So you think you are special!

Posted in comment, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Physics, Science by e1saman on September 23, 2010

special According to Lee Smolin in “The trouble with Physics” the standard model of Physics was based on Natures symmetries and the spontaneous symmetry breaking;

Spontaneous symmetry breaking is the process by which a system described in a theoretically symmetrical way ends up in a non symmetrical state. For spontaneous symmetry breaking to occur, there must be a system in which there are several equally likely outcomes. The system as a whole is therefore symmetric with respect to these outcomes (if we consider any two outcomes, the probability is the same). However, if the system is sampled (i.e. if the system is actually used or interacted with in any way) a specific outcome must occur. Though we know the system as a whole is symmetric, we also know that it is never encountered with this symmetry, only in one specific state. Because one of the outcomes is always found with probability 1, and the others with probability 0, they are no longer symmetric. Hence, the symmetry is said to be spontaneously broken in that theory.

This mechanism is the basis for the unification of the three forces in Nature; electromagnetism,weak force, strong force. According to this view, and my understanding  the laws of physics that we experience are just an outcome of a random choice. There were other possibilities for this world; for example a possibility that the strong force is not so strong to hold the nucleus of the atoms together. In this case life, as we know it, is not possible. If you take this idea a little more further you can easily assume that there can be worlds that they are completely different from this one. These worlds cannot develop the same chemistry that our life is based on, but nothing forbids them from developing some other kind of life which we cannot even imagine.

I was reading the following post about the fine-structure constant;

the observer effect

fine-structure constant variation; If confirmed, this revelation could reshape physicists’ understanding of cosmology from the ground up. It may even help solve a major conundrum: Why are all the constants of nature perfectly tuned for life to exist?

As you can see the writer thinks that we are very very lucky that we live in a ‘place’ that is “life friendly”. I will not comment on the tautology of the view, but I am surprised that people are interested in science just to find the same answers rephrased; We know that we are here and this is the mystery, we want to know why and how. Learning again that we are here because the laws of Nature are ‘so well tuned’ does not add any kind of knowledge and does not answer something more! Maybe people like to think in this way because they just love to be reminded that they are special nothing more.


Blogs on Philosophy of Science

Posted in Change in Philosophy, Change in Science, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Science by e1saman on September 19, 2010

Here are some blogs on Philosphy of science. If you have more links please fill free to comment.

I’m an empirical sociologist, not a philosopher so philosophy of science is a tertiary concern of the blog. the primary and secondary concerns being statistical programming and middle-range sociological theory, respectively. as far as the philosophical aspect goes, I’d say my take is non-Popperian scientific realism.

it’s only a theory

I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I work primarily in metaphysics (especially modality, laws of nature, properties, dispositions, causation) and general philosophy of science (especially, scientific representation, scientific models, scientific realism, evidence and confirmation, explanation).


Peter D. Turney

life and physics

I’m a physics professor at UCL, where I currently teach mathematical methods to first year physics students, am a Vice Dean in Mathematical and Physical sciences and some other stuff. I do my research in the High Energy Physics group on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Florida Student Philosophy Blog

The Florida Student Philosophy Blog is dedicated to quality discussions of issues philosophical, religious, moral, political, and scientific. Its contributors are undergrads, grads, and alumni from philosophy departments throughout the state of Florida, as well as invited guests affiliated with these departments.

Fractal Ontology

We started this blog as undergraduate philosophy students, and in one form or another Fractal Ontology has been around more than three years. We remain excited about using this medium to explore new lines of inquiry. So, basically, our idea is this: it is possible to plot a complex path, tracing connections through both clinical and critical theory, towards a new kind of science — a de-centered, non-hierarchical science, capable of grasping and bridging the ruptures between cybernetics, language and society.

Talking about Space and Time

This blog has been started by me, Christian Wüthrich. If I had a nice picture of myself, I would put it up. But I don’t, so I don’t. You can find my academic profile at and my silly status updates on facebook. In the unexpected case that you clicked on all these links, you have seen evidence to the effect that I lack a nice picture of myself…

Words and Other Things

My name is Shawn Standefer. I’m a fourth year  grad student in philosophy at Pitt. I’m beginning my dissertation on theories of truth with Anil Gupta as my supervisor. I’m writing about what makes a good one. My  interests within philosophy are currently: theories of truth, philosophy of logic, philosophical logic, philosophy of science,  and the history of philosophy (Frege, Quine, Davidson, Carnap, Kant, early and late flavors of Wittgenstein).

Hyper tiling

I’m an AHRC funded PhD student in the department of Study of Religions in SOAS.  My thesis deals with a critical examination of the ‘science and religion’ field, using it as a platform for a philosophical analysis of the theme of realism and antirealism in western and non-western philsophy, in particular regarding to the metaphysical status of ‘laws of nature’ and their role in the structure of scientific naturalism.  My philosophical influences are continental philosophy (and I am interested in the recent movement of speculative realism), philosophy of science and Buddhist Madhyamaka metaphysics, one of my aims being that of proposing new openings and avenues for ‘comparative philosophy’ — one capable of removing certain metaphysical constraints imposed by the evolution of a single philosophical tradition.  Other interests of mine include physics (and philosophy of physics), technology and its philosophical implications/explications, posthumanism and artificial intelligence and videogame theory. In my free time, I attend a part-time course in Astronomy at University College London, and I am co-editor of the new ‘Speculations’ Journal, the journal of speculative realism.

