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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Harry Ricker III: on 3/11/17 at 14:00pm UTC, wrote Hi Don, In my essay I tried to explain the limitations of scientific...

Don Limuti: on 3/11/17 at 3:05am UTC, wrote Hi Harry, Wonderful underappreciated essay.... maybe you have to be an EE...

Peter Jackson: on 3/6/17 at 16:09pm UTC, wrote Harry, Nice essay, interesting, on topic, and I agree with just about all...

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Harry Ricker III: on 2/16/17 at 0:24am UTC, wrote HI, Thanks for your reply. I as said before, when I read the ATLAS AND...


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FQXi FORUM
March 27, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Revision 1-Mindless mathematical laws can not give rise to aims and intention? by Harry Hamlin Ricker III [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 4.4; Public = 5.7


Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III wrote on Feb. 3, 2017 @ 21:12 GMT
Essay Abstract

Attempts to model biological organisms, evolution, and the universe as wandering systems based on assumptions used in mathematical physics are asserted to be impossible. An alternative approach based upon established philosophical principles of Aristotelian formal and final cause is recommended for consideration. Axioms to accomplish this are formulated as well as the suggestion that God needs to be reconsidered as a Final Cause in cosmology as well as biology.

Author Bio

Harry H. Ricker III age 69 is a retired Electrical Engineer. He has a BSEE Virginia Tech and MSEE University of New Hampshire. He was employed by Communications Satellite Corporation, and worked at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. His professional qualifications include weapons systems analysis and design of satellite communications systems. Since retiring he has concentrated upon the study of mathematical physics, electricity and magnetism, special relativity, astronomy and cosmology. His other interests include history of science, philosophy, and amateur radio. He resides in Newport News VA.

Download Essay PDF File




Biswaranjan Dikshit wrote on Feb. 4, 2017 @ 17:45 GMT
Hi, Thanks for writing the essay. But, your article looks more like a literary work as it lacks the modern scientific approach and quantitative formulations. Although in science, mathematics is regarded as a quantitative representation of truth in nature, you seem to loose hope in mathematical formulations as you state in your abstract "Attempts to model biological organisms, evolution, and the universe as wandering systems based on assumptions used in mathematical physics are asserted to be impossible."

Instead of finding scientific answers to questions why there is life, growth, intelligence, goal oriented behavior etc in nature, your essay seems to accept it as assumptions as given in page-7. But, this is against scientific spirit when you stop asking "why" by renaming the observation as an "axiom".

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 4, 2017 @ 18:29 GMT
Hi, Thanks for your comment. I see that you have applied a demarcation rule to my paper, by saying it lacks modern scientific approach. That is your opinion. I appreciate that there is a difference of opinion. However, I actually evaluate whether the tools of science are adequate to answer the questions posed and I answer in the negative. Many other essays have answered in the negative as well. I provide a constructive approach by suggesting how the dilemma can be resolved by adopting a different set of conceptual ideas that are better adapted to solve the problem in contrast to the insufficient tools of modern science.

By the way. Aristotle showed that mathematics was unable to answer such questions such as addressed by the Contest and concluded that mathematics was unable to provide answers. In my review of the contest essays I noted that many others agree as well. So it looks like we have made no progress since Aristotle. Meanwhile the scientific community is promoting the idea that the universe is mathematical when this idea was debunked by philosophers thousands of years ago, and in reading the essays so far submitted, that conclusions remains valid.




Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 5, 2017 @ 05:18 GMT
Dear Harry Hamlin Ricker III,

A good essay analyzing the guideline given by FQXi, and finally bringing in the God, my complements sir.

It’s a long human tradition to put every unknown and in-understandable thing as the creation of God, and we are nobody to question it. If nobody questions it, how the science will develop…?

