cosmological principle

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pages: 292 words: 88,319

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless by John D. Barrow

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, cosmological principle, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Isaac Newton, mutually assured destruction, Olbers’ paradox, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, scientific worldview, short selling, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine

Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, 26, quoted in M. Blay, Reasoning with the Infinite, University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 9. 24. Descartes, op. cit., 26, quoted in Blay. 25. Ibid., 27, quoted in Blay. 26. For further discussion and references see J.D. Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986, chap. 2, n. 245. 27. We do not (and neither do theologians it seems) dwell on the distinctions that are possible regarding the size of infinite sets. 28. N. Cusa, On Learned Ignorance, trans. J. Hopkins, Banning Press, Minneapolis, 1985, original pub. 1444. 29.

The assumption that life has a zero probability of emerging by natural processes would be tantamount to ascribing it to special creation or ‘intelligent design’. 13. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 20, 37–41 (1979). 14. Ecclesiastes 1v9. 15. See P.C.W. Davies, Nature 273, 336 (1978) and J.D. Barrow & F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986. 16. S. Webb, Where is Everybody?, Copernicus, New York, 2002. 17. A. Linde, ‘The Self-reproducing Inflationary Universe’, Scientific American 5, 32 (May 1994); A. Vilenkin, Physics Letters B 117, 25 (1982). 18. Quoted in E. Maor, To Infinity and Beyond; a cultural history of the infinite, Princeton University Press, 1987, p. xiii. 19.

However, it is interesting that human altruistic behaviour, especially that to which many people aspire and even more people admire, goes far beyond this minimal tit-for-tat altruism that arises for selfish reasons. It is only superficially altruistic. 24. J.D. Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986 and J.D. Barrow, The Constants of Nature, Jonathan Cape, London, 2002. chapter nine Worlds Without End 1. I. Newton, Opticks, Prometheus, New York, 1952 (based on 4th edn, London, 1730), pp. 400–4. 2. C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1976 edn, p. 49. 3.


pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Kickstarter, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

But Einstein reduced his task to a manageable level by making a single simplifying assumption about the universe. Einstein’s assumption is known as the cosmological principle, which states that the universe is more or less the same everywhere. More specifically, the principle assumes that the universe is isotropic, which means that it looks the same in every direction—which certainly seems to be the case when astronomers stare into deep space. The cosmological principle also assumes that the universe is homogeneous, which means that the universe looks the same wherever you happen to be, which is another way of saying that the Earth does not occupy a special place in the universe.

In short, if the universe was infinite, then it could double in size and remain infinite and unchanged, as long as matter was created in between the galaxies, as shown in Figure 86. All cosmological thinking had previously been guided by the cosmological principle, which stated that our bit of the universe, the Milky Way and its environs, is essentially the same as anywhere else in the universe. In other words, we do not inhabit a special place in the universe. Einstein exploited this principle when he first applied general relativity to the whole universe. Gold, however, was going one step further and postulated the perfect cosmological principle: not only is our patch of the universe the same as any other patch, but our era in the universe is the same as any other era.

Stellar parallax is used in astronomy to measure the distance to the closest stars. parsec A unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to about 3.26 light years. Short for ‘parallax second’, it is the distance at which an object would show a stellar parallax of one arcsecond. A distance of 1 million parsecs is known as 1 megaparsec (Mpc). perfect cosmological principle An extension of the cosmological principle which states that the universe is not only homogeneous and isotropic, but also unchanging with time. This principle is the basis of the Steady State model. plasma A high-temperature state of matter in which atomic nuclei become separated from their electrons. primeval atom theory Georges Lemaître’s early version of the Big Bang model in which all the atoms in the universe were originally contained in one compact ‘primeval atom’.


pages: 283 words: 81,376

The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe by William Poundstone

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, digital map, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, Gerolamo Cardano, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, Turing test

A History of Grim Reckoning 1. “So I picked up the New York Times”: Gott interview, July 31, 2017. 2. “Copernican Cosmological Principle” in 1952 book: Bondi 1952. 3. “Copernicus taught us the very sound lesson”: Carter 1974. 4. Eddington’s fishnet example: Eddington 1939, 16–37. 5. “Whenever one wishes to draw general conclusions”: Carter 2004, 2. 6. “Anthropic notions flourish in the compost”: Brown 1988, a review of John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler’s The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. 7. Physicists hissed: See Tegmark 2014, 144, which cites an incident at the Fermilab in 1998. 8. “not something that I would be prepared”: Carter 1983, 141. 9.

