# I don  t understand Hawking s answer to Why this particular set of laws? .

• httpvalid
In summary: That's what he's asking. Why are there these particular set of laws, and not others, in our universe?In summary, Stephen Hawking suggests that the answer to why our universe has the right combination of constants is due to spontaneous creation. He suggests that if the laws were different, we wouldn't be here to see it. He also suggests that the multiverse is governed by the same basic law.
httpvalid
I don  t understand Hawking s answer to "Why this particular set of laws?".

I read the book the grand design by Stephen Hawking. The book at the beginning say it attempts to answer three questions. The questions are:

1."Why is there something rather than nothing?"
2."Why do we exist?"
3."Why this particular set of laws and not some other?"

In the last chapter of the book, the answer to 1, and 2 is suggested from the quote:"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist". So, it seems the answer to 1, and 2 is "spontaneous creation". OK, i understand the answer to 1, and 2.

I don  t understand Hawking s answer to 3 which can be found in the last 2 page of the book.
In the last two page, Hawking suggest the ultimate theory must be:

4. consistent.
5. Finite results for any measurable quantities.

Hawking then suggest "M-theory" satisfy 4, but it is an open question that it satisfy 5. He say if some people can prove "M-theory" satisfy 5, then "M-theory" is the only logically possible theory. Two paragraph down, he said it would be nice to "confirm the theory by observation". The last remark( ie: Confirm the theory by observation) don t make sense to me, because if Hawking is saying all anyone need is to prove 5 is true, then it "sufficient" to show "M-theory" is the only logically possible theory, then why is it necessary to seek confirmation from observation? To drive home my point with an analogy. If " 3+2=5" is logically necessary, then any causal observation that "3+2 is not 13" is automatically false. I don  t "need" observation to confirm something that is logically necessary.

So, I hope people can explain to me Hawking subtle answer to 3, or "why these set of laws, and not others?". Thanks.

Why do G, h, and c have their particular values? Why does gravity fall off over distance squared, and not, say, cubed? Why 3 macroscopic spatial directions? Why is charge quantized? Why is ANYTHING quantized? Why does entropy only go in one direction?

That's what he's asking. Why are there these particular set of laws, and not others, in our universe?

Is the anthropic principle enough to explain it? "Well, if the laws were different, we wouldn't be here to see it."

I think you fail to see the distinction between the "constants of nature", and the "form of the laws". Anthropic reasoning comes into play when there are many different universes with different combination of constants, and we happen to live in one with all the right combination of constants that permit our existence. Remember that in this vest assemble of universes, each universe differ from another only in the "combination of constants". Nowhere does it say each universe differ in the form of the equations. This means, the "multiverse" used to explain "why our universe has the right combination of constants" is governed by the same basic law.

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httpvalid said:
I think you fail to see the distinction between the "constants of nature", and the "form of the laws"

I don't fail to see anything. YOU'RE the one who make the post stating "I don't understand..."

Remember that in this vest assemble of universes, each universe differ from another only in the "combination of constants".

That's speculative nonsense.

Nowhere does it say each universe differ in the form of the equations.

What do you mean by "it"?

httpvalid said:
In the last chapter of the book, the answer to 1, and 2 is suggested from the quote:"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist". So, it seems the answer to 1, and 2 is "spontaneous creation". OK, i understand the answer to 1, and 2.

Oh Jesus. What does "spontaneous creation" even mean? Great, creation is spontaneous? Well, that don't do nothing. I personally suspect we will one day reduce down existence to an equation and show at some values of the parameters, some sort of "shock phenomenon" occurs which drastically and qualitatively changes the underlying dynamics, sort of like a concrete walkway (without rebar) suddenly snapping and collapsing, and then relate that equation to some type of pre-existence cosmology. That to me would be "understanding".

Jack21222 said:
I don't fail to see anything. YOU'RE the one who make the post stating "I don't understand..."
That's speculative nonsense.
What do you mean by "it"?
Please don t pull things out of context. I said i don  t understand Hawking explanation to "why these set of laws?". Hawking specifically means the "form of the laws", and not the damn constants. Typically, the whole reason some invoked the multiverse postulate is to explain in some non-divine way as to why the constants of nature is the way it is. This leave the "form of the laws" completely mulled. You fail to see the subtle point, and you blame me for your too big to be wrong ego.

httpvalid said:
Hawking specifically means the "form of the laws", and not the damn constants.

Did you even read my post? That's why I added the following:

Why does gravity fall off over distance squared, and not, say, cubed? Why 3 macroscopic spatial directions? Why is charge quantized? Why is ANYTHING quantized? Why does entropy only go in one direction?

Those things are changes in the FORM OF THE LAWS. They have nothing to do with constants.

