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There's something that really should not have been moved.

  1. Jan 17, 2005 #1
    To the Directors of this site and the membership in general,

    I guess I shall have to accept the fact that sometimes people who are in a position to change things (and move discussions) are not always doing what is appropriate.

    The discussion that was opened under the title of, "Another Way of Looking At the Physics of Time" was something that was of great interest to Dr. Kaku. In fact, he sent me an e-mail on the subject shortly after the related document was first published on the web site.

    It is also a subject that I have personally listened to Dr. Michio Kaku speak on. In other words, it is VERY relevant to this particular place. I can only imagine that the person who moved it doesn't know Dr. Kaku's subjects and/or that person is unaware of the content of the suggested page ("The Physical Nature of Time") on that noted site.

    However, someone decided to move it from Dr. Kaku's Forum to "Science and Mathematics" (even though no mathematics were ever presented in the original message nor in the recommended site on the noted page).

    In any case, it was not an appropriate change. It really wasn't. I hope this communication will not be discarded and will be used as a learning experience and that a correction will be made.

    Most sincerely,

    Tal D. Noble
    west@k-online.com
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2005 #2

    chroot

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    It was actually moved to the section of the site devoted to the philosophy of science and mathematics, because that's precisely what it was -- philosophy. Regardless of how interested Kaku is or isn't in the physical meaning of time, your post was not physics but philosophy, and was moved appropriately.

    - Warren
     
  4. Jan 19, 2005 #3
    An answer to your surprising statement and action.

    Warren ---

    I am amazed. I have presented my papers on the subject of "time" in important areas of scientific inquiry. I have many friends who are quite prominent in the field of astrophysics. There is considerable agreement concerning this concept, which most definitely is NOT felt to be any form of philosophy whatsoever.

    It also does not conflict with Einsteinian physics and a few physicists have told me that an expansion of this postulation should be included within the super string theory. How interesting.

    Also, Dr. Kaku has covered many concepts much more open to question than this is. As a good scientist, he does not try to retitle or remove concepts that he may not be fully familiar with.

    I can only imagine that either you are not well schooled in this field of science, or possibly you just have not taken the time to look at the paper on the suggested web site.

    But whatever you do, please allow your thinking processes to be less rigid. You can be assured that there are differential equations and similar formulations being developed to accompany this concept. Don't let the unfamiliar throw you into a rigid mindset.

    Give genuine science a chance. Give yourself a chance.

    Most sincerely,

    Tal D. Noble, Dir.
    "The Astrophysics Group - West"
    and the related web site:

    west@k-online.com
     
  5. Jan 19, 2005 #4

    chroot

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    Yes, that's it, Tal, exactly. I'm not well schooled in science, and your astrophysics friends could beat up mine. While you've been teaching the good Dr. Kaku about time for years now, I've just been part of a vast conspiracy of rigid thinkers who have no livelihood other than preventing the notion of time from being included in m-theory.

    - Warren
     
  6. Jan 21, 2005 #5
    Warren ---

    Your demeanor speaks for itself. I cannot possibly improve on it.

    I do hope, however, that others who read our words, will continue their inquiry into the obscure and the unknown. With a few, however, I imagine I will just have to consider the words of George Benard Shaw when he wrote, "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

    Have a nice day.

    Most sincerely,

    Tal D. Noble, Dir.,
    "The Astrophysics Group - West"
    and the associated web site:
    http://groups.msn.com/AstrophysicsGroupWest
     
  7. Jan 21, 2005 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    Tal,

    I can't see anything wrong with the move. Your thread is essentially metaphysical in nature, and it could have been appropriately moved to either our Metaphysics & Epistemology Forum or our Philosophy of Science Forum (where it currently resides). Your thread was initially in the Kaku Forums, which are primarily devoted to discussion of Kaku's own books.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2005 #7
    Tom Mattson ---

    Your "metaphysical" comment was a major insult to a professional in the field of astrophysics and to a considerable number of others who are deeply involved in various fields of science. It reminds me of some of the comments made about Einstein when he first came on the scene (although, of course, I don't consider myself to be in his company).

    I will return to the professionals. This is obviously not run by those familiar with either the history of scientific inquiry or the scientific method.

    Most sincerely,

    Tal D. Noble, Dir.,
    "The Astrophysics Group - West"
    and the associated web site:
    http://groups.msn.com/AstrophysicsGroupWest
     
  9. Jan 24, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    Whatever insinuations you'd like to argue, there was nothing insulting about that statement. You're failing to recognize that there are professional scientists here.

    Oh, the people running this site are far more familiar with scientific method than your essay suggests you are. I'm also not fond of the arrogant attitude, especially your suggestions that you may be among the professional physicists.

