Difference between revisions of "User talk:KSorenson"

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(falsifiability is not part of the physics curriculum)
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::KSorenson, I don't think you understand the concept of [[falsifiability]].  That wouldn't be surprising, because it is not part of the physics curriculum, and most physics majors and grad students are clueless about it.  No big deal ... if you're willing to learn it with an open mind now.  If not, then you're wasting our time.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 21:10, 12 November 2009 (EST)
 
::KSorenson, I don't think you understand the concept of [[falsifiability]].  That wouldn't be surprising, because it is not part of the physics curriculum, and most physics majors and grad students are clueless about it.  No big deal ... if you're willing to learn it with an open mind now.  If not, then you're wasting our time.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 21:10, 12 November 2009 (EST)
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:::Okay, this has to stop now. You're just making things up. "It's not part of the physics curriculum?" When I was an undergraduate, two semesters of in-depth HPST — that's History and Philosophy of Science and Technology — were a requirement for ''all'' students majoring in any of the sciences or engineering disciplines. Where I teach now, we require ''three,'' including a DIS — that's Directed Independent Study — with a thesis requirement. And that's just for the undergrads; you don't want to hear about how many seminars and lectures on philosophy and ethics physics graduate students have to attend. Students graduating with degrees in the sciences or in engineering most certainly know about Duhem and Quine, Hempel and Oppenheim, Kuhn and yes, your precious Popper, who did not say what you seem to think he said.
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:::I simply don't know what to say to you any more, Aschlafly. To borrow a particularly on-the-nose expression I heard from one of my professors years ago, not only are you not right, you're not even wrong.
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:::I see that someone else has already submitted a revision to the [[black hole]] article. It's an excellent change, both clear and accurate. Once the utterly false sentence "As with the related theoretical concept of a 'wormhole', it is impossible to prove that a black hole does not exist, and thus it fails the falsifiability requirement of science" is removed, that article will be in good shape. Assuming you're honest enough to let it stand, that is.--[[User:KSorenson|KSorenson]] 21:43, 12 November 2009 (EST)

Revision as of 20:43, 12 November 2009

I found your edit summary to be misleading for black holes.--Andy Schlafly 22:41, 11 November 2009 (EST)

I'm sorry. I'll fix it.--KSorenson 22:43, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Okay, I resubmitted my changes with a more descriptive edit summary. Thank you very much for calling my attention to it.--KSorenson 22:47, 11 November 2009 (EST)

You didn't insert a "clarification" of the falsifiability defect in the theory of black holes, you deleted it. So again I found your edit summary to be misleading.

More generally, this is not Wikipedia where liberal distortions of science dominate. We tell the truth here. The black hole entry is no exception.--Andy Schlafly 23:08, 11 November 2009 (EST)

I beg your pardon, sir? I most certainly did not delete it. Perhaps you overlooked it because I moved it to the bottom of the article? Or perhaps it's because I omitted rewrote it without the word "falsifiability," which … well, to put it bluntly was misleading. The Schwarzchild and Kerr metrics are certainly falsifiable.
In either case, I will happily restore that sentence (or sentences; I'm not looking at the draft right now) and re-submit. If you still think the existing article is the better choice, then please (obviously) feel free to revert a third time, and I will leave it at that.
Though I would very much like to work with you to come up with a draft of the article that you'll accept. The Schwarzchild and Kerr metrics are fascinating, and I'm afraid I have to say that the existing article on black holes is not as good as it could be.
Thank you again for your feedback.--KSorenson 23:16, 11 November 2009 (EST)

K, you're fighting a losing battle here and will probably get banned for your troubles. Mr. Schlafly is an expert on black holes, and unless there is something you can add to the article that fits with a proper conservative view of the topic, you're best off to leave it alone. MichaelHWC 23:26, 11 November 2009 (EST)

