Re: Entropy/Order Coexpansion: Round 2

Damien Broderick (
Mon, 01 Dec 1997 12:05:58 +0000

At 06:02 PM 11/30/97 -0500, Twink (`twink'? really, Daniel?) wrote contra

>The box example is merely an analogy as is the "big balloon with galaxies
>on its surface." BTW, the latter assumes the universe is positively
>curved, which is what we were questioning!
>Nonetheless, if the "balloon" can expand forever at a rate faster than
>equilibrating interactions, then the same result occurs. I.e., there is no
>heat death, expansion and order growth are eternal.

It's clear that if this is a canonical Hot Big Bang universe, then at some
time (at least) space expanded faster than the interactions it contained,
otherwise it would still be clogged with monstrously hot quark soup or
something even less appetizing.

I was rather impressed by Layzer's popularisation COSMOGENESIS, BTW.
Here's what I wrote about it in 1991 (after briefly discussing THE MATTER
MYTH by Gribbin & Davies):


The Growth of Order in the Universe
by David Layzer
Oxford University Press, 322pp, Index, $20.95

A very much more impressive attempt to construct a working model of the
universe that is neither simple-mindedly mechanistic nor dismally mystical,
Layzer's ambitious book is frankly a hard read, but a worthy one. True,
some of its key claims and bold conjectures seem already out of date.
Science is the perfect consumer item, endlessly shifting last year's stock
into the junkyard. Still, following this distinguished Harvard
astrophysicist on his intellectual journey from the Big Bang to the nature
of brain and consciousness proves that to travel hopefully is better (and
more stimulating) than to arrive.

`Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a vast amount of genuine,
irreducible randomness in the world.' But quantum processes, inherently
indeterminate, are not thereby more `creative' (an argument that should
give Davies and Gribbin pause). `The outcomes of self-creation are new and
unforeseeable, yet coherent with what has gone before.'

To fans of Big Science, Layzer offers one stunning challenge after another.
The standard story of creation has a highly ordered fireball Big Bang,
inflating instantly to a smooth expanding cosmos - and can't easily explain
why galaxies clump into vast walls hugging cosmic bubbles. Layzer proposes
a highly random cold origin, distinctly unfashionable but intriguing.

Nothing daunted, he applies his theory to evolution - `beta genes', he
suggests, both provoke and edit mutations, spurring development - and to
the nature of language. Ultimately, order emerges in hierarchies of
self-organisation, attributable in the final instance to the very expansion
of spacetime itself.


And while I'm here - I probably won't be posting any more once the proposed
new rules come into play, because I don't wish to join ExI. Thanks for all
the fish.

Damien Broderick