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 5, 2017 @ 13:35 GMT
Given the present state of scientific methodology, the scientific method has demonstrated limited success in discovering new knowledge. That limited success has led scientists to assume that the method they use is applicable to causes outside the limited material cause. The success in using mathematics is based upon number and quantity. That is applied to the material cause by measurement of quantity and transforming the measurement into numbers and then into mathematical representations called models. To extend that method into the areas addressed by the Essay Contest requires the quantification of goals and intentions. No one seems to have proposed how to do that.

Regarding the issue of deity, that is a proposed Final Cause that has been successful throughout history. It is incumbent upon scientists to prove that they can develop an alternative final cause that has meaning in human terms. So far there has not been any such proposal other than mathematical natural laws. Such laws are human inventions as is the concept of deity. So far no one has presented a convincing reason for the universe to exist without the necessary conception of deity.



Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 23:17 GMT
Dear Harry Hamlin Ricker III,

Thank you for so much nice information to support my paper, thank you for your posts on my essay

Thank you for your nice study. I said that the essay was not published by me earlier. That’s true.

Can you please send me some more details of that papers you mentioned..... “THE ATLAS AND CATALOGUE OF INTERACTING GALAXIES by B.A. Vorontsov-Velyaminov” and the paper “Halton Arp later talked about Quasars as galaxy seeds”, you mentioned above. I don’t k now about them. My paper uses the concept on UGF, the universal Gravitational Force, not biological processes…..

(Can you please tell me about your paper and send me copy of your paper. Is that here in this contest? I searched by your name, I could not get any. ...

After proper searching I found your essay, sorry for my above comment. )

This post I am reproducing from my post in my paper

Best Regards….

snp

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 23:21 GMT
Dear Harry,

Wow wonderful analysis… You have clarified well about your concepts now. I am also a firm believer of God….

Best wishes to your essay…

=snp

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 5, 2017 @ 23:27 GMT
Harry,

You have many of the same reservations that I have regarding the essay topic. Science must be testable. This topic is more philosophical than scientific. Having stated this, I must also state that I think your assessment of scientific progress is overly harsh. Much progress has been made and continues to be made. You do know about computers, lasers, super-conduction, meta-materials, space telescopes, space travel, nuclear energy, ... well, you get my point.

The problem that much of Physics has today is that the theories have become untestable by presently known methods. Rather than bemoaning this fact, it would be much better to identify alternate methods of testing or measurement.

BTW, if you are interested in a calculation and a testable hypothesis, take a look at my essay. I won't disappoint, but the reading is not easy.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 13:50 GMT
Hi Gary,

Thanks for your comments. The essay format is too short to actually explain my position which is that the scientific method is unable to actually prove anything as true, in the philosophical sense, regarding nature. In your comment I think you confuse scientific knowledge with scientific technology. In my view modern science is a form of technology and not a form of philosophy. That is evident since science is no longer called natural philosophy.

Science as a form of technology has given us GPS. However, there is the following peculiar problem. GPS is supposed to be based upon physical science knowledge and in particular the theory of relativity. But in building the GPS the engineers realized that it would not work. So they built the GPS system so that it works, while ignoring the fact that it does not work if it were built according to the prescriptions of the underlying relativity theory. In particular relativity claims there is no simultaneity of time or no absolute time. Yet GPS is an absolute system of time and depends upon it.

I don't think my assessment of scientific method was harsh, I think it was not harsh enough. The case of GPS shows us that engineers can make technology work even when the physics theories are false. I can cite many other cases.

I don't think the problem with science is with regards to methods of testing or measurement, it is that methods of testing and measurement are not done to evaluate theories but to validate them. Then when experiments are done that do not conform to the prevailing belief system they are discounted. I think that is because scientists want to hold on to their prejudices and assumptions.

See my essay on The Wakefield Experiments which demonstrates an experiment that does not conform to established physics theory:

http://www.naturalphilosophy.org/site/harryricker/201
5/12/12/the-wakefield-experiments-background-and-motivation/




Gary D. Simpson replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 17:20 GMT
Harry,

The scientific method cannot prove anything true. It can only prove things to be false. After you eliminate as many things that are false as possible, you are left with something that contains truth. This is not a new idea ... it is the foundation of the scientific method. Experiments are what are used to determine what is false. That's the whole point to doing them.

