Your history of science lecture is a all good and fine. I agree with the essentials of everything your wrote. Making a lot of good points does not however make a good counter to the two points in question. They are not relevant, per my view, of the two quesions at hand.
1) Elements or predictions of the model or hypothesis, need not "yet" be observable phenomenon (e.g. 13 dimensions of string theory) for the model to be useful, e.,g., after explaining observed phenomenon, they suggest or make testable predictions. (However, it is best if these model elements can themselves be observed someday -- a problem that string theory has. ) This first point came out of a discussion whereby a devic model was suggested to explain SV. Peter said this would be difficult to be accepted by science "until observed". While not disagreeing with his endpoint, I suggested that theoretical models often have components that are not "yet" observed when the theory is proposed and cited many examples from the history of science. A small yet important distinction. More specifically, the distinction I was making suggested that a model that proposes "energy and information intense structures" (aka devas) to explain SV effects should and would not be rejected out of hand just because the model itself involves some yet to be observed phenomenon (beyond the yet to be unobserved SV effects that it is trying to explain). The key is whether the primary effects are observed by rigorous studies. If they are, then the theory deserves a closer look. Per my point #1, you stated "But Einstein's ideas evolved out of the very science that later embraced them and much later found evidence for them. The SV mythology does not arise from such an evolution. Scientists do not necessarily want to take any old pie in the sky explanation for how things work and test it rigorously." OK, but a bit off the point. You are countering points I never made or disagreed with. Since the discussion was about explanatory models, I keyed on the one relevant point you made on this topic: how ideas for such explanatory models arise. Thus my point #2: 2) It doesn't matter from where the inspiration for a scientific model / hypthesis / explanation comes from -- it could come from a dream, an drugs, ritam, a thought experiment, OR from more traditional means. What matters is that the idea embodied in an explanatory model itself provides a reasonable explaination for results arising from rigorously conducted, well designed research. And that it provides a basis for further research by making predictions. You then decided to further ignore the points of the debate up to that point, and based on two sentences of contribution up to that point and proclaim THE new definition of the discussion "The question is not by what mental mechanisms scientists come up with new ideas. I was addressing what makes a particular set of ideas be considered worthwhile to follow up on." Ok, no one was arguing that, but if you want to make some points on it then fine. So if you want to argue these two points I was actually making, I would be happy to read your critique. I may be wrong and well welcome sound analysis of such. If you want to introduce some new points and point out their relevance to the disuccion, thats great. I simply suggest that a highly dismissive tone is not so consucive for such. If you would rather write a lot of well-written, yet irreleveant (to the points in question), summaries from the history of science, perhaps to demonstrated to us your knowledge of such, thats fine to. Just don't suggest you are effectively addresing the two points in question. --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, anonymousff <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > omg, I mean Akasha: > > You usually have very astute observations to make on FFL. In this > case, I am quite disappointed. The question is not by what mental > mechanisms scientists come up with new ideas. I was addressing what > makes a particular set of ideas be considered worthwhile to follow > up on. > > In the case of August Kekule, he was already a chemist. He was > exploring the question of the structure of the benzene molecule in > his waking hours because he considered the question to be > meaningful. Why? Because he knew that benzene existed as a chemical > and that there was a growing body of understanding of how chemicals > are made of molecules, which in turn are made of atoms. This was the > understanding that chemists had (still do). On the basis of that > understanding, his thought processes proceeded, some in waking some > in a dream. Why did he follow up on his dream? Because he knew on > the basis of all his preparation as a chemist and all his thought on > this particular topic, that he was on to a solution. > > In Einstein's case, it would be quite naïve to suppose that his > background in physics had nothing to do with the thought experiments > that he chose to make. For example, consider Special Relativity. The > equations for calculating time dilation and length contraction are > called the Lorentz transformations. Why not the Einstein > transformations? Because Einstein didn't invent them. Another > physicist names Lorentz did. So why was Special Relativity > considered the special discovery of