poly: Smolin Universe & fermi Paradox

From: d.brin <brin@cts.com>
Date: Sun Nov 08 1998 - 23:05:00 PST

Peter C. McCluskey wrote:
> I recently read Lee Smolin's _The Life of the Cosmos_, which describes
>his theory that black holes generate new universes with slightly different
>parameters, which implies that natural selection causes typical universes
>such as ours to have parameters that maximise black hole formation, which
>also happens to be more conducive to the existence of life than many other
>possible universes.
> I am wondering whether this reasoning can be extended to address the
>Fermi Paradox by hypothesizing that life capable of solar-scale engineering
>will find matter to be more valuable outside of black holes than inside,
>and significantly reduce the number of black holes produced by universes
>in which they arise. This should imply that natural selection will cause
>the expected number of such civilizations that arise per universe to be
>slightly below 1.
> Does anyone see flaws in this hypothesis?

I wrote a reflective novella based on Smolin's notion, when it was 1st
discussed in 1990. See "What Continues... and What fails..." in my
collection OTHERNESS.

The problem with Pete's notion (a clever one) is that Smolin's process
evolves toward 'gosh numbers' (e.g. the ration og electron to proton mass)
that just happen to result not only in lots of black holes, but also heaps
of wonderfully stable G-type stars and scads of lovely elements distributed
about to form organic chemistry. The range of parameters needed to create
US is narrower than the range of conditions needed to create black holes.
therefore, parsimony suggests that life must play a role in the evolving
adaptation of universes. It is likely symbiotic with, rather than
parasitical on, its host universe.

It's hard to see how that's consistent with Pete's theory... though i could
come up with scenarios combining the two.

In fact, solar scale engineering may help MAKE blackholes. But perhaps
later in our local history.

With best regards,

David Brin
Received on Mon Nov 9 07:06:52 1998

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