On the psychological need for unification in physics

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Greta » May 20th, 2016, 3:28 am

Steve3007 wrote:Greta:
I see two arbiters - one for society and one for the individual ...
Why different arbiters?
This maybe relates to some of Ormond's points.

Objective: Facial beauty defined by regularity of features.
Subjective: Beauty dependent on peccadilloes of taste.

Objective: The elected officials of your local government are more important than your child.
Subjective: Your child is hugely more important to you.

Objective: Eating suitable portions of broccoli promotes good health.
Subjective: Some may dislike broccoli enough for the stress of eating it to outweigh the health benefits.

A popular claim in the last decade is Dan Dennett's and others' (including Buddhists) that consciousness does not actually exist, being just an illusion caused by the mechanisms of the body. Let's say they are right and that what we know today turns out to pretty well be all there is. So the great mysteries turn out to be just observer effects. Our consciousness does not exist, being a consequence of processing energy.

Even if this is true objectively, it is in direct conflict with our subjective experience. So two arbiters.
Yes, but importantly many great discoveries have been sparked by either intuition or mathematics. So our "vertical thinking" progress follows the intuitive and mathematical "lateral leaps".
Steve3007 wrote:Yes, indeed. It's often difficult, or perhaps impossible, to analyse how these leaps of intuition come about. But once they've been made, they're tested by observation. (In science, if not in mathematics.)
If we cannot observe something via current technology, does that disprove the thing's existence, or could it be that our research methodology is limited? We can't be sure.
Steve3007 wrote:I would argue that we do see those subatomic particles in just the same sense that we see anything else. You are arguing that we only see the effects that they have on other things. But that's how we see everything. I only "see" the computer screen in front of me because of the effect that I assume it's having on my optic nerve. Or rather, I assume that those electro-chemical signals in my optic nerve were caused by the firing of rods and cones in my retina that was in turn caused by photons of light hitting them. They hit them in that particular way because (I assume) they've previously bounced off an object. All very indirect. Do I see the object, the photons, the rod and cone firings or the electro-chemical signals? All of these? None of these?
We "see" subatomic particles informationally rather than the usual physical means. I've read that it's not even meaningful to talk about seeing electrons because they are smaller than photons. Still, the process of constructing an image from an electron's charge information (to give us a fuzzy spot) is close enough to our brains interpreting visual data for me to let this one go, although qualitatively the difference between such abstracted "seeing" and the brain's and eye's dynamic feedback loop would be approximately the difference between seeing an object and a picture of an object.

So I concede that senses necessarily must be involved in our inquiries, no matter how abstruse and abstracted the means of getting to use them.
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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » May 24th, 2016, 11:40 am

Greta:
Objective: Facial beauty defined by regularity of features.
Subjective: Beauty dependent on peccadilloes of taste.

Objective: The elected officials of your local government are more important than your child.
Subjective: Your child is hugely more important to you.

Objective: Eating suitable portions of broccoli promotes good health.
Subjective: Some may dislike broccoli enough for the stress of eating it to outweigh the health benefits.
Yes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But beholders' eyes (and brains) have many similarities to each other, so we often tend to agree as to what is beautiful. As you suggested in your first example, beauty is frequently associated with symmetry. This is true whether in human faces or laws of physics.

I've seen it suggested that we value symmetry in things like human faces because it is a sign of good health; evenly distributed growth. This seems feasible, and it seems to link with the attraction to symmetry and simplicity in the laws of Nature. If we think about the sources of symmetry in our bodily layout we can see how the instructions in our DNA use symmetry and repetition to create an extremely structurally and functionally complex organism from a relatively small amount of information. Similar to the way that a complex universe might grow from the repeated application of a relatively simple set of natural laws.

So maybe the beauty we see in a symmetrical face is another expression of our love of the repeated application of simple laws in the creation of complexity. Maybe.
A popular claim in the last decade is Dan Dennett's and others' (including Buddhists) that consciousness does not actually exist, being just an illusion caused by the mechanisms of the body. Let's say they are right and that what we know today turns out to pretty well be all there is. So the great mysteries turn out to be just observer effects. Our consciousness does not exist, being a consequence of processing energy.

