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Philosophy: Chemistry, Mathematics?





Jaan
Are not mathematics and chemistry the ultimate philosophies, with clear logic, and explanations for the universe, etc. Know what I mean?
jwellsy
There are a lot of analogies on this;

- a square deal
- being on the level
- a moral compass
- compass to inscribe due bounds

A college engineering club had a motto of
"Every couple has it's moment".
The words couple and moment have alternate engineering meaning's.
Liambaby
But this is only assuming that explanations of the universe are the only goal pf philosophy. It has other uses. And we still can't explain the universe!
flintstonian
Jaan wrote:
Are not mathematics and chemistry the ultimate philosophies, with clear logic, and explanations for the universe, etc. Know what I mean?

Well, I think the aim of philosophy is to go a little bit beyond science. Branches of science like Chemistry and Mathematics have limits in the sense that speculaton, however logical, is not allowed in science. Proof is demanded, just logical progression is not enough. That is where true philosophy comes in...
Okay, so, lets say that today's philosophy is tommorrows science.
Gagnar The Unruly
Just to clarify on your point, speculation is allowed in science. In fact, speculation is de rigeur in science. The only restriction is that speculation must produce a null hypothesis which is disproveable. Science seeks always to disprove, never to prove.

Science is sorta funny because I think that, in a way, it has the potential to teach us more about our universe than maybe any of the other philosophies because of the way it formalizes the development of knowledge. On the other hand, it has obvious inadequacies, such as the inability to ever prove anything absolutely, and possibly the inability to comment on "why" questions.
Bikerman
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Just to clarify on your point, speculation is allowed in science. In fact, speculation is de rigeur in science. The only restriction is that speculation must produce a null hypothesis which is disproveable. Science seeks always to disprove, never to prove.

Science is sorta funny because I think that, in a way, it has the potential to teach us more about our universe than maybe any of the other philosophies because of the way it formalizes the development of knowledge. On the other hand, it has obvious inadequacies, such as the inability to ever prove anything absolutely, and possibly the inability to comment on "why" questions.

I don't regard the inability to prove absolutely (the 'induction' problem) to be a limitation or inadequacy. I suppose it depends on whether you think there is one absolute 'answer'.
Philosophy, as well as including science, deals with issues that cannot be examined using the scientific method - concepts of truth, fairness, justice, freedom etc. Whilst these concepts can (and should be) approached using logic, there is not always a scientific methodology available for dealing with them. Philosophy can also deal with issues of metaphysics which are not suitable for scientific examination.
mike1reynolds
Those are somewhat arbitrary and ill defined distinctions, Bikerman. For example, what is the difference between “hard sciences” like physics, math and chemistry, as opposed to the difference between science and legal justice? Legal systems are generally quite rigorous and deal with many more shades and gradations of certainty than scientific methodologies ever attempt to deal with. Science has no really parallel to “beyond the shadow of a doubt” vs. “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

My point is that you portray science as being more exact and metaphysics being less rigorous. I disagree.
Gagnar The Unruly
Bikerman wrote:
I don't regard the inability to prove absolutely (the 'induction' problem) to be a limitation or inadequacy. I suppose it depends on whether you think there is one absolute 'answer'.
Philosophy, as well as including science, deals with issues that cannot be examined using the scientific method - concepts of truth, fairness, justice, freedom etc. Whilst these concepts can (and should be) approached using logic, there is not always a scientific methodology available for dealing with them. Philosophy can also deal with issues of metaphysics which are not suitable for scientific examination.


Don't get me wrong; I'm a believer in the scienfitic process, and I'm willing to place my faith in scientific discoveries. I just think it's interesting that the scientific process is so deliberate and cautious that it can't 100% prove anything. But I guess that makes scientific declarations all the more valuable, in my opinion. It's a subject I'd like to learn a lot more about.

I think maybe someone could argue that science could answer the questions you bring up. I would say that this is a scientifically valid hypothesis:

Social organisms may evolve concepts of good, truth, fairness, justice, freedom, and a sense of purpose, as a means of organizing social interactions and promoting the beneficial distribution of resources among a group of organisms (among other functions).

If the hypothesis is valid, then those concepts can be discussed scientifically.
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
Those are somewhat arbitrary and ill defined distinctions, Bikerman. For example, what is the difference between “hard sciences” like physics, math and chemistry, as opposed to the difference between science and legal justice? Legal systems are generally quite rigorous and deal with many more shades and gradations of certainty than scientific methodologies ever attempt to deal with. Science has no really parallel to “beyond the shadow of a doubt” vs. “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

My point is that you portray science as being more exact and metaphysics being less rigorous. I disagree.

No I didn't make any such distinctions. I was careful and specific about my choice of words and I never mentioned rigour, exactness, doubt, or any other related concept.

I did mention scientific method, but that term is, I believe, well defined and generally understood.
As regards metaphysics - again I think I was quite clear. I said that philosophy deals with issues of metaphysics which are not suitable for scientific examination. I did not say that all issues in metaphysics fall into that category - that would depend on first agreeing a definition for the word. In it's broadest sense metaphysics means 'explaining reality' which would, of course, encompass the sciences. In modern times the word has often been taken to mean 'examination of issues beyond the physical world' in which case it would be outside the scope of science.
Bikerman
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Don't get me wrong; I'm a believer in the scienfitic process, and I'm willing to place my faith in scientific discoveries. I just think it's interesting that the scientific process is so deliberate and cautious that it can't 100% prove anything. But I guess that makes scientific declarations all the more valuable, in my opinion. It's a subject I'd like to learn a lot more about.
I think it is a misunderstanding of the nature of science to assume that it avoids certainty through caution or timidity. Science does not attempt to prove anything absolutely because it is well understood that nothing CAN be proved absolutely (unless it is part of a completely enclosed system of logic, and such proofs are inherently tautologies). All you can do, as an empirical scientist, is say - it has happened this way n times, so it's a good bet it will do so again. This is known as the problem of induction and applies to all forms of reasoning (outside systems of closed logic).

The problem was first identified formally by Hume and the currently accepted scientific methodology is based on Karl Popper's work on the problem. In brief, Popper observed that although no number of confirmations of a theory can ever absolutely prove it, one single example of failure is enough to absolutely refute it. Therefore science should (and does) function by seeking to refute theory. Further to this, all valid theory in science must be capable of refutation to qualify as science and in general terms the easier a theory is to refute the more 'powerful' that theory is likely to be.

Some further reading on the issue :
http://dieoff.org/page126.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_induction
http://www.geocities.com/criticalrationalist/falsification.htm
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Metaphysics-Hume-Kant-Popper-Kuhn.htm

Quote:
I think maybe someone could argue that science could answer the questions you bring up. I would say that this is a scientifically valid hypothesis:

Social organisms may evolve concepts of good, truth, fairness, justice, freedom, and a sense of purpose, as a means of organizing social interactions and promoting the beneficial distribution of resources among a group of organisms (among other functions).

If the hypothesis is valid, then those concepts can be discussed scientifically.