Regarding a GPS ... it works because there are a different number of Cesium atom ticks in a unit of time at the surface of the earth vs the same unit of time at the satellite ... and yes, engineers can make almost anything work.

You are correct, I equate science with technology rather than science with truth ... it is mainly useful to me in that it produces weapons and tools.

With regards to the present state of science ... I respectfully disagree ... folks just cannot come up with the right experiments or the right insight. Perhaps we have gone as far as science will allow ... I don't know for certain but I don't think so. In any evert, religion does not offer any testable hypotheses either.

And yes, most folks want to hold onto what ever scientific beliefs they hold ... science advances because old scientists die ... a morbid thought but true nonetheless.

Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 5, 2017 @ 23:29 GMT
Harry,

One other thing ... In some ways, I consider this essay contest to be an experiment with a null result. Think about that for a few moments.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 13:55 GMT
Hi Gary,

Here is what I wrote after reading a number of the essays: If the purpose of this essay contest was to beat the woods of science and philosophy and find someone out there who was a genius, and had some hidden secret answer, then the contest failed to find him. What did I find in reading the essays? Basically I found that almost all of the essays agreed that there was no positive answer to the question. So mindless mathematical laws are not a solution to the problem of life in the universe. I however, was unique in proposing that the question was an ill posed one and that the solution did not come from science, but from a different sort of philosophy, and I recommended religion as a better answer than science.

You can read the entire review essay here:

http://www.naturalphilosophy.org/site/harryricker/2017/02/02
/fqxi-essay-contest-2017-review/



Gary D. Simpson replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 17:23 GMT
Harry,

I feel left out ... I calculated the size of the proton for God's sake ... does that not merit at least a passing comment:-) Or do you assume I must be wrong because I did not use QED? Check your premises Mr. Rearden.

Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Hans van Leunen wrote on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 14:05 GMT
Dear Harry,

You often use the concept "scientific method". You do not use it in the way that physicists tend to use it. However, your paper seems to rely on your interpretation of this concept. Wikipedia gives a precise definition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method. You also seem to have an idea what science and especially mathematics can and cannot do. This approach differs significantly from my experience with math. Mathematics has many sides, and only a small fraction concerns the description of automata. Your target is the subject of the contest. Many parts of mathematics can be used to investigate that issue. It will be practically impossible to prove that all these parts are incapable of delivering a model that gives rise to aims and intention. The easiest way is to prove the reverse. The best way is to start with a model that has little direct relation to mathematics.

Let us assume that a creator generates the universe. Now there are several possibilities. One possibility is that the creator generates the universe in one stroke. The other possibility is that the creator does his job in a sequence of steps. A third possibility is that the creator generated a repository that stores all required aspects and a vane scans over this repository as a function of progression.

In this last possibility, potential observers travel with the vane and get information from the past. A messenger system sends them that information. The information transfer can affect the format of these data.

This last possibility appears to come close to reality. This example is not a mathematical model. However, mathematical tools can easily model this example.

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 14:57 GMT
Hi Hans,

Thanks for your remarks. Regarding scientific method. There is a wide difference of opinion on that topic. I studied the philosophy of science books and they don't agree, and I studied the history of science books and they don't agree. My conclusion is that there is only a broad agreement on what it is and agreement that there are many different interpretations of it. If you...

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Hans van Leunen wrote on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 15:34 GMT
Without a further extension, the above model does not generate objects that are capable of intelligent actions. The universe is filled with objects that either are modules. or they are modular systems. Special mechanisms generate elementary modules that are pointlike objects. These objects possess a location at every subsequent instant. Modular design and construction are optimally suited for generating very complicated systems. Evolution applies this approach in a stochastical way. It took more than thirteen years and many trials and errors to generate intelligent species. But finally, it achieved that result.

