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The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Discussions about Metaphysics, Quantum Physics, the Holographic Universe and the Nature of Reality.

The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 11 Sep 2011, 13:30

The Hadron Generator and the Non-Evidence of the Unknown

This could have been in General discussions, but it could be (and parts may be parceled out to) Aliens and/or Metaphysics, or Metaphysics / Quantum Physics, and /or Metaphysics and Science / Alternative Science. Hmmm, I seem to notice a common thread here, however far the end point is from the beginning.

I start with, a proposition about where to look for (negative evidence) about the non-existence of higher alien intelligence.

I end with a discussion of the role of the null hypothesis in a question of cosmolgy. The only constant is the evidence of things unseen.


Aliens and Metaphysics : A Cat'smeat Story

As we walked through the park at midnight, one night in 2009, Mike told Cat'smeat, “You know, the CERN generator has malfunctioned so many times and for such unlikely reasons that, after a couple of cocktails, engineers are speculating that they may be destroying the universe, but the universe takes prophylactic measures to prevent another crash and resets.”
Cat'smeat stopped, stunned, “That means aliens could exist!”
“Huh? I'd like a ticket on that train of thought,” Mike said.
“Remember Szilard's Question?”
“Sure, where are they?”
“Seven years ago, when I stopped being a Christian and started looking at things that are, I decided that there was probably no one a million years ahead of us in technology in this galaxy, because there would probably be indisputable evidence of their existence, like engineering projects visible across lightyears, or at least ramship contrails,” Cat'smeat explained.
“You haven't been abducted,” Mike countered.
“Tru' dat!” Cat'smeat conceded, “But believe me I looked for evidence. I would love to have reason to believe more evolved life exists. Pascal's universe is existentially nauseating.. But the CERN project offered negative evidence about its non-existence!.”
“What?”
”I concluded the universe is such a dangerous place that, if there were anything smarter than us, the universe would have been destroyed already!”
“But the only way to prove that is to destroy the universe!” Mike complained.
“Yeah, that sucks. Being right should mean being able to say 'I tol' you so!' or its no fun!” Cat'smeat agreed, “but if the universe is too smart to let itself be destroyed, we are out of Pascal's ballpark, and anything is possible.”
Oh, interesting train of thought. Nice caboose, but I am not sure about the territory you covered. Did you use a map.”
“No, but I went to the caboose from the locomotive, so it was easy to find.”

Metaphysics / Quantum Physics: An observation by Twain

As I said, this could have been “quantum mechanics” because the premises in the above story involve not only aliens, but the questions of CERN's capacity to “destroy the universe” and of the universe being a matrix like program with a programmer.
Which brings us to...

Metaphysics and Scientific Alternatives

I date the beginning of my rebirth in “optimism” from that escape from existential nausea, but I revise data. I don't want “optimism” from a logical error.
Today I learned something that should boggle big bangers.


Did the Large Hadron Collider Just Debunk Superstring Theory?


http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2 ... -were-here

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2392094,00.asp

I have often said cosmology is bad science that outstrips observation and replaces it with mathematical theology.

The Hypothesis being tested is, If superstrings exist, they will have such and such measurable results.
The results do not measure such effects.
The conclusion should, logically be, the scientific alternative, the null hypothesis based on the observation that superstrings do not appear to exist..

To look at my own conclusions, I must notice that the hadron generator's theoretical ability to destroy the universe depended upon one interpretation of superstring theory being correct. Did my train just get derailed by an awkward fact on the tracks? Wish I had one of Randi's cow-catchers.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 13 Sep 2011, 11:44

String theory was always crap. It had a bunch of holes in it that were conveniently ignored, it could not predict ANYTHING and ate up a bunch of resources from younger physicists that didn't really want to work on it anyway. RIP. There are other, better theories out there.

The LHC is a hugely complex, one of a kind machine of gigantic proportions. It's going to break quite a bit. That's just what happens.

