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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Let's talk about anomalies
      #5895914 - 06/01/13 11:58 AM

Would science progress without anomalies?

Give some examples of genuine anomalies that lead to tremendous - or even marginal - progress in science. Let's have a thorough discussion of the role of anomalies in scientific progress.

-drl


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AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5898073 - 06/02/13 03:29 PM

UV Catastrophe

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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5898180 - 06/02/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

Would science progress without anomalies?

Give some examples of genuine anomalies that lead to tremendous - or even marginal - progress in science. Let's have a thorough discussion of the role of anomalies in scientific progress.

-drl




The discovery of penicillin when Flemming noted failed growth of bacteria around mold contaminated cultures.

On a side note the fact that the Higgs was found right where it was expected disappointed a lot of people. If it was considerable off from expected values, that could have pointed scientists in the direction of where the Standard model was flawed..leading to a new theory that included gravity.

We need to know WHERE the Standard model fails to find the door into gravity.

Pesse (That would be an attractive theory) Mist


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scopethis
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Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Pess]
      #5898274 - 06/02/13 05:59 PM

when Eve gave us the ability to think and wonder....

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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5898279 - 06/02/13 06:02 PM

Quote:

Would science progress without anomalies?

Yes. Much of the history of science is the result of the observation and eventual measurement and successful theorization of known phenomena behaving regularly.

Give some examples of genuine anomalies that lead to tremendous - or even marginal - progress in science. Let's have a thorough discussion of the role of anomalies in scientific progress.

But anomalies have played a role, of course. The Michelson-Morley experiment struck an anomaly, and we know the eventual outcome of that. X-rays were discovered through an anomaly (clouded photographic plates stored in a dark space).

-drl




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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5898545 - 06/02/13 09:35 PM

Quote:

UV Catastrophe




Good one. Harp on that note. Tell us the story.

-drl


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5898798 - 06/03/13 12:08 AM

How about the satellite detectors sent up for nuclear explosions during the cold war leading to the whole high enegy realm?

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5899299 - 06/03/13 10:07 AM

I recall 2 anecdotes:

First, there are the Mendel's law of allelic inheritance. You'll remember he was counting green peas by the thousands to find his laws. He was crossing homozygotes or heterozygotes of one allele and counting the resulting offsprings composed again of homozygotic or heterozygotic forms. But chromosomal Crossing Overs, albeit rare, produce a small percentasge of new forms that fits neither heterozygotic or homozygotic phenotypes. Apparently Mendel just observed the heterozygotes or homozygotes without the anomalies that the crossing over should have produced. And he should have observed these 'anomalies' since he was processing thousands of offsprings. These anomalies would have destroyed the pretty fractional numbers in 1/4 or 1/2 that he 'observed', destroying God's given perfect world. Assuming he observed such aberrant forms and thought they were a statistical glitch resulting from a too low statistical sampling, the correct thinking in that case would have been to increase the sample size, crossing tens or hundred of thousands instead of thousands and increasing as much his workload. But doing all this extrawork would not have rewarded him with 'divine perfection' since it would not have erased the 'anomaly'. That might just have increase Mendel's frustration instead. What would have Mendel thought and said about that is unknown. Because he didn't do the counting alone, he had an helper who probably removed all the aberrations in the peas. And so Mendel was free to produce the inheritance laws that carry his name.

Second example is a bit similar. It's about chinese physicists around the 16/15 century who correctly observed that whenever you fire a precisely weighted bullet from a canon with exactly the same force and angle, the canon ball nonetheless never EXACTLY falls at the same place. This might have induce them to think, it is said, that no absolute law of cinematic existed.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5899334 - 06/03/13 10:26 AM

Thank you for raising this philosophical issue, drl.

I'm sure you have all heard of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This was the book which coined the oft-used phrase paradigm-shifts.

To simplify, Kuhn's contention which generated a great deal of heat (conflict) was that anomalies were necessary to cause science to break out of the normal way of doing things which he described as puzzle solving and looking for expected results.

Otto


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5899378 - 06/03/13 10:58 AM

Quote:


Second example is a bit similar. It's about chinese physicists around the 16/15 century who correctly observed that whenever you fire a precisely weighted bullet from a canon with exactly the same force and angle, the canon ball nonetheless never EXACTLY falls at the same place. This might have induce them to think, it is said, that no absolute law of cinematic existed.




Or it could have taught them that their powder charges were too variable to ever provide precise force repeatability: Hand mixed and loaded rounds can never be all that consistent.

In addition, any shot of more than a trivial distance will encounter wind effects. Not to mention that even if they reuse the same projectile each time, it's going to receive surface blemishes that are unique to each impact, so a reshot will never be exactly repeatable.

In other words, their experiments could never be precise enough to derive any second-order general laws from.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5899386 - 06/03/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

Would science progress without anomalies?





Yes. Science would progress along with changes in the culture base. And I think it may be important to distinguish between true anomalies (deviations from the norm) on the one hand and things like error and serendipity on the other.


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: scopethis]
      #5899405 - 06/03/13 11:13 AM

Quote:

when Eve gave us the ability to think and wonder....






The Hunger of Eve


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5899563 - 06/03/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Second example is a bit similar. It's about chinese physicists around the 16/15 century who correctly observed that whenever you fire a precisely weighted bullet from a canon with exactly the same force and angle, the canon ball nonetheless never EXACTLY falls at the same place. This might have induce them to think, it is said, that no absolute law of cinematic existed.




Or it could have taught them that their powder charges were too variable to ever provide precise force repeatability: Hand mixed and loaded rounds can never be all that consistent.

In addition, any shot of more than a trivial distance will encounter wind effects. Not to mention that even if they reuse the same projectile each time, it's going to receive surface blemishes that are unique to each impact, so a reshot will never be exactly repeatable.

In other words, their experiments could never be precise enough to derive any second-order general laws from.




They were master at making gun powder, and they must have been aware of all sources of variation and be able to measure them. Perhaps the chinese skepticicsm came from the observation that the undetermination in their ballistic system had non linear effects and they were simply mentioning the fact that X times a cause does not necesserily produce X time an effect.
In any case i can't remember where i read about this anecdote. It might have been the report of a conversation between early occidental and chinese scientists. The chineses, annoyed by the occidental scientific determinism, gave this example as an evidence that the world could not be reduced to a clockwork mechanism and therefore that the occidental mathematical laws were incomplete at best.

It shows that it is not good to know about chaos theory and the butterfly effect before you know about simple kinematic relations.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5900481 - 06/03/13 08:10 PM

Kuhn wrote that, when faced with an anomaly, the scientific establishment does not treat the anomaly as a fact at all. Until a major shift in perspective occurs, those persons and institutions doing-science-the-normal-way up-to-that-point try to minimize/ignore the anomaly in a number of different ways.

For the anomaly to be taken into account as a scientific fact, a new paradigm of explanation has to arise which not only accounts for the anomaly, but also adequately explains what previous paradigms explained as well.


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5900600 - 06/03/13 09:20 PM

If sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, why is my vacuum so noisy?

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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
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Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5900776 - 06/03/13 11:08 PM

Quote:

If sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, why is my vacuum so noisy?


Simple, all the noise outside of the vacuum is to make up for the silence within.

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5900799 - 06/03/13 11:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Second example is a bit similar. It's about chinese physicists around the 16/15 century who correctly observed that whenever you fire a precisely weighted bullet from a canon with exactly the same force and angle, the canon ball nonetheless never EXACTLY falls at the same place. This might have induce them to think, it is said, that no absolute law of cinematic existed.




Or it could have taught them that their powder charges were too variable to ever provide precise force repeatability: Hand mixed and loaded rounds can never be all that consistent.

In addition, any shot of more than a trivial distance will encounter wind effects. Not to mention that even if they reuse the same projectile each time, it's going to receive surface blemishes that are unique to each impact, so a reshot will never be exactly repeatable.

