Best CNS paper that I've seen so far

  • Thread starter marcus
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Paper
In summary, Vaas provides a thorough and clear discussion of Lee Smolin's theory of the origin of universes through natural selection. Smolin's hypothesis proposes that our universe is just one of many in a larger Multiverse, and that the values of physical parameters are reprocessed and slightly changed through the formation of black holes. Vaas argues that this theory is limited in its ability to explain the existence of life and that the Darwinian analogy is not an adequate model for this type of natural selection. Additionally, Vaas points out that Smolin's central claim cannot be falsified and therefore, the theory remains untestable. However, Vaas encourages readers to further explore this theory and its implications.
  • #1
marcus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
24,775
792
The clearest and most thorough discussion of the Cosmic Natural Selection conjecture that I have seen so far is

Is there a Darwinian Evolution of the Cosmos? Some Comments on Lee Smolin's Theory of the Origin of Universes by Means of Natural Selection
Rudiger Vaas

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0205119


as a sample, here is the final paragraph:

"Smolin's scenario cannot explain everything (nor does it want to, so this remark is not meant to criticize it but to stress an important limitation). Suppose, Smolin is right. Then we would know why the fundamental physical parameters are the way they actually are. They would be explained, or we would need no explanation anymore. However, this merely shifts the crucial question further back, because
• we would still not know why the laws are the way they actually are, for instance, why quantum gravity implies the birth of universes out of black holes and why quantum gravity is true at all,
• we would still not know how the first universe (the "mother of all universes") came into being, or, if there is an infinite chain of universes, why there are universes at all. Thus, Smolin's hypothesis does not give us a sufficient reason. Probably, a sufficient reason cannot be given at all [cf. 72, ch. 6] which is not to deny that it may play an important heuristic role in the development of science. But Cosmological Natural Selection is not a First Cause or a principle proven by itself. It cannot help us to overcome contingency. It cannot answer why there is anything at all (nor can the speculations about cosmic engineers). And it cannot explain why the physical laws are the way they are. In the ultimate sense, the cosmos remains a mystery."
 
Last edited:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
As you say Marcus a clear view of-------

I have some questions, 1, why does he think the multiverse theory is valid.
2 if particles did not have the mass that are ascribed to them today how
could we predict a different mass for some other universe.
3 the same goes for emergent universes and the constants that describe
them, how could we predict a pure radiation dominant universe, from a
balanced matter radiation universe, or other variation?
 
  • #3
Here is the full abstract of the paper. Claim three would presumably be of the greatest interest to Marcus. Also, bonus points to anyone who can identify the historical significant of Aachen.

Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 21:17:21 GMT (184kb)

Is there a Darwinian Evolution of the Cosmos? - Some Comments on Lee Smolin's Theory of the Origin of Universes by Means of Natural Selection
Authors: Ruediger Vaas
Comments: 20 pages; extended version of a contribution to the MicroCosmos - MacroCosmos conference in Aachen, Germany, September 2-5 1998; finished in late 1998 and published in the conference proceedings (this http URL)

For Lee Smolin, our universe is only one in a much larger cosmos (the Multiverse) - a member of a growing community of universes, each one being born in a bounce following the formation of a black hole. In the course of this, the values of the free parameters of the physical laws are reprocessed and slightly changed. This leads to an evolutionary picture of the Multiverse, where universes with more black holes have more descendants. Smolin concludes, that due to this kind of Cosmological Natural Selection our own universe is the way it is. The hospitality for life of our universe is seen as an offshot of this self-organized process. - This paper outlines Smolin's hypothesis, its strength, weakness and limits, its relationship to the anthropic principle and evolutionary biology, and comments on the hypothesis from different points of view: physics, biology, philosophy of science, philosophy of nature, and metaphysics. Some of the main points are: (1) There is no necessary connection between black holes and life. In principle, life and Cosmological Natural Selection could be independent of each other. Smolin might explain the so-called fine-tuning of physical constants, but life remains an epiphenomenon. (2) The Darwinian analogy is an inadequate model transfer. The fitness of Smolin's universes is not constrained by its environment, but by only one internal factor: the numbers of black holes. Furthermore, although Smolin's universes have different reproduction rates, they are not competing against each other. (3) Smolin's central claim cannot be falsified.
 
