Scientific theories and reality:

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I'm inclined to kinda agree with Forrest Noble that quantum mechanics is still a work-in-progress and probably isn't the last word on what's physically happening.

    I think that QM is kind of a paradigmatic example of an instrumentalist theory. It mathematically correlates observations. If you observe this, then you will observe that. Or in QM's case, you might have some predictable probability of observing that. That can be very useful for engineering purposes, it allows us to predict various kinds of phenomena and so on.

    What instrumentalist theories don't do is describe what's actually physically happening so as to produce the resulting observations. These kind of theories kind of reduce physical reality to a mysterious 'black-box' and only attempt to describe mathematical correlations between inputs and outputs.

    Hypothesizing as to what might actually be taking place inside the 'black-box' is where the countless extremely diverse interpretations of QM arise.

    Forrest already listed some of them:

    --- Local hidden variables, Einstein and others
    --- The Copenhagen interpretation
    --- Many Worlds
    --- Consistent histories
    --- Ensemble interpretation, the statistical interpretation
    --- de Broglie theory (local hidden variables, pilot wave)
    --- de Broglie–Bohm (non-local hidden variables)
    --- Relational quantum mechanics
    --- Transactional interpretation
    --- Stochastic mechanics
    --- Objective collapse theories
    --- Von Neumann/ Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes wave-function collapse
    --- Many minds
    --- Quantum logic
    --- Quantum information theories
    --- Modal interpretation quantum theory
    --- Time-symmetric theories
    --- Branching space–time theories

    It's important to notice that these various quantum mechanical interpretations presuppose very different ontologies. They imagine what actually exists in the universe and how it behaves, in dramatically different ways.

    My own expectation is that future advances in the foundational levels of physics might eventually clarify a lot of this. And, just conceivably, as human beings gradually delve deeper into this stuff, not only will we achieve a far better understanding of what the physical universe really is, all kind of new and as-yet unimagined avenues of research and development might reveal themselves as well. (Just think about the implications of some of these QM interpretations, should they ever prove to be correct.)
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  3. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    well, instead of incorrectly " interpreting ",
    try to actually understand words that are used with this theory.

    interpretation is a result of not understanding words or meanings that were used.
    so it's done to attempt understanding using other words or meanings to fit the individuals mind.
    when done by the individual that does not understand to begin with,
    it always leads to continuous misunderstanding ,
    which is exactly the situation.

    every time i see that word it's nauseating,
    it's the same as " short cuts " in mathematics
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  5. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    I try to always keep things serious but light of heart. IMO some misinterpret what is being said too easily for whatever reasons and can't keep a smile on their face. Of course learning and teaching is the goal but at the same time IMO one should try to be happy doing it. Most everyone enjoys talking with people with pleasant personalities, with interesting comments and/or helpful suggestions, rather than those that are accusative, sarcastic, seem angry and/ or seem to have a chip on their shoulder often.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  7. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for that. I think you explained what is involved very well

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    I now have a new phrase, "Instrumentalist theory."

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  8. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    That's not what he said. He said it isn't even a theory. Worse, what you just said is empty: no theory is ever claimed to be "the last word", so saying that it is "a work-in-progress" sounds like a criticsm, but it isn't. Its' just a completely pointless thing to say.

    The rest is similar emptiness: what is "actually" happening is what is observed. Unless we find God, you can always ask an infinite string of such questions.
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No. I will not. This statement, made by you:
    Is a lie.

    He replied to an enquiry via email - what's your point? I've had email correspondence with Hansen discussing his grey body approximation versus the cumulative k distribution models.

    That you're aware of anyway. I mean, you've done such in depth research on the matter that you didn't even seem to be aware that people other than Lewin had written about the conference or that the title of the paper was criticised as being 'sensationalist reporting' both at the time and I think 10 or 15 years later when something similar happened.

    No, you're wrong about this. Roger Lewin was first a staff member of New Scientist in London for nine years.
    Then he went to D.C. to write as a NEWS EDITOR for ten years.
    Then in 1989 he became a fulltime freelance writer.

    This is why I keep emphasizing the point that this article you keep yammering on about is a news editorial not a peer reviewed piece. It's a news editorial and Lewin was at the conference as a news reporter, and this particular article has been publicly criticised by people writing into science in their editorial section as a piece of sensationalistic reporting worthy of tabloids.

    These are all points I have made repeatedly.
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You demonstrably do not.

    Of course you don't because you don't understand it :ROFLMAO:
  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I missed that one, and I agree whole heartedly.
  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

    correct, i'm unaware of any errata the source has issued regarding this matter.
    i was going on information someone else posted in a different thread.
    which makes me even more curious as to why no errata regarding this issue.
    i feel the piece was honest, fair, reporting, and all this hoopla is from people that don't want to believe it.
    those people CANNOT be creationist because this piece is almost universally accused of being "creationist" in nature.
    you can make all the points you want.
    you aren't responsible for the published quote.
  13. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    Your statements about theory and Instrumentalism are close to the OP question "can science be trusted?" in that it begs the question how close theories in modern physics are to a true representation of reality, or were they created not necessarily "as a literal and/or accurate description of the natural world, but instead as mere tools or instruments for making empirical predictions and achieving other practical ends."

    I would expect these kind of "theories" have both aspects to them, their makers would have liked them to reflect the real world but if not their primary intent is/was to be pragmatic.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Whatever interpretation you see fit to formulate to support your obvious closet creationists views, the facts are Evolution is certain, as is Abiogenesis.
  15. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    does this also apply to this hypothesis by this poster,
    i have already took this into thought regarding this hypothesis of this poster.
  16. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    By "this poster" are you referring to the OP poster, to one or more of my postings/ hypothesis, or something else?
  17. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    I would say that "natural selection" is a certainty, not theory, but that the theory of Evolution will always have unproven hypothesis within it because the field is so broad. I also would say that Abiogensis is a certainty, but IMO there is no convincing theory of it, only a number of hypotheses.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  18. brucep Valued Senior Member

    The intellectual dishonesty is your attempt to minimize the importance of mathematics as a language for describing natural phenomena scientifically. Nonsense crank bullshit. Understand that? It's a fools path populated by cranks.
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The problem in the case of QM is that while the mathematics is very good at correlating certain experimental observations (if this is observed, then there is some predictable probability that will be observed), the formalism appears to be far less informative about what physically exists and how it's behaving so as to produce those correlations.

    Many physicists (including some iconic names) and certainly philosophers of science think that the various attempts to physically interpret the QM formalism reveal deep and as yet unresolved foundational issues about the nature of reality itself.
  20. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    I think you have misunderstood my position almost completely. My last paper which can be seen here, was based upon eight equations in theoretical physics which were derived by me, taking a great many months to do so. The assertion was that the data point observations were correct concerning redshifts and brightnesses, but that the Hubble formula for calculating distances is incorrect. These equations are all based upon my own cosmology and over 200 data points of type 1a supernova from supernova data sources. Without those equations the paper would not have been accepted for Journal publication because there would have been no evidence for my alternative assertions and cosmology presented within the paper. Because of my last paper I have received 6 or 7 new offers of peer reviewed publication, some at no cost, for my next paper that will be published in a few months. This new paper, although referencing and quoting my last paper, will probably not have any equations within it.

    (text added from original posting)
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  21. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    i have already address this, post 59 and 65.
    quit throwing the word published/cation as if it means something.
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    very entertaining
  23. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    Hey sculptor, is that avatar of your own making? If so, nice! if not, good choice.

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