LIGO’s Kip Thorne invokes String Theory & Inflation Crackpottery to support LIGO’s supposed detection of gravitational waves.

We had a hunch that LIGO just might be a billion dollar hoax.  Now that Kip Thorne is invoking string theory and inflationary pseudoscience, we’re fairly sure of it.  Will LIGO ever see another signal?  Or is it a non-repeatable “experiment”?

Inflation and String Theory aren’t even science according to Dr. Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University :

Scientific ideas should be simple, explanatory, predictive. The inflationary multiverse as currently understood appears to have none of those properties.

These concerns and more, and the fact that we have made no progress in 30 years in addressing them, are what have made me skeptical about the inflationary picture. –Dr. Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University :

Even though it is well known that Inflation and String Theory aren’t even science, Kip Thorne invokes Inlfation and String Theory Crackpottery to support LIGO.

Starting around 37 minutes into the NSF video, Kip Thorne states that LIGO will see gravitational waves from the pseduoscience of cosmic strings–listen to the below LIGO video and you will hear: “Giant Strings that reach across the universe. They’re thought to have been created by the inflationary expansion of the fundamental strings that are the building blocks of all matter that expanded through inflation at the beginning of the universe.”

Using a hoax theory lacking actual postulates, principles, and equations to support LIGO is highly suspect.  Why would Kip Thorne do this?  What is the motivation?  Why not concentrate on first of all finding a second signal, if not dozens of signals?

String Theory is not science.  It is a hoax.  Do not take my word for it, but heed the wisdom of the Greats such as RP Feynman:

I do feel strongly that this is nonsense! … So perhaps I could entertain future historians by saying I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and is in the wrong direction. I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and is in the wrong direction. … I don’t like it that they’re not calculating anything. … why are the masses of the various particles such as quarks what they are? All these numbers … have no explanations in these string theories – absolutely none! … I don’t like that they don’t check their ideas. I don’t like that for anything that disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation—a fix-up to say, “Well, it might be true.” For example, the theory requires ten dimensions. Well, maybe there’s a way of wrapping up six of the dimensions. Yes, that’s all possible mathematically, but why not seven? When they write their equation, the equation should decide how many of these things get wrapped up, not the desire to agree with experiment. In other words, there’s no reason whatsoever in superstring theory that it isn’t eight out of the ten dimensions that get wrapped up and that the result is only two dimensions, which would be completely in disagreement with experience. So the fact that it might disagree with experience is very tenuous, it doesn’t produce anything.

  • interview published in Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? (1988) edited by Paul C. W. Davies and Julian R. Brown, p. 193-194 ISBN 0521354625

String Theory has been the leading candidate … for a theory that consistently unifies all the fundamental forces of nature, including gravity. It gained popularity because it provides a theory that is UV finite.(1) . . . The footnote (1) reads: “Although there is no rigorous proof to all orders that the theory is UV finite…”[xxxviii]STRING THEORY IN A NUTSHELL

So you see, string theory is not a finite theory, but this is generally kept to the footnotes, when mentioned at all.  Many esteemed, famous, and Nobel Laureate physicists harbor reservations regarding strings:

We don’t know what we are talking about[xxxix]. –Nobel Laureate David Gross on string theory

It is anomalous to replace the four-dimensional continuum by a five-dimensional one and then subsequently to tie up artificially one of those five dimensions in order to account for the fact that it does not manifest itself. -Einstein to Ehrenfest  (Imagine doing this for 10-30+ dimensions!)

String theorists don’t make predictions, they make excuses[xl]. – Feynman, Nobel Laureate

String theory is like a 50 year old woman wearing too much lipstick.[xli] -Robert Laughlin, Nobel Laureate

Actually, I would not even be prepared to call string theory a “theory” rather a “model” or not even that: just a hunch. After all, a theory should come together with instructions on how to deal with it to identify the things one wishes to describe, in our case the elementary particles, and one should, at least in principle, be able to formulate the rules for calculating the properties of these particles, and how to make new predictions for them. Imagine that I give you a chair, while explaining that the legs are still missing, and that the seat, back and armrest will perhaps be delivered soon; whatever I did give you, can I still call it a chair?[xlii] –‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate

It is tragic, but now, we have the string theorists, thousands of them, that also dream of explaining all the features of nature. They just celebrated the 20th anniversary of superstring theory. So when one person spends 30 years, it’s a waste, but when thousands waste 20 years in modern day, they celebrate with champagne. I find that curious.[xliii] –Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate

Nobel prize winner Martinus Veltman concludes his 2003 book

Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics


The fact is that this book is about physics, and this implies that the
theoretical ideas must be supported by experimental facts. Neither
supersymmetry nor string theory satisfy this criterion. They are
figments of the theoretical mind. To quote Pauli:
They are not even wrong. They have no place here. –Nobel Laureate Martinus Veltman

Why is the smart money all tied up in strings? Why is so much theoretical capital
expended upon the properties of supersymmetric systems of quantum strings propagating
in ten-dimensional space-time? The good news is that superstring theory may have the
right stuff to explain the “low-energy phenomena” of high-energy physics and gravity as
well. In the context of possible quantum theories of gravity, each of the few currently
known superstring theories may even be unique, finite and self-consistent. In principle a
superstring theory ordains what particles exist and what properties they have, using no
arbitrary or adjustable parameters. The bad news is that years of intense effort by dozens
of the best and the brightest have yielded not one verifiable prediction, nor should any
soon be expected. Called “the new physics” by its promoters, it is not even known to
encompass the old and established standard model. –Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate & Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D.
In lieu of the traditional confrontation between theory and experiment, superstring
theorists pursue an inner harmony where elegance, uniqueness and beauty define truth.
The theory depends for its existence upon magical coincidences, miraculous cancellations
and relations among seemingly unrelated (and possibly undiscovered) fields of mathemat-
ics. Are these properties reasons to accept the reality of superstrings? Do mathematics
and aesthetics supplant and transcend mere experiment? Will the mundane phenomeno-
logical problems that we know as physics simply come out in the wash in some distant
tomorrow? Is further experimental endeavor not only difficult and expensive but unneces-
sary and irrelevant? Contemplation of superstrings may evolve into an activity as remote
from conventional particle physics as particle physics is from chemistry, to be conducted
at schools of divinity by future equivalents of medieval theologians. For the first time since
the Dark Ages, we can see how our noble search may end, with faith replacing science once
again. Superstring sentiments eerily recall “arguments from design” for the existence of a
supreme being. Was it only in jest that a leading string theorist suggested that “super-
strings may prove as successful as God, Who has after all lasted for millennia and is still
invoked in some quarters as a Theory of Nature”? –Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate & Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D.

The trouble is that most of superstring physics lies up at the Planck mass — about
10 GeV – and it is a long and treacherous road down to where we can see the light of
day. A naive comparison of length scales suggests that to calculate the electron mass from
superstrings would be a trillion times more difficult than to explain human behavior in
terms of atomic physics. Superstring theory, unless it allows an approximation scheme for
yielding useful and testable physical information, might be the sort of thing that Wolfgang
Pauli would have said is “not even wrong.” It would continue to attract newcomers to the
field simply because it is the only obvious alternative to explaining why certain detectors
light up like video games near the end of every funding cycle.
–Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate & Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D., Desperately Seeking Superstrings

In the old days we moved up in energy step by step, seeing smaller and smaller struc-
tures. Observations led to theories or models that suggested further experiments. The
going is getting rougher; Colliders are inordinately expensive, detectors have grown im-
mense, and interesting collisions are rare. Not even a politically popular “Superstring
Detection Initiative” with a catchy name like “String Wars” could get us to energies where
superstrings are relevant. We are stuck with a gap of 16 orders of magnitude between
theoretical strings and observable particles, unbridgeable by any currently envisioned ex-
periment. Conventional grand unified theories, which also depend on a remote fundamental
energy scale (albeit one extrapolated upward from known phenomena rather than down-
ward from abstract principle), retain the grand virtue that, at least in their simplest form,
they were predictive enough to be excluded — by our failure to observe proton decay.
–Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate & Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D., Desperately Seeking Superstrings

How tempting is the top-down approach! How satisfying and economical to explain
everything in one bold stroke of our aesthetic, mathematical or intuitive sensibilities, thus
displaying the power of positive thinking without requiring tedious experimentation! But
a priori arguments have deluded us from ancient Greece on. Without benefit of the
experimental provocation that led to Maxwell’s equations and, inevitably, to the special
theory of relativity, great philosophers pondering for millennia failed even to suspect the
basic kinematical structure of space-time. Pure thought could not anticipate the quantum.
And even had Albert Einstein succeeded in the quest that consumed the latter half of his
life, somehow finding a framework for unifying electromagnetism and gravity, we would by
now have discarded his theory in the light of experimental data to which he had no access.
He had to fail, simply because he didn’t know enough physics. Today we can’t exclude the
possibility that micro-unicorns might be thriving at a length scale of 10−18 cm. Einstein’s
path, the search for unification now, is likely to remain fruitless.
–Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate & Paul Ginsparg, Ph.D., Desperately Seeking Superstrings

Richard Feynman, an heroic physicists who married commonsense to his mathematical genius, stated in 1987, a year before his death:

…I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and it is in the wrong direction. … I don’t like that they’re not calculating anything. I don’t like that they don’t check their ideas. I don’t like that for anything that disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation—a fix-up to say “Well, it still might be true.”

“Feynman was careful to hedge his remark as being that of an elder statesman of science, who collectively have a history of foolishly considering the speculations of younger researchers to be nonsense, and he would have almost certainly have opposed any effort to cut off funding for superstring research, as it might be right, after all, and should be pursued in parallel with other promising avenues until they make predictions which can be tested by experiment, falsifying and leading to the exclusion of those candidate theories whose predictions are incorrect. . . One wonders, however, what Feynman’s reaction would have been had he lived to contemplate the contemporary scene in high energy theoretical physics almost twenty years later. String theory and its progeny still have yet to make a single, falsifiable prediction which can be tested by a physically plausible experiment. This isn’t surprising, because after decades of work and tens of thousands of scientific publications, nobody really knows, precisely, what superstring (or M, or whatever) theory really is; there is no equation, or set of equations from which one can draw physical predictions. Leonard Susskind, a co-founder of string theory, observes ironically in his book The Cosmic Landscape (March 2006), “On this score, one might facetiously say that String Theory is the ultimate epitome of elegance. With all the years that String Theory has been studied, no one has ever found a single defining equation! The number at present count is zero. We know neither what the fundamental equations of the theory are or even if it has any.” (p. 204). String theory might best be described as the belief that a physically correct theory exists and may eventually be discovered by the research programme conducted under that name. –  reviewing Peter Woit’s Not Even Wrong

The problem, to state it in a manner more inflammatory than the measured tone of the author, and in a word of my choosing which I do not believe appears at all in his book, is that contemporary academic research in high energy particle theory is corrupt. As is usually the case with such corruption, the root cause is socialism, although the look-only-left blinders almost universally worn in academia today hides this from most observers there. Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, twigged to it quite early. In his farewell address of January 17th, 1961, which academic collectivists endlessly cite for its (prescient) warning about the “military-industrial complex”, he went on to say, although this is rarely quoted,

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

And there, of course, is precisely the source of the corruption. This enterprise of theoretical elaboration is funded by taxpayers, who have no say in how their money, taken under threat of coercion, is spent. Which researchers receive funds for what work is largely decided by the researchers themselves, acting as peer review panels. While peer review may work to vet scientific publications, as soon as money becomes involved, the disposition of which can make or break careers, all the venality and naked self- and group-interest which has undone every well-intentioned experiment in collectivism since Robert Owen comes into play, with the completely predictable and tediously repeated results. What began as an altruistic quest driven by intellectual curiosity to discover answers to the deepest questions posed by nature ends up, after a generation of grey collectivism, as a jobs program. In a sense, string theory can be thought of like that other taxpayer-funded and highly hyped program, the space shuttle, which is hideously expensive, dangerous to the careers of those involved with it (albeit in a more direct manner), supported by a standing army composed of some exceptional people and a mass of the mediocre, difficult to close down because it has carefully cultivated a constituency whose own self-interest is invested in continuation of the program, and almost completely unproductive of genuine science.

I don’t like that they’re not calculating anything. I don’t like that they don’t check their ideas. I don’t like that for anything that disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation-a fix-up to say, “Well, it might be true.” For example, the theory requires ten dimensions. Well, maybe there’s a way of wrapping up six of the dimensions. Yes, that’s all possible mathematically, but why not seven? . . . So the fact that it might disagree with experience is very tenuous, it doesn’t produce anything; it has to be excused most of the time. It doesn’t look right.[xliv] –Nobel Lareate R.P. Feynman

But superstring physicists have not yet shown that theory really works. They cannot demonstrate that the standard theory is a logical outcome of string theory. They cannot even be sure that their formalism includes a description of such things as protons and electrons. And they have not yet made even one teeny-tiny experimental prediction. Worst of all, superstring theory does not follow as a logical consequence of some appealing set of hypotheses about nature.[xlv] —Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow

“… There have always been kookie fanatics following strange visions. One of the most kookie, and of course most brilliant, was Einstein himself. It has often been said by my string theory friends that superstrings are going to dominate physics for the next half of a century. Ed Witten has said that. I would like to modify that remark. I would say that string theory will dominate the next fifty years of physics in the same way that Kaluza-Klein theory, another kookie theory upon which string theory is based, has dominated particle physics in the past fifty years. Which is to say, not at all.” –Sheldon Glashow

Burton Richter: The anthropic principle, I think, is one of the most stupid ideas ever to infect the scientific community. Look, the anthropic principle is an observation not an explanation. It is perfectly true that if the electromagnetic force had a significantly different strength, then atoms as we know them and molecules as we know them couldn’t exist and we couldn’t exist. This is an observation, it doesn’t tell you anything about how the electromagnetic force got to be that way. Sure we’re here, we’re having an interview, that means the electromagnetic force is constrained to be within a certain narrow boundary but the physics is; why is it in that narrow boundary? Now, you can beg that and you can go back to the scholastics in the Middle Ages and their answer would be ‘God made it so’. That may turn out to be the only thing…we may never find an explanation. If we don’t find an explanation then it’s just an arbitrary constant. –Former Director of Stanford Linear Accelerator,  (Burton Richter, Director Emeritus, SLAC)

Robyn Williams: So the new accelerators could well change our view of the universe, but what Burton Richter isn’t so keen on is what he calls the theology that so many theoreticians like Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies goes in for. He wants his physics hard.

Burton Richter: I called it theological speculation. They seem to have forgotten they have to be connected to physical reality.  (Burton Richter, Director Emeritus, SLAC)

To me, some of what passes for the most advanced theory in particle physics these days is not really science. When I found myself on a panel recently with three distinguished theorists, I could not resist the opportunity to discuss what I see as major problems in the philosophy behind theory, which seems to have gone off into a kind of metaphysical wonderland. Simply put, much of what currently passes as the most advanced theory looks to be more theological speculation, the development of models with no testable consequences, than it is the development of practical knowledge, the development of models with testable and falsifiable consequences (Karl Popper’s definition of science)…

The anthropic principle is an observation, not an explanation… I have a very hard time accepting the fact that some of our distinguished theorists do not understand the difference between observation and explanation, but it seems to be so…  —, Burton Richter, Director Emeritus, SLAC

String theory has no credibility as a candidate theory of physics.  Recognizing failure is a userful part of the scientific strategy. Only when failure is recognized can dead ends be abandoned and useable
pieces of failed programs be recycled. Aside from possible utility, there is a responsibility to recognize failure. Recognizing failure is an essential part of the scientific ethos. Complete scientific failure must be recognized eventually.” –Dan Friedan, early Rutgers String Theorist

“Likewise, the fact that certain beautiful mathematical forms were used in the period 1905-1974 to make the presently successful theory of physics does not imply that any particular standard of mathematical beauty is fundamental to nature. The evidence is for certain specific mathematical forms, of group theory, differential geometry and operator theory. The evidence comes from a limited range of spacetime distances. That range of distances grew so large by historical standards, and the successes of certain specific mathematical forms were so impressive, that there has been an understandable psychological impulse in physicists responsible for the triumph, and in their successors, to believe in a certain standard of mathematical beauty. But history suggests that it is unwise to extrapolate to fundamental principles of nature from the mathematical forms used by theoretical physics in any particular epoch of its history, no matter how impressive their success.  Mathematical beauty in physics cannot be separated from usefulness in the real world. The historical exemplars of mathematical beauty in physics, the theory of general relativity and the Dirac equation, obtained their credibility first by explaining prior knowledge. . . General relativity explained Newtonian gravity and special relativity. The Dirac equation explained the non-relativistic, quantum mechanical spinning electron. Both theories then made definite predictions that could be checked. Mathematical beauty in physics cannot be appreciated until after it has proved useful. Past programs in theoretical physics that have attempted to follow a particular standard of mathematical beauty, detached from the requirement of correspondence with existing knowledge, have failed. The evidence for beautiful mathematical forms in nature requires only that a candidate theory of physics explain those specifc mathematical forms that have actually been found, within the range of distances where they have been seen, to an approximation consistent with the accuracy of their observation.” –{ 11 {JHEP10(2003)063, Dan Friedan

