Tag Archives: explanation

Facts and Explanations

Some fifty years ago a physician at the Mayo Clinic, Bernard Forscher, wrote an allegoric letter to the editor of Science on a theme that Science Seen also explores (why science, and especially physics, is in trouble). His message―that data can block basic understanding―was pointed then. It is urgent now. Chaos in the Brickyard Once […]

Amazing Space

Cosmology is in a crisis state unprecedented in the history of science. Daryl Janzen (2014) Last week’s post looked at two views of space. The tension between them has profound effects on physics that underpins many technologies that affect our lives. Historically, space is seen as either something (often called the æther or ether) or […]

Expanding Space, Expanding Minds

Understanding physics can be satisfying. Understanding physics some physicists don’t understand brings super-satisfaction. Many think they can’t understand physics. Seems to me that often it is physicists they can’t understand. I think anybody who can figure how to travel to another country can, with no more effort, understand a lot of physics. With two provisos: […]

Not God―Must Be Goldilocks!

Last week we saw leading physicists seducing themselves into a multiverse. Most accomplished their mental gymnastics in one of three weird ways: a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics; an inflationary cosmology; or a string-theory landscape. All three have in common that they are at best ‘nice ideas’, not physics. So, what’s going on? These physicists […]

Physics Myths: Like Religion, Physics Rests on Faith

Some see myths as things of the past in our enlightened age. For example, in a recent episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said (speaking of the revolutionary ideas of Thales of Miletus around 600 BCE), “The workings of nature could be explained without recourse to the supernatural.” He got […]