It’s gone viral–the one man a cappella production of “Bohemian Gravity”. It’s a good thing he included the lyrics, because otherwise you might not notice it is a parody of Queen. For most people who know of string theory, it’s a hoot. For the select few who actually understand string theory, it’s a riot. And for those of us who resent string theory, its somewhere between Sharknado and Oklahoma City. Yeah, I’m the guy you never want to take to a movie theater. But let me explain why I might be the only one who had high blood pressure after watching this video.
Although I know a few of the terms from string theory, there’s a large contingent of physicists who believe that string theory is the heroin of theoretical physics. It has absorbed not just millions of dollars, but hundreds if not thousands of grad student lifetimes without delivering what it promised–a unified theory of the universe and life. It is hard, in fact, to find a single contribution from string theory despite 25 years of intense effort by thousands of the very brightest and best minds our society can find. That’s why you find books such as “The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next” by Lee Smolin.
This negative result is remarkable, and says something that no one wants to hear–that materialism as a philosophy of science, is spent, is toast, is worthless. Lee Smolin almost says that in his books. Wikipedia will tell you how communist Trofim Lysenko led Russian biology down a dead end street, setting them back 50 years with respect to the world. In the same manner, you have heard me say more than once that Darwin led all of biology astray, and in the next few years you will even hear the NYT say the same. Just this week, NYT carried an article about how the DNA in our body can come from all different places so that we are all chimeras–clearly an anti-Darwin discovery. Einstein discovered General Relativity in 1917, but spent the next 50 years unable to make any more progress. As you saw in the viral video, Einstein is now being dissed as essentially wrong. Why? Because Einstein was a materialist. In exactly the same way as Lysenko or Darwin, Smolin argues that Newton led physics astray. Why? Because Newton was a materialist. Quanta magazine carried an article about a hypergeometric object that is as much better than Feynman diagrams as Feynman was better than Heisenberg’s S-matrices. But the discoverers are candid about it,
The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity. “Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.”
What are these suspect principles? None other than two of the founding principles of materialism–that there do not exist “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and that material causes are the only ones in the universe. For the 20th century achieved both the pinnacle of materialism and planted the seeds of its downfall. And that is what this video is about. It is about materialist physics being as dated as the rock band Queen.