  • #4
I would like to think that this means something, as L Smolin is one of the
top theorists, but it all comes down to the hypothosis of bouncing
black holes, which AFAIK is untestable and one of a multitude of theories
that describe BH dynamics without the luxury of fundamental data.
 
  • #5
ohwilleke said:
... bonus points to anyone who can identify the historical significant of Aachen.

Charlemagne's court IIRC
 
  • #6
wolram said:
I would like to think that this means something, as L Smolin is one of the
top theorists, but it all comes down to the hypothosis of bouncing
black holes, which AFAIK is untestable and one of a multitude of theories
that describe BH dynamics without the luxury of fundamental data.

the conjecture to be tested is local optimality for BH production

Smolin challenges you to think of some small change in a parameter of the Std Mdl which would result in our universe making more BH.

His conjecture is that you cannot, because the parameters are already optimal for BH production.

this conjecture is eminently testable.

I think you are confused Wolram. NOBODY WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE THAT BH MAKES BB. I don't care what you believe and I am not trying to persuade you. Smolin is not trying to persuade anybody that our universe was bounced from a parent BH and that other universes bounce from our BHs, with gradual variation of parameters each time.

that is what Rudy Vaas calls "Smolin's central claim" and it is not falsifiable.

you really should read Rudy Vaas article. he is a paper that will definitely repay any study you have time to give it. Rudy Vaas discusses this "central claim" and why it is not falsifiable. BTW I would not call it a "central claim" but that is just a difference in language I guess.

for me the main point to be tested is whether or not the parameters are optimal for BH production. I am very interested in that. I neither believe nor disbelieve it. It is currently being tested. It is outstandingly falsifiable. It may well be falsified by observation. I hope that it is THOROUGHLY tested, because it is an exciting possibility, and tested in a VARIETY OF WAYS.
 
  • #7
wolram said:
As you say Marcus a clear view of-------

I have some questions, 1, why does he think the multiverse theory is valid.
2 if particles did not have the mass that are ascribed to them today how
could we predict a different mass for some other universe.
3 the same goes for emergent universes and the constants that describe
them, how could we predict a pure radiation dominant universe, from a
balanced matter radiation universe, or other variation?

1. AFAIK Smolin has not said that he thinks there is a multiverse.
In the two papers of his that I have read which I think are representative
(gr-qc/9404011 and hep-th/0407213) he does not say he thinks "the multiverse theory is valid"

what I have heard him argue strongly for (with real energy and commitment) is that it should be observationally tested whether or not the parameters are optimal for BH production. It seems so far that they are, and this would certainly be an important finding if it were confirmed.

If it checks out that the numbers in the Std Mdl are optimal, that is the numbers are AS IF CHOSEN TO PROMOTE BH PRODUCTION, then this would have to be explained. You can try thinking of ways to explain that. Smolin has speculated about ways to explain it.

CURRENTLY NO PHYSICAL THEORY (unless you count the CNS idea) OFFERS A MECHANISM TO EXPLAIN THE VALUES OF THE PARAMETERS. Smolin CNS is the only contender in this field that I know of (I don't take seriously the thought of "intelligent design" by some allpowerful fantasy projection of ourselves).

But let's not put cart before horse. The first thing on the agenda is to thoroughly test the conjecture that the parameters are optimal for BH production. Only when that is done and (if it so turns out) one can be reasonably confident that they are optimal, ONLY THEN, does one begin to compare and test various explanations for that.

-----questions 2 and 3-----
2 if particles did not have the mass that are ascribed to them today how
could we predict a different mass for some other universe.


Not sure I understand. We do not need to predict parameters in universes connected to ours. As a way of explaining optimality (if it checks out) we can assume that parameters do not get perfectly transmitted.

the parameters of the Std Mdl are probably built into spacetime in some way we haven't figured out yet, and when spacetime goes thru a kind of meltdown and is forced thru the wringer of a BH then it is hard to imagine how it would come thru completely unchanged---so I have a hard time picturing 100 percent perfect transmission. just my viewpoint.


