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  1. #46
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    Surely one requires knowledge that it is very fast and can be ignored. Wouldn't you agree? Otherwise how can you justify ignoring it in short range measurements?
    People once believed that it was instantaneous. It was only much later that they discovered that it was just "very, very fast". Either way, neither belief caused them to have any problem whatsoever in making all sorts of observations. Don't back yourself into a corner over this minor quibble, its just silly.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  2. #47
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    IIRC you implied that the size of the universe is grossly overstated and the reason for that is that the speed of light moved faster way back when.
    Not sure that was me. What I have been arguing, in this thread anyway, is that there are certain factors involved in making calculations about "the size of the universe" and similar things. One of those factors is a belief/assumption about the speed of light, namely, that it is a particular value and that it is a constant.

    IF such a belief turned out to be false, calculations about the distance to observed galaxies and so forth turn out to be wrong and have to be re-done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Leaving aside for a moment that, if there is a god, you grossly devalue him by diminishing his creation by argung this sort of thing.
    Why? How does this diminish Him? You seem to be implying that if the universe was very, very small (instead of veyr, very large) that God Himself is somehow smaller? That's just not correct. God is not a physical object; the size of the universe may be important to *us* to try to help us conceptualise an all-powerful God, but that's about as far as it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    If we have established that there is an object a billion light years away, assuming that speed of light is more or less constant. Then if you want to argue that it is only say a thousand light years away then you have to be assuming that the speed of light has slown down by a factor of about a million times, don't you?
    Probably. But how is that relevant to the discussion about the difference between observation and calculation-based-on-assumptions/beliefs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    The question is a) is that what you are assuming, and b) if variance in the speed of light has been shown, is it anything like variance of that magnitude.
    The only relevant point is that SOME PEOPLE (scientists, who should presumably know better) haven't fallen for RW's claim that "the speed of light has been OBSERVED to be constant for 10B years". Its obviously a false claim.

    It has been calculated to be constant based on a preferred cosmological model.

    It has been defined as a constant by choosing to vary the length of 1 metre instead; rather than keeping a constant 1 metre and varying the speed of light whenever a new measurement shows that it has changed a bit.

    I'm absolutely staggered that you guys don't see this.

    ... and I'm still chuckling at the idea that someone can claim to have observed a triangle and have calculated the length of one of the sides based on the length and angles of two of the sides ... when all they have seen is two straight lines.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #48
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    People once believed that it was instantaneous. It was only much later that they discovered that it was just "very, very fast". Either way, neither belief caused them to have any problem whatsoever in making all sorts of observations. Don't back yourself into a corner over this minor quibble, its just silly.
    I think you are the one who is feeling backed into a corner. You said

    The visual observation "There is a computer screen in front of me" does not rely one whit on knowledge about the speed of light.

    Do you now concede that you were mistaken and that observation does rely on the knowledge that the speed of light is very fast?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  4. #49
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    Do you now concede that you were mistaken and that observation does rely on the knowledge that the speed of light is very fast?
    No; the average person in the street is quite capable of making observations ... and the average person in the street most likely has no knowledge of the speed of light; rather, they assume that what they are seeing is really there and has not, in the last few seconds "disintegrated into dust" as you so solourfully put it ... neither do courts require eye witnesses to events to testify to their knowledge of the speed of light ... so knowledge of the speed of light is quite irrelevant to the ability to make observations.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #50
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    No; the average person in the street is quite capable of making observations ... and the average person in the street most likely has no knowledge of the speed of light
    That is quite wrong. A life time of experience informs that person that the speed of light may be neglected for everyday observations. For example consider the following thought experiment:

    Someone arrives in our universe from another where the speed of light is much slower. When they see things they are not so quick to assume that the object they see is still where it appears to be. They see a monitor in front of them they "know" that it may no longer be there as the light may has travelled for centuries to reach them and thus it may have crumbled into dust.

    So both he and you make the same observation. You conclude there is a monitor in front of you, the visitor from another universe does not. Which one is correct? Most likely you of course. And why? Because of the knowledge you have regarding the speed of light in our universe.

    Of course after some time the visitor from the other universe will learn this too. As you have from a life time of experiences, they too will acquire the knowledge that light travels very quickly and if one sees a monitor in front of them then most likely one is still there in the present. Thus being informed on the speed of light lets one make reasonable observations. And all visual observations, however mundane do rely to some extent on a knowledge of the speed of light. Not a precise knowledge, of course, but it is at least a whit.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    No; the average person in the street is quite capable of making observations ... and the average person in the street most likely has no knowledge of the speed of light
    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    That is quite wrong. A life time of experience informs that person that the speed of light may be neglected for everyday observations.
    To draw conclusions about there being an object, it persisting and so on, is to go beyond the data, regardless of whether people are aware of that fact.

  7. #52
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    That is quite wrong. A life time of experience informs that person that the speed of light may be neglected for everyday observations.
    So are you suggesting that, for example, babies are unable to observe their parents? Babies cry when their parents leave the room.

    Babies don't have a lifetime of experience to draw upon, nor do they have any knowledge about the speed of light, yet they are quite able to observe their parents entering and exiting a room.

    You are defending an absolutely ridiculous position.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  8. #53
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE
    To draw conclusions about there being an object, it persisting and so on, is to go beyond the data, regardless of whether people are aware of that fact.
    Perhaps, but this discussion is about observation simpliciter, not observation philosopher.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  9. #54
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    So are you suggesting that, for example, babies are unable to observe their parents? Babies cry when their parents leave the room.
    You are confusing the receiving of visual information with the conclusions that are drawn from it. It it difficult to say what conclusions a young infant reaches, why they cry and whether they make the connect that their parents are in another room or simply disappears only to reappear if they cry.

    What we are talking about is you receiving some visual data which appears to you to be a monitor say 1 metre away, and drawing the conclusion that there is a monitor in front of you.

    The fact remains that to reach the assumption that there is a monitor in front of you are tacitly basing your argument on your knowledge that the speed of light is fast. If you had another belief regarding the speed of light you would reach another conclusion. As my thought experiemnt above shows.

    Now stop constructing ridiculous strawmen and try to concentrate.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #55
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    Now stop constructing ridiculous strawmen and try to concentrate.
    At this point, I'll call "BULLSHIT" in as loud a voice as I can muster, and will move on. Not often that I have to tag someone, but there is no other conclusion I can reach about you, as this has happened multiple times (you arguing endlessly to defend a ridiculously illogical position). You're a prize goose. Kerplunk!
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    Perhaps, but this discussion is about observation simpliciter, not observation philosopher.
    The main point of that post is that whether people are aware that their conclusions require assumptions is irrelevant. Likewise, in the case you are worried about, the scientists going beyond the data, it is irrelevant whether the scientists are aware of this.

  12. #57
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    At this point, I'll call "BULLSHIT" in as loud a voice as I can muster, and will move on. Not often that I have to tag someone, but there is no other conclusion I can reach about you, as this has happened multiple times (you arguing endlessly to defend a ridiculously illogical position). You're a prize goose. Kerplunk!
    Since you have singularly avoided responding intelligently to any of the key points in any of my posts it did feel a bit like I was talking to a posting bot in any regards.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  13. #58
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  14. #59
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    You're even more confused than usual:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  15. #60
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman
    You're even more confused than usual:
    I wouldn't let it worry you, Spiny. You seem to be incredibly well inoculated against any idea which impinges on your fairy tales.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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