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Teleology without teleology Paul Davies Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science Arizona State University

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Teleology without teleology Paul Davies Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science Arizona State University Origin of the universe c. 2 billion years c. 10 billion years c. 13.7 billion years Law of increasing (accelerating) novelty/variety/diversity/complexity

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slide1
Teleology without teleologyPaul DaviesBeyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in ScienceArizona State University
slide9

Law of increasing (accelerating)

novelty/variety/diversity/complexity

The principle of maximum diversity says that the laws of nature, and the initial

conditions at the beginning of time, are such as to make the universe

as interesting as possible.

Freeman Dyson

Biospheres and the universe create novelty and diversity as fast as they can

manage to do so without destroying the accumulated propagating organization

that is the basis and nexus from which further novelty is discovered and

incorporated into the propagating organization.

Stuart Kauffman

slide14

Cosmic expansion itself is the prime mover for the construction

of a hierarchy of complex entities throughout the Universe…

in an expanding Universe, both the disorder and the order can

increase simultaneously--a fundamental duality, strange but true.

Eric Chaisson

questions
Questions
  • What is a suitable quantification for the entity that increases, and under what physical circumstances does it in fact increase?
  • Does the putative “law” or principle of incraesing “something” emerge from existing laws of physics or does it augment them?
  • Is there a universal principle in nature or a patchwork of different principles for different sorts of systems (gravitational, biological, intelligent…)
slide17

Gravitation:

the key!

Initial state of matter close to thermodynamic equilibrium

Initial state of the gravitational field far from equilibrium

slide20

Perhaps to a black hole…

Sbh = 4πkGM2/ћc3

slide21

Safter ≥ Sbefore

‘Gravitational entropy: beyond the black hole’

P.C.W. Davies, D.N. Page and L.H. Ford, Phys. Rev. D34, 1700 (1986).

slide22

\'Black hole versus cosmological horizon entropy,’

P.C.W. Davies, T. M. Davis and C. Lineweaver, Classical and Quantum Gravity20, 2753 (2003).

radiation filled universe with
Radiation-filled universe with Λ

a(t)

a(t) sinh½[2(Λ/3)½t]

a(t)

Rh ~ t½ t → 0

→ (3/Λ)½t → ∞

S~Λ–¾ → Λ–1

Λ–¼ ~ (Rh/Planck length)½ >> 1

t

slide27

The universe has finite

computational resources

I ≤ 2πkER/ħc

10122 bits

slide28

A possible experimental test!

n particles → 2n possible states

2n~ 10122 → n ~ 400 particles

holographic bound on algorithmic complexity
Holographic bound on algorithmic complexity

H(X) = – ln P(X) + O(1)

algorithmic information

H({α}) < Aholo/LP2

Scott Aaronson

slide30

“No room at the bottom”

argument against strong emergence

The laws of physics at the micro-level

already completely determine the

evolution of physical states

Additional emergent laws would lead to

over-determination

emergent laws of complexity
Emergent laws of complexity

The problem of causal closure

Complex system

Emergent laws

of complexity

“Downward causation”

Fundamental

particles

Basic laws

of physics

quantum post selection and the born rule
Quantum post-selection and the Born rule

Pre-selection, no post-selection Born rule

Pre-selection, “weird” post-selection

“strange” departures from Born rule

Three examples:

1. Departures at high energy (“natural” regulation?)

2. Time-symmetric boundary conditions

(Gell-Man & Hartle – teleology with teleology)

3. Growth of complexity/diversity

slide34

The pattern hidden inside the exponential decay

law, revealed by weak measurement

w

This generalized law is

experimentally testable

Wheeler’s “turning of the tide”

e‒γ(t‒t)

i

ti

tf

t

post selection
Post-selection

Pre-selection (e.g. de Sitter vacuum)

biological determinism
Biological determinism

Life as a ‘cosmic imperative’

Life

slide37

Christian De Duve

“Life is almost bound to arise… wherever

physical conditions are similar (to Earth).”

“Life is a cosmic imperative!”

Multiple origins of life on Earth!

Seek evidence from a shadow biosphere

founding tenet of astrobiology
Founding tenet of astrobiology

Life emerges readily under earthlike conditions

Earthlike planets are common,

therefore…

Life is widespread in the universe

slide40
Search for Extra-

Terrestrial

Intelligence

conclusions
Conclusions
  • There is no agreed universal measure of what it is “of value” that increases with time.
  • There is no general theorem proving when complexity increases with time.
  • An overarching “principle of increasing complexity” or a “cosmic imperative” could be consistent with the existing laws of physics if formulated within the freedom afforded by quantum post-selection.
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