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I Didn't Expect Your Response

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Posted by Harvey on March 5, 2002 05:14:44 UTC


I'm so used to exchanging views with others about your model (since they bring you up so often) that I was actually caught by surprise when I saw your post!

**** H: Does Dick's method generate new knowledge of the world? P: No! It, in itself, does not! I have never said it did.***

I was responding to Paul's comment: "Dick is simply offering an additional method for learning about the world. Think of it as an extension to epistemology." If you aren't generating new knowledge then how can it be an additional method for learning about the world?

***What I have said is that my definitions of fundamental concepts are superior to the vague slap-hazard definitions used within the scientific community as my definitions make it self evident that those concepts yield relationships (the things scientists like to call "laws of physics") which are true by definition.***

I think we've gone over the fallacy that the laws of physics are true by definition. In that quote I posted by Galileo some weeks ago, we saw in Galileo's own words that he chose a concept which actually matched what he observed nature to be behaving. This alone should convince that even basic terms in classical physics are not 'true by definition'.

As for your terms being superior, I take strong exception to this comment. Just coming up with a consistent term (out of the blue) does not make a definition better. What makes a definition useful is how consistently it is used in a specific field and how well it corresponds and coheres with observation and theory. Correspondence, for example, is mainly established by experiment.

***I don't think you will find any modern scientist who will admit that classical mechanics is true by definition! None the less, that is very much a fact. The common scientific position is, for the most part, a pure exercise in self delusion!***

What you say doesn't make it so. You have to validate your view by making your case and even, in many cases, showing how experiment backs up your claim. As you are so clear to state, you do not utilize experiment, so you are left with making a strong argument to support your view that classical mechanics is true by definition. I showed Galileo's quotation which I think dispels this notion. You haven't cited any evidence, that I know of, that shows the contrary. We did in the past discuss how observables are meaningful only within the context of theory, but I explained this as a successful T1 (theory 1) explains O1 (observables 1) with some small discrepancies - which requires T2 that generates new O2, etc. There was never any comment from you to this counterargument.

***H: How does time exist prior to conscious beings? D: From my perspective, time is a creation of conscious beings, created purely as a mental mechanism to make sense of the information they are aware of. As such it certainly does not exist in the absence of awareness!***

I thought you said that your definitions are consistent with scientific views? If that is your conception of time, then it is not at all like scientific views.

In any case, I guessed that you must hold this view by your definition. What you have done is take a definition that requires this view of time, and then used it to impute meaning to your equations (e.g., equations of chap 1 of your paper). The problem here is that you have no substantiated reason for defining time according to this definition other than this is what you did. What validates this selection? Why should we take your word that time doesn't exist in absence of awareness (as your definition suggests)? This is an unfounded assumption.

***Now, you may differ with me in your opinion but your opinion is utterly worthless unless you can demonstrate an error in my mental mechanism: i.e., conceive of a universe which cannot be analyzed through my proposed procedure (which, fundamentally, does not require the concept "time" as conceived of by the human race).***

I'm not interested in defining time other than the useful description as to how we experience it (both in physics and human experience in general). We are justified in using the popular scientific view of time because the theories that utilize these popular views are experimentally validated. What validates your choice of the term?
Just coming up with something consistent isn't a good validation since Bugs Bunny cartoons appear to be consistent but that doesn't make Bugs a real character, does it?

***The existence of "time" is no more necessary to understanding what you know than the existence of heavenly spheres and epicycles is necessary to understand the motion of the planets.***

Time is important in GR, for example, and it is critically important in QM (which is time-dependent). Our understanding of those fields requires knowing the meaning and assuming the existence of time. If time is a human fiction or idealization (as you alluded to by mentioning spheres and epicycles) then this is certainly not known by science. What source of information are you using to come to your conclusions?

***H: Epistemologically, this is all wrong in terms of substantiating a new means to acquire knowledge. D: Who said anything about a "new means to acquire knowledge".***

Well, Paul alluded to it when he said "Dick is simply offering an additional method for learning about the world. Think of it as an extension to epistemology."

***All I am saying is "look carefully at your definitions"; maybe you have already preordained the outcome of some of your experiments! Let's do a little homework!!!***

Dick, I see you commiting the very error that you imply others in science are making. Your definitions have preordained the outcome of your conclusions. You start with a definition of time that is constructed around time being a property of awareness and you conclude that time is not existing unless there is awareness. Is that coincidental? I don't think so. Your definition forced your view that time is awareness-dependent and that's why your results require this view.

On the other hand, I've replied to your contention that theoretical terms force the outcome of experiments. That, I have argued, is a false understanding of science.

***H: 'Where do the laws of math and physics come from'? It is not an answerable question (at least in 2002). D: Most of them are pure figments of your imagination! Only you don't think that could possibly be!! Because you simply refuse to think anything out!***

Of course, if the laws of math are pure figments of our imagination, then the results of your model are contingent on those figments. Not something that you should hang your hat on.

***H: After all, if mathematics is an invention, then so is Dick's model. It doesn't exist, it is merely a clever human invention. D: That's my opinion exactly! I think it is a might clever human invention! Considerably better than the one you guys are all walking around with!***

You sound as if 'we' are all in a conspiracy against you...

If you agree that your model is a clever human invention, then it's value can only be stated in terms of its useability. How can we use your model Dick? What does it do? From what I can tell all it does is sit on a harddrive somewhere and take up a few megabytes of storage space. Other than that, I don't see it creating new technology, or finding any new insights to our human understanding of nature. If you say it supports the findings of science, then how can it do that if it is just an invention? Inventions are just fabrications of nature, they aren't able to provide any 'truths'. If you look at all human truths as inventions, then they are really no truths at all - just fabrications of human ideas to produce useful notions. Again, how is your model to be understood as 'useful'?

***H: I'm talking about the epistemological trail. This is what impacts Dick's assumptions. D: Since you have such a clear idea of what is going on, please explain to me what you think my assumptions are.***

In my view, you approach mathematics in a very strange way. You use it as holy water to annoint your model with some form of 'divine truth', but are quick to say that your terms are not of mathematical origin. When questioned about your terms you become very defensive. When asked how you obtained those terms, it is obvious that you have a whole list of assumptions that guided those selections (e.g., time - where you have a preconceived notion that it is intimately tied to awareness and that without awareness time doesn't even exist). There are of course many more assumptions with the other non-mathematical terms in your paper.

I sense a little tension in your last couple of posts. I hope you aren't getting annoyed. It's enjoyable to converse with you. You are a very bright fella - that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Warm regards, Harv

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