REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

What is science?

POSTED BY: CANTTAKESKY
UPDATED: Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:13
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Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:21 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
I'd suggest that "someone" doesn't understand what is meant by perpetual motion. Perpetual motion is where a closed system creates more energy than it has applied to it.

I see. So you are defining perpetual motion in such a manner as to be contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

This is what Wiki says:
Quote:

Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not.


I would have gone with just the first part: "hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely"--whether they produce more work or energy or not. But that is just me.

What would you say if someone said nuclear reactions (say, the sun) are an example of perpetual motion, as you defined it: producing more energy than it has applied to it?



-------
Everything I say is just my opinion, not fact.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:13 AM

KANEMAN


Well, just last night every major broadcast aired that a new study may link diet soda to strokes, however what they did not tell you was that there was no control for family history of strokes/heart attacks or weight.

Even worse is this whole idea, which was doomed to failure before it began, that most dieseases and behaviors have a genetic basis(Come on admit it you have bought into that since it was first sold and this is why dispite years and billions of dollars VERY few cures have come out of genetic mapping or biomed). We fail to see humanity in a simple naturistic manner, not in the way liberals see it. See, any baby born with the ability to see, that is then left in the dark for five years will lose the ability to see.

Only 7% of women with breast cancer have the "genetic marker" for tit cancer, and the % of women that have the marker and get cancer are slightly higher than those without.

I guess I am trying to say is scientific discovery is only as good as the manner in which it is conveyed to the rest of humanity. When we are constantly told how things "are", as if it were the word of god, and the reality is far different science becomes UNRELIABLE....think..the health benefits of eggs. Ask yourself this....Are they bad for you?


Now, I am going to go snort a bit of coke....Psst, it is good for you.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:29 AM

HARDWARE


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

And yet all those things are now accepted by the "scientific establishment", proving that science is sceptical but that "radical new ideas" will gain traction if there's something to them. Or in other words, your list only goes to show that science works more or less pretty well and exactly how it's supposed to, that my original statements you're arguing against are correct and that the only thing falling on it's face is your argument :p.


My original idea as stated was that science rejects ideas that fly in the face of the establishment. You leapt to the defense of science. I provided proof to support my assertion. You are now trying to lay claim to the very thing you said did not happen.

Stop moving the goalposts. Oh, wait. You're doing exactly what the science establishment does.

Science is measurable and repeatable. Science establishment reproduces bad ideas rejecting new ideas with measurable repeatable results.

The more I get to know people the more I like my dogs.

...and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:48 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
I'd suggest that "someone" doesn't understand what is meant by perpetual motion. Perpetual motion is where a closed system creates more energy than it has applied to it.

I see. So you are defining perpetual motion in such a manner as to be contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

This is what Wiki says:
Quote:

Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not.


I would have gone with just the first part: "hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely"--whether they produce more work or energy or not. But that is just me.


Either way the definition I used is spot on, a machine that once set going doesn't stop even if no further force is applied to it. If you're extracting energy from the system (i.e. useful work) for the machine to carry on running it would have to be generating more energy that was put into it in the first place. If you think about it the longer definition is still implied by the shorter one you picked out.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
What would you say if someone said nuclear reactions (say, the sun) are an example of perpetual motion, as you defined it: producing more energy than it has applied to it?


I'd say E=MC2. Those reactions are burning fuel, in the case of most types of Fusion Hydrogen, and releasing energy that is bottled up within the matter itself. In essence the Sun isn't producing more energy than it has had applied to it, it is converting one type of energy into another, and not at perfect efficiency either. Hence why one day the sun will "die".

Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
My original idea as stated was that science rejects ideas that fly in the face of the establishment. You leapt to the defense of science.


No, I said if a new idea has merit it will gain traction and be accepted. For your original assertion to hold any weight all those "radical new ideas" would have to still be dismissed by this secretive "scientific establishment" cabal you've fantasised into being.
Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
I provided proof to support my assertion.


And I pointed out that your "proof" supports my statements, and completely dismisses yours. You claim the scientific establishment won't accept anything that doesn't agree with current theory. I said that there was inertia against complete changes, but that if the new idea had merit it would eventually gain traction. If you can't see how a list of things that were originally rejected but then gained acceptance because they had merit fits what I have been saying all along, and disproves what you said, then I don't see any point talking to you further on this.
Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
You are now trying to lay claim to the very thing you said did not happen.


Either you didn't read my post, didn't understand it, or are making shit up. I said nothing of the sort.
Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
Stop moving the goalposts. Oh, wait. You're doing exactly what the science establishment does.


I'm not moving any goalposts, my position hasn't wavered a bit. It's you that claimed the "scientific establishment" won't accept new ideas; then decided to wave your arms around and start casting aspersions on people in a vain attempt to cover up the fact that all the new ideas you claimed weren't accepted by the insular scientific establishment, were in fact accepted by the self same "scientific establishment". I can't help it if logic isn't your strong point.
Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
Science is measurable and repeatable.