    Or, is it science writer, or politician?
    http://www.gettingamericaback.org/ (That's you in the about us page, is it not?)
    Or on the site you linked us all too (perhaps this was nothing but a shameless attempt to advertise your site), the caption refers to nothing about being a professional physicist or scientist.
    http://groups.msn.com/AstrophysicsGroupWest/photosofourmembers.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=67
    You're a busy man...yet another hat you wear?
    http://wargamesleague.tripod.com/id1.html

    No wonder you have no time to learn from the discussions here. Well, okay, now we got it out of the way, I've just posted links to a bunch of your websites, so the advertising is out of the way.

    Any interest in learning science from scientists, or would you prefer to continue insulting us?
     
  10. Jan 24, 2005 #9

    Tom Mattson

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    If that's what you think, then you have some serious misconceptions about both science and metaphysics. First of all, metaphysics is not a field for quacks. It is a serious philosophical discipline, and if you consider it insulting then you simply need to be educated as to what metaphysics really is. Second, you'd be hard pressed to find an astrophysicist or scientist anywhere who would regard your essay as anything but metaphysics.

    That makes two of us. Einstein was both a scientist and a philosopher, and he wrote extensively in both fields. He knew the difference between the two, and he did not regard either with contempt. Indeed, he had the utmost respect for both disciplines, and so do I.

    The "professionals" (read: "internet wannabes") can have you. But I must comment on this incredibly misinformed statement. The scientific method comes from philosophers to begin with. In fact, the scientific method is philosophy! One of the most revolutionary breakthroughs in the philosophy of science was Popper's falsification method. Basically it solves the problem of demarcation between physics and metaphysics by saying that the former must be falsifiable. The essay you have written is not falsifiable, as it makes no testable quantitative predictions. It is philosophy, plain and simple.

    As for our professionalism, we have real professionals here, who work at such world class facilities as Argonne, Fermilab, and CERN. We also have actively researching graduate students and professors. Most of the PF administration and staff (including myself) are in this group. If you stick around, you might even learn a thing or two.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2005 #10
    AMEN to that...

    and now i'll just back off...sorry for the intrusion :biggrin:

    marlon, the professional... :biggrin:
     
  12. Jan 26, 2005 #11
    To Moonbear ---

    You (and others) don't see the term "metaphysical" as any sort of insult? Let's look at what that word usually referrs to. It is used to describe the immaterial, incorporeal, the supernatural, the unearthly, etc., etc. Of course I'm insulted. And that sort of name calling seems to be what so many will revert to when they fail to make a good argument. Is that what you would like us to think is happening here?

    You wonder what I am, a science writer, a politician, or what? Ben Franklin would get a kick out of your observations. And you find other sites of mine and write, "You're a busy man...yet another hat you wear?" Well, it certainly is very clear that a broad renaissance approach to life is hard for you to tolerate.

    I hope that you, and certain of your friends, will someday manage to grow beyond such intellectual restrictions. Now I'll leave you all to your badmouthing and non sequiturs. It's your choice and your life, but it's not mine. Let someone else come along and rattle your cages. I have better things to do.

    --- Tal D. Noble
     
  13. Jan 26, 2005 #12

    Tom Mattson

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    Well I know that this is addressed to Moonbear, but since I fall under "others"...

    No, of course not.

    No, it doesn't refer to any of those things. Metaphysics is the philosophical study of ontology and cosmology (that which exists in the world around us). Any metaphysics that does not connect in some way to experience is written off by those who know better as quackery.

    Any philosopher would consider your cariacature of this serious discipline insulting.

    It isn't name calling if you actually know what "metaphysics" really means.
     
  14. Jan 26, 2005 #13

    Moonbear

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    Tom Mattson already addressed this one. His explanation is complete, so I won't add more.

    Oh, I have no problem if you choose to be diverse in your undertakings, just don't come here claiming to be something you're not. All I did was point out the inconsistencies in your claims about your professional experience. I actually was restrained in my selection of links to post, as I was simply refuting your statements regarding your profession. How busy your real profession and hobbies keep you wasn't the issue.

    As for the broad renaissance approach to life, had you spent some time getting to know me and familiarizing yourself with the content of this board before beginning to hurl insults around about our knowledge of scientific method, you might have realized that you've chosen the wrong person to take aim at with that comment. But, hey, at least I know both scientific method AND enough about philosophy to know what metaphysics is. Didn't it ever cross your mind to question why a serious, academic, science site would contain a philosophy forum? Asking questions before hurling insults is something you might consider trying in the future.

    What? Only certain of my friends? Now I'm wounded that I can't include all of my friends. :rofl:

    That's the interesting thing here. You've been the only one doing any bad-mouthing; insulting us regarding our knowledge of science and scientific method, and now insulting me directly about my "intellectual restrictions." And I'm pretty sure the only non sequitur is that comment about non sequiturs.

