August 11, 2003

Did We Create the Universe?

From Kenneth Silber's Tech Central Station column:

Has an Oregon lawyer discovered the secret of the universe?

Gardner's hypothesis is called the "Selfish Biocosm." It states that intelligent life plays a key role in a cosmological cycle whereby the universe, over enormous timescales, creates new copies of itself. The laws of physics, in this view, strongly favor the emergence of life and intelligence -- and indeed are designed to do so.

But how did the cycle begin? Isn't there a gigantic chicken-and-egg problem? One might suppose the first universe containing intelligent life arose by accident, perhaps as part of an ensemble of universes that were mostly unfriendly to life. But Gardner regards this as an unsatisfying explanation. Rather, he proposes a notably strange idea. There may be a "closed timelike curve," a gravitational warping of space and time such that future events can influence the past. Thus, the universe may have been created by its own inhabitants!

This is an interesting idea. A while back we took a look at the idea that maybe inhabitants in one universe create other universes. Merge these two ideas and you can come up with something like Escher's Drawing Hands. Maybe inhabitants of another universe created our universe and so, when the right time comes, we'll return the favor by creating their universe.

via Rand Simberg

Posted by Phil at August 11, 2003 11:31 AM | TrackBack

How do you get verifiable evidence? That's what I'm interested in. Otherwise its just part of a giant cloud of stuff that could be true and probably isn't, but no one can prove anything one way or another.

Posted by: Karl Hallowell at August 12, 2003 03:01 PM

I agree that we can't go tracking down every possibility, however unlikely, just because it's intriguing. On the other hand, we'll never get verifiable proof of anything if we don't first ask the questions.

Posted by: Phil at August 12, 2003 09:47 PM
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