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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 03 Feb '13 17:58
    I have a general sense whether the phrase 'seeing is believing' or conversely, 'believing is seeing' - has more relevance given Einstein and The Special Theory of Relativity.

    I find it intriguing that the empirically oriented objectivist types seem the most inclined to posit absolutist terms like 'empirical fact' and 'objective truth' even after Einstein led the scientific community to question our most sacrosanct concepts (space and time, for instance); and without apparently considering what 'it' is that observes or perhaps more importantly - the impact of the observer on what is observed (whether, and to what extent this division exists is problematic given the structure of cognition, language, experience, and so on).

    Knowledge as being tentative (knowledge as experience is funded by the past and limited to the present) has generally been accepted as one of the virtues of Science - along with simplicity, explanatory power, predictive accuracy, scope, fruitfulness, and so forth.

    It would be comforting to know that along with the many billions of other observers on the planet that there is such a thing as an 'objective truth' or 'empirical fact' in the world. However, I suspect that concepts such as these may depend more on the relative reference frame, language, experience, and perspective of an observer mediated neuro-physiologically through the senses.

    The observer is the observed! (JK)

    Perhaps this is mistaken?

    Philip Shupe
    Laramie, Wyoming
  2. 03 Feb '13 19:11
    I think you are a little confused. Relativity is a deterministic theory. When you are talking about the influence of "observing" and so on, you are referring to quantum mechanics.