In other words, their experiments could never be precise enough to derive any second-order general laws from.




They were master at making gun powder, and they must have been aware of all sources of variation and be able to measure them. Perhaps the chinese skepticicsm came from the observation that the undetermination in their ballistic system had non linear effects and they were simply mentioning the fact that X times a cause does not necesserily produce X time an effect.
In any case i can't remember where i read about this anecdote. It might have been the report of a conversation between early occidental and chinese scientists. The chineses, annoyed by the occidental scientific determinism, gave this example as an evidence that the world could not be reduced to a clockwork mechanism and therefore that the occidental mathematical laws were incomplete at best.

It shows that it is not good to know about chaos theory and the butterfly effect before you know about simple kinematic relations.




Thing is though, nonlinearity does not contradict determinism. All it means is that they did not control for all their sources of error, if indeed the story itself isn't apocryphal. The ancient Chinese were pretty sophisticated in a lot of ways, but I would be hesitant to give their science more credit than is due.


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5901180 - 06/04/13 06:25 AM

I don’t believe the Pioneer anomaly has been definitively solved and as far as I know has not led to any scientific breakthroughs but it sure has caused many theories to be put forth and much research to be done.

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5901515 - 06/04/13 10:59 AM

" Thing is though, nonlinearity does not contradict determinism... "
Sure, but my feeling on this is that the Chineses were pretexting this as an excuse for not developing a mathematical model of their cosmology, added with the shame that occidental scientists did have a working model. They were probably also trying to save their heads.
I recall another anecdote where jesuits, possibly portuguese, entered some sort of competition with chinses astronomers to predict the time of an eclipse with the most accuracy. The jesuits were very close while the chinese were way off. That upseted the chinese emperor, who decided to cut his astronomer's head.

To add on Otto's remark on the anomalies, they are usually much smaller than the main effect. So they can easily pass in the 'error bar'. But some anomalies don't belong in that category, i am thinking about the anthropic coincidences. Here the anomaly is the main effect...


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5902015 - 06/04/13 03:21 PM

Well, Pioneer anomaly is resolved apparently:"...By 2012 several papers by different groups, all reanalyzing the thermal radiation pressure forces inherent in the spacecraft, showed that a careful accounting of this could account for the entire anomaly..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_anomaly

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AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5902050 - 06/04/13 03:37 PM

In my mind, the UV catastrophe was one of the biggest anomalies that, once explained, changed the course of the world. There was an apparent contradiction to how much electromagnetic energy was present in a given region of space vs. the classical description. Assuming the classical picture, a blackbody radiating would have infinite power, something that's clearly not the case. Out of this came the foundations of quantum mechanics such as discreteness in nature.

Gabe


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AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5902062 - 06/04/13 03:43 PM

Also, to the point of whether scientific progress could occur without anomalies: I think that it would. There are many instances where an experiment is done in a region never before probed that leads to new and unexpected results that help push our understanding even further.

However, some of the big breakthroughs often occur when attempting to solve or disprove an anomaly.

Gabe


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5902076 - 06/04/13 03:51 PM

Quote:

Well, Pioneer anomaly is resolved apparently:"...By 2012 several papers by different groups, all reanalyzing the thermal radiation pressure forces inherent in the spacecraft, showed that a careful accounting of this could account for the entire anomaly..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_anomaly




Yes, I read the most likely accepted cause but unless you could actually re-orient Pioneer to face the opposite direction it is currently traveling and prove the radiation emitted pressure is asymmetrical it is still just a theory.


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AstroGabe
sage


Reged: 01/10/10

Loc: SE Wisconsin
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5902082 - 06/04/13 03:54 PM

I wouldn't consider the "Pioneer anomaly" as an anomaly. If something has a scientifically plausible explanation, I would not consider it an anomaly.

Gabe


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

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Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: AstroGabe]
      #5903273 - 06/05/13 06:26 AM

Quote:

I wouldn't consider the "Pioneer anomaly" as an anomaly. If something has a scientifically plausible explanation, I would not consider it an anomaly.

