1. Originally Posted by Andy Schoen
Absolute truths that must be discovered via causation are invariably intangible. But do they exist? I think so.

If you wish to broaden this discussion to subjects outside of natural science, say mathematics… mathematics doesn't rely on causation, and it can effectively show "absolute" truth. I know the circumference of a circle will always be its diameter multiplied by pi. As far as I'm concern, this is absolute. This truth will never be modified.
Philosophically interesting.

To me, *you* are the one that makes the case that nothing in reality is an absolute. Now, I understand what you are saying, but... if you need creation to be created, that means that it, at one time, did not exist. Circles... once did not exist. Therefore, your absolute has *already* changed states.

The reason that it is otherwise interesting is a form of the argument that you were having with Braces when he said "Existence has always, by necessity, existed". Braces, then, would be the one to claim that circles and math, in a sense at least, "always existed". And thus an "absolute truth".

But can I prove with certainty that the laws of thermodynamics are absolute truths? No. It is possible they will be subject to some modification. But I'd like to think if they are not absolute truths, they are as close as we'll ever see in natural science. They've been around for 150 years, and they've never been shown to be incorrect. Even black holes obey thermodynamic law.

Are you familiar with math anomaly known as Gabriel's horn? Graph y = 1 /x, and rotate the curve around the x-axis. Calculate the volume from x = 1 to infinity, and you get exactly pi. Calculate its surface area, and you get infinity. So Gabriel's horn is an object that has both a fixed volume and an infinite surface.
Agreed on the laws. Gould had an interesting take on this concept. He said, "'fact' does not mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world... In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would perverse to withold provisional consent'. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow; but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."

Yes, the horn... as mysterious as the good old Mobius loop... however, I do not overlook the fact that these things are called "anomalies" for a reason.

That's all I have time for today. Time to Christmas shop. I'll be back later to catch up on other matters.

2. To me, *you* are the one that makes the case that nothing in reality is an absolute. Now, I understand what you are saying, but... if you need creation to be created, that means that it, at one time, did not exist. Circles... once did not exist. Therefore, your absolute has *already* changed states.

Oooo...Good point. And well within Scripture. Before circles and the earth and anything else, there was not even time. Only eternity. And time is infinitely less than a flash in the pan next to eternity. You are exactly right. When time was created, lots of things changed. And one day soon, time will end leaving only eternity once again. Absolutes do not disqualify change. They only draw a line in the sand. Change can exist next to absolutes all day long and never be effected.

The reason that it is otherwise interesting is a form of the argument that you were having with Braces when he said "Existence has always, by necessity, existed". Braces, then, would be the one to claim that circles and math, in a sense at least, "always existed". And thus an "absolute truth".

I would suppose you are right on this as well. But those things existed only in the mind of God.

Agreed on the laws. Gould had an interesting take on this concept. He said, "'fact' does not mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world... In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would perverse to withold provisional consent'. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow; but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."

Are you absolutely certain of this? Can you say with absolute resolve that your statement is true?

That's all I have time for today. Time to Christmas shop. I'll be back later to catch up on other matters.

I'm headed to an bugger fish roast in about 30 minutes. Man, I hate roast oysters. Maybe they'll have some oyster stew. I can put the hurts on a pot of stew. Or maybe they'll have a pack of "BallParks" I can put in a bun.

3. kim
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Einstein pointed out a fundamental flaw in the theory of gravity, but he was not the first one to do so. Bernulli was given credit for being one of the first.

That fundamental flaw was in the methodology used by Newton. He assumed that the entire universe was exactly like his lab. Given a flat motion-free earth, Newton was absolutly correct. Bernulli pionted out the fact the Earth is not flat or motionless. The curvature and rotation of the earth played havoc on the big guns used in this century. The shells did not fly straight. Bernulli posted an addendum to Newton's LAW OF GRAVITY when it comes to rotating bodies. The theory remained the same though.

Along came Einstien who postulated about the effect of gravity near large masses (whether rotating or not) He also included the quantum effects of energy when it came to gravity. Light which has no mass is effected by gravity. Newton's Law just talked about the effect of gravity due to mass.

The short story is: Newton was not wrong. His law just was not complete.

The long story is: Basic understanding of science is like Hook's Law: springs are effected by the distance the mass is stretched and the spring stiffness. In reality all these laws are just the first approximation of a Taylor expansion. The first effect is the strongest and easiest to learn when you ignore the smaller effects. The class: Strength of Materials is simply explaining the next 3 factors in springs. The floor you are standing on is a spring. Where it not for the engineers studying the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th derivatives of Hook's Law, most of the wonderful modern building products, like I-Beams, would nopt be possible.

All the laws of science are just as subject to minor effects and plane of observation effects. I have no doubt that the subject of Quantuum Mechanics will change just as much as Classical Mechanics, when we have the ability to to examine the lessor effects and observation effect.

There are no absolutes in science. Even the highly acclaimed laws of thermodynamics are postulated to have minor effects during the bigbang. How can it be absolute, when a majority of the experts don't even bat an eye when they read that milestones of classical mechanics are considered to not apply?

