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How certain is our scientific knowledge? Honestly?


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On 11/10/2020 at 12:28 AM, Omnifarious said:

First off let me say I mean no disrespect. And if I seem brutally honest it's because it's my nature and belief in being forthright.

There are a lot of things said in science documentaries and scientifically mined people that upset me. And they always speak with absolute certainty. Like this thing is perfectly well known and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, like gravity. 

I wanted to ask you weather or not they were really true but then I thought it would be easier to ask you about science and our certainty of it in general. I've heard that scientists are supposed to be open minded and never to be too certain of any thing. But in my experience, scientists are people who say "This is the way thing are and that's the end of it." That you could not be a scientist unless you took things as absolutes. It's particularly difficult for me to question these people because I can't help but assume they speak from a position of knowledge of which I am ignorant. When people talk like it's already proven, I can't help but assume it has been. When you're sitting in class or studying a book, you don't question what they're saying. If you did, how would you learn anything?

 

For example this one says that we will NEVER be able to leave our local group of galaxies because the rest of the universe is accelerating away from us faster then the speed of light. 

This one and this one state that traveling faster then the speed of light is impossible. Not just that it's impossible with current technology but it's impossible no matter how advanced we get. I tried to tell myself that we are always discovering new things, things we could not imagine before. I looked in the comments to see if anyone had the same thought and some did. But then someone countered that bay saying if we did learn anything could go faster then light, it would undo the laws of physics going back to Newton, who's work has proven solid to this day.

And something that's always bothered me, the theory that the entire universe will inevitably end. So many time I've heard about how and when it will end. Once I went on one of those question posting websites and I asked "Will the universe end?" Not how will, not when will, just will? Is this something the scientists of the world know and agree on. The very first post I go simply said "Of course it will."

 

What I want to ask is, not so much about the above stuff but about our scientific knowledge in general. What is the reason for all this certainty and rejection of doubt? Is our grasp of science that good? When we know something do we really know it for sure?

Or is it something else? Are scientists today too sure of themselves? Is everyone taking their word as gospel? Do people talk as if things are facts because they want to sound convincing? Do documentary makers simply assume we will know they are not talking about absolutes even though they never said they were? Even though they implied everything they said was fact over and over again?

I read somewhere that we might be living in a new dark age, because we don't think to investigate what our "higher ups" tell us.

The only things scientists are really certain about is uncertainty. That may distinguish them from faith. 

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I am saying they require things that might work out mathematically but the reality of things like negative mass is unknown and there is little reason to think they exist.  In science everything i

Well these claims are hardly settled science are they? be honest. Claims like these are hotly contested, and so far no one has a solid reply to the criticisms. Not ever has the speed of light bee

Your post is rather long, so I will just pick out this one sentence: "So I would say, you can't be a good scientist if you take things as absolutes" And I go further and say that you cannot be a

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AnnsiiH;

 

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Yes, but assuming your "SR is incomplete" refers to the problem of SR implying static universe, then you must realize that the solution is very simple - there was never any reason to assume ontologically isotropic C... Basically the arguments you gave above get thrown into the bin, as soon as you assume instead that - ontologically - a momentary state of reality actually exists, beyond our ability to probe what it is.

[There is nothing in SR that implies a static universe. Experience is our reality and reveals a dynamic changing universe. It's incomplete without recognizing the role of perception. People are born into a world they can't comprehend, and must make up ideas that provide some degree of understanding, a predictive ability and subsequently a security of future persistence. Will spring follow winter, will a bridge support an expected weight, etc.]

[I have a copy of the paper OTEOMB, A. Einstein, 1905, and refer to it (rather than trust my memory) whenever I quote it for a post. Also have read other papers by Einstein on other topics to see how he thinks.
Einstein saw no justification for an absolute frame in the special or general theory. His example of em induction was a common example that anyone who knew basic science could understand. He had to define 'time' since there was no universal time, once light speed was discovered to be finite.

The elimination of an absolute frame takes us back in time.
Newton's first law 'an object in motion or at rest, remains in that state if no force intervenes', is questionable. There are not two states, only one. Motion is a change of position relative to a reference. Motion has a range of values v, where 0<v<c. Rest has one value, 0. You can move faster but you can't rest slower. Rest can be defined as a special state of motion when two objects have the same velocity. Now those objects can be moving at some random speed and simultaneously be at rest, without contradiction.]

