2017-06-03 08:44:13 UTC
Sabine Hossenfelder: "The problem that nobody seems to want to talk about is that rather than trying to find a minimal model that explains the data and leave it at this, there are many hundreds of models for inflation all of which are almost certainly wrong because they contain too many details that aren't supported by data. As the philosophers have it, these models are severely underdetermined. Theoretical physicists produce these models literally because they can make money with it. They make money with it by getting them published and then using the publications to claim it's relevant research so it'll get funded and they can hire more postdocs to crunch out more papers. It's the same reason why theorists invent dark matter particles and extensions of the standard model. It's a way to make a living." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9349
Theoretical physicists' models are not deductive constructions. Just like the prototype, Einstein's general relativity, they are not-even-wrong empirical concoctions able to predict anything because their parameters can be tweaked "in seemingly endless ways":
Sabine Hossenfelder: "Many of my colleagues believe this forest of theories will eventually be chopped down by data. But in the foundations of physics it has become extremely rare for any model to be ruled out. The accepted practice is instead to adjust the model so that it continues to agree with the lack of empirical support."
"So what about the second criticism, that inflation is too flexible to be tested? It's true that while the idea behind inflation is simple, its parameters can be tweaked in seemingly endless ways... [...] In other words, the critics say, go out and measure almost anything and someone will say, "hey, that's evidence for inflation." Theories that can predict anything predict nothing. Inflation, they say, isn't science." http://nautil.us/issue/48/chaos/the-inflated-debate-over-cosmic-inflation
For instance, conventional dark matter models based on general relativity "need four free parameters to be adjusted to explain the data" (how many fudge factors LIGO conspirators needed in order to model the nonexistent gravitational waves is a deep mystery):
"Verlinde's calculations fit the new study's observations without resorting to free parameters – essentially values that can be tweaked at will to make theory and observation match. By contrast, says Brouwer, conventional dark matter models need four free parameters to be adjusted to explain the data." https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116446-first-test-of-rival-to-einsteins-gravity-kills-off-dark-matter/