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Can man mechanically recreate consciousness?

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LadyAttis
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What reason is there to believe that a faculty such as volition can ever exist in an inanimate machine? 
Because it exists in an inanimate brain.

What reason is there to assume that the distinction between living and non-living can be obliterated? 
It isnt exactly difficult to produce a living machine, its a conscious one that would be problematic.

You could show me AI.
How would it be possible to show you an AI if noone has actually investigated the possibility of producing AI, since it is apparently arbitrary? Youre essentially saying that nothing new could be classed as possible until it had actually been produced. What would convince you that AI research is worth undertaking?

I am arguing that volitional consciousness is an attribute of the living human brain, and that anything that has a different identity, no matter how similar the structure, will not be a volitional consciousness.

So not only is there no possibility of a volitionallyconscious AI, but there is also no possibility of it ANYWHERE other than in humans?

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Yeah, but it would be highly highly arbitrary.

Hmmm.... :(

This is why I included the 2+2=4 and 3+3=6 in the boxes. Surely statement A is making a claim about "3+3=6" as well as itself, hence it wouldnt be purely self-referential.

But it reduces to a purely self-referential statement if you account for the fact that 3+3=6 is known to be true.

To illustrate this, consider the following:

[...]

(This is exactly the same as the example I gave before, except I have changed '3+3=6' to '3+3=7')

[...]

Therefore, A cannot be purely self referential, since its truth depends upon something other than itself.

Yes, in this example, A isn't purely self-referential, since we can't reduce it like we reduced A in the previous example. 3+3=7 is known to be false, which is enough to make A true. Since both 2+2=4 and A are true, B is false.

Computer code for example one:

boolean twoAndTwoMakesFour() {
   return 2 + 2 == 4;
}

boolean a() {
   return !threeAndThreeMakesSix() || !b();
}

boolean b() {
   return !twoAndTwoMakesFour() || !a();
}

boolean threeAndThreeMakesSix() {
   return 3 + 3 == 6;
}[/code] Computer code for example two:
[code]boolean twoAndTwoMakesFour() {
   return 2 + 2 == 4;
}

boolean a() {
   return !threeAndThreeMakesSeven() || !b();
}

boolean b() {
   return !twoAndTwoMakesFour() || !a();
}

boolean threeAndThreeMakesSeven() {
   return 3 + 3 == 7;
}

You can try to compile both examples with a C/C++ or Java compiler. Calling a() in example one will recurse infinitely, while calling a() in example two will return true. The infinite recursion corresponds to pure self-referentiality.

They wouldnt be the same sentence. I'm not sure what you mean here, can you clarify?

Correct, they do not really say the same thing! Now the question is, what is different about what they say? How could we re-write the original sentence, "This sentence contains 27 letters" so that 27 is spelled out but it still says the same thing as the original? How could we translate it to another language and still have it say the same thing as the original?

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Stephen said that a difference between a flight simulator and a plane was that flying a flight simulator doesnt leave you in a different place from where you started. Fine. Put the simulator inside a moving vechicle. You claim that a difference is the lack of risk to the life of the pilot. Fine. Kill them if they make a mistake (you could program the computer to release poison gas into the simulator if they crash).

This pretty much determines the level of seriousness with which I will take your argument at this point.

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Hmmm.... :(
Even a highly artificial counterexample is enough to disprove a general statement :P

computer code
I think you could be right here. I can't decide. The problem seems to lie with whether its possible to substitute the contents of statement B with for the reference to statement B. It certainly seems valid here and I think you're correct that that statement A would be self-referential even though it doesnt appear to be at first glance. But I'm not sure that its purely self-referential. It's truth does depend on the truth of "3+3=x", which is something outside of itself. It doesnt seem right to say we can just remove the part of the statement which is known to be true - the fact we've had to look at the other statement at all shows that the truth of A depends upon it...

Correct, they do not really say the same thing! Now the question is, what is different about what they say? How could we re-write the original sentence, "This sentence contains 27 letters" so that 27 is spelled out but it still says the same thing as the original? How could we translate it to another language and still have it say the same thing as the original?