    No problem, there's never a shortage of those who want to do nothing more than rattle cages. Though I'm a bit sorry to hear I wasted my time taking your essay seriously, as it's now clear what your real intent was.
     
  15. Jan 26, 2005 #14

    Chronos

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    No real professional would make such foolish statements. Pardon the opinion.
     
  16. Jan 27, 2005 #15

    Chronos

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    Grrr. It really irks me when the latest, self-proclaimed genius drops in to lift the veil of ignorance from our mainstream eyes. Even if you are totally right, and we are totally wrong, do you honestly think anyone will be receptive to that approach?
     
  17. Jan 27, 2005 #16

    Les Sleeth

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    I liked your ideas on time, but I was surprised you thought they qualified as science (or that they are new). You offered a description of a fundamental aspect of reality, which is what made it "metaphysical." When something is purely theory without supporting evidence to back it up, then it is philosophy.

    A favorite quote of mine, which my fellow PF members are probably sick of seeing me post, is by A.J. Ayer. He was a "logical positivist," and not someone I'd normally agree with, but I think one thing he said really sets a great standard for science (in addition to Popper's falsifiability). He said, ". . . the foundation of a empirical hypothesis is to provide a rule for anticipation of experience."

    In other words, once you claim you are doing science, and you propose something is real, then you better be ready to back it up with observational confirmation or at the very least some mathematical basis to encourage searching for that observational aspect.

    If you work out those differential equations you keep talking about and give scientists something they can use to do science with, then you get to move from philosophy to science. Until you do . . . well, you saw here what happens when you confuse philosophy with science.
     
  18. Jan 27, 2005 #17

    Tom Mattson

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    The thing that gets me is that we were perfectly happy to peacably get along with his thread, in the appropriate Forum. There was no problem until the outbursts in this thread.

    Mr. Noble, please look into some information on metaphysics (specifically on space and time) and also into the philosophy of science. Then try to re-think your position.

    This following will help get you started. They are all serious, scholarly articles, and they are all considered philosophy. They should serve to dispel the false notions that you currently hold on the subject.

    Metaphysics
    Time from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    Space and Time: Being and Becoming in Modern Physics from the same source
    The Hole Argument also from Stanford
    The Relativity of Space by Henri Poincare (!)
    Space and Time Chapter 8 from Norman Swartz e-Book Beyond Experience

    Philosophy of Science
    Karl Popper from the Stanford Encyclopedia
    Philosophy of Science Lecture notes on the Problem of Demarcation (what distinguishes science from non-science?)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  19. Jan 28, 2005 #18
    To you all ---

    Where do you think I picked up the quoted definitions of "metaphysics" and what do you think most folks relate that term to? And that was one of your kinder comments. Some of the comments, right from the beginning were really not nearly so civilized.

    Doubt that? Look back on the thread development right from the beginning, right after that simple and friendly presentation was originally made on your site. See how you progressed. And of course, I came back with blunt answers after you decided to trash this writer. Maybe you would prefer acquiescence or a timid retreat? Not this time.

    And, just what does all that nonsense have to do with a very simple, direct observation of the very definite physical phenomenon originally under discussion?

    And, Moonbear, you write that I, "...come here claiming to be something you're not." I was under the impression that I had indicated rather clearly that I was a science writer and that much of my work is in the field of astrophysics and I also offered a web site where you can look at a considerable amount of my work.

    Isn't your memory rather selective on this point?

    And then, after all the trashing I have had to endure (check the thread history to refresh that memory of yours, if you need to), you whine about my hurling insults around and doing the bad-mouthing? I guess we are once again talking about a somewhat selective memory. Well, I know you will feel better when I'm gone.

    And, who was it that suggested I claim to be some sort of genius? I don't recall if that was you or someone else. The slaps were coming so thick and fast at times, that I could hardly keep up.

    In any case, that comment, and so many others like that, are good examples of how some folks will create their own dialog for the opposition, so they can offer it as an example or as something to argue about. Please realize that it is easy for almost anybody to get caught up in things in this manner.

    With that problem and possibly with many other things that were said, you can easily get detoured and end up in a not so friendly territory. I don't think any of us are truly immune to this. We are, after all, only human, right?

    With that, I take my leave. I have to prepare for a series of lectures. You know how that is.

    But please do think about looking back on this experience --- on these threads --- to examine what actually took place. You don't have to let anybody else know that you did it. It's just something that might be helpful in examining an interesting reactive response and some of the creative inventions marshaled in the heat of the moment.

    Goodbye.

    --- Tal D. Noble
     
  20. Jan 28, 2005 #19

    selfAdjoint

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    Bye bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
     
  21. Jan 28, 2005 #20

    jcsd

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    As anybody every read "A Confederacy of Dunces"?
     
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