HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » What is the purpose of th...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 07:52 PM

What is the purpose of the Universe? Here is one possible answer.


George Dvorsky

The more we learn about the universe, the more we discover just how diverse all its planets, stars, nebulae and unexplained chunks of matter really are. So what is all this matter doing in our universe, other than just floating in space?

Well, it just so happens that there is a theory that gives a kind of raison d'etre to our universe and all the objects flying through it. If true, it would mean that our universe is nothing more than a black hole generator, or a means to produce as many baby universes as possible. To learn more, we spoke to the man who came up with the idea.

It's called the theory of Cosmological Natural Selection and it was conjured by Lee Smolin, a researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and and an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo.

In his book, The Life of the Cosmos, Smolin proposed that Darwinian processes still apply at the extreme macro-scale and to non-biological entities. Because the universe is a potentially replicative unit, he suggests that it's subject to selectional pressures. Consequently, nearly everything the universe does is geared toward replication.

more
http://io9.com/5981472/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-universe-here-is-one-possible-answer

21 replies, 2097 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply What is the purpose of the Universe? Here is one possible answer. (Original post)
n2doc Feb 2013 OP
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #1
Hissyspit Feb 2013 #4
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #5
Hissyspit Feb 2013 #6
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #9
freshwest Feb 2013 #8
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #10
Champion Jack Feb 2013 #14
lastlib Feb 2013 #15
freshwest Feb 2013 #16
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #13
FiveGoodMen Feb 2013 #2
patrice Feb 2013 #3
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #12
NoOneMan Feb 2013 #7
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #11
caraher Feb 2013 #17
tama Feb 2013 #18
Heywood J Feb 2013 #19
lindysalsagal Feb 2013 #20
eppur_se_muova Feb 2013 #21

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:20 PM

1. An endlessly self-replicating, infinitely expanding fractal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:32 PM

4. But what is that fractal "in?"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hissyspit (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:33 PM

5. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

That's the question, aint it.

My answer is, it's not "in" anything. It just is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:36 PM

6. Exactly.

But where is it just? "There is no there there."

Gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hissyspit (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:32 PM

9. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

That's why I had to stop smoking pot, honestly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:07 PM

8. There it is. (Dial up warning)



And example in geography:






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freshwest (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:33 PM

10. Oh, yeah.

Once you know what to look for, they're everywhere, aren't they.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freshwest (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:35 PM

14. Very cool!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freshwest (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:15 PM

15. D&*$n, we would've killed for that in the 60's..........

"And if your head explodes, with dark forebodings, too,
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon...."

Or:

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marshmallow skies...."

Or:
"For it's a land unknown to Man, where fantasy is fact,
So if you can, please understand, you might not come ba-aa-aaack......" (apologies for using a Nugent song.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lastlib (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:23 PM

16. The light show is free with every migraine, LOL!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:21 PM

13. That's why I dont accept the label of "atheist", because there is a god and it's a fractal. nm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:21 PM

2. That's an incredibly teleological take on it.

Why not just describe what it does and not make up shit about what it's "for"?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:32 PM

3. That's apparently what Smolin is doing, TTE, What it does IS what it is for & what it does is

endlessly replicate the conditions for black holes that produce "fit" (in the Darwinian sense) universes that do the same thing.

Most of the comments to the article are more or less like yours.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:40 PM

12. I think this is more speculating on what natural processes it may be subject to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:37 PM

7. Isn't the quantity of matter/energy of a sub-universe constrained by that of its parent?

 

So, the universe isn't replicating per se, but subdividing. Only if it is in itself expanding (fed by an expanding black hole of another universe) could its children ever hope to reach its size. I don't think then that "replicating" is necessarily the correct term. Perhaps its increasing in complexity by developing sub-universes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:40 PM

11. Isn't the whole point of dark energy or vacuum energy that 0>0, counter intuitive as it may be?

If that's the case, there may be more energy than everything knows what to do with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:56 AM

17. The Ultimate Free Lunch

It turns out that kind of constraint is not really constraining. Basically, a universe made of matter with space in between has positive energy bound up in its particles and negative energy in the form of gravity; those can add up to zero for something other than an empty universe.

So you can get "something" for zero energy when a new universe branches off from another one...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:02 AM

18. depends

 

If you start from zero energy "ontology" and symmetry of positive and negative energy, there's no quantitative limit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:18 AM

19. I thought it was already explained.

"L'enfer, c'est les autres."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:05 PM

20. Actually, no, it's:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:42 PM

21. Why should it have a purpose ?

Just because humans have purpose, we think everything else must too. We might as plausibly assume the universe has a body, complete with eyes, nose, mouth, and all the rest, just because we do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread