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25597Re: Examples of Major Disjoints between PopperDeutsch and Science

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  • Brett Hall
    Sep 1, 2013
      On 31/08/2013, at 18:18, "Gary Oberbrunner" <garyo@...> wrote:

      > On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM, Brett Hall <brhalluk@...> wrote:
      > > **
      > > ...On 31/08/2013, at 2:52, "hibbsa" <hibbsa@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > >
      > > > I know it's good philosophy, the best explanation literally true and so
      > > > on, but I do have a lot of resistance to including MWI
      > > >
      > > (So just, for example, replace "MWI" above with the phrase "the external
      > > world, beyond my own mind" and see how the rest of what you have typed
      > > reads).
      > >
      > And so? Is that a criticism, or are you just pointing out that you can
      > often replace an actual topic with something else and still have it come
      > out readable?
      It's a criticism. Solipsism is refutable as a bad explanation. I'm comfortable with saying is it literally false, even if not provably so. I don't care if i'm not certain that the world isn't all just my dream. But I know it's not (know meaning, "my best theory").

      In the same way, to want something out of MWI that is more than what is demanded of any other scientific theory amounts to a desire for the same level of "proof" as that demanded by those who are (they claim) solipsists. For example: the theory of dinosaurs. No one has seen a dinosaur - ever. People have collected *fossils*. That's all they have. Not dinosaurs. And they have a theory linking fossils and dinosaurs. And that theory is the best explanation. In the same way we don't have parallel universes to hold up and say "aha! Here is another universe! Proof!". No, instead we have interference phenomena with single particles like electrons and photons - or whole atoms, whatever and we say that this only makes sense in light of the MWI. All other "interpretations" have the onus on them to make sense of it. And they don't. They wave their hands and talk about wave-particle duality or some other such nonsense.

      We know dinosaurs existed because the best theory we have explains just what fossils are, and how they are formed. We know parallel universes exist because the best theory we have explains how interference phenomena arise.

      I was replying to a post that contained criticisms of the MWI as not being predictive or not being "profoundly mathematical". But as I am a mind with DD on this, I think such criticisms are unsuccessful as they miss the whole point: quantum theory *IS* MWI taken literally. So every prediction of quantum theory is one of MWI and every mathematical formulae of quantum theory is one of the MWI.

      If it's not profoundly mathematical, then it's up to hibbsa to explain, for example this paper I link to below by David Deutsch: 'the structure of the multiverse': a "profoundly" (i'm not sure what bar needs to be crossed to reach that) mathematical paper:

      Published 8 December 2002 doi:10.1098/rspa.2002.1015
      Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 8 December 2002 vol. 458no. 2028 2911-2923

      Find it here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0104033v1.pdf

      So my point about solipsism? Someone can always make noises of the sort that amount to
      "you can't prove it's all not a dream" and they are right in the sense we cannot be certain. Criticisms of MWI,
      to my mind often amount to this. It's nothing more than saying: the wave function is real. All possibilities really are
      manifest. To demand ever higher standards - approaching (or even reaching) certainty, just miss the point
      about what science is: the quest for best explanations.
      > >
      > > ...
      > > > this might work for some threads of science, and perhaps to an extent
      > > > for all. But something neither Popper nor Deutsch explain, nor even
      > > > address, is the question of why, if they are correct, the most
      > > > productive, most revolutionary, most far reaching scientific threads,
      > > > are all at the other end of the spectrum. They are profoundly
      > > > mathematical, profoundly terse and profoundly predictive. I am speaking
      > > > of the theories that knocked on into technological and industrial
      > > > revolutions. The most influential, far reaching, world changing shit in
      > > > the box,.
      > > >
      > > But that's simply not true. Whilst some scientific theories are, for
      > > example, "profoundly mathematical" many of the "far reaching, world
      > > changing" are not. Consider evolution by natural selection, consider plate
      > > tectonics, or theories explaining human nutrition, etc, etc.
      > >
      > Evolution is all about math. Number of offspring, mutation rates, survival
      > rates, etc. Without math it would be empty theorizing.
      Empty? I do not understand this. Why does mathematics give it non-zero content. Evolution by
      natural selection can be appreciated - and deeply - without any need to model it using partial differential
      equations or whatever else one might choose to use. The mechanism of mutation and selection for
      and against, given certain environments, are augmented by an understanding of mathematics. But they are
      not essential for it.
      > You might be
      > confusing how it was discovered with how it's used. I think this one's on
      > hibbsa's side. (I used to do some a-life stuff, so I know something about
      > it.) Plate tectonics is a meta-theory of physics (it's geography), but
      > without rates of motion, measurement and geometry (this bulge fits into
      > that hole) it would not have happened. Nutrition, maybe. I'm less
      > experienced in that so you could be right.
      Geography is not a science?

      What is science?


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