He was just trying to figure out how the solar system worked. Only in the mid-twentieth century did it become common to draw an explicit analogy between Copernicus’s heliocentric solar system and later astronomical assumptions of an uncentered universe. Physicist Hermann Bondi used the term “Copernican Cosmological Principle” in a 1952 book. By the time of Gott’s 1969 visit to the Berlin Wall, it was natural (for an astrophysicist) to attach Copernicus’s name to a method with only a metaphoric connection to the Polish astronomer. One of those speaking at Kraków came to bury, not praise, Copernicus-as-metaphor.

“Failure Rates for New Canadian Firms: New Perspectives on Entry and Exit.” Ottawa: Statistics Canada (2000). Ball, John A. “The Zoo Hypothesis.” Icarus 19 (1973): 347–349. Barrat, James. Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era. New York: St. Martin’s, 2013. Barrow, John D., and Frank J. Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Bartha, Paul, and Christopher Hitchcock. “No One Knows the Date or the Hour: An Unorthodox Application of Rev. Bayes’s Theorem.” Philosophy of Science (Proceedings) 66 (1999): S329–S353. . “The Shooting-Room Paradox and Conditionalizing on Measurably Challenged Sets.”


pages: 634 words: 185,116

From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Laplace demon, lone genius, low earth orbit, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

The idea that matter is smooth on large scales can be elevated into the “Cosmological Principle”: There is no such thing as a special place in the universe. But it seems clear that there is a special time in the universe: the moment of the Big Bang. Some mid-century cosmologists found this stark distinction between smoothness in space and variety in time to be a serious shortcoming of the Big Bang model, so they set about developing an alternative. In 1948, three leading astrophysicists—Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle—suggested the Steady State model of the universe.43 They based this model on the “Perfect Cosmological Principle”—there is no special place and no special time in the universe.

Communications in Mathematical Physics 31 (1973): 161-70. Barrow, J. D., Davies, P. C. W., and Harper, C. L. Science and Ultimate Reality: From Quantum to Cosmos, honoring John Wheeler’s 90th birthday. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Barrow, J. D., and Tipler, F. J. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Baum, E. B. What Is Thought? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. Bekenstein, J. D. “Black Holes and Entropy.” Physical Review D 7 (1973): 2333-46. Bekenstein, J. D. “Statistical Black Hole Thermodynamics.” Physical Review D 12 (1975): 3077-85. Bennett, C.

See also Big Crunch; bouncing-universe cosmology contraction of space coordinate systems Copenhagen interpretation n Copernican Principle cosmic microwave background radiation and the Big Bang and de Sitter space discovery of and the early universe and fluctuations and Hawking radiation and the horizon problem and inflationary cosmology and reconstruction of the past and relativity cosmic no-hair theorem cosmic strings cosmological constant cosmological horizon “Cosmological Principle,” cosmology. See also specific models CPLEAR experiment CPT Theorem creationism Crick, Francis Cronin, James culture of the sciences “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Fitzgerald) Curtis, Heber curvature of space curvature of spacetime. See also general relativity and black holes and conservation of information and de Sitter space and expansion of the universe and flat space and Gott time machines and inflationary cosmology and multiverse model and relativity and tensors and time before Big Bang and time dilation and time travel and uncertainty principle and wormholes Cutler, Curt cyclic universe.


pages: 252 words: 79,452

To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O'Connell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Picking Challenge, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, cosmological principle, dark matter, disruptive innovation, double helix, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Extropian, friendly AI, global pandemic, impulse control, income inequality, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mars Rover, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge

In high school he read scientific textbooks for pure diversion, and kept a scrapbook of equations he found especially stimulating; he was excited, he said, by the movement of the logic, the lockstep progression of the thought—by the abstract symbols themselves more than the actual things they signified. One especially rich source of such equations was a book called The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. At first, Anders read the book primarily for these tantalizing calculations—“weird formulas,” as he put it, “about things like electrons orbiting hydrogen atoms in higher dimensions”—but like a kid with a copy of Playboy who eventually turns his attention to a Nabokov story, he began to take an interest in the text that surrounded them.

Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002. Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. Armstrong, Stuart. Smarter than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence. Berkeley: MIRI, 2014. Barrow, John D., and Frank J. Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. Becker, Ernest. The Denial of Death. New York: Free Press, 1973. Blackford, Russell, and Damien Broderick. Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Bostrom, Nick. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.


pages: 404 words: 134,430

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, life extension, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

The Faith of a Physicist (1994) by the Cambridge University theoretical physicist turned Anglican priest, John Polkinghorne, argues that physics proves the Nicene Creed, which is based on a fourth-century formula of Christian faith. In 1995, physicist Paul Davies won the $1 million Templeton Prize for the advancement of religion, in part for his 1991 book, The Mind of God. The nod for the most serious attempts, however, has to go to John Barrow and Frank Tipler's 1986 Anthropic Cosmological Principle and Frank Tipler's 1994 The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. In the first book, the authors claim to prove that the universe was intelligently designed and thus there is an intelligent designer (God); in the second, Tipler hopes to convince readers that they and everyone else will be resurrected in the future by a supercomputer.

In 1976, Tipler began postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he met British cosmologist John Barrow, also a postdoc. Tipler and Barrow discussed a manuscript by Brandon Carter which described the Anthropic Principle. "We thought it would be a good idea to take the idea and expand it out. And that became the Anthropic Cosmological Principle. In our last chapter we combined the idea from Freeman Dyson [1979] of life going on forever, with physical reductionism and global general relativity; the Omega Point Theory then follows." Tipler's steps in reasoning sound logical, but his conclusions push the limits of science: I wanted our book to be completely general, so I said to myself, well, what about the flat universe and the closed universe [instead of an open universe]?

Air Photo Evidence: Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Bergen Belsen, Belzec, Babi Yar, Katyn Forest. Delta, Canada: Ball Resource Services. Bank, S. P., and M. D. Kahn. 1982. The Sibling Bond. New York: Basic. Barkow, J. H., L. Cosmides, and J. Tooby. 1992. The Adapted Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barrow, J., and F. Tipler. 1986. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barston, A. 1994. Witch Craze: A New History of European Witch Hunts. New York: Pandora/HarperCollins. Bass, E., and L. Davis. 1988. The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. New York: Reed Consumer Books. Bauer, Y. 1994. Jews for Sale?


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, animal electricity, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

That intelligence cannot be a mere evolutionary accident that took place on a small blue planet on the outer ridges of an insignificant galaxy amongst the hundred billion galaxies that make up the observable universe. That intelligence is the pre-ordained seed of something bigger. But what could this be? In their book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Barrow and Tippler imagine a far distant future when the universe is slowly dying. This is happening because of a law in thermodynamics called entropy. This law states that heat flows from the hotter body to the cooler one – and you can test the law yourself anytime by wrapping your hands around a warm cup of tea.

(Socrates suggests their moral training and proper cultivation of their souls.) 18As documented in the Apostle’s Creed recited by millions of Christians during Mass: ‘I believe … in the resurrection of the body’. 19Kurzweil, R. (2005), The Singularity Is Near. London: Viking. 20Barrow, J. D., and Tippler, F. J. (1988), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 21Bostrom, N. (2003), ‘Are you living in a computer simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243–55. 22The idea of consciousness upload has been explored in several sci-fi novels and films, as for example in ‘Kill Switch’, an episode of the TV series The X-Files (written by cyberpunk pioneers William Gibson and Tom Maddox and aired in 1998).


pages: 407 words: 116,726

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven Strogatz

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Astronomia nova, Bernie Sanders, clockwork universe, complexity theory, cosmological principle, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, four colour theorem, fudge factor, Henri Poincaré, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Khan Academy, Laplace demon, lone genius, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precision agriculture, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Socratic dialogue, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the rule of 72, the scientific method

page 240 © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello page 260 Image reproduced by kind permission of Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton Notes Introduction vii “It’s the language God talks”: Wouk, The Language God Talks, 5. vii universe is deeply mathematical: For physics perspectives, see Barrow and Tipler, Anthropic Cosmological Principle; Rees, Just Six Numbers; Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma; Livio, Is God a Mathematician?; Tegmark, Our Mathematical Universe; and Carroll, The Big Picture. For a philosophy perspective, see Simon Friederich, “Fine-Tuning,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2018/entries/fine-tuning/.

