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Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Felix
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Felix » October 12th, 2019, 12:41 pm

"what happens to all of the entangled pairs of particles that do appear?"

That should read that do not appear.
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arjand
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 12th, 2019, 6:19 pm

Felix wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 12:39 pm
Sean Carroll released a new book on this subject that I haven't read: https://amzn.to/319CAfd
Thank you for the link.

Do you have a source for the idea that all atoms in the Universe are entangled?
By far the most particles in the visible universe aren't quantum entangled. That's obvious from observation, since if all electron spins e.g. would be entangled, all electrons would flip their spin at the same time.
https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/que ... -entangled
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Felix
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Felix » October 13th, 2019, 1:33 am

The problem is, entanglement is a product of the so-called observer effect, it doesn't occur or you can't tell if it has occurred until you call for it, until it shows up. It's kind of like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, or perhaps Schrodinger's Cat without the smile - because a cat locked in a box will never smile.

The Many Worlds theory implies that the entire universe exists continuously in a superposition of multiple states, so everything is always potentially entangled - if that makes sense.

Here's an article about Sean Carroll's ideas -- https://go.nature.com/2VD6OpD
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Steve3007 » October 15th, 2019, 5:25 am

Steve3007 wrote:Whatever it is that is changing, that is the thing that we seek to represent using consistent laws of physics. If they are not consistent then they are either incomplete or inaccurate.

If something that we thought was a physical constant is found to change over time then it is, by definition, not a physical constant. It is a variable whose value is a function of (possibly among other things) time.
arjand wrote:That is an assumption that may be incorrect. It assumes that the physical world originates from the past.
I didn't state any assumptions so I don't know which part of the passage to which you are replying you regard as possibly incorrect.

The laws of physics don't have to assume, as a premise, that the current state of the world originates from its past state. The laws of physics are models whose purpose is to describe and predict various observations. One aspect of those models that has turned out so far to be useful towards that aim of describing and predicting observations is the working hypothesis that past states are the cause of future states (the principle of Causality/Causation). It's so useful that we tend not to think of it as "merely" a working hypothesis. But it is. It is used only insofar as it is useful.

So are past states "really" the cause of future states? I think the question is meaningless except in a utilitarian sense. i.e. it is only meaningful to ask whether the concept of past states causing future states is useful to our goals.

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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 15th, 2019, 5:46 am

Mark1955 wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 6:36 am
Yes, and as far as I can see cosmology is mostly like theoretical physics, a lot of discussion and theorising; therefore it is a branch of philosophy.
What does it mean for the concept of truth in general when nature is to be considered to change in time?

An example: what is the philosophical concept (intelligent idea) behind the synthetic biology revolution (profound genetic engineering of nature)?

The Economist reported that the synthetic biology revolution is 'unguided', apparently purely driven by market (money). While in its infancy, it is already at 400 billion USD per year in revenue in the US.

How could that be? It is a colossal scientific endeavor that may soon transcend a trillion USD per year in revenue in the US. What is the good intent or the intelligent idea that drives it?

The cover of The Economists referenced the practice as "redesigning life".
economist-gmo-200.jpg
economist-gmo-200.jpg (27.46 KiB) Viewed 141 times
What is life? How can you responsibly or intelligently start to "redesign" life without being able to provide an answer to the basic question what life is?

It appears that the assumption that there is nothing more than the truth that the scientific method can prove could be at the basis of the synthetic biology revolution.

A multi-trillion USD endeavor is hard to undo or change.

An argument against blindly following the scientific method: If it is not known where life came from, it is not possible to claim that what has been observed is limited to what has been observed. The origin of life cannot be factored out because it hasn't been observed.

In the extension of cosmology being philosophy, it could have implications of what can be responsibly considered truth. The origin of life, human mind or nature may require a new concept for truth (other than the result of a process of rigorous testing and re-examination of data i.e. the scientific method).

Science is being used as a guiding principle, as a philosophy or purpose by itself. The developments in cosmology may lead to insights that could show that it may not be good for humanity or the natural system on earth to use science as a guiding principle.

A quote from Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil (Chapter 6 - We Scholars) that I mentioned before:
in the end, however, one must learn caution even with regard to one's gratitude, and put a stop to the exaggeration with which the unselfing and depersonalizing of the spirit has recently been celebrated, as if it were the goal in itself, as if it were salvation and glorification - as is especially accustomed to happen in the pessimist school, which has also in its turn good reasons for paying the highest honours to "disinterested knowledge" The objective man, who no longer curses and scolds like the pessimist, the IDEAL man of learning in whom the scientific instinct blossoms forth fully after a thousand complete and partial failures, is assuredly one of the most costly instruments that exist, but his place is in the hand of one who is more powerful He is only an instrument, we may say, he is a MIRROR - he is no "purpose in himself"
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Sculptor1 » October 15th, 2019, 5:49 am

I think we might have strayed off topic.

