Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Goldilocks Enigma


Edited:

observer.guardian.co.uk
Paul Davies goes a long way towards suggesting that he believes the creation of life to be somehow the 'goal' of the universe without suggesting that it is the work of a higher intelligence or God. That is to say he tends towards the belief that the principle of life 'builds purpose into the workings of the cosmos at a fundamental (rather than an incidental) level, without positing an unexplained pre-existing purposive agent to inject purpose miraculously.' This belief is his tentative solution to the 'Goldilocks Enigma', the 'reason' why planets such as our own are 'not too hot and not too cold but just right'.



The evolutionary physics that defines the "just-right" conditions for the goldilocks constraint applies to other systems that are similarly developed, time and location-wise, as ours is:

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~imamura/209/mar31/anthropic.html

The goldilocks enigma constrains the parameters to a balance of extremes... so it only applies to galaxies that formed on the same evolutionary time/location "plane" as we did. Planets orbiting stars in galaxies that are too old or too new, too large or too small, do not fit the "coincidentally balanced" nature as the average of extremes... etc... etc... ect... all the way down to the local ecobalances of the ones that do:

http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/spr/2006-02/msg0073181.html

This also resolves the alleged, Fermi "Paradox", as well, since we should not YET expect to hear from similarly developed intelligent life, because their radio transmissions have not had time to reach us... YET... either.

Um... just an FYI, but that's a testable prediction about where and when life will most likely be found elsewhere in the universe.

This paper by A. Feoli, and S. Rampone, further discusses this in context with similarly developed systems, but they fail to take the balance of extremes that defines the "Goldilocks Enigma" into account here, because they apply the mediocrity principle, instead, so their formula and anthropic statement are not quite accurately inserted into the Drake Equation, as would be the case if they'd considered the entire set of anthropic balance points that evolve, (time and location-wise), from the observed, nearly-balanced stucture of the universe itself, all the way down to our own local ecobalance... so their solution and anthropic statement are dramatically generalized and overstated, rather than being specific and pointed toward a fine layer of similarly evolved galaxies, stars, and planets:

"Is the Strong Anthropic Principle Too Weak?"
http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9812093

We discuss the Carter's formula about the mankind evolution probability following the derivation proposed by Barrow and Tipler. We stress the relation between the existence of billions of galaxies and the evolution of at least one intelligent life, whose living time is not trivial, all over the Universe. We show that the existence probability and the lifetime of a civilization depend not only on the evolutionary critical steps, but also on the number of places where the life can arise. In the light of these results, we propose a stronger version of Anthropic Principle.


... and uh... when you apply the Goldilocks Enigma, rather than the mediocrity principle, to the Drake Equation, then a much more accurate and testable formula falls-out along with a more accurate statement about a strong biocentric principle... just in case nobody noticed.





UPDATE:
Peter Woit made the following statement in the comments section of his "rewiew" of Davies' book, and it is important as it applies to this thread, so I'm bringing it in now:

The “principle of mediocrity”, or more generally, the use of a multiverse model that gives an a priori statistical distribution of values of observables, combined with the anthropic principle as a selection effect, can in certain cases give predictions.

As this applies to our obseverd universe.

The "cosmological principle" gives a "mediocre" multiverse-"like" priori statistical distribution of values of observables, but this is not what is observed and is the reason for the anthropic physics that defines the "Goldilocks Enigma", so the combined effect of the Cosmological Principle with the Goldilocks Constraint... defines a Biocentric Cosmological Principle.

The average of extreme opposing runaway tendencies that are common to the anthropic coincidences make many testable predictions about the observed universe.


Like, life will not be found on Mars or Venus, but it will be found in other systems that meet the goldilocks criterion.

'Read em, and weep'... where "weep" is like a code-word to anticentrists to willfully ignore the hard evidence.

2 comments:

Neil' said...

Here's a recap of my post to "Biocentric Structuring." Regarding your views of anthropic ordering (to the extent I correctly understand them), and it's not just my own opinion: The orthodox view is that the number of universes that could "logically exist" or even be "physically plausible" is a lot bigger set than the number (range, actually,) of life-friendly ones. Maybe it's wrong, but it's most of us against your minority viewpoint. You have a certain burden of the argument in that regard.

I talk a lot about "existence" and other rarified notions because it *is* relevant to what can be, as opposed to having selected properties. BTW I don't believe in modal realism, I use it as a Socratic "foil" for other points. Look at my takedown of that idea in a previous thread: Monday, May 15, 2006, Lisa Randall interview...found by googling Bayesian + universes + road runner. My basic point was that the set of all possible universes in a Bayesian self-selection set included too much random junk that would make the change of being in one that *continues* in an orderly way to be negligible, even if we lucked into starting in an orderly one. In any case, trying to find "physical reasons" for our universe to be like it indeed is gets entangled in self-reinforcing use of the physics that does happen to be here. It is not easy to prove that something quite different couldn't "exist." To get into that "scientifically" or philosophically, or both, per one's preferences, requires digging into the sticky metaphysics of "existing" and not letting our version of it go in circles. If you're going to ask the question, you gotta play the game.

island said...

Hi Neil, this is not on-topic for this thread, but if I missed one of your replies during my D-day invasion from incensed bloggers from parts beyond, then I'm sorry, so we'll talk about it here.

The orthodox view is that the number of universes that could "logically exist" or even be "physically plausible" is a lot bigger set than the number (range, actually,) of life-friendly ones. Maybe it's wrong, but it's most of us against your minority viewpoint. You have a certain burden of the argument in that regard.

Only IF they PROVE to be necessary to the explanation. You're putting the cart before the horse in order to call the failure of modern scientists, a soulution. There is no requirement that there there be other possible universe. John Wheeler didn't rely on that notion, and Brandon Carter did not originally believe that either, since the first words out of his mouth in Cracow were; "John Wheeler asked me to say... "

Robert Dicke didn't believe it, and neither did Fred Hoyle, nor did Paul Dirac, because this is not what is most naturally called for by the physics until you start throwing up your hands at the problem and grasping at possible extra entities for a viable solution.

The only reason that your notion ever came about in the first place is because nobody could come up with a viable stablility mechanism that made enough logical sense to believe, so no, Neil, more than one *potential* universe is not the preferred method for solving the problem if the stablitiy mechanism is identified without need for it.

That's the way science works.

I talk a lot about "existence" and other rarified notions because it *is* relevant to what can be, as opposed to having selected properties. BTW I don't believe in modal realism, I use it as a Socratic "foil" for other points. Look at my takedown of that idea in a previous thread: Monday, May 15, 2006, Lisa Randall interview...found by googling Bayesian + universes + road runner. My basic point was that the set of all possible universes in a Bayesian self-selection set included too much random junk that would make the change of being in one that *continues* in an orderly way to be negligible, even if we lucked into starting in an orderly one. In any case, trying to find "physical reasons" for our universe to be like it indeed is gets entangled in self-reinforcing use of the physics that does happen to be here. It is not easy to prove that something quite different couldn't "exist." To get into that "scientifically" or philosophically, or both, per one's preferences, requires digging into the sticky metaphysics of "existing" and not letting our version of it go in circles. If you're going to ask the question, you gotta play the game.