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Why I Won't Debate Science

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Indigophoton, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Indigophoton

    Indigophoton Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/hot-planet/why-i-wont-debate-science/
     
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  2. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    The atomic model of matter does depend on charm.
     
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not so sure. The quantum field theory of matter depends on charm through quantum chromodynamics.
    But the atomic model of matter was made obsolete when Rutherford split the atom. Atoms are mostly fiction, except for inert gases. Which is one of the reasons why I think the author of this piece would be unlikely to last very long in a serious debate about what is real science and what is popular science.
     
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  4. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Quite so.

    (One of these days I'm going to get caught out bluffing my way in a subject I don't even barely understand, but for the time being I don't think anyone's noticed ...)
     
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  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You mean you haven't been caught out yet! You should be so lucky! I don't get life so easy.
     
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  6. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    But... all this depends a bit on what is actually meant by "The atomic model of matter". Although some (@Jonathan Edwards) may split hairs about what the ancient Greeks meant by atoms, I think the general consensus in everyday talk today (such as in the original blog referenced above) the phrase refers to our understanding of the chemistry of atoms and molecules that makes everything on our planet the way it is.

    Although the Standard Model of particle physics does indeed include a quark named Charm, it has a large mass and is only found on earth in things like the J/psi meson which has a lifetime of only 7x10^(-21) seconds (0.00...007 seconds where the ... represents 16 more zeros). It can be created by a particle accelerator or cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.

    All of chemistry (the real meaning of "the atomic model of matter") can be explained using just the up and down quarks, electrons and photons, so I have to disagree with @TiredSam, The atomic model of matter does not depend on charm.

    (To avoid doubt, this post is intended to be interpreted with a dose of humour)
     
  7. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, that's what you say.
     
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  8. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    A good point @BruceInOz, but is it as simple as that? The Standard Model and the chemistry that goes with electrons, photons and one or two quarks does not, as far as I know, adequately explain the latent heat of freezing of water. I agree that general everyday talk tends to stick with the naive realist conception of 'particles', but 300 years ago Leibniz pointed out that this sort of talk just refers to illusions constructed by our minds in their confused imperfect state of understanding. He deduced a priori that the true atoms of nature must be units of action existing at all scales. And the relation of units of action to the universe is one of perception. The great majority of present day scientists have no clue what Leibniz meant by that but my impression is that Leibniz had a much better understanding of things than they do. And more recent field theory allows for quantised modes of excitation at all scales, which include electron orbital modes, quark modes and molecular and supramolecular phononic modes going well beyond the Standard Model, but arguably not very often atom modes.

    So there are all sorts of things one can argue about, with an essential dose of humour, when it comes to models of 'matter' if that word even deserves to be used in a serious discussion of the nature of reality. I just thought that the original article was a bit lame - why not argue about things if only for the fun of it?
     
  9. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I take it you are demonstrating the futility of engaging in argument with a Gish Gallop?
     
  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not necessarily. The correspondence between people like Descartes, Hobbes, Newton, Leibniz, Arnauld and Locke betweem 1640 and 1690 very often look pretty Gish Gallopy. But as a result the faults in Descartes's mechanical system were resolved to produce something that lasted until 1900 or so.

    Gish Gallop's should always be responded to. The development of rituximab for autoimmune disease arose out of Friday afternoon lab meetings where anyone was allowed to propose anything, however ridiculous, as long as if they lost the argument they went out to renew the wine supply.
     
  11. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree with the article.
    Part of the strategy of arguing science is to stoke reality denial and the other is to keep everyone else busy as a means to prevent progress.
     
  12. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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