Science can certainly contribute to such fields of study and scientific method can be used in discussing and examining some of the issues involved. However, all the concepts above (truth, justice, fairness) are ultimately subjective to some degree, or at the very least they depend on a mutual agreement of scope and an agreed definition of terms. They therefore cannot be fully explained in scientific terms.

There is also the problem of refutation, mentioned above. Unless theories of truth, fairness, justice etc can be framed in such a way that they can be refuted then they are not scientific theories.
mike1reynolds
You have asserted that science is more objective while philosophy and legal systems are more subjective. Previously you denied my assertion to this effect about your point of view, but now you have made it explicit, even as you have previously denied the truth of my, and now your own assertion, on this matter.
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
You have asserted that science is more objective while philosophy and legal systems are more subjective. Previously you denied my assertion to this effect about your point of view, but now you have made it explicit, even as you have previously denied the truth of my, and now your own assertion, on this matter.

1) The posting you refer to was made after your original assertions.
2) I have made no comment at all about legal systems. I talked about notions/concepts of fairness and justice - a completely different thing. I have said nothing about the objectivity or subjectivity of legal systems.
3) At no point have a asserted that science is more objective than philosophy. In fact I included science in philosophy so the assertion would be illogical. As usual I chose my words carefully and, as usual, you choose to either misunderstand or misread and then misrepresent them.
Specifically I said
Bikerman wrote:
"Philosophy, as well as including science, deals with issues that cannot be examined using the scientific method - concepts of truth, fairness, justice, freedom etc."

and
Bikerman wrote:
(truth, justice, fairness) are ultimately subjective to some degree, or at the very least they depend on a mutual agreement of scope and an agreed definition of terms. They therefore cannot be fully explained in scientific terms.


I think my words and meaning were clear.
mike1reynolds
I apologize for any confusion, I haven’t been here in awhile and so I’m skimming lots of posts lightly.

I still think there is a point here though, with some modification. I know how you think, at least to some degree, so this isn’t just pie in the sky. I think that you are being somewhat evasive, you have made it very clear that you do not treat these things with equanimity, even if my comments failed to capture the exact nature of the disparity you place on the concepts.

Let’s start with justice systems. You want to eschew the concept of legal systems because, I think, it clearly blows the paradigm you were setting up. Obviously you didn’t introduce it, because your argument totally fails to take it into account. I don’t care whether you brought it up or not, it clearly applies to the general nature of your comments in a manner that leaves little left behind of your general distinctions between various fields of intellectual pursuit.

You brought up the concepts of fairness and justice repeatedly, and yet justice systems are profoundly more concerned with and precise about notions of fairness and justice than any of the examples that you brought forward. There are very few legal systems that do not make the scientific method look profoundly simplistic by comparison. The arbitration processes in science are hardly more than ad hoc committees compared to legal systems.

This is especially important given that all orthodox religious institutions are essentially legal arbitration bodies. For example, the Methodist system is a combination of the Catholic system and the US legal system, with a body of bishops like the Catholic Magisterium, and a system of courts with highest jurisdiction belonging to the Methodist Judiciary Council, modeled after the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Methodist Judiciary Council is the equivalent of the Pope.

Now be honest, are you really denying that you think the scientific method is more precise than any other form of reasoning?
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
I apologize for any confusion, I haven’t been here in awhile and so I’m skimming lots of posts lightly.

I still think there is a point here though, with some modification. I know how you think, at least to some degree, so this isn’t just pie in the sky. I think that you are being somewhat evasive, you have made it very clear that you do not treat these things with equanimity, even if my comments failed to capture the exact nature of the disparity you place on the concepts.
I think you perhaps mean equitableness or similar, rather than equanimity, but I understand what you are getting at I think.
Quote:
Let’s start with justice systems. You want to eschew the concept of legal systems because, I think, it clearly blows the paradigm you were setting up. Obviously you didn’t introduce it, because your argument totally fails to take it into account. I don’t care whether you brought it up or not, it clearly applies to the general nature of your comments in a manner that leaves little left behind of your general distinctions between various fields of intellectual pursuit.
I didn't introduce it because it was not relevant to the discussion I was having.
First you say I did introduce it and that it shows my logic to be incorrect, now you say I deliberately avoided introducing it but you don't care anyway because you have decided it applies regardless.
This is a strange method of debate - you predict in advance what I will say and then, when you are wrong and I don't say what you would like me to, you carry on regardless and pretend I meant to say it, or I avoided saying it deliberately. Would it not be easier to simply read my words and assume that they are what I meant?
Quote:
You brought up the concepts of fairness and justice repeatedly, and yet justice systems are profoundly more concerned with and precise about notions of fairness and justice than any of the examples that you brought forward. There are very few legal systems that do not make the scientific method look profoundly simplistic by comparison. The arbitration processes in science are hardly more than ad hoc committees compared to legal systems.

This is a discussion about philosophy. Truth, justice and fairness are key philosophical ideas which are at the heart of much philosophical discussion and debate. Legal systems are implementations or mechanisms which may or may not embody principles of fairness and justice and will certainly include other elements - retribution, protection, example-setting etc. If you want to have a discussion about legal systems that's fine - I'm sure there will be those who would enjoy the debate. I, however, was not discussing the subject of legal systems because it was not relevant to the general point I was making.

I didn't discuss any examples of how justice and fairness are implemented, so I don't know what you mean when you say that "justice systems are profoundly more concerned with and precise about notions of fairness and justice than any of the examples that you brought forward"....what examples? I merely pointed out that notions of justice, fairness and truth are not in themselves suitable for scientific analysis for several reasons. To start with, unless the scope and the precise meaning of terms are agreed in advance, we cannot even agree what we are discussing. We could spend an age simply working out what 'fairness' means and how it could apply. This is where philosophy comes in - we start by defining terms, scope and assumptions. Only when we know what is meant by a term like 'fairness' is it sensible to discuss possible systems for implementing it. That is why I choose my words carefully and why I find your approach to debate both unhelpful and, ultimately, unproductive. If you ignore what I say and substitute what you would like me to say then you may as well just carry on a monologue.
It may well be that some religious courts and civil legal systems are fantastically precise in implementing these concepts....I never argued otherwise - because that was not the debate I was engaged in.
Quote:

This is especially important given that all orthodox religious institutions are essentially legal arbitration bodies. For example, the Methodist system is a combination of the Catholic system and the US legal system, with a body of bishops like the Catholic Magisterium, and a system of courts with highest jurisdiction belonging to the Methodist Judiciary Council, modeled after the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Methodist Judiciary Council is the equivalent of the Pope.

Fine....and?
We were discussing the differences between the 'hard' sciences and philosophy in general. You seem to want to discuss religious jurisprudence. Why not simply start a thread on that?
Quote:
Now be honest, are you really denying that you think the scientific method is more precise than any other form of reasoning?

