Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lemaitre Conference Pt 2

Back from final day of this conference. The Gala Dinner last night was most enjoyable and I sat next to Bernard Carr which was great. An Oxford PhD student has offered to collaborate on E[HELP} which is great and we spent some time after the dinner thinking through some of the approaches. On Sun I began with a run along the backs, delightful spring weather, and then went to St Benet's Church where Angela Tilby preached with great insight.

The two talks today were:
  • Robin Collins who spoke very interestingly about fine-tuning, pointing out that observers could arise as Boltzmann Brains in non-anthropic universes and therefore the observer-selection counter-arguments to anthropic fine tuning are invalid. He also talked a lot about discoverability, pointing out that this depended on a ladder of successive approximations which is an even stronger constraint. He asked for a link to my Discoverability paper which I have sent him.
  • John Polkinghorne then gave some concluding reflections, including some anecdotes about Fred Hoyle. He made the point that God is more veiled than hidden in this universe. He also called for more engagement of theologians in the science/theology dialogue, noting that theologians tend to think about "the world" as Earth and "the future" as a century or so, compared to the cosmological scale of scientists.
Altogether a very interesting and successful conference.

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