February 14th, 2013
The bulk of my graduate research is focused on the work and thought of Max Tegmark, an MIT astrophysicist/cosmologist, who’s responsible for a tremendous contribution to multiverse models. In honor of Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday he did an article for the Huffington Post, “Celebrating Darwin: Religion and Science are Closer Than You Think.” There are some very interesting survey results regarding faith and conflict between evolution and big bang cosmology.
So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.
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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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October 8th, 2012
When considered in the range possible explanans for the origin of information in the universe/multiverse the options must meet the conditions of causal efficacy and specificity. The first condition states that origin of information must be causal. Information does not arbitrarily pop in and out of existence but requires a source. The second condition states that the origin must sufficiently explain the specificity in information and must provide more than mere Shannon information.
Consider a computer as an example for information relay (a phenomenal entity). The computer is and can be used as a channel, it can be a receiver, and it can be a source of information. However, to say that the information in the computer no longer needs an explanation for its origin would suffer the problem of information displacement. What begs the question is from where did the information in the computer come? The answer would inevitably become a software engineer or a programmer. Undirected material processes have not demonstrated the capacity to generate significant amounts of specified information. Information can be changed via materialistic means. The computer can change the initial coding from the programmer and introduce noise on the sending and receiving ends.
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August 22nd, 2012
Word of the Week: Braneworld
Definition: The braneworld is a contemporary picture of our universe, which speculates that our visible universe may be confined to a three-dimensional volume which resides in a higher-dimensional space. This picture is motivated by superstring theory and M-theory. Brane is short for ‘membrane,’ the fundamental object of a scenario of the high-energy physics of braneworld (or brane cosmology).
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July 11th, 2012
Word of the Week: Decoherence
Definition: A loss of coherence between the angles of components in a superposition and a loss of information due to environment, which gives the appearance of a wave function collapse.
More about the term: A wave function collapse occurs when the outcome of a quantum state is determined by an observer. An observer can be a concious observer or even the interaction of particles. Instead of a determinate state, decoherence is akin to pulling one string out from an entire knot of strings. Decoherence is a major talking point and factor in multiverse scenarios.
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.
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March 28th, 2012
The Word of the Week is: Modal Realism
Definition: Modal realism is the idea that all modal possibilities are actual.
More about the term: Anything that is possible actually happens. However, modal realism is, in a sense, modally limited. The state of affairs of the non-existence of anything cannot be true if something does exist so by definition modal realism must entail ~∃!W with W being the non-existence of anything—nothing, lest it suffer the consequence of being intrinsically incoherent (~∃!W = There does not exist just one W). In order to avoid an inherent incoherence perhaps there are logically antecedent reasons to affirm ~∃!W (i.e. actuality is logically prior to possibility, which makes possibility somewhat superfluous). Under certain multiverse scenarios different regions of space will exhibit different effective laws of physics (i.e. difference constants, dimensionality, particle content, relation of information, information propagation, etc.) corresponding to different local minima in a landscape of possibilities.
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