In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Obvious Leo
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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:48 am

Greta wrote: If the universe is a closed system then it's hard to consider its perspective since every system we know is open.
Actually in the methodology of physics the open system is effectively an a priori assumption because of GR. Although it is now almost universally accepted that Einstein's field equations become progressively and exponentially less predictively valid as gravitational field strength increases the metaphysical implications of this cannot be allowed for within the current paradigm of the 4D manifold. The so-called "infinite" gravitational collapse which leads to the conclusion of the singularity should have been a warning beacon from the outset if for no other other reason than that such a collapse violates both Cantorian set theory and the first law of thermodynamics. Nevertheless GR is still accepted as it stands as a useful and effective model, which is fine, but without the possibility of a singularity it can no longer be regarded as a "proof" that the universe had a beginning in time. This has profound implications for the assumptions about big bang entropy which the singularity implies.

There is also the non-trivial problem of the assumption that the universe is determined according to a suite of "laws of physics" and CAME INTO EXISTENCE with a ready-made host of mathematical constants which were needed to make these laws work. The origin of these constants is unspecifiable by their very definition and their transcendent origin is therefore implicit in their very existence. The very language of physics speaks to its own metaphysical inconsistency and one need only consider the title of Hawking's book "The Grand Design" for a confirmation of this. Physics is wedded to the assumption that our physical reality is a product of intelligent design whether it choose to acknowledge this or not. This assumption has a pedigree which dates all the way back to the bloke who invented physics, Newton himself, and the original metaphysical assumptions he made about the ontological status of space and time. Einstein himself took pains to acknowledge that the geometric space of GR was merely a refinement of the absolute space of Newton and not a replacement for it, which meant that GR had effectively spatialised time out of existence.

Unfortunately the entire science of physics has been riddled with paradoxes and metaphysical absurdities ever since. The models it uses quite unambiguously contradict each other.

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Greta
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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:25 am

Greta wrote: If the universe is a closed system then it's hard to consider its perspective since every system we know is open.
Obvious Leo wrote:Actually in the methodology of physics the open system is effectively an a priori assumption because of GR. Although it is now almost universally accepted that Einstein's field equations become progressively and exponentially less predictively valid as gravitational field strength increases the metaphysical implications of this cannot be allowed for within the current paradigm of the 4D manifold. The so-called "infinite" gravitational collapse which leads to the conclusion of the singularity should have been a warning beacon from the outset if for no other other reason than that such a collapse violates both Cantorian set theory and the first law of thermodynamics.
I understand that, due to the difficulty in probing what was going on 13.8 billion years ago, we take the approach of "give us one free miracle and we'll provide the rest". Very pragmatic but ...
Obvious Leo wrote:Nevertheless GR is still accepted as it stands as a useful and effective model, which is fine, but without the possibility of a singularity it can no longer be regarded as a "proof" that the universe had a beginning in time. This has profound implications for the assumptions about big bang entropy which the singularity implies.
From memory you're a big bounce man, because you consider the expansion of the universe is an observer effect, which would discount the big freeze and big rip ...?
Obvious Leo wrote:There is also the non-trivial problem of the assumption that the universe is determined according to a suite of "laws of physics" and CAME INTO EXISTENCE with a ready-made host of mathematical constants which were needed to make these laws work. The origin of these constants is unspecifiable by their very definition and their transcendent origin is therefore implicit in their very existence.
There need not be transcendence. For instance, perhaps there may have been some triggering effect from events on the Planck scale at the time.
Obvious Leo wrote:The very language of physics speaks to its own metaphysical inconsistency and one need only consider the title of Hawking's book "The Grand Design" for a confirmation of this.
You have too much substance for these cheap shots, Leo! Hawking was deliberately provoking theists by effectively saying telling them that the "grand designer" is nature.
Obvious Leo wrote:Unfortunately the entire science of physics has been riddled with paradoxes and metaphysical absurdities ever since. The models it uses quite unambiguously contradict each other.
I think we can all agree on that. The problem is the difficulty in gaining an overview of a reality we live within.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:05 am

Greta wrote: "give us one free miracle and we'll provide the rest".
Nicely put. As a notorious thief of pithy phrases I've purloined this one to add to my collection.
Greta wrote:From memory you're a big bounce man, because you consider the expansion of the universe is an observer effect, which would discount the big freeze and big rip ...?
Yes. Mine is a cyclical cosmology because I'm buggered if I can see how an eternal universe could otherwise accommodate a big bang at all. It also works in perfectly with a computational model because the bounce cosmology perfectly describes the Universal Turing Machine and the observed arrow of entropy.

