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(Science Blogs)   Two years ago, one cosmologist wrote 'string theory is not a scientific theory'. Now, a string theorist who saw it writes back 'inflationary cosmology is not science'. Time to watch the fireworks   ( scienceblogs.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Star Trek, James Webb Space Telescope, Key West, Universe, Dr. Siegel, James Webb Space, carefully curated selection, things Star Trek  
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1625 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Oct 2017 at 3:06 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-10-01 12:30:49 PM  
This blog needs a lot more exclamation points before I can take it seriously.
 
2017-10-01 12:35:05 PM  
Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy
 
2017-10-01 12:45:31 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-10-01 12:51:36 PM  
i.pinimg.com
 
2017-10-01 01:29:08 PM  
String theory, eh?

c2.staticflickr.com
 
2017-10-01 01:41:51 PM  
Yeah, how many extra dimensions does string theory need this week?  17? 30?
 
2017-10-01 01:43:35 PM  
wait - strings? inflationary?
so the universe is just a golfball with the cover torn off?


at least it's not a soccer ball
 
2017-10-01 02:07:45 PM  

LordZorch: Yeah, how many extra dimensions does string theory need this week?  17? 30?


That's not actually a problem.  If it accurate describes and predicts the observations of reality, then it can use as many dimensions as it needs.  Hell, standard quantum mechanics says electrons are only notionally there until they need to be actually there, at which point they just are, cuz reasons.  It's borderline magical hooey - but it both accounts for observed phenomena and can make predictions that are reasonably accurate to within the tolerances we considered to be "right".  So, by the standard of "Dafuq you talkin' bout, Willis?" we have for how the universe works presently, string theory isn't really that wacky.

Where it falls down is the ability to make falsifiable predictions.  Until someone can devise an experiment that can test string theory, it is the scientific equivalent of drunken wanking.  If pushed on the issue, I think it sounds plausible, and may even be a more accurate representation of reality than what we have now.  But it is still at the stage of spitballing.  I wouldn't be surprised if they get something workable with N dimensions where N is larger than is really manageable, but at least it is a proper testable theory.  And then after a few years, someone will get enough data to start carving N down to a more reasonable number, as data shows that what we thought were separate dimensions were just inefficiencies in the math and/or measurements.  Quantum mechanics was an unholy mess until people like Dirac realized you could simplify the hell out of it once you understood what you were looking at, for example.
 
2017-10-01 02:21:12 PM  
I prefer the one electron theory.
 
2017-10-01 02:52:28 PM  

IgG4: I prefer the one electron theory.


The electron has a black hole.
 
2017-10-01 03:11:17 PM  
Except, you know, one of these theories is based on observations...
 
2017-10-01 03:12:39 PM  
Oh, It's on like Wernher von Braun!
 
2017-10-01 03:28:32 PM  
Meanwhile, the loop quantum gravity guys roar with laughter, as they drink quantized B-52s at the bar.
 
2017-10-01 03:36:48 PM  

Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy


I see way more Jo-Ann's stores than cosmetology schools, wherever I go in the US. Therefore, string theory is right.
 
2017-10-01 03:37:43 PM  
Whatever you say, I'm sticking with phlogiston
 
2017-10-01 03:38:43 PM  
It isn't a theory; it's a hypothesis. We haven't been able to adequately test it yet.
 
2017-10-01 03:44:48 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-10-01 03:58:41 PM  

Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy


Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?
 
2017-10-01 04:02:22 PM  

Deep Contact: IgG4: I prefer the one electron theory.

The electron has a black hole.


How many black holes are around Uranus?

/I'll see myself out
 
2017-10-01 04:03:42 PM  
OMG NERD BLACKFACE TBBT IS TEH WORST SHOW EVAR!!!!11

/someone had to
//ok not really
///I like TBBT, suck it
////what is this thread about again..
 
2017-10-01 04:04:23 PM  

Deep Contact: IgG4: I prefer the one electron theory.

The electron has a black hole.


DAMMIT BARRY!
 
2017-10-01 04:04:43 PM  
Is string theory falsifiable?
 
2017-10-01 04:05:09 PM  

Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?


If they have enough dye you can get your hair red and blue shifted.
 
2017-10-01 04:55:39 PM  

Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?


No... It was a cosmologist. You know... A Russian astronauteer!
 
2017-10-01 04:55:48 PM  

Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?


They have fully integrated bad stringy hair day with a grand theory of everything color and cut.
 
2017-10-01 04:58:05 PM  
String theory is a bunch of farking hooey.