3 the same goes for emergent universes and the constants that describe
them, how could we predict a pure radiation dominant universe, from a
balanced matter radiation universe...


Again I don't think we need to be able to predict. The assumption (to explain optimality, if it is checked out) would be only that the parameters in the daughter universes are ALMOST but not exactly THE SAME. One wouldn't be worrying about what they are. For evolution to occur one simply needs resemblance but not a perfect copy.
 
Last edited:
  • #8
Marcus i must admit i am warming to Smolins idea, but we must not
forget that BHs and there dynamics are not tested AFAIK to date.
I know that some things are observable in the center of galaxies but
again BHs are not a proven entity.
I can relate this to archeology where the professor states that a stone
is a stone, but a stone on top of another stone is a wall, a wall with
a piece of roman pottery found by it is a roman wall
 
  • #9
marcus said:
Charlemagne's court IIRC

Bonus points won!
 
  • #10
wolram said:
... we must not forget that BHs and their dynamics are not tested AFAIK to date. I know that some things are observable in the center of galaxies but again BHs are not a proven entity...

I agree. Personally i am not skeptical about the existence of black holes. But I think we need a deeper understanding of them. It is one of the reasons for further work in quantum gravity.

just as a reminder of how very much is still undecided here:

1. LQG could be wrong.
2. LQG people have not yet been able to say for sure whether the
model of BH you get in LQG will lead to an offspring universe.
3. You posted a "baby universe in string theory" item recently, but there is a similar uncertainty there: string/M might be wrong, and even if some version turned out to be an adequate theory, can we be sure that it would contain the "baby universe" result?
4. In my view an even more serious reason to be doubtful is this: it may turn out to be simply not true that the parameters of nature are optimal for BH formation. The idea that they might be optimal in this way is a daring, and on the face of it, extremely unlikely thing to imagine. It seems that there would be dozens of possible ways to rule it out just by measuring a parameter and showing that it is not the best possible value from the BH standpoint (but apparently so far no one has).
 
Last edited:
  • #11
ohwilleke said:
Bonus points won!

thanks, it was a welcome reminder. I've heard some good stories about Charlemagne. I guess that was circa 800 AD

I remember now another historical association with Aachen, besides being the site of Charlemagne's court. I saw this on Alejandro's
"Nobel Prize Geneology" chart:

http://www.physcomments.org/wiki/index.php?title=Genealogy::nobel

If you look down in Alejandro's chart to the third generation from Arnold Sommerfeld

you see that
Martin Bojowald's advisor was
Hans Kastrup, whose advisor was
Werner Heisenberg, whose advisor was
Arnold Sommerfeld, whose advisor was
C. Ferdinand Lindemann, whose advisor was
C. Felix Klein, whose advisor was
Julius Plücker, whose advisor was
Christian Gerling, whose advisor was
Gauss

And Bojowald's earned his degree at Aachen in the year 2000.

I ran across the link to Alejandro's geneology chart in this thread
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=59360
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #12
Nice thread.

I was wondering, if LHC at CERN is able to produce Planck scale BH's, then what does that say for CNS? Will there be any way to test whether a BB will occur (maybe this is what you were talking about when you said it was testable).

Paden Roder
 
  • #13
PRodQuanta said:
...I was wondering, if LHC at CERN is able to produce Planck scale BH's, then what does that say for CNS? Will there be any way to test whether a BB will occur (maybe this is what you were talking about when you said it was testable).
...

No actually, the testing I was talking about IIRC is by ordinary means and has been going on for some time. If you take a look at the articles with URL in my sig it will bring you up to speed on the opportunities for testing.


BTW in case anyone has checked out the Rudy Vaas article, it begins with a neat quote from David Hume (1779) taken from this context:
http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/dnr.htm
Click on "Part V" and look at the paragraph labeled [167]

The quote itself is a comic picture of the Creator trying to make a universe and failing to get it right-----botching the job----over and over again:

"But were this world ever so perfect a production, it must still remain uncertain, whether all the excellences of the work can justly be ascribed to the workman. If we survey a ship, what an exalted idea must we form of the ingenuity of the carpenter who framed so complicated, useful, and beautiful a machine? And what surprize must we feel, when we find him a stupid mechanic, who imitated others, and copied an art, which, through a long succession of ages, after multiplied trials, mistakes, corrections, deliberations, and controversies, had been gradually improving? Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out; much labour lost, many fruitless trials made; and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making. In such subjects, who can determine, where the truth; nay, who can conjecture where the probability lies, amidst a great number of hypotheses which may be proposed, and a still greater which may be imagined?"
 
