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A General Image Theory of science theories.

1. The basics of logical thought and of thinking.

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This General Image Theory of science theories, first published here from 2008, dates from 1964/1965 and study of the history of physics and of science philosophy. It basicly supports a logical scientific realism requiring neither irrational theory dualisms nor total theory exclusivity, and its physics is basically presented on this site.

In the spirit of William Gilbert this is not addressed to that crass multitude of career-scientists content to kick around the narrow range of ideas that science journals today consider fashionable, but to the honest studious reader or free spirit happy to labour hard and dig deep to find real science truth. Lies can be easy to produce and to swallow, the truth can be hard - and a science truth whatever its opponents is a science truth.

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Any science theory is basically an attempted description of a universe, or more often of some part or aspect of a universe, and a valid science theory has generally been considered one that includes no logical inconsistencies and is consistent with observation and experiment. And as a description, a science theory will use language and may include some mathematical description and involve some logical reasoning.

In more concrete terms, a theory is some set of intentional signals intended to convey the information that constitutes that theory to some observer(s). These intentional signals may be in a printed book, in spoken sound waves or other intentional signal form - and will have such information issues as the extents of completeness, accuracy and noise.

On science theory logical reasoning, the most rigorous logical reasoning (as with Euclid) has often been in the field of mathematics - and the basis of mathematics is the equation. While the most basic equation is an identity equation, such as 2=2, mathematical equations are more commonly 'image' equations such as 2=1+1 where the two sides of an equation declare two things to be images of eachother. For some the truth described in maths by 2=1+1 may seem better described by 1+1=2, but certainly the reverse of any valid mathematical equation is also a valid mathematical equation. Hence, in mathematics there can always be at least two different valid descriptions of one thing having precisely the same real meaning. But different people can think differently and so some may not see a reversed equation as meaning exactly the same. And much in the universe is actually relative to the observer, really allowing different observers to reach different valid conclusions and the differences may seem small or large.

In physics theory Einstein's celebrated equation E=mc² if valid is as valid reversed, or as eg m=E/c². And while mathematics clearly is basically 'image manipulation', so also is language. While language is really much more complex than mathematics, it always includes "one and one is two" and "John is a big boy" basically being "John=big boy John" image equating. Even "You go !" can be interpreted as "you=future you not here" image handling. Words do not have intrinsic meanings, but only meanings that some using community assigns them or meanings that somebody wants them to have. Hence in today's common English the two phrases "That is cool" and "That is hot" are commonly taken as having basically the same meaning, but in a science setting are generally taken as having basically opposite meanings. But certainly in language, as in mathematics, there can always be more than one valid description of one thing.

The key imaging for natural language is that of a word being an image of an actual or conceivable thing, eg "bed" = bed word or "Adam" = Adam word. It is only from this base that natural language can give its universe descriptions as eg "the bed is big" being 'bed = big bed'. That the two sides of common language or mathematical equations necessarily involve an assumed identity, involves an assumed logical consistency though maybe not always an assumed actual truth.

Indeed that this image manipulation aspect of both mathematics and language must reflect the basic nature of human thought is indicated by some language disorders. People with some language disorders will commonly say "big" when they mean to say "small" - and normal people will even make that kind of slip sometimes indicating that the mind deals with balanced images as "small thing=not big thing". One of the most basic psychological tests is the Word Association test, where people most commonly associate opposite word pairs - eg "Light" with "Dark" and "Big" with "Small" or often effectively "Light" with "not Light" and "Big" with "not Big".

So it is maybe not just coincidence that Gilbert's early 'active matter' physics was soon challenged by Descartes' 'not-active matter' physics and that Newton concluded that either or both might fit with his mathematical laws and with the facts known at the time. And though science has commonly supported theory exclusivity requiring that only one theory can be true, some experimental evidence has made that hard to support. But logic also makes it hard to support theory dualisms requiring that each of two or more contadictory theories be true.

The history of science theory clearly shows that different people can think differently about the same thing. Hence observer conceptual relativity can allow description relativity and that should allow valid theory relativity. In this respect a General Image Theory that allows of some multiple alternative compatible theories looks a valid development of Newton's blackbox science theory and can avoid the modern scary-science of self-contradicting unreasoned 'Duality Physics' or 'Multi-theory Physics'.

Even one person can form different views of the same thing. Among physicists this was shown most clearly by Johannes Kepler producing three different physics. He started from a view of the universe having been created by a God choosing to create eg. a musical universe or a mathematical universe. Hence early Kepler creationist physics included a Geometry Mathematics Physics and a Music Mathematics Physics. But of course he later rejected these and produced his Descartes-style push causation physics.

But that one thing can clearly have more than one description, conflicts directly with what seems an equally clearly valid claim of science about science theory descriptions - that for any area of science there can be only one valid theory and it will disprove all other theories. But one thing or one reality can be described in multiple different ways, yet till recently science has generally followed logic philosophy in allowing only ONE valid theory description. And some now claim that multiple theories should be ALL accepted regardless of logical inconsistency between them. These most basic logical conflicts are the key issues addressed by and resolved by this General Image Theory of science theories.

While arguing for one-theory-only science, E.T.Jaynes concluded that probability theory has 'been fooled by a subtle mathematical correspondence between stochastic and dynamical phenomena'. But that rather supports limited multiple-theory science like Newton blackbox-theory science or perhaps preferably our General Image Theory science allowing some multiple self-consistent Image Theories that are different compatible descriptions of the SAME reality. Theories of different realities are clearly different theories about different things and are not image theories even if they happen to appear compatible when it would be those realities that were compatible image realities if such were conceivably possible. See

PS. The 2010 Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow book 'The Grand Design' notes that theories "dual" to others, where a mathematical transformation makes one theory look like another, suggests that they may just be two descriptions of the same thing. This is what developed String Theory and Supergravity (Mem)Brane Theory into the equally poorly defined 'multiple-universes' M-theory that they support, and is essentially the basic premise of General Image Theory where alone it is properly developed. (also see our String Theory section)

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