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Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Kismet
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Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#1 Post by Kismet » August 8th, 2012, 10:30 pm

Hopefully some of you will get a bit of a kick from this.... :D


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Kismet
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#2 Post by Kismet » August 8th, 2012, 10:34 pm

More on Vedic cosmology:


Fia
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#3 Post by Fia » August 8th, 2012, 10:58 pm

Sorry Kismet, I don't have nearly an hour to spend currently. Why do you think we should watch this?

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Kismet
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#4 Post by Kismet » August 8th, 2012, 11:03 pm

Fia wrote:Sorry Kismet, I don't have nearly an hour to spend currently. Why do you think we should watch this?
Well, I just thought it would be a good jumping off point for more ranting about how people don't take "true" science seriously, but settle for some dumbed down mythological version....

Anyhow, you don't have to watch the whole thing to get a gist of what's going on, I think. But hey that's just me.

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Dave B
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#5 Post by Dave B » August 9th, 2012, 9:37 am

Well, I was astounded, many years ago, to find out the scope of Indian astronomy and mathematics many hundreds of years ago, even the Golden Age of Islamic science owed much to the observations and deductions of those early Indian scientists.

No doubt they also wrapped up their science in a thick layer of religion, it was the fashion of the time, every culture did it since everything was created and controlled by some supernatural entity was it not?

There is no room now for mysticism in science - fascination, surprise, delight etc. certainly but for it to be scientific, by definition, it has to be demonstrable, measurable and repeatable at will and open to critical examination to qualify. There is no "true" and "false" science, if it is not true then it is not science.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Kismet
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#6 Post by Kismet » August 9th, 2012, 6:48 pm

Dave B wrote:Well, I was astounded, many years ago, to find out the scope of Indian astronomy and mathematics many hundreds of years ago, even the Golden Age of Islamic science owed much to the observations and deductions of those early Indian scientists.
Yes, that is quite true.
Dave B wrote:No doubt they also wrapped up their science in a thick layer of religion, it was the fashion of the time, every culture did it since everything was created and controlled by some supernatural entity was it not?
Perhaps it still is? Isn't it begging the question to assume a naturalistic standpoint of science, rather than a supernatural one loaded with all kinds of auxiliary assumptions that were common back in the day?
Dave B wrote:There is no room now for mysticism in science - fascination, surprise, delight etc. certainly but for it to be scientific, by definition, it has to be demonstrable, measurable and repeatable at will and open to critical examination to qualify. There is no "true" and "false" science, if it is not true then it is not science.
The fashion now is, there is no room for mysticism in science. But as you yourself put it, this was not always the case. Nor, perhaps, will it always be the case in the future. You are right about science neither being "true" or "false" - I was referring more along the lines of scientific method. Whether it is an accurate depiction of reality or not.

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Alan H
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#7 Post by Alan H » August 9th, 2012, 7:30 pm

Kismet wrote:I was referring more along the lines of scientific method. Whether it is an accurate depiction of reality or not.
The scientific method is obviously not an accurate description of anything because it's a process, not an end result - but surely you weren't arguing that, were you?
Last edited by Alan H on August 9th, 2012, 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added the missing 'method'!
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#8 Post by Dave B » August 9th, 2012, 7:49 pm

Kismet wrote:
Dave B wrote:No doubt they also wrapped up their science in a thick layer of religion, it was the fashion of the time, every culture did it since everything was created and controlled by some supernatural entity was it not?
Perhaps it still is? Isn't it begging the question to assume a naturalistic standpoint of science, rather than a supernatural one loaded with all kinds of auxiliary assumptions that were common back in the day?
That was a rhetorical question, Kismet, viewing things from the ancient point of view when, though they were as intelligent as us, they were only beginning to explore the nature of the Universe. Even then I would think that they almost certainly had their equivalents of Gallileo and Copernicus, those wise men who were willing to question the creation stories etc. But, as ever, since the authorities write history we may not have heard of them . . .
Kismet wrote:
Dave B wrote:There is no room now for mysticism in science - fascination, surprise, delight etc. certainly but for it to be scientific, by definition, it has to be demonstrable, measurable and repeatable at will and open to critical examination to qualify. There is no "true" and "false" science, if it is not true then it is not science.
The fashion now is, there is no room for mysticism in science. But as you yourself put it, this was not always the case. Nor, perhaps, will it always be the case in the future. You are right about science neither being "true" or "false" - I was referring more along the lines of scientific method. Whether it is an accurate depiction of reality or not.
Fashion has no place in science - except where certain fields attract more attention than others. When certain fields are in the political spotlight they may attract more funding and resources and thus more bodies and media cover - but that is political fashion, not scientific.

Alan has covered your mention of scientific method adequately (except I think he left out the word "method"!)
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#9 Post by Alan H » August 9th, 2012, 8:50 pm

Dave B wrote:Alan has covered your mention of scientific method adequately (except I think he left out the word "method"!)
:redface:
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#10 Post by Kismet » August 9th, 2012, 10:06 pm

Alan H wrote:The scientific method is obviously not an accurate description of anything because it's a process, not an end result - but surely you weren't arguing that, were you?
Well, the conclusion - the end as it were - is filtered through the lens of method. And thus, given place and time, this lens, being different, offers different conclusions on reality....

