It’s almost irrelevant what is really going on. The parallel universe is somewhat like the multiverse or the advanced space aliens. People who have no other religion need them to exist. And the outcome somehow makes it way into a science journal.
If we leave physical constraints behind, we are certainly not operating in the only universe we know. But thanks to Ethan for an entertaining close to the evening.
Gary Smith concludes, “Computers are much better than humans at curve fitting but still far worse at devising models that help us understand and predict the world.”
Bottom line: The rigorously proven No Free Lunch theorem shows that physicists will always be needed to determine the correct questions. No computer will do all our thinking for us.
Why can’t they find dark matter, despite much search? Sheldon: The old joke is that a man is looking under a lamppost one night. The policeman asks what he is doing. “Looking for my keys” he replies. “Did you lose them here?” “No, but the light is better over here.” (And the funding is better for some research than for others.)
Ah yes, the problem of dead-endedness that Sabine Hossenfelder often writes about. As does Columbia mathematician Peter Woit, on the subject of string theory. But surely much of the nonsense around string theory and the multiverse is in part due to a practical failure—the inability to find even a single particle of dark matter or similar evidence for dark energy.
What do we do when the situation is untenable but so are the alternatives?
Enrique Blair: Very tricky, those photons.
Ethan Siegel looks at the limitations: But we’re still a long way away from determining exactly where that information goes, and how it gets out of a black hole. Theorists disagree over the validity and soundness of many of the methods that are currently being employed to do these calculations, and no one has even a theoretical prediction for how this information should be encoded by an evaporating black hole, much less how to measure it.
Not aliens. We are told that they are made by magnetars, a type of neutron star.
From Nature: Published: 14 October 2020Room-temperature superconductivity in a carbonaceous sulfurhydrideElliot Snider, Nathan Dasenbrock-Gammon, Raymond McBride, Mathew Debessai, HiranyaVindana, Kevin Vencatasamy, Keith V. Lawler, Ashkan Salamat & Ranga P. Dias Nature 586, 373–377(2020) One of the long-standing challenges in experimental physics is the observation of room-temperature superconductivity1’2. Recently, high-temperature conventional superconductivity in hydrogen-rich materials has been Read More…
Also, let this sink in: Despite believing in determinism, Hossenfelder believes we should “decide” against a new particle collider… We can decide? On that account, to other naturalists, she is “anti-science.” Naturalism is weird like that. Eats its own.
Starry starry fright.
Sheldon: The politicization of science evidently started before Ethan’s graduate schooling, as Hoyle and his post-doc Chandra Wickramasinghe tell in their biographical writings.
We’d have to guess that Stephen Wolfram’s attempt at a Theory of Everything didn’t solve all the problems. At any rate, by the time we get down to “a theory of every thing requires that one not start with a thing,” it’s not easy to distinguish science from Zen. But then maybe that’s the idea.