The Universe: Cosmology, Nature etc.

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Apr 16, 2016
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ray j willings said:
Starstruck said:
Well there are perfectly reasonable theories such as in string theory where the big bang occurred as a collision of branes in a multidimensional already existing universe. Not that I understand it very well. But it's not a matter of something from nothing.

John Swanson
And the journey into scientific fantasy is complete. I thought physics was supposed to be about explaining the physical universe we inhabit? How is string theory tied to physical in any way? Multiverses and wormholes may be fun to imagine, they may even be more fun to experience with the aid of LSD but I don't think string theory adds much when far simpler phenomenon defy understanding.

Every culture needs it's creation myths though. Humans seem to have an inherent need for religiosity. We abhor uncertainty, so tell me a good story. It's interesting how frequently the blank piece of paper (nothing) upon which a point is created (God) and by extension of itself (a line -the holy spirit) terminates in a circle (matter, the universe and the son) occurs. So many variations on a theme.

Space, the sun, light, the earth - that must be how the universe was created.
String theory. worm holes etc are based on scientific knowledge and scientific possibilities
Believing in god has no scientific basis whatsoever , its just man made nonsense.
How can you know something that has never been observed? Science just becomes a word without meaning, or rather maths, science and fantasy become interchangeable.
 
Starstruck said:
How can you know something that has never been observed? Science just becomes a word without meaning, or rather maths, science and fantasy become interchangeable.
Most of what we know we have never observed. I know there are billions of people on earth, but I've never observed most of them. I certainly have never counted them.

I know that George Washington existed, but I never observed him.

I know that birds lay eggs, but I've never observed them doing so.

I know that I have various organs in my body, which in turn are composed of cells. I've never observed them.

I know that money has value, but I've never observed value.

I know that 2 + 2 = 4, but I've never observed them doing so.

I know that words have meanings, but I've never observed a meaning.

I know that you're conscious, but I can't observe your consciousness.
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Merckx index said:
Starstruck said:
How can you know something that has never been observed? Science just becomes a word without meaning, or rather maths, science and fantasy become interchangeable.
Most of what we know we have never observed. I know there are billions of people on earth, but I've never observed most of them. I certainly have never counted them.

I know that George Washington existed, but I never observed him.

I know that birds lay eggs, but I've never observed them doing so.

I know that I have various organs in my body, which in turn are composed of cells. I've never observed them.

I know that money has value, but I've never observed value.

I know that 2 + 2 = 4, but I've never observed them doing so.

I know that words have meanings, but I've never observed a meaning.

I know that you're conscious, but I can't observe your consciousness.
Thank you for confirming that we're not talking about physics.
 
ray j willings said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
ray j willings said:
check this from 1.17 its so good at around 1.44 it looks really real. I still cant work out how it was done or is it real ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCt2Frq2iW8
Why don't you start a "X-files" thread and keep this nonsense out of the cosmology thread.
Your a very angry person. alien life is relevant to this thread , look at the title.
I found that film very interesting , I could not work out if it's fake how they made that Alien look so real.
So instead of getting angry, look at the film and tell me how they faked it . Its better than any Hollywood alien I have ever seen.
I am asking for opinions. Now if you think its fake tell me how they did it? Its not any CGI I have ever seen and if you look at the head and neck there is no way its a fake head .
How did they do it or is it real . What do you think?
Not sure what makes you think I'm angry?

It's a thread about cosmology and the universe, not about fake films or how they are made.

Discussing alien life is fine, but how about discussing it in context of the actual science of exobiology, e.g. how we might legitimately discover some or evidence of it? Possibilities on Europa, or methods of examining data from exoplanets, or locating life indicative gases on Mars? That sort of thing.

The reality and wonders that science bring to us are far more fascinating and wonderful that the nonsense that gets made up.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
ray j willings said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
ray j willings said:
check this from 1.17 its so good at around 1.44 it looks really real. I still cant work out how it was done or is it real ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCt2Frq2iW8
Why don't you start a "X-files" thread and keep this nonsense out of the cosmology thread.
Your a very angry person. alien life is relevant to this thread , look at the title.
I found that film very interesting , I could not work out if it's fake how they made that Alien look so real.
So instead of getting angry, look at the film and tell me how they faked it . Its better than any Hollywood alien I have ever seen.
I am asking for opinions. Now if you think its fake tell me how they did it? Its not any CGI I have ever seen and if you look at the head and neck there is no way its a fake head .
How did they do it or is it real . What do you think?
Not sure what makes you think I'm angry?

