Let’s take the question of how to unify quantum mechanics and relativity. Who said that there has to be one theory, one set of equations to unify them? People like to assume that there is. But, what if there isn’t? What if these are separate phenomena and not in any sense unifiable under one theory or set of equations?
It sure seems that cosmology has a lot of really hard questions as well. And yes, it does have some hard questions. Some of them are the wrong questions, though. Such as, what kind of curvature the universe has? Is the universe mathematics? Yes, these are real questions being asked by physicists today!
So, yes, in a way the problems are too hard. Because we might not be asking the right questions. And even when we are, we are not approaching the questions rationally. If you ask the wrong questions or answer the questions, whether good or bad ones, irrationally, then it is going to be really hard to answer those questions.
Despite the fact that there is no shortage of brilliant minds in the field, most of them have been unable to make the kind of progress as many of their famous predecessors. There might be a lot more well-known names if they were asking the right questions and answering them rationally.
Alright, we are just about done for now. Before, I wrap up though, a few more things.
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You are welcome to send in questions about any of the things talked about in this episode or about irrational stuff in physics or the philosophy of science in general. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us again here in two weeks. Next time we will go over some questions about the show and its production and I will talk about some of my experiences in and thoughts about physics academia.
Thanks for listening! Please tune in for the next episode and start thinking of some questions! Until then, stay rational!