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Falsification

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#1 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:57 AM

A Philosophy of Science professor of mine was Father William A. Wallace, O.P.  He wrote a book, two volumes, entitled Causality and Scientific Explanation.  Within this book, as an aside, he said a few things about the role of falsification in doing science.  He mentioned Popper and Feyerabend and a few others.  But he also gave quotes from Aristotle and Peter Maricourt and Robert Grosseteste which clearly referred to the need to use falsification.  It is interesting that these three and other ancient scholars who commented about falsification, were doing so in the context of meteorological issues.

 

On one of the pages, Wallace wrote that it was understood that in order to confirm a new explanation of some phenomena, it was necessary to first/also prove previous explanations false.  The underlying assumption here was that there must be only one correct explanation for a given phenomenon.  In a universe governed by causality, there must be one cause for a specific phenomenon.

 

I ask you and I to focus our attention on this specific statement; i.e. "The underlying assumption was that there is one causal explanation for a given phenomenon."

 

We have heard the statements about the possibility of their being multiple universes and that different universes might have different physical laws.

 

In light of this possibility of universes with different laws, let's now focus our attention on our universe which has a set of physical laws specific to itself.

 

My first question:  "Is there some obvious scientific reason why the physical laws within a given universe cannot change over time?"

 

Assuming the physical laws operating within a given universe can change over time.  my second question is, "Would it not then be possible for a given phenomenon to have multiply and equally correct causal explanations?"

 

And finally, my third question is, "Would a reality of physical laws changing in a given universe over time, call into question and challenge the validity of falsification as a tool of scientific explanation?"

 

Dave, i believe you are the person who has read up on Popper and what he has to say about the role of falsification in doing science.  I would appreciate your response as well.



#2 Sandy Swede

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 11:32 AM

Oh, Otto, you devil.  This one is delicious and you will be appropriately punished for it.

Let me start it off by addressing your first question with my desire to define the term "physical law."  Would not immutability be an inherent attribute of physical law?  Metaphysics and perhaps ontology, oh my!

 

If you really want to go into the weeds on physical law, go here:  https://www.sfu.ca/~...-law/chap02.pdf

 

Love your topics, Otto, although I am not in your league, neither in education nor intellect. 



#3 Keith Rivich

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 11:41 AM

A Philosophy of Science professor of mine was Father William A. Wallace, O.P.  He wrote a book, two volumes, entitled Causality and Scientific Explanation.  Within this book, as an aside, he said a few things about the role of falsification in doing science.  He mentioned Popper and Feyerabend and a few others.  But he also gave quotes from Aristotle and Peter Maricourt and Robert Grosseteste which clearly referred to the need to use falsification.  It is interesting that these three and other ancient scholars who commented about falsification, were doing so in the context of meteorological issues.

 

On one of the pages, Wallace wrote that it was understood that in order to confirm a new explanation of some phenomena, it was necessary to first/also prove previous explanations false.  The underlying assumption here was that there must be only one correct explanation for a given phenomenon.  In a universe governed by causality, there must be one cause for a specific phenomenon.

 

I ask you and I to focus our attention on this specific statement; i.e. "The underlying assumption was that there is one causal explanation for a given phenomenon."

 

We have heard the statements about the possibility of their being multiple universes and that different universes might have different physical laws.

 

In light of this possibility of universes with different laws, let's now focus our attention on our universe which has a set of physical laws specific to itself.

 

My first question:  "Is there some obvious scientific reason why the physical laws within a given universe cannot change over time?"

 

Assuming the physical laws operating within a given universe can change over time.  my second question is, "Would it not then be possible for a given phenomenon to have multiply and equally correct causal explanations?"

 

And finally, my third question is, "Would a reality of physical laws changing in a given universe over time, call into question and challenge the validity of falsification as a tool of scientific explanation?"

 

Dave, i believe you are the person who has read up on Popper and what he has to say about the role of falsification in doing science.  I would appreciate your response as well.

