I’m reading Jim Baggott’s book, Farewell to Reality, which criticizes the direction that modern science is now taking. He wants to demonstrate what “real” science should look like, and what is instead catching the attention of modern physicists. I wrote about this sort of stuff over two years ago, at about the same time as Baggott’s book was coming out, but coming from a physicist himself, it is better said in his words.
In 2003, theorists Shamir Kachru, Renata Kallosh, Andrei Linde and Sandip Trivedi worked out the number of different Calabi-Yau shapes that are theoretically possible. This number is determined by the number of ‘holes’ each shape can possess, up to a theoretical maximum of about five hundred. There are ten different possible configurations for each hole. This gives a maximum of 10^500 different possible Calabi-Yau shapes.
The precise shape of the Calbi-Yau manifold determines the nature of the superstring vibrations that are possible. It thus determines the physical constants, the laws of physics and the spectrum of particles that will prevail. In other words, the shape determines the type of universe that will result. The figure 10^500 therefore refers to the number of different possible types of universe, not the total number of possible universes. This is what Guth meant when he talked about string theory having no preferred vacuum.
I believe there was a time in the history of physics when this kind of result would have been taken as evidence that a theoretical programme had failed. We could conclude that 10^500 different possible Calabi-Yau shapes with no compelling physical reason to select the one shape that particles that completely describes our universe—and hence describes the laws and the particles we actually observe—leave us with nowhere to go. Time to go back to the drawing board.
Except, of course, we now have eternal inflation and the inflationary multiverse.
Far from this vast multiplicity of possible Calabi-Yau shapes being seen as evidence for the failure of the superstring programme, it is instead used to bolster the idea that what the theory is describing is actually a multiverse.(p.225)
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Dembski’ UPB was 2^500, not 10^500, and this doesn’t slow down our modern-day theoretical physicists one bit. This isn’t a case of mathematically ‘unsophisticated’ evolutionary biologists making this error in scientific logic, but esteemed, perhaps the most esteemed, mathematically sophisticated scientists of them all. This is a problem of modern-day science, not of ill-prepared scientists.
To further make the point:
Eternal inflation is a characteristic of certain cosmological models. These models describe a multiverse consisting of bubbles of inflating spacetime triggered by quantum fluctuations in a vast inflaton field. We assume our universe is a relatively unexceptional bubble in this multiverse. We further assume that each of these universes can be characterized by one of the 10^500 different possible ways of compactifying the six extra spatial dimensions [via Calabi-Yau manifolds] demanded by superstring theory. In an alternative scenario, the hot big bang origin of our own universe could be the result of a collision between two braneworlds. There is no experimental or observational evidence for any of these assumptions.
Let’s just check to see if we’ve understood this correctly. We live in a multiverse, ‘surrounded’ by parallel universes that by definition we cannot experience directly. We can never verify the existence of these universes and must look instead for evidence that betrays their existence indirectly in the physics of our own universe.
Of course, there is no evidence in the physics of the authorized version of reality, so we must look to the physics of superstrings or M-theory. And look! The fact that there is no preferred choice of Calabi-Yau shape from the 10^500 different possibilities is taken to imply that our universe is far from unique. There must be many, many other kinds of universe. Quod erat demonstrandum. [p.229-230]
So, we have the familiar “tautology” encrusted within the Darwinian shibboleth “survival of the fittest,” but here now in “superstring” form. Instead of concluding–as rational human beings should—that there are vastly too many possibilities in the space of all shapes of Calabi-Yau manifolds for it to be the ground of reality, they turn it around and use it as proof that there is an ‘infinite number of infinite universes.’ Or, in its Darwinian form, despite the astronomical calculable improbability of the protein, cytochrome c, coming about by random natural forces, evolutionists tell us: “But life exists, so natural forces are sufficient to explain its existence,” and, so, avoiding reaching the logical conclusion that something so improbable could not have mere chance as its originator.
We’re witnessing the demise of science itself. All the logical underpinnings of science are being kicked-out from underneath it (Occham’s Razor has splintered). And why? I would say it is because of ‘atheism.’ Stephen Hawkings, who, for most of his adult life was not an atheist, now claims he is. Why? Because he’s bought into the “multiverse” way of thinking.
It’s ironic that it was within the Catholic/Christian religion that science arose and was fostered. It developed via a strict application of logic to empirical facts. The idea of “inertia” developed within religious circles saw the first movements toward what we consider modern science (confer Stanley Jaki’s The Savior of Science. And, as a real head-turner, we now know that Galileo’s views were rejected by the Catholic Church not because they contradicted the Book of Geneis, but because they contradicted the prevailing wisdom of the day–that’s right, the “scientific consensus” of the day). History will show that it was ‘religious thought’ that purified the mind and led to the rise of science and, consequently, modernity; while it was ‘atheism’ that led to its ruin.
We’ve reached the point in history where it is clear that any sensible “physics” must first be grounded in a sensible “metaphysics.” A “brave new world” awaits.