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Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 12:23 AM
[Moderator Note: this thread was created by splitting out posts in the why math? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39653) thread. It contains posts relevant to the OT discussion in that thread, on Sani5's ideas about the relationship between maths and physics.]
without math you are doing philosophy not physics.
In which branch of philosophy would you get away with free variables like Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

Science, BTW, is a philosophical discipline known as empiricism.

Maths is a discipline based 'loosely' on logic. I say loosely has no logical connection has ever been proved, despite the best efforts of mathemeticians and philosophers.

Maths is an important, dare I say, vital tool, but it should be subordinate to physics. General Relativity, for example, puts it in the driving seat. This is a dangerous leap of faith.

Remember the 'Heavier than Air Flight' is impossible argument? They had the Math to 'prove' it. Unfortunately for the naysayers (The leading scientific authorities of the day), the NEW phyics required NEW math. Take note of the sequence there, please.

The lesson is simple, though often ignored. Always start with the physics. Hypothesis (preferably daring), expermient, observation, prediction/measurement, blah. For best results, stir in the math later on, or the cake might look like it was left out in the rain.

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:07 AM
Them thar's fightin' words, Sani5!
In which branch of philosophy would you get away with free variables like Dark Matter and Dark Energy?I guess any branch of philosophy which comes up with such nonsense as naive falsificationism would have no problems whatsoever with neutrinos (which, in the period from Pauli to Savannah River, were in the same boat as DM).

Besides, DM as a concept fits beautifully (=consistently) with a range of indepedent observations, underlying which are several quite different theories of physics, each well-established in a lab near you.
Science, BTW, is a philosophical discipline known as empiricism.It is? And what did this empiricism do to contribute to the development of the internet (for example)? How many of the developers of the internet were trained in this 'empiricism' philosophy? How did it help them?
Maths is a discipline based 'loosely' on logic. I say loosely has no logical connection has ever been proved, despite the best efforts of mathemeticians and philosophers.I'm sure that would be quite a shock to Godel, Russell, Hilbert, Turing, Church, and many others!
Maths is an important, dare I say, vital tool, but it should be subordinate to physics. General Relativity, for example, puts it in the driving seat. This is a dangerous leap of faith.When you've developed some physics, Sani5, that does not use maths, would you be kind enough to let me know (via a post on BAUT)?

I'm also curious to know how you can describe the relevant physics well enough for anyone reading your post to go about making a better computer chip, without any maths, of course.
Remember the 'Heavier than Air Flight' is impossible argument? They had the Math to 'prove' it. Unfortunately for the naysayers (The leading scientific authorities of the day), the NEW phyics required NEW math. Take note of the sequence there, please.Noted. What does this have to do with 'physics without maths'?
The lesson is simple, though often ignored. Always start with the physics. Hypothesis (preferably daring), expermient, observation, prediction/measurement, blah. For best results, stir in the math later on, or the cake might look like it was left out in the rain.Good.

Now please show how you intend to do any 'experiment', 'observation', 'prediction/measurement', in astrophysics, without math. No, I'm not kidding, please show us.

papageno
2006-Mar-24, 01:14 AM
In which branch of philosophy would you get away with free variables like Dark Matter and Dark Energy?
Which branch of philosophy has to face quantitative experimental tests?



Science, BTW, is a philosophical discipline known as empiricism.
It used to be Natural Philosophy.
If Science does not do experiments, how can we tell that the theories are correct?




Maths is a discipline based 'loosely' on logic. I say loosely has no logical connection has ever been proved, despite the best efforts of mathemeticians and philosophers.
You mean, mathematics does not follow rigorously logical rules?



Maths is an important, dare I say, vital tool, but it should be subordinate to physics.
Maths is a discipline of its own.



General Relativity, for example, puts it in the driving seat. This is a dangerous leap of faith.
No faith required: experiments show that GR is quite correct.



Remember the 'Heavier than Air Flight' is impossible argument? They had the Math to 'prove' it. Unfortunately for the naysayers (The leading scientific authorities of the day), the NEW phyics required NEW math. Take note of the sequence there, please.
No new maths nor new physics was required: only new technology to have enough power to lift the plane.




The lesson is simple, though often ignored. Always start with the physics. Hypothesis (preferably daring), expermient, observation, prediction/measurement, blah. For best results, stir in the math later on, or the cake might look like it was left out in the rain. So, when Maxwell's theory predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves and Dirac's theory predicted the existence of antiparticles, they were doing it the wrong way?

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 02:46 AM
Them thar's fightin' words, Sani5!I guess any branch of philosophy which comes up with such nonsense as naive falsificationism would have no problems whatsoever with neutrinos (which, in the period from Pauli to Savannah River, were in the same boat as DM).
How about neutrinos changing their flavour on their way from the sun? Spot on, Neried. That concept is very much in the same sinking ship!


Besides, DM as a concept fits beautifully (=consistently) with a range of indepedent observations, underlying which are several quite different theories of physics, each well-established in a lab near you.Who am I to undermine your faith in mathematical abstraction?


And what did this empiricism do to contribute to the development of the internet (for example)?
What's the englishmen who invented t'internet got to do t'price of beef? Nowt, I supsect!


How did it help them?I'm sure that would be quite a shock to Godel, Russell, Hilbert, Turing, Church, and many others!
Er, no. Russell would not be surprised, given that he openly admitted his failure in this regard! You're fighting a hopeless reargurad!


Now please show how you intend to do ny 'experiment', 'observation', 'prediction/measurement', in astrophysics, without math. No, I'm not kidding, please show us.
You miss the point, yet, again, which is that Math should be subordinate to Physics. No one is undermining the VITAL role of math. It is a question of priorities. Maths is important, but without the physics (FIRST) it is impotent, as history testifies ... and those who are ignorant of history...

Your rhetoric rests and falls on this central premise!

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 02:51 AM
Maths is a discipline of its own.
Yes, and that is THE PROBLEM!

Thank you for clearing this up so concisely!

papageno
2006-Mar-24, 11:26 AM
Maths is a discipline of its own.
Yes, and that is THE PROBLEM!

Thank you for clearing this up so concisely! You missed my point, as you did with the rest of my post.

Maths is an intellectual endeavour that has its own worth and should not be subordinate to other disciplines. Its existence and pursuit does not need to be justified by its usefulness to other disciplines.
Natural Philosophy moved finally forwad to become Science when it stopped being subordinate to Religion and Philosophy.

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:03 PM
Well, did I open up a can of worms here?
Aye, top post.

However, rather than getting into the relative merits of the different philosophical disciplines -- empiricism, logic, metaphysics, et al, I will try and stick to the central thrust of my argument.

MATH SHOULD BE SUBORDINATE TO PHYSICS!

Why? Simple, really: Because history demonstrates that Mathematical truthes do not necessarily reflect physical reality.

For example:

1. Epicycles. Elegant and mathematically correct, but...

2. "Heavier than air flight is not posssible". The mathematical proofs were wrong! The new physics required new math.

3. Kristian Birkeland is regarded as one of the founding fathers of plasma related thought. His approach to science was broad, comprising observation and laboratory experimentation in addition to mathematical modelling. He was not content with a merely theoretical approach, despite having trained as a mathematician.

Sydney Chapman (1888-1970) was regarded as a leader in the field of interplanetary magnetospheric physics for a while after the death of Birkeland. He refused to discuss many of Birkeland's ideas and, by contrast, relied on mathematical models.

Guess what? Chapman's models were wrong. He claimed that The Earth moved through a vacuum!

Math is tool, and a very useful one, but is should be used as a tool, and not for the foundations.

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:07 PM
Maths is an intellectual endeavour that has its own worth and should not be subordinate to other disciplines.
I am arguing that it should be subordinate to Physics. That is the point.

I'm with Herbert Dingle on this one, from Science at the Crossroards:

“... Lorentz, in order to justify his transformation equations, saw the necessity of postulating a physical effect of interaction between moving matter and æther, to give the mathematics meaning. Physics still had de jure authority over mathematics: it was Einstein, who had no qualms about abolishing the æther and still retaining light waves whose properties were expressed by formulae that were meaningless without it, who was the first to discard physics altogether and propose a wholly mathematical theory...”

