May 23, 2002


Hawking: God may play dice after all : Famed physicist presents divine-snowball theory for start of universe (Mike Martin, May 23, 2002,
Inflation--and creation--started at the top of a potential energy mountain, the two cosmologists [cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his academic collaborator Thomas Hertog] claim, where fundamental field particles acted like snowflakes that coalesced into cosmological snowballs. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but the rolling die of creation - known to physicists as a subatomic particle called the "Hawking-Moss instanton"--gathered these snowflake-like particles.

"The early evolution of our universe is a bit like a ball of snow that grows while rolling down a hill," Hertog told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview. Hertog equated the growing snowball to a field of particles. "Our calculations show that our universe was most likely created by this field at the top of a 'potential hill.'"

Like mischievous children, quantum fluctuations in the early universe rolled the cosmological snowball down the hill and it expanded.

"Because of Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle, the field at the top of the hill fluctuates," Hertog explained. "Because the top of the hill is an unstable point, these fluctuations eventually cause the field to roll all the way down." [...]

The quantum nature of the cosmos...dictates the "top down" approach, Hawking claims, because the history of the universe depends on the mountain, the dice, the snowflakes and the snowballs. In other words, the universe "depends on the observables being measured."

God may play dice then, but only if the dice are loaded. If the universe depends on observables, it also depends on we the observers, so the dice had to somehow guarantee that we humans would emerge. Physicists call this idea the so-called "Weak Anthropic Principle" from the Greek "anthropos," which means "man" or "human."

"The top-down approach is a mathematical formulation of the Weak Anthropic Principle," Hawking writes, in which observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are restricted by the requirement that carbon-based life must exist.

If I understand this at all--which, as readers of the evolution discussion will realize is extremely unlikely--mightn't the theory also suggest what we might call a First Observer, who shapes the universe by observing the very moment of creation? Posted by Orrin Judd at May 23, 2002 12:47 PM
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