[] On Behalf Of Bruno Marchal
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 1:00 AM
Subject: Re: Another shot at how spacetime emerges from computational



On 02 Jan 2014, at 21:21, Chris de Morsella wrote:



>>If you can control the beliefs, you can control the people. But if
theology is conceived as a science, then you get the means to interrogate
the beliefs, criticize the theories, single out the contradiction and
progress toward possible truth (Dt). That should help to avoid the


One reason to prefer those hypothesis that are falsifiable J In fact, while
I appreciate the beauty and elegance of theories such as String Theory for
example, I see it more as a branch of mathematical philosophy than as a
branch of science, until it can be formulated in a manner that is



>>I think that String Theory is falsifiable. It is just technically very
difficult. But that's another topic. Comp seems more easily refutable.


Perhaps some clever experiments can be devised that indirectly test
predictions made by String Theory. along the lines of the ESA experiment
with the distant origin gamma rays, where they exploited the vast distances
of billions of light year, carefully measuring aspects of the photons (i.e.
their spin I believe) and deducing from this how spacetime must be smooth
down to extraordinarily small distances in the order of trillions of times
smaller than the Plank scale (itself far smaller than anything we can
directly probe using the atom smasher tools at our disposal) I believe
String Theory makes certain predictions about super symmetry for example
that may be testable. Up until now however - it is my understanding - and I
could be wrong (so if anyone knows better please do correct me) - that so
far the predictions it makes have not been able to be subjected to any
unambiguous test. For some years I felt it could never be done - the scales
are just too fine grained for the kinds of tools we have to explore the
small-scale, but when beautifully thought out experiments cleverly make use
of levers such as the huge scale of distance traversed by some gamma ray to
be able to make inferences about phenomena that cannot be directly measured
(even by an atom smasher bigger than our solar system) I begin thinking that
maybe its only a matter of time until some clever experimental
physicist/cosmologist devises some lever to be able to infer things about
Plank scale phenomena such as strings.



>>This asks for some amount of courage or "spiritual maturity". Maturity
here is the ability/courage to realize and admit that we don't know. This
has no sex-appeal, as we are programmed to fake having the answer,
especially on the fundamentals, to reassure the kids or the member of the
party ...


The same basic psychology that is operating in the allegorical fable of the
emperor's new clothes is working hard within our minds. No one likes to
admit ignorance, especially when others seem so smugly self-assured in their
assertion of knowing. so yeah I agree the temptation is very strong to
"pretend" - or perhaps to stop looking and mentally bow down in faith based
acceptance of some set of doctrinal truth as being foundational and True
(with a capital 'T')

Philosophical edifices that do not provide a comfortable set of nicely
packaged answers, but that instead force yet more questions upon those who
delve into it - are quite a bit harder to sell. 


Yes. That's explain why Plato was not successful compared to Aristotle, who
came back to our animal intuition, and protect us from too much big
metaphysical surprises.

Humans want spiritual comfort, not big troubling open problems.


Exactly - the comforting fairy tale wins out every time, because it can say
whatever it wants - after all who is checking lol -- and so can be
customized and tweaked until it provides that culturally tuned comforting
warm blanket of - essentially unquestioned -- spiritual foundationalism.
People seek easy pat "answers" to the hard questions. and really who can
blame them. 

Getting the comfortable framework in place supplies them with their pre-made
answers and so solves the evolutionary problem posed by self-awareness, and
the ensuing awareness of one's own inevitable demise.. And the attendant
psychological paralysis that opening this recursion of questions leading to
deeper questions poses for the individual who may at any moment become lion
food on the Savanna. Best to get an easy pat "answer" that addresses the
dilemma and provides a comforting happy tale for the individual who can then
focus on the day to day business of actually surviving another day.



Much easier instead to market the self-contained doctrine that side steps
all the mess of actually trying to work it out replacing the blood sweat and
tears of actual enquiry with some divinely inspired story/book, which one
questions at peril of life and limb (at least in much of human history).




I would not say that it is ok; it is the way things seem to play out, but I
for one do not think this is Ok.  and I realize you were not assigning any
value to the word J









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