Essentially, Siegel, the person who has Big Problems with something as widely accepted as the Big Bang, is quite prepared to accept all this far out stuff. That is where the naturalist project is just now.
We’ve only begun to point huge telescopes at exoplanets. There are too many unknowns to be sure of our status, he thinks.
Quoting C. S. Lewis: “If we discover other bodies, they must be habitable or uninhabitable: and the odd thing is that both these hypotheses are used as grounds for rejecting Christianity.”
Siegel: “It is time to take seriously the idea that dark energy might simply be a property inherent to the very fabric of space. Until we learn how to calculate the zero-point energy of empty space itself, or gain some bizarre, surprising, and unanticipated evidence, this will remain one of the biggest existential questions in all the universe.” So this is existentialism for physicists, right? Even Sabine Hossenfelder sounds sort of existential on this one.
Josephson: David Bohm suggested that some kind of implicate order underlies the manifest order observed in physical systems, while others have suggested that some kind of mind-like process underlies this order. In the following a more explicit picture is proposed, based on the existence of parallels between spontaneously fluctuating equilibrium states and life processes.
Ola Hössjer: According to the Weak Anthropic Principle, we should not be surprised to live in a universe that harbors life. But I should add that, in our paper, “Cosmological Tuning Fine or Coarse?,” we compute or give an upper bound for the probability of a randomly generated universe to have a certain constant of nature, ending up within its life-permitting interval. We take the Weak Anthropic Principle into account — and still we come up with small probabilities for certain constant of natures or certain ratios or constants of nature.
Charlie Wood: The tetraquark now presents theorists with a solid target against which to test their mathematical machinery for approximating the strong force.
Daniel Díaz: There is a constant attached to the gravitational law. And in that gravitational law, that constant is producing some effect. Were the constant too small, then stars could not be formed.
Ellis: Humans have demonstrably contemplated purpose and meaning and ethics for millennia and their existence is data on how things are. The existence of these possibility spaces is part of the deep structure of the cosmos, in the way that I have proposed above. In that sense, meaning is built into the foundations of existence.
Sagan was denied tenure at Harvard for being, according to Zabel, a little too “out there.” But today, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb openly discusses his thoughts on ETs and UFOs in popular science venues. And, in what sounds like a helpful move, NASA is seeking standards for ET life claims, rather than just denying or avoiding them altogether.
Hossenfelder has stumbled on a telling fact about science journalism. Often, the genuinely puzzling problem is ignored in favour of some a big whoop de do about an incidental find that doesn’t amount to much and may prove an artifact of data collection.
Sheldon: Translating, Ethan is saying that the old 20th century materialism that says “entropy” or “information” emerges from the particles is being replaced by a 21st century view that “entropy” or “information” is fundamental and the material particles emerge from the immaterial field.
The paper, which appeared in Entropy in 2020, is open access. The most significant element of this new theory is surely that it is explicitly a theory of “panconsciousness” and non-materialism.
What it really meant was permission to ignore the significance of the fine-tuning of the universe and of Earth for life. It really amounts to saying that evidence does not matter any more.
Sheldon: “… dark matter and dark energy (aka Λ) have become science fantasy with no shortage of storytellers. It’s time to tell everybody the party’s over.”