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The (elusive) theory of everything / Stephen Hawking and Leonard Malodino

Physicists have been searching for many years for a single, definitive theory that would unify all of physics. They may have to settle for a few theories instead

Hawking in his former levity
Hawking in his former levity

A few years ago, the Monza city council in Italy banned goldfish owners from keeping them in round aquariums. Supporters of the installation saw this as cruelty to the fish, because the curved sides of the aquarium caused the fish to see reality in a distorted way. Apart from the importance of the installation for the poor fish, the story raises an interesting philosophical question: "How do we know that the reality we perceive is real?" The version of reality that the goldfish sees is different from ours, but how can we be sure that it is less real? For all we know, we too may be spending our lives viewing the world through a distorted lens.

In physics, this question is not just an academic question. Physicists and cosmologists find themselves in a quandary, just like the goldfish. For decades we have striven to reach a final theory of everything - a complete and consistent system of fundamental laws of nature, which will explain each and every aspect of reality. Today it seems that this journey may lead not to one theory, but to a family of linked theories, each of which describes its own version of reality, as if it sees reality through its own aquarium.

Many people, including some active scientists, have difficulty accepting this idea. Most people believe that there is an objective reality and that both our senses and science provide us with unmediated information about the material world. Classical science is based on the belief that there is an external world, whose properties are fixed and independent of the observer. In philosophy, this belief is called realism.

On the other hand, those who remember Timothy Leary and the 60s, know that there is another possibility: the perception of reality can depend on the mind of the perceiver. This view, with some subtle differences, is called anti-realism, instrumentalism or idealism. According to these approaches, the world we know is constructed by the human mind, which uses sensory input as raw material and shapes it by interpretive structures in the brain. This idea may be difficult to accept, but it is certainly not difficult to understand. There is no way to separate the viewer - us - from our perception of the world.

The developments in physics in the last hundred years make it more and more difficult for the supporters of realism. In classical physics, the Newtonian physics that most accurately describes our everyday experiences, the interpretation of terms like "object" or "position" more or less corresponds to our common sense: a "realistic" understanding of those concepts. But as measuring devices we are quite blunt. Physicists discovered that objects from everyday life, as well as the light with which we see them, are made of objects that we do not perceive directly, such as electrons and photons. These objects are not governed by classical physics but by the laws of quantum mechanics.

The reality of quantum theory is radically different from that of classical physics. According to quantum theory, particles have neither a definite position nor a definite velocity, unless and only when an observer measures these quantities. In some cases the object does not even have an independent existence, but only as part of an accumulation of many like it. Quantum theory also has important implications for the concept of the past. Classical physics assumes that the past exists as a series of definite events, but according to quantum theory, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities. Even the universe as a whole has no single past or history. Quantum theory therefore describes a reality different from that of classical physics - even though it is precisely the reality of classical physics that aligns well with our intuitions and serves us faithfully when we plan things like buildings and bridges.

These examples bring us to a conclusion that provides an important framework for the interpretation of modern science. In our view, there is no concept of reality that does not depend on an image or a theory. Instead, we adopt an approach that can be called "model-dependent realism": an approach according to which a physical theory and a world picture are essentially a model (usually of a mathematical nature) and a set of laws that link the components of the model to the observations. According to model-dependent realism, the question of whether a model is real has no meaning, but only the question of whether it fits the observations. If two models fit the observations, it cannot be claimed that one of them is more real than the other. You can always choose the model that is more convenient to use in the situation in question.

You won't take any pictures

The idea of ​​an alternate reality has become very common in our popular culture today. For example, in the science fiction movie "Matrix", the human race lives, unbeknownst to them, in a virtual reality, created by intelligent computers, who wanted to make sure that the humans remain quiet and complacent while the computers extract the bioelectric energy from them (whatever it may be). How do we actually know that we are not just characters, computer creatures, living in a matrix-like world? If we lived in a synthetic and imaginary world, events would not necessarily have logic or consistency, and they would not necessarily obey any laws. The aliens who control us could think, for example, that it would be more interesting or entertaining to check our reactions, if everyone in the world suddenly decided that chocolate is a bad candy, or that war is out of the question, but such things never happened. But if the aliens were to rule consistent laws in the world, we wouldn't be able to differentiate between virtual and real reality. It is easy to say that the world where the aliens live is "real" and the computer generated world is false. But if, like us, the creatures in the virtual world were also unable to see their world from the outside, they would have no reason to doubt their reality.

