The Meaning Circuit Hypothesis (MCH) is a synthesis of ideas providing John Wheeler’s outline of ultimate physics, which he fine-tuned over several decades from the 1970s onward. It is a ‘working hypothesis’ in which ‘existence is a ‘meaning circuit”’ that portrays the world as a “system self-synthesized by quantum networking.” It was strongly advocated by him for roughly two decades and since then has had an increasingly strong impact on the approach of many investigators of quantum theory; in particular, elements (...) such as the quantum participator and ‘it from bit’ are now considered by others as candidate components of a foundation for quantum theory in which information is involved essentially. Therefore, it is worthy of review and critique. (shrink)
Systems of differential equations are used to describe, model, explain, and predict states of physical systems. Experimental and theoretical branches of physics including general relativity, climate science, and particle physics have differential equations at their center. Direct solutions to differential equations are not available in many domains, which spurs on the use of creative mathematics and simulated solutions.
The standard model of cosmology is acclaimed in physics as accurate, robust, well-tested, our best scientific theory of the cosmos, but it has had serious anomalies for a while, including the Hubble tension, anomalous galaxies, and the completely unexplained nature of dark energy and dark matter. And lurking behind it all is the lack of a unified theory: General Relativity (GR) and quantum mechanics (QM) are inconsistent. Now startling new observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2022 of (...) the early universe present the strongest challenge yet to the standard model, and whispers have started that this shows there is something wrong with the fundamental theory, General Relativity itself. This would be a crisis for cosmology. But haven’t they tested this theory already, and shown it is correct? How could it turn out wrong at this late stage? Here we compare the standard cosmology with an alternative fundamental theory, that has a strikingly different overall cosmological behavior: a simple cyclic expansion function. It is simple and deterministic. There are only two or three general parameters. The interesting result is that this alternative cosmology: (A) closely matches the expansion observed and modelled through the CDM standard model, now going back to red-shifts of 5-15; and (B) it also predicts unexpected early galaxy formation now being reported by the JWST. The point here is not to try to prove this alternative theory however, but rather show how it compares to the conventional cosmology. This show us clearly how weak the empirical evidence for the standard model really is against a counterfactual fundamental theory. Some results established in science are robust against theory change, but we find the standard cosmological model and the implications drawn from it are not robust at all. (shrink)
I discuss the relevance of the current predicament in cosmology to the debate over scientific realism. I argue that the existence of two, empirically successful but ontologically inconsistent cosmological theories presents difficulties for the realist position.
The article tells us about well-known physical problem of whether ether substance to be available. Albert Einstein sum up this question by his theory of relativity, arguing there are no ether substance at all. But many physicians there has been facing difficulties that were evidence of the real presence of ether. This accords with the main idea of many oriental spiritual and physical practices such as yoga and chi-kung, as well as of modern theory of non-linear thermodynamics.
The focus of this research paper concerns the dialogue between science and theology. The current state of the dialogue involves a wide range of points of intersection that both pose and provoke questions concerning the very viability and coherence of such a dialogue. In particular, this paper examines the physicist/theologian, Robert John Russell's 'Creative Mutual Interaction' (CMI). The significance of the CMI diagram is that it names the basic interactions between science and theology and theology and science. These interactions are (...) presented as pathways, 8 in all, 5 of which flow from science to theology and 3 of which flow from theology to science. These pathways integrate a number of philosophical assumptions. These pathways can make scientists, theologians, and philosophers more aware of the philosophical assumptions at work between both theology and science. Russell, in his CMI, provides 8 paths to this interaction; 5 pathways where science informs theology and 3 by which theology informs science. In this thesis, I examine a test case of Russell's where he interacts the concepts of cosmology, eschatology, and bodily resurrection as it applies to Jesus Christ in New Testament Studies. (shrink)
