Physics, Earth & Space
“Our 20th- and 21st-Century Ptolemaic Epicycles”?
Here is some refreshing philosophical candor from Alex Filippenko, professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, as he describes his “wake up in the middle of the night screaming” worries that dark energy and dark matter might be theory-driven devices to accommodate the data. “Band-Aids to explain the data,” he wonders, “but they’re just completely wrong.”
He remarks, “Maybe these are our 20th- and 21st-century Ptolemaic epicycles…“ I take no position on the physics and astronomy questions raised (because I can’t), but am fascinated by the philosophy of science parallels to similar moves in molecular phylogenetics and systematics.
Go here, at about 9 minutes into his interview with Lex Fridman:
Fridman is a first-rate interviewer. I love his stuff. On a recent drive to and from Pittsburgh, I listened to his four-hour+ long interview with Stephen Wolfram. Compelling.