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Desc:Are we on the brink of a new Copernican revolution?
Category:Science & Technology
Tags:universe, multiverse, michio kaku
Submitted:FreeOJ
Date:07/20/11
Views:898
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Comment count is 22
Konversekid
He doesn't explain anything and tells speculative theories matter of factly. It makes everything he says sound like magic. He is basically the Physicist version of a popular creationist.
simon666
He's speaking to the level of understanding his audience is capable of, for the most part. Make this critique if he were lecturing at APS.

fatatty
I'll let Feynman handle this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMFPe-DwULM

WHO WANTS DESSERT
"He doesn't explain anything and tells speculative theories matter of factly. It makes everything he says sound like magic."

That's theoretical physics in a nutshell. It's just like a real science, only without the pesky "evidence" and "experimentation" stuff that defines the scientific method and separates pseudoscience from the real thing. But decades from now they might invent something that might prove that some part of their bullshit is real, so you can just take their word for it!

Jeriko-1
All my vomit for you lot.

Old_Zircon
(motherfuckers lying, and getting them pissed)

poorwill
Don't lump all theoretical physics in with the stuff Kaku hypes like string theory.

Black Napkins
The problem here isn't so much that he's simplifying theoretical physics to suit his audience-- he *should* be doing that. The problem is that he's suggesting that some of the theories he's expounding on are more established than they really are.

I get that he's going to do that, he's a physicist and he's got a horse in the race, but it still needs to be pointed out. And then he went radiation-crazy about RTGs on the Shuttle.


Konversekid
"Lisa could give us baby pictures of the moment of creation itself."

You can't say shit like this to a layperson; without an explanation this becomes satanic, time-travelling, wizard shit. He goes on to explain it much later, but that still doesn't rectify the fact that he initially sensationalizes it by not being specific about what exactly is being achieved and, despite Feynman's rejections of this manner of explanation, uses analogies to get his point across.

baleen
Michio has so much charisma. He's always fun to watch. He is like Carl Sagan, Jr. I bet he eats hamburgers at Carl's, Jr.
Caminante Nocturno
Like Sagan, he does a wonderful job of conveying his love for science.

Dr. Lobotomy
So, how much work is being done finding a way to *get* to all those places all these astrophysicists and what not are theorizing about?

Because we better go Conquistador on those parallel universes and get their parallel oil and parallel gold before someone else does.
oddeye
I'm not a scientist by any means but if we introduce energy into our universe that was previously not there wont it cause bad things to happen?

Dread Pirate Roberts
Not necessarily. There is an equilibrium within each bubble, same as within each normal atom. If we went to another universe, and managed to return, the universe would find a way to balance out. This could mean that some dark energy would come back with us too, thus negating the new 'light' matter that was added. Or possibly some way that we have not yet to even comprehend exists.

Chalkdust
space pipes

Ursa_minor
This is going to completely rewrite everything we knew about Cosmetology.

oddeye
Right, so we should be ok with smaller scale stuff, so long as we aren't stealing clusters of galaxies and shit the universe would probably even it out right sharpish.

I'm down with being a multiverse-bandit.

Dread Pirate Roberts
Five for Kaku.
Black Napkins
Oh yeah, stars. I may have my issues, but the man really explained multiple-dimension visualization really well.
EvilHomer
Five stars for Kaku, but I'm with Black Napkins on this. I read a few of Kaku's books when I was a kid, and I loved them; he's certainly a very engaging writer and does an amazing job of conveying the wonder and possibilities of the fringes of legitimate scientific knowledge in terms dumb amateurs like myself can understand, but he could dial it down on the woo-woo stuff. Or at least add a disclaimer, letting people know that string theory and m-branes and multiverses and whatnot are still a far cry from "established science", like the theory of evolution. He attracts bright, imaginative laypeople, which is great, but they're also the sort of people who are vulnerable to pseudoscientific ideas, like plane shifting and Astral WalMarts, or just plain wrong ones. Without sobering points of reference to bring the giddy laity back to earth, it's easy for Kaku fans to wind up like Prof Buliwif or those asshats who made What the Bleep.
notascientist
We aren't - even if there _are_ multiverses, we aren't ever going to be able to make meaningful measurements of them, and so the idea will remain speculative at best.

He just goes on like this to pull undergrad tail.
The McK
You say that like it's a bad thing.

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