I am not aware of being dishonest in anything I have posted - I'm fairly sure that I have not attributed falsely or misrepresented in any of my postings - if I have then I will happily correct myself.
In answer to the question - yes, I do think that scientific method is the most precise method we have, but only when applied to scientific problems. It is meaningless to compare scientific method, as it applies in the physical sciences, to a completely different discipline such as jurisprudence. They operate differently, have different goals and use different methodologies. The question 'is scientific method more 'precise' than, say, the Methodist Judiciary Council' has no meaning, which is why I didn't raise it in the first place.
mike1reynolds
You evade and dodge. Legal systems are not relevant to your comments? How convenient for you!
Gagnar The Unruly
mike1reynolds wrote:
You evade and dodge. Legal systems are not relevant to your comments? How convenient for you!


Seriously, I think you totally made up the "legal systems" part of the argument. Unless Bikerman rigorously edited all his posts, I can't see any train of thought leading to a legal discussion anywhere in his posts until you sort of shoehorned them into the argument.
mike1reynolds
He was talking extensively about the means used to evaluate justice and fairness, and comparing this to science.

Forgive me if I have strayed far off topic, but what is more to the point of a systematized means of determining justice and fairness than a legal system?

This whole notion that his analogies should not conform to or include the notion of legal systems is part and parcle of the fanatical knee jerk assumption that these terms are less prices and more nebulous than science. This assertion that legal systems are irrelevant is a perfect example of circular reasoning, simply assuming your conclusion that fairness and justice are nebulous ultimately undefinable terms, as opposed to the supposed rigors of science.

Do false self serving assumptions know no end among intellectuals?
Gagnar The Unruly
mike1reynolds wrote:
He was talking extensively about the means used to evaluate justice and fairness, and comparing this to science.


He made one comment, not an extensive discussion.

mike1reynolds wrote:
Forgive me if I have strayed far off topic, but what is more to the point of a systematized means of determining justice and fairness than a legal system?


If you would like to insert a discussion of legal philosophy, please start a new topic! We weren't talking about legal systems. To digress, I would argue that legal systems are not necessarily concerned with determining justice and fairness, as much as with administering, and, further, that maintaining social order may be as important as justice and fairness. This is a philisophical discussion far removed from the intitial discussion -- that being a discussion on the overlap between scientific thought and other philosophic topics, not a discussion of specific philosophies (except perhaps science).

mike1reynolds wrote:
This whole notion that his analogies should not conform to or include the notion of legal systems is part and parcle of the fanatical knee jerk assumption that these terms are less prices and more nebulous than science.


You'll have to clarify this sentence. I don't believe he made any analogies, so I'm not sure to what you are referring. I'm sure he would consider the philosophical aspects of legal issues to be a relevant example of an topic that cannot be adequately discussed in a purely scientific context, but a specific discussion of legal philosophy is irrelevant to the point I believe he was trying to make. I don't know what you mean by "prices," and I think you are coming across as far more fanatical and knee-jerky than anyone else involved in this, or any other recent discussions.

mike1reynolds wrote:
This assertion that legal systems are irrelevant is a perfect example of circular reasoning, simply assuming your conclusion that fairness and justice are nebulous ultimately undefinable terms, as opposed to the supposed rigors of science.

Do false self serving assumptions know no end among intellectuals?


Legal systems are not irrelevant, but they are irrelevant to this discussion! Please outline this reasoning to illustrate how it is circular. Bikerman was pointing out the importance of philosophy in clarifying issues that cannot be pinned down by science. He was not criticizing these issues by pointing out their subjectivity. Also, he was illustrating an area where scientific discussion is not appropriate, not hailing science as the end-all answer to the universe. Of course, a supposition that science is rigorous is not a false supposition.

I think you need to read more carefully. Or start a new thread.
mike1reynolds
I count four usages of the word fairness before I ever showed up in this thread. It was not just a passing statement.

I am very familiar with Bikerman's mode of thought from far more than just this discussion, so your criticisms in general are mostly superfluous, completely ignoring the lengthy past history involved.

However, clearly you agree with Bikerman’s hidden premise that science is more exact than justice, and yet everyone on your side also agrees that nothing can, with 100% certainty, be concluded with science, so the fact that legal systems are always a facsimile of divine justice does not make it any less exact than science, which is always a facsimile of reality. Perfect exactness is a never ending goal that will always be not fully attainable. Any attempt to try to exploit the differences for the purposes of stroking one group’s egos (mainly intellectuals and scientists) is nothing more than that, pure ego. It has nothing to do with reality. If anything, science is far less exact than well established and well functioning formalized social systems.
mike1reynolds
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
I don't know what you mean by "prices,"
I have terrible dyslexia, really really bad. I'd look like a total idiot without a spell checker. When I said prices I meant precise.
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
I merely pointed out that notions of justice, fairness and truth are not in themselves suitable for scientific analysis for several reasons.
The hidden supposition here is that scientific analysis is more precise than any other form of analysis. Otherwise, why does it even matter whether something is subject to scientific analysis or not? The fact is that judicial analysis includes scientific analysis, while scientific analysis is almost totally incapable of judicial analysis. In other words, scientific analysis is inferior to other forms of analysis. So why is the short comings of scientific analysis in the least bit relevant to the subjects of fairness and justice? It is not, but I know how you think and you are circuitously asserting that this short coming of science is a reflection of the validity of objective notions of fairness and justice. It is an argument for moral relativism based on the conclusions of scientific analysis, which is absurd.

Bikerman wrote:
To start with, unless the scope and the precise meaning of terms are agreed in advance, we cannot even agree what we are discussing. We could spend an age simply working out what 'fairness' means and how it could apply.
Intellectuals love to split hairs in order to obfuscate simple obvious truths that they wish to deny. I have no interest at all in discussing the specifics of justice, it has nothing at all to do with my criticisms. My criticisms are exclusively against your arguments for moral relativism.
Gagnar The Unruly
mike1reynolds wrote:
I count four usages of the word fairness before I ever showed up in this thread. It was not just a passing statement.

I am very familiar with Bikerman's mode of thought from far more than just this discussion, so your criticisms in general are mostly superfluous, completely ignoring the lengthy past history involved.

However, clearly you agree with Bikerman’s hidden premise that science is more exact than justice, and yet everyone on your side also agrees that nothing can, with 100% certainty, be concluded with science, so the fact that legal systems are always a facsimile of divine justice does not make it any less exact than science, which is always a facsimile of reality. Perfect exactness is a never ending goal that will always be not fully attainable. Any attempt to try to exploit the differences for the purposes of stroking one group’s egos (mainly intellectuals and scientists) is nothing more than that, pure ego. It has nothing to do with reality. If anything, science is far less exact than well established and well functioning formalized social systems.


You've got a very active imagination! It'll serve you well I'm sure. I'm interested in hearing what else I think. And if anyone else wants to know, I'll refer them to you as an expert Wink
mike1reynolds
Perhaps my prolepsis was wrong. I am certainly open to that possibility, but your biased approach, perhaps just a product of an oversight, tended to suggest an intentional bias on your part rather than a negligent bias. I just can’t fathom how you think that legal systems are completely non-sequiter to the topic Bikerman brought up. From my point of view it is as relevant as relevant can be.

Now if you are including Bikerman in your argument then you are completely full of chicken feathers. Bikerman’s biases on philosophy and religion are well documented and extremely consistent.