DSO's at high z follow the same physical laws as we do. While not absolute proof laws don't change over time it appears they haven't. 


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#4 ButterFly

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 11:43 AM

We can't just divorce space and time.  One observer's space is another's time - so far as we know.  Also bear in mind that one cannot prove a theory correct.  The best we can ever hope to do is show that data do not comport with a particular model by showing that the data disproves an hypothesis.  All physlcal laws are merely things we have not been able to disprove yet.

 

1) No.  The best argument against this is Noether's theorem.  Each particular kind of symmetry in a system leads to a conserved quantity.  For time symmetries, we get conservation of energy.  For space symmetries, we get conservation of momentum.  But we know that physical systems have an arrow of time and the symmetry eventually breaks.  Moreover, there is NO commonly understood concept of energy at the largest levels - in general relativity.  Once we breach the causal radius of the universe (as in, look back further in time) we simply cannot know.  The information will not ever get to us.  The best we can say is as long as we have looked and as far out as we have looked, our models comport with the data.

 

2) Probably not.  All phenomena happen at events in spacetime.  The evolution of a system from one event to another is governed by some action.  If that action were to change along the way, we would only "see" the combined effect once we measure.  By definition, we can't see what we don't measure.  Can there be different explanations for what we see - sure!  Another model can work just as well as another in some realm.  Unitl one of those models is falsified, we cannot just say it's wrong.

 

3) No.  Again, we can only disprove theories.  Within the realm of where they have worked, they still work.  If that realm were to only cover some span of time, then so be it. 


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#5 DaveC2042

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:35 PM

I can't see that the basic proposition makes any sense.

"The underlying assumption was that there is one causal explanation for a given phenomenon."

This confuses reality with an explanation of reality.

Sure, reality is in some sense unitary. What is, is. Anything else, is not. Even in a quantum multiverse, all those realities/possibilities can be taken to be a single thing. It's kind of trivially the case.

But claiming that there can only be one 'true' explanation is way off.

Remember that a physical theory these days consists of defined observable quantities and equations linking their values. This does not address 'reality' - that is a question of interpretation.

I see no problem at all with having multiple different theories successfully explaining reality, and the same theory having multiple interpretations. Of course, applied to the same observed phenomena, the theories should all give the same results consistent with observation if they are to be considered 'good'. But I can't see why that precludes very different approaches, which may have very different consequences for things we can't observe (and so fall under interpretation).

Of course, maybe if we one day develop a 'perfect' theory that explains everything, it will turn out to preclude all others, but we are into the realm of science fiction there.

Edited by DaveC2042, 13 June 2019 - 05:32 PM.


#6 nicoyenny

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:49 PM

I would like to say in the context of "imperfect" modeling of what we know.

As science progresses, we have "better" tools to understand what surrounds us.

However, as my background is ISO normalization, I'd add that we need to "normalize" "standardize" things in order to formulate mathematical models that approximate to reality.

Standardization means order, order makes things happen, IMHO :)



#7 llanitedave

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:28 PM

A Philosophy of Science professor of mine was Father William A. Wallace, O.P.  He wrote a book, two volumes, entitled Causality and Scientific Explanation.  Within this book, as an aside, he said a few things about the role of falsification in doing science.  He mentioned Popper and Feyerabend and a few others.  But he also gave quotes from Aristotle and Peter Maricourt and Robert Grosseteste which clearly referred to the need to use falsification.  It is interesting that these three and other ancient scholars who commented about falsification, were doing so in the context of meteorological issues.

 

On one of the pages, Wallace wrote that it was understood that in order to confirm a new explanation of some phenomena, it was necessary to first/also prove previous explanations false.  The underlying assumption here was that there must be only one correct explanation for a given phenomenon.  In a universe governed by causality, there must be one cause for a specific phenomenon.

 

I ask you and I to focus our attention on this specific statement; i.e. "The underlying assumption was that there is one causal explanation for a given phenomenon."

 

We have heard the statements about the possibility of their being multiple universes and that different universes might have different physical laws.