The statement refers to itself, so translating it would give it a new reference since the statement itself changes. If we were to translate it into another language while preserving the reference of the original statement, it would have to be embedded within a statement of the new language, for instance "la phrase 'this statement contains 27 letters' est vrai" (not sure if this is correct; I don't speak French). You could also translate it as something like "cette phrase contient 28 des lettres" which preserves the meaning of the original statement, even though the reference is slightly different.

There's other statements similar to the liar paradox that dont involve explicit self-reference though, and (to return to the original point) a human wouldnt be able to decide the truth of them, although we could arbitrarily assign it a truth value or say it doesnt have one. For instance, there is Quine's:

"yields falsehood when appended to its own quotation" yields falsehood when appended to its own quotation

reason for edit: just to clarify, I dont think issues such as this have any real significance in the AI debate, and I doubt Godel statements do either. It's unlikely that issues such as what is possibile in computing can be decided by appealing to who can do the most sophistical things with self-reference.

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The brain is, by definition as part of a living being, animate.

Then the circuit boards making up a living robot are animate (I'm assuming that you accept living robots are possible. A robot could certainly be capable of death and goal directed action (just watch Bladerunner!) and could satisfy the other characteristics associated with living creatures - if a fly can qualify as alive, then so can a robot).

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Then the circuit boards making up a living robot are animate (I'm assuming that you accept living robots are possible. A robot could certainly be capable of death and goal directed action (just watch Bladerunner!) and could satisfy the other characteristics associated with living creatures - if a fly can qualify as alive, then so can a robot).

I have no time to enter this discussion at length. I simply wanted to point out my amazement at your "inanimate brain" statement.

For the sake of clarification, do you or do you not recognize the brain as animate?

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A robot could certainly be capable of death and goal directed action (just watch Bladerunner!)

See, as Objectivists, most of us here build our knowledge on reality rather than on movies or "simulations." Given that you are a philosophy student it doesn't surprise me that you have a hard time separating the two. I'm not trying to ad hom you or something; it's a fact that I know first hand from my own experiences in several philosophy departments and programs.

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I have no time to enter this discussion at length. I simply wanted to point out my amazement at your "inanimate brain" statement.

For the sake of clarification, do you or do you not recognize the brain as animate?

I don't know, it depends how you're defining animate. If the brain is animate because its part of a living being, then so are the individual neurons which compose it, and the atoms which compose them. So are my teeth. I'd say that humans as a whole are animate, but I'm unsure whether I'd say that all parts of them are also animate. I don't think you can divide things up in that way; man is an integrated whole. When your definitions compel you to start referring to things like individual electrons as animate, I think you've gone wrong somewhere.

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See, as Objectivists, most of us here build our knowledge on reality rather than on movies or "simulations."

It was an illustration. It's a fact that living robots are possible, regardless of appeals to movies or simulations - the Bladerunner reference was intended to show what I meant as a living robot, namely one which is capable of goal-directed action (not difficult to program), "death" in the sense of program termination (which is also not difficult to program), and all the other functions commonly associated with living beings (reproduction and the like). Living doesnt imply conscious though, obviously.

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It was an illustration. It's a fact that living robots are possible, regardless of appeals to movies or simulations.

Yeah, I figured that that would be your response, Hal. But you see, all you have been offering as "evidence" thus far in any of your posts are thought experiments and those aren't any different from movies.

There is already a thread about so-called "living" robots from a while back.

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Yeah, I figured that that would be your response, Hal. But you see, all you have been offering as "evidence" thus far in any of your posts are thought experiments and those aren't any different from movies.

As I said to AisA, if you want to claim that artificial intelligence is arbitrary then that's a different matter. If that's your position then I do think you're wrong, but that isnt the position which people have been taking in this thread - they havent just been saying theres no evidence for it, they have been saying it is impossible. According to OPAR, arbitrary statements are neither possible nor impossible.

And again, as I asked AisA, just what would you accept as evidence?

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I do not want to "try" anything. Please give the exact quote where the authors state, as you claim, that "quantuum[sic] mechanics and classic mechanics contradict each other." (And note that the books you chose are popularizations, and popularizations are known to be notorious in the physics community for their lack of precision and distortions of fact.  And, even if you can find a quote from these popularizations that says what you claim, then it is, as I noted previously, at best the words of a very confused author whose view is at odds with the vast majority of physicists who understand this issue much better than that.)