I gave a substantive argument, even if it was inaccurate about you specifically, but not about Bikerman. Your reply was not at all substantive, it was purely emotive and snide. I was hoping you would provide a more worthy offering, because trying to argue with BM is like trying to argue with Indi, it is utterly pointless. BM is even more of polemicist than Indi. Indi looses his head, and then the argument, but BM is a stone cold polemicist who just keeps driving on calmly even when he is clearly wrong on the most trivial of points. He can’t admit error under any circumstances, not even the smallest error. Even Indi asks genuine questions now and then, but not BM, he is like a machine with one purpose, to denounce God and any hint of God’s stench, as he must view it. Some of his arguments are incredibly subliminal. It’s like a hypnotic act to put people into an atheistic state. It is extremely well thought out, a work of genius really, but having a real dialog with this kind of strategy is utterly beyond the realm of possibility, many for his reasons, not mine. I’m good at condensing BM’s argument to something succinctly understandable by all, which totally blows the hypnotic effect.

Politicians do this a lot, they start out by making an emphatic statement that promises a follow up, but then they will radically change subjects in order to gradually meander their way back to the promised follow up. It is a means of winding up an audience. Scientific studies have shown that speakers who use this technique are widely judged by audiences to be better speakers. It also happens to be a classic hypnotic technique to induce a trance state. Perhaps one of the most effective applications of this technique in history was made by Hitler. It is a technique that can be used for either good or evil, but in this case I think it is quite negative.

If you look at Corridor_Writer’s responses to BM, you’ll see that he appears to have largely the same view of BM. So if I am a fanatic, then I am not entirely alone in this particularly odd form of fanaticism.
Gagnar The Unruly
First off, let me clear the air. Read my previous post as gently sarcastic rather than snide and emotive (observe the Wink), and I think you'll get the tone I intended. No offense was intended. Also, I'm sorry that you have to struggle with dyslexia. I know that can be a source of constant frustration and I'll keep that in mind as I read your posts.

I think I understand how this happened. I think you've read a lot more into Bikerman's first post on the subject than is actually in the post. I think you're basing this on previous experience with Bikerman, which I can't speak to. I can't say that it's immaterial, but I think you should read his post again to see exactly what he says here.

Boiled down, he says that philosophy deals with issues that cannot be examined using the scientific method (and then lists a few examples), he then mentions that there isn't always a scientific methodology available for dealing with these issues, and that issues of metaphysics aren't suitable for scientific examination.

Actually, that's almost exactly what he says. I don't see how that portrays science as being "more exact" and metaphysics being "less rigorous." I'm not a mind reader, but I suspect that it's safe to assume that Bikerman considers science to be rigorous and exacting where it applies, but that other issues can't be fit into the framework of science due to subjectivity. However, this doesn't mean that they can't be discussed using logic. Don't confuse subjectivity with a loss of rigor. Logical arguments are still relevant with respect to subjective terms, as long as the definitions of the terms can be agreed upon. In the case of legal systems, I would say that lawmakers have a very difficult job, because they have to deal with issues that are highly subjective, and yet find ways to make objective rulings and policies. I don't envy them in the slightest for that task.

Also, I would like to contend with your statement that "science [has no] parallel to 'beyond the shadow of a doubt' vs. 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'" Science does, in fact, have such a parallel: the p-value. Scientists use mathematics to calculate the liklihood of every conclusion they make based on their data.

You seem to have a tendency to make inferences about what people think, based on what you expect them to say. You then carry on your argument as though they actually said those things. You may be able to overpower people who are less intelligent than you using these techniques, but against us they aren't going to work. You'll need to rely more on the strength of your arguments. Flourishing your arguments with SAT words may also be counterproductive. It alienates readers and causes confusion (readers may not know what your words mean, and you may also use them incorrectly!). The strongest arguments are brief and direct.

Also, beware of the fact that people may post things they don't believe in. It can be a good learning experience to post an argument you are unsure of, and to observe how people with more experience than you can deconstruct that argument. Maybe that's how you should be interpreting my early posts on this topic.

I think you have a point that you would like to make, but I also think that you could make that point better by taking a different tack.
mike1reynolds
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
First off, let me clear the air. Read my previous post as gently sarcastic rather than snide and emotive (observe the Wink), and I think you'll get the tone I intended. No offense was intended.
Alright, I’ll retract the emotive part, but you aren’t being very forthright if you deny you were being snide. I admit that I am snide all the time, so it is not much of a put down.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Also, I'm sorry that you have to struggle with dyslexia. I know that can be a source of constant frustration and I'll keep that in mind as I read your posts.
That is most civil of you! Usually it isn’t an issue, or is only a grammatical error, but occasionally my messages have an indecipherably wrong word in them.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Boiled down, he says that philosophy deals with issues that cannot be examined using the scientific method (and then lists a few examples), he then mentions that there isn't always a scientific methodology available for dealing with these issues, and that issues of metaphysics aren't suitable for scientific examination.

So now take it a step further, what could be the polemic implications of such an assertion? Especially in the context of Bikerman’s rabid atheism which voraciously attempts to hunt down any scientific argument in support of God? And I mean voraciously, one track mindedly, that is all he does here.

What does it mean to the typical Conspirator or Indi type atheist that some issues are utterly intractable to science? It means that they lack internal validity. That is really BM’s only intended point in this entire thread. That is his only intended point in every post he has ever made here, so I’m not reading anything into anything, I’m just going with BM’s standard MO, which has been completely invariant over time.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Actually, that's almost exactly what he says. I don't see how that portrays science as being "more exact" and metaphysics being "less rigorous." I'm not a mind reader, but I suspect that it's safe to assume that Bikerman considers science to be rigorous and exacting where it applies, but that other issues can't be fit into the framework of science due to subjectivity.
Subjective essentially means invalid to geek intellectual types, so even as you attempt to deny BM’s hidden thesis, you are playing *straight* into it. It really is a master piece of mind control. BM is a super-genius, but unfortunately, an evil super-genius.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
However, this doesn't mean that they can't be discussed using logic. Don't confuse subjectivity with a loss of rigor. Logical arguments are still relevant with respect to subjective terms, as long as the definitions of the terms can be agreed upon.

How is science any less subjective? Scientists argue like a pack of wild dogs in an ugly bitter way, and throughout most of history when a new theory came up all of the old generation of scientists had to simply die off for science to progress. How is that in any way objective, as opposed to being the very height of subjectivity among any form of consensus arbitration? Scientific peer review has historically been the most subjective form of consensus arbitration of any arbitrating public institution.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
In the case of legal systems, I would say that lawmakers have a very difficult job, because they have to deal with issues that are highly subjective, and yet find ways to make objective rulings and policies. I don't envy them in the slightest for that task.

The only thing that makes legal systems hard is greed and exploitation. The issues themselves are not at all unclear for the most part; they are mostly cut and dried. That is why there is so much anger among the general population against the legal profession, and politicians.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Also, I would like to contend with your statement that "science [has no] parallel to 'beyond the shadow of a doubt' vs. 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'" Science does, in fact, have such a parallel: the p-value. Scientists use mathematics to calculate the liklihood of every conclusion they make based on their data.

