On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> **
> On 8/9/2011 7:37 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
>
>
>
> On Aug 9, 2011, at 1:38 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>  On 8/8/2011 9:16 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
>
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM, benjayk 
> <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com>wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>  I am getting a bit tired of labouring this point, but honestly your
>> theory
>> is postulating something that seems nonsensical to me. Why on earth would
>> I
>> believe in the truth of something that *can never be known in any way*
>> (namely, that arithmetics is true without / prior to consciousness)?
>>
>>
> Ben,
>
> Do you think that the 10^10^100th digit of Pi has a certain value even
> though we can never know what it is and no one has ever or will ever (in
> this universe at least) be conscious of it?  If I assert the digit happens
> to be 8, would you agree that my assertion must be either true or false?  If
> so, where does this truth exist?
>
> Note that one cannot say it has an indefinite or value, or that its value
> is inconsequential because that level of precision will never make a
> difference in any equation we work with.  Euler's identity: e^(Pi * i) + 1 =
> 0, would be false without each of the infinite digits of Pi having a
> definite and certain value.  These values that are unknown to use, but
> nonetheless must be there.
>
>
> Mathematical existence isn't a matter of being "there", it's a matter of
> satisfying, making true, a certain proposition.  So why does the putative
> digit of pi have the value it does, because it satisfies certain
> propositions which we infer from other propositions we are pleased to hold
> hypothetically true as axioms.
>
>
>  Then what is the ontological status of propositions that are true but not
> provable in ones set of hypothetitcally held axioms?
>
>  In that case there is something that is true but not reachable through
> chains of propositions.
>
>
> Why is that a problem.  There's a refrigerator in my kitchen.  I reach it
> through a doorway, not a chain of propositions.
>
>
So you refridgerator exists, not because it is reachable through a doorway
or not.  It's existence is independent of doorways in the same way
mathematical truth is independent of axioms.


>
>
>  Existence in the usual sense never enters into it.
>
>
>  Do you think our universe is mathematical or magical?
>
>
> I think it's physical -- I'm just not sure what that means.
>
>
This is the crux of the issue.  What is different between a physical object
as seen from the inside and a mathematical object as seen from the inside?


>
>
>  If our universe can be understood mathematically then it is one example
> of a mathematical object that has physical existence.
>
>
> Can understand that the number of dwarves is seven.  That doesn't mean the
> Seven Dwarves exist.  "To understand mathematically" just means to have a
> mathematical model that works.
>
>
Again, take into account what I asked above, on the difference between a
perfect mathematical representation of our universe and a physical universe.
 If there is no difference that makes a difference why consider them
different?


>
>
>  What more evidence would you need to believe mathematical objects exist?
>
>
> I haven't seen any evidence yet.  Mathematical objects are inventions of
> our minds dependent on language.
>

Then what about the physical universe, it is a mathematical object.  Who
invented it?


>   They made be said to exist in Platonia or in some other way, but I think
> it is a confusion to suppose they exist in the sense of physical objects.
>
>
This could make sense, if you can explain what is different between a
"physical universe" and a "mathematical universe" having the same structure
and properties.


>
>  QM shows the existence of perhaps an infinite number of solutions to the
> wave function.
>
>
> It doesn't show that - it's consistent with an interpretation that asserts
> that.
>
>
Everett's interpretation is the most preferable according to Occam's
principle.  Do you have a reason to prefer the CI or some other
interpretation?


>
>   String theory has nothing in it which rules out other universes with
> different physical laws.
>
>
> Indeed.  But not having ruled out something is not the same as ruling it
> in.
>

To rule something out requires additional information.  Consider that in a
block of marble, it contains all possible statues inside it until
information is added, to whittle down from all possibility down to one
actuality.  Or consider that you are awaiting an e-mail message (perhaps
from me).  Until you receive that message, all possibilities exist for what
message I might send you.  Only the addition of the information determines
which of all possible messages I sent.  Information is not needed to create
possibilities, information eliminates possibilities.  If string theory
enables all possibilities, and contains no prohibition against their
reality, the default should be to consider those other universes implied by
the theory just as real as our own.


>
>
>
>  Why believe only the math of string theory has been blessed with phyical
> existence?
>
>
> I don't believe that.
>

So you do believe other universes described by different equations have a
physical existence?


