Conversations Beyond Science and Religion – Is the Multiverse the Final Answer?

June 28, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion

An unavoidable fact of science is that the universe is finely-tuned to allow life to exist. Fundamental forces and constants, from the rest mass of the electron to the sun’s distance from the Earth and the strength of “dark energy,” appear to be adjusted to ensure a stable universe and the possibility of life. Scientists, faced with this fine-tuning, confront the age-old dilemma of whether to bring a supreme being into the picture or to seek a “natural” explanation. But science’s natural explanation for the fine-tuning problem is a humdinger: an increasingly number of physicists are jumping on the multiverse bandwagon, supporting the idea that our universe is just one of a near infinite series of other universes, forming a vast landscape of other worlds. On this show, guest Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London, and editor of the book, Universe or Multiverse, joins host Philip Mereton in a conversation on the development of the multiverse and whether this amazing idea is science’s final answer to why the cosmos appears so finely-tuned.

 

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Tags: anthropic, Bernard Carr, fine-tuning, mutliverse, universe

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion – Beyond the Inflationary Big Bang

June 18, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion

The universe began with the Big Bang, right? But how did this chaotic, random event lead to an ordered, balanced universe? Recognizing this problem, in the 1980′s, cosmologists developed a new theory called the inflationary Big Bang. This new model called for the early universe to inflate at super-warp speed in the blink of an eye; if this occurred, cosmologists said, it would be possible for the Big Bang to have produced the universe we live in without needing finely-tuned initial conditions. So the inflationary Big Bang made its way into college textbooks, television documentaries, and popular science books. Professor Paul Steinhardt, of Princeton University, is one of the leading theorists who refined the inflationary model into the form it appears today. In a recent Scientific American article, however, Professor Steinhardt raises serious doubts over the inflationary model, showing that it actually requires more fine-tuning than the original Big Bang theory. So where does cosmology go from here? On this show, Professor Steinhardt, along with host Philip Mereton, traces the development of the Big Bang theory and discusses what lies ahead for cosmology.

 

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Tags: Big Bang, fine-tuning, inflationary, Paul Steinhardt, Scientific American