"Just a theory"

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"Just a theory"

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:00 am

So, the story goes that two pinhedz got into argument one time.

one was named Fresnel, and the other was named Poisson (they had funny names because they were French, but the sound is not as funny as the silly spellings).

Fresnel (who had a lot of spare time) was noticing that shadows had fuzzy edges. He thought that seemed odd, because--if light travels in  straight lines--shouldn't the shadows have sharp edges?

He came up with this crazy idea that maybe light could bend (a little bit) around corners, and that this behaviour was the cause of the fuzzziness.

He even said that the angle of the bend around the corner depended on the wavelength of the light (i.e., blue would bend more than red geek )

Of course when he told his pinhed friends about this idea, he said "It's a theory."

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Re: "Just a theory"

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:12 am

And so, Poisson, who was always needling Fresnel, said: "Wait a minute, you pinhed, if your THEORY is correct, that would mean that if you aimed coherent light with a particular frequency at a circular target whose radius was a certain multiple of the wavelength, there would be a bright spot in the center of the circular shadow, even brighter than the brightness outside the shadow."

Well, that should drive a stake through the heart of that "Just A Theory," right? Obviously, there can't be a bright in the center of the shadow that is brighter than the light outside of the shadow, can there? Razz

But what happened next was that Fresnel set up the experiment to shine the coherent light on the circular target with the prescribed relationship between the radius and the wavelength.

And what do you suppose happened? There was a bright spot right in the middle of the target, Shocked which is now called the "Poisson spot," it's quite an honor. cheers


Last edited by pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:33 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: "Just a theory"

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:18 am

So, does this mean that Fresnel's idea is no longer "just a theory?"

It's still just a theory. bounce

Here's why. It is still possible that the light doesn't bend around corners at all. A Supreme Being could easily make the shadows fuzzy, and could also cause the bright spot to appear in the middle of the shadow when the scientists do those experiments.

Why would the Supreme Being do that? We cannot know that--maybe it's a test of faith. But the point is that there is no way to prove that the phenomena we observe are due to anything other than the arbitrary will of a Supreme Being.

It is also possible that nothing I observe is actually happening--I might me delirious and just dreaming all of this.


Last edited by pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: "Just a theory"

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:29 am

But I do have one question for whomever might have a preference for theories other than the one's that mainstream scientist have signed onto.

If Fresnel's theory was "Just a theory," what would one called the idea that God just fuzzied those shadows using his supernatural powers? Would we call that "Just another theory" or would we call it an "article of faith?"
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scientist have also found fossils that look like the predecessors of modern animals and humans, and the concentration of radionuclides in the fossils is consistent with their being 10s of thousands, or millions, or even (in a few cases) on the order of 1 billion years old.

One time I saw an interviewer ask a fundamentalist believer: "How do you explain those fossils and those radionucles?"

The believer said: "God put them there."

Same question--if what the scientists think is "Just a theory," what do you call what the believer thinks?--"Just another theory?" or something else?

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Re: "Just a theory"

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:45 am



some things work in theory but not in practice

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Re: "Just a theory"

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