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hairyfigment comments on Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 August 2007 10:27PM

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Comment author: hairyfigment 06 November 2016 09:14:48AM 0 points [-]

In fact I have no idea what a higgs boson is, but a physicist tells me it makes for a simpler mathematical system used to predict our experience. We can imagine actually getting evidence that would let us make a more detailed description. (I don't know if that's still true in a practical sense, but I believe it used to be true. At worst, all that we lack is energy.)

Meanwhile, "elan vital" makes no predictions except maybe negative ones, and "more detailed description" seems impossible even in principle without special revelation. Unless Eliezer is misreading Kelvin, the esteemed writer actually rules out any such discovery. From an abstract standpoint, the theory can't be expanded if we can't get the evidence to justify more details.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 09 November 2016 12:48:43PM 0 points [-]

Meanwhile, "elan vital" makes no predictions

Elan Vital is a family of theories some of which could be predictive in principle.