Now that's an interesting idea. You tell me to quote a book for you but it won't make any difference whatsoever. Still, as I said, my first reference are my physics classes. I can't recommend any other books but popularizations because every one of them I read is in croatian - they are the books I used to study for my classes.

You speak nonsense. That is like saying that the gas laws are not correct because they do not work for solids. All truth is contextual, and you are putting the blame on truth for your totally inappropriate dropping of context.

What you are talking about (gas laws) are the end effects of interactions of particles on a quantuum/atomic/molecular level described in words and mathematical/physical formulae. And you accuse me of dropping context.

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[...] It's a fact that living robots are possible [...]

Here is my attempt to articulate issues that have puzzled me for a long time.

In my vocabulary, "possible" means some evidence exists to show that X exists.

Are you using the term to mean "imaginable, inferring from what I know now" or some other meaning?

Another underlying issue I wonder about here is the distinction between metaphysical facts and man-made facts. Is it your position that there are no metaphysical (natural) facts that stand in the way of creating living or even conscious robots?

In the context of metaphysical facts, "possible" would mean contingent, as opposed to necessary, in the usual false dichotomy. But in the context of man-made facts, "possible" would mean "nothing stands in the way of man creating X."

P. S. -- To cross threads for a moment, I note that "possible" is one of the terms Kant frequently uses, in English translations, in Critique of Pure Reason, but he seems to mean something like this: "If the universe were redesigned without contradicting the laws of logic, this X could exist instead of the X we have now." An example would be green swans are possible, though no one has ever seen one in this world.

An instance of this usage appears at CPR, B282, first full paragraph (if I have understood the citation nomenclature correctly): "Whether the field of possibility is greater than the field that contains everything actual ...."

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Even a highly artificial counterexample is enough to disprove a general statement :)

I don't mind artificiality and I am very interested in the counter-example. So come on, let me see it!

I think you're correct that that statement A would be self-referential even though it doesnt appear to be at first glance. But I'm not sure that its purely self-referential. It's truth does depend on the truth of "3+3=x", which is something outside of itself.

"Either God chopped down the cherry tree, or I did." Since we know that God didn't chop down the cherry tree, doesn't this amount to an admission of my having chopped down the cherry tree?

Yes, the original Statement A does refer to 3+3=6, but after accounting for the truth of that equation, Statement A is reduced to a claim of Statement B being false. Since Statement B in turn reduces to a claim of Statement A being false, eventually Statement A is reduced to claiming its own truth--which is purely self-referential.

it would have to be embedded within a statement of the new language

Exactly!

for instance "la phrase 'this statement contains 27 letters' est vrai"

Not bad, although you didn't really translate it. After all, when I want to say "I don't speak French" to a Frenchman, I don't say "La phrase 'I don't speak French' est vrai."

You could also translate it as something like "cette phrase contient 28 des lettres" which preserves the meaning of the original statement, even though the reference is slightly different.

That is definitely the right way to translate this sentence if you are translating it as a part of a lesson in logic. However, the reference IS different, so it does NOT say the same thing as the original English sentence does.

Can you think of a way of translating the original English sentence while preserving its exact reference? (The "logical lesson" aspect of the sentence need not be preserved.)

There's other statements similar to the liar paradox that dont involve explicit self-reference though, and (to return to the original point) a human wouldnt be able to decide the truth of them, although we could arbitrarily assign it a truth value or say it doesnt have one.

Yes, we could arbitrarily assign it a truth value, but "could" is not the same as "should." Many things are possible to us, but not all of them are rational things to do. Arbitrarily assigning truth values to statements is about as anti-rational as one can get. The only rational way to evaluate a purely self-referential statement (or any statement that reduces to one) is to recognize that it doesn't even really qualify as a statement, since it does not say anything about reality.

Truth is correspondence to reality; falsehood is mismatch against reality. A statement that doesn't say anything about reality can neither correspond to it nor mismatch it.

