Re: Metastable universe

Anders Sandberg (
27 Oct 1999 11:19:21 +0200

"Robert J. Bradbury" <> writes:

> On 26 Oct 1999, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > If there were differences in background energy level, even very small
> > ones, tremendous amounts of energy could be released by redistributing
> > the vacuum - this isn't observed, it ought to be very visible.
> > The background radiation seems to show that the matter in the early big
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > bang was not quite homogenous, but it says little about the vacuum.
> -----------------------------
> *OR* that there are locally evolved "pockets" of SIs that radiate
> waste heat at temperatures *slightly* above the background radiation.
> Our "scale" for the variation in the CMBR is so "gross" at this point
> it wouldn't take very big SI congregations to make things appear slightly
> warmer in one direction than another direction.

Hmm... If I remember the Cobe data right, the variations are rather large, several degrees across in the sky. This means that the congregations have to be very large (otherwise, they have to be close to us, and we should both see effects of them being inside our galaxy or local group (= anisotropies in the distribution), and a certain level of granularity would be expected). If these concentrations are very large, then we have the same problem of causal connection again - how could the SIs have become similar over vast distances?

So the SI theory for the background radiation has the problem that either the SIs are close to us, but then they have to be so many that they look like a dense mist in the infrared, or more remote and then they run into the same causality problem of how they could have coordinated their temperatures given the finite speed of light and the short age of the universe. Another, perhaps bigger problem, is that if the anisotropies are due to SIs, the natural background radiation is going to be even smoother - and astrophysicists already have trouble with reconciling this level of smoothness with pattern formation.

> Oooppps, sub-SI-Anders falls into the pit of "conventional wisdom"
> and the *assumption* that the *simplest* explanation is that the universe
> has no intelligence or evolution to the limits of physics to explain
> those pesky "observations".

Actually, I would say in this case Occam is on my side ("Ho ho ho, now I got a razor..." :-), because the theory that the background radiation is mostly natural is much simpler than assuming SIs with some form of long-range coordination - that model introduces a tremendous number of new unknowns (like why some do and others don't radiate at a low temperature).

> Good thing his last entertainment piece was so delicious otherwise
> I'd suggest a 2-week banishment for penance...

Actually, I'm right now undertaking just a 2 week penance to update my web pages using my recently acquired Dreamweaver 2 program... of course, I don't view it as penance but a reward :-)

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