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Terry
science questions! Please Science can only tell us how the world appears to us, not how it is independent of our observation of it, and therefore right now will always elude science. When you look into space, you are looking into an ancient past. Some of the stars are already long dead yet we still see them because of their traveling light. Let’s say that we are on one of those stars situated roughly sixty million light years away. If we had a really awesome telescope pointed at the earth, we would see the dinosaurs walking around. The end of the universe is probably so old that if we had that telescope, we might be able to see the beginning. 1) Science can only tell us how the world appears to us, not how it is independent of our observation of it, and therefore right now will always elude science. How should I understand the sentence "Science can only tell us how the world appears to us, not how it is independent of our observation of it"?
Oct 1, 2018 12:50 PM
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If you have read your physics books you will know that we can only know of the existence of something by having a way to know that it is there! For example, if you set up an experiment to measure the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation then what you record and observe is wavelengths... and you say, "Ah! Yes! Electromagnetic radiation is a CONTINUOUS spectrum of wavelengths. Ah yes!" But if you set it to record the individual bullet nature of EM radiation then you get bullets - like the photons of light. PING! Another photon hits! Ping! Ping! So light (and EM radiation in general) has both a continuous waveform, and individual bullets! At the same time? Why yes! It does! Somehow it's both (and my brain hurts even trying to think about that!). And some stars we see in the night sky may no longer exist: we see the light emitted millions of years ago. SO our OBSERVATIONS of things are no more than that - they are how we see things with our eyes set to record only certain wavelengths, and our clever instruments designed to record certain aspects. But what we see and record is not how it 'is.' It's all so subjective. A tree seems pretty solid to us - yet is mostly empty space - just fuzzy electron clouds around tiny nuclei. Some particles from space whizz right through the entire planet and never hit anything! They come out the other side as if there was nothing there at all. "Planet? What planet?" they say as they zip on through the universe. To them Planet Earth is a thin soup of energy with only an occasional hard pea floating in it. Yet the planet and the tree seem real and solid to me. I can walk on the land and not fall through it, and hug the tree (any tree-huggers out there?) It's a fascinating subject. Read all you can on quantum physics. I read The Dancing Wu Li Masters, and The Tao Of Physics 30 or 40 years ago as an undergraduate. Worth a read still. But there must be many books now on the viewpoint of quantum mechanics. Definitely worth exploring.
October 1, 2018
"Science can only tell us how the world appears to us, not how it is independent of our observation of it"? What I see in this sentence is that science can only educate us on what we see. For example; they find new fossils and new animal species that have always existed. But science could not teach us about them until we found them. Science has no ability to direct us to discover. Only to teach us on what we find. I hope this helps, Stephen
October 1, 2018
Terry
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English, Korean
Learning Language
English