extropians: Re: Omega Point, Singularity

Re: Omega Point, Singularity

Fri, 4 Jun 1999 08:11:45 -0700

Rob Harris Cen-IT, <Rob.Harris@bournemouth.gov.uk>, writes:
> Does anyone else notice the action of planets etc., viewing them as
> organisms, which succeed (spawn life/something else), or fail (no geological
> activity). Perhaps the same is true for universes. Perhaps this universe is
> not as chaotic as we generally believe? Maybe this universe is an optimised
> ancestor of an ancient life-spawning-by-chance universe, making lifeforms in
> this universe inevitable. What do you think?

Physicist Lee Smolin has a somewhat similar view. Here is a description of his idea from http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/smolin/smolin_p1.html:

The other idea with which Smolin is associated is "natural selection" of universes. He's saying that in some sense the universes that allow complexity and evolution reproduce themselves more efficiently than other universes. The ensemble itself is thus evolving in some complicated way. When stars die, they sometimes form black holes. (This is something which I wear my astrophysical hat to study.) Smolin speculates-as others, like Alan Guth, have also done-that inside a black hole it's possible for a small region to, as it were, sprout into a new universe. We don't see it, but it inflates into some new dimension. Smolin takes that idea on board, but then introduces another conjecture, which is that the laws of nature in the new universe are related to those in the previous universe. This differs from Andrei Linde's idea of a random ensemble, because Smolin supposes that the new universe retains physical laws not too different from its parent universe. What that would mean is that universes big and complex enough to allow stars to form, evolve, and die, and which can therefore produce lots of black holes, would have more progeny, because each black hole can then lead to a new universe; whereas a universe that didn't allow stars and black holes to form would have no progeny. Therefore Smolin claims that the ensemble of universes may evolve not randomly but by some Darwinian selection, in favor of the potentially complex universes.