Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder asks: Do we need a theory of everything?

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First, she explains what we understand a Theory of Everything to be:

Now, three of the fundamental interactions, the electromagnetic and the strong and weak nuclear force, are of the same type. They are collected in what is known as the standard model of particle physics. The three forces in the standard model are described by quantum field theories which means, in a nutshell, that all particles obey the principles of quantum mechanics, like the uncertainty principle, and they can be entangled and so on. Gravity, however, is described by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and does not know anything about quantum mechanics, so it stands apart from the other three forces. That’s a problem because we know that all the quantum particles in the standard model have a gravitational pull. But we do not know how this works. We just do not have a theory to describe how elementary particles gravitate. For this, we would need a theory for the quantum behavior of gravity, a theory of “quantum gravity,” as it’s called.

We need a theory of quantum gravity because general relativity and the standard model are mathematically incompatible.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “Do we need a Theory of Everything?” at BackRe(Action)

But she goes on to say something surprising:

So this whole idea of a theory of everything is based on an unscientific premise. Some people would like the laws of nature to be pretty in a very specific way. They want it to be simple, they want it to be symmetric, they want it to be natural, and here I have to warn you that “natural” is a technical term. So they have an idea of what they want to be true. Then they stumble over some piece of mathematics that strikes them as particularly pretty and they become convinced that certainly it must play a role for the laws of nature. In brief, they invent a theory for what they think the universe *should be like.

This is simply not a good strategy to develop scientific theories, and no, it is most certainly not standard methodology.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “Do we need a Theory of Everything?” at BackRe(Action)

It gets more interesting from there.

9 Replies to “Sabine Hossenfelder asks: Do we need a theory of everything?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this comment by Hossenfelder, “There is no reason that nature should actually be described by a theory of everything.,,, It would be pretty, yes, but it’s unnecessary. The standard model works just fine without unification.
    So this whole idea of a theory of everything is based on an unscientific premise.”

    What physicists mean by a theory of everything is then a theory from which all the four fundamental interactions derive. This means it is both a grand unified theory and a theory of quantum gravity.
    This sounds like a nice idea, yes. But. There is no reason that nature should actually be described by a theory of everything. While we *do need a theory of quantum gravity to avoid logical inconsistency in the laws of nature, the forces in the standard model do not have to be unified, and they do not have to be unified with gravity. It would be pretty, yes, but it’s unnecessary. The standard model works just fine without unification.
    So this whole idea of a theory of everything is based on an unscientific premise. ,,,

    Actually this whole idea of a theory of everything is based on an Theistic premise. A Theistic premise which is, contrary to the claims of atheists, very much a ‘scientific premise’.

    As Professor Steven Fuller explains,

    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is a sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”
    – Professor of philosophy Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design in Cambridge –

    And as John D Barrow commented,

    “Our monotheistic traditions reinforce the assumption that the universe is at root a unity, that is not governed by different legislation in different places.”
    – John D. Barrow – New Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation – pg. 18

    And as Paul Davies commented, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    In fact, Einstein and Wigner themselves are both on record as to regarding it as ‘miracle’ that mathematics should even be applicable to the universe in the first place. Shoot, Einstein even went so far as to disparage ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a ‘miracle’

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    Eugene Wigner was just about as insulting of atheists as Einstein was when Wigner disparaged “Darwin’s process of natural selection” as the supposed explanation for our ‘reasoning power’.

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960 ?Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,?It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,?The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning. ?http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Yet, despite the fact that modern science itself was born out of the Christian presupposition that the Mind of God lay behind mathematics, especially any mathematics that might describe this universe,

    “All the early scientists, like Newton, were religious in one way or another. They saw their science as a means of uncovering traces of God’s handiwork in the universe. What we now call the laws of physics they regarded as God’s abstract creation: thoughts, so to speak, in the mind of God. So in doing science, they supposed, one might be able to glimpse the mind of God – an exhilarating and audacious claim.”
    – Paul Davies – quoted from an address following his award of the $1 million Templeton Prize in 1995 for progress in science and religion.