Yeah, let's add some more dimensions so the math works out correctly!
 
2017-10-01 05:08:48 PM  

RoyFokker'sGhost: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

I see way more Jo-Ann's stores than cosmetology schools, wherever I go in the US. Therefore, string theory is right.


Plus you can buy string at Jo-Ann's
 
2017-10-01 05:10:00 PM  

ajgeek: It isn't a theory; it's a hypothesis. We haven't been able to adequately test it yet.


Hell it hasn't even made a falsifiable prediction yet. It's not even a hypothesis.
 
2017-10-01 05:11:00 PM  

I Ate Shergar: [Link][img.fark.net image 599x524]


That is going on my office door on Monday
 
2017-10-01 05:13:16 PM  
I think string theory is as ridiculous as the idea we're all living in a simulation, but I am not nearly smart enough to argue.
 
2017-10-01 05:14:04 PM  

WilderKWight: Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?

No... It was a cosmologist. You know... A Russian astronauteer!


No that is a cosmonaut. You mean the editor of the "94 Ways To Make Sex Sexy In Bed" magazine.
 
2017-10-01 05:19:56 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: ajgeek: It isn't a theory; it's a hypothesis. We haven't been able to adequately test it yet.

Hell it hasn't even made a falsifiable prediction yet. It's not even a hypothesis.


Anyone that figures that "Bullshiatting about how stuff might work when we can't do much to prove it either way" isn't science is being purposefully disingenuous.  Or has never actually met another scientist for more than 5 minutes.  Sure it's very early on in the process science, but still.  Half the science that's ever been done started that way, and stayed that way for many a moon due to lack of opportunities to prove otherwise at the time.  It only becomes "Not science" if and when you refuse to test it once the technology/opportunities are available.  Until it's put up or shut up time, the whole "I'm right you're stupid" thing is just schoolyard posturing.  Even science geeks get a little grade school-ish sometimes, as stuff like this proves.  Hell, especially science geeks.  I've seen some arguments that wouldn't be out of place on a kindergarten playground.  Pretty much "No YOU'RE a poopyhead" once you strip the rhetoric.
 
2017-10-01 05:20:21 PM  

Dragonflew: I think string theory is as ridiculous as the idea we're all living in a simulation, but I am not nearly smart enough to argue.


Well the simulation concept is less a scientific theory than a philosophy problem. What is real? Everything you experience has to filter through the phenomenon captured through your senses. And be interpreted by the judgement and experience of your nervous system. Those interpretations are assembled and projected into a mental image, which is a bit fuzzy and your mind is constantly filling in the blanks.

How can you ever really know what is real, and what you are imagining?
 
2017-10-01 05:20:22 PM  

Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place.


WilderKWight: No... It was a cosmologist.


Duck_of_Doom: No that is a cosmonaut.


.
img.fark.net
 
2017-10-01 05:20:31 PM  

WilderKWight: Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?

No... It was a cosmologist. You know... A Russian astronauteer!


It wasn't me, I swear!
 
2017-10-01 05:20:45 PM  
I've always wanted string theory to be true. For one, if everything/everyone is made out of exactly the same thing it will drive racists and bigots crazy.
 
2017-10-01 05:24:39 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Dragonflew: I think string theory is as ridiculous as the idea we're all living in a simulation, but I am not nearly smart enough to argue.

Well the simulation concept is less a scientific theory than a philosophy problem. What is real? Everything you experience has to filter through the phenomenon captured through your senses. And be interpreted by the judgement and experience of your nervous system. Those interpretations are assembled and projected into a mental image, which is a bit fuzzy and your mind is constantly filling in the blanks.

How can you ever really know what is real, and what you are imagining?


Honestly, it just sounds like a spin on an old idea to me. Creationism became "intelligent design". Has intelligent design become "we're all living in a simulation run by some unknown entity wink wink" to make the idea sound even more scientific?
 
2017-10-01 05:25:23 PM  
Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

String theory is pushing 37 years old at this point, and has had access to computers and analytical techniques that Einstein, Newton, and Kepler would have crapped their pants over. There must be hundreds or thousands of Ph.Ds and postdocs working on it. If it was going to produce something it should have by now.
 
2017-10-01 05:26:43 PM  

Dragonflew: Evil Twin Skippy: Dragonflew: I think string theory is as ridiculous as the idea we're all living in a simulation, but I am not nearly smart enough to argue.

