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Mathematician complains Wikipedia is promoting “pseudo-science” of multiverse

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Earlier today, we noted that Neil DeGrasse Tyson was arguing for a multiverse. Skeptical mathematician Peter Woit notes, on the same topic, that the Wikipedia entry, Multiverse, is “an outrageously one-sided promotional piece for pseudo-science.”

So? A promotional piece is allowed to be “outrageously one-sided.”

If Woit lived up our street, he wouldn’t be surprised. What about Wikipedia’s “Darwinized” Abe Lincoln? (The assertion, just in time for Darwin Day, that Lincoln was smitten by Darwin’s work, when he in fact was referring favourably to another book. It was hastily “corrected” later.) Then there were the minor revelations that core articles “don’t earn even Wikipedia’s own middle-ranking quality scores” and that some “editors” are paid by outside sources.

As we said at the time:

Wikipedia shocked!, just shocked!! …that some editors act for pay to promote stuff. If so, it is a reasonable idea that some also act for pay to demote stuff. Hmmm.

If it took the Wikibosses this long to tumble to the first, it’ll be roughly a decade, maybe, before they land on the second.

Shrug. They don’t need to care. Teachers continue to justify allowing students to use their “Encyclopedia of Urban Legends” as a responsible source. After all, it is free.

So is gossip and profanity.

Anyway, Woit adds,

I include just a couple of random examples of problems with the entry. The “criticism” section has little actual criticism, just some mild comments from Ellis and Davies, together with positive quotes from them about the multiverse as a research program. Nothing from Gross or Steinhardt, for instance. Much of the “criticism” section is actually defense of the multiverse through claims about experimental evidence from Mersini-Houghton that I don’t think anyone except her takes seriously. Other claims of experimental evidence are completely outrageous, for instance we read that “Recent research has indicated the possibility of the gravitational pull of other universes on ours.[22]” where reference [22] is to a Planck collaboration paper which states the exact opposite (“There is no detection of bulk flow”).

Again, so?

Last time Woit expressed his doubts about the rising tide of warm gas on the subject, he ended up defending himself against accusations that he is a “creationist.”

Facts don’t matter in comparison to a multiverse, and Woit may soon be called ruder names than “creationist” for not just cheering in unison.

Like we said then, in five years, shut up or else will be the new creationist.

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See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)

2 Replies to “Mathematician complains Wikipedia is promoting “pseudo-science” of multiverse

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Woit, being a mathematician of the old school who demands evidence instead of ‘just so stories’ in order to confirm a theory as an accurate description of reality, should take a step back and look at his own specialty, mathematics, in order to see some evidence that he seems to have taken for granted. Einstein put the mystery that mathematics presents to us like this:

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way.. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Goldman – Letters to Solovine p 131.

    And indeed Einstein is right. The entire enterprise of science would fail if, as naturalists hold, the universe were found to be chaotic in its basis. Even a small random variance in the constants, over the entire history of the universe, would spell big trouble for the entire enterprise of science and lead to its epistemological failure:

    Scientists Question Nature’s Fundamental Laws – Michael Schirber – 2006
    Excerpt: “There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,” says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. “These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.”
    The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge (if they hold up): The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.”,,,
    The speed of light, for instance, might be measured one day with a ruler and a clock. If the next day the same measurement gave a different answer, no one could tell if the speed of light changed, the ruler length changed, or the clock ticking changed.
    http://www.space.com/2613-scie.....-laws.html

    And indeed these constants are found to be transcendent of any material basis, thus further solidifying Einstein’s intuition of a ‘miracle’:

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    Eugene Wigner put ‘the miracle’ of mathematics this way:

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    David Berlinski put ‘the miracle’ like this:

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Johannes Kepler succinctly put ‘the miracle’ like this:

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Galileo like this:

    “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”
    Galileo Galilei

    But to push this argument for ‘the miracle’ of mathematics to its logical conclusion, let’s ask, ‘If it is true that mathematics is ‘a reflection from the mind of God’ and that “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe” then should we not find evidence for this in modern science? The answer is of course, Yes!, and we do indeed find evidence for that proposition:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified to 80 orders of magnitude)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    A brief history of consciousness/mind and quantum mechanics
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-492490

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Supplemental notes:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    ,,,in fact, unlike all these outlandish multiverse scenarios which have no empirical support (and which undermine our ability to rationally practice science in the first place), we find a reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics that has a surprising amount of empirical support. For instance, it is now shown that the process in which the image was formed on the Shroud of Turin had to be a ‘quantum process’, not 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

    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

    Verse and Music;

    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.

    Lucie Silvas – Nothing Else Matters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QohUdrgbD2k

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