A terrific discussion by two guys in-the-know of one of the more promising overarching ideas for a workable “theory of everything.”
Can we really hope to summarize the underlying nature of the universe, even a multiverse, with an equation only about an inch long?
This is a more plausible alternative to the argument from design implied in the Strong Anthropic principle, or as I call it, the Athropocentric principle…
To give the only honest answer I can to the above, while there is a lot we as a species are collectively learning about the universe, I don’t think for an instant that I really know.
It’s been my experience that the more one truly understands, the more knows what they don’t know and understand, whether it’s popular but century-old science like quantum physics that nobody really understands, (and the ones who claim most often that they do are the ones who understand it the least, i.e. proponents of quantum flapdoodle…) or the more recent and trendy superstring theory.
Through deeper understanding of one’s limits, unknown unknowns can stand revealed as at least suspected unknowns, if not known ones.
It’s people who claim the most to be in possession of arcane wisdom gleaned from ancient mystics who really don’t know the depths of their own ignorance and therefore know the least in making their pretensions to knowledge.
Funny thing that they would project that very need onto the sciences and research workers they criticize as being engaged in a futile enterprise.
It’s those who know the most, about themselves and their field of study, who boast of their claims to knowledge the least.
These two videos are a pair of talks I found on the TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) website, the first being a discussion by Brian Greene and the second by cosmologist Sean Carroll, both discussing powerful ideas that when tested will little doubt enrich our understanding of the Cosmos, to know the thoughts of the mind of (non-theistic)god. Enjoy.
- “Time really exists”: Highlights from our live-chat with Sean Carroll (ted.com)
- Electrons are fantastically round, say British scientists (guardian.co.uk)
- From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time by Sean Carroll (telegraph.co.uk)
- Living In A Quantum World (preview) (scientificamerican.com)