When I am reading Philosophy and Simulation, I encountered the word:


Normally, I know the meaning of the word but this time I could not understand what the meaning of than in this sentence. Could you explain it for me? Could you give me synonym for this word in the context?

The context of word is below:

This other field, of course, takes for granted the properties of molecules themselves, treating them as solid spheres endowed with the capacity to collide and redistribute their energy, so another scientific field needs to account for the emergence of these properties in terms of their even smaller components (electrons, protons, neutrons). These three fields are, respectively, classical thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics.

Lattice-gas automata operate at the same level of scale than statistical mechanics and borrows some of its methods. In particular, statistical mechanics must deal with entire molecular populations in order to account for processes lilce gradient degradation so it cannot deal with molecules individually: even a perfectly rigid sphere has six degrees of freedom being capable of changing its position and momentum in three different directions.

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    This is an error. Than is used only in comparisons which assert a difference; this should read "at the same level of scale as statistical mechanics". – StoneyB May 2 '16 at 12:18
  • @StoneyB Is that of correct for this sentence instead of than? – verdery May 2 '16 at 12:36
  • No. Relative that (or which) could be used to introduce a relative clause such operate at the same level . . . that statistical mechanics does, but demonstrative that will not introduce an acceptable complement for same. – StoneyB May 2 '16 at 12:46

The word "than" is used to compare two unequal things.

For example:

George is better than Dave at baseball.

I like blue better than red.

There is more sun today than yesterday.

In this case, it's not properly used since the things being compared are equal. It is comparing "Lattice-gas automata" and "statistical mechanics", and the sentence says that those two things "operate at the same level of scale". So the proper word to use would be "as" instead of "than".

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    Yeah, but we don't use "than" to compare two like things in English! You don't say "George is as good than Dave at baseball" or "I like blue the same than red"! – stangdon May 2 '16 at 12:15
  • @stangdon I didn't say it's the only word used to make comparisons. – Gabriel Luci May 2 '16 at 12:16
  • That's not the point. We don't use "than" at all to compare like things, which is what's happening in the quoted sentence. It looks like an error in the original text to me. – stangdon May 2 '16 at 12:19
  • Just about every definition I can find says that "than" is used for comparisons. But yes, it should be used for unequal comparisons. I'll update my answer. – Gabriel Luci May 2 '16 at 12:23

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