Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

kirtu wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:51 am
FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:48 am And one more thing: since there is no hard evidence yet to back up sting theory it is still technically in the realm of conjecture. Thus, being unproven itself, it can neither prove nor disprove anything else (yet).
:rolling:
"String theory (or, more technically, M-theory) is often described as the leading candidate for the theory of everything in our universe. But there's no empirical evidence for it, or for any alternative ideas about how gravity might unify with the rest of the fundamental forces."
https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-is-m ... g-20171218

It's still just a theory (albeit a good one) without testability. The scientific method requires empirical evidence. It may be coming soon with string theory but it's not here yet.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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kirtu
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by kirtu »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:10 am
kirtu wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:51 am
FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:48 am And one more thing: since there is no hard evidence yet to back up sting theory it is still technically in the realm of conjecture. Thus, being unproven itself, it can neither prove nor disprove anything else (yet).
:rolling:
"String theory (or, more technically, M-theory) is often described as the leading candidate for the theory of everything in our universe. But there's no empirical evidence for it, or for any alternative ideas about how gravity might unify with the rest of the fundamental forces."
https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-is-m ... g-20171218

It's still just a theory (albeit a good one) without testability. The scientific method requires empirical evidence. It may be coming soon with string theory but it's not here yet.
Without testability (falsifiability) it's a mathematical musing. And we can generate a possibly infinite set of radically different mathematical physics musings.

The test is the thing. And they have been at it for a while now ....

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Aryjna
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Aryjna »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:00 am The aim of Madhyamaka is at least to some extent similar to the aim of Science. That is to know the nature and essence of the universe, what it is made of? How does it appear?
Not really. The aim is to abandon concepts, which are reinforce by misguided ideas of real existence, that one takes for granted without even realizing it. As such, deconstruction is often helpful.
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

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In the Sutra of the Seedling of Rice, The Arya Salistamba sutra, Buddha says, looking at a seedling of rice, that whoever sees dependent arising sees Buddha, the enlightened state. The Sutra further explains that there are two kinds of dependent arising, inner and outer. "The outer" means all the things existing in the outer world. I think that the great scientists, like Max Planck etc.., who have understood how things actually arise in the world, have seen the Buddha, the enlightened state.

Nagarjuna has prophesied in the MMK 18.12 that in future there will be Pratyeka-buddhas, and that they will be honored by the people of the future. Abhidharma explains that a Pratyeka-buddha is a person who awakens by seeing the dependent origination of things, by himself or by herself. This accords with the nature of Science.
svaha
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Jeff H »

Aemilius, it seems like you are saying that Nagarjuna has been proven wrong by modern mathematicians who show that his arguments imply there is no true existence. Is that what you’re saying?
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Aemilius »

Jeff H wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:05 pm Aemilius, it seems like you are saying that Nagarjuna has been proven wrong by modern mathematicians who show that his arguments imply there is no true existence. Is that what you’re saying?
Not quite that, but that the relativity of size, of big and small, of long and short, that long is long only in relation to short etc, is not true infinitely. Science has discovered that there is a limit to the relativity of size or length. This means there is an absolute size, because there is a limit when the laws of physics change, when we get to the size of molecules, the size of atoms and particles. These are now universal lengths,the length of atoms and the Planck length. All lengths or sizes exist and are defined in relation to these fundamental sizes and lengths.
Long is still not long without a short, but the short is always included in the long itself, it is in the atoms of the long object. So that "the long object is long by itself", you could say. You don't need a short stick to say that a long stick is long, because the short is already there in the atoms of the long stick.
The short stick is also defined by the length of its atoms. You can't define it as "long" by another, even shorter stick, because its actual length is defined by the fundamental length of its own atoms.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Anders »

The strings posited by string theory are so small, they will almost certainly never be empirically verified. Which means we also will never be able to ask the question "are these strings then also composite?" and expect an empirical answer to that.

they are for all intents and purposes a mathematical construct for prediction moreso than an empirical claim. As such they don't really have any scientific impact on the philosophical discussion of the possibility of partless phenomena in a causal universe (though string theory as a philosophical claim of course participates in this discussion) So no, they don't invalidate anything.

