Science is about discoveries, not speculative games. Forbes’s Siegel seems to agree. Hey, deal, guys: Find us fossil bacteria on Mars and we’ll think it’s science. Talk about space aliens and …
Some scientists are claiming so, based on an odd finding from Antarctica. Ethan Siegel isn’t isn’t taking the bait.
Maybe a universe that was completely explainable and provable couldn’t exist.
We can tell what’s wrong with science today when we try to take Siegel’s dead-serious explanation of what he thinks a theory in science is and apply it to: Darwinian evolution theory
Sounds like a designed system all right. Too bad that’s a problem for many physicists.
Ethan Siegel has a genius for encapsulating what is wrong in science today.
But doesn’t seem to have a ticket. So a mechanism that caused the Universe to come into existence with these properties already in place? But then what caused that mechanism? If a mechanism caused that mechanism, what in turn caused the previous mechanism? Siegel obviously wants to get past the idea of an actual beginning but orthodox science does not seem to allow that. Some religious propositions might suffice, of course, but he does not want to go there. Advice from readers?
Siegel doesn’t really explain why we can be sure that space, time, and the laws of physics preexisted the Big Bang; the idea that they pre-existed has the effect of untethering them from the tiresome demand for evidence. But might that be part of the charm of the idea?
Siegel makes an interesting comparison with, say, Sabine Hossenfelder. He does great graphics but to say that he is not a deep thinker is to shower him with imprudent praise. By contrast, we go on listening to Hossenfelder with great interest, whether the graphics are good or not.
Not only is Ethan’s profession about to get a major readjustment, but his attitude needs a readjustment as well. No longer can he and his colleagues hide in their ivory tower telling the world that we must leave the hard thinking to them. As many have already commented, the woke mobs are already at the gates.
Ethan Siegel: Why does empty space have the properties that it does? Why is the zero-point energy of the fabric of the Universe a positive, non-zero value? And why does dark energy have the behavior we observe it to have, rather than any other?
Siegel: In order for inflation to end, that energy has to get converted into matter and radiation. The evidence strongly points to that happening some 13.8 billion years ago.
Ethan Siegel: Even the most successful scientific theories imaginable will, by their very nature, have a limited range of validity. But we can theorize whatever we like, and when a new theory meets the following three criteria…
But don’t fret that a better understanding of the universe will leave entertaining crackpots out in the cold. Won’t happen. Can’t. Ethan Siegel explains why, in part.
It’s quite clear that Siegel’s objection to the idea of a beginning to the universe is philosophical. Most of the nonsense one hears, generally, can be traced to unwillingness to admit that.