Teaching kids reality

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Teaching kids reality

#1  Postby Macdoc » Dec 13, 2019 4:02 am

Excellent article

Putting Einstein first: It's time to stop lying to our children about physics

ABC Science
By David Blair for Ockham's Razor
Posted about 6 hours ago
Image
Einsteinian physics gives us our best understanding of the natural world, so why are we still hung up on Newton? (Pixabay CC: David Mark)



https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/201 ... s/11789858

:clap:
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 13, 2019 4:10 am

A consequence of all this is that our universe is far from mechanistic and deterministic. In fact, everything in the universe is statistical.


That is a good lesson to introduce early as it runs contrary to how human brains have evolved to see the world (induction machines), and consequently constrains how we can think about the world.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#3  Postby aufbahrung » Dec 14, 2019 1:54 pm

Classical mechanics is OK for most everyday situations. Seems a pity to ignore the potential for a deterministic universe with so much determinstic history gone by already? I'm not playing devils advocate either. I mean the universe is solid in time and space, and statistics a form of delusion. I know you'll kill me with fire now. Don't care. My world view is determinist.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#4  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 14, 2019 2:23 pm

Not going to kill you with fire, just point out that if you'd have been exposed to a sound scientific education you wouldn't be so mired in mystifying confusion.

Your world view is entirely irrelevant. The universe simply does not give a chuff. You're either prepared to try and see it as it is, or you're going to live out your existence in delusion.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#5  Postby felltoearth » Dec 14, 2019 2:58 pm

aufbahrung wrote:Classical mechanics is OK for most everyday situations. Seems a pity to ignore the potential for a deterministic universe with so much determinstic history gone by already? I'm not playing devils advocate either. I mean the universe is solid in time and space, and statistics a form of delusion. I know you'll kill me with fire now. Don't care. My world view is determinist.

ToR or even quantum theory does not imply that the universe itself is indeterministic.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#6  Postby Macdoc » Dec 14, 2019 3:50 pm

He is thoroughly entangled so dancing to anothers tune :whistle:
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#7  Postby The_Metatron » Dec 14, 2019 5:50 pm

I just sent the professor an email asking for details. I'd like to see what we can adapt to fit our boys' curricula.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#8  Postby aufbahrung » Dec 14, 2019 5:52 pm

The universe might be complex, might even be too complex for human understanding but equations that describe the qualities of the real everyday comprehesible universe are going to be both more useful and more enlightening to most adults let alone children. You do not need to examine the intricate behaviour of the internal combustion engine to understand the simpler side of things involved in driving a car. Obviously there is a place for quantum mechanics and they have a office in some building to examine important obscure and dull equations of their own making. I was astounded by math as a grew older and its power to do some amazing things, almost like magic, but it'd be a waste and have put me off to introduce calculus before I hated football. Strangest thing about reality is that it is comprehensible. Push that too far and you doing that dunning-krugger thing of overestimating your audience. Before you know there's generation passed and a doubling of star trek pyschobabble on the geek forums and half the amount of intelligible information.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 14, 2019 6:45 pm

aufbahrung wrote:The universe might be complex, might even be too complex for human understanding but equations that describe the qualities of the real everyday comprehesible universe are going to be both more useful and more enlightening to most adults let alone children.


If they're wrong though, they're going to be neither useful nor enlightening - quite the contrary.

Or they might only be useful in certain contexts, and understanding why that is might be enlightening.

Things should only be made as simple as possible necessary for communication, and not a Planck length simpler.


aufbahrung wrote:You do not need to examine the intricate behaviour of the internal combustion engine to understand the simpler side of things involved in driving a car.


The two are entirely unrelated. Driving a car doesn't even require you to know that the car is powered by an engine. You could think miniature pixies push the car and it wouldn't hamper your ability to drive.

But if you want to talk about force, combustion, and machines... no amount of appealing to pixies is ever going to be useful or enlightening.


aufbahrung wrote: Obviously there is a place for quantum mechanics and they have a office in some building to examine important obscure and dull equations of their own making.


You're misunderstanding the most vital point and actually exemplifying exactly why kids need to learn this stuff so they're not left misinformed - quantum mechanics is underpinning absolutely everything; every interaction that occurs in the universe; that's not expressly to do with determinism as you need to specify what state you're talking about to know that.

Sure, you don't need to be able to work with quantum mechanics to boil a kettle, but to understand how a universe in which kettles boil water works, you absolutely do need to have at least an elementary grasp of the nature of nature, or else you basically know nothing.

