List of All Laws of Nature

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Angua » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:30 am UTC

I always thought Courvoisier's law was a bit too vague to be a law.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:04 am UTC

It may be vague, but "Act a fool, you better watch out" does indeed have the force of nature behind it, and should be respected as a law.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:49 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Hilton's Law = A nerve trunk that supplies a joint also supplies the muscle of the joint and the skin over the insertions of such muscle.

That is just anatomy, isn't it? People have two hands. It is a regularity, in any case.

Pfulger's laws seem vague with all the 'often's 'very's and 'mild increase's, but they are quite interesting.

Sherrington’s (Descarte's) Law of Reciprocal Innervation
- In isometric contractions both flexor and extensor can be equally contracted/relaxed, so how is that a law? There are situations where it holds, but it is not precise or general enough.

Law of Facilitation - Vague.

Donders' Law, Listing's Law - anatomy.

---------------------
On topic, a nice general law: Sturgeon's law (especially Dennett's formulation)

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Xanthir » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:34 pm UTC

aph wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Hilton's Law = A nerve trunk that supplies a joint also supplies the muscle of the joint and the skin over the insertions of such muscle.

That is just anatomy, isn't it? People have two hands. It is a regularity, in any case.

Your response feels like a non sequitur. Hilton's law is that a joint, the joint's muscle, and the skin over those muscles are all supplied by the same nerve trunk. It's easy to imagine that not being the case, and instead having a joint trunk, a muscle trunk, and a skin trunk all separate.

I have no idea what "People have two hands." has to do with this.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:09 pm UTC

Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics?

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:42 pm UTC

aph wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Hilton's Law = A nerve trunk that supplies a joint also supplies the muscle of the joint and the skin over the insertions of such muscle.

That is just anatomy, isn't it? People have two hands. It is a regularity, in any case...

Donders' Law, Listing's Law - anatomy.

The anatomy of the nervous system is a branch of neurology; similarly, the anatomy of the heart is a branch of cardiology.

aph wrote:Pfulger's laws seem vague with all the 'often's 'very's and 'mild increase's, but they are quite interesting.

I looked over Pfulger's 6 laws and I counted 1 use of the word 'often', 1 use of the word 'very' and 0 uses of the phrase 'mild increase's'.

aph wrote:Sherrington’s (Descarte's) Law of Reciprocal Innervation
- In isometric contractions both flexor and extensor can be equally contracted/relaxed, so how is that a law? There are situations where it holds, but it is not precise or general enough.

Muscles do not actual contract during an isometric contraction, so Sherrington's Law does not apply.

aph wrote:Law of Facilitation - Vague.

If a stimulus is repeated, then activity over the corresponding synaptic pathway increases. How is that vague?

aph wrote:Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics?

Yes.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby BlackSails » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:31 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
aph wrote:Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics?

Yes.


I dont generally count things I can easily change as immutable laws of nature.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:41 am UTC

Laws of the anatomy of automobiles could be contrived equally readily, and change only when the technology and conventions did. Or here's one for desktop computers: When a computer power supply offers multiple voltages by wire to discrete components within the case, the yellow cables are usually 12V.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby tomandlu » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:04 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
aph wrote:Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics?

Yes.


Why? I mean, I can see that the underlying physics would be 'laws of nature', but in the case of specific anatomy, these laws don't seem to be anything more than descriptions of specific implementations rather than "well, this is the only way a nervous system could ever work".
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:10 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The anatomy of the nervous system is a branch of neurology; similarly, the anatomy of the heart is a branch of cardiology.

No problem with that, neuroanatomy of every animal is interesting for doing comparative neuroscience. Whole connectomes of some animals are known. That can be counted as a big advancement in neuroscience during the last century.

Neuroscience includes not just the study of nerves, of their chemical, physical, biological properties, but also the interaction of nervous systems with their environment studied in fields from robotics to psychotherapy, and everything in between. Maybe to understand the nervous system, we need something different.

Even though we have excellent understanding of anatomy, we don't understand the interaction. We can learn about anatomy from dead animals, but to learn about the functioning of live brains, we need recordings of live brains, in a natural setting, with sufficient resolution.

(One caveat - it wasn't necessary to see atoms to form the atomic theory of matter. People just proposed the model as a fitting explanation of multiple observations of orders-of-magnitude larger phenomena. With brains, however, we don't seem to have much success with proposed models in accurately and precisely replicating behavior of live systems (in perception, in motor control, in learning and memory...). It will be helpful to actually observe the thing we're studying. )

What is missing is a grand unified theory of nervous system function that will provide a framework for all the fields related to neuroscience, and will send unholy abominations such as 'chemical imbalance causes mental illness' theory to their rightful place under Satan's wings.

I looked over Pfulger's 6 laws and I counted 1 use of the word 'often', 1 use of the word 'very' and 0 uses of the phrase 'mild increase's'.

I counted 0 uses of precise, quantitative expressions of those laws. How much is 'sufficient level of stimulation', how much 'mild irritation' is mild and when is it 'strong', and so on. The laws are apparently used in massage therapy, so they are useful, but they are vague.

aph wrote:Muscles do not actual contract during an isometric contraction, so Sherrington's Law does not apply.

They do. If you put your right arm in, and then you put your right arm out, that is an isotonic contraction where the flexor is going from 'contracted' to 'extended' while the extensor is going from 'extended' to 'contracted'. Overall muscle tone stays about the same. If you keep the angle of the elbow joint stable and just flex your biceps and triceps, both of the muscles will contract (you can see and feel that). I suppose you meant that the joint angle doesn't change during a isometric contraction? Either way, in everyday operation, there are rarely clean isotonic or isometric contractions. Sherrington's law could be stated differently as the existence of reciprocal stimulation of flexors and extensors of the same joint. Sometimes the effect is reciprocal state of contraction, but that depends on changes in efferent commands for muscle tone, changes is the load and similar things.
aph wrote:Law of Facilitation - Vague.

If a stimulus is repeated, then activity over the corresponding synaptic pathway increases. How is that vague?

Not quantitative. There are quantitative models of synaptic plasticity, but they are probabilistic, and we don't quite know what to do with them in the big scheme of things - what does it change in the behavior of the system if a particular synapse is stronger or weaker, or a collection of them. Our best guess is that is has something to do with learning.

aph wrote:Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics?

Yes.

We could, I suppose. They seem a bit narrow.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:44 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:I dont generally count things I can easily change as immutable laws of nature.
Laws of the anatomy of automobiles could be contrived equally readily, and change only when the technology and conventions did. Or here's one for desktop computers: When a computer power supply offers multiple voltages by wire to discrete components within the case, the yellow cables are usually 12V.
The subject of anatomy isn't what shape organisms happen to have at the moment, it's the shapes they naturally tend to have. Cutting an individual rat's tail off (or even all rats) doesn't affect the "laws of anatomy" since the statement "rats tend to grow tails" would still be true.

Creating a strain of tailless rat that's kept isolated in labs still wouldn't affect it, because these new rats are not members of the group orginally under consideration as the subject of anatomy.
Now if you made a virus that distributed this as a genetic change and all rats in the world no longer grew trails, then you've managed to invalidate the law and alter the subject of consideration.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:37 am UTC

We could still say that this new virus-transformed species is not the same as the previous one the law referred to. The law would hold for the old species. Ultimately, it is a correlation.

A causal model, or a mechanism underlying the development of a certain anatomical feature might be more precise and useful. It could be expressed as a formula connecting the genome with the feature. Shape-size = function (TAIL1, TAIL2, SPINE_S, envirnoment1, ...). Then the researchers could alter the genes or the environment to get tail-less rats or get a specific length or shape they might need for some reason. An extended model might hold for all mammals or all vertebrates.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:14 pm UTC

"Causal models" make for great storytelling but don't kid yourself. You get correlations.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:02 pm UTC

How do you mean? Isn't development pretty deterministic, not only dependent on the genes, but the epigenome and other environment factors?

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:09 pm UTC

aph wrote:If you put your right arm in, and then you put your right arm out,
in, out, in, out, then shake it all about. Do the hokey-cokey and then turn around. That's what it's all about.

Hey?

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:30 am UTC

aph wrote:How do you mean? Isn't development pretty deterministic, not only dependent on the genes, but the epigenome and other environment factors?