Goldfish are in a similar situation. What they see is different from what we see outside the round aquarium. But they could still formulate scientific laws governing the motion of objects, as they see it through glass. For example, since light is bent when it passes from air to water, a moving object without external forces acting on it will appear to us to be moving in a straight line, but the fish will observe it moving in a curved path. The fish could, from their reference point, formulate scientific laws that would always be correct, allowing them to make predictions about the future movement of objects outside the aquarium. Their laws will be more complicated than the laws in our reference system, but simplicity is only a matter of taste. If the goldfish formulated such a theory, we would have to admit that their view is a valid picture of reality.

A more familiar example from the real world of different descriptions of reality is the difference between Ptolemy's model of the universe with the earth at its center and Copernicus' model of the universe with the sun at its center. While it is common to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy's model wrong, this is not true. As in the case of the fish's point of view versus ours, so it is in the case of the universe - we can choose to use either of the two images of the universe to explain our observations of the stars, since the earth can be assumed to be at rest just as much as the sun can be assumed to be. The main advantage of Copernicus' model, apart from its importance in philosophical discussions about the nature of the universe, is that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference where the sun is at rest.

Model-dependent realism applies not only to scientific models, but also to conscious and subconscious mental models that each of us creates to interpret and understand everyday reality. For example, the human brain processes raw information that comes from the optic nerve, combines input that comes from both eyes, increases the resolution and fills in gaps, such as the gap resulting from the retinal blind spot. More than that, it creates a sense of three-dimensional space from the two-dimensional data coming from the retina. When we see a chair, we actually only use the light scattered from the chair, and use it to build a model or mental representation of the chair. The brain is so good at building models that even when people wear glasses that turn the image upside down, their brain changes the model, and they again see images in the correct direction - and preferably before they try to sit down.

Glimpses from the deep theory

In the search for the most fundamental laws of physics, the approach that has sparked the most hope, and also the most controversy, is string theory. String theory was first proposed in the 70s as an attempt to unify all forces in nature under one coherent framework, which in particular would bring gravity into the realms of quantum physics. However, in the early 90s physicists discovered that string theory has a strange problem: in fact, there are five different string theories. This was an embarrassing problem especially for those who saw string theory as a single theory of everything. In the mid-90s, renewed hope arose that the different teachings might lead to one unified Torah, when researchers began to discover that these five different teachings, along with a sixth Torah called super-gravity, all describe basically the same phenomena. The Torahs are indeed linked to each other by what physicists call duality - like a mathematical dictionary for translating concepts from one Torah to another. But unfortunately, each Torah provides a good description of the phenomena, only in a certain range of conditions - for example at low energies. None of them can describe all aspects of the universe.

Today, string physicists are convinced that the five string theories are only different approximations of a more fundamental theory, called in their words the M theory (it seems that no one knows what the "M" stands for: "Master", "Miracle", "Mystery" or all three together). Researchers are still trying to decipher the nature of M-theory, but it is possible that the conventional expectation of a single theory of nature is futile, and to describe the universe we must use different theories in different situations. That is, M theory is not a theory in the conventional sense, but a network of theories. It's a bit like drawing a map - when you want to describe the surface of the earth on a flat surface, you have to use a collection of maps, each of which covers a limited area. The maps have areas of overlap, where they show the same area. Similarly, the different theories in the M family may look very different from each other, but they can all be thought of as different versions of the same basic theory, predicting the same phenomena in the regions of overlap, but none working well in all situations.

When we develop a model of the world and find that it is successful, we tend to attribute to such a model a degree of reality or absolute truth. But M theory, similar to the goldfish example, shows that it is possible to model the same physical state in different ways, each of which makes use of other fundamental elements and concepts. It is possible that to describe the universe we have to use different theories in different situations. Each of the theories may have its own version of reality, but according to model-dependent realism, this plurality is acceptable, and one cannot say that one version is more real than the other. Although this view is not the traditional expectation of physicists from a "theory of nature" and it does not correspond to our day-to-day approach to reality, but it may be the way of the universe.


in brief

The work of Stephen Hawking On the subject of black holes and the origin of the universe is perhaps the most real progress that theoretical physicists have made towards a single theory of everything - a theory that sits between Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum physics.

About the authors

Stephen Hawking In his work he laid the foundations for the modern understanding of black holes and the origin of the universe. But he claims that he is just as famous thanks to his appearance in "The Simpsons" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation". From 1979 until a year ago he held the Lukes Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton before him. Among his books is "A Brief History of Time", which sold more than nine million copies.

