I am pretty sure that Stephen Hawking would agree that the bending of spacetime is the best model for gravity because it gives the best answers for a nearly complete spectrum of velocities and gravitational fields.
Right. Best model.
If he was planning a trip to France, he might use a different model.
He wouldn’t have to because Einstein’s equations would give him nearly the same answers as Newton’s.
Riiiiight. So the simpler model is accurate enough, which makes it the best model for the task.
That is the point.
For physicists, they need models to explain the entirety of physics, not just one small area of it.
Exactly. Unless you’re doing physics at a Newtonian scale. Best model for the job.
And, to bring up something from (what is now) way up in the thread, it’s not so helpful to use a relativity model at a quantum scale or to use a quantum model at a relativistic scale.
The right model for the job is determined more by functionality. As such, the Newtonian model is not so much “fundamentally flawed” as it is “suited for certain circumstances.”
That is not true as I have been telling you and you refuse to accept.
Important Note: There is an obituary in the New York Times today, available on line, for Joseph Polchinski, 63, , “leading theorist in multiple universes.” As far as I can see the information in the bio confirms that the multiverse is an interesting theory, but has not been verified and cannot reject the reality of the single “fine tined” universe.
What you have been telling me is wrong. I don’t see why I have to accept an idea that is wrong.
Functional application <> Fundamentally correct. By ‘fundamental’ I’ve always meant that the underlying theoretical basis is inherently incorect. I fully understand that it’s a great approximation in many cases even out to parts per trillion. But that doesn’t make it fundamentally correct. (Aside: GPS satellite location services notice the difference). Bohr’s model of the hydrogen atom was also darn good but it too was fundamentally wrong.
I’m sorry but this tangent has gone too long. I’ll leave it here.
I think you make an excellent point here. An old model can still have some practical use, but be scientifically or theoretically flawed, that is wrong. We do need to make this distinction.
Einstein’s might give way to a new view someday, but for now it is settled science and the accepted model of the relationship between time, space, mass, and energy. One cannot set it aside without real evidence.
As a quantum physicist I completely agree!
Then I think you can accept my explanation on the basis of Max Born’s interpretation of quantum physics:
God is kind to us and ordinarily shapes the world according to mathematical equations and regularities so that we can predict it and live in. Nonetheless there is no mathematical equation fitting exactly all the possible outcomes contained in God’s mind: if He considers it convenient, He may also produce events that are outside the ordinary course of nature. These are what people of all times call “miracles”. One of these is certainly the resurrection of Jesus himself and that of Lazarus. But the Israelites Crossing of Red Sea and Noah’s Flood could be other.
In conclusion, “miracles” do not break any “law of nature”. They rather show that God is acting in our world. And the fact that God shapes ordinarily the world so that we can make models that work it is by far “the biggest miracle”.
The problem with the multiverse is that there is no way of verifying and knowing if it works. We might think they work, but that could be wishful thinking. I do not think that God works like that, certainly not in the New Testament or through science.
If God knows what is and what the ending will be, God does not have to know all the ways to get there in advance. God is smart enough and wise enough and powerful enough to work with all of us to save us through history through God’s Love. God does not need any thing and God does not need foreknowledge to do God’s Will.
Oh, I agree completely. It’s not only an “untestable model” right now, but it’s possible that it always will be untestable.
Independently of whether or not it is testable , as an interpretation it is fitting for certain miracles.
In another posting I have referred to the so called “Miracle of the Sun” or “Miracle of Fatima”, which happened on October 13, 1917 (see for instance this article in the The Washington Post). Since May 13, 1917 the Virgin Mary was appearing to three children on the 13th of each month at Cova da Iria. On September 13 one of the three, Lucia Dos Santos, said the Virgin Mary told her, “In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.” On October 13, at about 2 pm the sun ‘danced’ before the astonished eyes of a crowd of 70’000 who had gathered at Cova da Iria to see the predicted miracle. The whirling sun was also seen by people who were not at Cova da Iria but in villages nearby. In the rest of the world nothing extraordinary was recorded.
The fact that 70’000 people perceived the phenomenon whereas billions around the earth didn’t, can be considered a demonstration of the possibility of “parallel worlds” very much in the spirit of the “Multiverse” interpretation of quantum mechanics: God let the 70’000 live in a “parallel world”, which was not less real than “the rest of the world”.
You can apply a similar explanation to Noah’s Flood and the Exodus of the Israelites.
IMHO this is the problem with accepting an ideas that cannot be verified. It opens the door to other concepts that are dubious.
These events need to be judged on their own merit.
If one understands the Multiverse as the (finite) number of all possible histories contained in God’s mind, then the Multiverse is rather a logical consequence of acknowledging God’s omniscience and human free will.
A particular consequence of this is that God can produce two real worlds running parallel during a time, so that in one world things occur according to the ordinary patterns we are used to, and in the other world deviating from these patterns. This seems to be what happened in the so called “Miracle of Fatima” on 13th October 1917, according to the reports of witnesses. In this perspective this “Miracle” can even be considered an experimental test upholding the Multiverse.
Such an explanation could be applied to the Flood in Genesis 6-9:
Noah, his family and the people who perished, they all can be supposed living in the region of the antediluvian Sumer cities and having experienced the Flood according to the Genesis narrative, while the rest of the planet was populated by creatures that remained safe and became accountable only at the end of the Flood (see the thread “My theory about the Flood”). Additionally at the end of the Flood no geological evidence of the miracle remains. We believe that it occurred on the basis of the narratives in the Old and New Testament, as we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the basis of the witnesses of his disciples and not because of any archeological vestiges.
It may be interesting to discuss whether a similar explanation could also be applied to the Exodus of the Israelites with the Crossing of the Read See and the 40 years journey in the wilderness.
Seems to me Occam might slice up that idea…
Do you mean we should dispose of miracles and hence give up the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Thanks in advance for clarifying.
Not at all, and I don’t know why the only options would be “multiple universes” or “no miracles.”
I’m not sure that God’s miraculous intervention in our universe requires another universe.
Thanks for this remark. I try to explain things better.
In my view, there are two types of divine interventions in our universe:
I. Those by which God shapes the ordinary phenomena we are used to, which happen according to regularities we can grasp with mathematical equations (for instance the trajectory of the sun).
II. Those by which God produces phenomena deviating from these regularities, that is, miracles (for instance resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sun dancing in Fatima, or the sun stopping in Joshua’s book).
Regarding phenomena of Type I we have plenty of records by means of apparatuses.
Regarding phenomena of Type II sometimes there are presumed records (Turin Shroud or Guadalupe Tilma). These can help to strengthen our belief in the corresponding miracles but are not decisive for it: We believe in God’s miraculous intervention because of accounts done by trustworthy witnesses. Once again miracles don’t break any “laws of nature”; and the “biggest miracle” is the ordinary phenomena God shapes according to mathematical rules so that we can predict and calculate them.
So, when a miracle happens you have two groups of people: the witnesses and the others. It seems clear to me that in the moment of the miracle the witnesses and the others can be considered as living in two real parallel worlds watching even the “same object” appearing in different ways (e.g.: sun dancing vs. sun following its normal trajectory).
Before continuing I would be thankful to know whether or not you agree to the preceding statements.