A journal of cognition, computation, cartoons and cooking; physics and phonotactics; academia, art, alcohol and angst.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stephen Hawking is to blame for all science misconceptions

A couple weeks ago, I was discussing what I do with a friend. After the usual "wow, physics, that's intense" reaction, he asked how it was going. I told him how classes were becoming annoying, and he said...

"Yeah, I guess at that level it's mostly philosophy anyway."

What??? Is that what people think about modern theoretical physics? Well, I think if you did a properly-formatted survey, the answer would be yes. I doubt there are many people who know that all theoretical physics is applied mathematics and that facts and hypotheses are all in the equations. Who's to blame? who's responsible for this horrible misunderstanding of the most fundamental of sciences? Who wrote bestseller after bestseller implying that unfounded hypotheses in string theory were scientific fact, and that scientific facts could be effectively reduced to cute allegories without a single equation ever printed?

Stephen Hawking.

No comments: