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Difficulty: Medium Thursday, January 4, 2018

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CHAT LOG for Thursday, January 4, 2018

12:49 am

Done, no green.
4:52 am

You lot need to learn from us Aussies - Fair Dinkum is a fart better word than true!
5:33 am

5:52 am

Haha, just read my post, apologies for the extra t!
5:54 am

science is interesting and new discoveries debunk old theories, or often just redefine our knowledge. Not much is absolute if you want to be really picky, and at the end of the day only a few really care or are interested.
5:55 am

Great saying, don't sweat the small stuff, often applies
5:55 am

5:58 am

oops, start again
6:07 am

7:24 am

Uhhhh...drwho: how old is the earth? Just curious.
8:58 am

drwho, I'm confused by the point you are trying to make with the Wigner link. Please explain.
9:08 am

11:20 am

11:30 am

@drwho we seem to agree on the point that (modern) science is observation based, thus considering "classical science" phlogiston and aether as non-science.

Wigmans essay was meant to be provocative. Of ourse he knwe better. The common view is that mathematics is a human endeavor aimed to create a clear and unambiguous language for science. Numbers and shapes and logic are human abstracctions that are the domain of mathematics. There is nothing "natural" about numbers, nature has no numbers. It has catss and dogs and weather but no numbers. You will never observe a three in the wild.

Mathematics _is_ the language of science. So physics without mathematics is impossible. A physical theory that cannot be translated into mathematical terms is not science.
That means that you cannot read Wigmans essay as a plea for physics without mathematics. He means: why can't we, physicicsts, develop our own tools instead of borrowing them all the time from mathematics? Dijkgraaf answers him, 50 years later they have string theory that proved to be superior to the tools of mathematicians.

But there is no place for religion in science. It starts out with unprovable assumptions. Belief is not enogh, because there are always people that have another religion or no religion at all. Confucianism has a large following - a religion without gods. How could they believe in intelligent design?
11:45 am

I think the problem is truly separating "belief". I think often belief(which is equated to religion which I don't agree with) is defined by belief. It's hard to separate belief from affecting the paradigm toward things that have no proof regardless of your religion or lack of it.
12:26 pm

Tuco, the Wigner essay is loosely related to the discussion we are having about whether science is true or not. Just something to help you think about the foundations of science.
12:39 pm

Ionibelle, speciation is at the heart of the creation/evolution debate. The Bible says that God created each species of plant and animal reproducing after its kind. The evolutionist says that species gradually arose from a common ancestor having desendants which were not exactly of the same kind.

I believe the genomes of the various kinds have a great deal of variability built in by design, but crossing the line from one kind to another is impossible. Our genome is essentially a library of information on how to make human beings. In order for us to evolve into something else information must be added to our genome, that is creating information out of nothing. That cannot happen.
12:41 pm

Mr. O, I'm something of Platonist when it comes to math. Take the Mandelbrot set for instance. Did Benoit Mandelbrot create that set? Could any human being have created such a thing? I don't think so, I view Benoit Mandelbrot and Gustav Julia as the discoverers of this object.
12:54 pm

Angie, based on the strength of the earth's magnetic field I doubt the earth could be much older than 7 to 10 thousand years.

On the other hand, the orbit of the moon sets an upper limit of about 1.3 billion years.
12:58 pm

Fizzbut and Mr O, your points on belief and assumptions are very close to the mark. Belief and original assumptions determine where you end up. But science and especially math must start with assumptions. Mathematicians call the assumptions axioms.

So if you start with the assumption that there is no God, or at least we don't need Him to explain how everything got here and runs, surprise surprise you will end up believing something like evolution. You are being logically consistent, but if you started with the wrong assumptions your deductions will not be correct.
1:30 pm

Tuco, when it comes to dark matter I am agnostic. You correctly cite the evidence for dark matter, however, dark matter is only 1 of many possible explanations. It is probably the leading candidate because other explanations do damage to the big bang theory.
2:31 pm

drwho, but we know at least some of the mechanisms by which "new" genes are added: mutation, exon shuffling, bacterial conjugation, etc. All of these have been observed in the lab. there is no scientific explanation for the creation of separate "kinds" of life. All life is based on the four nucleotides, which suggests common origins for all life.
3:35 pm

@DRWho the relevance of your Platonist remark escapes me completely.That create / discover discussion is totally irrelevant to the nature of mathematics that I described. Did Da Vinci create or discover the Mona Lisa? And so what? Is it different now depending upon the answer?

Your other remark is rather strange. Mathematics does not start with the assumption that there is no god. The mathematical axioms are a convention.
"Let's count. Do we agree this is the way we count? Yes!"

Those are the axioms. Nothing special, trivial even. For physics all we need are the Peano axioms for arithmetic and maybe, just to be certain Frege's logic. We do't need the axiom of choice. And certianly we do not need assumptions about a god.

But that was not my point. Assumptions about the existance of a god in science lead to logical contradictions. A single creator cannot exist, because he/she has to have been created too. Otherwise we have Bertrand Russells paradox. Intelligent designs logically requires an infinite series of intelligent designers -- very much like the infinite series of turtles in Chinese mythology upon which the earth is thought to rest.
3:37 pm

.. ctd

And a second point is that the assumption of existance of a god cannot have a universal truth. There are always competing religions or non-religious beliefs.
There is no logical way to decide between those different versions.

Most proponents of your PoV in science are priviledged [white] male conservatives- both in Islam and Christaian belief. That must tell you something. This is not about seeking the truth - it is about power.
5:52 pm

Three pretty tough tricks. 22.
6:19 pm

done easy
8:07 pm