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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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1644 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Oct 2017 at 3:06 PM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-10-01 06:23:53 PM  
Could I buy some pot off of you?

tse1.mm.bing.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-01 06:24:57 PM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: 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.


How long were they working on Luminous Aether before they gave it up?
 
2017-10-01 06:30:37 PM  
Thank Tzeentch for Fark. Otherwise I would have to retire to the neighborhood watering hole to be educated by the greatest physicists on the planet.
 
2017-10-01 06:31:01 PM  
That is one smart beautician!
 
2017-10-01 06:47:20 PM  

carrion_luggage: That is one smart beautician!


And the there was her sister in Culinary school who wrote "A Brief History of Thyme"
 
2017-10-01 07:08:38 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Some Junkie Cosmonaut: 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.

How long were they working on Luminous Aether before they gave it up?


Can't say - there are still a few loonies pushing it to this day :)  Butttt, we actually did get some pioneering electrical research from the aether/phlogiston crowd - one of the "I wasn't even looking for that?!" things I mentioned earlier.  Science is funny that way.  Even if you're looking for the wrong thing, you often trip over a few useful bits.  Then someone comes along 20 years later, collates the bits, does some thinking, and becomes  a pioneer of science.  Fun, no?
 
2017-10-01 07:09:55 PM  

lindalouwho: 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.


Even without string theory, everybody is made out of the same things!

All baryons, they just include morons too.
 
2017-10-01 07:13:11 PM  

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

The electron has a black hole.


frinkiac.comView Full Size
 
2017-10-01 07:26:39 PM  

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


42
 
2017-10-01 07:32:28 PM  

Boojum2k: lindalouwho: 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.

Even without string theory, everybody is made out of the same things!

All baryons, they just include morons too.


Ooooh quarky!
 
2017-10-01 07:50:50 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.


They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.
 
2017-10-01 07:52:42 PM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: 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.


This.
 
2017-10-01 07:55:38 PM  
Obligatory (re: string theory):
A Capella Science - Bohemian Gravity!
Youtube 2rjbtsX7twc
 
2017-10-01 07:58:16 PM  
Obligatory (re: inflation):
A Capella Science - The Surface Of Light! (Lion King Parody)
Youtube 2INJiNpZFBI
 
2017-10-01 08:03:22 PM  

drumhellar: 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.


This, in harlee's opinion, is a huge vote in favor of it being correct. The probability of all these verifications all being spurious is vanishingly small.

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.


IF it were shown that gravity propagated in additional dimensions (unlike EM in only the three we see) then that might explain the order-of-magnitude problem with gravity.
 
2017-10-01 08:19:37 PM  

Harlee: 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.

They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.


WTF am I reading?

You are comparing a problem in search of a solution with a solution in search of a problem.
 
2017-10-01 08:37:07 PM  
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck

tl;dr: Science advances one funeral at a time.

To be fair, Planck inhabited the crabbed European intellectual world which hoped to make the 20th century distinctively better than the century before, and limited its goals thus. But Planck put his finger on a phenomenon that we had to wait for Karl Popper to fully articulate.
 
2017-10-01 08:41:04 PM  
I love my science debate mixed with fandom for a TV social message drama masquerading as Sci-Fi.
 
2017-10-01 09:07:40 PM  

lindalouwho: 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.


Why does string theory need to be true for that ?
Do you think there are African and European atoms?
 
2017-10-01 09:10:08 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Harlee: 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.

They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.

WTF am I reading?

You are comparing a problem in search of a solution with a solution in search of a problem.


Oh, sorry. harlee thought you were a serious poster.
 
2017-10-01 09:35:42 PM  

KerwoodDerby: "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck

tl;dr: Science advances one funeral at a time.

To be fair, Planck inhabited the crabbed European intellectual world which hoped to make the 20th century distinctively better than the century before, and limited its goals thus. But Planck put his finger on a phenomenon that we had to wait for Karl Popper to fully articulate.


This still doesn't make string theory true though. Only the development of a stable theory with multiple mutually supporting lines of evidence can do that, and it has neither yet.
 
