PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

by Michio Kaku

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby Liz » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:00 pm

After reading this book, do you feel more or less certain of (or comfortable with) the reliability of scientific theory or findings?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 28492
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:27 pm

I guess I would have to say slightly less comfortable.

I already take so many things with a grain of salt - science flip flops constantly, eggs are good for you, no, wait, eating eggs will cause a fatal heart attack, never eat eggs, so bad for you, no, wait, we changed our minds, eggs are actually good for you, you should probably eat them every day. :perplexed: I have learned to be more wary of the source and I am more aware that numbers can be skewed to prove just about anything.

I was not prepared for how much of Parallel Worlds would deal with theory instead of absolute fact, and it took me a while to realize that a good bit of this might be just smoke and mirrors. It was all very interesting and some of it may turn out to be correct, but I need to see the cat before I reach a verdict.

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:13 pm

Less and more? I too thought it was interesting how much of cosmology in the past was totally theoretical but many of the theories are now being proven. That then makes me wonder how many of what are just considered theories today will be proven in the future. Since I don't understand all the science behind it I have to go on faith that these folks do believe them and know what they are doing. I also had a bit of a problem with the Uncertainly Principle (is that the right word?) because it sort of seemed like a cop out at first. I took it to mean you can't say something isn't possible because there is always the chance that it is even if you can't prove it which just leads to a whole other path to follow. The more I read though the more it made sense in that it causes you to keep your mind open to any and all possibilities. But the more I think about it the more confused I get! :headache:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby gemini » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:27 pm

I do find a lot of it confusing but then I am no physicist. Like DITHOT the first thing that came to mind was that all the theories of the earlier astrologers had to wait a long time for us to develop powerful enough telescopes to prove them correct.

My brother and I were chatting the other day and I was telling him what I learned from our tidbits about Einstein, which lead to the big bang, quantum mechanics and string theory. He felt, like I did, that he was more impressed by those earlier astronomers who came to their conclusions without our technical abilities. All they had was their math equations. He felt they may have been more genius's than even Einstein who is known because he came along later. He does seem to not blink much discussing quantum and string theories because he has read a lot and accepts math more readily than I do.

I noticed Kaku thought John Wheeler was a monster mind and Steven Hawkings is another big brain. I think we have a lot of people who are pretty gifted working on our scientific theories so I feel confident they are doing the best they can with what they have to work with now. They may have to wait, like their predecessors, for proof. I would like to be wrong but I don't see any real break through coming in my lifetime, but I certainly am not in the league to argue with what they theorize now.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:01 pm

gemini, your brother's theory is an interesting one. I think Einstein will be proven to be on of the "early" thinkers in the next century just like we see Newton, Galileo, etc. now. He may not be proven 100% correct but will be seen as a pioneer and ahead of his time. I think Newton, et. al., were the rock stars of their time in their field, they just didn't have the press Einstein got!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
Theresa
JDZ Webmaster
Posts: 26622
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 1:21 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:49 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Less and more? I too thought it was interesting how much of cosmology in the past was totally theoretical but many of the theories are now being proven. That then makes me wonder how many of what are just considered theories today will be proven in the future. Since I don't understand all the science behind it I have to go on faith that these folks do believe them and know what they are doing. I also had a bit of a problem with the Uncertainly Principle (is that the right word?) because it sort of seemed like a cop out at first. I took it to mean you can't say something isn't possible because there is always the chance that it is even if you can't prove it which just leads to a whole other path to follow. The more I read though the more it made sense in that it causes you to keep your mind open to any and all possibilities. But the more I think about it the more confused I get! :headache:

But I would guess that just as many theories are being disproved, too. People tend to remember the ones that scientists got right, but wrong theories fade away. After all, a theory is just a plausible explanation based on the scientific data available at the time. Not to say that it's wrong, just that that's why it's called theory and not fact.

nebraska wrote:I already take so many things with a grain of salt - science flip flops constantly, eggs are good for you, no, wait, eating eggs will cause a fatal heart attack, never eat eggs, so bad for you, no, wait, we changed our minds, eggs are actually good for you, you should probably eat them every day. :perplexed: I have learned to be more wary of the source and I am more aware that numbers can be skewed to prove just about anything.

Agree completely here...any set of data can be manipulated to come to a preconceived conclusion on the scientist's part. Taking all this with a grain of salt, (which by the way is bad for you ;-) ) is probably the best way to deal with it.

User avatar
shadowydog
Posts: 89520
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:47 pm

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby shadowydog » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:08 pm

Well I have the book but haven't started reading it yet; but just from teaching science to elementary school children from 10 year old textbooks in the 60s, I can say how much in the books had been proven wrong. The information about Mercury and Venus was incorrect.....they had Mercury's day the same length as its year and Venus more earthlike than it is. Also, just in my lifetime, continental drift was proven to be correct; the asteroid impact that destroyed the world of the dinosaurs was proven; and much more. When I was growing up, scientists were arguing over whether or not rocket propulsion systems would work in outer space and/or whether man could survive in zero gravity. So I expect even more discoveries and proofs of theories that are only being proposed today in the next century.
I have nothing to do and all day to do it in.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: PW Question #11 ~ Scientific Reliability

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:30 pm

Theresa wrote:
nebraska wrote:I already take so many things with a grain of salt - science flip flops constantly, eggs are good for you, no, wait, eating eggs will cause a fatal heart attack, never eat eggs, so bad for you, no, wait, we changed our minds, eggs are actually good for you, you should probably eat them every day. :perplexed: I have learned to be more wary of the source and I am more aware that numbers can be skewed to prove just about anything.

Agree completely here...any set of data can be manipulated to come to a preconceived conclusion on the scientist's part. Taking all this with a grain of salt, (which by the way is bad for you ;-) ) is probably the best way to deal with it.

Good one, T! :highfive:


Like nebraska, I was not prepared to find out that this was all so theoretical. I agree with DITHOT in that I felt like the uncertainty principle was a cop out. And when we finally got into the practical portion of the book, describing how we might be able to move to a parallel world, I felt that it was either too bizarre, that there were too many “unknowns”, as it were, or that there would have to be too many different criteria having to work perfectly.

Shadowydog, I imagine there are many outdated textbooks out there. I know I own some of them—nutrition and dietetics textbooks.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


Return to “Parallel Worlds”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest