There was more to my post, which I've included below, which was meant to answer questions from multiple contributors here.

Thanks, Hal Ruhl, for responding. Somethings coming from All AND Nothing seems just as mysterious as coming from one of them. And if the somethings which are generated are all possible somethings, then we are back at the same problem as something in particular coming from All.

Thanks to Hal Finney, at least for launching into my worm-in-apple analogy and we got some amusement out of it, but analogies are flawed, and I think that we got off on a rabbit trail a little. The purpose of the worm-in-apple analogy was not to belittle current theories of physics as an end in itself. It was to show that, for all we know, the universe could be so complex and contingent that it is far greater than any intelligent being would need, and hence far greater than any Intelligent-Being-opic Principle would dictate.

But what about the other points and challenges in my post, below?


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 08:53:30 EST
Subject: Re: Let There Be Something

Hal Finney wrote:
Are you saying that you don't agree that the  anthropic principle
applied to an ensemble of instances has greater  explanatory
power than when applied to a single instance?

Russell  wrote:
Perhaps I'm missing your argument here, but I gather you  are
claiming that the assumption of a plenitude is on an
equal  ontological footing as the assumption of a single reality,
as both are  ab initio moves, not derived from any other principle.

Whilst I  agree that nothing mandates one case or the other,
I would disagree with  the assertion of equal ontological footing,
in that the zero information  principle in particular, or Bruno's
UDA, or Hal Ruhl's consistency  argument lend strong support
to a plenitude assumption over a single  reality.

It seems to me that the only really good reason in  favour of a
single reality is to preserve some notion of faith in  God,
as omniscient deities do not seem compatible with  plenitudes.
And that, I'm afraid is somewhere science cannot  go.

Hal Ruhl wrote:
So as in the case of my Nothing and my All it seems
the apex of causation may be neither infinite regression
"or" termination but rather both [an "and"].

I'm saying that the "All" is on equal ontological footing with the
"Nothing".  Pulling something out of Nothing is just as believable as
pulling something out of All.  I think Quentin touches on the
total mystery of both:

as I said before I don't think/feel that single universe is on
the same level as multiverse... Just by using "absurd"  feeling
I was talking about. If there is a single reality, you have  to
anwser why this one ? why like this ? what is the ultimate
reason for the reality to be limited to this subset ? If you
take the multiverse(everything) theory this is easily explained.
On the other hand, multiverse theory by now could not  answer
why you're experiencing this precise reality among all
possible that are in the multiverse.

The question "Why this particular something?" is just as mysterious in the context of All as in the context of Nothing. The problem is that we really don't realize how totally All All is. We are used to being able to compute probabilities in the context of an "all" that is quantifiable. So then it is tempting to extend that notion to the All and say like Quentin's first half, "If you take the multiverse(everything) theory this is easily explained."

But when we realize the total indeterminacy and contingency of this
universe, extending down to even our first person point of view, and apparently to the quantum level, then Quentin's second question is just as unanswerable
in the context of All as in the context of Nothing.  When we realize how
All All is, and how complex and contingent this something is, we start
eating our own tail like in Hal Ruhl's argument.

Throughout the history of science, the perpetual message from the universe is that the sky is wider than the brain. I'm convinced that if we all, including Bruno and his Lobian machine, somehow took a tour of the whole universe (whatever that is), including all of it's intricacies from the smallest to the largest, and the mathematical rules behind it, we would find it so
complex and contingent that we would be converted over to the idea
that the universe is far greater than anything the ANTHROpic Principle
dictates.  [We should include the Lobianopic Principle, too!]

Even if you do not hold my above conviction, how can you escape the
possibility that it is true?

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 of being able to grasp all of our mathematical concepts that Tegmark claims are sufficient to describe all of reality. Then the worm asks, "Why is it that I'm in this apple?" Actually the apple is the whole of observed reality for the
worm, so it is analogous to our observed universe.  However the
observABLE universe for the worm is the same as our observable universe.
Then the worm comes 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?

"Explanatory power" is in the eye of the beholder, and this is infinitely
true when applied to Everything.


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