Cosmologist Sean Carroll: If we are Boltzmann brains, our perceptions are befuddled
|February 16, 2017||Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mind, Naturalism, News|
In a universe where we did not evolve so as to understand reality, someone is supposed to have developed a theory by which we need not worry about the Boltzmann brain From Anil Anathaswamy at New Scientist:
Any theory that lets bizarre brains randomly pop into existence can’t be a valid description of the universe.
That might seem obvious, but such conscious observers, called Boltzmann brains, are inevitable in certain versions of cosmology. New work that claims to banish such theories not only suggests your brain isn’t such an oddity, but tells us which frameworks for the cosmos are the most sound.
Cosmologist Sean Carroll can apparently save us. Whew.
Carroll isn’t a fan of Boltzmann brains, and now he thinks he can show they are a bridge too far.
If our brains spontaneously fluctuated into existence, he reasons, then we must be living in the very far future, since the universe needs a near-infinite time for such fluctuations to become a reality. But our measurements suggest that the universe began a mere 14 billion years ago.
That discrepancy means that if we truly are Boltzmann brains in an old universe, then our perceptions are befuddled, too. “We’d have no reason to believe that our memories of the past are accurate,” says Carroll. More.
But wait. That’s exactly what naturalists in cognitive psychology do say. Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth, and truth is only sometimes adaptive. Rinse. Repeat.
Anyway, dark energy gets dragged in too, in this piece. But it’s free online.
See also: Saving us from the plague of Boltzmann brains
Dark matter: An invisible civilization could be living right under our noses…
Harvard is buying this? No wonder Peter Woit worries at Not Even Wrong about what physics is coming to.
Anti-dark energy theories are burnt toast?
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