Saturday, August 26, 2006

"The End of Particle Theory" JoAnne Hewett sets the Date

If the worst case scenario plays out, and the LHC discovers nothing, then that is the end of particle physics as we know it. And that includes string theory. They may think they are immune, but they are not - they will fall due to lack of funding with the rest of us.

Time to "recapitulate" some fundamental assumptions that have been projected as gospel into what is necessarily a flawed particle theory for this very reason. That makes me crazy, but of course, all hinges on the Large Hadron Collider.

I'd start with conflicts that commonly arise from direct observational evidence that makes scientists scratch their heads:
"It's very difficult to explain these observations with anything other than particle theory," Bean said. "The dark matter quandary to some extent is helped by these observations, because it helps target the theorists to try and look at particle physics, rather than gravity"

At last, a voice of reason among a sea of otherwise motivated conviction toward making something work that can't work as long as you continue to carry the flaw that prevents you from making it work!... Talk about, "circular reasoning".

I'm just afraid that they'll make a bunch of previously unknown exotic particles during the interaction that people will use as an excuse to start chasing "technicolor" instead of Einstein.

OR... Maybe they'll just blow up the world instead, like modern day "keystone cops", considering the level of utter cluelessness that the complete collapse of modern particle physics and quantum gravity theory might seem to dictate... ;)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back to "Square-One"

I knew that this was going to happen. I commonly get into discussions with people on both sides of the ideologic spectrum, which **shouldn't*** have anything to do with science, but I try to face any obviously motivated questions with the facts as I can support them, (along with an occassional shot at their motivated mentality, which I don't do if I can't show evidence for it), figuring that this should be enough to satisfy whatever requirement for scientific integrity. Apparently that isn't good enough though, because I commonly find that what I've said was simply ignored in lieu of a better answer. That's not science, it's willful denial, and there is no "opinion" involved, so we're going to do this a little differently from now on:

1) Shoot this down or face the music.

In Einstein's static model, G=0 when there is no matter.

The cosmological constant came about because we do have matter, but in order to get rho>0 out of Einstein's matter-less spacetime structure, you have to condense the matter density from the zero pressure metric, and in doing so the pressure of the vacuum necessarily becomes less than zero, P<0, which causes expansion.

*Note that the background changes everytime that you do this.

It is plainly evident from this that most natural way to create new matter in Einstein's model, ("the most compatible with the spirit of general relativity"), also holds it flat and stable, so any other conclusions that have been made since Einstein abandoned his finite universe without this knowledge are therefore subject to suspect review!

Theorists don't always get my meaning here, and they automatically think that I'm referring to our current understanding of the quantum vacuum, but that isn't even necessary if in 1917 Dr. Einstein tells Friedmann, DeSitter and "company" that his finite expanding model is NOT unstable, because, like Hoyle's flawed steady-state model, Einsteins universe expands due to continuous particle creation, except that Einstein actually has a built-in mechanism for this!

So where does it go from here if we are unable to disprove Einstein's finite closed spherical universe, given this "new-light" on the subject?... which no honest physicists has ever even tried to do.

2) Add the anthropic principle to this finite, closed, bounded structure and what you get is a very strong statement about biocentric structure that "evolves" perpetually forward to higher orders of entropic efficiency.

Don't hand me ANY crap unless you can disprove number one, or, failing that, don't forget that it is the default cosmological model with all the ugly trimmings, until you do.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wikipedia Changes

I was getting really sick and tired of dumb arguments being used out of context concerning the anthropic principle and "selection bias" from people that get their information from the number-one popularized reference for the anthropic principle, so I fixed it. My changes were only slightly revised before being approved by the wiki-guard-dog.

Before I fixed it:

In cosmology, the anthropic principle in its most basic form asserts the truism that any valid theory of the must be consistent with the existence of human beings and of organic chemistry, here and now in the universe.

In simple terms, the anthropic principle says, if a billion universes existed, with a multitude of laws of nature, then humans would only be aware of those in which humans could emerge, and (no matter how many versions of laws of nature existed) the laws of nature ''humans'' saw would only be the laws of nature of those universes in which humans as we know them could emerge. In other words, "If something must be true for us (as humans) to exist, then since we exist, it is true." This is an effect known as selection bias.

Attempts to apply this principle to develop scientific explanations in cosmology have led to a little confusion and controversy.


The Anthropic Principle represents an effort by physicists to explain the structure of the universe from the fact that the forces are coincidentally balanced in a manner that constrains it to evolve to a point that it produces carbon-based-life at a specific time and location in history the universe, in dramatic contrast to what is indicated by any practical model of turbulance driven structuring that should result from our big bang.

It is necessarily a truism, since any valid cosmology must be consistent with the existence of human beings and organic chemistry, but it is the coincidentally balanced nature of the evolutionary physics that stands-out to define anthropic significance in the forces, since all of the many anthropic coincidences are similarly balanced between extreme opposing runaway tendencies that occur over a spectrum that ranges from our local ecosystem, all the way up to the near-perfect balance that is observed to exist between gravity and the cosmolgical constant.

Attempts to apply this principle to develop scientific explanations have led to a little confusion and much controversy.



The first known occurrence of the phrase "anthropic principle" appears to have been by the theoretical astrophysicist Brandon Carter, in his contribution to a 1973 symposium titled "Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data" honouring Copernicus's 500th birthday. His article articulated the anthropic principle as the contrary of what has come to be called the Copernican principle (which Copernicus did not articulate), which denies that the situation of humans in the cosmological order is in any way privileged. (Just as Copernicus argued that the Earth is not the centre of the universe, we now know that the sun is a typical star located in a typical galaxy.) Carter's symposium paper, "Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology," included the statement: "Although our situation is not necessarily ''central'', it is inevitably privileged to some extent" (IAUS 63 (1974) 291).


Origins Reasoning and Evidence for the weak anthropic principle

The first known occurrence of the phrase "anthropic principle" appears to have been by the theoretical astrophysicist Brandon Carter, in his contribution to a 1973 symposium titled "Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data" honouring Copernicus's 500th birthday. His article articulated the anthropic principle as the contrary of what has come to be called the Copernican Cosmological Principle, which extends the General Principle of Relativity to require that all observers experience the same laws of physics uniformly throughout the universe, so at any given time, the universe will be both homogeneous and isotropic, (in 3-D space). This essentially denies that the situation of humans in the cosmological order is in any way privileged. Copernicus argued that the Earth is not the centre of the solar system, but Carter noted that pure cosmological extensions of this idea are what he called the anticentrist dogma, that led to cosmological forumlations like the Perfect Cosmological Principle, which does not result from the evolutionary physics that derives the cosmic coincidences and the otherwise unexplained large scale structuring of the universe that becomes absurdly apparent with the cosmological constant problem. This vexing problem is still the reason why the Antropic Principle is growing more popular among String Theorists that are trying to choose the correct vacuum solution from the landscape, since nobody has been able to come up with another practical stability mechanism that explains why this is. Carter's symposium paper, "Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology," included the statement: "Although our situation is not necessarily central, it is inevitably privileged to some extent" (IAUS 63 (1974) 291). Direct observational evidence in support of at least some anthropic significance in the structuring of the universe includes the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation data whose anthropic relevance has only been partially "explained-away":

CERN Courier "Does the motion of the solar system affect the microwave sky?" VOLUME 44 | NUMBER 10 | DECEMBER 2004
"On the large-angle anomalies of the microwave sky" astro-ph/0508047
The Energy of Space That Isn't Zero "These observations were also recently discussed in this context after an extended working-vacation with many of the world's leading physicists by Lawrence Krauss [1]
Carter was not the first to invoke some form of the anthropic principle: [2]

Go me... ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Global Warming too?... what next, politics?

I found this blog entry which is relevant to what has been discussed recently, so I decided to bring part of it here and also drop a line to see if "prototypo" might join the conversation:

Critics of Global Warming

prototypo said:
We do know that we have been polluting the air, water and land all around us since the industrial revolution and are continuing to do so at an increasing rate.

I've been trying to deal with this one from the perspective that we are also contributing memebers of the ecosystem that we belong to. In other words, can we separate ourselves from being integral players in the process that brought us into existence? Isn't that arrogant as hell?