4. kim
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Science is not against God. Science does not care about God. Science just cares about explaining observations. God is not observable or testible, so science ignores God.

Fundamentalist want everybody to agree with their perspective. Everybody else is simply wrong. Kind of like Christmas. Take a pagan holiday and transform it into christian event by injecting grossly unaccurate "facts". Now the pagans are not upsetting the christians. Advance the story 1500 years and now it is an assult on christians to include non-christians in a generic greeting of the festive season. Christians are not being attacked when I say "Happy Holiday" instead of "Happy Chrstmas, Happy Hannikka, happy Kawansi, Happy (whatever the muslins, hindus, etc celibrate)". I quess it is easier to form a unity when looking at others outside your group as an enemy trying to destroy you.

If you want to act like a victom, go ahead. Just realise it is all in your head. The first sign of craziness is the feeling of paranoia due to your own lack of a firm grounding in reality. Keep it up and people will start to look at you like you are crazy and your paranoia will be self-manifested

5. Originally Posted by scrogdog
Circles... once did not exist.
I suppose there is merit in this idea. If our universe began at a zero mass energy state, then circles could not be conceived at that point. While I believe circles are fundamental mathematically that could be conceived in any reality, it would require energy to do so.

Originally Posted by scrogdog
The reason that it is otherwise interesting is a form of the argument that you were having with Braces when he said "Existence has always, by necessity, existed". Braces, then, would be the one to claim that circles and math, in a sense at least, "always existed". And thus an "absolute truth".
I prefer Boots explanation the God is the absolute truth, and he is the reason we exist. Science merely fumbles about trying to piece things together.

Originally Posted by kim
Bernulli was given credit for being one of the first.
I prefer the spelling: Bernoulli.

Originally Posted by kim
There are no absolutes in science.
There cannot be. That is why those who believe science can explain all must reject the notion of absolute truth.

Originally Posted by kim
Even the highly acclaimed laws of thermodynamics are postulated to have minor effects during the bigbang.
??? Hawking, last I've read, believes thermodynamic laws apply to the big band and beyond. I suspect these laws are as close to absolute truth science will manage to attain.

6. Originally Posted by Andy Schoen

There cannot be (absolutes in science).
Why is that?

7. kim
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I just remember the funny looks I got from my professors during my senior thesis on the origin of the universe when I said I could not understand how they disregarded what I considered the fundamental laws on the universe in order to explain what happened in the first few nanoseconds of the big bang.
(how was that for a overly long sentence?)

I was told that I did not understand the concepts of a 9-dimentional universe.

I felt vindicated the next year when a 10-dimential universe was proposed.
Come to find out they did not understand either. Now they are saying both theories are identical.

I too suspect the 4 laws of thermodynamics are as close to absolutes as we have found so far. But like other laws, simplistic layman butcher them untill they too are meaningless

As far as the spelling- I am dyslexic so the fundamental laws of spelling are beyond my comprehension too. And I would have lots less fun if I wrote this stuff in Word, spell-checked and edited then posted. This world is all about personal enjoyment these days. Isn't it?

8. Science relies on causation to explain things. The problem with this methodology is it cannot explain something without explaining its cause. A simple example: God created the universe. Science then would want to explain what caused God. It's never ending.

9. Originally Posted by kim
As far as the spelling- I am dyslexic so the fundamental laws of spelling are beyond my comprehension too. And I would have lots less fun if I wrote this stuff in Word, spell-checked and edited then posted. This world is all about personal enjoyment these days. Isn't it?
I've taught Bernoulli's law with respect to refrigerant flow in a refrigeration system. It's fundamental to fluid flow across valves. It was a reflex action.

10. Originally Posted by Andy Schoen
Science relies on causation to explain things. The problem with this methodology is it cannot explain something without explaining its cause. A simple example: God created the universe. Science then would want to explain what caused God. It's never ending.
What about the science of math? If 2 + 2 = 4, it next asks why?

11. kim
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Let me share a small philosophy of science lesson with you Andy.

My Structure of Matter prof told us "Science is the contrail from a jet. You can see some type of reaction, but you can't see what is causing it. Everybody bounces ideas of each other and dares each other to prove their idea. Eventually they prove there is a jet up there."

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Originally Posted by bootlen
What about the science of math? If 2 + 2 = 4, it next asks why?
THere is nothing wrong with questioning. That is what those guy get paid to do.

Ascientist would not ask "why" on this one though. 2+2 is not a theory. It is the consequences of the rules set up by scientist on what it takes to make a numbering system.
(That was linear algebra for you engineers out there that had to set through that class)

Like "All side on an equalateral triangle are the same." comes from using cartesian coordinant geometry.

13. Originally Posted by kim
THere is nothing wrong with questioning. That is what those guy get paid to do.

Ascientist would not ask "why" on this one though. 2+2 is not a theory. It is the consequences of the rules set up by scientist on what it takes to make a numbering system.
(That was linear algebra for you engineers out there that had to set through that class)

Like "All side on an equalateral triangle are the same." comes from using cartesian coordinant geometry.
Then there ARE some absolutes in science, no?

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