This book is about physics, and this implies that theoretical ideas must be supported by experimental facts.  Neither supersymmtry nor string theory satisfy this crieterion.  They are figments of the theoretical mind.  –Dan Friedan

The great irony of string theory, however, is that the theory itself is not unified. . . For a theory that makes the claim of providing a unifying framework for all physical laws, it is the supreme irony that the theory itself appears so disunited!![xlvi] Introduction to Superstrings & M-Theory –Kaku

“Is string theory a futile exercise as physics, as I believe it to be? It is an interesting mathematical specialty and has produced and will produce mathematics useful in other contexts, but it seems no more vital as mathematics than other areas of very abstract or specialized math, and doesn’t on that basis justify the incredible amount of effort expended on it.

Until string people can interpret perceived properties of the real world they simply are not doing physics.   Should they be paid by universities and be permitted to pervert impressionable students?   Will young Ph.D’s, whose expertise is limited to superstring theory, be employable if, and when, the string snaps?   Are string thoughts more appropriate to departments of mathematics, or even to schools of divinity, than to physics departments?   How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?   How many dimensions are there in a compacted manifold, 30 powers of ten smaller than a pinhead? –Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow

My belief is based on the fact that string theory is the first science in hundreds of years to be pursued in pre-Baconian fashion, without any adequate experimental guidance. It proposes that Nature is the way we would like it to be rather than the way we see it to be; and it is improbable that Nature thinks the same way we do.

The sad thing is that, as several young would-be theorists have explained to me, it is so highly developed that it is a full-time job just to keep up with it. That means that other avenues are not being explored by the bright, imaginative young people, and that alternative career paths are blocked.” —Philip W. Anderson Physicist and Nobel laureate, Princeton

If Einstein were alive today, he would be horrified at this state of affairs. He would upbraid the profession for allowing this mess to develop and fly into a blind rage over the transformation of his beautiful creations into ideologies and the resulting proliferation of logical inconsistencies. Einstein was an artist and a scholar but above all he was a revolutionary. His approach to physics might be summarized as hypothesizing minimally. Never arguing with experiment, demanding total logical consistency, and mistrusting unsubstantiated beliefs. The unsubstantial belief of his day was ether, or more precisely the naïve version of ether that preceded relativity. The unsubstantiated belief of our day is relativity itself. It would be perfectly in character for him to reexamine the facts, toss them over in his mind, and conclude that his beloved principle of relativity was not fundamental at all but emergent (emergent from MDT!)  . . . It would mean that the fabric of space-time was not simply the stage on which life played out but an organizational phenomenon, and that there might be something beyond.[xlvii] (MDT!) –A Different Universe, Laughlin, Nobel Laureate

[String Theory] has no practical utility, however, other than to sustain the myth of the ultimate theory. There is no experimental evidence for the existence of strings in nature, nor does the special mathematics of string theory enable known experimental behavior to be calculated or predicted more easily. . . String theory is, in fact, a textbook case of Deceitful Turkey, a beautiful set of ideas that will always remain just barely out of reach. Far from a wonderful technological hope for a greater tomorrow, it is instead the tragic consequence of an obsolete belief system-in which emergence plays no role and dark law does not exist.[xlviii]A Different Universe, Laughlin

MDT and Socrates’ & Feynman’s Honorable Pursuit of Truth

MDT delivers an ultimate theory underlying Huygens’ Principle which Feynman’s many-paths formulation of QM also exalts, whereas Loop Quantum Gravity and String Theory only sustain a myth of an ultimate theory and thus perpetual funding.   Nobel Laureates have referred to this present era as the dark ages of physics, where progress in physics is frozen in a block universe tied together with tiny, vibrating strings and little loops which nobody has everphysically seen, violating the fundamental maxim of science put forth by Galileo, Einstein, et. al.  Feynman echoes the words of the heroic Achilles (whom Socrates referenced while defending philosophy as a virtuous pursuit in the Apology[xlix]) in defining science as an honest, honorable pursuit: “As I detest the doorways of death, so too do I detest that man who speaks forth one thing while hiding in his heart another.” (Achilles in Homer’s Iliad[l])

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. … You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. . . I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you’re talking as a scientist. . . I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. . . If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing—and if they don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision. [li] –Feynman, Cargo Cult Science

Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.[lii] –Newton

Please heed our advice that you too are not smitten—The book is not finished, the last word is not Witten. –Nobel Laureate Shedlon Glashow


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