It is, yeah.
Quote:

Originally posted by Hardware:
Science establishment reproduces bad ideas rejecting new ideas with measurable repeatable results.


Yet the only proof you can bring up for this statement are a list of ideas that were, in fact, accepted by the scientific establishment; while the only defence you can come up with for your seemingly illogical position is that I'm shifting the goalpost, by pointing out the salient facts that you'd prefer were ignored.

I have a new phrase you should think about: Cognative Dissonance.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:37 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
Either way the definition I used is spot on, a machine that once set going doesn't stop even if no further force is applied to it.

Well, no.

Let's revisit the 2 definitions:

1. Perpetual motion describes hypothetical entities that operate or produce useful work indefinitely.
2. Perpetual motion is where a closed system creates more energy than it has applied to it.

In the case of a revolving planet, one person might say that was perpetual motion (#1) while you would say that doesn't meet your definition because it isn't a closed system that violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (#2).

So the two definitions are not one and the same. They operate on different assumptions (e.g. closed vs open system). The second CAN be, but is not necessarily, implied by the first.

-------
Everything I say is just my opinion, not fact.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:48 AM

BYTEMITE


Darn, I didn't want to get into this.

Wikipedia says this:

Quote:

The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the tendency that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and chemical potential equilibrate in an isolated physical system. From the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, the law deduced the principle of the increase of entropy and explains the phenomenon of irreversibility in nature. The second law declares the impossibility of machines that generate usable energy from the abundant internal energy of nature by processes called perpetual motion of the second kind.


Sounds to me like the definition of a perpetual motion machine requires it to violate the second law of thermodynamics. The concept of a perpetual motion machine (or entity) also seems to require it to be a closed system.

Not to say it couldn't be done, or that the second law is immutable (under certain conditions? Or that there's not a better law out there). But it'd definitely be a trick.

From the article on perpetual motion:

Quote:

While the laws of physics are incomplete and stating that physical things are absolutely impossible is un-scientific, "impossible" is used in common parlance to describe those things which absolutely cannot occur within the context of our current formulation of physical laws.


Also:

Quote:

Any proposed perpetual motion design offers a potentially instructive challenge to physicists: one is almost completely certain that it can't work, so one must explain how it fails to work.


It's entirely possible that dismissals of perpetual motion machines are a case of scientific moving the goalposts. However, some of it is also probably quackery, and so it's fair to be a little skeptical.

If someone could pull it off? Paradigm shift.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:55 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
Either way the definition I used is spot on, a machine that once set going doesn't stop even if no further force is applied to it.

Well, no. In the case of a revolving planet, one person might say that was perpetual motion while you would say that doesn't meet your definition because it doesn't violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

So the two definitions are not one and the same. The second definition can be, but is not necessarily, implied by the first.


No, they couldn't, since you can't derive useful work from the orbit of a planet, which was a part of your butchered quote. An orbiting planet doesn't fulfil any criteria for a perpetual motion machine, since it's movement is due to an external force, and as I've already pointed out, a planet won't keep orbiting indefinitely, just a very long time. For instance the moon is slowly moving away from the Earth, due to energy loses from the very forces that keep it orbiting.

I'm not going to carry on with these silly semantics. The definition you keep pushing for is wrong, and harping on with this planet analogy merely shows a lack of understanding of orbital mechanics. Planets aren't perpetual motion machines, under any definition one cares to make up to attempt to redefine the term.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:02 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
Either way the definition I used is spot on, a machine that once set going doesn't stop even if no further force is applied to it.

Well, no.

Let's revisit the 2 definitions:

1. Perpetual motion describes hypothetical entities that operate or produce useful work indefinitely.
2. Perpetual motion is where a closed system creates more energy than it has applied to it.

In the case of a revolving planet, one person might say that was perpetual motion (#1) while you would say that doesn't meet your definition because it isn't a closed system that violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (#2).

So the two definitions are not one and the same. They operate on different assumptions (e.g. closed vs open system). The second CAN be, but is not necessarily, implied by the first.

-------
Everything I say is just my opinion, not fact.


I note, for the record, you neatly ignored the salient point of my post:
Quote:

If you're extracting energy from the system (i.e. useful work) for the machine to carry on running it would have to be generating more energy that was put into it in the first place.

Or it would have to have an energy supply from outside, which means it's not a perpetual motion machine, it's just an engine.

So by your definition, a generator hooked up to an oil refinery would be a perpetual motion machine. Which frankly makes your definition rather silly.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:37 AM

DREAMTROVE


Byte,

Perpetual motion within the confines of a closed system has been done with nanotechnology. One could argue that it's drawing energy from the fabric of space-time, but that's as much as saying that the concept closed system doesn't exist.

