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Posted by Harvey on May 9, 2003 17:05:56 UTC

***You said, ". The biggest possibility, I think, is that our laws of physics is based on the conceptual schemes we use to construct them. If you change the conceptual scheme, then the laws of physics would be different" Not sure exactly what you mean by conceptual scheme- assumptions, symmetries- But I am amazed that the same equations, say for quantum mechanics, can be derived from such different assumptions.***

Think in terms of the Aristotlean conceptual scheme. The scheme was actually quite beautiful at the time. Fire was 'belonged' in the sky, therefore it went up. Earth belonged on the ground, so it went down, etc. If you read the whole conceptual scheme, you begin to see how it was possible for Aristotle and his followers to completely dismiss experimental science. It made sense to most of our daily experiences! If you were Aristotlean, and you began with our subjective positioning in the world (as Dick does), lo' and behold and you confirm the very conceptual scheme (Aristotlean) that you originally ignored in your initial assumptions. How is that possible? Well, the restrictions in your thought by that conceptual scheme restricts the kinds of answers you obtain such that those answers match the original conceptual scheme.

This is probably what has happened to Dick. He was working on a conceptual scheme of 1960's physics (i.e., without knowledge of advanced quantum theories), and therefore the conceptual scheme he was working with (i.e., mathematical and scientific treatment of the equations) was all a 1960ish scheme that so happened to produce a 1960ish result! Rather than questioning the oddity of that, Dick just ran with the results despite the fact that physics aged and now his results show nothing beyond the 60's. Dick should move to Berkeley because he is still stuck in the 60's!

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