Gabe




I would suggest you should reconsider what you believe an anomaly is. An anomaly is just a departure from what you would expect. Determining a scientifically plausible explanation does not make it less of an anomaly . I would suggest that future reoccurring and consistent observations of the same behavior could then lose their anomaly status if the behavior becomes "expected" whether scientifically explainable or not.


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5903380 - 06/05/13 08:18 AM

I'm mixed about the PA - Gabe is right in the sense that there is a "plausible" (stretching the word) prosaic explanation. I think the proffered explanation is far-fetched and grasping and would like to see more study of it. But a genuine anomaly is of the form - "This is crazy, we can't explain it". We have two such in current days - intrinsic redshift and LENR.

-drl


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5903391 - 06/05/13 08:27 AM

Quote:

I'm mixed about the PA - Gabe is right in the sense that there is a "plausible" (stretching the word) prosaic explanation. I think the proffered explanation is far-fetched and grasping and would like to see more study of it. But a genuine anomaly is of the form - "This is crazy, we can't explain it". We have two such in current days - intrinsic redshift and LENR.

-drl




But you would have to agree that every anomaly has a naturally occurring plausible scientific explanation and is governed by some type of law or principle whether we can define it or not. I would substitute your comment "we can't explain it" with "we didn't predict this". If a behavior is predictable and consistent but we still do not understand the root cause is it still an anomaly? I say no.


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Ravenous
sage


Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: UK
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5903403 - 06/05/13 08:36 AM

Quote:

LENR



I knew it, from the very first post. Here we go again.


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

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Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5903732 - 06/05/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

LENR



I knew it, from the very first post. Here we go again.




Hi Ravenous,

I assume you mean going off topic?

Sorry but it may be important to define what an anomaly actually is before giving examples. Didn't mean to hijack the thread.


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Ravenous
sage


Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: UK
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5903779 - 06/05/13 12:08 PM

No I'm not accusing you of anything naughty, far from it. And you are absolutely correct that we probably need to define what an anomaly is to have a scientific discussion.

The OP, however, is not looking for a scientific discussion. He was somewhat miffed that the E-Cat thread was closed before he'd had the opportunity to "win" it, and has raised this one to trawl for historic examples of scientists being declared as nutjobs, before eventually being proven right. He is then going to claim the E-cat business is the same thing all over again.

I saw this in the very first post, I wonder how many others did.


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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5903964 - 06/05/13 01:42 PM

I did. I'm amused that it has been made obvious now. And I'll add that until the e-Cat results and Arp's insistence that quasars aren't speeding away from each other are actually verified, neither of those "phenomena" count as anomalies.

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sirchz
super member


Reged: 09/21/09

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5904000 - 06/05/13 01:55 PM

Quote:

Let's have a thorough discussion of the role of anomalies in scientific progress.




Not all anomalies are equal. To characterize an anomaly, a few things I think about are:

How credible is the data?
Has it been independently reproduced?
How much confidence do I have in the expected result?
What is the "size" of the anomaly?

For the UV catastrophe I would say:
1) Data was credible
2) results had been reproduced
3) expected result (classical E&M) was a well tested theory
4) The size of the anomaly was very large.

This is why it was a viewed as a big problem.


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5904082 - 06/05/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

No I'm not accusing you of anything naughty, far from it. And you are absolutely correct that we probably need to define what an anomaly is to have a scientific discussion.

The OP, however, is not looking for a scientific discussion. He was somewhat miffed that the E-Cat thread was closed before he'd had the opportunity to "win" it, and has raised this one to trawl for historic examples of scientists being declared as nutjobs, before eventually being proven right. He is then going to claim the E-cat business is the same thing all over again.

I saw this in the very first post, I wonder how many others did.




Don't impute motives to me. Yes LENR is on my mind. The point about anomalies was made by someone I respect a great deal, and I hadn't thought of it in those terms. LENR is in the same category of other anomalies that have led to great progress - shall I start naming them?