Leonard of Lodino (Mlodinow) is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He authored several books - including "Euclid's Window: The History of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace"

and "Drunken Walk: How Randomness Controls Our Lives", and also several scripts for "MacGyver" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

Physicists have a favorite candidate Such a theory - string theory - but this theory has five different formulations, and each of them encompasses a limited range of situations.

However, there is a network of mathematical connections, linking the various string theories, under one roof called the enigmatic "M theory". It is possible that this network of connections is itself the final theory.

in a new book, "The Grand Design", claim Hawking and Leonard Melodino, a physicist from Caltech, that the search for a final theory may never lead to a single system of equations. They maintain that every scientific theory has its own model of reality, and there may be no point in asking what reality is when it is for itself. This article is based on that book.

And more on the subject

The Theory Formerly Known as Strings, Michael J. Duff in Scientific American magazine, Vol. 278, no. 2, pages 64-69; February 1998

The Illusion of Gravity, Juan Maldacena in Scientific American magazine, Vol. 293, no. 5, pages 56-63; November 2005.

The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, Bantam Books, 2010

51 תגובות

  1. The theory of everything is the sun, explanation: the sun heats up and heats up, when the sun heats up it produces its own core and builds up pressure inside it, and when the sun heats up it releases this pressure from the core to the mantle. These stages are called heat pulses, our heart makes heat pulses, the engines make heat pulses, the lamps make heat pulses and the batteries make heat pulses! This is also the reason why we see the core and shell that the sun produces everywhere in nature, for example: when we throw a stone into a lake, then wherever we threw it we see the shape of a core and shell in the water. Also the form of the living creatures is a core (heart) and a shell (skin). The shape of the plant is both a nucleus (nucleus of the plant's seed) and a shell (the shell of the fruit or the stem leaves of the flower).

  2. The theory of everything was invented long ago. Or by its common name "the theory of the holes" and it opens with the words "in the beginning God created".

  3. Respondent 43
    I understand. And do you understand what you write?!
    Look, in the future when quantum computers appear, their computing power will make it possible to perform extremely complex simulations. Like, for example, simulations of stars in space that today would take computers 500 years to calculate, in the future it will be possible to perform the same calculations at a higher speed, that is, in a shorter time (significantly) than 500 years.
    Maybe then it will be possible to reach new insights into the physics of the universe and what's beyond.

  4. Yosef:
    I responded to the things you said earlier and explained what was wrong with them.
    I hope that you, at least understood.
    Regarding what you are saying here (and trying, for some reason, to relate to what you said before - which shows that you may not have really understood the explanations given to you in the previous comments, but at the moment I am assuming that you understood, and if this is not the case, please state this) - there is no evidence in science and never will be
    You will always be able to assert strongly even that only you exist and dream everything else and no one will be able to prove the opposite to you.
    In science we look for the most reasonable and concise explanation.
    If it is possible to formulate a simple law from which many observations derive and which is not in conflict with any observation - science adopts it.
    The theory of everything - if discovered at some point - will be nothing but the continuation of work in this way.

  5. Yosef,
    I understand the said passage as you do.
    However, if we are discussing the "theory of everything" the above passage was written with hindsight. When Ptolemy created his model, everyone thought that this was it, this is indeed how the world works, the "Torah of everything". However, there were astronomical observations of the movement of the stars that were very difficult to explain with the help of this model. On the other hand, his supporters argued, how could the earth have moved, after all if we had jumped into the air we would have landed in a different place from the place of the jump.
    After that came the observations of Tycho Barha and the calculations of Kepler and Newton and showed that if elliptical orbits are assumed instead of circular, wonder and wonder, it is relatively easy to predict exactly the orbits of all the known planets as they are observed in the sky. Again it seemed that this was the "Torah of everything".
    Einstein came and said, there really isn't a system of axes whose center is the sun and in fact the movement, all movement, is relative. All in today's view the sentence you quote is true.
    In any case, for almost every need and interest when you are standing on the sidewalk and a car is approaching it is difficult to say that it is you who is moving towards it and not the other way around (which is indeed what the occupants of the car see).

  6. R.H. and Michael Rothschild:
    I would appreciate it if you could explain to me what I misunderstood.

    Here again is the quote from the article:
    "A more familiar example from the real world of different descriptions of reality is the difference between Ptolemy's model of the universe with the earth at its center and Copernicus' model of the universe with the sun at its center.

    While it is common to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy's model wrong, this is not true.

    As in the case of the fish's point of view versus ours, so it is in the case of the universe - we can choose to use either of the two images of the universe to explain our observations of the stars, since the earth can be assumed to be at rest just as much as the sun can be assumed to be.

