The Life of the Cosmos has ratings and 42 reviews. David said: Lee Smolin presents an interesting hypothesis that attempts to explain why the fundame. CHAPTER ONE. The Life of the Cosmos. By LEE SMOLIN Oxford University Press. Read the Review. LIGHT and LIFE. Science is, above everything else. The life of the cosmos / by Lee Smolin. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN X. ISBN (Pbk.) 1. Cosmology.

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Nothing can live in an environment in thermal equilibrium. Still, this is a great book because it delves into questions rarely addressed by proper scientists like- why are the parameters cosmoss the universe the way they are and not otherwise; is there an absolute truth and does this lie beyond the reaches of the scientific method; the difference between absolute and relative etc.

Cosmological natural selection (fecund universes)

Smolin does a great job of getting the reader up to speed on the current “crisis” in theoretical physics; the lack of a unifying theory between general relativity and quantum theory. Gravitation propels our Earth around the Sun and causes the Universe to expand. He concludes that we can test this theory by examination of the parameters of physics.

Whatever else one may say about the quantum theory, its central success is that it explains the stability of atoms. It was not until the ‘s that Edwin Hubble, using a newly constructed powerful telescope, viewed a hazy object in the constellation Andromeda and resolved it into countless points of light — they were stars.

Another thing that must strike us when we look around at the universe is that it seems to be structured hierarchically. The Logic of Atomism.


The Life of the Cosmos by Lee Smolin

This book will blow your mind. While early oscillation models did not survive criticism, a number of theorists continue to work on more complex and in some cases, more biologically-inspired versions. While I am considered a good teacher, what has most impressed me is how unsuccessful, on the whole, I have been at imparting my love of physics. Often the sentences have to be read twice to unravel exactly what is meant, and even then the reader still can’t be sure.

If we were interested only in feeling better about ourselves, we might be happy to jump from vitalism to a kind of pantheism according to which life exists because the universe is itself alive. What he has in mind is the problem that modern particle theory, including string theory which was the last word when this was written seventeen years agohave many free parameters such as the values of the forces and masses of the particles which are not constrained by the theories, or could be different and still give rise to consistent interpretations, and which in fact have improbable values.

This means that Smolin proposes a number of tests that if they fail, would mean that his hypothesis is wrong. This is because once we understand what it means for a system to be in thermodynamic equilibrium, we can understand its opposite: That takes real s One of the most illuminating books on theoretical physics I’ve ever read.

My cat also maintains a constant body temperature, which is different from mine.

That is how life on Earth began. Our universe has at least as many levels of organization as a library. To distinguish this idea from commonsense notions of atomism and reductionism, I will give it a name. This, of course, is not an explanation, but some might say that perhaps there is no explanation.


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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. One reason to question radical atomism is that it must eventually lead either to infinite regress or to a brick wall. Apr 12, Lynn rated it really liked it. If the constants of nature weren’t fine tuned as they are, we wouldn’t be here to worry about the problem of fine tuning. Smolin writes in complex sentences, compounded by a generous sprinkling of grammatical errors, all of which conspire to make it a hard, slow, tedious read. This book expounds on this thought experiment in an highly accessible manner.

These laws are presumed to be absolute and to hold for all time. Others are understandably put off by the unfortunate connection between physics and weapons of mass destruction.

But there is another, deeper question we must ask. We know that this is not the case.

The not-so-fun part is Smolin’s constant, painful, digressions into philosophy. Soon other “worlds” were observed. Comparison between galaxies and living things is fascinating. Once I got the hang of the idea, I was ready to be done with the book as Smolin repeatedly beats dead horses lif reiterates his points. If elementary particles are so influenced, then perhaps those properties are not absolute and eternal.