RE: Limits and Capabilities.

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 12 2002 - 14:12:32 MDT

> > But don't forget, 100 years ago theoretical physics also looked like
> it
> > was pretty much dead. Everything was understood, more or less. Then
> > along comes general relativity and quantum mechanics. Oops, guess
> there
> > was some stuff we didn't know. I'm sure any TOE we come up with will
> be
> > stubbed by new discoveries. And, if we can't find any, then we'll
> just
> > have to create a new universe and start playing with that. :-)
> No, relativity and quantum mechanics were introduced to explain
> phenomena that were observed but not understood. Physics did not look
> 'dead' to anyone that was remotely interested in it.
> Patrick

In the late 1800's, prior to Planck's experimental work on radiation, and
prior to the discovery of the Michelson-Morley effect, leading physicists
*did* declare that "physics was over, except for putting a few more values
of precision on constants." I don't have the quote handy, but there's a
famous one from a leading physicist (whom I believe was an administrator at
the university where Michelson made his discoveries).

Then, as the turn of the century neared, new experimental discoveries were
made, leading to new theories, and surprising a lot of people.

This is not controversial, it's the standard history of physics!

-- Ben G

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