(Permalink) Throughout this book, without other notice, «anthropism» means the meaning 1 explained under, the weak anthropic principle, by lack of scientific argument to impose the meanings 2 or 3. However we cannot either exclude the meanings 2 or 3, also by lack of scientific arguments to eliminate them. All the more less as we find clear examples of the meaning 3 in biology or society.
Also, especially in English, please do not confuse with the meaning used for example in ecology or geology, where the word «anthropogenic» refers to the fact that nature has been changed by the Humans, or even to something man-made.
However, «Creation» clearly refers to an intentional act (thus posed by a conscious entity, whatever it is, God, angel, extraterrestrial, etc.). Today science does not favour this hypothesis, but did not either proved it false. So, nothing forbids us to discuss about it. I however totally oppose the moronic dogmatism which led some states to forbid the teaching of science theories contradicting creationism.
(Permalink) I found useful to insert here this rather metaphysical chapter, before the justification of the laws of physics, precisely because it could be useful for this purpose.
Anthropism is usually frowned upon by some scientists, who see in it a justification of the religious view of Creation. However, from the viewpoint of General Epistemology, this is not a problem, and if we found that high physics comes to justify the Catechism of 1930 or the Dogon mythology, I would not give me pimples, and I would gleefully say it aloud.
We name «anthropic principle» the fact that some laws of physics, or some cosmological events, seem «made for» allowing the existence of Mankind. Of course, some jump to the conclusion «it is a proof that the universe was created by God». Without excluding a priori this explanation, I will however abstain of such hasty conclusions, because there are several other possible explanations.
Some cases of physical facts which seem «adjusted» to allow for the existence of human beings:
-The fact that our universe has three dimensions. Other geometries seem impractical: in two dimensions, we cannot cross. In four, we cannot make knots.
-That the proton and the neutron has nearby the same mass. If they were different (as are the «proton» and «neutron» of second and third generation), then most elements would be unstable, see the universe would contain only protons or only neutrons.
-The matter-antimatter asymmetry, which allowed the first to exist, instead of annihilating. In more, it happened only when it was needed!
-The triple alpha reaction, based on an improbable coincidence of energy levels, which allows some stars to synthesize carbon. Without it, life would be rare or impossible.
Other anthropic facts are related to the Earth and its evolution, such as the Chixculub meteorite, which allowed mammals to outweigh the dinosaurs. However, in this case, the argument for an intentional action is lower, from the fact that there are many other planets, which evolution can be quite different. A creationist theory should obviously not see evidence of universal truths into events which are specific to Earth.
Two different versions of anthropism are known, and we shall see a third:
1) The weak anthropic principle, after which a large number of universes exist, with different laws of physics. We would then necessarily be into one which allows for life. In this case, it is not surprising to find laws of physics which seem «designed for» life, and this does by no way prove that our universe was created by an entity having intents. (In all the following chapters, unless told otherwise, the word «anthropism» always refers to this case).
2) The strong anthropic principle says instead that there would be only one universe (or a few), which laws were adjusted to allow the emergence of human life. This time, it is a valid argument for the Creation of our universe by an entity having an intent, a «God». However, this argument is not a proof, as we need to be sure that there is no universes which properties would be incompatible with life. Indeed, if there were, then we would be in the case of weak anthropism. But we cannot demonstrate the absence of such universes... Even if our mind tries to reincarnate into such an universe, we would simply find there no bodies to support this incarnation. Quite on the contrary, quantum mechanics as well as the metaphysical theory of the logical self-generation process, both predict an infinity of other universes, with different laws, which in addition appear spontaneously, without any intentional action. It is therefore very likely that we are into the case of weak anthropism, although we can no more prove this rigorously.
(Permalink) There is however a third possibility, which may seem subtle or bizarre, but which seems plausible to me, and even necessary.
We saw in chapter III-4 a simulation of an universe, based on the principle of creative absurdity explained in chapter III-3. In this simulation, a creative absurdity was isolated at the very beginning of this universe, starting a logical self-generation process leading to the formation of a logical and coherent universe, without paradox. In this universe, the founding paradox was just a singularity placed at the beginning of the universe, where we could ignore it.
We saw in chapter I-2 an example of such a process, with the Sets Theory, where the three founding axioms, unprovable, rigorously determine the whole continuation. We can find other examples: a computer program (without inputs) where the starting of the program is a creative absurdity (The operation of the software cannot explain its starting state).
Here the founder paradox is confined in the beginning, and the development of the logical self-generation process is linear.
