Bickering with a Guardian of Physics

I proposed the following premise on the PBS Space Time discord #philosophy channel : Let’s brainstorm the impact on philosophy and various religions in the scenario where we discover :

  • the universe has no known beginning or end. It is mostly steady state. (big bang, expansion implemented differently)
  • everything is made of electromagnetic field generating particles after all. They’re just really, really small.
  • there is no origin story for space, fundamental particles, or energy.
  • everything else the physicists claimed was true, more or less, some of it requiring re-mapping to nature’s architecture.

Would this be ho hum for philosophers or a big deal? What about losing all that woo-ish stuff from physicists like singularities, big bang, expansion of the universe, heat death, worm holes, uncertainty, entanglement, spooky action at a distance, many-worlds. I mean all that physics woo has provided a lot of seeds for the gristmill of philosophy. Would all that woo going poof be a problem for the field of philosophy? I mean, other than getting really royally torqued off at particle physicists for wasting everyones time?

What about religion and the religious? The programmer and the programmed, with belief structures and myths and either ignore modern science when convenient or argue against science. It seems to me that in the scenario provided, the science is going to get really cut and dried for a lot of the processes we care about between Planck scale and the ‘heavens’. Would that have any significant influence on religion or the religious?

My premise riled one of the guardians of physics on the PBS Space Time discord who derailed the philosophy discussion. I’ll elide the name as ‘anon’, but the conversant is someone who frequents this discord server and offers what looks to be technical responses to a lot of subjects. A very helpful person, who enjoys being an expert helping other people learn. I’ve also included verbatim the posts from @ericishere who is a very balanced and kind individual who is a member of the PBS Space Time team. @ericishere had some interesting thoughts that were unfortunately crowded out the the guardian of physics.

