Fenrir wrote: ughaibu wrote: zoon wrote:
The nearest thing to an overarching principle available at the moment does seem to be the likelihood that the material world, including human brains, can be entirely described in terms of the mathematical laws of physics and chemistry.
But this "principle" is false, so what would be the point of holding it?
How is this "principal" false?
First let's be clear; when I write "this "principle" is false", I certainly do not mean
Cito di Pense wrote:
we cannot be certain this 'principal' is true.
Mathematical laws of physics and chemistry are relevant to phenomena that can form the subject matter of an experiment in one of those sciences. As this excludes a great deal of human behaviour, it appears that the contention that "the material world, including human brains, can be entirely described in terms of the mathematical laws of physics and chemistry" is a category mistake. So it is also false that
Cito di Pense wrote:
We have no reason to believe that it isn't, and that is enough for most level-headed persons.
On the contrary, we have no reason to believe that it is and clear reasons to believe that it isn't.
For example, chemists and physicists will themselves tell you that their laws disagree with the contention, because they cannot, even in principle, give a definite state of the world. Instead they offer probabilistic or coarsely grained deterministic predictions. But in both cases, what is offered allows human beings to perform some action and effectively achieve a desired result. In short, these laws allow us to control some limited aspects of the world, so it's a real mystery as to how anyone could conclude that a)
these laws apply to everything, and b)
these laws control things.
This isn't just a category mistake, it's arse about face nonsense. So, the only way to make this fly would be to posit some fantasy "laws" of physics and chemistry that will one day be formulated and that are at odds with the actual laws, and that kind of faith-in-a-fantasy is well outside what I expect from any "level-headed persons".
To get an idea of how ridiculous the contention that "the material world, including human brains, can be entirely described in terms of the mathematical laws of physics and chemistry" is, consider the fact that not only do the relevant scientists deny this, but assuming it to be true, we can make exact and complicated predictions of the entailments of these laws by rolling dice. For example, take six volunteers and offer them an interesting incentive to successfully complete the experiment. Choose six days next week, six times of day, six locations and six activities. Now roll dice to decide which one volunteer will be doing what, in which place, at which time on which day next week. And if the volunteer cannot successfully complete the experiment, then empirical science, which of course includes physics and chemistry, is impossible, because completing the experiment is equivalent to recording the result of observing the ordered sequence of dice rolls, and empirical science is impossible if we cannot reliably record our observations.
The reason that the contention that "the material world, including human brains, can be entirely described in terms of the mathematical laws of physics and chemistry" is obviously false, is that it implies that the behaviour of the physicists and chemists themselves, is entailed by these laws. Even given fantasy future "laws" of physics, chemistry or any other empirical science, as a researcher must be able to reliably record their observations and as we can easily define a recording procedure that will conflict with a given prediction, no empirical science can have laws that entirely describe the world.
I hope it's not the old "no equation can expwain wuv" tripe.
I have no idea what "wuv" is, nor what "the old "no equation can expwain wuv" tripe" is. Perhaps you'd care to explain what they are and why I should care about your hopes concerning them.