Does the existence of a multiverse hold the key for why nature’s laws seem so simple?

#1
C C Offline
https://aeon.co/essays/why-is-simplicity...xplanation

EXCERPTS (Johnjoe McFadden): . . . Simple scientific laws are preferred, then, because, if they fit or fully explain the data, they’re more likely to be the source of it. With more knobs to tweak, arbitrarily complex models such as Ptolemy’s astronomical system could be made to fit any dataset. As the mathematician John von Neumann once quipped: ‘with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk’.

Is there more to simplicity than probability? Many of the greatest scientists and philosophers were devotees of what might be called a strong version of Occam’s Razor. This claims that the world is about as simple as it can be, consistent with our existence. The theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner’s influential paper ‘The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences’ (1960) argued that the extraordinary ability of mathematics to make sense of the world is a puzzle. An analogous case can be made for the success of simplicity in science. Why is Occam’s Razor so unreasonably effective? Why does simplicity work so well?

[...] But could it be simpler still? Why are there 17 particles in the Standard Model of particle physics when we are composed of only a handful? If the Universe is maximally simple, why are trillions of almost massless and electrically neutral neutrinos passing through our bodies every second? Surely neutrinos are entities beyond our necessity? Another candidate for an entity beyond necessity is the mysterious dark matter, of which our Universe appears to be chiefly composed. Why does a simple universe harbour so much apparently superfluous stuff?

In fact, both dark matter and neutrinos are essential for our existence. Neutrinos are a necessary byproduct of the stellar nuclear-fusion reactions that fuse protons to make helium nuclei, plus the heat and light that make life possible. One of physics’ laws of conservation demands that the total number of leptons (electrons, muons, tau particles and neutrinos) must remain constant. This can be satisfied in the stellar fusion reaction only through the release of massive numbers of neutrinos. Similarly for dark matter. In the early Universe, it acted as a kind of cosmological clotting agent that helped to coalesce the diffuse gas that emerged from the Big Bang into the lumpy clouds that became galaxies, stars, planets and eventually us. Haloes of dark matter at the edge of galaxies also act as galactic guardians, deflecting high-speed supernovae remnants rich in the heavy elements essential for life, from shooting off into the vast empty reaches of intergalactic space.

In my latest book, I propose a radical, if speculative, solution for why the Universe might in fact be as simple as it’s possible to be. Its starting point is the remarkable theory of cosmological natural selection (CNS) proposed by the physicist Lee Smolin. CNS proposes that, just like living creatures, universes have evolved through a cosmological process, analogous to natural selection.

[...] Smolin came up with CNS as a potential solution to what’s called the fine-tuning problem: how the fundamental constants and parameters, such as the masses of the fundamental particles or the charge of an electron, got to be the precise values needed for the creation of matter, stars, planets and life. ... our region of the Universe is filled with an estimated 100 billion supermassive black holes, Smolin proposes that each is the progenitor of one of 100 billion universes that have descended from our own.

The model Smolin proposed includes a kind of universal self-replication process, with black holes acting as reproductive cells. The next ingredient is heredity. Smolin proposes that each offspring universe inherits almost the same fundamental constants of its parent. The ‘almost’ is there because Smolin suggests that, in a process analogous to mutation, their values are tweaked as they pass through a black hole, so baby universes become slightly different from their parent. Lastly, he imagines a kind of cosmological ecosystem in which universes compete for matter and energy. Gradually, over a great many cosmological generations, the multiverse of universes would become dominated by the fittest and most fecund universes, through their possession of those rare values of the fundamental constants that maximise black holes, and thereby generate the maximum number of descendant universes.

Smolin’s CNS theory explains why our Universe is finely tuned to make many black holes, but it does not account for why it is simple. I have my own explanation of this, though Smolin himself is not convinced. First, I point out that natural selection carries its own Occam’s Razor that removes redundant biological features through the inevitability of mutations. [...] Perhaps a similar process of purifying selection operates in cosmological natural selection to keep things simple. Instead of biological mutations, we have tweaks to fundamental constants of universes as they pass through black holes.

[...] Universes will compete for available resources – matter and energy – and the simplest that convert more of their mass into black holes will leave the most descendants. For both scenarios, if we ask which universe we are most likely to inhabit, it will be the simplest, as they are the most abundant. When inhabitants of these universes peer into the heavens to discover their cosmic microwave background and perceive its incredible smoothness, they, like Turok, will remain baffled at how their universe has managed to do so much from such a ‘stunningly simple’ beginning.

The cosmological razor idea has one further startling implication. It suggests that the fundamental law of the Universe is not quantum mechanics, or general relativity or even the laws of mathematics. It is the law of natural selection discovered by Darwin and Wallace. As the philosopher Daniel Dennett insisted, it is ‘The single best idea anyone has ever had.’ It might also be the simplest idea that any universe has ever had... (MORE - missing details)
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#2
Syne Offline
Positing many other, unevidenced universes is the opposite of parsimony.
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#3
Zinjanthropos Offline
If naturally selected universes exist then that should mean death/extinction for most of the others, would it not? The less evolved universe should not be able to compete with ours if we have the edge. It would be cool if our universe is a predator and something like expansion is the death knell for prey universes. Although fortune may turn on a dime, and roles get reversed.

Edit: Here's a scenario..... Black Holes are the universes anti-bodies/rejection mechanisms. Currently they're acting like PacMan by gobbling up star systems. Could be we and what were composed of, are viruses or foreign material. The real universe doesn't tolerate our kind so it slowly munches away at us. Gravity would be a protective measure then, something to help destroy the invader....a vacuum cleaner of sorts....lol
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#4
C C Offline
(Oct 13, 2021 12:13 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: If naturally selected universes exist then that should mean death/extinction for most of the others, would it not? The less evolved universe should not be able to compete with ours if we have the edge. It would be cool if our universe is a predator and something like expansion is the death knell for prey universes. Although fortune may turn on a dime, and roles get reversed.

Edit: Here's a scenario..... Black Holes are the universes anti-bodies/rejection mechanisms. Currently they're acting like PacMan by gobbling up star systems. Could be we and what were composed of, are viruses or foreign material. The real universe doesn't tolerate our kind so it slowly munches away at us. Gravity would be a protective measure then, something to help destroy the invader....a vacuum cleaner of sorts....lol

Smolin's idea along with this refinement being only one contender on top of that, due to there being multiple solutions for fine-tuning. Below, the #1 or #2 responses could be construed as the default or least speculative (dull) positions that would actually spurn anthropic principle territory, but they still revolve around fine-tuning. 

A problem is when results (like life) are treated as a "reason" for fine-tuning, when those results are simply what fall out of that engendering condition. And would instead be backward-tracing evidence for one of those possibilities below, if not for current status of being suspended with respect to the whole group -- not overwhelmingly or satisfyingly narrowing down to any particular one. (Which is to say, objections and complaints can be outputted with respect to any choice, due to the varying philosophical guidelines and operating perspectives on the subject that individual physicists or clubs of them favor.)

From Character of anthropic reasoning:

Paul Davies's book The Goldilocks Enigma (2006) reviews the current state of the fine tuning debate in detail, and concludes by enumerating the following responses to that debate:
  1. The absurd universe: Our universe just happens to be the way it is.
  2. The unique universe: There is a deep underlying unity in physics that necessitates the Universe being the way it is. Some Theory of Everything will explain why the various features of the Universe must have exactly the values that we see.
  3. The multiverse: Multiple universes exist, having all possible combinations of characteristics, and we inevitably find ourselves within a universe that allows us to exist.
  4. Intelligent design: A creator designed the Universe with the purpose of supporting complexity and the emergence of intelligence.
  5. The life principle: There is an underlying principle that constrains the Universe to evolve towards life and mind.
  6. The self-explaining universe: A closed explanatory or causal loop: "perhaps only universes with a capacity for consciousness can exist". This is Wheeler's Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP).
  7. The fake universe: We live inside a virtual reality simulation.
  8. Omitted here is Lee Smolin's model of cosmological natural selection, also known as fecund universes, which proposes that universes have "offspring" that are more plentiful if they resemble our universe.
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#5
Zinjanthropos Offline
CC, would you know if microwaves are required to produce a holographic image, or hologram, I don’t know which is which. I’m thinking could the CMBR in some wild unimaginable way, project a universal 3D image/world for a 2D plane?
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#6
C C Offline
(Yesterday 04:19 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: CC, would you know if microwaves are required to produce a holographic image, or hologram, I don’t know which is which. I’m thinking could the CMBR in some wild unimaginable way, project a universal 3D image/world for a 2D plane?

https://www.futurity.org/holographic-pri...1702072-2/
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#7
Zinjanthropos Offline
(Yesterday 07:42 PM)C C Wrote:
(Yesterday 04:19 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: CC, would you know if microwaves are required to produce a holographic image, or hologram, I don’t know which is which. I’m thinking could the CMBR in some wild unimaginable way, project a universal 3D image/world for a 2D plane?

https://www.futurity.org/holographic-pri...1702072-2/

Cool stuff. They should start looking at CMBR Big Grin . If ever there was something for theists to grab hold of, this is it.
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