    The main advantage of Copernicus' model, apart from its importance in philosophical discussions about the nature of the universe, is that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference where the sun is at rest."

    What I understood from the article is that it is true to today's scientific knowledge:
    It can be assumed that the sun revolves around the earth, Ptolemy's method was not disproved, and the reason that the Copernicus method was accepted is because it is easier for calculations.

    If not, can you explain the passage to me in another way?

    post Scriptum. We will leave Einstein and the theory of relativity for later.

  7. In Grand Design "Hawking says, that we are a bit like a rounded aquarium goldfish. Our perceptions are limited and distorted by the kind of lenses we see through," the interpretive structure of our human brain. "Albert Einstein rejected this subjective, much more common approach of quantum mechanics, but admitted that our view of reality is distorted.

    In some sciences, all existence is described as matter or energy. In some mysticism, only consciousness exists. Dark matter is 25%, and dark energy about 70%, minus the critical density of this universe. The divine essence, also not visible, arises and sustains a universal interest (mass / energy: visible / dark) and the cosmic consciousness (f (x) at its greatest strength). During suprarational consciousness, and beyond, the mystics actually share that in different doses. [Quoted from About

  8. R.H. Do you understand that it takes intelligence and not calculation power to formulate such a Torah?!

  9. In my opinion, it will be the computers, not humans, who will 'write' the theory of everything. You need a force that knows how to perform calculations at a level higher than that of the human brain. I believe that humanity will need the computing power of extremely powerful processors (which will appear in the future and probably in quantum computers and beyond) to calculate extremely complicated equations and compare or connect them with the other equations in order to 'determine new facts in the field'.

  10. Biso:
    Is it hard for you to believe?
    We also do difficult things in life.
    Try harder and believe! 🙂

    The truth is that the effort is worth it because what is really hard to believe is that Hawking does not know what he is talking about when he deals with this topic.
    As far as I remember, a fairly exhaustive explanation of the matter appears in the book The Elegant Universe
    It is shown there that it is a number of theories whose mathematical relationships make them mathematically equivalent even though their intuitive interpretation is different.

  11. Someone will have to explain this sentence:

    "M theory is not a theory in the conventional sense, but a network of theories"

    It's hard for me to believe that the person who wrote it understood what he was saying.. After all, no one understands how to formulate the theory of M in a subtle way, so how did they come to the conclusion that it is a network of theories?!

  12. The whole approach here to string theory and M theory is so wrong and misleading.. It's amazing that such things are even published..

  13. R. H. (30):
    The difference is not semantic and I already presented the possibility of referring to the theory as correct for its time in response 22 and Yehuda shared it.

    The example with the dinosaurs is lame in many ways.
    The theory "now there are dinosaurs" is not defined over time because the meaning of the word "now" changes.
    If we talk about the theory that at one time there were dinosaurs - then this theory is still true today.
    If someone had talked about it before the dinosaurs were created it would probably have been a correct theory, but the person who thought it up would have to be a prophet and the only test he could put it to is to wait and see.

    I just saw your words.
    They are not correct.
    From the theory of relativity it certainly follows that the earth will move around the sun (or, more precisely, that both will move around a common center of gravity located, obviously, in the sun).
    In general - the relativity you are talking about is the relativity of steady motion and not of accelerated motion.
    Do you really think that Einstein was stupid enough to claim that if I jump with my car at a traffic light while there are people sitting on cafe chairs on the sidewalk next to me, then instead of me sticking to the chair because of the acceleration (or at the same time) - the people on the sidewalk will also fly out of their chairs because you can't tell who is accelerating ?

  14. ravine,
    What you want? I did not claim that the article presents a postmodernist approach, but I referred to what Gil said in response 10. And with everything you said in response 34, I agree 100%.

    Joseph, to your questions:
    1) Regarding a contradiction to Einstein's claims, the very fact that relativistic calculations collapse when they reach small sizes and vice versa with quantum mechanics shows that there are problems with both. This is a clear fact that caused physicists, as the article also says, to search for the theory of everything.

    2) Do you think I would sit here and correspond with you if I knew what the truth is that we are approaching???

    3) I am not an expert in physics but in my opinion a correct definition would be that the earth and the sun rotate relative to each other.

  15. R.H.

    The author of the article clearly claims that the Copernicus method is not more correct but more convenient to use and you can use any of the methods.
    According to the theory of relativity it is impossible to prove which method is correct.
    Is there an experiment or theory that contradicts Einstein's claim?
    According to you there is one truth that we are getting closer to, what is it?
    Is it possible today to claim that it has been scientifically proven that the earth revolves around the sun?

