Monday, May 01, 2006

Try As They Might... the anthropic principle just won't go away...

Poor poor pitiful LuboŇ° Motl is a string theorist who hates the anthropic principle with a passion. This puts him in conflict with most of the rest of the string community, but it doesn't put him any closer to reality than they are. He commonly goes to Peter Woit's blog and argues with the loop quantum gravity theorists that frequent that group, and I found this jewel in one such conversation:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=380#comment-9974

I tend to agree with you that according to everything we know, a measurably evolving proton/electron mass ratio would imply a much more dramatic evolution of the vacuum energy [...] unless there exists some more robust cancellation mechanism that keeps vacuum energy tiny.

I still hope that both the anthropic principle as well as the conjectured evolving constants will be superseded by future research.


Dear Lumo,

You seem more than just a little bit lost and confused. If you want to find the "robust mechanism" that keeps the vacuum energy "tiny", then you should go have a look in the mirror. Okay, bad example, but the reason that we are here is the answer to what holds the expanding universe flat and stable, so if you want to know the answer to your question then you have to figure out what it is that humans do that makes us important.

Brandon Carter correctly noted that... "our situation is not necessarily central, but it is inevitably privileged to some extent".

This point is critically important to this, because the anthropic principle readily extends to, and cannot be restricted from incuding the arms of every spiral galaxy that evolved within the same "layer/habitable-zone" of conditions, (time and location-wise), as our own galaxy, (in terms of the commonality and continuity in the evolution of the same basic raw materials that were produced by our observed carbon chauvinistic universe). In this case, the principle is "biocentric", meaning that life is more-generally important to the physics of the universe at this particular time in its history, and so it will necessarily be every bit as common to the universe as the physical need for it demands.

In this same scientific context, scientists will ask questions like; I wonder if intelligent life does something that cumulatively affects the physics of the universe that makes it necessary to the process? The implication that we're not here by accident isn't so special if something that intelligent life does makes it cumulatively necessary to the thermodymaic process of the universe, because life will then be as common to the universe as the need for it demands.

If the most accurate cosmological principle is anthropic in nature, then it is highly probable that the connection between the forces of the universe and humans also extends to the evolutionary process of humans and the universe to higher-orders of the same basic structure.

So there should be some identifiable mechanism for this that will prove it.

If you don't knee-jerk react to automatically reject observational evidence for biocentric structuring, then one of the first questions that should come to mind is... "What is it that intelligent life does that makes it cumulatively advantageous enough to the physics of the universe that the constants of nature would naturally fall into place in a manner that brings intelligent life into existence at a specific time and location in the history of the universe?" This is an honest scientific question that naturally falls out of the implications that biocentric input into the evolutionary process of the universe derives a possible solution to why the forces are constrained in the manner that they are. If the most accurate cosmological principle is biocentric in nature, then the principle is telling us the good physical reason why the forces are constrained in the manner that they are. This science should not be ignored because politics and misplaced perceptions about geocentric arrogance get in the way.

Lee Smolin and others have noted that the structure of our universe is set-up to maximize the production of black holes... 'there isn't a universe that could exist that would create more black holes than this one.'

So it should be no great surprise to find out that black holes and intelligent life are two of only three known or expected sources for creating matter/antimatter pairs, which directly affects the symmetry/flatness of the universe...

hmmmmmm... isn't it amazing what you can figure out once you lose the lame rationale for hating something that you haven't bothered to seriously investigate?

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11 comments:

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Neil' said...

BTW - I haven't heard anyone provide a *physical mechanism* for particle physics renormalization, just a mathematical slight of hand...

island said...

Hi neil, I just recently wrote something about the fact that the reinterpretation of the vacuum state for QFT included circumvention of an acccurate representation for the negative energy solutions:

http://evolutionarydesign.blogspot.com/2006/05/once-upon-spacetime.html

What happens when the negative energy solutions are applied to Einstein's static model?

http://www.lns.cornell.edu/spr/2006-03/msg0073465.html

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justperceptions said...

Hello, again. I don't quite understand your logic. This is not a backhanded, evil-eyed comment.

How does the Anthropic Principle lead to a biocentric universe? This appears to me way less conservative than you wish it to be-- if you allow me to say that you wish to adopt the most conservative approximation to universal laws, viz. Ockham's Razor.

It seems only to require a bio-capable universe. Allow me to explain, or at least define my terminology. Biocentrism according to your definition would require intelligent life-forms to exist necessarily as a result of natural laws. Bio-capacity as I define it merely posits that the natural laws are sufficient to produce intelligent life-forms. It's a debate, between us, regarding the impetus of natural laws.

We both agree that given initial conditions, universal laws, and evolutionary mechanisms that we could trace the origins of intelligent life, but we disagree about the necessity of this being. Evolutionary models are founded on 'randomness' and local-environmental events or pressures, whereas your superseding biocentrist theory is that the evolutionary development of intelligent life is inherent to Nature and not the consequence of many 'choice' events. I'll concede that Natural Selection tends toward the most suited for survival, but it's the local nature of survival that hampers extrapolation to a grander theory of inevitability.

You cite anti-matter & matter pair-creation as a necessary byproduct of intelligent life, but it's neither necessary of intelligent life nor sufficient to characterize intelligent life-- since black holes are not intelligent life.

I am sympathetic to your philosophical position, but my reasoning-- not my inherent bias towards skepticism-- is keeping me at a distance from your claims. I am a strict determinist, and I would guess if not hard-core with respect to free will, you would be in terms of the universe's development. Still, despite my strict determinism, I find probabilistic models to be at the heart of scientific reasoning, and with that I recognize our observable universe as a meta-narrative shewing the results of particular events (outcomes) described by self-consistent theoretics. I don't claim to have the answers, nor do I claim that modern scientific thought has figured it out... nor modern philosophical thought as being in-touch with the abstract dynamical consensus of the scientific community.

I do claim an ability to reason without succumbing to the internal pressures of a self-consistent politick or underlying agenda. Your aggression towards skeptics and critics that is designed by politics and bias as much as any fanatic or interested investigator-- I am not of the disinterested investigator school of thought-- which confounds valid explanations with sound ones.

I may want certain qualities in my world-view, but that's an impediment to all human inquiry of which you are also not immune. Please do not express with such disdain the 'apparent' short-comings of your critics. Don't worry about getting it all right, or proving all of the misguided as wrong. Our collective knowledge is a strange mixture of authoritative sects combined with democratic consideration. The authority lies with time-tested argument and explanation, and does occasionally become an out-dated party line, but the democratic consideration empowers individual contributors from liberating the entrenched community via equal consideration in principle. That's my ad hoc model for the propagation of knowledge through the ages. It's an over-simplified epistemic, but IMHO it's not too far off.

Best of luck with your Blog and your theories.

Sincerely,

Tank

island said...

I deleted the spam advertising comments that were ahead of your reply.

How does the Anthropic Principle lead to a biocentric universe?

By way of the Goldilocks Enigma, as this is further supported by the WMAP anomalies.

This appears to me way less conservative than you wish it to be...

You seem to be under the false impression that "i" want anything to be different than the observation provides for. "i" have nothing to do with it.

Bio-capacity as I define it merely posits that the natural laws are sufficient to produce intelligent life-forms. It's a debate, between us, regarding the impetus of natural laws.

No, it is a debate between you, and what is very-much, anthropically-pointed physics. It isn't simply that the physics is sufficient to produce life, (as you seem bent on making it out to be), the highly-pointed physics is also not naturally expected by our models in a way that requires "bold attempts" to explain why the configuration of the universe isn't as surprising as it appears:

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0512148

We both agree that given initial conditions, universal laws, and evolutionary mechanisms that we could trace the origins of intelligent life, but we disagree about the necessity of this being.

No, you have to ignore the most apparent implications of the evidence for anthropic specialness, in order to just blow-off the physics and say that there are no evidentially supported reasons to give scientific credence and investigative time to.