Changing Constants

 

In a linear and mechanistic worldview, we will typically expect the “laws” and “constants” of the universe – as expressed in current science – to remain constant, unchanging. From this view, the universe appears as a machine. Stable, predictable, the same over time.

But from a more systems, organic or integral view, the laws and constants are often seen as habits of the universe, and they may well be expected to change over time. From these views, the universe appears more as a system, or even organism, than a machine.

A machine does not change, and if it does it tends to break down. But an organism certainly do change over time, in almost every way. In some areas almost imperceptably and other areas more obviously.

One of the universal constants that may be changing is the speed of light. I recall reading that in the early days of modern science, the measured speed of light – as independently reported by several researchers – changed over time. Of course, scientist then “knew” that it was supposed to be constant, so they settled the confusion by deciding on an approximate and stable value for the speed of light. It made calculations easier, but did not quite correspond with the data.

At the very least, it precluded much reasearch into the possibility of the speed of light changing over time.

Here is an article from the Guardian on changing views on universal constants, seeing even these as not neccesarily constant.

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