Fine tuning Intelligent Design Multiverse

Physicist: How the multiverse can save the soul of physics

Spread the love

A physicst calls it quantum monism but he more or less means the multiverse. The problem, as he sees it, is that “the laws of physics appear to be finely tuned to permit the existence of intelligent beings who can discover those laws—a coincidence that demands explanation”. However, if we accept that there are zillions of universes out there, science loses its power to predict anything: “There is no obvious guiding principle for the CERN physicists searching for new particles. And there is no fundamental law to be discovered behind the accidental properties of the universe.” His proposal?

This is where “quantum monism,” as championed by Rutgers University philosopher Jonathan Schaffer, enters the stage. Schaffer has mused over the question what the universe is made of. According to quantum monism, the fundamental layer of reality is not made of particles or strings but the universe itself—understood not as the sum of things making it up but rather as a single, entangled quantum state…

Moreover, this conclusion extends to other multiverse concepts such as different laws of physics in the various valleys of the “string theory landscape” or other “baby universes” popping up in eternal cosmological inflation. Since entanglement is universal, it doesn’t stop at the boundary of our cosmic patch. Whatever multiverse you have, when you adopt quantum monism they are all part of an integrated whole: There always is a more fundamental layer of reality underlying the many universes within the multiverse, and that layer is unique. Heinrich Pas, “Quantum Monism Could Save the Soul of Physics” at Scientific American

It’s not clear how proposing a cosmic layer underlying the universes would help the problem Dr. Pas describes (ruling out fine-tuning) if the layer is not part of the universe we now study. It may, of course, be easily incorporated into a number of world religions. One suspects it already has been.

Note: He references Sabine Hossenfelder’s work. Maybe she will reply.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: What would a multiverse really be like?

Sabine Hossenfelder: The multiverse is “a fringe idea”

and

The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide

25 Replies to “Physicist: How the multiverse can save the soul of physics

  1. 1
    PeterA says:

    Please, help me. I have a problem with this.

    Does having all the fine tuned parameters guarantee the OOL?

    Does Humpty Dumpty comes to mind?

    Should we ask all the king’s horses and all the king’s men about this?

  2. 2
    ET says:

    It makes for good sci-fi. “The Man in the High Castle” is a pretty cool look at one alternate Earth- the Axis won WWII and the USA is divided between the Nazis in the East and Japan in the West with a neutral zone from the Mississippi into the Rockies. And get this- you can travel between the alternate Earth’s as long as the “you” on that Earth is already dead. You also have to be really good at meditation.

  3. 3

    Reportedly, millions of people, currently and throughout history, have used meditation and other techniques to go out-of-body with their consciousness and visit other-dimensional worlds. I’d say that for those people, the “multiverse” is an empirical fact of their experience. I’ve done it, members of my family have done it, and several people I know have done it. There are books that teach how from a purely secular and scientific perspective. There are countless reports and videos online from very sincere and believable experiencers, some who have been doing it virtually every day for decades. I’ve run into people that have done it and had no idea even how to frame the experience because it is so far outside of the mainstream narrative.

  4. 4
    PeterA says:

    Any help for the questions @1?

    Thanks

    BTW, grammar correction:

    Does Humpty Dumpty come to mind?

  5. 5
    ET says:

    PeterA @ 1- No, no and no.

    Fine tuning is necessary but not sufficient for the OoL

  6. 6
    PeterA says:

    ET,

    Spot on. Thanks. Well, actually it’s “no, yes, yes”. 🙂

    Fine tuning is a necessary but insufficient condition for OOL and any subsequent “evolution” to get coherently explained.

    Hence, the multiverse in any form doesn’t do the trick.

    They better keep working on their 3rd way of evolution, at least until they realize that there’s only one game in town: ID.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    PeterA- I have always thought it a tad weird that “they” cannot account for ONE and yet insist the many have them covered.

  8. 8
    PeterA says:

    ET,
    Yes, agree.
    Could it be that they believe that the end justifies the means? Maybe they believe that any argument is valid except the ones they philosophically dislike?
    Could the metaphysical implications of certain evidences be unacceptable to the point of denying the evidences or looking for other explanations at any rational cost?

