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III. Ecosmos: A Procreative Organic Habitable UniVerse

G. Anthropic, Biotropic, Earthropic Principles

Soler Gil, Francisco and Manuel Alfonseca. Is the Multiverse Hypothesis Capable of Explaining the Fine Tuning of Nature Laws and Constants? The Case of Cellular Automata. Journal for General Philosophy of Science. 43/1, 2013. The paper is also online at arXiv:1105.4278. University of Seville, and University of Madrid physicists contend that beyond fleeting bosons and string gyrations, a natural phenomena akin to an algorithmic program seems to be running the evolutionary scenario. With Alan Turing as main mentor, Stephen Wolfram is melded with Max Tegmark (note his 2014 book above) to foster insights into its operational, formative presence.

The objective of this paper is analyzing to which extent the multiverse hypothesis provides a real explanation of the peculiarities of the laws and constants in our universe. First we argue in favor of the thesis that all multiverses except Tegmark’s “mathematical multiverse” are too small to explain the fine tuning, so that they merely shift the problem up one level. But the “mathematical multiverse" is surely too large. To prove this assessment, we have performed a number of experiments with cellular automata of complex behavior, which can be considered as universes in the mathematical multiverse. The analogy between what happens in some automata (in particular Conway’s “Game of Life") and the real world is very strong. But if the results of our experiments can be extrapolated to our universe, we should expect to inhabit—in the context of the multiverse—a world in which at least some of the laws and constants of nature should show a certain time dependence. Actually, the probability of our existence in a world such as ours would be mathematically equal to zero. In consequence, the results presented in this paper can be considered as an inkling that the hypothesis of the multiverse, whatever its type, does not offer an adequate explanation for the peculiarities of the physical laws in our world. (Abstract)

In this paper, we have checked on the fact that the only version of the multiverse that could be a suitable candidate for explaining the fine tuning of the laws of our universe to make the existence of complex entities in general and of intelligent beings in particular possible is Tegmark's mathematical multiverse. Then we have focused on the question whether the peculiar laws of our universe can be explained from the hypothesis that ours is a typical «complex-universe» or «life-enabling universe» among the set of all the worlds which includes all the consistent mathematical structures. In order for this to be the case, the laws of our universe should be the most general among those consistent with our existence. To test this, in the previous section we have analyzed and proved that the most general form of those complex universes (which must exist, according to Tegmark's hypothesis) whose structure corresponds to that of cellular automata, are those whose rules exhibit some kind of temporal variability. (29)

If this result can be extrapolated −and we should not forget that there are numerous authors from Martin Gardner to Daniel Dennett who have suggested the existence of a very close relation between the «game of life» and our universe−, it would imply that our universe is not typical at all, since it attains a high degree of complexity with laws and physical constants specially simple, as they are not a function of time. On the other hand, it is obvious that the number of possible universes compatible with life which would exhibit some kind of temporal dependence in their laws and physical constants, while keeping within the allowable margins of values, must be infinitely more probable than those of our type, which means that the probability of our existence in a world such as ours would be mathematically equal to zero. (29)

Sudoh, Takahiro, et al. Testing Anthropic Reasoning for the Cosmological Constant with a Realistic Galaxy Formation Model. arXiv:1607.00180. University of Tokyo theorists contend that this celestial parameter, nuanced as “the energy density of the vacuum of space,” has a finely poised value for this universe. Any slight variation would not permit a multi-billion year span for matter and life to complexify and develop so that sentient beings could learn this. As a consequence, it could be validly surmised that the presence of phenomenal people explains why. OK

Susskind, Leonard. The Cosmic Landscape. New York: Little, Brown, 2005. Reviewed more in Current Vistas, this work claims to dispel any impression of a universe specially contrived for human beings by explaining it away as just one favorable contingency among a vast number of bubbling possibilities.

Vilenkin, Alexander. Anthropic Approach to the Cosmological Constant Problems. International Journal of Theoretical Physics. 42/6, 2003. Further insights into the validity of anthropic reasoning on a cosmic scale.

There are now two cosmological constant problems: (i) why the vacuum energy is so small and (ii) why it comes to dominate at about the epoch of galaxy formation. Anthropic selection appears to be the only approach that can naturally resolve both problems. (1193)

Vilenkin, Alexander. Open Universes, Eternal Inflation, and the Anthropic Principle. International Journal of Theoretical Physics. 38/11, 1999. A cosmologist argues for an open, inflating universe where the observed value of the density parameter is seen to require an anthropic explanation.

Zenil, Hector. Introducing the Computable Universe. Zenil, Hector, ed. A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation. Singapore: World Scientific, 2012. This opening chapter by the University of Sheffield information theorist is also available at arXiv:1206.0376. In the subsection excerpt next, if this cosmological alternative distinguished by a dual “software and hardware” is engaged then the anthropic issue shifts from exact material parameters to digital variations in its operating “computer program,” an entirely new approach.

4.1 An Algorithmic Approach to the Problem of Fine Tuning. The anthropic principle can now have a plausible interpretation under this algorithmic approach, providing a (more reasonable) answer to the question of the apparent fine tuning of the universe, that is, the question of why the universe looks just right for accommodating everything in it. A single value changed in the equation would produce a universe where nothing would be possible, certainly not life. But if the universe is a computer program, parameters are not only coupled together but there may be many computer programs producing the same output, especially an output of low algorithmic complexity, that is, a structured universe rather than a random looking one. (17-18)

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