A Naturalistic Fairy Tale – Part XXIX

The Multiverse

The Multiverse

Then did we, the Most High Scientist, through the use of calculations and formulas, imagine that there exists a great many more universes in the multiverse than we had previously imagined.  We did previously imagine through string theory that there are 10500 universes in the multiverse.  One of our Most High, Andrei Linde, did recently imagine through calculations that there are many more than 10500 universes in the multiverse (Praise Science).1 And let us first tell you why we do feel this is important.

“The idea that there is more than one universe, each with its own laws of physics, arises out of several different theories, including string theory and cosmic inflation. This concept of a “multiverse” could explain a puzzling mystery – why dark energy, the furtive force that is accelerating the expansion of space, appears improbably fine-tuned for life. With a large number of universes, there is bound to be one that has a dark energy value like ours.”

That pesky fine tuning might suggest to the less evolved of our species that universe may have been created or evidence hallmarks of design.  Of course we know that is ridiculous, as is attested to by our vivid imaginations.  And so, we endeavor to explain one “furtive” unmeasurable thing (dark energy) by invoking a larger quantity of unmeasurable things (even more universes).  Because if we do know anything at all, that is there is no design in the universe(s).  And we know you would have to agree, that with a great number of universes, “there is bound to be one that has a dark energy value like ours.”

So, we do now appeal to the god of chance, and evoke randomness in all its power and glory as is provided by quantum mechanics.  We do now calculate the existence of 1010^10,000,000 universes (Praise Science)!  We know how much you like large numbers, and have no doubt you are in awe of the large number we have invoked here.  We’ll also speculate a bit that an hypothetical observer determines how many universes can effectively exist because of quantum mechanical effects, but don’t be concerned, because that’s a really large number as well. We do hope you’ve been pleased by our Science and that you continue to be impressed by the power of randomness and imagination.  Rest assured, all of the appearance of design and fine tuning can, and will continue to be, explained away by chance and imagination.

1 Multiplying universes: How many is the multiverse? NewScientist, October 28, 2009.

Advertisements

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale – Part XXVIII

From time to time, we do like to use computers to look into the distant past. We know how impressed you are by computers. This time, we looked back 4.4 billion years in Earth’s history.(1) We do discover through the use A Tale of an Early Earthof our simulations that life may have survived the massive asteroid bombardment of the Hadean Eon (4.5 billion to 3.9 billion years ago). Although all traces of any such bombardment have been completely wiped away, we do know it happened by looking at the moon and Mars (Praise Science).

Although many of us did previously think that the bombardment would have sterilized the Earth, we now think that microbes could have arisen as early as 500 million years after the formation of the Earth and survived in subterranean environments.

We do now say:

“Even under the most extreme conditions we imposed, Earth would not have been completely sterilized by the bombardment,” Abramov said.

Given the context of this story that we have imagined, we again like the idea of hydrothermal vents giving rise to life. We hope that you will now be convinced that life arose from non-life, because we have given the process even more time to take place (Praise Science).

(1). How life may have outlasted early blasts

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXVII

We do know that 3 months ago,(1) we did tell you that super volcanoes did cause the mass extinction at the P/T boundary ofPool of Death 250 million years ago (praise Science).  We did tell you before that it was from the impacts of asteroids, but we will now tell you that we do have a new idea.(2) We know you will like it.

We do now assert that the mass extinction may have been the result of climate change.  We do know that you are terrified of global warming (praise Science), and we hope you will be even more scared when we are done telling you about just how catastrophic climate change has been in the past.

We do now say that great salt lakes emitted a high level of halogenated gases, which did so dramatically change the composition of the atmosphere as to irretrievably damage vegetation.

According to one of our faithful:

“Our calculations show that airborne pollutants from giant salt lakes like the Zechstein Sea must have had catastrophic effects at that time”, states co-author Dr. Ludwig Weißflog from the Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research (UFZ). Forecasts predict an increase in the surface areas of deserts and salt lakes due to climate change. That is why the researchers expect that the effects of these halogenated gases will equally increase.

