Hi Paul,
thank you for the encouragement.
Dick's paper is an area of enquiry that i've thought would be interesting ever since my first introduction to relativity and quantum mechanics. well actually his approach is different from what i had envisioned. to put it briefly i had thought, well quantum mechanics relies heavily on probability so i had envisioned studying probability and statistics with the thought in mind to try and relate that math to physical science as i knew it. Dick's approach is much more fundamental in that he starts with very general definitions about the physical world while abstaining from assumptions about the physical world and then he lets the math fly making sense of it all as he goes along. a very interesting tact when one considers how important objectivity is to science.
perusing the chapter line by line and verifying the initial mathematical derivations seemed crucial. if that foundation is not solid then everything that follows might as well be ignored, also with out understanding each and every point one would be a very lost puppy once one got into the math.
its funny i could sense the probablity math comming before even seeing the first equation. i think Dick has taken a statistical analysis approach to begin with either wittingly or unwittingly i don't know which. but i find your statement "...I came away convinced that his fundamental equation is a theorem of Probability Theory which places necessary constraints on certain patterns in an arbitrary set of numbers. This has direct implications for anything that can be represented by a set of numbers." most interesting and illuminating. i had viewed it much more naively before reading your analysis.
i look forward to lurking in on any debates you may have with Harv. i welcome his input, i must say it certainly does encourage critical thinking.
i can relate to your statement about Dick clouding his mathematical formalism with too much commentary on philosophy, the conduct of scientists, and other subject areas. i found those "clouds" difficult to wade through as i tryed to wrestle with the crucial definitions contained in his paper. but actually those "clouds" helped clarify my thinking once i got a handle on the more substantive statements.
i do want to keep in touch with Dick when i have detailed questions. i did make a post that i had hoped he would consider but i fear that it is so deeply buried in other postings that he may overlook it.
that post was:
http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/26605.shtml
i'd be interested in your thoughts on that post as well.
regards, tim |