(0) is the notion of absolute and infinite time, that our mind projects onto the physical reality.
(1) is the founding paradox, here represented with a series of implications which demonstrate each other.
(2) is the zero time of the Big Bang, from which the logical self-generation process starts to develop.
(3) is the running of the logical self-generation process. Each blue arrow represents one iteration. At first there are few, but their numbers quickly becomes immense. Note that the actual physical time (the thick black arrow) appears only as a consequence of the running of this process.
(4) is the final state of the process. Here we show a «Big Crunch» when the entire universe gathers into one place. For the drawing, it is clearer, but it seems that our universe is not at all engaged into this direction. In addition, in the hypothesis of a divine Creation, a «final state» is rather about the achievement of human criteria, cultural and spiritual, which have no reason to match any physical state of the universe.
However we can imagine that the whole logical self-generation process is in the loop. In this case, the very existence of the whole process depends on a «final state» of this process, and more generally of the realisation of specific criteria.
The founding paradox here has feedback from the whole process. In this case the logical self-generation process is looped.
We note some additional logical implications:
(5) is a logical implication from the final state to the founding paradox, which validates it by assigning it an arbitrary value. Unlike the previous case, this universe exists only for a given value of this founding paradox. It therefore has a strong anthropism, both in its physical laws and in the values of its constants of physics. This feedback can for instance enforce laws of physics leading to a consistent universe, compared to an universe where laws of physics would lead to chaos. For example the law of having a three-dimensional space allows for matter to always interact with itself. Without it, we would see matter dissipating over time, each particle disappearing into its own dimension. Such an universe, though logically possible, does not allow for the emergence of life. So there cannot be living beings able of scientific observation, or even not able of feeling it as «concrete». But an universe like ours, where the particles have the arbitrary property of standing perfectly into our three dimensions, has a coherent organization, where the constant interaction of particles leads to highly complex structures, able of evolving over long periods, and thus able of giving such extraordinary results as living beings. These beings can then scientifically observe this universe, and feel it as «existing concretely».
Into human creations, we can easily find examples of such looped processes. The most obvious is, in mathematical theories, the calculation with complex numbers, which justifies the «absurd» creation of the number i. This number i is not the result of a small local paradox in the world of mathematics, and no more of an useless paradox like «the set of all the sets» (Chapitre I-2). It has instead been introduced to allow large parts of mathematics to exist. The «universe» of our mathematical theories is anthropic in the strong meaning... and we are its «creator».
(6) is a logical implication of a final state to an intermediate state. We will see some lines ahead a striking example, with the flight of birds.
(7) is a direct intervention, intentional, by a Creator who seeks to push things toward a given final state. Despite what the creationists say, neither physics nor biology have observed such actions. However many more or less spiritual persons observed physically impossible small helps, such as inspirations, premonitory dreams, encounters, etc.
Is such a thing possible in the case of a physical universe? Yes, according to the theory of the logical self-generation process (which applies to our physical universe). But if our universe is actually into this case, so we can expect some observable consequences. For example, some laws of physics would result from such a situation, and we shall see the case of the Heisenberg uncertainties in the next chapter IV-7. Anthropism can also be explained in this way too, if we admit that physical laws are selected according to certain criteria, or a certain outcome. Either this selection is intentional or natural, anyway.
(Added Mars 2023) This vision of a final state of the Universe validating its appearance may look totally absurd. However I just found out that the physicist Archibald Wheeler (him again) proposed such a vision before me, under the name of «participatory universe». On quantum mechanics arguments, he proposed that, by observing the universe, its inhabitants would select one of its possible states, that is they would «create» it.
So this makes us a third version of Anthropism:
3) The logical feedback (the apparition of our universe is conditioned by its evolution) predicts that some physical laws could be «adjusted» in order to obtain a coherent evolution, see a defined result. For example, if our particles were not held strictly into our three dimensional space, then the particles would evaporate elsewhere (we would see matter disappearing without return, in violation of the principles of conservation). The law of physics «particles remain strictly in the three dimensions space» would be mandatory, because without it, our universe would be logically inconsistent, and therefore it would not exist at all.
This case may also involve the evolution of life, giving the appearance of a creationist «grand design». However, this case should not be confused with the strong anthropic principle 2), which mandatory requires a divine Creation. The logical feedback 3) does not necessarily require a Creator God, as we shall see in the following example:
An excellent exemple of logical feedback is the appearance of the flight of birds. Historically, the creationist believers opposed this case to the Darwinian scientists, as the appearance of birds required the modification of many genes simultaneously, something impossible after the theory of selective adaptation (the basis of the Darwinian theory of evolution), where genes are modified only one per one. However, today we now much better know how things happened:
-Some dinosaurs evolved their scales into feathers, for reasons of thermal adaptation.
