Scientific theories and reality:

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

  1. forrest noble Registered Senior Member


    Regarding your statement, "QM is generally regarded the most tested and successful theory in the history of science."

    Is Quantum Mechanics really one of the most successful theories in science?

    I think not. It does not even meet the definition of a theory. So as not to be arguing semantics, this is the definition of theory that I ascribe to:
    "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force."

    Scientific theories must be falsifiable to qualify as a theory. scientific theory

    Quantum Mechanics is a mathematical and statistical system. It provides no explanations; it is not inductive and it is not explanatory. Quantum Theories on the other hand provide all of these. They are both explanatory and inductive. Theories in general are derived from concepts which can become hypothesis, and later theories if they meet the criteria.

    There are many quantum "theories" but no consensus agreement amongst practitioners as to their validity. IMO each one might be best described as a hypothesis.

    Fraggle Rocker,

    "In the same category as Evolution and Plate Tectonics." Your statement that QM is theoretically on par with Evolution and Plate Tectonics elevates QM to a level it does not deserve IMO.

    Although the mathematics of QM is based upon a long history of observation and statistics, it rarely makes exact predictions but instead predicts probable outcomes. Evolution and Plate tectonics have a mountain of evidence to support them and their explanatory powers are the basis of the theories. Aspects of both theories (natural selection and the existence of moving plates) are no longer theory but have been confirmed as fact. However the theories as a whole have many unexplained aspects to them which could change over time so for this reason they must remain theories. Quantum Mechanics, on the other hand, provides no consensus explanation for its validity, and for the most part IMO it is simply a very good mathematical system derived from a long history of observations of the quantum world.

    Fraggle Rocker:
    As to number 1. "....without the mountain of evidence...." after all I am just one person and this is not the place for such detail, is it? This is not my thread but for any interested party, let me know and I will present a great deal of additional evidence to support my statements in the appropriate forum and thread of my making.

    2. As to alternatives, they too should not be presented here but the alternatives can be found at It includes about 400 pages, most of which are my own theory/ hypothesis and related unique equations relating to my model. Some definitions of "theory" require that hypothesis should be "well-known" and have "consensus agreement" to qualify as a theory. With this inclusion in the definition of "theory" my models can only qualify as hypotheses.

    There is much evidence which I can provide (included in many other papers) to further support my statements but again another thread would be more appropriate since this one is not of my creation. Here I am required to defend my statements relating to the OP, right? and not go on in this thread about alternative theories, unless you think it would be appropriate.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Forrest hasn't presented anything meritorious. There is not one whit of evidence in his remarks. He's simply pitching at windmills. He has no idea what any of the subjects he's griping about entail. He lacks the chops to understand even first principles of science. And apparently he has no math training either. By contrast, Russ has presented himself here as an expert in math & science, among other things. And no wonder: it turns out Russ actually developed his chops in college. So go figure.

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    What you call bluster are the facts gleaned through a formal education. Russ would be a great asset to you if you would approach him with humility, given your inability to accomplish what he has accomplished (i.e., pass the tests and graduate, for starters).

    It's a dumb premise. Very few theories change, and changes are extremely rarely anything less than a boost to the world body of knowledge. But what's so stupid about this is the complete ignorance of the actual story of scientific discovery that leads to the new information which brings the "changes" you're needlessly worrying about. Case in point, since this came up again in Layman's post: the Earth was believed to be at the center of the universe, so the astronomers of Europe spent centuries trying to explain the "stars" (planets) which appear to stop, turn around and gyrate around some other axis. They even invented a rather elaborate system to explain this. But then one day, Galileo figured out how to make lenses, and then telescopes. Once he could train his low magnification scope on Jupiter, he discovered it was being circled by other "stars". He of course immediately recognized that these were Jupiter's moons, that Jupiter was a planet, trapped in the orbit of the Sun, just as the moons of Jupiter were trapped in their orbits. Tycho Brache charted the planets, Kepler analyzed the charts and discovered the planets were following certain laws (such as sweeping out arcs of equal area in equal time) and this became Newton's launch point for discovering the Law of Universal Gravitation. Newton not only solved Kepler's equations, but did so through the co-invention (crediting Leibnitz here) of modern calculus. And we can go on and on with this story, as each of you cynics ought to do, but for some reason you don't actually seem to care. You're not in this for the purpose of learning. You're just consumed by the desire to cast aspersions on scientists at large, based on a story you never bothered to study and absorb. If you had, you would not possibly harbor these complaints.

