Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

A unified theory of physics is within reach?

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According to a U Michigan prof:

Our observations to date push us in the direction of entertaining the existence of an Ur-theory of nature. Consider the fact that a left-handed electron has an electric charge of -1 under the electromagnetic force, a charge of 2 (a ‘spin charge’) under the weak gauge force, and a charge of 0 under the strong force. At the same time, the right-handed down quark has an electric charge of -1/3, a weak force charge of 0, and a strong force charge of 3 (a ‘3-dimensional unitary group charge’, though the mathematical details don’t need to be understood here). So, between these two particles, we have charges of 0, -1/3, -1, 2 and 3, etc for the different forces arranged in a particular manner. It’s a motley crew of jumbled-up numbers, which doesn’t seem to have much rhyme or reason to it. However, a school of mathematics known as group theory tells us that this is exactly the collection of charges that are needed to form a new grand unified particle: let’s call it P, which can be represented as P=(left-handed electron, left-handed neutrino, right-handed down quark).

Likewise, we can analyse more particles in the Standard Model, such as right-handed electrons, right-handed up quarks and left-handed up and down quarks. After many measurements, we find another set of willy-nilly values for the charges they display under all three gauge forces. But upon closer inspection using group theory mathematics, we find that those numbers also magically fit exactly into a single grand unified particle: W=(right-handed electron, left-handed down quark, right-handed and left-handed up quarks). It’s as though 10 very raggedy puzzle pieces scattered on the floor were pieced together to make a perfect circle.

It didn’t have to be this way. The charges of the elementary particles in our Universe could have been such that there was no way to unify any two or more of them into a single unified particle. It’s the combination of observational data and mathematics that offers us strong hints that the charges for elementary particles in the standard model aren’t arbitrary, but rather arise by virtue of being embedded into a grand unified theory framework.

James Wells, “Unified Universe” at Aeon

Well, isn’t that an argument for God? Join the line.

But others say, the idea of such a theory is discredited.

See also: Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit offers a shrewd assessment of Stephen Hawking and pop physicsHawking was looking for a unified theory and Woit thinks the idea is pretty much discredited now: “We now live in an environment where the idea that there may be a deeper, more unified theory has become completely discredited, through the efforts of many, with Hawking playing an unfortunate part.”

One Reply to “A unified theory of physics is within reach?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “It didn’t have to be this way. The charges of the elementary particles in our Universe could have been such that there was no way to unify any two or more of them into a single unified particle. It’s the combination of observational data and mathematics that offers us strong hints that the charges for elementary particles in the standard model aren’t arbitrary, but rather arise by virtue of being embedded into a grand unified theory framework.”

    It seems that they are still holding out hope that a complete description of microscopic properties of particles might someday be enough, in and of itself, to predict the behavior of macroscopic objects in the universe and even, by their reference to the ‘grand unified theory framework’, they are also holding out hope to be able to someday predict the macroscopic behavior of the entire universe itself.

    Yet this dream for a complete ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanation for the universe is now found to be a pipe dream that will never be fulfilled.

    As the video that KF referenced this morning highlighted,

    This is Math’s Fatal Flaw – video – 27:16 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/HeQX2HjkcNo?t=1636

    As the video that KF referenced this morning highlighted, in 2015 Godel’s incompleteness theorem for mathematics was extended into quantum physics itself, in that it is now proven that “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,” and that “the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”,

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Moreover, in 2020 they made the preceding proof even more robust.

    Spectral gap (physics)
    In quantum mechanics, the spectral gap of a system is the energy difference between its ground state and its first excited state.[1][2] The mass gap is the spectral gap between the vacuum and the lightest particle. A Hamiltonian with a spectral gap is called a gapped Hamiltonian, and those that do not are called gapless.
    In solid-state physics, the most important spectral gap is for the many-body system of electrons in a solid material, in which case it is often known as an energy gap.
    In quantum many-body systems, ground states of gapped Hamiltonians have exponential decay of correlations.[3][4][5]
    In 2015 it was shown that the problem of determining the existence of a spectral gap is undecidable in two or more dimensions.[6][7] The authors used an aperiodic tiling of quantum Turing machines and showed that this hypothetical material becomes gapped if and only if the machine halts.[8] The one-dimensional case was also proved undecidable in 2020 by constructing a chain of interacting qudits divided into blocks that gain energy if they represent a full computation by a Turing machine, and showing that this system becomes gapped if and only if the machine does not halt.[9]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_gap_(physics)

    Undecidability of the Spectral Gap – June 16, 2020
    Toby Cubitt, David Perez-Garcia, and Michael M. Wolf
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.04573.pdf

    Thus, although it is certainly very interesting to find that “the charges for elementary particles in the standard model aren’t arbitrary”, that is far more of a argument against ‘random quantum fluctuations’ generating this universe, and for God creating this universe, than it is an argument that a complete microscopic description of those particles might ever give us a complete macroscopic description of the universe.

    The materialist who hopes to find a single macroscopic description of the universe, (i.e. a ‘theory of everything’), from a complete ‘bottom up’ microscopic description of the particles of the universe is simply starting from the completely wrong theoretical framework in the first place in order to ever be able to do it.. As the old joke goes, “You can’t get there from here.”

    As Origenes succinctly explained the irresolvable dilemma facing the ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanations of reductive materialists who hope to give an adequate account, i.e. a ‘theory of everything, of the universe and everything it it.