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:13 PM
But all this does not address why ATM proponents are often not willing to give even an OOM estimate of the effects they are describing.
Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.

Even if OOM estimates are wrong, it doesn't necessarily follow that electrical effects are negligible, as supposed by the 'mainstream' in the EU thread.

Edited to add: Granted, many EU theories, from what I can make out, are lacking in Math, but I do not think that this is necessarily a fatal flaw for all the reasons above.

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:23 PM
Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.How do you, the arbiter of all things scientific, determine 'first'?

Think Maxwell and Dirac (see papageno's post), Gravity ProbeB, gravitational lensing, Shapiro time delay, ... (what would there be to test without GR?), the Psi/J particles, the top quark, ... (the theory 'came first', n'est pas?), and so on.

Did I miss something? You have a method that guarantees results? (perhaps it's a philosophy-based method?)

tusenfem
2006-Mar-24, 01:26 PM
For example:

1. Epicycles. Elegant and mathematically correct, but...



Mathematically correct and elegant. However the PHYSICS was wrong, assuming the Earth was at the center of the solar system.



2. "Heavier than air flight is not posssible". The mathematical proofs were wrong! The new physics required new math.


The math was already there, the PHYSICS was wrong, by not considering the right upward forces that can be produced.



3. Kristian Birkeland is regarded as one of the founding fathers of plasma related thought. His approach to science was broad, comprising observation and laboratory experimentation in addition to mathematical modelling. He was not content with a merely theoretical approach, despite having trained as a mathematician.


No good physicist or astronomer is content with just a theoretical approach. It is the cornerstone of astrophysics, as I have been tought in Utrecht, that I can make a model for some phenomenon (in my case pulsar radiation) but I have to use observations to validate my model.



Sydney Chapman (1888-1970) was regarded as a leader in the field of interplanetary magnetospheric physics for a while after the death of Birkeland. He refused to discuss many of Birkeland's ideas and, by contrast, relied on mathematical models.

Guess what? Chapman's models were wrong. He claimed that The Earth moved through a vacuum!

Math is tool, and a very useful one, but is should be used as a tool, and not for the foundations.

MMM I take argument with what you write about Chapman. He and Feraro put up the basics for the interaction of the solar wind with the Earht's magnetosphere starting in the 1930. His and Feraro's approach was to model the interaction of the Earth's magnetosphere with the solar wind by the Earth's dipole being compressed by a mirror dipole. This is an approach that works very very well, not only for the Earth, but also for Ganymede in the Jovian magnetosphere. So he does not claim the Earth moves through a vacuum, but that the compression can be modeled by replacing the solar wind by a mirror dipole (see e.g. Kivelson and Russell, Introduction to Space Physics, Chapter 1). By the way, with his model he also predicted the presence of the ring current.

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:26 PM
I am arguing that it should be subordinate to Physics. That is the point.

I'm with Herbert Dingle on this one, from Science at the Crossroards:

“... Lorentz, in order to justify his transformation equations, saw the necessity of postulating a physical effect of interaction between moving matter and æther, to give the mathematics meaning. Physics still had de jure authority over mathematics: it was Einstein, who had no qualms about abolishing the æther and still retaining light waves whose properties were expressed by formulae that were meaningless without it, who was the first to discard physics altogether and propose a wholly mathematical theory...”Are we talking about the same Dingle (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=709043&postcount=21) (click on the link in the BAUT post)? The one whose understanding of the math that underpins SR was so weak he didn't even understand partial derivatives?

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:27 PM
How do you, the arbiter of all things scientific, determine 'first'?
Is that really necessary?


Think Maxwell and Dirac (see papageno's post), Gravity ProbeB, gravitational lensing, Shapiro time delay, ... (what would there be to test without GR?), the Psi/J particles, the top quark, ... (the theory 'came first', n'est pas?), and so on.
Good points. However, I am not arguing that Math cannot produce good results. Frequently it does. The point is that it does not necessarily always gurantee physical reality.


Did I miss something? You have a method that guarantees results? (perhaps it's a philosophy-based method?)
I wish!

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:29 PM
The math was already there, the PHYSICS was wrong, by not considering the right upward forces that can be produced.
The physcis was wrong, in this instant, because it was based on dodgy math!

A new mathematical consideration was required to take account of the upward forces.

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:30 PM
Aye, top post.

However, rather than getting into the relative merits of the different philosophical disciplines -- empiricism, logic, metaphysics, et al, I will try and stick to the central thrust of my argument.

MATH SHOULD BE SUBORDINATE TO PHYSICS!

Why? Simple, really: Because history demonstrates that Mathematical truthes do not necessarily reflect physical reality.

For example:

1. Epicycles. Elegant and mathematically correct, but...

2. "Heavier than air flight is not posssible". The mathematical proofs were wrong! The new physics required new math.

3. Kristian Birkeland is regarded as one of the founding fathers of plasma related thought. His approach to science was broad, comprising observation and laboratory experimentation in addition to mathematical modelling. He was not content with a merely theoretical approach, despite having trained as a mathematician.

Sydney Chapman (1888-1970) was regarded as a leader in the field of interplanetary magnetospheric physics for a while after the death of Birkeland. He refused to discuss many of Birkeland's ideas and, by contrast, relied on mathematical models.

Guess what? Chapman's models were wrong. He claimed that The Earth moved through a vacuum!

Math is tool, and a very useful one, but is should be used as a tool, and not for the foundations.Now that you've put this very firmly on the table, would you please explain what you mean by 'subordinate'? Is it the exact flip-side of 'Observation and measurement et al should come first'?

Would you also be kind enough to describe, in more detail, what you mean by 'observation and measurement et al'? In particular, please show how these things are theory-free.

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 01:34 PM
Now that you've put this very firmly on the table, would you please explain what you mean by 'subordinate'?
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=subordinate

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:41 PM
Is that really necessary?

[snip]Yes.

Here is the sequence:

tusenfem: But all this does not address why ATM proponents are often not willing to give even an OOM estimate of the effects they are describing.
Sani5: Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.
Nereid: How do you, the arbiter of all things scientific, determine 'first'?

Leaving aside, for now, the strange (logical) connection that the Sani5 statement has to the tusenfem one, the second Sani5 sentence is, on its face, a prescription for judging whether something is, or is not, science (if the ATM work we're looking at has 'observation and measurement et al' first, then it is; if not, then it probably isn't science). So, to judge an ATM work, by the Sani5 shibboleth, we must first establish the 'firstness' of the observational and measurement et al in that work.

How is 'first' determined, in this Sani5 method?

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 01:48 PM
[snip]

Good points. However, I am not arguing that Math cannot produce good results. Frequently it does. The point is that it does not necessarily always gurantee physical reality.

[snip]But who, other than a philosopher, is concerned with whether any theory even can 'gurantee physical reality' let alone whether it in fact does? (my bold)

Specifically, which scientist (in the post-Relativity, post-Quantum part of the history of Homo sapiens' life on Earth) would be so foolish as to claim their theories 'gurantee physical reality' (as in, the whole of physical reality, nothing but physical reality, the one and only true physical reality, ...)?

papageno
2006-Mar-24, 01:56 PM
I am arguing that it should be subordinate to Physics. That is the point.
Apparently you do not distinguish between Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Mathematics in itself is not a model or explanation of physical reality.



I'm with Herbert Dingle on this one, from Science at the Crossroards:

“... Lorentz, in order to justify his transformation equations, saw the necessity of postulating a physical effect of interaction between moving matter and æther, to give the mathematics meaning. Physics still had de jure authority over mathematics: it was Einstein, who had no qualms about abolishing the æther and still retaining light waves whose properties were expressed by formulae that were meaningless without it, who was the first to discard physics altogether and propose a wholly mathematical theory...” Out of context quotes? Appeals to authority?
Do you realize that EM waves were predicted, on mathematical ground, by Maxwell's theory, and then discovered experimentally by Hertz?
Do you realize that there is no need, mathematically and physically, of an aether, that the formulae describing the properties of EM waves do not require an aether?
If Einstein's theories had not passed experimental tests over and over again, they would not be accepted: the predictions made on mathematical basis have been succesfully tested.