Greta wrote: There need not be transcendence. For instance, perhaps there may have been some triggering effect from events on the Planck scale at the time.
Is this the one free miracle? The sea of virtual particles suddenly coming into existence from the vacuum energy of empty space is not only miraculous but it's also fucking meaningless. Furthermore it contradicts GR because at the BB there were no particles and no space. I think I like manden's story better if I had to take my pick of supernatural options.
Greta wrote:You have too much substance for these cheap shots, Leo! Hawking was deliberately provoking theists by effectively saying telling them that the "grand designer" is nature.
Bullshit. He didn't understand the implications of his own opening chapter when he said that the universe CAME INTO EXISTENCE according to a suite of physical laws. He absolutely believes this statement to be true because he's said the same thing in every popular physics book he's ever written, as well as in countless lectures. As long as there are such influential physicists out there who actually think like this then they can wait another bloody century for their holy grail of quantum gravity. The man simply doesn't understand what self-causality means.
Greta wrote:The problem is the difficulty in gaining an overview of a reality we live within.
The problem is hidden in plain sight. Physics does not understand the nature of determinism.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:20 am

Obvious Leo wrote:Bullshit. He didn't understand the implications of his own opening chapter when he said that the universe CAME INTO EXISTENCE according to a suite of physical laws. He absolutely believes this statement to be true because he's said the same thing in every popular physics book he's ever written, as well as in countless lectures.
I better rephrase this because I don't know for certain that he actually believes this to be true. However what he is suggesting is that physics proceeds from the assumption that this is true and in this respect he is 100% right. What I'm saying is that it is this flawed a priori assumption which has driven physics into its conceptual cul-de-sac.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Dubious » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:42 am

Sorry! Double post. Must have been in a state of increasing entropy!
Last edited by Dubious on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Dubious » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:58 am

Dubious wrote: You cannot decrease entropy without increasing it somewhere else.
Obvious Leo wrote:Clearly this is true of all informational sub-structures within the universe but it cannot be true of the universe itself because there is no "somewhere else".
True that there is no 'somewhere else' external to the known universe but within that which the universe encompasses there is always a somewhere even if we can't specify the boundaries or its nature.
The entropy of the universe as a whole is quite clearly decreasing and this is the signature feature of all non-linear dynamic systems.
You would have to argue that with every physics illuminati out there including those somewhat less illuminated. Your position remains opposite to the established or scientific view of entropy as it applies to the universe. I've never heard or read of any exception except yours.

I also can't reconcile your position of decreasing entropy with your emphasis of the cosmos being eternal…not having a beginning. This seems a complete paradox. How can entropy decrease forever and in the process compound complexity, since as you insist entropy is decreasing in the universe which must be eternal?

The only counter option I can think of is the universe continually reformatting itself, cyclically crunching into the next BB or suchlike. But this, in the context of discussion, would also have at few problems vis-a-vis your theory as I understand it…and you're not easy to understand in your conflations of philosophy with science.

In order to recycle itself there would have to be a long period of acceleration toward disorder if the universe were to recommence itself which implies a long stretch of increasing entropy. Logically it would seem if the universe were eternal in the sense of ceaseless iterations, increasing entropy would be equally cyclical. Not least, if the universe is a perennial return for deposit entity it ceases to be eternal having to work its way up from scratch at each incarnation which is unlikely to be a perfect clone of its former self. Even in your system, as I understand it, increasing entropy cannot be preempted.
Matter has not only come into existence from only energy but has since managed to self-organise into increasingly more complex forms. A linear model of causality is utterly unable to account for this without first assuming the existence of a causal agent external to the universe itself. Any philosopher worthy of the name should reject such a creationist assumption out of hand because it defines the universe as unknowable.
I think a linear model at the root is indispensable, functioning as if it were the lowest frequency carrier wave containing the complexity components of your non-linear models as an epiphenomenon. As a prior and prerequisite ding an sich, it is the stage upon which every sort of complexity emerges and plays itself out. If the universe does indeed have a beginning and an end then that process must be defined as one leading to a conclusion or resurgence, meaning a linearity of events containing the sub chapters of the intervening complexities you describe as occurring at the very incipience of the universe itself. One can't just discount linearity from the universe. Non-linearity, complexity, etc, takes a long time to manufacture which annuls any a priori context...meaning it has to be contained and grooved at some lower level.

In addition, what I wished to state for a long time reading your posts, is that the universe couldn't care less about Kant 101 or Leibniz or Newton - whom you consider somewhat of a cretin - or Einstein himself or any of the other truly exceptional illuminati that graced the human race. The universe is the most cold-hearted beast imaginable completely independent of any theory which attempts to acknowledge it and one in which any 'observer effect' merely describes our own limitations.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:38 pm

Dubious wrote: Dubious wrote:
You cannot decrease entropy without increasing it somewhere else.


Obvious Leo wrote:
Clearly this is true of all informational sub-structures within the universe but it cannot be true of the universe itself because there is no "somewhere else".


