Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Rob Sheldon dishes on dark matter and dark energy

Rob Sheldon: My takeaway is that dark energy is “pathological science,” using the words of Irving Langmuir to describe N-rays or polywater. It is science at the edge of messy data, finding what one is looking for by using poor statistical methods. It is precisely what astronomers are trained NOT to do, and therefore this whole Nobel Prize thing is a corruption of what had been a relatively unstained field.

Climate change Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Sabine Hossenfelder says predictions are overrated; Rob Sheldon responds

Sheldon: … ironically, most of Sabine’s blogs are about the poor predictive power in particle theory, but in this blog she feels she has to reverse herself to defend the good name of global warming. My advice to her is to stick with what she has first-hand knowledge of, because 2nd-hand knowledge always suffers from authoritarian bias.

Extraterrestrial life

Researchers: Organic chemicals essential for life found in Martian meteorite; Rob Sheldon responds

Sheldon: The point is that we don’t expect to find nitrate and ammonia in the soil of Mars, not unless some nitrogen fixing bacteria put it there recently, because over time it will all come out of the soil as N2 gas. Claiming that the process goes the other way, from N2 in atmosphere to nitrates in soils, goes backwards, from high entropy to low entropy.

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Rob Sheldon on current efforts to explain the universe’s expansion

Sheldon: Yet another example of “curve fitting”, adding free parameters whose only purpose is to get a closer fit to the data. This is why particle physics and cosmology has made no progress over the past few decades as Sabine Hossenfelder warns. No one even faintly understands what a theory is supposed to wear to Stockholm, much less accomplish for posterity.

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Has a way been found to test string theory? Rob Sheldon responds

Sheldon: “This article explains precisely why thousands of theoretical physicists have not made any progress in 40 years. One hopelessly ad hoc and unsupported theory (inflation) conflicts with another hopelessly unphysical theory (string theory) and then others purport to resolve the difficulty by resorting to highly questionable phenomena (gravity waves).

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Rob Sheldon on dark energy: Does it exist?

Sheldon, our physics color commentator, writes to say, “I’ve mentioned before that Subir Sarkar at Oxford has questioned the existence of “dark energy” and by implication, the award of the 2011 Nobel prize. Sabine Hossenfelder’s blog links to a 7 minute summary of the Nobel prize and Sarkar’s work: But even more compelling is her Read More…