Patterns in Nature

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Write4U, Dec 8, 2021.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Although I agree with Heisenberg on this, and while I think most physicists probably also hold this view, it is worth noting that other well qualified physicists disagree. The opposing view posits that the "collapse of the wavefunction" is actually postponed until a conscious observer (e.g. a human being) makes an observation that requires such collapse.

    This has nothing to do with our discussion of "patterns", of course.
    Out of context, it's hard to know exactly what Bohr was discussing here. It seems to me that he is probably just making the point that once a quantum "observation" is made, different human observers will inevitably agree on the outcome of that observation. In that sense, it is "irreversible" - the fact of the observation rules out a range of possibilities going forward in time from that point. An outcome of an observation is an objective, not merely subjective, fact.
    This is fine, as far as it goes, but the "required tasks" are unspecified. Again, this is out of context, so perhaps a more complete quote might have addressed that issue.
    At no point have you asked me my opinion on the matter you're claiming I'm "mistaken in believing". Next time, you should try doing that before making assumptions about what I believe. We were at no time discussing quantum mechanics, prior to your injection of this irrelevancy into our discussion.
    For mine, it is your repeated failure to address a point that has been put to you over and over again in different ways. It's like you have a blind spot. Either you're incapable of understanding what has been put to you, or else you're desperate not to see it, for whatever reason. Possibly you can't bear the thought that Max Tegmark might be wrong, or something like that.
    It's a mystery to me why you hold such a high opinion of your intellectual capacity, compared to the people you're talking to, at least some of whom have actual tertiary qualifications in science and/or the philosophy of science. At this point, my working hypothesis is a severe case of Dunning Kruger. Otherwise, surely you couldn't remain so blissfully unaware of the actual or likely capacities of the people who are trying to educate you. Not after years in which you have had the opportunity to examine their output on this forum.
    You're all over the shop, flopping like a fish out of water from one topic to another, almost at random. Each time you're corrected on something, you either ignore it or fail to understand the correction. Then you repeat the same fallacy at some later time.

    When the only references you consult are general-use dictionaries and introductory wikipedia articles, imagining them to give you a good understanding of highly technical topics, there's a problem. That you're apparently unaware of this suggests a lack of ability or desire for self-reflection, at the very least.
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I merely followed your practice of denegrading any poster who dares voice an opinion. Can't take your own medicine, can we? Who do you think you are that you can insult my intelligence?

    I am still waiting for any substantial counter to my arguments. You can't because my arguments are sound/
    I make no claims of superiority, those thoughts are of your own making. I do not suffer from such inferiority complexes. I know my limitations and never venture beyond them.
    But if it comes to verbal sparring I am equal to all comers. If you give insult, expect to get insult.
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    All the lecturing does about relevance does not in any way falsify what I am posting. In fact you actually agree with me on many issues because I do never say anything that argues against mainstream science.

    You just don't know what to do with me, because I draw attention to some different perspectives that you may never have considered. Do you claim comprehensive knowledge of QM for you to definitively state that I am wrong, without presenting any supporting evidence.

    You can huff and puff all you want about my arguments, but all of them are accompanied by supporting articles from reputable sources. You don't like my style? Ok I can live with that. I don't like your style of debating the issues, I don't call you stupid!

    Dunning-Kruger applies at all levels of competence. I know my limitations, do you?

    You don't debate the issues, but you are constantly engaged in ad hominem about my lack of ability to think in logical terms. That is a tell-tale sign of Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Are you qualified as psychologist to make that diagnosis or are over-reaching your ability to
    look deep into my psyche and find it wanting in IQ.
    If you can prove me wrong with facts, do so or cease with the personal insults or petty semantics.

    If you have something to teach me in science, do so. Trust me I am always eager to learn.

    And as to continuing education. I always read what I cite from reliable sources and I believe that reading and digesting information is one of the tried and true methods of learning from established sources. I believe that my knowledge in areas of specific interest may well be equal to many advanced college students. "Study" by any other name .........
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    That's your entire response to what I wrote, Write4U? Total lack of engagement with the main point, yet again?

    Now, now. That's unfair, and you know it. You know how patient I have been with you. You have also had plenty of time to see how I typically address people who dare to voice opinions, and "denegrading" them is never my first response.

    You have been on this forum for years. You have a long posting history. I have had lots of time to speak with you. You have had lots of time to dare to voice your opinions on many topics and, I might add, the freedom to do so on this forum.

