Theory of everything

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Let me tell you who i am before hand. i am not a physicist, but as someone that has a fondness for all things amusing. In other words, i am an ignorant laymen. Now that i am done with introducing myself. Let me get right to my point:

case 1:
It is said that a "theory of eveything"( TOE) is a model such that it could describe everything. That it could describe the existence( big bang) of the universe itself. I am curious. If such a theory be found, than would it not have to describe its own existences? I understand that the nearest thing physicists have at the moment is something call String theory.
Let say, String theory works, but the theory must itself depend, based on the very notion of a string. Would the theory have to describe the structure of a strings.Why must a string exist at all, and all the properties of the string?( a contradiction! because string is assumed to be fundemental)

case 2:
The laws of natures are nothing but regularities, generalizations we make about nature. An example would be einsteins second postulate: All observers would measure the speed of light to be constant regardless of their frame of reference. When ask why this is so? Physicist would say that law itself must be assume, because it is that way by the very nature that we are in this universe; The law is so, becuase that is how nature behaviors. A set of laws of nature would be nothing more than a set equations that describe how "nature behaves", but can it really tell us why there is a universe in the first place for it to describe? If we make an analogy. If the solfwares of a computer are the laws of natures, and the hardware of the computer are the universe. Can we really understand the solfware well enough to know the hardware?
 
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selfAdjoint

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kant said:
Let me tell you who i am before hand. i am not a physicist, but as someone that has a fondness for all things amusing. In other words, i am an ignorant laymen. Now that i am done with introducing myself. Let me get right to my point:

case 1:
It is said that a "theory of eveything"( TOE) is a model such that it could describe everything. That it could describe the existence( big bang) of the universe itself. I am curious. If such a theory be found, than would it not have to describe its own existences? I understand that the nearest thing physicists have at the moment is something call String theory.
Let say, String theory works, but the theory must itself depend, based on the very notion of a string. Would the theory have to describe the structure of a strings?( an obvious contradiction!) [/qote]

Any model has to have some primitive that it doesn't explain, but just accepts. Consider the model that explains the integers in terms of subsets. 0 is identified with the empty set. By the definition of subset, every set has two subsets at least, the empty set, and the given set itself, called the whole set. But in the case of the empty set, as you can see, these subsets coincide, so it really has only one subset which is -- itself, the empty set. So it has 1 subset, and we identify the number one with the cardinality of the set of subsets of the empty set. Now consider this set of subsets. How many subsets does it have? Well there's the empty set, of course, and the whole set, which is no longer equal to the empty set because its a set of cardinality 1, and the empty set has cardinality 0. So the set has 2 subsets and its cardinality is identified with the number 2. And....so on. All the integers can be defined this way inductively. So what was undefined before, all those integgers, has a deeper definition in terms of one recursive process. Fine, but notice the heavy lifting done by that definition of subsets. Where did that come from? Well honestly it comes from where the sun don't shine:bugeye: And my point is that every explanation is an explanation in terms of something else. A better model is one that has fewer primitives, and especially if those primitives are simpler conceptually.

I have just been trying to imagine a model with circular definitions that is self consistent. Each element in it is defined in terms of other elements in it. I can't say it's impossible, but accepting such a model would mean giving up our normal understanding of explanation.

case 2:
The laws of natures are nothing but regularities, generalizations we make about nature. An example would be einsteins second postulate: All observers would measure the speed of light to be constant regardless of their frame of reference. When ask why this is so? Physicist would say that law itself must be assume, because it is that way the the very nature that we are in this universe; It is so, becuase that is how nature behaviors. A set a laws of nature would be nothing more than a set of how "nature behaves", but can it really tell use to tell us anything about why there is a universe in the first place? If we make an anaology. If the solfwares of a computer are the laws of natures, and the hardware of the computer are the universe. Can we really understand the solfware well enough to know the hardware?
No it can't in that case. This is pretty generally the view of most experimental physicists "Physics doesn't explain it just describes." An experimentalist would probably be pretty skeptical of all claims of TOE.
 
