Atheism Cosmology Science

Cosmology: NASA shuts down. Then, “You can take the facts. Just give me Darwin.”

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Here, in “Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding Fine-Tuned Parameters In Physics” (2010) Clement Vidal of the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition research group in Brussels proposes a simulated Darwinverse, to get around the fact of our universe’s fine-tuning for life on Earth, glorying in his concoction’s utterly speculative nature:

A consequence of this speculative theory is that intelligent life, unravelling the universe through scientific understanding, generates a “cosmic blueprint” (a term used by Paul Davies (1989)). The cosmic blueprint can be seen as the set of physical constants; or just initial conditions of a cosmological model, if our previous reasoning holds. One can now throw a new light on the fact that cosmic evolution gave rise to scientific activity. In this view, the increasing modelling abilities of intelligent beings is not an accident, but an indispensable feature of our universe, to produce a new offspring universe. I have argued that fine-tuning of this cosmic blueprint would take place in “virtual universes”, that is in simulated universes (Vidal 2008). This scenario is likely if we seriously consider and extrapolate the exponential increase of computer resources. As argued earlier, simulating universes would also allow virtual experimentation, and thus to compare our own universe with other possible ones. This endeavour would therefore help to progress concretely on the finetuning issue.

One can interpret this approach as a variation on the multiverse proposal. However, the selection of universes would take place on simulated universes, replacing Smolin’s natural selection of real universes (Barrow 2001, 151). In CNS, we need many generations of universes in order to randomly generate an interesting fine-tuned universe. In contrast, these simulations would dramatically improve the process by artificially selecting (via simulations) which universe would exhibit the desired features for the next generation universe. This would facilitate the daunting task of producing a new universe. In this case it would be appropriate to speak about a “Cosmological Artificial Selection” (CAS), instead of a “Cosmological Natural Selection”.

So NASA shuts down, taking with it reality-based observation, and we move on to speculative sims?

Science is imploding from within. Discuss.

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2 Replies to “Cosmology: NASA shuts down. Then, “You can take the facts. Just give me Darwin.”

  1. 1
    Ilion says:

    Science is imploding from within.

    Christianity taught the world to be rational. As the peoples of the lands formerly called ‘Christendom’ increasingly reject their patrimony, we can expect increasingly more superstition in the general populace and more illogical and/or irrational speculations tricked out as “science”.

  2. 2
    Ilion says:

    To me, this seems like the “scientific” gloss on one of the woo-woo ideas popular with many “spiritual” ‘atheists’ — that intelligent/self-aware beings are “created” by “the universe” so that it can become intelligent/self-aware.

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