Re: Expanding forever...

Anders Sandberg (
29 Dec 1998 09:29:30 +0100

"Billy Brown" <> writes:

> In the short term, yes. In the long term ( >10^50 years) no - when the
> average distance between adjacent particles is measured in light years, the
> idea of building anything complex enough to be alive looks pretty dubious.

Well, an entity composed of multi-million lightyear positronium pairs and faint gravity waves, thinking thoughts over eons in a silent and cold universe doesn't strike me as that bizarre. Much weirder things are already happening in mathematics :-) Whether this is implementable is another question, we need something like a billiard ball computer CA example to see if it is feasible according to known laws of physics, and then of course arguments for the practical implementability.

> > Even if that is true it doesn't change the problem of indefinite
> > survival. As far as I know nobody is suggesting steady state theories
> > at least, and without them you get a Dyson or Tipler choice, so to
> > say.
> My point is simply that it isn't productive to speculate on the terminal
> evolution of the universe based on a theory that is almost certainly
> incorrect. It is possible that some moderate adjustment of the big
> bang/inflation model will make it fit reality, but it is just as likely that
> the entire concept will have to be thrown out.

You seem to be assuming that if you remove the big bang model, you will also need to get rid of everything associated with it - including the expansion of the universe, apparently the dynamics of spacetime and everything else done in cosmology. It is a bit like saying "because we don't have a correct formulation of quamtum gravity everything we know about quantum mechanics is wrong, so it is impossible to speculate on the future of solid state circuits".

Besides, I seriously doubt that the big bang theory is in that much trouble. So far none of the alternatives seems to get along without even weirder epicycles or have strong observational evidence.

> If that happens, who knows
> what the new parameters will be? Meanwhile, why generate angst over purely
> hypothetical events that might happen billions of years in the future?

Hmm, why are we debating uploading and the singularity on this list?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y