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Any model has to have some primitive that it doesn't explain, but just accepts. Consider the model that explains the integers in terms of subsets. 0 is identified with the empty set. By the definition of subset, every set has two subsets at least, the empty set, and the given set itself, called the whole set. But in the case of the empty set, as you can see, these subsets coincide, so it really has only one subset which is -- itself, the empty set. So it has 1 subset, and we identify the number one with the cardinality of the set of subsets of the empty set. Now consider this set of subsets. How many subsets does it have? Well there's the empty set, of course, and the whole set, which is no longer equal to the empty set because its a set of cardinality 1, and the empty set has cardinality 0. So the set has 2 subsets and its cardinality is identified with the number 2. And....so on. All the integers can be defined this way inductively. So what was undefined before, all those integgers, has a deeper definition in terms of one recursive process. Fine, but notice the heavy lifting done by that definition of subsets. Where did that come from? Well honestly it comes from where the sun don't shine And my point is that every explanation is an explanation in terms of something else. A better model is one that has fewer primitives, and especially if those primitives are simpler conceptually.
I do not know how your brain works, but i would provide a simpler examples. perferable, one that is more related to physics than math. To make an analogy between math and physics, one need to explane their similarities, and differences. In my opinion, explaining the process of math, and it s metaphysical assumptions is an essay all in itself. For obvious reasons, i wouldn t open that door, sista.

It is one thing to start your deductive system with a set of undefines, self-evidents( that is in math), but it is a different thing when you start your deductive system with generalizations of regularities that are by no mean obvious, or self-evident( in physics) Get my point?



No it can't in that case. This is pretty generally the view of most experimental physicists "Physics doesn't explain it just describes." An experimentalist would probably be pretty skeptical of all claims of TOE.

I am not talking to a segment of physicists. I am posting this question to all physicists. Another thing self-ajoint , I am not here to ask what you thing of the matter. Give me an argument of some substance.
 
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russ_watters

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kant said:
I am not talking to a segment of physicists. I am posting this question to all physicists.
People who are in the same profession generally go into that profession because of similar interests and worldviews. I rather suspect most physicist (as sA implied) would answer that question in the negative.
Another thing self-ajoint , I am not here to ask what you thing of the matter. Give me an argument of some substance.
Why do physicists believe that theories are descriptive and not explanatory? I'm not sure that's even really a matter of opinion: that is simply the nature of physics. That is what it is.

Its like asking why the sky is blue. You can start the answer with an explanation of scattering of light, but eventually the question reduces to 'why is blue blue?'. It is because it is.
 
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People who are in the same profession generally go into that profession because of similar interests and worldviews. I rather suspect most physicist (as sA implied) would answer that question in the negative
Again, if i asked for a survey of opionions, or worldviews, then i would create a survey. That is obvious not my intention. I asked a question, and i hope to get at least one worthy answer that don t reduce to a matter of opinion.

Why do physicists believe that theories are descriptive and not explanatory? I'm not sure that's even really a matter of opinion: that is simply the nature of physics. That is what it is.

Its like asking why the sky is blue. You can start the answer with an explanation of scattering of light, but eventually the question reduces to 'why is blue blue?'. It is because it is.

What is it that you are telling me here in regard to my original post.
 

russ_watters

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I'm telling you that 1=1 by definition and because of that, "why?" questions end up being pointlessly circular. Because of that, a scientist must accept that "why?" is unnecessary to (or, more correctly, not covered by) science. And that is not a matter of opinion (as I said in my previous post). A worldview is simply a perspective. The starting assumptions of a way of approaching a question. Sorta like the starting assumptions of a theory: If you accept the postulate, logic leads to only one conclusion.
 
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russ_watters said:
I'm telling you that 1=1 by definition and because of that, "why?" questions end up being pointlessly circular. Because of that, a scientist must accept that "why?" is unnecessary to (or, more correctly, not covered by) science. And that is not a matter of opinion (as I said in my previous post). A worldview is simply a perspective. The starting assumptions of a way of approaching a question. Sorta like the starting assumptions of a theory: If you accept the postulate, logic leads to only one conclusion.
I will repost my own words to self-adjointed..

It is one thing to start your deductive system with a set of undefines, self-evidents( that is in math), but it is a different thing when you start your deductive system with generalizations of regularities that are by no mean obvious, or self-evident( in physics) Get my point?
 
all what we know about the world around us is the product of abstract human thought. the world is human imagination and so theories like super string and m theory are also imagination and i believe any abstract and original imagination can explain the human imagination of the world and reality.
 
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GautamAishwarya said:
all what we know about the world around us is the product of abstract human thought. the world is human imagination and so theories like super string and m theory are also imagination and i believe any abstract and original imagination can explain the human imagination of the world and reality.
meaningless
 

Evo

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kant said:
Again, if i asked for a survey of opionions, or worldviews, then i would create a survey. That is obvious not my intention. I asked a question, and i hope to get at least one worthy answer that don t reduce to a matter of opinion.
People have answered. Any answer is going to be an opinion. You're obviously not open to a valid discussion, so thread closed.
 

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