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 02:11 PM
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=subordinateThanks.

Now, in connection with your statement ("MATH SHOULD BE SUBORDINATE TO PHYSICS!"), what do you mean by 'subordinate'?

For example, in the second definition ("Subject to the authority or control of another"), how does physics control maths? how is the authority of physics over maths established and maintained?

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 02:13 PM
But who, other than a philosopher, is concerned with whether any theory even can 'gurantee physical reality' let alone whether it in fact does? (my bold)
The claims in question, which you haven't addressed, were not made by philosophers.

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 02:16 PM
Apparently you do not distinguish between Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.
In which ball park would you put dark matter and dark energy?

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 02:34 PM
The claims in question, which you haven't addressed, were not made by philosophers.What claims?

Here is the sequence:

tusenfem: But all this does not address why ATM proponents are often not willing to give even an OOM estimate of the effects they are describing.
Sani5: Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.
Nereid: Think Maxwell and Dirac (see papageno's post), Gravity ProbeB, gravitational lensing, Shapiro time delay, ... (what would there be to test without GR?), the Psi/J particles, the top quark, ... (the theory 'came first', n'est pas?), and so on.
Sani5: Good points. However, I am not arguing that Math cannot produce good results. Frequently it does. The point is that it does not necessarily always gurantee physical reality.
Nereid: But who, other than a philosopher, is concerned with whether any theory even can 'gurantee physical reality' let alone whether it in fact does? (my bold)
Sani5: The claims in question, which you haven't addressed, were not made by philosophers.

The claim ("it [maths] does not necessarily always gurantee physical reality") was made by Sani5. Are you saying you are not a philosopher?

So, I'm not following your defence here Sani5 - either you've put up a strawman, or I don't 'get' what you're claiming at all.

clj4
2006-Mar-24, 03:10 PM
I am arguing that it should be subordinate to Physics. That is the point.

I'm with Herbert Dingle on this one, from Science at the Crossroards:

“... Lorentz, in order to justify his transformation equations, saw the necessity of postulating a physical effect of interaction between moving matter and æther, to give the mathematics meaning. Physics still had de jure authority over mathematics: it was Einstein, who had no qualms about abolishing the æther and still retaining light waves whose properties were expressed by formulae that were meaningless without it, who was the first to discard physics altogether and propose a wholly mathematical theory...”

Dingle is hardly a model of reasoning to follow.
His understanding of mathematics was poor and his understanding of math applied to physics was even worse.

Sani5
2006-Mar-24, 03:24 PM
[Moderator Note: this thread was created by splitting out posts in the why math? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39653) thread. It contains posts relevant to the OT discussion in that thread, on Sani5's ideas about the relationship between maths and physics.]
I am not happy with this attempt to marginalise an important issue.

In support of EU ideas, I have argued that math is not the be all and end all of science. These arguments lose their context with this premature split!

Nereid
2006-Mar-24, 03:32 PM
I am not happy with this attempt to marginalise an important issue.

In support of EU ideas, I have argued that math is not the be all and end all of science. These arguments lose their context with this premature split!If all you wish to do is discuss the use of math (or the non-use of math, or anything in between) in connection with EU ideas, then I'll merge this thread with the EU thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=28596).

If you wish to make a broader claim (along the lines of "math is not the be all and end all of science" perhaps), then here's your chance to do so.

The why math? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39653) thread is quite specific in its scope; it is about the lack of use of math by ATM proponents (understood to be those who post to this section of BAUT).

As I understand the content of Sani5's posts, per this new thread, the context is very different - an ATM view of the role of maths and physics (or maths in physics perhaps).

Tim Thompson
2006-Mar-24, 03:38 PM
But all this does not address why ATM proponents are often not willing to give even an OOM estimate of the effects they are describing.

Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.
Better to say that observation & measurement should take precedence. It is observation that determines which of the many imaginable universes we are actually stuck with. But it does not matter much which one comes first in the sequence of events.


2. "Heavier than air flight is not posssible". The mathematical proofs were wrong! The new physics required new math.

The math was already there, the PHYSICS was wrong, by not considering the right upward forces that can be produced.

The physics was wrong, in this instant, because it was based on dodgy math!
My turn. No, the math was wrong, because it was based on dodgy physics, which was in turn based on "common sense", because there were no relevant observations to use as a basis for judgement.

Mathematics plays the role of the native language of physics. It is not possible to talk physics, except perhaps in a very simple way, without using math as the language of discussion. A typical mainstream scientist might get their original inspiration from anywhere. They might initially express their idea in some inelegant prose, or even elegant prose. But eventually, and probably quite soon, they will express their idea in mathematical statements, in equations. That's when they have begun to do physics.


Good points. However, I am not arguing that Math cannot produce good results. Frequently it does. The point is that it does not necessarily always gurantee physical reality.
This is certainly true. But a mathematical model is no different from any other model, in that it will be no better than what is put into it. Mathematical models are invariably built out of the elements of physical considerations, which might come from the prose, or from some earlier mathematical physics. But the model can't be thoroughly tested until it has been expressed in its native language, in this case mathematics. Only then can one decide which experiments & observations need to be made to verify or falsify the theory.

The bottom line is that every physical hypothesis has to be expressed in mathematical language, if ever it hopes to become a physcal theory. If you have a physical hypothesis, you must make it mathematical, or you lose.

korjik
2006-Mar-24, 04:53 PM
In which ball park would you put dark matter and dark energy?

OBSERVATION!

Dark matter and dark energy are OBSERVED! they were not predicted and most scientists, when they first heared about them thought the observers were nuts. Both had to be added to theory AFTER they were OBSERVED!

dgruss23
2006-Mar-24, 06:38 PM
This is certainly true. But a mathematical model is no different from any other model, in that it will be no better than what is put into it.

A very important point - and certainly relevant in the ATM discussions. A mathematical model will require a certain set of assumptions as a point of reference for the calculations - and those assumptions might need to be revised. An empirical model will be qualitative rather than quantitative in its initial stage but the empirical model is no better than the quality of the interpretations of observations that it is founded upon. Ultimately it must become possible to apply some level of math to an empirical model if it is to be useful.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-24, 07:01 PM
Because there is no guarantee that Math based theory will reflect physical reality! Observation and measurement et al should come first.There are no guarantees in science, either with math or without it, with observation or without it. You demand the impossible.


In which branch of philosophy would you get away with free variables like Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

Science, BTW, is a philosophical discipline known as empiricism.

Maths is a discipline based 'loosely' on logic. I say loosely has no logical connection has ever been proved, despite the best efforts of mathemeticians and philosophers.

Maths is an important, dare I say, vital tool, but it should be subordinate to physics. General Relativity, for example, puts it in the driving seat. This is a dangerous leap of faith.

Remember the 'Heavier than Air Flight' is impossible argument? They had the Math to 'prove' it. Unfortunately for the naysayers (The leading scientific authorities of the day), the NEW phyics required NEW math. Take note of the sequence there, please.

The lesson is simple, though often ignored. Always start with the physics. Hypothesis (preferably daring), expermient, observation, prediction/measurement, blah. For best results, stir in the math later on, or the cake might look like it was left out in the rain.Sani5, the bolded paragraph above suggests to me that you have a misconceived idea of what science is all about. I urge you to read this interesting discussion (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=38524), and the links in it.

dgruss23
2006-Mar-24, 07:12 PM
OBSERVATION!

Dark matter and dark energy are OBSERVED! they were not predicted and most scientists, when they first heared about them thought the observers were nuts. Both had to be added to theory AFTER they were OBSERVED!

I have to disagree. There are observations that strongly suggest the existence of dark matter and dark energy is a solid inference to make - but the inferred DM and DE has not been directly observed. What is the DM? What is the DE? We would know if these entities of Lamda CDM cosmology were in fact observed.

Keep in mind that you have proposals for alternatives to DM such as MOND. Such alternatives would not get published in the journals if the DM was observed.

papageno
2006-Mar-24, 07:20 PM
In which ball park would you put dark matter and dark energy?

Inference: the existence of Neptune was inferred from the discrepancy between expected and observed orbits of the planets; the existence of the neutrino was an hypothesis introduced to keep the principle of conservation of energy.

Why do you never address the other points of my posts?