 

In light of this possibility of universes with different laws, let's now focus our attention on our universe which has a set of physical laws specific to itself.

 

My first question:  "Is there some obvious scientific reason why the physical laws within a given universe cannot change over time?"

 

Assuming the physical laws operating within a given universe can change over time.  my second question is, "Would it not then be possible for a given phenomenon to have multiply and equally correct causal explanations?"

 

And finally, my third question is, "Would a reality of physical laws changing in a given universe over time, call into question and challenge the validity of falsification as a tool of scientific explanation?"

 

Dave, i believe you are the person who has read up on Popper and what he has to say about the role of falsification in doing science.  I would appreciate your response as well.

I don't think I could improve on some of the other answers you've received here, Otto.

 

Your second and third question presume a specific answer for the first question.  If that first answer is "no", the next two are irrelevant.  And even if it's not, the others don't necessarily follow.  Even if the fundamental laws changed over time, that doesn't mean that causation changes, or that events within a particular domain of those laws aren't subject to the ones that exist at the time.

 

Actually, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of one single cause per phenomenon anyway.  Lots of events in the macro scale require multiple other events to set the context and the stage.  The final cause may be the trigger of some event, but only if the prerequisites have been met.  Is that not true on smaller scales?  Even the double slit experiment requires a double slit AND a source AND a receiver.  If any of these changes, the result can look somewhat different.

 

I think this is one of the differences between actual reality and pure mathematical theory.  Sure, you can describe some phenomena with a single equation, but we mustn't overlook that the factors in that equation are not necessarily singlular entities, and each one can act as an accumulation or even population of causative subfactors.



#8 CounterWeight

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:24 PM

hypothesis, theory, law.

 

Unfortunately these days the press mixes and matches those words somewhat arbitrarily to get mouse clicks.

 

Agree with above poster mentioning Emmy Noethers' theorem.  Wasn't her theorem the one that disproved PAM Dirac?  No small feat.  Forgive me if I have that wrong.  maybe it was disproved Hilbert.

 

Very few actual laws that I am aware of.  A heck of a lot hypothesized and theorized.

 

I found J. Baggots' "Farewell to Reality" a good exposition on this subject.

 

so my answers

1) No.  If they are indeed laws and not best guess.

 

2) I don't understand the question in respect to my answer to question 1.

 

quote

I ask you and I to focus our attention on this specific statement; i.e. "The underlying assumption was that there is one causal explanation for a given phenomenon."

 

Example

 

Is there any way this equation can be correct?  I + XI = X

 

no?

 

 

let me flip it over for you! (so you don't have to try and turn head upside down).

 

X = IX + I

 

 

 

Good on topic article here LINK


Edited by CounterWeight, 17 June 2019 - 08:46 PM.


#9 EJN

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:16 PM

...

 

Is there any way this equation can be correct?  I + XI = X

 

no?

 

 

let me flip it over for you! (so you don't have to try and turn head upside down).

 

X = IX + I

 

If I = 0.5 and X = 1, then (1 * 0.5) + 0.5 = 0.5 + 0.5 = 1



#10 ButterFly

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:34 PM

If I = 0.5 and X = 1, then (1 * 0.5) + 0.5 = 0.5 + 0.5 = 1

I=0; X=0



#11 t_image

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 02:58 AM

"Would it not then be possible for a given phenomenon to have multiply and equally correct causal explanations?"

All I can say is that a cheese sandwich found lying on the counter of my kitchen could have multiple and equally correct causal explanations,scratchhead2.gif

just not at the same time and in the same respect....

Note also the complexity of distinctions of the concept of "cause." Formal? Instrumental? Efficient? Material?



#12 BillP

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 12:15 PM

Great questions.  And of course the possibility exists that physical laws and constants of universe may change over time.  Makes an interesting question to ponder since it is not answerable given our current science and skills. 