  16. R.H.:

    I agree with you about the criticism of the postmodernist approach, but what about that and the topic of the article? There is no trace of any of these in it, and the connection between the approach expressed in the article and postmodernism is shallow and superficial.
    The article speaks to the approach according to which the description of any reality is only within the framework of models - all that science has is a model based on observations. Science does not describe objective reality. This is not postmodernism but a scientific worldview

  17. ravine,
    I remember the above discussion and there in response 478 I explained my claims.
    Regarding the postmodernist approach, I think it is problematic because it does not advance us anywhere. How can an investigation be carried out if there was a crime and at the same time there was no crime? How can you get an answer to a scientific question if in fact there is no question at all?
    In my opinion, postmodernism has spoiled art as well (see the last book written by Ephraim Kishon) because if every black square is considered art and is displayed in a museum it is sad. I have a lot to say about this and how these relate to the New Age and fake spirituality, but that's really a whole other discussion.

  18. R.H.:

    you said:
    "In recent years, we have become accustomed to saying that we will not be able to develop a theory that will explain things,"
    "Postmodernist thinking is destructive, there is no single truth, everything is true and everything is false at the same time"

    This reminds me of the old discussion that took place here:

    It is only important not to fall into the "bon-ton" of the last few years to call any position different from yours as "postmodernism" as long as it does not align with your view or intuition. The position represented here in the article is a position that philosophers began to represent already at the beginning of the 19th century and today it is quite accepted among senior scientists.

  19. Yosef,

    I agree with your words but not with their interpretation. Ptolemy claimed that everything revolves around the earth. Copernicus came and said that if we assume a model of the earth around the sun everything will be simpler. Einstein came after him and claimed, no, this model is also not satisfactory and everything must be looked at in a relative way.
    I think you are wrong that these are different ways of looking at the same reality. In my opinion, these models are milestones on the way to a deeper understanding of reality. There is one truth that we are slowly getting closer to and each time our models explain more facts and observations.

  20. If you really insist, the correct sentence should be:
    A theory that has been disproved today was also incorrect in the past, but was considered as such.

    It seems to me that the difference between you is semantic. Michael is talking about absolute truth, whether the theory is correct or not is a point.

    Yehuda, on the other hand, refers to a changing subjective truth, yesterday Newton's theory was considered correct and today, in light of the new discoveries, it is clear to us that it is not.
    The example with the dinosaurs is really lame. They were adjusted to their period until the period changed apparently due to that meteorite and then they were no longer adjusted at all. There is no production that is adapted to every situation and every condition, take a wonderfully adapted land animal like a cockroach and throw it into the water, it will drown.

  21. to R.H. And to God
    M*Kal said: A theory that has been disproved today was not true in the past.
    And I claim that: a theory that was disproved today was true in the past!
    Saying that a disproved theory was not true is just like saying that dinosaurs were not true/adapted in the past because they were exterminated. By the time they were destroyed they were incredibly well adapted!
    This is the small difference between me and you.
    But it does not matter
    Good Day
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  22. R.H.:
    I know that's what you said (you said it 🙂 ).
    Yehuda tried to give things a different meaning and I tried to make him wrong.
    By repeating things, you are not helping to clarify the dispute.

    A theory disproved today was not true in the past.
    It was legitimate to treat her as if she were true but she was not.
    Popper does not treat theories as a temporary description that will inevitably be disproved.
    He dismisses them if they have been refuted and he requires them to say things that are basically refutationable. that's it.
    I don't think you think otherwise, but Yehuda's words may imply that you do

  23. Yehuda and Machel,

    What I wanted to say was that if there is a theory that explains all the observations it is currently a "theory of everything". I think there hasn't been one until today. Newtonian mechanics, for a short time, until the problem of black body radiation arose, as I imagine, was like this. Relativistic quantum mechanics and strings to begin with contain holes.
    Regarding Popper, as far as I understand, he did not say that every theory must be disproven, but suggested that a certain theory cannot be proven, but only disproved. As long as it hasn't been refuted, it's valid. It is possible and I believe that this will happen one day a set of equations will be formulated that will explain everything and will not be disproved and it will be the "theory of everything".

  24. Sabdarmish Yehuda
    If I'm not mistaken, then what Michael Rothschild unsuccessfully tried to explain to you is that, besides Hawking being very smart, there is another side to wisdom - whether it's a person's or a machine's or anything else that has a mind.
    Evolution managed to develop some mechanism in the brain that knows how to solve complicated problems. The point is, that this mechanism can bring not only desired results, but also, results that are not desired or in other words destructive to the system that provides the result or to its environment.

