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#26 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:01 AM

CounterWeight; you wrote, "Due to lack of response from original poster to any scientific response,...."

 

I am the OP of this thread.  Forgive me, my lack of courtesy in not responding to many of the posts here.

 

I have a cognitive difficulty in getting my head wrapped around new ideas.  Time and again over my life the following has happened to me.  I hear a new idea which, at one and the same time, I find interesting but confusing; i.e. I am not able to wrap my head around the given new idea.  However, after some years (and often it is years), by hearing the same idea come up unexpectedly in different contexts or by my own efforts to initiate dialogues about a given idea time and again in different settings; all of a sudden I discover "I've got it!"  It becomes clear.  //  The point of this paragraph is that I have chosen to remain attentive, patient, and silent until the meaning of an idea becomes clear in my mind.

 

One more thing; just as there are ideas which I find simultaneously interesting and confusing; the same is true of post/responses such as some found here.  I find them also to be interesting and confusing and choose to remain silent till some clarity forms in my mind.



#27 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:12 AM

Science as science has only two subject matters; matter and motion.  Science as science has investigatory and explanatory competence as regards matter (and the various forms in which matter appear, such as energy) and motion (i.e. the various changes undergone by matter (in its various forms)).

 

In order for science as science to do its work; to act according to its own competency, there are many assumptions it makes which are by definition, not scientific (that is, these assumptions regard things which are neither matter nor motion).  One example is the assumption of objectivism.  In order to do science, science as science must accept that objectivism is correct.  Objectivism is not a scientific matter; it is a philosophical assumption.  Since science as science does not deal with philosophy, and since the scientists acting as a scientist must not engage in philosophy; this assumption must remain accepted and unexamined by the scientist acting as a scientist.

 

Another example of a philosophical assumption which science as science must accept without examination is the particular method used by a given science.  Scientific method is neither matter nor motion and thus resides outside the competency of science as science.

 

About various philosophical assumptions accepted without examination by science as science, such as objectivism and method, the scientist acting as a scientist must remain silent.  These are outside of the competency of the scientist acting as a scientist.

 

The scientist can certainly philosophically examine the philosophical assumptions upon which science as science depends.  However, when a given scientist engages in philosophical examination; s/he is no longer acting as a scientist but as a philosopher.  It is at this point that others involved in this given dialogue, have the right to ascertain the philosophical competency of the scientist now acting philosophically.



#28 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:44 AM

As to issues of matter and motion, science as science is excellently competent and perhaps even singularly competent.

 

However, because of its focus on matter and motion, science as science has a focus which is quite defined; one might also correctly say, quite narrow.  Because of this narrow focus, science as science might miss alternative explanations and understandings of the things it investigates.

 

And this possibility of missing alternative explanations is why it is valuable for science as science and for scientists engaged in science to accept/allow/engage philosophical analyses of the assumptions made by science as science and upon which the doing of science as science depends.

 

Permit me a metaphor to express the same thoughts expressed immediately above, and then permit me an example of the same.

 

Metaphor:  Flatland:  A Romance of Many Dimensions.  There is this universe of two dimensional creatures.  The various things of their universe appear as two dimensional objects. Now, let us suppose the flalanders are very scientifically competent.  They competently notice and describe the forms of various things in their two dimensional universe.  //  Now, let us suppose that this flatland is found within a three dimensional reality.  Further, let us suppose there is a sphere moving through this 3D reality.  And further, let us imagine this sphere passing through Flatland.  The flatlands would see a dot which grows into a tiny circle and into a larger circle and larger circle, and then becomes a smaller circle and smaller circle and tiny circle and a dot.  This is what they would see as the sphere passes through their 2D universe.  Being competent scientists, they would in excellent detail record mathematically the sizes and changes of this dot-circle-growing/diminishingcircle-dot phenomenon.  They would devise all sorts of wonderful algorithms to express the changes exhibited by this phenomenon.  Then they would postulate a good number of possible explanations of what this phenomenon was; its manner and cause of change.  //   Though their descriptions of the phenomenon would be perfect, it would not bring them to a correct understanding of the nature and cause of the phenomenon; a 3D sphere passing through a 2D reality.  They would not be able to correctly understand it because their viewpoints are locked in a 2D reality.  //  Well, metaphorically, the scientist as scientist who never engages/allows/accepts philosophical examination of the assumptions upon which his/her science depends, is somewhat like the Flatlander, confined to 2D understandings, attempting to understand a 3D reality.

