Fascinating

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Fascinating
« on: May 13, 2013, 07:41:27 PM »
Alright...the discussion about the flat earth and the round earth could go on in eternity. The FE defenders are convinced they live on a flat earth. They have some answers, just a very few, that could actually work, but for the rest of the theory they still have to work on it.

The RE defenders (including myself) showed fundamental issues with the FET theory, which are only answered by a spherical earth. I will not go into details about each and everything, as the topics on these issues have been opened, probably opened again, again and again.

The FE defenders were able to see (to some extent) that yes their theory still needs some work to be done, but to me some fundamental issues have to be answered first, before you could actually work on an alternative theory as replacement of the spherical earth theory. I have opened a thread about this already, so I don't want to discuss it here.

Why have I opened this topic is to give a methapor as to how I see this debate as it develops. You could go on to debate about that if you like.
I am very interested in  how FE and fellow RE defenders see the following metaphor...it is my opinion and notmeant as angry ranting, or any negative thing at all. It is just how I see it..

The metaphor

I would see the FET as a ship. A unseaworthy ship to be precise. The FE defenders claim their ship is seaworthy, while the RE defenders show all the holes in the ship's hull and say "Look, there is water pouring in, it is not seaworthy at all". Then the FE defenders go on and say "No...look. There are parts of the hull which are intact". And then to why their ship is so messed up  they say that the RET had more time to build theirs. Which does not make sense, because when you start off correctly, you have a working ship of your own. To stick with the metaphor, the FET is not sailing anywhere, while the RET is sailing off and as it goes along the RE finds more which could fit onto the ship. Or like exploring spaces of the ship they previously did not know it existed. - The more complex studies they are onto right now, the string theory etc - ..."Oh, so this part of the ship connects to that part of the ship...ah...so if this connects to that, then..."

End of methapor.

Edit: typo
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 07:47:57 PM by Lolflatdisc »
Hello!

Re: Fascinating
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 01:33:46 AM »
Everyone does whatever they want with their own minds. I don't think there's any point in zealotry on either "side".

I think it's a general misconception among many on this forum that physics consists mainly of philosophy. That scientists gather together around a table/skype etc. and discuss how they believe stuff works. While this was mostly the case in antiquity, modern physics doesn't work like that. It is all about the math behind it. You know your theory is right if the math works. And mathematics is not a matter of opinion, that's the beauty of it. Any theory in physics is considered 'law', if the mathematics behind it is correct, the model works, AND it is supported by experimental evidence.

My only possible suggestion which I firmly recommend to anyone is to start studying mathematics. From math, physics comes directly. It's one of the most natural processes a human brain is capable of.

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As a sidenote, don't use the term "Round Earth Theory". That's not a thing. Unless you want to rename the entirety of physics since Newton with that term. The scope of physics isn't to prove a spherical Earth, it's way beyond things like that.

Flat Earth Theory: A theory based on the assumption that the Earth is flat, and built from top to bottom.
Physics: The study of our universe. NOT based on any assumptions, especially about the shape of the Earth.
Round Earth Theory: Not a thing.

To clarify, I'm NOT pitting physics against FET as competing world models. They aren't. But the reality is, FET ignores some elements of physics, elements which, I repeat, have nothing to do with the shape of the Earth. And that doesn't work in my book, because, like I said before, all of physics has mathematics behind it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 01:39:01 AM by icanbeanything »

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Re: Fascinating
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 05:46:32 AM »
I find it odd that you stress mathematics over evidence. I don't think that mathematics is the most important idea behind physics. I think evidence and observation has to be held up higher. You cannot have a physical theory without it. It is what takes a hypothesis in to the realm of theory. Take string "theory", as a mathematical construct it pretty much works from what I am told, but no one actually values it as a description of our natural world because there is no evidence or observation to support it. I might be splitting hairs here, but whenever I see physicists talk, they talk about evidence. Anyway, I take your meaning anyway, physics is beautifully and elegantly expressed in mathematics and it is very tough to consider math dogmatic any more than a hammer is, and it is difficult to misconstrue math, either it works or it doesn't.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

Re: Fascinating
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 09:03:35 AM »
Both theory and experimental evidence are crucial, one doesn't work without the other.

A scientist might come up with the groundwork of a theory by starting at observational phenomena, but the most important step is constructing a rigorous mathematical model for the theory. It is this model that actually 'works' and explains what is happening. Once you have your model, you can construct all kinds of experiments to test it.

There are no theories based solely on observational evidence. It's not a theory if you just state what goes in and what comes out - that's what I call a recipe. A theory is the mathematical model itself. Though it also needs experimental proof to strengthen it.