Gillianren
2006-Mar-24, 08:00 PM
I'm sorry--how do you observe and measure without numbers?

korjik
2006-Mar-24, 08:08 PM
I have to disagree. There are observations that strongly suggest the existence of dark matter and dark energy is a solid inference to make - but the inferred DM and DE has not been directly observed. What is the DM? What is the DE? We would know if these entities of Lamda CDM cosmology were in fact observed.

Keep in mind that you have proposals for alternatives to DM such as MOND. Such alternatives would not get published in the journals if the DM was observed.

The existance of both is only because of observations. Wether we have seen them directly or not is irrelevant. no one has seen an atom, but no one doubts they exist (electron microscope images arent seeing). My point is is that neither was predicted by theory, actually both went very much against the theory of the time, but they had to be added because observation demanded it. That is something that is frequently forgotten here, that DM and DE are not artifacts of theory, but artifacts of observation, and theory had to be changes to account for them

dgavin
2006-Mar-24, 08:36 PM
Remember the 'Heavier than Air Flight' is impossible argument? They had the Math to 'prove' it. Unfortunately for the naysayers (The leading scientific authorities of the day), the NEW phyics required NEW math. Take note of the sequence there, please.

The lesson is simple, though often ignored. Always start with the physics. Hypothesis (preferably daring), expermient, observation, prediction/measurement, blah. For best results, stir in the math later on, or the cake might look like it was left out in the rain.

I beg to differ, but the math was correct for what was known at the time. Tyey did not have an understanding of how Wing shape worked, and assumed that like fan's, the air impacting the underside of the wing pushed a bird upwards.

They had no idea that the curved shape of both a birds wings presented at angel to the air caused a low pressure area (vacume) that pulled the bird upwards, more so then the air compressed under the wing pushed.

One you account for both effects the same math that disproved it, worked for proving it.

However the wing shape wasn't inspired from Math or Physics, it was copied from nature. The Math was worked out on the pressure varients later, after curved wings demonstrated flight was possible.

dgruss23
2006-Mar-25, 02:43 PM
The existance of both is only because of observations.

The inferred existence of both is because of observations.


Wether we have seen them directly or not is irrelevant.

It certainly is relevant. If we haven't seen them they are not observed - they remain an inference. I'm not disputing that they are a scientifically well supported inference, but there are alternatives proposed - especially where DM is concerned. Its pretty difficult to propose a scientifically viable alternative to something that is in fact observed. MOND proponents would be ridiculous if we had in fact observed the DM. What we observe (as one example) is that spiral galaxy rotation curves do not drop off in a keplerian fashion but generally remain flat to the last measured point. We infer the presence of DM because of this. But others infer that gravity needs to be modified (MOND for example).


no one has seen an atom, but no one doubts they exist (electron microscope images arent seeing).

There is a big difference between "no one doubts" atoms exist and "atoms have been observed". No one doubts atoms exist because our theories to explain atomic behavior in chemistry and physics are very successful at explaining what we are able to observe. The success of those models does not make atoms observed.


My point is is that neither was predicted by theory, actually both went very much against the theory of the time, but they had to be added because observation demanded it.

Observation alone did not demand it. Observations interpreted in the context of current theory demanded it. DM is the interpretation of the flat rotation curves in the context of Newtonian dynamics. Modifying Newtonian dynamics in the fashion suggested by Milgrom is an alternative interpretation that does not demand DM. Thus DM is not an observation.


That is something that is frequently forgotten here, that DM and DE are not artifacts of theory, but artifacts of observation, and theory had to be changes to account for them

I would disagree with that too. You have some people suggest that DM is a patch to fix theory, because - they say- observations are inconsistent with theory. So they argue DM is one way to keep current theory consistent with the observations. I don't recall anybody saying that DM started as a theory based on no observations and scientists have since been seeking observations to justify it. That makes no sense. Theories are proposed as a means of explaining what is observed. Then scientists seek to observe new phenomenon that the theory predicts which have not been previously observed.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-25, 11:49 PM
Hmmm. I was going to close this thread because of Sani5's departure, but I see there is an interesting thoughtful discussion going on here.

One note about MoND, it can be used to explain the rotation rate in medium-sized Spiral galaxies, but doesn't work for low surface brightness galaxies, or to explain lensing in galactic clusters. So far as I know only dark matter gives a consistant explanation for all of these phenomena.

dgruss23
2006-Mar-26, 12:41 AM
Hmmm. I was going to close this thread because of Sani5's departure, but I see there is an interesting thoughtful discussion going on here.

One note about MoND, it can be used to explain the rotation rate in medium-sized Spiral galaxies, but doesn't work for low surface brightness galaxies, or to explain lensing in galactic clusters. So far as I know only dark matter gives a consistant explanation for all of these phenomena.

I'll have to check, but I believe you are right that lensing in clusters is a difficulty for MOND. But the situation with LSB galaxies is actually the opposite of what you said. LSB galaxies work very well for MOND and are difficult for CDM models. See de Blok & McGaugh (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1998ApJ...508..132D&db_key=AST&d ata_type=HTML&format=&high=3e5c03c80a20779) and McGaugh & de Blok (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1998ApJ...499...66M&db_key=AST&d ata_type=HTML&format=&high=3e5c03c80a20779). One of the major difficulties facing CDM is the tight coupling between the observed distribution of luminous mass and the required distribution of CDM. The problem with this coupling is that it contradicts the properties expected for collisionless CDM.

There is a tremendous amount of literature detailing this observational problem for CDM and what I find curious about it is that the prevailing Lamda CDM cosmology which WMAP results are consistently argued to support is based upon a significant hypothesized component (CDM) that has properties inconsistent with the observational results on the scale of individual galaxies.

Yet this CDM problem seems to be ignored in all the Lamda CDM modeling. I don't understand that because a close look at the literature on galaxy scales clearly suggests that collisionless CDM has been falsified. The alternative DM candidates that have been proposed to deal with this problem (Warm DM, Self-interacting DM ...) have their own problems.

The answer of course is that astronomers feel CDM is sucessful on large scales and therefore are willing to assume that the small scale problems will work themselves out. But these problems were known 20 years ago (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1985ApJ...293L...7B&db_key=AST&d ata_type=HTML&format=&high=3e5c03c80a26485) and better data has not erased the problem, but solidified it.

Cougar
2006-Mar-26, 04:44 AM
Dark matter and dark energy are OBSERVED! they were not predicted and most scientists, when they first heared about them thought the observers were nuts. Both had to be added to theory AFTER they were OBSERVED!
I have an idea where you're coming from, Korjik, but I've got to agree with dgruss that you're just overstating the case. Like practically everything in science, DM and DE are provisional explanations. If our theories of gravity are accurate, which we have every reason to believe they are, then the observed rotation speeds of galaxies are way too fast and they should be flying apart; therefore we need something to explain what keeps galaxies together. The simplest and seemingly most reasonable answer is that there must be a lot of mass spread throughout each of the galaxies that we have yet to detect -- that is, dark matter. It is inferred from what appears to be its gravitational effect. The gravitational "effect" is observed, but there is a possibility that there is some other explanation for this observation.

One of the major difficulties facing CDM is the tight coupling between the observed distribution of luminous mass and the required distribution of CDM. The problem with this coupling is that it contradicts the properties expected for collisionless CDM.
Well, the problem is that they are not tightly coupled. I guess that is what you're saying. Beyond the fact that galaxies don't seem to be showing enough mass to keep them together, galactic rotation curves do not behave as would be expected from the observed distribution of luminous matter, which is: lots at the center and less and less as you move away from the center. Judging from the orbits of all the stars within a galaxy, the hypothesized dark matter must be fairly uniformly spread throughout the galaxy and extend well beyond the visible edge of the luminous disk. But if dark matter is gravitationally "active", why hasn't it bunched up more in the center and thinned out at the edges like the luminous matter? Especially when nonbaryonic dark matter is being put forward as a possible explanation for structure formation in the very early universe. If it was "clumping" even before the universe cooled enough to allow hydrogen and helium to form, one would (naively?) think it would be pretty tightly packed into the centers of the galaxies by now. But the observed orbits imply it must be spread evenly throughout. This appears to be a problem.