Miffed? I don't get miffed. Miffed is for pseudoskeptics.

-drl


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5904343 - 06/05/13 05:02 PM

Quote:

An anomaly is just a departure from what you would expect.




Unless the expectation is unrealistic or invalid, in which case the departure might not be anomalous, but rather, the norm. If an untutored alchemist combines sodium and chlorine in hopes of creating gold, and he instead produces salt, that is not an anomalous result.


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5904364 - 06/05/13 05:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

An anomaly is just a departure from what you would expect.




Unless the expectation is unrealistic or invalid, in which case the departure might not be anomalous, but rather, the norm. If an untutored alchemist combines sodium and chlorine in hopes of creating gold, and he instead produces salt, that is not an anomalous result.




Hmm, then nothing is an anomalies?

I mean all anomalies are normal...just not in line with our erroneous assumptions. So technically, we have anomalous expectations, rather than nature being the anomalous one...


Pesse (Just our hubris I guess..lol) Mist


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

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Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Pess]
      #5904413 - 06/05/13 05:38 PM

No, it would be anomalous if someone combined sodium and chlorine and the reaction yielded gold.

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Joad
Wordsmith
*****

Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Pess]
      #5904442 - 06/05/13 05:56 PM

Let me repeat what is probably the greatest anomaly in modern science (and the one that is the centerpiece of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions): the Michelson-Morley experiment, which completely confounded the expectations of Newtonian physics with the spectacle of approaching light beams whose velocity remained constant in all conditions. M&M repeated their experiment under all sorts of conditions to worm out any errors on the part of their experiment; other scientists repeated their experiment. Everyone agreed that something very anomalous was going on.

Someday it may appear that LENR and intrinsic red shift are anomalies too, but that day won't come until scientists can, on the one hand, do a complete and unrestricted test of the e-Cat, and, on the other, find evidence that the red shift interpretations that bother Arp can be attributed to anything but an expanding universe.


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Joad]
      #5904510 - 06/05/13 06:33 PM

The E-cat is really, in terms of science, a side show. Many, many experiments at this point have shown generation of anomalous heat. I think of the E-cat as something like the first electric motor (1827), which came well in advance of any theory of electricity and magnetism as a joint phenomenon (1865).

The question is - why are modern people actually *offended* by the emergence of new phenomena? This is the only conclusion one can draw.

-drl


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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5904590 - 06/05/13 07:29 PM

No, it is not the only conclusion one can draw. It is the only conclusion that you, apparently, can draw. We "modern people" (who, apparently, include just about the entire academic world in your opinion—I know that that alone is reason for you to reject their views) demand solid evidence that a "new phenomenon" has appeared. We aren't offended at all.

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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Joad]
      #5904662 - 06/05/13 08:23 PM

"The Twilight of the Scientific Era" - Martin Lopez-Corredoira. Read it.

-drl


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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5904676 - 06/05/13 08:44 PM


No, I have better things to do (which at the moment is the creation of the eighth edition of my textbook). And so should you. Rather than trying to convert me, why don't you just do your work and convince your fellow mathematical physicists through equations rather than hand waving?


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Otto Piechowski
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Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Joad]
      #5904699 - 06/05/13 08:59 PM

I just saw an advertisement on Public Television in which a student lauded the advantages of using Virtual Physics Laboratory (online).

What are the chances (realistically and seriously) of running across anomalies while using virtual laboratory study tools?

Otto


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Joad]
      #5904755 - 06/05/13 09:32 PM

Quote:


No, I have better things to do (which at the moment is the creation of the eighth edition of my textbook). And so should you. Rather than trying to convert me, why don't you just do your work and convince your fellow mathematical physicists through equations rather than hand waving?




This isn't about me, why are you trying to make it so? So what if I find the academic world contemptible? Science progresses when anomalies are recognized, and preconceived notions are abandoned.