True that there is no 'somewhere else' external to the known universe but within that which the universe encompasses there is always a somewhere even if we can't specify the boundaries or its nature.
Good. You draw the same conclusion from big bang cosmology as I do, namely that the universe is an informationally closed and finite system. This is accepted as an a priori position in physics also although the thermodynamic implications of this remain unexplained.
Dubious wrote: You would have to argue that with every physics illuminati out there including those somewhat less illuminated. Your position remains opposite to the established or scientific view of entropy as it applies to the universe. I've never heard or read of any exception except yours.
Are you suggesting that the validity of a statement is a function of the prestige of the person who utters it? This is an ancient logical fallacy but still a very popular one. Entropy is a metric for informational disorder and I've yet to see any evidence that at the big bang the universe was in a highly ordered state. However I can easily see how this is an inevitable conclusion from the assumption that the events in nature are linearly determined. This conclusion is therefore not a conclusion drawn from the evidence but a conclusion drawn from our narrative of the evidence.
Dubious wrote:I also can't reconcile your position of decreasing entropy with your emphasis of the cosmos being eternal…not having a beginning. This seems a complete paradox. How can entropy decrease forever and in the process compound complexity, since as you insist entropy is decreasing in the universe which must be eternal?
In an informationally closed and finite system entropy cannot decrease indefinitely. There must be such a thing as a maximally ordered state beyond which the system can evolve no further. This is the big crunch, when all the matter and energy in the universe undergo a catastrophic gravitational collapse. However we needn't lose too much sleep over this because all the evidence shows that the cosmos has many tens of billions of good evolutionary years left in her before all the galaxies find their eventual way back together again. The important point is that in a quantised and finite reality this gravitational collapse cannot bring about a state of infinite informational disorder, namely a singularity. Carlo Rovelli is one of the leading theorists in this field but Maldacena and Susskind have arrived at similar conclusions in their work on black hole entropy. These different approaches both proceed from Hawking's original work in the subject but all these approaches seem to have been stalled by the firewall paradox, a paradox which vanishes in a spaceless universe.
Dubious wrote: The only counter option I can think of is the universe continually reformatting itself, cyclically crunching into the next BB or suchlike. But this, in the context of discussion, would also have at few problems vis-a-vis your theory as I understand it…and you're not easy to understand in your conflations of philosophy with science.
What you might see as a conflation I regard as a fundamental inseparability. But I guess a philosopher of science would say that, wouldn't he. Luckily the "philosophy is dead" ideology which drove most of physics in the latter half of the 20th century is now not held with such certainty by the new breed of theorists. They know bloody well that their models are WRONG and are now beginning to realise that the models themselves will never be able to tell them in which way these models are wrong. Max Planck pointed this out a century ago, as did Ernst Mach. However Leibniz beat them both to the punch by over two hundred years when he pointed out that physics cannot model reality, even in principle, but only a particular narrative of reality which must be specified in advance. Kant developed this idea a lot further in his "Critique", from which we can conclude that if the narrative of physics is founded on a flawed a priori metaphysical assumption then the models of physics will inevitably describe a universe which makes no fucking sense. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED. For decades the physicists have attempted to circumvent this inconvenience by trying to redefine what making sense means but this sublime exercise in ultimate hubris is starting to wear a bit thin and most of the new illuminati are well aware of this. In fact a few of the more daring ones seem finally willing to hoist the white flag and concede that the spacetime hypothesis has outlived its usefulness. In my opinion it was dead in the water after the EPR paradox, which was revealed before I was even born, but better late than never I guess.
Dubious wrote: In order to recycle itself there would have to be a long period of acceleration toward disorder if the universe were to recommence itself which implies a long stretch of increasing entropy.
This is not the way gravitational collapse is understood in black hole physics and it is also unsupported by the evidence. When massive bodies collapse they do so in a great hurry, although in an intense gravitational environment this doesn't mean a hell of a lot because of gravitational time dilation. In the case of the big crunch of the entire universe there will obviously be no external observer to notice this time dilation effect but it rather changes the idea of a big bang to a little whimper. The new universe does not burst into existence but gradually re-awakens over a vast reach of time. This idea is explored in a very interesting way by Ovrut, Steinhardt and Turok in their ekpyrotic universe model, which might have been lifted holus bolus from pre-Socratic philosophy. I'm by no means committed to this model or any other but I find the idea intriguing. All I suggest in my philosophy is that when the universe has evolved to the point where it can evolve no further it undergoes a phase shift where it translates from a minimum (not infinite) entropy state to a maximum (not infinite) entropy state, rather like flipping over on a Moebius ribbon. This is also how Alan Turing envisaged his hypothetical Universal Turing Machine, the eternal reality maker which programmes its own input. Of course Turing was a mathematician and neither a physicist nor a philosopher, so he could not possible have known that his remarkable theoretical construct was actually a perfect analogue for a physically real cosmos. Nowadays the geeks are more sympathetic to the idea of the universe as an informational entity but half a century ago only Wheeler really knew that an "it from bit" universe was the only viable possibility.
Dubious wrote: In order to recycle itself there would have to be a long period of acceleration toward disorder if the universe were to recommence itself which implies a long stretch of increasing entropy. Logically it would seem if the universe were eternal in the sense of ceaseless iterations, increasing entropy would be equally cyclical. Not least, if the universe is a perennial return for deposit entity it ceases to be eternal having to work its way up from scratch at each incarnation which is unlikely to be a perfect clone of its former self. Even in your system, as I understand it, increasing entropy cannot be preempted.
I think I've covered this point in my reference to the philosophy of the quantum. The final and initial states cannot be infinitely ordered or disordered and the way that Rovelli models this is very elegant. What this in fact means is that each iteration of the universe must be unique, which also accords perfectly with Turing's model.
Dubious wrote:I think a linear model at the root is indispensable, functioning as if it were the lowest frequency carrier wave containing the complexity components of your non-linear models as an epiphenomenon. As a prior and prerequisite ding an sich, it is the stage upon which every sort of complexity emerges and plays itself out. If the universe does indeed have a beginning and an end then that process must be defined as one leading to a conclusion or resurgence, meaning a linearity of events containing the sub chapters of the intervening complexities you describe as occurring at the very incipience of the universe itself. One can't just discount linearity from the universe. Non-linearity, complexity, etc, takes a long time to manufacture which annuls any a priori context...meaning it has to be contained and grooved at some lower level.
I can't follow this argument at all. It seems to me that you're implying that causation can be both transcendent and immanent in natural systems. Since I already know that you don't buy the god hypothesis I'll have to ask you to explain what you're getting at a bit more clearly.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:12 am

This article pertains to this discussion:

"By DENNIS OVERBYE
AUGUST 21, 2015

Jacob Bekenstein, a physicist who prevailed in an argument with Stephen Hawking that revolutionized the study of black holes, and indeed the nature of space-time itself, died on Sunday in Helsinki, Finland, where he was to give a physics lecture. He was 68.

