Danny Mayes wrote:

I think there are many things that never happen in even an infinite universe, for reasons that are hard to put into words, and certainly not expressable in terms of math. For instance, I do not believe there will ever exist, anywhere in the multiverse, a reality in which Osama Bin Laden is elected president of the United States in 2004, and is carried into the White House on the shoulders of a boisterous, enthusiatic public. QM does not overtake other physical laws, including difficult to define laws of psychology. A computer could simulate such an event without granting the actors in the simulation consciousness, but for it to actually happen in a universe in which the participants were conscious actors on the stage of reality, such an event would require countless millions of people to not only do something totally illogical, but vehemently against everything they would wish for or desire.

I don't see how you could possibly justify the above statements without invoking supernatural causes. The MWI of QM implies that Bin Laden will in fact become US president in some worlds, albeit of very small measure; this is what the laws of physics actually state in this model, and if the model is correct, the only way it could NOT happen this way is if the deity intervenes and temporarily suspends the laws of physics. As for psychology, although the complexity of the human brain makes a complete mathematical model for practical purposes impossible, the same is true of any other complex system where chaotic effects are significant, such as the weather. It is simple enough to understand the brain very generally in mathematical terms: there are 10^10 neurones, each of which can either be "on" or "off", so there are 2^(10^10) possible brain states, and thus a similar number of possible mental states (actually much fewer than this, because most configurations will be nonsense, but the principle is clear). It is an empirical observation that when large numbers of neurones are connected up and organised in this way, the system has this emergent quality which we call "consciousness". You can call this consciousness thing mysterious, but we know it results entirely from the electrochemical activity in these 10^10 little bags of salty water; start scooping out bits of brain, and you will eventually end up scooping out the consciousness as well. There's nothing magical or contrary to the laws of physics about it.

Stathis Papaioannou

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