Ergo, the 2nd law, like the physics of its time, is simply out of date, and it all should be viewed as an approximation of systems on a human scale, like a steam engine. Since we know far more now than they did then, we know that the fact that there is no closed system can be exploited ad infinitem, so the restriction and rules thus applied become meaningless.

Quote:

In 1908 U.S. inventor, businessman and engine builder Glenn Curtiss flew an aileron-controlled aircraft. However Curtiss had previously been a member of the Aerial Experiment Association, headed by Alexander Graham Bell. The Association had previously developed ailerons for their aircraft.[3] The AEA members were later dismayed when Curtiss dropped out of their organization, patented their innovation and reportedly sold the patent to the United States Government.


This does not actually disprove the idea that Curtiss invented the aileron, which is claimed on several other entries, and the inclusion of Bell's name is meaningless, since Bell didn't really invent anything, the telephone was invented by Gray and Barton. But Curtiss was on a team that developed it, but it's entirely possible he invented it himself on that team.

That said, many similar innovations had proceeded it. As I said, many people had input into the final idea. I feel pretty confident with the idea that Curtiss created the completed entity that we call the airplane, but he did it our of pieces from all over. Gliders way preceded this.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:15 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Perpetual motion within the confines of a closed system has been done with nanotechnology. One could argue that it's drawing energy from the fabric of space-time, but that's as much as saying that the concept closed system doesn't exist.


Interesting, this makes immediate logical sense.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 12:15 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
.... but that's as much as saying that the concept closed system doesn't exist.

Brilliant. Much better than bickering about semantics.

-------
Everything I say is just my opinion, not fact.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:27 PM

DREAMTROVE


Thanks


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Friday, February 11, 2011 2:56 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
The definition you keep pushing for is wrong,

Oh no, I'm not pushing for it.

Let me spell out the points I AM pushing.

1. If you define X as an impossibility, X is going to be impossible, by definition. This is simply confirmation bias at its worst (or best?).

2. To me, it is more *useful* to consider a broader definition, then explore the various circumstances under which X can or cannot work. This is the spirit of science, testing and experimentation.

3. Science is not knowledge that X is impossible. It is a method by which we construct a predictive model. No models are perfect, therefore the best any model can do is say that X is highly improbable under the conditions of the model. Science IS uncertainty.

4. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a pretty damn good model, but it is NOT religious dogma or the inspired Holy Scriptures of the God of Omni-Science. It has limitations and assumptions; it is subject to correction, change, improvement.

5. What I am pushing for is a different attitude about what science is: exploratory, uncertain, carefully qualifying assumptions, open to correction.




-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Friday, February 11, 2011 4:15 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
4. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a pretty damn good model, but it is NOT religious dogma or the inspired Holy Scriptures of the God of Omni-Science. It has limitations and assumptions; it is subject to correction, change, improvement.


Which limitations and assumptions are you talking about preceisly?

The laws of Thermodynamics aren't actually a model. A model is a theory, the laws of Thermodynamics are scientific laws, not theories, which means they are descriptions of observed effects. The only way to overturn a scientific law is to prove that the experimental evidence is wrong, that the observed effect didn't, in fact happen. Theories get overturned all the time, because they're describing why a particular observed effect took place, so if a new theory better describes the observation, it's adopted. Since laws state "this happened" in order to overturn them you have to prove the evidence collected was wrong.

Since Thermodynamics are a fundemental set of laws to physics, you have to prove that pretty much every experiment ever done by every physicist was wrong, that physics doesn't in fact exist and then prove that the scientific method doesn't work. Which kinda Sure all that is "possible", in the vague way that it's also "possible" that I'm going to Quantum Tunnel into a new state, that just happens to be a limbo dancing super-intelligent shade of the colour blue called Rasputin-Charmichael the third. I'll keep you posted on that one, hasn't happened yet though.

As for "perpetual motion", regardless of which definition you choose to use, the word is "perpetual", never ending. If it's doing useful work it'll need a "perpetual", i.e. never ending, power source. Whether internal or external, whether closed or open or otherwise, if you can come up one example of a concievably infinte power source, I'll take a rusty nail and carve "fancy that" into the side of my cock, before telling Stephen Hawking he's wasted his life and that Physics is all bullshit. Deal?
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
5. What I am pushing for is a different attitude about what science is: exploratory, uncertain, carefully qualifying assumptions, open to correction.


