There is no scientist alive today that has influenced my concern for the way we do science like Professor Lee Smolin. Lee Smolin is an American theoretical physicist who works on quantum loop theory which he hopes would someday yield the theory of quantum gravity.
He is an advocate and also a critic of string theory. One of his criticism of string theory emerged in his 2006 book: The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of Science, and What Comes Next.
In this his controversial book, Lee Smolin pointed out five great problems of science which are outlined as follows:
- The problem of quantum gravity
- The foundational problems of quantum mechanics
- The unification of particles and forces
- The tuning problem
- The problem of cosmological mysteries
The Theory of the Universe: Absolute Relativity resolves these five problems, and even the master problem of them all, which is the problem of quantum gravity. You can also read my other articles in this blog to have the understanding of the solutions to these problems.
I have not written this short article to discuss how the theory of the universe solves the above problems or to delve into the profile of Lee Smolin who I consider a deep thinker of the problems of science.
Rather I want to tell you about the direct influence his book The Trouble With Physics had and still has on me. His book The Trouble With Physics served me as a crucial guide when I was writing The Theory of the Universe.
I wouldn’t have known that science was really in a revolutionary period without his book, and more so, I wouldn’t have been concerned about the philosophical implications of The Theory of the Universe without his book.
Reading his book made me ask myself at crucial points what this treatise means or would mean for science. It was a burning question for me, and for days I struggled with the philosophical implication of The Theory of the Universe. The seed of this long and torturous brooding was planted by his book.
Lee Smolin and his book The Trouble With Physics
Firstly, I could not conceptualize the background philosophy of The Theory of the Universe, it took me months of hard thinking to realize that I had entered a new philosophy of science which I finally conceptualized as absolute relationism. This beautiful and encompassing philosophy which unifies absolutism and relationism is the new scientific philosophy of this age.
Absolute relationism brings the formerly disharmonious universes of Newton and Leibniz into a blissful co-existence. Without Smolin’s book, I wouldn’t have thought hard about the new philosophy engendered by The Theory of the Universe: Absolute Relativity.
Secondly, I found it hard to accept the existence of absolute space and time, and I tried so many times to remove them from the theory. Like every other theory of relative science, I wanted a theory that is solely quantitative, but I realized that if I take away absolute space and time from the theory, then some crucial insights necessary for the understanding of the universe would become hidden, and more importantly, the unity of all things varnishes.
I could not build The Theory of the Universe on all we can measure about reality, for reality has very crucial qualitative aspects that we cannot measure, but are indispensable for our understanding of the universe. The universe is both quantitative and qualitative, and absolute relationism is the philosophy which captures this profound realization.
Also, Lee Smolin seems to me to be one of the scientists who question our current scientific method. He had suggested that we need a new scientific method and that Newton’s method does not show us how to continue to do science. This his opinion is very important for today’s science, and we all must listen to him.
In the 2011 Isaac Asimov debate, he suggested “…that at the cosmological scale the method that Newton taught us to discover what the laws are, give us no ground to… answer the question, why these laws…“
Lee Smolin is suggesting that the current crises in physics cannot just be resolved by a new scientific theory, but by a new scientific theory that alters the way we do science. In other words, we don’t just need a new theory, we need a new science that can tell us why these scientific laws exist in the first place, and the time is ripe for this.
I have arrived at this his conclusion after concluding the treatise to a large extent. Also, in this blog, I have continuously argued that we need a new scientific method, and it is such that allows us to transverse the metaphysical universe of absolute space and time and the physical universe of relative space and time.
We probe the metaphysical universe so as to establish the proper understanding of all things, while we shall probe the physical universe solely for practical purposes. Newton’s purely quantitative method for establishing scientific knowledge has failed, and this failure is becoming increasing evident with the increasing mysteries of today’s science.
We now need universal principles to take us out of this crisis in physics and expose us to pure illumination. I think that there are few scientists in the world who dares question Newton’s method and Lee Smolin is one of them.
But are we to discard Newton’s quantitative science? No. Rather we must realize that Newton’s method only serves for practical purposes and does not expose the true operations of the universe.
Mathematically modelling the operations of clocks and meter sticks, and taking our mathematics for true understanding is a major cause of the errors in modern science. Now more than ever, we must insert the true nature of absolute space and time in our equations.
This approach which is the approach of absolute science would grant us the immense understanding of the universe. It would accentuate our gift of penetration. Let me tell you what would happen in the nearest future.
The advent of post-modern technologies which would come from The Theory of the Universe would enable us to standardize our experiences of absolute space and time (in their experiential nature) and not our measurements of relative space and time (in their non-experiential nature).
We would not need meter sticks and clocks to talk about space and time. We all would organically experience (absolute) space and time, and these organic experiences would replace our mechanical measurements of space and time. At this time man would be fulfilling his destiny as “the measure of all things.”
Though we organically experience (absolute) space and time now, our long and continuous reduction of these cosmic entities to externalizations has greatly hindered us from understanding the metaphysical operations of the universe.
But with the coming of absolute science, we would approach absolute space and time with knowledge and break the barriers hindering the mind of harnessing its full potentials.
We would even interface the emerging post-modern technologies with the mind and the continuous use of these technologies will sharpen and train our minds to accomplish tremendous feats, one of which is our collective and organic experience of space and time which would be a real part of our science.
This is a consequence of the new found harmony between mind and matter, which even the theory of the universe now reveals, of which more will be revealed in my next book. At this point, science must have completely broken away from Newton’s method. The metaphysical universe will be our only reality, just as the physical universe is our only reality today. This time I speak of is coming and has come already!
The metaphysical would completely replace the physical, and all the limitations of today’s relative science would be swallowed up and completely defeated. There is, in fact, no limit to what science can achieve if it follows the path of absolute science, and breaks away from Newton’s traditions which even Lee Smolin is suggesting.
The era of relative science as a method to establish scientific knowledge is over, and the era of absolute science has begun. Absolute science is the science a priori which reveals to us why the universe is the way it is. It exposes why there are such laws as we have today in physics.
The apparent complexity of the universe is due to her subtlety, if you take away her subtlety, she becomes manifestly simple. Absolute science exposes to us the subtleties of the universe which are beyond our current mechanistic science.
So, if you are still in doubt about whether there is another way of doing science aside from Newton’s method, don’t be in doubt anymore because there is. I know this and even Professor Lee Smolin thinks so.
– M. V. Echa