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Cosmological Selections

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The Beginning and the End

Part of the book series: The Frontiers Collection ((FRONTCOLL))


This chapter first describes three fundamental evolutionary selection mechanisms that shape the biological landscape: natural, artificial, and sexual selection. We then discuss two applications of selection mechanisms to cosmology. We first consider the history, theory, and limitations of the theory of cosmological natural selection (CNS) proposed by Smolin. Second, to remedy those limitations, we introduce cosmological artificial selection (CAS) and review its history and theory. Since the theory is quite speculative, we propose six possible levels of universe making (from blind, accidental, and artificial black hole production to cosmic breeder, cosmic engineer, and God player). We defend it from a philosophical point of view and address many objections that naturally arise. These include the design and creation terminology, the comparison of CAS with other fine-tuning explanations, the causal issue, the thermodynamic issue, epistemological issues, its feasibility, its underlying motivation, and some implications for the idea of freedom. We then summarize four different roads leading to CAS and recapitulate the case for CAS.

The problem of just how intelligence changes the universe

is a philosophical issue which (rather surprisingly)

few philosophers have addressed

(Rescher 2009, p. 90)

As the spirit wakens, it craves more and more to regard all existence not merely with a creature’s eyes, but in the universal view, as though through the eyes of the creator.

(Stapledon 1953, p. 150)

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Correspondence to Clément Vidal .

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Vidal, C. (2014). Cosmological Selections. In: The Beginning and the End. The Frontiers Collection. Springer, Cham.

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