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A How do we explain universal complexities?

  1. Sep 21, 2016 #1
    Not resorting to religion, how does apparent ordered structured complexity materialize in the universe?

    I want to be honest here, so I will let it be known. I'm also interested to know how this forum, which is highly censored main stream view only, deals with a topic mainstream has little to say about. Is such a topic possible here under this circumstance?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2016 #2

    phyzguy

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    The answer is Darwinian evolution. I recommend you read "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins.
     
  4. Sep 21, 2016 #3
  5. Sep 22, 2016 #4
    One could subscribe to the Anthropic Principle: the universe is so complex because only a complex universe could generate beings that could ponder the question. I think it's philosophically invalid though, because it requires some sort of prior probability to generate universes which could potentially generate people, and I can't see where this prior probability could come from.
     
  6. Sep 22, 2016 #5

    Drakkith

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    I don't know the specific terminology to use, but I'd say it started with the subtle variations in density in the very early universe (thanks to quantum effects) and went from there. These variations in density, over time, led to matter clumping together into galaxies, stars, planets, etc under the influence of gravity. Other types of structure use different laws and have more to do with EM and nuclear forces than gravity, but the end result is similar.

    If in doubt, ask a mentor. That's your best option.
     
  7. Sep 22, 2016 #6
    Yes I'm with you on this one. To my mind the Anthropic Principle doesnt really solve anything, but rather just highlights the scale of the complexity issue, and conventional theories struggle to address it. Resorting to probability of vast numbers of multiverses existing, just so that one did chance to emerge suited for life and people. It shows a level of desperation for the situation.
     
  8. Sep 22, 2016 #7
    Darwinian Evolution! I havent read Dawkins book, but I've read something of Lees and his ideas on the subject. The new cosmos series touches on the concept of black hole fecundity in its third episode. You sound impressed by this idea. Have you formed an opinion? Well it is arguably the only process of nature we are aware of, with mechanisms which systematically drive towards ever higher levels of complexity.

    Darwinian Physics cant be considered mainstream by any stretch. Are we allowed to discuss this concept on this forum? I'm new here, and my first two posts on the subject of time dilation were deleted without apology.
     
  9. Sep 22, 2016 #8
    I dont feel this addressed anything of the complexity issue. Atoms, molecules, solar systems and galaxies are highly articulated interactive systems. If you think in terms of all of them merely being composites of Quark, Electron and Photon interactions, then consider the nature of the interactions which make up these various layers of scale, and the processes like chemistry, heat etc etc that emerge from there process which just so happen to enable molecular and stellar structure and process. I think many people underestimate the level of complexity intrinsic to these systems, maybe because it has seamed such an intractable problem it eventually got swept under the rug. But maybe its the best clue we have to the greater goings on of the universe, so I'd rather not ignore it.

    Consider for example, that every molecular interaction exploited by biological systems for the advancement of life, is a preexisting potential of the Atom. This places full credit of the complexity achievable by biological systems fairly within domain of atomic process. These systems are highly articulated, complex, dynamic, ordered, tuned. It seams there is no complement to flattering to credit to atomic systems.
     
  10. Sep 23, 2016 #9

    Drakkith

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    I've never heard of Darwinian Physics before, so I can't really say either way. Do you have a good link to something on the topic?

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by all this.

    All structure and complexity can be boiled down to interactions between fundamental particles and radiation within spacetime. But so what?
     
  11. Sep 23, 2016 #10
    Darwinian physics? That is the implication if nature of the universe owes something to Darwinian principles. I think the best qualified thought on the subject would be Lee Smolin and Richard Dawkins. A google search will show their work for you.

    My earlier meaning? There is a very wide variety of opinion on the universal complexity issue, but I wonder how many have given it the attention it deserves. A few years ago I started delving deeper into it, but before hand I had barely skimmed the subject and not realized its significance. So I can relate to those who havent yet delved. Before Charles Darwinian's insight became known, nobody conceived there was a complexity issue regarding biology, because there was a ready God solution at hand. Complexity within Cosmology and physics in this day and age is a slightly different circumstance, because there is no preconceived solution that might disguise the issue. But still, people have a really hard time trying to determine if there even is a complexity issue, and an even harder time trying to conceive a solution. So ok, is there a complexity issue? Biology is an example of a type of complexity that absolutely needs a driving process. Is the complexity within physics and cosmology the same type of complexity or not? How do you determine such a thing?