"yields falsehood when appended to its own quotation" yields falsehood when appended to its own quotation

Yes, this is exactly the mechanism that Godel sentences rely on as well, except that they use numbers instead of English words, and they assert unprovability within their own formal system rather than falsehood. A formal system can never actually formulate the notion of truth or falsehood ; the farthest it can go is formulate provability with a finite set of inference rules. Truth means correspondence to reality; no formal system can model reality in its entirety.

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I've just spent some time reading my posts from yesterday and I'd like to apologise for what seems like the flippant nature of my remarks towards Stephen Speicher and RationalCop - my comments make it seem like I'm more interested in cheap point-scoring than actually communicating my thoughts in an honest way, and this was not my intention. I think I got too caught up in replying to individual points rather than trying to present my position in an integrated manner. I'd like to try and clarify where I was coming from, not in order to persuade people to agree with me, but rather to try and clear up any wrong impressions which my earlier posts created.

I've encountered several suggestions for how an AI could be produced, but I'm going to concentrate on one which functioned by directly simulating the human brain, both because I find this the most plausible, and because this is what the discussion centered on yesterday.

The first question to ask would be: what exactly does it mean for one thing to simulate, or to represent, another? In other words, if I want to create a representation of something, in whatever medium, what features must my creation have in common with the original? In order for it to be a actually be a representation it must have some things in common, but at the same time, there must necessarily be differences between the representation and that represented - if there were no differences whatsoever then it wouldnt BE a representation - it would be the original object. All representations have to differ in some ways from the represented object - this is built into the very nature of simulation.

So, a representation must have some features in common with the original object, others not in common.Creating a representation then involves selecting which features of the original which you think are important enough for your representation to have - you can't get them all, so you need to make do with choosing the ones which seem important. Which features you choose will depend upon for the purpose for which you are interested in modelling the original phenomenon in the first place. To take a concrete example, lets return to the idea of simulating a plane. Now, the flight simulator will have to share some features of the actual flying experience, but which features these will be depends upon why you are actually making the flight simulator. For instance, let's assume we wish to train civilian pilots, ie those that will be engaged in flying passengers from one location to the other. In this situation the important things to simulate will be the controls of the plane - the cockpit, the gears, and so on. Other aspects of flying, such as talking to air stewards and ending up in a different place from where you started, will not be important for training pilots, and hence will not be included in the simulation.

Now, lets assume we have a different purpose, that of training fighter pilots. In this case our requirements have changed - we will have to simulate different aspects of the flying experience in order for our simulation to be useful. As RationalCop pointed out, the key difference here is that of 'danger' - the element of risk plays an important part in the role of a fighter pilot, and the "civilian pilot training simulator" described above will not capture this, and will hence be inadequate. One solution to this problem would be to actually build the element of danger into the simulator itself. This could certainly be done, which is what I was trying to show with my 'poison gas' comment above (although I realise it sounded faceitious). There do seem to be ways in which an element of danger could be added to a flight simulator, which would actually make it a working model for training fighter pilots - we certainly _could_ have a model in which the pilots were actually at risk while using the simulator. Now, I doubt this would ever happen in a 'civilised' country, but perhaps a totalitarian country might train its pilots in this way. I once heard a story about the training of the Iraq soccer team - the players who failed to perform at a certain would be physically beaten. In this way, an element of 'danger' was added to the training sessions. But the important point here is that IF we thought that the simulation needed to replicate the danger of the actual fighter plane, this COULD be done.

Now, let's consider a simulation of the human brain. Is this possible? Well again, the answer will depend upon what the simulator is trying to achieve. For instance, it may well be that in the future neurosurgeons will be trained to perform operations by using a virtual model of the human brain. In this case, the designer of the simulator would need to confer with biologists and other neurosurgeons in order to find out what parts of the brain would need to be built into the simulator. If someone wanted to simulate the brain for a different purpose, they would need to include different aspects of it in their model. In none of these cases would the simulator 'be' the brain, but it could approximate it enough to be sufficient for the task in question.