    Despite that fact, modern day physicists have, philosophically speaking, taken a major step backwards and think, as the ancient Greeks did, “of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.”

    Taking Science on Faith – By PAUL DAVIES – NOV. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.
    ,,, the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists (today) think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11.....avies.html

    Again, philosophically speaking, this is a major step backwards for today’s physicists compared to the Christian founders of modern science.

    Simply put, modern day physicists have pretty much regressed back to “the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”
    – Henry F. Schaefer III – Making Sense of Faith and Science – 23:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/C7Py_qeFW4s?t=1415

    And as Peter S. Williams explained, ““Both Greek and biblical thought asserted that the world is orderly and intelligible. But the Greeks held that this order is necessary and that one can therefore deduce its structure from first principles. Only biblical thought held that God created both form and matter, meaning that the world did not have to be as it is and that the details of its order can be discovered only by observation.”

    Is Christianity Unscientific? – Peter S. Williams
    Excerpt: “Both Greek and biblical thought asserted that the world is orderly and intelligible. But the Greeks held that this order is necessary and that one can therefore deduce its structure from first principles. Only biblical thought held that God created both form and matter, meaning that the world did not have to be as it is and that the details of its order can be discovered only by observation.”
    http://www.bethinking.org/does.....scientific

    In fact, it was only by, quote unquote, ‘outlawing’ the ancient Greeks necessitarian view of creation that modern science was finally able to achieve a viable birth in medieval Christian Europe,

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010?
    Excerpt: If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.?http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    In fact, in ancient Greek thought, and apparently in present day physics, “the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him.”

    As Edward Fesser recently explained, “There is also a very different answer, in which the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him. According to this view, mathematical objects such as numbers and geometrical figures exist not only independently of the ­material world, but also independently of any mind, including the divine mind.”

    KEEP IT SIMPLE by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    There is also a very different answer, in which the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him. According to this view, mathematical objects such as numbers and geometrical figures exist not only independently of the ­material world, but also independently of any mind, including the divine mind. They occupy a “third realm” of their own, the realm famously described in Plato’s Theory of Forms. God used this third realm as a blueprint when creating the physical world, but he did not create the realm itself and it exists outside of him. This position is usually called Platonism since it is commonly thought to have been ­Plato’s own view, as distinct from that of his Neoplatonic followers who relocated mathematical objects and other Forms into the divine mind. (I put to one side for present purposes the question of how historically accurate this standard narrative is.)
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    And yet, if we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), if we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, then that provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an ’empirically backed’ reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:

    November 2019 – despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now empirically shown, (via quantum mechanics and general relativity, etc..), to be a false assumption.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/so-then-maybe-we-are-privileged-observers/#comment-688855

    (February 19, 2019) To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image.’,,,
    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673178

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) – November 08, 2019
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following recent article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://westvirginianews.blogsp.....in-is.html

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Thus in conclusion, and although much more could be said about this topic, the main impasse for modern day physicists today in finding the ‘theory of everything’, apparently, seems to be that modern day physicists have, basically, completely forgotten the philosophical, i.e. Christian, roots that gave rise to modern science in the first place, i.e. That the universe, and math itself, are the result of the ‘thoughts of God’. And have regressed back into Greek rationalism in which math serves as a rival to God rather than a path to Him.

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    Johannes Kepler – 1619 – stated shortly after he discovered the laws of planetary motion.

  3. 3
    Retired Physicist says:

    Over 200 years passed between Galilean/Newtonian mechanics, and Special Relativity in 1905. It’s been significantly less than that since SR&GR. What gets left out of the history of physics is that sometimes theorists theorize for decades or centuries without hitting on the right idea. The string theory and loop quantum gravity people have been going at it for about 50 years, without succeeding in physics, although with succeeding at mathematical discoveries. The Maldacena conjecture was some pretty impressive shit, although they haven’t figured out a full-blown physics theory yet. (I didn’t know Juan, but we had a few friends in common.)