And nothing I've said actually contradicts that. In fact that's pretty much exactly what I've been saying all along, others rephrasing of my words not withstanding. What gets old though CTS, and hopefully you won't take this the wrong way, but while you clearly understand the scientific method really well, you seem to instantly distrust anything mainstream to the point of "pathelogical scepticism", while accepting anything from the fringes with almost pathelogical open-mindedness. For instance in this thread you asked me to back up the most well supported set of physical laws we have, while congratualating Dreamtrove on his statments, and ignoring completely his babbling about vaccuum energy, and impossible nanotech magic machines.

For the record, it's easier to construct a "closed system" than it is to construct a "perpetual motion" machine.

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Friday, February 11, 2011 2:59 PM

KIRKULES


Yes, I have been drinking excessively, but that doesn't change the fact that Citizen is 100% correct. I can't tell you how painful that is for me to admit. The laws of Physics are the pillars of all science, those that call them into question without evidence are claiming knowledge superior to Newton and Einstein without showing any evidence. Those that believe such drivel are victims of the lure of the pseudo-science idiots that pollute our society today.

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Friday, February 11, 2011 3:31 PM

DREAMTROVE


CTS

You won. Why are you still arguing?

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Friday, February 11, 2011 3:52 PM

BYTEMITE


Quantum Mechanics showed Einstein up. There are some who think Newton's Laws and his derived gravitation force between two objects are a smidgen off and need correction, and they're entirely respectable physicists who think that Dark Matter and Dark Energy are weak explanations for observed discrepancies in measurements - weak explanations that no one has yet been able to provide evidence for.

Even laws are not immune to our ever-improving understanding of the universe. Laws are meant to be broken.

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Friday, February 11, 2011 6:30 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
Which limitations and assumptions are you talking about preceisly?



From Wikipedia:

Quote:

All laws of thermodynamics but the first are statistical and simply describe the tendencies of macroscopic systems. They are only strictly valid in the thermodynamic limit when a system has many states. For microscopic systems with few particles the assumptions of thermodynamics become meaningless.


The same concepts from a different source: http://ecee.colorado.edu/~bart/book/book/chapter1/ch1_4.htm

Quote:

Thermodynamics describes the behavior of systems containing a large number of particles. These systems are characterized by their temperature, volume, number and the type of particles. The state of the system is then further described by its total energy and a variety of other parameters including the entropy. Such a characterization of a system is much simpler than trying to keep track of each particle individually, hence its usefulness. In addition, such a characterization is general in nature so that it can be applied to mechanical, electrical and chemical systems.

The term thermodynamics is somewhat misleading as one deals primarily with systems in thermal equilibrium. These systems have constant temperature, volume and number of particles and their macroscopic parameters do not change over time, so that the dynamics are limited to the microscopic dynamics of the particles within the system.



From http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/genchem/topicreview/bp/ch21/chemical.php

Quote:

One of the basic assumptions of thermodynamics is the idea that we can arbitrarily divide the universe into a system and its surroundings.


And so on and so forth.



-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Friday, February 11, 2011 6:43 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Kirkules:
The laws of Physics are the pillars of all science, those that call them into question without evidence are claiming knowledge superior to Newton and Einstein without showing any evidence.

I am not calling them into question. I fully accept the laws of physics.

I am saying, EVERYTHING in science, including laws, axioms, and postulates, have an inherent uncertainty that makes it possible for self-correction. In other words, nothing in science is absolute.

In contrast, religion is all about dogmas being absolute and certain.

In a thread called "What is science?" I am attempting to make a distinction between "science" used with absolute certainty like a religion and science used as a self-questioning method of exploration.



-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Friday, February 11, 2011 11:49 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
...

Quote:

One of the basic assumptions of thermodynamics is the idea that we can arbitrarily divide the universe into a system and its surroundings.


And so on and so forth.



I pulled this out specifically because it's fairly to the point. The assumption of the laws of Thermodynamics is the same assumptions of science itself, that the universe is real, and exists and can be studied and systematised. It would seem a moot point to say it has assumptions when they're of that nature, it would be like mentioning each time we talk that we're assuming this conversation is actually happening and this isn't a delusion.

I'm aware that Thermodynamics doesn't apply everywhere, but then it wasn't meant to. It applies to perpetual motion machines though.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
I am saying, EVERYTHING in science, including laws, axioms, and postulates, have an inherent uncertainty that makes it possible for self-correction. In other words, nothing in science is absolute.


Yes of course, but you are taking that too far in a way. Just because we don't know everything, just because our current theories aren't perfect, doesn't mean that we know nothing or that anything is possible.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:06 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Quantum Mechanics showed Einstein up. There are some who think Newton's Laws and his derived gravitation force between two objects are a smidgen off and need correction, and they're entirely respectable physicists who think that Dark Matter and Dark Energy are weak explanations for observed discrepancies in measurements - weak explanations that no one has yet been able to provide evidence for.

Even laws are not immune to our ever-improving understanding of the universe. Laws are meant to be broken.


All your examples are theories, not laws; as I've pointed out two very different things.