Now that I've given a rough outline of what I think the simulating process involves in general, let's return to the original question - can the human brain be simulated for the purpose of producing consciousness in a machine? Or in other words, although our simulator will have to be different from the brain in SOME way (or else it would BE a brain rather than a simulation of a brain), can we simulate the parts of the brain which are reponsible for producing consciousness and volition? The answer to this obviously depends upon the brain itself - ie what parts of it ARE necessary for consciousness to arise?

Now, I want to take a minute to distinguish between entities, and relationships between entities, because both are necessary to describe the physical world - we cannot describe reality by means of objects alone. Given a finite set of entities, there are many different ways in which they combine - ie many different relations which can exist between them. For instance given the letters A,B,C,D,E we could arrange them as follows:

A B C D E
or perhaps as follows
A
B
C D E[/code] In each case the objects themselves are the same, but the structure is relations between them are different. I use the word 'structure' to refer to the sum total of relations between the entities. And, if a group of entities have a certain structure this structure can often be replicated using different entities. For instance, given the symbols $,%,&,!,} we could reproduce the second structure above, namely:
[code]$
%
& ! }

So while the same objects can have a different structure, the same structure can also be formed by different objects.

The question is, what features of the brain are essential for producing consciousness? Is it the entities themselves (the actual physical material), the structural relations between these entities, or a combination of both? The first alternative can be ruled out - as far as I know, the brain is made from the same material as the wooden desk I am sitting at, once we get down the subatomic level, and yet the desk is obviously not conscious. Likewise we could open up someone's head and cut their brain into two pieces, and although the same material would still be present in the brain, it would no longer produce the mind. Therefore consciousness is either produced by the structural relations of entities inside the brain alone, or this structural relationship in combination with those particular entities.

If the structure is all that is necessary, then machine consciousness/volition would definitely be possible - individual neurons could be simulated in such a way that their relations in the simulation were identical to their relations in the human brain, and hence consciousness would be generated. If however consciousness depends upon not simply of the way entities are arranged, but also upon material property which they have, which a computer could not simulate, then replicating consciousness on a machine through simulating the human brain would be impossible (at least in our current models of computing).

Therefore the answer to the AI question depends entirely on features of the brain, and consciousness, which are currently unknown. We do not know what features of the brain are essential for consciousness, hence the question 'Is AI possible?' cannot at present be answered yes or no. Perhaps on the future it will be decided one way or the other, but saying today that it is impossible is premature.

Regarding whether it's an arbitrary question, I don't believe it is. Again, if you believe that is arbitrary then please specify what evidence would convince you that it is possible. And if the only evidence is the creation of AI itself, explain how you ever expect an AI to be created in the first place if everyone shared your view that it was arbitrary and hence didnt investigate the possibility of creating one.

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I don't mind artificiality and I am very interested in the counter-example. So come on, let me see it!

Ok. There's probably a better and less complex example, but I couldnt think of one. Even this took me about 10 minutes to come up with and yeah, its incredibly artificial.

--------

2+2=4

--------

Statement C: The above box contains a true statement

Statement D: Statement C is necessarily true.

Now, by your logic earlier, Statement C is equivalent to "2+2 is a true statement" (this is the step you had to take in reducing my previous example to "Statement A says statement B" is false and viceversa).

So, statement C is true. Statement D is also true, since '2+2=4' is necessarily true.

But this has led to a false conclusion. I can go back and edit this post, and change the statement in the box to '2+2=12', in which case statement C becomes false. Therefore statement C isnt _necessarily_ true - it could well have been false. I didn't _have_ to write "2+2=4" in the box - I could have written anything I wanted. Therefore, statement D is actually false.

(I'm not appealing to the standard necessary/contingent distinction here, and I'm in agreement that its seriously flawed, however this example would still work if you were to subsitute 'necessary' for 'metaphysical given' - its a 'man made' fact that I wrote 2+2=4 in the box, yet the statement 2+2=4 itself is metaphysically given).

I'm going to have to take some time to think about the rest of your post, so I'll reply later.

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Now that's an interesting idea. You tell me to quote a book for you but it won't make any difference whatsoever. Still, as I said, my first reference are my physics classes. I can't recommend any other books but popularizations because every one of them I read is in croatian - they are the books I used to study for my classes.