The cause was a heart attack, said the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where Dr. Bekenstein was the Michael Polak professor emeritus of theoretical physics.

Dr. Bekenstein’s greatest achievement came in the early 1970s, when he was a graduate student at Princeton and got into a feud with Dr. Hawking, the celebrated physicist and expert on black holes.

Black holes are the prima donnas of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicts that space wraps itself completely around some object, causing it to disappear as a black hole. Dr. Bekenstein suggested in his Ph.D. thesis that the black hole’s entropy, a measure of the disorder or wasted energy in a system, was proportional to the area of a black hole’s event horizon, the spherical surface in space from which there is no return. According to accepted physical laws, including Dr. Hawking’s own work, neither entropy nor the area of a black hole could ever decrease.

Dr. Hawking denounced the idea. According to classical physics, anything with entropy had to have a temperature, and anything with a temperature — from a fevered brow to a star — must radiate heat and light with a characteristic spectrum. But a black hole could not radiate, and thus it could have no temperature and therefore no entropy.

Or so everybody thought until 1974, when Dr. Hawking did a prodigious calculation including quantum theory, the strange rules that govern the subatomic world, and was shocked to find particles coming away from the black hole, indicating that it was not so black after all.

Afraid he had made a mistake, Dr. Hawking, as he wrote in his book 'A Brief History of Time,' kept his calculation quiet at first. 'I was afraid,' he said, 'that if Bekenstein found out about it, he would use it as a further argument to support his ideas about the entropy of black holes, which I still did not like.'

He was finally convinced, Dr. Hawking wrote, when he recognized that the radiation from the black hole would have the same characteristic heat spectrum as heat, just as Dr. Bekenstein’s theory had implied.

Today it is called Bekenstein-Hawking radiation, and its discovery is considered a landmark in the quest, so far unfinished, to fulfill the Einsteinian dream of a unified theory of both the gravity that bends the cosmos and the quantum chaos that lives inside of it, so-called quantum gravity.

Dr. Bekenstein received the Wolf Prize in 2012 and the American Physical Society’s Einstein prize this year. Both have often been precursors to the Nobel Prize. (The Nobel is not awarded posthumously.)

Lee Smolin, a theorist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, said, 'No result in theoretical physics has been more fundamental or influential than his discovery that black holes have entropy proportional to their surface area.'

Dr. Bousso called Dr. Bekenstein 'one of the very few giants in the field of quantum gravity.'

Jacob David Bekenstein was born in Mexico City on May 1, 1947, to Joseph Bekenstein, a carpenter, and the former Esther Vladaslavotsky, a homemaker. Jewish immigrants from Poland, they had met in Mexico during World War II.

Inspired by the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957, Jacob and his friends gathered after school to launch rockets.

He became an American citizen in 1968 while attending the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, now part of New York University, from which he graduated in 1969. He maintained American and Israeli citizenship.

He went on to graduate school at Princeton, gaining a Ph.D. in 1972 under John Wheeler, the teacher and visionary who popularized the term black hole.

After a postdoctoral stint at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Bekenstein moved to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, where he eventually became chairman of the astrophysics department. In 1990 he joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He is survived by his wife, Bilha Bekenstein; three children, Yehonadav, Uriya and Rivka Bekenstein, all of them scientists; his sister, Bella; and six grandchildren.

It was in his doctoral thesis in 1972 that Dr. Bekenstein made his breakthrough.

As both he and Dr. Wheeler later recalled, it all started over tea. What, Dr. Wheeler asked his student, would happen if you poured a hot cup of tea into a black hole?

If the hot tea went into a black hole, it would take its heat and entropy with it, causing its entropy to disappear from the universe, because black holes, according to the prevailing view, were not allowed to have temperature or entropy. That meant the entropy of the universe would decrease, going against the second law of thermodynamics, one of the pillars of physics and one of the great pessimistic statements of civilization.

The law decrees that entropy or disorder always increases in a closed system, like a car engine or the universe. Whatever you do, you always waste a little energy that cannot be retrieved. This means, among other things, that perpetual-motion machines are impossible.

'So either the second law of thermodynamics is irrelevant or it isn’t working,' Dr. Bekenstein told an interviewer from the website Haaretz.com in 2012. This was a serious consequence for a law of physics that had served well for 150 years. 'I tried to find a way to save it and fix things up.'

His solution was to attribute entropy to black holes, bringing them into the realm of thermodynamic law. 'My idea was that when you throw into a black hole some entropy, from a cup of tea for example, the black hole’s surface area grows a bit, so the entropy created in the black hole offsets the entropy of the tea and anything else that was thrown into it.'

Today Dr. Bekenstein’s idea is the cornerstone of attempts to unite quantum theory with Einsteinian gravity, to produce a theory of quantum gravity that can explain what happened in the Big Bang or in a black hole.