 

Example:  I said above that science as science, is excellently competent and narrow.  Because of that narrowness, it might not allow itself to consider alternative ideas, by nature philosophical, which might redirect its attention to valuable lines of scientific inquiry.  //  For example: we all know and accept that science as science does not and cannot and should not accept premises in its various deductions which come from divine revelation.  Thus, in terms of discovering the origins of life on earth and the origin of sentience on earth, science as science remains philosophically, a material reductionism.  That is, science as science, insists it may only considers avenues of investigation which seek for electro/energy-chemical-physical causes and attributes to explain the origin of life and the origin of sentience.   //  But let us suppose there was, in fact, a divine creator which involved itself in the original spark of life and/or in the original spark of sentience.  Let us suppose this is the case.  Since science as science cannot allow/engage in/accept this possibility, it will continue to operate out of the philosophical assumption of material reductionism rather than accept the alternative philosophical assumption of a divine creator.  Operating out of this material reductionist philosophical assumption, science as science will spend a great deal of time and resources seeking explanations which might not exist.  Or to use the Flatland metaphor; forcing itself to accept only the material reductionist assumption, science as science confines itself to 2D explanations and understandings of a phenomenon which can only be correctly understood as a 3D phenomenon.


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 01 July 2019 - 08:55 AM.


#29 llanitedave

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 03:06 PM

If all these posts are to point out that Science cannot test for a "ghost in the machine", Otto, then you are absolutely correct.

 

Thing is, though -- neither can philosophy.

 

If you want to examine all the assumptions that scientists supposedly can't question, you can, but all you'll get out of it is idle speculation.


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#30 EJN

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 04:51 PM

However, because of its focus on matter and motion, science as science has a focus which is quite defined; one might also correctly say, quite narrow.  Because of this narrow focus, science as science might miss alternative explanations and understandings of the things it investigates.

 

Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe, so I would hardly

call the focus of science narrow.

 

And as I pointed out in a previous thread of yours a while back, science deals with a third entity which might be

more fundamental than particles and forces: fields. Field theory has become the dominant line of research into

what is called foundational physics. All matter and energy can be described in terms of the underlying fields.

Gauge field theory lead to the standard model of particle physics.

 

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Gauge_theory


Edited by EJN, 01 July 2019 - 08:40 PM.

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#31 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 06:32 PM

EJN, school me about these fields.

 

I am most interested in the relationship between/among fields and matter (in its various forms) and motion (change).

 

Are fields amalgams of matter and motion?

 

Are matter and motion manifestations of fields?  

 

Are matter and motion perspectives of fields?



#32 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 06:46 PM

You wrote, EJN, "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".

 

Your statement is correct if things such as love, affection, awareness, and free will are forms of matter and motion (and/or fields).  If I believed, for example, that the affection I feel for my two daughters and that the love I express to my two daughters in caring for their needs; if I believe these were only neuro-electrical-chemical activity within the brain, then yes, I must agree that "if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".  If I believe that my self awareness and awareness of others was just some neuro-electrical-chemical phenomenon, then yes, I must then agree that "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".  If I believe that my ability to choose and my freedom of will is only a manifestation of neuro-electrical-chemical activity in the cerebral cortex, then I must agree "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".

