Intelligent Design

Rob Sheldon responds to Sabine Hossenfelder on the hologram universe

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Just now we noted that theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has a new vid at YouTube on why some scientists think the universe is a hologram Her view: “Personally I think that the motivations for the holographic principle are not particularly strong and in any case we’ll not be able to test this hypothesis in the coming centuries. ” And in our this post, experimental physicist Rob Sheldon replies.

Experimental physicist Rob Sheldon responds: More revealing than Sabine’s confession about theoretical physics: “Personally I think that the motivations for the holographic principle are not particularly strong and in any case, we’ll not be able to test this hypothesis in the coming centuries. Therefore writing papers about it is a waste of time.” … Is Peter Woit’s analysis of a new physics film:

“Last night I went to a showing of Chasing Einstein, a new documentary about the search for dark matter.”

One of his own Columbia colleagues spent a decade in fruitless search. “If a WIMP particle responsible for dark matter had existed in the region advertised by many theories, they would have found it and followed the LIGO people to Stockholm.

Instead, they put a strong limit on the possible properties of such a conjectured particle. The film includes a heart-breaking scene when they unblind their data, quickly realizing that their years of effort haven’t been rewarded with the discovery that they had been hoping for.”

Since WIMP particles haven’t worked, the movie turns to novelties.

“Attention then turns to Erik Verlinde and his “Emergent Gravity” explanation for the dark matter phenomenon. I’ve never found the motivation for this compelling, so haven’t followed his work carefully. … My understanding is that the positive results her group found are matched by other more negative results, see here.”

This isn’t looking good for dark matter physics, but Woit’s next blog discusses a particle physics workshop at Harvard: “There was a workshop last week at the Harvard CMSA, focusing on new ideas about physics rooted in topology. … There was an interesting introductory talk by Dan Harlow, in which he lays out his view (which I think is a very mainstream one) of the current situation of HEP theory.”

Woit then gives a transcript of the meeting: “Seiberg: It’s not that we’re doing what we’re doing because we have to fill the time (audience laughter). We’re doing what we’re doing because it’s very important (audience laughter)….Comments like these have been used against us (audience laughter), in addition to the fact that they are wrong.”Harlowe:  OK, yeah, yeah, I’m not talking to the New York Times, right. (audience laughter).”

Woit concludes: “HEP [high energy physics] theory is at a very difficult point in its history, and it seems that the older generation struggling with this is not particularly amused to hear what sounds like flippant takes on the problem from the younger generation.”

Even Woit himself is too much of a specialist to realize that it isn’t just HEP theory, it is large swathes of all the sciences. They have painted themselves into a sterile, but formerly well-funded “consensus” corner, and are discovering that the younger generation (and the NYT) is quite flippant on their prospects for survival.

The realization that “science as a societal endeavor” results in a Darwinian ruthlessness toward their lifework, comes as a shock for many of Woit’s colleagues that are nearing retirement. Indeed, a very difficult point in history.

Rob Sheldon is the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent


Further reading on the hologram universe:

Sabine Hossenfelder: Why some scientists think the universe is a hologram Her view: “Personally I think that the motivations for the holographic principle are not particularly strong and in any case we’ll not be able to test this hypothesis in the coming centuries. ” And in our next post, experimental physicist Rob Sheldon replies.

Sabine Hossenfelder: Can gravitational wave interferometers tell us if we live in a hologram universe? It’s actually a good thing if theses in physics don’t gain currency just because they make good TED talks. That could be part of their problem.

The Long Ascent: Genesis 1â  11 in Science & Myth, Volume 1 by [Sheldon, Robert]

How is the hologram universe coming?

Astrophysicist Niayesh Afshordi Explains The Holograph Universe To Suzan Mazur At Oscillations

and

“Substantial evidence” claimed for universe as a hologram

One Reply to “Rob Sheldon responds to Sabine Hossenfelder on the hologram universe

  1. 1
    Charles Birch says:

    “Large swathes of all the sciences….have painted themselves into a sterile, but formerly well-funded “consensus” corner.”

    That’s a good comment. As a non-scientist with a layman’s interest in many aspects of science (especially physics, biology and medicine) I have long felt that the current “consensus worship” practised by many scientists (and science-fanboys) is holding science at an impasse.

    My reading of the history of science shows that most major breakthroughs are made by people who dare to challenge the consensus.

    What I find exciting is that there are increasing signs that this logjam will break. The collapse of ONE cherished ‘consensus’ theory may be enough to start a domino effect, with a veritable scientific renaissance emerging which will transform our understanding of reality and our place within it.

    I think we live in an inspiring and pivotal time for science.

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