Re: BOOKS: The Five Ages of the Univese (Also Re: omega-point-deity)

Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 07:49:53 MDT

I read the book last year. These fellows are very bright and Bradbury's
observation that they gave Tipler short-shrift, is accurate but
understandable. Back in 1996 Adam's and Laughlin announced their 'open
universe' evidence at a scientific meeting, and have staked years of research
to establish this as the primary theory-which it is. Having said that, I see
too much contrary work, by good scientists to crown these guys, or even
Perlmutter, with the crown of absolute truth. Not yet anyway.

In a message dated 7/7/00 5:55:13 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< While in France last week, I finished reading
   "The Five Ages of the Universe",
   by Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin, Touchstone, 1999
 which is a comprehensible interpretation of the hard-physics paper Anders
 first mentioned (and I subsequently referenced) regarding the evolution
 and eventual end of the universe.
 The good news is the book is very readable and pretty optimistic
 for future possibilities. We can clearly get through the stelliferous
 era (10^14 years), and if dark matter is real, probably the degenerate
 era (10^39th years), though at a much reduced computation rate, and
 perhaps even the black hole era (10^100 years).
 They fail to delve into the possibilities SIs "saving" hydrogen
 for controlled burning after the stelliferous era, or SI engineering
 to prevent the proton decay of the degenerate era, or what happens
 if there is no "real" dark matter. However, they make up for it with
 a fairly wild scheme for building computers out of black holes
 (though they compute pretty slowly...). They even toss a coin or two
 at generating escape universes.
 They also dump a fair amount of cold water on contracting universes,
 have only a single reference for Tipler and don't discuss the
 Omega-point Theory at all, presumably being unworthy of consideration
 given our current knowledge of the universe.
 Though I haven't read the entire Omega-point discussion, I'd urge
 those people who have a problem with it to have people read this book.
 It rests on a hard-core physical view of the universe as it is currently
 perceived today (with only some "minor" stretching vis-a-vis the dark
 matter and lifetime of the proton [for which only theoretical arguments
 currently exist]).
 If future editions get extended to include some of the concepts we
 frequently discuss, then we will have a nice framework on which to
 rest many extropian perspectives.
 I'd urge adding this book to the EI booklist as "approved"
 reading material.
 Robert >>

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