I wasn't trying to fight any battles at all. I was just trying to contribute. Maybe you're right, though. Since I honestly don't know what a "proper conservative view" of the Schwarzchild solution would be, maybe I should bow out. Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice; I appreciate it very much.--KSorenson 23:39, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Please stick around! You seem willing to work with the admins on this so I don't think there will be any problems. Your changes are welcome. We need more competent math and science editors! --MarkGall 08:54, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I don't know about needing better editors, but this site certainly needs some better articles. I was trying to help with that, but Aschlafly's condescension and confrontational attitude really soured my taste for it. Some additional reading I did last night to try to better understand his point of view put me off even further. I'm unsure how to work with someone who writes these things then tries to start an argument over "falsifiability" in advanced theoretical physics.--KSorenson 12:57, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I won't deny that I've had my share of arguments with Mr. Schlafly about math and science articles. That doesn't mean that it's impossible to continue to edit here, or that the edits can't be useful to their many readers. I have successfully worked together with him on several other articles. I encourage you to do the same. --MarkGall 14:14, 12 November 2009 (EST)
If Aschlafly wants the students who read this site to be told that black hole theory is not universally agreed upon, that's fine with me. If he wants them to be told that some people doubt whether black holes can exist in nature, that's okay with me too, because it's true. But he should be able to tell students those things without lying to them.
The black-hole solutions to the Einstein field equations make clear predictions about the characteristics of such a region of spacetime, and thus are entirely falsifiable. In fact, much work has been done by astronomers and theoreticians alike to find any evidence, observational or mathematical, that casts doubt on those predictions. So far, all the math and all the observations are consistent with the predictions of the four known point-mass solutions. The fact that a set of predictions is thus far not falsified is not the same as saying that those predictions are unfalsifiable. I just don't see the point in lying about that.--KSorenson 15:13, 12 November 2009 (EST)
KSorenson, logic does not require so much verbosity. If you have an experiment that would falsify the claim that black holes exist, let's hear it. If not, then concede the obvious: black holes are not falsifiable.--Andy Schlafly 18:10, 12 November 2009 (EST)
Seriously? Have you really never heard of Gravity Probe B? The sole purpose of that experiment was to measure the geometry of space around the Earth, which is a direct test of both the Schwarzchild and Kerr solutions, which are the theoretical models that predict black holes. The data is still being analyzed, but the results so far indicate a very good correlation to predictions of the Schwarzchild solution, and error bars of about 15% for the much-more-difficult-to-measure frame dragging effect predicted by the Kerr solution. I wish we could have gotten more precise results from the frame-dragging data, but it was a first test after all.
I'm sorry my reply was so "verbose," Aschlafly, but you make it so difficult to be succinct when there's so much you don't know.
(Full disclosure: I contributed to that experiment when I was at Stanford, so I am not unbiased about being pleased it went so well.)--KSorenson 18:26, 12 November 2009 (EST)
KSorenson, "connect the dots" is a good childhood game but it does not amount to falsifiability.--Andy Schlafly 18:48, 12 November 2009 (EST)
While I haven't studied Popper since I was a wee undergrad, as I recall, that's precisely what "falsifiable" means, sir. If your theory makes a prediction that can be either confirmed or contradicted by observation, then your theory is falsifiable. In our case we couldn't just look up in the sky and see the geometry of space around the Earth, so we had to build an instrument to measure it, but that counts too, right? Maybe we're just coming at it from different understandings of the term? Could you please define for me what you mean by "falsifiability?" Because as long as I'm not on the same page with you about that, my continuing to contribute to this site would be a pointless waste of time.--KSorenson 19:00, 12 November 2009 (EST)

KSorenson, again, you don't need all those words. The claim that there is a black hole in the universe somewhere is like claiming ET life exists. The claim cannot be falsified. People can keep claiming something is true, when in fact it is false but there is no way to show it is false.

We have an entry on falsifiability. How about learning with an open mind first?--Andy Schlafly 19:39, 12 November 2009 (EST)

Hang on a second. "In fact it is false but there is no way to show it is false?" Was that a typo? Because otherwise it sounds like you're saying you have some special knowledge. Are you saying that black holes can't be proved not to exist … but that you somehow know they don't anyway? That's obviously nonsense, so I'll just assume it was a typo.
In any case, this is all tangential to the point. Your gripe is with "the claim that there is a black hole in the universe somewhere," which is not a claim made by any black hole theory. Rather, the existing theories say that black holes may exist — that is, there's no reason to believe they're impossible — and that if they exist, they have such-and-such properties. We have observed objects in the sky that have the predicted properties. They both look and quack like ducks, so rather than saying "it is consistent with existing theories to conclude that this object appears to be duck-like," we sometimes save some of those precious words you're so jealous of and say "hey look, a duck." You are entirely justified, if mind-bogglingly petty, to criticize others for jumping to conclusions that way.
Clearly the right course of action is for someone to revise the black hole article and rewrite your odious "falsifiability" lie into something that makes the point you want made in a way that's both clear and honest, since right now that part of the article is neither. Unfortunately I'm not the girl to make that revision, as your stubbornness, your bad attitude and your snide and condescending remarks have put me in a very foul mood.--KSorenson 20:09, 12 November 2009 (EST)
KSorenson, I don't think you understand the concept of falsifiability. That wouldn't be surprising, because it is not part of the physics curriculum, and most physics majors and grad students are clueless about it. No big deal ... if you're willing to learn it with an open mind now. If not, then you're wasting our time.--Andy Schlafly 21:10, 12 November 2009 (EST)
Okay, this has to stop now. You're just making things up. "It's not part of the physics curriculum?" When I was an undergraduate, two semesters of in-depth HPST — that's History and Philosophy of Science and Technology — were a requirement for all students majoring in any of the sciences or engineering disciplines. Where I teach now, we require three, including a DIS — that's Directed Independent Study — with a thesis requirement. And that's just for the undergrads; you don't want to hear about how many seminars and lectures on philosophy and ethics physics graduate students have to attend. Students graduating with degrees in the sciences or in engineering most certainly know about Duhem and Quine, Hempel and Oppenheim, Kuhn and yes, your precious Popper, who did not say what you seem to think he said.
I simply don't know what to say to you any more, Aschlafly. To borrow a particularly on-the-nose expression I heard from one of my professors years ago, not only are you not right, you're not even wrong.
I see that someone else has already submitted a revision to the black hole article. It's an excellent change, both clear and accurate. Once the utterly false sentence "As with the related theoretical concept of a 'wormhole', it is impossible to prove that a black hole does not exist, and thus it fails the falsifiability requirement of science" is removed, that article will be in good shape. Assuming you're honest enough to let it stand, that is.--KSorenson 21:43, 12 November 2009 (EST)