What is the likelihood that an authority view is correct?

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Offline allan marsh

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What is the probability that senior expert replies are correct.

Come on folk even experts can smile?
« Last Edit: 15/04/2015 08:19:58 by chris »
A man that knows he is right is almost sure to be wrong.....etc.  Michael faraday 1819

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #1 on: 18/02/2015 08:36:07 »
Very low. Especially when they talk about consensus.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline Bill S

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #2 on: 18/02/2015 11:35:43 »
Doesn't that depend on what you mean by correct?
There never was nothing.

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Offline yor_on

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #3 on: 18/02/2015 15:39:51 »
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder they say :)
Maybe it's so with expert opinions too?

A pinch of salt may be useful at times though.
"BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT. If you see me running, try to keep up."

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #4 on: 19/02/2015 17:01:46 »
Quote from: allan marsh
What is the probability that senior expert replies are correct.
Impossible to say. But I'd say that it's very high.

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Offline allan marsh

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #5 on: 21/02/2015 14:21:24 »
What's the probability of PmbPhy agreeing with. Alancalverd

Let's call it a draw and say 50:50

I don't know what that says about us?
A man that knows he is right is almost sure to be wrong.....etc.  Michael faraday 1819

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #6 on: 21/02/2015 14:47:10 »
Quote from: allan marsh
What's the probability of PmbPhy agreeing with. Alancalverd

Let's call it a draw and say 50:50

I don't know what that says about us?
You do me a disservice. I agree with people based on whether they're correct on a point and not on who they are.

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #7 on: 21/02/2015 14:59:24 »
I agree with people based on whether they're correct on a point and not on who they are.
And that is exactly how it should be Pete. Facts about reality can be agreed upon by those who've studied the details. A common consensus should in most cases be arrived at where those with the knowledge can find agreement. There remain however, many things we simply don't understand enough yet to form detailed opinions. In such cases, there is always room for speculation.
« Last Edit: 21/02/2015 15:15:14 by Ethos_ »
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #8 on: 21/02/2015 15:19:47 »
Quote from: allan marsh
What's the probability of PmbPhy agreeing with. Alancalverd
Why did you ask this anyway? The question on the thread is What is the probability that senior expert replies are correct. Alan is not a senior expert on any topic that I post on that I'm aware of. He claims to be a medical physicist and I don't post on that subject. That subject deals a lot with nuclear physics and that subject rarely comes up. When it does I'll post only when I know exactly what I'm talking about.

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Offline Bill S

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #9 on: 21/02/2015 16:00:44 »
Quote
Come on folk even experts can smile?

Unfortunately, the second part of the OP seems to have been forgotten.
There never was nothing.

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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #10 on: 21/02/2015 16:23:34 »
It is better that people don't agree. If they did nothing would change. Different opinions move things forward. It has to be remembered that both Pete and Alan put a lot of effort in to try to help people when they are wrong. Even when the people they try to help just won't listen. It may be some time later those posters realize their mistakes and eventually come to an understanding. Some may never change. It is difficult for some people to admit publicly that they have made silly errors. They feel challenged rather than just taking the advice on board. I doubt if I would have that much patience.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #11 on: 21/02/2015 16:37:28 »
You do me a disservice. I agree with people based on whether they're correct on a point and not on who they are.
No you don't. On post #35 of this thread you said I was wrong when I said a gravitational field doesn't add energy to a descending photon, or remove energy from an ascending photon. Then you referred to your own article which ends up saying the total energy of a photon moving through a gravitational field is constant
« Last Edit: 21/02/2015 16:39:22 by JohnDuffield »

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #12 on: 21/02/2015 17:15:58 »
Quote from: JohnDuffield
No you don't.
Yes I do.

Quote from: JohnDuffield
On post #35 of ...you said I was wrong when I said a gravitational field doesn't add energy to a descending photon, or remove energy from an ascending photon.
My apologies. I mistook what I read. I thought that you were saying that a g-field "does" add energy etc. I have a slight problem with Dyslexia which means that on very rare occasions I'll misread something like that. Sorry.

Never let it be said that I don't correct my mistakes as soon as I recognize that I make them. And no, John. This doesn't mean that all the other mistakes you've made that I pointed out must therefore be correct. Seems like that'd be the first thing you'd say after I'd post something like this.

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Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #13 on: 21/02/2015 17:23:50 »
My apologies. I mistook what I read. I thought that you were saying that a g-field "does" add energy etc. I have a slight problem with Dyslexia which means that on very rare occasions I'll misread something like that. Sorry.
Apology accepted.

And no, John. This doesn't mean that all the other mistakes you've made that I pointed out must therefore be correct.
What other mistakes? Again, you're suggesting I've made mistakes when I haven't. Not much of an apology, was it?

