Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why physicists' heads explode
One problem is that conventional physics doesn't really account for why the universe is so large, Arkani-Hamed said.

Albert Einstein's theory of relativity showed that a huge amount of energy exists in the vacuum of space, and it should curve space and time. In fact, there should be so much curvature that the universe is a tiny, crumpled ball.

"That should make the universe horrendously different than what it is," Arkani-Hamed said.

But quantum mechanics also poses a problem. The theory is good at describing the very small realm of particle physics, but it breaks down when physicists try to apply it to the universe as a whole.

"Everything that quantum mechanics is, is violated by our universe because we're accelerating (referring to the idea that the universe is expanding) – we don't know what the rules are," Arkani-Hamed said. "When you try to apply quantum mechanics to the entire universe, quantum mechanics cries 'uncle.'"
But fear not! The reason that our universe acts in ways that physicists don't understand is because they are simply living in the wrong universe! There are trillions and trillions of other universes, they claim, and perhaps if Arkani-Hamed lived in one of them it would make perfect sense to him. 

But he doesn't, nor do any others, so they mentally invent them. It's called String Theory, the idea that there are indeed trillions and trillions of other universes, and lucky us! we inhabit this one. As I have written before, advanced cosmologists have started writing science fiction, not science, although they use equations for their fiction rather than prose.
All their equations may work out, but that don't mean they actually know more than before or that reality has been discerned to a greater degree. Hawking admitted that postulating a universe of three or four dimension did not resolve mathematically. In fact, using up to 10 dimensions didn't work. So they tried 11 and presto! X = 0. Or something. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, "These are our equations. If they don’t work, we have others."
But back to the multiverses. Prof. Arkani-Hamed (he teaches at Harvard) and some others insist that there is a real problem with living in a universe that appears so finely tuned to support our lives when such fine tuning has no scientific explanation. So they say that there are, minimally, 10^500 other universes because that is the minimum number to make our universe's fine tuning feasible. Author Donald Johnson explains,
Koonin explains, "In an infinite multi-verse ... emergence of highly complex systems by chance is not just possible but inevitable. That this extremely rare event occurred on earth and gave rise to life as we know it is explained by anthropic selection alone." The anthropic illusion basically says we just lucked-out in that our Universe appears to be designed "toward man" (anthropic). The fallacy is that we're considering the only universe that we know exists (ours), and the fine-tuning that is evident in it. Speculation of innumerable other universes does not explain our Universe's fine-tuning.   
Others note that "String Theory" is not a scientific theory since it cannot be observed, tested, or falsified. "Alternative universes, things we can't see because they are beyond our horizons, are in principle unfalsifiable and therefore metaphysical." "The trouble is, proponents have not produced an iota of empirical evidence for strings. That's why University of Toronto physicist Amanda Peet--a proponent--recently called string theory a faith-based initiative'. "No part of it has been proven and no one knows how tо prove it'.   
"Because our Universe is, almost by definition, everything we can observe, there are no apparent measurements that would confirm whether we exist within a cosmic landscape multiple universes, or if ours is the only one. And because we can't falsify the idea, ... it isn't science '. "If ... the landscape turns out to be inconsistent ... as things stand we will be in a very awkward position. Without an explanations of nature's fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics'. It is clear that string theory is not science, but a philosophical belief. (Italics original)
So the physicists' dilemma is either to accept that, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," or find some way, however screwy and fictional, to deny it. 


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