Maybe the Universe is not Elegant

Interesting talk. Some of the quotes have drawn me in. They are likable, they connect scientific truth to beauty, the beauty of the math. This was popular in the early days of quantum mechanics, and it’s kind of stuck. Actual discoveries often come from reconciling differences of two theories, not because of some recognition of the beauty of one of the theories. Yet, they keep doing it.

Brian Greene, in The Elegant Universe, points out that they do it, even though he knows it doesn’t work. It’s almost a conspiracy type of thinking, but it happens in the halls of academia. It’s a scientific approach to the problems of science, the critiques that are often hurled from people who don’t actually know what they are talking about, HOWEVER, there might be something, some kernel of truth, to those critiques. She has the cred, and she’s not claiming that “beauty” is wrong, but the current application is harming the feedback loop of experiments to data to further theories, and something like a search for a unified theory might not be worthwhile.

I think Sabine Hofstader talks about this too. So much talk is how beautiful a theory is etc. and it does seem like, I wouldn’t say a conspiracy, but just a prejudice. Also, mathematics.

I’ve always thought that too (I’m no scientist of course), that beauty is such a subjective term. And more to the point, who says things are beautiful in a mathematical sense? Sure there’s Occam’s Razor, but so what. I think of software. Large systems often use several programming languages to implement the software. (Yes it does boil down to bits but that’s just because of how programming evolved). Why can’t the universe operate with more than one set of rules?

I like her lectures. She is clear and transparent.

But I still like the analogy of a universe that appears beautiful to the human mind.

from an old OP 2013 by Lois ( I miss her!)

Note the dynamic self-formation of the double helix !

In context of science I prefer the term “elegant” over “beautiful”.



Elegance is beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity. Elegance is frequently used as a standard of tastefulness, particularly in visual design, decorative arts, literature, science, and the aesthetics of mathematics. Wikipedia

As it’s not as isotropic as we thought, no!

It’s true but it’s also meaningless. Only absolute “nothing” is isotropic.
As soon as one introduces “massive” objects spacetime becomes disturbed.
A black hole definitely disturbes the isotropic spacetime neighborhood.

Introduce a rubber ducky in your bathwater and it’s no longer isotropic.

Until the recent observation of the behaviour of the largest structures in the universe - still on the scale of 1:10^-(10-8) of the observable universe (a rubber ducky in the Pacific) - there was nothing approaching that degree of anisotropy.

[Na hah. The biggest superclusters fill up to 5% of the bathtub.]

I agree, but net zero value does not necessarily imply a static condition.
IMO, the causal event that started the dynamic chronology was a dynamic event of some sort.

My personal intuition suggests an apriori timeless dimensionless condition of infinite nothing that somehow collapsed unto itself.

IOW this collapse created a dynamic condition that translated into a singular expression of energy ( singularity) that radiated outward as the inflationary epoch.

This would be similar to a nuclear explosion that starts with a prior implosion that triggers a cascading quantum event.

If an infinite condition collapses into a singularity, could the dynamic energy trigger a mega quantum event resulting in the FTL expansion if the baby universe?

Just musing, but in the absence of any prior physical dimensional properties, the one thing that presents itself is a form of pure dynamic energy?

The notion that a God could create a universe from nothing does not satisfy the question of E = Mc2, without the origination of a dynamic action.

IMO, the concept of Cause and Effect is a logical axiom. So in the absence of physical material, there must have been pure Energy and this is the foundation of Bohmian Mechanics, which starts with a condition of pure energy wherein implications form (chaos theory) which are then chronologically expressed from the very subtle to gross expression in reality.
Note: that in Bohmian mechanics a cubic centimeter of space contains the energy of a trillion atomic bombs.

The Energy of a Trillion Atomic Bombs in Every Cubic Centimeter of Space!

Michael Talbot and David Bohm (in quotes) in Talbot’s The Holographic Universe , Chapter 2: The Cosmos as Hologram, p.51 According to our current understanding of physics, every region of space is awash with different kinds of fields composed of waves of varying lengths.

Each wave always has at least some energy. When physicists calculate the minimum amount of energy a wave can possess, they find that every cubic centimeter of empty space contains more energy than the total energy of all the matter in the known universe!

Space is not empty. It is full , a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves. The universe is not separate from this cosmic sea of energy, it is a ripple on its surface, a comparatively small “pattern of excitation” in the midst of an unimaginably vast ocean.

“This excitation pattern is relatively autonomous and gives rise to approximately recurrent, stable and separable projections into a three-dimensional explicate order of manifestation,” states Bohm.[12] In other words, despite its apparent materiality and enormous size, the universe does not exist in and of itself, but is the stepchild of something far vaster and more ineffable. More than that, it is not even a major production of this vaster something, but is only a passing shadow, a mere hiccup in the greater scheme of things.
[12] Bohm, Wholeness, p.192

Here is where the definition of the term "potential’ as “that which may become reality” becomes the causal agency?

Cosmological constant problem

In cosmology, the cosmological constant problem or vacuum catastrophe is the disagreement between the observed values of vacuum energy density (the small value of the cosmological constant) and theoretical large value of zero-point energy suggested by quantum field theory.

Depending on the Planck energy cutoff and other factors, the discrepancy is as high as 120 orders of magnitude,[1] a state of affairs described by physicists as “the largest discrepancy between theory and experiment in all of science”[1] and “the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics.”[2])
Cosmological constant problem - Wikipedia

see also:

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Nothing collapsed eh?! Always agreed with Lord Pratchett: “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded .”

These threads are intertwining.

Ah hah! You did that in the post above.

That reminds me of how my mother blew this little mind away before I even entered kindergarten.
Playing within a pool of sunlight shining through the window onto the living room carpet, dust motes floating around, swirling after my mom when she’d pass by, possibly dreaming about eternity.

I remember asking my mom: "What is god?"
I like to think it took her a few moments before answering: "A dust mote that wanted to be more."
Home run.
The suggestion totally floored this little toddler and remained in my head as I processed all school, then church, had to offer. It was never any sort of answer, simply a suggestion to chew on, oh and chew on it I did.

It’s taken some six decades to appreciate how that emotional/intellectual home run also smashed the Abrahamic Mindset in me, before it ever had a chance to take root.

For instance, I did have my little love affair with Jesus, but that was the character of Jesus I fell in love with. The god and heaven thing never managed getting its hooks into me and it was easily shed in late teens and early adulthood, leaving me with a clear head to focus on Earth and evolution for the rest of my life - rather then spending decades and decades neurotically rehashing the same fruitless religious ground.