But as far as I know all science, especially the economically driven branches all still rely on uniformitarianism upon which they have been built.
Still waiting for the "evidence" mentioned in the heading of the thread to emerge in posts.

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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 15th, 2019, 9:57 am

Steve3007 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:25 am
Steve3007 wrote: If something that we thought was a physical constant is found to change over time then it is, by definition, not a physical constant. It is a variable whose value is a function of (possibly among other things) time.
arjand wrote:That is an assumption that may be incorrect. It assumes that the physical world originates from the past.
I didn't state any assumptions so I don't know which part of the passage to which you are replying you regard as possibly incorrect.
The statement that when physics would change over time that it would be by definition a variable whose value is a function of time. It assumes that there cannot be more than what can be observed, i.e. what can be proven using the scientific method.

The origin of life, the human mind and the Universe may require a new concept of truth and could be incompatible with the scientific method.
Steve3007 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:25 am
So are past states "really" the cause of future states? I think the question is meaningless except in a utilitarian sense. i.e. it is only meaningful to ask whether the concept of past states causing future states is useful to our goals.
What about the synthetic biology revolution? How would it be justified philosophically without the belief that science of the past can be a guiding principle for the future? It could be an example case when it is to be considered that nature changes over time.
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 15th, 2019, 9:58 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:49 am
But as far as I know all science, especially the economically driven branches all still rely on uniformitarianism upon which they have been built.
Do you believe that to be justified?
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:49 am
Still waiting for the "evidence" mentioned in the heading of the thread to emerge in posts.
Despite that the head of the Fermilab argued that he "did not believe that the results were real" the authors replied with the following:
"the evidence for changing constants is piling up. “We just report what we find, and no one has been able to explain away these results in a decade of trying,”
The conclusiveness of the evidence may be irrelevant for the topic. The authors are professors at major Universities, including Cambridge in the UK, UNSW in Australia and Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, so there is some weight if they defend their research in such way. They have been working on it for a decade and there are more studies that discovered similar results.

Physics World, 2003 http://www.nat.vu.nl/~wimu/Varying-Cons ... stants.pdf
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Sculptor1 » October 15th, 2019, 10:41 am

arjand wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 9:58 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:49 am
But as far as I know all science, especially the economically driven branches all still rely on uniformitarianism upon which they have been built.
Do you believe that to be justified?
Facts are facts. Facts need no justification except empirical verification.
You might be missing the point of what I was saying here.
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 5:49 am
Still waiting for the "evidence" mentioned in the heading of the thread to emerge in posts.
Despite that the head of the Fermilab argued that he "did not believe that the results were real" the authors replied with the following:
"the evidence for changing constants is piling up. “We just report what we find, and no one has been able to explain away these results in a decade of trying,”
The conclusiveness of the evidence may be irrelevant for the topic. The authors are professors at major Universities, including Cambridge in the UK, UNSW in Australia and Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, so there is some weight if they defend their research in such way. They have been working on it for a decade and there are more studies that discovered similar results.

Physics World, 2003 http://www.nat.vu.nl/~wimu/Varying-Cons ... stants.pdf
The evidence is not "piling up" on earth, where uniformitarianism still holds true.
So you have to ask what is relevant about these cosmological speculations.

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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Steve3007 » October 15th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:Still waiting for the "evidence" mentioned in the heading of the thread to emerge in posts.
It's easy to provide evidence that the laws of physics either change or don't change over time. To create a law of physics that changes over time simply rename one of the variables as a constant. For example, I have just invented a law of physics which states that my pen is 1 foot above my desk. That figure of 1 foot is a constant in my law. The law seems to be working at the moment.

[Sound of a pen hitting a desk]

I have just done an experiment which appears to demonstrate that my law of physics changes over time.

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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 15th, 2019, 3:31 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 10:41 am
The evidence is not "piling up" on earth, where uniformitarianism still holds true.
So you have to ask what is relevant about these cosmological speculations.
Humans have been observing for only a tiny fraction of time. Some essential processes in evolution or nature may span thousands or even millions of years.