It's a thread about cosmology and the universe, not about fake films or how they are made.

Discussing alien life is fine, but how about discussing it in context of the actual science of exobiology, e.g. how we might legitimately discover some or evidence of it? Possibilities on Europa, or methods of examining data from exoplanets, or locating life indicative gases on Mars? That sort of thing.

The reality and wonders that science bring to us are far more fascinating and wonderful that the nonsense that gets made up.
So you think that there are no other civilisations out there? We can't go there because you think its nonsense.
How do you know that film is fake? You don't and I don't that's why I posted it. I can't see the how it was made and I was hoping other posters would take a look and give their opinion and maybe have some expert knowledge in how that film was made. I have certainly not seen it debunked and these things are usually debunked.
I certainly am not saying its real but I have nothing that shows its a fake.
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Merckx index said:
Starstruck said:
How can you know something that has never been observed? Science just becomes a word without meaning, or rather maths, science and fantasy become interchangeable.
Most of what we know we have never observed. I know there are billions of people on earth, but I've never observed most of them. I certainly have never counted them.
There's plenty of evidence that the earth is real and that people are real, and there's plenty of data concerning the numbers of people.
I know that George Washington existed, but I never observed him.
Lots of evidence that he existed.

I know that birds lay eggs, but I've never observed them doing so.
...but you could easily enough
[
I know that I have various organs in my body, which in turn are composed of cells. I've never observed them.
...but you could

I know that money has value, but I've never observed value.
Grab a bill and use it to light a fire
I know that 2 + 2 = 4, but I've never observed them doing so.
Now you're just being plain silly.
I know that words have meanings, but I've never observed a meaning.
That's a pretty clever one. If you watch your house burn down it probably means you're homeless.
I know that you're conscious, but I can't observe your consciousness.
You can certainly observe behaviours that would suggest consciousness though. Again there's evidence.

Other than highly speculative, theoretical maths constructs where is the evidence for string theory, wormholes, and multiverses? It's highly likely we'll never prove or disprove these things and there are plenty of physicists that use the word fantasy, particularly concerning string theory.

Is String Theory Science?
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-string-theory-science/
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re: Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
Starstruck said:
Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows...
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pseudo-science/
To be clear, is your position that physics and cosmology is pseudo-science?

John Swanson
Not at all. It's just very strange...far more amazing than we can understand. Mostly I take exception with the certainty (and often arrogance) with which these ideas are presented. Let's give credit where credit is due: nature is pretty crazy.
The Case of the Disappearing Quasars
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-case-of-the-disappearing-quasars/

Birth Mystery of Stellar Snow Globe Deepens
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141120-starstruck-globular-cluster-astronomy-science/

Big Bang survivors send astronomy back to the drawing board
http://www.swinburne.edu.au/magazine/12/223/big-bang-survivors-send-astronomy-back-to-the-drawing-board/

Mysterious pulsar has astronomers in a spin
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/10/15/3038501.htm
 
Jul 5, 2009
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I agree that there are so many weird things out there. Remember that recent observation of a very large, aperiodic dimming of a star? The possible explanations range from unprecedented comet swarms to Dyson sphere levels of alien construction. I think it's awesome that we have so much left to explore. Kind of like in particle physics. The Standard Model works really, really well but from certain observations we *know* that it's wrong. Fixing the model (e.g., SUSY) or finding a new one (e.g., string theory) has spurred a lot of good minds into action. I can't wait to find out what the actual answer is! BTW, that's pretty much why LHC was built - to give us the tools we need to explore.

John Swanson
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
I agree that there are so many weird things out there. Remember that recent observation of a very large, aperiodic dimming of a star? The possible explanations range from unprecedented comet swarms to Dyson sphere levels of alien construction. I think it's awesome that we have so much left to explore. Kind of like in particle physics. The Standard Model works really, really well but from certain observations we *know* that it's wrong. Fixing the model (e.g., SUSY) or finding a new one (e.g., string theory) has spurred a lot of good minds into action. I can't wait to find out what the actual answer is! BTW, that's pretty much why LHC was built - to give us the tools we need to explore.

John Swanson
I think it's all really cool but I always remember that we're just apes out on the fringe of nowhere really. I don't pretend to understand much of anything but I certainly appreciate the effort of others while understanding that we're groping around in the dark.

Aside from our limited perspective and that we build tools based on that limited perspective there's so much noise to filter out to find a signal (and then interpret it). Who knows? We can know that humans are very prone to confirm their own biases though. I try to remain open minded but skeptical. I really love the pictures that roll in though. What an amazing place and experience. Bizarre and wonderful. Then I look around at the human condition and the tragic comedy...

