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Originally Posted By: socratus

Euclidean space is two dimensions space

That's misleading. Both 2D and 3D spaces can be Euclidean. 3D Euclidean space is the most useful way of modelling the world as we experience it, even though pseudo-Euclidean spaces (Minkowski space, in the case of SRT) provide scientists with a better understanding of the large scale universe.


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I just wonder if infinity is a useful concept


If you accept that there can never have been a time when there was absolutely nothing, then infinity is an indispensable concept; but perhaps you don't accept that.



I don't know, many cosmologists consider that before the BB nothing existed and that space and time only got going after the BB.

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Originally Posted By: socratus
Nobody gives exact and concrete answer


Back to square 1! Is this because it is a mathematical concept that may or may not be relevant to reality; or because nobody actually knows?


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Quote:

Back to square 1! Is this because it is a mathematical concept that may or may not be relevant to reality; or because nobody actually knows?



You see, call me a fool, but having discussed and thought about the knowledge we gain through scientific discoveries for some time I have concluded that John Wheeler was onto something when he suggested that it is the questions we put to nature that 'shape' it. I cannot offer any solid, scientific testable evidence for this assertion but it is just a strong intuition I have formed over the years. It sounds crazy to suggest that we, Homo-Sapiens, can be the architects of reality, but I think that essentially we live in our own minds and as such have to 'model' reality in a way our brain's structures can handle.

This idea would explain why we have all the problems associated with infinity and what came before the big bang and indeed the queer world of quantum mechanics. In other word, there is no 'ready made' reality out there just waiting to be discovered in the manner a new country awaits discovery. No, it is as if our consciousness is somehow intrinsically involved in the fabric of reality. I don't know.

This, perhaps, could be the solution to your questions about infinity. Infinity only exists as an idea so no idea, no infinity! (Back to the falling tree in the forest again!).

Is this going too far?

Last edited by abacus9900; 09/21/10 04:07 PM.
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
It sounds crazy to suggest that we, Homo-Sapiens, can be the architects of reality


I'm not at all sure that it does sound crazy. One question we may have to accept that we will not answer, though, is: if we are the architects of reality, was there any reality before we were around to do our "architecting"? (I bet there's no such word).


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...if we are the architects of reality, was there any reality before we were around to do our "architecting"? (I bet there's no such word).



The answer I would give would be that yes, 'unobserved' reality was about but, as I do not think myself that observed/unobserved reality are equivalent, due to the central role observers play, I would not say the reality we know of today could possibly be the same before we were around. One way to put it might be that the reality we take for granted today was 'hidden' before intelligent observers existed. It is all very well for people to say oh, but all the things that exist today would still have been around for millions or billions of years before we came on the scene, however, what meaning can this really have when it was all unexpressed at the time? Religion used to be the predominant way of explaining existence and reality and science did not count for much for many centuries so I guess times change and so does what we consider to be reality. Some serious physicists are suggesting not just one universe but a 'multiverse' consisting of innumerable different kinds of universes with their own laws of physics, so here we have an example of the evolving definition of reality into 'higher' realities emerging as a result of consciousness/matter interaction. In fact, one can visualize this process continuing until, perhaps, one day (if we keep evolving) we become godlike, in which case what what reality appear to be like then?



Last edited by abacus9900; 09/21/10 06:29 PM.
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Originally Posted By: abacus
times change and so does what we consider to be reality


Do we have to distinguish between "what we consider to be reality" and what reality might actually be? For example: when educated observers believed the Earth was surrounded by crystal spheres; was that just their subjective reality, or where the spheres actually there? The same question has to be asked of the ether.

Then again, what happens if different cultures believe different things, at the same time?

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In fact, one can visualize this process continuing until, perhaps, one day (if we keep evolving) we become godlike,

Enter the Omega Point!


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Quote:

Do we have to distinguish between "what we consider to be reality" and what reality might actually be? For example: when educated observers believed the Earth was surrounded by crystal spheres; was that just their subjective reality, or where the spheres actually there? The same question has to be asked of the ether.

Then again, what happens if different cultures believe different things, at the same time?



Well, what we do nowadays is to conduct scientific experiments, which is really asking questions of nature and, as I alluded to earlier, the questions we pose will determine what kind of answers we obtain, which leads to theories of what reality is. So, we can see that the kind of reality we experience today is science based, which is fine because science has achieved so much to alleviate suffering and made life much more bearable and enjoyable for many people, however, I have to wonder whether if science is pushed too far it kind of loses its effectiveness in attempting to underpin the deepest mysteries of life. Perhaps religious belief is more of an answer to the latter than science because the more questions science tries to answer, the more questions it throws up.

