The Universe is Only Spacetime
John Macken’s book, entitled ‘The Universe is Only Spacetime (OST)’ starts with an introduction, such that this overview might also start with an introduction. For the author’s introduction will echo some of the concerns expressed in this website about the increasing abstraction of ‘accepted science’. Today, much of fundamental physics appears to proceed on the basis of abstracted mathematical models, often without any real attempt to justify its assumptions in terms of any obvious causal mechanism. Therefore, we might preface the discussion with the words of Einstein:
You do not really understand something unless
you can explain it to your grandmother.
Today, it is possible that not only can we not explain modern scientific theory to our grandmothers, but often fail to explain its causal mechanisms to our brightest mind. If so, we might be rightly suspicious of those who feel confident within the current consensus of these models. The author appears to echo this concern in the opening paragraph of his introduction.
In most introductory classes on quantum mechanics, the physics professor starts out by explaining to the students that they are going to learn about certain properties of subatomic particles that are simply not conceptually understandable. For example, subatomic particles can discontinuously jump from one point to another without passing through the surrounding space. Fundamental particles exhibit ‘spin’ which is an ‘intrinsic’ form of angular momentum that cannot be explained by classical concepts of rotation. An isolated molecule can only rotate at specific frequencies. Two entangled photons can communicate faster than the speed of light over large distances. Even special and general relativity have their share of incomprehensible mysteries. Students are told that they should accept the fact that modern physics has many properties which are simply not able to be comprehended by the human intellect. Classical physics gave conceptually understandable explanations, but now the students must learn to become comfortable that modern physics cannot be understood in the same way.
In part, the author is possibly highlighting a wider issue as to whether causality has any meaning in modern physics, such that it should seek to explain an effect by looking for a cause. In terms of history, we readily interpret events as effects that are connected to some earlier causes separated in time. This example is cited because it might implicitly explain a preference of the human mind to want to separate cause and effect in terms of both space and time. Whether this assumption applies to fundamental physics in the quantum realm is often discussed as a somewhat philosophical issue that might be described in terms of an ontological or epistemological preference, where the former seeks a meaning, while the latter may be content to simply study the issues in more abstract terms. Based on the following quote, it would appear that the author has an ontological preference.
There is clear evidence that the current starting assumptions for quantum mechanical calculations are either incomplete or contain at least one error. When calculations fall apart and yield an impossible answer such as infinity, these equations are screaming that a rigorous extension of the starting assumptions gives nonsense. Renormalization might seem to fix the problem, but this is merely artificially adjusted the answer so that it is no longer logically derived from the starting assumptions. Instead the unreasonable answer should be taken as an indication that the model being analyzed either contains at least one erroneous assumption or is missing an essential assumption. Every time an incorrect assumption is utilized or the missing assumption is not used, the mathematical analysis must yield an incorrect answer.
While the video:
Universe relates to a different model, the issues discussed might
be seen as broadly similar. Ideas become entrenched such that they gain
the weight of authority, where consensus seeks to censor alternatives.