Chris Collins wrote:

This paradox has its origin in perception rather than fundamental physics:
If I fill a huge jar with sugar and proteins and minerals and shake it,
there is no reason why I can't produce a talking rabbit, or even a unicorn
with two tails. Yet out out of the vast menagerie of novel objects and
creatures I could produce, I always seem to get a bubbling cloudy liquid.
The solution, of course, is that there is an even larger menargerie of
objects, all of which look the same to me (like a bubbling cloudy liquid, in
fact).

This is exactly why I suggested the white rabbit example was misleading, and that it would be better to focus on an example where the number of possible outcomes predicted by physical laws is much *smaller* than the number of logically possible outcomes, like in the double-slit experiment.


Similarly, there is no reason ehy such object, could not appear out
of the quantum vacuum, but it must be the case that this vacuum throws up a
lot of different objects and events that look to us like 'empty space' and
'nothing happening' (although I suspect that the case of the paradox you
give of the double slit experiment has its origins in considering too large
a set of states as 'possible'; the positions of the photons are not really
free variables, with the apparently 'artificial' physical laws following
from the initial data. It's like asking why the pegs on my washing line
always follow the 'coshine law'...).

What do you mean by "not free"? Surely if the "everything that can exist, does exist" hypothesis is true, then for every possible pattern of photons hitting the screen, there is a reality where some version of you experiences exactly that pattern when he does the experiment (a version of you that has no memory of any previous violations of the laws of physics, mind you). Thus you really need some kind of measure, either on possible "universes" or possible "observer-moments", to justify the belief that you have a very low probability of experiencing one of these outcomes. You can't just take the probabilities predicted by the laws of physics for granted, if you believe in the existence of universes/observer-moments where these laws can change.


Jesse

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