    The point is this:

    Let’s say we’re in the universe that out of an unlimited multiverse happened to get the “lucky” combination of “fine tuned” physical parameters.

    The fine tuning of the physic parameters is a necessary but insufficient condition for the appearance of the first cells and their allegedly subsequent evolution.

    And the cell formation is not like a resolving a puzzle.

    Is the time available to OOL and evolution from the start of this “lucky” universe and specially of this “lucky” planet, enough for satisfying someone’s wishful thinking?

    The multiverse doesn’t do the trick for them.

    Too bad. Sorry. 😉

  9. 9
    doubter says:

    PeterA @6
    “Fine tuning is a necessary but insufficient condition for OOL and any subsequent “evolution” to get coherently explained.
    Hence, the multiverse in any form doesn’t do the trick.”

    I think you greatly underestimate the power of infinity. If the Multiverse is truly infinite, or is merely very very very large in number, then there will be universes in which even vanishingly improbable events like the OOL occur. In fact, infinity is so large that there will be an infinity of universes where the exceedingly improbable event of the OOL occurred.

    Of course, the materialists really really want the Multiverse to exist in order to explain fine tuning, but it remains without any evidence whatever, and probably never will have any. And it has an absurd number of absurd implications. And it still doesn’t answer the origins problem.

    The Multiverse is not science – it’s wish fulfillment in a cheap science suit, but that seems to be what science has descended to nowadays.

  10. 10
    PeterA says:

    Doubter @9:

    No underestimation of infinity. None at all.

    Let’s say we’re in this current universe that out of an infinite number of universes got the “lucky” combination of “fine tuned” physical parameters. Also we’re in this planet which got “lucky” to have the “lucky” material, energetic, electromagnetic condition and to be located in this “lucky” habitable zone. So far so good for the probabilistic game that allegedly could benefit from the multiverse. Please note my gracious concessions to the power of infinity.

    But at that point the “lucky” story ends. OOL has to be explained from scratch for the given conditions of this “lucky” planet, considering that an infinite repetition of the experiment can’t put Humpty Dumpty together.
    Because we are dealing with functional complexity of complex functionality that have many chicken-egg conundrums all over the map. OOL is not a probabilistic dice throwing issue. Same for biological (macro) evolution. It’s not a matter of time and “luck”.

    The same applies for any major complex technological design we have in this world. Just ask the engineers responsible for the projects. But make sure you ask it in a way that doesn’t offend their professional intellect by insinuating that what they created could have happened randomly.

    There are problems that even infinity can’t resolve.

    🙂

  11. 11
    doubter says:

    PeterA @10

    OOL is just a matter of probabilities in a truly infinite (or very very large) Multiverse, because for example, given enough monkeys and enough time, the monkeys really will type out the works of Shakespeare, which I’m sure you agree contain an immense amount of complex specified information. It’s just that the numbers involved are truly absurd.

  12. 12
    ET says:

    doubter:

    OOL is just a matter of probabilities in a truly infinite (or very very large) Multiverse

    No, it isn’t, but some people want you to believe that it is.

  13. 13
    PeterA says:

    Doubter @11:

    Note that the original article referenced in the OP is mainly about physics, not biology.

    The old analogy of monkeys typing Shakespeare’s work given enough time is about complex specified information associated with the genetic code. IOW, it’s about the arrangement of AAs in proteins and/or the nucleotides in the DNA, which sometimes is compared to meaningful written text.
    However, OOL is not only about getting DNA, for DNA alone won’t do much, if anything at all. Don’t leave out multiple control levels, GRNs, signaling pathways, the whole nine yards. There’s much more that we still don’t understand but it’s being gradually revealed as biology researchers work intensively trying to answer the numerous outstanding questions.
    The analogy of the typing monkeys doesn’t work for the OOL. Today no serious biologist will accept such a reductionist look at the cell.
    Again, you may refer to the typing monkeys example for discussions about major information jumps in protein families between ancestors and descendants, but put it aside when talking about OOL.
    Again, even in the highly hypothetical case that this universe is one of infinite multiverse, OOL remains unresolved. The infinite multiverse doesn’t do the trick.
    Is this clear now?
    Do you see the point?
    Remember that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. Not even in an infinite multiverse.
    🙂
    It ain’t as easy as you thought, buddy.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    PA & Doubter,

