Is the course of science and knowledge intertwined with the crises of history and the transformations of societies, especially during the modern era, say for the last 4 or 5 centuries or even more if we go back to medieval knowledge? It is difficult to answer this question, especially since the West has almost always been in crisis. The history of mankind is no more regulated than the climate. Universal laws apply to mankind as they do to matter. The arrow of time leads to chaos, but a second arrow of time leads to order and harmony. If you do not know this, it is because the new theory of Time has not yet been worked out, but do not worry, some are on the case.
General relativity was elaborated by Einstein between 1914 and 1917, exactly during the terrible conflict that led to the Treaty of Versailles, the advent of the Soviets and then to Mussolini’s fascism. Quantum mechanics was born in, say, 1927. At the same time as the publication of Heidegger’s Being and Time, a few years before the great depression that preceded the war of 39. The new theories aroused passions. This was the case for quantum mechanics with the battle between the conservatives led by Einstein and the reformers led by Bohr. General relativity did not give rise to any controversy in the years following its publication. Logically, only three physicists had understood this theory. On the other hand, Darwin’s evolution produced ideological and scientific wars of an unsuspected intensity. Even though God had died according to Nietzsche’s formula, the “dying corpse” of religious institutions was stirring in all directions. Pastor’s life was not a restful one, as was Galileo’s life for that matter. And Descartes was forced to hide elsewhere to be published.
And now, in 2015? Nothing happens in science. No new theories, no major discoveries, no controversies except for schoolyard arguments between darwinians and creationists. At most, questions about materialism and an aggiornamento in quantum cosmology with this “black hole war”, to use the title of a very exciting book written by Leonard Susskind. A book little commented on in the French scientific press which has once again shown its shortcomings. The vitality of a country’s research is measured by the quality of its scientific press. The Anglo-Saxons are well placed. The black hole affair hardly disturbed the people of science any more than the regular course of Kant’s days was disturbed by the announcement of the storming of the Bastille in 1789. However, the controversy played out in the question of black holes is not insignificant. It concerns a “certain tension” between quantum mechanics and black holes, which are the product of general relativity. With a question of universal scope on the future of information, this question being inseparable from the question of what is natural information in the ontological sense.
The scientific press prefers to slum it with the spectacular, Higgs boson-like particle of God, or the face revealed by the Big bang through a telescope in space, or finally an improbable giant virus that has thawed out and could wake up and decimate part of humanity. One wonders whether the scientific press does not despise the reader, judging him incapable of understanding the major theoretical issues but considering him quite ready to be dazzled by scoops like a kid dazzled by funny animals in a zoo. The educated public is not reduced to this horde of onlookers crowding into the shows of Hubert Reeves and Michel Serres.
The black hole war is a first warning before the great battle that will lead to a paradigm shift and certainly to the development of a new cosmology. Other warnings have been issued in recent years. The question of the “wall of fire”, also linked to the future of information in the black hole, has made physics insiders think, with some considering sacrificing one of the two pillars of physics, quantum mechanics or general relativity. But already in 1927, the signals of a future scientific earthquake could be detected.
It becomes plausible to envisage an earthquake in science echoing and resonating with the crisis of the modern world which has been growing since 2008 and which is far from being just a question of economics and finance. The 2008 crisis is not the cause of a global slump but just the consequence of technical and social transformations of a world lost in the cult of money, efficiency, narcissistic desires, domination, excessiveness, uncontrolled demography and so on. In the context of a twilight world, a scientific earthquake is not a small point. A new science is opening up new horizons and is part of a rethinking of consciousness and the reconstruction of a modern world which, for the moment, is in danger of imploding. Contemporary modernism is a calamity just as harmful as fascism, Nazism and Stalinism were.
For the moment I can say no more, but just to set the record straight on some of the recurrent clichés used by the popularisers of science. It is said that quantum mechanics describes the infinitely small, that cosmology puts us face to face with the infinitely large, whereas biology concerns the infinitely complex. The lecturer pronounces these beautiful words in front of an assembly of modernist faithful with the seriousness of a prelate preparing the hosts for the frogs of bénitier. Instead of God, we speak of the infinite and the scientist poses as a rational ecclesiast administering rationalist worship while being empowered to speak of the infinite. What is infinite in truth is human folly. The cosmos is not infinitely great, it is just vast. It’s an extended world that we actually guess is more complex than we thought. The living world is complex and the quantum world is not infinitely small because the notion of space is no longer relevant at this point. You can’t call something small if it can’t be measured with dimensional instruments. As for Planck’s length, this is the biggest mistake physics has ever invented. The quantum world is also complex and reveals the details of matter that exchanges information and presents itself as an overlay of expressive and receptive interfaces. In short, matter also has the attributes of thought, but at its own level. And more generally, the matter of the cosmos also has these attributes and therefore, the extended gravitational field theory proposed by Einstein is false. In short, quantum physics imposes to liquidate general relativity to build a new cosmology that will also describe Gravity but in an informational orientation (I avoid saying entropic because this notion is overused, not to say ambiguous and fuzzy).
I confess that I do not understand how physicists have remained so long in the dead end of quantum cosmology when they had the means to get out of it, especially after 2000 and the results on the AdS/CFT duality. If the two theories are irreconcilable, one hypothesis deserves to be considered, it is the sacrifice of one of the two theories, and in this case general relativity. You do not yet grasp the universal stakes of this choice. To explain it, one can conceive of a duel between two branches of mathematics both used in physics, algebra and geometry. Quantum physics uses more specifically algebra while general relativity uses geometry. The battle between quantum physics and relativity will result in the victory of algebra over geometry, which represents the triumph of thought over extent, thus leading to the collapse of scientific modernism and all the paradigms that flow from it, Exacerbated desires, efficiency, mastery of things by material action, technique taken as an end and not as a means, relativity, fields, forces, Darwinism, materialistic neurosciences with its sectarians, from Changeux to Dehaene through Churchland and Dawkins.
The triumph of quantum physics is also the return to Plotinus and the revenge of Plato, the modernist and materialist cavern dynamited. Behind the regularities of the geometric extended world found the algebraic order of the world, the principle of algebra being to reconstitute a figure or an order from components endowed with composability. We obviously find Leibniz and his monads, but isn’t it expected if we try to explain what quantum physics wants to reveal to us with the new monads?