I've been trying to look over the (dwindling) set of FX claims for ones I
have any opinion on, and Univ and CCx0 stand out.
Note: I (3536) have no position in either claim.
The problem is that these claims are from the very old days and make
absolute statements about the universe, which simply isn't how science
works. These claims, of course, would never pass 21st century FX claim
review process, which would almost certainly insist on a deadline and
>From an intent standpoint: these are basically settled questions -- the universe isn't collapsing, and the cosmological constant is clearly greater
than zero. Of course, there's no such thing as a certainty in this context.
The problem is that there's no way to know this for sure.
It could be that a theory of quantum gravity sheds substantial surprising
light on this story.
It could be that double-meta-string-theory shows that the universe will
collapse into a singularity next week.
It could be that we're living in a simulation where the question isn't well
formed in the first place.
I will say, in terms of things that make me more seriously uncomfortable:
1. There are conflicting error bars on differing mechanisms (most notably
CMBR versus standard candle ladders) for measuring the expansion of the
universe, although those mechanisms differ on the scale of a few percent
and not at all on the question of whether space is expanding in the first
2. CCx0 makes explicit reference to a "Friedmann-Lemaître cosmology" which
might be subtly overspecifying.
3. Univ says "the universe will collapse", which admits scenarios like
aliens eventually utilizing some sort of supertech to reverse the natural
expansion of the universe. It gives an explicit shortcut for a positive
result but not a negative one.
All that said, my belief is that the intent of these claims has already
been met, and really most likely met in the late '90s. If they can't be
judged in the natural manner now, under what circumstance could they
possibly ever be judged?
If they can't be judged today, I would suggest retrofitting a timeout --
for example, at this point the clear consensus is that there is a positive
cosmological constant and the universe isn't going to collapse, and unless
there are major changes to that view by e.g. 2030 the claims will be judged
then, otherwise the questions may/will remain open pending further