    I have never found a good reason to suggest the feasibility of implementing an actually infinite number of discrete physical entities or stages. I guess one may speak of an indefinitely large number as quasi-infinite, but that is more or less saying beyond our reckoning rather than having cardinality Aleph-null. Further to this, the fine tuning of the cosmological configuration space we see on examining the relevant mathematics etc, indicates that our observed cosmos sits at a deeply isolated operating point.

    There is no credible evolutionary path of sub-cosmi to approach and achieve such a target zone — and on the presumption that there may be other less restrictive, non near-neighbour zones, we should be seeing such a world, not this one. For example, we should be seeing a quantum-fluctuation, Boltzmann Brain world in a pocket-sized sub-cosmos tossed up by whatever underlying quantum foam or whatever is the wider reality in which such sub-cosmi could pop up.

    Of such a multiverse there is no observational base, unless you imply a simulation world, which would be designed by definition.

    Notice, Davies and Walker:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    Fine tuning is not got rid of so cheaply, once it is on the table.

    All of this is then directly relevant to relying on enough opportunities (sub-cosmi, planets in galactic and circumstellar habitable zones, similarly suggested OOL zones) to circumvent the statistical miracles implicit in typical blind watchmaker, chance and necessity only OOL scenarios.

    And that is before we get to the pivotal challenge that just to reason and discuss freely, rationally and responsibly we have to be morally governed through duty to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Just our existence as that sort of creature sharply constrains plausible candidate roots of reality to those capable of bridging IS and OUGHT.

    KF

  15. 15
    PeterA says:

    KF,

    I see your valid point, but I was trying to explain that even the senseless multiverse concept doesn’t do the trick for resolving OOL or evolution, because these processes are not comparable to the typing monkeys analogy. We know how to form the complex Shakespeare text, but nobody has a clue how to put Humpty Dumpty together again, regardless of how we got the fine tuning of the cosmological physics parameters and the habitable zone and the privileged planet status. My point is that even the absurd multiverse idea leaves fundamental biology outstanding questions unresolved.

  16. 16
    doubter says:

    PeterA @13
    “Don’t leave out multiple control levels, GRNs, signaling pathways, the whole nine yards. There’s much more that we still don’t understand but it’s being gradually revealed as biology researchers work intensively trying to answer the numerous outstanding questions.”

    I didn’t leave these out. These all were assumed as part of whatever the OOL process was. I merely pointed out that as there is a certain (very extremely slight) probability that all the air molecules in a room will spontaneously through Brownian motion simultaneously move outside the room through a door, leaving a transitory vacuum in the room, so there is a very very much lower though still non-zero probability that all the prebiotic organic molecules needed just happened to come together in a particular warm pond on the primeval Earth and just spontaneously formed the very complex biochemical bonds needed to form the first cellular structure – the first living organism.

    I was pointing out that since an infinite or very very large Multiverse can be imagined to be as large (as many separate sub-Universes) as necessary to get the job done (that is, to overcome this probabilistic spontaneous OOL barrier), then a large enough Multiverse could be responsible for the OOL without teleology. I think evolutionist and cosmologist Eugene Koonin has suggested something very much like this.