Disorder is just lost information, so among its more profound implications is that the amount of information that can be stored in a region of space is determined by the area of a surface surrounding it and not, as one might expect, by the volume inside. This means that a black hole — and perhaps the universe itself — is like a hologram, in which three-dimensional information is encoded on a two-dimensional surface. Physicists are still grappling with what that means for the universe.

Dr. Bekenstein went on to develop what is called the Bekenstein Bound, showing that there is a limit to how much information can be packed into a region with finite space and finite energy. Among other things, it suggests that the storage capacity of a human brain, though very large, is finite and at least in principle could be uploaded to a machine.

At a conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of Dr. Bekenstein’s discovery, Ted Jacobson, a theorist from the University of Maryland, said, 'To end on a note of unbridled hyperbole, we can say that in discovering black entropy, Jacob touched on the origin of all that we see, all that we are, and all that will ever be, and brought it closer to us.'

In the Haaretz.com interview, Dr. Bekenstein put it more modestly. 'I look at the world as a product of God,' he said. His job as a scientist, he added, was to figure out how it works.

'I feel much more comfortable in the world because I understand how simple things work,' he said. 'I get a sense of security that not everything is random, and that I can actually understand and not be surprised by things.'

Correction: August 25, 2015

An obituary on Saturday about the physicist Jacob Bekenstein misstated part of the name of the school that Dr. Bekenstein, who was born in Mexico, was attending when he became an American citizen in 1968. It was the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, not the Polytechnic University of Brooklyn. (It became Polytechnic University in 1985 and is now New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering.)"

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:39 am

Phil. Actually Hawking has since completely retreated from his previous position on black hole entropy, to the point where he now concedes that the event horizon is in all likelihood an extrapolation of GR beyond its domain of applicability. The leading theorists in this field are now considered to be Maldacena and Susskind and they are completely convinced that black holes are high entropy bodies which are unimaginably hot. Carlo Rovelli even has a very elegant idea that black holes must inevitably phase shift to a white hole after a certain length of time, precisely because of this entropy, but his mathematical treatment of this is not for the faint-hearted and way above my pay grade. However there is some empirical evidence from radio telescope data of high energy radio bursts at the right wavelength to support his idea. The rest of the quantum loop geeks are quite excited about it as well although their approach to the bang/crunch model is quite different from mine.

In fact it is probably fair to say that nowadays the cyclical universe paradigm is almost mainstream and that when the remaining dinosaurs finally get kicked out of their safely tenured professorial chairs they can take their ridiculous "universe with a beginning" nonsense into their retirement villas with them.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Dubious » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:56 am

Obvious Leo wrote:Are you suggesting that the validity of a statement is a function of the prestige of the person who utters it? This is an ancient logical fallacy but still a very popular one.
Why ask such a question when I specifically said…Your position remains opposite to the established or scientific view of entropy as it applies to the universe.

Physicists argue about most everything. There are a lot of band-aid theories applied to unknowns - some thoroughly brilliant in spite of being brilliantly wrong - but in reference to the 2nd law of thermodynamics as it applies to the universe as an isolated system there seems to be nothing but total agreement that entropy either remains the same or increases. Not once has the opposite ever been mentioned. Try finding just ONE who endorses the view that entropy decreases in an isolated system (universe).

In this case, one yields to consensus, not least because it makes complete sense as compared to a universe of ever decreasing entropy. Taking the latter view only leads to paradoxical conclusions of metaphysical proportions. Anything which becomes increasingly ordered must eventually crack and may not even be able to put itself back together again...a Humpty Dumpty universe. Based on your view, as I see it, decreasing entropy in its unceasing saga of creating ever greater complexity would be the trigger, once its ordered limit is reached, to suddenly implode the whole enchilada. A micro metaphor for that would be a deck of cards having been arranged in perfect order must be immediately randomized or disordered if one want's to play another game.
What you might see as a conflation I regard as a fundamental inseparability. But I guess a philosopher of science would say that, wouldn't he. Luckily the "philosophy is dead" ideology which drove most of physics in the latter half of the 20th century is now not held with such certainty by the new breed of theorists. They know bloody well that their models are WRONG and are now beginning to realise that the models themselves will never be able to tell them in which way these models are wrong. Max Planck pointed this out a century ago, as did Ernst Mach.
What you describe is an utterly untenable position. Modern technologies in great measure depend upon these models being correct at least up to a point. To infer categorically that they're wrong and worse that they're so screwed up no one can tell why they're wrong would obviate virtually every model, every theory since James Clerk Maxwell. Also, how could Max Planck have pointed this out a century ago? Most of the models we have now didn't even exist then. To put it mildly, it doesn't add up.
In fact a few of the more daring ones seem finally willing to hoist the white flag and concede that the spacetime hypothesis has outlived its usefulness.
Hard to say whether it has. To replace it you would have to replace both SR & GR. Not likely! Some have tried but none succeeded. This is made clear even in the most recent science articles which continue to confirm the General Theory. If something has outlived its usefulness you better make damn sure you have something else available to replace it with before you end up with nothing.
Dubious wrote:I think a linear model at the root is indispensable, functioning as if it were the lowest frequency carrier wave containing the complexity components of your non-linear models as an epiphenomenon. As a prior and prerequisite ding an sich, it is the stage upon which every sort of complexity emerges and plays itself out. If the universe does indeed have a beginning and an end then that process must be defined as one leading to a conclusion or resurgence, meaning a linearity of events containing the sub chapters of the intervening complexities you describe as occurring at the very incipience of the universe itself. One can't just discount linearity from the universe. Non-linearity, complexity, etc, takes a long time to manufacture which annuls any a priori context...meaning it has to be contained and grooved at some lower level.
Obvious Leo wrote:I can't follow this argument at all. It seems to me that you're implying that causation can be both transcendent and immanent in natural systems. Since I already know that you don't buy the god hypothesis I'll have to ask you to explain what you're getting at a bit more clearly.
I was indulging in a little philosophy myself in stating this without claiming any kind of transcendence or immanence. I know you don't agree but speaking for myself I can't imagine a universe where only non-linear events take place. Entropy within the universe can increase or decrease as events or processes upon all that is contained within it whether it be micro or macroscopic. Decreasing entropy as operational on this planet would manifest itself in an endless variety of non-linear chaotic events to create the very complex environment we live in, this being only one instance in a universe of endless possibilities for such processes to happen.