,” Notices of the American Mathematical Society 55, no. 2 (2008): 226–29. http://www.ams.org/notices/200802/tx080200226p.pdf. Ball, Philip. “A Century Ago Einstein Sparked the Notion of the Laser.” Physics World (August 31, 2017). https://physicsworld.com/a/a-century-ago-einstein-sparked-the-notion-of-the-laser/. Barrow, John D., and Frank J. Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Bates, Andrew D., and Anthony Maxwell. DNA Topology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Bolt, Usain. Faster than Lightning: My Autobiography. New York: HarperSport, 2013. Boyer, Carl B. The History of the Calculus and Its Conceptual Development.


pages: 134 words: 43,617

Double Helix by James D. Watson, Gunther S. Stent

cosmological principle, double helix

Soon afterwards, however, the suspicion that the regularities were important clicked inside his head as the result of several conversations with the young theoretical chemist John Griffith. One occurred while they were drinking beer after an evening talk by the astronomer Tommy Gold on “the perfect cosmological principle.” Tommy’s facility for making a far-out idea seem plausible set Francis to wondering whether an argument could be made for a “perfect biological principle.” Knowing that Griffith was interested in theoretical schemes for gene replication, he popped out with the idea that the perfect biological principle was the self-replication of the gene—that is, the ability of a gene to be exactly copied when the chromosome number doubles during cell division.


pages: 677 words: 121,255

Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist by Michael Shermer

Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, Chelsea Manning, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, creative destruction, dark matter, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, gun show loophole, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kim Stanley Robinson, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, luminiferous ether, McMansion, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, microaggression, moral hazard, moral panic, More Guns, Less Crime, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, positional goods, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yogi Berra

According to England’s Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, there are at least six constituents that are necessary for “our emergence from a simple Big Bang,” including (1) Ω (omega), the amount of matter in the universe = 1: if Ω were greater than 1, it would have collapsed long ago, and, if Ω were less than 1, no galaxies would have formed. (2) ε (epsilon), how firmly atomic nuclei bind together = 0.007: if ε were even fractionally different, matter could not exist. (3) D, the number of dimensions in which we live = 3. (4) N, the ratio of the strength of electromagnetism to that of gravity = 1039: if N were smaller, the universe would be either too young or too small for life to form. (5) Q, the fabric of the universe = 1/100,000: if Q were smaller, the universe would be featureless, and, if Q were larger, the universe would be dominated by giant black holes. (6) λ (lambda), the cosmological constant, or “antigravity” force that is causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate = 0.7: if λ were larger, it would have prevented stars and galaxies from forming.2 The most common reason invoked for our universe’s “fine-tuning” is the “anthropic principle,” most forcefully argued by the physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler in their 1986 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle: It is not only man that is adapted to the universe. The universe is adapted to man. Imagine a universe in which one or another of the fundamental dimensionless constants of physics is altered by a few percent one way or the other? Man could never come into being in such a universe. That is the central point of the anthropic principle.

https://bit.ly/2Ge2Awn Chapter 11 Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? 1. Hawking, Stephen. 1988. A Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam Books, 190. 2. Rees, Martin. 2000. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. New York: Basic Books. 3. Barrow, John D. and Frank Tipler. 1988. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, vii. 4. Leslie, John and Robert Lawrence Kuhn. 2013. The Mystery of Existence: Why is There Anything at All? Wiley-Blackwell. See also Holt, Jim. 2012. Why Does the World Exist: An Existential Detective Story. New York: Liveright. 5. Kuhn, Robert Lawrence. 2007.


pages: 661 words: 169,298

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Garrett Hardin, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, source of truth, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

Barnes, C.A., D.D. Clayton, and D.N. Schramm, eds. Essays in Nuclear Astrophysics. London: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Barnett, Lincoln. The Universe and Dr. Einstein. New York: Sloane, 1948. Venerable popularization of relativity theory. Barrow, John D., and Frank Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. London: Oxford University Press, 1986. Barut, Asim O., Alwyn van der Merwe, and Jean-Pierre Vigier, eds. Quantum, Space, and Time—The Quest Continues. London: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Essays in honor of de Broglie, Dirac, and Wigner. Baumgardt, Carola. Johannes Kepler, Life and letters.