RussT
2006-Mar-26, 12:19 PM
This is not just a problem for CDM, but a major problem for current thinking on all galaxy formation!

http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/public/images/ngc2915/


http://www.xs4all.nl/~carlkop/backyard.html

Where are the already formed stars in clusters that are supposed to merge to form galaxies?

Also, if you look at the ghost galaxy, it already has a galactic core that has spun the "Gas" into spirals with no stars in it, so that should indicate that the SMBH is much more instrumental in the galaxy rotation curves than anyone has even come close to calculating, and thats before trying to calculate how long it has been "spinning" it!

Also, I think that one of Sani's points was saying that just because the math might show that something is plausible, doesn't mean it is proven, and that there is an inherent danger in putting to much stock in the math. For example, there is a ton of math that shows mainstream that "Inflation" is possible, but if the universe did not start out with that, then of course, it is meaningless.

Cougar
2006-Mar-26, 06:39 PM
This is not just a problem for CDM, but a major problem for current thinking on all galaxy formation! http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/public/images/ngc2915/
I don't follow. Obviously there were hundreds of billions of regions dense enough to form "normal" galaxies. Why would it be surprising that some regions would not be quite dense enough?

RussT
2006-Mar-27, 08:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussT
This is not just a problem for CDM, but a major problem for current thinking on all galaxy formation!
http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/public/images/ngc2915/



I don't follow. Obviously there were hundreds of billions of regions dense enough to form "normal" galaxies. Why would it be surprising that some regions would not be quite dense enough?

Where are the already formed stars in clusters that are supposed to merge to form galaxies?

Cougar, did you click on the link and look at the galaxy in question?

Cougar
2006-Mar-27, 04:38 PM
Cougar, did you click on the link and look at the galaxy in question?
Yes.

Where are the already formed stars in clusters that are supposed to merge to form galaxies?This question seems a bit confused. I'm not sure what you're asking. By the way, I believe large-scale structure formation is still one of the great unsolved problems in astrophysics.

RussT
2006-Mar-28, 02:39 AM
Yes.
This question seems a bit confused. I'm not sure what you're asking. By the way, I believe large-scale structure formation is still one of the great unsolved problems in astrophysics.

[I believe large-scale structure formation is still one of the great unsolved problems in astrophysics.]

I agree wholeheartedly, and galaxy formation is the key to solving that as well as a host of others.

What I am asking is simply this. Galaxies are 'supposed' to form thru star systems merging, right? So, where are the already formed stars merging to form this galaxy?

Cougar
2006-Mar-28, 03:52 PM
What I am asking is simply this. Galaxies are 'supposed' to form thru star systems merging, right?
This is how galaxies evolve -- for example ellipticals form from merging spirals -- but to me it looks like galaxies initially form from very early black holes, which appear to us as young quasars. There is then a long evolution of change into more normal spiral galaxies. Remember the early universe was much more dense with hydrogen and helium, and it was much more crowded.

blueshift
2006-Mar-29, 12:30 AM
Aye, top post.

However, rather than getting into the relative merits of the different philosophical disciplines -- empiricism, logic, metaphysics, et al, I will try and stick to the central thrust of my argument.

MATH SHOULD BE SUBORDINATE TO PHYSICS!

Why? Simple, really: Because history demonstrates that Mathematical truthes do not necessarily reflect physical reality.

Your examples are weak.
Math and reality are not separable. When a small child is picked on by a big bully and finally decides to return a strong blow in return, he or she has unconsciously calculated the existence of momentum and knows that more is needed than what was delivered in order to overcome and knock the bully back. We understand trigomometry when we first complete a pass in football and Michael Jordan had to understand how to adjust his center of mass in order to create "hang time" when gliding toward a basket. Math is not subordinate to physics. Math is physics. Math is observation. When we see the blue sky our eyes are making a mathematical computation. When math coordianted with tools allowed radio telescopes to "see" something our eyes cannot, did we make some conclusion that their measurements are wrong just because our eyes are "reality" from our perspective? Just as Earth was shown not to be an Aristotelian "special place" in the universe, so our eyes are no longer the final arbitrators they once were. Human chauvanism is hard to shake loose. The math of Ptolemy was very crude and is an example of "shortened" measurement.

Sani5, Maria Montessouri redesigned her elementary schools to reflect what you sense to be true. She did her thesis watching construction workers going through their apprenticeships and noticed that they were introduced to tools and material while vocabulary and math was something that was not memorized, but merely associated to the objects they held and worked with. They did not have to cram to understand what a hammer was. But they knew what a ruler was.They would not take words and try to make the world fit those words but would make words associate to their work experience.If you visit a Montessouri school, you will see the children arranged into work stations rather than sitting at desks listening to lectures. But it only goes so far.

This introduction to carpentry (and elementary schooling) led them right away to the failure waiting when continuing down such a dead end. Excess material would lie around and cause pile ups. Math was needed to straighten out those messes. Bad measurements led to things that didn't fit right and had to be redone.
The needed to make lists of material to buy and to know the meanings of the words on the lists to communicate with the lumber yard. That is why apprentices are not allowed to run the business.

If math was subordinate to our experience with tools (which were mathematically designed), then the family garages in blue collar neighborhoods would be where all the inventions would be eminating from..They aren't. A few neat motor cycles have been built in those settings (I used to tear apart and rebuild one of these)
http://www.angelfire.com/sc/BOBBYNVENUSTRIKEPAGE/history.html
but when it comes to electronics you run into a wall. From garages come only a few experiments. Fermilab does one billion repititions of an experiment and doesn't claim discovery until they get mathematically predicted results in 99.999% of those one billion runs.

Math today has too many of its roots based on valid experiment whereas yesterday's math did not.The screen in front of you would not be there without relativity and quantum physics and the math associated with them. The world of objectivism has given way to the world of subjectivism.

Go rent "October Sky". Without math those rockets were failing. The more the math got involved, the more accurate the flights resulted.

czeslaw
2006-Mar-29, 06:41 AM
Math today has too many of its roots based on valid experiment whereas yesterday's math did not.The screen in front of you would not be there without relativity and quantum physics and the math associated with them. The world of objectivism has given way to the world of subjectivism.
.
You want to say – if something is predicted by math , it is possible experimentally too.
It depends on assumption you have taken in your math.
1.Ptolomeo thought the planets orbits along a circle , because the circle is a perfect movement – bad math – he did not know a gravity.
2.Kepler thought the planets orbits along an ellipse , because the Newton gravity – bad math – he did not know General Relativity
3.Schwarzschild thought a photon can not leave a Black Hole – bad math – he did not know Hawking Radiation.
4.A present mainstream think there is a infinite dense singularity in the Black Hole centre – bad math – they do not know what is the space and what is the Quantum Gravity (developed still).

worzel
2006-Mar-29, 09:17 AM
4.A present mainstream think there is a infinite dense singularity in the Black Hole centre – bad math – they do not know what is the space and what is the Quantum Gravity (developed still).Isn't the mainstream view more like GR breaks down at the singularity of a black hole precisely because it predicts infinite density?

RussT
2006-Mar-29, 10:23 AM
Isn't the mainstream view more like GR breaks down at the singularity of a black hole precisely because it predicts infinite density?

Not exactly...see post # 66 and # 79 Sani5's math thread.

RussT
2006-Mar-29, 10:33 AM
3.Schwarzschild thought a photon can not leave a Black Hole – bad math – he did not know Hawking Radiation.
4.A present mainstream think there is a infinite dense singularity in the Black Hole centre – bad math – they do not know what is the space and what is the Quantum Gravity (developed still).

czeslaw, how can you keep refering to Hawking Radiation, when you don't even think black holes exist? You can't just equate eveything that is said about black holes (that you like) and then convert it to "Your" concept of what you want to happen in the vicinity of where a black hole would be.

Light (photons) cannot escape a black hole...Hawking Radiation (is theory) and is when particle pairs are created and one goes in the black hole and the other doesn't.

See the above post #'s for your answer to "Infinite Density" as far as black holes go.

czeslaw
2006-Mar-29, 11:21 AM
Isn't the mainstream view more like GR breaks down at the singularity of a black hole precisely because it predicts infinite density?