Such a theory is considered to hold (on basis of mathematics) if there is no experimental evidence about it, such as string theory, as you said. This is when a theory is in debate - the scientific community can be divided on the issue. (EDIT: right, I forgot here, that string theory doesn't yet have a complete model either)

When experiments are conducted, those that show conformity to the theory will strengthen its scientific acceptance. However, if at any moment a proper experiment contradicts the theory, the model is considered incorrect (meaning it must be improved - all models are inherently incorrect, but you want it to be as close to observation as possible). But this does not invalidate the theory.

Theories that have been "disproven" can still maintain common usage in engineering or such. This is because their models are considered good enough for the given applications. For instance, engineers can generally ignore relativistic effects when adding velocities or distances; or use the ideal gas model in engines, or the Einstein model of solids... Hell, even spacecraft use Newtonian gravity for calculations, instead of general relativity.

I feel like I'm rambling randomly here... But yes, I do believe it's mathematics which is most important in physics. In fact, physics by itself IS math. There's no other way to put it. Physics is using the language of mathematics to describe the world. Of course, for this to happen, there must be a constant connection with said world, through observation and experimentation. But the groundwork is math.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 09:15:11 AM by icanbeanything »

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RealScientist

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Re: Fascinating
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 09:06:49 AM »
I find it odd that you stress mathematics over evidence. I don't think that mathematics is the most important idea behind physics. I think evidence and observation has to be held up higher. You cannot have a physical theory without it. It is what takes a hypothesis in to the realm of theory. Take string "theory", as a mathematical construct it pretty much works from what I am told, but no one actually values it as a description of our natural world because there is no evidence or observation to support it. I might be splitting hairs here, but whenever I see physicists talk, they talk about evidence. Anyway, I take your meaning anyway, physics is beautifully and elegantly expressed in mathematics and it is very tough to consider math dogmatic any more than a hammer is, and it is difficult to misconstrue math, either it works or it doesn't.

Please do not get confused with the name "String Theory". String Theory is not a scientific theory in the same sense as Newton's Laws of Motion or Einstein's Relativity.  Scientific Theory is the ultimate achievement in the Scientific Method, where a model has shown to predict reliably and accurately the results of a wide range of experiments and observations.

On the other hand, String Theory is currently working the first step in the Scientific Method, which is the elaboration of a model from which hypothesis can get defined and tested. In a sense it is a mathematical theory, although mathematicians do not relish the term "theory". And with our current knowledge of Physics it is impossible to know if String Theory is good or bad. We do not know if our future understanding of Physics will eventually include the piece of evidence that demonstrates or kills String Theory.

You can call String Theory a scientific endeavor or a mathematical flight of fancy, but don't let the poor name choice lead you into thinking that scientists lack understanding on what a scientific theory is. Many names in Science are kept for historical reasons instead of being changed as our knowledge increases. For example, AIDS should now be called HIV virosis or HI virosis, but the slightly incorrect name "AIDS" caught on.

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Rama Set

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Re: Fascinating
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:26 AM »
I find it odd that you stress mathematics over evidence. I don't think that mathematics is the most important idea behind physics. I think evidence and observation has to be held up higher. You cannot have a physical theory without it. It is what takes a hypothesis in to the realm of theory. Take string "theory", as a mathematical construct it pretty much works from what I am told, but no one actually values it as a description of our natural world because there is no evidence or observation to support it. I might be splitting hairs here, but whenever I see physicists talk, they talk about evidence. Anyway, I take your meaning anyway, physics is beautifully and elegantly expressed in mathematics and it is very tough to consider math dogmatic any more than a hammer is, and it is difficult to misconstrue math, either it works or it doesn't.

Please do not get confused with the name "String Theory". String Theory is not a scientific theory in the same sense as Newton's Laws of Motion or Einstein's Relativity.  Scientific Theory is the ultimate achievement in the Scientific Method, where a model has shown to predict reliably and accurately the results of a wide range of experiments and observations.

On the other hand, String Theory is currently working the first step in the Scientific Method, which is the elaboration of a model from which hypothesis can get defined and tested. In a sense it is a mathematical theory, although mathematicians do not relish the term "theory". And with our current knowledge of Physics it is impossible to know if String Theory is good or bad. We do not know if our future understanding of Physics will eventually include the piece of evidence that demonstrates or kills String Theory.

You can call String Theory a scientific endeavor or a mathematical flight of fancy, but don't let the poor name choice lead you into thinking that scientists lack understanding on what a scientific theory is. Many names in Science are kept for historical reasons instead of being changed as our knowledge increases. For example, AIDS should now be called HIV virosis or HI virosis, but the slightly incorrect name "AIDS" caught on.