 

Is the Search for Immutable Laws of Nature a Wild-Goose Chase? -- http://discovermagaz...se#.UrNqoY3ahLA

 

Are Nature’s Laws Really Universal? -- http://astronomy.swi...ally-universal/

 

Indications of a spatial variation of the fine structure constant -- https://arxiv.org/pdf/1008.3907.pdf


Edited by BillP, 19 June 2019 - 12:19 PM.

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#13 t_image

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 12:43 PM

At least the positive is that our collective understanding is constantly changing over time of relations that we call laws and constants, presumably towards the more accurate?



#14 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:55 PM

Thank you BillP for restating my OP so clearly.  Otto


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 19 June 2019 - 01:56 PM.


#15 figurate

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 03:54 PM

With regard to the first question, involving the validity of something you might call "chrono-isotropism", also known as the "perfect cosmological principle", https://en.wikipedia...gical_principle , I think conceptions that deviate from the testable and the relatively concise are not that attractive to research; that goes against the grain of 500 years of assumptions about uniformity. In the same way you could postulate a universe where the laws of physics vary over time, and also vary in different directions, and obviously that implies a certain amount of chaos.

 

Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of bipolar and opposite trend in data collected at the longest, largest scales in two opposite directions, but that might say more about our reference frame than anything else. One thing we seem not to appreciate fully is the matter of scale itself- it is so easy to manipulate numbers that some scale-specific characteristic or possibility might be getting overlooked somewhere, and that could be confused with other causal factors like time variance.   



#16 greenstars3

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:51 AM

Mathematics is the language we use to describe the amazing world and universe we are part of, our theories use mathematics, a classic example is to say that the color red is so many nanometers in wavelength but using math or any other language cannot truly represent red, or time, or gravity. A model is a mental construct to help us "wrap our minds around" reality. Theories will change and improve the description  and our understanding of reality but will never fully grasp what it is.    

Theories evolve over time as our understanding of our surroundings improves, some theories morph into others and some are discounted, some outright found to be false.

 

Robert  


Edited by greenstars3, 20 June 2019 - 03:06 AM.

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#17 BillP

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 03:47 PM

Mathematics is the language we use to describe the amazing world and universe we are part of, our theories use mathematics, a classic example is to say that the color red is so many nanometers in wavelength but using math or any other language cannot truly represent red, or time, or gravity. A model is a mental construct to help us "wrap our minds around" reality. Theories will change and improve the description  and our understanding of reality but will never fully grasp what it is.   

 

This is the popular view of things.  However, what goes unstated in this view is that the human mind really never "sees" reality and therefore individuals using their senses live in a fairy tale.  I view it all the other way around.  Since nothing in or about the universe possesses any meaning, sense, or description without consciousness and its perceptions, feelings, and reasoning, it is really math and physics that will never be able to embrace what is reality.  Reality exists only in the consciousness, and without that the universe would not be observed, not be known, and could not even be shown to exist!  So math and physics describe a very small part of reality, the physical part that is divorced from meaning or sense, and is merely a "potential" fact.  Reality on the other hand, is much broader and richer as it encompasses consciousness and all that consciousness brings with it (hopes, dreams, emotions, colors, sounds, sensations of touch, taste, smell, amazement, wonder, defeat, despair, love, hate, and infinitely more).  If indeed the physical universe is infinite, consciousness would still be bigger!


Edited by BillP, 28 June 2019 - 03:50 PM.


#18 Keith Rivich

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 05:47 PM

This is the popular view of things.  However, what goes unstated in this view is that the human mind really never "sees" reality and therefore individuals using their senses live in a fairy tale.  I view it all the other way around.  Since nothing in or about the universe possesses any meaning, sense, or description without consciousness and its perceptions, feelings, and reasoning, it is really math and physics that will never be able to embrace what is reality.  Reality exists only in the consciousness, and without that the universe would not be observed, not be known, and could not even be shown to exist!  So math and physics describe a very small part of reality, the physical part that is divorced from meaning or sense, and is merely a "potential" fact.  Reality on the other hand, is much broader and richer as it encompasses consciousness and all that consciousness brings with it (hopes, dreams, emotions, colors, sounds, sensations of touch, taste, smell, amazement, wonder, defeat, despair, love, hate, and infinitely more).  If indeed the physical universe is infinite, consciousness would still be bigger!

