At Big Think, there was a discussion between cosmologists Ethan Siegel and Lee Smolin on whether we are approaching quantum gravity all wrong:
Gravitation, governed by General Relativity, and the Standard Model, governed by quantum physics, are fundamentally incompatible. It’s possible, however, that the incompletenesses plaguing both theories are related, and that by completing both, together, we may discover quantum gravity. Lee Smolin, a pioneer in that endeavor, shares his thoughts about how we might find the best way forward to solve this conundrum.Ethan Siegel, “Are we approaching quantum gravity all wrong?” at Big Think (September 16, 2021)
Experimental physicist Rob Sheldon responds:
It’s a rambling interview that only a physics geek will love, but I had to reprint this dialogue, because it captures so much of what ID is about:
“Ethan Siegel: …So far, everyone I know who’s tried to come up with a concept of “gravity is emergent” or “space is emergent” or some other quantity that we normally look at as fundamental is in fact emergent, takes something that in typical physics thought we view as emergent and makes that fundamental. I would say the typical view of physics is that entropy is an emergent property that you can calculate based on, say, the microscopic quantum state of all the particles aggregated together. Are you basically doing something similar to that, except with this thing you define as “variety” instead of entropy?
Lee Smolin: Roughly speaking yes, but that’s a long discussion. Because the role of entropy in cosmological theory is something we have to get our heads straight about. “
Translating, Ethan is saying that the old 20th century materialism that says “entropy” or “information” emerges from the particles is being replaced by a 21st century view that “entropy” or “information” is fundamental and the material particles emerge from the immaterial field. Recall that the late John Wheeler coined “it from bit”, that matter proceeds from information. Lee Smolin agrees that his “variety” theory is of the 21st century, post-materialism type.