• Philosophy,  Physics,  Research

    The Problem of Measurement in Science

    It is commonly assumed that science describes objective facts about the world, which are discovered through measurements of physical properties. The problems in this measurement are generally not understood, and this post describes them, highlighting two key issues of circularity and recursion in the definition of measurement. How these problems are addressed in Indian philosophy is also discussed.

  • Biology,  Physics,  Research

    The Structure-Function Debate in Biology

    Modern science grew out of the idea that the universe is comprised of independent parts, and a complex system can be reduced to these parts without loss of completeness. The independence of parts became the basis of reductionism―the idea that the whole is simply a linear sum of parts. Sometimes, this reduction fails, and then it becomes necessary to postulate that the parts are indeed interdependent.  The reason for this interdependence, however, has not been very apparent. I will describe the reasons in this post, and connect them to the “systems approach” which views a system as a collection of interrelated parts rather than mutually independent parts.

  • Philosophy,  Physics,  Research

    The Twin Paradox and Conscious Experience

    The Twin Paradox in Einstein’s Relativity Theory describes a thought experiment in which there are two identical twins, one of whom makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket and returns home to find that the twin who remained on Earth has aged more. This post analyzes the paradox and describes a difference between Clock Time and Conscious Time. The analysis shows that if such an experiment is actually performed, the traveling twin may age more (rather than less) under certain circumstances if the age is measured according to Conscious Time even though the clock will indicate a lesser time.