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Cosmology: the fertile Universe

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Sophya, Aug 10, 2019.

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  1. Sophya

    Sophya Newbie

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    The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection

    The most spectacular scientific hypothesis that provides what may be the best explanation for the existence of Complexity and Life in the universe.

    "The most full proposal for the mechanism of cosmological natural selection comes from physicist Lee Smolin.

    The odds of randomly hitting upon a life-permitting universe seem infinitesimal. Referring to biological complexity, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins wrote, "The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is, in principle, capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity."

    If that is true, why stop at biology?

    "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Is it possible that, faced with a similar daunting challenge to explain complexity and the appearance of design, nothing in cosmology will make sense except in the light of evolution either?

    The Theory:

    Throughout the universe, stars that collapse into black holes squeeze down to an unimaginably extreme density. Under those extreme conditions, as a result of quantum phenomenon, the black hole explodes in a big bang and expands into its own new baby universe, separate from the original. The point where time ends inside a black hole is where time begins in the big bang of a new universe.

    Smolin proposes that the extreme conditions inside a collapsed black hole result in small random variations of the fundamental physical forces and parameters in the baby universe. So each of the new baby universes has slightly different physical forces and parameters from its parent. This introduces variation.

    Because of their inherited characteristics, universes with star-friendly parameters will produce more stars and reproduce at a greater rate than those universes with star-unfriendly parameters. So the parameters we see today are the way they are because, after accumulating bit by bit through generations of universes, the inherited parameters are good at producing stars and reproducing.

    So that would be a logical explanation to the deep "fine tuning problem” – the parameters in our universe are the way they are because of non-random naturalistic cumulative inherited change through reproductive success over time.

    If correct, we live in a lineage of offspring universes – which visually could be depicted like the expanding branches on the biological tree of life."

    Text source:

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.co...and-beauty-of-cosmological-natural-selection/

    Lee Smolin explains his Theory @ Through the wormhole (tv documentary): "The explanation why the Universe is bio-friendly is a side effect of the universe being very fruitful in terms of its own reproduction."



    Lee Smolin talks about Cosmological Natural Selection:

     
  2. Fidicen

    Fidicen Community Member

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    Unfortunately, as fascinating as such things can be, this is one of those areas of physics in which theories might be impossible to verify or falsify.

    I do see another problem here. If the universes are gradually fine-tuned toward a star-friendly state, considering it from an evolutionary perspective the parameters would have to be such that an offspring universe would produce the maximum amount of black holes, and hence new universes. We do not live in such a universe. Not sure about how it would go mathematically, but my hunch is that a universe like that would have more mass, that is, its gravity would be much greater than ours: not so great that it would immediately collapse on itself, but certainly not so weak that the universe keeps expanding infinitely, or the expansion even accelerating, as in our current model. Or maybe emphasizing mass is misleading, as there could be universes of different size. But whatever the mass of the universe would be, the relationship of mass and the cosmological constant would be different in a universe that produces the maximum amount of black holes, and therefore new universes. Time increases the probability of life emerging, but such a universe most likely wouldn't exist as long as ours, for the amount of black holes would be greater when there isn't so much space between galaxies, and the maximum black hole universes would be geared towards expansion halting at some point.

    Sure, it's possible that our universe exists at the point in evolution where the amount of offspring universes hasn't been maximized, but that raises the question: how likely is it? There's no answer to that, and the question of probability brings us back to the problem the Smolin theory tries to solve, that of how unlikely it is that the parameters are conveniently conducive to the emergence of life.

    In short: the best star-friendly parameters probably aren't close to the best life-friendly parameters.
     
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    Sophya

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    Thank for your valuable input.

    "Smolin takes great pains to claim his hypothesis is scientific because it is falsifiable. He proposes several ways that his conjecture can be disproved. But the larger point for us is not whether Smolin's specific proposed mechanism for cosmological natural selection is true. The point here is to emphasize the power, beauty and logic of cosmological natural selection as a scientific hypothesis to explain complexity and the appearance of design, even if the precise mechanism of cosmic heredity and variation has not been determined. (...)

    If cosmological natural selection proves true, we would not live in a determined world, but in a changing cosmos with an open future. This can be interpreted as optimistic and hopeful."

    Text source:
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.co...and-beauty-of-cosmological-natural-selection/

    ... Probably it's the optimistic side of it that attracts me and makes me wonder.
     
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  4. Maikl Jexocuha

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