With a great salt lake the size of France, we predict that the emissions would have been catastrophic.  We then make the direct link to today’s global warming and the CO2 cycle (praise Science).  We do hope you are paying attention, so we can save you from dying off like some of our last common ancestors did a long long time ago.  We do so, perhaps, knowing full well that we are standing in the way of our motto: “Through death comes life and progress.”

Based on both of these findings the researchers were able to form their new hypothesis: At the end of the Permian Age the emissions of halogenated gases from the Zechstein Sea and other salt seas were responsible in a complex chain of events for the world’s largest mass extinction in the history of the earth, in which about 90 percent of the animal and plant species of that time became extinct.

According to the forecast from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), increasing temperatures and aridity due to climate change will also speed up desertification, increasing with it the number and surface area of salt seas, salt lagoons and salt marshlands. Moreover, this will then lead to an increase in naturally formed halogenated gases. The phytotoxic effects of these substances become intensified in conjunction with other atmospheric pollutants and at the same time increasing dryness and exponentiate the eco-toxicological consequences of climate change.

We do hope you are pleased with our latest tale, and want you to know that we are working to incorporate this into future climate models in a desperate attempt to save your life.

References:

(1). New Theory on Largest Known Mass Extinction in Earth’s History, Science Daily, 3/31/09

(2). A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXII, 12/31/08

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXVI

And then did we, the Most High Scientists, decide that life may have “been forged in a quantum crucible.”(1)  Not to be outdone by our fellow believers in Naturalism, the venerable biologists, we physicists did decide to weigh in on the matter of life’s beginning. 

Erving Schrödinger, the fellow who did imagine a cat being dead and not dead at the same time,(2) did also imagine other things about life.  Some 65 years later, do we weigh in on the issue.

Now, while some silly folk (i.e., creationists) do make wildly erroneous calculations about the probability of abiogenesis, we’ll give you a calculation in order to promote our theory.  We’ll deny it if the creationists do try to use it (Praise Science). 

But we do now focus in on one molecular machine, the ribosome, that protein factory of the cell that is capable of producing even more ribosomes.(3) 

So we did calculate that there could be 4165 possible primitive ribozyme structures based on 165 DNA base pair sequences.  We do know that most of these would not be self-replicators. 

“That’s more than the number of electrons in the universe,” he says. What’s more, life came about relatively soon after the planet formed, he says. “The puzzle is not only how life emerged, but how it emerged so fast.”

We shall now engage in a bit of anthropomorphism, (4) forgive us (Praise Science).  But do realize that it is completely naturalistic, and God is not needed.  Quantum processes did sort through and discard unwanted structures.  We’re certain you’ll have no problem with our use of the terms of “sort” and “unwanted” with regards to nature.  So, we do now think, that multiple mutated configurations did exist simultaneously (just like the cat was dead and un-dead a the same time).  This simultaneous existence of configurations allowed for the testing of a range of possibilities.  We do now know that quantum effects are a bit finicky; however, we do believe that they could act at the bottom of the Ocean (Praise Science). 

Davies also finds the idea promising. “These guys may have found a niche where quantum magic really could be at work,” he says. “But it is conjecture at this stage, just as all ideas for the origin of life are.”

We do also know that you know that when we use the term “magic” we don’t mean anything by it.  We certainly don’t mean “non-material” (Praise Science).  Once the configurations were sorted out and selected, the struture would become fixed, and unavailable to quantum effects. 

 

(1). http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19626332.700-was-life-forged-in-a-quantum-crucible.html

(2). Schrödinger’s Cat

(3). http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/R/ribosome.html

(4). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXII

And then did we decide that giant meteors were possibly not the cause of mass extinction. We did decide that perhaps magnetic blips resulting in SUPER volcanoes (1) were the cause (praise Science). Please do disregard our past theories, or keep them in mind, in case we bring them up again as THE explanation.

“The weakening of Earth’s magnetic field exposed the surface to a shower of cosmic radiation, says Yukio Isozaki of the University of Tokyo. He believes the radiation broke nitrogen in the atmosphere into ions that acted as seeds for clouds enshrouding the planet.”

