Goldilocks and the three creationists

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Goldilocks and the three creationists

Postby Brian Jordan » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:45 pm

There are new creationists on the block, disguised as bears! Newsnight has just had an item billed as "scientists find the answer to life, the unverse and everything." No, not 42.000 recurring: the Goldilocks Effect. They wheeled in Prof. Paul Davis, a cosmologist, to explain that the universe is exactly suited to life and make vague ID-like noises. The only alternitive he says, is the multiverse, consisting of an infinite number of nasty, sterile universes as well as this one accidentally filled with all things bright and beautiful.

His "effect" is rubbish of course: the universe isn't suitable for life, life is suitable for the universe.

The excuse was his new book, with vague noises about the BBC book club. It would have been much more interesting to see him discuss the topic with Richard Dawkins, who is also in town and has a new book out.

(And will be on Vine, BBC R2 12noon Tuesday and LBC Radio at 11:30pm)

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Postby George Jelliss » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:32 pm

Paul Davies was on "Start the Week" earlier (Radio 4, 9am). His argument is a bit convoluted, and involves ideas about the future influencing the past, which is apparently possible in certain scenarios in quantum mechanics, and has been shown experimentally.

Whether this can be blown up to include the whole universe is an intriguing question. I must admit I'm dubious about this type of theory, but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. The question is does it lead to predictions that can be tested experimentally? Time will tell.
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Postby George Jelliss » Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:34 pm

Paul Davies, along with Richard Dawkins and John (?) Barrow (and others) is on this Science Show from Australian radio, which is available from the new Dawkins site:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,276,T ... rd-Dawkins

Davies talks about his new ideas towards the end of the programme. He talks about the universe and its laws being co-explanatory. This seems to be something like evolution of the laws of nature from an initialy lawless state during the early stages of its development (though he doesn't use the word "evolution").

At the end he talks about information and quantum theory, saying that to describe an entangled state of 400 particles would require more information that is contained in the entire universe. So if such a state could be formed the results would be unpredictable. (Or something like that - I may have misunderstood it all.)

Despite having won the Templeton prize, he's just as atheistic as Dawkins. Barrow is a bit more ambiguous.
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