What I like are all the consciousness theories that have been coming out. That's some interesting stuff.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Arouet » 14 Sep 2011, 02:51

Craig: Are you a theoretical physiscist? As far as I know, string theory remains popular, including being promoted by Stephen Hawking last year in The Grand Design. Not that it has been accepted or doesn't have its critics, but I hadn't heard that it's dead!
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 14 Sep 2011, 04:12

I didn't say that it was dead, I said that it was crap. No, I'm not a physicist, I just read up on it and when it is explained in enough detail, the picture becomes clear. Read: "The Trouble with Physics" by Lee Smolin and you'll understand. It is a bloated monster. Actually, though, string theory is dead; it's been replaced by M theory which is kind of an umbrella theory for string theory. The main knock on it is that it can't predict anything, but it has any number of other, more serious problems that have never been adequately addressed.

The whole premise, that 11 dimensions are wrapped in a tiny string seems kind of far fetched. There is no evidence that there are 11 dimensions.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 14 Sep 2011, 05:32

I have thought cosmology was bad science since I learned that that Einstein regretted inserting the "cosmological constant" fudge factor, and warned against thinking a theory was more important than facts. But the cosmologists ran with it, producing a ptolemaic complexity of epicycles and string as prediction after prediction FAILED and observation after observation proved wrong. A good history of this process is found in David Lerner's “The Big Bang Never Happened” which outlines the process, as well as the process by which the alternative Electromagnetic model developed

(Electromagnetism vs gravity! Zarathustra! That's Light vs the Black Hole! Synergy vs Entropy!That's Logos and Murphy, surprise parties and practical jokes. Neither is evil, tho)

Anyway, Arouet, I agree with Craig that string theory is probably crap, and after last month's experiments, Hawkings' should be rethinking.

What new consciousness theories, Craig?
Sorry for the daily. Half an hour left to save a life. I got the date wrong.
Last edited by Twain Shakespeare on 14 Sep 2011, 06:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 14 Sep 2011, 06:00

You mean the mythical Dark Energy and Dark Matter that got jammed in to account for the acceleration of the expansion? Or perhaps you're talking about the Galaxies that move at the wrong speed or in the wrong direction? Black holes that leave the center of the galaxy (possibly to go on vacation?) that no one can account for?

I'm totally with you on that point. They have a bad theory and they just can't let it go.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Arouet » 14 Sep 2011, 06:03

craig weiler wrote:I didn't say that it was dead, I said that it was crap.


Your RIP conveyed that you thought it was dead.

No, I'm not a physicist, I just read up on it and when it is explained in enough detail, the picture becomes clear. Read: "The Trouble with Physics" by Lee Smolin and you'll understand. It is a bloated monster. Actually, though, string theory is dead; it's been replaced by M theory which is kind of an umbrella theory for string theory. The main knock on it is that it can't predict anything, but it has any number of other, more serious problems that have never been adequately addressed.

The whole premise, that 11 dimensions are wrapped in a tiny string seems kind of far fetched. There is no evidence that there are 11 dimensions.


Yes, M theory is included. I understand that there is no evidence as of yet for it (though people are trying!) but there's a lot of math behind it. I don't have a horse in the race (I'll leave it to Kaku and Hawking and the others to figure it out), but your dismissal of it seemed odd to me given how there are some very intelligent people pursuing it and who don't consider it to be crap.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 14 Sep 2011, 06:55

Arouet wrote:there's a lot of math behind it. I don't have a horse in the race (I'll leave it to Kaku and Hawking and the others to figure it out), but your dismissal of it seemed odd to me given how there are some very intelligent people pursuing it and who don't consider it to be crap.



That is precisely the reason I distrust it. I have worshipped math as an idol. My objections to believing numbers over facts is based on experience.

Big Bang cosmology was more popular than the elctromagnetic universe because it could not be tested, and did not require experimental equipment. Then it was more popular because colliders are too expensive not to require funding beyond the level of electromagnetic experiments, and all the motives that turn institutions into religions came into full force.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Arouet » 14 Sep 2011, 07:13

Certainly we should not trust string theory yet. It has not been tested. It is a possibility at this stage.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 14 Sep 2011, 07:51

Arouet,
You are right not to trust it. Let me clarify though, because this is an important point. I said that it couldn't be tested. The whole thing is one big math exercise.