  25. Well, Mr. McCall, no big disaster happens if I didn't understand your words.
    The main thing is that others understood me
    Good Day
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  26. Yehuda:
    You did not say that Hawking's conclusions are based on evolution that occurred on the day he was born, but your words on the matter were a reference to my words and they show that you did not understand my words.
    I tried to explain and it turns out that it didn't work.

  27. to 8 as
    I would love to know from R. H. what was meant by his words without a third party.
    And regarding Hawking, I absolutely did not say that Hawking is a "product of evolution that occurred on the day of his birth", where did you see that I wrote that?, what I wrote is that he and others have the ability to dissect the universe and this adds to his ability to survive among Homo sapiens. The ability to analyze is present for all Homo sapiens, but in him it appears in a more successful way. Therefore, he will most likely be able to pass on his successful genes! (As far as I know he has two children).
    Good Day
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  28. Yehuda:
    You are trying to read into R.H.'s words what is not there.
    R. H. does not say that a Torah that has been disproved in an experiment is true, but only that as long as it has not been disproved in an experiment, it is treated as true, and in retrospect it is perhaps possible to use the phrase "correct for its time".

    Regarding the ability to solve problems, I think you misunderstood my point.
    Hawking is not a product of evolution that occurred on the day of his birth but of evolution that created Homo sapiens.
    The ability to solve the problems he solves today would not have served him at that time (if only because it was impossible to talk about these problems in the same way at the time).
    It is a known fact that in retrospect the human mind serves us.
    Of course, to no less extent, it also harms our chances of survival - either because of the power of destruction we develop or because of perverted ideas that can be planted in it and that lead people to acts of madness.

  29. A more familiar example from the real world of different descriptions of reality is the difference between Ptolemy's model of the universe with the earth at its center and Copernicus' model of the universe with the sun at its center. While it is common to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy's model wrong, this is not true. As in the case of the fish's point of view versus ours, so it is in the case of the universe - we can choose to use either of the two images of the universe to explain our observations of the stars, since the earth can be assumed to be at rest just as much as the sun can be assumed to be. The main advantage of Copernicus' model, apart from its importance in philosophical discussions about the nature of the universe, is that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference where the sun is at rest.

    According to Einstein's theory of relativity, when two bodies are in motion in space relative to each other (like the sun and the earth), it is scientifically impossible to prove which of them is stationary and which of them is moving, or whether they are both moving.

    What then is the scientific proof that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around?

  30. to R.H
    I agree with your last comment (18) and especially with what you wrote about my words.
    In your opinion, and also in my opinion, any theory that explains everything we know about the universe is a correct theory. And Newton's example is really good, but so is Aristotle and even the Greeks with their theory of the four elements. All were correct because they correctly explained what was known about the behavior of the universe. As soon as something changed in the universe that was unknown, then it will be a universe with new properties that may require revision of the theory or a new theory.
    I wonder what the philosopher Popper would say about such an approach. After all, he looks at every theory as something temporary that is about to be disproved, whereas my approach, and apparently R.H.'s as well. that the theory is correct and even perfect for what is known.
    It's just like treating dinosaurs as something that is going to be replaced, as Popper thinks, or treating them as something perfect unless the environment around them changes. a little different.
    And regarding response 19. The question of why we have the capacity to solve problems unrelated to our evolutionary constraints is a good question. Is the option as named. Does it mean that a by-product of evolution happened that allows us to deal with problems that are not related to the constraints of evolution or that the solution of such problems actually gives us an evolutionary advantage?
    I think that dealing with these problems does give us an evolutionary advantage!
    I am sure that Stephen Hawking will increase the chances of the evolutionary "survival" of a disabled person like him, given that he manages to analyze the scientific problems well.
    Good Day
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  31. The fish analogy is not smart because our natural habitat is also limited like the fish's but our science has so far broken through many limitations of that habitat and there is no reason to assume that it will ever stop.
    The human brain solves many problems that natural selection never forced man to solve.
    In my opinion, it is very likely that this is a by-product of evolution that selected minds that are able to solve existential problems and in the event that a mechanism of a "universal problem solver" that is able to deal with any problem was distributed to it.
    Don't despair!
    By the way: Did no one notice the wink in the title of the picture?

