What if the laws of physics as we know them are just accidents, the products of cosmic happenstance?
Science proceeds from the assumption that the universe is ordered in a rational and intelligible manner. The most refined expression of the rational order in nature is encompassed in the laws of physics.
Are the laws of physics "frozen accidents"? Image: i bass therefore i am/Flickr
But what are these ultimate laws and where do they come from? Such questions are often dismissed as being pointless or even unscientific. As the cosmologist Sean Carroll has written, “There is a chain of explanations concerning things that happen in the universe, which ultimately reaches to the fundamental laws of nature and stops… at the end of the day the laws are what they are… And that’s okay. I’m happy to take the universe just as we find it.” Conventionally, the job of the scientist is to simply assume the laws and get on with the job of applying them to real problems. But in recent years physicists have been excited by the prospect of unifying laws from different branches of the subject into a sort of final super-law, and this has encouraged speculation about ...