-Small, nimble dinosaurs learned to climb to trees.
-They learned to jump, then to control their jump with their feathers.
-They four members would have evolved into four wings (such fossils are known)
-They learned to beat their wings. For reasons of efficiency, their members would then have specialized into two wings and two legs.
-Finally, the various intermediate steps, less viable than birds, were eliminated. Much probably they never were numerous, or they existed only in small marginal ecological niches, so that we do not find many traces. And birds look as if they appeared ex nihilo, without visible cause, as if they were suddenly created by the hand of God.
So, we really have a gradual process of Darwinian evolution, which gradually incorporated the «impossible» complexity of flight, without any act of divine Creation. And not only it worked, but it also took place several times: insects, pterosaurs, birds, bats, flying fishes, and it is still in action today, right in front of our eyes: gliding squirrels, evidence of the disconcerting facility of this «impossible» process.
And all this happened only because of the only logical possibility of flight, a fantastic biological utopia, which however looked impossible to achieve! As a matter of facts, we need to think at all the necessary adaptations, lightening of the skeleton, creation of new muscles, of complex neural circuits...
We could say that: logical feedback = creative absurdity + Darwinian evolution. It thus combines the power of both, in a fantastic creative force! And it is not happy with just creating a few thingies here and there, it can create complex structures and organizations, which would be inaccessible to a simple linear Darwinian evolution. Indeed, a simple opportunist adaptation process cannot produce qualitative leaps such as the appearance of birds, as it would rather eliminate the bizarre intermediate steps, well before they lead to any interesting result. It necessarily needs a guide, that the logical feedback provides. Thus the combination of the two becomes a utopia engine, with an incredible ability to create anything we can imagine, and beyond.
Going back to physics, we must either not be surprised if some physical laws were selected by logical feedbacks, such as «if the universe was like this, then it would be inconsistent». Such conditions may reduce the number of possible universes, or possible laws of physics. Such logical conditions may also pose very strong constraints on the laws of physics of our world, in a way to make possible the evolution of living beings like us. Thus, the anthropic principle, far from being an annoying quirk, becomes an instrument for exploring physics.
A remark is that the logical feedback must not be confused with a time travel. The looping occurs certainly from the future to the past, but it is only a logical implication, a logical requirement, not a physical action, and even not a transfer of information. All the events happening into the physical part of the loop (the one going into the normal way of time) are ordinary physical events, with nothing supernatural, no «temporal ships», without any appearance of angels or magic. In the case of the flight of birds, only the theoretical possibility of flight guided the events, with violently pushing the Darwinian selection into the right direction, even against the principle of adaptation which should have instead ruthlessly eliminated all the bizarre intermediate creatures such as the dinosaur-squirrels or the birds with four wings. The only Darwinian adaptation would never have allowed the appearance of birds. A funny comparison would be to say that the logical feedback is revolutionary, while the Darwinian adaptation is reactionary. And, just as in politics, a real evolution can only result from a Yin-Yang dialectic between the two (chapter I-4)!
At last, the logical implication from the future to the past is not a problem for physical science, and especially Relativity, as it happens upstream of the definition of time in the universe. Thus it does not violate the law of cause and effect, of which time is only a consequence (Chapter IV-3). It is however a case of creative logical paradox, as discussed in chapter IV-3 about temporal loops. This is what explains its formidable creative power, as discussed in chapter III-3, rule 3.
We may even be ourselves into such a loop, and that it may have enormous consequences on our lives, as we shall see in the chapter VI-16 on the future evolution of mankind.
A small example for understanding how it works: let us suppose a series of terms N. For a value of N, the next term is N + a (N plus a constant a). The first term N has the value b which is imposed to us. Once such a series is started, it continues indefinitely without leaving us any choice for the values.
But we wish that after 10 terms in the series, N has the value 10. We must then choose a = (10-b) / 10. In the simplest case, if b = 0, then a must be set at 1, and the terms N are 1, 2, 3 ... 10.
Thus, in this «universe» (with one dimension), the number a is a «law of physics» that the «inhabitants» of this universe cannot change, but which yet forces the final result to value desired by the «creator». And this without him having to cheat (to arbitrarily change a value in the series) along the way. This is the logical feedback.