2017-10-01 09:50:40 PM  
Harlee:

Party foul. There are no serious posters on Fark. And for my sins I owe you a beer at the next Fark party.

Now with that said, and with the aid of some fine Irish whiskey, please allow me to poke some holes in your reasoning.

First, cancer is a recognized problem full of unknowns that require study. It is a big scary problem, and the lack of a solution kills millions per year.

String theory is an idea that if we make 2 insane math problems even more insane we will develop a singular framework that will be able to answer questions about both. Only the math still doesn't work. And it requires us to buy into some really disturbing assumptions about the nature of space, time, and energy. Annnd some of those assumptions are mutually exclusive to the reality we know.

Now Einstein's relativities also made some pretty astounding claims about the nature of the universe. But a) despite the complexity they did make the universe a little simpler, b) they could be demonstrated
 
2017-10-01 09:52:07 PM  
And c) Relativity solved several problems that the existing framework couldn't solve.
 
2017-10-01 09:52:31 PM  
I'm going with Sting Theory, the theory that everything is actually controlled by Sting.
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2017-10-01 09:58:52 PM  
So cosmology says you're inflated.
Well I think that's overrated.
 
2017-10-01 10:01:12 PM  
The important thing to remember (and I say this as a physicist!) is that physics is not reality, in the same way that this:
nature-education.orgView Full Size


Isn't the earth.

It is a map of the earth, and this is  a seemingly trivial, but important distinction.

Physics is a tool built out of math and observations to describe reality. It is a damn good tool. But it is still a construct, one we are continually refining.

This understanding is also useful in shutting down the frustrating "Well, ALL science ultimately boils down to physics!" variety of physicist. Why, yes, I in theory COULD do biology using physics, in the same way I *could* measure the distance between here and the moon using a pair of calipers. It's just the wrong tool for the job, so it will A) Be needlessly complicated and B) Probably give me the wrong answer anyways.

/That said I will believe string theory is a theory when it has a falsifiable predictions,even if it's one we don't have the tech to test.
 
2017-10-01 10:12:32 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: 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.


Cogito ergo Fark.
 
2017-10-01 10:20:25 PM  

Christian Bale: lindalouwho: 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.

Why does string theory need to be true for that ?
Do you think there are African and European atoms?


What?  I don't know that.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-01 10:30:15 PM  

Christian Bale: lindalouwho: 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.

Why does string theory need to be true for that ?
Do you think there are African and European atoms?


Racists and bigots tend to not have many functioning brain cells. This would be simplistic enough to hit them over the head.

And yeah they believe the differences are huge.
 
2017-10-01 11:07:14 PM  

Felgraf: The important thing to remember (and I say this as a physicist!) is that physics is not reality, in the same way that this:
[www.nature-education.org image 540x280]

Isn't the earth.

It is a map of the earth, and this is  a seemingly trivial, but important distinction.

Physics is a tool built out of math and observations to describe reality. It is a damn good tool. But it is still a construct, one we are continually refining.

This understanding is also useful in shutting down the frustrating "Well, ALL science ultimately boils down to physics!" variety of physicist. Why, yes, I in theory COULD do biology using physics, in the same way I *could* measure the distance between here and the moon using a pair of calipers. It's just the wrong tool for the job, so it will A) Be needlessly complicated and B) Probably give me the wrong answer anyways.

/That said I will believe string theory is a theory when it has a falsifiable predictions,even if it's one we don't have the tech to test.


What's the difference between a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician?
A physicist sees the universe as a model for his math.
An engineer sees the math as a model for the universe.
A mathematician doesn't see the difference.

/do you have any idea how rare you are?
 
2017-10-01 11:34:13 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Harlee: 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.

They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.

WTF am I reading?

You are comparing a problem in search of a solution with a solution in search of a problem.


I understood what harlee said.
 
2017-10-01 11:42:35 PM  

lindalouwho: 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.


Everything is made of fire, earth, air, and water. In various combinations thereof.

Is that any better?
 
2017-10-02 12:01:51 AM  
String theory is just mathsturbation until they get some experiments going.
 
2017-10-02 12:04:31 AM  

Alien Robot: lindalouwho: 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.

Everything is made of fire, earth, air, and water. In various combinations thereof.