 

But I don't believe affection, love, awareness, will, freedom are solely manifestations only.  To argue my point, I would need to have us agree to discuss a great deal of philosophy.  One thing we would need to discuss philosophically is how we would avoid, what phenomenology calls, the egocentric predicament of reducing all things human to mere matter/energy/motion/fields.  Simply put, if all human things are matter/motion/energies/motion there is no way to know we are talking to each other or if I (you) am (are) just holding a conversation within my (your) enclosed inescapable brain.  //  And I would need to have it convincingly explained to me why we choose to hold conversations such as these if we actually believe the motivation to have such conversations is nothing more than some arrangement of matter/motion/energy/fields.

 

But I know we can't have that conversation.  That's OK.

 

I would ask you to consider the merit of the following assertion; if human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields; then there is much in the universe which is not just matter/motion/fields/energies.

 

Otto


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 01 July 2019 - 06:49 PM.


#33 DaveC2042

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 07:54 PM

You wrote, EJN, "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".

 

Your statement is correct if things such as love, affection, awareness, and free will are forms of matter and motion (and/or fields).  If I believed, for example, that the affection I feel for my two daughters and that the love I express to my two daughters in caring for their needs; if I believe these were only neuro-electrical-chemical activity within the brain, then yes, I must agree that "if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".  If I believe that my self awareness and awareness of others was just some neuro-electrical-chemical phenomenon, then yes, I must then agree that "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".  If I believe that my ability to choose and my freedom of will is only a manifestation of neuro-electrical-chemical activity in the cerebral cortex, then I must agree "Well, if you take away matter and energy that pretty much leaves you with an empty universe".

 

But I don't believe affection, love, awareness, will, freedom are solely manifestations only.  To argue my point, I would need to have us agree to discuss a great deal of philosophy.  One thing we would need to discuss philosophically is how we would avoid, what phenomenology calls, the egocentric predicament of reducing all things human to mere matter/energy/motion/fields.  Simply put, if all human things are matter/motion/energies/motion there is no way to know we are talking to each other or if I (you) am (are) just holding a conversation within my (your) enclosed inescapable brain.  //  And I would need to have it convincingly explained to me why we choose to hold conversations such as these if we actually believe the motivation to have such conversations is nothing more than some arrangement of matter/motion/energy/fields.

 

But I know we can't have that conversation.  That's OK.

 

I would ask you to consider the merit of the following assertion; if human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields; then there is much in the universe which is not just matter/motion/fields/energies.

 

Otto

Otto this is a complete strawman.

 

Science is the study of the material stuff in the universe, broadly construed.  It does not claim to be about love, music, art, ethics, the list goes on forever.  To suggest that makes it somehow deficient, or that it needs these things, is simply ridiculous.  It also does not claim to be everything humans need.

 

I love science - I did my degree in it, the mathematical side of it is important for my career, and it is an ongoing hobby and source of joy.  And I think it wonderfully advances humanity in many ways.

 

I also love music, cooking, my family and friends, thinking about ethics, jokes, etc.  But they are all different things with different purposes.  Science is not deficient without love any more than music is deficient without cooking.


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#34 BillP

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:26 PM

I beg to differ.

Two plus Two equals Four,

No matter how you perceive anything

 

A nicely provided inside-the-box answer!  Again, your example is from the in-the-box world, impossible to perceive otherwise from that perspective.  The perspective will always limit the available options.  2+2=4 is all current day Homo Sapiens can understand as it is how we perceive what we think of as reality flowerred.gif

 

But actually, even inside our box 2+2=4 only when using the Interval or Ratio scales for measuring.  If one is using the Nomical or Ordinal scales then 2+2 does not equal 4.


Edited by BillP, 01 July 2019 - 08:33 PM.


#35 EJN

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:35 PM

2 + 2 = 11 in base 3. Just sayin'



#36 BillP

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:59 PM

2 + 2 = 11 in base 3. Just sayin'

 

Yes, this becomes funny.  So 1+1=10 is absolutely true!  Know why?  Because there are only 10 kinds of people: Those who understand binary, and those who don't. lol.gif



#37 EJN

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 09:01 PM

EJN, school me about these fields.

 

I am most interested in the relationship between/among fields and matter (in its various forms) and motion (change).