The Bubblechamber

The Bubble Chamber is a blog written by historians and philosophers of science for discussing contemporary issues of science and society through the lens of historical context and critical analysis.Founded by the University of Toronto’s Science Policy Working Group, The Bubble Chamber is a forum for those interested in a critical assessment of science in society and the development, regulation, and trajectory of science.

The Pauling Blog

“[The Pauling Catalogue] constitutes an invaluable resource for historians of science and chemistry, scholars of science policy, and advocates of the peace movement, along with practicing chemists and scientists interested in the history of their fields, especially during the 20th century. It belongs in every academic library.”

Keet Blog

I’m an Assistant Professor (Ricercatore a Tempo Determinato) at the KRDB Research Centre, Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. My research interests are in logic-based knowledge representation, ontology, and Ontology, of biological data and -knowledge. Information about my research and some other activities can be found on my homepage at In my spare time, I’m the webmaster of the Professors without Borders site and do activities more or less related to it.

Naught Thought

This is a contemporary philosophy blog where I am working towards developing what’s been named Dark Vitalism which is a nihilistic Speculative Realist Philosophy of Nature. My first book Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation and the Creep of Life is forthcoming from Zer0 books. I’m Ben Woodard, masters student at EGS. I live in Tucson with my girlfriend who is an amazing writer.

Ether Wave Propaganda

Ether Wave Propaganda is a history of science blog that specializes in historiographical issues. It’s a niche blog aimed at people working in the academic disciplines of the History of Science and Science and Technology Studies. Those looking for general science blogs are welcome to follow along and comment, but may find some of the posts a little esoteric. We do have a “primer” (formerly “hump-day history”) series designed to offer a sophisticated but accessible introduction to various historical topics. The archive of primers can be found on the “Finding Aid” page.

Speculative Heresy

This is a website devoted to the exploration and discussion of the speculative heresies surrounding non-philosophy, speculative realism and transcendental materialism. Along with original commentary on the issues of speculative realism, we also aim to provide a central place from which to keep track of the evolving English speculative realist community. This includes conferences, articles, books, programs, and CFPs, along with any other notable events. If you have a relevant event which you would like to be featured on this blog, or want to reach us for any other reason, feel free to email us at: speculativeheresy [at]

if-then knots

David Yetter is a fascinating person. He’s a mathematician at Kansas State who works on knot theory. I stumbled across some things he’s said about that and found my way to some of his websites. He’s an expert in his area of mathematics and has an extensive web presence on topics ranging from Orthodox Christianity […]

Neuroethics at the Core

The National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia is an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to tackling the ethical, legal, policy and social implications of frontier neurotechnology and neuroscience. We aim to use this blog as a means for the general public in partnership with academics, scientists, researchers, educators, clinicians and healthcare providers to contribute to the growing discussion in the rapidly developing and exciting field of neuroethics. We welcome your thoughts, comments, and remarks. All postings on this site will be moderated by an administrator. Please note that all comments are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of the National Core for Neuroethics and it’s funders, or the University of British Columbia. Thank you for your interest in our online community.

Jay Kennedy

I studied mathematics and computers at Princeton. My doctorate is in philosophy from Stanford University, with a speciality in the history and philosophy of mathematical physics. My advisors were Nancy Cartwright, Peter Galision, and John Dupre. I also studied Greek philosophy with Julius Moravcsik, Jean Hampton, and Wilbur Knorr. I was a student for a year at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. I was an assistant professor at Notre Dame University for three years and spent a year doing research at Cambridge University, where I was the principal investigator with an NSF grant, before moving to Manchester University.

The skeptical teacher

Greetings and welcome to the Skeptical Teacher blog.  My name is Matt and I’m a high school physics teacher (plus a part-time physics & astronomy college professor) with a strong interest in promoting science education & critical thinking among my students and the population in general.  I am a self-described skeptic, someone who believes in Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”The purpose of this blog is to allow me to expound upon various topics related to skepticism, science, and education.  Some of my posts will be about specific topics – such as scientific illiteracy, pseudoscience, tips & tools for promoting skepticism & critical thinking in the classroom, current events in the news, etc.  Other posts could consist of my random thoughts of the day.

Blogs on quantum computing

quantum computing

quantum computing

Physics and cake

Personal blog of Giulio Prisco. Mainly cosmism, transhumanism, science fiction, futurism and emerging technologies. Also IT, VR and virtual worlds, and some personal stuff.


Quantum computers are not known to be able to solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time.

… The world’s leading social portal for everyone involved in quantum information science.

…Our approach to building quantum computers has been covered in a lot of different places (see sidebar in the blog) and a Harvard Business School case study.

Our goal is to make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on Quantum computing.