Re: virus: Science
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 23:27:29 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 19 Sep 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 18 Sep 96 at 13:06, Reed Konsler wrote:

> > Sure, but I would argue that the axioms of science are much simpler than
> > religious axioms, and even the base asumptions are open to refutation in
> > science. Scientists have thrown out the ideas of completly objective
> > observation, the continuity of time and space (as well as the continuity of
> > or perception of it), and other "central theories", like the big bang are
> > under continious scrutiny. This is not a componeent of religion.
> A central theory and an axiom are not the same thing when we deal
> with science so big bang / evolution etc. don't really apply. At
> first glance your point about objectivity is a good one. Objective
> measurement is central to science and yes, science has recognised
> that it cannot be achieved but it has not thrown away the axiom. It
> still strives to be as objective as it can, while at the same time
> recognising that perfection in this respect is unattainable. Some
> might call that dogma, or at least quixotic. For what it's worth, I
> don't and your next paragraph sums it up nicely.

Oh? It is true that the UNITS of measurement are not objective, and that
there is inevitable interaction between the measurement and the thing
measured. [This is a VERY good thing. Consider the Bohr horse: a horse
that has attained its quantum-mechanical ground state, a sphere. A pure
fantasy, since the instant you let interactions between particles in, a
horse looks like a horse, not a sphere.]

However, there are STILL objective measurements possible. For instance,
[given a system of units], the 'proper time' a particle [or person,
objectively rather than subjectively] experiences is objective--it doesn't
matter how badly your measurements are distorted by frame shifts [rotating
frames, etc.], the proper time is invariant [up to quantum-mechanical
uncertainity]. [If its square is negative, that means the events are
space-like, and there is no sublight causal relation possible between
them. Until we have decent theoretical/experimental evidence, I'm not
going to consider 'no preferred space-time factorization for FTL
phenomena' as obvious. For sublight and lightspeed phenomena, there is
rather extreme support.]

/ Kenneth Boyd