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Topic: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Replies: 88   Last Post: Mar 14, 1997 3:27 PM

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Jim Carr

Posts: 42
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Posted: Jan 25, 1997 8:16 PM
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erg@panix.com (Edward Green) writes:
>
>I used to think I saw a clear distinction, but now some of it is less
>clear. This catastrophe occurred during a pointless argument in the
>postmodern group about the significance of "a single data point".


Science rarely, if ever, relies on a single datum to overturn
a theoretical prediction. A "data point" must have some error
bars, and uncertainty or confidence level, associated with it
which implies multiple measurements. A lot depends on how
literally you take "single datum" (data are plural), which would
probably be quite literally in a postmodern discussion.

The exceptions that come to mind are the old claims of an
unchanging sky, disproved by the observation of planets or
a supernova. Whether several observations of a single event,
or a series of measurements of 'wandering stars' constitutes
a single datum could be problematical. Major discoveries of
wholly new phenomena can hang on a single experiment, but
even Becquerel repeated his discovery of radioactivity.

>As we know, in the physical sciences we would hardly ever accept a
>single observation as being a significant test of any theory. Yet in
>mathematical logic we have the easy example that a single
>counter-example is sufficient to overturn a theorem. A comfortable
>distinction, but not well thought out, IMVHO.


A counter-example can overturn a theory as well, but the main
difference is that mathematical consistency of a physical theory
is only part of what we mean by a good theory, whereas it is
all that we demand of a good theorem.

--
James A. Carr <jac@scri.fsu.edu> | "They invented band!"
http://www.scri.fsu.edu/~jac/ | Spectator at 1997 inaugural parade
Supercomputer Computations Res. Inst. | commenting on the Macarena done by
Florida State, Tallahassee FL 32306 | the Florida A&M Marching 100






Date Subject Author
1/21/97
Read Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
1/21/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
meron@cars3.uchicago.edu
1/22/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
1/22/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
meron@cars3.uchicago.edu
1/23/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
ca314159
1/22/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Ramsey
1/22/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Hauke Reddmann
1/22/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
1/23/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Archimedes Plutonium
1/24/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Peter Diehr
1/24/97
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Patrick Van Esch
1/25/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Peter Diehr
1/25/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Jim Carr
1/27/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
1/27/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Jim Carr
1/31/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
2/2/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Kevin Brown
2/2/97
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Matt McIrvin
2/2/97
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Kevin Brown
2/3/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ilias Kastanas
2/3/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Kevin Brown
2/4/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ilias Kastanas
2/5/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Kevin Brown
2/7/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ilias Kastanas
2/24/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Kevin Brown
2/25/97
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Ilias Kastanas
2/28/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Kevin Brown
2/28/97
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ilias kastanas 08-14-90
3/2/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Pertti Lounesto
3/4/97
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Ilias Kastanas
3/6/97
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Ilias Kastanas
3/1/97
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Pertti Lounesto
3/1/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
ilias kastanas 08-14-90
3/7/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Pertti Lounesto
3/14/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Pertti Lounesto
2/25/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
2/3/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
2/4/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
2/5/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
2/5/97
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Kevin Brown
2/7/97
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Keith Ramsay
2/5/97
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Michael Weiss
2/5/97
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Torkel Franzen
2/6/97
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Torkel Franzen
2/3/97
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Edward Green
1/31/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
2/2/97
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Torkel Franzen
2/2/97
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Kevin Brown
2/2/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
2/2/97
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Matt McIrvin
2/3/97
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Bob Hearn
2/4/97
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Hauke Reddmann
2/5/97
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hospital
2/6/97
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Bill Rowe
2/11/97
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Guest
2/4/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Keith Ramsay
2/12/97
Read RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Tal Kubo
2/12/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Matthew P Wiener
2/13/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ilias Kastanas
2/13/97
Read Re: Confidence in RH (was: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.))
Jan-Christoph Puchta
2/13/97
Read Re: Confidence in RH (was: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.))
ilias kastanas 08-14-90
2/14/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Keith Ramsay
2/26/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Tal Kubo
3/11/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Matthew P Wiener
3/12/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
David Ullrich
2/7/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
oholden@idirect.com
2/8/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
ilias kastanas 08-14-90
2/14/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Allen Adler
2/14/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Matthew P Wiener
2/15/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
ilias kastanas 08-14-90
2/15/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ilias Kastanas
2/14/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
David Madore
2/17/97
Read Re: RH versus Con(ZF) (was Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Fred Galvin
2/2/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
2/3/97
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Torkel Franzen
1/27/97
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Torkel Franzen
1/27/97
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james dolan
1/27/97
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meron@cars3.uchicago.edu
1/29/97
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Russ Grossman
1/30/97
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Kevin Brown
1/28/97
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Torkel Franzen
1/28/97
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meron@cars3.uchicago.edu
1/29/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
1/29/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
1/30/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
1/30/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Edward Green
2/4/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Torkel Franzen
2/3/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Michael Weiss
2/6/97
Read Re: Dif. between Math and Phys.
Ray Tomes

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