Is that any better?


You forgot Heart!
 
2017-10-02 12:21:38 AM  

KerwoodDerby: "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck

tl;dr: Science advances one funeral at a time.

To be fair, Planck inhabited the crabbed European intellectual world which hoped to make the 20th century distinctively better than the century before, and limited its goals thus. But Planck put his finger on a phenomenon that we had to wait for Karl Popper to fully articulate.


I mean, I grew up with String Theory and I think it's a hot crock of shiat, as do most of my classmates.
 
2017-10-02 01:17:13 AM  

Evil Twin Skippy: 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.


"On this, after having considered all things, we must come to the conclusion that the preposition 'I am, I exist' is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it or that I mentally conceive it."

-Renè Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy circa 1641

Those words would later become the foundational pillar of western epistemology, and would eventually be summed up by the phrase "cogito, ergo sum."

You fail as an engineer or fabricator if you do not know why that man's work is important.
 
2017-10-02 01:23:58 AM  

ajgeek: What's the difference between a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician?
A physicist sees the universe as a model for his math.
An engineer sees the math as a model for the universe.
A mathematician doesn't see the difference.

/do you have any idea how rare you are?


I am, and always have been, an avid Pratchett reader, so...yes. Very yes.


"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little-"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET-Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-"
MY POINT EXACTLY.
She tried to assemble her thoughts.
THERE IS A PLACE WHERE TWO GALAXIES HAVE BEEN COLLIDING FOR A MILLION YEARS, said Death, apropos of nothing. DON'T TRY TO TELL ME THAT'S RIGHT.
"Yes, but people don't think about that," said Susan. "Somewhere there was a bed..."
CORRECT. STARS EXPLODE, WORLDS COLLIDE, THERE'S HARDLY ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANS CAN LIVE WITHOUT BEING FROZEN OR FRIED, AND YET YOU BELIEVE THAT A...A BED IS A NORMAL THING. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT.
"Talent?"
OH, YES. A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF STUPIDITY. YOU THINK THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS INSIDE YOUR HEADS.
"You make us sound mad," said Susan. A nice warm bed...
NO. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? said Death" 
― Terry PratchettHogfather
 
2017-10-02 04:07:31 AM  

Dragonflew: 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?


Not exactly; it's more along these lines. Say, in a hundred years when we have an even more absurd amount of computing power than we do now, we decide to use our then current models of the universe to build a simulation of a universe to test those models, which is something we already do. But since there's more computing power available, we use fewer simplifications than we currently do. As this simulated universe evolves, we see star formation like we would expect of an accurate model, planetary formation like we would expect, and since, for the sake of argument let's say this model is trying to guess the likely chemical composition of the universe, this advanced simulation begins simulating the chemistry of these planets.

If it's accurately simulating this chemistry over, let's say a hundred billion planets over 15 billion years (we are, after all, assuming at this point an extraordinarily powerful computer) then there's a pretty good chance that the chemical evolution of life would get simulated on some of these. It isn't intelligent design; the computer is just following our best model of how the universe formed. It's just as much of an accident as life in a non-simulated universe is.

The simulated universe idea goes on to say that if an advanced civilization is able to simulate a universe like this, what's to stop an advanced civilization that develops in this simulation from doing it themselves (granted, with a slightly more simplified simulation each time to account for the hard limit of computational power a universe can have). If you make the (admittedly generous) assumption that every universe capable of developing intelligent life does so at least once and possibly more, and most if not all of these intelligent races eventually produces one or more of these simulations to better understand their universe, then it becomes more likely that the universe is a simulation than not.
 
2017-10-02 05:37:15 AM  

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

The electron has a black hole.


Black hole, white hole; it doesn't really matter.
 
2017-10-02 06:24:17 AM  

Alien Robot: lindalouwho: 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.

Everything is made of fire, earth, air, and water. In various combinations thereof.

Is that any better?


You forgot wind. Don't you remember the 21st night of September?
 
2017-10-02 07:47:11 AM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: 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.


Saying "this idea doesn't qualify as a theory" isn't saying "you're not doing science".
 
2017-10-02 07:54:38 AM  

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?