  • #14
the quote from David Hume part V of Dialog concerning natural religion reminds me of some quotes from Newton and from Leibniz that "moving finger" supplied
https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=507074&postcount=14

(e.g. Leibniz criticising Newton's cosmology) "According to their Doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up his Watch from Time to Time: Otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient Foresight to make it a perpetual Motion. Nay, the Machine of God's making is so imperfect, according to these Gentlemen, that he is obliged to clean it now and then...and even to mend it..."

I understand that the French original of this passage may be found in the first part of an exchange known as the Leibniz-Clark controversy:
"Il semble que la religion naturelle même s’affoiblit extremement. Plusieurs font les ames corporelles; d’autres font Dieu luy même corporel. M. Locke et ses Sectateurs doutent au moins si les ames ne sont materielles et naturellement perissables. M. Newton dit que l’Espace est l’organe, don't Dieu se sert pour sentir les choses. Mais s’il a besoin de quelque moyen pour les sentir, elles ne dependent donc point entierement de luy, et ne sont point sa production. Monsieur Newton, et ses sectateurs, ont encore une forte plaisante opinion de l’ouvrage de Dieu. Selon eux Dieu a besoin de remonter de temps en temps sa montre. Autrement elle cesseroit d’agir. Il n’a pas eu assés de veue pour en faire un mouvement perpetuel. Cette Machine de Dieu est même si imparfaite selon eux, qu’il est obligé de la décrasser de temps en temps par un concours extraordinaire et même de la raccommoder, comme un horloger son ouvrage; qu’il sera d’autant plus mauvais maistre, qu’il sera plus souvent obligé d’y retoucher et d’y corriger. Selon mon sentiment, la même force et vigueur y subsiste tousjours, et passe seulement de matiere en matiere, suivant les loix de la nature, et le bel ordre preétabli. Et je tiens, quand Dieu fait des miracles, que ce n’est pas pour soûtenir les besoins de la nature, mais pour ceux de la grace. En juger autrement ce seroit avoir une idée fort basse de la sagesse et de la puissance de Dieu”.

dont mind these quotes. just had to track them down. they arent meant to relate to CNS, although the David Hume one isn't a bad match.
 
Last edited:
  • #15
Logic dictates that, our universe will end one day, i doubt if the end
of our U will be the end of everything, the energy that made it will
always exist somwhere, if that energy is somhow ejected en mass,
then i can not see why it would not follow the history of our own
universe, so the CNS seems logical to me in that new Us come into
existence, but that any variations on the constants would be minimal.
 
  • #16
BY MARCUS

4. In my view an even more serious reason to be doubtful is this: it may turn out to be simply not true that the parameters of nature are optimal for BH formation. The idea that they might be optimal in this way is a daring, and on the face of it, extremely unlikely thing to imagine. It seems that there would be dozens of possible ways to rule it out just by measuring a parameter and showing that it is not the best possible value from the BH standpoin

No BHs? heat death, is heat death the end? i think i preffer BHs.
So get on yer bikes chaps and get measuring
 
  • #17
http://physicsweb.org/articles/review/10/12/1/1 dec 1997.

Smolin, a physicist renowned for his research in quantum cosmology, offers a radically different approach to the problem. He rejects the explanations offered by the anthropic principle and the final theory, arguing instead that the physical constants (and perhaps even the laws of physics themselves) have evolved to their present form through a process akin to mutation and natural selection. (In other words, the physical constants are contingent rather than fundamental.) He harnesses various physical, biological and philosophical arguments in support of this proposal. The status of each of these three types of argument is very different, so I will discuss them in turn.

