The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

The fundamental issue in the meaning of life remains the Reality of Time and the Singularity of the Universe…The whole of life is a Convovulation (my word, like Ullans), meaning that the Laws of Physics are not fixed, and that Light itself can involve a Convovulation of different Laws of Physics at the same time. Einstein was convinced that the Moon was there when he was not observing it, but Quantum Physics would say that was only a probability…Thus we have a quandary and Cosmology is in crisis, for it cannot be reconciled with Quantum Physics…

Cosmology is indeed in crisis and the No-Godders are in a state of complete confusion. For 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.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is a philosopher, social and legal theorist, and politician. His engagement with cosmology and natural philosophy in his book The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time deepens and generalizes ideas that he has developed in False Necessity, The Self Awakened, and The Religion of the Future among other writings. Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who has made important contributions to quantum gravity. He was educated at Hampshire College and Harvard University. He is a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His earlier books explore philosophical issues raised by contemporary physics and cosmology: Life of the Cosmos, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, The Trouble with Physics, and Time Reborn.

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