How are these probabilistic p-values actually quantifiable? Sure, the certainty level for evolution and quantum theory is astronomically high, but beyond that, the p-values are most subjective evaluations. How many other theories besides these two can be asserted with such a degree of certainty in science? For almost everything else the p-value is what you decide it is and there is not consistent consensus.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
You seem to have a tendency to make inferences about what people think, based on what you expect them to say.
No, I make inferences on what they have said ad nauseum in the past.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
You then carry on your argument as though they actually said those things.
Which he has.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
You may be able to overpower people who are less intelligent than you using these techniques, but against us they aren't going to work.
Funny technique that, holding people accountable to their well established MO.

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
You'll need to rely more on the strength of your arguments. Flourishing your arguments with SAT words may also be counterproductive. It alienates readers and causes confusion (readers may not know what your words mean, and you may also use them incorrectly!). The strongest arguments are brief and direct.
No, I’m not using them incorrectly. I apologize if my vernacular is too erudite for most, but that is the way I speak ALL THE TIME. My mother use to complain about this too. I don’t think you want to hear that you are sounding like my mother!

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
I think you have a point that you would like to make, but I also think that you could make that point better by taking a different tack.
What is a better a strategy? I don’t think it is my strategy that you dislike, it is the fundamental underlying assertion that you object too, regardless of the strategy I use to pursue it with. How would you recommend counteracting intentional mind control using subliminal messages? BM is a super genius who can do these things with such a flare that even someone as intelligent as you falls completely hook line and sinker for it without having any notion of the deeper implications, especially within your own consciousness. It takes an extremely powerful mind to accomplish an amazing feet like that. You have been had by the best, and you should take a moment to give a little respect to such a powerful mind. Sometimes opposition is the sincerest form of flattery!
mike1reynolds
That was too long. A quick review of the contention:

I assert that Bikerman, in his always profoundly methodical fashion, has a deeper implication to his posts in this thread. You deny this, so that begs the question, what was his point here?

Your synopsis of his points are quite bland, nothing more than trivia really, but I assure you that Bikerman is not one to start threads on mundane trivial matters. You do him a grave disservice to assume that his arguments are so trite and facile. You should give him more credit than that, he really is quite a bit more intelligent than you are presuming, and your synopsis was actually a belittling trivialization of his much more profound statements, even if they are profoundly deceptive.

So, I assert there is a deeper meaning to his posts in this thread, not just the trivial, trite and superficial meaning that you degrade his posts too. If you are right then what was the point of even starting a thread on such a trivial matter? Do you think that he is a whimsical person who posts out of capricious myopic fancifulness? If that is what you think, you are very mistaken.
Bikerman
Quote:
So, I assert there is a deeper meaning to his posts in this thread, not just the trivial, trite and superficial meaning that you degrade his posts too. If you are right then what was the point of even starting a thread on such a trivial matter? Do you think that he is a whimsical person who posts out of capricious myopic fancifulness? If that is what you think, you are very mistaken.

{Bikerman, meanwhile, asserts that the meaning of his postings is contained in the words that he uses, not the words that he might have used or evaded using because of some hidden meaning or agenda. What I post is, to the extent I am able to make it so, exactly what I mean to say without any hidden or implied meaning.}

I am not a genius, much less an evil genius. My intention, whenever I post, is one or more of the following
  • to try and illuminate an issue with knowledge or experience that I can speak to directly
  • to add my own view or opinion on a matter in order to hopefully further the discussion
  • to correct what I know to be incorrect, pointing out why and wherever possible giving supporting references
I have no hidden agenda, nor do I seek to convert people to my way of thinking. Some posters may feel that this is not the case - there is little I can do about that other than to re-iterate what my intentions are/were and leave it to others to decide if this is truthful or not. I have no answers or systems or ideology to sell or promote other than the one which I make explicit and open in the particular posting concerned.

I am completely open about my atheism and my belief that logic and science are, when applicable, the best way to examine options and reach conclusions. I do not believe that science has all the answers, particularly not when considering the 'human condition' or matters relating thereto. I do not believe that religion is invalidated by science - I pretty much share the thoughts that Indi has already expressed on this issue in his, I think impressive, posting on philosophy and philosophical method.

I do maintain that when religion (or any other system of belief) makes statements which are testable then they are venturing into the realms of science and, in such cases, should be prepared to abide by the rules of science, or, at least, acknowledge that there is another valid interpretation. Matters such as jurisprudence (and any other social organisation/system) are not issues of science but issues of sociology, psychology and morality/ethics and philosophy in the broadest sense. I have never denigrated those fields of study or asserted science's 'superiority' over them - for the simple reason that I do not believe it to be so and cannot see how one could make the comparison in the first place. Where there are issues concerned with the physical world around us then, yes, I strongly believe that science is the most precise, reliable and 'honest' method to address those issues. In matters of conscience, perception, social interaction and organisation then I believe scientific method should be used to inform the debate where appropriate and should be used if issues which are testable are involved. I do not believe, however, that science can give complete answers in these areas. I would even go further and say that in such matters I would be strongly suspicious and worried about any attempt to claim that science *can* give answers.

That's it. That is my general position/view/opinion/belief. Believe it or don't believe it - that is *your* right. All I ask is that you do not attribute things to me that I have not said - that steps over the line and infringes *my* right. I have no problem with you attributing whatever motives you like to my postings but don't attribute to me words or phrases that I have not used because it is insulting, dishonest and misleading.
mike1reynolds
Alright, I apologize for calling you an evil genius. Smile

What really got me was when you insisted that the y-axis on Feynman diagrams is space and not time. You strike me as sufficiently intelligent to where that had to be an intentional error for polemic reasons, but now that I see that you’ve been teaching highschool, well… I had lots of stupid arguments like that with pig headed highschool teachers who didn’t know their way out of a paper sack (although always on much less rarified topics, I must admit).

As to the point here, if I am wrong about my primary point then explicitly say so. Do you deny that you consider ideal science to be a more exacting process than ideal justice? (By ideal, I mean a reasonably well functioning system). Are you not a strict materialist?

If you can deny either of these then you have bested my argument, and all that is required is a simple denial, with a tad of supporting elucidation.
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
Alright, I apologize for calling you an evil genius. Smile

What really got me was when you insisted that the y-axis on Feynman diagrams is space and not time. You strike me as sufficiently intelligent to where that had to be an intentional error for polemic reasons, but now that I see that you’ve been teaching highschool, well… I had lots of stupid arguments like that with pig headed highschool teachers who didn’t know their way out of a paper sack (although always on much less rarified topics, I must admit).

Once again you misrepresent me. I said
"there is no firm spatial positioning on the y axis and you do NOT plot space against time on a Feynman diagram".
It was true then and it is true now.
http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/feynman.html

Quote:

As to the point here, if I am wrong about my primary point then explicitly say so. Do you deny that you consider ideal science to be a more exacting process than ideal justice? (By ideal, I mean a reasonably well functioning system). Are you not a strict materialist?

