Hi Dr. Dick
You're quite right in some of that, especially
about what I wrote too blithely.
I am not very sensitive to conversational banter
about my alleged incapacity to comprehend.
If I were, I would probably just concede the points, for life is full and everyone has several places they could be.
Dr. Dick: "The issues you want to think you understand are far more complex than any advanced mathematics and your simple minded explanations of those issues are clearly not worth the effort of rational thought."
This is extemely simple to refute.
Advanced math is like bus driving in that it requires significant training. I can do algebra. I do not know how to drive a bus. However, I do know how to do some things that are more complex. Additionally, the human brain does
calculus every time someone chases a thrown football to catch it. Formal mathematics is very important but you can work in the control room at NASA or without knowing some math operations which Dr. Dick Stafford knows. I admire your important ability to do math. You may have something more important than I comprehend at the moment but I am not wasting your time. Only you can do that.
"If the ramifications demanded by mathematics are beyond your comprehension, what makes you think your "knowledge" is of any real significance? In particular, why should I take you seriously?
Most of the world's current logistic problems are well described in fairly simple arithmetic and algebra equations which I am able to do. My studies were interrupted various ways, but enroute I have consistently scored in the 5-6 percent in math on tests like Iowa Algebra and Graduate Record Exam (sometimes higher).
I specialized in knowing other objective facts which I would guess I know better than you. History, for example, is also a flow of simple mathematics through time
Thank you for your note.
The following passage seems related to your thesis. Would you be willing to comment although I have just posed this question to Ruquist too on the blackholes forum.
"Studying Einstein's equations, (Lemaitre) found, as other had before him, that the solution Einstein proposed was unstable. A slight expansion would cause the repulsive force to increase and gravity to weaken, leading to unlimited expansion, or a slight contracction would, vice versa, lead to collapse. Lemaitre, independently reaching conclusions achieved five years earlier by the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann, showed that Einstein's universe is only one special solution among infinite possible cosmologies -- some expanding, some contracting, depending on the value of the cosmological constant and the "initial conditions" of the universe."
from The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric J. Lerner
Dr. Dick wrote:
"There was never any intention to dictate on matters of conscience or politics. The issue was a question of "foundations". If your beliefs have no foundations, they are no more than a story and have no more relevence than any other story. In particular, if those beliefs are internally inconsistent, then they are doubly worthless. What I show, in detail, is that it really makes no difference what your beliefs are anyway: whatever your "story" is, I can map that story into the story I tell in my paper and at least my story is internally consistent! The real problem is that, without an understanding of mathematics, my story cannot be followed: it is simply beyond your comprehension."
Yes, you were not dictating on matters of conscience and it is a tribute to your insight that you realized this.
You have not shown that generally, nonmathematicians are more inconsistent than mathematicians. Without being a math major, your "story cannot be followed," but your story is not the only story that matters. The universe is here; we are in it; nonmathematicians are in great supply.
I have strenuously argued on this list for the need to precisely define terms in an argument
so you're not meeting with much resistance on that. As you say, the world is saturated with persons whose scientific rigor (on matters outside their own life) is almost a flat line. They are our relatives and friends and if we are out front on this (there are always "firsts"),
we can bear with them for a few generations if the world's survival logistics don't crumble meanwhile.
Real Science is still almost a brand new activity in human history. It is a permanent one in dealing with the longlasting structures of the universe.
"Culture" was the topic we are discussing.
I am saying that persons in a culture are
in a system of information which is measurably degraded yet serves them. Measurable against what? Against optimum survival information --
and the catch is that optimum can be several different things. I expect you might reject that initially After we get past your initial blast of rejection you wills see that from a God's Eye View, even culture -- heck, even delusions (being neuro-social phenomena with chemical causes and structural data contexts)-- are mathematically coherent -- even if the math
is the math of chaos. Do you know Dr. Ilya Prigogene's work about how matter teeters between structural collapse and reorganization on a higher level of coherence?