Robert Campbell

The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics

Recommended Posts

That's a laughable interpretation of what I claimed.

On the contrary, it was a completely straight reading. What you wrote was laughable.

But implicit in your comedic routine is the claim: "No one can put any limits whatsoever on future discoveries." In other words, you're saying that no one can discover any limits whatsoever. To quote a poor comedian: "This strikes me as an extraordinary claim about the future of science."

You’re free to revise your earlier statement, instead you attack the messenger by claiming I said the opposite of what I very plainly said. I’d append here some cutting GHS style repartee, but you’re just too boring to inspire any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a laughable interpretation of what I claimed.

On the contrary, it was a completely straight reading. What you wrote was laughable.

But implicit in your comedic routine is the claim: "No one can put any limits whatsoever on future discoveries." In other words, you're saying that no one can discover any limits whatsoever. To quote a poor comedian: "This strikes me as an extraordinary claim about the future of science."

You’re free to revise your earlier statement, instead you attack the messenger by claiming I said the opposite of what I very plainly said. I’d append here some cutting GHS style repartee, but you’re just too boring to inspire any.

Well, you're obviously either a liar, a dolt, or this is just more of your silly comedy routine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally wrote:

We may arrive at a "complete" picture in the sense that every particle we've seen has a place in a theory that perfectly describes what we know, but we cannot know that these particles are the "bottom."

This is a perfectly simple though perhaps generally unnoticed point, requiring hardly any imagination to grasp. In order to grasp nature more finely, we have to produce ever more powerful microscopes or particle smashers, as well as ever more powerful theories to even comprehend what we are observing. It is obvious that whatever our finest resolution is, that that resolution is finite and limited. We will never have infinitely fine resolving powers, just as we will never have infinite ability to probe the depths of space.

Perhaps a disappointing truth that rips the rug out from the cesspool of government-financed projects done in the name of science, but true nonetheless.

Now this "Ninth Doctor" idiot/comedian wants to pretend that one day, some scientist *might* invent a magical infinite resolving device, so I have no logical right to preclude this. Well he might as well claim I have no right to say God isn't going to visit us and tell us that *this* reality has all been a joke, and the real reality is waiting for us in heaven.

Shayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally wrote:

We may arrive at a "complete" picture in the sense that every particle we've seen has a place in a theory that perfectly describes what we know, but we cannot know that these particles are the "bottom."

This is a perfectly simple though perhaps generally unnoticed point, requiring hardly any imagination to grasp. In order to grasp nature more finely, we have to produce ever more powerful microscopes or particle smashers, as well as ever more powerful theories to even comprehend what we are observing. It is obvious that whatever our finest resolution is, that that resolution is finite and limited. We will never have infinitely fine resolving powers, just as we will never have infinite ability to probe the depths of space.

Perhaps a disappointing truth that rips the rug out from the cesspool of government-financed projects done in the name of science, but true nonetheless.

Now this "Ninth Doctor" idiot/comedian wants to pretend that one day, some scientist *might* invent a magical infinite resolving device, so I have no logical right to preclude this. Well he might as well claim I have no right to say God isn't going to visit us and tell us that *this* reality has all been a joke, and the real reality is waiting for us in heaven.

Shayne

According to George Walsh, your viewpoint is identical to that of Immanuel Kant.

Prof. George Walsh on Rand and Kant

The paradox of your position is that, in order for you to know that something is unknowable, you would have to be omniscient, and I'm pretty sure that [a] you're not and if you were, you would thereby invalidate your own claim.B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been hearing voices lately?

Just one. It said that there’s a jackass posting on OL who isn’t worth talking to.

Not worth my time to add to this.

It seems that you’re inspired to continue doubling down with insults, but I don’t care about having the last word, and besides I’m rubber you’re glue…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've had enough of GHS's continuous insults and smears, so he may have the last word. A rational and polite discussion is not possible with him. Apparently he can only resort to personal attacks, calling names, bullying, bragging about his own achievements, using the argument from intimidation, sarcastic misinterpretations of your arguments while he himself only presents arbitrary assertions without any proof. The following description by Rand fits him to a tee:

Many professors use the Argument from Intimidation to stifle independent thinking among the students, to evade questions they cannot answer, to discourage any critical analysis of their arbitrary assumptions or any departure from the intellectual status quo.