As for "my fellow physicists"? You mean Cooperstock? Yes, everyone is reading his work. (Well, they should be at least.)

-drl


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5904761 - 06/05/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

I just saw an advertisement on Public Television in which a student lauded the advantages of using Virtual Physics Laboratory (online).

What are the chances (realistically and seriously) of running across anomalies while using virtual laboratory study tools?

Otto




I have a friend who teaches high school physics, and has for nearly 30 years. The stories he tells of the corruption of science culture in the schools is sickening. He was hoping to make it until retirement but it has become almost unbearable to deal with "virtual physics lab" and other stupidities of the modern world. And the students get worse, and worse, and worse.

edit - to answer your question directly - none. There cannot be anomalies when you play god. Anomalies mean there are not only unknown answers, there are also unknown questions. That apparently is why people get offended these days when anomalies arise. It means they aren't smart enough to even ask the right question.

-drl


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5904902 - 06/05/13 10:43 PM

And, that was what I was thinking, too, drl; i.e. that the use of virtual laboratories completely rules out encountering anomalies.

But, I would like to hear others thoughts on this issue which I have now raised within this thread. The question(s) is(are); can anomalies be encountered through the use (additional use) of virtual laboratory tools...or, perhaps, are the encounters with anomalies not all that important within real science?

What are the thoughts of you real scientists among us?

Otto


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5904971 - 06/05/13 11:15 PM

Virtual laboratories are for teaching known physics, not for research on the edges of it. It can still lead to unexpected results that add to our total knowledge, just as Deep Blue, for example, can come up with unexpected chess moves to win a game. But it can't uncover new basic physics any more than Deep Blue can invent 3D chess.

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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5912882 - 06/10/13 11:49 AM

Just came across this one while reading about The Great Attractor

"The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the range of the Centaurus Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localized concentration of mass equivalent to tens of thousands of galaxies"

I guess at this point it is just a theory that it is a merged galactic mass. It seems odd to me in the ~13 billion years so much mass could collect.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: deSitter]
      #5913044 - 06/10/13 01:02 PM

Quote:

Science progresses when anomalies are recognized, and preconceived notions are abandoned.





Not all scientific advances are revolutionary. Some, and probably most, are evolutionary. As Newton wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5913048 - 06/10/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Science progresses when anomalies are recognized, and preconceived notions are abandoned.





Not all scientific advances are revolutionary. Some, and probably most, are evolutionary. As Newton wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."




+10 !

I try to make this point all the time. The idea that physics is a series of revolutions is utterly wrong. Even something as basic as quantum theory emerged naturally from the phenomena.

-drl


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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5913338 - 06/10/13 03:15 PM

Quote:

I just saw an advertisement on Public Television in which a student lauded the advantages of using Virtual Physics Laboratory (online).

What are the chances (realistically and seriously) of running across anomalies while using virtual laboratory study tools?

Otto





LOL How can you program in what you don't yet know?


Advancement comes from observation. An anomaly is when that observation either does not fit into a present theory or is so unexpected it has no theoretical support at all.

I believe low temp superconductivity was an example of the latter. When it was first observed it was so far beyond any existing theory of superconductivity that they literally had to formulate a new theory to explain it.

Pesse (anomalies advance scientific understanding) Mist


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: Pess]
      #5913621 - 06/10/13 05:25 PM

A possible Anomaly coming in the near future. Imagine it's 2025. 30-60 meters telescope are now working and they can study the atmosphere of exoplanets during transits in front of their mother star or by other means. They look for oxygen, ozone, methane, some green signature etc. A couple of erath-like planets located in the habitable zone are probed this way. A first one, then 2, 3, 4 explanets: no oxygen, no ozone, no green photosynthetic signature, just CO2 and Nitrogen. A fifth planet candidate has a bit of methane, but it's inconclusive. What do we do for this one, 'our' only hope so far?
A $1 billion inteferometer is build on the moon for this project, since astronauts are already there with nothing mnuch to do anyways. The fifth planet is analyzed with a nanoarcsec of resolution and...an ocean world, anoxic is discovered. Nothing conclusive and the case is abandonned.