But I have to weigh this against what part intelligence and awareness plays in that game, and the only conclusion that I can arrive at is that this enables us to back-off *enough* to keep us from getting culled, (bitchslapped back into line), involuntarily, by nature. I say "enough" with emphasis, because, (just like always), right-winged stubbornness will prevent liberal arrogance from allowing this to go exactly the way that the left would have it go if they got things all their way.

And all was well with the world. I don't mean to imply that anyone in this conversation has the following problem, but the one thing that people making predictions of gloom-n-doom never get when they point out all the potential downfalls that beface man, is that ALL of the anthropic coincidences occur almost exactly between cumulatively runaway tendencies toward certain death.

And yet, given all of the many adverse and inhospitible conditions that constantly and historically hung over our heads... as Morphius would say:


We do know that badly polluted areas are difficult to live in (such as Mexico City) or even impossible (such as Prypiat, Ukraine). Should we continue to pollute at such a rate until the science is 100% accurate in its ability to predict the future, or should we reduce our pollution rates?

I don't want to argue against meausures that are designed to improve or prevent such extremes from occurring, but, (as if to support my point about "self-regulating systems"), it has been shown that both wild-life and humans are surviving and proliferating in the dead-zone surrounding Chernobyl, and it has also been established that endangered species thrive better in bombing ranges than they do in nature preserves.


Having said that, I'm am also bringing-in part of this recent conversation between Neil and myself:

Neil had said:
As for global warming versus ice ages: Sure, there would have been an ice age, but our CO2 infusion stopped it not-cold! But instead of a nice cancellation leaving tepid temperatures rolling along, global warming overshoots ice ages.

island replied:
That's not normal global warming, it's a description of the runaway effect. Both global warming and glaciation are equally cumulative, so *some* global warming is continually necessary in order to hold off the cumulative runaway effect that is inherent to the exact opposite of what you said below:

Neil had said:
It prevents them from forming by melting ice up North, and then it can get even warmer without the ice to reflect sunlight.

And island replied:
I would agree that we need to back-off, but I'm just as convinced we'll die if we don't continue to efficiently increase entropy. Efficiency is the key here, anthropic selection has it that we will have the technology to take advantage of the next most difficult path of entropic action, at about the same time that we run out of oil. Cleaner, more efficient increases, are the key to long term survival.

Neil' then said...
No, they are not "equally cumulative"! It is not like mixing streams of hot and cold water, but non-linear behavior. That's the whole point. The warming actually prevents the cooling trend from having an effect, by melting enough ice to counter the reflection effect. You are right, it is not "normal" global warming we are having now, because of the huge and rapid increase in CO2 level, not just twiddles of the earth's motion, solar variability etc.

BTW, I don't want to return the earth to it's "pristine state." I and most other responsible environmentalists just want to keep plenty of the earth in such a state for our enjoyment and our and the planet's health, and responsibly use the rest. One thing we could do in the US, is to quit rewarding fecundity. Let's stop robbing childless folks to pay out those $1,000 tax credits for children, even to middle-class families! I can spring for public education, but not both! PS - I don't have a problem with expanded nuclear power as long as we can trust the operators and deal responsibly with waste products.

I unfairly cut Neil off at what I perceive to be his first error since that usually kills the rest of the argument:

No, they are not "equally cumulative"!

And island anwered:
Yes, they are, Neil... If the accelerating tendency toward glaciation isn't offset by increasing global warming, then the snow doesn't thaw out as much as it did the previous year, which causes the ice to reflect more sunlight... Like I said, equally opposing runaway tendiencies are at play here, and your attempts to willfully ignore well-known science don't change that.


I fear that I may not have made myself clear enough on my last point and will be misunderstood.

The rest of what Neil said sounds fine to me, except "(ab)normal global warming" WAS necessary until now, in order to head-off the kind of long-term momentum that lies behind a tendency toward a 100,000 year long ice-age.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Creationist's Argument

Now, THIS is a question.

Neil said:
Well... Maybe you have been able to explicate your option #3 in a truly satisfactory way, but I haven't been able to get a good summary of that.