Our examination of universal origins and fine-tuning will begin with a discussion of infl ationary scenarios grafted onto Big Bang cosmology and the proof that all infl ationary spacetimes are past-incomplete. After diverting into a lengthy critical examination of the “different physics” offered by quantum cosmologists at the past-boundary of the universe, we will proceed to dissect the inadequacies of infl ationary explanations and string-theoretic constructs in the context of three cosmological models that have received much attention: the Steinhardt-Turok cyclic (...) ekpyrotic model (which does not invoke inflation), the Gasperini-Veneziano pre-Big Bang infl ationary model, and the inflationary string landscape model advanced by Susskind, Polchinski, Bousso, and Linde. We will argue that none of these highly speculative string cosmologies removes the necessity of a beginning to the process of universe generation, and we will emphasize the implications of this fact. Then, since the inflationary “mechanism” only really addresses the fi ne-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe and not the conditions embodied in its finely tuned laws and constants, we will analyze the adequacy of the string multiverse in its three versions (cyclic ekpyrotic, pre-Big Bang, and landscape) for explaining the nomological structure and values of these precisely tuned life-compatible universal parameters. When all is said and done, it will be clear that transcendent intelligent agency is not just the only causally suffi cient and therefore metaphysically sound explanation for universal origins and fine-tuning, but it is also much more parsimonious, elegant, and resonant with meaning than all of the ad hoc machinations of multiverse cosmology. (shrink)
Origin of life studies have presented one of the most serious challenges to the mechanistic conception that life can be explained scientifically as a mere product of chemistry and physics. Hypotheses about the origin of life can be divided into two categories: (1) biogenesis – life comes from life, and (2) abiogenesis – life comes from non-living matter. The theory of the spontaneous generation of life from inanimate matter had been held even by the ancient Greeks and by numerous scientists (...) well into the 19th century. The theory of abiogenesis poses many problems for understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the appearance of life early in Earth’s history. Numerous chemical, mathematical and informational problems arise which make random mechanical processes of cellular formation and function unlikely. Fossil evidence contradicts a gradualist evolutionary mechanism of development of life, especially the well-known Cambrian explosion, in which highly developed metazoan species suddenly appear in the geological column without intermediate predecessors. But the physical conundrums that mechanistic theories of chemistry and physics face are only one side of the problem. Along with a rising chorus of philosophers, Thomas Nagel, an atheist philosopher, has protested that essential questions about the origin of life, and features such as mind, intelligence and morality are completely left unexplained by mechanistic evolutionary theories. In Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Nagel plainly lays out his argument that the modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain something so integral to nature as mind or consciousness, thereby threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture of biology, evolutionary theory and cosmology.  As an alternative he argues that at least natural teleological principles must be admitted to play a role in our view of science. He writes: “Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.” The Vedantic view of the Absolute as sentient conceives of Bhagavan as the conscious and consequently personal source of the universe. This view holds that life is fundamental, and not merely coextensive with matter. It is thus consistent with the law of biogenesis which is scientifically established in agreement with empirical evidence. Life is the basis of Nature, not matter, and Nature is a system in which the different species are nodes or niches, each possessed of variety and adaptability. Evolution is of consciousness, not of the bodies of organisms. The sedimentary fossils are the result of catastrophic deposits, and are thus not indicative of gradual evolution which is concluded only on the questionable assumption of uniformitarianism. (shrink)
This collection of original papers, entitled "The beginning and end of the universe: scientific, philosophical, and theological perspectives", derives from an interdisciplinary conference, that had been organized jointly by the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Vatican Observatory. The conference consisted of two sessions of one day each, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University during the academic year 2014-2105. The first day focused on scientific, philosophical and theological questions concerning the beginning of the universe and the second day on questions concerning (...) the end of the universe. The richness of this book derives not only from the variety of academic perspectives but also from the different heuristic methods adopted by the researchers. For the book’s final version, more contributions were added, the entire collection was reviewed by all authors for constructive criticism and mutual evaluation, and the style and content of each contribution were adjusted to ensure that the book presents a satisfactory degree of unity. After a survey of what some current astronomical theories say about the beginning and end of the universe, the philosophical topics treated include the idea of first cause, the finality of the universe, and the Heideggerian idea of world. The theological topics include some current accounts of "creatio ex nihilo", and the relation between theological eschatology and the results of the cosmology of the far distant future. (shrink)