To my mind there is a linearity involved in the Arrow of Time concept which “reveals itself as a change in the amount of disorder in a system, a change that always proceeds from lower to higher entropy.”

What could be more linear than a one-lane cosmic highway? Rhetorical question since I know you don't agree with any of it. To do so, you would have to agree with the conclusion every physicist has come to that the universe as an isolated system proceeds from lower to higher entropy. Metaphorically considered, I thought of this most fundamental kind of linearity as a 'carrier wave' since they carry far more complex informational signals.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:20 pm

Dubious wrote:Your position remains opposite to the established or scientific view of entropy as it applies to the universe.
I'm not disputing this. What I'm claiming is that current theory is wrong precisely because the spacetime paradigm which underpins it ignores this fundamental evidence about the arrow of entropy when it is applied to the universe as a whole. I am by no means the only one who is of the view that a true cosmological model will not be found within the spacetime narrative and I could name quite a number of leading theorists who have expressed this view, including such figures as Paul Davies, Sean Carroll, Lee Smolin, Lisa Randall, Carlo Rovelli, Jakob Bekenstein and Frank Wilczek. Max Tegmark, Julian Barbour and Brian Greene have also at various times hinted at this possibility. However they all understand the great truth of scientific theories as expressed by Max Planck. They do not die a natural death but must be destroyed in a coup d'etat by a new theory which displaces them. Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend made the same point from the perspective of science philosophy, although Kuhn was himself a highly respected theoretical physicist as well. The reason why I regard the spacetime paradigm as flawed is because the the three pillars of physics, namely SR, QM and GR, are mutually excluded by it, as is revealed by black hole entropy and a complete failure in the search for crucial required evidence.
Dubious wrote: Physicists argue about most everything. There are a lot of band-aid theories applied to unknowns - some thoroughly brilliant in spite of being brilliantly wrong - but in reference to the 2nd law of thermodynamics as it applies to the universe as an isolated system there seems to be nothing but total agreement that entropy either remains the same or increases. Not once has the opposite ever been mentioned. Try finding just ONE who endorses the view that entropy decreases in an isolated system (universe).
I feel sure I've covered this point. There is no logical basis for the assumption that what is true for an informationally open subsystem of the universe should also hold true for the informationally closed whole. This essentially brings us back to the topic of the OP because physics has painted itself into the unenviable corner of being forced to the conclusion that the universe cannot be informationally closed and still conform with the second law of thermodynamics. In other words if the spacetime story is true then the universe cannot possible be everything that exists, which because of this transcendent cause assumption is why I describe it as a creationist model. As a cosmological model the multiverse is no better than the god hypothesis because it all it does is maintain the assumption that the universe had a beginning but then it conveniently shoves the nature of this beginning beyond the reach of scientific enquiry. There are many leading theorists who share my dismay at such a willful "science of the gaps". I see it as a desperate attempt to salvage a flawed theory at all costs and have often likened this hubris to the Ptolemaic cosmology. When in doubt get the pencils out and invent some new epicycles. Physics has become a gigantic mathematical extravaganza founded on nothing more than confirmation bias.
Dubious wrote: In this case, one yields to consensus, not least because it makes complete sense as compared to a universe of ever decreasing entropy. Taking the latter view only leads to paradoxical conclusions of metaphysical proportions. Anything which becomes increasingly ordered must eventually crack and may not even be able to put itself back together again...a Humpty Dumpty universe. Based on your view, as I see it, decreasing entropy in its unceasing saga of creating ever greater complexity would be the trigger, once its ordered limit is reached, to suddenly implode the whole enchilada. A micro metaphor for that would be a deck of cards having been arranged in perfect order must be immediately randomized or disordered if one want's to play another game.
Very nicely put. In fact in my synopsis I use the very same form of language and call our cosmos the Humpty Dumpty universe. When it can evolve no further it implodes and starts all over again. This is precisely the eternal reality maker which Alan Turing adopted as the entire theoretical underpinning of modern information theory, although to Turing this was merely a hypothetical construct and not intended as a literally real representation of reality. What I'm saying is that the Universal Turing Machine is the ding an sich.
Dubious wrote: What you describe is an utterly untenable position. Modern technologies in great measure depend upon these models being correct at least up to a point. To infer categorically that they're wrong and worse that they're so screwed up no one can tell why they're wrong would obviate virtually every model, every theory since James Clerk Maxwell. Also, how could Max Planck have pointed this out a century ago? Most of the models we have now didn't even exist then. To put it mildly, it doesn't add up.
Nobody denies the epistemic utility of the current models, including me, but everybody also knows that they can only yield predictions which are valid to a finite order of probability. This is because they are linear models attempting to define a non-linear reality. For this reason these models have a predictive value only and no explanatory authority whatsoever. This point was made clear by ALL of the early pioneers of 20th century physics and not just by Planck. However it has been routinely ignored by many of the major players since, to the point where there are now as many cosmological theories as there are theorists to invent them. If the spacetime paradigm were a valid one this would not be possible.
Dubious wrote: Hard to say whether it has. To replace it you would have to replace both SR & GR. Not likely! Some have tried but none succeeded. This is made clear even in the most recent science articles which continue to confirm the General Theory. If something has outlived its usefulness you better make damn sure you have something else available to replace it with before you end up with nothing.
I have got something to replace it with and there is no need to chuck out the baby with the bathwater. The existing models can remain intact and continue to serve science well into the future. What I offer is not new physics but a new way to think about physics which will ultimately lead to new physics. The problem of physics has always been the problem of the observer, a problem first acknowledged in the 1927 Solvay conference and one which has never been resolved. In spacetime physics the observer is intimately interwoven into his observation in a way which the paradigm itself is unable to explain. It has led to all manner of mystical speculation and yet the answer is one of exquisite simplicity. Instead of thinking of the universe as actually BEING a continuum of space and time we need to accept that this is simply what the observer observes. The REAL universe is actually a continuum of gravity and time and the extension of this reality into the Cartesian 3D space is an act of cognition which takes place within the consciousness of the observer. When we "collapse a wave function" what we're actually doing is spatialising a time interval and applying a spatio-temporal extension to what is exclusively a temporal phenomenon. This is the spooky action at a distance which haunted Einstein for decades and completely explains quantum entanglement. This is also the proposition which I can empirically prove.
Dubious wrote:the universe as an isolated system proceeds from lower to higher entropy.
Do you therefore dispute the idea of the hot big bang or do you dispute the fact that hot and high entropy are synonymous constructs? Don't forget you can't have it both ways.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Dubious » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:18 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Dubious wrote:the universe as an isolated system proceeds from lower to higher entropy.
Obvious Leo wrote:Do you therefore dispute the idea of the hot big bang or do you dispute the fact that hot and high entropy are synonymous constructs? Don't forget you can't have it both ways.
The question is somewhat misleading but I think I know what you're driving at and if correct you make a point. What makes it misleading is that high or maximal entropy refers to thermal equilibrium or extreme states of randomness. It's not factual to simply state that that hot and high entropy are synonymous constructs.

