The Land of Mediocre.

Upon completion of this survey, it was found that although some departments noted no decrease at all, many of the most prestigious institutions saw a drop of up to 40% in international applications.

Science in Trumpland

In an extremely large survey of 49 of the largest physics departments in the country, representing 41% of all enrolled physics graduate students in the United States, an overall decrease of almost 12% in the number of international applicants was observed from 2017 to 2018.

This was a tremendous surprise, as no such study was even planned. The impetus for this study was prompted by a small number of American Physical Society members contacting the Office of Government Affairs to report a substantial decrease in the number of applications from international students. Upon completion of this survey, it was found that although some departments noted no decrease at all, many of the most prestigious institutions saw a drop of up to 40% in international applications.
Full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/11/06/america-is-no-longer-attracting-the-top-minds-in-physics/#194a99e24a89

Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. Sir Arthur Eddington

Our universe is just INFORMATION. Everything we are able to see or detect is just information changing and developing according to some algorithm. Who or what created this algorithm?

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-thinks-theres-130300649.html

Is our universe a simulation?

It is a pointless question. This does not help the bigger question: Who or what is simulating the simulators? As you can see this hypothesis just complicates the picture.

Now there is another question: is our universe real?

What is “real”?

As we know by now there are no “hard” objects in this universe.

All is just unpredictable clouds of “energy”.

What is this energy? Do we know?

Our universe is just INFORMATION. Everything we are able to see or detect is just information changing and developing according to some algorithm.

Who or what created this algorithm?

The moment we ask “who”, we destroy any possible answer because the question leads to “nested” questions without an end.

Whatever it is our universe (or multiverse) is the only reality. There is no city of Zion. Matrix is our only reality.

Where does it came from, this reality? Anybody can guess. Even if the Big Bang happened, nobody knows how and why.

There has got to be a reason and right conditions for any action.

universe
Something there

Despite the scientific progress human knowledge of the universe if minuscule, about 0.01%

Dark matter, dark energy-scientists call it “dark” because they have no clue what it is.

Our telescopes can see the distant objects in our universe billions of light years away.

Yes. But we see a distant past and scientists can just guess how these objects look now (if they still exist).

So here is just a crazy guess.

There was no causality before our universe. So maybe the universe appeared here in order to create the universe? To pull itself into existence by its boot straps…a snake swallowing it’s tail.

snake swallowing it's tail

After I wrote this I stumbled on a post about Stephen Hawking’s new book.

The realization that time can behave like another direction of space means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole, but the South Pole is much like any other point. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole. In this picture space-time has no boundary—the same laws of nature hold at the South Pole as in other places (pp. 134-5).

“The idea that being could arise without a cause from non-being seems metaphysically absurd.”

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/stephen-hawking-and-god#ixzz46z4cxfzp

The Arrogance of Learned Men

Science proved to be a very effective and efficient tool to help people to discover secrets of the universe and to improve lives. So, it is no wonder that many take science as an indisputable and omnipotent realm. For those people science is the only way to obtain knowledge and an understanding of the world. Are there any limitations on what we learn by using scientific research? The short answer – we do not know. Do we know a better approach, a better way to gain the understanding of the Universe?

Science is a wonderful thing.  Science led us to space travel and the human genome.  Science is the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.  Science is computers and cell phones.  Science changed our civilization, our life and our understanding of the world.  Science proved to be a very effective and efficient tool to help people to discover secrets of the universe and to improve lives.  So, it is no wonder that many take science as an indisputable and omnipotent realm. For those people science is the only way to obtain knowledge and an understanding of the world.  Are there any limitations on what we learn by using scientific research?  The short answer – we do not know.  Do we know a better approach, a better way to gain the understanding of the Universe?

Is there a better or perhaps a different approach?

Every new theory, every new physical law, every new discovery is a closer approximation to the truth.  But, in my opinion, we will never know the whole truth.  Can humanity gain the ultimate knowledge, the full understanding of the world?  The Universe is a dynamic system, it is constantly changing, developing.  We have to admit that a full understanding of the Universe by applying the Scientific Method may be impossible.

I tried to put our limitations in numbers.

Our Universe
Matter distribution in the Universe.

The universal horizon is about 13 billion light years away.  By some calculations, the size of the Universe is about 158 billion light years, which means that we can see only 0.05% of the Universe.  In addition what we are able to see are the images from the past.  The farther we look, the more distant the past is.

But even what we can see, the matter we can detect, is just a small part of what is out there.  The visible matter in the Universe, one that our instruments can detect is just 4% of what is out there.  The rest, the other 96% is what we call Dark Matter and Dark Energy; in other words, we do not have a clue what it is.  So, all together we possibly may be able to see only 0.002% of the Universe.

“We are at the very beginning of time for the human race.  It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems.  But there are tens of thousands of years in the future.  Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.” Richard P. Feynman

 Now what about Evolution?  Is it a complete theory?

Here are some excerpts:

Natural Selection
Not complete.

“Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them”  (David Kitts, paleontologist and evolutionist).

“The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps; the fossils are missing in all the important places” (Francis Hitching, archaeologist).

“But as by THIS THEORY innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we NOT find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?”  Charles Darwin

 Yes, scientific accomplishments are impressive.  But it is very humbling to realize how little we know.

“It is necessary, I believe, to accept this idea, not only for science, but also for other things; it is of great value to acknowledge ignorance.  It is a fact that when we make decisions in our lives, we don’t necessarily know that we are making them correctly; we only think that we are doing the best we can – and that is what we should do.”  Fhttp://calteches.library.caltech.edu/49/2/Religion.htm

 There is another aspect to the scientific methods of today.

In order to discover deeper qualities of matter we smash things into each other.  We build giant machines to smash matter into smaller and smaller pieces.  Is there a possibility that the whole is more then the sum of its parts?  Take the computer for example.  What will we discover by smashing it into small pieces?  Will we know about the electricity and software that makes a computer a computer?  Do we need a different approach to understand Nature not from inside out but from the outside in?  Should we look for the software?

What irritates me a lot is the condescending, all-knowing attitude of many learned people toward any ideas and philosophy that is outside today’s main stream scientific dogmas.  Mysticism, Eastern philosophy, New Age, religion – each one following a different path in the eternal quest for knowledge, for understanding the world.  I think that part of the problem is the way science is taught in schools.  Kids are given a boring set of facts or dogmas to learn and memorize.

Kids and Science
Natural curiosity.

But science, our world, is a wonderful mystery, an adventure.  Science is the quest to open new horizons, new secrets, a new understanding of the world.  Kids love mystery, secrets, adventure; and that is what science is to real scientists.

 “The scientific spirit of adventure – the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it – the humility of the intellect.” Fhttp://calteches.library.caltech.edu/49/2/Religion.htm

A question: can anything move faster than light?