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In Forbes: String theory is NOT science?

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5 dimensions in 2

Well, no, it’s not, but … we didn’t think many people other than Peter Woit had noticed.

Many have rather pursued a war on falsifiability to protect it.

Ethan Siegel in Forbes distinguishes between a mathematical theory and a physical theory. Can we make testable predictions of string theory, which we should be able to do fora physical theory?

The answer, so far, is no. The first one is a huge problem: we need to get rid of six dimensions to get back the Universe we see, and there are more ways to do it than there are atoms in the Universe. What’s worse, is that each way you do it gives a different “vacuum” for string theory, with no clear way to get the fundamental constants that describe the Universe we inhabit, which is the second prediction. The third prediction has come up empty, but we would need to achieve energies that are ~1015 times higher than what the LHC can produce to rule out string theory entirely and falsify it. Moreover, supersymmetric particles is not a unique prediction of string theory; finding them would only mean that string theory isn’t ruled out, not that it’s right. And the last prediction is only a mathematical one, not a physical one. It doesn’t give us anything specific to look for or test about our Universe.

Although there was an entire conference on it earlier this month, spurred by a controversial opinion piece written a year ago by George Ellis and Joe Silk, the answer is very clear: no, string theory is not science. The way people are trying to turn it into science is — as Sabine Hossenfelder and Davide Castelvecchi report — by redefining what “science” is. More.

We’ll let Siegel tell the rest of that, but—if we are into predictability—here’s a prediction:

If string theory flunked all the tests, many cosmologists would still believe it. It’s one of those beliefs they just need. You watch. For why see Cosmology, the skinny

Re redefining what science is, all I ask is, in that case it’s all on the table whether the rest of us are expected to fund it. Any reasonable person ought to want to fund a war on polio. An effort to theorize that the universe has dozens of dimensions? Aw, there’s got to be a rich old lady somewhere who can be persuaded not to leave her entire fortune to her cat, only half of it … ?

See also: In search of a road to reality

The bill arrives for cosmology’s free lunch

and

If ID theorists are right, how should we study nature?

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One Reply to “In Forbes: String theory is NOT science?

  1. 1
    bornagain says:

    Of related note:

    According to Godel, even if the universe were to be described by just one mathematical equation, that one equation would still be incomplete in its description of the universe. Even Stephen Hawking admits as such:

    “Note that despite the incontestability of Euclid’s postulates in mathematics, (ref. on cite), Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel (ref. on cite), halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”. Thus, based on the position that an equation cannot prove itself, the constructs are based on assumptions some of which will be unprovable.”
    Cf., Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010) @ 15-6

    In other words, even if the universe were able to be described by one mathematical equation, “ we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable”.

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    But the universe is not found to be governed by just one overarching mathematical theory but is found to governed by two very different mathematical theories. General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    Yet, the belief that there should be a unification between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics does not follow from the math itself, but is a belief that is born out of Theistic presuppositions. And since that belief is a thoroughly Theistic presupposition, I hold that Christ offers the correct, empirically backed, solution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’

    Christ’s Unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Gb75eVQyt3wU0Pwcl5nes4N2axenxQKZa4pYxSSeGzk/edit

    In other words, since only God can offer genuine ‘completeness’ to a single mathematical equation, if only one equation were to have been found to govern the universe, then I hold that only God can offer ‘completeness’ to these two seemingly diametrically opposed equations of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.

    What is interesting about the split between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics is the exact place where they split. Specifically, Special Relativity, which unifies with Quantum Mechanics in Quantum Electrodynamics, and General Relativity reveal two very different ‘qualities of eternity’ (as predicted in Christian Theism). In particular, The Black Holes of General Relativity are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder. Whereas Special Relativity is associated with the singularity of creation and order, i.e. the extreme (1 in 10^10^123) thermodynamic order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell  
    Excerpt:
    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?
    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized, whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”

    How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
    (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    It is also interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/19tGkwrdg6cu5mH-RmlKxHv5KPMOL49qEU8MLGL6ojHU/edit

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHVUGK6UFK8

    Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity (Gravity), and Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED), were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    Kevin Moran – optical engineer

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics/Special relativity (QED), with Gravity,  I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:  

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Matthew 14:25
    And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

    John 20:26
    And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

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