"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

12.17.2007

order

Which came first - the laws of physics or the universe? Fascinating.

5 Comments:

Anonymous rp said...

& so my dear Laura, where doth the truth lie? With the rational cosmologists, i.e. UT's great scientists? or the African immigrants engaged in spiritual warfare, fighting the devil four nights a week in worship?

Somewhere in me the answer is yes to both...

nice choice of articles...

Monday, December 17, 2007 11:47:00 PM

 
Blogger David McCullars said...

Poor, poor physicists -- I may have a minor in it, but I'm glad to be a mathematician. Physicists keep looking for the holy grail, the one theorem to unite them all, the theory of all theories -- whatever that may be.

But even if such a single "law" existed which takes as assumption that the universe or multiverse is orderly and understandable (which I fully agree with Davies takes a leap of monumental faith), we know from mathematics that we could never describe it. Godel's famous incompleteness theorem tells us there are infinitely more things which are "true" that can not be proven such in a consistent system. No matter how far we go in the world of Physics, no matter how many universes or dimensions we are able to describe. There is a world of "truth" infinitely larger that we will never be able to conquer. And ironically, this is not philosophy. This was proven mathematically by Godel. If only the Physicists paid more attention in their math classes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:02:00 AM

 
Blogger Brian said...

The laws of physics are part of the universe, so it isn't a question of which came first.

But speaking as a poor, poor physicist with only a minor in mathematics, I think it is stunningly remarkable that so much of the universe is describable mathematically. Why should this be at all? Why isn't it just unpredictable chaos? Why is there any order at all?

Indeed, the history of science owes much to the Judeo/Christian worldview that God is orderly and therefore his creation should be ordered. Contrast this to polytheism. Why would you expect mathematical consistency from a universe governed by multitudes of gods? See "The Soul of Science" by Charles Thaxton and Nancy Pearcy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:50:00 PM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

"Beauty is truth, truth, beauty, that is all you know on earth, and all ye need to know." There's something beautiful about both kinds of people who see another world in plain view, right? Ann Miller always said that the poets and the physicists and musicians had much in common, and that the geniuses were the ones who understood all of those fields.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:02:00 AM

 
Blogger Tauratinzwe said...

The egg?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:05:00 PM

 

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