This thread isn't talking about having kids boil kettles; it's talking about educating kids about reality. It's not hard. Kids don't struggle with this if it's introduced as the basis of their understanding - it's only when kids are misinformed and essentially misled that they struggle to process new ways of looking at phenomena. My son's only 6, and he's long known about different states of matter, the basics of what happens when water freezes and becomes ice, how gravity operates, that converting fuel to do work also releases some of the energy as heat... and he loves to know more. So why not teach kids what we know - that should be the actual question here.


aufbahrung wrote: I was astounded by math as a grew older and its power to do some amazing things, almost like magic, but it'd be a waste and have put me off to introduce calculus before I hated football.


What?


aufbahrung wrote: Strangest thing about reality is that it is comprehensible.


Sounds like a religious claim to me.


aufbahrung wrote: Push that too far and you doing that dunning-krugger thing of overestimating your audience.


Ummm. That's not a Dunning-Kruger thing.


aufbahrung wrote: Before you know there's generation passed and a doubling of star trek pyschobabble on the geek forums and half the amount of intelligible information.


An intriguingly self-evidencing sentence and yet another example of why educating children is actually vital - so they become informed adults. Given the progression of knowledge in the last century, and given how we've allowed that knowledge to become the foundation of all aspects of our modern world, it would be a travesty to allow the gulf in knowledge continue to grow. We need to teach what we know to be true, not what we know not to be true. Just as we abandoned other poor ideas, or at least refocused their value, so we need to make sure that kids are prepared to engage in the modern scientific world we all inhabit, consciously or not.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#10  Postby aufbahrung » Dec 14, 2019 7:53 pm

I stand dissected. But you know I'm right. Time will show the wiser. If cultural regression accelerates, despite producing educational blurb accessible only to the 1% regarding wit - will it prove going full on 'chinese obscurist' was a bad move on the chess board of civilization? A educational elite on the upper decks of the Titanic is no elite at all in my books.
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Re: Teaching kids reality

#11  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 14, 2019 8:11 pm

aufbahrung wrote:I stand dissected. But you know I'm right. Time will show the wiser.


A typically opaque series of expressions from you, both independently, and taken together.

I don't think even you know you're right; I'm not convinced you even know what you mean.

Of course, we're talking about shoulds, not about some fork in the flow of time whereby a comparable result will ultimately be shown superior.

Have you ever heard of this phrase: colorless green ideas sleep furiously?

Although the sentence is grammatically correct, no obvious understandable meaning can be derived from it, and thus it demonstrates the distinction between syntax and semantics.



aufbahrung wrote: If cultural regression accelerates,...


What is 'cultural regression' and how can it 'accelerate'?


aufbahrung wrote:... despite producing educational blurb accessible only to the 1% regarding wit...


This is where you've ignored a substantial quantity of my post.

I realize I am having a discussion with someone who is perplexed as to why space is black, but I would suggest that your inability to learn anything relevant there actually notionally puts YOU in the 1%. Of course, I don't think that these topics actually are outside your grasp, just that you had a terrible education with regards to the sciences. Either that, or you bunked off school or slept through these classes; but you are definitely not a useful yardstick in this regard. I genuinely think my 6 year old son could take a better crack at explaining why space appears black than you managed, and he'd be doing it in a second language too.

I would genuinely suggest that you use your time here to remedy your paucity of scientific comprehension instead of suggesting that the world should work to accommodate you and people who are similarly scientifically illiterate as you.

I do appreciate you may consider this demeaning, but it really is not the case - your comprehension is startlingly terrible. As an educator, I feel embarrassed and disappointed on your behalf. But here's the thing - it is remediable. I have a solid scientific background, but I learned a ridiculous amount in my time here - far more about physics, cosmology, molecular biology, and the philosophy of science than I was exposed to anywhere else in my life. With just the will to learn, the ability to check your poor comprehension in at the door and openly seek to question and understand, this forum could well provide you with a baseline understanding that will inevitably set you in better stead with respect to grasping the world you actually live in rather than the mystified, woolly nonsense world you believe you inhabit. It doesn't mean you're going to achieve a vocational status from this, but at least you're not going to continue acting as a vector for shoddily conceived and gibberingly presented bullshit that can only ever mislead those as poorly equipped as yourself.

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aufbahrung wrote:- will it prove going full on 'chinese obscurist' was a bad move on the chess board of civilization? A educational elite on the upper decks of the Titanic is no elite at all in my books.


But the educated scientists and engineers designing ships and onboard systems to continue progressing that technology so that such disasters never happen again, while also increasing speed, fuel efficiency, and all manner of inventions you benefit blindly from are 'elite' and will always have a role in any society because they actually understand how shit works, and it's provably the case, and due to that their ideas are necessarily useful in application.

Sneer from the grubby little pit of ignorance all you like - you're only harming yourself.
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