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The bubble universe of physics at Stanford

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And you thought I was kidding in Science Fictions about the nonsense that is somehow considered science these days—as long as it supports naturalism, that is?

Well, never mind what I think… Columbia mathematician Peter Woit, blogging at Not Even Wrong, comments on a recent Stanford physics vid on one of the latest froths, the bubble universe:

After skimming through the rest of several hours of video, what struck me is that [Yuri] Milner has managed to all by himself implement the bubble-universe picture of reality that has been propounded at Stanford for many years by Linde, Susskind and others. By smashing tens of millions of dollars into a small target (some prominent academics), he has created a new bubble-universe, with new laws of physics and a new conception of science. In this particular bubble-universe, problems with string theory unification have magically vanished and don’t need to be mentioned. Whether a scientific theory can predict anything or not is irrelevant, since you just know what has to be true (the idea with the big money attached to it). The embarrassing fact of no SUSY at the LHC does get fleeting mention, but John Schwarz assures everyone that in his view, there is no question that superpartners exist, whether or not the LHC ever sees them. The multiverse is seen as the answer to all problems, although Cumrun Vafa does warn that maybe one should also look for other answers. Polyakov says that he has nothing against this kind of “Anthropology”, except that it is very boring. That’s an accurate characterization of the science of the new bubble-universe at Stanford.

And, as we shall see, an accurate characterization of the science in lots of other places too.

It is a fundamental error to think that a naturalist perspective (the material universe is all there is) is any protection whatever against a tsunami of nonsense. Quite the opposite. The early scientists, who believed in God, believed that God was the author of reason and logic, and that therefore his cosmos would display qualities of rational order, qualities that would be uncovered by a study of the evidence.

Can you take God out of the picture and still have a cosmos that would display qualities of rational order that would be uncovered by a study of the evidence? Probably, if another guarantor of order is posited, like karma or the Way.

I am not here concerned with whether these postulated guarantors will survive hostile philosophical scrutiny. I am asking whether they would reverse the current degeneration into multiple Babels of nonsense. Which is precisely where naturalism has obviously failed and will likely continue to fail.

Likely continue to fail? Sure, because we will hear cries of complaint and demands for reform. But naturalism does not have the power in principle to step back from the abyss of irrationality. That was Darwin’s “horrid doubt” all along, and he was right if we go by the results. – O’Leary for News

Note: As I have noted elsewhere, the existence of God (or karma or the Way) does not rule out the bubble universe (or the space aliens or the multiverse). But guarantors of order demand evidence and do not permit us to substitute imagination for evidence.

In short, under their discipline, we cannot invoke the Copernican Principle: bubbles, aliens, or multiverses can exist merely because assuming them is consistent with a God-free (which also means in practice an order-free, evidence-optional) cosmos.


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