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The World As I See It

  1. May 20, 2003 #1

    Here is the world of truth as I have come to understand it.

    1. Logic - The essence of rules of THIS existance. So raw and hardwired, there's almost nothing to say of logic in itself.

    2. Math - When one chooses to use units to describe THIS existance, we get math. In and of itself it is the backbone of science. To explain something in science using math is an honor, as 2 + 2 always equals 4. There is no room for question

    3. Physics - When applying math to the mass (and none mass) of the universe, we get physics. It is considered the HARDEST science.

    4. Chemistry - If one takes physics (and the math that comes with it) and applies it particularly to atoms in terms of joining atoms to form elements, we get chemistry.

    5. Biology - When one upgrades the parts of chemistry to the level of molecules that are involved in life, we get Biology. The third of the hard sciences.

    Beyond this point is a bit open for ideas

    6. Ecology - When one takes biology and speaks of it on the level of a population of interacting organisms, we get this wonderful science.

    So, here's an example. We could speak of the interactions of the cow bird and the oropendola, on terms of their ecological interactions. But, could we not explain this in many more words in terms of their molecules, and how they're proteins are written to so such things?

    Then could we not take this further and explain it on a elementary level, rather than a molecular level.

    We could go further, and describe the entire physics of every interaction which causes these organisms to do a particular relation. This would take an enourmous amount of information, but could be done.

    So you see, each number can be described in incredible detail by the lower numbers. An amazing system!

    NOTE: Surely some of this beyond the three hardcore sciences is open for debate. My point isn't to say this is truly the ultimate formula, but to share the way I see things, based on my education.

    Thanks for listening!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2003 #2

    Please give your definition of "hard".

    Heirarchy is relative. With all matters interrelated and interdependant on each other... one "system" hardly governs the other. This is because without any one individual element of the above mentioned "systems", the others would collapse. That is what relativity is all about... it has nothing to do with "heirarchy"... it has to do with dynamics and synergistics.

    In my view, that is.

    "Words can only complicate the task"
    Collective Soul
  4. May 21, 2003 #3
    Yeah yeah, dude you put "faith" into astrology. How could I even let what you say go into my brain!

    Furthermore, you missed the entire point. Relax, you're wrong.
  5. May 21, 2003 #4


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    Just saying "you're wrong", or "why should I listen to you?" does not contribute anything to your own thread.

    Also, you did not address any of quantumcarl's comments.

    Try to make your posts constructive. It has no use to just clutter a thread with posts saying "I'm right, you're not".
  6. May 21, 2003 #5

    Ok, then.

    1. Definition of hard? It's widely considered that the 3 sciences are the hard sciences. Physics Chemistry Biology. I hardly think it's appropriate to ask what the hard sciences are.

    2. Hierarchy isn't relative. It's a hierarchy. One creates a hierarchy and there it is. This isn't light speed here, it's a viewpoint

    3. Certain sciences do govern other sciences. I made this strikingly clear in my statement, and it's also widely considered so in the sci com. Physics can indeed explain everything my its very nature and definition. However when one chooses to focus on a particular part of the universe, one can use a new set of laws presupposing certain physical laws. All chemical equations presuppose the truth of physics prinicpals. Likewise, Biological theories and perhaps equations also presuppose certain chem and physics truths.

    4. Saying that any of the systems in the hierarchy would, if removed, collapse the others is completely untrue, and furthermore easily disprovable. Biology is the study of life. When no life existed in the universe, or IF it didn't, physical and chemical laws would still hold up. That was simple wasn't it?

    5. Thus your justication for said claim that hierarchy is relative is ruined.

    6. Have a nice day!
  7. May 21, 2003 #6


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    Or you could just stop beating around the bush and explain that:

    Hard sciences are those which are based on quantifiable, reproducable data.

    e.g. Mix X amount of chemical A with Y amount of chemical B, and get P amount of chemical C and Q amount of chemical D. Each and every time.
    e.g. 2 Pull a spring back with a block of known mass and known firing angle and the block will travel the same distance each time.

