George Ellis om kosmologi, filosofi, fri vilje og slutten på fysikkens utforskning

George Ellis er en sør-afrikansk kosmolog, fysiker og matematiker. Han har skrevet artikler med Stephen Hawking og mottatt anerkjennelse for sin sosiale aktivisme mot apartheid. Han er også kristen kveker og mannen som Tony Rothman mener kan mer om kosmologi enn noe annet menneske på planeten. I Scientific American blir Ellis intervjuet om mange av temaene som også går igjen på denne bloggen. Intervjuet er veldig interessant, så jeg kan høyt anbefale å ta en titt.

Her viser han at naturvitenskap er hjelpesløs uten filosofi, kritiserer multivers og reduksjonisme, hinter til at vi kanskje nærmer oss grensen for oppdagelser muliggjort av høyenergiforsøk i fysikk, snakker om fri vilje og det antropiske prinsipp, og refser Tyson, Hawking og Krauss for sine amatørslige utspill om filosofi. Både Krauss og Tyson er behandlet på denne bloggen tidligere.

Link til intervjuet.

Noen sitater.

“You cannot do physics or cosmology without an assumed philosophical basis. You can choose not to think about that basis: it will still be there as an unexamined foundation of what you do. The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.”

“Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.”

“Physics experiments are approaching the highest energies it will ever be possible to test by any collider experiment, both for financial and technical reasons. We can’t build a collider bigger than the surface of the Earth.  Thus our ability to test high energy physics – and hence structures on the smallest physical scales – is approaching its limits.”

“The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy. As pointed out so well by Eddington in his Gifford lectures, they are partial and incomplete representations of physical, biological, psychological, and social reality.”

“It seems that science education should include some basic modules on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and the other great philosophers, as well as writings of more recent philosophers such as Tim Maudlin and David Albert.”

“Indeed it is in my view unlikely there is a unified theory of all fundamental forces including gravity, because Einstein taught us that gravity is *not*, at a foundational level, in fact a force – rather it is an effective result of spacetime curvature.”

“Attempts to explain values in terms of neuroscience or evolutionary theory in fact have nothing whatever to say about what is good or bad. That is a philosophical or religious question.”

“Many scientists are strong reductionists who believe that physics alone determines outcomes in the real world, This is demonstrably untrue – for example the computer on which I am writing this could not possibly have come into being through the agency of physics alone.”

“As I stated above, mathematical equations only represent part of reality, and should not be confused with reality.”

Jeg har veldig mye arbeid om dagen før jul, så beklager lav aktivitet. Det vil nok ta seg opp igjen senere. I mellomtida begynner jo arkivet her å bli veldig stort, så føl deg fri til å bruke søkefeltet oppe til høyre, eller velg en kategori å lese fra til venstre! :)

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