On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 07:18:16PM -0800, Brent Meeker wrote:
> 
> I think "fine-tuning" is problematic in another way which Stenger
> didn't discuss: in general there's no measure for the parameters
> alleged to be fine-tuned.  If I showed that X, which is observed to
> be18, must be between 19 and 20 for life-as-we-know-it  to exist, is
> X fine-tuned?  Suppose it can be between 10 and 30?  Is that
> fine-tuned - after all the interval [10, 30] is of measure zero on
> the real line.  Any finite range of values is of measure zero - so
> everything is "fine-tuned" - which is the same as saying nothing is.
> 

That certainly seems to be the elephant in the room. I faced exactly
this issue when trying to compute the ecosystem complexity of a
generalised Lotka-Volterra ecology (see my 2002 paper "Diversity
Evolution"), which failed for precisely the reason you mention.

Interestingly, I came up with a successful approach last year (see
"Complexity of Networks (reprise)") which is currently under peer
review. It successfully extracts a network structure from something
with continuous weights, and gives a quite non-arbitrary complexity
measure (which is essentially the logarithm of inverse probability).

I wonder if such an approach could be applied to the fine-tuning problem?


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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
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