    'Soft' sciences are those which are based on fluctuating data.

    e.g. studying caribou populations and how they interact with predator populations. There is still lots to learn from it, but math models will usually not be able to predict exact values - only general trends.
  8. May 21, 2003 #7
    I don't understand how both of these statements can both be true at the same time. If a science governs another science, wouldn't it's removal collapse the other science it governs?

    Personally I think it boils down to a poor choice of wording. I'd change (3) to say, certain sciences prescribes other sciences, i.e. physics prescribes chemistry, or chemistry prescribes biology. (You could substitue "is a prerequisite for" instead of "prescribes" if you prefer.)
    I have to completely disagree with (4) however; would chemistry work the way it does if there were no strong nuclear force?
  9. May 21, 2003 #8
    Ugh. No, the two statements make perfect sense. You're only looking at them in one direction.

    LogicalAtheist said:
    3. Certain sciences do govern other sciences.
    4. Saying that any of the systems in the hierarchy would, if removed, collapse the others is completely untrue.

    Let me reexplain since you didn't read this correctly. In my example the hierarchy goes like this:

    1. Logic
    2. Math
    3. Physics
    4. Chemistry
    5. Biology

    Certain science do govern others. Each numbered item is governed by the one above it. Understood?

    If you remove physics you do lose everything BELOW IT. But you failed to realize that if you remove biology, nothing above biology happens.

    Because Physics is in fact all other science.

    So, my words were spoken flawlessly, you merely did not look at it in both directions.
  10. May 21, 2003 #9


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    Greetings !

    Isn't this a philosophical thread ?
    Really ? I see...
    Could you purhaps, please, still bother to tell
    us all the main things on this issue (to the
    unenlightened amongst us :wink:) ?

    Thanks !

    Live long and prosper.
  11. May 21, 2003 #10
    I understand what you mean by this.

    I think you meant "... if you remove biology, nothing happens to the items above biology.", certainly physics still happens without biology, right? (you also said: "Biology is the study of life. When no life existed in the universe, or IF it didn't, physical and chemical laws would still hold up.") If you meant it as you typed it, it further reinforces the idea that the removal of one collapses the others.

    To paraphrase, physics governs chemistry and both physics and chemistry govern biology; if physics is removed (I mean all the physical laws/properties don't exist) you lose chemistry and biology (meaning all chemical/biological laws/properties won't exist).

    But what I don't understand is how losing chemistry and biology is different from the collapse of chemistry and biology. I'm thinking losing a science is the same as collapsing a science.

    (It was obviously not "flawlessly" or your post would have immediately conveyed your precise meaning to any who read it. But that's beside the point.)
    The direction is irrelevent. I need a definition for "remove", "lose" and "collapse". I am of the opinion that they mean pretty much the same thing in this context. I don't need a cut-n-paste from the dictionary, just what you mean when you use the terms, or how they differ.
  12. May 22, 2003 #11

    Let me point out that without biology there would be no observation of the other sciences... therefore, other sciences really rely on biology to be observable...

    in which case...

    heirarchy is relative as are most other states.
  13. May 22, 2003 #12

    No, this claim is packed with flaws.

    Biology is the study of life. At point in time there was no life, thus no biology, and the other systems held up (chemistry, physics, math, logic).

    Did you not stop a second to realize your error?

    My hierarchy concept is simple, it's not possible to ruin it. Each item requires only the ones ABOVE it, NOT BELOW IT.

    Come on now, I shouldn't have to point things like this out!
  14. May 22, 2003 #13

    Let me put it this way:

    Without the Biological System there would be absolutly no way to tell if the other systems of physics and chemistry were "holding out" or not... therefore...the observation and the qualification of physics and chemistry are wholely dependant on there being a life or "biological systems"...

    thusly... moreover... futhermore... these systems and their place in any ficticious heirarchy remains relative to whether or not they are observed.

    Although, I cannot disagree with one of your statements, which was raised long ago by FZ+ and myself, and goes like this:

    "All Physics, All The Time".
  15. May 22, 2003 #14

    Absolutely and totally incorrect. How many times must I say that physics and chemistry are correct when Biology is totally disregarded? Did you even read my posts 5 times?!?

