The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

A Proposal in Natural Philosophy

    • 3.7 • 3 Ratings
    • $29.99
    • $29.99

Publisher Description

Cosmology is in crisis. The more we discover, the more puzzling the universe appears to be. How and why are the laws of nature what they are? A philosopher and a physicist, world-renowned for their radical ideas in their fields, argue for a revolution. To keep cosmology scientific, we must replace the old view in which the universe is governed by immutable laws by a new one in which laws evolve. Then we can hope to explain them. The revolution that Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin propose relies on three central ideas. There is only one universe at a time. Time is real: everything in the structure and regularities of nature changes sooner or later. Mathematics, which has trouble with time, is not the oracle of nature and the prophet of science; it is simply a tool with great power and immense limitations. The argument is readily accessible to non-scientists as well as to the physicists and cosmologists whom it challenges.

Science & Nature
November 30
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press

Customer Reviews

Ken Follet ,

The singular universe and the reality of time

As a physician and biotech scientist I read popular physics books for enjoyment and spiritual wonder. However, not unlike the authors I have grown increasingly irritated by the late focus on untestable theories based on "beautiful mathematics" that are being proposed as "science". This includes completely untestable string theory and the multiverse. There seems to be growing conviction in some circles that mathematics is more than just a tool to describe reality- they propose that the universe is a mathematical object and theories that spring from math have a mystical reality. This sounds way too much like religion to me and many other empiricist so. The authors ( one a philosopher and one a cosmologist) agree and propose a new research paradigm for cosmology based on three principles: there is only a single causally related universe,; time is real and travels in only one direction ( it is not emergent from space time and is not just a mathematical abstraction; and mathematics is a tool and not inherently predictive of reality. To us ordinary folk this all sounds pretty sensible but to physicists this is fight for the soul of their world. It's a heavy read but an important one. If physics is to remain a science the authors must be heeded.

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