Saturday, September 11, 2010

Educate Truth forgoes transparency and anonymously outs LSU faculty and staff since the 1960s

So Educate Truth has decided that transparency isn't really all that important anyway, unless it relates to the LSU biology department, and through an anonymous poster outs LSU faculty and staff through a diatribe that covers the last 40 to 50 years.

Sean Pitman and Shane Hilde have decided it's really really important to hide the identity of the person who wrote this cheap invective:
The author wishes to remain anonymous, because of the political climate surrounding the issues being discussed.
These guys are a real peace of work. They blather on and on about how bad it is that LSU actually teaches science in their science classes, and how there's no transparency from the biology department or board of directors, and then they shamefully and anonymously denigrate the names of numerous faculty members who are dedicated to both Adventism and LSU.

Shame on you Educate Truth. It would be a real improvement if Sean Pitman and Shane Hilde abandoned these slanderous meanderings, but I hold no such hope. As it says in Proverbs 26:
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
As it stands, I don't know which of them will return to their vomit and which is the fool. Maybe time will tell.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A test of String Theory via Quantum Entanglement?

A new study in Physical Review Letters, as described in an Imperial College London News Release claims that Researchers discover how to conduct first test of ‘untestable’ string theory. The press release states that
String theory was originally developed to describe the fundamental particles and forces that make up our universe. The new research, led by a team from Imperial College London, describes the unexpected discovery that string theory also seems to predict the behaviour of entangled quantum particles. As this prediction can be tested in the laboratory, researchers can now test string theory.

What the authors noticed was a relationship between the mathematical formulation of entangled quantum particles and black holes. Since the mathematical formulas for black holes are derived from string theory, they decided to take a closer look:
Professor Duff recalled sitting in a conference in Tasmania where a colleague was presenting the mathematical formulae that describe quantum entanglement: “I suddenly recognised his formulae as similar to some I had developed a few years earlier while using string theory to describe black holes. When I returned to the UK I checked my notebooks and confirmed that the maths from these very different areas was indeed identical.”

But what does this really mean?

Lisa Grossman has a good writeup in Wired: String Theory Finally Does Something Useful. The bottom line:
A chorus of supporters and critics, including Nobel laureate and string theory skeptic Sheldon Glashow and string theorists John Schwarz of Caltech, James Gates of the University of Maryland, and Juan Maldacena and Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton agree that Duff’s argument is “not a way to test string theory” and has nothing to do with a theory of everything.

Mathematician Peter Woit of Columbia University, author of the blog Not Even Wrong, thinks even claiming that the new paper is a test of quantum entanglement is going too far.

“Honestly, I think this is completely outrageous,” he said. Even if the math is the same, he says, testing the quantum entangled system would only tell you how well you understand the math.

“The fact that the same mathematical structure appears in a quantum mechanical problem and some model of black holes isn’t even slightly surprising,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that one is a test of the other.”

At Peter Woit's blog Not Even Wrong, he expounds on this:
I have no idea how this paper is supposed to contain a “test” of string theory. The simple quantum mechanics problem at issue comes down to classifying orbits of a group action on a four-fold tensor product, exactly what Wallach worked out in detail in his notes, as an example of Kostant-Rallis. If you do an experiment based on this and it doesn’t work, you’re not going to falsify string theory (or Kostant-Rallis for that matter).

It appears, at least preliminarily, that this isn't a test of string theory after all.

You can find a pre-print arXiv version of the research here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Educate Truth’s purpose and goals

Hmm ... so Shane Hilde has decided that he needs to clarify his mission. Let's see what marvelous insights he has for us today:
we would like to see evidence for the biblical creation presented and promoted in the relevant science classes.
Ah yes, evidence for the biblical creation. Let's see what the experts at the Geoscience Research Institute say:
The primary reason why the Pisco Fm. is believed to require million dog years is radiometric dating. The sediments and fossils have features that are difficult to reconcile with this long time period. On the other hand, they also contain features that don’t seem to fit a time frame of days or weeks. Perhaps a few hundred years would be a more realistic time period for Pisco Fm.
I see, so the evidence doesn't support the biblical account. I wonder what else the GRI says:
The lack of antediluvian fossil humans remains a problem to this day, the lowest confirmed strata with remains of Homo sapiens being the Pleistocene above the top of the Cenozoic.
It turns out that Shane Hilde doesn't want the science classes at La Sierra University to teach science. He wants science teachers to teach the biblical account of creation, and to back it up with evidence. Good luck.

Shane, teaching biblical creationism is fine. Teaching it as science is not. There's a reason why the LSU biology professors teach evolution in their classes: it's called evidence.