I dunno about all that but my gut feeling is that any and all intelligent beings the universe, no matter what senses they use (or don't use) that have reached our level of understanding will use similar math to describe what they observe.

 

E=MC^2, by any other name, will still describe mass to energy equivalency. 


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#19 BillP

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:24 AM

I dunno about all that but my gut feeling is that any and all intelligent beings the universe, no matter what senses they use (or don't use) that have reached our level of understanding will use similar math to describe what they observe.

 

E=MC^2, by any other name, will still describe mass to energy equivalency. 

 

I don't thing that has to necessarily be true.  The consciousness of Homo Sapiens created math.  It is the conceptual framework that our particular consciousness developed and that our particular consciousness understands.  It is therefore subject to the limitations of what our particular consciousness can understand from its unique perspective.  "If" there are indeed other conscious entities out there (and that is an "IF" that is an extraordinary claim without any extraordinary evidence), then I think it is logical to assume that their perspective on things will be quite different from ours, that the capabilities of their consciousness will also be quite different from ours as well.  Those two things being the case would point strongly that whatever they might characterize as "math" would probably be quite different from what we characterize as "math".  So E=MC^2 would really only work for our consciousness' understanding of things, which would be limited of course to the capabilities our consciousness has (so yes, we do live in a box defined by our consciousness' capabilities and unlike popular beliefs we cannot venture outside that box until we upgrade to Homo Sapiens 2.0).  Upshot is that "math" is NOT a fixed and fundamental construct of the universe.  The universe has no idea about about math nor does math exist in the universe, in just exists in the consciousness of Homo Sapiens.  It is really quite imaginary I think.


Edited by BillP, 29 June 2019 - 10:27 AM.


#20 Mister T

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:40 AM

I don't thing that has to necessarily be true.  The consciousness of Homo Sapiens created math.  It is the conceptual framework that our particular consciousness developed and that our particular consciousness understands.  It is therefore subject to the limitations of what our particular consciousness can understand from its unique perspective.  "If" there are indeed other conscious entities out there (and that is an "IF" that is an extraordinary claim without any extraordinary evidence), then I think it is logical to assume that their perspective on things will be quite different from ours, that the capabilities of their consciousness will also be quite different from ours as well.  Those two things being the case would point strongly that whatever they might characterize as "math" would probably be quite different from what we characterize as "math".  So E=MC^2 would really only work for our consciousness' understanding of things, which would be limited of course to the capabilities our consciousness has (so yes, we do live in a box defined by our consciousness' capabilities and unlike popular beliefs we cannot venture outside that box until we upgrade to Homo Sapiens 2.0).  Upshot is that "math" is NOT a fixed and fundamental construct of the universe.  The universe has no idea about about math nor does math exist in the universe, in just exists in the consciousness of Homo Sapiens.  It is really quite imaginary I think.

I beg to differ.

Two plus Two equals Four,

No matter how you perceive anything


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#21 bobhen

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:00 PM

This is the popular view of things.  However, what goes unstated in this view is that the human mind really never "sees" reality and therefore individuals using their senses live in a fairy tale.  I view it all the other way around.  Since nothing in or about the universe possesses any meaning, sense, or description without consciousness and its perceptions, feelings, and reasoning, it is really math and physics that will never be able to embrace what is reality.  Reality exists only in the consciousness, and without that the universe would not be observed, not be known, and could not even be shown to exist!  So math and physics describe a very small part of reality, the physical part that is divorced from meaning or sense, and is merely a "potential" fact.  Reality on the other hand, is much broader and richer as it encompasses consciousness and all that consciousness brings with it (hopes, dreams, emotions, colors, sounds, sensations of touch, taste, smell, amazement, wonder, defeat, despair, love, hate, and infinitely more).  If indeed the physical universe is infinite, consciousness would still be bigger!

