# Why many scientists are so ignorant

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Mar 10, 2016.

Not open for further replies.
1. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

Messages:
3,950
Philosophy wins any competition for expressing the least real meaning and using the most symbols, definitions, and re-definitions. Often, such a strategy results in circular logic and self references, and with virtually no reliance on scaffolding or extending prior art.

Science employs the diametric opposite communicative strategy.

You may consider the latter approach to be 'ignorant' if you wish. I don't.

3. ### Magical RealistValued Senior Member

Messages:
14,633
Krauss: "What surprises me is how we have become victims of our own success, at least in certain areas. When it comes to the universe as a whole, we may be frighteningly close to the limits of empirical inquiry as a guide to understanding. After that, we will have to rely on good ideas alone, and that is always much harder and less reliable."

We're already pushing past the limits of the empirical in such fields as string theory and M-branes and tensor networks. We will have to create new modes of self-evident thought, the type we find in rigorous logic and mathematics and statistics. Perhaps with the invention of AI man will reach a new plateau of non-empirical thought that can penetrate these realms of intangible reality. Assuming we would be content with an answer to our cosmic questions like "42".

5. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,003
The "universe out of nothing" is, essentially, pseudoscience.

There are some GR problems. Namely, the evolution of the universe starts with a singularity. If one closes the eyes, this may be interpreted as "simply one point", or, even worse, once there is nothing before the singularity, "the universe is created out of nothing". Nonsense. The theory we have simply fails in the early universe.

That means, we have, in the very early universe, an initial state with properties where our theory is unable to make any meaningful statements. This initial state is not at all a point, but the same infinite universe. Quite homogeneous, but nonetheless not exactly homogeneous, but locally inhomogeneous in the same way as our universe today.

GR has also some problems with local energy and momentum conservation. As a result, one can claim that there is no energy conservation. But this not at all based on some real physics which would tell us that energy is not conserved. Instead, even in GR we have conservation laws, only the physical interpretation of these pseudotensors fails in the standard spacetime interpretation - roughly, it would depend on a choice of a preferred frame, which, accorting to the spacetime interpretation, does not exist. So a local energy density does not exist too, it is not allowed to exist by the metaphysics of the interpretation. Does it follow that we can now violate energy conservation and get even the whole universe out of nothing? Of course, not, only in pseudoscience.

danshawen likes this.

Messages:
27,534
Yes, I also had a laugh, although part sympathetic.

Messages:
27,534
Not at all, unless you take philosophical bantering to the nth degree, as illustrated in your following sentence......
Sometimes faith in science is certainly necessary, although that necessity is based on evidence and the overwhelmingly successful theories like GR and evolution.
That's a subjective opinion, much as my own opinion of Dawkins as rather abrasive as opposed to for instance, the more dulcet tones of Carl Sagan.

As particularly inferred in my previous two links re the Universe being the ultimate free lunch, or arising from nothing, both admit in no uncertain terms that the details are sketchy and speculative, although at the same time rather intuitive since it dispels the need for any unscientific divine deity or creator.
In that sense, it is the only recourse [or similar] available.

The laws of physics arose with the advent of space and time: Obviously, "some" principals must by logic be adhered to. It would be impossible to suggest otherwise, not withstanding the divine deity aspect, which just as obviously quickly although illogically short circuits the debate.

Messages:
27,534
So is the application of an ether.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.1207v1.pdf

Spontaneous creation of the universe from nothing
Abstract:
An interesting idea is that the universe could be spontaneously created from nothing, but no rigorous proof has been given. In this paper, we present such a proof based on the analytic solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation (WDWE). Explicit solutions of the WDWE for the special operator ordering factor p = −2 (or 4) show that, once a small true vacuum bubble is created by quantum fluctuations of the metastable false vacuum, it can expand exponentially no matter whether the bubble is closed, flat or open. The exponential expansion will end when the bubble becomes large and thus the early universe appears. With the de Broglie-Bohm quantum trajectory theory, we show explicitly that it is the quantum potential that plays the role of the cosmological constant and provides the power for the exponential expansion of the true vacuum bubble. So it is clear that the birth of the early universe completely depends on the quantum nature of the theory.