Evolving constants, or fundamental constans? I guess the stuff that is in a
BH is in a non random condition "state", and if it is ejected ,a repeatable
cycle of" events", could continue for all eternity.
It would be different if the stuff inside a BH was in some sort of mixed state
or if the ejection process could vary.
A perfect oscillator or not? a perfect recycler or not?
 
Last edited:
  • #18
wolram said:
... so the CNS seems logical to me in that new Us come into
existence, but that any variations on the constants would be minimal.

this business about a small variation of the constants during bounce
(gravitational collapse followed by re-expansion)
is very interesting.

when we were discussing earlier, in this thread, I did not know about a 2002 paper by Gambini and Pullin that offers a possible mechanism for a slight changed in the constants during bounce

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0212033
Discrete quantum gravity: applications to cosmology
Rodolfo Gambini, Jorge Pullin
19 pages, 9 figures
Journal-ref: Class.Quant.Grav. 20 (2003) 3341

"We consider the application of the consistent lattice quantum gravity approach we introduced recently to the situation of a Friedmann cosmology and also to Bianchi cosmological models. This allows us to work out in detail the computations involved in the determination of the Lagrange multipliers that impose consistency, and the implications of this determination. It also allows us to study the removal of the Big Bang singularity. Different discretizations can be achieved depending on the version of the classical theory chosen as a starting point and their relationships studied. We analyze in some detail how the continuum limit arises in various models. In particular we notice how remnants of the symmetries of the continuum theory are embodied in constants of the motion of the consistent discrete theory. The unconstrained nature of the discrete theory allows the consistent introduction of a relational time in quantum cosmology, free from the usual conceptual problems."

Except for this vague reference, they do not mention this in the abstract. I will look for it in the paper.
 
Last edited:
  • #19
yes, here on page 8, right below Figure 2

"One can also notice that while going through the singularity the universe re-expands, but the behavior at both sides of the singularity is different. In this sense the discrete cosmology may implement the proposal of Smolin [5] that different physics takes place when one goes through a singularity."

It is only the barest suggestion. this was back in 2002 and it took a bit of nerve just to be talking about a cosmological bounce in the first place.
nothing is worked out in detail.

now the bounce idea has more currency
and they will probably go back and work some more on this result in the consistent discretizations version of QG

they mentioned it again in that essay which wolram flagged
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=75354
 
Last edited:

Related to Best CNS paper that I've seen so far

1. What makes this CNS paper stand out from others?

The "Best CNS paper that I've seen so far" is chosen based on a variety of factors, including the novelty of the research, the impact of the findings, and the potential for future applications. This paper has been selected as the best because it excels in all of these areas, presenting groundbreaking research with significant implications for the field.

2. Can you provide a brief summary of the paper's key findings?

The key findings of this CNS paper highlight the role of a specific neurotransmitter in regulating a complex neural network involved in memory formation. The researchers used advanced imaging techniques to map the activity of this network and identified a potential therapeutic target for improving memory function in individuals with neurological disorders.

3. How was the methodology of this study designed to ensure reliable results?

The methodology of this study was carefully designed and executed to ensure reliable and valid results. The researchers utilized a large sample size, controlled for potential confounding variables, and used rigorous statistical analyses to verify their findings. Additionally, the study was replicated by independent researchers to confirm the robustness of the results.

4. What implications does this paper have for future research in the field of neuroscience?

This CNS paper has significant implications for future research in the field of neuroscience. The findings of this study shed light on the complex mechanisms involved in memory formation and provide a potential target for developing new treatments for neurological disorders. This paper also opens up new avenues for exploring the role of neurotransmitters in regulating brain function.

5. How does this paper contribute to our overall understanding of the central nervous system?

This paper contributes to our overall understanding of the central nervous system by providing new insights into the intricate networks and processes involved in memory formation. The findings of this study expand our knowledge of the role of neurotransmitters in regulating brain function and may have broader implications for understanding other cognitive processes and neurological disorders.

Similar threads

  • Beyond the Standard Models
2
Replies
39
Views
1K
Replies
72
Views
6K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
14
Views
5K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
45
Views
3K
Replies
23
Views
1K
  • Classical Physics
Replies
1
Views
725
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
1
Views
373
Back
Top