Theological dispute

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Witness
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Theological dispute

Postby Witness » Sat May 13, 2017 5:14 pm

Thirty-Three Famous Physicists Sign Angry Letter About the Origin of the Universe

Cosmologists are in the business of figuring out how and why we got here. But if you call their work unscientific, you’re sure to set off a nerve.

A recent story in Scientific American managed to irk a whole bunch of these thinkers, so much that 33 of them (four of whom have Nobel prizes) signed a letter in response. Signatories included Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Lisa Randall, and others who’ve written books and lectured to the world about how all we got here. At the center of the controversy is a popular theory that our universe inflated like a balloon right after the Big Bang. One group of scientists essentially said this theory wasn’t science—which is like calling artist’s work “not art,” or a chef’s “not food.”

Physicists Anna Ijjas and Paul J. Steinhardt from Princeton, and Abraham Loeb from Harvard, wrote the initial story, titled “Pop Goes the Universe” and published it in Scientific American this past February. They challenged inflation, a collection of scientific models first proposed by Alan Guth around 1980 positing that immediately after the Big Bang, the universe expanded exponentially like an inflating balloon before settling down into the one we live in today. The authors stated that astronomical observations have constrained inflation in a way that makes the remaining models in support of it unlikely. Instead, the authors’ story bolstered a competing theory, that the universe “bounced back” to where it is today after a collapse.

https://gizmodo.com/thirty-three-famous-physicists-sign-angry-letter-about-1795101181 (with link to the SciAm article)

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Re: Theological dispute

Postby sparks » Sat May 13, 2017 5:51 pm

Yes.

Well...



This is how the process works.

More or less.
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Re: Theological dispute

Postby Anaxagoras » Mon May 15, 2017 12:56 pm

Theological is a bit harsh, no?

I don't know enough to have a meaningful opinion myself but I often thought that inflation might be wrong. I'm not even 100% on the Big Bang.

Don't get me wrong: I think they're the best theories going, but it's possible that nobody knows what really happened. After all, there's not a lot of solid evidence to go by, and there's a number of observations that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.
Dark energy, what is that? And how does it really work? What is the dark matter? Could there be a different explanation that nobody has thought of yet (and maybe never will)?

But as long as they are making best guesses based on evidence and observations, instead of based on the ipsi dixit of some holy book or holy man, I will grant that it is science and not theology.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Theological dispute

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Mon May 15, 2017 1:03 pm

Neil DeGrasse Tyson says it's a simulation of a much realer universe. :lmao:
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Re: Theological dispute

Postby Anaxagoras » Mon May 15, 2017 1:08 pm

Could be, I suppose. But I'm not a fan of those theories. Is there some kind of testable prediction that follows from the simulation theory, but isn't compatible with a non-simulated universe? I think that a theory, to truly be a scientific theory, needs to have some kind of evidence that can be observed or tested.
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Re: Theological dispute

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Mon May 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Anaxagoras wrote: Is there some kind of testable prediction that follows from the simulation theory, but isn't compatible with a non-simulated universe?


You'll just have to wait for The SingularityTM for that. 8)
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Re: Theological dispute

Postby sparks » Mon May 15, 2017 1:38 pm

The Singularity(tm) can't make it. Filling in will be the Geometric Nucleus(tm)...
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.


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