On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 10:01 PM, rexallen...@gmail.com <
> Let's assume that our best scientific theories tell us something true
> about the way the world *really* is, in an ontological sense. And
> further, for simplicity, let's assume a deterministic interpretation
> of those theories.
> In this view, the universe as we know it began ~13.7 billion years
> ago. We'll set aside any questions about what, if anything, preceded
> the first instant and just draw a line there and call that our
> "initial state".
> Given the specifics of that initial state, plus the particular causal
> laws of physics that we have, the universe can only evolve along one
> path. The state of the universe at this moment is entirely determined
> by two, and only two, things: its initial state and its casual laws.
> But this means that the development of our scientific theories *about*
> the universe was also entirely determined by the initial state of the
> universe and it's causal laws. Our discovery of the true nature of
> the universe has to have been "baked into" the structure of the
> universe in its first instant.
> By comparison, how many sets of *possible* initial states plus causal
> laws are there that would give rise to conscious entities who develop
> *false* scientific theories about their universe? It seems to me that
> this set of "deceptive" universes is likely much larger than the set
> of "honest" universes.
> What would make universes with honest initial conditions + causal laws
> more probable than deceptive ones? For every honest universe it would
> seem possible to have an infinite number of deceptive universes that
> are the equivalent of "The Matrix" - they give rise to conscious
> entities who have convincing but incorrect beliefs about how their
> universe really is. These entities' beliefs are based on perceptions
> that are only illusions, or simulations (naturally occurring or
> intelligently designed), or hallucinations, or dreams.
One reason might be that for life to evolve, and therefore lead to conscious
observers, the process of life must be able to "learn" true or approximately
true laws of physics. While true there are more possible ways to imagine
yourself being in some simulated or dream-like environment, consider the
possibilities that get you there. In a universe without evolution the
initial condition must be that sophisticated reality generating environment,
of which there are very few. However in a universe with evolution, the
initial condition can be a more or less random arrangement of particles, for
which there are far more possibilities.
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