Then the size sample reach 12 planets, all located in the habitable zone, but no evidence of any oxygen or any other signature of life is discovered.

Anomaly? I say yes in the current framework of Life apparition.
But then comes the 13th planet....


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5927404 - 06/18/13 12:10 PM

This topic is one of the most interesting, imo.
However, I wish it wouln't be confined to astronomical issues. If we accept to speak truely, without using the forked tongue of the snake, in all fairness we must be aware that soon or later, we'll hit the wall of political correctness, i.e with private email etc.
I got 3 or 4 private mails already (i bet drl beats me on that easily) and i don't wish to irate the establishment further, but this is inevitable when you speak about anomalies (hmmm, isn't that one anomaly in itself?).

A nice one to start: given Consciousness infinite ability to understand almost everything from biological to cosmological, from the past to the future, we would expect its algorithmic complexity (the shortest program that can produce consciousness) to be accordingly infinite.
That is, IF we didn't know how 'consciousness' came to be, and had to guess, based on the above definition of 'infinite awareness', the shortest code to produce it, we would probably guess that an infinitively long, or complex, program would be necessary. Yet, we know that only 3 billions nucleotides in the human dna produce Consciousness. That's some sort of an anomaly isn't?
Even if we consider the ever increasing number of human beings on earth, 7 billions, that is still a finite number.

So, either the algorithm complexity to produce 'consciousness' is not infinite, or the limitation to fit it inside 3 billions nucleotides is beside the point. Some may say Time is relevant: with infinite time we'll know everything. Other, like in 'The Fifth Element' (Eric Besson's movie) believes that "Time is NOT relevant, only Life matters". Which perhaps means that the Operator for Life contains an infinite. Any opinion?


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5927593 - 06/18/13 01:59 PM

No one commented on my satellite example which I feel for a space topic is a great start? It was encountered as a sort of accident (and I'm unsure how much a part security and classification and cold war paranoia may have affected it's release to general public) but I feel it should weigh heavily. This as say opposed to those found through rigor in the lab like those of low temperature - cryogenics.

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Let's talk about anomalies new [Re: dickbill]
      #5928318 - 06/18/13 09:45 PM

Quote:

This topic is one of the most interesting, imo.
However, I wish it wouln't be confined to astronomical issues. If we accept to speak truely, without using the forked tongue of the snake, in all fairness we must be aware that soon or later, we'll hit the wall of political correctness, i.e with private email etc.
I got 3 or 4 private mails already (i bet drl beats me on that easily) and i don't wish to irate the establishment further, but this is inevitable when you speak about anomalies (hmmm, isn't that one anomaly in itself?).

A nice one to start: given Consciousness infinite ability to understand almost everything from biological to cosmological, from the past to the future, we would expect its algorithmic complexity (the shortest program that can produce consciousness) to be accordingly infinite.
That is, IF we didn't know how 'consciousness' came to be, and had to guess, based on the above definition of 'infinite awareness', the shortest code to produce it, we would probably guess that an infinitively long, or complex, program would be necessary. Yet, we know that only 3 billions nucleotides in the human dna produce Consciousness. That's some sort of an anomaly isn't?
Even if we consider the ever increasing number of human beings on earth, 7 billions, that is still a finite number.

So, either the algorithm complexity to produce 'consciousness' is not infinite, or the limitation to fit it inside 3 billions nucleotides is beside the point. Some may say Time is relevant: with infinite time we'll know everything. Other, like in 'The Fifth Element' (Eric Besson's movie) believes that "Time is NOT relevant, only Life matters". Which perhaps means that the Operator for Life contains an infinite. Any opinion?




Not sure where you get the idea that consciousness involves or requires any capacity for infinity. All of us conscious beings are quite limited in our comprehension potential.

In fact, I'll bet if you really look at the grand scheme of things, you'll find it's finite all the way down.


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