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True to your intuitions or science?

  1. Dec 6, 2007 #1

    wolram

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    Do your intuitions match what science tells you? there are many observations that seem
    to be(iron cast) but would you speak up if your intuitions told you that some theory was wrong, would you go against the maths?
    Does maths come before observation, or observation before maths?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
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  3. Dec 6, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    You asked about intuition and then switched to observation.

    If I can derive a definitive mathematical solution to a problem, I follow the math everytime - beyond any question. If I had to make assumptions in order to arrive at that answer, then of course those assumptions are subject to evaluation.

    I think the question, "have we missed something?", almost always applies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  4. Dec 6, 2007 #3

    George Jones

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    Intuition comes from experience, so I don't think it would be much fun iif nothing unexpected ever came along. It also would not be much fun if only unexpected things ever came along.

    The scientific method, as often taught, makes science seem like a turn-the-crank assembly line. It's not. Astonishing creativity could be required at any (or all) particular stage: designing a good experiment; lifting the signal from the noise; coming up with a good theory; etc. I can't emphasize enough the wonderful human ingenuity that scientists demonstrate.

    Science is not performed by bloodless robots.

    Arts people don't hold a monopoly on creativity (nor do science people).

    When I teach, I sometimes refer to Newton's First Symphony, Second Symphony, and Third Symphony, as well as their more usual names.

    So, teach the scientific method, but don't forget to mention this other stuff that sometimes goes unmentioned.

    Theory sometime leads observation; observation sometime leads theory. It's a wonderful dance of give-and-take.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  5. Dec 6, 2007 #4
    The math doesn't mean anything if I can't conceptualize it, which is why I dropped out at Partial Differential Quantum Buggery 300something. It was just no fun.
     
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