Physics is theoretical

Aractus 12, January, 2011

Okay, it’s time my readers learned the awful truth. Brace yourselves. Physics is not about truth. In fact Science as a whole suffers from this problem. If you want truth, stick to mathematics. Mathematical formulas cannot be falsified, unlike scientific theory.

One of the most telling traits of Physics, and Science as a whole for that matter, is that inevitably observations and theories are influenced by non-scientific garbage; ideals that are influential yet unhelpful; beliefs that are blind and misleading. In my last blog entry I discussed how correctly interpreting the results of the quantum delayed-choice erasure double slits experiments reveals that the popular interpretation is a misinterpretation.

Now a lot of people consider physics and mathematics to be sister bodies of study. Let me point out one massive difference between the two: everything in accepted physics is theoretical; everything in accepted mathematics is true. Both are by definition. Indeed you can write a scientific paper on Physics outlying your new theory and people will look at it intently; try the same with mathematics, if you can’t prove what you have devised then no one will even look your paper, you will be laughed at by the academic community.

Before I continue, let me also say that just because Physics is a science does not mean that the average Joe, such as myself, is incapable of studying it and criticizing it. Bob de Bilde accused me of claiming to be smarter than astrophysicists. Too often I have heard people say “people who are smarter than I am have worked out these scientific truths”. Rubbish. Scientists often confuse themselves when they ask big questions, and often the look for the answers in places that may well be irrelevant to the question. If they have really discovered something, then they have to write a paper and submit it to the academic community for feedback and criticism; it’s not a matter of whether they study it for a living, that doesn’t make them immune from poor scientific judgement, and this entry I will talk about ways in which I see physics being taken in the wrong direction.

Occam’s razor is one of the most misleading scientific concepts ever devised. And I’ll prove it to you. According to Occam’s razor, the simplest answer is usually the correct one. To be even more precise it states that given two scientific theories, all things being equal, the simpler of the two is to be preferred.

Okay so tell me which of the following two theories on gravitation is “simpler”: 1. Gravity is a force between two objects that can be precisely calculated as being the inverse square of the distance Force = (m1 x m2)/r^2 (that’s the mass of the two objects multiplied divided by the square of the distance between the centres of the objects). 2. the first answer is a close approximation which can never give a precise answer, the correct answer is computable using a long convoluted string of equations implanting general relativity.

Well herein lies the problem. Newton’s formula is so close that we still use it to this day to send satellites into orbit; but it’s only an approximation. The only way to calculate an exact gravitational force is much more complicated. But “Force = (m1 x m2)/r^2” is such a neat and tidy “simple” formula! Occam’s razor has failed us. How is it that such a “simple” formula can be so close, yet be calculated using the wrong criteria to begin with? Well here’s the answer, brace yourselves: it’s coincidental. There is not an underlying simplicity that causes gravity, there’s an underlying complexity; this is the opposite of what physicists expect to find and look to find!

One of the biggest problems with the mainstream scientific approach is its inability to predict anything that does not conform to the conditions that were observed. For instance, consider Roulette. A ball is thrown in a rotating table with numbers and will come to a stop on a seemingly “random” number. It was widely believed that predicting Roulette is impossible. Then, in the 1970’s a group of physics students spent nearly two years developing complicated formulas that could beat roulette, and programming a computer to do it. Their system worked well enough to give them more than a 40% margin over the casino. Yet their work could do nothing else besides predict roulette. It was totally useless if there was no roulette table to use it with.

But again, it was never computable using a “simple” law. In fact the act of spinning the table and throwing the ball in is very simple; yet the way to calculate where the ball is going to land is very complicated, again Occam’s razor is wrong.

Consider DNA. DNA is often described as a blueprint – this would be rather “simple”, but it’s not a blueprint, it’s far more complicated. Genes. According to Occam’s razor they would be continual strips of information in DNA, right? Or would the actually be scattered in segmented form (as they actually are). This principle is wrong, it’s unhelpful, it’s out of date and it blinds serious scientific study.

Consider Langton’s Ant. For some reason Langton’s Ant loves building highways, which is a repeating process of 104 moves. It is widely believed to this day that given any starting conditions the Ant will always eventually start building a highway. The first question that came to my mind is: is there no other repeating set of moves the ant can get stuck in? The “highway” may be the simplest repeating cycle, but what if there’s another that takes 1004 moves or 10,004 moves? Or even 56,732 moves? Why was this question never addressed? Is it because Langton’s Ant is simply something that shows that predictable behaviour can arise out of chaotic conditions? And since that’s the only point they were interested in they stopped once that was answered? (By the way I do believe that Langton’s Ant would build a more complicated highway or something else with a repeating pattern if the 104 repeating move highway was bypassed, and yet physicists and mathematicians didn’t even bother to ask this important question!)

