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It Seems To Have Addled Your Brain

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on September 24, 2003 20:32:14 UTC

Hi Bruce,

"You're sidetracking again."

I don't understand why you say so. I addressed your post as directly and as literally as I could.

"The difference between bananas and reality is that not everything that is true about bananas is true about reality, and vice-versa."

That is a difference; not the difference. My description of the difference implies your description so mine is more general.

"the point is that the laws of physics are not meaningful to describe them"

I don't think that's the point at all. If the laws of physics were complete, then they should be meaningful to describe bananas. I got the impression from something I read somewhere that there are physicists who believe that the laws of physics are sufficient to explain everything from the big bang to the appearance of elephants. I'm sure that those people would also include bananas.

The point is that Dr. Dick's starting point is a set of numbers; not any preconceived notion of reality whether that includes fields, quarks, bananas, or phlogiston. His point is that any set of numbers must obey his equation and from this, any system that can be expressed as a set of numbers must obey the laws of physics. It doesn't matter what that set of numbers represents whether it's bananas or anything else.

"And any person who replies to the question "what is a banana" with the answer "a bananas is a proper subset of reality" does not, in my opinion, understand anything about bananas!"

I don't agree. I think any such person is more likely to have misunderstood the question than to not understand anything about bananas. But, please don't make the mistake of including me in that group of people. You did not ask me "what is a banana" and that is not the question I answererd. Go back and read our conversation a little more carefully.

Warm regards,

Paul

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