To call Lee Smolin a maverick is an understatement. Smolin believes that science progresses through disagreement, not by following consensus. He argued to that effect in his 2006 book The Trouble with Physics.
The New York Times has described the work of this theoretical physicist as "fabulously ambitious and fabulously speculative." And that is precisely why we are taking this opportunity, on the occasion of YouTube Geek Week, to draw attention to one of Smolin's most controversial, but also perhaps most neglected ideas, and this is the idea of Cosmological Natural Selection.
What's the Big Idea?
As Smolin tells Big Think, physics is about discovering what the laws of nature are. For instance, Smolin asks why is the mass of an electron what it is and not 12 times larger or half the size?
To answer questions like this, Smolin adapts what he describes as "the only methodology that was really successful for explaining how choices were made in nature," and that is natural selection. From there Smolin posits the idea that new universes are born from parent universes through the mechanism of Black Holes.
And so, following Darwinian logic, and through mathematical simulations, Smolin makes the prediction, or observation, that universes should be fine-tuned to maximize the production of hundreds of trillions of Black Holes.
Watch the video here:
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