## Thursday, September 07, 2006

### The science of hubris

Let me describe a person for you and you may try to guess whether the person likes me or not :-).
• He's a migrants rights activist originally from Ghana
• He complains that the astronomers didn't ask him and his peers whether Pluto should be a planet
• He thinks that physics is based on a trinity of holiness: energy, mass, and time
• He thinks that this whole trinity has collapsed
• Mass has collapsed because Mary and Ian Butterworth told him that they don't understand mass
• Energy has collapsed because Steve Carlip told him that dark energy would make things more complicated
• Time has collapsed because Gary Stix wrote that "a full understanding of things temporal still eludes us"
• He thinks that the Higgs boson may not be the "eureka"
• More generally, he believes that a main problem with particle physics were its "discoveries" (his quotation marks) of new particles
• It's because many particles are eccentric and they require math which is a bad thing
• He criticizes M-theory because M is unknown ;-)
• He criticizes theoretical physicists for doing mathematics well
• ... dozens of things are omitted here
• He thinks that the hallowed construct of spacetime was popularized most of all by Stephen Hawkin [sic] (Minkowski 1908 should be credited for promotion of the paradigm)
• He thinks that spacetime becomes an artifact when its mathematical constraints are taken for granted (?)
• He thinks that the equations have nothing to do with understanding of a class of questions and mathematics is fundamentally incomplete
• He thinks that Iraq is the best example to show the incompleteness of mathematics
• He is scared that "mathematicization" could be even spilling out to the commercial world - wow!
• He thinks that this "mathematicization" is eroding our certainty
• He thinks that because of all these things, science is becoming theology
• What he finds most troubling is that new theories must be consistent with what we already know - that's just like rejecting heresies!
• ... and many, many more

If you guessed that Mr. Bright Simons doesn't like me, your guess was entirely correct. ;-) I don't know whether I like him but I am definitely flabbergasted what kind of breathtaking morons they keep on inserting into the newspapers. It looks like OhmyNews have been searching in all streets, forests, jungles, and deserts of the world for the most incompetent person to write something about the cutting-edge physics. If this were their goal, they were rather successful.