    “There cannot be, in principle, a naturalistic bottom-up explanation for immutable physical laws — which are themselves an ‘expression’ of top-down causation. A bottom-up explanation, from the level of e.g. bosons, should be expected to give rise to innumerable different ever-changing laws. By analogy, particles give rise to innumerable different conglomerations.
    Moreover a bottom-up process from bosons to physical laws is in need of constraints (laws) in order to produce a limited set of universal laws.
    Paul Davies: “Physical processes, however violent or complex, are thought to have absolutely no effect on the laws. There is thus a curious asymmetry: physical processes depend on laws but the laws do not depend on physical processes. Although this statement cannot be proved, it is widely accepted.”
    Saying that laws do not depend on physical processes, is another way of saying that laws cannot be explained by physical processes.”
    – Origenes

    George Ellis has also written an excellent article, “Recognising Top-Down Causation” in which he clearly explains the failure of ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanations to ever be able to give us an adequate account of computers and life.

    Specifically, particles themselves have no say in whatever macroscopic patterns they may take in computers and life, yet it is precisely those macroscopic patterns that are are imposed on the particles that dictate how those particles will behave in computers and life.

    As Ellis states, it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:
    Definition 1: Causal Effect
    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.?Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,
    Definition 2: Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).?This is clearly a sensible and testable criterion; in the example above, it leads to the conclusion that both the data and the relevant software exist. If we do not adopt this definition, we will have instances of uncaused changes in the world; I presume we wish to avoid that situation.,,,
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,
    Life and the brain: living systems are highly structured modular hierarchical systems, and there are many similarities to the digital computer case, even though they are not digital computers. The lower level interactions are constrained by network connections, thereby creating possibilities of truly complex behaviour. Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death. The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.,,,
    Hypothesis:
    “bottom up emergence by itself is strictly limited in terms of the complexity it can give rise to. Emergence of genuine complexity is characterised by a reversal of information flow from bottom up to top down” [27].
    The degree of complexity that can arise by bottom-up causation alone is strictly limited. Sand piles, the game of life, bird flocks, or any dynamics governed by a local rule [28] do not compare in complexity with a single cell or an animal body. The same is true in physics: spontaneously broken symmetry is powerful [16], but not as powerful as symmetry breaking that is guided top-down to create ordered structures (such as brains and computers). Some kind of coordination of effects is needed for such complexity to emerge.,,,
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    Also please note that Ellis specifically stated that “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.

    What George Ellis is saying is that it takes and immaterial mind to arrange parts in a particular pattern in order for for us to even have computers in the first place. Or more specifically, it takes a immaterial mind to impart ‘positional information’ onto material substrates in order for us to even have computers in the first place.

    I would hope that it is safe to assume that both Darwinists and Intelligent Design advocates can at least agree that computers are obviously intelligently designed and are not the product of unguided material processes?

    Yet, for the ‘bottom up’ materialist to try to give an adequate account of the ‘positional information’ in life is exponentially worse for him than it is if he were ever to try to give an adequate ‘bottom up’ materialistic account for the existence of computers.

    As Professor James Tour, (one of the top synthetic chemists in the world), put the irresolvable dilemma that top down ‘positional information’ presents for ‘bottom up’ materialists, even if we had all the parts of the cell in exactly the right state that we wanted them to be in, we still are ‘clueless’ as to how we might go about putting all those parts together so as to have a living cell.

    Origin of Life: An Inside Story – Professor James Tour – May 1, 2016
    Excerpt: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated…
    So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal.
    You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.“
    James Tour – leading Chemist
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

    Since we, in our own intelligence, are ‘clueless’ as to how we might ever construct a living cell, even if we were given all the corrects parts in the form that we wanted them to be in, then clearly appealing ‘bottom up’ materialistic processes to try to explain life is “not even wrong”.

    The simplest life on earth, in terms of complexity, (and contrary to what is popularly believed), trounces anything that man has ever Intelligently Designed.

    To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers – July 2012
    Excerpt: Mycoplasma genitalium has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism in the world, clocking in at a mere 525 genes. That’s a fraction of the size of even another bacterium like E. coli, which has 4,288 genes.,,,
    The bioengineers, led by Stanford’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modeling the bacterium, and published their work last week in the journal Cell. What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.,,,
    ,,the depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable, and difficult to manage, even given Moore’s Law. The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....rs/260198/

    Minimal Cell Challenges Naturalism – March 26, 2016 | David F. Coppedge
    Excerpt: They started over with a “top-down” approach. Beginning with Syn 1.0, they systematically stripped out anything the bacterium could live without. They got it down to 473 genes, about half the size of their Syn 1.0 organism.,,,
    “If we’re already playing God, we’re not doing a particularly good job of it,” Elfick says. “Simply streamlining what’s already in nature doesn’t seem very God-like and, if anything, is a very humbling exercise.”
    Venter also felt the humility vibes, according to Live Science:
    “We’re showing how complex life is even in the simplest of organisms,” said Craig Venter, founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), where the study was completed. “These findings are very humbling in that regard.”
    per crevinfo

    Thus in conclusion, and although much more could be said on this subject, the ‘bottom up’ reductive materialist, who hopes to explain the universe, and all life in it, solely by reference to the microscopic descriptions of the particles of the universe, is not even starting with the correct theoretical framework too begin with in order to find that correct “grand unified theory”.

    In short, in order to give an adequate account for the universe, and for life in the universe, we are forced to appeal to the ‘top down’ causation of a Mind.

    More specifically, we are forced to appeal to the ‘top down’ causation of the “Mind of God” in order to ever find a true and correct “grand unified theory” and/or “theory of everything”.

    Verse and Video:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://youtu.be/Vpn2Vu8–eE

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