    Pure crap. We are trusting in facts and evidence. Case in point: Tycho plotted the positions of the planets with several decimals of precision. They were doing something weird, but unknowable to him. Kepler discovered that they were all describing ellipses around the sun (do you even remember the formula for an ellipse? I doubt it. That's what makes the sniping so absurd.) Galileo plotted the positions of the "stars" near Jupiter every night for a month. And when you look at his plots (have either of you guys even bothered to do that? I doubt it) you immediately understand how Galileo must have felt when he realized he had cracked a huge riddle then unsolved by the whole human race. Of course Kepler uncovered the laws of motion which governed all such orbits and Newton discovered the underlying cause (gravity). And you have the audacity to blame the messengers for telling you what time it is? That's what makes your posts stink. They have nothing to do with the facts and evidence actually in play. You guys are making up your own science fiction version of what science entails and sitting on your laurels while they work their butts off to make some incremental increase in knowledge, then you blame them for "changing the theories". It's worse than ludicrous. It's mean and stupid.

    It's utter nonsense. He is not in the field so he has no idea what he's talking about.

    It's all styrofoam. Tell me how we know where the planets are, moment by moment. Can any one of you even begin to explain that? No. So how about getting off the gas and resuming your place as the science-illiterate folks you are? Geez, at least try to be honest. Just admit it. You have no clue. You, Forrest, all the Farsights, RealityChecks, Reikus, yada yada. Come clean. Then start asking the folks here to help you learn some of the ropes. Otherwise you're just grandstanding.
    That's not even a question. What you want to ask is what did the early Modern Physicists discover? What evidence confronted them and how did it force them to arrive at new theories not yet considered? This was a world waking up into the reality of electromagnetics and relativity and devoid of an aether. But the place I would begin with understanding the history of development of quantum physics is spectroscopy. Start there and learn what your nemesis Russ mastered in his first year Chemistry class - that the spectra reveal a series (beginning with the Balmer Series) which "changed

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    " as the experimental test fixtures were able to better resolve spectral lines -- and that leads to the understanding that there is a mathematical law that applies to all the elements, which is called the principal quantum number. Learn this, and you're at first semester freshman level, still years away from taking on advanced physics, but at least scratching at the door you seem to think you've busted through.
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You never have explained your reasons for opposing core principles of evolution, plus the questions you keep raising about abiogenesis. Several times you made a very obscure reference to "intelligence without substance" but unless I missed something, I don't think you ever gave anyone any clues about what that statement means.

    I never accused you of being a Creationist. I've just told you that you shouldn't be surprised if folks allege it, since you periodically post Creationist arguments against science (esp evolution/abiogenesis). You must have said, at least a dozen times now, that I've called you a Creationist, but that's untrue. I think the closest I've come to that is to tell you that you leave the reader no choice but to conclude that you're an undercover Creationist. And one of the main reasons for this is that you never seem to have any criticisms of the lies and propaganda posted by anti-science creationist sites. And only recently have I posted remarks that I'm beginning to wonder if you're an undercover creationist. But I'm still interested in hearing the truth. What in the world has turned you against science and academia, if not some past or present affiliation with some kind of religion? There simply is no other reason to oppose scholarship in science.
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

    yes i have.
    uh, yes i have.
    i would like to see this "creationist argument against science" of which you speak that i posted.
    yes, i have posted links to alleged "creationist" webpages in regards to evolution.
    the major reason i don't believe in evolution comes DIRECTLY from respected science sources.
    let's just say that i was for the sake of the argument.
    does that make me subhuman?
    does that make me incapable of learning?
    does that make it impossible to achieve a nobel prize, or a pulitzer?
    a biased attitude like yours isn't very healthy mentally.
    maybe because it obviously seems like BS.
    is that the only attack you can make, an ad hom?
    stop it aqueous, you're killing me.
    oh my, what a load.
    what in the world makes you think i have?
    my stand against evolution?
    like i said, it comes DIRECTLY from respected science sources.
    so, believe what you will.
  8. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    No, you are not being honest, your stand does not come from respected science sources.

    You have 2 arguments.

    One is based on your incredulity.
    The other is based on a misquote.

    So it certainly seems like you are opposed to evolution based on somehting else. Taking the leap and assuming it has something to do with the religious radical right is not a very big leap. Your evasive behaviour when asked if religion has anything to do with your stance is also telling.

    The deal is there is overwhelming evidence for evolution, the only reason (that I can think of) not to believe evolution is that you are ignorant of evidence or you are a memeber of a religion that says if you believe evolution you will go to heck. And since you have been given the evidence and you dismiss it, what are we suppose to think?:shrug:
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

    actually it does.

    this alleged misquote has NOT been resolved.
    as a matter of fact, the more you dig into it the uglier it seems.
    the respected source responsible for this, ahem, "misqoute" has NOT issued any kind of errata, corrections, or apologies.
    so, just like aqueous, believe what you will.
  10. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    The person that was misquoted said he was misquoted but that is not good enough? Really?