Given that Quantum Mechanics can't describe the Macro universe, and so we're still describing the universe as Einsteinian, it's hard to tell how QM has shown GR and SR up though. Since the current predictions of QM are disproved by experimental evidence when applied to things much larger than an electron, it would be just as correct, and just as wrong, to say Einstein showed up Quantum Mechanics. The fact is neither work in the others playground.

Secondly, Newton's Law of gravity was off, and was adjusted, because better tools of observation have shown that his observations were out by an order of magnitude. His law of gravity, however, wasn't shown to be wrong, it was shown to needing adjustment. That's the only way you can dismiss a scientific law, by showing all the evidence it describes and that supports it is wrong. It's a big task for any law, and for some, say Thermodynamics, they're so integral and well supported you'd have to throw science out along with them.

It's not to say that they're not open to investigation, but it is to say that if you think they don't work you better spend a number of years ensuring firstly that you aren't misunderstanding something, and secondly putting together a very long paper backed with more evidence than has been collected by all physicists across the last few centuries to date, because that's the bear minimum you'll need. Anyone who posts on an Internet forum claiming that Thermodynamics is wrong, doesn't understand thermodynamics, it's pretty much as simple as that; because if they did understand it, and still thought it didn't work, they'd be way too busy pulling enough evidence together to prove it to eat and sleep, let alone post on Internet forums.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 2:12 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
Just because we don't know everything, just because our current theories aren't perfect, doesn't mean that we know nothing or that anything is possible.



You are saying that I am taking the first part too far into the second part.

1. We don't know everything ---> we know nothing.
2. Current theories aren't perfect ----> anything is possible.

What I actually believe is:

1. We don't know everything ----> We know plenty of things, just not with absolute certainty.

2. Current theories aren't perfect ----> Theories are subject to change upon preponderance of new evidence.

3. Science is about exploring possibilities. ----> Scientists have to be OPEN to anything being possible in order for science to work. (They have faith that the scientific method is very, very good at sorting out crazy possibilities from real possibilities, so they are not afraid of being open to all possibilities.)

4. Fortunately, science demands a high standard of evidence before declaring what is "possibly" true into what is "probably" true.



So, no. Not just no, but no-HELL-no. I do not believe "We know nothing" or that "Anything is possible." And I never said any such thing.

I never asked you to provide evidence for the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics either. I asked you to provide just one piece of evidence (from the mountain you claimed exists) that perpetual motion is impossible. Your answer was you defined it as a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The reason I asked was because there is no empirical evidence that anything is "impossible," (that is not how the scientific method works since you cannot test impossibility in experimentation) so I was curious why you would say such a thing.

I never accepted DT's nanotech perpetual motion assertion. What I found brilliant was his underscoring of both assumptions behind the laws of thermodynamics: 1) it is a statistical model based on the known and observed behavior of macroscopic systems, and does not apply in microscopic ones; 2) the boundaries of a "closed" system are arbitary. If you WERE to find events where these assumptions come into question or don't apply, then there exists a hypothetical possibility that the 2nd Law doesn't apply and perpetual motion would not violate it. You would then form a hypothesis and test it per the scientific method.

I wish you would not tell me how awful my ideas are based on what you think my ideas are, because you are usually wrong about what I believe. I would rather that you asked me, "CTS, do you actually believe that we know nothing? Or did you just accept DT's nanotech perpetual motion idea without any evidence? Or do you really believe that there is a real possibility there are people with unicorn horns in their foreheads who can make a wish any time they want just by holding their horns?"

And I would tell you, "No, I don't believe those things. But thank you for asking instead of just assuming."



-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 2:56 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
And I would tell you, "No, I don't believe those things. But thank you for asking instead of just assuming."



Nice victim card. I'm sorry you don't like being treated the way you treat others.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
You are saying that I am taking the first part too far into the second part.


I'm basing my statements on how you behave, not what you claim to believe. As I mentioned earlier, I know you understand the scientific method very well, I've also noticed that the way you apply that knowledge is highly dependent on the source of information. I actually made no statements about what you believed,just the way you acted.
Quote:

I never asked you to provide evidence for the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics either. I asked you to provide just one piece of evidence (from the mountain you claimed exists) that perpetual motion is impossible. Your answer was you defined it as a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Interesting spin on it. The post you responded to said:
Quote:

Having said that, there are some things in science that are just so well supported there's not much point in giving things that claim to overthrow them much time. I'd put perpetual motion firmly in that category, because for it to work you have to prove the laws of thermodynamics are wrong, and to prove the laws of thermodynamics are wrong you pretty much have to prove all scientific evidence ever collected isn't only wrong, but never existed in the first place, that science doesn't really exist, and that everything from Aristotle to Hawking has been a delusion dreamed by a blue frog named Gerald.