    It took something like 358 years of work before Fermat’s last theorem was proven

  4. 4
    doubter says:

    Why can’t an omnipotent and omniscient God simply decide to create a Universe in which there are two mathematically incompatible or fundamentally different physical systems (gravity combined with special relativity and quantum mechanics), perhaps because there are great difficulties in this case of designing a system of systems with absolutely everything beautifully consistent. Just too hard, even for God.

    Every great engineering design is the result of very many design tradeoffs necessitated by the inevitable and inescapable conflicts between multiple different requirements and constraints.

    It would be like an author with both prodigious dramatic/literature and mathematical talents undertaking to write both a great novel and a great mathematical treatise. The job of making the two creations fully and beautifully consistent would presumably be very hard or even impossible, so the result: two fundamentally separate creative works.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Mathematically, the primary reason why Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity will, in all likelihood, never be combined into a single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’ is because the infinities that crop up in these attempts to mathematically reconcile the two theories with each other are not renormalizable.

    As Sera Cremonini states, ” the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,, “The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    Likewise, Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    General relativity simply refuses to be mathematically unified with quantum mechanics in any acceptable way that would render the infinities ‘renormalized”. As the following article states, “Even after a sustained effort lasting more than half a century, no renormalized quantum field theory of gravity has ever been produced. Renormalization means a theory that’s free of infinities at zero distance or infinite energy because 2 point particles can interact with each other at zero distance. A non renormalizable theory has no predictive value because it contains an infinite number of singular coefficients.”

    Does quantum mechanics contradict the theory of relativity?
    Sanjay Sood, Microchip Design Engineer, Theoretical and Applied Physicist – Feb 14, 2016
    Excerpt: quantum mechanics was first integrated with special theory of relativity by Dirac in 1928 just 3 years after quantum mechanics was discovered. Dirac produced an equation that describes the behavior of a quantum particle (electron). In this equation the space and time enter on the same footing – equation is first order in all 4 coordinates. One startling by product of this equation was the prediction of anti matter. It also gave the correct explanation for the electron’s spin. Dirac’s equation treats an electron as a particle with only a finite degrees of freedom.
    In 1940s Dirac’s equation was incorporated into the relativistic quantum field theory that’s knowns as quantum electrodynamics (QED) independently by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga. This is the theory that describes the behavior of electrons and photons and their interactions with each other in terms of relativistic quantum fields that have infinite degrees of freedom. QED allowed extremely precise calculation of anomalous magnetic dipole moment of an electron. This calculated value matches the experimentally measured value to an astonishing precision of 12 decimal places!
    The integration of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics has proved to be far more difficult. Such an integration would give a quantum theory of gravity. Even after a sustained effort lasting more than half a century, no renormalized quantum field theory of gravity has ever been produced. Renormalization means a theory that’s free of infinities at zero distance or infinite energy because 2 point particles can interact with each other at zero distance. A non renormalizable theory has no predictive value because it contains an infinite number of singular coefficients.
    https://www.quora.com/Does-quantum-mechanics-contradict-the-theory-of-relativity

    As to, “Renormalization means a theory that’s free of infinities at zero distance or infinite energy because 2 point particles can interact with each other at zero distance”, he is apparently referring to the zero/infinity conflict that arises between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    This zero/infinity conflict between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics has some fairly disturbing theoretical implications. Specifically, when theorists try to combine the two theories, then the resulting theory predicts that spacetime, atoms, and even the universe itself should all be literally blown apart. Here are a few references that get this point across.