    I certainly am not suggesting that this is at all what actually happened. I pointed out in post #9 how the Multiverse is a non-scientific fantasy concocted by materialist science to explain things like fine tuning and the OOL without teleology.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    PA & Doubter, we are looking at the cybernetic cut. Blind mechanisms that look to inherently immediate trial/error patterns lack foresight. Cybernetic and programmed controls are inherently a strategy and architecture for systems. This requires considerable, multi-stage, multiple element foresight on the results of system integration. Which as any system designer will tell you, is itself a major headache, starting with local interface capacity then going on to subtle system interactions across the whole and with the environment. Complexity compounds with number of components — think about the rule that number of interactions in a mesh (implied by systemwide interactions) runs as what 1/2 n(n+1) is it? That’s an n square law. Factor in the mutual support required for fine tuning — simplistically, ponder a novice trying to make mutually compatible staves and put together an old fashioned wooden barrel. Factors such as these are why those with a systems background will shake their heads as they contemplate the naive simplistic blind watchmaker didit approach. We know the kind of coordinated coherent design needed to build a system of any sophistication. And, we need to ponder why, seventy years after von Neumann proposed the kinematic self replicator with a universal constructor and decades after NASA put in good money to study such, we have yet to create such a hardware entity. The living cell does all of this using a molecular nanotech metabolic automaton. The OOL paradigm is irretrievably broken, nearly a hundred years after Oparin. KF

  18. 18
    PeterA says:

    Doubter @16:
    “there is a very very much lower though still non-zero probability that all the prebiotic organic molecules needed just happened to come together in a particular warm pond on the primeval Earth and just spontaneously formed the very complex biochemical bonds needed to form the first cellular structure – the first living organism.”

    No, there’s no such thing as biochemical self-assembling of a biological cell. Even an accredited proponent of biochemical OOL in the early 1970s (https://freescience.today/story/dean-kenyon/) eventually realized he was wrong.
    We’re dealing with functional complexity of complex functionality.
    This is a Humpty Dumpty issue.
    You and I know how Shakespeare’s text is physically made: English words put sequentially together. We may not know what was in Shakespeare’s mind that inspired him to write what he wrote. But we can reproduce what he did, at least physically, even if not emotionally. That’s why in theory one could argue that given an unlimited amount of attempts, the correct sequence of characters could eventually match the famous text.
    However, that’s not the case of OOL or even the alleged subsequent evolution.
    It’s a completely different category of problem.
    The typing monkeys can’t do it in an unlimited number of attempts.
    Reductionism has been dominant in biology research until Systems Biology became a new branch of biology. And systems biology still leaves many important issues unresolved.

    “I think evolutionist and cosmologist Eugene Koonin has suggested something very much like this.”

    Nonsense remains nonsense regardless of who says it.

    A control systems engineer can sweep and mop the floor with all that nonsense and make that NIH biologist run for the door.

    “I certainly am not suggesting that this is at all what actually happened. I pointed out in post #9 how the Multiverse is a non-scientific fantasy concocted by materialist science to explain things like fine tuning and the OOL without teleology.”

    No, the multiverse idea is intended to deal with physical issues like the cosmological fine tuning and perhaps the habitable zone and the privileged planet issues, but not with OOL or evolution.

  19. 19
    PeterA says:

    KF @17:

    “The living cell does all of this using a molecular nanotech metabolic automaton. The OOL paradigm is irretrievably broken, nearly a hundred years after Oparin. ”

    Spot on.

  20. 20
    PeterA says:

    Doubter,

    Here’s a relatively recent example of genetic engineering so you have an idea what it takes to change the genome of a bacteria within the existing cellular machinery. That shows that the DNA outside the cellular context is useless. The synthetic cells are simply old cells with tinkered DNA, through transfecttion or other techniques. They don’t make the whole cell from scratch. Just synthesize the nucleotide sequence.

    https://msystems.asm.org/content/3/3/e00198-17

  21. 21
    PeterA says:

    More on the topic of the highly speculative “multiverse” idea not bring a sufficient condition for OOL:

    “The last years have witnessed the development of whole-genome cloning and transplantation methods and the complete synthesis of entire chromosomes. Recently, the first minimal cell, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0, was created. Despite these milestone achievements, several questions remain to be answered. “

    https://msystems.asm.org/content/3/3/e00198-17

  22. 22
    doubter says:

    PeterA @ 18, 20

    Over at Evolution News in 2018 ID spokesperson Kirk Durston wrote up Koonin’s Multiverse OOL hypothesis, and only attacked it on the basis that (as I have pointed out) the Multiverse hypothesis itself is absurd. Did he miss your claim, that random processes and indefinitely vast probabilistic resources simply in principle absolutely can’t spontaneously originate complicated irreducibly complex mechanisms? If so I think perhaps the editors of EVN should change their views on what to publish.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/05/reality-check-has-science-explained-the-origin-of-life/

    “Evolutionary biologist Eugene Koonin has advanced a different idea, which he considers to be the only way to avoid intelligent design: a multiverse that contains an infinite number of universes. In this scenario, the most wildly improbable things would happen with certainty, including the origin of life and evolution (not to mention the neighbor down the street winning all the lotteries in the world, all the time). The final sentence in his paper ends with,

    “The present model sidesteps the issue of irreducibility and leaves no room whatsoever for any form of intelligent design.”

    Let’s just lean back in our chairs and think about this for a moment. In order to deny the “elephant in the room” (i.e., the obvious scientific observation that intelligent minds can produce information, write code, and build impressive stuff), he postulates an infinite number of unseen, untestable entities. Koonin’s proposal cannot possibly involve a bigger violation of Ockham’s razor (“entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.”) One way of establishing something as obviously true is to argue that the only alternative is something that is utterly absurd — and other scientists have pointed out exactly that about Koonin’s multiverse proposal. That leaves intelligent design as the only scientifically testable and verifiable option for the origin of life.”

    Actually, in your posts I don’t really see a scientific or logical argument of exactly why random processes and indefinitely vast or even infinite (as proposed by Koonin) probabilistic resources can’t build complex mechanisms spontaneously by chance. Your arguments are mainly argument by repeated assertion without detailed justification, that simply, in principle, the formation of the necessary biochemical bonds between molecules by chance is impossible.

    Koonin’s opinion on this issue I think has at least some weight since he is a molecular biologist and recognized expert in evolutionary and computational biology.

  23. 23
    PeterA says:

    Doubter @22:
    “If so I think perhaps the editors of EVN should change their views on what to publish.”
    No, not at all. Their views are not based on my opinion.
    Do they have Control Systems Engineers in their staff?
    I know one, but not in Seattle.
    The two guys you mentioned have impressive CV, but not enough to understand complex systems. I don’t either, but I know someone who does. BTW, speaks the same language as Dr Koonin.

  24. 24
    PeterA says:

    This may help to get an idea of what control system engineering is about.
    Norman S. Nise
    Nise’s Control System Engineering
    ISBN-13: 978-8126571833, ISBN-10: 8126571837

    Norman S. Nise
    Nise’s Control System Engineering
    ISBN-13: 978-8126571833, ISBN-10: 8126571837

  25. 25
    PeterA says:

    Doubter,

    Articles like this let us see that OOL can only be the product of design by a conscious mind that understands meaning and purpose:

    Inferring the Minimal Genome of Mesoplasma florum by Comparative Genomics and Transposon Mutagenesis
    Vincent Baby, Jean-Christophe Lachance, Jules Gagnon, Jean-François Lucier, Dominick Matteau, Tom Knight, Sébastien Rodrigue
    David F. Savage, Editor
    DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00198-17

    Note that all they do so far is intelligently design and modify the genome within existing cellular systems. Everything else, besides the genome, is left in place. They don’t let Humpty to fall. 🙂
    As technology advances, we might be able someday to intelligently tinker with other parts of the system, but without breaking the whole thing, lest the delicate interwoven mechanisms get affected in an undesirable way.

    We should be more respectful to designing engineers, realizing that their conceptualization of any complex system first occurs in their minds before being developed and physically implemented.

    However, OOL is even more exuberantly complex than anything human designers have imagined. That’s why I think that even the often cited watchmaker analogy doesn’t represent the situation accurately. Watches are not living beings.

    Unguided material processes won’t do it regardless of whether the cosmological physical fine tuning of this universe and our habitable zone and our privileged planet resulted from some highly speculative infinite multiverse.

Leave a Reply