    By rejecting the statement from the indivdual that he was misquoted, you leave any rational person no choice but to conclude you have some hidden bias that you are dishonestly hidding.

    The most likely source of this is the religious radical right.

    Hey you have convinced me that is what is going on here.

    If I am wrong you can just say that you do not believe god created the universe per the creationists view and I will believe you.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But wait, isn't that one of the hallmarks of QM? That when we drill down to the level of quarks and bosons, we are indeed dealing only with probabilities?

    Give me one microgram of a radioactive isotope and I can tell you with certainty, down to nine significant digits, what percentage of the atoms will become different isotopes (or different elements) within a millisecond. But I can't predict which atoms it will be. (And no, I can't do this because I'm not a scientist, just a former-future-scientist.)

    Isn't this pretty much the state of the art in cosmology, both micro- and macro-?

    It's not much different from evolution. We know which animals have descended from other animals in the past, but we can't predict with 100% certainly what kinds of animals will descend in the future from those now living. Does this invalidate the theory?

    Like most scientists, you're rather sloppy with the language. A theory is the pinnacle of science. It is a hypothesis that has been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. Although a few actually do end up being falsified, the vast majority are merely elaborated on the basis of new evidence, or simply left as is.

    There is nothing beyond a theory. Proper science does not talk about "facts," that's the language of laymen.

    Cosmology has been defined as "an awkward place where physics, mathematics and philosophy converge uncomfortably." QM is the poster child for this definition.

    Threads don't "belong" to anybody on this chaotic website, where the majority of the members are immature chronologically, emotionally, or both. If you've got a point to make which you reasonably believe is important to the progress of the thread, then please post it. If it's too long to post and you really want people to know something about it, then post an abstract.

    Again, since you consider yourself a scientist, distilling one of the more interesting alternatives down into an abstract should be a piece of cake--if perhaps one that takes a while to swallow.

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    I may not have graduated from Caltech, but I spent enough time there to understand the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. A theory is a hypothesis that has been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. The potential doubters, of course, are the peer-reviewers. Anyone who is a real scientist and is sincerely skeptical about the hypothesis should be invited to join the peer review panel,

    Speaking as a moderator (although not the moderator of this subforum), when we insist that threads stay on topic, we're rather tolerant. Just don't change the topic to music or politics, okay?

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  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

    the respected source that allegedly "misqouted" said person is standing behind what it printed.
    so again, believe what you will.
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No, it simply hasn't taken a stance on the matter, and it's not just that the source of the quote claims he was misquoted, but that not only does the misquote contradict all of the work he did before then and has done since, but the misquote contradicts other independent sources that attended the same conference and published in equally respected journals. Besides, haven't you had enough of a platform for this without dragging it into yet another thread?
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

    yes it has, by publishing the article.
    as of right now the source HAS NOT published any errata, corrections, apologies, or edits concerning said article.
    the source IS DIRECTLY responsible for this and has issued NOTHING.
  15. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    There has been 100 years of science and evidence supporting evolution, the fields of biology, paleontology and genetics are essentially about evolution, but since there was no retraction in one journal, about this one misquote (that has been proven to be a misquote) THAT is the reason you do not believe evolution.

    This really is your argument against evolution and we are suppose to think you are not trying to desperately find something, hell anything, to support your agenda? I have a question, "do you think we are crazy"?

    Your motives are so transparent you're freaking invisible...

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  16. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Oy. In physics, the math is everything. Predictive power of the math is what gave scientists the confidence to spend billions of dollars on the LHC to find the higgs boson.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  17. forrest noble Registered Senior Member

    Yes, the Copenhagen interpretations says that particles are a wavefunction until it is detected. The wave function has no exact location or momentum when the particle is in that state. Other interpretations are that the particle is real having both an exact location and momentum but we cannot measure both characteristics at the same time, and if we measure one characteristic precisely that measurement will effect the other characteristic so as to change it. This relates to the uncertainty principle which states that:

    " the more closely one pins down one measurement . . ., the less precise another measurement pertaining to the same particle will be."

    The argument is in the reality of the wavefunction. The standard interpretation is that the wavefunction is real, but in the alternate interpretation there is no wave function excepting on paper. Both the location and momentum of a particle is exact -- just not both possibly measurable at the same time.

