Cosmology Intelligent Design

Sabine Hossenfelder despairs over vacuum energy. Rob Sheldon responds

These specialty controversies are an interesting backdrop to the current war on math. Sabine Hossenfelder and Rob Sheldon would likely agree that 2 + 2 = 4. But survey the vast degreed hordes for whom such a statement is an instance of white supremacy and colonialism and we will see the real problem facing our civilization: Far too many people have degrees (and grievances!) but no insight into what knowledge is.

Intelligent Design Multiverse Philosophy Science

Sabine Hossenfelder’s op-ed not published at APS?

This is the kind of thing she said: What about Avi Loeb’s claim that the interstellar object `Oumuamua was alien technology? Loeb has justified his speculation by pointing towards scientists who ponder multiverses and extra dimensions. He seems to think his argument is similar. But Loeb’s argument isn’t degenerative science. It’s just bad science. He jumped to conclusions from incomplete data.

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder: Does the universe have higher dimensions?

Hossenfelder: If one adds 7 dimensions of space to our normal three dimensions, then one can describe all of the fundamental forces of nature geometrically. And that sounds like a really promising idea for a unified theory of physics. Indeed, in the early 1980s, the string theorist Edward Witten thought it was intriguing that seven additional dimensions of space is also the maximum for supergravity. However, that numerical coincidence turned out to not lead anywhere. This geometric construction of fundamental forces which is called Kaluza-Klein theory, suffers from several problems that no one has managed to solved.

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder asks, Should Stephen Hawking have won the Nobel? Rob Sheldon weighs in

Rob Sheldon: Hawking did not get the Nobel, however, because he hung his hopes on the radiation emitted by BH–the so-called “Hawking radiation”. And it was never observed. Sabine tries to explain why. But one argument that Sabine doesn’t make, is that Hawking radiation may never have been observed because BH are themselves never observed.

Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Sabine Hossenfelder asks: Whatever happened to life on Venus?

Hossenfelder ends by reminding us, re phosphine on Venus, that “ absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” True, but that’s just a corollary of the fact that one can’t prove a negative. No, we can’t but that doesn’t prevent us from drawing reasonable conclusions. The proverb has been used to cover far too many situations where a more realistic conclusion would be “There is no particular reason to believe this.”

Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder reassures us that Schrodinger’s cat is still not dead

Hossenfelder: It’s no secret that I myself am signed up to superdeterminism, which means that the measurement outcome is partly determined by the measurement settings. In this case, the cat may start out in a superposition, but by the time you measure it, it has reached the state which you actually observe. So, there is no sudden collapse in superdeterminism, it’s a smooth, deterministic, and local process.