Yes. the newest mainstream says - we do not know what the singularity is and how dense it is.

czeslaw
2006-Mar-29, 11:37 AM
czeslaw, how can you keep refering to Hawking Radiation, when you don't even think black holes exist? You can't just equate eveything that is said about black holes (that you like) and then convert it to "Your" concept of what you want to happen in the vicinity of where a black hole would be.

Light (photons) cannot escape a black hole...Hawking Radiation (is theory) and is when particle pairs are created and one goes in the black hole and the other doesn't.

See the above post #'s for your answer to "Infinite Density" as far as black holes go.

Black Hole may evaporate by Hawking Radiation.
Isn't it your idea the singularity produces a matter ?

Black Hole does not work according to General Relativity only. Let you go in the XXI century science. Quantum Mechanic and Quantum Gravity avoids such a superdense singularities.

unexpected discovery means that a black hole could behave as a good quantum computer and be used to perform useful calculations -- if only we knew how to program it (Phys. Rev. Lett. 96 061302). http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/10/3/1/1

RussT
2006-Mar-29, 12:09 PM
This is how galaxies evolve -- for example ellipticals form from merging spirals -- but to me it looks like galaxies initially form from very early black holes, which appear to us as young quasars. There is then a long evolution of change into more normal spiral galaxies. Remember the early universe was much more dense with hydrogen and helium, and it was much more crowded.

[but to me it looks like galaxies initially form from very early black holes, which appear to us as young quasars.]

This is appears to be partially correct (Young Quasars), but how does that explain this, and the one I already linked for you (Ghost Galaxy)?

http://www.xs4all.nl/~carlkop/backyard.html

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Mar-29, 04:50 PM
2.Kepler thought the planets orbits along an ellipse , because the Newton gravity – bad math – he did not know General Relativity

And another nit to pick.
Kepler didn't know Newtonian laws.

He thought the planets orbit along an ellipse because that fitted
the observations the best.
He definitely wasn't expecting to find anything like that.
Later Newton based his laws in part on Kepler's Laws.

Monique
2006-Mar-29, 05:00 PM
In which ball park would you put dark matter and dark energy?

Inference: the existence of Neptune was inferred from the discrepancy between expected and observed orbits of the planets; the existence of the neutrino was an hypothesis introduced to keep the principle of conservation of energy.

Why do you never address the other points of my posts? Is inconvienent. You discuss unpleasant aspect of reality ;)

czeslaw
2006-Mar-29, 07:48 PM
And another nit to pick.
Kepler didn't know Newtonian laws.

He thought the planets orbit along an ellipse because that fitted
the observations the best.
He definitely wasn't expecting to find anything like that.
Later Newton based his laws in part on Kepler's Laws.
Of course, Newton lived after Kepler but both of them thought the Kepler's law's is a good math.
It was good for their time only.
Anyway the MATH is changed with a time. It is not an independent truth.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-29, 07:59 PM
Of course, Newton lived after Kepler but both of them thought the Kepler's law's is a good math.
It was good for their time only.I've been waiting for you to tell us what's wrong with Kepler's laws.

czeslaw
2006-Mar-30, 07:47 AM
I've been waiting for you to tell us what's wrong with Kepler's laws.
A Mercury orbit around the Sun.
We need GR math to describe it precisely.

ATKINS
2006-Mar-30, 10:31 PM
Aye, top post.

However, rather than getting into the relative merits of the different philosophical disciplines -- empiricism, logic, metaphysics, et al, I will try and stick to the central thrust of my argument.

MATH SHOULD BE SUBORDINATE TO PHYSICS!

Why? Simple, really: Because history demonstrates that Mathematical truthes do not necessarily reflect physical reality.
Your examples are weak.
Math and reality are not separable. When a small child is picked on by a big bully and finally decides to return a strong blow in return, he or she has unconsciously calculated the existence of momentum and knows that more is needed than what was delivered in order to overcome and knock the bully back. We understand trigomometry when we first complete a pass in football and Michael Jordan had to understand how to adjust his center of mass in order to create "hang time" when gliding toward a basket. Math is not subordinate to physics. Math is physics. Math is observation. When we see the blue sky our eyes are making a mathematical computation. When math coordianted with tools allowed radio telescopes to "see" something our eyes cannot, did we make some conclusion that their measurements are wrong just because our eyes are "reality" from our perspective? Just as Earth was shown not to be an Aristotelian "special place" in the universe, so our eyes are no longer the final arbitrators they once were. Human chauvanism is hard to shake loose. The math of Ptolemy was very crude and is an example of "shortened" measurement.

Sani5, Maria Montessouri redesigned her elementary schools to reflect what you sense to be true. She did her thesis watching construction workers going through their apprenticeships and noticed that they were introduced to tools and material while vocabulary and math was something that was not memorized, but merely associated to the objects they held and worked with. They did not have to cram to understand what a hammer was. But they knew what a ruler was.They would not take words and try to make the world fit those words but would make words associate to their work experience.If you visit a Montessouri school, you will see the children arranged into work stations rather than sitting at desks listening to lectures. But it only goes so far.

This introduction to carpentry (and elementary schooling) led them right away to the failure waiting when continuing down such a dead end. Excess material would lie around and cause pile ups. Math was needed to straighten out those messes. Bad measurements led to things that didn't fit right and had to be redone.
The needed to make lists of material to buy and to know the meanings of the words on the lists to communicate with the lumber yard. That is why apprentices are not allowed to run the business.

If math was subordinate to our experience with tools (which were mathematically designed), then the family garages in blue collar neighborhoods would be where all the inventions would be eminating from..They aren't. A few neat motor cycles have been built in those settings (I used to tear apart and rebuild one of these)
http://www.angelfire.com/sc/BOBBYNVENUSTRIKEPAGE/history.html
but when it comes to electronics you run into a wall. From garages come only a few experiments. Fermilab does one billion repititions of an experiment and doesn't claim discovery until they get mathematically predicted results in 99.999% of those one billion runs.

Math today has too many of its roots based on valid experiment whereas yesterday's math did not.The screen in front of you would not be there without relativity and quantum physics and the math associated with them. The world of objectivism has given way to the world of subjectivism.

Go rent "October Sky". Without math those rockets were failing. The more the math got involved, the more accurate the flights resulted.
Math is actually only a language, or tool , which we use to attempt to describe "reality". In this respect, it is essentially no different from that other language, or tool, which we call "English", without which you wouldn't have been able to make the points you have made and I wouldn't be able to respond to you.

In any language, there are terms which some people believe to describe reality and which others don't. In what way, for example, is the word "God" (or "Gott", 'Dieu", etc. in other languages) essentially different from a term such as "cosmological constant" invented by Einstein, whose meaning or simple existence is similarly a mere matter of faith (fervently upheld by some, fiercely disputed by others)? Idem for DE and DM, of course...

The apparent objectivity of math should not lead us to believe that it actually and necessarily describes reality. Math-inspired FAIRIE DUST ("Fabricated Adhoc Inventions Repeatedly Invoked in Efforts to Defend Untenable Scientific Theories") is essentially no different from the FAIRY-TALES (e.g. "The Emperor's Clothes") we were told as kids.

RussT
2006-Mar-30, 10:56 PM
[but to me it looks like galaxies initially form from very early black holes, which appear to us as young quasars.]

This is appears to be partially correct (Young Quasars), but how does that explain this, and the one I already linked for you (Ghost Galaxy)?

http://www.xs4all.nl/~carlkop/backyard.html

Cougar...? And what about Dwarf Galaxies?

blueshift
2006-Mar-31, 02:28 AM
Math is actually only a language, or tool , which we use to attempt to describe "reality". In this respect, it is essentially no different from that other language, or tool, which we call "English", without which you wouldn't have been able to make the points you have made and I wouldn't be able to respond to you.

In any language, there are terms which some people believe to describe reality and which others don't. In what way, for example, is the word "God" (or "Gott", 'Dieu", etc. in other languages) essentially different from a term such as "cosmological constant" invented by Einstein, whose meaning or simple existence is similarly a mere matter of faith (fervently upheld by some, fiercely disputed by others)? Idem for DE and DM, of course...

