If I may intervene at the this point. As I am unclear what argument your trying to put forward.
Are you saying that string theory is nonsense because you have a rigorous mathematical argument that proves this? Or do you are your doubts based on an understanding of reality?
If you have an argument based on flaws in theory itself (excluding what reality is) then I wonder if there is anyone in this forum who can explore your reasoning thoroughly. I would suggest you raise them in another forum.
I agree with Matt that reality is very different from how understanding what something actually is. Is not reality different for each of us. My reality is very different to my dogs reality. I would suggest that is why Hawking etc do not discuss it.
How do we know if an Electron, quark etc actually exist? Well I guess at some level we do not really know. We can only reason based on what we have decided to believe previously and what input is put before us.
Sciences "failure" in understanding the underlying realities of the universe is not the point. As human beings we try to make sense of the world around us. When we find the solution to one issue we raise another. I can not see this changing. There will always be an underlying process we can't currently explain.
Time for me to shut up.
--- In email@example.com, "gich7" <gich7@...> wrote:
> Hello Matt,
> I don't wish to argue, but it seems to me you're not understanding the point
> I'm making. So, with the objective of achieving mutual understanding I'll
> >>>But knowing what "reality" is is very different from figuring out how a
> >>>particular process works.
> I agree with you.
> But this isn't the point I'm trying to make.
> In a mathematical theory [the standard model of quantum mechanics, for example]
> a number of 'objects' [e.g., electrons, quarks, gluons, etc.] are *hypothesized*
> to exist with certain properties. The theory is then used to try and produce
> useful results and the success of quantum theory has been outstanding. No one
> denies this.
> BUT, *do* these (hypothesized) objects with the assumed properties *actually*
> exist. We don't know. We have not been able to produce *any* scientific evidence
> whatsoever that *demonstrates* their existence.
> Ask any scientist a question like: what is an electron (?) and you'll have to
> wait a long time for an answer. A question like what is a quark (which cannot
> exist in isolation), or what is a gluon will produce even more confusion. It
> could well be, and almost certainly is the case, that a *different* set of
> mathematical objects could have been hypothesized to exist 'at the root' of the
> theory that would have produced *exactly* the same outcomes. After all, the
> standard model of quantum mechanics is nothing more than a mathematical model,
> and such models originate in the *imagination* of the mathematician
> >>>"Reality" goes on inside our heads -- it is a description of how we
> >>>experience the environment. It is ineffable. More importantly, it is
> >>>philosophical, not scientific. Unless and until everyone agrees on an
> >>>objective definition of "reality," it is untestable.
> This makes no sense to me Matt. You're making the assumption that we humans can,
> one day, understand the "reality" that underlies the workings of the universe. I
> don't believe we can, and the total failure of science throughout history to
> throw any light whatsoever on this 'underlying reality' appears to me to support
> my view.
> But, there *must be* an underlying reality, there must be some ultimate physical
> truths, that lie behind the workings of the universe.
> As a possibly thought-provoking comment, consider:
> ". . . Meanwhile, Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,
> New Jersey, proposed that precise physical quantities could still exist, but
> would only be knowable to abstract observers living outside the universe. They
> would not be limited by a horizon (www.arxiv.org/hep-th/0106109). It's a nice
> idea, if you happen to be conveniently situated outside the universe. But for
> today's physicists, it's depressing news: the ultimate physical truths would
> still remain inaccessible to people living inside the universe. . . ."
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Matthew Copple" <mcopple@...>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: STRING THEORY IS NONSENSE
> But knowing what "reality" is is very different from figuring out how
> a particular process works.
> "Reality" goes on inside our heads -- it is a description of how we
> experience the environment. It is ineffable. More importantly, it is
> philosophical, not scientific. Unless and until everyone agrees on an
> objective definition of "reality," it is untestable.