Foundations of Science 15 (4):375 - 393 (2010)

Abstract
In this philosophical paper, we explore computational and biological analogies to address the fine-tuning problem in cosmology. We first clarify what it means for physical constants or initial conditions to be fine-tuned. We review important distinctions such as the dimensionless and dimensional physical constants, and the classification of constants proposed by Lévy-Leblond. Then we explore how two great analogies, computational and biological, can give new insights into our problem. This paper includes a preliminary study to examine the two analogies. Importantly, analogies are both useful and fundamental cognitive tools, but can also be misused or misinterpreted. The idea that our universe might be modelled as a computational entity is analysed, and we discuss the distinction between physical laws and initial conditions using algorithmic information theory. Smolin introduced the theory of "cosmological natural selection" with a biological analogy in mind. We examine an extension of
Keywords Origin of the universe  Fine-tuning  Physical constants  Initial conditions  Computational universe  Biological universe  Role of intelligent life  Cosmological natural selection  Cosmological artificial selection  Artificial cosmogenesis
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-010-9183-x
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.John D. Barrow - 1986 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Purposes of Black Hole Production.Clément Vidal - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):13-15.

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