Even if this is true objectively, it is in direct conflict with our subjective experience. So two arbiters.
Even if we do decide to believe this is true it seems to me a strong candidate for the "If it looks like a duck..." test. If consciousness arises from the mechanisms of the body, then that is what consciousness arises from. I don't think that makes it an illusion, because then we'd have no word to use when we're faced with an actual illusion.
If we cannot observe something via current technology, does that disprove the thing's existence, or could it be that our research methodology is limited? We can't be sure.
No, it doesn't disprove the things existence. There could be an infinite number of phenomena that are beyond detection by our current technology and an infinite number that are beyond detection by any possible future technology. I'd say that a sensible policy for the former is to wait until they come into view and sensible policy for the latter is to realize that there is nothing we will ever meaningfully be able to say about them.
We "see" subatomic particles informationally rather than the usual physical means. I've read that it's not even meaningful to talk about seeing electrons because they are smaller than photons. Still, the process of constructing an image from an electron's charge information (to give us a fuzzy spot) is close enough to our brains interpreting visual data for me to let this one go, although qualitatively the difference between such abstracted "seeing" and the brain's and eye's dynamic feedback loop would be approximately the difference between seeing an object and a picture of an object.

So I concede that senses necessarily must be involved in our inquiries, no matter how abstruse and abstracted the means of getting to use them.
I think the distinction between "seeing" (with scare-quotes) informationally and seeing (no scare-quotes) in the normal sense is not as great as we might think. We're simply more used to seeing, in the normal sense of the word, so we don't think of it as informational and we think of ourselves as experiencing it much more directly and viscerally. But one of the things that seems to be true of perception is that it is adaptive. These direct, visceral links between the means of perception and the conscious awareness of it seem to be learned a lot more than they are innate. As an example, just think about the process of driving a car and the way in which the car becomes like an extension of your own body.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Greta » May 25th, 2016, 8:25 am

Steve3007 wrote:Yes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But beholders' eyes (and brains) have many similarities to each other, so we often tend to agree as to what is beautiful. As you suggested in your first example, beauty is frequently associated with symmetry. This is true whether in human faces or laws of physics.

I've seen it suggested that we value symmetry in things like human faces because it is a sign of good health; evenly distributed growth. This seems feasible, and it seems to link with the attraction to symmetry and simplicity in the laws of Nature. If we think about the sources of symmetry in our bodily layout we can see how the instructions in our DNA use symmetry and repetition to create an extremely structurally and functionally complex organism from a relatively small amount of information. Similar to the way that a complex universe might grow from the repeated application of a relatively simple set of natural laws.

So maybe the beauty we see in a symmetrical face is another expression of our love of the repeated application of simple laws in the creation of complexity. Maybe.
If Leo was here he'd be talking fractals at us in response to that post :) and rightly so. Still, we need to be careful with reductionism due to emergence - genuinely new things appear that are greater than the sum of its parts, present company included. You and I and other cordates are basically a collection of goo and slime set around a framework and covered in a thin, rather more palatable-looking, membrane. But we are also a tad more than that. Natural development is actually creative because the fractal relationships between emergent forms are never precise; genuinely new things/mutations appear.

Yes, beauty is associated with healthfulness. A blue sky is beautiful but a similarly vibrant green sky would as much of a worry as a eucalypt tree with sky blue leaves.
Steve3007 wrote:There could be an infinite number of phenomena that are beyond detection by our current technology and an infinite number that are beyond detection by any possible future technology. I'd say that a sensible policy for the former is to wait until they come into view and sensible policy for the latter is to realize that there is nothing we will ever meaningfully be able to say about them.
Everything that we can readily observe has been observed so, increasingly, researchers are tacking the more difficult questions, and increasingly we seem to need to rely on mathematics to lead us there. When it comes to the Planck scale, I cannot imagine how we can possibly physically observe it since no atom smasher of Earthly proportions could generate sufficient acceleration.
Steve3007 wrote:I think the distinction between "seeing" (with scare-quotes) informationally and seeing (no scare-quotes) in the normal sense is not as great as we might think.
Yes, that was the essence of my post above. I was about to talk about those differences and, the more I thought about it, the more the differences seemed relatively minor.
Steve3007 wrote:We're simply more used to seeing, in the normal sense of the word, so we don't think of it as informational and we think of ourselves as experiencing it much more directly and viscerally. But one of the things that seems to be true of perception is that it is adaptive. These direct, visceral links between the means of perception and the conscious awareness of it seem to be learned a lot more than they are innate. As an example, just think about the process of driving a car and the way in which the car becomes like an extension of your own body.
I thinking about viscera aspect in context of "qualitatively the difference between such abstracted "seeing" and the brain's and eye's dynamic feedback loop would be approximately the difference between seeing an object and a picture of an object".

