“As Stephen Hawking says, this century is the century of complexity, and complexity and its associated technologies and theories of artificial life, agent-based models, self-organization and the science of networks will revolutionize the way science is done,” states Ian Wilkinson of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Wilkinson is just one of the many speakers, scientists, and researchers taking part in the Complex 07 conference, the biggest-ever gathering of the Asia-Pacific region’s complex-systems scientists.
Most great scientific advances are first attacked by the the ruling status quo as heretical in either the religious or scientific sense or both: Giordano Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein are vivid examples.
A new theory of evolution proposed by complexity theorist James Gardner which he terms Biocosm in his book of that name, proposes that the universe is not a random collection of inorganic matter and life. That intelligence is not some cosmic accident, and that intelligence and life are preprogrammed into the physical laws of nature.
Garner claims our universe was deliberately designed by a superintelligent being or beings in a prior cosmic cycle. This is definitely beyond the pale for most sober scientists. However, BIOCOSM is based on essays Gardner has published in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals like Complexity and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.
In his latest book, The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos, Gardner provides a third alternative end of the universe, rather than either fire or entropy -the birth of a new universe.
Biocosm is not an easygoing, "blow-your-mind look" at the universe. Gardner is exhaustive in outlining his ideas, explaining their falsifiability and scientific rigor, and offering deep chaos theory to support them. Did our universe create intelligent life in order to ensure its own reproduction? Gardner thinks so, though he knows his position will irk many cosmologists exhausted from battling pseudo scientists and creationists.
Gardner's list of supporters in impressive: "A novel perspective on humankind's role in the universe," wrote Martin Rees, the astronomer royal of Britain and a Cambridge colleague of Stephen Hawking's. "There is little doubt that his ideas will change yours," wrote Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California. "A magnificent one-stop account of the history of life," wrote complexity theorist John Casti, a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute. Gardner has been welcomed at major planetariums and legitimate scientific conferences, explaining his ideas to a surprisingly interested public.
Farfetched? Yes, but the greatest advances in science use our most powerful scientific tool: the human imagination. Posted by Casey Kazan.