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". Shakespeare
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re: Re:

Merckx index said:
Starstruck said:
The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality
https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/?utm_content=buffer93e5a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

So are particle physicists inventing or discovering? ...or discovering their invention...
Are you aware that I discussed Hofmann's theory upthread?
I am, and I commented on it. The mystics have been talking like this for centuries if not millennia by studying their own apparatus, thus the link I posted. I also noticed you posted a link about gravitational waves. I don't know what that means either though. Two theoretical objects (blackholes) collide and produce gravitational waves that last for a very brief time and are detected on earth. I just don't know what to make of any of that, I really don't. Look at the astronomical "back to the drawing board" links I posted above. I think it would be really cool if we could send a probe out into space to observe one of these hypothesised blackholes and see what it "really" (by our self created instrument) looks like. The universe is a mysterious place and while we can use quantum mechanics are we discovering or inventing?
 
Jul 5, 2009
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The gravity waves are caused by two super-massive (black holes, neutron stars, etc) that are just about to collide. As they orbit one another, the distortions in the fabric of space create a wave-like pattern that ripples outwards. Just before the objects collide is when the effect is strongest and therefore "easiest" to detect. And what are they detecting? The wave is actually a contraction of space itself. Imagine that one meter is now less than a meter. Weird huh? But two independent detectors measured such a contraction and the data correlates perfectly. How much of a contraction? 10^-15 meters per meter... Absolutely amazing stuff.

Check it out: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/

In short, we are not inventing. We are very much observing.

John Swanson
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
The gravity waves are caused by two super-massive (black holes, neutron stars, etc) that are just about to collide. As they orbit one another, the distortions in the fabric of space create a wave-like pattern that ripples outwards. Just before the objects collide is when the effect is strongest and therefore "easiest" to detect. And what are they detecting? The wave is actually a contraction of space itself. Imagine that one meter is now less than a meter. Weird huh? But two independent detectors measured such a contraction and the data correlates perfectly. How much of a contraction? 10^-15 meters per meter... Absolutely amazing stuff.

Check it out: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/

In short, we are not inventing. We are very much observing.

John Swanson
Given the nature of quantum theory I don't know how you can say that with such certainty. Regardless, how is it possible for two black holes to occupy the same area of space, given their inherent (theoretical) properties? There's something wrong/funny with that proposition.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Re: Re:

Starstruck said:
ScienceIsCool said:
The gravity waves are caused by two super-massive (black holes, neutron stars, etc) that are just about to collide. As they orbit one another, the distortions in the fabric of space create a wave-like pattern that ripples outwards. Just before the objects collide is when the effect is strongest and therefore "easiest" to detect. And what are they detecting? The wave is actually a contraction of space itself. Imagine that one meter is now less than a meter. Weird huh? But two independent detectors measured such a contraction and the data correlates perfectly. How much of a contraction? 10^-15 meters per meter... Absolutely amazing stuff.

Check it out: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/

In short, we are not inventing. We are very much observing.

John Swanson
Given the nature of quantum theory I don't know how you can say that with such certainty. Regardless, how is it possible for two black holes to occupy the same area of space, given their inherent (theoretical) properties? There's something wrong/funny with that proposition.
There's nothing wrong with merging black holes. In fact, now we've observed one! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_black_hole

As for quantum, I am very sure we aren't inventing anything. We've measured quantum effects quite exhaustively and use them in our daily lives. Just down the road from me, they're building quantum computers (well, quantum annealers, anyways) at a company called D-Wave. It's all very real.

I think what you're referring to is the idea of how to interpret quantum mechanics - and that has kept philosophers fairly busy as well as the scientists. I'm betting you'd enjoy this Wikipedia entry very much: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics

The most widely accepted interpretation is called the Copenhagen Interpretation and it's served us quite well. Does it describe the reality of quantum mechanics? We haven't nailed that down yet and there are other possibilities that are being worked on. The Many Worlds Interpretation is one of them and would have multiverses as a consequence.

Note that none of this is "inventing" in any sense. They are hypotheses to describe our observations of quantum mechanics. Much like in the search for the Higgs boson, people are very actively working on ways to test and confirm which hypothesis is correct. Or... in the course of testing we might get a surprising result which would require us to form even newer hypotheses.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the fact that we haven't ruled out the multiverse. :)

John Swanson
 
Jul 5, 2009
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I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson
Ok, so now we're bumping into the core of our misunderstanding as I see it. You've been glazing over a good many things in our discussion as have I, but then I really am ignorant and quite stupid. The above example is very real (illusion), it's within the range of our senses and thus experience and so explanations come rather easily.

