# Difference between revisions of "ClementVidalAbstracts"

JohnMSmart (talk | contribs) (New page: '''Clément Vidal,''' Research Assistant, ECCO, Free University Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium<BR> <BR> '''Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding the Fine-Tuning of Pa...) |
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'''Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding the Fine-Tuning of Parameters in Physics''' (Evo Devo Universe 2008) | '''Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding the Fine-Tuning of Parameters in Physics''' (Evo Devo Universe 2008) | ||

− | In this paper, we explore computational and biological analogies to | + | In this philosophical paper, we explore computational and biological analogies to address the fine-tuning problem in cosmology. We first clarify what it means for physical constants or initial conditions to be finely tuned. We review important distinctions such as the ''dimensionless'' and ''dimensional'' physical constants, and the classification of constants proposed by Lévy-Leblond. Then we explore how two great analogies, computational and biological, can give new insights in our problem. As a preliminary study to critically examine the two analogies, we remind the reader that analogies are useful and fundamental cognitive tools and also point out their possible misuses and abuses. The idea that our universe might be modelled as a computational entity is analysed, and we discuss the distinction between physical laws and initial conditions using algorithmic information theory. Smolin introduced a biological analogy in cosmology with his theory of "cosmological natural selection". This theory is compared to the extension of the analogy proposing a missing hereditary mechanism. We discuss if and how this extension can be legitimated. |

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## Revision as of 12:11, 5 June 2009

**Clément Vidal,** Research Assistant, ECCO, Free University Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium

**Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding the Fine-Tuning of Parameters in Physics** (Evo Devo Universe 2008)

In this philosophical paper, we explore computational and biological analogies to address the fine-tuning problem in cosmology. We first clarify what it means for physical constants or initial conditions to be finely tuned. We review important distinctions such as the *dimensionless* and *dimensional* physical constants, and the classification of constants proposed by Lévy-Leblond. Then we explore how two great analogies, computational and biological, can give new insights in our problem. As a preliminary study to critically examine the two analogies, we remind the reader that analogies are useful and fundamental cognitive tools and also point out their possible misuses and abuses. The idea that our universe might be modelled as a computational entity is analysed, and we discuss the distinction between physical laws and initial conditions using algorithmic information theory. Smolin introduced a biological analogy in cosmology with his theory of "cosmological natural selection". This theory is compared to the extension of the analogy proposing a missing hereditary mechanism. We discuss if and how this extension can be legitimated.