Yes I deny that I consider ideal science more exacting that ideal justice...I'm not even sure how I would go about making the comparison in the first place, let alone deciding on a result. It seems to me similar to asking whether football is a more exacting sport than rugby...what metrics would I use?
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
Once again you misrepresent me. I said
"there is no firm spatial positioning on the y axis and you do NOT plot space against time on a Feynman diagram".

Now you change you tune to something more nebulous. Previously you were quite explicit on multiple occasions that space/time diagrams and Feynman diagrams have the axes label in reverse from each other, with one having timer as the y axis and the other having time as the x axis. At least that made sense and could be understood in a coherent manner, even if it was false. Now you are asserting something that doesn’t even vaguely make sense.

How do you represent any motion at all with time and space? Your assertion here is just silly poofy-doo.

Bikerman wrote:
It was true then and it is true now.
Which one, your old story at least partly made sense, or your new totally incoherent story?

Bikerman wrote:
http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/feynman.html
This article says nothing about axis labeling and does not support your vacuous assertion in anyway. The closest it comes to even addressing the topic is the following solitary statement:

“Up and down (vertical) displacement in a diagram indicates particle motion, but no attempt is made to show direction or speed, except schematically.”

In other words the speed of light is not strictly represented in anyway as opposed to other speeds in a Feynman diagram (as distinct from a space/time diagram which does do this).

Bikerman wrote:
Quote:

As to the point here, if I am wrong about my primary point then explicitly say so. Do you deny that you consider ideal science to be a more exacting process than ideal justice? (By ideal, I mean a reasonably well functioning system). Are you not a strict materialist?

Yes I deny that I consider ideal science more exacting that ideal justice...I'm not even sure how I would go about making the comparison in the first place, let alone deciding on a result. It seems to me similar to asking whether football is a more exacting sport than rugby...what metrics would I use?
True enough, but then that begs the question, what were you trying to say here at all? What is the relevance of science’s inadequacy in these matters? Is it a reflection on science or the matters it is inadequate to address?

Forgive me if I am trying to shoehorn you into always having a deeper point, even if I disagree, but if you were saying nothing more than what is at face value then it is a throw away thread about statements so obvious they are hardly worthy of note.
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
Now you change you tune to something more nebulous. Previously you were quite explicit on multiple occasions that space/time diagrams and Feynman diagrams have the axes label in reverse from each other, with one having timer as the y axis and the other having time as the x axis. At least that made sense and could be understood in a coherent manner, even if it was false. Now you are asserting something that doesn’t even vaguely make sense.

How do you represent any motion at all with time and space? Your assertion here is just silly poofy-doo.

I changed nothing at all, let alone a tune. That quote above is a direct quote from my postings...here's the rest of the quotes where I mention it. I said (as well as the above quote)
Bikerman wrote:
Feynman diagrams refer specifically to particle interactions and have time running left to right on the x axis. Motion of the particle is shown on the y axis but without any scale or attempt to represent direction or speed.

and
Bikerman wrote:
Time IS labelled left to right on a Feynman - I forgot the quote I made (in another thread) and happily retract the statement that I didn't - what I meant to say was that my position is unchanged and the axis DOES run left-right, there is no firm spatial positioning on the y axis and you do NOT plot space against time on a Feynman diagram. In other words I can find no error with what I said.

Quote:
Which one, your old story at least partly made sense, or your new totally incoherent story?
I have invented nothing....all are direct quotes from the postings concerned. My 'story' now is the same as it was in the thread concerned.
In all cases I pointed out that space is certainly NOT represented on the Y axis and that time is represented left-right (X axis). I was completely consistent in that. The important point I was making was that Feynman diagrams are in no way similar to spacetime diagrams because spacetime diagrams represent time on the Y axis and space on the X. Feynman diagrams do not attempt to show space at all on either axis. That is what I learned and I still believe it to be true. I must admit, however, that I did not realise that time can be sometimes be represented on the Y axis until I read the following:
Quote:
Note: it is also common to find Feynman diagrams using the convention that time flows from the bottom of the diagram to the top. This is just a matter of taste but the left to right convention is more commonly used)

So that part of my posting was imprecise - I should have said 'normally have time running on the X' and I freely correct myself. Other than that I can see no mistake in what I wrote.
Quote:
This article says nothing about axis labeling and does not support your vacuous assertion in anyway. The closest it comes to even addressing the topic is the following solitary statement:
That is simply a blatant lie. On Line 5 we have
Quote:
Left-to-right in the diagram represents time; a process begins on the left and ends on the right.

That is exactly what I said.
Mike1Reynolds wrote:
In other words the speed of light is not strictly represented in anyway as opposed to other speeds in a Feynman diagram (as distinct from a space/time diagram which does do this).

No...no other words are needed, let alone wrong ones. My words quoted above are fairly clear and they are still correct - just add the word 'normally' when I say time is shown in the x axis.
Quote:

True enough, but then that begs the question, what were you trying to say here at all? What is the relevance of science’s inadequacy in these matters? Is it a reflection on science or the matters it is inadequate to address?
Inadequacy ? In the same way that the rules of football are inadequate to play rugby, yes, science seems inadequate to describe human interactions and social constructs.
Quote:

Forgive me if I am trying to shoehorn you into always having a deeper point, even if I disagree, but if you were saying nothing more than what is at face value then it is a throw away thread about statements so obvious they are hardly worthy of note.

Which is why I am surprised that you have spent so much time noting it.
mike1reynolds
mike1reynolds wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Which one, your old story at least partly made sense, or your new totally incoherent story?
I have invented nothing....all are direct quotes from the postings concerned. My 'story' now is the same as it was in the thread concerned.
In all cases I pointed out that space is certainly NOT represented on the Y axis and that time is represented left-right (X axis).
Then what pray tell is on the other axis? I’m not going to get into this childish argument about whether time is on the y axis or not, it is asinine, but even more mind boggling is what you think belongs on the non-temporal axis if not space?

Bikerman wrote:
The important point I was making was that Feynman diagrams are in no way similar to spacetime diagrams because spacetime diagrams represent time on the Y axis and space on the X. Feynman diagrams do not attempt to show space at all on either axis. That is what I learned and I still believe it to be true.
Just because physicists aren’t concerned with precise spatial relations and speeds hardly means that speed and space are completely unrepresented.

Bikerman wrote:
I must admit, however, that I did not realise that time can be sometimes be represented on the Y axis until I read the following:
Quote:
Note: it is also common to find Feynman diagrams using the convention that time flows from the bottom of the diagram to the top. This is just a matter of taste but the left to right convention is more commonly used)
In the example diagram that YOU gave it was clearly on the y axis. I was just going by your example, I haven’t seen a Feynman diagram in years and I don’t memory trivia like that.

Regardless, even if the axes are swapped most of the time, this hardly constitutes an earth shattering distinction.

Bikerman wrote:
mike1reynolds wrote:
Forgive me if I am trying to shoehorn you into always having a deeper point, even if I disagree, but if you were saying nothing more than what is at face value then it is a throw away thread about statements so obvious they are hardly worthy of note.

