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Posted by Harvey on May 8, 2002 20:07:16 UTC

Dick,

***H: Are you saying that you do not assume symmetries? D: Yes indeed [I] do, I do so claim! I do not assume any symmetries in the knowable data at all. All the symmetries I use reside in the mechanism I use to display the knowable data. They are a direct consequence of the fact "that our 'senses' must be part of the explanation and should not be thought of as part of what the model is trying to explain".***

Can you give specifics? What equation reference are you pointing to?

***Oh, they use scale invariance in particular situations, but they do not use it as a universal rule and I assure you they would regard doing so as totally irrational!***

But nature isn't scale invariant. If it were, then the laws of physics would be the same. But, we know the laws of physics change depending on size. This is why ants don't become as large as humans and have enormous strength (regardless of the 1950 movies which saw the increase in size of ants, flies, humans, etc).

***Harv, I have no desire to discuss this issue with you any longer as you simply do not comprehend my complaint which is in fact very simple: if "same time" is to mean that "things which exist at 'the same time' can influence one another" then clocks do not measure time, period, end of sentence, end of thought. If you cannot comprehend that statement, you are confused!***

You never replied to this issue when Bruce raised it:

http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/12368.shtml?show=top

***H: Here you are heading right straight dab into philosophy. Science can only be based on our senses. D: Right here you are assuming your mental picture of your senses is correct! Directly from chapter 1 of my presentation: "To set any part of those perceptions above examination is to scuttle rational science." By utterly refusing to consider your senses as part of the problem, you indeed do scuttle rational science.***

No, science is based on observations. You need senses to observe. Mathematics is based on idealizations of our observations, hence the reason why certain axioms are selected as 'true'. You need senses to assess your senses. Whatever you assess your senses is derived from your senses. Can you find even one exception that statement?

***Now Harv, do you really want that last statement to go down as your last and final position on the question? If I were in your shoes, I would be tempted to think about it just a little! Fundamentally, you are proposing that your subconscious is incapable of producing an illusion. You know on the face of it that is wrong; why don't you think a little on the deeper implications?***

I didn't say that. I am talking generally. If all that our senses did was produce illusions, then we would have no concept of real things. It is only because of the consistency of our senses that we judge some things as real (and thereby base all our reasoning on this 'foundation').

***I notice a certain word cropping up quite often there! Why don't we simply assume that our senses are something which need to be part of our explanation and include that possibility when we look at the collection of possible explanations for the whole magilla?***

We can assume our senses are part of something that needs to be explained, but whatever that is depends on our senses (hence the reason that you want an explanation in the first place)! Our assumptions are just that, we don't know what is actually the case with regard to the correct interpretation of symmetries.

***Or, from another perspective, would you not say that the position, "we cannot know these symmetries are real", is less restrictive than the position, "we cannot know anything is real"? At least it leaves open the possibility that everything is not imaginary which I believe is your central complaint with solipsism! I my head it leaves a lot to be thought about!***

We cannot know symmetries are real and we cannot know if anything is real. However, we have reason to believe that somethings are real in order to make meaning out of sense impressions, but that doesn't mean that we need to place any meaning on symmetries. What happens if we simply leave the question open?


Warm regards, Harv

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