Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

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SubatomicAl1en
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Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by SubatomicAl1en » January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am

Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?
Could mathematics be different?
Could there be an entirely new set of sciences that work completely differently?
Could there be other chaotic parallel universes out there that work differently?
What if emotions are just other forms of logic?
I want an explanation of the fundamental things, like why everything are the way they are, why does life work like this, why does one plus one equal two not three or four, why does logic work like this.

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allegoring
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by allegoring » January 7th, 2020, 2:24 am

SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?
Could mathematics be different?
Could there be an entirely new set of sciences that work completely differently?
Could there be other chaotic parallel universes out there that work differently?
What if emotions are just other forms of logic?
I want an explanation of the fundamental things, like why everything are the way they are, why does life work like this, why does one plus one equal two not three or four, why does logic work like this.
The simple answer to most of your questions is that we don't know for sure. The human mind is not well equipped for grappling with difficult epistemic questions, especially when you consider that just a few thousand years ago we were merely another predatory species of ape roaming the wilderness for our next meal. However, there are several theories out there that try to answer your questions, but they're far from sure things. I'm not a physicist, only a philosopher who's really interested in physics, so I'm hardly an expert, but still I'll try my best to shoot you straight despite my personal (and human) limitations.

1. Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?

The speed of light depends on the medium through which it travels, because it interacts with the electromagnetic fields of the particles through which it passes, which can slow it down. Light will travel more slowly passing through water or a glass prism, for example, than through air. The universe is actually expanding faster than the speed of light, at least according to the latest calculations, which means that some parts of the universe will remain forever unknown to us. But I assume what you want to know is if the fundamental constant of light's speed in a vacuum could be more or less than ~300,000 kilometers per second. Well, if you subscribe to Lee Smolin's theory of cosmic evolution, then new parallel universes are constantly popping into and out of existence with slight differences in their fundamental physical constants depending on their initial conditions and random quantum fluctuations. One universe might burst into existence with its speed of light measuring 310,000 km/s, while another universe might emerge from its big bang with c measuring 290,00 km/s. Using Darwin's theory of natural selection as an analogy, Smolin proposes that universes emerged out of quantum randomness much as living organisms emerged out of chemical randomness. Those universes that have certain coherent physical constants will continue to prosper and will create many offspring universes (probably in the form of quasars turning into white holes), while universes that are less coherent will die out, as it were. Universes will thus become gradually more sophisticated and self-replicating over the eons, just as living things started off as simple unicellular organisms but have over billions of years evolved into complex, self-aware, rational beings like ourselves. Again, this is a highly speculative theory, but it does have a lot to recommend it. We know that our universe is not eternal, as it began roughly 13.8 billion years ago, and we also know there was no omnipotent deity who created it, since that is just a question-begging fairy tale. Before Darwin, we thought that living things were specially created by gods, whereas now we know they evolved rather arbitrarily over a finite amount of time. There's nothing to suggest that fundamental physical constants have to be just as they are (as the anthropic principle fatuously claims). So, if I had to wager, I'd say that the speed of light in a vacuum isn't necessarily a fundamental constant across all universes, especially when you consider that there doesn't appear to be any such thing as a true vacuum, since in even the emptiest space virtual particles are constantly bubbling into and out of existence and even randomly emitting photons.

2. Could mathematics be different?


I would answer no to this on one level, yes on another. First off, 1 plus 1 will equal 2 a priori, in every conceivable universe, because it follows from the terms' very definitions. Could there exist a synergistic universe where 1+1=3 ? I suppose we can't rule it out, but in our universe when synergy does occur it's only as a higher-level, emergent phenomenon. It can never violate the basic laws of thermodynamics, let alone mathematical logic. However, we've seen cases in our civilization where we thought we knew all there was to know about a particular branch of math, only to later discover that there are alternative maths that rely on very different axioms. For well over a millennium, for example, it was assumed that Euclid's account of geometry was fairly definitive, but then at the beginning of the 19th century Gauss, Lobachevsky, Riemann, etc. discovered new forms of non-Euclidean geometry, which would turn out to describe the large-scale universe better than Euclid's original formulation. Fractal geometry also just emerged in the past few decades, and it's all but certain that there are other kinds of math out there of which we've yet to even dream.

3. Could there be an entirely new set of sciences that work completely differently?

Basically, see above, mutatis mutandis.