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Originally Posted By: abacus
the questions we pose will determine what kind of answers we obtain, which leads to theories of what reality is.


This seems to fit well with at least some of quantum theory's "realities", but takes us no nearer to deciding if there is any sort of objective reality.

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So, we can see that the kind of reality we experience today is science based


So was the ether, but does that mean it existed until scientific investigation made it redundant?


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Quote:

This seems to fit well with at least some of quantum theory's "realities", but takes us no nearer to deciding if there is any sort of objective reality.



Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?

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So was the ether, but does that mean it existed until scientific investigation made it redundant?


The ether was more of an idea than a scientific fact. Experiment dispensed with it.

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Originally Posted By: abacus
Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?


When you consider how many versions of quantum reality there may be, they are probably all in the eye of the beholder.

Are you saying that all "reality" is subjective?

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The ether was more of an idea than a scientific fact


What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?

Try this:

Scientific facts are a tentative class of 'truth' (or widely accepted idea) verifiable by repeatable experiment/observation, and which - although they may turn out to accurately describe reality - usually prove to serve as approximate descriptions of reality, subject to modification.

A popular example of modified scientific truth/fact is the transition from Newton's 'rational mechanics' explanation of planetary motion to Einstein's General Relativity theory. The 'celestial mechanics' of Laplace and Newton provides a very accurate prediction of planetary motion, but GR correctly accounted for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, which was "anomalous" according to Newton. GR may yet prove to be inaccurate. Scientists would no doubt welcome such a new scientific 'truth', as a landmark breakthough.


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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Try this


I did...it seemed good...thanks.


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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Originally Posted By: Bill S.
What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?

Try this:

Scientific facts are a tentative class of 'truth' (or widely accepted idea) verifiable by repeatable experiment/observation, and which - although they may turn out to accurately describe reality - usually prove to serve as approximate descriptions of reality, subject to modification.

A popular example of modified scientific truth/fact is the transition from Newton's 'rational mechanics' explanation of planetary motion to Einstein's General Relativity theory. The 'celestial mechanics' of Laplace and Newton provides a very accurate prediction of planetary motion, but GR correctly accounted for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, which was "anomalous" according to Newton. GR may yet prove to be inaccurate. Scientists would no doubt welcome such a new scientific 'truth', as a landmark breakthough.


Yes, but such facts do not come into existence without the aid of conscious intervention by people; this is the point I have been making, ie, 'observed' versus 'unobserved' reality.

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Quote:


When you consider how many versions of quantum reality there may be, they are probably all in the eye of the beholder.

Are you saying that all "reality" is subjective?



Yes, because we, or rather our minds, are an intrinsic part of reality creation. We use things like language and mathematics to describe reality (I'll discount emotions) to 'model' our experiences in terms of scientific observations, but such observations always involve us in interacting with and therefore disturbing nature. Again, we are back to 'observed' reality and 'unobserved' reality.

Quote:

What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?



A scientific fact is information that has been acquired through repeated experimentation that has be repeated to such an extent that it has become predictive. However, the question is, did such a scientific fact exist before somebody decided to 'model' it? It seems to me that the more one tills a particular furrow, in terms of asking nature questions, the deeper and more enduring the furrow becomes, eventually attaining the status of a scientific fact.

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Wow, at least three of us agree, broadly, on the definition of a scientific "fact".

We seem to have a similar triumvirate agreement on the "different take on gravity" thread.

I hope this doesn't mean we are going soft!


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Wow, at least three of us agree, broadly, on the definition of a scientific "fact".

We seem to have a similar triumvirate agreement on the "different take on gravity" thread.

I hope this doesn't mean we are going soft!



Well, Bill S, if I was to put it in a nutshell, I would say that any scientific experiment is an exercise in revealing the relationships between life and non-life. We are life contemplating non-life. The question, of course, is where does one end and one begin?

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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
We are life contemplating non-life. The question, of course, is where does one end and one begin?


This begins to look more like philosophy than science, but QT does blur the boundaries there as well. For some time now I have felt that everything could make more sense if we live in an infinite cosmos in which everything is everything else. It's not easy to fit all the bits together, though. The danger is ending up trying to find evidence to justify an idea, rather than just looking at the evidence dispassionately.


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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I would say that any scientific experiment is an exercise in revealing the relationships between life and non-life

I don't see how it applies to just "any scientific experiment". For example, adding salt to water to check for a change in boiling point - how does that apply? Can you elucidate?


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Quote:
For example, adding salt to water to check for a change in boiling point - how does that apply? Can you elucidate?



Well, just ask yourself who wants to know?

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