Nor does the standard model since their alternative to strings, point particles, are impossible to pin down empirically (an electron, a point particle, is a field originating from an infinitesimally small and unfindable point).

As for how the absoluteness of the planck length interacts with special relativity (which in this scenario amounts to much the same thing as madhyamika), that is a question still very much up in the air in modern physics as far as I can tell.
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Anders »

kirtu wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:43 am
FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:10 am
kirtu wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:51 am

:rolling:
"String theory (or, more technically, M-theory) is often described as the leading candidate for the theory of everything in our universe. But there's no empirical evidence for it, or for any alternative ideas about how gravity might unify with the rest of the fundamental forces."
https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-is-m ... g-20171218

It's still just a theory (albeit a good one) without testability. The scientific method requires empirical evidence. It may be coming soon with string theory but it's not here yet.
Without testability (falsifiability) it's a mathematical musing. And we can generate a possibly infinite set of radically different mathematical physics musings.

The test is the thing. And they have been at it for a while now ....

Kirt
It has plenty of testability. You can use string theory for most 'grunt' physics work the same way you use the standard model.
Where it falls short is that it doesn't make any new predictions that are testable so far and, compared to the standard model, introduces a lot more untested (and some fundamentally untestable) assumptions that the standard model doesn't. Which begs the question why anyone should use it in favour of the standard model.

What it does have going for it is elegance (though I am not sure that is true anymore given the incredible mathematical complexity it has developed) and a possible solution to the the issue of quantum gravity.

Historically, most physics theories that gain traction have been verified or debunked within a decade, two at most. String theory has lived on a a major theory with immense resources for both theoretical and testing development for four decades without really delivering anything tangible. Which begs the question whether it ever will. But then again, the higs boson existed in the same limbo for 50 years before being empirically verified.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

The purpose of physics is to describe the physical structure of the universe, the perception of which is fundamentally distorted by our samsaric misperception of self.

The purpose of Madhyamaka is soteriological: It is an ultimately expedient corrective designed to counter delusion, grasping, and aversion.

Asking if string theory invalidates Madhyamaka is like asking if a box of crayons invalidates a bottle of aspirin. They are just two different tools off on two separate missions.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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kirtu
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by kirtu »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:23 am The purpose of physics is to describe the physical structure of the universe, the perception of which is fundamentally distorted by our samsaric misperception of self.

The purpose of Madhyamaka is soteriological: It is an ultimately expedient corrective designed to counter delusion, grasping, and aversion.

Asking if string theory invalidates Madhyamaka is like asking if a box of crayons invalidates a bottle of aspirin. They are just two different tools off on two separate missions.
Exactly!

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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kirtu
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by kirtu »

Anders wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:04 am
kirtu wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:43 am
FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:10 am
"String theory (or, more technically, M-theory) is often described as the leading candidate for the theory of everything in our universe. But there's no empirical evidence for it, or for any alternative ideas about how gravity might unify with the rest of the fundamental forces."
https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-is-m ... g-20171218

It's still just a theory (albeit a good one) without testability. The scientific method requires empirical evidence. It may be coming soon with string theory but it's not here yet.
Without testability (falsifiability) it's a mathematical musing. And we can generate a possibly infinite set of radically different mathematical physics musings.

The test is the thing. And they have been at it for a while now ....