The apparent objectivity of math should not lead us to believe that it actually and necessarily describes reality. Math-inspired FAIRIE DUST ("Fabricated Adhoc Inventions Repeatedly Invoked in Efforts to Defend Untenable Scientific Theories") is essentially no different from the FAIRY-TALES (e.g. "The Emperor's Clothes") we were told as kids.Yet experiment is only a tool to find out whether or not something is workable or not that waits for math and language to describe it. When we teach parrots to speak they fail to fly into the rainforest and teach other parrots to speak. This is a mathematical evaluation that cannot be separated from the experiment.

Deities were invented for various reasons. The purpose they serve in social orders that wish to pass on tradition is to maintain a power structure that goes unquestioned or is questioned only within a defined framework. Myths are also created to make the mind feel comfortable with experimental results that make no sense or because the myth is still functional and serves a useful purpose. The Rutherford model of the atom is still presented and used by biologists and chemists. It is dead wrong but the solar system -type drawings are useful for those fields while making no sense to a particle physicist.

Math can be bad and misleading. So can experiment.

dgruss23
2006-Mar-31, 03:28 AM
Well, the problem is that they are not tightly coupled. I guess that is what you're saying. Beyond the fact that galaxies don't seem to be showing enough mass to keep them together, galactic rotation curves do not behave as would be expected from the observed distribution of luminous matter, which is: lots at the center and less and less as you move away from the center. Judging from the orbits of all the stars within a galaxy, the hypothesized dark matter must be fairly uniformly spread throughout the galaxy and extend well beyond the visible edge of the luminous disk. But if dark matter is gravitationally "active", why hasn't it bunched up more in the center and thinned out at the edges like the luminous matter? Especially when nonbaryonic dark matter is being put forward as a possible explanation for structure formation in the very early universe. If it was "clumping" even before the universe cooled enough to allow hydrogen and helium to form, one would (naively?) think it would be pretty tightly packed into the centers of the galaxies by now. But the observed orbits imply it must be spread evenly throughout. This appears to be a problem.

I'm sorry Cougar ... I missed this. I didn't do a very good job explaining that above, but perhaps I did here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=559623&postcount=327) and here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=665083&postcount=9). It is well established observationally that there is a coupling between the distribution of DM and luminous matter.

111Celt
2006-Apr-02, 01:47 PM
Yet experiment is only a tool to find out whether or not something is workable or not that waits for math and language to describe it.
Here you seem to concede that experiment and observation can happily precede the math and language that may later describe them?

Isn't this what Sani5 was getting at? However, some on here are effectively saying that observations are meaningless without OOM and qualitative predictions and the ilk!

blueshift
2006-Apr-02, 04:50 PM
Here you seem to concede that experiment and observation can happily precede the math and language that may later describe them?

Isn't this what Sani5 was getting at? However, some on here are effectively saying that observations are meaningless without OOM and qualitative predictions and the ilk!Actually you have made a good point. My response was incomplete. Math can make a prediction of events that experiment alone cannot do. The amount of financial expenditures for an experiment is astronomical in a particle physics accelerator compared to the expenditure
throwing a rock into water. The amount of wasted energy would be enormous if we let "trial and error" rule science.

Basically, Sani5 sees a segregation between experiment and math. I do not. My earlier post described that on March 28.
http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=713298&postcount=46

111Celt
2006-Apr-02, 05:37 PM
Basically, Sani5 sees a segregation between experiment and math. I do not. My earlier post described that on March 28.
http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=713298&postcount=46
Yes, but Sani5 acknowledged that math is a vital tool.

Critically -- and as has already been pointed out by others earlier in this thread -- if an underlying model is wrong, then the mathematical predictions that follow maybe mathematically valid, but will not reflect the physical reality.

I think Sani5's historical "Heavier than air flight is impossible" example is valid in this respect.


1. Math is not subordinate to physics. 2. Math is physics. 3. Math is observation.
I have added in the numbers here to your 28/03 post, as I think these are three separate issues.

2. 'Math is Physics'! Really? Surely physics/science is about observation and experiment? What would be the point of a purley mathematical model without reference to experiment?

3. 'Math is observation'! Surely we need to observe something before we can attempt to quantize it? Surely this separates them?

As for point 1., I would argue that Math only belongs to the realm of pure thought without reference to experiment.

RussT
2006-Apr-02, 11:46 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar
[but to me it looks like galaxies initially form from very early black holes, which appear to us as young quasars.]

Quote
Originally Posted by RussT
This is appears to be partially correct (Young Quasars), but how does that explain this, and the one I already linked for you (Ghost Galaxy)?

http://www.xs4all.nl/~carlkop/backyard.html


Cougar...? And what about Dwarf Galaxies?

blueshift
2006-Apr-03, 02:51 AM
Yes, but Sani5 acknowledged that math is a vital tool.

Critically -- and as has already been pointed out by others earlier in this thread -- if an underlying model is wrong, then the mathematical predictions that follow maybe mathematically valid, but will not reflect the physical reality.

I think Sani5's historical "Heavier than air flight is impossible" example is valid in this respect.


I have added in the numbers here to your 28/03 post, as I think these are three separate issues.

2. 'Math is Physics'! Really? Surely physics/science is about observation and experiment? What would be the point of a purley mathematical model without reference to experiment?Likewise, what would be any experiment without reference to a quantity? There is a symmetry here.


3. 'Math is observation'! Surely we need to observe something before we can attempt to quantize it? Surely this separates them?To observe anything your brain has to calculate the precise motions needed to be taken to make the observation. If the neuron gaps (quantized distances) are off , the calculation can erroneously recorded.
The human brain records the frequency of some reflected light by the color the retina has impressed upon it. It does not have to write down a number. The color is the number.
All beings can count..insects, lions, infants at four months. Read Marc Hauser's "Wild Minds". He did a lot of experiments to back it up.


As for point 1., I would argue that Math only belongs to the realm of pure thought without reference to experiment. I would pick up V.S. Ramachandran's "A Brief Tour of Consciou5ness". (That is not misspelled) It would take that whole book to respond to that statement. Thoughts are experiments. Synthesizing is going on constantly by some parts of the brain on other parts creating "crosstalking". It could be off-topic to expand upon this.

worzel
2006-Apr-03, 12:33 PM
Science is observation, reasoning, hypothesizing, and experiment. Math is the the reasoning and hypothesizing.

Using only common sense logic we'd have pretty feeble theories whose predictions would be rather vague - and we'd still be using math anyway - just very simplisticly. What we think of as math as opposed to common sense reasoning is really just an extention of common sense reasoning: it is all just pure logic in the end: you can't even make an argument about math (i.e. logic) without logic.

If you want to draw a line between simple "if..then..." statements and, say, partial differential equations then you'd need to justify why. In my experience, anti-math people usually draw the line between that which they can understand and that which they can't.

Eta C
2006-Apr-03, 12:33 PM
If no one's mentioned it yet, Lord Kelvin's quote might be considered germane as one prominent scientist's opinion.

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 02:46 PM
Likewise, what would be any experiment without reference to a quantity? There is a symmetry here.
Yes, there is a symmetry. Who but an irrational person would deny this?

However, I think Sani5 has made a valid point. Science and Physcis should start with experiment and observation, and the Math should follow later. In other words, no theory should start with Math, or allow math to become too dominant, without reference to experimental evidence.

I fear that when Math takes a front seat, ideology jumps into its lap. Epicycles for example. The math was valid, but the underlying theory was wrong...

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 02:50 PM
What we think of as math as opposed to common sense reasoning is really just an extention of common sense reasoning: it is all just pure logic in the end: you can't even make an argument about math (i.e. logic) without logic.
:eek:

Math is pure logic! Really? Do you care to justify this powerful statement?

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 02:53 PM
"I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. " Lord Kelvin
Yes, I like this quote, but how exactly do you think it is a relevant to this thread?

Bear in mind that Sani5 described Math as a vital tool in the armoury of science.

Metricyard
2006-Apr-03, 03:44 PM
Yes, there is a symmetry. Who but an irrational person would deny this?

However, I think Sani5 has made a valid point. Science and Physcis should start with experiment and observation, and the Math should follow later. In other words, no theory should start with Math, or allow math to become too dominant, without reference to experimental evidence.