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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#11 Post by Alan H » August 9th, 2012, 10:26 pm

Kismet wrote:
Alan H wrote:The scientific method is obviously not an accurate description of anything because it's a process, not an end result - but surely you weren't arguing that, were you?
Well, the conclusion - the end as it were - is filtered through the lens of method. And thus, given place and time, this lens, being different, offers different conclusions on reality....
Can you explain what you believe this 'lens' to be and in what ways is it different at different times and places?
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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Kismet
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#12 Post by Kismet » August 9th, 2012, 10:52 pm

Alan H wrote:Can you explain what you believe this 'lens' to be and in what ways is it different at different times and places?
This lens essentially amounts to different rational criteria of explainability. An example is simplicity. The geocentric view of the universe was dumped in turn for heliocentrism, partly because the latter made simpler and less convoluted the orbits of various celestial bodies.

Simplicity, parsimony, ... I'll have to research this a bit more, come to think of it.

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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#13 Post by Alan H » August 9th, 2012, 11:31 pm

Kismet wrote:
Alan H wrote:Can you explain what you believe this 'lens' to be and in what ways is it different at different times and places?
This lens essentially amounts to different rational criteria of explainability. An example is simplicity. The geocentric view of the universe was dumped in turn for heliocentrism, partly because the latter made simpler and less convoluted the orbits of various celestial bodies.

Simplicity, parsimony, ... I'll have to research this a bit more, come to think of it.
But that is what science is. It's the scientific method that rejects explanations when new data are found that don't fit the prevailing theory. It in itself doesn't change - we may not always come up with the best answer first time for all sorts of reasons, but the march has usually been in the direction of better, more accurate explanations from which we can make predictions that can be tested.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Kismet
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#14 Post by Kismet » August 10th, 2012, 3:07 am

Alan H wrote:But that is what science is. It's the scientific method that rejects explanations when new data are found that don't fit the prevailing theory. It in itself doesn't change - we may not always come up with the best answer first time for all sorts of reasons, but the march has usually been in the direction of better, more accurate explanations from which we can make predictions that can be tested.
I guess the only issue I have here is the idea of "better" or "more accurate" explanations. How do we know that? Why not try to accommodate new information with the old theory, which might be better, rather than coming up with a brand new one? How is that not an arbitrary decision?

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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#15 Post by Tetenterre » August 10th, 2012, 9:13 am

Kismet wrote:This lens essentially amounts to different rational criteria of explainability. An example is simplicity. The geocentric view of the universe was dumped in turn for heliocentrism, partly because the latter made simpler and less convoluted the orbits of various celestial bodies.
I think the phrase you are seeking is "paradigm shift". If you have not already done so, perhaps it is time to read Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions -- but be sure to read Imre Lakatos's Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge alongside it!
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#16 Post by Alan H » August 10th, 2012, 10:07 am

Kismet wrote:
Alan H wrote:But that is what science is. It's the scientific method that rejects explanations when new data are found that don't fit the prevailing theory. It in itself doesn't change - we may not always come up with the best answer first time for all sorts of reasons, but the march has usually been in the direction of better, more accurate explanations from which we can make predictions that can be tested.
I guess the only issue I have here is the idea of "better" or "more accurate" explanations. How do we know that? Why not try to accommodate new information with the old theory, which might be better, rather than coming up with a brand new one? How is that not an arbitrary decision?
We never know we're right. However, if we have a theory that explains what we observe, then that's fine. If we observe new data that don't fit the prevailing theory, then either the data are wrong or the theory is. While we can change a theory to explain new data, you can't just go changing the data to fit the theory! It could well be that the data aren't quite correct and that we need to do the observations again to see if we can better understand what we are measuring, but if we repeatedly get the same data that don't fit the theory, then why should you throw that knowledge away by bending the data to fit what looks like a flawed theory. Again, this is just science and what happens daily!
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There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Re: Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

#17 Post by Dave B » August 10th, 2012, 10:11 am

In any event if something happens to challenge a scientific theory the new data will be scrutinised by the same rules (measurability, repeatability etc.) and if it is found that the original theory needs modifying, or even fails, then the job is done. What does not happen it that the new data is massaged and described in such a way that it joins the old seamlessly - though many scientists have tried to do so to preserve the theory that made their name on! If the Higgs Boson had not been found some scientists at CERN would have been even happier - that would have given them a whole new universe of theories to investigate!

Religion, relying solely on malleable words and psychology rather than impersonal maths and physics, can present things in such a way that even if a fact antithetical to their version of "The Truth" arrives they can massage and bend both enough to make a fit - and the believers will believe it because they cannot do any other, they do not possess the independence of mind required by the rational thinker. Thus the invention of things like so-called "Intelligent Design".

Cross posting with Alan's.
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