Hossenfelder: But there is no reason to think that the forces of the standard model have to be unified, or that all the forces ultimately derive from one common explanation. It would be nice, but maybe that’s just not how the universe works.
Many science writers probably like the current state of affairs because nonsense about the multiverse and space aliens is easy to write. Artists might like it because it is easy to illustrate. Only if you cared about physics would you want to spoil the party.
Hossenfelder: The standard model works just fine with that number and it fits the data. But a small number like this, without explanation, is ugly and particle physicists didn’t want to believe nature could be that ugly.
She definitely does not think that looking for shorter distances and smaller particles is the answer.
Hossenfelder: In the many worlds interpretation, if you set up a detector for a measurement, then the detector will also split into several universes.
Sheldon: … it isn’t just HEP theory, it is large swathes of all the sciences. They have painted themselves into a sterile, but formerly well-funded “consensus” corner, and are discovering that the younger generation (and the NYT) is quite flippant on their prospects for survival.
Her view: “Personally I think that the motivations for the holographic principle are not particularly strong and in any case we’ll not be able to test this hypothesis in the coming centuries. ” And in our next post, experimental physicist Rob Sheldon replies.
Crease writes as if he would very much like to buy into Carroll’s ideas but still thinks that sanity has something to offer. Possibly, many establishment science figures teeter on that brink.
As AI types like to say, the system is so easily fooled because it doesn’t “know” anything. We are slowly learning, in consequence, more about what it means for a human being to “know” something.
Hossenfelder: “Now, a lot of people discard superdeterminism simply because they prefer to believe in free will, which is where I think the biggest resistance to superdeterminism comes from.”
Hmmm. He’s not giving fellow physicists much of an incentive to sort out the mess. On the other hand, civilized theoretical physicists fight so politely that you can learn a lot just by listening.
Of course she’s right about the religion part. Much that is going wrong with science today is the tendency to use various science ideas as secular religions. The multiverse happens to be a particularly devastating one because it strikes at the very idea of evidence.
She doesn’t so much oppose it as she doesn’t want to “wait another 40 years for physicists to realize that falsifiability alone is not sufficient to make a hypothesis promising.” In any event, those who remember science from fifty or thirty years ago find this state of affairs odd.
With respect to the simulation multiverse: Why could there not be countless, helplessly infinite, simulations of the simulations as well?
Sabine Hossenfelder’s view: Realism is a philosophy. It’s a belief system, and science does not tell you whether it is correct.