Heh, 'isn't development pretty deterministic, dependent on [AllTheThingsEvenRandomOnes]?'
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:50 am UTC

but even if you take something like f=ma, there's no causality. forces don't cause accelerations. that's a story we tell, there's an equality there. which, of course, just means a lot of correlation.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby elasto » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:23 am UTC

doogly wrote:but even if you take something like f=ma, there's no causality. forces don't cause accelerations. that's a story we tell, there's an equality there. which, of course, just means a lot of correlation.

Seems to me that physical laws are just as useful whether you define causality to mean 'A always causes B' or 'B always correlates with A', so it seems like a nitpick without a purpose.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:09 pm UTC

The purpose is displacing the narrative baggage we've developed over millenia.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:50 am UTC

On one level, everything is a story.

If we just look at the correlations, so far established physical laws have very high correlations between variables, so we can be pretty good at predicting dependent variables from independent ones. Life sciences ... not so many good correlations. Now, maybe this is in the nature of living things, they're maybe so random we won't ever find laws describing the phenomena we're studying. Alternatively, we still haven't discovered/invented the right models.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

doogly wrote:but even if you take something like f=ma, there's no causality. forces don't cause accelerations. that's a story we tell, there's an equality there. which, of course, just means a lot of correlation.
Let's look at two correlations: force to acceleration and storks to babies.
  1. If I find two objects with similar masses but subject to different forces: is it reasonable to expect them to have different accelerations?
  2. If I find two areas with different stork densities: is it reasonable to expect them to have different densities of newborns?
  3. If I add extra force to an object: is it reasonable to expect it to accelerate more?
  4. If I add extra storks to an area: is it reasonable to expect more babies?
The answers are A -yes, B - yes, C - yes, D -no

If you say C is no: you're basically saying that engineering is impossible. More generally, all human endeavor is predicated on having such knowledge.
If you say D is yes: you don't know where babies come from. (btw, the storks are following the construction)
If you don't say that the difference between C and D is that one relationship is causal and the other isn't: then you're just using an unusual definition of "cause".
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:06 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
doogly wrote:but even if you take something like f=ma, there's no causality. forces don't cause accelerations. that's a story we tell, there's an equality there. which, of course, just means a lot of correlation.
Let's look at two correlations: force to acceleration and storks to babies.
  1. If I find two objects with similar masses but subject to different forces to have different accelerations?
  2. If I find two areas with different stork densities to have different densities of newborns?
  3. If I add extra force to an object is it reasonable to expect it to accelerate more?
  4. If I add extra storks to an area is it reasonable to expect more babies?
The answers are A -yes, B - yes, C - yes, D -no

If you say C is no: you're basically saying that engineering is impossible. More generally, all human endeavor is predicated on have such knowledge.
If you say D is yes: you don't know where babies come from. (btw, the storks are following the construction)
If you don't say that the difference between C and D is that one relationship is causal and the other isn't: then you're just using an unusual definition of "cause".
I get the point you're trying to make, but the difference is that one is a real correlation and the other isn't. Force and acceleration really truly are proportional, while stork density and baby density are not.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:44 pm UTC

What do you mean by "real correlation"?

As far as I can be bothered to research it, it is a factual claim. (p value 0.008) Although the actual factuality doesn't matter as this is just an example.

As far as the formal statistical definition of "correlation" it is definitely a correlation, in that it is a predictive relationship between two variables.

As for other definitions of "correlation" I looked for other less formal/ prescriptive definitions but I didn't find any that were more restrictive then the mathematical definition.

It's not a perfect correlation (a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient value of 1); the coefficent is only .62, which weakens B but doesn't trivialize the correlation. But if we look at sub-atomic scales, force and acceleration have a significantly less than perfect correlation; A and C are still true, it's just our expectations have weakened somewhat.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:16 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:What do you mean by "real correlation"?
I suppose I could have said "strong correlation", but what I mean is
gmalivuk wrote:Force and acceleration really truly are proportional, while stork density and baby density are not.


A correlation coefficient of only 0.62 is quite low, and p=0.008 only means that we'd be unlikely to get a correlation that high if there's no connection whatsoever. It doesn't tell us about the probability that there is a connection.