If I'm reading you correctly, in lieu of visceral content - rich, sensory information - we (or more beings with far more advanced analytics than us) could theoretically be able to glean and interpret sufficient information from a mere snapshot to actually experience its contents as though they are there. By the same token, no doubt an enormous amount of extra information could theoretically be gleaned from even the existing shapshots of debris in the LHC.
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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » May 25th, 2016, 4:36 pm

Greta:
If Leo was here he'd be talking fractals at us in response to that post
Yes, I considered mentioning the Mandelbrot Set again as the supreme example of the beauty of the repeated rule.
Everything that we can readily observe has been observed so, increasingly, researchers are tacking the more difficult questions, and increasingly we seem to need to rely on mathematics to lead us there. When it comes to the Planck scale, I cannot imagine how we can possibly physically observe it since no atom smasher of Earthly proportions could generate sufficient acceleration.
This is a good point about the higher and higher energies needed to provide experimental confirmation of theories. If it gets to the stage where we'd need a particle accelerator bigger than (say) the solar system to reach energies required to provide that experimental confirmation then we presumably will never be able to do so.

---

Ormond:
I think of information as being just another element of nature like air and water, and our minds navigate this element just as birds fly in air, fish swim in the water etc. I see knowledge as blossoming in humans now much as an algae bloom covers a lake. I see it happening to us, not from us.
Interesting idea. Very successful species, algae. But, yes, I get the idea that the metaphor is meant to demonstrate that this is a bad thing and will lead to our destruction.
Information and thought are an electro-chemical relationship among neurons. Electricity and chemicals are both concrete, right?
Yes, the electro-chemical mechanism of thought is concrete. It's the applications of the "tool" of thought that are flexible, unlike other tools such as wings and claws that general have a single unchangeable purpose.
I don't disagree, but you have just stated the false comparison which is at the heart of our illusion of god-like power. You have understandably compared our abilities to the only other life forms we know. But the appropriate comparison is not to donkeys and squirrels, but to the nature of reality.
I don't see why comparing the "tool" of thought to the tools used by other animals is a false comparison that is at the heart of our illusion of god-like power. As I understand you, you did it yourself in order to demonstrate, by analogy, the limitations of thought.
I'm referring to the very widely held cultural assumption that "more is better" when it comes to knowledge. We used to worship gods, now we worship knowledge.
This may be true. But I have a question: If I am interested in the discoveries of the LHC or the probes on the surface of Mars, simply because I find them interesting, does that count as "worshipping knowledge"? Or is that just finding stuff interesting?
A bit more humility might at least slow us down from sticking our nose in to every little corner of reality just to see what's there, as example, Higgs Boson research. It's the blind faith in our supposedly infinite ability which gives us the confidence to create civilization crushing tools.
I really don't see why, for example, Higgs Boson research has to imply blind faith in our infinite abilities (assuming we ignore sensationalist headlines about God Particles). Isn't it at least possible to do such research just because it's interesting to find out how much we're capable of knowing, not because we've already made an assumption about how much we're capable of knowing? Does simply being interested show lack of humilty?
Given the reductionist nature of science, scientists will typically be people whose mind is naturally inclined to become experts, that is, burrow deeply in to a narrow area of understanding. There's obviously nothing wrong here, we need people like this.
I think this is an inevitable consequence of the creation of societies. As soon as human beings evolved and became successful by collaborating in the form of societies the concept of specialization followed, simply because it is efficient.
However, I've become convinced that this narrow focus mindset tends to make scientists uniquely unqualified to grasp the big picture of our relationship with knowledge, and where it's taking us. I perceive science as a large group of very intelligent blind people driving the knowledge machine as fast as they can towards a cliff they can't see.
Specialism, generally, means that the specialist is less able to see the big picture outside of their discipline. Yes, there is this danger in any type of specialism.
And it's very difficult for those outside of science to gain credibility on the subject of knowledge, for it is the "science clergy" who have cultural authority in this area. So even if such folks can see, they can't be heard.
It may, by definition, be difficult to gain the same level of knowledge as the specialist. But, of all the human endeavors, the thing that science has in its favour, in this regard, is that it is specifically intended to be reproducable by anyone. The idea of a "science clergy" who lead by unquestionable authority, goes against the most basic principles of the scientific method. That's not to say that such clergies don't still attempt to form because scientists are fallable human beings, with egos and vanities like everyone else. But if anything is capable of resisting the danger of unquestioning authority it ought to be be the scientific method, because questioning authority lies at its heart.
Thanks for the exchange. I am pleased to have joined the esteemed collection of crack pot theory authors that you like to engage. :lol:
There's nothing like a good crackpot theory to think about as an excuse to procrastinate and avoid doing proper things like work!