4. Could there be other chaotic parallel universes out there that work differently?

It's only reasonable to feel skeptical about parallel universes, since a basic ground rule for all theorizing is that simpler explanations are usually the best à la Occam's Razor, and a multiverse is definitely not simpler than one universe. But the whole history of science for the past two thousand years has been one of overwhelming expansion. At first humans thought they were all alone on their plot of earth until they discovered other peoples living on different continents. Humans later thought Earth was almost all there is, and the sky and its stars were just the Primum Mobile -- another sphere rotating around the Earth's sphere. Humans then discovered that we are not at the center even of our own solar system, but that we orbit the sun, which in turn orbits around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which in turn is just one galaxy among billions. It certainly wouldn't be surprising after all these revelations if our universe were not the only universe in existence, but just one among a myriad of others. If you'd like to learn more about this, David Deutsch, in his book The Fabric of Reality, does a good job of arguing for Hugh Everett's interpretation of quantum mechanics, which allows for the rise of multiple parallel universes.

5. What if emotions are just other forms of logic?

Emotions are basically the way in which billions of years of natural selection have shaped our brain's biochemistry so as to help us survive and reproduce on this planet. We instinctively experience emotions like fear around dangerous snakes, spiders, heights, etc. to boost adrenaline levels and give us the alertness, strength, and caution necessary to remain alive. We experience other emotions like love, which floods the reward centers of our brains with pleasure hormones like dopamine, to lull us into having sex and into taking care of the ensuing offspring, thus keeping our species' genetic ark afloat. Animals that didn't experience emotions of fear, anger, love, jealousy, joy, etc. were more likely to die out, and so the genes that coded for emotional brains became very prevalent in our (and other) species. I guess you could call emotions a kind of broad instinct calculated to help guide our decision making, but in themselves they are not particularly logical or rational. Emotions are like the strings which the puppetmaster evolution pulls in order to keep its marionettes dancing -- the entertaining shadowplay that natural selection projects like a movie onto a wall so as to prevent its creatures from walking out of Plato's cave.

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SubatomicAl1en
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by SubatomicAl1en » January 8th, 2020, 12:05 am

Here's a quote from the book Logic Beach that I found:" “Consider this. Polly may have been correct regarding nature's axiomatic bedrock. What that really means is quite simple. Matter, space, time, all phenomena, will be secondary to logic, to the world of the a priori, yes? Beneath every strange system in our universe, beneath the so-called 'laws of nature', there will be fundamental reasons for their existence in the manner in which they exist. Isn't that the great mystery? All of physics has been administrative up until this point. What's the speed of light? Ah, now we know! And why should it be that speed? Who gives a damn! How many elementary particles is matter composed of? Ah, now we know! And why should there be that many or that few? Who gives a damn! What an absurd way to apply curiosity. Science is closer to a great cosmic stocktake than any sensible pursuit of truth these days. Why should light be that speed though? Why is theoretical physics structured in the fashion we find it? These are the true fundamental questions. All explanations stop somewhere. Ours stops with Polly's work. Why anything at its deepest level? Well, in absence of a divine creator – who I hope you will join me in dispensing with – what else is there to have arranged nature in the fashion we find it? Only two possibilities present themselves, as far as Polly and I saw it. The first possibility is that we live in one variation of potentially billions or trillions of universes and each are configured in some slightly different fashion. In this scenario there really isn't much point asking why nature is set up in the way we find her as there's no reason beyond our fortune, or misfortune, at having ended up in this particular universe. In the second scenario however we have a far more elegant explanation for the universe we find ourselves in. Simply, there couldn't have been any other way to build a universe. As you know, this is Polly's preferred scenario. It is also the only one that makes any sense. Because even in a multiverse where there were an infinite number of universes and physical configurations, logic would still apply. In no universe, however strange, could there be square circles or five-sided triangles. There will still be logical underpinnings and those underpinnings must relate to the overall structure. Imagine a house built of Lego bricks. A child might tear the thing down and build a boat instead, or a plane, or a car, but the bricks themselves won't change in their configuration. Likewise the universe could be assembled in any other way than the one we find it, but logic will still be absolute. It is the guiding hand beneath all oddities. The devotees of the Church of Topology are aware of some of this, in a cursory way. They have pledged their lives to supporting the unveiling of nature herself. The more abstract elements would be lost on them, of course."
Excerpt From: Exurb1a. “Logic Beach- Part I.” iBooks. ”

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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by Steve3007 » January 8th, 2020, 3:33 am

I think the questions asked in the OP are quite varied.
Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?
The general questions "could the physical constants have different values?" and "why do they have the values that they do?" have frequently been asked before.

One thing to note is that physics is descriptive, not prescriptive. The laws of physics don't tell Nature what to do. They describe (and attempt to predict) what it is observed to do.

Another is that the constants of Nature are observed and described by instruments and creatures which are themselves part of that Nature. So talking about the speed of light having a different value, as measured by instruments whose entire nature is intimately intertwined with that and other constants, might be a bit like talking about my legs having a different length, as measured in units of leg lengths. Maybe.

