This series was elicited by an article in New Scientist (2682) in which the author was putting forward a new explanation for the finding of supernovae “beyond” the extent of the Big Bang Universe. The previous “fix” for such anomalies had been the idea that the expansion of the Universe was increasing in speed the further out it extended. Obviously, such acceleration was the opposite of what had been expected, for the only possible and known force was gravity. But if the opposite was true it needed a force to propel it, and so the idea of a Dark Energy or Force had been “revealed”. Clearly, an unknown force from an unknown source, which does not diminish with the vast extension of the Universe, is an obvious frig. But, when you are totally wedded to equations, an alternative would be hard to come by.
The author suggest a “lens” of greater gravitation around our piece of Space, which distorts the seeming position of these supernovae, and makes them seem much further away or earlier in time, or indeed whatever will paper over the cracks.
This paper, in response, spends little time on the frig, but a great deal of time on the authors' philosophical and methodological standpoints, explaining their exit from a materialist scientific standpoint and method, and their entry into one that sees everything driven by formulae alone. And of course such a switch puts them into an entirely different category.
Indeed, it positions them squarely into an idealist standpoint, in which as long as you can find the mathematical scaffold, you have explained everything.
I’m afraid not!
1. But we must not merely condemn our mathematical theorists for their mistakes; we must also explain the inevitable trajectory of their ideas in terms of their most significant assumption – Plurality!
2. The analysis of everything into Wholes and Parts – all the way down to fundamental units and laws (and to some initiating Big Bang) inevitably establishes the principle of Reductionism.
3. The development of Reality becomes law determined, and hence totally amenable to mathematics. The whole sweep of Change throughout its existence can be mathematically dealt with!
4. But, physically (that is concretely), starting from the alternative of a modern Universe produced by causes and evolving all the time, and producing wholly new phenomena, cannot conform to either mathematical models alone, or to strict Reductionism.
5. All development not only has step-by-step change, but necessarily and crucially the Events termed Emergences – short interludes of significant, qualitative, and indeed creative, change, in which wholly new things emerge for the first time ever. And those Events make straight-through drivers of all phenomena impossible.
6. Plurality delivers a pragmatic and local methodology, which is adequate only during stable periods, but wholly useless during the Emergence of a New Level.
7. The basis for the current pluralist approach was undoubtedly begun with the problems in Sub- Atomic Physics, and the victory of the Copenhagen School, which banned explanation, and insisted on relying only on equations! Hence the principle was, “Mathematical Models Rule O.K."
8. The successes of the theorists from Physics such as Fred Hoyle, and the explanation of the evolution of Matter within stars sealed the triumph of the physicists in Cosmology.
9. But Cosmology cannot be explained in terms of Sub-Atomic Physics. This could only be true if there were NO Emergent Revolutions, and NO hierarchy of Levels between these things. But there certainly is!
10. Cosmology requires a holistic approach, otherwise it too will be dragged into the oblivion that pluralist Physics cannot avoid..