"Aristotle? My dear fellow—" (a weary sigh) "if you had read Professor Spiffkin's piece in—" (reverently) "the January 1912 issue of Intellect magazine, which—" (contemptuously) "you obviously haven't, you would know—" (airily) "that Aristotle has been refuted."

Not surprisingly he has also a claque that admires this kind of "arguing", but I prefer a different style and a minimum of politeness, without name calling. Even with someone like James Valliant (not exactly my friend) I've had a polite and constructive discussion on the Dawkins list, although we, not surprisingly, disagreed strongly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to George Walsh, your viewpoint is identical to that of Immanuel Kant.

Is that your interpretation of what he would say on my particular position, or did he literally read what I wrote? Not that it makes a difference who said something ignorant and nutty, you or Walsh.

The paradox of your position is that, in order for you to know that something is unknowable,

My position is not that some particular is unknowable, it is that infinitely precise knowledge is impossible. We cannot know reality with infinite precision or extent. I mean, if I said that no man can have the whole of human knowledge, including both theoretical and practical knowledge, at his fingertips, would you object to that? All I'm saying is that we're human beings not God.

you would have to be omniscient, and I'm pretty sure that [a] you're not and if you were, you would thereby invalidate your own claim.B)

You make a good parrot. If I wanted pets, maybe I'd put you and Ninth in a cage.

Shayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been hearing voices lately?

Just one. It said that there’s a jackass posting on OL who isn’t worth talking to.

Not worth my time to add to this.

But since you're a hypocrite and an idiot, you'll go ahead anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to George Walsh, your viewpoint is identical to that of Immanuel Kant.

Is that your interpretation of what he would say on my particular position, or did he literally read what I wrote? Not that it makes a difference who said something ignorant and nutty, you or Walsh.

The paradox of your position is that, in order for you to know that something is unknowable,

My position is not that some particular is unknowable, it is that infinitely precise knowledge is impossible. We cannot know reality with infinite precision or extent. I mean, if I said that no man can have the whole of human knowledge, including both theoretical and practical knowledge, at his fingertips, would you object to that? All I'm saying is that we're human beings not God.

you would have to be omniscient, and I'm pretty sure that [a] you're not and if you were, you would thereby invalidate your own claim.B)

You make a good parrot. If I wanted pets, maybe I'd put you and Ninth in a cage.

Shayne

If you don't have logic and reality on your side, just fall back on insults and equivocation. Now try real hard to come up with another remark that will impress everyone with how clever you are.

Grow up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did watch the video you posted. It depicts a magical universe. I think I will watch Disney's "Fantasia" next for more info on the latest developments in physics.

True enough. It does IMO accurately and succinctly roll up the picture physicists are presenting us with with regard to the Aspect experiments. The interesting thing is that unless they are faking the experiments, their conclusions are mostly warranted (except they should put a proviso "it is as if" in front of everything). I wonder how difficult/expensive they are to run -- maybe only government-funded scientists can run them, and hence they are doing something wrong, whether on purpose or though incompetence? I don't think this is highly likely, but it is certainly possible. Ill-gotten money in principle doesn't lead anywhere good; there's every reason to have some level of suspicion.

Shayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't have logic and reality on your side, just fall back on insults and equivocation. Now try real hard to come up with another remark that will impress everyone with how clever you are.

Grow up.

You couldn't reason your way out of a paper bag Hardin. Go pester somebody at your own intellectual level, like maybe that Ninth Doctor comedian.

Edit: Oh, I notice that you didn't have the courage to claim ownership of that Kantian epithet you tossed my way. So I'll just assume that you were speaking for Walsh rather than him speaking for himself. Gotta puff yourself up somehow, so you do it by name-dropping.

Shayne

Edited by sjw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For every four insult posts you do, I give you one in return. Get a life, pathetic schmuck.

