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#209954 - 10/19/10 09:59 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
Quantum physics didn't invalidate Newtonian physics.


Technically, they did. The observed orbit of Mercury only makes sense if you involve quantum mechanics. Same with any satellite communications. Physics 101.

The real question is how accurate do you need the truth too be?

-Blast
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#209956 - 10/19/10 11:12 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: thseng]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: thseng
As long as we're talking about truth, and "questioning everything", I would suggest that people might question all those tired, worn-out anti-catholic cliches.

The only reason I'm using "worn-out anti-catholic cliches" is that I'm not a Biblical scholar. I can't tell you a darn bit of difference between Lutheran, Born again, Quaker, Mormon. I barely scratch the surface with knowledge of the non-Christian groups.

But, I did pretty well with history, and most of European history features (to some degree) the only Church for the majority of the past 2000 years.

If I could bring cogent points from other religions to prove my point, I would.

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#209961 - 10/19/10 11:54 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: Blast]
Eric Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Blast


The real question is how accurate do you need the truth too be?

-Blast


This is the age old question of engineering. Scientific "truths" are actually descriptive models that can (for a given circumstance) be relied on to correctly predict the observable results of an experiment. Depending on the nature of the experiment, and the precision required, multiple descriptions/interpretations may provide equally "correct" predictions of the outcome.

For most applications, a rough approximation (i.e. Newtonian physics or basic electrical circuit theory) is good enough. Some applications require more specialized models. Quantum theory seems to be very useful at predicting observable results in high energy physics (and several other areas of scientific interest) but it is a lot less useful than much simpler models in other fields.

- Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#209966 - 10/20/10 12:40 AM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: Eric]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Originally Posted By: Eric
Originally Posted By: Blast


The real question is how accurate do you need the truth too be?

-Blast


This is the age old question of engineering. Scientific "truths" are actually descriptive models that can (for a given circumstance) be relied on to correctly predict the observable results of an experiment. Depending on the nature of the experiment, and the precision required, multiple descriptions/interpretations may provide equally "correct" predictions of the outcome.


Yep, exactly. wink

Originally Posted By: Eric
For most applications, a rough approximation (i.e. Newtonian physics or basic electrical circuit theory) is good enough. Some applications require more specialized models. Quantum theory seems to be very useful at predicting observable results in high energy physics (and several other areas of scientific interest) but it is a lot less useful than much simpler models in other fields.

- Eric


Newton's Four Failures. People first started realizing in the high-tech boom era of 1802 that Newtonian physics didn't always work. grin

Nothing we sense is what it truly is. Everything is just models created inside our brains out of the electrical impulses it is receiving. Every sighted (and non-colorblind!) will agree a certain wavelength of light reflected off a stop sign is "red". However, the way my brain visualizes "red" may be completely different than how your brain visualizes "red". We both agree it is red because we have been told that particular wavelength is called red.

There have been some fascinating studies of people who have been given sight after being blind all their life. Even though biologically they now have the ability to see, their brains can not interpret the incoming stimuli in any meaningful manner. For all intents and purposes they are still blind.

Everything is just a model. If you seek the truth of things in the physical world you need to understand this. If you seek the truth of things outside the physical world...then things get complicated! grin

-Blast


Edited by Blast (10/20/10 12:42 AM)
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#209968 - 10/20/10 12:46 AM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
In learning about perception, I often think of the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Here is a nice version in poem form:

http://homepage.usask.ca/~wae123/misc/prose/hinustan.htm


It also reminds me of the old joke about: how do you eat an elephant - one bite at a time!

Suitable for kids of all ages.

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#209974 - 10/20/10 08:58 AM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Behavioral analysis has developed tools that can increase the likelihood of detecting lies when you are talking with people through body language, speech patterns, etcetera. A fascinating study, as any internet search on "lie detecting" can show.

For fun, study up on lie detecting a bit and then watch any political debate!

Have the kids study up a bit and then take them used car shopping! Warning: the kids need to understand lie detecting is an art that is not infallible, requires practice, and is often of best use if you do not confront the suspected pervaricator [do not show your hand].


Edited by dweste (10/20/10 09:05 AM)

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#209976 - 10/20/10 09:36 AM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
One pretty smart guy's take on how to recognize truth:

ďHow can we recognize truth? It is, of course difficult. But there are a few simple rules. The truth ought to be logically consistent. It should not contradict itself; that is, there are some logical criteria. It ought to be consistent with what else we know. That is an additional way in which miracles run into trouble. We know a great many things- a tiny fraction, to be sure, of the universe, a pitiful tiny fraction. But nevertheless some things we know with quite high reliability. So where we are asking about the truth, we ought to be sure that itís not inconsistent with what else we know. We should pay attention to how badly we want to believe a given contention. The more badly we want to believe it, the more skeptical we have to be. It involves a kind of courageous self discipline. Nobody says itís easy. I think those three principles at least will winnow out a fair amount of chaff. It doesnít guarantee that what remains will be true, but at least it will significantly diminish the field of discourse. ď

Carl Sagan, Varieties of scientific experience, pages 229-230

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#209978 - 10/20/10 10:22 AM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1145
Loc: Land O' Lakes & Rivers - MN, U...
Originally Posted By: dweste
One pretty smart guy's take on how to recognize truth:

It ought to be consistent with what else we know. That is an additional way in which miracles run into trouble. It involves a kind of courageous self discipline. Nobody says itís easy. I think those three principles at least will winnow out a fair amount of chaff. It doesnít guarantee that what remains will be true, but at least it will significantly diminish the field of discourse. ď

Carl Sagan, Varieties of scientific experience, pages 229-230


So, as we wade in a tidal pool in Oregon, we should feel that we understand the Pacific Ocean? Because miracles are by definition an unexplained occurrance, the fact that a scientist cannot explain them does not in any way diminish them. I beleive that the "courageous self discipline" that Sagan refers to must be the humble admission that all human knowledge resides in the tidepool of the ocean of possibilities.
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#209985 - 10/20/10 03:36 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1213
Loc: here
After reading all of this I can "My brain hurts". And that my friends is the truth as I perceive and experience it.

This is great stuff.
_________________________
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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#209986 - 10/20/10 03:36 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: ireckon]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: ireckon
Teaching someone to recognize a lie includes the process of recognizing the truth. Recognizing a lie involves extra layers of complexity in my opinion. It's not easy.


I disagreee. More often than not, it is far simpler to prove that a false claim is false than proving a right claim to be true.

In a rigorous scientific framework, nothing can ever be claimed to be "proven true", although there are some theories that come pretty close.

Originally Posted By: ireckon
For example, there are thousands of salesmen who are pushing "get rich quick" books. How do you know who's lying?


Ah, I love this example - it is where you prepare the children for the real world by teaching them a healthy dose of cynicism: Some people will lie/sell junk/make false claims to get your money.

First: So... start with the general assumption that all (or almost all, if you're feeling slightly less cynical) of the "Get rich books" are written and sold by liars. To humor yourself you can examine a book or two to see if those are among the exceptions. If it is, then hey - you get rich, no complaints. If not, then this was exactly as expected. You've invested time and money to improve your your bull-o-meter.


Second: Follow the money. Where does those authors and salesmen earn their living? Likely there is less money to be made by reading that book than by writing or selling it....


Third - What are the actual success factors for those that have made their fortune? (See some biographs and inteviews). Most likely, you will see it is a combination of good ideas, a lot of hard work and a lot of luck (timing). I'll bet you $20 that you won't find a rich person that says he became rich because he read one of those "how to get rich" books.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (10/20/10 03:38 PM)

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