    Biology does not exist in MOST space at MOST times...

    Physics and chemistry aer fine.

    Thus everything after your "therefore" is based on false claims.
  16. May 23, 2003 #15

    You assume physics and chemistry are "fine" or actually exist without a biological system... but, you cannot prove it. You cannot observe Physics or Chemistry with out your own Biological System.

    In order to prove that Physics and Chemistry exist somewhere beyond the Biological System, the biological system must be removed from this task. When the Biological System is out of the picture... then there is absolutely no way to prove that Physics and Chemistry exist.........

    Therefore, what I've said is true... in this context... the observations and qualifications of the sciences of Physics and Chemistry are completely interdependant on the presence of a Biological System.

    This is what Anthropomorphism is all about. XCept its Biopomorphism.
  17. May 24, 2003 #16


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    LA: I think you have committed the key subjectivist fallacy here. You have conceptualised as absolute a division between physics, chemistry and biology that objectively does not exist. What is biological and what is not?
  18. May 24, 2003 #17

    Why is it some people here love to try to nitpick every wording?

    Of course physics and chemistry are independant of biology, come on people!

    Have you not observed the physics of gravitation of other planets around the sun? It has NOTHING to do with life.

    Have you not observed a chemical reaction? It has NOTHING TO DO WITH LIFE.

    Why is it that this cannot so easily be seen?

    Yeeesh, I'm disappointed!
  19. May 24, 2003 #18


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    But didn't we all accept that "life" does not objectively exist as a concept?
    Biology has nothing to do with life!:wink: It has to do with the study of systems which the studier considers as living. Someone could conclude all chemical processes are life-like processes.

    Subjectivist fallacy. Tut tut tut.
  20. May 24, 2003 #19

    FZ - I guess you don't know what the subjectivist fallacy is.

    And no one with a sense would condlude that.

    The definition of Biology is the study of life. SImple as that, humans invented this study, so we define it.

  21. May 25, 2003 #20

    i absolutely agree!my own conceptions begin with physics however.i am a little "wooly" about how we get the laws of maths (2+2=4 etc.)are derived in the first place,the formal language of logic as well as what exactly does mathematics aims to do(apart from serving as the backbone of other sciences).some illumination is welcome.the definition you give for chemistry is a bit unconvincing made up as it is of such ill-defined terms as "joining"-anyway chemistry is not finished with the formations of elements is it?we have compounds,complex organic compounds which is the gateway of of biology.anyway can you unambiguously define life?my own hierarchy goes a bit like this:
    1)logic with mathematics as a subset.i shall not try to define it as i am not fully conversant with their basics(which does not begin with memorising the rules 2+2=4 as many no doubt think)these comprise of the set of methods by which one obtains, analyses and interprets incoming information to understand whatever one wishes to know.if information is adequate then the application of logic>maths will give us the same conclusion no matter who applies it or how many times it is applied.
    then comes the field of conclusions(read laws)we derive by applying 1.now since available info is about the universe we live in all laws derived by logical analysis concern entities residing in this universe.i shall compartmentalise the laws by ground first approach.suppose A is the set of laws which are followed by all entities in the universe.THIS IS PHYSICS.now a subset of these entities are elements and compounds.the set of laws followed by elements and compounds only, when they interact with each other is CHEMISTRY.interaction between elements form molecules which again interact with each other to form new molecules etc.all this is chemistry.now a system of mutually interacting molecules which tends to consistently decrease the entropy within itself is a subset of the entities over which chemistry works.the laws that are followed by this subset and not anything else constitutes BIOLOGY.thus we see,PHYSICS>CHEMISTRY>BIOLOGY.none is independant of each other.but the hierarchy exists nonetheless.
    jman and you were quibbling needlessly.what you mean by removal j man means by collapse.
    yes Qcarl if there were no intelligence in the universe there would be nobody to "discover" these laws and hence nobody to state whether there exists a universe even.but universe is simply there irrespective of any entity within it which can say 'yes it's there all right"!but that's the domain of philosophy.not relevant in this thread.
    Last edited: May 25, 2003
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