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Greta » May 25th, 2016, 7:27 pm

Steve, I was just rethinking the original thread question. No doubt one motivation is just completionism; both collectors of coins and particles will seek "the complete set". However, as with the missing link, we logically figure that something must be present between the physics of the very large and of the very small; that there is not a void. We have since found that there is a cohesive line of hominids leading from the common ancestor to Homo sapiens, just that they are now only present in fossil records.

So what exists at the scale between worlds and subatomic particles? Life-sized things. So, while the principles that shape cosmic bodies do not apply similarly at quantum scales, neither QM nor GR in themselves can explain life, although a combination of the two may do in the future.

Living systems tend to behave differently again to both subatomic particles and worlds. Broadly, life shaped by both gravity and quantum entanglements; it's been experimentally demonstrated that entanglement is actually possible in "noisy" biological systems over time periods measured in picoseconds. So could it be that life itself is the answer, and one that we can't see for the same reason as we can't see our own face?

Perhaps life the agitation that appears at the boundary between the cosmic and the infinitesimal? Maybe the psychological need for unification comes in part from a need to recognise what we are? Maybe the confusion comes because we have created two discrete fields - biology and chemistry - that (in terms of ontology) should have been treated as domains of physics, with more focus on clarifying links between these domains?
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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Atreyu » May 29th, 2016, 12:19 am

Steve3007 wrote:Atreyu:
Unfortunately, while there are indeed Laws which can apply to Everything Everywhere (i.e. on all scales, from the subatomic to the inter-galactic), they cannot be discovered using the scientific method. Strangely enough, however, these Laws were known and formulated long ago....
You said something similar in another thread a couple of days ago and then quoted a couple of examples. They appear to be examples of ancient Greek theories of physics. Are they?
No, they are not. However, some of the ancient Greek theories of physics might have been based on them...

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » May 31st, 2016, 3:30 pm

So what are they?

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by YIOSTHEOY » May 31st, 2016, 6:11 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Unification of multiple separate laws into single, simpler overarching laws has been a major driver in physics for some time. The realization that electricity and magnetism are the same phenomenon (electromagnetism) seen from different reference frames was a classical example of this about 150 years ago.

For a long time now, one of the central issues (if not the central issue) in physics has been the attempt to unify gravity with everything else.

The "Standard Model of Particle Physics" unifies the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force and electromagnetism into a cohesive whole. It encompasses Quantum Physics and the Special Theory of Relativity into a system from which all other currently known physics except the General Theory of Relativity can be derived. From it can be derived, as special cases, such things as the classical theories of electromagnetism embodied by Maxwell's Equations or the classical theories of mechanics, embodied by Newton's laws.

The Standard Model (like physics in general) is closely tied to the concept of symmetry, partly because symmetry is related to simplicity. The more symmetries there are in a physical system the simpler it is to describe and the wider its applicability. At very high energies (i.e. particles travelling at very high speeds) the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces are unified. But gravity has not been unified with them yet.

It is theorized that the ultra-high energies found in the very, very early stages of the Big Bang might be sufficient to unify all of the forces, including gravity. It is theorized that in that very early universe there was a symmetry that was "broken" as it expanded and cooled.