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #14 on: 21/02/2015 17:30:56 »
It is better that people don't agree. If they did nothing would change.
I agree that different views lead to more research and ultimately, new information. But when new facts present themselves, the practical and honest physicist will add this information to his inventory of known realities. If there were no standards of agreement, we would have anarchy within the scientific community. Without standards, progress within the technologies would suffer drastically. Agreement is also needed where evidence supports hypothesis leading to accepted theory. There will always be room at the fringes for crackpots as long as sound physics still survives at the center.
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #15 on: 21/02/2015 20:52:52 »
Quote from: JohnDuffield
What other mistakes? Again, you're suggesting I've made mistakes when I haven't.
That's always been your problem. Your grasp of physics is so absolutely horrible that you're totally incapable of understanding what your errors are when they're pointed out to you. For example; you've always misunderstood relativity and electrodynamics in the sense that you've claimed that there's no such thing as an electric or magnetic field, only an electromagnetic field. Such a belief demonstrates an extremely poor understanding of the subject. Yet when I explained your error to you you failed to understand it. That's why you keep claiming that you don't make errors, i.e. because no matter how many errors that you've made and people have pointed out to you, you're so terrible at physics that can't fathom the reasons they give you so you remain ignorant.

« Last Edit: 25/02/2015 15:52:57 by Georgia »

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Offline dlorde

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #16 on: 22/02/2015 00:16:38 »
Philosophically, I think there are probably only two certainties - the certainty of one's own existence, and the certainty that there are no other certainties. But I'm not certain.

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Offline yor_on

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #17 on: 22/02/2015 11:32:50 »
Neither am I dlorde :)
Unless I am of course? In which case I can't be, can I?
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Offline alancalverd

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #18 on: 22/02/2015 12:14:54 »
What's the probability of PmbPhy agreeing with. Alancalverd

Senior? Yes, very.

Expert? If it means having a keen nose and a strong distaste for bullshit, yes.

Ditto for Pete.

There's nothing in science about which anyone can disagree. However elementary or bizarre your hypothesis, if it doesn't explain everything you have observed, and correctly predict the next observation, it's wrong. If it does all the above, it's "good enough for clinical or engineering use", which is the limit of my interest.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #19 on: 22/02/2015 12:22:31 »
That's always been your problem. Your grasp of physics is so absolutely horrible that you're totally incapable of understanding what your errors are when they're pointed out to you. For example; you've always misunderstood relativity and electrodynamics in the sense that you've claimed that there's no such thing as an electric or magnetic field, only an electromagnetic field. Such a belief demonstrates an extremely poor understanding of the subject. Yet when I explained your error to you you failed to understand it.
You haven't explained any such error to me. Perhaps I can draw your attention to Maxwell's unification of electricity and magnetism, epitomised by  this: "Over time, it was realized that the electric and magnetic fields are better thought of as two parts of a greater whole — the electromagnetic field".

That's why you keep claiming that you don't make errors, i.e. because no matter how many errors that you've made and people have pointed out to you, you're so terrible at physics that can't fathom the reasons they give you so you remain ignorant.
You said I made a mistake when I didn't, then you said I've made lots of other mistakes when I haven't, and now you're also saying I'm terrible at physics, and I'm ignorant, and my grasp of physics is horrible. Perhaps the problem you have is more than just a slight problem with dyslexia

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Offline Bill S

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #20 on: 22/02/2015 19:00:21 »
Quote from: Ophiolite
How many young persons, potentially interested in science have been turned off by the childish behaviour on display?

Hopefully not many. I often tell people that of the various science discussion forums I have tried, TNS is in my experience the best.   It saddens me to see personal attacks, if unchecked it is the start of circling the drain for the forum.
There never was nothing.

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Offline Caleb

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Re: Certainty or "Tentative Certainty"
« Reply #21 on: 23/02/2015 00:06:33 »
I think the experts are fairly much in line with the consensus. Science consists of model-building that gets it more and more correct, also more complicated, perhaps more limited in the areas predicted to, etc.

Every now and then incredible theories burst through that revolutionize science -- continental drift, evolution, Semmelweiss and Pasteur, helicobacter pilori, horizontal gene transfer, etc.

But I do think that scientists do tend to "sit before a fact as a child."

And on the other hand, we are tribal animals and perhaps evolution has made us this way. Also, money (see http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate-change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html?_r=0 [nofollow] for global denier Wei-Hock Soon), tribal beliefs ("We're right! You're wrong!" "Obama is a muslim!"), etc.

But science is clearly the most effective method for separating the wheat from the chaff, the long-term great ideas from the nonsense. It is the best way to overcome confirmation bias (e.g., see http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/N-rays [nofollow] for a wonderful example of confirmation bias).