(Permalink) What the traditions saw like the hand of a creator God would be only a logical feedback process?
Must we conclude that this creator God does not exist? Or that we can reduce him to a Darwinian selection process, unconscious, blind and often cruel?
The religions do not speak of this, they speak of a conscious, luminous, loving and merciful God. For this reason, we cannot consider this discussion as closed: we shall see more precisely the nature of God in chapter V-6.
What we can say, however, in this part on physics, is that physicists have found no clear evidence of intentional acts in the evolution of our universe (nor of its inhabitants). Even the observed anthropism does not allow to draw any conclusions on this issue (since we are unable to test (chapter II-4) whether we are in case 1, 2 or 3). So, physics cannot scientifically say that our universe was created by a God. Should we conclude to the absence of such a creator God? We can neither scientifically conclude to this absence. So, the hypothesis of a creator God remains a legitimate scientific hypothesis, speculative certainly, but that only the materialist ideologies (Chapter I-9) condemn.
Indeed, what would happen if an evolved being tried to create an universe? We can state that He would certainly not do like a little egotistical dictator manipulating the world after his idea. A little egotistical dictator would intervene all the time to show his power, he would enact a bunch of absurd and arbitrary rules, and then he would reward, punish or eliminate people, depending if he likes them or not. Clearly we would see and hear only him. On the contrary, any reasonably advanced being would prefer to build a good foundation to start, and then intervene as little as possible, to give His Creation some good chance to evolve spontaneously, to bring some surprises. For this, He will provide for self-organizing processes, as it is done in scientific simulations, or by gaming enthusiasts (Fractal simulations, «Game of Life», etc..) So that the result will be spontaneous and interesting. Of course, the interest of the game is proportional to the originality of the result, and inversely proportional to the number of interventions required to achieve this result. All the gamers know this rule of non-interference. Ideally, the process should be able to unfold entirely and reach the desired goal, starting with a single act of creation in the beginning. If this is not possible, then additional interventions should be as discreet as possible, in order not to disturb the self-organizing processes, neither influencing the originality of the result. Especially, if the Creator has a vision of love, He will guide the evolution of His world toward this direction, but not impose it. He will rather propose various aids to His creatures, which will be given only discreetly, to the only concerned persons, in order to break as little as possible the rule of non-interference.
I know that what I am to say will be very painful to some, but I see that our universe is exactly matching the description above:
-The Big Bang is the only physically inexplicable act which is clearly visible.
-Many automated processes have created a conscious life of an incredible complexity and variety.
-A clear meaning of life is immediately and spontaneously visible to anyone who stops his inner chatting and purposeless strategies (see chapter V-5).
-Many people meeting certain spiritual criteria report magical helps (premonitions of danger, interesting meetings, inner experiences, etc.). However, these helps obey to the Méheust principle of elusivity (chapitre VII-3): they are visible and usable only by the person receiving them, without ever occurring in a way to «prove their existence» to a society which does not want them. (Hence the explanation of this law, perhaps the most curious of all the science laws)
Thus we can scientifically hypothesize, not only that our universe has been created intentionally, but in more that it would still be actively maintained. If this is the case, then the religions would be right on their spiritual basis, even if they were unable to guess palaeontological or cosmological facts which are not their competence.
Well, this does not exactly match the catechism of 1930, but it is however much closer of it than of Marx or Sade. Who complains?
Two final remarks about God, before returning to pure physics:
Some scientists are looking for a «signature of God» in the fundamental laws of physics of our universe, or in large structures such as the cosmic background noise. I have a fundamental objection: I do not see why God would have put high technology as a condition for accessing his message. Such a message, if it exists, must be accessible and decipherable by anyone, even by a titmouse. We shall see in chapter V-5 that such a message actually exists, and that it is of course very easy to find... if we accepts to look in the right place, and we agree to do so with the required state of mind. I am sorry, but God, it is him who is the boss, and who set the rules.
At last some media call the hypothetical Higgs boson the «God particle». I simply do no understand why, because this particle, if it exists, is no more connected to consciousness than any other. It would give their mass to the others? It is its job, ok, but this makes it in no way more spiritual than others. Anyways, according to Relativity, mass is a deformation of space, which, itself, required some energy to form, according to the famous formula E = mc2. And if we want to connect Quantum Physics and Relativity, this is how we must think. So a wise guy may end up remarking that this particle, and its mysterious and abstract «Higgs field», has the same properties as a «topological defect» of space, this meaning a distortion of space, this meaning a mass according to General Relativity.
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