In this paper, we intend to explore the possible influences of legislative prose in the Anaximander’s cosmological prose construction, who would have been, according to Themistius, “the first Greek who dared to expose a written discourse about nature” (ἐθάρρησε πρῶτος ὧν ἴσμεν Ἑλλήνων λόγον ἐξενεγκεῖν περὶ φύσεως συγγεγραμμένον, Or. 26 p. 383 = DK12A7). Our aim is to clarify which notions of nature and justice are assumed in its emergent cosmology, considering that, at least from the lexical point of view, (...) it seems strongly suggestive to be undefined the barriers between the legal and cosmic order, between the Human and the Natural. Indeed, this is what the peripatetic tradition seems to suggest by judging Anaximander’s language extremely poetic (ποιητικωτέροις οὕτως ὀνόμασιν αὐτὰ λέγων), since he would use legal terms (διδόναι αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας) to explain the natural processes of generation and corruption (ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι, Simpl. in Phys. 24. 13–25 = DK12B1). ——— Objetivamos neste artigo explorar as possíveis influências da prosa legislativa na constituição da prosa cosmológica de Anaximandro de Mileto, que teria sido, segundo Temístio, “o primeiro grego que ousou expor um discurso escrito sobre a natureza” (ἐθάρρησε πρῶτος ὧν ἴσμεν Ἑλλήνων λόγον ἐξενεγκεῖν περὶ φύσεως συγγεγραμμένον, Or. 26 p.383 = DK12A7). Visamos aclarar que noções de natureza e de justiça estão sendo pressupostas nessa cosmologia então emergente, considerando que, ao menos do ponto de vista lexical, parece fortemente sugestivo serem indefinidas as barreiras entre a ordem jurídica e a cósmica, entre o âmbito humano e o natural. Com efeito, é o que parece já sugerir a tradição peripatética ao julgar o linguajar de Anaximandro extremamente poético (ποιητικωτέροις οὕτως ὀνόμασιν αὐτὰ λέγων) por o milésio empregar termos considerados do âmbito jurídico (διδόναι αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας) para explicar os processos ditos naturais de geração e corrupção (ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι, Simpl. in Phys. 24.13–25 = DK12B1). (shrink)
Following a long-term international collaboration between leaders in cosmology and the philosophy of science, this volume addresses foundational questions at the limit of science across these disciplines, questions raised by observational and theoretical progress in modern cosmology. Space missions have mapped the Universe up to its early instants, opening up questions on what came before the Big Bang, the nature of space and time, and the quantum origin of the Universe. As the foundational volume of an emerging academic discipline, experts (...) from relevant fields lay out the fundamental problems of contemporary cosmology and explore the routes toward finding possible solutions. Written for graduates and researchers in physics and philosophy, particular efforts are made to inform academics from other fields, as well as the educated public, who wish to understand our modern vision of the Universe, related philosophical questions, and the significant impacts on scientific methodology. (shrink)
ABSTRACT It can be summarized as the Why of Doing philosophy and the How of Doing Philosophy. For this purpose I deal with the notion of Consciousness. Not, to develop or advocate yet another idea about this notion, nor to present another speculation about how everything is conscious or that all thinI deal with a number of meta-philosophical issues and ideas. gs are physical, or any of the possible positions in between these two poles. I merely mention this issue so (...) as to illustrate what and how philosophy will deal with it. I then deal with some of the possible reasons and factors why certain individuals feel the intense need, motivation and obligation to philosophize. I focus on the Western tradition of philosophy and on original- and creative philosophers. In other words, I do not deal with those involved in academic institutions and professionals. The reason for this being that they teach, study, criticize and use the ideas of other thinkers and for academic related reasons, rather than those of original- and creative thinkers. I then deal with ideas about the nature and origins of our universe, as one possible universe, in a possible multiverse. Again, the reason for this is not to support or advocate any of the models, but to try and identify what is philosophically involved and to show how one will deal with them philosophically by questioning, argumentation and reasoning. Many people think when they talk about their every day lives, relationships and other aspects of their minute, little worlds, they are doing