Crystallization, as I mentioned in my previous blog entry, is yet another example of something which can take place in chaotic conditions (that is to say, it doesn’t matter what jumble of particles were in the “starting conditions”, once crystallization gets started it follows a predictable path just like Langton’s Ant). But it’s something we can only “observe”. We don’t know for sure, but it’s believed that the underlying structure of the crystal formation is generally the densest stable state for that matter. So in the basic, simple sense, crystals form because they arrange themselves into a dense state (given the right conditions). Okay, fine. So why do some crystal formations like salt and pyrite form as cubes? And more importantly, why do physicists tell us emphatically that it is due to quantum mechanics, when crystal formation itself is not implicit in QM, nor is it understood using QM as it is?

Evolution is not understood by QM either. Now in my topic on this I didn’t criticize the inaccuracies, but I will now point some of them out. If life begins its process through non-living chemistry that gives rise to simple life, then this process has produced something that even if it is living does not know it is living. Let’s jump forward. We’re told that sexual reproduction evolved because it was enormously better than asexual reproduction. Right. So then why is there still plenty of life on Earth that still reproduces asexually if it’s at such a massive evolutionary disadvantage? We’re told that good genes eventually work their way into the species and bad ones die out; but how is this possible with such diversity in genes in the first place? These are not easy questions, they do point out major flaws in the evolutionist view.

Physics is in some degrees time-reversible, but there are also things that are not. And it’s on this point I want to dwell for a moment. Usually irreversibility is attributed to Thermodynamics, but I want to ask the question: what in Quantum Mechanics makes it implicit that there will be irreversible processes, when correctly interpreted QM should work equally both forward and backwards in time? It’s just like crystallization, it happens because we can see it happen, observe it, theorize about it and even talk about it – but there’s no link to Quantum Mechanics at present to explain why some processes only work forwards in time and not backwards. There are no shortages of physicists who will claim time symmetry still exists, but the simple fact of the matter is that our observations are consistent with time irreversibility, it baffles the imagination as to why anyone would think otherwise.

Then there are those physicists who argue that QM predicts that the universe is not truly deterministic, and therefore that aspect of quantum chance or dice-throwing is what makes us perceive time as irreversible. But there’s a problem with that argument: QM itself still claims to work equally in either direction of time; quantum dice-throwing doesn’t mean things can only happen in one direction, it simply means a certain set of events cannot be “undone”. But that doesn’t explain why atoms in the atmosphere can buzz around and spontaneously form molecules FORWARD in time, but not BACKWARDS in time (in which case, from our point of view with our concept of time there would be molecules buzzing around and spontaneously un-forming into their atomic components)…

The quantum uncertainty principle does not make irreversibility explicit in any way. There’s nothing to say that molecules shouldn’t form backwards in time as well as forwards in time according to the uncertainty principle. You may argue gravity plays a role, but gravity is negligible to this process. Furthermore, the uncertainty principle is favoured because of Occam’s razor; really there is probably a more complicated process going on at the quantum level. This is in fact my sincere belief, and it was Einstein’s belief too. There isn’t “hidden local variables” either, but there’s something there, some process that is irreversible, something that causes physics to work in one direction and not the other.

Scientists often belittle those with religious convictions and belief in God. Yet quite popular among physicists is the Multiverse theory. Yet Multiverse theory is no more scientific than creationism or intelligent design. It’s not science. For the simple reason that it’s un-testable. So even by the most liberal definition of science, Multiverse is not science. It’s not science if you can’t test it. I find it amazing to find serious scientists who take this nonsense seriously! If the theory was correct then the universe at any given time should be no older than one unit of planck time! Does that make any sense to you?

Recently there has been a shift in the academic view on Quasars. It’s now quite acceptable to accept that Hubble’s Law is wrong. Now here’s the little problem. Hubble’s Law is still used to calculate the distance of any galactic object that isn’t a quasar. Now I know that might sound a little strange, but remember we still use Newton’s Laws of Motion even though they’re wrong. However, they are consistently wrong, all the time. That is to say, using Newtonian Gravity to calculate gravitational force is only marginally wrong here on Earth, it’s only when used to calculate really big objects that the problems arise. However, Hubble’s Law has the problem that his law is now interpreted as “all galactic redshift, except quasar-redshifts, is cosmological in nature” if he had presented his “law” like that to begin with he would have been laughed out of the academic community. So why would we use something when we know that it’s wrong; and we do not fully know the consequences of it? Is this a case of just “assuming” that quasars are the only galactic objects who’s redshifts do not accurately indicate their distance? Does it make cosmologists cry when they think about not being able to determine the size and age of the universe?

I hope I’ve opened your minds to the limitations of physics and science in general. It’s not that I think scientific study is bad, I just think there’s an awful bloody lot of “junk science” in there that is blinding serious scientists, pointing them in the wrong directions, biasing them with poor “intuitions” and even making them follow non-scientific ideologies like Occam’s razor and Multiverse theory.

Until next time…

Take care of yourselves, and each other.

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