Thanks, Quentin. I didn't mean to underestimate the intelligence of the worm.

By the way, I recently read an article about astonometers finding aromatic hydrocarbons in outer space. This totally baffles them, since they don't know how things like this could've gotten there or survived. This lends more weight to the possibility that maybe there are apples with worms cruising around in outer space, too!

-----Original Message-----
From: Quentin Anciaux <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 21:23:47 +0100
Subject: Re: Let There Be Something


I don't think the super-intelligent worm is a good analogy... first because you made to much assumption of his way of thinking, second I don't see the relevance of a super-intelligent worm in an apple compared to the myth of the
man in the cavern who just see shadow...

The point I think you really want to made is you don't think human
consciousness is able to grab the reality as whole... which I think is true, except being the Kwisatz Haderach which see all past/present and future path
of the universe ;)

I could'nt imagine what would it be for a human to knows the why and being
able to prove it...


Le Mercredi 02 Novembre 2005 21:06, [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :
I should make another point, that it seems very likely that the worm
has no way of developing the in-apple technology to find out about
quantum mechanics or DNA.  This emphasizes the fact that we, with our
quantum theories, M-theories, and loop gravity etc. could be just as
far away from explaining the universe as the worm is.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 14:58:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Let There Be Something

I disagree. How can the worm apply a probability distribution over
things that he knows nothing of, such as trees, people, and evolution?
Using the Wormopic Principle, when the worm proclaims that, "The
universe is just complex enough to produce and sustain such a worm as
I, and the inside of an apple," how can he be meaning anything (in his
own mind, mind you, since explanatory power refers to being able to
explain the universe to him) that even remotely resembles our
 (As an aside, as much as we know about our universe, we totally
rule out the possibility that a worm that understands "sufficient
mathematics" actually exists in our universe!) Instead, even if he
developed the in-apple technology to explore quantum mechanics and
he might come up with a quantum theory similar to ours (but who knows
the probability of that?!!), but he would likely come up with a very
weird theory of how his DNA was formed, having nothing to do with how
it actually was formed (according to our theories). 
You make a good point about the complexity of living things. If you
biologists and other non-physics scientists about the Theories of
Everything, a lot of them would say that we're a long way from it.
Roger Trigg, University of Warwick, in his book, Rationality and
Science: Can Science Explain Everything?, makes this point. Also, for
instance, the premier biologist Carl Woese, in his recent article, A
New Biology For A New Century, calls for biologists to get out of
myopic pursuit of genetically breaking things down into the smallest
biological quantum, and to step back and look at the big picture,
saying that there are whole levels of complexity that we will totally
miss if we don't, resulting in being totally disabled in being able to
explain everything in biology (to our satisfaction). 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Hal Finney <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
Sent: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 10:13:09 -0800 (PST) 
Subject: Re: Let There Be Something 
Tom Caylor writes: 

> To look at this from a different perspective, suppose there was a

worm that 

> lived in an apple, and the worm was super-intelligent to the point


> able to grasp all of our mathematical concepts that Tegmark claims


> sufficient to describe all of reality. Then the worm asks, "Why is

I'm in 

> this apple?" Actually the apple is the whole of observed reality for


> worm, so it is equivalent to our observed universe. However the


> universe for the worm is the same as our observable universe. Then

the worm 

> up with a multiverse theory along with a Wormopic Principle, saying

that the 

> whole observable universe is just complex enough to sustain the

inside of an 

> apple. Surely this must be true, since the worm can grasp all of 
> mathematics? 

The worm would come up with a multiverse theory that says that
exists, including universes like ours with people, apple trees, apples
worms, and also including other universes which consist of just a
apple, possibly with a worm in it, and every other possibility
Among these possible universes there are a certain fraction which
worms-in-apples consistent with the experiences, observations and
that the worm has experienced in his own apple. 
He knows that he is one of those worms. 
He applies some kind of measure, such as the Universal Distribution,
all of these worms-in-apples and is able to come up with a
distribution for which one he is. This results in first-person 
indeterminacy and uncertainty. 
It may well be that the simplest and most likely case is not a
containing a single apple, but a universe like ours. The reason is
apples and worms are actually very complex objects at the cellular
even more complex at the atomic level, and enormously complex at the 
sub-atomic Planck scale. The physics going on in the apple is every 
bit as complex as the physics of our own universe. 
Our universe has the advantage in that its initial condition was very 
simple - some say it was completely smooth and uniform in the initial 
instances of the Big Bang. Then we went along in a very natural and 
simple way and developed planets, where life evolved into apples and 
The apple-only universe must create all this by fiat. It must be 
hard-wired into the initial conditions: everything about the apple, 
about the worm, and about the physics. 
It's very plausibly would take a more complex program to run a
consisting of just an apple and a worm, than our whole universe where 
apples and worms evolve out of much simpler initial conditions. 
Hence the worm might well conclude that he is likely to be in a giant 
universe with billions of other apples and worms, as well as many
forms of life. Even though he has not yet observed any of these
not yet having come to the surface of the apple, he can deduce it. 
But perhaps not. Suppose that this super-intelligent worm deduces 
that universes like ours are actually less likely than ones which 
are all apple. In that case, assuming that his reasoning is sound, 
then he is probably right. From the first-person perspective, when he 
chews up to the surface, he will probably find that he is indeed in 
an apple-only universe. The multiverse has many kinds of universes 
with worms in apples, and it may be that our own universe has only a 
small fraction of all the worms in apples, that most worms do in fact 
find themselves in other kinds of universes. That would be a possible 
conclusion of multiverse theory, and it might well be right. 
In short, there is no reason to expect a super-intelligent worm in an 
apple to come up with a different multiverse than the one we would,
we were also super-intelligent. We might be in different components
the multiverse than the typical worm, but that is not evidence
the theory or an example of a flaw in its explanatory power. 
Hal Finney 

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