 

Are fields amalgams of matter and motion?

 

Are matter and motion manifestations of fields?  

 

Are matter and motion perspectives of fields?

 

Well the classic example is the electromagnetic field, which includes visible light, IR, UV, radio, X-rays,

and gamma rays. Fields carry energy, which is how we get heat from the sun. Excited states of a field can be

considered as particles. See these articles, which are not too math intensive:

 

https://en.wikipedia...Field_(physics)

 

https://en.wikipedia...of_field_theory


Edited by EJN, 01 July 2019 - 09:28 PM.


#38 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:48 AM

EJN, that helps.  Thank you.

 

Would the following be correct:  Our bodily senses and our scientific instruments do not see/sense/observe these "fields".  Rather, what our senses and our instruments observe are matter and changes (or motions) of this matter.  From those observations of matter and matter's motion we deduce the existence of fields.  Matter (particles, etc.) and changes in the behavior/forms of those particles are manifestations/expressions of fields which are the actual most basic fundamental reality.  ?

 

Otto



#39 EJN

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 06:30 PM

EJN, that helps.  Thank you.

 

Would the following be correct:  Our bodily senses and our scientific instruments do not see/sense/observe these "fields".  Rather, what our senses and our instruments observe are matter and changes (or motions) of this matter.  From those observations of matter and matter's motion we deduce the existence of fields.  Matter (particles, etc.) and changes in the behavior/forms of those particles are manifestations/expressions of fields which are the actual most basic fundamental reality.  ?

 

Otto

 

Pretty much, except there is one instance I can think of where you can feel the

action of fields directly:

 

Take 2 powerful magnets aligned like-pole to like-pole, and try pushing them together.

You feel the force of the magnetic field resisting it. It almost feels squishy.



#40 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:06 PM

Thank you.



#41 EJN

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:28 AM

Another example - if you go to the Refractor or Eyepiece forums here, you will at times encounter

a very strong Reality Distortion Field (RDF).


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#42 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 10:27 AM

That was funny!

#43 EJN

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 07:55 PM

I would ask you to consider the merit of the following assertion; if human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields; then there is much in the universe which is not just matter/motion/fields/energies.

 

I was thinking about a way to reply to this which would not involve philosophy or religion.

 

The late Murray Gell-Mann gave a lecture at Fermilab which I attended in which he considered

whether physics was enough to explain complex adaptive systems such as ourselves, or if

we needed something else. To make a long lecture short, he concluded the answer is no.

 

If human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields, at some point this something else must interact with the physical

world in order to have an effect on it. And if it doesn't interact with it then it could not have any

influence on the physical world whatsoever. So how does this interaction take place,

and how come there is no evidence for it? And if it can effect the physical world without

interacting with it, you basically throw causality out the window.

 

If it is something immaterial, to use a term you used in a previous thread, then whether it
exists is not falsifiable (to get back to the topic), and would always remain outside of science.

 

The alternative is that they are emergent phenomena, where the result is more than the sum

of the parts it is made of. In mathematics this is called non-linearity, and a real world example

is fluid dynamics which is highly non-linear.

 

It is more logical that the universe should be consistent, all or nothing. To say some things are explainable

and others are not is a logical inconsistency. If it is nothing, then everything would be due to divine action

or angels and demons or the flying spaghetti monster or whatever. And the phenomena which appear

explicable by science would really be the result of an epic cosmic illusion or joke.

 

And I feel that human consciousness and emotions will eventually be fully described by the

neuro-electro-chemical activity of the brain, that it is highly non-linear, and that quantum mechanics

might play a role. It might take a long time because it is a hard, complex problem. Or maybe we

don't yet know the proper approach to the problem. Either way I'm not a new mysterian.


Edited by EJN, 04 July 2019 - 02:30 PM.

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#44 Keith Rivich

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 11:08 PM

I was thinking about a way to reply to this which would not involve philosophy or religion.