Yes, we, naturalistic atheists of the TRUE FAITH do believe in a firmament.  Not one that a god had to do with, but the real one that actually happened (praise Science).  We shall explain the global flood from a naturalistic perspective soon (i.e., true perspective), but we’ll use computer simulations, and it will be very, very, far in the past.  Therefore, you can do nothing other than believe, unless you are stupid and lacking faith in random processes. So, at the 250 Million Years Ago point, did a plume of super hot material begin rising through the mantle of the Earth.

This did upset the convection of the core, and did throw the Earth’s magnetic field in disarray.  This did result in massive Global Cooling, and the sea levels did drop (praise Science).  And then did, 5 million years later, the super-hot material did burst through the surface of the Earth in 3 massive super-volcanoes!  Individually, they were inadequate, but all together, they did result in massive death (praise Science).  As we have taught you before, through death comes life.  If we do teach you one thing, this is the most important.  So, did exactly 67% of life become extinct.  That was a close one, but our ancestors did live until they died (praise Science).

(1). Did magnetic blip trigger mass extinction? MSNBC.

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XX

And then did we, Most High Scientists, run a computer simulation of the universe back many billions of years in time.  We do know you are impressed by computer simulations (praise Science).  We hope you will forget we cannot predict the weather of this planet very well more than a few days ahead.  We shall, however, present our most recent simulation and we know you will be convinced, because facts are facts.

Thus, as we did run the simulation back in time, the universe did bounce.  We did not find the singularity that we previously said was true, in favor of the now, possibly, real truth.   Because of Loop Quantum Cosmology, did we discover that there was no singularity “before” the big bang (before time existed).  So, we do now assert an infinite recycling of the universe that colapses only to a certain point, expands and then collapses again.  We hope you’ll ignore that silly research that suggests that the current incarnation of the universe will never collapse, because we don’t have to worry about those silly issues that the ID proponents do bandy about.

Bojowald’s major realisation was that unlike general relativity, the physics of LQC did not break down at the big bang. Cosmologists dread the singularity because at this point gravity becomes infinite, along with the temperature and density of the universe. As its equations cannot cope with such infinities, general relativity fails to describe what happens at the big bang. Bojowald’s work showed how to avoid the hated singularity, albeit mathematically. “I was very impressed by it,” says Ashtekar, “and still am.” (1)

Do please ignore that we have not expressed our hatred for the singularity publicly.  We do not like to dissent from known facts in that way.  We do like to dissent from our own views only when we have a better naturalistic explanation (praise Science).

Through our cunning combination of Einstein’s (very very smart fellow) theory of gravity with quantum mechanics our computers were able to discern the nature of the “beginning.”  Please do not look up the dictionary definition of tangible (2).

We did hope that the singularity would disappear, and, praise Science it has.  But don’t look for it to disappear any time soon.  We like the sound of the words Big Bang, and will continue liking it (praise Science).

(1). http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026861.500-did-our-cosmos-exist-before-the-big-bang.html

(2). http://www.onelook.com/?w=tangible&ls=a

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XIX

We must go back a bit, in the name of Science, to enlighten you with our recent stories.  We do now know that the “end-bringers” were the “life-givers” (praise Science).  Between 4.2 and 3.8 Billion Years Ago did asteroids (life-givers), impact the Earth 100,000 times more frequently (we did know you would be impressed).  We do know you are impressed by large numbers (praise Science).

With this heavy onslaught, we do now know that carboxilic acid would have been formed (an essential compound for building protiens and food for early evotures…formerly known as creatures).  We did mimic an asteroid impact in the laboratory (praise Science), and we did find that these complex molecules did form.  We did calculate that 100 Billion metric tons of these pre-life units would have been formed (are you not now convinced by another big number?).

“You can sort of envision prebiotic experiments going on in hundreds of warm, shallow pools, like Darwin imagined.”(1)

We do now know that you can imagine it, and because of that we do now know it’s true (praise Science).  So we do now say that panspermia is false, and this is the way that life did begin–through the “life-bringers.”

(1).  Asteroid impacts gave early spark to life