Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Can the universe learn?, physicists ask

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Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics explains:

The universe could be teaching itself how to evolve into a better, more stable, cosmos. That’s the far-out idea proposed by a team of scientists who say they are reimagining the universe just as Darwin revamped our view of the natural world.

The controversial new idea attempts to explain why the laws of physics are as we see them using a mathematical framework to describe various proposed theories in physics, such as quantum field theories and quantum gravity. The result is a system similar to a machine-learning program.

Mara Johnson-Groh, “Can the Universe Learn?” at RealClearScience

If the universe is really similar to a machine learning system, as they suggest, then, no question, it was designed. All machine learning systems are designed. Are the physicists prepared to unpack that?

In order to have a universe that evolves, the researchers proposed an idea called the autodidactic universe — a universe that is self-learning. In this case, the learning would happen similar to how a machine-learning algorithm works, where feedback at one stage influences the next, with the goal of reaching a more stable energy state.

“We’re trying to change the conversation much the way that Darwin the biologist had to change the conversation to get a deeper understanding for the subject,” said author Lee Smolin, a physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Waterloo, Canada.

Mara Johnson-Groh, “Can the Universe Learn?” at RealClearScience

But guys, Darwin would say you had killed his baby.

Never mind. Keep talking. Just keep talking.

The paper is open access.

3 Replies to “Can the universe learn?, physicists ask

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    It would make for interesting fiction, but no way to test it without a full understanding of all the laws. We are still learning what the laws are and will be until we advance technologically to the point of knowing how many laws there are and how they all work.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Even ordinary programmers know that a program doesn’t “evolve”.

    I can easily write a program that learns and adapts, and I can also build an analog circuit that learns and adapts. If I had a better workbench I could build a mechanical contraption that learns and adapts. Learning systems have been around for centuries, and all of them require a human to develop and build them.

    How did these “philosophers” separate their own learning so far from obvious reality, and why do they get PAID for this idiotic crap?

  3. 3

    Surprise surprise
    Dr Smolin and his pals at Perimeter Institute, their money for this nonsense is forced from the average Joe in taxes.

    Okay, Perimeter calls it “Investment”
    The Government of Canada is long on nonsense.

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