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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by Alan Masterman » November 27th, 2020, 10:19 am

" First off, 1 plus 1 will equal 2 a priori"

A quibble, perhaps, but the proof that 1+1=2 did not emerge until the 19th Century. Since it is provable, it is not strictly "a priori", or axiomatic, though it might seem intuitive. The proof is dependent upon the successor function S(), which develops from the Peano axioms. S() evaluates to the number which is next greater in the relevant number line:

1 + 1 = 1+ S(0) = S(1 + 0) = S(1) = 2

Obviously, this is a summary; the detailed proof is more extensive.

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Hans-Werner Hammen
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by Hans-Werner Hammen » December 25th, 2020, 6:35 pm

I assert that logic, laws, laws of a game, of legislature, of logic, of morality, of physics - they do not exist.
They are no-thing, elicited, made up, fabricated FROM/ABOUT some-thing.
When we assert that logic DOES exist, don't we actually refer to a symbol, an utteration, a text, an assertion, an object-IZATIOn - OF logic?
I assert a categorical distinction between a law (imaginary= Reference) and a law-text (symbol = real)
The thing is, I can not allow myself tol assert that there BE (existing) a distinction: Bcz the distinction is no-thing, being elicited in my brain FROM/ABOUT visible symbols such as "a law" and "utteration OF a law"
When I assert that a law does not exist, it follows logically (to me) that a law, a logic is not causal. in other words it does not work. All that can possibly work is the text, the assertion, the symbo - BUT! To a human being who can react to it in a way or another!

evolution
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by evolution » December 25th, 2020, 11:10 pm

SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?
Yes.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could mathematics be different?
Yes.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could there be an entirely new set of sciences that work completely differently?
That all depends on how the 'science' word is being defined here.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could there be other chaotic parallel universes out there that work differently?
No.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
What if emotions are just other forms of logic?
What if emotions are just not other forms of logic?
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
I want an explanation of the fundamental things,
The explanation of the fundamental things are they are 'space' AND 'matter'. 'Matter' just being physical things, and, 'space' just being the distance between physical things. These two fundamental things co-existed together eternally.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
like why everything are the way they are,
Everything is the way It is, and ALL things are the way they are, because these things could NOT be any other way. This is because of the way the Universe works the way It does.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
why does life work like this,
Because 'Life' can not work in any other way.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
why does one plus one equal two not three or four,
Because this is the way human beings have decided this to be.
SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
why does logic work like this.
Why does 'logic' work what way?

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Hans-Werner Hammen
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by Hans-Werner Hammen » December 26th, 2020, 3:25 am

Mmmmh...:
>>>why does one plus one equal two not three or four?<<<

This kind of questions is my favorite!
The utteration "2 plus 2 is 4" in other words, that 2 + 2 BE 4, it is just an assertion, an observable object-ization of a totally non-observable abstract object (thought)
Let the "order of numbers" be changed to 2, 1, 4, 3 then 2+2 "is" 1 on the spot!
Numbers are as such imaginary, id est they do not exist - ONLY the assertion = objectization... !!!OF!!! numbers does exist.

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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by impermanence » December 29th, 2020, 2:51 pm

SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
I want an explanation of the fundamental things, ...
My advice is to go outside and walk up to a tree and ask any question your heart desires. When you are done, listen for the answer. The tree will tell you everything you need to know [you just have to listen].

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NickGaspar
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Re: Could scientific laws and logic work differently?

Post by NickGaspar » February 20th, 2021, 5:32 pm

SubatomicAl1en wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:47 am
Could light speed be a bit slower or faster?
Could mathematics be different?
Could there be an entirely new set of sciences that work completely differently?
Could there be other chaotic parallel universes out there that work differently?
What if emotions are just other forms of logic?
I want an explanation of the fundamental things, like why everything are the way they are, why does life work like this, why does one plus one equal two not three or four, why does logic work like this.
In what aspect laws and logic could work differently? I am not sure that this is the right question.
Logic and law both have empirical foundations. We observe the world and identify the rules we should follow so that our syllogisms can be sound and valid. We also observe the world and we construct law like generalizations capable to describe accurately empirical regularities in nature enabling us to produce accurate descriptions and testable predictions.
If we are unable to get those answers straight(to your questions) then the problem is with our observations, not with our laws or logic. We need to improve our observations, inform our rules and laws and update our answers.

No emotions are not a form of logic. In fact our brain reasons them in to feelings. Emotions are the product of chemical reactions of our organism, products of environmental or organic stimuli. Emotions rise in to our brains where they are processed in to feelings in order to extract meaning and adjust our behavior accordingly.

Well not all sentences with a question-mark at the end qualify as good questions. Usually "why" questions either don't have answers or their answers are not meaningful to everyone, since "why" implies teleology and people tend to project their subjective understanding about intention and purpose on nature while natural processes don't have a purpose or a goal.
The "what" and "how" questions are those that can help us understand nature through objective meaningful answers.

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