You state: "Reality exists only in the consciousness."

 

Our human version of reality might only exist in our consciousness but our human version is not the whole version. There is a universal reality or a pure truth that exists independent of mind, and, of course, that is humanity’s quest – to get as close as possible to explaining that pure truth or ultimate reality given the tools that we have evolved to do so.

 

I think you are dismissing consensus of observation, mathematics and experimental proof, etc. as tools that have proven to be helpful and valid in explaining the undermining reality that permeates the universe.

 

You state: "Reality on the other hand, is much broader and richer as it encompasses consciousness and all that consciousness brings with it (hopes, dreams, emotions, colors, sounds, sensations of touch, taste, smell, amazement, wonder, defeat, despair, love, hate, and infinitely more)."

 

Hopes, dreams, love etc. are not “reality” they are singular, human brain constructs that evolved as species survival mechanisms. It is “evolution” itself that is a segment of universal reality not what evolution creates – as what evolution creates changes over time but evolution “the mechanism” does not change.

 

An ultimate universal reality was in place long before human consciousness evolved and will be here when humans disappear. The conscious aliens or sentient machines that take our place will inherit the same ultimate universal reality that we have inherited.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 29 June 2019 - 12:02 PM.

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#22 llanitedave

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:01 PM

This is the popular view of things.  However, what goes unstated in this view is that the human mind really never "sees" reality and therefore individuals using their senses live in a fairy tale.  I view it all the other way around.  Since nothing in or about the universe possesses any meaning, sense, or description without consciousness and its perceptions, feelings, and reasoning, it is really math and physics that will never be able to embrace what is reality.  Reality exists only in the consciousness, and without that the universe would not be observed, not be known, and could not even be shown to exist!  So math and physics describe a very small part of reality, the physical part that is divorced from meaning or sense, and is merely a "potential" fact.  Reality on the other hand, is much broader and richer as it encompasses consciousness and all that consciousness brings with it (hopes, dreams, emotions, colors, sounds, sensations of touch, taste, smell, amazement, wonder, defeat, despair, love, hate, and infinitely more).  If indeed the physical universe is infinite, consciousness would still be bigger!

Reading and re-reading this post, it seems like you're arguing that either reality is a fairy tale, or that the fairy tale is reality!  This seems perilously close to a position that reality itself is wholly subjective, that each person creates their own reality, and that any one person's reality is as good as any other's.

 

I would completely disagree -- reality exists on its own, outside of any need for conscious perception.  DNA existed long before humans were aware of it, so was Pluto, so were Jupiter's moons.    Our consciousness is not bigger than reality, it is in fact much, much smaller.

 

'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

 

Shakespeare, via Hamlet, was correct.  Reality encompasses consciousness, as you said -- but consciousness does not encompass reality.  And consciousness is in fact encompassed by the physical universe, as is any other emergent quality.

 

Now, the simple statement that math and physics are incomplete descriptions of reality is true as it stands, because they are process entities, not physical entities of matter and energy.  A comprehensive description of reality would have to describe the objects in the universe, as well as the behavior of those objects.  Math and physics do not create objects, however, you could not describe the dimensions and behavior of real objects without them.

 

I would argue that without the concepts provided by math and physics, your consciousness would be unable to perceive the great majority of the real objects and events in the universe.  Math and physics are not constructs of our consciousness, they are discoveries of it, and in many ways those discoveries have served to help build our consciousness itself.

 

Certainly we supply meaning, in our own personal ways.  That meaning is ephemeral, changeable, and often self-serving.  Love, hate, desire, the perceptions of the senses, all are mortal.  At the most, they will die with us.  More often, they fade and die to be replaced by other loves, other hates, other desires, long before we do.  It is that which is external to our assignment of meaning, to our emotional responses of the moment, to our hormonal triggers, to our judgement of what has it done for us lately, that is "real", that provides permanence and presence that is bigger than any single mind,  that overrides and often overrules, and can even completely extinguish whatever pretend reality our fantasies have created for themselves.