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 16:21 GMT
Hans, Any model of nature implies that the assumptions that go into the model are correct. Since the model is mathematical, that implies that nature is actually governed by mathematical rules, when that may not be true. It may be governed by different causes.

Modern science and scientific models of reality assume only what I call the material cause and some times that is called the efficient cause. That type of cause assumes that natural actions are mechanical and governed by impersonal mathematical laws. Aristotle says that nature is not so simple that it can only be modeled by material or efficient type causes, and he discusses three other types of cause.

One type of cause, addresses the actor or agent. This is also called the efficient cause. When the efficient cause is physical process, then the efficient cause is what I call material. I reserve this cause for biological agents and human beings. One real limitation of modern science is that it ignores the role of humans in the process of doing science and their motivations. Any real science has to address this in a better manner than is currently done in modern science.

I propose in my essay that these other types of cause need to be addressed in any valid attempt to understand nature. I propose some axioms or assumptions that should be put into scientific inquiry in order to expand its ability to account for all of the phenomenon of nature as opposed to only the limited physical phenomenon addressed by physics.

From what you say of your model, it is only a model of one type of cause in nature, the material, and so I think it too limited to address the types of issues being addressed in the essay contest.




Hans van Leunen wrote on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 15:59 GMT
Harry,

Quaternionic function theory supports a consistent and complete field theory that applies the quaternionic nabla and first and second order partial differential equations. It relies on the fact that the quaternionic nabla obeys the quaternionic multiplication rule. The resulting differential equations are lookalikes of Maxwell equations, but they form a complete and self-consistent set that need not rely on experimental verification.

Quaternionic Hilbert spaces allow the merge of Hilbert space operator technology, with quaternionic function theory and quaternionic differential calculus that allows modeling the interaction between discrete artifacts and continuums, which embed these artifacts.

This model allows testing of theories without the necessity to rely on experimental verification. The resulting model shows many features that are recognizable from observing reality.

This approach does not prove that reality is structured and behaves in that same sense.

On the other hand, each experiment requires a model for designing it, and it requires a model for interpreting its results. In the end, the measuring results have the same value as prove as the sketched mathematical model will have. It proves nothing. At the utmost, it can explain.

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 16:37 GMT
Hans, I don't object to models and I don't object to making theories.

My thesis is that modern science, which came out of scholastic philosophy as natural philosophy, is too restricted in its conceptual framework to address the types of causes that are the subject of the essay contest.

Physics works by restricting the framework of explanation to a manageable problem. Engineers call this "bounding the problem". It involves placing constraints upon the types of solutions that need to be evaluated. This works until people start saying that we need to think outside of the box of the conceptual framework that is being used. Such solutions are then referred to as innovative solutions. I am saying in my essay that physics needs to start thinking outside of the box that they have erected called scientific method and good science.



Hans van Leunen replied on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 20:10 GMT
Harry,

One cannot deny that evolution after thirteen billion years evolution created intelligent species. The above model suits both creationists as well as evolutionists. In a single stroke, the creator created a storage model and made it possible that a collection of observers scan this repository as a function of progression. A quaternionic Hilbert space represents a usable repository and stores time-stamped locations of pointlike elementary particles in quaternions. Quaternionic Hilbert spaces can merge operator technology with function theory and differential calculus. Thus it enables the embedding of discrete items in continuums that take the role of fields. It is easy to take the capabilities of these powerful pieces of mathematics too lightly.

You may be right with respect to the fact that this storage structure does not contain the mechanisms that generate the triggers, which install the dynamics of the model. Special stochastic mechanisms must generate the locations of the elementary particles. However, this is covered by another part of mathematics. Contemporary physics does not consider these mechanisms. This fact does not say that mathematics cannot tackle that subject.

