Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Physicist: The whole universe may be a neural network

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No, listen. This is a preprint from Vitaly Vanchurin at the arXiv server:

Then one might argue that there are not two, but three phenomena that need to be unified: quantum mechanics, general relativity and observers. 99% of physicists would tell you that quantum mechanics is the main one and everything else should somehow emerge from it, but nobody knows exactly how that can be done. In this paper I consider another possibility that a microscopic neural network is the fundamental structure and everything else, i.e. quantum mechanics, general relativity and macroscopic observers, emerges from it. So far things look rather promising…

What I am saying is very simple. There are structures (or subnetworks) of the microscopic neural network which are more stable and there are other structures which are less stable. The more stable structures would survive the evolution, and the less stable structure would be exterminated. On the smallest scales I expect that the natural selection should produce some very low complexity structures such as chains of neurons, but on larger scales the structures would be more complicated. I see no reason why this process should be confined to a particular length scale and so the claim is that everything that we see around us (e.g. particles, atoms, cells, observers, etc.) is the outcome of natural selection.

Victor Tangermann, “Physicist: The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network” at Futurism

Paper. (open access)

It doesn’t take very long for Darwinism to become indistinguishable from magic.

4 Replies to “Physicist: The whole universe may be a neural network

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    I doubt that Darwin had any understanding of neural networks, let alone how they might have evolved at a microscopic level in the structure of the Universe. It sound like this physicist is dabbling in speculation. Not that there is anything wrong with that bu that is all it is.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    “Infinite neural network” is a multisyllabic way of saying “God”.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    Lol @ 1 beautifully ironic
    But that’s my problem with evolution Darwin didn’t have any understanding of neural networks he made a really good philosophy is what he did

    It can explain anything and that’s because it not Falsifiable

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    What I am saying is very simple. There are structures (or subnetworks) of the microscopic neural network which are more stable and there are other structures which are less stable. The more stable structures would survive the evolution, and the less stable structure would be exterminated. On the smallest scales I expect that the natural selection should produce some very low complexity structures such as chains of neurons, but on larger scales the structures would be more complicated. I see no reason why this process should be confined to a particular length scale and so the claim is that everything that we see around us (e.g. particles, atoms, cells, observers, etc.) is the outcome of natural selection.

    Hmm, he said, ‘I see no reason why’,,,

    But exactly where have I heard that phrase, ‘I see no reason why’, before? Oh yeah, here,

    Someone tries telling the truth: Darwin wasn’t that great but he met an elite need – July 29, 2014
    Excerpt: he (Charles Darwin) devoted almost every bit of his magnum opus (Origin Of Species) to tedious examples of artificial selection in domestic animals. He brushed away the glaring advantage of artificial over natural selection with rhetoric along the lines of “I see no reason why” natural selection might not have fashioned the eye or any other organ or living thing. For such schoolboy ineptitude he was roundly criticized by his contemporaries, all of whom are now consigned to history’s dustbin, regardless of their skills and biological competency.
    – per uncommondescent

    Well, to help him see a reason why it will not work, here are a couple of reasons why his ‘bottom up’ just so story will not work.

    First off, contrary to the semi God-like powers he imagines natural selection to have, natural selection is found to be grossly inadequate as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ as Darwinists falsely imagine it to be.

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila – 2010
    Excerpt of concluding paragraph: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.”
    http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/.....202010.pdf

    “The Third Way” – James Shapiro, Denis Noble, and etc.. etc..,,,
    excerpt: “some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis.”
    http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/

    Thus the author simply has no mathematical, nor empirical, warrant for his belief in natural selection as being a causally adequate explanation and/or a causally adequate ‘designer substitute’.

    Secondly, as to his claim that he personally ‘sees no reason why’ macroscopic structures cannot possibly ’emerge’, in a bottom top fashion, from his hypothetical ‘microscopic neural network’,,, well, here is one reason why. Namely, “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    A small spectral gap – the energy needed to transfer an electron from a low-energy state to an excited state – is the central property of semiconductors. In a similar way, the spectral gap plays an important role for many other materials.,,,
    Using sophisticated mathematics, the authors proved that, even with a complete microscopic description of a quantum material, determining whether it has a spectral gap is, in fact, an undecidable question.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    The author, because he is committed to reductive materialism, is basically butting heads with Aristotle’s, (and Aquinas’s), ancient matter vs form dichotomy:

    Aquinas: Metaphysics
    5. Matter and Form
    https://iep.utm.edu/aq-meta/#H5

    The author, with his ‘bottom up’ materialistic speculation about ’emergent’ neural networks, is also butting heads with the top down causation of the immaterial mind(s) that produced computers and specifically produced the ‘artificial neural networks’ that he references in the first place.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt:
    Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:?Definition 1: Causal Effect If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.?Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,?Definition 2: Existence If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).,,,
    Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    , As should be needless to say,, If the author is going to argue that God, and/or Intelligent Design, is not necessary to explain the universe, (or explain anything in the universe), it might be well for him to not use an example, (i.e. artificial neural networks), that was intelligently designed in the first place.

    Neural Network
    Excerpt: A neural network is a network or circuit of neurons, or in a modern sense, an artificial neural network, composed of artificial neurons or nodes.[1] Thus a neural network is either a biological neural network, made up of real biological neurons, or an artificial neural network, for solving artificial intelligence (AI) problems.
    – per wikipedia

    Of supplemental note as to the correct ‘theory of everything’:

    ,,, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:
    January 2020
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/welcome-to-the-brave-new-world-of-science/#comment-690569

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

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