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SV: Capacity of the brain

Bill Todd billtodd at foo.mv.com
Tue Nov 23 17:07:55 EST 1999

patrik bagge <patrik-b at online.no> wrote in message
news:c5D_3.16870$1C4.162460 at news1.online.no...
> Bill Todd skrev i meddelandet <81etmc$q1m$1 at pyrite.mv.net>...
> >Certainly one important measure of the 'success' of a theory is its
> >to predict situations beyond those that led to its formulation.  In this
> >aspect, QM is successful indeed.
> i don't quite 'get you' , could you(anyone) elaborate on this a bit ?

There are others here in comp.arch likely far better able to list QM's
successful predictions than I, but I believe quite a few of them relate to
prediction of new particles (based on the behavior of known particles) whose
existence was subsequently verified.  And of course there's the E-P-R
paradox and subsequent apparent validation that has been referred to
elsewhere here.

> >It's not clear that any of the points (save possibly the last) you
> >are relevant to measuring the success of a theory, however:  they only
> >relate to its applications.
> bill, we are living in a practical 'reality' aren't we ?
> what good is a 'theory' if it doesn't 'lead anywhere' ?

Your statements didn't address 'what good' the theory might be, just how
successful it was.  The concept of the success of a theory is at least
somewhat well-defined as its ability to explain (and predict) reality, and
has little or nothing to do with its practical application (and, of course,
practical application of many abstruse physical theories has occurred
decades or more after the they were formulated, so evaluating 'what good' a
theory may be is rather difficult in the absense of reliable precognition).

- bill

> Yours in my ignorance
> Patrik Bagge

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