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 01:54 GMT
Interesting read, Harry. Sounds a bit like scientific nihilism though. Your Hylozoist axiom, in principle, sounds like Jeremy England's description of matter naturally following entropic principles to more efficiently dissipate energy by restructuring and making copies of itself. (Physical Laws exist to implant biological principles, as forms or souls, into primordial matter to create corporeal being.) Your Hylomorphist Axiom reminds me of the tendency of scientist to express science matters with anthropomorphic tendencies. As for God's presence in nature, its not a substitute for science but an expression of faith in what we can't comprehend. I believe that matter can be alive through our self-expression (art, sculpture) but not materially in a pantheistic sense.

Jim Hoover

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 13:12 GMT
Jim,

I am not sure what scientific nihilism is. That was not my point and apparently you misunderstood. My point was that the way science is currently being done is not capable of answering the questions being addressed and I suggested going back to fundamentals of natural science in the form of Greek philosophy. I particularly recommended the method of Aristotle who is most correctly the...

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Joe Fisher replied on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 17:24 GMT
Dear Mr. Ricker III,

Please excuse me for I do not wish to be too critical of your fine essay.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

One real visible Universe must have only one reality. Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings about imaginary invisible “fundamentals of natural science in the form of Greek philosophy.”

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 05:08 GMT
Interesting read, Harry. Sounds a bit like scientific nihilism though. Your Hylozoist axiom, in principle, sounds like Jeremy England's description of matter naturally following entropic principles to more efficiently dissipate energy by restructuring and making copies of itself. (Physical Laws exist to implant biological principles, as forms or souls, into primordial matter to create corporeal being.) Your Hylomorphist Axiom reminds me of the tendency of scientist to express science matters with anthropomorphic tendencies. As for God's presence in nature, its not a substitute for science but an expression of faith in what we can't comprehend. I believe that matter can be alive through our self-expression (art, sculpture) but not materially in a pantheistic sense.

Jim Hoover

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 19:14 GMT
Hello Mr Hamlin Ricker III,

A beautiful essay and I agree totally about a main cause correlated with God.It is the meaning of main gravitational codes of singularities in my model.We need to insert this infinite entropical gravitation in all finite systems.Einstein, Tesla,Newton and so more were fervent thinkers in God, this infinite entropy sending informations of evolution.I beleive strongly that it is foundamental for a real understanding of what is matter energy on this irreversible entropical Arrow of time.They turn so they are these 3D sphères after all Inside the sphere, they are coded, all is coded and evolve.I beleive even that we die electromagnetically speaking, not gravitationally.Congratulations for your essay and good luck also in this contest.Best Regards from Belgium

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Gerold Gruendler wrote on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 11:21 GMT
Dear Harry, you correctly state that not all aspects of reality (all four causes, in the latin translation of Aristotle) are described by the `mindless mathematical laws´ of physics. And I guess that you are right when stating that `aims and intentions´ are located in just those aspects of reality, which are not addressed by physics, and not accessible to `mindless mathematical laws´.

But I do not at all agree to your suggestion to `put God back into science´. Atheistic science is a valid approach to one aspect of truth. Contemplation, meditation, prayer, may lead to another aspect of truth. These two aspects of truth are complementary aspects of the one single truth.

We will not come closer to the one single truth if we mix up the complementary approaches. Instead, by mixing both approaches suffer. To see the disadvantages of mixture for the scientific approach, remember the fate of Giordano Bruno, remember the fate of Galileo Galilei. Many brave man (most of them were pious Christians) fought a hard and dangerous fight in the 17th century, to get the religious stuff out of physics, and to establish the atheistic science, which revealed so many amazing insights since then.

The religious approach to truth as well suffers by mixture. Look at the creationists: They make God a ridiculous jokester, who hides fossils in the earth to have his fun with us and lead us astray. Mixture of the two complementary approaches leads to quite primitive religion, which hardly can satisfy anybody seriously searching for the religious aspect of truth.

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III wrote on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 15:08 GMT
Hi Gerold,

You did not read what I said very carefully, and allowed your prejudices to color your interpretation of what I said. What I said was that God or some concept of deity was needed as a Final Cause in the Aristotelian meaning of that. If you don't do that, then all you are doing is atheistic materialistic philosophy and the tools of modern science can only be applied in this realm...