  32. The Sisyphean effort of the scientists to find one comprehensive explanation for the universe expresses their attempt to make science a competition to the monotheistic explanation according to which God (one) is responsible for all creation.
    This scientific endeavor is doomed to failure as the ancient Greeks who exposed the paradoxes encountered by the human mind already understood. The philosopher Immanuel Kant who tried to lay the foundations of a systematic scientific thought based on the abilities and skills of the human mind also understood its limitations and explained what the problem was when he described (among other things) the antinomies of space and time, their simultaneous finitude and infinity. All attempts to arrive at a comprehensive explanation represent a policy of female ostriches who believe that if they ignore the essential problem, it will disappear. The first step that serious scientists need to take in order to better understand the universe is to recognize that human cognition is much more limited than being. After all, all human thinking, including all imaginable computing, will not be able to answer the seemingly childish and ridiculous question, which comes first - the egg or the chicken.

  33. in analogy to fish. One day they will realize that they are closed in a container and will want to explore what is outside of it. They will develop systems that will allow them to survive outside the aquarium and systems that allow them to look outside it and slowly they will begin to understand what is happening outside and maybe even establish colonies in the pool outside the house.

    Yehuda, when there is a theory that every known phenomenon will be generalized in its equations, it will be the theory of the "everything". Of course, until the day a new inappropriate phenomenon is discovered. But until then it will be a theory of everything, just as for a short time Newtonian mechanics seemed to be the theory of everything.

  34. to the guide of the universe
    Do you think pisces think there is something crooked in their universe that they would like to straighten?
    It is like saying that we would like to straighten Einstein's crooked universe.
    Besides there can be no theory of everything because you will never know everything and you will always have doubt.
    Good night
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  35. I especially liked Moshe's comment #6
    This analogy, which compares us to fish that find it so difficult to understand reality through the round glass walls of the aquarium, has a lot of logic in it since it manages to express our difficulty as quite limited biological beings.
    However, there is a way out of this situation: increasing our ability to look through the round glass, (or according to the second parable of Moses, reducing the holes in our fishing net), is certainly possible by increasing and accelerating the ability of our computers to straighten the walls of the aquarium for us. The first in the future to correctly understand the theory of everything will be a powerful computer in a way that we cannot even imagine today.
    Of course, one last problem remains: how will this computer be able to explain the theory of everything to us in a way that we will understand it?

  36. I tend to agree with R.H. (I know - it's expected!)

    The current situation is that general relativity does not fit with quantum field theory.
    The meaning is that there are (very extreme) situations in which we cannot predict with the existing physics in our hands what will happen.
    It is important to emphasize, physics knows how to predict what will happen even in experiments that have not yet been performed and it works. Of course, anyone who wants to can say that there is no way to know whether a body weighing 2.00001 kg will behave according to the same equations as a body weighing 2 kg, but with such an approach you will achieve nothing. I therefore prefer to "believe" that there are laws of nature and since hundreds of years of science (and billions of years of evolution) prove that my pragmatic approach is quite useful (starting with launching spacecraft and ending with my security in the stability of the earth I step on) - I am at peace with it.
    Those who agree with me understand how problematic the situation is today:
    There are certain areas of reality where quantum theory and general relativity contradict each other, i.e. two fairly successful theories that deal well with a huge variety of phenomena fail to correctly predict what will happen in certain extreme situations.

    This is what led people to believe that there is a "theory of everything" - that is, one theory that will correctly describe what is happening even in areas where relativity and current quantum theory fail to address.
    One of the candidates for such a theory, and probably the most worthy of all for now, is string theory and its versions and improvements. I don't know if it is the right one or not, I really don't understand the subject enough to even say that I have some kind of feeling, but the very idea of ​​trying to find a unified theory that would explain a variety of phenomena is a fairly reasonable idea that has proven itself throughout the years of scientific development .

    I hope, then, that I have answered why you are looking for a "theory of everything". The name is indeed fanciful, but the idea is simply to find a theory that can predict what happens in any situation and not a collection of different theories that collide with each other in certain areas of reality.

    If your approach would not be able to perform even long division. The advantage of the human mind over the fish mind is qualitative and not just quantitative.
    A fish is not able to understand that if a drags b and b drags c then a drags c - man does. Thus, a person can prove or calculate things, even without seeing the final result immediately before his eyes, thus he is able to surpass his immediate intuition and understand even things that contradict the initial intuition.

    If the previous argument is complicated for you, you will surely pay attention to the simple fact:
    The fish species does not develop accumulated knowledge and this is in contrast to the human species.

