Monday, December 15, 2014

Someone gave me the following link to an article listing "Seven mind-scrambling science ideas only geniuses can understand".

The article said that "The world’s scientists don’t just sit around doing really hard maths for fun – they also believe some truly crazy ideas."

My comments on these seven ideas follow. but first, keep in mind that science does not explain everything; we must also deal with metaphysics, philosophy, and theology here.  Science has been defined as the study of all that is material (mass-energy-space-time), so only materialists, those that ascribe to the metaphysical notion that everything is material (non-material things are imaginary) -- only materialists believe that science can explain everything.

In this modern era, we also study information just as intently, but information is not made of mass-energy-space-time -- mass and energy are only used in arbitrarily different ways for tranport of information through either space (communication) or time (storage).  Information is observed only where life is observed.  This frustrates the materialists, who resort to all kinds of stupidity trying to explain life.  (For more on this, read my blogs such as,,, and.  To define information theory as part of science, you either have to change the definition of 'material' or stop being a materialist.

1. Time goes slower on the Space Station

"This isn’t just theory – it’s actually measurable."

A proven fact.  From working on GPS, I know that when we make and test the time-keeping system of a GPS satellite on the ground, we have to 'set the clock' a little faster on the ground so that after it is launched, it will agree with our global time-keeping system on the ground.  The 'correction' is mostly to account for the speed of the satellite (a 12-hour orbit), but also to account for the decreased gravity (altitude).

2. We are almost certainly living in the Matrix

"British philosopher Nick Bostrom claims that we are probably living inside a Matrix-style simulation."

A conjecture.  I think that if Nick Bostrom studied complexity theory, he would change his mind.

3. In a class of 25 children, two will probably share a birthday

"But it’s actually more likely than not that two will share a birthday – a chance of 57%."

Yes, the probabilty is closest to 50% for a class of 23; for 25, the probability goes up a little.  As I recall, it is a difficult calculation requiring surprisingly high precision. 

4. There is more than one universe

"There are billions, according to a theory which is accepted by ‘nearly all’ cosmologists."

A conjecture.  This is based on the accepted fact that the universe that we observe is finite.  Most people would think that this requires that the universe has an edge, or boundary.  But topologists know that a 3D space can be folded on itself edgelessly, like the 2D surface of a sphere, for example.  So, some far-away galaxy might be our local galaxy (the Milky Way) many, many years ago.  This conjecture is scientifically unprovable, but many Christians assume that heaven is in another universe.  (We really don't know.)

5. There are more than four dimensions

"...there are either dimensions too small for us to see, or that our 4D world exists on a ‘brane’ which floats in another, higher-dimensional world."

Only in subatomic physics.  The extra dimensions 'fold up' within the tiny spaces of atoms.

6. No one knows what a computer is

"Computing professors worry about this stuff. Is an abacus a computer? Is a sundial?"

This is really just saying that there isn't yet a universally agreed definition of a computer, especially of very small ones.  I once designed a computer with only one bit of internal memory and unlimited external memory, which I started to build but never finished.  It would have been practically useless, taking a very long time to compute something very small.

7. The universe should not exist at all

"The universe may not have started with a Big Bang", the article says.

"Prof Mersini-Houghton’s calculations seem to prove that when a dying star collapses in on itself, it does not shrink down to become a ‘singularity’, ... what we know as a black hole.

Instead, the radiation that escapes from dying stars robs them of their mass, so they never have enough gravity to form black holes.

This creates a major problem. The ‘fuse’ that lit the Big Bang is supposed to have been a singularity – something which has now been proven not to exist."

I think this conundrum is a consequence of relying only on science.  In other words, it results from an inherent limitation of science.  It demonstrates a fundamental question that science alone cannot explain.  All you can conclude is that something outside of science created the universe.  If you add information theory to your thinking toolbox, you can conclude that 'that something' had an enormous amount of information, since we know that the material universe can destroy information but can never create it.  And since information is observed only where life is observed, we can also conclude that 'that something' is living.  It takes theology to go further than that, and the Bible to go in the right direction.

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