The Discovery of Subatomic Particles. New York: Freeman, 1983. History of the origins of particle physics. —————. The First Three Minutes. New York: Basic Books, 1977. Nontechnical account of connections between particle physics and the evolution of the early universe. —————. Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity. New York: Wiley, 1972. —————. The Quantum Theory of Fields. New York: Cambridge University Press, 3 vols, 1995–2000. Weisskopf, Victor. Knowledge and Wonder. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1979. Weizsäcker, Carl Friedrich von. The History of Nature.


pages: 209 words: 68,587

Stephen Hawking by Leonard Mlodinow

Albert Michelson, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Nelson Mandela, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

Lawyers can’t do that because, though there might exist general guiding principles, human laws are ad hoc creations and cannot be derived from each other. Nor can doctors derive the details of human anatomy from any set of first principles. That the laws of physics can is a wonder that every physicist marvels over. Stephen studied those books and papers into which our knowledge of cosmological principles was condensed, and he learned fast. He expected to die in a few years, but at least in cosmology he would be spending his time addressing questions that excited him. * * * After they were married, on Bastille Day, 1965, Stephen and Jane rented a tiny old house at 11 Little St. Mary’s Lane, near the medieval church in old Cambridge it was named for.


Toast by Stross, Charles

anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, disinformation, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Ship of Fools dives headlong into the future and crashes messily up against January the First, 2000—hopefully with more grace than many of the consultants who were selling us all on doom and gloom back then. Toast takes Moore’s Law to its logical conclusion, while Antibodies cross-fertilises Vinge’s singularity with the anthropic cosmological principle and some of Moravec’s odder theories about quantum mechanics’ many universes hypothesis in an unsettling stew: but both these stories are brittle, subject to a resounding technological refutation that could happen at any moment. I wouldn’t bet on Dechlorinating the Moderator looking anything but quaint in a decade, either.


pages: 340 words: 91,416

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, crowdsourcing, dark matter, double helix, game design, Henri Poincaré, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Murray Gell-Mann, random walk, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, Stephen Hawking, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method

The synthesis of elements from carbon to nickel.” Astrophys J Suppl Ser. 1:121. 24. Kragh H. 2010. “When is a prediction anthropic? Fred Hoyle and the 7.65 MeV carbon resonance.” Preprint. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5332. 25. See, for example, Barrow JD, Tipler FJ. 1986. The anthropic cosmological principle. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; Davies P. 2007. Cosmic jackpot: why our universe is just right for life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 26. Harnik RD, Kribs GD, Perez G. 2006. “A universe without weak interactions.” Phys Rev D. 74:035006. arXiv:hep-ph/0604027. 27. Loeb A. 2014.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The earliest story I know about intelligence amplification via computer/brain linkage. Asimov, Isaac (1942) “Runaround.” Astounding Science Fiction (March), p. 94. Reprinted in Isaac Asimov (1990) Robot Visions. New York: ROC, where Asimov also describes the development of his robotics stories. Barrow, John D. and Tipler, Frank J. (1986) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Conrad, Michael, et al. (1989) “Towards an Artificial Brain.” BioSystems 23, pp. 175–218. Dyson, Freeman (1979) “Physics and Biology in an Open Universe.” Review of Modern Physics 51, pp. 447–460. Herbert, Frank (1985) Dune. New York: Berkley Books. This novel was serialized in Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact in the 1960s.

