April 6th, 2013
The fine-tuning argument argues that when physics and the laws of nature are expressed mathematically their values are ever so balanced in a way that permits the existence of life. I’m merely arguing that the universe is finely tuned for the essential building blocks and environments that life requires.
- Given the fine-tuning evidence, a life permitting universe (LPU) is very, very unlikely under the non-existence of a fine-tuner (~FT): that is, P(LPU|~FT & k) ≪ 1.
- Given the fine-tuning evidence, LPU is not unlikely under FT (Fine-Tuner): that is, ~P(LPU|FT & k) ≪ 1.
- Therefore, LPU strongly supports FT over ~FT.
Defense of 1: Given the fine-tuning evidence, a life-permitting universe is very, very unlikely under the non-existence of a fine-tuner.
So what are some of the evidences for fine-tuning?
- Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of the special low entropy condition having come about by chance in the absence of any constraining principles is at least as small as about one in 1010^123.
- Strong Nuclear Force (Strong nuclear force coupling constant, gs = 15)
- +, No hydrogen, an essential element of life
- -, Only hydrogen
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January 14th, 2013
The properties of our universe appear to be finely-tuned for the existence of life. Cosmologists would like to explain the numbers and values that describe these properties we observe. Their attempt is to show that these constants and values in nature are completely determined as a product of inflation, which entails multiverse scenarios. Inflationary cosmology seems to not only solve fine-tuning implications but it also solves the horizon problem. That is, the early universe’s expansion rate was exponentially fast—faster than the speed of light and if it expanded at such a rate information (light) could not propagate beyond the cosmic horizon. Due to these problems much theoretical focus and work has been implemented in to the field of cosmology and physics developing an inflationary cosmology and string theory.
The eternally inflating multiverse is often used to provide a consistent framework to understand coincidences and fine-tuning in the universe we inhabit. This theory primarily appears in several forms, which attempt to explain the mechanism that drives the rapid expansion of the universe. Before developing these models there are a few basic premises that must be agreed upon: the size of the universe, the Hubble expansion, homogeny and isotropy, and the flatness problem.
It is unanimously agreed upon that the Hubble volume we inhabit is incredibly large. According to standard Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker (FRW) cosmology, without inflation, one simply postulates 1090 elementary particles.
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January 9th, 2013
In 1956 Hugh Everett III published his Ph.D. dissertation titled “The Theory of the Universal Wave Function.” In this paper Everett argued for the relative state formulation of quantum theory and a quantum philosophy, which denied wave collapse. Initially, this interpretation was highly criticized by the physics community and when Everett visited Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in 1959 Bohr was unimpressed with Everett’s most recent development (439). In 1957 Everett coined his theory as the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. In an attempt to circumvent the problem of defining the mechanism for the state of collapse Everett suggested that all orthogonal relative states are equally valid ontologically. An orthogonal state is one that is mutually exclusive. A system cannot be in two orthogonal states at the same time. As a result of the measurement interaction, the states of the observer have evolved into exclusive states precisely linked to the results of the measurement. At the end of the measurement process the state of the observer is the sum of eigenstate—or a combination of the sums of eigenstates, one sum for each possible value of the eigenvalue. Each sum is the relative state of the observer given the value of the eigenvalue (442-43). What this means is that all-possible states are true and exist simultaneously.
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January 8th, 2013
In this section (Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics, Ed. W. W. Bartley, III (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1956, 1982), 89-95.) Karl Popper discusses his attraction to the Many Worlds Interpretation as well as the reasons for his rejection of it. Popper is actually quite pleased with Everett’s threefold contribution to the field of quantum physics. Despite his attraction to the interpretation he rejects it based on the falsifiability of the symmetry behind the Schrödinger equation.
Popper’s model allows for a theory to be scientific prior to supported evidence. There is no positive case for purporting a theory under his model. There can only be a negative case to falsify it and as long as it may be potentially falsified it is scientific. Thus, a scientific theory could have no evidence or substantiated facts to provide good reasons for why it may be true. What makes this discussion of the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics (MWI) interesting is that despite Popper’s attraction to MWI it’s not the attraction that makes it scientific, it’s his criterion of falsification.
In favor of MWI:
- The MWI is completely objective in its discussion of quantum mechanics.
- Everett removes the need and occasion to distinguish between ‘classical’ physical systems, like the measurement apparatus, and quantum mechanical systems, like elementary particles. All systems are quantum (including the universe as a whole).
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