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 18:45 GMT
I agree totaly.I respect the atheists and the interprétations, sometimes very relevant détails appear.But generally speaking it is essential this entropical God.Of course many confounds religions ,god and entropy and of course faith is a personal choice.But I beleive strongly that for a real understanding of how act the matter energy with this infinite potential and all these kinetic steps,we must insert this main cause like you said.It exists something God does not play at dices and the gravitational main codes are fascinatings.If they are coded so there is something sending informations.It is logic.I beleive that a lot of have forgotten this parameter.Like if sciences and god were not correlated.That has no sense to tell this.Perhaps it is due to a lack of general analyses in all cneters of interest.So the real meaning of entropy and relativity is not understood.

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III wrote on Feb. 13, 2017 @ 01:41 GMT
Hi, Steve,

Thanks for your support. My opinion is that the Final Cause as defined by Aristotle is being ignored by science. That seems to be mainly political. I want to have a science that humans can understand and believe. That is not where mainstream science is headed.

I am not proposing that religion be introduced into science, I am saying that mainstream science needs to actually accept God as a valid hypothesis and consider it as a valid assumption as opposed the current approach which rejects such knowledge as unacceptable by an arbitrary demarcation rule.



Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 13, 2017 @ 10:46 GMT
You are welcome Mr Ricker III,

I beleive the same that you generally.Me also I don't propose to insert religions, but this entroprical meaning correctly simply.I beleive that the problem is complex and due to many paramters Inside the sciences community.The most impressing is that many utilise the équations general entropical of many thinkers without knowing really their meanings.All the general équations about matter and energy have been found by persons having inserted this infinite potential.That permits to encircle how the evolution has permitted the encodings.If the mass evolves and that all is coded and has propoerties, there are reasons due to main gravitational codes encoding.It seems foundamental in a general point of vue.Sometimes I say me that few really understand what is relativity, gravity,and entropical potential.It is not pretentious but just a reality.But it is like that, we must accept how think the people in a pure democratic, humanistic and altruistic universalism after all.What a world Mr Ricker III :) but we evolve :) good luck in this contest ,all the best.

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 13, 2017 @ 14:15 GMT
Dear Harry,

I read Your insightful essay with great interest and fully agree with the conclusions. You rightly pointed out in your comments: «I do not think my assessment of scientific method was harsh, I think it was not harsh enough» ... «.. physics needs to start thinking outside of the box that they have erected called scientific method and good science.»

In your support I bring back thoughts Fields laureate Vladimir Voevodsky :«… There is a crisis of world science. Real progress will consist in very serious fight of science with religion which will end with their integration. And do not punch my face.»

I think that the main «fight» will be here: «In the Beginning was the Logos ...» VS. «In the Beginning was «Big bang».

I give the highest rating. Success in the contest! I invite you to read and evaluate my ideas.

Sincerely,

Vladimir

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 14:30 GMT
Vladimir, Thanks for your support. I have read your essay and the comments. Much of it is over my head but I think I understand the main ideas. In my essay I tried to focus on the Aristotelian idea of cause and make it understandable. I arrived at the conclusion that science needs a larger scope than it currently has. So we need to think about the Final Cause more deeply. I see that you are doing that and I think that more of us need to as well.




Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 21:26 GMT
Harry Hamlin Ricker III,

I very much enjoyed your essay. Aside from the obvious difficulties in defining terms, I like your discussion of the bear 'covering his tracks'. As you note, this is an example of ambiguous cause. And even those animals who can speak are not much less ambiguous.

I also appreciated your discussion of 'underdetermination', a problem often ignored or glossed over, but one that is very significant. You mentioned special relativity. It is based on 'empty space' in the sense of no field, but Einstein clearly states "there is no space absent of field." Clearly a foolish consistency does not get between special and general relativity, hobgoblin or not. (Or the Higgs.)

