Lee Smolin: the laws of the universe are changing

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Lee Smolin: the laws of the universe are changing


Quote:We tend to think of the laws of nature as fixed. They came into existence along with the universe, and have been the same ever since. But once you start asking why the laws of the universe are what they are, their invariance also comes into question. Lee Smolin is the type of theoretical physicist who likes asking such “why” questions. His inquiries have led him to believe that the laws of the universe have evolved from earlier forms, along the lines of natural selection.  In this in depth interview he offers an account of how he came to this view of the evolving universe and explains why physics needs to change its view of time. 



Quote:The question I immediately raise is whether this picture of an evolving set of universes, in which the laws of nature are not fixed, but are ever changing, requires us to postulate a kind of meta-law, a law that would dictate the way that this evolution can take place. So are we not back to where we started, the cosmos being dictated by some fixed meta-laws? Smolin is not happy with this solution, “you can’t solve this by just accepting that there are fixed laws, they’re just meta-laws” he says. But he also doesn’t really have a definitive answer either. It’s a question he takes seriously, however, and has spent much of his book with Roberto Mangabeira Unger tackling this issue.



Quote:Smolin has two other hypotheses for how the universe might be changing. One he calls The Autodidactic Universe, the self-learning universe, the other The Principle of Precedence - borrowing a concept from jurisprudence when thinking about laws seems quite clever, and in line with Smolin’s “trick” of stealing ideas from other disciplines. They each come with their own conceptual challenges – how can the universe “learn” anything, and how does the universe remember what has happened in the past, and use it as a precedent to decide what will happen in the future? Thinking of the universe in these terms seems to bend our concepts to breaking point, although admittedly things like machine learning, a technology that is very much real, does the same. If machines can “learn” from a trial-and-error process, why not the universe as a whole?  In fact, Smolin has collaborated with Microsoft computer scientist Jaron Lanier, to model how the universe might be understood as a giant machine learning process.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Rupert Sheldrake seems to have had the right idea...

In his banned TED talk ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg ) he discusses 10 dogmas of science, or Scientism, rather...

He discusses at some point about how, according to his theory of morphic resonance, that everything depends not on fixed laws, but on evolving habits.

He discusses how he discovered that the speed on light seemed to change from time to time. He brought this up with some scientist, and they proudly told him that they had "solved" the problem by defining the meter in terms of the speed of light... so the speed of light would change, and so would what a meter is... which is pretty dirty.

There's a bit during the talk where he talks about the use of "laws" of nature, and how they are modeled somewhat after human legal systems.

He argues that we should really be referring to them as the "habits" of nature, as they seem to be in flux, and not be static.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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(2022-07-08, 05:08 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Lee Smolin: the laws of the universe are changing

Smolin seems to have a ridiculously exaggerated estimate of the power of "evolution" using natural selection and random variation (to the point that he thinks it can apply to the Universe itself). Smolin, like the Darwinist evolutionary biologists, practically worships the power of Darwinist evolution to do practically anything if given enough time. In reality, natural selection plus random variation has extremely limited powers - it simply can't build up any complicated irreducibly complex system or structure. In fact, Darwinism has abjectly failed to account for evolutionary innovation over the entire span of the history of life, with a dramatic example of this failure being the Cambrian Explosion. 

So Smolin's Universe evolution hypotheses are dead on arrival.
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(2022-07-09, 07:25 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Smolin seems to have a ridiculously exaggerated estimate of the power of "evolution" using natural selection and random variation (to the point that he thinks it can apply to the Universe itself). Smolin, like the Darwinist evolutionary biologists, practically worships the power of Darwinist evolution to do practically anything if given enough time. In reality, natural selection plus random variation has extremely limited powers - it simply can't build up any complicated irreducibly complex system or structure. In fact, Darwinism has abjectly failed to account for evolutionary innovation over the entire span of the history of life, with a dramatic example of this failure being the Cambrian Explosion. 

So Smolin's Universe evolution hypotheses are dead on arrival.

Hmmm...I do think ultimately his idea is flawed, but I'm not sure there is anyone in accepted mainstream academia who is pushing the boundary in the way he is doing. The very fact that he is making people think about the infinite regression problem of "meta-laws" existing as some mysterious brute facts proving the physicalists their "causal closure" that rules out the paranormal...that brings the world closer to proponent lines of thinking...

Valmar posted about Sheldrake, who was pushing these questions long before - same with the proponent Nobel physicist Brian Josephson among a few others. Sadly they were to varying degrees banished from mainstream science communities for their "heresy", or tolerated with explicit caveats/warnings about their "crazy" ideas.

Smolin, along with some others, are paving the way for the sea change that ideally awaits us...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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