  1. anon — @Mark
    1. your brainstorm breaks at premise 2…
    2. At very high temperature (LHC high) electromagnetic field doesn’t even exist
  2. ericishere — @all
    1. No, I don’t think so.
    2. People are religious because of emotional needs.
    3. Most religious people are not cosmological thinkers.
  3. Mark — @anon :
    1. Gotta stick to the premise provided.
  4. anon — @Mark
    1. that is counterproductive,
    2. if you stick to the wrong premises you will get wrong conclusions
  5. ericishere — @all
    1. They just need help figuring out life and are scared of death
  6. anon — @Mark
    1. It is a fun excercise, but
    2. it doesn’t describe our universe,
    3. it describes some other unknown universe
  7. Mark — @eric :
    1. I think I agree for the masses of religious people.
    2. For scholars, I dunno.
    3. They would probably want to think about comparing and contrasting to the new physics paradigm.
    4. That could bring risk or reward in terms of the religion’s positioning.
  8. anon — @Mark
    1. In math there is no wrong premises but in physics experiment is king,
    2. if your premise contradicts experiment it must be discarded
  9. Mark — @anon
    1. Can you provide a reference for your assertion.
    2. I’ll look it up.
    3. But the fun is really in brainstorming from the premise.
    4. It’s a fresh and new idea.
    5. A clean sheet of paper in a way.
    6. My understanding was that philosophers would fancy a green field.
  10. anon — @Mark
    1. Electroweak interaction
    1. “In particle physics, the electroweak interaction or electroweak force is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different aspects of the same force. Above…”
    2. As i said… “A fun excercise in trying to describe universe which is different from our own”
  11. Mark — @anon
    1. Oh, that’s solved already.
    2. You are talking about behaviour of point charges in the personality layer of standard model particles.
    3. The personality layer is what decorates the SU(3) Noether energy conservation engines which I believe are responsible for the strong force.
    4. It makes sense that the personality layer is associated with the weak force.
  12. anon — @Mark
    1. your “solved” and my “solved” have very different meaning
    2. Show me experimental data or it is not solved
    3. 5 sigmas minimum please
  13. Mark — @anon
    1. I think it’s really going to be a very simple theory from the fundamentals.
    2. Have you spent much time examining what I have been posting?
    3. And tell me exactly how you are going to observe a point charge?
    4. This is also part of the beauty of how nature punished physicists once they went off track.
    5. Physicists were poking around between 10^-10 and 10^-15 looking for fundamental particles and nature kept showing off more structures at smaller scale.
    6. When do you call the scale fundamental?
    7. When you reach a barrier experimentally?
    8. You got a long way to go to detect the next particle smaller than the standard model.
    9. All the way to 10^-35.
    10. At current pace that will not be within experimental reach for decades.
  14. anon — @Mark
    1. Isn’t that your job?
    2. If it is impossible to observe it ain’t worth my time at all then
  15. Mark — @anon
    1. No, this is the beauty.
    2. You do observe it.
    3. Everything you measure tests it.
    4. A lot of modern physics is based upon learning the behaviour of structures.
    5. That’s great.
    6. Until you guess the fundamental particles that make all the structures,
    7. Then you work the other way, from fundamental up to structure ‘regex’
    8. Surprise. Point charges map directly to everything observed by science.
  16. anon — @Mark
    1. Theory must make testable predictions,
    2. If your theory doesn’t predict any new experiment it is useless
  17. Mark — @anon
    1. I predict that JWST will kill LCDM.
  18. anon — @Mark
    1. That is just b.s. talk…
    2. I need something more concrete,
    3. Where to put detector, and
    4. What that detector will show, and
    5. How that result on detector is different from existing theories
  19. Mark — @anon
    1. I also want to add, that the scientific method has failed us.
    2. The stridency that the physics community holds to some ‘scientific method’ tropes is astonishingly preventing physics from self-examination and creativity.
    3. Here’s the bottom line, the scientific method as conceived today is actually detrimental to physics if you are off track due to faulty priors.
    4. Physics and cosmology are off track.
    5. Cosmology, sadly, is inside out.
  20. anon — @Mark
    1. Ok goodbye, if you don’t use scientific method we have nothing to talk about.
  21. Mark — @anon
    1. You didn’t understand what I said then.
    2. I said, if you are off track, adhering to the scientific method is more hurtful than helpful.
  22. anon — @Mark
    1. Scientific method is not enough for a breakthrough, but
    2. After you made a breakthrough you still need scientific method to make it count
    3. As i said your theories are currently at the level of “fun exercise”
  23. Mark — @anon
    1. It comes down to physics being way off track,
    2. I am sorry to break this news to you.
    3. I mean everything I say is completely logical.
  24. anon — @Mark
    1. Physics is way off it is a known fact…
    2. But discarding 75% of the forces is probably not the way to go
    3. I can name you problems in both GR and QM, those are known, but point charges solve none of them
  25. Mark — @anon