Why anything at all?

This is by far Neil's best point, which has been kicked around since the greek sophists tried to explain what they recognized as purpose in nature, as a reconcilliation of the forces of the cosmos.

Even if I can give Neil the physics for exactly how, what and why, a human-like survival mechanism motivates the universe to move toward absolute symmetry, I can't tell him why that would be. I can justify all physics with a valid mechanism that defines an inherently insatiable imbalance in the energy of the universe that keeps it moving in one determined direction "forever and ever, amen"... but why does any of this exist to start with?

Why would there be any energy of the universe to begin with?..."that has an inherent insatiable imbalance that must, therefore, move forever toward the resolution of this inequity".

But it is this inherent effort toward reconcilliation that Neil sees as the "intent" behind the physics that justifies his conclusions about evidence for the "will" of a higher power.

Neil, I don't argue that atoms just bouncing around could properly form DNA, RNA, the correct proteins, etc. but this kind of physical "intent" manifests from some good physical reason for it in every knowable case, so why should I conclude that this is not the case now? Contrary to popular science, I don't deny the existence of this kind of teleology, so why should I make your leap of faith when it is not what is most naturally called for by every natural example of this?

Your mistake is to assume that human intent can possibly be different from any other form of expressed bias in nature, so you project that human-like intent exists behind an unknown natural bias, rather than the other way round.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Intelligent Design and the Anthropic Principle

Ms. Anthropic asked me a very good question that probably deserves more than a "nutshell" explanation, but here goes:

So tell me, in a nutshell, what the debate is exactly, and where intelligent design (an idea I find problematic) plays into it?

There really is no debate to it, but creationists use scientific evidence that we might not be here by accident to claim that this means that god, or some un-named intelligent designer, is behind our existence in this universe.

This is an unwarrented assumption without more direct proof, since any good physical need for us to be here will accomplish the same thing, so the latter *should-be* the default scientific position, and this should be the end of the story.

Unfortunately for science, there is an extremely strong tendency among non-creationists to deny the significance of this evidence, rather than to look for some good physical reason for why our presence in this universe might be important enough to the physical process to justify that the forces of the universe would be "set-up" to bring us into existence.

There is an almost unbelievable array of these "ecobalanced" anthropic coincidences that are necessary to our existence, ranging from our local ecosystem, all the way up to the near-perfectly balanced structure of the universe itself, which cannot be be explained by any other means than the anthropic principle.

There are three ways to interpret the evidence:

1) God or some intelliget designer is behind the "fine-tuning". Creationists believe that there is purpose in nature.

2) The balanced pencils and balls on hilltops is purely accidental random chance occurrence. Anti-centrists believe that there is no "higher" purpose in nature.

3) Humans are necessary to the physics of the universe, so there is purpose in nature in this context, as well.

Number three is the reason that the anthropic principle was first introduced by Brandon Carter, but virtually nobody will recognize the hardest evidence for anthropic specialness, even when they are confronted with valid supporting science, and even though this means that there should be an intricate link between Darwin's theory and this feature of our universe, which carries ramifacations that go right to the highest level of science.

The creation/evolution debate, (including all of the common aspects of ideological conflict between the "right" and the "left"), is the main problem here, one side says "black", so the other side *automatically* says "white" because they buy the hype that "black" means that godidit. They don't even think to look for why "black" might be correct for different reasons than creationists push on them, due only to their knee-jerk "auto-reaction*, and they only think of "creationism" when they see it.

There is also a misplaced impression among most physicists that the idea that we are somehow significant to the physics of the universe is just geocentrically arrogant and so they dismiss the idea out of hand, without attempting to complete the principle, even though Brandon Carter had carefully explained needed to be done.

It doesn't take much looking to find out that the special physics doesn't only apply to the Earth, rather, it fits the profile of every spiral galaxy that evolved at approximantely the same time and location as ours did, so human arrogance is not even the huge factor that they wrongly presume it to be... IF they weren't pre-conditioned against this science from the get-go.

I commonly run into willful ignorance, dishonesty, and "silent denial" from people that I never would have expected it from, and I can prove that I just as commonly expose this nasty little truth, not that it matters to them.