>
>
>  You might say because we cannot see those other universes.
>
>  This is not evidence against the theory because the theory explains why
> you would not observe them.
>
>
> That's what my Christian friends say: "You rule out a supernatural God.
> And our theology explains why you can't observe Him."
>
>
See Everett's letter to DeWitt, who made the same argument you are making:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/manyworlds/orig-02a.html


>
>  Occam also fails here, for the proposition that all possible structures
> exist has fewer assumptions than the idea that only these structures exist
> and no others are possible.
>
>  The fine tuning of the universe confirms to a high probability that
> something is wrong with the following proposition:
> There is only one set of physical laws with physical existence and these
> laws were not intelligently chosen.
>
>  So I ask you, where is the error in that statement?
>
>
> First it assumes there is something called "fine tuning" (c.f. Vic
> Stenger's "The Fallacy of Fine Tuning").
>

Stenger seems to have a personal bias against fine-tuning because he thinks
it is used as evidence of intelligent design.  From his website:

"A number of authors have noted that if some physical parameters were
slightly changed, the universe could no longer support life, as we know it.
This implies that life depends sensitively on the physics of our universe.
Does this “fine-tuning” of the universe also suggest that a creator god
intentionally calibrated the initial conditions of the universe such that
life on earth and the evolution of humanity would eventually emerge? Some
influential scientists, such as National Institutes of Health Director
Francis Collins, think so. Others go even further, asserting that science
“has found God.”


In this in-depth, lucid discussion of this fascinating and controversial
topic, physicist Victor J. Stenger looks at the same evidence and comes to
the opposite conclusion. He states at the outset that as a physicist he will
go wherever the data takes him, even if it leads him to God. But after many
years of research in particle physics and thinking about its implications,
he finds that the observations of science and our naked senses not only show
no evidence for God, they provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that
God does not exist."


Steve Weinberg, Leonard Susskind, and Max Tegmark each well accomplished
physicists who believe fine tuning is something in want of an explanation.
 They are not philosophers trying to prove science hasn't found God.



> Second physical laws are models we make up.  Third, all experience shows
> that improbable things happen all the time.
>
>
For improbable things to happen all the time requires that different things
happen all the time.  When the thing in question is "the physical laws" then
for uncommon or special physical laws to happen or be expected, it requires
that different physical laws happen all the time.  If, as you believe,
physical laws were a one shot deal, are you not surprised at the number of
(seemingly likely) disasters that were avoided to enable life in this
universe?

Let's put the debate on fine tuning aside for the moment: If fine tuning
were true, would you accept a large number (or all) possible physical
universes exist?


>
>
>  The only way to escape it is to say the idea of fine tuning itself is
> flawed, but this is a last ditch attempt to stick to the model of a single
> universe.  The bulk of evidence points strongly to the idea that intelligent
> life would not arise in the majority of possible structures.
>
>  Use baysian analysis to consider the following possibilities:
> 1. There is one set if laws not intelligently selected.
> 2. The laws were intelligently selected or there is more than one set of
> physical laws.
>
>  Since we have evaluated no other evidence at this time, let's assign a
> 50% chance to each.
>
>  Now let's say we determine the probability of any given set of laws
> having the right properties for life is one in 100.  What would baysian
> analysis say of the new probability that proposition 1 is correct?
>
>
> A Bayesian must consider ALL the evidence.  So he would look around and
> conclude that something improbable had happened (or maybe that his prior was
> wrong).
>

Well lets put in all the evidence we have.  What evidence for or against
proposition 1 do you have?  What evidence for or against position 2 do you
have?


>
> Note that observing the universe is friendly to life *cannot* count as
> evidence for intelligent design (c.f. Ikeda and Jefferys).
>
>
>
>  Faced with proposition 2, would you be more likely to accept intelligent
> design or the existence of other (or all) mathematical structures?
>
>  Mathematical existence isn't sone fuzzy abstract form if existence.  Look
> around yourself.  You are in it.
>
>
> Exactly what my Christian friends say when I ask "Where is the evidence for
> this God?"
>
>
Well their concept of an omniscient God is not unlike Plato's heaven.  All
objects in Plato's heaven are present in an omniscient mind.  I would say
your friends have more evidence (currently) that everything exists, then you
have for that only what we can see exists.  Concluding that this universe
alone exists is much like someone raised in a windowless prison cell
concluding only his cell exists (because it is all he can see).  Yet the
cell existing without a whole world and universe around it does not make any
sense.  I think the same is true when considering this universe: it does not
make sense for this universe to exist without the other objects in math
existing with it.

Jason

-- 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

Reply via email to