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Old 01-03-2012, 01:24 PM
whc.03grady whc.03grady is offline
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candyman74 View Post
He doesn't. What makes you think he does? He gets extensively peer reviewed and scritinized. His papers and his experiments and his observations and his calculations are examined in minute detail by hundreds of very clever scientists. Years of further testing and observation prove the hypothesis to be true. Maybe a couple of decades later, they get a Nobel Prize for it. And then some guy on a messageboard proclaims it absurd.

Look at the subliminal neutrino debate going on right now. Did scientists say "oh, right, well we believe you - neutrinos move faster than light now"? Nope. The scientific community descended upon it in droves and are scrutinizing it in far more detail than we can even imagine.

The idea that you think physicists just "get a pass" is, however, somewhat absurd. (Sorry, that came across as rude, but it seemed a mildly witty turn of phrase and I couldn't resist using it).
I didn't take it as rude.

I think I see what you're saying. So if the mathematician shows that 1+1=3, and that result is confirmed over and over again, then we're supposed to accept the absurd (or "absurd") result and maybe give her a prize. I suppose I should've said, "Why does physics (meaning the original experimenter and all those who verified the result) get a pass?"

But.

For one thing, note that, if shown true, neutrions moving faster than light wouldn't entail an absurdity. It would show that a fundamental proposition about physics was false, yes, but there's nothing logically impossible about a neutrino, or a '67 Buick Skylark, going faster than light; there's no absurdity there. Maybe something like that is going on in the two-slit experiment--the result is weird, but not absurd. (Also, there may be some confusion because I'm using "absurd" in the strict sense of "entailing a contradiction".)

The assertion of the existence of a state wherein a cat is simultaneously alive and not-alive (viz., in a superposition) would by definition entail a contradiction and is therefore (it seems to me) an assertion we're entitled to ignore. The laws of logic/math are more basic than the laws of physics, after all.

If a physicist tells me they've found a particle that weighs a pound at time t and also doesn't weigh a pound at time t, and if that result is replicated over and over, then I think it's safer to say there's something systematically wrong with how everyone's going about it, than it is to say a contradiction obtains. (Those who are inclined to quote Whitman here can save their keystrokes. )

Last edited by whc.03grady; 01-03-2012 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Phrase out of place