Which is why I am surprised that you have spent so much time noting it.
Because I assumed you had something to say. Alas, maybe you are a pedantic geek and not an evil genius!
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
Then what pray tell is on the axis the other? I’m not going to get into this childish argument about whether time is on the y axis or not, it is asinine, but even more mind boggling is what you think belongs on the non-temporal axis if not space?

The reason you don't know is because you don't understand what Feynman diagram is. You don't now, you didn't then.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
The important point I was making was that Feynman diagrams are in no way similar to spacetime diagrams because spacetime diagrams represent time on the Y axis and space on the X. Feynman diagrams do not attempt to show space at all on either axis. That is what I learned and I still believe it to be true.
Just because physicists aren’t concerned with precise spatial relations and speeds hardly means that speed and space are completely unrepresented.
Yes, it does. That's exactly what it means. There is no attempt to represent speed in a Feynman diagram at all and neither the horizontal spacing nor the vertical spacing gives the distance between the particles. Full stop.
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
mike1reynolds wrote:
Then what pray tell is on the axis the other? I’m not going to get into this childish argument about whether time is on the y axis or not, it is asinine, but even more mind boggling is what you think belongs on the non-temporal axis if not space?

The reason you don't know is because you don't understand what Feynman diagram is. You don't now, you didn't then.

I don't know, ha ha?! You don't have an answer because you are totally full of crap and you are trying to cover up for it by being snotty. Doesn't shake, you don't have a clue what is on the non-temporal axis if not space, do you?
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
Bikermanmike1reynolds wrote:
Just because physicists aren’t concerned with precise spatial relations and speeds hardly means that speed and space are completely unrepresented.
Yes, it does. That's exactly what it means. There is no attempt to represent speed in a Feynman diagram at all and the horizontal spacing does not give the distance between the particles. Full stop.

BM, your own reference contradicts you:

Quote:
Up and down (vertical) displacement in a diagram indicates particle motion, but no attempt is made to show direction or speed, except schematically.”

What do think this exception to your hard and fast BS rule is referring to? It is refering to precision, nothing more.

And what do you suppose is meant when particle motion is attributed to an axis? What does one move through, other than space, pray tell?
Bikerman
Here's a Feynman diagram for beta decay.


Tell me, how do I calculate the speed of the electron from the diagram? Does the diagram try to show me where the electron and the neutron are in space with regard to each other?
Do you even know what it represents?
mike1reynolds
You are such a geek. "What does this stupid little piece of trivia mean, and if you can't answer me then your whole argument must be wrong." Only dorks argue like that.

What does "not precise" mean to you? Your own reference stated motion is represented, but not precisely, which means that it cannot be calculated precisely. So why ask me a stupid question about precise calculations when the subject has already been addressed?
mike1reynolds
Bikerman, you seriously need a biker girl. Teresa and Viki just showed up and I will have no more time for dorks for awhile!
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
You are such a geek. "What does this stupid little piece of trivia mean, and if you can't answer me then your whole argument must be wrong." Only dorks argue like that.

What does "not precise" mean to you? Your own reference stated motion is represented, but not precisely, which means that it cannot be calculated precisely. So why ask me a stupid question about precise calculations when the subject has already been addressed?

In other words:
a) You can't calculate the speed of the electron
b) The diagram does not attempt to show the spatial relationship between the electron and the neutron
c) You haven't got a clue what a Feynman diagram is.
mike1reynolds
For being such an idiot, you certainly are condescending about it.

I said no precise calculations, I quoted your reference as such, and yet still you claim that this contradicts my assertion.

If only you could understand plain English, maybe we could have an actual discussion?

Viki and Teresa are really get pissed at me for wasting time with such a dork.... no time left.... kiss kiss
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:
For being such an idiot, you certainly are condescending about it.

I said no precise calculations, I quoted your reference as such, and yet still you claim that this contradicts my assertion.

And I say no calculation at all, not even relative calculations since space is not represented on the vertical axis (or maybe you think the electron below the neutron? Above it)? Does the diagram tell you ANYTHING about the position of the electron in space? It must do if space is represented on the vertical axis mustn't it? Presumably the electron is going 'up' in space at an angle of (about 15%?) and is below the neutron? Or could it be that this is a diagram, not a graph? What do you think?
If you have studied Feynman diagrams as you claim then why can you not tell me what this one represents? It's one of the simplest I could find...
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
And I say no calculation at all, not even relative calculations since space is not represented on the vertical axis (or maybe you think the electron below the neutron? Above it)? Does the diagram tell you ANYTHING about the position of the electron in space? It must do if space is represented on the vertical axis mustn't it? Presumably the electron is going 'up' in space at an angle of (about 15%?) and is below the neutron? Or could it be that this is a diagram, not a graph? What do you think?
If you have studied Feynman diagrams as you claim then why can you not tell me what this one represents? It's one of the simplest I could find...
Your questions presuppose two dimensions of space rather than one. Either you are extremely confused or your questions are stupid baits. How can you have a 15% angle in one dimension of space? That is asinine.
mike1reynolds

What we have here is a neutron that is stationary in at least one dimension of space, but since you example is so spotty, it may be moving in one of the other two dimensions of space that are not represented. By generally convention the movement in all three dimensions of space is represented in one dimension as best as possible, but it simply isn’t possible in all cases to reduce three dimensions to one and preserve relative moment, however presumably the author of this diagram did intend to depict the neutron as being almost perfectly stationary relative to the observer.

Next the neutron decays into a proton and a W boson which shoots away from each other at high rates of speed. Things get a little goofy at this point in this sloppy diagram as the W boson goes through an electroweak decay into an anti-neutrino and an electron. Neutrinos travel at the speed of light, but the diagram depicts the W boson as moving faster than the neutrino.

Not everyone makes decent Feynman diagrams, and it figures that you would pick a really shotty one like this, but never the less, even in this poorly designed diagram there is most definitely some degree of relative speed that is represented, even if it is only faster vs. slow.

Now remember, you have asserted that the y axis here isn’t space at all. So if it is not space, then what the hell is it? I’ve asked you this several times already. I answered your goofy pedantic question that was really nothing more than an insult, so now answer my repeatedly asked question which is an honest question that gets to the heart of your BS claim.
Bikerman
mike1reynolds wrote:

What we have here is a neutron that is stationary in at least one dimension of space, but since you example is so spotty, it may be moving in one of the other two dimensions of space that are not represented. By generally convention the movement in all three dimensions of space is represented in one dimension as best as possible, but it simply isn’t possible in all cases to reduce three dimensions to one and preserve relative moment, however presumably the author of this diagram did intend to depict the neutron as being almost perfectly stationary relative to the observer.

No it doesn't because the diagram does not attempt to depict speed/velocity.
Quote:
Next the neutron decays into a proton and a W boson which shoots away from each other at high rates of speed. Things get a little goofy at this point in this sloppy diagram as the W boson goes through an electroweak decay into an anti-neutrino and an electron. Neutrinos travel at the speed of light, but the diagram depicts the W boson as moving faster than the neutrino.

