Attacks on Big Bang & Anti-attacks | Irving Segal

Attacks on Big Bang & Anti-attacks
Irving Segal

Attacks on Big Bang & Anti-attacks | Back to CONTENTS

I found a webpage given by Edward L. (Ned) Wright @ UCLA Astronomy.

Here Wright lists some attacks on Big Bang theory and he fights back.

Irving Segal | Back to CONTENTS

I do not have time to read all the pages now. But one page grabbed me,

On that page, John Baez wrote some memories of Irving Segal, a physicist proposed of a different theory from Big Bang. Baez wrote in this article: Segal “became quite a pariah in the astronomy community”. This is really impressive.

Segal is an interesting person. Baez wrote about his criticism on different subjects.

At various times I recall him making scathing criticisms of all the scientific disciplines in which he engaged. He was appalled by the lack of mathematical rigor shown by most theoretical physicists. He compared astronomers who put a lot of work into studying individual stars or galaxies to stamp collectors, and he repeatedly told me that explaining modern statistical methods to cosmologists was like trying to explain Western medicine to a witch doctor. On the other hand, he roundly criticized statisticians and probability theorists for their obsession with measure spaces as opposed to algebras of observables. He especially ridiculed mathematical purists who were unmotivated by applications, comparing them to tailors so engrossed in their art that they would as gladly make a shirt with three arms as with two. He often mocked `Bourbachic’, and regarded a lot of mathematical formalism as the equivalent of `gold-plating the carburetor’, saying `it may look nice, but it doesn’t run any better.’

Segal 觉得大多数理论物理学家的数学不严谨。天文学家花了很大的功夫研究一个特定的恒星或者星系,Segal 就拿集邮的人说事,还说向宇宙学家解释现代统计方法就跟向巫医解释西医一样。有意思的是,他还批评搞统计和概率论的那帮家伙太痴迷于measure space了,并且还反对algebras和observables。特别是对于mathematical purist,Segal批评他们不以应用为研究的动机,并且把他们比喻成是沉溺于艺术的裁缝做出一件三只袖子的衬衫。等等。


When asked about the University of Chicago, where he worked before coming to M.I.T., he would say in a deprecatory tone, `Oh, it’s not very good – just the best that there is.’