Quantum mechanics is a good example of doing theoretical math first. There are many sciences that have reached a point that we just can't observe certain things, or have just reached a point that we can. There are lots of examples of theories that have taken decades to reach a point of observation or testing.

There are also alot of present mathematical theories (string theory comes to mind) that will take decades or centuries to be able to test them. Only time will tell if these theories are correct, or totally wrong.



I fear that when Math takes a front seat, ideology jumps into its lap. Epicycles for example. The math was valid, but the underlying theory was wrong...

Grey area here. Can the math be valid if the model is wrong? Math, like any tool, is only as good as the material that you're using it on. You can make math work on anything if your creative enough, but does it really prove the theory or observation valid? Just because the math works doesn't mean that it shows what is really observed.

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 05:03 PM
Quantum mechanics is a good example of doing theoretical math first.
Yes, indeed.


There are many sciences that have reached a point that we just can't observe certain things, or have just reached a point that we can.
Fine. So long as the speculative nature of such theories is borne in mind at all times.

I read so many science articles where fact and speculation are mixed to such an extent that it is easy to miss where verification ends and speculation begins. My fear is that Math can provide a smoke screen that blurs these boundaries.


There are lots of examples of theories that have taken decades to reach a point of observation or testing.
And there's one or two that turned out to be wrong as a result, and a few that remain highly speculative after many years of searching.

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 05:04 PM
Grey area here. Can the math be valid if the model is wrong? Math, like any tool, is only as good as the material that you're using it on. You can make math work on anything if your creative enough, but does it really prove the theory or observation valid? Just because the math works doesn't mean that it shows what is really observed.
Oh, yeah. Couldn't agree more!

Gillianren
2006-Apr-03, 06:41 PM
I would pick up V.S. Ramachandran's "A Brief Tour of Consciou5ness". (That is not misspelled)

Well, it is--just not by you.

Measurements are crucial to observation. Measurements are numbers. If you haven't measured whatever-it-is, how do you know what you've seen?

worzel
2006-Apr-03, 11:16 PM
:eek:

Math is pure logic! Really? Do you care to justify this powerful statement?
How would you justify 2+2=4?

111Celt
2006-Apr-03, 11:42 PM
How would you justify 2+2=4?
I don't have to. This mathematical expression is trivially true.

Now, back to your pronouncement. Please feel free to prove the relationship betweeen math and logic?

worzel
2006-Apr-04, 12:32 AM
I don't have to. This mathematical expression is trivially true.

Now, back to your pronouncement. Please feel free to prove the relationship betweeen math and logic?
Why is it trivially true? How would you explain it to a two year old who didn't even understand what those symbols meant and what the rules were for making trivially true statements out of them?

By the way, I don't think this is an ATM idea, 111Celt, so I don't think your demands for me to prove it to your satisfaction while refusing to even consider a much simpler question of my own is warranted.


Another view, held by many mathematicians, is that mathematics is the body of knowledge justified by deductive reasoning, starting from axioms and definitions.

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Apr-04, 12:53 AM
If no one's mentioned it yet, Lord Kelvin's quote might be considered germane as one prominent scientist's opinion.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.
Oddly enough Lazarus Long said the exact same thing.

If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.
It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another—
but which one? Differences are crucial.

blueshift
2006-Apr-04, 03:43 AM
Yes, there is a symmetry. Who but an irrational person would deny this?

However, I think Sani5 has made a valid point. Science and Physcis should start with experiment and observation, and the Math should follow later. In other words, no theory should start with Math, or allow math to become too dominant, without reference to experimental evidence.

I fear that when Math takes a front seat, ideology jumps into its lap. Epicycles for example. The math was valid, but the underlying theory was wrong...These are no longer the times of Ptolemy. During Ptolemy's day such a criticism is valid. Today prediction carries more math than it did in Ptlolemy's time and economics puts demands on science to justify the funds it receives from the government.
It must justify itself with mathematical promises. e=mc^2 told the politicians that one raisin has enough energy to power up New York City for a day. Spending money on particle physics would point us in the direction of newer energy sources being realized.

The math of Ptolemy did not have the experimental evidence supporting it that today's math has. As workers we are no longer adding as much value to the products being made as we did years ago. The computer revolution has intervened. It is a computational tool that is guiding quite a bit of our technology and life support systems along with some terror. But it should not take the place of prototyping unless it is a computer that is being prototyped. And that is the catch. So much of your car is computer controlled now and has changed the life styles of many, including me. I was one of those jack-of-all-trades that neighbors asked to help fix their cars. Autos are not breaking down like they did years ago, leaving me a relic.

Tim Thompson
2006-Apr-04, 04:03 AM
I think there is too much sentiment to the effect that math & physics are somehow seperable commodities. I don't think it works that way. The idea that "science and physics should start with experiment and observation, and the math should follow later" is a poor expression of an idea that is better than that.

So what are "experiment" and "observation"? In natural sciences conducted in the field, "observations" can be descriptions of nature written in a notebook, like Darwin's notebooks, or modern day naturalists. But in the "exact" sciences, like physics, "experiment" and "observation" invariably result in an array of numbers, and sometimes the array can be astonishingly large. But the numbers don't mean anything, which means that the "experiments" and "observations" also don't mean anything, until they are interpreted. And since the interpretation is done with mathematics, mathematics comes before interpretation. Now we all know that this is not always the case, but it surely is the case most of the time, especially in physics.

Hubble's observation of a relationship between redshift, angular size & apparent brightness leads to the idea of an expanding universe without mathematics. But that's as far as you can go without it. It's the mathematics that makes the scientific theory of an expanding universe happen.

It is mathematics that creates theories, not observation. It is observation that verifies theories, not mathematics. But science is not science without both theory & observation, so science is not science without mathematics.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Apr-04, 02:43 PM
I don't entirely agree with Lord Kelvin's words. Parts of biology and geology still make do without mathematics, so I would say that science is possible without math. But a science definitely becomes much more powerful when/if it's mathematised.

Eta C
2006-Apr-04, 03:34 PM
I don't entirely agree with Lord Kelvin's words. Parts of biology and geology still make do without mathematics, so I would say that science is possible without math. But a science definitely becomes much more powerful when/if it's mathematised.

So I take it that you wouldn't agree with Earnest Rutherford's opinion that "All science is either physics or stamp collecting" either. I'm not sure I do, but it does reflect the feeling many physicists had early in the 20th century.

As to Kelvin's quote. I think that it's a more outspoken version of what you've said. Namely, scientific theories are more powerful and predictive when they are quantitative. I like to use it as a counter to the numerous ATM types who seem to feel that the use of mathematical theories impedes scientific progress, thus absolving themselves of the necessity to act as scientists do and making a virtue of their innumerancy.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Apr-04, 04:17 PM
As to Kelvin's quote. I think that it's a more outspoken version of what you've said. Namely, scientific theories are more powerful and predictive when they are quantitative. I like to use it as a counter to the numerous ATM types who seem to feel that the use of mathematical theories impedes scientific progress, thus absolving themselves of the necessity to act as scientists do and making a virtue of their innumerancy.And when everyone else is using math, they should ask themselves how likely they are to succeed by taking a different route. I certainly agree with you there.


So I take it that you wouldn't agree with Earnest Rutherford's opinion that "All science is either physics or stamp collecting" either. I'm not sure I do, but it does reflect the feeling many physicists had early in the 20th century.Looking at the phenomenal advances of biology throughout the 20th century, I can't accept that point of view. I guess the moral to draw from the story is that what starts out as stamp collection can go a long way, given enough time. Even in the early 20th century, biology had already moved beyond raw observation. Darwin had presented his magnificent synthesis, and Mendel had given the firsts steps into genetics. Heck, even astronomy still has its fair share of painstaking stamp collecting today! Of course, we have the benefit of hindsight.

Eta C
2006-Apr-04, 09:03 PM
"Stamp collecting" would seem to be a phase that most scientific fields go through. Heck, even my field of particle physics was famously compared to botany by none other than Fermi. Collecting and classification bring out patterns however and those patterns ultimately lead to mathematically formulated theories that describe them.