On Tue, Jun 21, 2005 at 09:14:18PM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> 
> >This argument is a variation of the argument for why we find 
> >so many observers in our world, rather than being alone in the 
> >universe, and is similar to why we expect the universe to be 
> >so big and old.
> >
> >Of course this argument contains a whole raft of ill-formed 
> >assumptions, so I'm expecting Jonathin Colvin to be warming up 
> >his keyboard for a critical response!
> 
> Ok, if you insist :)
> 
> I think the above are two disparate arguments. It is simpler by Occam to
> assume that there should be many observers rather than only one (similar
> argument to favouring the multiverse over only one big-bang). Once you admit
> the possibility of one observer, it takes extra argument to say why there
> should be *only* one.
> 
> But we expect the universe to be old for cosmological reasons (takes stars a
> long time to cook up the needed elements, observer take a long time to
> evolve). Simplicity does not seem to be a factor here. A big universe does
> not seem much simpler either.
> 
> Jonathan Colvin
> 

Sorry, I was being overly telegraphic. A big and old universe with
simple initial conditions is the simplest way of providing an
environment rich enough to support conscious life. The process of
evolution implied also implies a large number of observers, and a
panoply of other interim forms (non-conscious life). By contrast a
universe that is just big enough (eg a few years old, and containing
just the planet Earth, or even just the room in which you're located)
requires a mind-bogglingly large array of initial conditions - really
needing a creative deity of some kind to bring it into existence. This
is what I mean by big & old universes being simpler.

Cheers
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