If we're thinking that it's religiously based, it looks more to me like the old Deist idea of the watchmaker. Their idea - which goes back to the 17th century - was that God was a watchmaker who set the world in motion and then sat back and watched everything over without interference. The modern view of that is the computer simulation because who wears a watch anymore?
 
2017-10-02 11:54:11 AM  
meanmutton:
If we're thinking that it's religiously based, it looks more to me like the old Deist idea of the watchmaker. Their idea - which goes back to the 17th century - was that God was a watchmaker who set the world in motion and then sat back and watched everything over without interference. The modern view of that is the computer simulation because who wears a watch anymore?

<Raises watch>

I love watches. It's the only jewelry I wear, aside from my wedding band.  But I love them because they're friggin' amazing.  For $50 (or less), I can wear this amazing little self-winding machine, containing hundreds of tiny precision parts, springs, and  synthetic sapphires for bearings. The smallest pieces of even an inexpensive movement vibrate 21,600 times an hour - in any orientation.  Anyone who knows anything about machines should be able to appreciate a watch movement.

Is it as accurate as a $5 quartz watch? Never. But that's not the point.  The point is to that anyone can afford to wear a nearly magical level of precision engineering, right on their wrist.  Looking at it makes me happy.  Watching my young daughter eyeball the movement through the display back as she rolls the case around and tries to figure out how the flywheel works - that makes me happy .

My collection is small and inexpensive, a mix of solar powered, mechanical, and one quartz I got as a gift - but I will always love my autowinders the best. Owning a '60's-era Speedmaster is a bucket list item, but I doubt I'd wear it often.  I'd daily-wear a later-model Seamaster, though.
 
2017-10-02 12:36:34 PM  

Harlee: 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.

They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.


Cancer isn't a single thing. It's a category of a large number of very different diseases, many of which we have cures and treatments for. That's what those "hundreds or thousands of PhDs and postdocs working on it" have produced. Suggesting that cancer research has produced nothing shows a stunning level of ignorance.
 
2017-10-02 01:17:04 PM  

meanmutton: Harlee: 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.

They still haven't cured cancer. 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.

This is the genesis of the Cancer Conspiracy idiocy.

Dude. Both are exceedingly complex areas of investigation.

How, for example, would you even investigate "hidden" dimensions wrapped around our known (seen) three? You would need a particle small enough to slip into those dimensions; possibly a graviton... IF the theory explaining the relative weakness of gravity being due to gravity propagating in more than three dimensions is correct; and IF teensy tiny gravitons are more likely than huge particles.

So you need to actually find evidence of a graviton... and then figure out how to build a graviton equivalent to an ultra-precise medical X-Ray or MRI machine.

That sounds like a shiat-ton of computational power will be needed. harlee's personal opinion is that we will not determine whether string theory is valid until we have quantum computers advanced enough to actually be sold in retail stores.

And cancer? Not until we have complete knowledge and detailed maps of the human genome and of how every single gene interacts with every single other gene. Same problemo: we need far more computational power. Also: highly sophisticated AI, robots, and automation, for performing the tedious jobs of analyzing billions of samples would be nice.

Cancer isn't a single thing. It's a category of a large number of very different diseases, many of which we have cures and treatments for. That's what those "hundreds or thousands of PhDs and postdocs working on it" have produced. Suggesting that cancer research has produced nothing shows a stunning level of ignorance.


Pretty sure Harlee knows that, considering he has bladder cancer.
 
2017-10-02 01:22:50 PM  
So which one said "BAZINGA!"
 
2017-10-02 06:00:14 PM  

lindalouwho: 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.


Regular matter theory already proves that.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-02 07:11:19 PM  

fictional_character: lindalouwho: 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.

Regular matter theory already proves that.

[img.fark.net image 667x375]


There are differences in melanin, and some folks make a huge deal out of that.

/ still likes the vibrating strings thing
 
2017-10-02 08:19:06 PM  

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


An infinite amount, as does every other theory.
 
2017-10-02 10:55:52 PM  

gnosis301: Is string theory falsifiable?


I've heard people claim that it is, but they never seemed to know how that would work.  I'm guess not.
 
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