    Science cannot tell us which atoms will decay either. Predicting decay rates is statistically based. But certain atoms will decay and others will not for unknown reasons according to the standard model. An "realist" alternative model would say that there is a background field (Zero Point Field, Higgs field, dark Matter field, aether field, etc.) that interacts with the individual atoms and molecules causing some to decay and others not.

    Macro cosmology is pretty well defined by the Big Bang model. Micro-cosmology is defined by each particular version of it that has been proposed. Concerning both, I would suggest that there is much speculation involved, and with micro-cosmology, very little indisputable aspects to it.

    Evolution theory has an scientifically indisputable aspect to it, natural selection. The evidence for it cannot scientifically be disputed. Nature through competition and changing environments decides which members of a species can survive longer while proliferating more based upon the prevailing conditions. Differences between the survivors genes are passed on to the next generation. As a whole the theory says:

    "Biological evolution is defined as any genetic change in a population that is inherited over several generations. These changes may be small or large, noticeable or not so noticeable. In order for an event to be considered an instance of evolution, changes have to occur on the genetic level of a population and be passed on from one generation to the next."

    Darwin promoted a slow and steady type of evolution, and others promote that occurrences of mutations can create a new species with just one offspring. Others talk about speciation based upon changes in epi-gentics which might result from a chosen lifestyle, or a new environment exposure of an individual of group, yet the epi-genitic changes that possibly could occur accordingly could be passed on to following generations. This suggests some of the theory differences involved in the theory of Evolution.

    This is why I often give the definition of the word I am using as well as its source. For "theory" I gave this definition:

    "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force."

    Scientific theories must be falsifiable to qualify as a theory.

    There is nothing beyond a theory. Proper science does not talk about "facts," that's the language of laymen.

    I agree that most interpretations of QT meet this cute definition

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    Thanks for that fact.

    Thanks for all of that. You're a real cool guy

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    I played acoustic bass back in the day, but mostly rag-time, 20's and 30's music (in the late 1950's). I'm not much of a scrabble player but dinner and drinks on me sounds good. I travel on a regular basis so the possibility of a get-together is not just idle chatter.

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  18. forrest noble Registered Senior Member


    How the math was formulated is also important. If the basis for its formulation was the history of observations, the validity of the equations would always be in question. An example is MOND gravity. In spiral galaxies MOND can give better predictions of stellar orbital velocities than other formulations using dark matter. But MOND has no theoretical basis to say why the force of gravity should change based upon different circumstances. There is nothing for physicists to consider. General Relativity, on the other hand, proposes that space itself can bend and warp because accordingly matter warps space. This is the conceptual basis for the use of Riemann geometry and the Ricci tensor of General Relativity.

    Without this theoretical basis there would be no justification for the combined equations of GR.

    IMO quark mechanics is another example. We do know the protons are made up of smaller particles based upon the fired photon scatterings after encountering a proton. There is no observational justification as to why there should be 3 quarks that make up a proton. The system was proposed by Gell-Mann and it works pretty well in predicting outcomes of collisions based upon the particles involved. But there was no underlying theory used in its formulation providing evidence why the theory should be valid. Like QM the basis for the creation of quark mechanics was a long history of observations and reactions in the quantum world.

    There is little theoretical justification for some of the equations of quantum mechanics other than a long history of observations. Primarily for this reason Einstein and others considered QM as mostly a statical system with no real explanatory powers concerning what is the reality of the quantum world.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    In cases such as this, in Australia, we would say his agenda sticks out like "dog's balls"

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  20. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    Here' a neat boogie I found from Sean Carroll's blog to thank you for being a good sport, given the uncivil posts that you faced.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    As an amateur and Interested layman at this game, the most obvious observations I can make are that we have many alternative models out there, put by many learned and not so learned people.
    All logically cannot be right, and all logically will need to sink or swim along with the proper scientific methodology and peer review.

    I don't see the BB Pan theory as overthrowing the BB anytime soon, in fact ever.
    In reality these rather scientific looking alternative models are actually a dime a dozen.
  22. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    except those are not official publishing, both links.

    typical crank/crackpot web sites. NOTHING MORE.

    " alternative cosmological model, "

    " This strongly implies that the dark energy
    hypothesis is the wrong interpretation of supernova data and therefore adds unnecessary complications to the
    field of cosmology "

    ahh, there's that word again, interpretations ".

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    under " 6. Continuing Explanations of the Alternative Cosmology " of your paper,
    (4) is incorrect.
    so is table 1.

    how much did you pay for this to be published ?

    all this on how expansion is not true,
    and yet, no explanation for the extra energy occurring.
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

    apparently you have no idea what "respected science source" means, or how one earns such respect.

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