To: **snarks_when_bored**

I saw a two hour special on String Theory not long ago. In order to get the inconsistencies between quantum mechanics and relativity theory ironed out, the math becomes very complicated and you wind up with something like eleven dimensions. Scientists admitted that no one seemed capable of really understanding the implications of the theory and being able to convey it to each other, let alone a skeptical public.

My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.

My instinct tells me that String Theory is just a rickety scaffold for mathematicians to play on before the next genius comes along to show us how everything really works.

My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.

My instinct tells me that String Theory is just a rickety scaffold for mathematicians to play on before the next genius comes along to show us how everything really works.

To: **finnigan2**

That's my opinion too, but I'm hardly an expert in this area. In the past, the great scientific work seemed to simplify the world, and describe it in ways that were relatively easy to understand. If I'm to understand anything more, there needs to be a new simplification, not this 11-dimensional beast that seems to be the most promising bridge between the Einsteinian and the quantum-mechanical world.

It's a bias -- and a hope -- built on my own limitations, but my suspicion is that deep down, and I mean *way* deep down, the universe is based on a few very simple rules.

9 posted on **03/16/2005 7:26:27 AM PST** by PatrickHenry
(<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)

To: **finnigan2**

My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.

I'm not sure about that. It could be that as we drill down into smaller and smaller volumes, the mathematical complexity required to describe what we find does in fact increase. For example, the configuration space of a classical (i.e., 'large') system is usually finite-dimensional (although of high dimension if the system contains many particles), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (essentially) partial differential equations, the principles of which have been understood for over 200 years. On the other hand, the configuration space of a quantum (i.e., 'small') system is usually infinite-dimensional (an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (at least) partial differential operators (a step up in abstraction from partial differential equations), the principles of which have been understood for only about 100 years.

Of course, maybe a new layer of simplicity will emerge beneath the complexity of current quantum descriptions. We just don't know yet.

To: **finnigan2**

ah..... an open mind. And very perceptive.

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