But what if it turns out that this isn't true? What if, no matter how high the energies involved, there is always some asymmetry and lack of simplicity which is fundamental to the laws of physics? This appears to go against some of our deepest instincts as to how the Universe "ought" to turn out to operate. The belief in the idea of beauty, order and simplicity beneath the complexity and chaos appears to be a deep part of our nature. But it is at the heart of the scientific method that we must follow where observed reality leads us regardless of what our instincts or aesthetic needs tell us.

If it leads us to somewhere that we consider ugly and unsatisfying then we must follow, right?
Is science true?

I would say the observations and measurements made in science are most likely true unless someone made a mistake.

The conclusions about those data by inductive reasoning and deductive repetition on the other hand are just intelligent guesses.

Too many people, Hawking included, forget that the models we create are simply models. They are just figments of our imaginations. They are like math and time -- they do not really exist. We have invented them to help us understand things around us better.

Hypotheses, theories, and so called laws in science are changing all the time. So you cannot credibly assert that they are "true". They are just best guesses.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » June 1st, 2016, 1:55 am

If they are guesses, then everything we ever say about the world around us, based on our observations, is a guess. The inductive generalizations of science are just more formal versions of the inductive generalizations of everyday life.

When hypotheses and laws of physics change they don't render their predecessors false. They are supersets of them. They contain their predecessors as special cases. The classic example of this is theories of gravity. When Einstein invented his theory of gravity (General Relativity) it didn't make Newton's theory of gravity suddenly wrong. All the observations, at their respective levels of accuracy, which were described by Newton's theory didn't suddenly stop being described by that theory. General Relativity contains Newton's theory as a special case, applicable to a subset of observations. Likewise, Quantum Mechanics contains classical mechanics as a special, limiting case.

It is a basic principle of science that, logically, any new theory cannot deny the successes of the previous theory.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Aristocles » June 1st, 2016, 2:31 am

Steve3007 wrote:If they are guesses, then everything we ever say about the world around us, based on our observations, is a guess. The inductive generalizations of science are just more formal versions of the inductive generalizations of everyday life.
YIOSTHEOY wrote: Is science true?

I would say the observations and measurements made in science are most likely true unless someone made a mistake.

The conclusions about those data by inductive reasoning and deductive repetition on the other hand are just intelligent guesses.

Too many people, Hawking included, forget that the models we create are simply models. They are just figments of our imaginations. They are like math and time -- they do not really exist. We have invented them to help us understand things around us better.

Hypotheses, theories, and so called laws in science are changing all the time. So you cannot credibly assert that they are "true". They are just best guesses.
Maybe it has something to do with reading more of Steve's thoughts prior to this thread; I did not interpret his use of "true" as absolute, but a more colloquial use of the philosophically technical term. Likewise, I would be careful to not read the same into Hawking's colloquial sense, but I can appreciate the need for clarity. I do think the discussion of models in physics and psychology has much room for more discussion and clarity.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » June 1st, 2016, 2:51 am

To clarify: If I were to say that a particular physical theory/model is "true" then I would mean that it has not yet been falsified by observation. It describes the currently available set of observations, with their associated error bars/tolerances/levels of accuracy. If a new observation comes along, either an observation of an entirely new phenomenon or an observation at a different level of accuracy, which the model does not fit then the model is questioned. The more anomalous the new observation the more likely it is to be mistaken; to be due to a measurement error. If it is determined to be genuine (no error) then a new model must be sought which encompasses all the previous observations plus the new one. This new model, because it encompasses all the previous observations (with their error bars) therefore encompasses the old model as a special case.

The concept of "falsification" certainly implies that the old model, once superseded, is "false", doesn't it? I guess, then, if we wish, we could say that it is. But we're clearly still going to use it because, for a defined subset of all possible observations it will still work and, as a result of the process described above, it will often be easier to use than the new one. So, for example, when calculating the trajectory of an object in orbit around the sun we usually use Newton and rarely resort to Einstein. When calculating the trajectory of a car driving through a tunnel we use classical mechanics and don't take account of the quantum mechanical diffraction of that car as its position is confined in a finite space! (For fun, it's mathematically very simple to work out the QM wavelength of that car.)

Having said that, I'll leave open the question of whether we regard all but the latest physical theories as "false".