 

The late Murray Gell-Mann gave a lecture at Fermilab which I attended in which he considered

whether physics was enough to explain complex adaptive systems such as ourselves, or if

we needed something else. To make a long lecture short, he concluded the answer is no.

 

If human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields, at some point this something else must interact with the physical

world in order to have an effect on it. And if it doesn't interact with it then it could not have any

influence on the physical world whatsoever. So how does this interaction take place,

and how come there is no evidence for it? And if it can effect on the physical world without

interacting with it, you basically throw causality out the window.

 

If it is something immaterial, to use a term you used in a previous thread, then whether it
exists is not falsifiable (to get back to the topic), and would always remain outside of science.

 

The alternative is that they are emergent phenomena, where the result is more than the sum

of the parts it is made of. In mathematics this is called non-linearity, and a real world example

is fluid dynamics which is highly non-linear.

 

My feeling is the universe should be consistent, all or nothing. To say some things are explainable

and others are not is a logical inconsistency. If it is nothing, then everything would be due to divine action

or angels and demons or the flying spaghetti monster or whatever. And the phenomena which appear

explicable by science would really be the result of an epic cosmic illusion or joke.

 

And I feel that human consciousness and emotions will eventually be fully described by the

neuro-electro-chemical activity of the brain, that it is highly non-linear, and that quantum mechanics

might play a role. It might take a long time because it is a hard, complex problem. Or maybe we

don't yet know the proper approach to the problem. Either way I'm not a new mysterian.

Having these traits offers an evolutionary advantage...much like breathing or kidney function. You don't have them...you don't pass them on to the next generation. You're line dies out. The gestalt of the brain. We just don't know enough about the brain, yet, to say how it all works.



#45 llanitedave

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 11:13 PM

I was thinking about a way to reply to this which would not involve philosophy or religion.

 

The late Murray Gell-Mann gave a lecture at Fermilab which I attended in which he considered

whether physics was enough to explain complex adaptive systems such as ourselves, or if

we needed something else. To make a long lecture short, he concluded the answer is no.

 

If human things such as affection, love, will, and awareness are rooted in something other than matter/motion/energy/fields, at some point this something else must interact with the physical

world in order to have an effect on it. And if it doesn't interact with it then it could not have any

influence on the physical world whatsoever. So how does this interaction take place,

and how come there is no evidence for it? And if it can effect on the physical world without

interacting with it, you basically throw causality out the window.

 

If it is something immaterial, to use a term you used in a previous thread, then whether it
exists is not falsifiable (to get back to the topic), and would always remain outside of science.

 

The alternative is that they are emergent phenomena, where the result is more than the sum

of the parts it is made of. In mathematics this is called non-linearity, and a real world example

is fluid dynamics which is highly non-linear.

 

My feeling is the universe should be consistent, all or nothing. To say some things are explainable

and others are not is a logical inconsistency. If it is nothing, then everything would be due to divine action

or angels and demons or the flying spaghetti monster or whatever. And the phenomena which appear

explicable by science would really be the result of an epic cosmic illusion or joke.

 

And I feel that human consciousness and emotions will eventually be fully described by the

neuro-electro-chemical activity of the brain, that it is highly non-linear, and that quantum mechanics

might play a role. It might take a long time because it is a hard, complex problem. Or maybe we

don't yet know the proper approach to the problem. Either way I'm not a new mysterian.

Well obviously -- most of us here can only be old mysterians!

 

I completely agree with your point.  And arguing it has occasionally gotten me into uncomfortable situations.  It's not so much that the "immaterial" is impossible, but it's by definition indescribable, unpredictable, indefinable, and untestable.  How then, can one even make a specific assertion regarding it?  It's simply impossible to make a coherent argument for it.   You CAN, however, make a coherent argument against it simply by pointing out the processes and behaviors that actually occur in nature, and which have been previously ascribed to the immaterial.  As our knowledge grows, this "immateriality of the gaps" finds those gaps becoming narrower and narrower.

 

We can't rely on it, and we don't need it.

 

Unfortunately, though, this still involves philosophy at least.


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