Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ball State censors intelligent design

One topic is being censored from science:
Ball State University president Jo Ann Gora announced that the school would no longer teach intelligent design in science classes following a complaint about the curriculum at the public university.

In a statement released Wednesday, Gora said "intelligent design and creation science do not qualify as science," and that it would no longer be a part of the university's science classes.

"Intelligent design is overwhelmingly deemed by the scientific community as a religious belief and not a scientific theory,” Gora said. “Therefore, intelligent design is not appropriate content for science courses.” ...

"Incredibly, Gora insists that her university's 'commitment to academic freedom is unflinching,' even while she imposes a gag order on science faculty who think there is evidence of intelligent design in nature," West wrote on the institute's blog. "Memo to President Gora: Academic freedom was designed to protect dissenting and unpopular views among faculty."
Apparently intelligent design was one of many topics in an interdisciplinary course on "The Boundaries of Science". The supplementary reading list had books for and against intelligent design.

I have no idea whether this was a worthwhile course, but I wonder about all the other unscientific topics being taught in physics departments today. In particular, I wonder about anthropic principle, fine-tuning, many worlds, other multiverses, string and M-theory, black hole firewalls, Laplace's demon, quantum cryptography, scalable quantum computing, Bohmian mechanics and other nonlocal theories, hidden variable theory, Boltzman brains, cold fusion, intelligent extraterrestial life, supersymmetry, quantum gravity and other unified field theories, etc.

And of course other departments are loaded with pseudoscientific courses on Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Margaret Mead, Immanuel Kant, Jacques Derrida, Stephen Jay Gould, feminist studies, etc. If I were Gora, I would be more interested in getting rid of some of those classes.


  1. Seems to me that you've got one of your wonders mixed up with something totally unrelated to the common problem that you have with the rest.

    In the first place, "Hidden Variables Theory" isn't taught, and it might even be the one that resolves the rest.

  2. Yeah, well, it would appear that you think that in spite of the fact that observational evidence would tend to diminish the likelihood that the first assumption in Kolmogorov's theory is accurately representative of nature:
    "{X(t)} is the proof that there exists a single sample space, on which all the X(t) in the process are random variables."

    Fix the flaw before you judge.

    The Schrodinger equation is strictly deterministic. It is the "quantum interpretation" which changes that.

    Einstein and Schrodinger weren't the idiots that "smarter people" love to make them out to be...

  3. The Schrodinger equation is deterministic, but quantum mechanics is not, according to most physicists.

  4. Right, unless there are hidden variables that explain quantum uncertainty, which is what both, Einstein and Schrodinger believed... (and check this part out because this much scientific method at one time isn't practiced anymore), because strict determinism was *most naturally* derived by his beautiful theory of relativity to be "closest at hand" in terms of its naturalness.

    Always remember this:
    Scientists got extremely excited about QM and and quickly abandoned Einstein leaving him to his own devices in order to pursue the insights and challenges that the new theory provided.

    I truly think that was the stupidest single move ever made in the history of theoretical physics, they abandoned their greatest hero ever.

  5. Einstein seemed to believe in hidden variable. If you have some evidence that Schrodinger did, please cite it.

    Relativity does not give any reason to believe in determinism.

    By the 1930s, Einstein was an embarrassment to other theoretical physicists. QM made progress by ignoring Einstein.

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    2. Nah, you seem to already have things all worked out in a firmly convinced way, so I'll leave you to your ignorance... or most of it...

      "Schrodinger always opposed a statistical or probabilistic approach, with its associated discontinuities—much like Einstein, who believed that quantum mechanics was a statistical approximation to an underlying deterministic theory— and never reconciled with the Copenhagen interpretation."

      ^ Moore, W.J. (1992). Schrödinger: Life and Thought. Cambridge University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-521-43767-9.

  6. Yes, Schrodinger disliked the probabilistic approach, but that does not mean he believed in hidden variables. And Einstein wanted a deterministic underlying theory. I do not read your quote as saying that Schrodinger and Einstein believed the same thing. I don't think that they did. I think that they had some skepticism for different reasons.

    1. I think you're right. I was thinking that maybe I should have only claimed that they both felt the same way about quantum indeterminacy, but then, I'm now also seeing where Schrodinger had possibly argued that both ways at different times throughout his career.

      I was arguing from the perspective that hidden variables are the only viable solution, so anybody who doesn't support uncertainty must support hidden variables.

      Okay, that gets you another "enlightenment":

      The most natural extension of GR derives a finite, strictly deterministic closed, unbounded universe.

      And it is every theorist since Einstein that is the embarrassment to quantum gravity, you've got things quite backasswards in spite of a great amount of clear empirical bullshit speculation that they now call theory.

  7. I say that the theory and evidence behind quantum mechanics imply:
    Hidden variable theories have been disproved.
    Determinacy is an open question.

    1. And I say that we wouldn't be having any of these discussions that we have today, had Einstein simply known about the real, massive particle potential of the quantum vacuum, because matter generation from the vacuum energy of Einstein's finite cosmological model, leaves real holes in the vacuum structure that increase negative pressure, which ***causes*** the completely stable vacuum to expand.