Oh no! I'm going to get an insult post from the court jester of OL! What am I going to do! And what if his little sidekick Hardin joins in? Oh please Dear Abby, send me some advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had thought my statements about the physical limits of scientific knowledge would have been an uncontroversial. But maybe it just separates the true Aristotelians from the Platonists. The Aristotelians know that knowledge is for life on Earth and that we are limited to integrating knowledge based on our senses, or based on extensions of our senses, scientific instruments. The Platonists want to spend their neighbor's money so they can go exploring the solar system and universe and blast particles into smaller and smaller ones ad infinitum. They want to be one with God and the universe, and finally come into contact with their Forms. So when someone points out that what they are after is not humanly possible, they throw a tissy fit, call me a Kantian, etc., because even they semi-grasp what "not possible" means.

So, maybe I'm onto something here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've had enough of GHS's continuous insults and smears, so he may have the last word. A rational and polite discussion is not possible with him. Apparently he can only resort to personal attacks, calling names, bullying, bragging about his own achievements, using the argument from intimidation, sarcastic misinterpretations of your arguments while he himself only presents arbitrary assertions without any proof. The following description by Rand fits him to a tee:

Many professors use the Argument from Intimidation to stifle independent thinking among the students, to evade questions they cannot answer, to discourage any critical analysis of their arbitrary assumptions or any departure from the intellectual status quo.

"Aristotle? My dear fellow—" (a weary sigh) "if you had read Professor Spiffkin's piece in—" (reverently) "the January 1912 issue of Intellect magazine, which—" (contemptuously) "you obviously haven't, you would know—" (airily) "that Aristotle has been refuted."

Not surprisingly he has also a claque that admires this kind of "arguing", but I prefer a different style and a minimum of politeness, without name calling. Even with someone like James Valliant (not exactly my friend) I've had a polite and constructive discussion on the Dawkins list, although we, not surprisingly, disagreed strongly.

Uh, so I guess your credentials in physics will not be forthcoming. I wondered how you were going to weasel out of this deception. Physicist, my ass!

You should at least apologize to Ellen for allowing her to twist in the wind after she came to your defense by claiming that you are a physicist. A simple correction would have sufficed, but that would have put a crimp in your posturing. Everyone on this thread believed that you are a physicist, and you just let it pass.

May you burn in Troll Hell.

Ghs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen this thread for a long time.

Well, I just went from about, say, page 24 to the last post.

Dayaamm!

All the snarling and insulting amidst some highly insightful intellectual comments leaves quite an impression.

Do you folks treat your families and pets this way?

:)

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen this thread for a long time.

Well, I just went from about, say, page 24 to the last post.

Dayaamm!

All the snarling and insulting amidst some highly insightful intellectual comments leaves quite an impression.

Do you folks treat your families and pets this way?

:)

Michael

Not unless they posture as physicists.

I haven't been able to keep track of all the posts myself, but there are at least two parallel lines that have degenerated at the same rate. Must be some kind of synchronicity. Jung would have been impressed. :rolleyes:

Ghs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that the only way to know the nature of a specific entity is “to observe how those entities act and that is what we call its nature.” That much is true. But then you go on to say: “This doesn't preclude the possibility that such entities will act completely random, that for example that a table will the next moment become a chair and then a canary.” In other words, as George suggested in his follow-up post, all the events in your universe could just as well be inexplicable miracles.

No, a miracle would be a phenomenon that is unexpected, that goes against well-founded laws that we've found. That Thorium 230 changes into Radium 226, which in its turn changes into Radon 222, etc. until it has become lead, is not a miracle (even if it might have seemed a miracle in the 19th century, as it violated the then known laws of the Dalton model of atoms), but if iron spontaneously changed into gold, it would be a miracle.

So tables turning into chairs which then turn into canaries is not "unexpected" and does not go against well-founded laws? Good grief.

To act “completely random” is to act contrary to an entity’s nature.

No, because its nature would be to act completely random.

In other words, its nature would be to act as if it had no nature--i.e., no identity, since identity is what sets the limits of potential action. To exist is to be something specific--i.e., to have an identity. More explicit contradictions.

If that is indeed the case in your universe, then this entire discussion is a complete waste of everyone’s time. Logic is a meaningless tautology for you, which experience can invalidate at any given moment.