philosophy. Some of the fashionable issues that are favoured at the moment are: racism, gender, feminism, men and colonialism. Such people think their attitudes, beliefs and opinions about these flavour of the month topics are philosophy. Let them have their obsessions and concerns, let them turn them into academic subjects and qualifications, let them do post-doctorate research and write endless books about them, but do not involve me. How can I do philosophy as - there are things I do not know, there are things that I do notknow of and there are things that will be know and thought in future that I will never be aware of. Multi-sensory, embodied, consciousness (or mind) and minded or conscioussed, multi-sensory bodies of living organisms can said to be poles of a continuum (2 perspectives). Mind and body are often viewed in isolation, as unintegrated, dualistic phenomena, thus leading to false problems and -isms. I deal with issues concerning the origins of our universe for examplethe mediocrity principle and the anthropic principle, fine-tuning hypothesis. These three ideas, principles or hypotheses are of interest for a number of philosophical reasons, so I will mention what they are about. (shrink)
Cosmological questions (e.g., how far the world extends and how it all began) have occupied humans for ages and given rise to numerous conjectures, both within and outside philosophy. To put to rest fruitless speculation, Kant argued that these questions move beyond the limits of human knowledge. This article begins with Kant’s doubts about cosmology and shows that his arguments presuppose unreasonably high standards on knowledge and unwarranted assumptions about space-time. As an analysis of the foundations of twentieth-century cosmology reveals, (...) other worries about the discipline can be avoided too if the universe is modeled using Einstein’s general theory of relativity. There is now strong observational support for one particular model. However, due to underdetermination problems, the big cosmological questions cannot be fully answered using this model either. This opens the space for more speculative proposals again (e.g., that the universe is only part of a huge multiverse). (shrink)
The theoretical prediction of Higgs boson was arguably one of the most important contributions in particle physics in the 20th century, with significant implications for modern cosmology. Its reported discovery in 2012 was celebrated as one of the most significant scientific achievements of all times. The fierce public discourse that followed was at large ignited by the media-hyped nickname “God particle” attributed to Higgs boson. The debate regarding the science-religion relation reinvigorated once again and plenty theologically informed views were expressed. (...) In this paper, I take into consideration the authoritative views expressed by the Catholic Church and the Greek-Orthodox Church and I discuss them in comparison with each other, as well as in juxtaposition with other views expressed in the public discussion on the issue, in an attempt to draw philosophically interesting inferences. (shrink)
According to Einstein, a universal time does not exist. But what if time is different than what we think of it? Cosmic Microvawe Background Radiation was accepted as a reference for a universal clock and a new time concept has been constructed. According to this new concept, time was tackled as two-dimensional having both a wavelength and a frequency. What our clocks measure is actually a derivation of the frequency of time. A relativistic time dilation actually corresponds to an increase (...) in the wavelength of time. At the point where time wavelength and time frequency is equal, where light is positioned, quantum-world and macro- world are seperated. Gravity was redefined with respect to time and the new two dimensional time fabric of the universe was speculated to be the source of dark energy causing the universe to expand. According to this new point of view quantum realm and macro-world can be better understood. This new time concept provide a basis for our understanding of quantum gravity and provide the long-sought answers to well known problems of it. A prediction of the presented theory is that the universe will expand at various rates at different regions due to the fact that particular surroundings will create different gravities and cause a different gravity- time wavelength effect yielding various time delays for calculating this rate of expansion. (shrink)
Beyond Einstein: Perspectives on Geometry, Gravitation, and Cosmology explores the rich interplay between mathematical and physical ideas by studying the interactions of major actors and the roles of important research communities over the course of the last century.
