Skip to comments.Hawking: God may play dice after all
Posted on 05/23/2002 3:02:41 AM PDT by lavaroise
Despite an aging Albert Einstein's famous comment, "God does not play dice with the universe," renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his academic collaborator Thomas Hertog now suggest that God did roll the dice at least once at the moment of creation.
Like that familiar wizened sage atop the highest peak, God cast that first die down a mountain of potential energy where, according to Hawking and Hertog, it rolled like a snowball, growing, expanding and inflating into the universe we know today.
"The quantum origin of our universe implies one must take a 'top down' approach to the problem of initial conditions in cosmology," Hawking and Hertog write in their latest paper on the subject "Why does inflation start at the top of the hill?"
Inflation and creation started at the top of a potential energy mountain, the two cosmologists claim, where fundamental field particles acted like snowflakes that coalesced into cosmological snowballs. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but the rolling die of creation known to physicists as a subatomic particle called the "Hawking-Moss instanton" gathered these snowflake-like particles.
"The early evolution of our universe is a bit like a ball of snow that grows while rolling down a hill," Hertog told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview. Hertog equated the growing snowball to a field of particles. "Our calculations show that our universe was most likely created by this field at the top of a 'potential hill.'"
Like mischievous children, quantum fluctuations in the early universe rolled the cosmological snowball down the hill and it expanded.
"Because of Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle, the field at the top of the hill fluctuates," Hertog explained. "Because the top of the hill is an unstable point, these fluctuations eventually cause the field to roll all the way down."
The snowball of creation eventually settled into a valley and became the universe that surrounds us today, Hertog explained. Although this valley is lower than it was at the beginning of everything, "the bottom of the valley doesn't seem to be at sea level," Hertog said. Cosmological sea level may be described by Einstein's famous "cosmological constant that cosmologists are measuring," he added.
Hawking and Hertog assert that their "top down" approach to cosmology is a fundamental departure from scientific tradition.
"The usual approach to the problem of initial conditions for inflation is to assume some initial configuration for the universe and evolve it forward in time," Hawking said. "This could be described as the 'bottom up' approach to cosmology."
The quantum nature of the cosmos, however, dictates the "top down" approach, Hawking claims, because the history of the universe depends on the mountain, the dice, the snowflakes and the snowballs. In other words, the universe "depends on the observables being measured."
God may play dice then, but only if the dice are loaded. If the universe depends on observables, it also depends on we the observers, so the dice had to somehow guarantee that we humans would emerge. Physicists call this idea the so-called "Weak Anthropic Principle" from the Greek "anthropos," which means "man" or "human."
"The top-down approach is a mathematical formulation of the Weak Anthropic Principle," Hawking writes, in which observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are restricted by the requirement that carbon-based life must exist.
"The top-down approach incorporates the Weak Anthropic Principle because it takes into account certain observed features of our universe such as the fact that it expands in order to explain its origin," Hertog said. "In other words, a top down approach does not tell us how the universe should be, but why the universe is the way it is."
"If Hawking speaks, we should probably listen," Randolph-Macon College physics professor George Spagna told WorldNetDaily from Ashland, Va.
"The approach Hawking and Hertog apply in their paper is to work backwards from the current state of the universe to its possible origins, rather than attempting to cook up the appropriate initial state and see if it evolves forward into something resembling the present universe," Spagna explained. "Hence, it is akin to attaching mathematics to the Weak Anthropic Principle, because we obviously inhabit a universe whose conditions permit our very existence in the first place."
Mike Martin regularly reports on breaking science news for ScienceNewsWeek, United Press International and other publications. View his other stories at sciencenewsweek.com.
AFter all, man uses nature to support man, while nature does not use man to support itself. "Natural" death is not jurisdiction over man, it is man's life that has jurisdiction over nature to prolongate/bless man's life. If nature is the manipulated blessing for man, then man has the jurisdiction.
Hence, since jurisdiction comes before nature, a creator with jurisdiction had to exist before our bodies did. A sort of proof of G_d by jurisdiction as opposed to the definitions all make of G_d.
So, because of the wild improbability of a random universe being able to support life, they assume a restriction that "life must exist."
Reminds me of a joke from my economics days in college... an engineer and an economist fall into a pit. The engineer says, "Let me see if I can find a way out." He measures and calculates, draws diagrams in the floor of the pit, scratches his head, and finally concludes that it is impossible for them to get out. The economist retorts, "Hah. It's quite simple, actually. First, assume we have a ladder..."
As dessert is served, I bring up the secret-of-the-universe question. Wolfram's theory that there is a single rule at the heart of everything - a single simple algorithm that, in effect, generates all the rules of physics and everything else - is bound to be one of his most controversial claims, a theory that even some of his close friends in physics aren't buying. Furthermore, Wolfram rubs our faces in the dreary implications of his contention. Not only does a single measly rule account for everything, but if one day we actually see the rule, he predicts, we'll probably find it unimpressive. "One might expect," he writes, "that in the end there would be nothing special about the rule for our universe - just as there has turned out to be nothing special about our position in the solar system or the galaxy."
If he means that the Vulkans will be landing any day. he is all wet. So far the evidence is that we are not only special but unique.
Einstein said "God does not play dice with the universe," and Niels Bohr said, "Albert, don't tell God what to do" (or something to that effect)
I always thought this principle was more than a bit hokey. It should be called the Circular Reasoning Principle: the Universe cannot be any different because if it was any different, we wouldn't be around to observe it. Maybe calling it the "Begging the Question Principle" would be more accurate.
I have done so all my life.
However, there is also good reason to presume that the creation did in fact take place some several billions of years ago.
Nowhere. But when I get down into the basement, I can see in great detail how the work was done.
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