# What qualifies as science?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Jozen-Bo, Apr 25, 2017.

1. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

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Please learn what an argument from authority is. Citing E=mc^2 is only an argument from authority if you say that it's true because Einstein said it. Luckily, we've done a couple of experiments that show it to be true, so you don't need to rely on an argument from authority to prove E=mc^2 is correct.

As long as there was no evidence or proof, and all we had was his say-so, then yes.

E=mc^2 is not a fundamental formula, please learn what the theory of general relativity actually says. And I'm not sure it's irreducible.

Tested? It's a definition! You can't test a definition, that would be circular reasoning.

There is no such thing as a "reliable authority" in science. Please look up what science is.

Additionally, Newton was a "reliable authority", yet his gravity has now been proven to be (technically) incorrect. A reliable authority is only reliable until they are shown to be incorrect. And Mandelbrot's definition of the word fractals is incorrect when compared to current usage. In other words, Mandelbrot is not even a reliable authority on this, in this case.

Please look up what an argument from authority is, and learn why it is a logical fallacy.

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I submit your usage of the word fractal is incorrect (limited) when compared to current usage.
http://fractalfoundation.org/OFC/OFC-12-1.html

and

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7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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And found in naturally occurring and recurring self similar patterns, including long term statistical patterns.
The Fibonacci sequence is a fractal pattern found throughout the universe.

The term itself is derived from the Latin word "frāctus" meaning "broken" or "fractured", and the concept of theoretical fractional dimensions has now been extended to include geometric patterns in nature and is now extensively used for practical application in a host of human created structures and organizing patterns.

Thus, by defining it as just an abstract model is a "limited" view, and therefore incomplete.
By NE's own statement, the meaning and usage of a word can change. He is right, the meaning of the word fractal has changed because it is too limiting in scope. I already cited that Mandelbrot himself broadened the definition.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benoit_Mandelbrot

8. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Yes, yes, O level Latin was an entry requirement for my university, thanks. But these phenomena can be modelled by a partial use of fractals only, because the pattern predicted by the iterations is no longer followed at some scales. So as usual, it is an approximate model, no more than that. All these citations of yours are written by people who unlike you recognise that we speak in science of inexact models.

9. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I would rather call recognition of similar patterns at different scales and in different physical forms.

It is my impression you see a fractal as a single completed idealized abstract mathematical construct which has an arbitrary starting point but is continuously and infinitely repeatable.

But IMO, that's old school, and the concept and definition has broadened to include fractured and seemingly unrelated expressions of geometric forms and a host of other naturally occurring physical expressions, which have a common denominator of being a form of fractal expression, even as they do not occur as a single completed "string" of continual iterations. A fractal is not an abstract mathematical construct separated from reality. Fractals occur naturally in many forms. I posted a long list of areas where fractality and the fractal function is observable and quantifiable in many different no-theoretical, i.e. observable areas.

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Is somebody posting on this topic? It isn't me.
The only thing DNA codes for is the selection and arrangement and multiple production of strings of amino acids - none of which are even approximately fractals, afaik.
From physical reality, the "natural" world.
Uh, yeah, it is. It most definitely is exactly that. All geometric objects are - Euclid often gets credit for the founding.
? Now what ?

Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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p.s. I never said its an exact science except from the purely abstract mathematical viewpoint.
p.p.s. All tested and peer reviewed abstract mathematical models and approximations are commonly acceptable by mainstreaim (consensus) science. What makes fractals so different? They have not yet been peer reviewed and tested? That's BS. They are used in RW applications with extraordinary efficiency.

Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
12. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Look it up. It is an additive "loop" generated sequence, and therefore a fractal sequence.. Moreover it has a strong connection with Phi.
CDT is presented as
Perhaps you may want to dig deeper in the natural (as well as the metaphysical) properties and implications of fractal function and its implied and applied potentials.

Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
13. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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The DNA helix itself is a form of a fractal construct. Look it up.

14. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Well, er, yes, I do.

I quote the Wiki article: " The general consensus is that theoretical fractals are infinitely self-similar, iterated, and detailed mathematical constructs having fractal dimensions...."

15. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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The inability to make basic distinctions, or recognize the essential features and properties of fractals, is a strong argument against loose or casual use of the terminology.

No. Stop talking like that.
The DNA helix is approximately a helix, not a fractal. It isn't even made of smaller helices of other things.

Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
16. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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From reading it, it seems to me the term "fractal" is used a bit loosely, to denote self-similar folding patterns as the thing crumples up into a ball without any knots forming. But the mathematical references are not in fact to fractals but to the Hamilton Path and Peano Curve.

17. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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At the theoretical level I have no objections to that definition, after all it does fit with my perspective of a mathematical universe.

But the more I read about fractal functions, the wider the scope of interpretation seems to become as a physical phenomenon in nature itself. It seems to be applicable even in chaos theory, which appears to be completely counter intuitive to the purely mathematical definition. Some notable scientists/ mathematicians have called it a revolutionary new way of looking at natural phenomena. I know this does not necessarily make it so, but it does suggest that in some sense it is considered an important contribution to science, in both the metaphysical and practical sense.

Images courtesy of USPTO.

Cellphone with a Sierpinski Gasket antenna.
Image courtesy of Fractenna Inc..

There is more, but I believe these examples are pretty persuasive of practical RW applications of limited fractal constructs.

It seems that more and new uses for the fractal function are being discovered, in addition to the apparently infinite artistic expression that can be created from that simple equation.

I won't argue the subject any further, as other people may want to contribute to OP question from different perspectives.
I have hogged the thread long enough......please forgive. It's just a fascinating subject to me.

http://fractalfoundation.org/OFC/OFC-12-4.html

18. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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To me, this has all the hallmarks of a concept that has become too trendy for its own good and whose definitions have thereby become corrupted by journalists and people wanting sexy write-ups for their research. It does happen, regrettably.

From the examples you give, it seems the term is coming to mean any pattern that roughly seems to repeat itself, at two or more scales of magnification. Thus it may be only a matter of time before some breathless idiot will claim that the universe is "fractal" because we have electrons going round atomic nuclei and planets going round stars. Remember folks, you read it here first!

19. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

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You have found a instance of the word fractal being used in a non-scientific context: this is a foundation’s website, not a scientific paper of any kind. The second doesn’t appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed magazine. But even so, it isn’t actually about fractals in nature, but self-organizing systems.

Also, I don’t see how this is relevant? I've already stated that many use the word in a sloppy manner that is incorrect. You finding more instances of that is neither here nor there.
But they are not actually fractals, as there is no infinite iterations involved.

I don't see how the etymology of the word has any bearing on the definition of it?
And the bold part is obviously not correct; see that Wikipedia quote.

It being "limited" is neither here nor there. The definition is not incomplete. You are projecting your wishes what you want the term to mean onto it.

(I'd appreciate it if you wrote my nickname out in full; the abbreviation is confusing.)
The very context of my statement was that Mandelbrot's usage of the term is not what scientists use today. So in one single statement, you acknowledge that I am right that words can change, yet you then turn around and say the term hasn't changed. You have removed the context of my statement to flip it around 180 degrees. That is intellectually dishonest, so please don’t do that.

20. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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CDT does that already and is in process of being peer reviewed. I don't believe these scientists are "breathless idiots"...

As I understand it, so far the peer review has shown "promising results".

IMO, trying to climb Mt Everest is done by breathless idiots....

.....(kidding) . Seems to me constructing an exact fractal copy of the landscape of Mt Everest would be less risky and much more enjoyable from an artistic point of view.

But I have made my case as best I can and anything I could add at this time would be redundant and burdensome to others. I guess we'll just have to wait for further news from the scientific community which is actually studying the hypothesis, while the techs are busily constructing new gadgets based on the principle of fractality.

21. ### river

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So there are no fractals in biology ?

22. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

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Not as long as atomic theory still stands.

By the way, how is that list of brilliant BB critics coming along?

Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
23. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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CDT? Wot dat?

And what gadgets are constructed on the basis of "fractality"? Are there any? How do they work?

Last edited: Nov 7, 2017