In this 2 hour marathon, Joemma and special guest Tort opine about 2 episodes of “Through The Wormhole” – “Is There Life After Death?” and “Is There a Creator?” This is a documentary series narrated by Morgan Freeman that supposedly addresses deep and meaningful questions about life, ”coshushness” and science.  As you will hear, we don’t come across much science. However, there is lots of CGI, dramatic music, personal anecdotes, vertical particles, cowabunga physicists, butterflies, quantum entangled afterlife brains and leaps of logic and faith that will astound. Special treats for listeners include the unleashing of “Ghetto Emma” and a short discussion about her attendance at the Global Atheist Convention. So get ready to be spaced out, yo beeyatches.

15 Responses to Cosmological Porn as Tort Penetrates The Wormhole

  • This "Tort" moron is an idiot. If you have two entangled particles in different places you can't interact with one and then interact with the other "later" time doesn't work like that. Depending on your frame of reference either interaction could be the "first" interaction, your frame of reference is not important to the universe. That's one of the reasons that we know we can't send any information by quantum entanglement and why when we interact with one particle we know we can't change the other particle, otherwise you'd know which interaction happened first. If we could do that it would show that relativity was false.

  • Yeah, that Tort guy was soooo slow, sometimes I wondered whether he was even coshush.

  • but at least he has an amusing giggle.

  • If you wanna see the surfer's circles, he made it onto TED in 2008…

    http://www.ted.com/talks/garrett_lisi_on_his_theo

    Regarding Krauss's starting with an environment where physics works:

    At that point, asking "Well what makes physics work?" is asking "Why isn't the universe nonsensical randomness that can't be studied?"

    Then you've got presuppositionalism, a platonic ideal god of internal consistency, without which, it's asserted, nothing could make sense, so you have to assume that god exists, right?

    Things are the way they are, and not some other way, because Frank says so.

    • I'm not surprised that he ended up on TED, when he put out his theory he went after all the pop science websites/magazines. It's one of those theories that looks really impressive as long as you don't understand the physics involved. Notice how he glossed over how much fudging is involved in making the particles fit that pattern.

      The Krauss thing reminds me very strongly of Sam Harris book, to quote Skatje Myers "How science can help us achieve the things we've already chosen to value". It's not a universe from nothing, it's a universe from our physical laws. I still find both interesting but it's a valid criticism and kind of annoying the lengths both go to pretend that either they have addressed that issue or that it does not need addressing.

      • I forget whether Krauss does this specifically…

        One of the AtheistExperience replies when a caller brings up nothingness is to ask what nothing is: because there's no known example of such a thing and it's colloquially understood as a pile of negative attributes given a label to use in sentences.

        Oh, I just remembered a youtube clip where a theologian explains it… or makes an awkward admission about another such label while dancing around the topic.

        • That's the main problem with trying to answer the question "why is there something rather than nothing" or "how do you get something from nothing". We don't have "nothing" in our universe and you'd have to explain what it is and why that is a more plausible place to start from than any other starting condition. People say explain the something, physicists say explain the nothing.

          Krauss is an excellent physicist and his physics is all correct but Dawkins and Krauss himself have been pushing the book as an answer to deep philosophical questions about the "creation" of the universe and that just isn't there.

          • It sounds like you're saying you're annoyed that some are granting the ill-posed question legitimacy by trying to respond to it. Or at least marketing to people who might think the question is valid for the purpose of a sort of bait-and-switch education. Like Richard Wiseman's book on how to manipulate one's luck (*technically publishers demanded that angle).

            In the attempt, physicists have to fix the question before they can answer it, and doom themselves to responses like "Well, my idea of X isn't that," from people who didn't end up exchanging their interest in the original question for the fascinating tangent.

            • It's the claiming that he has an answer when he doesn't. Regardless of how poorly formed the question is there is a real question in there somewhere; why is the universe like it is, how did it get to be like it is? The correct answer is the one is the one Krauss gives, we don't know yet, here are some theories, and it might just be this way because it had to be someway. That's not really an answer. The book is being spruiked as now we have an answers, Dawkins even compared the science being put forth to Darwin explaining complexity in animals, it really isn't that. I would say that it doesn't provide an answer but it does help you understand the question a bit better. I certainly don't think we can point to anything in the book and say – this is our answer to why there is something rather than nothing or how or why the universe exists and that's what Krauss and Dawkins and the publishers have been selling it as.

          • "Regardless of how poorly formed the question is there is a real question in there somewhere" [citation needed]

            *giggle* kidding, kidding. I acknowledge there's an allure to the sentiment.

            "why is the universe like it is, how did it get to be like it is? The correct answer is the one is the one Krauss gives, we don't know yet, here are some theories, and it might just be this way because it had to be someway. That's not really an answer."

            How is that substantively different from criticising epistemology itself for extrapolating forward or backward in time based on limited observation and approaching ignorance by assuming principles of geographic non-specialness, consistent patterns of behavior (temporal non-specialness), and that individuals can sort out their biased perceptions by collaborating? Those assumptions made for the sake of basic practicality will manifest throughout the models that get created.

            "I certainly don't think we can point to anything in the book and say – this is our answer"

            Misrepresenting the tentativeness of early cosmology then? As opposed to something more circumspect like this from Leonard Susskind?

            "The things that we really understand mathematically are over-idealizations. And so when people argue in the press and books about whether string theory is the right theory of the world or not, the answer is it's not. It's just not. On the other hand does it have an enormous amount to teach us about the way that QM, gravity, and microstructure fit together: probably yes. That's my opinion in any case."

            Since we've hit the reply limit, this'll be the last round of interrogation, I guess. I hope I'm at least being a helpful wall to bounce your thoughts off of.

            • Okay now I see reply links at all depths. I'll blame sleep deprivation and maybe visited-link color.

          • Regarding the allure and epistemological concessions needed to give 'answer' a useful meaning…

            SMBC – Polish Hand Magic
            http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&am

      • Grr that amusing link didn't stand out.
        http://www.tubechop.com/watch/372590

  • Clarifying entanglement as I understand it (uncredentialed layman speaking):

    You set up a system so that its parts, two particles, will have opposite spins.* Which is up and which is down is not yet determined. Then separate them.

    * In this setup, you don't know details about the parts (math for them are formulas generically accounting for every possible situation), but the math for the system as a whole says whatever they are, they will be opposite.

    Once you finally measure one (randomly getting U/D), it stays that way; having rigged the system in advance to be opposites, you then know what the partner must be when measured similarly (or must have been).

    The spins weren't loaded dice predetermined at the beginning (Unmeasured values in QM are crazy that way), and it doesn't matter who measures 'first', even in shared frames where 'first' might have meaning. It's only afterward when people involved reunite and compare notes that they see their random results happen to be synchronized with each other.

    If you never compare notes, you'd never know your particle's spin was coerced to a particular outcome. The other person could well be tossing particles in the trash unexamined. Repeating the experiment with lots of fresh pairs would get you ups and downs with the usual probability (as if not entangled), regardless of who looks 'first' or at all.

    It's only a spooky coincidence in hindsight. But you can use this trick to make really elaborate spooky coincidences.

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