., Lobo, José, Helbing, Dirk, Kühnert, Christian, and West, Geoffrey B. (2007) “Growth, Innovation, Scaling, and the Pace of Life in Cities.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104/17 (April), pp. 7301–7306. Bostrom, Nick (1998) “Singularity and Predictability.” http://hanson.gmu.edu/vc.html#bostrom. Barrow, J.D. and Tipler, F.J. (1986) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chaisson, Eric J. (1998) “The Cosmic Environment for the Growth of Complexity.” Biosystems 46/1–2, pp. 13–19. Flake, Gary William (2006) “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity.” Proceedings of the 15th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Arlington, VA, p. 2.


pages: 356 words: 102,224

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, germ theory of disease, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, linked data, low earth orbit, nuclear winter, planetary scale, profit motive, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, telepresence

Pasachoff, Astronomy: From Earth to the Universe (New York: Saunders, 1993). Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980). Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, The Call of the Cosmos (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1960) (English translation). CHAPTER 3, THE GREAT DEMOTIONS John D. Barron and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). A. Linde, Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology (Harwood Academy Publishers, 1991). B. Stewart, "Science or Animism?," Creation /Evolution, vol. 12, no. 1 (1992), pp. 18-19. Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (New York: Vintage Books, 1994).


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

Paul Butler, and Nader Haghighipour, “GJ 581 Update: Additional Evidence for a Super-Earth in the Habitable Zone,” Astronomische Nachrichten, vol. 333 (2012), pp. 561–75. CHAPTER 4: The Worth of a World Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin, The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity (New York: Free Press, 1999). John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). Marcia Bartusiak, The Day We Found the Universe (New York: Pantheon, 2009). Lee Billings, “Cosmic Commodities: How much is a new planet worth?” Boingboing.net, February 3, 2011. http://boingboing.net/2011/02/03/cosmic-commodities-h.html. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (New York: Broadway Books, 2003).


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, global pandemic, Google Glasses, hive mind, Ian Bogost, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

After all, those microbes may still be closer to our present selves—representatives of life’s first generation rooted in the geochemistry of planet Earth. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ’EM, JOIN ’EM FRANK TIPLER Professor of mathematical physics, Tulane University; coauthor (with John D. Barrow), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle; author, The Physics of Immortality The Earth is doomed. Astronomers have known for decades that the sun will one day engulf the Earth, destroying the entire biosphere—assuming that intelligent life has not left the Earth before this happens. Humans aren’t adapted to living away from the Earth; indeed, no carbon-based metazoan life-form is.


pages: 452 words: 126,310

The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility by Robert Zubrin

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, battle of ideas, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gravity well, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, more computing power than Apollo, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, off grid, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, private space industry, rising living standards, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment

Robert Zubrin, “Interstellar Communications Using Microbial Data Storage: Implications for SETI,” Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 70, no. 5/6 (May/June 2017). 17. Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? (New York: Mariner Books, 2008). 18. John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). 19. Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). 20. Stuart Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). 21. I. S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe (New York: Delta Books, 1966).


pages: 478 words: 142,608

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer

Barber, N. (1988). Lords of the Golden Horn. London: Arrow. Barker, D. (1992). Losing Faith in Faith. Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation. Barker, E. (1984). The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? Oxford: Blackwell. Barrow, J. D. and Tipler, F. J. (1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press. Baynes, N. H., ed. (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Behe, M. J. (1996). Darwin’s Black Box. New York: Simon & Schuster. Beit-Hallahmi, B. and Argyle, M. (1997). The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The future is already here, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Even in the earliest cities, greenery was used to soften the rectilinear forms of major structures. The ziggurat at Ur had trees on its upper terraces and King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace was greened by the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Beijing has been an urban centre for far longer than London – some four thousand years. Chinese imperial cities were designed according to strict cosmological principles. From the first millennium bc, royal parks in Chinese cities were located to the north of the palace. The summer palace of Yuanmingyuan in the north-west of the city was begun in 1709 by Kangxi and expanded by subsequent emperors. It formed the largest royal garden in the world, with two hundred pavilions and temples set in an artificial landscape of lakes and gentle hills.


pages: 511 words: 139,108

The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, butterfly effect, coherent worldview, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Johannes Kepler, Occam's razor, phenotype, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine

Hogan, The Proteus Operation, Baen Books, 1986, Century Publishing, 1986. [Fiction!] Bryan Magee, Popper, Fontana, 1973, Viking Penguin, 1995. Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, Routledge, 1963, HarperCollins, 1995. Karl Popper, The Myth of the Framework, Routledge, 1992. FURTHER READING John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Clarendon Press, 1986. Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard and Artur K. Ekert, 'Quantum Cryptography', Scientific American, October 1992. {367} Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, BBC Publications, 1981, Little Brown, 1976. Julian Brown, 'A Quantum Revolution for Computing', New Scientist, 24 September 1994.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Garey, Michael R., and David S. Johnson. Computers and Intractability: A Guide to NP-Completeness. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1979. Garfield, Eugene. “Recognizing the Role of Chance.” Scientist 2, no. 8 (1988): 10. Garrett, A. J. M., and P. Coles. “Bayesian Inductive Inference and the Anthropic Cosmological Principle.” Comments on Astrophysics. 17 (1993): 23–47. Gasarch, William I. “The P =? NP Poll.” SIGACT News 33, no. 2 (2002): 34–47. Gauthier, David P. Morals by Agreement. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. Geman, Stuart, Elie Bienenstock, and René Doursat. “Neural Networks and the Bias/Variance Dilemma.”


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, backpropagation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, functional programming, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Barrett, Paul H., ed. The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin. Vols. 1 and 2. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977. Barrow, John. Theories of Everything. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Barrow, John D. and Frank J. Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. Bartee, Thomas C., ed. Digital Communications. Indianapolis, IN: Howard W Sams and Company, 1986. Basalla, George. The Evolution of Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Bashe, Charles J., Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W Pugh.


pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales of Miletus, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam, zero-sum game

Bibliography Everyone should read these Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man (BBC Publications, 1973) Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values (Harper & Row, 1956) Richard Byrne, ‘Imitation as Behaviour Parsing’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B358 (2003) Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press, 1976) David Deutsch, ‘Comment on Michael Lockwood, “‘Many Minds’ Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics”’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47, 2 (1996) David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality (Allen Lane, 1997) Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations (Routledge, 1963) Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (Routledge, 1945) Further reading John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Clarendon Press, 1986) Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine (Oxford University Press, 1999) Nick Bostrom, ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2003) David Deutsch, ‘Apart from Universes’, in S. Saunders, J. Barrett, A. Kent and D. Wallace, eds., Many Worlds?


pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Located at an altitude of almost 13,000 feet close to Lake Titicaca in the Andean altiplano, the city of Tiwanaku became the center of an empire that expanded from about 400 CE onward and lasted into the tenth century CE. In its mature imperial form, the capital had been carefully designed as an imposing ceremonial core, spatially aligned according to cosmological principles and surrounded by a huge moat that restricted access and that was meant to give the center the appearance of a sacred island. This enclosed area not only contained the state’s principal main ceremonial edifices but also accommodated numerous residences for rulers and the associated elite, and even grave sites.


pages: 761 words: 231,902

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, functional programming, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, two and twenty, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

The anthropic principle comes up again in the context of contemporary cosmology theories that posit multiple universes (see notes 8 and 9, below), each with its own set of laws. Only in a universe in which the laws allowed thinking beings to exist could we be here asking these questions. One of the seminal texts in the discussion is John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). See also Steven Weinberg, "A Designer Universe?" at http://www.physlink.coml Education/ essay_weinberg.cfm. 8. According to some cosmological theories, there were multiple big bangs, not one, leading to multiple universes (parallel multiverses or "bubbles").


Global Catastrophic Risks by Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, availability heuristic, backpropagation, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black Swan, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, death of newspapers, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, feminist movement, framing effect, friendly AI, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, means of production, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, P = NP, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, South China Sea, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Tunguska event, twin studies, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty, Westphalian system, Y2K

Use of class A and class C stellar engines to control Sun's movement in the galaxy. Acta Astronautica, 58, 1 1 9-129. B alashov, Yu. (1991). Resource Letter AP- 1 : The Anthropic Principle. Am. ]. Phys., 59, 1069-1076. Ball, ).A. ( 1973). The Zoo hypothesis. Icarus, 19, 347-349. Barrow, J . D . and Tipler, F.). (1986) . The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press). Baxter, S. (2000). The planetarium hypothesis: a resolution of the Fermi paradox. ]. Brit. Interplan. Soc., 54, 21 0-2 16. Beauge, C., Callegari, N ., Ferraz-Mello, S . , and Michtchenko, T.A. (2005) . Resonance and stability of extra-solar planetary systems.