VIII. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
In summary, we have presented a mathematical proof that the universe can be created spontaneously from nothing. When a small true vacuum bubble is created by quantum fluctuations of the metastable false vacuum, it can expand exponentially if the ordering factor takes the value p = −2 (or 4). In this way, the early universe appears irreversibly. We have shown that it is the quantum potential that provides the power for the exponential expansion of the bubble. Thus, we can conclude that the birth of the early universe is completely determined by quantum mechanism. One may ask the question when and how space, time and matter appear in the early universe from nothing. With the exponential expansion of the bubble, it is doubtless that space and time will emerge. Due to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, there should be virtual particle pairs created by quantum fluctuations. Generally speaking, a virtual particle pair will annihilate soon after its birth. But, two virtual particles from a pair can be separated immediately before annihilation due to the exponential expansion of the bubble. Therefore, there would be a large amount of real particles created as vacuum bubble expands exponentially. A rigorous mathematical calculation for the rate of particle creation with the exponential expansion of the bubble will be studied in our future work.

10. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

Messages:
3,950
Getting as much energy output as you wish out of as little energy input as possible is a recipe for perpetual motion.

This would be considered pseudoscience in every science forum I have ever been, and such discussions banned on most of them because once you accept the premise, all manner of nonsensical things instantly become possible, and then ignorance rules where reason once prevailed. And not just one Big Bang. A Big Bang EVERY SINGLE day.

This is possibly why "So many scientists simply ignore the ignorant."

Good one, Schmeltzer!

Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
11. ### C CConsular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy"Valued Senior Member

Messages:
2,383
He seems to complain a good deal about reviews, as if no one else entering the literary world receives negative ones or is subject to misunderstandings. Like there's a "Scientists need special protection from such" general principle tentatively brewing in background of his noggin. To add to the other accumulating "teacher's pets" of government, law enforcement, and litigation.

There's that infrequent political solipsism of scientism again ("everything revolves around scientists") converging with the "foe-fixation" it has with the rest of philosophy. Is there more behind it than just the gut narcissism? Why does he feel that PoS is intended to have an "impact on physics" and that its primary audience is intended to be scientists -- especially if it's an attempt to study / interpret / formally describe what scientists do?[*]

What would be strange about philosophers of science primarily being the ones who read the published material of other philosophers of science, just as scientists primarily read the published material of other scientists? The specialized nomenclature used in a journal science paper (not the pop-science stuff) would similarly look like gibberish to outsiders and novices. At times perhaps even from the perspective those of other science disciplines than that which _X_ paper belongs to, though they would at least understand that "Hey, this field's particular techno-babble isn't my own area of expertise." But OTOH, how many time have theoretical physicists been called abstract symbol-wielding nutcases by biologists, etc?

Many have personally witnessed "science in action" at the nuts and bolts level producing a reaction of garlic and crosses and technical grunt-work boredom to average passerbys as much as that nasty, overly-technical PoS stuff which Krauss apparently shies away from. Their initial causal interest suddenly turned into a "Oh, oh -- weeks or months or years required -- get me outta here" phobia of esoteric domains.

- - - - - -

[*] Granted, back in earlier times there were some scientists who took positivism-related treatises to be prescriptive (the behaviorism of psychological sciences may have fallen out of such). But nowadays it is dumbed-down PoS formulations of "what science is" that are often dispensed to the public, because supposedly "scientists themselves mainly spend their time doing science, not analyzing what it is" (as one spokesperson put it).

Magical Realist and Yazata like this.
12. ### Magical RealistValued Senior Member

Messages:
14,633
The positing of nothingness assumes a contrasting concept of existing. This enters the realm of metaphysics imo. I don't know how you would ever prove the existence of nothing, particularly in a universe that's brimming over with existing. If nothing exists, or once existed, why does something--ANYTHING!-- exist? Saying nothing exists is a reification of a contrasting negativity to existing. Of a something that is now lacking or missing. I can't imagine nothing existing without an immediate contrast to existing. They assume each other. There cannot be an absolute state of nothingness imo. It's all relative.

Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
danshawen likes this.
13. ### YazataValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,646
The 'Wheeler-DeWitt equation' isn't nothing. 'Metastable false vacuum' isn't nothing. The 'Broglie-Bohm quantum trajectory theory' isn't nothing. 'Heisenberg's uncertainty principle' isn't nothing. 'The quantum nature of the theory' isn't nothing. Whatever mathematical principles went into these authors' "proof" aren't nothing.

What they seem to be doing is trying to derive space-time-matter from what they believe are more basic and abstract principles of physics. These latter are just being assumed as givens.

That project might be valuable. But they shouldn't try to over-sell it by presenting it as something that it is not. It's not the answer to the ultimate problem of reality itself.

The thing is, when that latter problem is addressed, then physics and mathematics are part of what needs to be explained. That's why any physico-mathematical explanation of how all of reality emerged from nothing can't help being circular, and thus logically problematic.

danshawen likes this.
14. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

Messages:
3,950
Nice. This subsumes an ideology that anything that can be known, can be understood or understood best by counting it. Can it? And if there were a patron philosopher of this idea, who would it be? Leonard Nimoy?

Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
15. ### Magical RealistValued Senior Member

Messages:
14,633
I can count the number of cells in my body. But what does this tell me about cells? Not much...

danshawen likes this.
16. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,003
A metastable false vacuum is not even a vacuum state.

Just to clarify: Even a true vacuum state would not be "nothing". There would be space, there would be fields in it. But it would be at least a state which would be what one could name "nothing" without blushing. A metastable false vacuum is certainly not "nothing".

Messages:
27,534

The only blushing evident is that your ether paper still languishes in oblivion.
As I said earlier, The laws of physics arose with the advent of space and time: Obviously, "some" principals or abstraction must by logic be adhered to. It would be impossible to suggest otherwise, not withstanding the divine deity aspect, which just as obviously quickly although illogically short circuits the debate while being a non scientific answer anyway.
Anyway you have a paper to refute
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.1207v1.pdf

18. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,003
See, the difference between this pseudoscience and the ether is that I have immediately found a weak point, while the only argument against my ether theory is ignorance.

Ok, the point is not enough to write a refutation to PRD, because they would object that the "universe from nothing" is anyway only irrelevant metaphorical speech, which no scientist takes seriously. And about the content, a particular solution how a metastable false vacuum state evolves into a different state, a non-vacuum state which could not even be named metastable false vacuum state, is essentially correct. And a philosophically irrelevant triviality.

Given that for publication in PRD I would have to pay money, I will not write a refutation.

Messages:
27,534
Except that which you refer to as pseudoscience, is an already admitted theoretical paper based on quantum interactions, with at least some basis in fact....
On your other claims, what you say and claim is your sole right: your expectations that it be taken seriously though is in question.

20. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,003
No, this is theoretical science only, there is no basis in fact. What I name pseudoscience is this "universe out of nothing" blabla. Which is, in this particular article, only a metaphorical use, which is unrelated to the content of the paper. Because a metastable false vacuum is not even a true vacuum, thus, in no serious way a "nothing".

It is quite unfortunate that scientist today have a tendency to use such misleading metaphorical titles. In the past, the title of the paper would have been sufficient to require a correction. And if I would have reviewed it, I would have required such a modification. The content of the paper seems unproblematic, but uninteresting.

21. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
30,994
Yes.

Or to recall the pith: "A proof shows us where to concentrate our doubts".

The point is that the proof also shows us where our doubts have been settled. If you want to doubt the Big Bang, or claim anything like that is impossible, you now have been directed to the assumptions etc with which you must deal.

Do you have any evidence for that assumption, any reason why anyone else would make it?

Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
danshawen likes this.
22. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,003
We have to stop somewhere where GR is yet reliable. That means, we cannot use the whole solution up to the singularity itself. It does not matter if you cut at Planck time or at $10^{-1000}$ Planck time, at any particular moment of cutting time the border where you cut is the same full three-dimensional universe.

Messages:
27,534
Again, the only pseudoscience I see is your faith in your ether paper, that languishes on oblivion.
And again since you seemed to have skipped over it: It is mentioned in the articles themselves by the proposers including Professor Krauss, that at this stage, what they are suggesting is still speculative.
At least though they are ideas from reputable mainstream sources, as opposed to the agenda laden alternative nonsense we sometimes get on this forum, open to any Tom, Dick and Harry.