If past physics serves a purpose for a conscious Universe (e.g. panpsychism theory) that could explain an observed consistency (in the fraction of time that humans have been observing) while in it's essence the observed consistency is merely constant by the purpose that it serves.

It is therefor relevant for humans on earth. With a risk of exponential growth in developments such as the synthetic biology revolution, a mistake can potentially cause a disaster for the human species or even nature on earth.

At question is: would it be valid to use science as a guiding principle for human progress, i.e. to blindly follow the scientific method.

Humans started figuratively speaking out of a cave and any progress was almost by definition of value, it may be that ultimately thinking about what is actually done may become essential. The risk increases with the potential of exponential growth.

If science would be used as a guiding principle by itself, there would be a potential flaw that could have disastrous consequences. It could cause unwanted attempts to stubbornly hold on to the idea of how a previously observed part of nature should be, by creating dogma's (e.g. Dark Matter, Dark Energy and upon the discovery that the Hubble constant isn't constant, the suggestion for Dark Radiation) or by trying to change the physics to meet that of how it was observed in the past, considering the new nature to be a symptom of a disease.

It may be that it is already possible to see some of the bad effects of blindly following the scientific method. For example, in the case of Autism. Besides that it is a group term that matches many diverse people, there is (in general) no evidence for a disease in the brain. The people simply use their brain differently.

An example story of how an idea can make a difference is that of Jabob Barnett from Indiana, USA. The mother was told that her son, diagnosed with Autism, would probably never be able to tie his own shoes. The mother didn't accept the generally accepted disease perspective (an outlook on what he would not be able to do when compared with a "normal" human, i.e. the uniformitarianism based belief) and instead, decided to let her son be himself, as a healthy and unique human being.

During a visit to a planetarium the then 3,5 year old Jacob was able to understand complex theories about physics and the movements of planets. His mother decided to educate her son at home and at 14 years old his IQ was estimated at 170, higher then that of Albert Einstein.

He became the worlds youngest astrophysics researcher.

In 2012 he attended a TED talk in which he explained that any normal child can become a genius, simply by thinking differently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq-FOOQ1TpE

The mother published a book about her story:

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism
https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Mothers-Nu ... B009QJMV8A
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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by Sculptor1 » October 15th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
October 15th, 2019, 12:02 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:Still waiting for the "evidence" mentioned in the heading of the thread to emerge in posts.
It's easy to provide evidence that the laws of physics either change or don't change over time. To create a law of physics that changes over time simply rename one of the variables as a constant. For example, I have just invented a law of physics which states that my pen is 1 foot above my desk. That figure of 1 foot is a constant in my law. The law seems to be working at the moment.

[Sound of a pen hitting a desk]

I have just done an experiment which appears to demonstrate that my law of physics changes over time.
You seem confused. Are you still taking the pills?

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Re: Evidence that laws of physics (nature) can change in time: implications?

Post by arjand » October 17th, 2019, 6:50 am

Another example that there may be more to the human mind or consciousness, and thus the Universe, than what can be possibly proven to exist using the scientific method, is the case of a French man who has just 20% brain tissue and who had managed to live an entirely normal life with a wife and two children. At 44 years age, at a random hospital check, it was discovered that 80% of his brains were missing.

The man worked as a civil servant. His intelligence was average.

How would the existence of such a case legitimize a belief in uniformitarianism?

Man with tiny brain shocks doctors
klein-brein1-300x234.jpg
klein-brein1-300x234.jpg (23.67 KiB) Viewed 64 times
A man with an unusually tiny brain manages to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, which was caused by a fluid build-up in his skull.

Scans of the 44-year-old man’s brain showed that a huge fluid-filled chamber called a ventricle took up most of the room in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue (see image, right).

“It is hard for me [to say] exactly the percentage of reduction of the brain, since we did not use software to measure its volume. But visually, it is more than a 50% to 75% reduction,” says Lionel Feuillet, a neurologist at the Mediterranean University in Marseille, France.

Feuillet and his colleagues describe the case of this patient in The Lancet. He is a married father of two children, and works as a civil servant.
Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... s-doctors/

The brains may be merely a tool and may not determine who someone is and how intelligent he/she is. It appears that intelligence may arise out of a will to go further than what can be foreseen, thus without a reasonable argument to drive it.

If past physics would serve a purpose it would explain consistency in observation, however, it may not be able to explain the origin of life, of nature's evolution or of the Universe.

A new concept for truth may be needed in order to not make the mistake to factor out the origin of life in endeavors for human progress.
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.

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