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View Full Version : Discussion: Book Review: Our Improbable Universe



Fraser
2005-Feb-15, 06:05 PM
SUMMARY: From the big to the small, physicists want to know it all. But what good is this knowledge unless you can bring it together and make something of it? Michael Mallary in his book Our Improbable Universe connects quarks to the likelihood of a deity and makes a lot of it. Sometimes rambling but always pertinent, his musings on subjects as diverse as multi-universes and the good fortune of having fissile material in the Earth's mantle makes for a very interesting and thought provoking read.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/book_review_our_improbable_universe.html)

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vet
2005-Feb-16, 03:37 AM
'the strong anthropic principle' seems adequate to explain the 'incredible coincidences' resulting in 'us'. seems people keep forgetting the imfamous statement---'given-enough-time'. that's a nasty one. although it requires extant space/time to consider, that done, things get 'mind-stretching'. for instance: if 'proton-decay' were ever seen and proven, well, those 'infinite monkeys' might not finish 'Hamlet'---'given-enough-time' being gone, would not permit their continued random effort. darn! or us.
you no doubt know, no one has yet seen a proton decay event, 10 to the 17th is a long 'life-time'. although 'observatories' are looking right now. just as they did for neutrinos, once a theoretical joke. good luck on this one, guy & gals.

still, even using the strong anthropic critter---ie: 'we're alive, so may look about and ponder', you're left with the other nasty---'Initial Conditions'. i guess that's where a 'deity-paradigm' springs fourth. what made space/time?

well, the oldest known belief system, western american native/aboriginal, says you
need no deity---it's just the way 'things', and the great 'no-thing' are. space/time is but one of an infinte # of 'set-points', all familiar from the inside-out---but so totally varied, there are not any commonalities, other than origin from 'that for which there are no words.' ancients needed a word, they termed it 'nagual'.

people have published on this, including an old small book reviewd in Sky & Tel---where you see a perfect 'stick-figure' of a child placing cookies in an oven---as the 'lines' disperse, due to chaotic effect, whatever---you end up with a bunch of meaningless lines, not an info-full view. nothing. any search of 'nagual' will render an absurd amount of bunk---but this treatment of 'why us?' is the core of 'nagualism'---by simply viewing space/time, life, as an element of 1 set point---
a lot of problems are solved, and an indiscribable potential revealed.

Andy Holland
2005-Feb-16, 08:18 PM
Given enough time, a lump of carbon is a lump of carbon. Maybe it gets squeezed into a diamond - but if there are no monkeys, Hamlet doesn't get written.

We see in 3D, real time able to process distance, object name and size automatically and coordinate the spatial relationships. The system is literally programmed star dust using DNA and RNA, which are themselves programmed dust. And the total system's coding includes growth, nutrition - refinement of food to create energy. The refinement process is so good, 3 pounds of food is can be translated into 450 foot tons of useful work.

When scientists can take elemental materials and make anything as remotely complex and functional as an ameba (from scratch) - maybe then they will attain the credibility where they can reasonably _speculate_ on such grand questions as the "Origin of the Species". Until then, good scientists should avoid the vanity of presuming to be able to explain something so marvelous and complex without fully understanding the mechanisms and the data.