fixed problem with previous post

People were getting an error message when they tried to read the previous post:

Comparing Religions V: Historical Accounts

I've fixed the issue now, so if you weren't able to read this post before, you can do so now!  (Although some people were probably able to read it before since it was correctly displayed on the main page of the blog)

It is also now possible to leave comments on that post, so feel free to write in complaining that I unfairly dismissed the historical evidence for Frodo, or whatever else you'd like to say.

About Aron Wall

I am a Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Before that, I read Great Books at St. John's College (Santa Fe), got my physics Ph.D. from U Maryland, and did my postdocs at UC Santa Barbara, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Stanford. The views expressed on this blog are my own, and should not be attributed to any of these fine institutions.
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11 Responses to fixed problem with previous post

  1. Justin Echevarria says:

    Hi Mr.Wall, Do you know if Roger Penrose’s model the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology is probable? Some say it disproves a beginning and might prove an eternal universe.

  2. Aron Wall says:

    Penrose has lots of nutty ideas, and nobody I know takes this particular idea seriously. There are some obvious problems with it---e.g. Nature seems to have only 2 massless fields (the photon and graviton) which are important at late time in de Sitter, whereas in inflationary cosmology all of the fields in the Standard Model are accessible, so the field data at late times can't actually be mapped to the field data at earlier times.

    (This seems like a necessary result, since there is a number called "c" which depends on the energy scale and which roughly speaking counts the number of kinds of fields accessible at that energy scale (but c doesn't have to be an integer in all theories). The "c theorem" states that in any QFT, this number "c" is always higher at high energies than at small energies).

    Even if it is somehow possible to overcome this problem, wild speculations unsupported by data do not and cannot "disprove" anything. In order for X to disprove Y, you first need to show that X is true...

    And of course, from a metaphysical point of view, saying that the universe came from an earlier universe just like ours doesn't explain why universes like ours exist in the first place...

    I also found a blog post by Sean Carroll where he said (in 2010) that there wasn't actually any precise description of Penrose's CCC idea online... yet that hasn't prevented it being hyped in various ways online.

  3. Justin Echevarria says:

    Thank you Mr wall. Here is my next question has there been any new evidence to support Penrose’s claim?

  4. Anne K says:

    And what about the historical evidence for Samwise?
    P.S. thanks for fixing the commenting on the other post.

  5. Hi MR. Wall have you seen this? IT has something to do with the CCC Model.

    [Corrected your link. There is no reason to link to a facebook link to the arxiv when you can link directly to the arxiv!--AW]

  6. Aron Wall says:

    I originally wrote "None that I know of", but then I saw you linked to a paper...

    Here's a rule of thumb: always ignore a paper that has more media/blog links than citations from real scientific articles. I'm not an expert in this sort of data analysis but the top comment here is very skeptical.

    If you read St. Tolkein's appendices, it turns out that the hobbits were actually called Ban and Froda. Tolkein anglicized their names to make them more accessible to an English speaking audience. Something to bear in mind when poring through other historical documents looking for records of them :-)

  7. Mark Strange says:

    Penrose gave an updated version, that should clarify any misunderstandings that some have,in a talk/debate with William Lane craig in the summer. I think that the event will be posted on the internet sometime in September.

  8. Mike says:

    The Penrose/Craig discussion is on YouTube now. Penrose makes reference to a group of Polish cosmologists that found evidence supportive of his CCC model. Curious whether you've taken a glance at that.

  9. kashyap vasavada says:

    Hi Aron,
    Completely off -topic!
    I would like to know your opinion about 't Hooft's deterministic QM and superdeterminism if you had time and interest to read about it. Also, backreaction has a paper and a blog about superdeterminism. Although the authors say this has no bearing on religion , I would think, there are lot of implications. In that case would you write a blog about it, free will etc.? Thanks.
    Kashyap Vasavada

  10. Aron Wall says:

    If you mean this, the idea seems to be that QM is actually false, but the (classical) laws of nature are such as to automatically ensure that our measurements are correlated in just the precise way to ensure we see Bell correlations anyway. I think that's completely nuts!

    Even if it were true that humans have no libertarian free will, we can still set up our experiment so that our "choices" of which way to measure depend on arbitrarily complex computations. The laws of nature governing the initial conditions would have to somehow be able to predict in advance the results of all possible computations that will ever be performed, which is not something that is at all likely to be within the capacity of any reasonable dynamical equations. Basically I agree with Scott Aaronson in the comments section here.

    I do believe that God could predict the results of all possible calculations, but I think in general when doing Science it's better not to assume that God very, very delicately set up the initial conditions in order to confuse people into thinking a law is true when it is not true.

    Trying to derive religious implications from physics is always philosophically precarious, even when the physical theories are well established. But when the physics idea is speculative almost to the point of derangement, then one had best leave it alone.

    Not interested in turning this into a full blog post, sorry.

  11. Kashyap Vasavada says:

    Thanks Aron. I am also quite uncomfortable with deterministic QM and superdeterminism. But these authors are taking it seriously! So I wanted to check your opinion. 't Hooft seems to be working in this area for some 20 years. In case someone on this blog is interested one paper by 't Hooft is
    The Cellular Automaton Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics by ‘t Hooft
    and the other by two authors
    Rethinking Superdeterminism
    S. Hossenfelder, T.N. Palmer
    arXiv:1912.06462 [quant-ph]
    S. Hossenfelder has also a blog called backreaction. In some of these blogs she discusses superdeterminism. Of course since neither of us believes in it you may not want to give publicity to these papers!!

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