T. H. Huxley himself said: "The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact." (The same one who said we should sit before a fact as a child. And he said many other terrific things as well.)

MOTC -- (my own two cents)

Caleb

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Offline allan marsh

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #22 on: 24/02/2015 15:09:28 »
So sorry folks. It does seem that lots of you are certain that you are uncertain.
I, as Allan Marsh, obviously must declare that my name is not allan marsh

I do have patents taken out by employers with me as the declared inventor.
I do declare x years in the nuclear industry, Bucks. and Dounreay.
I do declare having been involved in thermal, silver zinc, lithium, all metal air type batteries amongst others
I do declare that although retired and probably considered a jrn contributor, and probably on the way out, I am still with it!
I do declare having met Mr N  Bohr in 1961 so that does make me gagga!

One thing I must declare is that some answers I have seen from some " experts"  make me squirm!
So unless you have fun tracking my IP I remain just some other person, having had great fun, on the site.
Allan Marsh dies. today but I do believe in Reincarnation!     Now there is another question..... Experts?
A man that knows he is right is almost sure to be wrong.....etc.  Michael faraday 1819

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #23 on: 24/02/2015 23:06:09 »
Quote from: alancalverd
Ditto for Pete.
Thank you Sir. That is most kind of you. :)

Quote from: alancalverd
There's nothing in science about which anyone can disagree.
I strongly disagree. Einstein held that non-inertial frames are equivalent to gravitational fields whereas Wheeler disagreed requiring that a field has to have spacetime curvature in order for a gravitational field to be present. These are no the same requirements. Some people hold that mass varies with speed while others don't. I.e. these people disagree on the definitions.

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #24 on: 24/02/2015 23:33:20 »
I am uncertain about several things:

Is PmbPhy really unaware of how emotionally laden and offensive some of his posts are?

Maybe offensive for those that come here to prove themselves as superior. I've personally have never had a cross word from him, but then of course, I came here to learn.

A few individuals come to this forum thinking that they are candidates for the Noble Peace Prize. When they discover that we have very knowledgeable members here that quickly uncover flaws in their theories, they begin accusing us by suggesting we have an elitist attitude. If I may be very blunt, those individuals would be better served to listen when shown their errors. Regrettably, they waste the opportunity to learn and start insulting those who truly want to encourage them with the facts.

The question everyone should ask themselves is this: "Did I come here to learn or to teach?" If I came to learn, I have a great opportunity to do so. If I came here to teach, I had better know my stuff because if I don't, I will eventually be found out.
« Last Edit: 24/02/2015 23:50:04 by Ethos_ »
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #25 on: 25/02/2015 00:06:24 »
[quote author=Ethos_ M
aybe offensive for those that come here to prove themselves as superior. I've personally have never had a cross word from him, but then of course, I came here to learn.

A few individuals come to this forum thinking that they are candidates for the Noble Peace Prize. When they discover that we have very knowledgeable members here that quickly uncover flaws in their theories, they begin accusing us by suggesting we have an elitist attitude. If I may be very blunt, those individuals would be better served to listen when shown their errors. Regrettably, they waste the opportunity to learn and start insulting those who truly want to encourage them with the facts.

The question everyone should ask themselves is this: "Did I come here to learn or to teach?" If I came to learn, I have a great opportunity to do so. If I came here to teach, I had better know my stuff because if I don't, I will eventually be found out.
[/quote]
You should listen to him, Ophiolite. You can certainly learn a lot from him.

I have a great deal of respect for Ethos. Even though my knowledge of physics is greater than his, he certainly is as wise, perhaps a lot wiser, than I am.

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Offline PhysBang

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #26 on: 25/02/2015 14:36:20 »
Quote from: alancalverd
There's nothing in science about which anyone can disagree.
I strongly disagree. Einstein held that non-inertial frames are equivalent to gravitational fields whereas Wheeler disagreed requiring that a field has to have spacetime curvature in order for a gravitational field to be present. These are no the same requirements.
I don't think that this is a serious difference. In order to produce the non-inertial frames that Einstein desired, one has to use exactly the pseudo-Riemannian geometry that Wheeler (and everyone else?) identify with spacetime curvature.

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Offline Bill S

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #27 on: 25/02/2015 15:45:55 »
The OP was about certainty.  I believe that one thing is certain. If trolls, crackpots or whatever come to this forum and have standards that are so low that they find it necessary personally to insult other posters, experts or otherwise, if the victims respond in kind, the forum suffers, and those seriously looking to learn will be put off joining. 