I only said "theory" because some people may get the impression I was talking about something as fleshed out as Gravity.  There is a lot of unfortunate equivocation that happens with the word theory, so I try to be clear in my usage.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

Re: Fascinating
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 09:51:44 AM »
I only said "theory" because some people may get the impression I was talking about something as fleshed out as Gravity.  There is a lot of unfortunate equivocation that happens with the word theory, so I try to be clear in my usage.

Gravity is actually one of the least fleshed out phenomena, excluding things we haven't yet started working on. And it funny, since it's also among those things that have been studied for the longest time.

What we have on it is more than good enough for applications, but it's flat-out refusing to work in lower-level models.

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Re: Fascinating
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »
I only said "theory" because some people may get the impression I was talking about something as fleshed out as Gravity.  There is a lot of unfortunate equivocation that happens with the word theory, so I try to be clear in my usage.

Gravity is actually one of the least fleshed out phenomena, excluding things we haven't yet started working on. And it funny, since it's also among those things that have been studied for the longest time.

What we have on it is more than good enough for applications, but it's flat-out refusing to work in lower-level models.

The only domain we do not have a full understanding of gravity is in the quantum domain. It unfortunately has to be compared to The Standard Model, which is perhaps the most successful and accurate theory ever.  Phil Rizzuto played with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, all three are hall are in the hall of fame, but not everyone can be Ruth or Gehrig is all I am saying.
Aether is the  characteristic of action or inaction of charged  & noncharged particals.

Re: Fascinating
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 12:16:36 PM »
The only domain we do not have a full understanding of gravity is in the quantum domain. It unfortunately has to be compared to The Standard Model, which is perhaps the most successful and accurate theory ever.  Phil Rizzuto played with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, all three are hall are in the hall of fame, but not everyone can be Ruth or Gehrig is all I am saying.

Yeah, my knowledge of baseball is unfortunately limited, so I can't comment on that.

But that's what I meant by low-level model (quantum mechanics). As strange as QM and QFT are, they very much seem like a much more accurate description of reality than the classical models we're used to. And it's a very big problem that gravity cannot be described by the Standard Model, because by all means it should be possible. And since the Standard Model itself works very well beside this issue, this is the reason why I said gravity is not a well-understood force, compared to the others.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:19:22 PM by icanbeanything »

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Jingle Jangle

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Re: Fascinating
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 03:36:47 PM »
Alright...the discussion about the flat earth and the round earth could go on in eternity. The FE defenders are convinced they live on a flat earth. They have some answers, just a very few, that could actually work, but for the rest of the theory they still have to work on it.

The RE defenders (including myself) showed fundamental issues with the FET theory, which are only answered by a spherical earth. I will not go into details about each and everything, as the topics on these issues have been opened, probably opened again, again and again.

The FE defenders were able to see (to some extent) that yes their theory still needs some work to be done, but to me some fundamental issues have to be answered first, before you could actually work on an alternative theory as replacement of the spherical earth theory. I have opened a thread about this already, so I don't want to discuss it here.

Why have I opened this topic is to give a methapor as to how I see this debate as it develops. You could go on to debate about that if you like.
I am very interested in  how FE and fellow RE defenders see the following metaphor...it is my opinion and notmeant as angry ranting, or any negative thing at all. It is just how I see it..

The metaphor

I would see the FET as a ship. A unseaworthy ship to be precise. The FE defenders claim their ship is seaworthy, while the RE defenders show all the holes in the ship's hull and say "Look, there is water pouring in, it is not seaworthy at all". Then the FE defenders go on and say "No...look. There are parts of the hull which are intact". And then to why their ship is so messed up  they say that the RET had more time to build theirs. Which does not make sense, because when you start off correctly, you have a working ship of your own. To stick with the metaphor, the FET is not sailing anywhere, while the RET is sailing off and as it goes along the RE finds more which could fit onto the ship. Or like exploring spaces of the ship they previously did not know it existed. - The more complex studies they are onto right now, the string theory etc - ..."Oh, so this part of the ship connects to that part of the ship...ah...so if this connects to that, then..."

End of methapor.

Edit: typo

It cannot be all that fascinating possibly.  The truth remains that if individual observations on the surface of the planet confirm flatness, we must nullify all evidence which comes from a stance of RE.  It is so important to know that all learning takes faith, but faith is in short supply when it comes to RE tactics.  There can be no more measurements or even radiometric moon bounces, when telescopic imaging confirms our creed.  Still there remains a need to search and analyze.