Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BioCosm

Intelligent life is the architect of Universe




Most great scientific advances are first attacked by the ruling status quo as heretical in either the religious or scientific sense or both: Giordano Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein are vivid examples.

A new theory of evolution proposed by complexity theorist James Gardner which he terms biocosm proposes that the universe is not a random collection of inorganic matter and life. That intelligence is not some cosmic accident, and that intelligence and life are preprogrammed into the physical laws of nature.

Gardner believes that we've already received a message from ET: a message coded into the laws and constants of our universe, including the inexplicable force we've named dark energy that's accelerating cosmic expansion. His theory makes sense of the observation that the constants seem rigged in favor of the emergence of life. The constants appear improbably favorable to carbon-based life, an unexplained oddity that many of the world's leading scientists have identified as the deepest mystery in all of science.

Garner claims that our universe was deliberately designed by a super-intelligent being or beings in a prior cosmic cycle. This is definitely beyond the pale for most sober scientists. However, his theory of biocsom is based on essays Gardner has published in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals like Complexity and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.

In his latest book, The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos, Gardner provides a third alternative end of the universe, rather than either fire or entropy -the birth of a new universe, an idea originally proposed by cosmologist Lee Smolin. Smolin believes that Darwinian principles rule the nature of any universe -that new baby universes produced via black holes will resemble their parent cosmos. Gardner converts this idea into the radical, but falsifiable, theory he calls the Selfish Biocosm, the cosmological equivalent of Richard Dawkins selfish gene.

Biocosm is not an easygoing, "blow-your-mind look" at the universe. Gardner is exhaustive in outlining his ideas, explaining their falsifiability and scientific rigor, and offering deep chaos theory to support them. Did our universe create intelligent life in order to ensure its own reproduction? Gardner thinks so, though he knows his position will irk many cosmologists exhausted from battling pseudo scientists and creationists.

Gardner's list of supporters in impressive: "A novel perspective on humankind's role in the universe," wrote Martin Rees, the astronomer royal of Britain and a Cambridge colleague of Stephen Hawking's. "There is little doubt that his ideas will change yours," wrote Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California. "A magnificent one-stop account of the history of life," wrote complexity theorist John Casti, a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute. Gardner has been welcomed at major planetariums and legitimate scientific conferences, explaining his ideas to a surprisingly interested public.

- from the Daily Galaxy
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