    Perhaps you expected congratulations for your opinions, or affirmation that you're on a noble search for answers, however you choose to go about getting them? If so, then please accept my belated congratulations. But also, please consider that, from time to time, it might be useful to consider opposing points of view, rather than just constantly looking for things that you think confirm what you already believe.
    You think? Bear in mind that I have been on this forum for 20 years. If I haven't developed a thick skin by now, I probably shouldn't be here. Do you really think you're going to be the one whose insults cut me to the bone?

    Here's how it actually works when people insult me here, just so you know. Understand that the impact of any insult on me depends on the degree of respect I have for the person delivering the insult in the first place. Respect is earned over time through actions, which, on this forum amount to things like wise words, demonstrable knowledge, evidence of insightful thinking and demonstration of positive character traits such as empathy, compassion, a sense of fair play and friendliness. Dishonest interlocutors do not earn my respect and therefore their opinions of me, and their feeble attempts at insulting me, really are water off a duck's back. I care about the opinions of people who I respect - even more if I actually like them as well. I don't care care about what trolls think of me, what people who have a track record of knowing dishonesty think of me. Why would I?
    Explain how I have insulted your intelligence.

    Bear in mind that you're the one who keeps insisting to people like exchemist and myself that we don't understand quantum mechanics as well as your dictionary does.
    What arguments? About what? What have you posted that I haven't addressed to your satisfaction?

    Make a list of questions, and I'll have a go at answering them, if you like.

    At the same time, you might want to think about the whole matter of patterns, and try to formulate a response to the point I have put to your about that.
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Show me a post by you that actually contained factual information about a subject that you believe I am not qualified to voice an opinion.
    I cannot recall anything but commentary on my inability to voice an opinion. Do you recognize the Dunning-Kruger effect in your debating style?

    I know, you believe that you are only acting in your capacity as moderator. Just in my best interest. How generous.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    "What is 1+1?"
    "Bananas are good to eat!"
    "Yes, but can we address the question of what is 1+1, please?"
    "But you haven't falsified my comment about the bananas! Also, Hamlet said 'To be or not to be - that is the question!' Here's a wikipedia link that proves it."
    If you looked more carefully, you'd notice that I don't respond to uncontroversial points that you raise. I also often don't respond to your irrelevant dictionary and wikipedia quotes, also because they are uncontroversial. I usually concentrate on points where I disagree with you. Perhaps you'd prefer a mutual back-slapping session where we discuss all the things we agree about?
    Like what?

    Never considered by whom?
    You'll have to be more specific.

    If I claim you're wrong about something - in QM or anything else - I'll usually give some reasons why I think that.

    If there's some particular matter where you think I need to provide evidence, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. Bear in mind that it's not my job to teach you QM from scratch, though.
    The devil is in the detail. For instance, up above, you posted three lengthy wikipedia quotes from pioneers of QM, none of which was objectionable. But then at the bottom you added two lines of your own thoughts, which made no sense whatsoever, so I thought I'd huff and puff about those just a little. After all, the quotes didn't do anything to support your opinion there. That's not an unusual pattern with you - post something controversial along with some irrelevant references that you claim support your views, when really they are off-topic and irrelevant to what you wrote.
    Since you asked, certain aspects of your "style" are frustrating. I think I have already given you a few examples.
    Strange, seeing as you told me just above that you thought I was mistaken about some of my supposed beliefs about quantum mechanics, without bothering to find out what my beliefs might be, first.
    I don't think that anybody has perfect self-knowledge, but I do take some care to be aware of my own limitations, as well as not to claim competencies above what I know I have.
    Honestly? You're claiming that I "don't debate the issues"? Or do you think you're impressing somebody else here?

    Point to one "issue" you have raised that you think I haven't "debated" to your satisfaction. Explain why.
    There's no need for me to examine your psyche. I only comment based your posts.
    What do you want me to prove you wrong about?
    If you have questions, feel free to start threads on science topics. This is a science forum! Helping people with their science questions is why I came here in the first place.
    Would you honestly claim that you understand all the content in the "microtubule" articles you so often quote from on this forum - to take just one example? I know that I don't, but I'm not a qualified microbiologist. How about you? Do you think you could mix it with actual microbiologists? Will you be submitting something to a peer-reviewed journal any time soon?
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    There are probably too many to count, and I really don't think I need to go digging.
    That's a pity. Part of the problem, as I mentioned earlier.
    Not at all. When I act in my capacity as a moderator, you will see things like "Moderator note", usually in bold red type, at the start of my post. Or you will receive an official notification by private messaging.
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Why do you use these false analogies? If my responses are that obviously and completely out of context, why not use the actual verbatim exchange?

