# Cosmology struggles from hand-waving toward exact science, despite its friends?

January 15, 2017 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design |

Interesting point from a response by mathematician Sheldon Glashow to Daniel Kleitman’s review of Max Tegmark’s 2015 book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, again in Inference:

Chapter 9 is devoted to what can only be called mathematical epistemology. Tegmark alleges the plausible hypothesis that there exists an external physical reality completely independent of us humans to imply a rather more startling Mathematical Universe Hypothesis: that our external physical reality is a mathematical structure.8 The Level IV multiverse, it turns out, is nothing other than the set of all mathematical structures, each of them constituting a universe unto itself.

According to Tegmark, our universe is (rather than merely “is described by”) the long sought

Theory of Everything, or ToE, from which all else can be derived… [S]uch a complete description must be devoid of any human baggage. This means that it must contain no concepts at all! In other words, it must be a purely mathematical theory… [An] infinitely intelligent mathematician should be able to derive the entire theory tree [including all of science, engineering, sociology, psychology etc.] from these equations alone, by deriving the properties of the physical reality that they describe, the properties of its inhabitants, their perceptions of the world, and even the words they invent. This purely mathematical theory of everything could potentially turn out to be simple enough to describe with equations that fit on a T-shirt.9

And our ToE is just one among an infinity of mathematical structures, each of them its own universe. If Tegmark is correct, there must exist a slightly different mathematical structure, whose equations are emblazoned on another T-shirt, wherein I am Tegmark’s psychiatrist rather that a physicist. I do not believe a word of it. Paraphrasing Danny, I may be a blockhead but I am certainly not a mathematical structure akin to a triangle. More.

Tegmark is what happens when cosmology tries to become a philosophy instead of just sticking to facts. It sells books.

*See also:* We have infinite selves in a multiverse? No, sorry, goodbye all youse, says math prof “Since the laws of nature would thus be different [in a multiverse], you could not be you.”

and

Multiverse cosmology at your fingertips

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### 3 Responses to *Cosmology struggles from hand-waving toward exact science, despite its friends?*

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There are obviously profound mysteries about the nature and origins of our Universe. Maybe Tegmark or multiverse theory or string theory are wrong but we have to start somewhere. Anyone who has any better ideas is welcome to put them forward.

Seversky – I couldn’t agree more. Better ideas about the origin of the universe than multiverse or string theory need to be put forward and fairly evaluated. How about there is in infinite God that created it all. That seems much more reasonable. I think I will stick with that one.

As to this quote from the article:

Of related interest to Sheldon Glashow’s observation that he is “certainly not a mathematical structure akin to a triangle” is this recent article by Steven Weinberg:

In the preceding article, Weinberg notes that

Weinberg then asks

Weinberg, after dismissing decoherence as a plausible explanation, then states this:

Weinberg then rightly rejects the ‘realist approach’ to quantum mechanics because of some irreconcilable problems inherent in the ‘many worlds interpretation’, but, on the other hand, it is interesting to note the main reason why he rejects the ‘instrumentalist approach’ to quantum mechanics:

Since Weinberg rejects the instrumentalist approach since it undermines Darwin’s goal of trying to explain humans as purely the result of the laws of nature, and if I had the pleasure to ask him, I might like to ask Weinberg, “Who discovered the standard model? You or the laws of nature?” Or perhaps ask him, “Who wrote your article? You or the laws of Nature?”

Moreover, whilst Weinberg may object to human beings being brought ‘into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level’ since it undermines the ‘vision that became possible after Darwin’, the fact of the matter is that Darwin, nor anyone else, has ever been able to elucidate the ‘impersonal physical laws’ of Darwinian evolution that are suppose to be describing us and our behaviors.

Thus, it seems rather futile of Weinberg and other Darwinists to want to describe humans solely as the result of impersonal physical laws when no one has a clue what those impersonal physical laws might actually be.

Moreover what sane person really wants to be a deterministic automaton that is completely reducible to natural laws? To be a ‘neuronal illusion’ with no free will? Certainly not me. In fact, the realization of such a misplaced desire would undermine sanity itself. To repeat the paraphrase

Of related note: