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Sabine Hossenfelder makes it to Slashdot

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Lost in Math

Many of us here are fans of Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, as she applies the broomstick to the loopy de loop element in theoretical physics.

Now a friend writes to say that she has made it to Slashdot, which is apparently a cachet:

What we have here in the foundation of physics is a plain failure of the scientific method. All these wrong predictions should have taught physicists that just because they can write down equations for something does not mean this math is a scientifically promising hypothesis. String theory, supersymmetry, multiverses. There’s math for it, alright. Pretty math, even. But that doesn’t mean this math describes reality. Physicists need new methods. Better methods. Methods that are appropriate to the present century.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “Why the Foundations of Physics Have Not Progressed For 40 Years” at Slashdot

She favors resolving inconsistencies over developing new theories.

A recent swish of the broom: Sabine Hossenfelder: Physicists’ Theories Of How The Universe Began “Aren’t Any Better Than Traditional Tales Of Creation” The combox is hilarious; don’t miss it. Hossenfelder is not backing down (so far).

7 Replies to “Sabine Hossenfelder makes it to Slashdot

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    She favors resolving inconsistencies over developing new theories.

    Anything wrong with doing both?

  2. 2
    Truthfreedom says:

    Wow. So much for ‘science’ having ‘all answers’.

    We are just semi-evolved primates whose purpose is to leave offspring and die. Why should we expect to understand how the Universe began? Will that increase our ‘fitness’? Is the Universe our echological niche?

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    “She favors resolving inconsistencies over developing new theories.”
    Anything wrong with doing both?
    Read her book Sev, she answers your question. And she has repeated it elsewhere.
    Actually, her title says it all.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    She favors resolving inconsistencies over developing new theories.

    There are no inconsistencies in the theories, (Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, and General Relativity), that they are trying to unify into a single overarching ‘theory of everything’. That is to say, in so far as measurement accuracy will allow, there is no disagreement between what the mathematics of these theories predict and what the empirical evidence itself reveals, The only inconsistency that there is for these theories is within the minds of theoretical physicists themselves who a-priori believe that there should be just one mathematical ‘theory of everything’.

    And herein is the problem, many, if not most, of theoretical physicists are atheistic or agnostic in their beliefs towards God. Yet, given atheism, they simply have no philosophical warrant for their a-priori belief that there should be just one mathematical ‘theory of everything’. As Professor of philosophy Steve Fuller notes,

    “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
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-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/2.....92351.html

    And as Einstein himself noted, (given atheism), “a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way,,,”

    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

    Thus atheists simply have no a-priori philosophical warrant for their belief that there should be just one mathematical theory of everything.

    Nor is there any mathematical warrant for their belief that there should be just one mathematical theory of everything. As Stephen Hawking himself noted,

    “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)

    In fact, according to work done by Gregory Chaitin, “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, the a-priori belief that there should be a unification between General Relativity, Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a single mathematical ‘Theory of Everything” simply does not follow from the math, nor from the atheistic philosophy, but is a belief that is born solely out of Theistic presuppositions.

    “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

    As to this comment from Sabine Hossenfelder,

    “String theory, supersymmetry, multiverses. There’s math for it, alright. Pretty math, even. But that doesn’t mean this math describes reality.”

    Whereas atheists, (as is shown in the following video), have no empirical evidence for all the various extra dimensions, parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have postulated,,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    ,,, Christians, on the other hand, (as is shown in the following video), ,,,

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    ,,, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    My favorite proof for a Theistic universe is the proof for heaven that comes from Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

    First, in regards to ‘eternity’. Einstein’s breakthrough insight into special relativity was a ‘thought experiment’ where he imagined the he was moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light.

    Einstein: Einstein’s Miracle Year (‘Insight into Eternity’ – Thought Experiment 55 second mark) – video
    http://www.history.com/topics/.....racle-year

    Einstein realized that when he traveled at the speed of light that the hands of the clock would be frozen and that the passage of time would slow down as one approached the speed of light and then come to a complete stop at the speed of light. This effect of time slowing down and coming to a complete stop is called time dilation.

    Time dilation
    Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity:
    In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized:
    1. –In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer accelerating, hypothetically, to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    2.–In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer falling to the event horizon of a black-hole, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

    The only way it is possible for time not to pass for light, and yet for light to move from point A to point B in our universe, is if light is of a higher dimensional value of time than the temporal time we are currently living in. Otherwise light would simply be ‘frozen within time’ to our temporal frame of reference.

    “For those of us who believe in physics. the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious this illusion may be.”
    – Albert Einstein – March 1955 – in the letter to comfort the family of a dear friend who had passed away. (of note: Einstein passed away the next month, in April of that same year)
    Einstein: A Biography, pg. 402

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Dr. Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 11

    And this higher dimensional framework for light plays out. In fact, Einstein’s math professor worked out the higher dimensional nature of special relativity prior to Einstein working out the higher dimensional nature of General Relativity:

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, due to computer simulations, we can now visualize what will happen if a ‘hypothetical’ observer accelerates towards the speed of light.

    In the first part of the following video clip, which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors, we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video (full relativistic effects shown at 2:40 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    OK now that we have outlined the basics of what we know to be true from special relativity, It is very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know to be true about Special Relativity.

    For instance, many times people who have had a Near Death Experience mention that their perception of time was radically altered. In the following video clip, Mickey Robinson gives his Near Death testimony of what it felt like for him to experience a ‘timeless eternity’.

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voak1RM-pXo

    And here are a few more quotes from people who have experienced Near Death, that speak of how their perception of time was radically altered as they were outside of their material body during their NDEs.

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – Near Death Experiencer
    https://www.near-death.com/science/research/time.html

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    And in regards to special relativity revealing a ‘tunnel’ to a higher dimension, we find that Near Death Experience testimonies also often mention going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension,

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.
    https://www.near-death.com/science/research/tunnel.html

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, besides being able to see for the first time during in her life during her Near Death Experience, Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, the experiencers both testify that they firmly believed that they were in a higher dimension that is above this three-dimensional world, and that the reason that they have a very difficult time explaining what their Near Death Experiences actually felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    Mary C. Neal, MD – To Heaven And Back pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    John Burke – Imagine Heaven pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    Thus in conclusion, special relativity, besides being confirmed by empirical observations in science, (without any discrepancy between prediction and obsevation in so far as measurement accuracy allows), the testimonies of Near Death Experiences also themselves match exactly what we would expect to be true beforehand from one of our most accurately verified theories in science, i.e. special relativity.

    To me that correspondence between special relativity and Near Death Experience testimonies is simply astonishing. What in blue blazes, in terms of empirical evidence, do atheists have to possibly counter such ‘scientific’ and testimonial evidence for heaven?

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

  6. 6
    Truthfreedom says:

    @4 Bornagain77: ‘And herein is the problem, many, if not most, of theoretical physicists are atheistic or agnostic in their beliefs towards God’.

    The problem is that they believe they are God.

  7. 7
    jstanley01 says:

    Physicists: “Reality must be mathematically parsimonious.”
    God: “Meh.”

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