The worst offenders, I find, are Physicists who cannot follow a logical argument that is not full of mathematical formulae.
If physicists are the worst offenders, biologist are attempting to give them a good run for their money.
Although I can't hope to be able to make any conclusions about who is an authority worth believing when it comes to particle physics and the like, I can certainly tell you that the lack of being able to follow a progressive line of logical points, from simple to complex, without needing to gum up the works with unnecessary clutter is not the unique skill of physicists. Understanding the role of theories in evolution, and being able to map out how things came to be requires seeing a much bigger picture than most biologists seem to be able to discern. Evolutionary thought requires as much philosophy as it does science, but it seems the rare man who can combine the two in his brain.
Someday we may find the actual reason for that. My theory is that people who either enjoy, or are more capable of learning about things at the molecular level, are perhaps less interested, or less capable of seeing a field then they are the blades of grass. I know some people who are obviously quite knowledgeable about many biological functions-yet struggle grasping some of the most simple sentences and analogies truly blow their mind.
Sorry to say, cavediver and a few others here who have great interest in science appear to be these kinds of people to me-obviously smart guys and have a great grasp of math equations, but perhaps because their minds are so in tune to these numbers, there isn't a lot of room left in there for intellectual imagination.
Just one question which I admit to knowing little about- How does one believe in string theory, while acknowledging that in order to make sense of the numbers we must first create fictitious other dimensions of varying amounts to compensate for the discrepancies, as well as admitting that it is completely untestable? Isn't that much more philosophy than science? Or perhaps not philosophy, but at least fairy tale?
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I would add to that that even numbers are also just words which represent concepts, but when people use those exclusively in lieu of actual sentences, confusion is sure to follow. After all, a formula is only useful when it has a relationship to some reality. Sometimes that connection appears to be an after-thought.
Its interesting when you look back on this forum at some of the discussions between some of these hardcore number crunchers, and see how even they have a hard time following their own steps.
Talking about how numbers diffuse understanding complex thoughts like the speed of light and particle physics is off topic? Well, if that's the level of simplicity we must adhere to here, then I guess I should just say...
I wasn't attempting to be pompous, but simply was trying to make the point that I was enjoying the opportunity to read different points of view regarding some of the complex issues of light and physics. I think regardless of who's side you take, for the vast majority of people reading these things, once it turns into a numbers game all chance of having an opinion about it are lost.
Basically, I think the OPs original question was answered as best as it is going to be in the first few posts, and further discussions were now delving into what assumptions can we make about the speed of light.
Viv apparently wishes to challenge some of the basic premises we declare about what light actually is, and I would think that's a fair discussion unless someone else has more to add about how the speed of light can vary. And also, how much of the understanding of science is actually science, and how much of it is just theoretical thoughts, that can vary with each generation. Certainly the concept of the speed of light still has as many aspects about it that are subject to abstract thought as they are to observable phenomenon (or not?, I am wondering)
I was enjoying Viv Pope's point of view without having an opinion about the voracity of it one way or the other,and thought it was perhaps a bit unseemly to paint his as being a nut or out of touch just for taking the discussion into another plane (was there somewhere else it was going?)
I would have liked to have read more about what anyone might have to say about repudiating his claims in a language we can all share-instead of just attacking his credentials.
One solution might be to actually admonish the people making the ad hominem attacks, rather the innocent victims of those attacks who simply respond to them. Otherwise it tends to cloud any perception of impartiality in the moderation.
As far as I have seen, no one has been able to shot you down within anything other than their own closed minds, so that's nearly a win right there in itself.
I have often been amazed how frequently the so called experts who are at the top of their professions, don't know what the heck they are talking about much of the time. I forget who was the science fiction writer who said "Three-quarters of all of life is complete bullshit. "
By that he meant, don't go believing everything people tell you. So don't be disappointed if 3/4 of the people on this forum fall into that category-or even more; its a limited community.
oops. sorry, I wrote this before your reprimand. I thought small asides were allowed here. I guess not.
Well, then can I at least say, I was really enjoying his posts, because at least they contained plenty of food for thought, and he certainly made more of an effort to bring new and creative ideas to this site than many other people who only use it for criticism or repeating the same thing.