Implications of the Reduction Principle for Cosmological Natural Selection

Lee Altenberg

February 5, 2013.


Smolin (1992) proposed a Darwinian process of universe reproduction — Cosmological Natural Selection — to account for the values of the parameters of the Standard Model. It can also be brought to bear on the issue of what laws of inheritance operate during the hypothesized universe production. Universe inheritance laws can themselves evolve within an enlarged state space of universe properties (another recent proposal of Smolin) that includes variation in the transmission laws. This is the strategy introduced by Nei (1967) to understand genetic transmission, through the evolutionary theory of modifier genes, whose methods are adopted here. When mechanisms of variation themselves vary, they are subject to Feldman's (1972) evolutionary Reduction Principle that selection favors greater faithfulness of replication. This dynamic is illustrated with a multitype branching process model of universe creation containing competing inheritance laws. The most faithful inheritance law dominates the ensemble of universes. The Reduction Principle thus provides a mechanism to account for high fidelity of inheritance between universes. Moreover, it reveals that natural selection in the presence of variation in inheritance mechanisms has two distinct objects: maximization of both fitness and faithful inheritance. Tradeoffs between fitness and faithfulness open the possibility that evolved fundamental parameters are compromises, and not local optima to maximize universe production, in which case their local non-optimality may point to their involvement in the universe inheritance mechanisms.
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