of free-will. Libet and his studies and many more recent studies equate free-will to being an illusion. If true, there is no free will. But QM does not address free will, some have tried, but it takes another format of biology or neuroscience to do this.
 

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