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Re: [APD] Science
David Aiken wrote:
> And adding 2 hydrogen atoms to 1 oxygen atom need not always produce
> water which is a liquid, but may also produce ice or steam - they are
> all H2O but they aren't all 'water'. You don't even have to go to
> another planet to prove that.
Come on ... you're stretching to make this point. Water <=> H2O.
> The laws of physics don't tell the universe how to behave and the
> universe does not behave in accordance with them. The universe does
> what it does and, after observation and study, scientists come up
> with hypotheses which attempt to describe that behaviour and which
> are tested and eventually accepted or rejected. But just because
> something is eventually accepted and comes to be regarded as a 'law'
> doesn't mean that it is a full and complete description of how the
> universe behaves in that regard, or that the 'law' can't be changed.
> The laws of physics are man-made and are fallible like us. The 'laws'
> only tell us how we expect the universe to behave - they don't compel
> it to behave in that way. They do get more reliable over time as our
> understanding improves, but they aren't going to become perfect and
> unchangeable until our knowledge is perfect and complete. I wouldn't
> hold my breath waiting for that day.
It is not a requirement that humanity learn all there is to know about
every possible subject in the known Universe in order to develop a
perfect law explaining one tiny aspect of it. The idea wreaks of mysticism.
> Your problem is that you're confusing the way the universe behaves
> with the statements we use to describe that behaviour and predict
> what will happen under particular circumstances in the future.
I am not confusing the two at all. Things like gravity are already
sufficiently well understood that the fundamental equations that predict
gravitational interaction will not suddenly prove unreliable. They are
here, and they always will be. Anyone who comes forward and says that
they have an alternative theory of gravity and that it contradicts the
current equations, is wrong. We can say that a priori.
You are correct that Einstein's General Relativity adds further
refinement to Newtonian physics, but that's why I said the bit about
gravity a human will encounter. I doubt a human will ever experience the
difference between the result predicted by Newton's equations and those
predicted by Relativity. The differences are absolutely minuscule. It
would similar to saying someone "upset" the current paradigm in the APD
by discovering that 30 mg/L CO2 is not a good target, but 30.0000002
mg/L is better instead.
> always rely on the universe to do what it will do. We can't rely on
> our knowledge to guarantee that we will always describe that
> behaviour completely and accurately, and get our predictions right
> all the time. We can and do get better at those things but we
> certainly aren't perfect yet.
It is true that we cannot ever rely on the entire body of our knowledge
to be whole and complete, as well as 100% accurate. We can count on some
aspects being whole and complete, and 100% accurate. What we already
know, and what has been demonstrated ad naseum in countless experiments,
is not going to change. I am not aware of any physical "law" that was
backed up by countless observation and testing that was later proven
wholly incorrect. I am aware of many speculative theories that were
proven wrong, but that is a different matter.
> Ask any really good scientist if they are as certain of the accuracy
> and immutability of the 'laws' of physics or science as you are and
> I'm sure they'll say they aren't.
No sane person would say that they are certain that the entire body of
scientific theory is accurate and complete. I bet you couldn't find one
scientist who would say that there is no physical law which is
immutable. Only mystics like the guests you might hear on "Coast to
Coast" of Art Bell fame would suggest such a fantastic notion. It keeps
them in business.
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