Not at all, I never said that logic is a meaningless tautology, only that logic itself doesn't generate any new knowledge about the physical world.

Here is your prior statement [Dragonfly, 01 September 2010 - 12:33 PM]:

That [view of causality] is a weird and meaningless definition..., as it is as tautological as the law of identity.

The law of identity is the basis for logic, and you made the comparison to a "meaningless tautology." I can't blame you for wanting to modify it now, but you will need to acknowledge that you are, indeed, modifying your former position.

You live in a universe rife with randomness and contradictions. Therefore, any conclusion we draw from this discussion, based on your 'expertise' as a physicist, could easily be overthrown in the next instant by your momentary, random whim.

Hm, about the use of logic... As I've shown, there are no contradictions, and the fact that some events may be acausal doesn't mean that everything is random. That's what is called a false dichotomy.

You have clearly demonstrated that you embrace contradictions (see above). No sane person would argue that everything is random. "Rife with contradictions" suggests a universe where they are commonplace, as in your arguments.

And this just leads one to wonder: why are you posting on an Objectivist webforum?

Would you only like to preach to the choir? Further, your conclusions about what I've said are incorrect, so perhaps it isn't so strange after all.

I'm still looking for an error in my analysis. I have yet to find one.

And there is a big difference between preaching to the choir and trying to reason with someone who readily embraces contradictions and disrespects logic. As I said before, the whole discussion winds up being a total waste of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QED. You don't know what it means; you have no theory about it -- yet you accept the experimental results. Except the results are at variance with philosophic claims you've been making about causality.

It's not the experimental results, i.e., the data, that I have a problem with. It's the interpretation of the results that I have problem with , especially when the interpretation involves sweeping philosophical generalizations.

If you don't so much as know what the data is -- what was being tested, how it was being tested, why the tests are tests, what the results were -- how are you qualified to judge an interpretation?

Tell me, Ellen -- how, in principle, could a physicist ever prove metaphysical indeterminism, when every aspect of his profession would be impossible without presupposing causation? And don't give me any more BS about "non-local hidden variables." Give me a sensible explanation.

Give me a sensible question, one moreover which looks as if you've actually read the content of Dragonfly's posts.

Moreover, on at least two occasions Ellen Stuttle stated that she believed you are a physicist [...].

My statement wasn't in "I believe that..." form. I don't know if he makes his living as a physicist. What I know is that he is extremely well-versed in the field, with the kind of well-versedness which only comes from active engagement with the problems of a field.

Are you a philosopher? What are your credentials? Does someone need to know your credentials to judge if the description "philosopher" is accurate?

Ellen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the snarling and insulting amidst some highly insightful intellectual comments leaves quite an impression.

What to do when you’ve made a polite post and receive uncomprehending and insulting replies from someone you haven’t interacted with before? Avoid the prick in the future, yes, but is that all?

Anyway, sjw asserts that the “bottom” will never be found, I’d like to offer him reason for hope:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MayBYonvHHAQED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the snarling and insulting amidst some highly insightful intellectual comments leaves quite an impression.

What to do when you’ve made a polite post and receive uncomprehending and insulting replies from someone you haven’t interacted with before? Avoid the prick in the future, yes, but is that all?

Here is an excerpt of the "polite" post of this chronic liar:

I perceive a fragile self-esteem behind your bluster, but you're safe, you probably won't ever see yourself proved wrong.

... It said that there’s a jackass posting on OL who isn’t worth talking to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You should at least apologize to Ellen for allowing her to twist in the wind after she came to your defense by claiming that you are a physicist.

I think the person who owes an apology is you to Dragonfly, George.

Ellen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you folks treat your families and pets this way?

My family and friends aren't hopelessly irrational/stupid/dishonest. I make a certain philosophical point and instead of getting a coherent argument, I get silly youtube clips from that comedian wannabe Ninth Doctor, and that Hardin fool tosses off Kantian epithets at me while hiding behind his mommy's skirt.

Shayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had thought my statements about the physical limits of scientific knowledge would have been an uncontroversial.

I have no quarrel with your statements on the subject. I think they're "controversial" only in the sense that some people don't grasp how entirely logical they are.

Ellen

Edited by Ellen Stuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...