26 March 2011

The tough times of high energy particle physicists

The LHC and the Tevatron, the two large accelerators, have not produced one shred of evidence for any proposed "theory of everything". This is a tough situation. After all, the theoreticians and experimentalists that lobbied for the billions that were spent on the LHC said:
  • We will find the Higgs and understand mass.
  • We will find supersymmetry and understand forces.
  • We will understand dark matter and dark energy, and thus understand the universe.
  • We will find hidden dimensions and discover new worlds.
You can read the CERN original here. As readers of this blog know, it seems more likely than not that the Higgs, supersymmetry, dark matter and higher dimensions are just figments of imagination. This means that the 30 years in which theoreticians have first convinced all the experimentalists, then all science lobbyists, then all politicians and then all tax payers can be summed up thus:
  • We were wrong.
Of course, the last word in not spoken, but let us imagine that it is. How can it be that the smartest people on earth, the followers of Einstein, made such a mistake? How can it be that all these people, tens of thousands of them, were wrong? Wrong for 30 years? There is only one answer:
  • High energy particle physicists are sycophants.
But a scientist must pursue facts, not try to please the mighty. But tens of thousands of the smartest people - mostly men - in the world did so for 30 years. Why did this happen?

It happened as a consequence of the curse of the 20th century: ideology. If you look at the history of Europe and North America, you find only one thing that they have in common: ideology. Communists, Nazis, Socialists, Conservatives, Atheists and Christians, Right and Left: all were completely blinded by ideology. When any of these people presents an opinion, it is never based on facts, it is based on the ideology of their group. Last century was the century of ideology and self-deception.

What is the specific ideology that drove the people lobbying for the LHC? It was "we know a lot, but there is even more that we do not know". This is the self-deception of scientists since 30 years, the self-deception that led them to build more and more theoretical castles in the air, and the self-deception that convinced the rest of society to put billions of dollars into the LHC.

And what is the most bizarre side of it? All this was done mostly by men. None of them asked the advice of their wife, it seems. Maybe men should listen to their wives more often, or to women in general: women do not like sycophants, even if they build castles in the air, or if they build castles below ground.


  1. Pretty much what Brando Carter said in Poland, except I call it "copernicanism", a religious belief.

    I recently tried to post this on Sean Carroll's blog in response to the article that I've linked below, but he moderated it, of course. The first four choices are his, and I corrected his convenient omissions with choices, 5 and 6.


    This is the complete article:

    1. Life is extremely robust, and would be likely to arise even if the parameters were very different, whether or not we understand what form it would take.

    2. There is only one universe, with randomly-chosen parameters, and we just got lucky that they are among the rare values that allow for the existence of life.

    3. In different regions of the universe the parameters take on different values, and we are fooled by a selection effect: life will only arise in those regions compatible with the existence of life.

    4. The parameters are not chosen randomly, but designed that way by a deity.

    5. The parameters are not chosen randomly, but are determined by an as yet unknown cosmological principle that produces life as an accidental consequence of this law of physics.

    6 The parameters are not chosen randomly, but are determined by a bio-oriented cosmological principle that produces life as a specially necessary function of said dynamical structure principle.

    Conveniently missing, the fine tuning observation also includes the commonality between the many precariously balanced "Goldilocks" conditions that exists which are entirely necessary to life as we know it, as well as the "flat" balanced structure of the universe, itself. These commonalities include a diametrically opposing runaway effect that send conditions racing dramatically far away from the parameters that are necessary for life, and they are common to the apparent "constraint" on the evolution of the vacuum energy density and our own local ecobalances, which, like the universe, would race in one of two directions to more stable points that are dramatically different and non-conducive to life were it not for the bio-oriented suppression mechanism, like Venus suffers from the runaway greenhouse effect and Mars is the result of runaway glaciation.

    So it is the commonalities that exist between the observed structure of the the universe and these precariously balanced, life-oriented conditions which most strongly indicate that there is a bio-oriented cosmological structure principle in effect that resolves the problem from first physics principles, not god, and the fact that Sean Carroll doesn't even acknowledge this evidenced scientific plausibility for a resolution from first principles is indicative of the religious tendencies that physicists have toward "Copernicanism" first identified by Brandon Carter, which isn't science, it's dogma of the worst kind.

    Sean's solution is to call me a crackpot, send credibility destroying emails to anyone who tries to respond, and then willfully ignore the observed plausibility, but it's obvious to any sane person that my facts are correct and are substantiated by many physicists, so think for two seconds what the odds are that science will ever produce its complete theory of quantum gravity if I'm right and the evidenced resolution from first principles is continually ignored for reasons that have everything to do with religion, and nothing to do with science, and then ask Sean if that's why he's doing this instead of science?

    Copernicanism is a science killing disease.

    Click on my name for further explanation, but do it quick before Sean deletes this and blocks my computer. I mean, I'm obviously insane and shouldn't be encouraged.

  2. If I click on your name, the system says that there is no information about your profile.

    From your text I do not understand your position, your ideas or what you want to say. Try again!

  3. http://knol.google.com/k/the-anthropic-principle#

    I have no "ideas", I'm simply making the observation that the most apparent solution is number 6, that there is a law of physics, (a cosmological principle), like an energy conservation law, that requires carbon based life to arise over a very specifically defined region of the observed universe, and at an equally specific time in it's history.

    My position appears to be the same as yours, and I know how I got there, but I have never understood how you got there.


    We have spoken before, when your blog was called Darwinia, and at that time you told me to "write something up for your site", but I didn't because I really don't see what good it would do.

  4. You surely confuse me with somebody else. I never had a blog "Darwinia".

  5. heh... and a different nemo, apparently.


    Anyway, you and I have a similar understanding about some stuff, but it probably ends at the anthropic principle, if you're like most. I've known Woit for a number of years, and those loop theory guys that he hangs out with all hate the AP because of the weak interpretation that they use in String theory. I think that I have good reason to believe that string theory is crap, and I think that I've got all the answers because I happened to stumble on two separate things that ended up being a part of the same thing... the anthropic principle, and Einstein's universe with a different interpretation of the negative energy states.

    yano... I coulda' sworn that I had two posts in the moderators bin... ;)

  6. Apart from your point 6, there are so many other possibilities. The most obvious is

    7. What looks like a "parameter" is in reality fixed by nature.

    This seems the most reasonable option, and has always been so.