Friday, September 10, 2010

The Grand Design

Some links about the Grand Design.

1. From here:
In The Grand Design we explain why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence, or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. We question the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a "model-dependent" theory of reality. We discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And we assess M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." As we promise in our opening chapter, unlike the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life given in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer we provide in The Grand Design is not, simply, "42."

2. From here:
That brings me to another bit of news making the headlines in the UK – huge and looming cuts in science funding.
The cuts will be implemented by Vince Cable who is the UK’s secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.
He was interviewed in a third piece on Today and made the remarkable claim that “45% of research grants [in the UK] go to research that is not of an excellent standard”.
Ouch…and to save money, the government will soon be “rationing funds by quality”.
So what does this have to do with Stephen Hawking and M-theory?
Physicists need the backing of the British public to ensure that the funding cuts don’t hit them disproportionately. This could be very difficult if the public think that most physicists spend their time arguing about what unproven theories say about the existence of God.

The challenge, of course, is how to make the public aware of all the fantastic work done by other British physicists.

3. From here:
Fortunately, everyone, most of all God, knows that no one ever listens to anything physicists have to say unless it proves a minor point of reference in Star Trek. So, physicists can tell us that Warp drives will be possible in forty years, and we go, "Yay!" When they start babbling about everything being held up by Superstrings, we know that they are one grant application away from serving burgers for a living.

Update: There are interesting reviews in Peter Woit's blog and the Economist of Monday September 13th 2010.

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Anonymous Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

6:42 PM  

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