Re: [humanism-174] In "Garlic Man" We Trust :)

From: Tim C.
Sent on: Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:19 PM
Unfortunately, even scientists are guilty of misuse of phrases and terms.  The Big Bang, the God Particle, String Theory, Black Holes.  All are somewhat misleading and unfortunate applications of scientist humor!  As I was taught, string "theory" as yet belongs in the category of "wild ideas" or as Randy states, "hypotheses".  Definitely not yet an established or testable theory!
 
Tim
 
 
In a message dated 1/10/2013 6:13:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
Mark,

First of all your use of the phrase "only a theory" appears to reveal a misunderstanding on your part. If it is a theory then what is meant by saying it is "only a theory?" You seem to be implying that there is some level within a hierarchy of scientific knowledge or knowledge in general to which the idea has yet to rise. In science, theory is the pinnacle. Theories in science are the BIG IDEAS. They are the explanations that are supported by a broad and deep body of evidence, facts, and laws. A theory explains, among other things, the relationship between a body of observations, laws, facts and both experimental and theoretical evidence. There is no category of scientific knowledge higher than a theory. Yet the phrase you use seems to imply there is.

Furthermore, be careful with the use of this phrase. This phrase is most often used by those whose intent is to dismiss a theory as no better than a guess or an unfounded opinion someone might have. And this most certainly is not what a theory is. 

Finally, all this said, it is unfortunate, IMO, that scientists call it String Theory. At best it is a hypothesis. As Tim pointed out earlier, String Theory is as of yet untested. None of its predictions have yet been experimentally tested and therefore this so-called theory has no actual verification. It is a very intriguing idea. And if it turns out to be correct it will explain a number of observations that remain unexplained. But this so-called theory still awaits some experimental verification.

If you need further clarification and information on why it is misleading to refer to a scientific theory in this way, I recommend reading Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America‚Äôs Soul written by biologist Kenneth Miller. While the book is primarily about evolution, Miller tackles the intentionally misleading use of the phrase "it's only a theory" offered up by those who deny evolution. They often describe it as "just a theory" as means of dismissing it as being no better than a hunch. You might also read the short discussion of what is meant by scientists when they use the term theory on the website http://www.notjustatheory.com/

 Randy



From: Mark R. Orel <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, January 10,[masked]:54 AM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] In "Garlic Man" We Trust :)

As I said this was a quick and simple description.  I did leave
a great deal out.  Is there something more you would like to
know? 

As far as string theory goes, I did write, "If you like string theory". 
I hoped that implied it to be only a theory.  But I thank you
for the clarification. 


M. Orel


On[masked]:08, Tim Campbell wrote:
Good summary as far as it goes, but be aware that string theory is not a confirmed theory, or even on supported by experiment or observation, but is at this time an idea that has SOME support from SOME theoretical physicists. 
 
Tim Campbell
 
In a message dated 1/9/2013 3:51:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
Glen:

What are we made of?  Organs, bone and blood.
What are these made of?  Cells.
What are cells made of?  Protoplasm.
What is protoplasm made of? Water, proteins, lipids,
carbohydrates and inorganic salts.
What are these made of?  Molecules. .
What are molecules made of?  Atoms.
What are atoms made of?  Electrons, protons, neutrons.
What are protons and neutrons made of?  Quarks.
What are electrons made of?  An electron is an elementary particle.
What are quarks made of?  Quarks are elementary particles. 

What is meant by elementary particle?  A particle that has no known
substructure. 

So, what are these elementary particles?  Good question.  If you
like string theory.  Then these elementary particles are just energy. 
That is a string of energy that vibrates at a particular frequency. 
And that frequency defines the particle it is.  In this model, matter
really doesn't exist.  There is only energy.    

What is energy?  It's a good question.  

(Please note that this is a quick and simple demonstration of
the standard model of particle physics.  String theory
notwithstanding.) 


M. Orel


On[masked]:55, Glen wrote:
I have question that is only have tongue-in-cheek. If the universe is only an electron or only a hologram, then what are electrons and holograms?  If you don't get what I am asking, let me try to make an analogy.  It seems like saying the universe is just a hologram or electron is kinda like saying a person, or all of humanity, is just a cell or just an atom.  Of course, I'm still struggling with the idea of "less than zero energy," which is inherent in recent claims of temperatures less than absolute zero.  








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