7 COMMENTS

  1. Cool videos. One thing though that from time to time “bugs” my un-scientific (a Bachelor’s in CS doesn’t count :P ) mind…

    Take QM for instance….Granted, it has had many sucesses calculating and predicting things. But, what if there is a more “streamlined” theory that could make more “sense” to us, and we just haven’t been able to “see” it yet? Could the modern attitude “nature is absurd and that’s ok” be “harmful” in a way, making us somewhat “lazy”? I don’t know if I explained it very well…

    Anyway, that’s it :)

  2. In reply to #1 by JoxerTheMighty:

    Being so absurd to many may indeed make people give up trying to understand and lose interest or worse. But millions do not and after a few years of being immersed in these things, the new reality seeps in and becomes natural. After all, billions believe in invisible entities that defy the very logic of our physical world. Acculturation is a powerful thing. Decent education can open the door to many…most. The QM story, more often and more simply told, can become normal.

    Great minds are also sometimes gifted with the ability to make impossible ideas somehow approachable. Richard Feynman (a physicist whose lectures taught many of my generation that QM was in their grasp) was a particularly fine educator. He claimed not to teach people but to give them the impression that they understood a thing, which was the necessary first step to real understanding. Take the fear away and you can teach yourself.

    So with apologies to Lawrence Krauss, here is a Sean Carroll video brought to my attention by Quine. This is not about QM (so much) but is a great example of profound and perplexing physics made approachable.

  3. Have I changed a bit (I am now 55) towards psychopathy?!-
    I don’t think #2 would be much of a dilemma form me.

    I’m not saying it would be a dilemma free problem, but it would be greatly slanted towards the one dead large human (by my hands) over the 5 other humans.
    AND it makes me feel uneasy that the conclusion I’m pretty positive I’d actually react to might label me as having psychopathic tendencies!

    Is it possible for someone to strongly push fatty to just be in the group that would do the deed but NOT have it be considered a psychopathic act?

    It’s not clear to me if highly favoring the push is automatically considered a psychopathic act or not.
    Does anyone else share my concerns ?

  4. I think physicists are trying very hard to make a more beautiful theory work, and there are a lot of people who believe that when it’s all said and done, that is exactly what we will have. The problem is that those more appealing theories don’t seem to work, or at least they cannot be tested.
    In reply to #1 by JoxerTheMighty:

    Cool videos. One thing though that from time to time “bugs” my un-scientific (a Bachelor’s in CS doesn’t count :P ) mind…

    Could the modern attitude “nature is absurd and that’s ok” be “harmful” in a way, making us somewhat “lazy”?

    Anyway, that’s it :)

  5. In reply to #1 by JoxerTheMighty:

    Cool videos. One thing though that from time to time “bugs” my un-scientific (a Bachelor’s in CS doesn’t count :P ) mind…

    Take QM for instance….Granted, it has had many sucesses calculating and predicting things. But, what if there is a more “streamlined” theory that could make more “sense” to us, and we just haven’t been able to “see” it yet? Could the modern attitude “nature is absurd and that’s ok” be “harmful” in a way, making us somewhat “lazy”? I don’t know if I explained it very well…

    Anyway, that’s it :)

    Whoever can ‘make sense’ of QM at the macroscopic scale, come up with a unified theory of everything, or explain Dark matter / Dark Energy better than we can right now would be the next Nobel laureate. That’s just the way nature shows itself to be, as far as we know. And it’s not for the lack of trying, really.

    What Laurence says is that we don’t know everything, and that’s ok, we’re working on it. Certainly less lazy than the alternative. It’s basically dropping the pretence that the natural world should conform to our bronze-age pre-conceptions and the illusion some entity, or even ‘we’, are working the controls.

  6. The basic presupposition made by Krauss in video 1, which is untestable, is that there is no primary first cause, and all we can ever know about ultimate origins comes from scientific discovery. If so, what he says is entirely logical and makes sense within that context. However, as yet, we can’t measure or identify, or have things revealed to us that would definitely close the case. As such, he exhibits faith in the same way as those who believe in a primary, purposeful cause. Good luck to all of us.

    Consequently, simply defining Earth’s inhabitants as insignificant because we inhabit a pale blue dot in one of the arms of one galaxy in billions in the universe is not the final word about what is significant or not. It seems logical but, as yet, is unverifiable.

    My view is that either reason for existence – a purposeful, primary creator, or the presence of being due to quantum fluctuations in the midst of vacuum energy (which just happens to exist) – are both incomprehensible. Thus, choosing either scenario requires faith, regardless of how much scientific discovery is mixed in.

  7. In reply to #6 by rodan:

    My view is that either reason for existence – a purposeful, primary creator, or the presence of being due to quantum fluctuations in the midst of vacuum energy (which just happens to exist) – are both incomprehensible. Thus, choosing either scenario requires faith, regardless of how much scientific discovery is mixed in.

    The alternatives have more significant characteristics than you allow here. An intelligent (purposeful) creator is necessarily more complex than a purposeless (dumb) one. The latter is indistinguishable from physics. (The second law of thermodynamics which drives/describes the accumulation of complexity in systems out of equilibrium is never itself reasonably described as purposeful.)

    That both currently appear incomprehensible is a poor metric of their relative likelihoods. Some infinities are infinitely bigger than others.

Leave a Reply