Singularitățile la care se ajunge în relativitatea generală prin rezolvarea ecuațiilor lui Einstein au fost și încă mai sunt subiectul a numeroase dezbateri științifice: Există sau nu, singularități? Big Bang a fost o singularitate inițială? Dacă singularitățile există, care este ontologia acestora? Este teoria generală a relativității o teorie care și-a arătat limitele în acest caz? Cartea include o prezentare a aspectelor specifice din teoria clasică newtoniană, teoria specială a relativității și mecanica cuantică, apoi o detaliere a singularităților care rezultă (...) în relativitatea generală, a aspectelor specifice ale găurilor negre și orizontul evenimentelor, inclusiv dezbaterea despre Big Bang ca singularitate inițială, și argumentele cosmologice în favoarea existenței singularităților. Se evidențiază problemele filosofice de încadrare ontologică a singularităților în general și a găurilor negre în special, despre argumentul găurii pus în evidență de Einstein, și argumentele prezentate de oamenii de știință pro și contra singularităților. Studiul singularităților este încă la început. Fizica găurilor negre și filosofia singularităților cosmologice sunt domenii încă neexplorate. În fața singularităților, știința își recunoaște limitele. Aici poate ajuta foarte mult filosofia. -/- CUPRINS: -/- 1 Gravitația - Antichitate - Era modernă - - Teoria lui Newton despre gravitație - - Explicații mecanice ale gravitației - - Relativitatea generală - - Gravitația și mecanica cuantică - 1.1 Mecanica newtoniană - - Geometria gravitației - 1.2 Relativitatea specială - - Postulatele teoriei speciale a relativității - - Dilatarea timpului - - Contracția lungimii - - Impulsul relativist (Cvadri-impuls) - - Echivalența masă-energie (E = mc2) - - Masa în relativitatea specială - - Cauzalitatea - 1.3 Relativitatea generală - - Metrica relativității generale - - Structura cauzală (și geometria globală) - - Orizonturi - - Singularități - 1.3.1 Ontologia relativității generale - 1.4. Mecanica cuantică - 1.4.1 Gravitația cuantică - - Graviton - - Dilaton - - Teoria corzilor - - Gravitația cuantică în bucle - - Alte abordări - 1.5 Teorii mixte - 1.5.1 Gravitația cuantică în bucle - - Aplicații fizice ale GCB - - - Entropia găurii negre - - - Radiația Hawking în GCB - - - Stea Planck - - - Cosmologică cuantică în bucle - - - Fenomenologia GCB - 1.6. Teorii unificatoare - 1.6.1 Teoria corzilor - - Teoria-M - - Găuri negre - - - Formula Bekenstein-Hawking - - - Derivarea în cadrul teoriei corzilor - - Corespondența AdS/CFT - - - Cosmologie - - Istorie - - - Rezultatele inițiale - - - Prima revoluție a supercorzilor - - - A doua revoluție a supercorzilor - - Critici - - - Numărul de soluții - - - Independența de fundal - - - Sociologia științei 2. Big Bang - Prezentare generală - - Radiația de fond - - - Misiunile de studiu al radiației fundalului cosmic - Cronologie - - Singularitate - - Inflația și bariogeneza - - Răcirea - - Formarea structurii - - Accelerarea cosmică - Caracteristici ale modelului - - Expansiunea spațiului - - Orizonturi - Istorie - - Etimologie - - Dezvoltare - Dovezi observaționale - - Legea lui Hubble și expansiunea spațiului - - Radiația fundalului cosmic cu microunde - - Abundența elementelor primordiale - - Evoluția și distribuția galactică - - Nori de gaze primordiale - - Alte linii de dovezi - - Observații viitoare - Probleme și aspecte conexe în fizică - - Asimetria barionică - - Energia întunecată - - Materia întunecată - - Problema orizontului - - Monopoli magnetici - - Problema planeității - Cauza - Destinul final al universului - Prejudecăți - Speculaţiile - - Energia întunecată - Big Bang ca singularitate 3. Singularități gravitaționale - Existența - - Argumente împotriva existenței - Interpretare - Tipuri - - Conice - - Curbate - - Singularitate goală - Entropia - 3.1 Singularitățile în relativitatea generală - 3.2 Gaura de vierme - - Călătorii cu viteze mai mari decât viteza luminii şi călătorii în timp - - Universul nostru, într-o gaură neagră - - Concluzii - 3.3 Filosofia singularităților 4. Găuri negre - Istorie - Aspecte conceptuale - Argumentul găurii - Proprietăți și structură - - Proprietăți fizice - - Orizontul evenimentelor - - Singularitate - - Sferă fotonică - - Ergosfera - - Cea mai interioară orbită circulară stabilă - Formarea și evoluția - - Sfârșitul unei stele este începutul unei găuri negre - - Colapsul gravitațional - - - Găurile negre primordiale și Big Bang-ul - - Coliziuni de mare energie - - Creşterea - - Evaporarea - - Pitici și giganți - Dovezi observaționale - - Detectarea undelor gravitaționale de la fuzionarea găurilor negre - - Mișcări corecte de stele care orbitează Săgetător A * - - Acreția materiei - - - Binare cu raze X - - - Inactivitatea și fluxul de acumulare dominat de advecție - - - Oscilații cvasi-periodice - - - Galactic nuclei - - Microlentile (propus) - - Alternative - Probleme nerezolvate - - Entropia și termodinamica - - Paradoxul pierderii informației - - Paradoxul paravanului de protecție - Ontologia găurilor negre - 4.1 Orizontul evenimentelor - - Orizontul evenimentelor unei găuri negre - - Orizontul evenimentelor cosmice - - Orizontul aparent al unei particule accelerate - - Interacțiunea cu un orizont al evenimentului - - Dincolo de relativitatea generală 5. Cosmologia - Radiații gravitaționale - Viteza gravitației - Formularea valorii inițiale - 5.1 O analogie Bibliografie Referințe Despre autor - Nicolae Sfetcu - - De același autor - - Contact Editura - MultiMedia Publishing. (shrink)
