Re: Against Physics

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 09:35:38 -0700

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 14 Aug 2009, at 09:11, Rex Allen wrote:

>>>> Uncaused things can't be explained. They just are.
>>>> So what causes the complexity and structure of the things that I am
>>>> conscious of? Nothing. That's just the way my experience is.
>>> ? I can't accept this, because I am interested in the how and why of
>>> complexity of things and happenings.
>> So you can look for patterns in what you observe, and interesting ways
>> to represent what you have observed in the past.
> Not just that. I look for understanding. I criticize enough the
> scientists who confuse description and prediction with explanation.

I disagree that this a confusion. A description of something you don't understand in
terms of something you do understand is one form of explanation. The ability to predict
is an excellent measure of understanding. I think the only confusion comes from
conflating different kinds of explanation or thoughtlessly switching from one to another.
I would say that your explanation of the world is a descriptive one and basing it on
arithmetic is appealing because we understand arithmetic. And I think you agree that if
it makes false predictions it fails as an explanation.


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Received on Sun Aug 16 2009 - 09:35:38 PDT

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