Well the simulation concept is less a scientific theory than a philosophy problem. What is real? Everything you experience has to filter through the phenomenon captured through your senses. And be interpreted by the judgement and experience of your nervous system. Those interpretations are assembled and projected into a mental image, which is a bit fuzzy and your mind is constantly filling in the blanks.

How can you ever really know what is real, and what you are imagining?

Honestly, it just sounds like a spin on an old idea to me. Creationism became "intelligent design". Has intelligent design become "we're all living in a simulation run by some unknown entity wink wink" to make the idea sound even more scientific?


Actually that was De Carte. We only remember "I think therefore I am" but there was a hell of a lot more to that paper.
 
2017-10-01 05:27:17 PM  

Eravior: Chris Ween: Whatever.  I see cosmetology schools all over the place. Your move string guy

Screw it. I'm going anyway...

What the hell do hairdressers know about science?


At least as much as the average scientist knows about styling hair I'd wager.
 
2017-10-01 05:41:45 PM  
String theory.  Phhht.  They can't even answer the question: How long is a piece of string?

/now, thread theory, that's going places!
 
2017-10-01 05:56:38 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

String theory is pushing 37 years old at this point, and has had access to computers and analytical techniques that Einstein, Newton, and Kepler would have crapped their pants over. There must be hundreds or thousands of Ph.Ds and postdocs working on it. If it was going to produce something it should have by now.


Quite possibly so.  But even following what looks like probable dead ends around is still a part of science.  If nothing else it's a good source of tangential "I wasn't even looking for  that!?" discoveries and data.  You also often end up doing some solid foundation data on what's going on with something in your quest to prove or disprove whatever.  The problem with this kind of thing (well, ok in my opinion it's the main problem) is when you get a generation or two that's bound and determined that "X is the way things work, dammit" before anyone's capable of proving that it at least functions as if that theory was true.  That kind of thing can lead to EVERYBODY heading off down the "not actually the case" path for quite a while.  Science derail, basically.  But hey, derails are also part of the process so... shrug.
 
2017-10-01 05:57:10 PM  

Jake Havechek: String theory is a bunch of farking hooey.

Yeah, let's add some more dimensions so the math works out correctly!


Well, they kept adding particles to make the math work correctly, and as a result, we have the Standard Model, and it is fully populated with particles that were eventually discovered, many several decades after they were added just to make the math work out correctly.

Time dilation is weird, but Einstein added it via math before his theories were able to be tested.

Dark Matter was added to make math work, but it has long been used to make falsifiable predictions that confirm its existence (But, so far, not its nature).

String theory is (so far) worthless for other reasons - mainly, being unable to make falsifiable predictions - but adding weirdness to make the math work is actually the norm.
 
2017-10-01 05:58:36 PM  

Jake Havechek: String theory is a bunch of farking hooey.

Yeah, let's add some more dimensions so the math works out correctly!


Lol I know!  Don't these guys know we already have everything figured out so we don't need to think of anything new!!!!
 
2017-10-01 05:59:17 PM  
Take 5 separate ideas, smash them together, and you get M Theory, which is significant.

I'm not saying it is useful, but there is some potential. If we still had the competing, independent ideas, I'd discard them out of hand.

I wouldn't be surprised to find some concepts useful in non string physics, and I wouldn't be surprised that you can simplify string theory to 1=1. But it is hard to just say there's nothing there.
 
2017-10-01 06:03:33 PM  
Any sufficiently advanced branch of physics is indistinguishable from a series of in jokes.
 
2017-10-01 06:09:53 PM  

wildcardjack: Any sufficiently advanced branch of physics is indistinguishable from a series of in jokes.


Much like economic theory.
 
2017-10-01 06:14:58 PM  
The string theorist is 100% correct.

The various string theories can at least theoretically be tested, even if we don't have the ability (or willingness given the expense) to build the earth-circumference sized particle accelerator that would be required to test them.

Not so much for inflationary cosmology. When what you come up with is "and then the rules of physics changed", any hypothesis of what the rules were before they changed is, by definition, unfalsifiable.

Same thing for what goes on inside black holes. The number of YouTube physicists using authoritative tones explaining what physics looks like inside the schwarzschild radius is enough to make one go mad.
 
2017-10-01 06:20:04 PM  
 
2017-10-01 06:21:09 PM  

bigdanc: Jake Havechek: String theory is a bunch of farking hooey.

Yeah, let's add some more dimensions so the math works out correctly!

Lol I know!  Don't these guys know we already have everything figured out so we don't need to think of anything new!!!!


Mathematics does not explain everything, not even in this universe.
 
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