Gravitational singularities in general relativity are spacetime locations where the gravitational field becomes infinite. Scalar invariant curves of spacetime include a measure of matter density. Some physicists and philosophers believe that because the density of matter tends to become infinite in singularity, spacetime laws are no longer valid there. A gravitational singularity almost universally accepted in astrophysics and cosmology as the earliest state of the universe, is the Big Bang. In this case also, the known laws of physics are no (...) longer valid. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.24285.87523. (shrink)
Propounded in relation to a peculiar mode in the view of an oscillating or cyclic universe, the concept of Return of Power, or of ontic recurrence as further increase in ontic Power signifies the determination of the existing entity according to its own selective recurrence as dialectically exceeding a previous status. Based thus upon the assumption that the actual ontological existence of the entity lies in its own potentiated recurrence (for it is maintained that only what is able to return (...) to itself as potentiated signifies actual ontological existence) and that an ontic eternal return can only occur in terms of further Power, this notion embodies the culminating phase within change as an ultimate overcoming of a previous ontic status or situation respecting the category Power as a primary criterion within a constantly increasing Real (as Power, precisely). An ontic selective ultimate event respecting becoming as a general increment of the Real, this concept exceeds both the ontic dispersion in nothingness of the linear time and the identical ontic repeatability of the Eternal Return of the Same, the latter insofar as asserting the perennial return of man's own status of powerlessness, and as rendering accordingly impossible any actual (dialectical) transition to a well-defined superior ontic phase. (shrink)
We discuss the relation between string theory/supergravity and the observational data in cosmology, as well as at LHC, past and future. We pay particular attention to the possibility of the future detection of primordial gravitational waves and how this might affect our understanding of fundamental physics.
A number of general theories of physics provide a model for the fundamental rules that govern our universe, becoming a structural framework to which the new discoveries must conform. The theory of relativity is such a general theory. The theory of relativity is a complex theoretical framework that facilitates the understanding of the universal laws of physics. It is based on the curved space-time continuum fabric abstract concept, and it is well suited for interpreting cosmic events. More so, a general (...) theory based on abstract concepts and imagination facilitates the emergence of countless new extravagant theories. A new simplified theory of the natural world is necessary, a simple theory that provides a verifiable framework on which new discoveries can be integrated. The paper describes a view of the abstract time/space concept, and also a very simple model of our ever-changing universe. Views of physicists, mathematicians, chemists, engineers and of course philosophers have to be all in harmony with such a theory. We leave in a beautiful, uniform, and logical world. We live in a world where everything probable is possible. Contact email: [email protected] . (shrink)
Readers familiar with the workhorse of cosmology, the hot big bang model, may think that cosmology raises little of interest about time. As cosmological models are just relativistic spacetimes, time is understood just as it is in relativity theory, and all cosmology adds is a few bells and whistles such as inflation and the big bang and no more. The aim of this chapter is to show that this opinion is not completely right...and may well be dead wrong. In our (...) survey, we show how the hot big bang model invites deep questions about the nature of time, how inflationary cosmology has led to interesting new perspectives on time, and how cosmological speculation continues to entertain dramatically different models of time altogether. Together these issues indicate that the philosopher interested in the nature of time would do well to know a little about modern cosmology. (shrink)
Philosophical considerations have been essentially involved in the origin and development of the steady-state cosmological theory. These considerations include an explicit uniformitarian methodology and implicit metaphysical views concerning the status of natural laws in a changing universe. I shall examine the foundations of SST by reconstructing its early history. Whereas the strong uniformitarian methodology of SST found no support in the subsequent development of cosmology, the idea of a possible influence the global structure of the universe may have on the (...) laws of physics operative in it has been assimilated by the standard big bang theory as it made its remarkable progress in recent decades. (shrink)
I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates under-determination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I emphasise cosmology's concern with what data could in principle be collected by a single observer ; and I give a broadly sceptical discussion of cosmology's appeal to the cosmological principle as a way of breaking the under-determination.I confine most of the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described (...) by the mainstream cosmological model: in effect, what cosmologists in the early 1970s dubbed the ‘standard model’, as elaborated since then. But in the closing Section 4, I broach some questions about times earlier than one second. (shrink)