    1. This is it.
    2. The forces are emergent and
    3. I can tell you how they all work.
    1. But strong force is a Noether core.
    2. Gen I, II, III point charge dipoles at tiny distances.
    3. Magnetic field much?
    4. That’s your strong force.
    5. SU(3) as well.
    6. Well, we already get electromagnetic, but
    7. It is simpler when thinking about actual point charges.
    8. An electron is 12 point charges in a structure!
    9. Protons and neutrons each have 36 point charges.
    10. Everything plays out.
    11. Pair production,
    12. Transmutation.
    13. I mean, how much longer are you going to be in denial?
  26. anon — @Mark
    1. Strong force is nothing like magnetism.
    2. Do you even understand all 8 gluon colors of Quantum Chronodynamics?
  27. Mark — @anon
    1. This is the thing.
    2. Protons and Neutrons are made of three quarks, right?
    3. That means they are going to have three Noether cores in their structure.
    4. So that’s 18 of the point charges.
    5. Now you have 18 more point charges and frankly I haven’t yet spent much time figuring out what kind of dance is happening between those cores trading personality charges back and forth.
    6. That’s where the color charge comes in to play, but
    7. This is a very specific situation of a three quark structure.
  28. anon — @Mark
    1. So you are saying “I don’t know how it would work, but i am pretty sure it will be fine”…
    2. Well if it was that simple we wouldn’t need Quantum Chromodynamics in the first place
    3. Occam’s razor and all, they wouldn’t invent complicated color charges if 18 point charges would do the trick
  29. Mark — @anon
    1. I am saying I have already connected up an amazing number of ways to existing physics and cosmology and now they can be explained sensibly.
    2. Example : the quantum is the energy increment held in angular momentum between adjacent frequencies of a simple point charge dipole.
    3. I mean it really is just that basic.
    4. Then you just follow your nose and nature kind of just reveals itself to you.
    5. It’s rather simple and obvious if you let your mind free of your incorrect priors.
  30. anon — @Mark
    1. Now you are just being arrogant by claiming that your priors are correct
    2. I know that my priors need adjustments, but
    3. I am not willing to accept yours as something absolutely correct either…
  31. Mark — @anon
    1. This is the problem.
    2. Point charges were discarded.
    3. Then Michelson-Morley were interpreted as no aether.
    4. Then Einstein went with his more abstract geometry option because he couldn’t figure out the particle solution.
    5. Remember Einstein was Dr. Brownian Motion.
    6. No wonder he was never comfortable with Quantum Theory.
    7. Aside : I still wonder if Mileva and Albert did figure it out, but decided to keep it secret due to risk, which was considerable at the time.
  32. anon — @Mark
    1. You have no proof that your priors are correct ones
    2. You just blindly claim them to be
  33. Mark — @anon
    1. That is correct,
    2. I have no proof.
    3. I can only show that if we correct this mistake in physics it leads to a far more parsimonious solution.
  34. anon — @Mark
    1. But what is value of that solution if it doesn’t describe our universe but describes something else instead?
  35. Mark — @anon
    1. Physics claims those priors as true.
    2. I claim them as false.
    3. I am allowed to do that, because they are interpretations, not facts.
  36. anon — @Mark
    1. Physics doesn’t claim priors to be true…
    2. Why would it claim them to be true when both GR and QM have singularities.
    3. Singularity is literally indication that something is wrong with your theory, and
    4. Physicist work hard in trying to find new priors that would remove singularities
    5. But your priors aren’t even as good as string theory
  37. Mark — @anon
    1. I’m 100% sure that what I have described is the basis of nature and our universe.
    2. Sure smart people will eventually get onboard and
    3. I probably have a few things directionally right, but still wrong.
    4. I mean this stuff is complicated.
    5. Not only do I have to undo all the false physics priors, then
    6. I have to try to go forward and figure out the correct interpretations.
    7. That was a huge boost.
  38. anon — @Mark
    1. You are just arrogant amateur…
  39. Mark — @anon
    1. Immutable point charges don’t suffer singularities, UV catastrophes, nor renormalization.
    2. Oh, that is so sad that you ended with an insult.
  40. anon : @?
    1. You claim that, but where is the proof?
    2. I mean you are proving by intimidation instead of properly proving stuff…
    3. What is that if not arrogance?
    4. You just claim that your idea is correct…
    5. You don’t even doubt yourself, while I do doubt myself,
    6. i am not saying that your idea is wrong, and
    7. i am not saying that modern physics is fully correct,
    8. i am just saying that i need solid proof with no holes in the arguments and no hand waving like “i don’t know how it works, but…
    9. Until such solid proof is at least in the making it is nothing but “just for fun” thing for me…
    10. “I don’t know how most of the Quantum mechanics works, but i am pretty sure my approach will work” is just handwaving,
    11. it is not even a proper argument.
    12. Ok fine no need for experiment just show me how you derive all 4 Lagrangians of standard model from your point charges.
    13. They must be equivalent at least in some approximation