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Desc:Those crazy theoretical physicists!
Category:Science & Technology, Educational
Tags:Einstein, newton, string theory, theoretical physics, brian greene
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Comment count is 25
baleen - 2008-05-03

My pops was an atheist and a biologist and this crazy shit is pretty much the thing that made him turn to organized religion at the age of 64.
FatFatuousNation - 2008-05-03
A highly speculative physics theory made him embrace the truth of Jesus' resurrection and ascent into heaven as the son of God?

Somehow I think senility and misgivings about impending death had more to do with it.

Frank Rizzo - 2008-05-03
Im willing to bet its the "20 knobs part"

Im atheist, but that IS weird. If one constant was off by just a smidgen, life wouldnt be able to exist.

baleen - 2008-05-03

A little more complicated than that. There are a billion pages of Christian theology that evolved out of the fucking new testament over the centuries. And he's not a Creationist.

I don't think he's senile as he seems able to write a best selling novel every year or so.

FatFatuousNation - 2008-05-04
Baleen is a celebrity!

baleen - 2008-05-04

I wish.

Camonk - 2008-05-04
Yeah, man, but Anne Rice writes best selling novels, and she's one of the dumbest bitches on the planet. So, you know, that's not really good evidence.

Whitewater5 - 2008-05-04
There's nothing special about the "20 knobs" thing, if conditions were any different then we wouldn't be around to notice them, therefore this is the only possible way they could be and have someone around to measure them. QED.

Also your father sadly appears to have taken the path of lazy thinking: "We don't understand why this happened...it must be MAGIC!"

3 stars because string theory is a lot of guys with a lot of neat theories and basically no evidence whatsoever

baleen - 2008-05-04

"Also your father sadly appears to have taken the path of lazy thinking: "We don't understand why this happened...it must be MAGIC!""

As I am not my father, I can't really say why he chose to do what he did. It blew me away as much as any of his friends in the scientific community, and I am myself an atheist. I believe his decision is attached to some very intense experiences, including one where he nearly died. I also believe it is very attached to an increasing need to participate in a community and of generally fostering a compassionate attitude towards all human beings that is motivated by something unifying, a constant that has existed through the history of our species. Perhaps it comes down to believing that we are not just a series of synapses and atomic compounds, that we are more than pieces of animated meat. It's a nice thing to believe, really. It has certainly made him a lot HAPPIER, and for that I am happy for him.

As for his senility, I won't really address that. It's pretty cheap to take shots on that level.

x - 2008-05-04
My Dad's a bouncer.

Billy Buttsex - 2008-05-04
People talking about my dad like that was what turned me into a conservative. I was insulted, investigated the claims, and found out he was right.

baleen - 2008-05-04

nice try billy. as I said, he is not a creationist. creationists are idiots.
my dad is a bouncer in fact. A bouncer of SMARTNESS.

Whitewater5 - 2008-05-04
was your dad claiming that you were a faggot

baleen - 2008-05-04

I can very easily pee in your mouth.

Camonk - 2008-05-05
He's talking about Billy's dad. You should pee in his mouth anyhow.

Cube - 2008-05-03
I'm so nerdy enough to be fascinated by this.
oddeye - 2008-05-03
Things like this is why I study science. It's fucking awesome.
Jeff Fries - 2008-05-04
Physicists think that people understand their analogies
Camonk - 2008-05-05
I've never done psychotropic drugs, but when theoretical physicists really get going, the way I feel is how I imagine it must be. I don't have any idea what's going on, I deeply want to know, and I'm scared of what might happen to my brain if I figure it all out. I'm also afraid that the things I'm not understanding are TOTALLY SWEET and that people who do get them are having a better time than I am.

But I do think it's awesome that there are dudes who just sit around and think about this crazy ass stuff all damn day.

anvill - 2008-05-04
The large hadron collider he references at the end is set to receive its first beams within a month (June 08). Two months are scheduled for acceleration, after which we'll get collisions.
Cube - 2008-05-04
"Supercollider? But I just met her!"

And then they built the Supercollider.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2008-05-04
Oh so that's what that giant machine in Geneva is going to do.

But what will happen? Does anyone know? What if the gravitron won't go back home? What if it decides to stay?
MDCad - 2008-05-05
Counterpoint: string theorists are delusionary cultists.

There are so many variant string theories and so many ways to finely tune their parameters to coincide with the real world that there's no way disprove "it" as a theory, because there's always something you can edit to make a certain version of it consistent with observation, and hey, maybe that's the *correct* version!
afp3683 - 2008-05-05
People should stop trying to think up ways to figure out the universe.

MDCad - 2008-05-06
It has nothing to do with figuring out the universe. At least, not to the fanatics, which make up a surprisingly sizable percentage of string theorists. They are very intelligent people with PhDs who believe they are peering into the eyes of God despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that the true string theory (the one that isn't defeated by observation and describes the world, unlike current ones) will descend and reveal itself to humanity any day now, and that physicists working on other approaches are wasting their time and will become obsolete when the rapture comes (which they've been waiting 20+ years for.)

"The Trouble with Physics" by Lee Smolin is an excellent primer on this stuff.

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