Einstein? Essentially, this > discovery was not made in a void. It represented a natural evolution > of the physics of the time. Einstein introduced the notion of the > speed of light in a vacuum being constant, which required a new > interpretation of the Lorentz transformation equations (etc.) Now, > General Relativity was a much bigger departure from mainstream > physics, in that it was not developed to resolve any anomalies that > physicists were already aware of and trying to explain. But it still > arose as a result in a thorough grounding in the ideas of physics at > the time. > > By way of contrast, let us consider the great wealth of occult or > spiritual theories that exist about the way the world works. These > can be found in such places as religions, superstitions, FFL and the > web in general, the TMO, seminars passing through town, etc. There > is so much contradiction between one set of theories and another, > that it would be very difficult to do a systematic, scientific > assessment of them all, even if one had the will to do so and could > come up with testable hypotheses, money and a lot of time. > > So why would anyone bother? There would have to be some belief that > a particular line of investigation might bear fruit. That includes > the belief of the scientists involved, as well as of the > institutions that support the research financially and institutions > that support it enough to consider it's peer review and publication. > Typically, such a belief exists because of prior experience, of > which the accumulated experience of the scientific disciplines > themselves is a significant part. > > Testing the predictions made by SV will only be made by people who > have a vested interest in SV being a worthwhile way to build. The > testing will be extremely expensive and difficult to control for. > Rigorous studies are highly unlikely. And hypotheses that have no > support in the mainstream paradigms must show an extraordinary level > of rigor and result before anyone in the mainstream will bother to > look at them. (see The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas > Khun; also consider the mainstream scientific reaction to studies on > the Maharishi Effect, in particular, the attitudes expressed by the > editor of Yale's Journal of Conflict Resolution.) > > Now, what about individual choices? Those who trust MMY and have the > money have every right to build according to SV. If they feel good > about the result, this may be for any number of reasons. But, > whatever the cause, we should delight in their happiness that is, > unless this line of reasoning should result in undue manipulation or > suffering; in which case, we have a sociological problem (like those > found in recognized cults), and not an architectural one. > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, akasha_108 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > wrote: > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, anonymousff <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > wrote: > > > But Einstein's ideas evolved out of the very science that later > > > embraced them and much later found evidence for them. > > > > > > The SV mythology does not arise from such an evolution. > Scientists > > > do not necessarily want to take any old pie in the sky > explanation > > > for how things work and test it rigorously. > > > > By that standard, Science should have rejected August Kekule's > > discovery of the benzene molecule -- made of six atoms of carbon > > chained together to form a ring, plus six atoms of hydrogen, one > per > > carbon. He "discovered' it in a dream -- of a snake biting its > tail. > > Did the scientific community exclaim "My God!!! We can't accept > that > > hypothesis, no matter how well it explains observed phenomenon. It > > CAME from a dream!!!. OMG. A dream. Science cannot be based on > > dreams!!!!!" > > > > In practice, Science doesn't give a snake's ass about where a good > > hypothesis came from, as long as it bears fruit. > > > > A lot of good science comes from analogies. Analogies don't prove > > anything, by themselves, but they can be a ferile ground for > > brainstorming and hypothesis generation. Analogies are "soft" not > hard > > science. > > > > And actually a lot of Enisteins work did not come from labored > > pondering of existing scientific equations. A major source of his > > insights came from pondering the ramifications of "thought > > experiemnts". Such as, "what will happen if I shine a flashlight > while > > standing on top of a train going 90% the speed of light?" -- more > > specifically, what will be the speed of that flashlight? Or the > twins > > paradox -- how will twins "differ in age" if one travels near the > > speed of light and returns to earth. It was the paradoxes found in > > these thought experiements that forced Einstein to think of deeper > > explanations. He didn't come upon Relativity by simply tinkering > with > > Newton's equations. ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/JjtolB/TM --------------------------------------------------------------------~-> To subscribe, send a message to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ and click 'Join This Group!' Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/