I'll rephrase in short sentences what I think you meant to imply...

The universe in it's beginning was incredibly hot, dense and smooth, the latter term used by physicists to denote thermal equilibrium (maximum entropy). The question becomes how can something already at its most random state incur any further increase in entropy? According the the 2nd law of Thermodynamics if moving forward increases entropy then going in reverse should decrease it but according to CMB data from WMAP satellite the initial fireball was "incredibly smooth"!

It's a question Roger Penrose was also contemplating and complaining that other physicists weren't giving the problem the attention it deserves. Anyways, to make a long story short because the short story is all I have, according to Penrose if gravity gets incorporated into the early universe, everything changes, gravity always having been the most potent agent of change causing the initial universe to be in a very low state of entropy. This scenario - somewhat ironically when considering your position on the direction of entropy - seems to mildly overlap with your statement:
The REAL universe is actually a continuum of gravity and time.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by uwot » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:26 pm

Dubious wrote:The universe in it's beginning was incredibly hot, dense and smooth, the latter term used by physicists to denote thermal equilibrium (maximum entropy). The question becomes how can something already at its most random state incur any further increase in entropy?
I appreciate that you are paraphrasing, but it seems to me that such an analysis assumes that the universe started as a number 'particles', in a very loose sense, that were uniformly distributed. Personally, I don't see how random can mean anything in an era before 'particles'.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:51 pm

Dubious wrote:What makes it misleading is that high or maximal entropy refers to thermal equilibrium or extreme states of randomness.
This is an appalling misuse of language but I'll grant that it's probably more a matter of carelessness on your part than down to a flawed understanding. If by randomness you refer to uncaused events there can be no such thing as randomness in a universe which orders itself into complex structures such as subatomic particles, atoms, molecules etc. The word you're looking for to describe the entropic state of the early post big bang universe is extreme CHAOS, and chaos is completely deterministic. This distinction is the central metaphysical plank of my entire philosophy so my determination to stress it is not just an exercise in gratuitous pedantry. Chaotic determinism is non-linear determinism and the arrow of entropy in non-linearly determined systems is from HIGH to LOW. Furthermore since there were no matter particles in this earliest chaotic phase of the universe there were obviously no waves, fields or forces to act on them. All there was were quanta of unimaginably high energy behaving in a purely deterministic manner and it was this behaviour which must then have given rise to what we now describe as the subatomic particles and it was the emergent behaviour of these particles which gave rise to what we now describe as the "laws of physics". In other words, as I've said many times, It wasn't the laws of physics which made the universe the way it is but rather the universe which made the laws of physics what they are. So much for the Goldilocks effect and the Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle (CRAP), the logical fallacies which are advanced in support of the multiverse hypothesis.