[Understanding perception:
By definition, reality is the behavior of objects according to the laws of physics, i.e. matter reacting to natural influences independently of a human observer. Perception is the apparent behavior of objects as represented by mental images formed from processing and interpreting sensory input. In summary, perception is reality confined to the mind of the observer.]

[A classic example was the heliocentric vs geocentric form of the solar system.
The first involved a dominant mass (sun) and gravity. The second required additional theoretical explanations for the retrograde motions as perceived by observers.]

[Relative to the inertial observer who has assumed a pseudo rest frame, he is only coincident with the emission and reception of a 2-way signal, and perceives equal times out and back, in accord to the SR clock synch convention. He has no way to verify when the reflection occurred. The round trip time is the same whether using c or c±v.]

[Some thoughts about Lorentz's local time:

'The Measure of Time', Poincare, 1898.
"We do not have a direct intuition for simultaneity, just as little as for the equality of two  periods. If we believe to have this intuition, it is an illusion. We helped ourselves with certain rules, which we usually use without giving us account over it [...] We choose these rules therefore, not because they are true, but because they are the most convenient, and we could summarize them while saying: The simultaneity of two events, or the order of their succession, the equality of two durations, are to be so defined that the enunciation of the natural laws may be as simple as possible. In other words, all these rules, all these definitions are only the fruit of an unconscious opportunism.“]

[Throughout history, scientists have known the utility and necessity of conventions.]

[Feynman analyzes light phenomena in terms of fundamental interactions, reducing them to a few common rules, and calculating probabilities as done in other areas of quantum physics. It's not easy to explain but he gets the correct answers. It's another case of naive ideas not working due to ignorance of a complex world.]

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Sluggo.

Sorry it took me a while to respond - I was occupied with bunch of other things. But what's the hurry here, right? 😄

 

On 1/11/2021 at 6:16 PM, sluggo said:

There is nothing in SR that implies a static universe.

The way I would put it is, there is nothing in SR that requires a static universe. There's a lot in there that "implies" static universe (rather famously so), but is dependent on ones particular interpretation of the theory.

The point that is relevant to this thread and that I would like everyone to have clear understanding of, is that if we assume that relativistic simultaneity is ontologically real, we are also assuming there is never any single objective state to reality (and thus no objective dynamic evolution). You can't have one without the other. But most people ignore this connection and live happily with a bit of cognitive dissonance in their minds.

"But most people don't take SR that literally", right? Well, the other side of this topic is that if we assume relativistic simultaneity merely represents a handy logical relationship for modeling reality, then we have removed the only difference between Special Relativity, and Lorentz (last) aether theory. No big surprise, we already knew the difference was merely philosophical to begin with.

So even if they don't take SR "that literally", they still tend to argue that SR is somehow better than Lorentz theory, despite being literally the same math. Another bit of cognitive dissonance right there.

But why am I talking about the philosophical aspects of Special Relativity in this thread? Because almost everyone, I will say 99.9% of the presentations of SR, will always put forward the idea that these purely philosophical aspects of SR are the bread and butter of the theory, and the experiments about SR prove their "reality" (which is different than to prove their "validity" as part of a world model).

When generations of people are taught this simplified "story" version of SR, you get a cult-like following that doesn't really have an understanding of where the next revolutionary idea can come from, but are still willing to spend enormous amount of their energy defending completely undefendable ideas, under the presumption that "someone out there can prove this". That is detrimental to scientific progress.

For example, I am fairly confident that the only real obstacle in unifying quantum mechanics and gravity is the popular idea of modeling time as a spacetime metric. It leads into conceptually difficult regression in your description of the time evolution of the system. There's no reason to model time this way, other than the fact that GR just so happens to model time that way, and most everyone are conditioned to think it's the only way. It just is not, it's just one logically valid naive mental model (out of many) of a complex reality.

 

On 1/11/2021 at 6:16 PM, sluggo said:

It's another case of naive ideas not working due to ignorance of a complex world.

Indeed. Unfortunately naive ideas still live strong in our best models of reality, and we ought to be careful to not get too attached to them. (I can see people making this mistake all the time)

-Anssi

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On 11/29/2020 at 8:59 AM, Omnifarious said:

But, putting it simply, how solid is our scientific knowledge?

What is it like these days? Like how one might ask what Russia is like.

It depends on the scientific discipline you are addressing.  Is there a country named Russia?

The answer to that is "we know and can demonstrate that Russia exists" .  What it is like is completely subjective.

It is like all large societies. It has the best of humanity, it has the worst of humanity.

Those questions do not belong to the physical sciences, those are of the social sciences, which use entirely different criteria than the physical sciences.

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On 11/19/2020 at 5:25 AM, A-wal said:

This one's legit. No object can reach the speed of light relative to any observer, that's known because the speed of light is the same for all non-accelerating observer's.

It might seem inconsistent but the upshot is that each observer measures moving clocks to be slower than their own (time dilation) and the length of moving objects in their direction of relative motion to be contracted (length contraction). This causes an objects mass to increase as its relative velocity increases so that no amount of energy can accelerate it up to light speed.

Well these claims are hardly settled science are they? be honest. Claims like these are hotly contested, and so far no one has a solid reply to the criticisms.

Not ever has the speed of light been measured to be the same in all frames of reference, not once ever. Neither has anyone ever measured the speed of light in a one way trip setup.

No no has ever measured any physical lengths shrinking, and none has ever measured any Mass increases.

And the claim that two clocks can each be slower than the other, is only solid rational evidence that there is a mistake in your theory somewhere, its not possible that the theory is sound with such paradoxes.

I cant imagine why anyone would hang on to beliefs like these unless he was a member of a mystical cult and it was part of their religious faith.

 

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:16 AM, sluggo said:

'The Measure of Time', Poincare, 1898.
"We do not have a direct intuition for simultaneity, just as little as for the equality of two  periods. If we believe to have this intuition, it is an illusion.

This is one of the relativity questions.

Of course there is simultaneity in the universe. It just doesn't exist for us. To the observer there is only simultaneity of "self". All measurable external conditions arrive from the past regardless of distance.

But simultaneity can be mathematically calculated via universal constant algorithms. If we receive data from a star gone nova 4.543 billion years ago, we can calculate that the nova occurred more or less simultaneously with the formation of earth.

We just experience the event at different times and can safely assume that the star no longer exists "today" in the form it was then. Is that not basic to relativity?

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On 11/9/2020 at 8:28 PM, Omnifarious said: There are a lot of things said in science documentaries and scientifically mined people that upset me. And they always speak with absolute certainty. Like this thing is perfectly well known and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, like gravity. 

First; That is not a scientifically correct statement .

The 6 principles:

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    1. Rule out rival hypotheses
    2. Correlation isn’t causation
    3. Falsifiablity
    4. Replicability
    5. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence
    6. Occam’s Razor

     

https://medium.com/dsgnrs/apply-six-scientific-principles-to-ux-research-2596789ef876

Not being a scientist myself I have the liberty of assuming that certain truths are axiomatically proven..

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In mathematics and logic, an axiomatic system is any set of axioms from which some or all axioms can be used in conjunction to logically derive theorems. A theory is a consistent, relatively-self-contained body of knowledge which usually contains an axiomatic system and all its derived theorems.[1] An axiomatic system that is completely described is a special kind of formal system.

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A formal theory is an axiomatic system (usually formulated within model theory) that describes a set of sentences that is closed under logical implication.[2] A formal proof is a complete rendition of a mathematical proof within a formal system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiomatic_system

Actually my scientific posits are always probative, even if they are declarative.     

(I link them to reliable scientific sources).....😁

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17 hours ago, marcospolo said:

Well these claims are hardly settled science are they? be honest. Claims like these are hotly contested, and so far no one has a solid reply to the criticisms.

Not ever has the speed of light been measured to be the same in all frames of reference, not once ever. Neither has anyone ever measured the speed of light in a one way trip setup.

No no has ever measured any physical lengths shrinking, and none has ever measured any Mass increases.