  37. To 4

    42 This is the answer to life, the universe and everything else
    And we are dealing with the question of how many ways must a person go?
    And here we got here - : 5 : 5+1 : 3M and 3M+1

  38. age,
    In my opinion, what you describe is destructive postmodernist thinking, there is no single truth, everything is true and everything is false at the same time. My view is that there are real answers that can be reached and if the question is formulated correctly there will also be one answer to one question. If a contradiction arises between the answers, one must go deeper and reconcile the contradictions, but there is no way that there are two contradictory truths. On loan, if there is one bullet at the crime scene it is impossible for two guns to have fired it.

  39. Moshe,
    Obviously there is consistency in nature and it is not completely random. A fact that so far we have been able to describe him in a good (although not perfect) way. In my opinion, you and the authors of the article will share that we are getting closer to a more and more complete description of "reality". In the past we could not explain many facts that today seem trivial and the winning proof of our understanding is, in my opinion, the technology that harnesses the understanding and uses it.

    Regarding the question of whether the human brain can understand reality? This is a non-constructive question. So what ? Will we throw up our hands and say it's impossible? How can you even prove something like that? We must start from the assumption that it is possible and continue to investigate and ask. The human eye cannot see wavelengths that our devices pick up, the human foot cannot run as fast as a car, so with the help of research that is then applied to technology that is again applied to new research and so on, we were able to put a man on the moon and determine the sequence of the human genome.

  40. Arya -
    We both agree that our brain is probably one step on the scale of brain development.
    No one has determined that this is the last stage. And so just like you don't expect a cat to understand Newton's laws (no matter how learned and smart the cat is), you can't expect a human mind to understand complex and complicated laws, at a level that maybe only a more developed mind could understand.
    Perhaps a more developed brain will have additional tools besides the logic that our brain is based on. Why state that the world is based on logical laws?
    Just because our brain knows how to process data and draw conclusions on a logical basis?

  41. Why do you even think that there is one theory for everything?
    People tend to look for the center of power, or the main force, the truth.
    But all the weight is distributed like the stars, among dozens and hundreds of theories
    when there is an interaction between them
    But each of them is a theory with weight in itself.

  42. Moshe - In my opinion there is no survival value for the further development of our brain, therefore there is no evolutionary pressure for this and it is not to be expected that within the framework of natural selection we will become smarter. One can think of the possibility that human society will use artificial selection in the direction of improving intelligence, but until then, if at all, another vision for the time being.

  43. R.H. –
    Who determined that nature is consistent? After all, it is much easier to assume that he is not consistent.
    And why do you think that it is possible to reach with the human mind (which is one stage in the evolution of minds of various kinds) to an understanding of the universe? Maybe we have to wait for the next evolutionary leap of the brain so that it will really be possible to understand the world?

    Why do you think our brains have peaked?

  44. In recent years, we have become accustomed to saying that we will not be able to develop a theory that will explain things, and the human brain is not able to understand the world, and this results in a kind of raising of hands and justification.
    It reminds me of the parable of the fox and the grapes, if we fail to develop equations that would explain without contradictions what we see, there is no way to do it.
    In my opinion there is no such thing, there is nature and it is consistent and if we need two sets of equations that contradict each other to explain it then the problem is in the equations and not in nature.
    Even if the fish in the article will open complicated and different equations from ours to explain the movement of light, they must not be in contradiction with any finding under any condition, and if there is such a contradiction, then something is missing in the above equations and they do not correctly describe reality.

  45. The very assumption that the universe can be understood with the help of the human mind seems extremely anthropocentric to me. Just as no one expects the fish with their mental abilities to develop theories about the passage of light waves in water (or to even understand why I feed them every morning) - so I see no reason why to assume that our brains are developed enough to understand the world?
    Why is this similar - let's compare the human brain to a fishing net with which we go fishing - the fish in this parable are the scientific findings. But this fishing net has holes of a certain size so it can catch fish of a certain size and above (those that are not too small). The innocent fisherman comes to the conclusion that in these waters there are only large fish and there are no small fish at all. He even proves it with repeated experiments...

  46. A theory of everything should also be a theory of itself.
    And of all the other sciences, mathematics, physics...

  47. I wrote an article called "Evolution of Theories" and showed the compatibility between the evolution of animals and the development of theories. This is done with the help of a simple transformation of the exchange of words.
    From this the conclusion is that asking if there can be a theory about it is just like asking if there can be a superproduction with all that implies.
    Another conclusion from the article: because there are uncertainties in measurements, there will always be an infinite number of theories to explain what we know about the universe.
    The article was also published here in the knowledge.
    Good night
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  48. I think there is still some time before goldfish develop a model similar to Newtonian physics, until then there will be bloody wars between fish cultures and probably several religions that describe more or less the same idea in creation.

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