Naturally we have known ever since Newton that because of gravity the behaviour of every single physical entity in the universe is causally determined by the behaviour of every other, which is exactly what chaotic determinism means. However this perspective represents a significant unification for physics because it means that events at the Planck scale are determined in exactly the same way as they are at the galactic scale. I don't think there are too many physicists around who aren't aware of the fact that a true cosmological model will have to be scale invariant but they don't seem to realise that such a model can only be achievable in a fractal time dimension. The 4D manifold will have to fuck off back into the luminiferous aether, or even back into the consciousness of the observer where it belongs.
Dubious wrote:The universe in it's beginning was incredibly hot, dense and smooth, the latter term used by physicists to denote thermal equilibrium (maximum entropy). The question becomes how can something already at its most random state incur any further increase in entropy? According the the 2nd law of Thermodynamics if moving forward increases entropy then going in reverse should decrease it but according to CMB data from WMAP satellite the initial fireball was "incredibly smooth"!
Incredibly smooth, yes. Perfectly smooth, no. Therefore the "initial" state was not a state of infinite entropy but merely a state of maximum entropy, which is perfectly consistent with a bounce cosmology for an informationally closed and finite system. Likewise the final state of the previous iteration must have been a state of minimum entropy but NOT zero entropy.
Dubious wrote: It's a question Roger Penrose was also contemplating and complaining that other physicists weren't giving the problem the attention it deserves.
Penrose was a very influential figure for me for a very long time and I still regard him as one of the deepest thinkers in theoretical physics. However he never had the intellectual courage to abandon the spacetime paradigm altogether and for the last decade in particular he seems to have stumbled further and further into a conceptual cul-de-sac. Even many of his own colleagues now fear that Roger's gone a bit loopy but I don't quite see it that way. What I see is a genius drawing perfectly logical conclusions from a flawed premise. Ptolemy did the same thing.

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Re: In a multiverse, is there a universe that started first?

Post by Dubious » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:49 am

Dubious wrote:What makes it misleading is that high or maximal entropy refers to thermal equilibrium or extreme states of randomness.
When I said 'misleading' I meant your statement: ...do you dispute the fact that hot and high entropy are synonymous constructs? The phrase Synonymous constructs doesn't apply since cold and high are equally valid based on the state of thermal equilibrium in the system.
Obvious Leo wrote:This is an appalling misuse of language but I'll grant that it's probably more a matter of carelessness on your part than down to a flawed understanding.
This is an exact word for word quote from Penrose:
Thermal equilbrium is the maximum entropy state. In other words, it's the most completely random state you could be looking at.
How is that so different from: ...high or maximal entropy refers to thermal equilibrium or extreme states of randomness. How is this an appalling use of language?
Dubious wrote:The universe in it's beginning was incredibly hot, dense and smooth, the latter term used by physicists to denote thermal equilibrium (maximum entropy). The question becomes how can something already at its most random state incur any further increase in entropy? According the the 2nd law of Thermodynamics if moving forward increases entropy then going in reverse should decrease it but according to CMB data from WMAP satellite the initial fireball was "incredibly smooth"!
Obvious Leo wrote:Incredibly smooth, yes. Perfectly smooth, no. Therefore the "initial" state was not a state of infinite entropy but merely a state of maximum entropy...
Of course! Understood! Why are you even telling me this? I can't imagine in what way the concept of infinite entropy could even be applied within the context discussed. When I said, The question becomes how can something already at its most random state incur any further increase in entropy? it was meant to point out a paradox. If thermal equilibrium causes entropy to be in its maximum state you obviously can't add to it to make it more or infinite. How much more disorder can you add to maximum state of disorder! Penrose endeavored to find the conditions which would cause the assumed initial high entropy state into a low entropy state. This would make the 2nd Law operational starting with the initial fireball to whatever end the universe encounters.
Dubious wrote: It's a question Roger Penrose was also contemplating and complaining that other physicists weren't giving the problem the attention it deserves.
Obvious Leo wrote:Penrose was a very influential figure for me for a very long time and I still regard him as one of the deepest thinkers in theoretical physics. However he never had the intellectual courage to abandon the spacetime paradigm altogether and for the last decade in particular he seems to have stumbled further and further into a conceptual cul-de-sac. Even many of his own colleagues now fear that Roger's gone a bit loopy but I don't quite see it that way. What I see is a genius drawing perfectly logical conclusions from a flawed premise. Ptolemy did the same thing.
Penrose questions almost all of the theories out there, including and quite incisively Quantum Theory itself which most of his compatriots do not. He more than most has his nose on the grindstone when it comes to examining the extra cholesterol in theories. I'm quite certain – especially in regard to Penrose - that 'intellectual courage' has nothing to do with his unwillingness to abandon space-time which though up for revision is still very much operational. No theory will remain as IT for too long which isn't news to anyone. It may sound mundane but you keep the one(s) you have until something more inclusive comes along. As for replacing space-time with gravity-time some current problems may disappear but it begs the question how many more will arrive in its wake. You can't honestly say that you know the answer to that as well.

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