In any case, you're comparing it to physics, where 5σ is a typical threshold. So call me when you get to p ≤ 0.0000006 (which for that sample size would require r > 0.9 or so).
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:56 pm UTC

I think focusing on the p or r values is a red hearing. I could get much better values by picking other examples that are still considered non-causal correlations.

For the r value, we can expect an applied force to change the acceleration of an electron, only within some probability. This doesn't change the fact that if we want an electron to move somewhere, we know the best thing to do is apply a force. We know, it's not guess or a superstition, it's a sound understanding of what force and acceleration are.

As for the p value: it's fine to question if one specific correlation exists, but it's another to assert that no non-casual correlation exists. By rejecting the stork-baby correlation based on it's p-value you're implicitly rejecting (B). So let me ask you this: is there any amount of evidence that would make you believe (B)? If you saw that evidence, would you automatically believe (D)?
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:29 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:As far as I can be bothered to research it, it is a factual claim. (p value 0.008) Although the actual factuality doesn't matter as this is just an example.


As a side issue, if it wasn't an apparent correlation (of some kind, so long as it was not so yet utterly discredited), you wouldn't be mentioning it right now. You'd be mentioning something that was a correlation.

No real point, but I thought it worth mentioning. :P

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby elasto » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:54 am UTC

doogly wrote:The purpose is displacing the narrative baggage we've developed over millenia.

I assume the 'baggage' you are referring to is the implication that 'causation' implies 'agency' - and in particular 'conscious agency'?

Such baggage is quite able to fall away on its own. Many people are quite capable of simultaneously stating that 'I caused my fingers to type this post' but also 'free will is an illusion' - so in fact this post was caused by the boundary conditions of the universe.

'Causation' is too useful a shorthand to throw under the bus like that. If I say 'the Higgs mechanism causes particles to have mass' everyone knows what I mean without any inference that Higgs bosons somehow 'choose' to do so or something.

Doesn't seem to me that I gain anything by trying to reformulate it as 'the Higgs mechanism gives particles mass' or 'the effect of the Higgs field is to give particles mass' - they could all be argued to have the same linguistic 'issues'...
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:56 am UTC

Nah, the whole shebang. I don't like your Higgs causing mass narrative either. Tear em down.

It's people wanting to read ---> where there's an =, this kind of thing.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:13 am UTC

At some point, you have to take the concepts out of the equation and explain them to humans.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:12 am UTC

Maybe causal explanations are well fitted for things that happen in a sequence, over time. Whenever A happens, it is followed by B, therefore A causes B. Heavy rain causes an increase in water levels. That looks fine. But it gets a bit hard to imagine how gravitational force causes the shapes of orbits, while acting instantaneously over large spatial distances. The equations (the model) work, but the story might need an update.

@elasto
Isn't it reversed? Agency implies causation. As in law, a person/agent is considered a causal factor in whatever they did. In some cases (insanity, young age...), the person is not considered as really having much agency, and the things becomes an accident (not caused by the person).

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:25 pm UTC

aph wrote:But it gets a bit hard to imagine how gravitational force causes the shapes of orbits, while acting instantaneously over large spatial distances.
It doesn't act instantaneously, though.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:27 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:At some point, you have to take the concepts out of the equation and explain them to humans.

Sure, just don't take them seriously.

We do a good job not taking "purpose" seriously anymore, even though we have things like Lagrangian mechanics. But "cause" has proven much stickier.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:40 pm UTC

Dear everyone who responded to my one word statement on anatomy,
Spoiler:
I was writing a huge thing about Truth-Maker theory, falsification and cow on the Moon; however, it was getting too long and was impossible to understand, so I am just going to ask you a question. Can you prove the null hypothesis of one of these Laws of Anatomy? Remember that every law does not apply to every organism, so you cannot disprove Listing's Law with snails or flies.

Also, I gave that one word response because it is a great way to counter the medias' trick aph was using. The trick is using a question when claiming something is true. The person using this trick creates support for their platform by implying that there is just reason to ask the question and can not be called a liar or have to admit that they were wrong if the platform is disproved. For example, read this article. A quick ctrl-f search shows that the phrase 'what if' appears 49 times. This one uses that phrase 45 times. When someone tries this trick simply responding 'no' or 'that cannot happen' is the best counter. A word of warning, make sure the response is makes grammatical sense when compared to the question.