    All the complexity boils down to particle interactions you say. But if that was a soup you had served me, I think I would want to add some flavor enhancer.
     
  12. Sep 23, 2016 #11

    phyzguy

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    I assumed in your OP that the phrase "ordered structured complexity" referred to living things, and based my answer on that assumption. To what else are you referring? Stars and planets? I'm not sure I would consider them "ordered structured complexity". The formation of stars, planets, and the other structure of the universe is adequately explained by the laws of physics, so I'm not sure what other explanation you are looking for. Is your question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"
     
  13. Sep 23, 2016 #12

    Drakkith

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    I haven't read anything on all this (and I don't have time thanks to my school schedule), so I think I'll leave it to others for now.
     
  14. Sep 23, 2016 #13
    z |-> z^2 + c
    Infinite complexity from one simple formula.
     
  15. Sep 23, 2016 #14
    Ok, but if you find yourself with a spare minute, any one of these links is an interesting read. Even a year ago, performing a google search on "cosmological natural selection" only showed up a couple of search results. But now google is crowded with speculations on the subject.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...and-beauty-of-cosmological-natural-selection/
    https://arxiv.org/ftp/gr-qc/papers/0205/0205119.pdf
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2013-05-04-did-universe-evolve-make-black-holes
     
  16. Sep 23, 2016 #15
    Are you able to summarize this formula please?

    I am aware extraordinary complexity can emerge from very simple processes, principles. Like snow flake patterns, and fluid dynamics etc. However there are types of complexity which cannot arise through a repetitive simple dynamic. As complexity within biological systems are testament. I'm not telling people what they should or shouldn't believe, but rather just posing the question. Given what we know about particle physics and cosmology, does it seam the type of complexity that emerges from very simple processes? or does the character of the physical universe require something of a more dynamic explanation?
     
  17. Sep 23, 2016 #16

    Drakkith

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    What is a "dynamic explanation"? Are you expecting the rules of physics to somehow change over time?
     
  18. Sep 24, 2016 #17
    That would be the implication. That there are no such things as fundamentals in physics, that the physics we have come to observe and know, are part of an overall system which is one of many potentials, but has been the most proficient system at perpetuating itself.

    The laws of physics have a way of appearing fundamental to us humans. As exampled by our sense that up and down are somehow fundamental, and so much so that perhaps our early ancestors never even thought to question its reality. But actually up and down is just a localized gravity thing, and has no meaning within a universal context. Like so, perhaps all laws of physics are non fundamentals, and owe their character and parameters to a progressively changing, evolving circumstance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  19. Sep 24, 2016 #18

    Drakkith

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    While we can't outright dismiss such a possibility, observations put great limits on the amount of change that could have happened within the past 13 billion years. Any such changes would be very gradual and very subtle. There are no observable abrupt changes at this time.

    Of course they do. They are our "best guess" up to that point, built on all of our preceding knowledge and explaining our most accurate predictions and models. But a "best guess" is exactly what they are. We have no way of knowing whether our current laws are truly fundamental. For example, classical gravitation was a "fundamental" law until it was superseded by General Relativity. Fundamental simply means: a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.
    By definition you will never be able to get away from fundamental laws, as they will always form the core of your body of knowledge on physics, unless such laws are changing in a manner that is truly random and non-predictable. However, given that the laws of physics haven't undergone any observable change in the last 13 billion years, that doesn't seem likely.

    In the context of what I just wrote, you can bet your behind they are. Useful laws, perhaps, but limited in scope and applicability. I don't see this changing.
     
  20. Sep 24, 2016 #19
    I would suggest though, if we were to consider such a radical inquiry as cosmological natural selection, you might relax conventional preconceptions to some degree. There is no doubt the data and observations of mainstream science are good and real. But that's not the same thing as having perfect faith in current interpretations. I don't think anybody has suggested the final conclusions are firmed, so it doesn't make sense to have solidified preconceptions.
     
  21. Sep 24, 2016 #20

    Drakkith

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    Which preconceptions do you mean?
     
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