Lee Smolin used to work on it and was charged at one point with verifying some information that was a key underpinning. It turned out that this key area was only partially worked out and everyone had been going on the assumption that it had been completed for years. It's apparently full of that kind of stuff.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 14 Sep 2011, 08:14

Twain,
The most prominent theory is called Biocentrism, by Robert Lanza, MD. The guy is one of those amazing scientists with a huge list of accomplishments who is incredibly inventive and forward thinking. He is also very familiar with physics. In his book he argues that consciousness, i.e. life, is fundamental to the universe.
I did a blog post on him for my website that explains it a little bit:
http://weilerpsiblog.wordpress.com/2011 ... -universe/

There is also the book by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner titled: The Quantum Enigma. It's the vanilla version as they merely point to all the research that has been done and make the point that this really can't be ignored.

If you're not familiar with this at all, it can be rather startling, but quantum physics has been wrestling with the idea of consciousness in physics for the last 80 years or so. In the last ten years or so, this subject has begun to heat up slowly and is gaining steam.

It all comes down to something known as the double slit experiment that demonstrates what is called "The Observer Effect." It's very famous and there are videos and explanations all over the web. No one doubts the results of the experiments, but skeptics do question whether consciousness is the cause. Because they have dived in, there is all sorts of misinformation to be found and whacky theories from wannabe physicists.

In this experiment, a subatomic particle, -any will do but electrons are normally used for this- is shot out of a gun and hits a wall where the impact is recorded. If it is not observed it acts like a wave, if it is observed it acts like a particle. What is doing the observing? Well, let's just say that everything you can possibly think of has been ruled out. (Believe me, they've tried.)

It gets weirder. The wave state is actually known as a probability wave, or wave function and doesn't actually exist until it is observed. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

You can make the argument, (and many have) that reality doesn't exist until until it is observed by a conscious entity.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Arouet » 14 Sep 2011, 08:38

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
You are right not to trust it. Let me clarify though, because this is an important point. I said that it couldn't be tested. The whole thing is one big math exercise.


Well, they're working on it! http://www.universetoday.com/72531/scie ... ng-theory/

http://io9.com/5714210/string-theory-fa ... ental-test
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 14 Sep 2011, 09:04

craig weiler wrote:Twain,
The most prominent theory is called Biocentrism, by Robert Lanza, MD. The guy is one of those amazing scientists with a huge list of accomplishments who is incredibly inventive and forward thinking. He is also very familiar with physics. In his book he argues that consciousness, i.e. life, is fundamental to the universe.
I did a blog post on him for my website that explains it a little bit:
http://weilerpsiblog.wordpress.com/2011 ... -universe/

There is also the book by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner titled: The Quantum Enigma. It's the vanilla version as they merely point to all the research that has been done and make the point that this really can't be ignored.

You can make the argument, (and many have) that reality doesn't exist until until it is observed by a conscious entity.


This is the Twain half of my brain talking. Thanks for the info,and a most lucid explanation of double slit that may finally stop the lesbian jokes. I'll follow up the links. I reccomend the www. sf trilogy by Sawyer for some intersting thoughts about the non quantum basis of awareness, and the differences between mere awareness, and higher grades of consciousness.

This is the Shakespeare half of my brain talking. Twain will deny he said any of this, and I agree with him
As Robert Anton Wilson said, semanticly speaking, the referent for awareness is received information. It is my "pantheistic" perception and belief that awareness exists on both sides.
Extreme demonstration, an individual may be aware of a photon. The photon is also apparently aware of the individual, and acts accordingly.
Currently, having been off my meds so long I am forgetting to eat, I suspect the interacting photons coursing through Heaven constitute a singleconsciousness, which is relativisticly coeval with all space and time it observes.
I am almost ready to tell Ben Masada that's the Logos and call myself a Christian, except people would think that means I think pigeon crap can cause pregnancy if you get it in your ear.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby craig weiler » 14 Sep 2011, 09:22

Apparently they are! Thanks for the link. The LHC is apparently answering some questions. I'm still waiting for the elusive boson.
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Re: The Non-Evidence of the Unknown

Postby Arouet » 14 Sep 2011, 09:25

Another cool one that I heard recently is that they are coming up with tests to test multiverse hypothesis. That they hypothesize that if other universes are bumping into our own that there should be bubbles in the background radiation. So far they haven't come up with anything, but interesting none-the less

(don't have a link - heard it on a podcast)
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