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So we can get rid of the multiverse if we assume that the laws of nature evolve?

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Further to “BBC: Inflation (multiverse) theories only work if supplemented by ‘exotic physics’” (Try this “exotic physics” thing out next time you are disputing a traffic ticket.), here’s what The Guardian reviewer had to say about about a recent exotic physics book, The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time by Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin:

Smolin has not been cowed by the sceptical reception of his ideas to date. And his new book, a broadside against many of the most widely accepted theories in cosmology, is co-written with someone who is even more of a maverick than he is.

Well, that guy has a hard act to follow.

Unger and Smolin want to overturn a picture of cosmology with which many of us are broadly familiar through a hundred different popular accounts. In that version, the universe – and therefore time as part of the space-time continuum – came into being following a big bang 13.8bn years ago. At first the universe was inconceivably tiny but then approximately 10 to the power of minus 37 seconds into the expansion, something called cosmic inflation led to exponential growth and the seeds of what we observe today. Oh and, the theory suggests, ours is just one of an infinite number of universes in the multiverse.

Unger and Smolin say that parts of this model are essentially preposterous. There is, they argue, just one universe. Time is real and the laws of nature are not timeless but evolve. Mathematics is not a description of some separate timeless, Platonic reality, but is a description of the properties of one universe.

Smolin had previously been advocating that black holes produce new universes by “a kind of cosmic version of Darwinian natural selection” in which “the most common universes will be those most suitable for producing black holes.” Maybe he is through with that now?

A friend comments: What’s HAL’s line from 2001? “My mind, it’s going. I can feel it, I can feel it.”

Well, there is another way of looking at this: What Unger and Smolin are doing is what people used to do in the middle ages. There was no means of science discovery of the universe back then so there was a constant war between untestable theories. (Admittedly, different theology but same basic idea.) One needn’t lose one’s mind if one isn’t compelled to fund it or choose sides.

So one needn’t lose one’s mind, but rather remember that in a post-space program age, this sort of thing is called science.

See also: Why cosmology does not need to make sense any more.

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9 Replies to “So we can get rid of the multiverse if we assume that the laws of nature evolve?

  1. 1
    MrCollins says:

    Instead of exotic physics, you could try checking out this other theory that goes back to a universe with no start or end. It sounds way better than saying we’ll have to make up “exotic” which just sounds like a load of rubbish

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-b.....verse.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Eric Metaxas’s WSJ piece is now a VIDEO!

    Eric Metaxas – Does Science Argue for or against God? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjGPHF5A6Po

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    #1 MrCollins

    Interesting paper. Thanks.

    BTW, here’s the original one: http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....9314009381

    Now, does that mean they’re back to square one? Some 40 years ago the predominant theory was that the universe didn’t have a beginning. How did they dare to abandon that old concept until now? What made them change their minds? Is physics that unreliable that can switch back and forth between infinite and finite time? What margin of error are they dealing with? Infinite?

    How long would it take before physicists change their minds again? 🙂

    What are they going to think of next?

    This reminded me that in Russian language “horror show” means “good”. 🙂

    Anyway, what difference does that paper make to life on earth?

    We need to invest more resources in biology, biotechnology, biomedical research, so we can improve health care and medical attention.

    And most importantly, as far as the main discussions in this blog go, what difference does this make to more interesting biology-related discussions like this:?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....er-things/

  4. 4
    ppolish says:

    #1 MrCollins https://mobile.twitter.com/seanmcarroll/status/564934129167253504

    Although giving zero credence to Sean Carroll would be wise also:)

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    “We are seeing growth of Structure obeying what you would expect to see from a Cosmological Constant dominated universe.”
    At about the 4:00 minute mark of this recent panel discussion:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLyF3OMOiy3nEO1yE2Gw-h4U0GQD06HlsZ&v=OjH5B8FpqWU

    Yes, the Evolution of/in the Universe is founded on fine tuning. Without the heavens expanding at just the correct incredibly fine tuned rate – there would be no life.

    Science has only recently discovered the Codmological Constant (1998) and are now realizing its impact on the structure of Universe. Evolution is fine tuned.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    the laws of nature are not timeless but evolve

    That’s good evidence that the universe is only about 10,000 years old.

  7. 7
    MrCollins says:

    I actually didn’t realize it was a press release, but it seems to have garnered some attention.

    That other article took me a while to get through, but it is the same thing isn’t it, unless I missed something

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    #7 MrCollins

    Please, can you tell what “other article” you’re referring to?

    You may want to indicate what post # you’re trying to comment on.

    Thanks.

  9. 9
    MrCollins says:

    Sorry, I was referencing the article in #3 , the original. It took me a while to read and I straight up skipped the math. Sorry, I hit my limit on reading after a few minutes

    This is off topic, how do yall keep track of your own comments to read the replies? It is difficult for me to find my old comments to follow up

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