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#23 llanitedave

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:14 PM

I don't thing that has to necessarily be true.  The consciousness of Homo Sapiens created math.  It is the conceptual framework that our particular consciousness developed and that our particular consciousness understands.  It is therefore subject to the limitations of what our particular consciousness can understand from its unique perspective.  "If" there are indeed other conscious entities out there (and that is an "IF" that is an extraordinary claim without any extraordinary evidence), then I think it is logical to assume that their perspective on things will be quite different from ours, that the capabilities of their consciousness will also be quite different from ours as well.  Those two things being the case would point strongly that whatever they might characterize as "math" would probably be quite different from what we characterize as "math".  So E=MC^2 would really only work for our consciousness' understanding of things, which would be limited of course to the capabilities our consciousness has (so yes, we do live in a box defined by our consciousness' capabilities and unlike popular beliefs we cannot venture outside that box until we upgrade to Homo Sapiens 2.0).  Upshot is that "math" is NOT a fixed and fundamental construct of the universe.  The universe has no idea about about math nor does math exist in the universe, in just exists in the consciousness of Homo Sapiens.  It is really quite imaginary I think.

Homo Sapiens did not create math.  Other species can count, other species can judge trajectories, densities, and even time.

 

Humans discovered math.  Humans didn't create prime numbers, we discovered them.  We didn't create the relationships between squares and right triangles, we discovered them.  We didn't create the slope of a curve at a point, we discovered it.  You don't create math in school, you learn it through a process of discovery enabled and mediated by teachers.  What we have created are tools and symbols that allow us to communicate what we've learned with others, and to discover more deeply.

 

Don't mistake the map for the landscape.  When we use the name "derivative" to denote the slope of a curve at a point, we are not creating  that relationship, we are merely naming it.  The term "vector" is a label that we use to identify an entity with both direction and magnitude, but we only created the label.  We didn't create the relationships between force vectors.  We discovered them.

 

If other conscious entities exist, if they have created technology, if they have become aware of cause and effect, their math will absolutely be recognizable to us.  We just need to learn their labeling system.


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#24 Keith Rivich

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:49 PM

I don't thing that has to necessarily be true.  The consciousness of Homo Sapiens created math.  It is the conceptual framework that our particular consciousness developed and that our particular consciousness understands.  It is therefore subject to the limitations of what our particular consciousness can understand from its unique perspective.  "If" there are indeed other conscious entities out there (and that is an "IF" that is an extraordinary claim without any extraordinary evidence), then I think it is logical to assume that their perspective on things will be quite different from ours, that the capabilities of their consciousness will also be quite different from ours as well.  Those two things being the case would point strongly that whatever they might characterize as "math" would probably be quite different from what we characterize as "math".  So E=MC^2 would really only work for our consciousness' understanding of things, which would be limited of course to the capabilities our consciousness has (so yes, we do live in a box defined by our consciousness' capabilities and unlike popular beliefs we cannot venture outside that box until we upgrade to Homo Sapiens 2.0).  Upshot is that "math" is NOT a fixed and fundamental construct of the universe.  The universe has no idea about about math nor does math exist in the universe, in just exists in the consciousness of Homo Sapiens.  It is really quite imaginary I think.

I don't buy into that. If you converted a grape directly into energy the output is the same for everyone in the universe. The math must be similar to come out with the correct energy amount.

 

Planets orbit their stars according to specific rules regardless of what consciousness exist on the planet. The same as ours. The math must be similar to describe the orbit. 

 

If said alien has an apple and wants two apples he must add one more. Same as us.



#25 CounterWeight

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 02:30 PM

I thought this was a forum for science?  though belief systems and philosophy are interesting and entertaining they are not by the forum definition a science?

 

When this thread began I thought it might have some sort of relevance in terms of assumptions made in the three different philosophies of mathematics I am aware of. Due to lack of response from original poster to any scientific response, and there are several good ones here, I no longer think so and borders on 'crack pottery' or belief systems or other arbitrary pursuits.




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