    But all you can come up with is a false analogy that doesn't prove anything. You are the one making exaggerated statements, not I! This is becoming a pattern!
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    That's not a false analogy.

    I was making the point that posting true irrelevancies does nothing to address the actual point of contention. If the argument is about what 1+1 is, then saying true things about bananas doesn't help address the issue at hand. See?
    Okay. Look at what I wrote in post #4, and then at your irrelevant response about chaos theory in post #5, complete with wikipedia quotes etc.

    Specifically, this is an example where saying/quoting true things about chaos theory does nothing to address the point that patterns cannot "self-organise". Understand?

    In that same post, you also posted irrelevant information about "patterns in nature", as if that would somehow address my question about what you meant about your claim that life is 'based on patterns'. Nothing in the material you quoted says that life is "based on patterns".
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    There you have it! One strawman argument after another.

    You can devote half a page telling me about my shortcomings but you cannot bother to provide a single example of where my logic fails, other than some silly analogy like:
    Which completely misrepresents the real flow of the conversation. It is a duplicitous way of trying to score points.
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Thank you for that example.
    This is what you posted;
    I disagree. I believe that natural patterns can exist without human observation.
    I am happy to show you why I responded with reference to Chaos Theory.
    Allow me to state the relevant part again.

    I don't believe that there were any observers present during that time when the first patterns began to form. Should we rewrite the theory and amend it to reflect your observation about observers of abstract patterns?

    I believe that passage addressed your objection directly, by name and phenomenal occurrence.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And you keep insisting that I am unable to understand what you are trying to say?

    Yes, now that you posed the analogy without reference to me, I agree. But what does that have to do with me? Those are not my words, nor would I ever be so silly. I consider that as just another ad hominem directed at me.

    But you made that analogy in reference to my response to a question you never posed and specifically as if it is something I would say. That is just false and dishonest, and you know it!

    I hope you can understand what I am trying to say.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I know that's what you believe.

    We do not disagree about the existence of patterns. What we disagree about is the identification of a pattern as a physical thing rather than as a concept. You believe the former; I believe the latter.

    I believe that Jupiter's moons orbit the planet in ellipses, even when no human is watching them. But I also believe that the idea of an ellipse is just that: an idea, a concept. Jupiter's moons don't "know" about ellipses. They just do what they do as the force of gravity acts on them. As for ellipses themselves, they don't create anything or cause anything. The orbits of Jupiter's moons are not "formed by ellipses", or "based on ellipses". Ellipses are how we humans conceptualise them.
    Look what it says: "Chaos theory states that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns..."

    Now, the hint is right there in the title: chaos theory. A theory is something that happens in a human mind. A theory is stated by a human being. Chaos theory cannot state itself. It is a concept in somebody's head, along with those 'underlying patterns' that are part of the theory.

    The theory does not "self-organise". We humans organise the theory; it's our ideas that we organise.

    The claim I put to you was "A pattern, being an abstraction, cannot do anything on its own. It only exists in somebody's head."

    You are yet to refute this. If you think you can, you will need to come up with an example of a pattern doing something, other than existing as a concept in somebody's head.
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You're completely right. I cannot be bothered, because it happens so regularly. I'm sure that in the very near future, another opportunity will present itself for me to show you where your logic fails. I'll see if I can remember to reference this thread/post when that happens, okay?

    That's if you don't want to count the debate we're now having about patterns in chaos theory, where I have already addressed your "logic".
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Are we having a debate? Yes, but you're not using any persuasive arguments. Just a verbal put-down yet another ad hominem. Whereas I can rest my case, I have made a strong argument that self-forming patterns are in fact essential in a dynamically evolving universe.

    How can you even consider arguing against the tens of thousands of books and pictures of naturally occurring patterns in nature. I have cited at least a dozen links that have the expression "patterns in nature" or "natural patterns", fractal patterns , self-forming patterns, regularity patterns, recurring patterns, shall I go on?