Dear everyone who has used the word 'correlation' on this thread,
Spoiler:
Everything that has been said is what lead Popper to develop falsification. I will not describe it here because I an not even close to smart enough to teach it to you. Just to be clear, this limitation is created by MY lack of knowledge and/ or ability.



Dear aph,
Spoiler:
aph wrote:Neuroscience includes not just the study of nerves, of their chemical, physical, biological properties, but also the interaction of nervous systems with their environment studied in fields from robotics to psychotherapy, and everything in between. Maybe to understand the nervous system, we need something different.
Even though we have excellent understanding of anatomy, we don't understand the interaction. We can learn about anatomy from dead animals, but to learn about the functioning of live brains, we need recordings of live brains, in a natural setting, with sufficient resolution. [/url]


Just because we do not understand everything about neurology right now does not mean that the things that we do understand are false.

unholy abominations such as 'chemical imbalance causes mental illness' theory to their rightful place under Satan's wings.


Can you please explain why you find this so offensive? Maybe in a PM or in another thread so that this one does jot go wildly off track.

I counted 0 uses of precise, quantitative expressions of those laws. How much is 'sufficient level of stimulation', how much 'mild irritation' is mild and when is it 'strong', and so on. The laws are apparently used in massage therapy, so they are useful, but they are vague.


The function f(x) is continuous. Between negative infinity and A exclusive f(x) is negative. Between A inclusive and B inclusive f(x) is positive. Between B exclusive and C exclusive f(x) is negative. Between C inclusive and positive infinity f(x) is positive. A < B < C and are all real numbers. Those small bits of info are very vague; they still give us a lot of info. We know that f(x) is a polynomial of odd degree, its degree must be > 3 and its domain is all real numbers. This is the similar to Pflüger's Laws; which allow us to learn a lot about a subject even those they are vague.

jewish_scientist wrote:Muscles do not actual contract during an isometric contraction, so Sherrington's Law does not apply.
They do.


I have 11 credible, respectable sources who disagree, including the CDC.

aph wrote:
aph wrote:Law of Facilitation - Vague.
If a stimulus is repeated, then activity over the corresponding synaptic pathway increases. How is that vague?
Not quantitative. There are quantitative models of synaptic plasticity, but they are probabilistic, and we don't quite know what to do with them in the big scheme of things - what does it change in the behavior of the system if a particular synapse is stronger or weaker, or a collection of them. Our best guess is that is has something to do with learning.[/quote]

Jewish_scientist's Law of Stuff He Barely Understands = If an object is moving relative to an observer, then time passes slower for that object in reference to the observer.
This Law of Nature is true. This Law of Nature is not quantitative. Therefor Laws of Nature do not have to be quantitative.


Newton's Law of Cooling = For a body cooling in a draft (i.e., by forced convection), the rate of heat loss is proportional to the difference in temperatures between the body and its surroundings.

Kepler's Law of Orbits a.k.a. Kepler's First Law = All planets move in elliptical orbits, with the sun at one focus.

Kepler's Law of Periods a.k.a. Kepler's Third Law= The square of the period of any planet is proportional to the cube of the semimajor axis of its orbit.

I did not put Kepler's Law of Areas a.k.a. Kepler's Second Law because I cannot find its formal definition. Seriously, it is a little ridiculous. Before everyone who read that starts posting the law, please remember that unless Kepler published his work with the words 'sweeps', 'wedges' or 'pie slices' in it, those words cannot be in the formal definition of the law.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

Every example you gave is actually quantitative.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
aph wrote:But it gets a bit hard to imagine how gravitational force causes the shapes of orbits, while acting instantaneously over large spatial distances.
It doesn't act instantaneously, though.

Yeah, speed of light and all that.
But then, gravitons are still hypothetical particles, so the story is missing something, we can't really explain the interaction using the story of 'causes' in the usual sense.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:39 pm UTC

doogly wrote:It's people wanting to read ---> where there's an =, this kind of thing.
Again, all human endeavor is predicated on that -->. Models of reality that only predict things in situ are entirely insufficient, we need to predict what happens when we poke reality.

