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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old June 9 2013, 07:59 PM   #16
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

Pavonis wrote: View Post
What good is a theory that doesn't conform to experimental results? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.
Was Newtonian mechanics wrong when it failed to correctly predict the orbit of Uranus and they had to make up that Neptune planet to conform to experiment?

The introduction of a new particle as a consequence of your theory and experimental results is by definition a prediction from your theory. The merits of it depend solely on whether the prediction was actually true. Neptune exists? Score for Newton. Planet X doesn't exist under Mercury? Newton loses.

Same with the Higgs. If the Higgs exists, it is a valid prediction that adds additional confirmation for the validity of the Standard model, if the Higgs doesn't exist then I'm sorry Standard model, it was nice having you.
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Old June 9 2013, 09:16 PM   #17
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
The Higgs is an arbitrary add-on, much like dark matter or dark energy.
It's put there not because a theory predicted it, but because it's something that must be added to theory in order to conform to experiment.
Those are two are different ways to say the same thing.
Not even close.

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
What good is a theory that doesn't conform to experimental results? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.
Was Newtonian mechanics wrong when it failed to correctly predict the orbit of Uranus and they had to make up that Neptune planet to conform to experiment?

The introduction of a new particle as a consequence of your theory and experimental results is by definition a prediction from your theory. The merits of it depend solely on whether the prediction was actually true. Neptune exists? Score for Newton. Planet X doesn't exist under Mercury? Newton loses.

Same with the Higgs. If the Higgs exists, it is a valid prediction that adds additional confirmation for the validity of the Standard model, if the Higgs doesn't exist then I'm sorry Standard model, it was nice having you.
The Higgs (or dark matter, dark energy) is not a prediction. It's the equivalent of epicycles.

By using enough such add-ons, you can make your pet idea - any idea, really - fit the physical universe, creating "theories".
But there's no coherence to them, no unifying principle or why, just a salad of arbitrary add-ons - just you looking at experimental results and conflating your pet idea. This is why such "theories" will never yield useful predictions - or be otherwise of use.

And, of course, seeing how your pet idea becomes unfalsifiable by the addition of such add-ons - this is why they're not even science.

PS - "Planet X doesn't exist under Mercury? Newton loses."
Yes - as in, you don't invent arbitrary add-ons to save a theory proven false.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; June 9 2013 at 09:31 PM.
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Old June 9 2013, 09:42 PM   #18
iguana_tonante
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

Lulz. You really hate contemporary physics, don't you?
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Old June 9 2013, 10:33 PM   #19
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
PS - "Planet X doesn't exist under Mercury? Newton loses."
Yes - as in, you don't invent arbitrary add-ons to save a theory proven false.
But by the same line of reasoning the theory was proven false earlier when the arbitrary add-on called "Neptune" had to be invented to hold it together. Except it turned out it actually existed. The thing that made the difference was the fact that Planet X did not exist whilst Neptune did, not whether it was "invented" or "arbitrary". Otherwise the situations were completely the same – observations don't conform to the theory, come up with a planet to fix it. These arbitrary add-ons as you call them happened to actually work from time to time, so we in fact have instances in which they were the right conclusion.
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Old June 10 2013, 02:24 AM   #20
PurpleBuddha
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
There's one more option though: All roads lead to us. That is, any possible universe would develop sentient life that's comparable to us at some stage, and whatever fundamentals there are, they would be just randomness that does not need an explanation. Which would be another conjecture that you can't prove without an exhaustive search in all possible universes.

Okay so we agree then.
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Old June 10 2013, 02:17 PM   #21
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Look out Einstein, here comes Weinstein

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
and an explanation of why particles have mass that doesn't seem like an arbitrary add-on like the Higgs field does.
Only problem is, Higgs field is there, they already highly likely found the Higgs boson (and even if they didn't, they did FIND something, that - whatever you may call it - gives the particles their mass). So it's not an arbitrary add-on.
From Wikipedia:

Some consider [ the Standard Model ] to be ad-hoc and inelegant, requiring 19 numerical constants whose values are unrelated and arbitrary. Although the Standard Model, as it now stands, can explain why neutrinos have masses, the specifics of neutrino mass are still unclear. It is believed that explaining neutrino mass will require an additional 7 or 8 constants, which are also arbitrary parameters.
Maybe that is just the way that our reality works.
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Old June 10 2013, 10:37 PM   #22
Gary7
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Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein

I believe that we won't ever have the answer until we are able to travel about the galaxy. We're stuck in just one tiny part of the galaxy with limited information at our disposal. We can look about the cosmos all we want from our little vantage point, but it's restrictive. We need to get out and explore, which won't effectively happen until we're able to travel great distances in reasonable amounts of time relative to human lifespans.
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