I'm not sure that bringing God into science has merit. It may be more appropriate to point out inherent limitations of science and its absolute inability to trace paths from particle to person, resulting in unprovable narratives or credos.

Thanks for your participation in this contest. I think your analysis as well stated, particularly that of underdetermination.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III wrote on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 02:02 GMT
Edwin, Thanks for your positive comments. I wrote that essay in the beginning as a fun thing. Later it because more serious. I started out just objecting to the idea of mindless mathematics and I was going to give my views regarding what I thought wrong about physics. The arrogance of those guys thinking physics could solve a problem that people have been talking about for thousands of years irked...

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Efthimios Harokopos wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 17:30 GMT
Very interesting read and here is a scientific paper that provides support to a number of claims involving Aristotelian physics.



"Aristotelian physics lasted long not because it became dogma, but because it is a very good empirically grounded theory. "

As far as God, it can be anything that allows causality, for example spacetime can be God. It doesn't have to be the usual religious conception. Obviously there is something more powerful out there than what we think we know. it is hidden in quantum foam maybe.

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Efthimios Harokopos wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 17:35 GMT
Aristotle's Physics: a Physicist's Look

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 22:43 GMT
Harry, your comments above:

"As for matter following entropic principles, that sounds to me like a materialistic assumption and not the kind of assumption that natural philosophy should embody. However, it is a start is the right direction."

Entropy is a scientific law of nature that could have been allowed by a supreme being and does not necessarily lead to atheism (mentioned below)

"Since science is a human enterprise it is obvious that the hylomorphist axiom ought to have a human viewpoint incorporated into it rather than the materialistic assumption built into science. As it stands modern science merely serves atheism and that doesn't lead us into anything other than to nihilism."

Aristotle’s idea of a hylomorphist solution to the problem of change is to identify two aspects of a being, a persistent aspect and an aspect that changes. I can see the tendency to make materialistic assumptions in science but we have to deal with humanity in ascribing goals to life, don't we?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Jim Hoover

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 16:09 GMT
Harry,

Nice essay, interesting, on topic, and I agree with just about all you wrote! certainly that;

"mathematical laws are not capable of saying anything that is true about reality".

I'm also very happy conceptually with Lorentz Einstein and Dirac's ('new') ethers which I find consistent with a fully coherent physical foundation of both SR and QM (my own essay this year extends previous work and essays on that).

I do suggest (and identify how) we can resolve a lot more detail than we have or that you might think we can, but the bottom line is that none of that can exclude the need for some original action or greater intelligence.

I think your essay is way undervalued so my score will help.

Well done, and I hope you find time to read, score and discuss the points in mine.

Best wishes

Peter

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Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 03:05 GMT
Hi Harry,

Wonderful underappreciated essay.... maybe you have to be an EE to understand its logic.I intend to up your score (this is not caused by mathematics :)).

A few notes on what you wrote:

"Hence we would be better to dispense with science as an authority in regard to what is true." ......Science is just a map, sometimes it is useful.

"The Final Cause for this writer is my personal satisfaction of expressing a minority opinion regarding modern science and its deficiencies." ....If you include all humans, your position may not be a minority opinion.

"This writer thinks that the proposed subject of this essay would be considered metaphysical by a logical positivist and so is simply not science." ....Yep!

Check out my essay ....It is very short and I think you will like it.

Don Limuti

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Author Harry Hamlin Ricker III replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 14:00 GMT
Hi Don,

In my essay I tried to explain the limitations of scientific knowledge, which deals only in the cause of material productive efficiency. I call this the material cause in my essay. I used the word God in my essay and defended that as the Final cause of Aristotle because this is the concept that is most often used by the average person as the Final cause. Philosophers have been talking about God and used various ways of defining that concept as well as many different types of religions. I think that if science is being honest it has to expand its horizons beyond the boundary of the material productive efficient causation. It however tries to deal only in this limited type of cause and so is unable to approach truth.

Harry




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