During the last decade new developments in theoretical and speculative cosmology have reopened the old discussion of cosmology's scientific status and the more general question of the demarcation between science and non-science. The multiverse hypothesis, in particular, is central to this discussion and controversial because it seems to disagree with methodological and epistemic standards traditionally accepted in the physical sciences. But what are these standards and how sacrosanct are they? Does anthropic multiverse cosmology rest on evaluation criteria that conflict with (...) and go beyond those ordinarily accepted, so that it constitutes an “epistemic shift” in fundamental physics? The paper offers a brief characterization of the modern multiverse and also refers to a few earlier attempts to introduce epistemic shifts in the science of the universe. It further discusses the several meanings of testability, addresses the question of falsifiability as a sine qua non for a theory being scientific, and briefly compares the situation in cosmology with the one in systematic biology. Multiverse theory is not generally falsifiable, which has led to proposals from some physicists to overrule not only Popperian standards but also other evaluation criteria of a philosophical nature. However, this is hardly possible and nor is it possible to get rid of explicit philosophical considerations in some other aspects of cosmological research, however advanced it becomes. (shrink)
This paper is a short introduction to a special issue on philosophy of cosmology, published in the May 2014 issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. I briefly introduce the philosophy of cosmology, and then provide a short outline of the contents of the papers in the special issue. The contributors are George Ellis, Dominico Giulini, Marc Lachièze-Rey, Helge Kragh, Jeremy Butterfield, Jean-Christophe Hamilton, Martín López-Corredoira, Brigitte Falkenburg, Robert Brandenberger and Chris Smeenk. I conclude with a few (...) remarks on the relationship between aesthetics and cosmology. (shrink)
Far from egalitarian, Galileo’s epistemology asserts an uncompromising hierarchy between science and Scripture — an idea he suggests originates with early Christian author Tertullian of Carthage. For Galileo, when the scientific data causes us to disagree with the apparent meaning of scripture, it is not the data that we discard nor is it the scientist whose word is subject to doubt. Rather, whenever a disagreement arises, we always reinterpret the Bible and Holy Fathers such that we can make them agree (...) with what the scientist observes. Galileo states, “[H]aving arrived at any certainties in physics, we ought to utilize these as the most appropriate aids in the true exposition of the Bible […], for these must be concordant with demonstrated truths” (183). In other words, we establish matters of fact first , and then decide what interpretations of scripture will maintain the truth of those facts, second. Given that Galileo’s method stands in radical opposition to the methods of the Church as carried out in the Inquisition following the Council of Trent (1563), it is not hard to understand why the Church felt threatened by him and thereby sought to repress his views. (shrink)
The philosophical implications of recent results in observational cosmology, especially concerning the evolutionary nature of our Universe and its high degree of isotropy, and of the possible existence of black holes, are discussed in the context of established or more recently proposed cosmological principles. We emphasize the borderline problem between science and speculation. We expect that scientifically 'admitted' questions will be more restricted in the future, whereas some philosophical concepts applied to the Universe might loose their exclusivity.
23 pages, no figure. Proceedings of "Philosophical Aspects of Modern Cosmology" held in Granada, Spain, 22-23 Sept. 2011. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics ; doi:10.1016/j.shpsb.2013.02.002.
This paper follows up a debate as to the consistency of Newtonian cosmology. Whereas Malament has shown that Newtonian cosmology *is* not inconsistent, to date there has been no analysis of Norton’s claim that Newtonian cosmology *was* inconsistent prior to certain advances in the 1930s, and in particular prior to Seeliger’s seminal paper of 1895. In this paper I agree that there are assumptions, Newtonian and cosmological in character, and relevant to the real history of science, which are inconsistent. But (...) there are some important corrections to make to Norton’s account. Here I display for the first time the inconsistencies—four in total—in all their detail. Although this extra detail shows there to be several different inconsistencies, it also goes some way towards explaining why they went unnoticed for two hundred years. (shrink)