I.e. the mountain of evidence against perpetual motion is so steep, dismissing it out of hand at this stage isn't pathological scepticism.


I note for the record when you quoted my post, you, as usual, whittled it down to just one sentence, and ignored the salient point. Neatly excising my statements about thermodynamics, I'd assumed at first that you did that to reduce redundancy, I see now you did it so you could lie about what I said. Taken in context, rather than the out of context edited state you presented it in, it's clear why I would think you're asking me to prove thermodynamics; because in the full context of what I was saying, that was exactly what you were asking. I'm sorry if I responded based on what I said, rather than what you wanted people to believe I said, but I wish you'd stop telling me what I said because you are usually wrong about it. I would rather you presented my statements honestly, and then maybe your attempts at playing the victim would hold more weight, if nothing else.

As usual when someone tries to discuss science with you, it ends up in pointless idiotic semantics and sophistry.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:17 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
As usual when someone tries to discuss science with you, it ends up in pointless idiotic semantics and sophistry.

It ends up with my pointing out that the person you are arguing with is made of straw, and not the real me.


-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:33 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
As usual when someone tries to discuss science with you, it ends up in pointless idiotic semantics and sophistry.

It ends up with my pointing out that the person you are arguing with is made of straw, and not the real me.


Yeah, you're right, it also ends up with you lying about what other people say.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:43 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Yeah, you're right, it also ends up with you lying about what other people say.

Nope. No lie.

My initial curiosity of "why you would say such a thing" was based on an incomplete understanding of how you defined perpetual motion. When you clarified that the impossibility was built into the definition, that misunderstanding was cleared up.

I never lied about your position or accused you of holding a position that wasn't explicitly stated.

-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:53 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
I never lied about your position or accused you of holding a position that wasn't explicitly stated.


You've misrepresented my statements numerous times, and contrary to your assertion here, you also made a number of statements directly implying I'm some extremist dolt that sees science as an unchanging religion; despite nearly every post I've made reiterating the exact opposite. Through out you've misrepresented what I've said, and edited it down to portray it as something else. You throw the victim card around very readily, about how I'm strawmanning your statements, but the fact is I've had to spend half my time on this thread restating what I've already said to try and combat your redefining of my position.

At this point, after you've started hurling accusations around, I don't care if you did it on purpose or through some innocent misunderstanding, I don't see why I should give you more leeway or understanding than you're willing to dish out.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 5:08 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Bump.


-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:38 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Meh, at one time it was scientific law, unassailable "fact" that the earth was flat.

At one time, it was scientific law, unassailable "fact" that the sun revolved around the earth.

And then some bloody heretic, some loony, a downright veritable kook, suggests that this might not be true - only to face flaming, scorn and persecution from the scientific community as they dig in and defend at all costs what their established understanding happens to be.

The more things change....

Tell me, did the earth BECOME round, did the earth suddenly change course to revolve around the sun, or perhaps did our understanding and comprehension of the world around us change ?

Because of some heretic who DARED QUESTION IT.

NOT because of the "this-is-the-way-it-is-so-sit-down-and-shut-up" conservative, hidebound traditionalist who'd rather flame and blame than accept the horrible thought that we might NOT know all their is to the world around us, that our understanding of the universe might be flawed, imperfect, incomplete.

Hell, take the "law" of gravity, it's a working theory that isn't even *complete* till you add ON THIS PLANET, and under certain circumstances, like the work of Townsend Brown, and certain spatial phenomenae, so far as my understanding of it, might not even apply universally even so.

But of course, one could always think that the established body of knowledge is all there is, and refuse to countenance any change - at which point learning stops, and when that happens, something within a person dies, it does.

Damn near every advancement we ever had, socially, medically, scientifically - started as an act of heresy, and I think if the human race has any saving grace whatsoever, it is that very ability, the driving NEED to question what *IS*, even in the face of other humans scorn and persecution - because without that one thing, I think we'd still be painting on the cave walls.

So here's to Heresy!

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:06 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Damn near every advancement we ever had, socially, medically, scientifically - started as an act of heresy, and I think if the human race has any saving grace whatsoever, it is that very ability, the driving NEED to question what *IS*, even in the face of other humans scorn and persecution - because without that one thing, I think we'd still be painting on the cave walls.

So here's to Heresy!

Raising my cup to you, Fremmy.

And all's I's sayin' is this driving NEED to question what IS? THAT is science.

Which is why I love it so.


-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:10 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Meh, at one time it was scientific law, unassailable "fact" that the earth was flat.


There was never a scientific law that said the Earth was flat. Even if there had been consensus within "science" that the Earth was flat, that would have been a THEORY and not a LAW.
Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
At one time, it was scientific law, unassailable "fact" that the sun revolved around the earth.


