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Authors: Michael Heller

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Ultimate Explanations of the Universe

BOOK: Ultimate Explanations of the Universe
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Michael Heller (ed.),
Ultimate Explanations of the Universe
, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-02103-9, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
Michael Heller
Ultimate Explanations of the Universe


Michael Heller
ul. Powstańców Warszawy, 13/94, 33-110 Tarnów, Poland
[email protected]

ISBN 978-3-642-02102-2    e-ISBN 978-3-642-02103-9

Library of Congress Control Number: 2009933880

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Original Title: Ostateczne Wyjaśnienia Wszechświata ©TAIWPN UNIVERSITAS

This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilm or in any other way, and storage in data banks. Duplication o f this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the German Copyright Law of September 9, 1965, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer. Violations are liable to prosecution under the German Copyright Law.

The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use.

Printed on acid-free paper

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The longing to attain to the ultimate explanation lingers in the implications of every scientific theory, even in a fragmentary theory of one part or aspect of the world. For why should only that part, that aspect of the world be comprehensible? It is only a part or an aspect of an entirety, after all, and if that entirety should be unexplainable, then why should only a tiny fragment thereof lend itself to explanation? But consider the reverse: if a tiny part were to elude explanation, it would leave a gap, rip a chasm, in the understanding of the entirety. Every, even the smallest, success scored by science is a step in the right direction, a sort of promise that somewhere along that direction, maybe still a very far way off beyond a runaway horizon, lies the ultimate explanation.

Only rarely are such thoughts, or rather such moods allowed to come to light in the enunciations scientists make. But they linger in their sub-conscious, suppressed by declarations that all that scientists are interested in are the results of research; empty speculation they leave to philosophically-minded dreamers. However, as we know, a repressed sub-conscious gives rise to a variety of pathological conditions, and in the sphere of ideas pathologies are particularly dangerous. It could be said that by addressing the issue of ultimate explanations in science I have decided on a course of psychotherapy, above all for myself. The ideas allowed to stray into the margins of my scientific papers have finally to be brought to order, put down on paper and submitted to public discussion and assessment. In science there are no psychotherapies but only such that are collective in kind, and hence the presentation of my ideas in book form seems the best choice of a therapy.

In the first chapter I explain and discuss the schema of this book at length, thus I feel absolved from this duty in the Preface. I would only like to draw attention to the plural in the book's title:
Ultimate Explanations of the Universe
. If there are many of them, then the problem is still open.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa for translating my book into English, not only for maintaining a scrupulous fidelity in rendering my ideas but also proficiently reproducing the mood that attended them. I am likewise deeply grateful to Angela Lahee of Springer Verlag, thanks to whose professionalism and personal intuition throughout the entire process of this book's creation the work on it was more like a continuation of writing, rather than the struggle to smooth out style and sense usual in such situations.

Michael Heller

Krakόw, Poland

April 2009

Chapter 1
Ultimate Explanations
1. To Understand Understanding
2. The Totalitarianism of the Method
3. Models
4. Anthropic Principles and Other Universes
5. Creation of the Universe
PART I Models
Chapter 2 Problems With The Eternity of The Universe
1. The Eternity and Infinity of the Universe
2. The Thermal Death Hypothesis
3. Einstein's First Model
4. The Universe and Philosophy
5. An Expanding Vacuum
6. The Crisis of Einstein's Philosophy
Chapter 3 A Cyclical Universe
1. The Problem of the Beginning
2. An Oscillating Universe
3. The Recurrence Theorem
4. Tolman's Universes
5. Tipler's Theorem
6. Singularities
Chapter 4 A Looped Cosmos
1. Visions of Closed Time
2. Kurt Gödel's Universe
3. Gott and Li's Suggestion
4. Causality and Time
5. Physics and Global Time
6. The Space-Time Foam
Chapter 5 Continuous Creation Versus A Beginning
1. From the Static to the Steady State
2. A New Cosmology is Born
3. Bondi and Gold's Universe
4. Hoyle's Universe
5. In the Heat of Debate
6. The Demise of the Cosmology of the Steady State
7. Creation and Viscosity
Chapter 6 Something Almost Out Of Nothing
1. The Horizon Problem and the Flatness Problem
2. The Mechanism of Inflation
3. The Inflationary Scenario
4. Some Critical Remarks
Chapter 7 The Quantum Creation Of The Universe
1. From Inflation to Creation
2. A Universe Out of the Fluctuations of a Vacuum
3. The Wave Function of the Universe
4. Path Integrals
5. Critical Remarks
PART II Anthropic Principles And Other Universes
Chapter 8 The Anthropic Principles
1. A Complex of the Margin
2. The Era of Man
3. Carter's Lecture
Chapter 9 Natural Selection In The Population Of Universes
1. The Multiverse
2. The Natural Selection of the Universes
3. Situational Logic
4. Critical Remarks
5. Is Life Cheaper Than a Low Entropy?
6. Falsification
Chapter 10 The Anthropic Principles And Theories Of Everything
1. The Search for Unity
2. Can the Structure of the Universe be Changed?
3. Rigid Structures
4. Imagination and Rationalism
5. Our Anthropocentrism?
Chapter 11 The Metaphysics of The Anthropic Principles
1. Three Philosophical Attitudes
2. The ĬParticipatory Universeĭ
3. Creating Our Own History
4. How Many Copies of Himself Does the Reader Have?
5. A False Alternative
Chapter 12 Tegmark'S Embarrassment
1. Other Universes in Philosophy and Mathematical Physics
2. Domains and Universes
3. Juggling About with Probabilities
4. An Apology for the Multiverse
PART III Creation Of The Universe
Chapter 13 The Drive To Understand
Chapter 14 The Metaphysics And Theology Of Creation
1. The Idea of Creation in the Old Testament
2. The Greek Contention With the Origin of the Universe
3. The Christian Theology of Creation
4. Origen
5. Augustine
Chapter 15 Creation And The Perpetuity Of The Universe
1. Crisis
2. A Problematic Situation
3. Contra Murmurantes
Chapter 16 Controversies Over The Omnipotence Of God
1. Two-Way Questions
2. Dilemmas of Divine Omnipotence
3. From Classification to Mathematicality
Chapter 17 Newton's World
1. Newton's Scholium
2. A Mathematical Plan of Creation
3. Physico-Theol ogy and the Concept of Creation
4. Newton's Impact
Chapter 18 Leibniz's World
1. Newton and Leibniz
2. When God Calculates and Thinks Things Through
3. Secrets of the Divine Calculation
4. Time and Space
5. Causality
Chapter 19 The Initial Singularity And The Creation Of The World
1. The Question of Evolution and its
2. Time and its Beginning
3. Problems with the Singularity
4. Methodological Reservations
5. The Great Sign
Chapter 20 Creation And Evolution
1. Two Misappropriations
2. The Hyperspace of Life
3. Probability and Chance
4. God and Chance
Chapter 21 Leibniz's Question
1. L. Kuhn's Catalogue of Expla nations
2. Leibniz's Question
3. The Domino Effect
4. The Existence of the Universe and the Rules of Language
5. The Probability of Nothing
6. A Brute Fact
Epilogue: The Lesson Of Pseudo-Dionysius
Notes And References
BOOK: Ultimate Explanations of the Universe
13.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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