Tag Archives: philosophy

Anthropic Black Holes/Paracast 6/14/09

The Standard Model responsible for creating other Universes?

Louis Crane, K-State professor of mathematics, is studying new theories about why the universe is the way it is. He has a grant from the Foundational Questions Institute to study new approaches to the quantum theory of gravity, his primary research area as both a mathematician and a physicist. Crane hopes to uncover implications of these theories for the origin and the future of life.

He said that the standard model, which is the accepted theory of physics, has a large number of fundamental constants. Examples are the strengths of fundamental forces and the masses of fundamental particles.

What complicates things, Crane said, is that the theory does not explain the values of these constants. Rather, they are known by measurement and put into equations by hand.

“If they had just slightly different values, we would live in a different universe,” Crane said. “If they were a little different, we wouldn’t be here.”

“Life couldn’t exist if stars didn’t shine for billions of years,” Crane said. “Only a fine-tuning in the constants causes them to do so. Another fine-tuning in the constants causes carbon, the foundation of life, to be abundant.”

Crane suggests that if he is correct that artificial black holes are possible, then successful industrial civilizations — maybe ours — will eventually produce them. That’s because at a certain size they would be a perfect energy source for interstellar travel.

“I started doing calculations and found that the right-sized black hole to fuel a starship is just on the edge of what’s possible,” he said. “If you can build one, it has implications for the future of life because we would eventually spread life throughout the galaxy if we could build starships.”

Black holes are believed to produce a new universe on the other end of the singularity, but one that lies in our future and is always out of reach. Yet such universes, Crane said, also would be fine-tuned to produce life, civilizations and, eventually, more black holes.

“If this is possible, then we will fill the universe with life,” he said. “I’m suggesting that life forms are part of a grand evolutionary cycle, which includes universes and black holes.”

This is rife with Anthropic Principle (that in of itself is a misnomer) doctrine.

Now I’m not a physicist, but I’ve read enough over the past two years to conclude that yes, present observable evidence seems to indicate that the Universe might follow a biological nature, i.e., it is suitable for life because humans are here to observe it. I get that.

But so far there is only a sample size of one, us, to verify that hypothesis. There is simply not enough evidence to conclude that human beings, ergo, intelligent life (some would argue that) did not appear by pure chance and accident.

And the Standard Model is questioned not only by Electric Universe folks, but by others as well because of such concepts as dark energy/matter.

Stay tuned folks.

K-STATE MATH PROFESSOR LOOKING TO MATHEMATICAL THEORIES FOR CLUES ON ORIGINS AND FUTURE OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE; SUGGESTS ARTIFICIAL BLACK HOLES PLAY A BIG PART

Hat tip

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Sunday’s (6/14/09) Paracast features Dr. David M. Jacobs and Budd Hopkins in a “square table’ discussion of alien abductions, MIBs, possible alien/human hybrid programs, just what these ‘beings’ might be and other possible reasons for perceived abduction scenarios.

Interesting topic and conversation.

Jacobs and Hopkins Interview

Space vandals, warping space and philosophy

Here’s some advice that you would hope is more than unnecessary. NASA employees – astronauts, in particular – should avoid writing their names on any landscapes they encounter on their trips through the solar system.

This plea against space vandalism is not a NASA directive. It comes from University of North Texas philosophy professor Eugene Hargrove . He is making the request today as part of a talk on eco issues in space exploration during this week’s NASA Lunar Science Institute’s conference at the Ames Research Center.

There is no doubt that we have already made an impact on the Moon. Each Apollo mission released gas equivalent to the whole of the existing lunar atmosphere. If and when spacecraft start going back more regularly, we might create a permanent atmosphere of rocket exhaust.

“Create a permanent atmosphere of rocket exhaust” ? 

Y’gotta be shittin’ me, right?

Read the comment section of this article, they say it better than I can. 8)

Return of the space vandals

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For those of you who don’t see Spaceflight, a magazine published by the British Interplanetary Society, it may be useful to know that an article by Richard Obousy and Gerald Cleaver (Baylor University) on warp drive theory from the April issue is now available on the arXiv server. This material was presented at the November, 2007 symposium held by the BIS in London. Kelvin Long, who organized the session, had earlier passed along several documents from the proceedings that we looked at here, and also wrote up the duo’s ideas in the same issue of Spaceflight.

But let’s backtrack a minute to Miguel Alcubierre’s 1994 paper, which demonstrated that it would be possible — within the context of General Relativity — to envision a space drive that could get you to your destination in a time shorter than it would take light itself to get there. Contracting space in front of the craft while inflating it behind, the drive is permissible because the starship itself would not be going faster than light. Rather, the space around it would be moving in such a way as to make the trip possible.

And that’s the key — the speed of light stricture does not apply to spacetime itself. Can we learn how to generate a region of expanding spacetime and one of contracting spacetime? Obousy and Cleaver argue that nature can offer insights, for spacetime itself is already expanding, a fact we realized with the work of Edwin Hubble in 1929 and have been wrestling with in various ways ever since. A warp drive would demand that the slow expansion of space that we observe be made to function extremely quickly, which makes understanding the cosmological constant the key demand of any attempt to build a true warp drive.

This is why I love the Centauri Dreams blog so much, Paul Gilster isn’t afraid to put out some extreme engineering posts at time. I have to admit, he’s good at finding these papers on the arXiv server!

As for the feasibility of warp drive, yes, the energy requirements are tremendous, so unless there is a way to create a warp bubble or fiddle with string theory in anything meaningful without the enormous energy input, it ain’t gonna happen.

And in the Trek Universe, the element in “dilithium” crystals facilitate the creation of a warp bubble without infinite energy input. People tend to forget that when the topic of inventing a real warp drive pops up. But Paul’s post puts a realistic spin on the research and is recommended reading.

A new take on warping space-time

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I have a theory that the human energy body that certain so-called psychics say that they can travel out of body in and that which persons involved in so-called near death experiences claim to have is simply a body made of a material, perhaps super cooled non-relativistic neutrino material that is produced by the electroweak unification between the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force. As one might be aware, the neutrino is the particle with zero electric charge but which interacts with matter through the weak nuclear force reaction. A beam of pure neutrinos can accordingly travel thru light years of lead and remain largely unattenuated.My theory in another version is that the material out of which human and extraterrestrial energy bodies are made is composed of photo-neutrinos which would be a hybrid force particle with characteristics of both the electromagnetic photon and the weak force neutrino. My theory would explain why energy bodies appear or at least are reported to pass through material objects by those having near death experiences. Which ever version of my theory is correct, the electroweak unification in physics, the basic form of the theory for which a Nobel Prize was awarded, is the basis for suggesting that super cooled neutrinos, or photo-neutrinos, can interact by electric fields or electronic like fields and thus form the continuous material that energy bodies and auras appear to be made of in the form of aggregates of massive numbers of cooled neutrinos or photo-neutrinos in bound states.

My man Jim Essig here sounds like a nut at times, but he’s a deep thinker of many things and that is good.

He’s almost like a scientific Highwayman! Without the expletives of course!

As Geez says, “I’ll sit at his campfire any time and the coffee is always good.” That goes for all these guys.

Reflections on the Nature, Meaning, and Purpose of the Frailty of Life

SETI Spirituality

God, I must be a glutton for punishment!

The past few posts I’ve delved into some philosophical debates and gotten some awesome comments in return, which is why I continue to poke my finger in the “Eye of the Super-Unknown”.

Maybe I’m just a pig-headed old Leatherneck who doesn’t know any better when to shut up? ;^)

That too.

So that’s why I’m posting this little piece concerning SETI:

There’s a surprising amount of overlap between seekers of extraterrestrial life and seekers of God.

Not that the folks at SETI are actually hoping to detect the deep-space transmissions of a bearded deity from SGR 1900+14, handing them off to Vatican astronomers for inscription on silicon tablets. Far from it. But in my reporting for an article on the religious implications of finding extraterrestrial intelligence, I noticed that much research was produced in collaboration between scientists and theologians.

Why this partnership between parties whose relationship typically amounts to a truce, and an uneasy one at that?

In part it’s practical: Christianity boasts a small but rich history of so-called astrotheology, particularly within the Catholic Church. It makes sense that they’d run in some of the same circles as the SETI crowd. And since discovering aliens would prompt religious self-examination — if God is universal, maybe the image of God isn’t a hairless biped called homo sapiens — and perhaps devotion, it’s probably good that they’re already talking.

Now some would say that the Catholic Church isn’t Christian anyway, so it is no surprise they have this take. Others would say that since God created us, it stands to reason He created others also, so since we exist, thus they exist.

But some people in SETI don’t have the certitude that alien civilizations exist, like there’s seekers of God who don’t have the certitude God exists. According to Douglas Vakock, the Unitarian director of SETI’s Interstellar Messaging Composition, certitude of any kind is misplaced:

“One of the greatest misconceptions about SETI is that we know in our hearts that there is life out there, and the question is whether we’re going to be the generation that finds it. That’s false,” he said. “SETI requires an acceptance of ambiguity. If there’s a virtue to SETI, it’s that it’s making ambiguity acceptable at a time when people are focused on the concrete and short-term. It is very often uncomfortable not having the answers, but we need to accept that. We try to recognize that, in this domain, with what we now know, the best we can do, the most honest thing we can do, is live with a sense of ambiguity.”

Wise words. Especially at a time when we have a probe on another planet that might very well find the environment sterile and organic compounds never formed there at all (if they can get the soil samples to sift through that is!).

I would be disappointed if Mars is found sterile and the anthropocentrists (like Nick Bostrum) are proved right. It means humanity will never have someone else to bounce philosophical questions about the Universe off from. Not to mention boring.

Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be, humanity will always need that sense of ambiguity to drive us along the road of discovery.

The Surprising Spirituality of SETI