In my post about The Process it turns out that I stepped on a pedagogical minefield when using describing the Anthropic Principle (AP). Two preeminent physicists had a very public argument a while ago in which one called the AP unscientific because it’s unfalsifiable. I will return to that in a moment since it’s the crux of what’s wrong with Science right now, but I need to get the terminology issue out of the way first.
Lee Smolin claims that AP is bad and favors a Cosmological Natural Selection view instead (on grounds of falsifiability). I believe this is a false dichotomy and that they are really one and the same. Here’s why:
- Normally natural selection requires some form of “replication” or it’s not actually natural selection. But replication is not needed if you start with an infinity of heterogeneous universes. In other words replication is simulated via the anthropic lens over the life-supporting subset of all possible universes.
- Replication is a red herring anyway
Imagine a multiverse, infinitely infinite. There’s just infinity. Or if you prefer, nothing. There’s no space, no time, no matter, no energy. There’s no structure whatsoever, and nothing “in” any of the universes that make up the multiverse. it’s not even clear whether these individual universes are separate from one another or the same. But since our minds seem finite and we have to start somewhere, let’s imagine them as separate: an infinite collection of universes with nothing in them, no dimension, and no relationship between them.
Now lets assume there is some process for picking out universes from the multiverse. Since there’s no time in the multiverse, the process has no beginning and no end. It’s like a computer program, but it’s infinitely complex. Let’s call it The Process.
If The Process is infinitely complex and has no beginning and no end, what can we know about it? We know that it picks some universes but not others, which effectively creates an “in …
Here are the slides from his talk. My favorites are 3, 4, 8, 10, 15, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 29, 35, 37, 38, 53, 66, 68.
This was one of my favorites of the year.…