Tuesday, July 16, 2013

thought for the day/ philosopher bloopers

ESA/NASA Hubble space telescope

After the discovery of Uranus, philosopher Hegel said he had logically proved that there can be no more planets.  At the time, Ceres was discovered, and people took that as a disproof of Hegel's logic.  Soon after Hegel's life, astronomers discovered Neptune by means of mathematics first.

Around the time that mathematical astronomers were predicting yet another planet beyond Uranus(due to odd motions of the gaseous giants), an Auguste Comte predicted that we'll never know the chemical constitution of the stars.  At almost the same time Joseph Fraunhofer, Bunson, and Kirchhoff found that the spectrum of light codes up the electron orbitals(they didn't know it like that), and essentially gives information of the chemicals, and physics of the stars(and atoms).

I suppose it would help to actually see what their logic was, but these two examples are a little bit contrary to my pointing out Jacob Bronowski/James Burke's connections.  Another theory that got disproved is the aether theory.  Some would argue that quantum mechanics and even Relativity theory brings the aether back in a new form. Of course, there's plenty of examples of logic and theory predicting things.  There's the famous Ole Rømer finding of the finite speed of light, anti-matter, neutrinos.  All this really brings up is that when dealing with the real world, empirical data needs to be gathered to determine the truth of logic and how far the theory applies.

--------------------------------------------------nano news extra,

I had figured that after all the breakthroughs of almost a year ago now, in the ability to make arbitrary dna-nanostructures at far greater speeds than before, that dna-nanotechnologists were probably going to be almost too busy to report each and every new nano-structure on a daily basis.  As reported here, and it's noted that this is some that has been made available for free(hence, there's probably some people doing things that they just are keeping to themselves for now), the researchers have indeed been too busy to report everything. foresight latest on dna-nanomanufacturing .  I actually havn't viewed the more technical report, as my computer doesn't have the software to open it; it's not exactly my computer.

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