There was never a scientific law that the sun orbited the Earth. It's true that Geocentricism was (sort of) a scientific theory at one time, but it was a THEORY and not a LAW.
Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Hell, take the "law" of gravity, it's a working theory that isn't even *complete* till you add ON THIS PLANET, and under certain circumstances, like the work of Townsend Brown, and certain spatial phenomenae, so far as my understanding of it, might not even apply universally even so.


Hmm. This is, confused. Point one, very basic mistake you're obviously making: I don't know why but for some reason many people seem to think that a theory will, at some point, graduate to being a law. This isn't so, Laws and theories are two entirely different things. There is a law of Gravity, which works very well, even including THIS PLANET; there's also half a dozen theories of Gravity, but none of them are quite right. Law != Theory, theories and laws aren't the same thing.

A law describes an observed effect. Saying "the sun rises in the morning and sets on the other side of the sky in the evening" would be a scientific law. Describing why that event occurs would be a theory.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:54 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by CITIZEN:
There was never a scientific law that said the Earth was flat. Even if there had been consensus within "science" that the Earth was flat, that would have been a THEORY and not a LAW....

A law describes an observed effect. Saying "the sun rises in the morning and sets on the other side of the sky in the evening" would be a scientific law. Describing why that event occurs would be a theory.

They never used that nomenclature of "scientific law," but the certainty of a scientific law was there. "Earth is flat" was based on universal, empirical observations across the entire planet over millenia. Its predictive value of well, finding flat Earth no matter where you go, was extremely reliable. There was no doubt a consensus amongst scholars of the time.

As you say, describing the Earth as flat would be the equivalent of a scientific law. Describing WHY the Earth was flat would be a theory.

Quote:

There was never a scientific law that the sun orbited the Earth. It's true that Geocentricism was (sort of) a scientific theory at one time, but it was a THEORY and not a LAW.
Well, in your own words, describing the observation that the sun orbits the Earth would be a law. Describing WHY the sun orbited the Earth would be a theory.

Here is a good article on laws vs. theories that reflects my thoughts on the topic very well. I can't say it better than this guy and highly recommend reading the entire article. I've taken the liberty of underscoring certain passages.

http://science.kennesaw.edu/~rmatson/3380theory.html

Quote:

As used in science, I think that it is important to realize that, in spite of the differences (see below), these terms share some things in common. Both are based on tested hypotheses; both are supported by a large body of empirical data; both help unify a particular field; both are widely accepted by the vast majority (if not all) scientists within a discipline. Furthermore, both scientific laws and scientific theories could be shown to be wrong at some time if there are data to suggest so.



Some scientists will tell you that the difference between them is that a law describes what nature does under certain conditions, and will predict what will happen as long as those conditions are met. A theory explains how nature works. Others delineate law and theory based on mathematics -- Laws are often times mathematically defined (once again, a description of how nature behaves) whereas theories are often non-mathematical. Looking at things this was helps to explain, in part, why physics and chemistry have lots of "laws" whereas biology has few laws (and more theories). In biology, it is very difficult to describe all the complexities of life with "simple" (relatively speaking!) mathematical terms.

Regardless of which definitions one uses to distinguish between a law and a theory, scientists would agree that a theory is NOT a "transitory law, a law in waiting". There is NO hierarchy being implied by scientists who use these words. That is, a law is neither "better than" nor "above" a theory. From this view, laws and theories "do" different things and have different roles to play in science. Furthermore, notice that with any of the above definitions of law, neither scientists nor nature "conform" to the law. In science, a law is not something that is dictated to scientists or nature; it is not something that a scientist or nature has to do under threat of some penalty if they don't conform.






-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:33 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
They never used that nomenclature of "scientific law," but the certainty of a scientific law was there.


No, not that that is a particularly relevant objection. Further the "certainty" isn't what makes it a scientific law, what makes it a scientific law is whether or not it's a description of an observed effect.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
"Earth is flat" was based on universal, empirical observations across the entire planet over millenia.


Scientific theories are based on empirical observation. Laws are descriptions of empirical observation. That's the difference.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Its predictive value of well, finding flat Earth no matter where you go, was extremely reliable. There was no doubt a consensus amongst scholars of the time.


There might well have been, but it was never really a scientific theory, and it sure as hell was never ever a scientific law.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
As you say, describing the Earth as flat would be the equivalent of a scientific law.


Well, it didn't take long for "me" to start putting words in "your" mouth again did it? Where, pray tell, did I say any such thing? If there had been any "Law" it would be "we can't see any curvature here", not "the Earth is flat". Your whole supposition is nothing more than sophistry, equivocation at best.
Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Describing WHY the Earth was flat would be a theory.