"The Higg's mechanism gives an electron its mass" tells us that masselectron = k*|Higg's field| + sigma (other potential causes of electron's mass)
and that those other potential causes are typically zero
and when they're not zero, they tend to be insignificant relative to the higgs caused mass
and that if we gave electrons mass another way (say a strong EM field) it wouldn't change the Higg's field

All those unpacked statement follow a pattern that is extremely common and useful.
jewish_scientist wrote:
unholy abominations such as 'chemical imbalance causes mental illness' theory to their rightful place under Satan's wings.


Can you please explain why you find this so offensive? Maybe in a PM or in another thread so that this one does jot go wildly off track.
I'd guess APH is objecting to the implied "simply" before "causing". Mental illness is complex and any simple explanation is going to fall flat.
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby doogly » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:04 pm UTC

It's totally useful for human endeavors! So many great stories are! It's just pretty important to acknowledge that that is what is happening, and not to project from there.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby aph » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:22 pm UTC

doogly wrote:We do a good job not taking "purpose" seriously anymore

Yeah, too good. I'm waiting for a third book by this guy to see his take on the comeback of purpuse.

jewish_scientist wrote:Dear everyone who responded to my one word statement on anatomy,
I was writing a huge thing about Truth-Maker theory, falsification and cow on the Moon; however, it was getting too long and was impossible to understand, so I am just going to ask you a question. Can you prove the null hypothesis of one of these Laws of Anatomy? Remember that every law does not apply to every organism, so you cannot disprove Listing's Law with snails or flies.

My main objection to using particular facts about anatomy as equivalent to natural laws is that there is no limit to the number of them - they are very narrow and you can find every branching of every nerve fiber in every known species and call that fact a law - "nerve A branches off from nerve B carrying an identical signal".. We know the whole connectome of C. elegans, and we just call it a connectome.

Just because we do not understand everything about neurology right now does not mean that the things that we do understand are false.

And what DO we understand? A proof of understanding is prediction. The better the understanding, the more precise the predictions. There is a story (the theory), and there are the models (the equations). Neuroscience (not just neurology) has a huge number of different theories, and a large number of models that aren't that good at predicting (say, behavior of an organism or its nervous system).

unholy abominations such as 'chemical imbalance causes mental illness' theory to their rightful place under Satan's wings.

Can you please explain why you find this so offensive? Maybe in a PM or in another thread so that this one does jot go wildly off track.

There were links on that link, Just google 'chemical imbalance hypothesis' or 'chemical imbalance myth'. It has very poor empirical support in humans, but some of the drugs work some of the time for some people, and there aren't many better options for treating mental illnesses, so there is that.
From wikipedia on the imbalance hypothesis: Dr Ronald Pies, the current editor in Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times stated in on July 11, 2011 that "In truth, the 'chemical imbalance' notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists."

jewish_scientist wrote:Muscles do not actual contract during an isometric contraction, so Sherrington's Law does not apply.

From one of your links:
Isometric Contractions: Tension but no shortening of the muscle occurs.
Another one: Isometric strength is defined as the capacity to produce force or torque with a
voluntary isometric (muscle[s] maintain[s] a constant length) contraction.

So, there is different terminology used, some people call the whole system of muscle fibers and tendons - a muscle, while some only call just the muscle fibers 'muscle'. Muscle fibers contract during any contraction, but if it is isometric, then there is no contraction/shortening of the 'fibers+tendon system' and there is no reciprocal 'loosening' of the antagonist. I mean, just try flexing your muscles. Sherrington's law applies to some situations, but it doesn't hold at all times.

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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:45 pm UTC

doogly wrote:It's just pretty important to acknowledge that that is what is happening, and not to project from there.
Okay, then could you give me an example of where the narrative of "Causation" basically fits, and how it could be inappropriately projected?
aph wrote:It has very poor empirical support in humans, but some of the drugs work some of the time for some people, and there aren't many better options for treating mental illnesses, so there is that.
I really see "chemical Imbalance" as more of the domain of pop-psych; it's useful and less incorrect the other pop-pych explanations.

And we can't just not have pop-psych, it's just human nature to label and generalize and try to predict and influence others.
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:26 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Postby elasto » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:19 am UTC

I bet where doogly works they're a fan of causal Fridays! :D


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