On Feb 10, 3:18 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Brent and 1Z,
>
> The paper you referenced says the following:
> "No doubt life, as we know it, depends sensitively on the parameters of our
> universe. However, other forms of life might exist under different
> conditions."
>
> I agree with that statement.  Certainly there are other arrangements of laws
> which would permit life to exist.  The question is how often is it, among
> all possible structures, that intelligent life is possible?  It does not
> appear easy.  Try inventing your own set of physical laws which if followed
> from the beginning to the end which would permit life to evolve and exist.
> It takes a lot of consideration and thought for people to design virtual
> realities which support artificial life (alife), even when it is very simple
> compared to the life we know.  Consider what is necessary just to support
> evolution:
>
> 1. An chemistry rich enough to construct self-replicating machines
> 2. The ability for life to reliably encode, read and copy information
> (necessary to record results of natural experiments, as DNA does for us)
> 3. Unreachable entities (in our case stars) which provide limited
> energy/resources at a fixed rate for life forms to compete over during the
> course of trillions of generations
> 4. This energy source must not easily attainable or duplicated by life (if
> fusion were biologically possible life would consume all the potential
> energy long before it could evolve intelligence)
> 5. No easy shortcut to get an unlimited or infinite amount of energy
> (Something like the laws of thermodynamics, otherwise life has no incentive
> to increase in complexity once it discovers such a trick)
> 6. Re-usability or resupply of materials used by life (If biological
> material or waste can't be broken down to be reused by other life forms then
> such material or resources would run out)
> 7. Long term stability of environment and constancy of physical laws,
> otherwise life would be quickly wiped out or the validity of the information
> recorded from natural experiments becomes invalidated
>
> I think the above rules are necessary not just for life as we know it in
> this universe, but life anywhere.  Our own universe seems just complex
> enough, but no more complex than is necessary, to provide each of these
> requirements.  

It's much *bigger* than necessary.

>What do you think the chances are that any random object in
> Plato's heaven, or any random Turing machine will support intelligent life?
> 1 in 10, 1 in 1000, 1 in a billion?
>
> I think the universe's apparent Fine-Tuning is controversial only to a few
> general types of audiences:
> 1. Physicists who believe in a grand theory of everything which will explain
> logically why this universe has to have the physical laws it does, and why
> no other physical laws are possible.
> 2. Those who consider the idea that there are multiple universes to be
> ridiculous or unscientific.
> 3. Those who consider it only as a justification for intelligent design
> theories.
>
> Fine-tuning is a direct consequence of the anthropic principle once one
> assumes multiple universes.  Say you were completely agnostic on the
> question of there being other universes, but you decided the probability of
> any random universe having those seven necessary properties necessary for
> life was 1 in 1000.  You must then decide between there being only one
> universe (the one you see) and wonder why we were fortunate enough to hit
> the 1 in 1000 chance to be alive, or you conclude multiple universes exist,
> and there is no mystery or luck involved.  One's confidence that there is
> only 1 universe should be roughly proportional to the likelihood that life
> exists in any randomly selected possible universe.
>
> That the Anthropic Principle + Mathematical Realism explains the appearance
> of Fine Tuning is just one of its many attractions.  Among the other appeals
> of mathematical realism are that it answers some longstanding questions:
>
> Eugene Wigner's "The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of
> mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift
> which we neither understand nor deserve."
> Einstein's "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at
> all comprehensible."
> John Wheeler's "Why these particular equations, not others?"
>
> If mathematical reality is taken as true the appearance of a physical
> reality is a direct consequence.  If one starts with a physical reality,
> however, one
>
> I am curious to know at what point do you consider the items in this
> progression to no longer be real and what point you begin to apply the label
> of immaterial or abstract:
>
> 1. The matter and space beyond our cosmological horizon which we can neither
> see nor interact with
> 2. Other theorized cosmic inflation events (new big bangs) happening
> elsewhere or very far away
> 3. Events or people which exist in the distant past
> 4. Other branches of the multiverse as postulated by Everett
> 5. Other solutions to string theory which define other possible physics
> 6. Altogether different physical laws and universes, defined by the
> equations completely unlike those of string theory
> 7. Universes which exist with simple rules, finite state automata like John
> Conway's game of life
> 8. Turing machines executing programs
> 9. Mathematical structures defined by equations, such as the Mandelbrot set
> 10. Simpler mathematical structures, spheres, circles, triangles
> 11. Integers
>
> If Mathematical objects have an objective reality then what is abstract vs.
> what is physical becomes a matter of perspective.  You call this world
> physical because it is the abstract mathematical object you find yourself
> in, someone in another mathematical object / universe might consider this
> one we inhabit to be abstract.  I see no value in placing labels of
> existence of "physically real" to anything which is possible, but a lot of
> value from deciding possible things exist too.  It answers many questions
> and eliminates the apparent arbitrariness which is required for this to be
> the only possible reality.  Have scientists discovered any principle or
> evidence which suggests this is the only possible universe?

Yeah Occam's razor. Maybe falsifiability.

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