-- Updated Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:00 am to add the following --

Another quick clarification: I used the word "error" ambiguously in two different senses, above. All observations has tolerances or "error bars". It is impossible to measure anything empirically with 100% accuracy. But I also used the word "error" to mean something more like "mistake". The tolerances in measurements are not mistakes. But sometimes observations can be mistaken.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by YIOSTHEOY » June 1st, 2016, 5:00 am

Aristocles wrote:...

Maybe it has something to do with reading more of Steve's thoughts prior to this thread; I did not interpret his use of "true" as absolute, but a more colloquial use of the philosophically technical term. Likewise, I would be careful to not read the same into Hawking's colloquial sense, but I can appreciate the need for clarity. I do think the discussion of models in physics and psychology has much room for more discussion and clarity.
Philosophy requires precision in speech and wording.

Steve has recognized his ambiguities and corrected them now.

Due to the complexity of the Universe around us, and our own poor measurement skills, I doubt that one uniform theory will ever evolve out of all the many mini theories that now exist. At least not anytime soon.

We are not even close to explaining everything yet. And while Hawking is still around, like Aristotle before him there will be no progress.

Hawking needs to disappear, and his gibberish with him, so that new younger minds can step in and start over rethinking everything again.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Steve3007 » June 1st, 2016, 5:10 am

YIOSTHEOY:
We are not even close to explaining everything yet.
I'm not sure it's even possible to agree what we mean by "explaining everything".

It seems to me that the laws of physics describe and predict. But do they explain? Is there any genuine fundamental difference between describing and explaining?

Take any law of physics, like one of the laws of gravity. It proposes an underlying mechanism which is purportedly the "reason" why objects tend to accelerate towards each other in a way that is dependent on their masses and the distances between them. Can it really be called a reason? Or is it just a nice simple way of quite accurately describing a very large number of observations of what objects with mass appear to do?

Just some thoughts to consider.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by Aristocles » June 1st, 2016, 5:23 am

Steve3007 wrote:YIOSTHEOY:
We are not even close to explaining everything yet.
I'm not sure it's even possible to agree what we mean by "explaining everything".

It seems to me that the laws of physics describe and predict. But do they explain? Is there any genuine fundamental difference between describing and explaining?

Take any law of physics, like one of the laws of gravity. It proposes an underlying mechanism which is purportedly the "reason" why objects tend to accelerate towards each other in a way that is dependent on their masses and the distances between them. Can it really be called a reason? Or is it just a nice simple way of quite accurately describing a very large number of observations of what objects with mass appear to do?

Just some thoughts to consider.
How can we gauge how close we are to everything unless we indeed know everything? Is this where the psychological needs play into the more physical aspect?

I think this entangles with reason colloquially being synonymous with cause instead of just association.

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Re: On the psychological need for unification in physics

Post by YIOSTHEOY » June 1st, 2016, 5:23 am

Steve3007 wrote:YIOSTHEOY:
We are not even close to explaining everything yet.
I'm not sure it's even possible to agree what we mean by "explaining everything".

It seems to me that the laws of physics describe and predict. But do they explain? Is there any genuine fundamental difference between describing and explaining?

Take any law of physics, like one of the laws of gravity. It proposes an underlying mechanism which is purportedly the "reason" why objects tend to accelerate towards each other in a way that is dependent on their masses and the distances between them. Can it really be called a reason? Or is it just a nice simple way of quite accurately describing a very large number of observations of what objects with mass appear to do?

Just some thoughts to consider.
If you bear in mind how Empirical science really works, you can then answer your own question.

Empirical science makes observations first (like Galileo with his homemade telescope -- the first scientific instrument and the first scientist in history), and it then hypothesizes inductively why these observations seem to follow some pattern. These hypotheses are then tested deductively and they are revised. When the observations from the experimentation or further observations have been sufficiently explained to the satisfaction of most, then the hypothesis becomes a theory. Eventually the theory becomes a law of science.

Laws of science are not laws. There is no law giver. Law of science are merely summaries of data -- inferences -- argumentum populum. The populi are the community of other scientists. There is never proof of anything -- even something as simple as gravity.

Hawking can come along any day with his quirks and quarks and befuddle everybody with his bifurcated insanity. Then everybody is back on square #1 again.

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