"Phrasing the conditions for life"

If we indeed live in multiverse, what universal language might "phrase the conditions for life?"

This short and very readable piece at SEED connects some pretty big conceptual dots. Covering territory from inflation theory and the extra dimensions predicted by string theory, theoretical physicist Raphael Bousso asks whether those dimensions might suggest new kinds of laws - and new kinds of life - in our mulitverse:

Because extra dimensions need not be tied up the same way everywhere, physical laws may vary from place to place. Inflation makes each "legal district" much larger than the visible universe, giving us the illusion that particles and forces are the same everywhere. But beyond our cosmic horizon, inflation allows the universe to grow so enormous that it contains every set of possible laws that can be constructed from string theory....

It is hard to imagine how one might test all of these different laws of physics and discover ours among them....

How can we hope to divine the life forms that might inhabit regions with totally different laws of physics? Do they live on planets orbiting stars? With different laws of physics, there may be no analogue of "planet" or "star." Are observers made of organic molecules? The elementary particles we know do not exist in most other regions — forget about combining them into carbon. To say that life requires galaxies, stars, or certain molecules is to make some rather self-centered assumptions about what an intelligent observer should look like. The very vocabulary — "galaxies," "molecules" — makes no sense in most of the multiverse.

Since in a multiverse the discovery of those sets of laws one-by-one would be incredibly difficult, Bousso suggests a universal language you might (or might not) have suspected: statistics. Applied to the production of entropy (disorder), it might suggest "which physical laws, on average, tend to be associated with the presence of complex structures like observers."

Wayne

Wikipedia: biostatistics