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Sabine Hossenfelder asks, How can we test a theory of everything?


By every possible means, presumably. Okay, seriously, she thinks we can test such a theory in principle, but…

But what you really wanted to know, I guess, is whether these tests are practically possible any time soon? I do think it is realistically possible that we will be able to see these deviations from general relativity in the next 50 years or so. About the other tests that rely on models for the early universe or symmetry violations, I’m not so sure, because for these it is again possible to move the predictions and then claim that we need bigger and better experiments to see them.

Is there any good reason to think that such a theory of everything is correct in the first place? No. There is good reason to think that we need a theory of quantum gravity, because without that the current theories are just inconsistent. But there is no reason to think that the forces of the standard model have to be unified, or that all the forces ultimately derive from one common explanation. It would be nice, but maybe that’s just not how the universe works.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “How can we test a Theory of Everything?” at BackRe(Action
Lost in Math

Sabine Hossenfelder is the author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.

See also: Slapping Sabine Hossenfelder Isn’t Going To Solve Physics’s Problems


Sabine Hossenfelder: There is a crisis in physics and it may spread to other sciences

nonling@1 such an irony - Darwin's theory of evolution and common descent, can't explain the existence of the MOST ABUNDANT organism on Earth - Viruses. Most abundant organism on Earth, but their theory can't explain it :) Of course, Darwin had no idea about viruses. Educated people know, that viruses are completely different system when compared to cellular life. The common ancestor concept can't be applied to viruses.... moreover, most viruses are unique - it is like to explain the origin of life thousands of times over and over :) p.s. this is brand new (OCTOBER 2019) 'Strange New Virus Could Represent 'Entirely New System of Viral Evolution' "...a new type of virus that could challenge the already complicated notions of how we categorise what viruses are, and what they can do." :) :) :) https://www.sciencealert.com/mysterious-new-virus-could-represent-entirely-new-system-of-viral-evolution martin_r
For a promising new quantum theory of gravity, please see Proposal for a new quantum theory of gravity III: Equations for quantum gravity, and the origin of spontaneous localisation Maithresh Palemkota and Tejinder P. Singh arXiv:1908.04309 https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.04309 Tejinder tejinder.tifr
as to this comment:
If you have a theory from which you can derive gravity and the three forces of the standard model, that’s called a “Theory of Everything” or TOE for short. So, a theory of everything is both a theory of quantum gravity and a grand unified theory. The name is somewhat misleading. Such a theory of everything would of course *not explain everything. That’s because for most purposes it would be entirely impractical to use it. It would be impractical for the same reason it’s impractical to use the standard model to explain chemical reactions, not to mention human behavior.
A refreshingly honest confession. as to:
But there is no reason to think that the forces of the standard model have to be unified, or that all the forces ultimately derive from one common explanation. It would be nice, but maybe that’s just not how the universe works.
Another refreshingly honest confession. In fact, the belief that there should even be a single overarching theory of everything is a belief that is born solely out of Theistic presuppositions.
“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 - Video - quoted at the 17:34 minute mark https://uncommondescent.com/news/in-cambridge-professor-steve-fuller-discusses-why-the-hypothesis-of-intelligent-design-is-not-more-popular-among-scientists-and-others/ Stephen Hawking's "God-Haunted" Quest - David Klinghoffer - December 24, 2014 Excerpt: Why in the world would a scientist blithely assume that there is or is even likely to be one unifying rational form to all things, unless he assumed that there is a singular, overarching intelligence that has placed it there? Why shouldn't the world be chaotic, utterly random, meaningless? Why should one presume that something as orderly and rational as an equation would describe the universe's structure? I would argue that the only finally reasonable ground for that assumption is the belief in an intelligent Creator, who has already thought into the world the very mathematics that the patient scientist discovers. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/stephen_hawking092351.html “For a scientist to be confident of this picture requires an exceptional faith in the power of mathematical unification.” Bjørn Ekeberg, “Cosmology Has Some Big Problems” at Scientific American - May 2019 “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 Einstein himself stated,
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
Moreover, as Godel has shown, via his incompleteness theorem, there simply is no reason that theoretical physicists should even presuppose that mathematics, all by its lonesome, will ever yield a complete 'Theory of Everything":
Gödel and Physics – John D. Barrow Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.” Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49 http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf
Moreover, according to work done by leading Mathematician Gregory Chaitin extending Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, we now know that what “Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”
The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006 Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms. http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf
Thus, as long as theoretical physicists erroneously believe mathematics to somehow be a 'brute fact' that can potentially explain everything in a single mathematical theorem, and forget about the God who brings unity to the universe, (as well as to mathematics), in the first place, they will forever be barking up the wrong tree. Might I be so bold as to suggest a far more satisfactory 'theory of everything'? A 'theory of everything' that even goes so far as to explaining the exact reason why he universe exists in the first place?
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. Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis
Better yet, "How Can We Test The Theory Of Evolution"? http://nonlin.org/evotest/ Nonlin.org

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