Are We the Reason Everything Exists? (Robert Lanza M.D., November 20, 2023, Psychology Today)

Although both pillars of modern physics—relativity and quantum mechanics—provide solid grounding for the primacy of the observer, most of us still believe that the universe was, until recently, a lifeless collection of particles bouncing off one another, existing and unfolding without us. It’s presented as a watch that somehow wound itself up, and that unwinds in a semi-predictable way.

But it’s we observers who create the arrow of time (see Annalen de Physik, which also published Einstein’s theories of relativity). As Stephen Hawking stated, “There is no way to remove the observer—us—from our perceptions of the world… In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a “spectrum of possibilities.”

If we, the observer, collapse these possibilities (the past and the future), then where does that leave evolutionary theory, as described in our schoolbooks? The fact is, the universe does not run mechanistically like a clock, independent of us, and it never has. The past begins with the observer, not the other way around.

You may wonder about all the fossil evidence. But fossils are no different than anything else in nature. The carbon atoms in our body, for instance, are “fossils” created in the heart of exploding supernova stars. As John Wheeler, the legendary physicist who coined the terms “black hole” and “wormhole,” once said, “We are participators in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past.”

We happen to find ourselves alive on a lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees. And at just the right time in the history of the universe. The surface of the molten earth has cooled, but it’s not too cold. And it’s not too hot; the sun hasn’t expanded enough to melt the Earth’s surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the probability of random physical laws and events leading to this point is less than 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, equivalent to winning every lottery there ever was.

We’re the missing piece. Although classical evolution does an excellent job of helping us understand the past, it fails to capture the driving force. Evolution needs to add the observer to the equation. Indeed, Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, said, “When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not ‘measuring’ the world, we are creating it.”


How Laws Evolved by Natural Selection (Peter DeScioli Ph.D., August 8, 2023, Psychology Today)

Laws may seem unlikely to come from evolution. There are so many laws, and they differ so much across societies. This variation shows that natural selection did not install a single code of laws in the human mind. We do not have 10 commandments, or five or 20, etched into our minds, or else we would see the same code of laws repeated in society after society.

But does this mean that human evolution has little to tell us about the origin of laws? Not at all. To see why, just compare laws to tools.

Quite. Evolution is just a tool for intelligent use.


Many physicists assume we must live in a multiverse—but their basic math may be wrong (Philip Goff, 11/10/23, The Conversation)

One of the most startling scientific discoveries of recent decades is that physics appears to be fine-tuned for life. This means that for life to be possible, certain numbers in physics had to fall within a certain, very narrow range.

One of the examples of fine-tuning which has most baffled physicists is the strength of dark energy, the force that powers the accelerating expansion of the universe. If that force had been just a little stronger, matter couldn’t clump together. No two particles would have ever combined, meaning no stars, planets, or any kind of structural complexity, and therefore no life.

If that force had been significantly weaker, it would not have counteracted gravity. This means the universe would have collapsed back on itself within the first split-second—again meaning no stars or planets or life. To allow for the possibility of life, the strength of dark energy had to be, like Goldilocks’s porridge, “just right.”

This is just one example, and there are many others.

The most popular explanation for the fine-tuning of physics is that we live in one universe among a multiverse. If enough people buy lottery tickets, it becomes probable that somebody is going to have the right numbers to win. Likewise, if there are enough universes, with different numbers in their physics, it becomes likely that some universe is going to have the right numbers for life.

For a long time, this seemed to me the most plausible explanation of fine-tuning. However, experts in the mathematics of probability have identified the inference from fine-tuning to a multiverse as an instance of fallacious reasoning—something I explore in my new book, Why? The Purpose of the Universe. Specifically, the charge is that multiverse theorists commit what’s called the inverse gambler’s fallacy.

It’s a homocentric universe.