The son of a friend of mind recently said that one advantage of having tinted windows in your car is that idiot road users who do things to upset other drivers never know if their action drew a response.  This, he thought, frustrated the hell out of them, as a response was what they were looking for. I think there are some posters who are just looking for an angry response.  Why give it to them, when ignoring them would be more effective?  BTW: I don’t put John in that category; I believe he puts thought into his ideas, and, right or wrong, they have elicited responses from which I have learned.

Pete, you spent a short time on SAGG, I have been posting there for longer than I have been on TNS.  I have seen good posters leave because of the trolling, crackpottery and aggression.  Anyone interested in examples of frustrated attempts to engage seriously with the “dogmatic” might visit SAGG and look for my (and others’) efforts to talk to PreEarth.  Then there’s “Newton” – no comment!

Let’s keep TNS the best “open” discussion forum on science.
There never was nothing.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #28 on: 25/02/2015 19:41:08 »
Quote from: PhysBang
I don't think that this is a serious difference. In order to produce the non-inertial frames that Einstein desired, one has to use exactly the pseudo-Riemannian geometry that Wheeler (and everyone else?) identify with spacetime curvature.
That's incorrect. One can create non-inertial frames by merely changing the spacetime coordinates. E.g. changing from an inertial frame S in flat spacetime to a uniformly accelerating frame of reference will (1) produce a non-inertial frame of reference and (2) not produce spacetime curvature. Spacetime curvature cannot be introduced merely by a change of coordinates since its a property of the manifold itself.

And Einstein didn't associate spacetime curvature with a gravitational field. However a non-vanishing Riemann tensor in a region of spacetime R is equivalent to that region being a curved spacetime.

In any case the point was not whether it was much of a difference but whether the assertion There's nothing in science about which anyone can disagree. is correct.

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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #29 on: 27/02/2015 17:54:20 »
The question everyone should ask themselves is this: "Did I come here to learn or to teach?" If I came to learn, I have a great opportunity to do so. If I came here to teach, I had better know my stuff because if I don't, I will eventually be found out.
I came here to do both. I am ignorant of most things and hope to learn more in some of those deficient areas. I have sound knowledge in a small number of areas where "I know my stuff".

I know, for example, that PmbPhy would be more effective, on average, if he took a gentler approach. I most assuredly know that lurkers who are wavering in their understanding will be more readily persuaded of PmbPhy's assertions if he adopted such an approach.

The choice, of course, is his.
Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #30 on: 28/02/2015 08:17:24 »
Quote from: Ethos_
Maybe offensive for those that come here to prove themselves as superior. I've personally have never had a cross word from him, but then of course, I came here to learn.
Thanks, buddy. That's saying it like it is. Ophiolite has had a grudge against me perhaps even before he met me for reasons unknown to me. As we've discussed before he's one of those members who uses what I call "mind reading" to help him form opinions about members. That means that he forms beliefs based on what he thinks or believes[p/i] what I must have meant even though I never stated it. Some sentences can have multiple meanings which, as a result, can be read in various ways. Some of them are the correct way, i.e. the way I meant, while others are a twisting of my words. Which one is used is the one which rings true based on what he wants to believe or what fits in with what he assumes must be true.

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #31 on: 28/02/2015 19:00:00 »
Can you be sure that they're doing it deliberately? I think communication on the Net drives conflict because we're all under such pressure to get everything done online without it taking up too much of our time, so we get irritated easily and tend to read people wrongly, automatically assuming the worst of them.

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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Certainty
« Reply #32 on: 01/03/2015 07:15:08 »
Can you be sure that they're doing it deliberately? I think communication on the Net drives conflict because we're all under such pressure to get everything done online without it taking up too much of our time, so we get irritated easily and tend to read people wrongly, automatically assuming the worst of them.
Quote from: Ethos_
Maybe offensive for those that come here to prove themselves as superior. I've personally have never had a cross word from him, but then of course, I came here to learn.
Thanks, buddy. That's saying it like it is. Ophiolite has had a grudge against me perhaps even before he met me for reasons unknown to me. As we've discussed before he's one of those members who uses what I call "mind reading" to help him form opinions about members. That means that he forms beliefs based on what he thinks or believes[p/i] what I must have meant even though I never stated it. Some sentences can have multiple meanings which, as a result, can be read in various ways. Some of them are the correct way, i.e. the way I meant, while others are a twisting of my words. Which one is used is the one which rings true based on what he wants to believe or what fits in with what he assumes must be true.
I have no grudge against you. I have never had a grudge against you. I quite like you and think your intentions are positive, honourable, socially responsible, pro-active and lots of other great things.

I also think - no, I know - that on some occasions your passion can get in the way of those excellent intentions and turn people off, or even against you. My comments have always been designed to warn you of that - they have been singularly unsuccessful.  I'll try shutting up. The outcome from that is wholly predictable, it's just that I hate to abandon you.
Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.