# Could life forms such as ours, sentient beings, survive if laws of physics were variable?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Michael 345, Oct 15, 2021.

1. ### Michael 345New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldlValued Senior Member

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Remember the scientists made it to the stage of being sentient because the force which causes the physics to vary also prevents such a catastrophe as you mention from occurring

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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What force is that, and how do physics vary?

And in the beginning did light not exceed SOL during the inflationary epoch?

AFAIK, SOL was established after spacetime formed and acquired its physical permittive and restrictive properties.

Last edited: Oct 22, 2021

5. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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No. The inflationary epoch was not an expansion in space, but rather an expansion of space. It's an important difference.

7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I agree and that is not what I said. The inflationary epoch was the expansion of space in a timeless a priori permittive condition that had no physical properties and therefore had no restrictions of any kind and allowed for the FTL expansion of space.

I imagine that only when space had sufficiently expanded did spatial restrictions emerge and space became "spacetime" along with emerging constants and three fundamental values from which all physics were derived.

Perhaps this is an unorthodox perspective but is it logically wrong as a generic description? If so, why?

Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
8. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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I don't know what "timeless a priori permittive condition" means. But the expanding universe certainly had physical properties during the inflationary period. It was full of very high-energy particles, for instance. Also, remember that the inflationary period is a model that explains certain observations about the universe. Every scientific model has restrictions and the inflationary model is no exception.
I don't know what "spatial restrictions" you're thinking of, exactly. Spacetime was there from the start of the universe. General relativistic models of the expanding universe all presuppose spacetime because that's what general relativity is: a model of spacetime.

Which three fundamental values are you referring to?
It's not logically wrong. It's your understanding of the science that's a bit lacking. Also, as usual, you're throwing around impressive-sounding words without really knowing that they mean, which means that you end up using technical terms in a way that nobody else uses them. That, in turn, means that you're not really communicating in the accepted language of science.

9. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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A timeless condition of dimensionless nothingness that is permittive of everything.
I agree and I did not say otherwise. The expanding universe started as a singularity and for an infinitely small instant it expanded at FTL without being restricted by any physically restrictive laws of nature which at that time were non-existent but emerged within the universe as it expanded, cooled down, and formed physical properties along with their restriction of behaviors and the emergence of SOL as a constant.
The universal physically restrictive laws.
Yes, but not before.
I have no quarrel with that. Every description of nature is a human symbolic model.
The quantum fields of three elementary particles? (quarks, leptons bosons).
I understand what you mean, but I believe that there is a certain prejudice involved. Scientists use allegorical expressions all the time, without penalty. It is really a matter of understanding the content of a sentence, not necessarily the linguistic mechanics.

I always accompany all my posts that are about scientific narratives with quotes of actual scientific narratives by scientists. My problem is overcoming resistance to anything I have to say because my academic credentials are suspect and it is easy to dismiss a statement that may sound ambiguous. But believe it or not, when I string a compound sentence together I use real care to maintain correct chronology. I do this to save space and I know that the readers are very capable of deciphering the sentence if they apply a little thought instead of instant dismissal.

I am verbose as it is, but I try to be concise as much as possible. And I always welcome clarifying the content.

As English is my second language, AFAIK all words I see in the dictionary that meet the definition of my intended meaning should usable. If they are not in common use by English speaking persons that's not my problem.

When I address a serious subject, I do actually look up definitions of words and terms. That is why it may seem contrived at times, which is not the intent.

I always welcome correction when I actually misuse a term.

Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
10. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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This is a sticking point in so many discussions.
I based my speculation on the wiki definition

Inflation (cosmology) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)#

And I know that the standard model shows an oblate sphere,

but it also shows a toroid as a possible model.

Three-torus model of the universe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-torus_model_of_the_universe

I like that model because it preserves the centre singularity, yet allows for a wavy 2D surface expansion and the continuous generation of a pilot wave. (Bohm)

11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Perhaps it is not as complicated as it appears at first sight.

After all, very simple fractal algorithms can create an infinity of variations, but also show the chronology of strings self-assembling into polymers, evolving into complex patterns and finally becoming identical in complexity.

12. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Write4U:

As usual, it seems that you're getting carried away by the joy of abstract mathematical ideas. As a consequence, you lose connection with the physical reality of things.
To me, that's more or less a repeat of the first lot of word salad that you wrote. What does it actually mean for something to be "permittive of everything"? Can there actually be a thing that is "permittive of everything"?
There are a number of problems with that statement.

First of all, realise that the term "singularity" in this context refers to a mathematical idea. Specifically it points at somewhere that a mathematical theory breaks down, which is a usually signal that we need a better theory. It is therefore wrong to say that the physical universe "started as a singularity". That's essentially saying that the universe started because something in one of our mathematical theories doesn't work, which is nonsensical.

Secondly, parts of our universe right now are moving away from us FTL. That has nothing to do with physical laws not existing, or anything like that. Which brings us to the third point: all of our models of the big bang necessarily involve what you call "restrictive laws of nature" that were there right from the start. It's hard to imagine why a "law of nature" would suddenly spring into being at some stage during the process of expansion, if it wasn't there before. None of our cosmological theories contain that idea.
There was no "before", as far as we can tell.
Does that question mark mean that you don't know what you're talking about, there, and you'd like me to suggest something that might make sense?
To explain things to laymen, certainly. But in explaining things to each other, they tend to use precisely defined scientific terms. That way, everyone can understand what is being discussed, because they all use the same terminology and understood conventions (at least, in the ideal case).
When it comes to technical topics, the "vibe" is not sufficient. One has to be precise in communicating.
Understood. I would point out, however, that there's more to science than just a series of definitions of words or terms. It's about connections and causations and interactions, all of which have to be understood. Scientific knowledge is built up in layers from the simple to the complex. You can't start at the highest level of complexity and hope you can make an original contribution (or even understand fully what's going on) without knowing anything much about the lower, foundational layers. You have to learn to walk before you can run.

13. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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No, it doesn't.

This is why it important to understand what you're looking at when you see a pretty picture of something like the microwave background radiation distribution. That oval in the pretty picture says nothing about the shape of the universe.
That's a completely different kind of diagram, and a different topic for consideration.
Are you aware that the physical universe has no centre? So, necessarily, there is not - and has never been - a "central singularity".

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15. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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I have no way of knowing for myself, but if I take all the "anthropic" rhetoric seriously, then Earthlike physics and chemistry can only exist if the various physical constants remain within very narrow limits. Which sounds plausible, I guess.

So if we interpret "life forms such as ours" to mean biology with the same fundamental biochemistry as ours, then the answer would seem to be 'no'.

The science-fiction nut in me is hugely skeptical about that conclusion. (I think that science undergraduates, and high-school kids contemplating majoring in science at university, should be encouraged to read hard science fiction as imagination stretching exercise.)

But if we interpret "life forms such as ours" not to mean the same basic biochemistry, but rather to mean functionally equivalent as "sentient beings" would seem to suggest (multirealizability), then the question becomes harder. So the question becomes, could reasonably stable self-reproducing structures subject to natural selection and thus capable of evolution exist if the physical constants or even the laws of physics themselves were different? Could a being that's sentient in the functional sense still exist even if its underlying enabling principles are radically different?

My response to that is a definite maybe. The alternative universe would have to have the potential for stable structure to form. But not too stable, where everything is locked in place for all time such that changes can't occur. There would need to be something like chemical bonds that can form and be broken. It needn't be our familiar (to scientists, maybe) fundamental particles and their observed interactions in our universe. But there would have to be something functionally equivalent.

So I guess that if we imagine the basic principles of physics being variable so that they can take any of an unknown number of forms, and if we imagine a possibility-space composed of all those possible universes, then I would expect that only one universe would contain Earth life, many universes might contain functional equivalents to Earth life (some quite exotic, no doubt) and many others would be completely sterile.

Which would arguably defeat the stronger anthropic arguments. Sentient beings in any other of those possible universes in which the functional equivalent of life is possible, even if it is radically different than Earth life, could say that their universe is "fine-tuned" for their sort of life.

Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
16. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Yes. Nothing is permittive of everything. Nothing to get in the way.
Don't tell me. I didn't come up with that one.
Doesn't that prove my point ? Nothing inside the universe moves at FTL
OK, what do physical laws do if not permit or restrict physical interaction?
The inflationary epoch wasn't. It did not have the SOL restriction it has now. It's hard to imagine why a "law of nature" would suddenly spring into being at some stage during the process of expansion, if it wasn't there before. None of our cosmological theories contain that idea.[/quote] Not for me. There has to be something physical before there are physical restrictions and permissions.
You seem to forget it started with NOTHING. Can you prove otherwise?
In that case my description of a "timeless, dimensionless a priory permittive condition" is perfectly suitable. If you unpack that sentence you end up with exactly what you just posited.
AFAIK those are the three quantum fields that emerged from the cooling plasma. Being that there is "string theory", I am not quite sure what exactly emerged first. Can you help me ut here?
OK, that is a qualified yes.
I agree. But we are not discussing a technical topic. We are all speculating when addressing this area of knowledge.
I agree completely. I am sure you are aware that one of my favorite tenets is that there is "no irreducible complexity". That smacks of ID.....

17. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Write4U:
Okay, whatever you say. I guess you know what you mean.
What did not have the speed-of-light restriction? The universe? Are you talking about things inside spacetime, or spacetime itself, or something else? Spacetime does not now have any speed-of-light restriction. The speed-of-light limit applies to things that move in spacetime, not to the movement of spacetime itself.
You're the one making the positive claim. You say the universe started with NOTHING. Prove it, if you can.
Okay. Then I now understand what you mean, and we're in agreement, I suppose.
In quantum field theory, every particle is an excitation of a quantum field, whether it is lepton or baryon or meson, boson or fermion.

We don't currently have a description of anything that happened in the first $10^{-43}$ seconds of the universe's existence. Shortly after that time, I believe there was some kind of universe-encompassing plasma-like thing. The four fundamental interactions would all have been behaving similarly at that time, so I'm not sure if it would have been possible to distinguish the various force-carrier bosons. I'm not a cosmologist, but I don't think it would be hard to find some descriptions of the order in which the various constituents of the universe "froze out" as the universe expanded. I'd have to look it up, though.

18. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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18,987
Ok, enlighten me about the shape of the universe.
Oh, I thought we were talking about the various models that are in circulation in the scientific world?
Can you prove that definitive statement?
Only "nothing" has no center. The physical universe does have a singular beginning which by definition is its center, regardless if is the center of a 2D expanding plane or the center of a 3D expanding sphere.

Expansion of the universe

19. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Exactly. That's what I have been telling you.
There is nothing outside spacetime and that is why spacetime is able to expand without any limitation as to speed.
Inside spacetime there are limitations (restrictive and permittive laws).

20. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I agree, and each "particle" represents a different value.

I have said this before, I am really not proposing anything new or contrary to mainstream consensus. I am trying to look at known science from different perspectives. Being able to look at a thing from different perspectives results in deeper understanding of its properties and potentials.

And most of all, I believe in David Bohm's cautionary tale against the fracturing and total specialization of different areas of inquiry without trying to identify "common denominators", properties and potentials that bind the universe together rather than what separates it.

Holistic (wholistic)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism_in_science#Chaos_and_complexity

Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
21. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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18,987
Look what I dug up.

Photon Mass Gets a Boost
August 16, 2002• Phys. Rev. Focus 10, 9
The mysterious magnetic fields that seem to permeate the cosmos may come from simple physics.

Magnetic Milky Way. Massive photons in the early universe might be responsible for the Galactic magnetic field we see today. Galactic radio waves reveal spatial variations in that field across a small patch of sky.
.....
https://physics.aps.org/story/v10/st9

Might this suggest an unrestricted instant (inflationary epoch) where massless particles travelled @ FTL and acquired mass commensurate with the cooling universe and becoming denser, restricting the SOL to "c" as the limit?

Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
22. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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18,987
Perhaps I created the word salad, but there is a serious proposed theory of Causal Dynamical Triangulation (CDT) that proposes a fractal aspect to the universal spacetime itself.

Quantum Gravity from Causal Dynamical Triangulations: A Review
R. Loll (Cornell University)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.08669

Causal dynamical triangulation
Beyond the Standard Model

Simulated Large Hadron Collider CMS particle detector data depicting a Higgs boson produced by colliding protons decaying into hadron jets and electrons

Standard Model

23. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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And another thread is now full of Write4U's derailing rubbish.............

Time to close it, perhaps.