So to cut to the chase, so to speak, given the central lesson of quantum theory (as I understand it), beneath the level of appearances (illusion), is there an objective reality or not? Do you still believe in logical positivism and if so how and why in light of the quantum?

ps, I haven't read your links yet but I will. I don't think they'll influence my questions in this post though.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Yes, I think that there is an objective reality when it comes to science in as much as we demand reproducibility from many independent observers. Logical positivism fits in that sense, and yes I believe it applies to quantum mechanics. Just because we do not understand the mechanisms of quantum decoherence (something going from probability based to determinate after observation) does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it. We just don't know which reality it is! There are far too many unknowns to be able to say that any particular interpretation (Copenhagen, many worlds, etc) is the correct one.

As an example, take quantum entanglement. It is very real and is used in all kinds of experiments around the world. This is an objective reality. The issue is that we don't know how it works! Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described. Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out.

John Swanson
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re: Re:

Starstruck said:
ScienceIsCool said:
I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson
Ok, so now we're bumping into the core of our misunderstanding as I see it. You've been glazing over a good many things in our discussion as have I, but then I really am ignorant and quite stupid. The above example is very real (illusion), it's within the range of our senses and thus experience and so explanations come rather easily.

So to cut to the chase, so to speak, given the central lesson of quantum theory (as I understand it), beneath the level of appearances (illusion), is there an objective reality or not? Do you still believe in logical positivism and if so how and why in light of the quantum?

ps, I haven't read your links yet but I will. I don't think they'll influence my questions in this post though.
btw, I (think I) know this is the gulf that string theory is attempting to traverse so I don't really expect a comprehensive answer.
 
Apr 16, 2016
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Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
Yes, I think that there is an objective reality when it comes to science in as much as we demand reproducibility from many independent observers. Logical positivism fits in that sense, and yes I believe it applies to quantum mechanics. Just because we do not understand the mechanisms of quantum decoherence (something going from probability based to determinate after observation) does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it. We just don't know which reality it is! There are far too many unknowns to be able to say that any particular interpretation (Copenhagen, many worlds, etc) is the correct one.

As an example, take quantum entanglement. It is very real and is used in all kinds of experiments around the world. This is an objective reality. The issue is that we don't know how it works! Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described. Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out.

John Swanson
oK, that was a pretty great answer so I'm just riffing (talking out my ass as usual). As all of these independent observers have a similar perspective (ape shape) and are further educated along the same lines (do I have to refine, define and extrapolate - I'm lazy and dumb?), the obvious question is how independent is their observation? If similar minds replicate a similar experiment wouldn't a very plastic non-reality provide similar results?

"does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it." Is the invention in the application?

"We just don't know which reality it is!" Maybe it's infinitely malleable and simply subject to refined parameters (that humans can create).

"Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described." Maybe this is the intentionality that's stumping neuroscience? It used to be called relationship in archaic times.

"Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out." Would that be the observer? Intentionality again?
 
Jul 5, 2009
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I'm climbing that Dunning-Kruger curve (people with a bit of knowledge can't recognize that they aren't experts...) as we dip into string theory, metaphysics and the like, so I will only give a partial answer.

Entanglement binds two particles together in a fundamental way. Let's say one has spin "up", then the other *must* have spin "down". The problem is that each particle behaves as though it has both spins simultaneously until you measure one of them. Then the spin is determined for both particles. One up and one down.

Now let's say you entangle two particles and then separate them to opposite sides of the continent. When you measure one to be spin up, the other instantaneously becomes spin down. Instantaneous as in faster than the speed of light, no time at all, it becomes spin down. That is what is referred to as "spooky action at a distance".

The thought was maybe there's some hidden variable we don't know about that gets set (i.e., particle becomes spin up or down) at the time of entanglement. We just can't observe that variable until we observe the particle. In other words, the spin was predetermines at entanglement. Well, that was ruled out. So what's left? Instantaneous, faster than light communication? That is, errr... problematic.

This all becomes great fodder for the philosopher at meta-physicist, but there's still plenty of objective reality based physics left to test before we get to the "weird" stuff. Plus, we know that the standard model of particle physics is incomplete (dark matter, gravity, etc) and we can't resolve quantum gravity, so it might just very well be that this will all shake out once we get a new model of the universe.

John Swanson
 

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