There is no depiction of speed. There is nothing wrong with the diagram.
Quote:

Not everyone makes decent Feynman diagrams, and it figures that you would pick a really shotty one like this, but never the less, even in this poorly designed diagram there is most definitely some degree of relative speed that is represented, even if it is only faster vs. slow.
This is a rather good example used to teach freshers at Cal Tech
http://www.egglescliffe.org.uk/physics/particles/parts/parts1.html
Quote:

Now remember, you have asserted that the y axis here isn’t space at all. So if it is not space, then what the hell is it? I’ve asked you this several times already. I answered your goofy pedantic question that was really nothing more than an insult, so now answer my repeatedly asked question which is an honest question that gets to the heart of your BS claim.

It isn't anything. It's a DIAGRAM not a graph. The notion that space is represented on one of the axis (whichever you choose) would mean that the gradient of a line is proportional to the velocity. As I repeatedly point out there is NO ATTEMPT to represent velocity on the diagram which is why the gradients do NOT correspond to velocity. Space is 'represented' schematically which means diagrammatically not graphically. ie there is no mapping of the coordinate onto a spatial axis and no attempt to represent the velocity of the particle by the gradient (or any other method). It is the same principle as a London Underground map or other similar diagram - the map makes no attempt to show the real spatial coordinates for the sake of simplicity. There is no attempt to render the image in 'true' space, just a general schematic indication. That is why you cannot use a Feynman diagram to draw spacetime events. In a spacetime graph the gradient is critical because it DOES map to a spatial and temporal axis.
In a Feynman diagram it does NOT. Where 2 particles meet is called a Feynman Vertex and, as Feynman himself says in his lecture on the matter:
Feynman wrote:
The vertices show the time ordering of the processes. It is important to recognize that the vertices show time orderings only; they do not represent tracks of particles in space.
mike1reynolds
Then you deny that the neutron in your diagram was stationary and the other particles were in motion?

Again, you make endless claims about what the y axis is not, over and over and over, and yet seem to be completely incapable of answer WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS.

Are you capable of answering a simple question?


The process of mapping more dimensions down to fewer dimensions, creating a sort of shadow, is not meaningfully different between space/time diagrams and Feynman diagrams, other than a possible difference in how sloppy they are about doing it.
mike1reynolds
Bikerman wrote:
This is a rather good example used to teach freshers at Cal Tech
http://www.egglescliffe.org.uk/physics/particles/parts/parts1.html

Ah yes, that was your original example, which happens to be an example of a Feynman diagram with time on the y-axis and space on the x-axis.

Quote:
One electron emits a photon and recoils; the second electron absorbs the photon and acquires its momentum.


Basically it is like two objects colliding and bouncing off of each other, so you can clearly see that the momentum is through the x-axis and not the temporal y-axis.
mike1reynolds
mike1reynolds wrote:
Are you capable of answering a simple question?

Obviously you are incapable of answering a simple question if it contradicts the polemic lies that you are using to attack someone.

Elsewhere you claimed to admit when you are wrong, but only when it is of no relevance to one of your polemic attacks. If it is, then you will not admit that you are wrong on even the most painfully obvious point.

You assert that instead of being space, the non-temporal axis in a Feynman diagram is “nothing at all”. Whatever the hell that is suppose to mean. You are just completely full of crap.
Jaan
Gahh the first posts have helped me out, cheers to those, but Bikerman and reynolds are pretty funny when arguing. It seems they've managed to boil this whole thing down to Feynman diagrams. (I'm in Grade 10 so no clue whatsoever).

Some very interesting arguments though, thanks for that.
mike1reynolds
Ha ha! Well, clearly Feynman diagrams are not the "ultimate philosophy"! I apologize for dragging this stupid argument over from other threads....
Gagnar The Unruly
mike1reynolds wrote:
How are these probabilistic p-values actually quantifiable? Sure, the certainty level for evolution and quantum theory is astronomically high, but beyond that, the p-values are most subjective evaluations. How many other theories besides these two can be asserted with such a degree of certainty in science? For almost everything else the p-value is what you decide it is and there is not consistent consensus.


P-values are quantifiable by statistics. A p-value is a quantification of the likelihood of randomly selecting a value more extreme than a defined value. Generally, it is used by scientists to determine whether an observation is due to chance or to experimental effect or whether an observed value conforms to a predicted value. A p-value of 0.2 means that there is a 20% chance that the obervation is due to chance. In this context, a p-value is compared to a pre-defined level of acceptance (alpha, usually = 0.05). Scientists say an obervation is "significant" where p<alpha. Since alpha usually equals 0.05, scientists typically regard observations where p>0.05 as failing to offer sufficient proof of an effect. As you can see, scientists rigorously avoid mistakenly attributing observations to effects that do not actually exist (type I error).

The p-value is part of the output of a statistical test. All statistical tests have assumptions, and the validity of the p-value depends on the degree to which the real system matches the statistical assumptions. Scientists select statistical tests based both on the nature of their data as well as the degree to which their experimental system satisfies the assumptions of a particular test. In many cases, statistical tests exist that can explicity test the degree to which the assumptions of other tests are correct. In many other cases, less rigorous tests exist which have assumptions that are very easy to meet. Generally, scientists will use these tests in the face of uncertainty, in order to reduce type I error. Obviously, scientists may misapply statistical techniques, though this may cause them trouble in the peer review process. Advanced statistical analysis can also be more of an art than an exact science. However, ethical considerations and the peer review process are forces that keep the quality of statistical analyses high.

P-values are based on single values. There's no way to statistically asses the p-value of a theory, although statistical techniques allow researchers to perform statistical tests on multiple published datasets, for example.
Bikerman
You explained that very well. I only done bits and bobs of stats over the years and although I have a nodding acquaintance with p-values I had forgotten most and never really known some. That explanation refreshes my memory and adds more context.
Gagnar The Unruly
Thanks, Bikerman Very Happy
mike1reynolds
The issue is, how are you defining a probabilistic certainty for scientific theories? Scientists have historically been notoriously bad at predicting what theory is going to tumble next. That is why in so many cases in history the older generation had to die off before science could progress.

Who is defining the means of determining the probabilistic certainty for theories, and how? Other than the broadest terms, like there is lots of certainty about Newtonian Mechanics, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, little can be said, and even that is almost meaningless because the first two theories proved to be woefully incomplete in describing how mater interacts.

The whole process is a profoundly subjective one, and most conclusions reached can only be a product of ego, in my opinion.
Gagnar The Unruly
Have you read my post? I think I explain it clearly.
mike1reynolds
Your comments apply only to an individual test scenario. You make no attempt to define how one assigns a probabilistic value to the outcome of all the various and sundry types of tests made of a theory. Your assertion that such an undertaking is doable is not very well grounded in actual science.
Gagnar The Unruly
mike1reynolds wrote:
Your comments apply only to an individual test scenario. You make no attempt to define how one assigns a probabilistic value to the outcome of all the various and sundry types of tests made of a theory. Your assertion that such an undertaking is doable is not very well grounded in actual science.


Not true, this comment applies to a theory:

Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
There's no way to statistically asses the p-value of a theory...


Where did I ever assert that one could "[assign] a probabilistic value to the out come...of tests made of a theory," much less "[assert] that such an undertaking is doable"? You have read something not written, and haven't read what is written.
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