    “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”
    – Gregory J. Chaitin , Francisco A. Doria, and Newton C. a. Da Costa – Goedel’s Way: Exploits into an Undecidable World

    “In order for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to be internally self-consistent [Seeking consistency between quantum mechanics and relativity theory is the major task theoretical physicists have been grappling with since quantum mechanics emerged], the physical vacuum has to contain 10^94 grams equivalent of energy per cubic centimeter. What that means is, if you take just a single hydrogen atom, which is one proton and one electron and all the rest of the atom is ‘empty space,’ if you take just that volume of empty space, … you find that you end up with a trillion times as much vacuum energy as all the electromagnetic energy in all the planets, all the stars, and all the cosmic dust in a sphere of radius 15 billion light-years.”
    To summarize, the subtle energy in the vacuum space of a single hydrogen atom is as great as all the electromagnetic energy found in everything within 15 billion light-years of our space-time cosmos.” ,,,
    Dr. William Tiller – Human Intention

    Cosmic coincidence spotted – Philip Ball – 2008
    Excerpt: One interpretation of dark energy is that it results from the energy of empty space, called vacuum energy. The laws of quantum physics imply that empty space is not empty at all, but filled with particles popping in and out of existence. This particle ‘fizz’ should push objects apart, just as dark energy seems to require. But the theoretical value of this energy is immense — so huge that it should blow atoms apart, rather than just causing the Universe to accelerate.
    Physicists think that some unknown force nearly perfectly cancels out the vacuum energy, leaving only the amount seen as dark energy to push things apart. This cancellation is imperfect to an absurdly fine margin: the unknown ‘energy’ differs from the vacuum energy by just one part in 10^122. It seems incredible that any physical mechanism could be so finely poised as to reduce the vacuum energy to within a whisker of zero, but it seems to be so.
    http://www.nature.com/news/200.....8.610.html

    The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics – Jessica Orwig – Jan. 14, 2016
    Excerpt: Dangerous No. 2: The strength of dark energy
    ,,, you should be able to sum up all the energy of empty space to get a value representing the strength of dark energy. And although theoretical physicists have done so, there’s one gigantic problem with their answer:
    “Dark energy should be 10^120 times stronger than the value we observe from astronomy,” Cliff said. “This is a number so mind-boggling huge that it’s impossible to get your head around … this number is bigger than any number in astronomy — it’s a thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. That’s a pretty bad prediction.”
    On the bright side, we’re lucky that dark energy is smaller than theorists predict. If it followed our theoretical models, then the repulsive force of dark energy would be so huge that it would literally rip our universe apart. The fundamental forces that bind atoms together would be powerless against it and nothing could ever form — galaxies, stars, planets, and life as we know it would not exist.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....57366.html

    And yet, despite both theories contradicting each other to the point of literally blowing the universe apart, the fact remains that quantum mechanics and general relativity are both tested to extreme levels of precision, (in fact, both general relativity and quantum mechanics are consider to be our most successful theories ever in the history of science),

    The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science – May 5, 2011
    Excerpt: So, which of the two (general relativity or QED) is The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science?
    It’s a little tough to quantify a title like that, but I think relativity can claim to have tested the smallest effects. Things like the aluminum ion clock experiments showing shifts in the rate of a clock set moving at a few m/s, or raised by a foot, measure relativistic shifts of a few parts in 10^16. That is, if one clock ticks 10,000,000,000,000,000 times, the other ticks 9,999,999,999,999,999 times. That’s an impressively tiny effect, but the measured value is in good agreement with the predictions of relativity.
    In the end, though, I have to give the nod to QED, because while the absolute effects in relativity may be smaller, the precision of the measurements in QED is more impressive. Experimental tests of relativity measure tiny shifts, but to only a few decimal places. Experimental tests of QED measure small shifts, but to an absurd number of decimal places. The most impressive of these is the “anomalous magnetic moment of the electron,” expressed is terms of a number g whose best measured value is:
    g/2 = 1.001 159 652 180 73 (28)
    Depending on how you want to count it, that’s either 11 or 14 digits of precision (the value you would expect without QED is exactly 1, so in some sense, the shift really starts with the first non-zero decimal place), which is just incredible. And QED correctly predicts all those decimal places (at least to within the measurement uncertainty, given by the two digits in parentheses at the end of that).
    http://scienceblogs.com/princi.....sted-theo/

