Competing Cosmologies

Thanks to Bob MacDonald for sharing his photos from a recent visit to a science museum, which included a display featuring two models of the universe (in fact, what we’d call the solar system) side by side:

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  • Gary H.

    OK, two different views of the universe (or solar system, whatever you prefer). I have to follow up on Hawking's latest book. This is not science, but a little philosophy, since nothing can be proved. Infinite number of universes are used by some to show that the anthopic principle is not unique to earth, but just a lucky universe for our life, among an infinite number of universes. Therefore, since we exist, we ended up in a lucky universe….nothing more than that. In the infinite number of universes, we have an infinite number of different natural laws, and natural constants, that govern the universes. Using this logic, our unique entities (personalities) are eliminated. There are an infinite number of "me's", in an infinite number of universes. An infinite number of "me's" are serial killers, or presidents of the United States. Using this logic, you could explain anything and everything. If there are an infinite number of universes, with an infinite number of natural laws, then somewhere, there is a universe with the earth resting on top of a giant turtle (maybe he eats dark matter, and not organic matter). For me, at least, it shows how infinite universes (and infinite laws) are an infinite plumbing trap, to explain away anything and everything. And Hawking's logic of using Feynman's sum over histories to apply to universes, because the big bang was a quantum event, is totally stupid. Feynman's sum of histories is simply a technique to assign probability distributions to particles. There is absolutely no science that says you can extrapolate it to justify infinite number's of universes with infinite numbers of different laws of physics. I think Hawking has started doing philosophy, not physics.

  • James F. McGrath

    The irony, of course, is that (if I remember correctly) Hawking says at one point that philosophy is dead, having been replaced by science, supposedly. And then he ends up doing philosophy – or at the very least, something that is not science based in things for which we have empirical evidence.

  • Gary H.

    You are correct.

  • Gary H.

    And it's "anthropic principle", again I should have previewed my comment – for anyone that wants to explore it.