You made the assertion that "Physicists who write those books often mention how quantuum mechanics and classic mechanics contradict each other." When pressed on support for your assertion, you told another poster to "Buy a book on superstring theory for beginners or those who have no grasp of mathematical representations of basic physical laws" and you told me "Try Brian Greene's 'The Elegant Universe,' Michio Kaku's 'Hyperspace,' and/or 'Beyond Einstein'." This is your third post of huffing and puffing, and you have yet to provide even a single quote to support your assertion.

What you are talking about (gas laws) are the end effects of interactions of particles on a quantuum/atomic/molecular level described in words and mathematical/physical formulae. And you accuse me of dropping context.

And the "interactions of particles on a qunatum/atomic/molecular level" may be explained by yet a more fundamental aspect of reality. So what? When the gas laws were first formulated there was no knowledge of the quantum level, but they remain true to this day within the context in which they were defined. You seem to have some bizarre notion that unless we find the ULTIMATE FORMULA which describes the ONE TRUE REALITY, that nothing else in physics can be true. You simply do not understand the concept of truth and its contextual nature. To acknowledge, as you did, that physical theories have a domain of applicability -- a "context" in Objectivese -- and then claim that these physical theories, such as classical physics, are "not correct" because "Reality is only one and governed by a certain set of laws," is the ultimate rationalistic approach to physics. As I said before, there is little in physics, metaphysics, and epistemology that we agree upon.

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You made the assertion that "Physicists who write those books often mention how quantuum mechanics and classic mechanics contradict each other." When pressed on support for your assertion, you told another poster to "Buy a book on superstring theory for beginners or those who have no grasp of mathematical representations of basic physical laws" and you told me "Try Brian Greene's 'The Elegant Universe,' Michio Kaku's 'Hyperspace,' and/or 'Beyond Einstein'." This is your third post of huffing and puffing, and you have yet to provide even a single quote to support your assertion.

I "huff and puff" and you say that "...even if can find a quote from these popularizations that says what claim, then it is, as [you] noted previously, at best the words of a very confused author whose view is at odds with the vast majority of physicists who understand this issue much better than that." In other words, it would have made no difference to you, just as anything else I say. Why should I quote the book then? There's absolutely no need to do so because you're so stubborn that you'd rather call all the physicists confused than reconsider what you're saying.

And the "interactions of particles on a qunatum/atomic/molecular level"  may be explained by yet a more fundamental aspect of reality. So what? When the gas laws were first formulated there was no knowledge of the quantum level, but they remain true to this day within the context in which they were defined. You seem to have some bizarre notion that unless we find the ULTIMATE FORMULA which describes the ONE TRUE REALITY, that nothing else in physics can be true. You simply do not understand the concept of truth and its contextual nature. To acknowledge, as you did, that physical theories have a domain of applicability -- a "context" in Objectivese -- and then claim that these physical theories, such as classical physics, are "not correct" because "Reality is only one and governed by a certain set of laws," is the ultimate rationalistic approach to physics. As I said before, there is little in physics, metaphysics, and epistemology that we agree upon.

Have you ever heard of the term "approximate"? That's what gas laws (at least their mathematical representations) are. Approximate. We don't generally need to be infinitely precise when solving physics problems.

However, I see no valid reason why you should bring up gas laws here. They are not important for the discussion we were having. We were talking about whether or not quantuum mechanics and classical physics contradict each other. They do. I showed an example - how quantuum mechanics and classical physics give two different results for the same thing (radiation). And obviously, when two sets of laws say two different things about the same phenomenon, they contradict. However it's been experimentally proven that the result of quantuum mechanics is correct (Planck's law), and that the result given by classical physics is incorrect. You can't explicitly show that using the gas laws.

I have absolutely no notion of finding the "ultimate formula." All I'm saying is that when describing the universe, neither quantuum mechanics nor classical physics is fully consistent. It is clear from this that there are some underlying principles which we have not yet grasped, yet which are at work here. Why? Because of the law of identity; of non-contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality - there cannot be any.

You might ask after this "so what?"

Well, I'm going to ask you so what?

Just back up a little (up the thread) and try to figure out from which trifle all this debate has come - some absolutely irrelevant point which didn't even have to concern you. Or perhaps you have some other reason why objectivists (for instance Ayn Rand, Peikoff and Kelly) should disregard the works of some physicists (point first made by LadyAttis somewhere at the beginning of the thread which I tried to explain)?

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Source, I don't get this. Have you missed Stephen's post about recent retirement from active research at CalTech, where he was involved in an inter-disciplinary research involving, among other fields, physics and microbiology?

Now I doubt he will ever point this out himself, but someone has to. How old do you think one has to be to retire from CalTech? How many years of studying science do you think this would imply? How many exceptional scientists from CalTech and elsewhere do you think he's met over his years at CalTech? How many discussions on all aspects of physics do you think he's held? And most importantly, how many know-it-alls do you think he's had to face over the years, people who just finished Physics II and think they can lecture him on the subject? You argue with him as if he's a teenager or a twentysomething. That's what I don't get.

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I "huff and puff" and you say that "...even if can find a quote from these popularizations that says what claim, then it is, as [you] noted previously, at best the words of a very confused author whose view is at odds with the vast majority of physicists who understand this issue much better than that." In other words, it would have made no difference to you, just as anything else I say. Why should I quote the book then? There's absolutely no need to do so because you're so stubborn that you'd rather call all the physicists confused than reconsider what you're saying.

What you don't seem to realize, is that although it was Stephen who asked you to provide these sources, other people are looking on as well. So although you are of the opinion that Stephen would just blow off whatever source information you did provide, others may look at it and come to the same conclusion as you. As it is, the above statement appears to be a cop-out. Your credibility on this position goes beyond your disagreement with Stephen.

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This is your fourth post, full of hundreds of words of bluster, rather than just five or ten words of a quote you have been challenged to provide. As to the rest, you just don't get it, and it is pointless for me to repeat myself again.

As usual, you just don't seem to get it.

What use is a silly quote from a silly book? I gave a SPECIFIC EXAMPLE when classical physics and quantuum mechanics CONTRADICT. You don't believe the formulae? Well fine. If you want to believe a delusional physicist (as you consider him) rather than to a rational explanation, then here is the quote. I care not to look for others, but they're there.

"Through years of research, physicists have experimentally confirmed to almost unimaginable accuracy virtually all predictions made by [quantuum mechanics and genral relativity]. But these same theoretical tools inexorably lead to another disturbing conclusion: As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantuum mechanics cannot both be right. The two theories underlying the tremendous progress of physics during the last hundred years - progress that has explained the expansion of the heavens and the fundamental structure of matter - are mutually incompatible."

Mind you, I didn't provide it just to continue a debate with you, because it has been shown that this debate along with several others when conducted between the two of us, leads absolutely nowhere. However, if you are satisfied, I suggest you actually read the entirety of my previous post.

The only reason I provided a quote is because your nonsense requests (like provide a quote but I don't care if you do) have led me to a position when anything I say is no longer credible on the board in general.

And might I say that, since you already counted all my posts in which I refused to provide a quote for you, that this was your fifth post in which you have said absolutely nothing of importance in regard to the discussion we were having? Moreover, judging by your replies, you have either not read any of my posts entirely, or you just didn't understand them.

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Source, I don't get this. Have you missed Stephen's post about recent retirement from active research at CalTech, where he was involved in an inter-disciplinary research involving, among other fields, physics and microbiology?

Now I doubt he will ever point this out himself, but someone has to. How old do you think one has to be to retire from CalTech? How many years of studying science do you think this would imply? How many exceptional scientists from CalTech and elsewhere do you think he's met over his years at CalTech? How many discussions on all aspects of physics do you think he's held? And most importantly, how many know-it-alls do you think he's had to face over the years, people who just finished Physics II and think they can lecture him on the subject? You argue with him as if he's a teenager or a twentysomething. That's what I don't get.

The reason I "argue" is that he has not shown any of the qualities your post implies. If he is really so old and wise, then either he is becoming senile or he just likes to pick on all the know-it-alls or twentysomethings who just finished Physics II. I wouldn't trust him on his word no matter who he is and where he retired from. I want something more substantial than that, and all he has done until now were attempts to nullify the credibility of everything I said.

Now do you get it?

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