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25600Re: Examples of Major Disjoints between PopperDeutsch and Science

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  • hibbsa
    Sep 11, 2013
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      --- In Fabric-of-Reality@yahoogroups.com, Gary Oberbrunner <garyo@...> wrote:
      >
      > On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 9:24 PM, Brett Hall <brhalluk@...> wrote:
      >
      > > > 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.
      >
      >
      > By empty I mean that math is how we test it. Everything from Mendel
      > through modern A-life experiments (software, but still mathematical). It
      > can be _appreciated_ in words, sure, but to my mind the proof is in the
      > math. I take your point, though; really both are vital. The math without
      > the text would be just as empty.

      There is clear historical evidence that the more far reaching and influential the theory, the more that once learned, the math stands on its own. The explanation in these situations can be to aid first learning or it can be supplemental or it can dual the math as another expression of the theory. But in the latter instance this is always after the fact.

      I think that this inverse relation between theories corresponding to Deutsch's philosophical stance on what science is all about, and their influence and import, does need explaining. Notions like 'import' and 'influence' rooted in bad philosophy is a possibility but I'm seeing abundant flexibility...I'd say choose your own definition of most significant developments in the history of science, and if you're not being daft, I'll show you the same inverse relation.

      How can this be?
      >
      >
      > > > 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?
      > >
      >
      > I guess I'm being controversial, but I see most geography as
      > categorization, like history. Such-and-such battle occurred on
      > such-and-such date. So-and-so begat him and her. This river is the
      > longest, that mountain is highest, this coastline is longest, and so on.
      > These are matters of fact on the ground, but there's no theory behind
      > them. So in my mind, they're not really sciences. Now when you start
      > moving from geography to geology, and talk about rock formation, lava
      > flows, and so on, then (again in my probably controversial ontology) you're
      > moving toward science. But again you're right that plate tectonics is more
      > properly geology than "just" geography.
      >
      > --
      > Gary
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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