Will Physicists Find God?

Holographic Universe or Computer Simulation? Big Bang or God?

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Will Physicists Find God?

Postby Access Denied » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:34 am

Saw this <spock>fascinating</spock> article today... 8)

In Search of the God Particle
http://www.newsweek.com/id/128877

The biggest experiment in particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider, starts this summer in Switzerland. The goal is to find signs of an elusive particle called the Higgs boson—also known as the "God particle" because it might ultimately lead to a grand theory of the universe. What impact will the experiments have on our ideas of the cosmos and our place in it? To find out, NEWSWEEK's Ana Elena Azpurua spoke about science and religion with theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg at the University of Texas in Austin.

Here's a couple of the answers I thought he handled well...

What about possible contributions toward finding a final theory? Would that upset religious believers?

If we put together something like a final theory in which all the forces and the particles are explained and that theory also throws light on the origin of the Big Bang and gives us a consistent picture of cosmology, there will be a little less for religion to explain. But religion has evolved along with science. It is something created by human beings, and as human beings learn more and more their religion changes. Today, especially in the more established religious sects in the West, they've learned to stop trying to explain nature religiously and leave that to science.

But won't some people expect to find the presence of a grand designer in that final theory?

That's what was thought at the beginning, but we see less and less possibility of that. The more we learn about the universe the less sign we see of an intelligent designer. Isaac Newton thought that it would require an explanation in terms of the action of God to explain how the sun shone. Now we know that it shines because of the heat produced by the conversion of hydrogen into helium in its core. People who expect to find evidence of divine action in nature, in the origin of the universe or in the laws that govern matter, are probably going to be disappointed.

Thoughts?

I just hope they're sure they know what they're doing when they turn that baby on! :shock:
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Postby uberarcanist » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:09 pm

Weinberg just made a bunch of stock atheist statements and of course there are stock theist answers to all of them.

BORING

Oh, and the Big Bang's been debunked, in my book.

http://pda.physorg.com/lofi-news-microw ... 14500.html
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Postby Access Denied » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:18 am

Access Denied wrote:I just hope they're sure they know what they're doing when they turn that baby on!

I was just kidding but…

Doomsday fears spark lawsuit
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 23924.aspx

Runaway black holes, strangelets, and magnetic monopoles oh my!

[and to think nobody ever complains about neutrino showers]

uberarcanist wrote:Oh, and the Big Bang's been debunked, in my book.

Meh, prolly measurement error… :)

[seriously with all the new data coming in right now the field is in a rapid state of flux... e.g. dark matter is here one day and gone the next]
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Postby uberarcanist » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:18 pm

I seriously doubt not finding 31 galaxy clusters to be backlit by the Big Bang's afterglow is a measurement error.
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Postby Access Denied » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:31 am

I was of course being facetious (inside joke). The problem is the predicted shadow effect has been observed with the WMAP and other more sensitive radio telescopes so my guess is this is telling us more about clusters than the big bang.
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Postby uberarcanist » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:55 am

Oh, no, the scientists here did use WMAP and still no afterglow.

And it gets better!

"Just over a year ago Lieu and Dr. Jonathan Mittaz, a UAH research associate, published results of a study using WMAP data to look for evidence of "lensing" effects which should have been seen (but weren't) if the microwave background was a Big Bang remnant. "

Then again, there is at least one scientist that claims that the WMAP data is NOT a Big Bang remnant, but rather clouds of molecular hydrogen within our own galaxy.

Can't find that at the moment and, plus, it's the weekend and I want to hit the club...uhh, I'll get that molecular hydrogen link for you later, maybe? :lol:
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Postby Access Denied » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:25 am

uberarcanist wrote:Oh, no, the scientists here did use WMAP and still no afterglow.

What I meant was observations of other clusters, also with the WMAP, did show the shadow effect. My bad, I should have given a linky…

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... onday.html

Afshordi, the Harvard astrophysicist, suggested that a more likely explanation for Lieu's findings is that there is something about galaxy clusters scientists don't yet understand.

"I think that even if Lieu were correct, it would teach us about clusters rather than the Big Bang theory," Afshordi said in a telephone interview. "Clusters are complicated things and there's still a lot to learn about them."

Lieu concedes this is a possibility. "That I do buy," he said. "I myself am not at this point prepared to accept that the CMB is noncosmological and that there was no Big Bang. That would be doomsday."

Lieu said that one unlikely, but possible explanation is that the galaxy clusters he examined are unusually strong emitters of radio waves, which could have prevented the shadows from being seen.

[shrug]

The BB is a pretty well established theory so it's probably going to be pretty tough to overturn it without doing a lot more experiments… I guess we’ll see.

uberarcanist wrote:Can't find that at the moment and, plus, it's the weekend and I want to hit the club...uhh, I'll get that molecular hydrogen link for you later, maybe? :lol:

That’s OK… I vote for the club. :D
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Postby uberarcanist » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:28 am

I don't think the age of the Big Bang Theory really weighs in its favor (and it's only been around since the 60s). I believe both the theories of the Ptolemaic Universe and the theory of phrenology were around longer than the BBT has been with us, and of course, we don't believe those theories anymore.
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Postby Access Denied » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:25 pm

By well established I didn't mean old... how about well supported? :)

Of course since none of us were there when it happened, the evidence is somewhat circumstantial and subject to refinement... :wink:

Next question... the Big Crunch, the Big Freeze or???

[Warning: Paradoxe of Existence Ahead!] 8)

I’m working on a theory I call the Big Knot™… unfortunately so far all I have is the name so it probably should be labeled a hypothesis. :lol:
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Postby uberarcanist » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:03 pm

Or, what about the return of the eeeeeevvilllll Steady State Theory (mwhahahahahahaha ha ha)?
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