Edge Has Spoken

In the last post I wrote something about what I think is to be tossed out of science.

Now, we have opinions on http://www.edge.org/responses/what-scientific-idea-is-ready-for-retirement

With my number 1, that the infinity is a bad idea, one, Max Tegmark agrees.

Our challenge as physicists is to discover this elegant way and the infinity-free equations describing it—the true laws of physics. To start this search in earnest, we need to question infinity. I’m betting that we also need to let go of it.

With my number 2, that Popperism is to be retired, I have two who mostly agree. Sean Carroll and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Each from a slightly different viewpoint.

It’s a well-meaning idea, but far from the complete story.

But in the real world, the interplay between theory and experiment isn’t so cut and dried.

My number 3, that the “life concept” isn’t scientific enough to be useful, Julia Clarke, with Urvogel comes close, but she is not as radical as me.

All too quickly, we can fall into a rabbit hole of defining (and defending) terms, when we’d do better to seek a more precise understanding …

For the number 4, the appeal for sobriety in Quantum Mechanics, there are few voices. But David Deutsch and Seth Lloyd  don’t agree with me at all. As far as I know, not even May Tegmark, who is clearly with me on number 1.

the laws of quantum mechanics indicate that the universe is continually splitting into multiple histories or ‘worlds,’ out of which the world that we experience is only one. The other worlds contain the events that didn’t happen in our world.

When all the heavyweights, like Oxford and MIT professors of Quantum Physics strongly oppose me, Daniel Hillis agrees a bit:

Of course there is no real paradox here, there is just a problem with trying to apply our storytelling framework to a situation where it does not match.

Just a nicer way to say – Shut up and calculate! Also Freeman Dyson, pledges to keep our heads cool when talking about QM:

Unfortunately, people writing about quantum mechanics often use the phrase “collapse of the wave-function” to describe what happens when an object is observed. This phrase gives a misleading idea that the wave-function itself is a physical object.

For my number 5 – forget Global Warming and other scary stories – there are some careful, rather indirect voices. Ian Bogost dislike the “Science” as is.

To think that science has a special relationship to observations about the material world isn’t just wrong, it’s insulting.

Brian Christian thinks that

An academic publisher worth their salt would also accommodate another pillar of modern software development: revision control. Code repositories, like wikis, are living documents, open not only for scrutiny, censure and approbation, but for modification.

Please Science, modernize your standards to at least the corporate ones widely used now! I very much like Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s thought:

What idea should science retire? The idea of “science” itself. Let’s retire it in favor of the more inclusive “knowledge.”

My number 6 is a bit radical and quite “crackpotish”. Still, Smolin has no mercy toward Relativity either.

general relativity is incomplete as a description of nature because it leaves out quantum phenomena

Eric R. Weinstein, who does not need to care for an academic position even dares to say:

My reason for believing that there is a better route to the truth is that we have, out of what seems to be misplaced love for our beloved Einstein, been too reverential to the exact form of general relativity.

Number 7, to forget the PC codex in science is mostly opposed. Somebody even wants to abandon the term ‘race’ in humans. I must say, that the majority of top scientists are quite PC.

I forgot to mention String Theory last time, but I’m glad that Frank Tippler did not. It’s dead.


One thought on “Edge Has Spoken

  1. Saladin says:

    Regarding infinity:
    Yes, infinities in singularities and quantum mechanics should definetly be much more scrutinizied and possibily even eliminated.

    But the one “place” i cannot see eliminating it is the question of origin/state of the fundamental elements that comprise space and time (origins of Existence itself).

    if You look at all the known scientific possibilities, you must come to a conclusion that this entails at least one infinity (a kind o past eternity or boundlesness) or that the origin is non-scientific/unknowable that entails a posibly possible Something from Nothing (such as a true, singular Creatio Ex Nihilo).

    This later option is so far from everything that we know, understand and are capable of imagining of that it seems more rational to check all physically/logical possibilities first before we can turn to non-scientific, non (or a-)logical, non-quantifieble ones.

    “Ex Nihilo Nihil fit”.

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