No, describing why the Earth APPEARS flat to their observations would be the theory. The law, at best would be "the Earth looks flat". The Theory would be "it looks flat because it is flat". You could also say "it appears flat because it's a very big sphere". See how two explanations can be used without changing the underlying observation at all?

Subtle difference perhaps, but still one that produces a vastly different meaning.
Quote:

Well, in your own words, describing the observation that the sun orbits the Earth would be a law. Describing WHY the sun orbited the Earth would be a theory.

And again "I" put words in "your" mouth, huh. No my own words, said "the sun appears to move across the sky". Saying it appears so because the Sun circles the Earth is STILL a theory.

Don't believe me that geocentricism was a theory?
Quote:

The geocentric theory is the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe and that all other objects orbit around it. This outdated and disproved theory is often attributed to Ptolemy.

http://www.universetoday.com/71978/geocentric-theory/
Quote:

In astronomy, the geocentric model (also known as "geocentrism", or the Ptolemaic view of the whole universe), is the superseded theory, that the Earth is the center of the universe, and that all other objects orbit around it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model

Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Here is a good article on laws vs. theories that reflects my thoughts on the topic very well. I can't say it better than this guy and highly recommend reading the entire article. I've taken the liberty of underscoring certain passages.


And I'll take your underscoring, and quote myself, to take the wind out of any possible "misunderstanding" you may have about my position:

Quote:

Furthermore, both scientific laws and scientific theories could be shown to be wrong at some time if there are data to suggest so.

Quote:

Originally posted by Citizen:
The only way to overturn a scientific law is to prove that the experimental evidence is wrong, that the observed effect didn't, in fact happen.


Clearly noting that it's possible to overturn a Law, just that it's very hard. I also said this to byte:
Quote:

Secondly, Newton's Law of gravity was off, and was adjusted, because better tools of observation have shown that his observations were out by an order of magnitude.

Noting not only do I think it's possible to successfully challenge a law, but that in some degree, it's actually happened.
Quote:

There is NO hierarchy being implied by scientists who use these words. That is, a law is neither "better than" nor "above" a theory.

Quote:

Originally posted by Citizen:
I don't know why but for some reason many people seem to think that a theory will, at some point, graduate to being a law. This isn't so, Laws and theories are two entirely different things.


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Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:53 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
As you say, describing the Earth as flat would be the equivalent of a scientific law.


Well, it didn't take long for "me" to start putting words in "your" mouth again did it? Where, pray tell, did I say any such thing?



"A law describes an observed effect. Saying 'the sun rises in the morning and sets on the other side of the sky in the evening' would be a scientific law. Describing why that event occurs would be a theory."

Quote:

The law, at best would be "the Earth looks flat".
I thought you didn't like to argue semantics.

The Earth "looks" flat. "Describing the Earth as flat." Whatever. The concept of a flattish, flat-looking Earth is a description of an observed effect (in your own words), and therefore should qualify by your definition, as a law and not a theory. An explanation of WHY the Earth appears flat (such as it was a platter lying on the back of a chain of turtles), that would be a theory, in your own words.


-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 10:30 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
As you say, describing the Earth as flat would be the equivalent of a scientific law.


Well, it didn't take long for "me" to start putting words in "your" mouth again did it? Where, pray tell, did I say any such thing?



"A law describes an observed effect. Saying 'the sun rises in the morning and sets on the other side of the sky in the evening' would be a scientific law. Describing why that event occurs would be a theory."


Read the quote again. I asked where I said that the "Earth is flat is a scientific law", and you quote me saying "the sun rises in the morning". Your quote doesn't support your claim, I'd say try again, but I'm done playing shadow for your strawman.

Quote:

I thought you didn't like to argue semantics.

I thought you didn't lie about what people say. But here you are, claiming I said things I didn't say.
Quote:

The Earth "looks" flat. "Describing the Earth as flat." Whatever. The concept of a flattish, flat-looking Earth is a description of an observed effect (in your own words), and therefore should qualify by your definition, as a law and not a theory. An explanation of WHY the Earth appears flat (such as it was a platter lying on the back of a chain of turtles), that would be a theory, in your own words.



It's not semantics to say two sentences that say two entirely different things are different sentences. It is dishonest to claim I'm saying things I haven't said, and have actually flatly told you I wasn't saying, though.

No, not in my words. Very much not in MY own words. THEY are YOUR words, that you're attempting to attribute to me. Well, I tried to set you straight about what I was saying, but you've ignored me. I'm playing Ferdinand in a production of the Tempest, so I'm going to learn my lines, because I'm clearly just wasting my time here.

Outside of this I actually quite like you, so I'll catch you later, have a nice Saturday, peace.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:13 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Read the quote again. I asked where I said that the "Earth is flat is a scientific law", and you quote me saying "the sun rises in the morning".

Are you serious?


-------
Hell, the only reason the Government hates crime at all is that it despises competition. - Frem

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