On the Fake Physics front, Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution is True has a post claiming New evidence for the multiverse-and its implications. You would think that recent history should have made clear the danger of using Youtube videos as a reliable source of information, but this posting is based mainly upon a Youtube video, one that claims Evidence for a Multiverse in NASA and ESA Satellite Data? (Coyne seems to have missed the question-mark).
As usual, a large part of the problem here is people looking for material helpful to their arguments, without worrying much about whether the material is accurate or not. In Coyne’s case, he wants to counter the theological fine-tuning argument with the multiverse counter-argument, which requires a multiverse with a wide variety of different physical laws. The Youtube video he found makes the standard tenuous argument that the CMB provides evidence for inflation, inflation should be eternal, thus there should be a multiverse. As I explained in detail here, the models of inflation one supposedly has “evidence” for are not models that lead to the kind of multiverse of different physical laws that Coyne needs for his argument with religion.
I should make it clear that I’m on Coyne’s side in the argument of evolution vs. religion, but scientists arguing on the basis of science should take care that they’re using good science if they don’t want to discredit themselves. And, as a general rule for anyone who cares about what’s true and what isn’t, looking for things on Facebook or Youtube that help your side of an argument is now an extremely bad idea.
The question of how to stand up for truth in a post-truth era was the main topic of this year’s Nobel Week Dialogue (video here). David Gross gave a rousing and inspirational talk on Truth and the Scientific Method (starting about 36:30), which ended with the assurance that “Science will survive Donald J. Trump and his ilk”, because of its rigorous honesty and grounding in experimental testability. Gross is someone well-aware of the multiverse Fake Physics danger, although he didn’t mention it. I’d feel a lot better about his Stockholm talk though if I hadn’t just recently attended this disturbing one.
Update: Some more fake physics today, from the Russians, courtesy of Sputnik News. See here for propaganda about “a testable theory on how matter behaves inside a black hole” which is also supposed to describe quark-gluon plasmas at the LHC and RHIC . This is all based on this paper, which has no such thing.
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