    And since quantum mechanics and general relativity are both tested to such an extreme level of precision, (and we can thus have a very high level of confidence that both theories are, in fact, true mathematical descriptions of reality), and since Godel’s incompleteness theorem itself requires something to be ‘outside the circle’ of mathematics,,,,

    “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”.
    Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

    ,,, then it is fairly safe to assume that there must be something very powerful that must be holding the universe together in order to keep it from blowing itself apart. ,,,

    For the Christian this theoretical finding from our very best theories in science, (i.e. that something very powerful must be ‘outside the universe’ that is holding this universe together), should not be all that surprising to find out. Christianity, a couple of millennium before the zero/infinity conflict between the two theories was even known about, predicted that Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together,,,

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the Zero/Infinity conflict between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhDs. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Philippians 2:8-9
    And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

    Moreover, as mentioned in post 2, if we rightly let the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into the picture of modern physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders of modern science),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. (see post 2 for links defending this claim.)

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    The reason I appreciate Sabine Hossenfelder’s videos (and bought her first book) is her directness, her honesty to identify what theoretical physicists really don’t know, and her courage to question approaches, theories, and assumptions that are based on nothing more than speculation and mathematical “beauty” rather than data, which haven’t succeeded in producing major breakthroughs for many years.

    Loosely speaking her approach to the challenges of QM and gravity reminds me of Perry Marshall’s Evolution 2.0–without the grandstanding, of course–and Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution.

    It seems like every time humanity thinks it’s reached the bottom of some science, we find out it’s way more complicated than first thought . . . spontaneous generation, protoplasm in the “simple” cell, Darwinian evolution, vestigial organs, junk DNA, epigenetic code(s), Newtonian mechanics, luminiferous aether, the three “fundamental” particles, the standard model, the fundamental forces, Hawking “radiation” (see Dr. Hossenfelder’s comments on this), and so on. I still remember when Jupiter supposedly had 12 moons and Saturn 10.

    Science should never be considered “settled,” but always viewed in the flux of discovery. So once again, Sabine Hossenfelder asks a penetrating question that seems to me mildly similar to Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorems applied to theoretical physics.

    -Q

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    at post 5, and as to the subject of renormalization, and as to the fact that Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity will, in all likelihood, never be combined into a single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’ because you “would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    As to that fact, although ‘renormalization would fail’ for quantum mechanics and general relativity, it is interesting to note what I consider to be a rather interesting shortcoming in the renormalization process that took place to unify quantum mechanics with special relativity.

    Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity?
    Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.?In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to.?If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you’ll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity (i.e. General Relativity).
    http://www.infoplease.com/cig/.....ivity.html

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe?Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    In the following video, Feynman rightly expresses his unease with “brushing infinity under the rug.” here:

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”?
    – Richard Feynman – one of the main founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Quote taken from the 6:45 minute mark of the following video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

    I don’t know about Richard Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’:

    John1:1?
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic?
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic?

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    And although that renormalization between quantum mechanics and special relativity has been extremely successful as a scientific theory,,,

    Richard Feynman and the Pleasure Principle – 2018
    Excerpt: The secrets Feynman uncovered of the infinitesimal clarified the world of objects we can see and feel. He was a signature contributor to the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), describing the interaction of subatomic particles with light. From QED, one could derive “the basic rules for all ordinary phenomena except for gravitation and nuclear processes,” as he explained in his Lectures on Physics, the text of the two-year introductory course he taught at Caltech in the early 1960s:
    “… out of quantum electrodynamics come all known electrical, mechanical, and chemical laws: the laws for the collision of billiard balls, the motions of wires in magnetic fields, the specific heat of carbon monoxide, the color of neon signs, the density of salt, and the reactions of hydrogen and oxygen to make water are all consequences of this one law.”
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/richard-feynman-and-the-pleasure-principle

    And although that renormalization between quantum mechanics and special relativity has been extremely successful as a scientific theory, it is interesting to note what else, besides infinity, was brushed “under the rug.”

