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Cosmologist Lee Smolin challenges classic physicists’ position on time, citing Darwinian evolution


 Biology used to take its cues from physics but new cosmology takes its cues from (Darwinian) biology.

Readers will remember Lee Smolin, a cosmologist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, who doubts that there is a scientific method, but he has decided that time is real.

Now, science writer James Gleick offers valuable background and reflections on Smolin’s recent renunciation of the century (and more)-old view of time as the fourth dimension, explaining:

He is frankly recanting the accepted doctrine—an apostate:

I used to believe in the essential unreality of time. Indeed, I went into physics because as an adolescent I yearned to exchange the time-bound, human world, which I saw as ugly and inhospitable, for a world of pure, timeless truth….

I no longer believe that time is unreal. In fact I have swung to the opposite view: Not only is time real, but nothing we know or experience gets closer to the heart of nature than the reality of time.

Most of us have always thought time was real, and that assumption is enshrined in innumerable proverbs about time. But we didn’t know it might become fashionable again to think so.

Not so fast. It turns out that we are only supposed to think so in order to get away from our harmful religion and timeless truths, and instead support … Darwin?:

The prototype for thinking “in time,” Smolin argues, is Darwinian evolution. Natural processes lead to genuinely new organisms, new structures, new complexity, and—here he departs from the thinking of most scientists—new laws of nature. All is subject to change. “Laws are not timeless,” he says. “Like everything else, they are features of the present, and they can evolve over time.”

Smolin has in fact suggested cosmic Darwinism (new universes come into existence by Darwinian natural selection).

It is interesting to note how much people will give up in order to support Darwin.

You would think Darwinism was a religion or something. Oh, wait … 😉


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