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Karen Chaffee

Hi, Ed, Mike and Jon, after reading the back and forth of your last three posts, I’d like to  reiterate that Lee Smolin has done the heavy lifting for you regarding these topics in his book “The Life of the Cosmos.”  The book is available in my local library and probably yours.  



He is an established physicist who examined the similarities between biological life (including various definitions)  and the structure of our universe, going back to the big bang. In other words, he actually set out to do (and did) all the various research we discussed doing in the first pages of this thread! If you read only the chapters I outlined, you will get the gist.  I hesitate to outline the entire book, but I can do more if there is interest. 



His ideas are updated and discussed on line (by various people).  



Smolin is more well known for by introducing the idea that physics ideas ought to be testable, and that a lot of publicly funded physics research doesn’t rise to that standard.  He made his case in “The Trouble with Physics,” a best seller.   This ‘testability’  idea is prominent  in “The Life of the Cosmos” as well, and whenever introducing an idea, Smolin discusses whether it is testable  and allows you to judge its merits on that basis.  (He feels the Gaia hypothesis is fully testable and therefore non controversial–nothing that can be tested and validated can be controversial.  He says the tests haven’t been done however (as of the publication date of the book).  Other ideas you three have talked of are discussed in this light.




Smolin is a proponent of quantum loop theory.  The character “Leslie Winkle” on the Big Bang Theory is scientifically based on him (something I read online).



Happy New Year to all and many thanks for this invigorating discussion!