Kirt
...
Where it falls short is that it doesn't make any new predictions that are testable so far and, compared to the standard model, introduces a lot more untested (and some fundamentally untestable) assumptions that the standard model doesn't. Which begs the question why anyone should use it in favour of the standard model.
There we go! It is (potentially) NOT an advance (an extension) of physics but just a reformulation of what we already know. It's original claim of elegance seems to be gradually slipping under the couch cushions now.
What it does have going for it is elegance (though I am not sure that is true anymore given the incredible mathematical complexity it has developed) and a possible solution to the the issue of quantum gravity.
Quantum gravity is the main thing .... yes, and that would be a reason to keep at it. I'd just not bet the whole farm though ...
Historically, most physics theories that gain traction have been verified or debunked within a decade, two at most. String theory has lived on a a major theory with immense resources for both theoretical and testing development for four decades without really delivering anything tangible. Which begs the question whether it ever will. But then again, the higs boson existed in the same limbo for 50 years before being empirically verified.
Good points. Higgs is a good example, but looking at physics from the outside it seems that Higgs didn't have the same degree of complete peculation that string theory (really string theories) does.

On the positive side it does seem to be creating more new mathematics so it may not be such a pointless speculation even if nothing does come out of it in the end.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Aemilius
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by Aemilius »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:23 am The purpose of physics is to describe the physical structure of the universe, the perception of which is fundamentally distorted by our samsaric misperception of self.

The purpose of Madhyamaka is soteriological: It is an ultimately expedient corrective designed to counter delusion, grasping, and aversion.

Asking if string theory invalidates Madhyamaka is like asking if a box of crayons invalidates a bottle of aspirin. They are just two different tools off on two separate missions.
That is not true. Buddha and Madhyamikas make several claims about the outer world. In Buddhism, Madhyamaka included, there are the five wisdoms (jñana), six superknowledges (abhijña), three knowledges (vidya), and five eyes (cakshu), that very much face outward to the world and its beings.
Buddha and Madhyamikas are not solely concerned with their own minds or their own salvation.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by tkp67 »

Aemilius wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:46 am According to the Madhyamaka long is long, because there is the short. The size of big or small is always relative to the size of another object. According to the String theory there comes a limit to how small we can get, there seems to be an absolute size which is called Planck length. It also seems to be an end to the relativity of size and length. The laws of physics become different in very small sizes. And thus there is absolute size.

"In physics, the Planck length, denoted ℓP, is a unit of length that is the distance light in a perfect vacuum travels in one unit of Planck time. It is also the reduced Compton wavelength of a particle with Planck mass. It is equal to 1.616255×10−35 m. It is a base unit in the system of Planck units, developed by physicist Max Planck. The Planck length can be defined from three fundamental physical constants: the speed of light in a vacuum, the Planck constant, and the gravitational constant. It is the smallest distance about which current experimentally corroborated models of physics can make meaningful statements."
No.

There is no science that knows the mind more succinctly than the buddha. There is no science that removes samsara from humanity.

Also the realms of the mind are a product and exist in/on what plane of existence? Are they defined by physics? Quantum physics? Or due to their influence on the existence of those that experience them should they be considered consequential to both but not directly measured by either?
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Does the String theory invalidate the Madhyamaka?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Aemilius wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:22 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:23 am The purpose of physics is to describe the physical structure of the universe, the perception of which is fundamentally distorted by our samsaric misperception of self.

The purpose of Madhyamaka is soteriological: It is an ultimately expedient corrective designed to counter delusion, grasping, and aversion.

Asking if string theory invalidates Madhyamaka is like asking if a box of crayons invalidates a bottle of aspirin. They are just two different tools off on two separate missions.
That is not true. Buddha and Madhyamikas make several claims about the outer world. In Buddhism, Madhyamaka included, there are the five wisdoms (jñana), six superknowledges (abhijña), three knowledges (vidya), and five eyes (cakshu), that very much face outward to the world and its beings.
Buddha and Madhyamikas are not solely concerned with their own minds or their own salvation.
There is no "inside" and "outside." Thoughts do not come from "inside"; sensation does not come from "outside". It is the interface/interplay between the sense organ and the sensation that gives rise to perception. Likewise one's thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. are conditioned by factors both within and external to the body.

There simply is no independent self-existence or sealed-off self. That's the whole point of emptiness, really.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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