Jack21222 said:
Did you even read my post? That's why I added the following:
Those things are changes in the FORM OF THE LAWS. They have nothing to do with constants.
If you do understand Hawkings third question "why this set of laws?" as dealing with the "form of the basic laws", and not the "constants of nature", then why would you use anthropic reasoning in your first post on this thread? If you are more informed, you would know that all anthropic reasonings posit some particular multiverse do not attempt to explain why "the forms of the laws is the way it is?". This is to say that all anthropic reasoning deals with explaining why the constants is the way it is in a particular universe in a multiverse, where the multiverse itself is governed by a particular set of laws. It makes no sense at all in invoking anthropic reasoning to answer "why this set of laws?".

httpvalid said:
If you are more informed, you would know that all anthropic reasonings posit some particular multiverse do not attempt to explain why "the forms of the laws is the way it is?". This is to say that all anthropic reasoning deals with explaining why the constants is the way it is in a particular universe in a multiverse, where the multiverse itself is governed by a particular set of laws. It makes no sense at all in invoking anthropic reasoning to answer "why this set of laws?".

That is inaccurate, unless you consider the number of dimensions a "fundamental constant." The number of dimensions will change the form of the laws.

I'm not the first one to state this, but I cannot remember who I got it from...

Imagine a world in which there are 2 spatial dimensions. Could intelligent life exist in such an environment? For one, anything with a digestive system would be split in half unless waste came out of the same hole as the intake. The anthropic principle could be used to explain why we don't live in a 2-d world.

Jack21222 said:
That is inaccurate, unless you consider the number of dimensions a "fundamental constant." The number of dimensions will change the form of the laws.

I'm not the first one to state this, but I cannot remember who I got it from...

Imagine a world in which there are 2 spatial dimensions. Could intelligent life exist in such an environment? For one, anything with a digestive system would be split in half unless waste came out of the same hole as the intake. The anthropic principle could be used to explain why we don't live in a 2-d world.
I don  t see what you say here addresses my point. I claimed that you were mistaken to suggest anthropic reasoning is the right framework to explaining "why this set of laws?", because the latter question addresses the multiverse as a whole, while the anthropic reasoning is useful in explaining why any particular universe is the way it is in the multiverse. Anthropic reasoning posits a multiverse with it s particular set of laws that govern the multiverse, and each universes in the multiverse. So, anthropic reasoning is useful for explaining universes in a multiverse, but not the multiverse, and it  s laws.

You seem to have a lot of preconceived notions about what a multiverse must be like and what it can't be. You realize it's pure speculation, right?

Jack21222 said:
You seem to have a lot of preconceived notions about what a multiverse must be like and what it can't be. You realize it's pure speculation, right?

I actually read a lot about "anthropic reasoning" in college. I know what is needed for the argument to work. One of the things you need is an actual multiverse. The type of "multiverse" varies with different authors. In almost all cases, the multiverse itself has a defined structure dictated by some set of laws.

## 1. Why is Hawking's answer to "Why this particular set of laws?" considered significant in the scientific community?

Hawking's answer is significant because it addresses one of the biggest mysteries in physics - why the universe seems to follow a specific set of laws and constants. His explanation, known as the "Anthropic Principle," suggests that the laws of our universe are a result of the conditions necessary for life to exist. This concept has sparked much debate and further exploration in the scientific community.

## 2. What are the implications of Hawking's answer for our understanding of the universe?

Hawking's answer challenges traditional beliefs about the universe and its origins. It suggests that the universe is not a random occurrence, but rather a finely-tuned system that allows for the existence of life. This has implications for our understanding of the purpose and design of the universe.

## 3. How does Hawking's answer differ from other theories about the laws of the universe?

Hawking's answer differs from other theories in that it takes into account the role of intelligent life in the universe. Many other theories focus solely on the physical, mathematical, or cosmological aspects of the universe, while Hawking's answer incorporates the concept of the universe being fine-tuned for life.

## 4. What evidence supports Hawking's answer to "Why this particular set of laws?"

While there is no definitive evidence to prove Hawking's answer, there are several observations and experiments that support the idea of a finely-tuned universe. For example, the values of certain constants, such as the strength of gravity, seem perfectly calibrated for the existence of life. Additionally, the discovery of exoplanets has shown that Earth-like conditions may be more common in the universe than previously thought.

## 5. How does Hawking's answer tie into the search for a unified theory of everything?

Hawking's answer to "Why this particular set of laws?" does not directly relate to the search for a unified theory of everything. However, it does offer a potential explanation for the specific laws and constants that govern our universe. It also raises the question of whether or not a unified theory would also need to account for the existence of life in the universe.

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