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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Luca Valeri: on 4/13/15 at 21:23pm UTC, wrote Dear Tung Ten Yong, Congrats. A really short and pregnant essay. Your...

RJ Tang: on 4/12/15 at 19:53pm UTC, wrote I agree that all knowledge is local and conditional. It is impossible to...

Joe Fisher: on 4/10/15 at 14:43pm UTC, wrote Dear Tung, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was...

Sujatha Jagannathan: on 4/1/15 at 11:55am UTC, wrote Some more synthesis is needed to the collected purport. -Sincerely, Miss....

Tung Ten Yong: on 3/15/15 at 5:31am UTC, wrote Interesting. All I can think of now is such a general method (that checks...

Tung Ten Yong: on 3/15/15 at 5:10am UTC, wrote Thanks. It is not easy. But maybe we can see clearer by questioning the...

Jonathan Khanlian: on 3/13/15 at 15:14pm UTC, wrote Your thought that "... if there is a general method to find out if a theory...

Christophe Tournayre: on 3/12/15 at 20:13pm UTC, wrote Dear Tung Ten Yong, I like your proposal of shifting perspectives. I wish...


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FQXi FORUM
June 1, 2020

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Copernican Principle and Theory by Tung Ten Yong [refresh]
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Author Tung Ten Yong wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 19:02 GMT
Essay Abstract

In thie essay I applies Copernican Principle to our possible theories of Universe and reaches a startling conclusion - realism of Scientific theories is not tenable. We also discuss its implication to the status of Mathematics and Mathematical Platonism.

Author Bio

Name: Tung Ten Yong Date of Birth: 8/9/1980 Country: Malaysia Education: Physics, National University of Singapore

Download Essay PDF File

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Christophe Tournayre wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 20:13 GMT
Dear Tung Ten Yong,

I like your proposal of shifting perspectives. I wish you also proposed alternatives like Copernic.

Regards,

Christophe

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Author Tung Ten Yong replied on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 05:10 GMT
Thanks.

It is not easy. But maybe we can see clearer by questioning the status of symmetries in theories of physics as fundamental.

Just as pre-Copernican theories of the heaven posited one epicycle after another to fit the observational data, we are currently positing symmetries after symmetries in fundamental theories of Nature.

Maybe at the most fundamental level there is no symmetry and symmetries are just emergent phenomena.

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Jonathan Khanlian wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 15:14 GMT
Your thought that "... if there is a general method to find out if a theory truly represents reality, we can use this method to search for the true theory of the universe, and this would violate the Copernican Principle as applied to theories!" sort of reminded me about about the halting problem and how an arithmetic formal system can't prove its own consistency. Do you see any relationship to those ideas and what you are trying to express?

Please check out my Digital Physics movie essay if you get a chance.

Thanks,

Jon

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Author Tung Ten Yong replied on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 05:31 GMT
Interesting.

All I can think of now is such a general method (that checks if one theory truly represents reality) must itself be arrived at inductively from comparisons of our previous theories and its successes in explaining and predicting observational data. If it comes from induction then we cannot be sure about the method itself as we are sure about analytical truths.

In short, the general method itself could also be revised by future observations and thus fails to be a general method at all.

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Sujatha Jagannathan wrote on Apr. 1, 2015 @ 11:55 GMT
Some more synthesis is needed to the collected purport.

-Sincerely,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 10, 2015 @ 14:43 GMT
Dear Tung,

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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RJ Tang wrote on Apr. 12, 2015 @ 19:53 GMT
I agree that all knowledge is local and conditional. It is impossible to have a theory for something humans never experienced. And this is a distinct possibility!

Therefore I call for humility and open mindedness. Another thing is, mathematics suffer from human's reasoning logic. We are not certain if our human logic is a universally applicable logic system.

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Luca Valeri wrote on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 21:23 GMT
Dear Tung Ten Yong,

Congrats. A really short and pregnant essay.

Your essay reminds me what Freud called the 3 wounds humanity suffered: earth not at the center, men not at the center of creation and ego not master in its own house. I would say, that this supports your thesis on the Copernican Principle of theories. Shall we call it a forth wound?

Anyhow I think you draw interesting conclusions from this principle. I specifically like, that you do not deny the success of the physical theories. In that sense the success seems really miraculous. But that makes it an interesting working thesis for future physical research.

In my essay I use a milder form of Platonism, saying that the language empirical knowledge must be platonic (ie. mathematical).

Best,

Luca

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