A perspective of the landscape problem

Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute has boldly confronted the mess in which string theory has left our understanding of physical law. String theory is the theoretical basket into which the physics community has put almost all their eggs in developing the long sought theory of quantum gravity; the theory that will explain everything. Unhappily this approach has proved a mess.

It turns out that string theory predicts an almost infinite number of differing universes. In other words it has no ability to predict our actual universe.

The problems involves both the assumed initial conditions of the universe and the laws that have brought it from its initial condition to its present condition. Both are extremely 'fine tuned'. They are just right to produce the Goldilocks universe we inhabit.

Being just right is extremely unlikely to have occurred by accident in a one-off universe. So we are in a mess.

Smolin's proposed way forward starts with providing a brilliant analysis of what a scientific solution would look like. He concludes that scientific law must have evolved in order to get to this 'just right' state and that the manner of this evolution includes copying, variation and selection (attractors). That is the evolution of physical law is due to a Darwinian process.

Here is his paper! A perspective of the landscape problem