    What does any of that have to do with subjective human observation and codification?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Not really, since you continually fail to address our point of disagreement.
    What's a self-forming pattern?

    How can an idea form itself? You have yet to even attempt to address this.

    If you weren't so stubborn, you could just concede this obvious point. It's silly to argue that any concept can be "self-forming" since, as I have so helpfully pointed out to you several times, a concept requires a mind to conceptualise it.
    Was I not clear in my previous post? Here's what I wrote - again:

    We do not disagree about the existence of patterns. What we disagree about is the identification of a pattern as a physical thing rather than as a concept. You believe the former; I believe the latter.
    Why are you so keen to misrepresent our point of disagreement? Is it just because you have no response and you think this nonsense somehow saves face for you?
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Well, you are just flat wrong.

    By your logic, reality as an unfolding pattern doesn't exist unless there is a human observer and that is logically unacceptable.
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And incorrectly so.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    You cannot see the paradox in both statements?
    I make the statement that patterns exist in nature. Now you agree with me but somehow I do not agree with myself? How quaint.

    Where do we disagree on the scientific concept of "observer"? From what I know and have demonstrated by several scientific sources and to which you also agreed (see my post #12), but then you managed to twist it as a disagreement with another unnecessary strawman, involving the ability of codification of these patterns.

    I would certainly appreciate a response of " you are right in general but there are variables that you cannot discount".
    Instead your response begins with; "You are wrong, because there are certain variables that discount your entire argument."

    This is where I object to your style of debate. When an "i" is not dotted, the entire argument is falsified in your opinion and is usually accompanied by some ad hominem about my lack of understanding of the "subtleties" of science.

    It is really strange that in some 5 major debates about disagreement on specific issues, you have ended up agreeing with me 5 times (at least partially) yet managing to poo poo my entire argument and calling me a fool in the process. I find that offensive.

    The one time I call you out on your inability to understand what I am arguing, you drag out the dreaded Dunning-Kruger card. I my book that is just a joker of highly dubious value.
    A cheap shot.

    I'll match my IQ with anyone and I have been tested with a Mensa test.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Reality isn't an unfolding pattern. Patterns are just one part of reality, and they can't unfold themselves.
    You believe that concepts can exist without minds? Care to explain how that works, exactly?
    I don't have a clue what you're on about when you talk about disagreeing with yourself. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with anything I said.
    Which concept, specifically? Because there are a few possible ones, not just one.

    As I said, I don't think we disagree about observers. The issue I identified is your inability to distinguish concepts from physical things, with patterns being the most recent example of your confusion that has come to light.
    It is not clear to me what your argument is, if you have one. Perhaps if you could summarise your main point(s) in a sentence or two, we can go from there.
    I have tried to be as specific as I can about what I disagree with you about, in all cases where I have expressed disagreement. Those issues aside, I am sure that we can find lots of things we can both agree on, but that's beside the point. As I said, if you'd prefer to have a mutual back-slapping session where we congratulate each other on our agreements about uncontroversial things, we could do that, but I don't think it would make for very interesting reading - or a very interesting discussion.
    You called me out with your assertion that I do not quite understand the concept of observation in quantum mechanics. You did that before you did anything to try to gauge my level of competence on the theory of observation in quantum mechanics, and you assumed that your own competence in that area was necessarily greater than mine. I put that down to Dunning-Kruger. You think I'm wrong. So, where to from here? Shall we wave our metaphorical penises at one another and argue about whose academic credentials are bigger when it comes to quantum physics? We're both semi-anonymous here, so that seems like a fairly pointless thing to do; we won't be in a position to check the truth of our respective claims to credentials. Shall we have a lengthy discussion of the various ideas that have been put forward regarding observation in quantum physics, then? That might show which of us is better versed in that particular topic, but it might take a while, and I'm really not that motivated to prove this particular point for your benefit.

    So, let's just agree that our estimations of our respective competencies differ on this, and that either or both of us could be wrong. How does that sound?
    What possible bearing could IQ have on your knowledge of a particular set of ideas in quantum physics? Surely that is just a matter of how much you have studied the topic? I mean, I think we can both safely assume that our respective IQs are sufficient to grasp the meanings of the words in an internet article on the topic, say. But one of us might just lack the years of study that put the contents of such an article into the appropriate context.

    More generally, is it important to you to believe that your IQ is higher than mine? If so, why?

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