And the claim that two clocks can each be slower than the other, is only solid rational evidence that there is a mistake in your theory somewhere, its not possible that the theory is sound with such paradoxes.

I cant imagine why anyone would hang on to beliefs like these unless he was a member of a mystical cult and it was part of their religious faith.

 

Who is the bright spark who can only manage to add an emoticon expressing sadness over my post?

What is it that made you sad?

Are you sad that you have relised that Einsteins theories and QM are nonsense? 

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On 3/16/2021 at 7:54 PM, marcospolo said:

No no has ever measured any physical lengths shrinking, and none has ever measured any Mass increases.

I do have a few question regarding that statement.

Rest Mass (object at rest) 

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The invariant mass, rest mass, intrinsic mass, proper mass, or in the case of bound systems simply mass, is the portion of the total mass of an object or system of objects that is independent of the overall motion of the system.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invariant_mass

Inertial Mass (object in motion)

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As an object increases in speed, so does the amount of energy that it has, this energy is what we refer to as 'the increase in mass' (just remember, this is inertial mass). ... Since an object has infinite kinetic energy when it approaches the speed of light, it therefore has infinite mass as well. Why Mass Increases with Speed | Futurism

 
Momentum (increase in Kinetic energy)
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In Newtonian mechanics, linear momentum, translational momentum, or simply momentum (pl. momenta) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If m is an object's mass and v is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum is: \mathbf{p} = m \mathbf{v}.

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum
 
With inertial mass , the phrase "increase in mass" is used. Does the object actually increase in mass or is that term used for convenience?
 
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10 hours ago, write4u said:

I do have a few question regarding that statement.

Rest Mass (object at rest) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invariant_mass

Inertial Mass (object in motion)

 
Momentum (increase in Kinetic energy)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum
 
With inertial mass , the phrase "increase in mass" is used. Does the object actually increase in mass or is that term used for convenience?
 

How on earth do these "physicists" justify TWO versions of the one property of an Object?

Really? my car has a Mass or 1 tonne when in the garage (resting)  but once ii push it down the road, it GAINS MASS?

No, there is only ONE definition for the  Mass property, and "velocity" has ZERO effect on it, and momentum is an entirely different measured property.

The only thing in a kinetic sense that changes is the Momentum measurement, which is 100% due to the velocity.

p=mv,   and that's where the story ends.  "Rest vs inertial" is irrational unscientific nonsense.

There is no such thing as "inertial mass" or "Rest Mass" its just MASS period.   Even Einsteins fan boys agree that there is only one Mass value for any object, but they falsely and irrationally claim its an "Energy increase", called "Momentum" that Einsteins really meant, when his paper on SR said "Mass", because apparently Einstein just got Mass and Momentum mixed up, which can happen when you are writing a major significance paper with science changing consequences, and he was only the worlds greatest scientific  mind, but just could not get the Mass/ Momentum quite right. Confusing one for the other. Plus in all his equations, he specifically used m for Mass, not p for momentum. An easy mistake, if you have no idea what you are doing.

 

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On 3/18/2021 at 12:40 AM, Moontanman said:

Scientific knowledge, while not absolute, is ever more accurate. Science is a self correcting process, no other method has yielded the results the scientific method has been able to provide.  

But YOU or your university or some specific group called "the scientific community" DO NOT OWN "science". nor are you the god ordained custodians of all knowledge, or the "scientific police".  You are not the Judge, Jury and executioner of thoughts of scientific inquiry.  And the "scientific method" is an illusion. Its purpose is not to promote the discovery of knowledge, but to contain it, filter it, and manage it.

Lots of discoveries are made, of course, but like-wise lots of critical reviews of questionable "science" are demolished by this cult like overlord gang that shoot down any dissent by any means necessary, character assassination being most popular. 

 

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The more I learn about physics, the more I like Tegmark's perspective on "particle arrangements"

"I's not the particles, it's the patterns in which they are arranged"

As a physicist, Max Tegmark sees people as “food, rearranged.” That makes his answer to complicated questions like “What is consciousness?” simple: It’s just math. Why? Because it’s the patterns, not the particles, that matter

Consider that "heat" is what friction feels like, an emergent product.

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