    This “brushing infinity under the rug” to unify special relativity and quantum mechanics into QED also came at the, (what I consider to be the ‘unacceptable’), cost of also brushing ‘the measurement problem’ and/or conscious observation itself under the rug.

    As Adam Becker stated, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Yet ‘measurement’ in quantum mechanics is exactly where the entire enigma of ‘conscious observation’ makes its presence fully known in quantum mechanics,

    As the following researcher stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”?

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms –
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    The Measurement Problem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    In short, although ‘brushing infinity under the rug’ has been extremely successful as a scientific theory, it still came at the unacceptable cost of brushing the observer himself, i.e. you and me, under the rug.

    In other words, if a theory brushes you and me ‘under the rug’, and since you and me are certainly a very important part of ‘everything’ in our view of things, then the renormalization process that led to Quantum Electrodynamics can’t possibly be the correct step towards the quote unquote ‘theory of everything.’

    In short, the fact that humans themselves are brought into the laws of nature at their most fundamental level is lost in the renormalization process that took place between quantum mechanics and special relativity to produce Quantum Electrodynamics (QED).

    Yet that is the most fascinating aspect of quantum mechanics!

    As Steven Weinberg, an atheist himself, states in the following article, In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Experimental test of local observer-independence – 2019
    Excerpt: The scientific method relies on facts, established through repeated measurements and agreed upon universally, independently of who observed them. In quantum mechanics, the objectivity of observations is not so clear, most dramatically exposed in Eugene Wigner’s eponymous thought experiment where two observers can experience seemingly different realities. The question whether these realities can be reconciled in an observer-independent way has long remained inaccessible to empirical investigation, until recent no-go-theorems constructed an extended Wigner’s friend scenario with four observers that allows us to put it to the test. In a state-of-the-art 6-photon experiment, we realise this extended Wigner’s friend scenario, experimentally violating the associated Bell-type inequality by 5 standard deviations. If one holds fast to the assumptions of locality and free-choice, this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.05080.pdf

    Thus in conclusion, and not to take away from QED as successful scientific theory, but the belief that a ‘theory of everything’ will be forth coming from the process of renormalization is misguided at best since in the very first step of the process, i.e. in QED, the observer himself is ‘brushed under the rug’.

    Of related interest, it is also interesting to note that the amplituhedron (which I consider to be a ‘beautiful’ refinement of QED), also came at a cost. The cost of removing “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and it also brought into question the claim that material causes are the only ones in the universe”

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013 ?
    Excerpt: 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.,,,
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/bohemian-gravity/

    And as Armani-Hamed himself commented,

    “It seems inconceivable that this intricate web of perfect mathematical descriptions is random or happenstance. This mystery must have an explanation. But what might such an explanation look like?”
    Armani-Hamed
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/physicist-its-not-the-answers-we-lack-its-the-question/

    If I could offer Armani-Hamed a suggestion as to what that explanation might look like, I would point to John 1:1,

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

  9. 9
    polistra says:

    We don’t need a theory of anything. Theories are murder.

    The “virus” nonsense should have made this blazingly lethally genocidally clear. We have a billion years of experience dealing with viruses internally, and several hundred years of dealing with viruses medically. Suddenly we switched from experience to a theory that came from “nowhere”, a theory that applied a weapon of war to viruses. The results are murder, as most European countries have quickly realized. Europe has stopped their holocaust, and Europe is now watching in disgust and horror as most of US goes all in for even more holocaust.

    And all because we followed a theory instead of experience.

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