To summarize our conversation up to this point: BM: Do you really not see any difference between tables and chairs and people and numbers, JR: Chairs and people are also mathematical objects, just really complex ones with a large information content. This is the necessary conclusion of anyone who believes physical laws are mathematical. BM: No, it's a necessary conclusion of anyone who cannot distinguish a description from the thing described. JR: I think the identity of indiscernibles applies: If no distinction can ever be made (by observers within a mathematical universe and observers within a physical universe) then there is no distinction. You are using "physical" as an honorific, but it adds no information. BM: I can point to a chair and say "This!" JR: Yes, but how do you know you are pointing to a "physical chair", rather than a "mathematical chair"? BM: I know I'm pointing at a chair. I don't know what at 'mathematical chair' is. Can you point out how it is different from a chair?
I think we both agree that if the universe follows mathematical laws, then observers can make no distinction between whether they exist in a platonically existing mathematical object, or a physical universe. If you agree with this, then there is no fundamental ontological difference between chairs, people, and numbers, that I can see. Facing the question: is the universe a mathematical object, or a physical one, we must evaluate the two candidate theories as we would any other. Does one theory explain more, does one make fewer assumptions, etc. The existence of the physical universe does not explain the existence of mathematical objects, but the converse is true. If we have to explain the existence of both: mathematical objects, and the physical universe, the simpler theory is that mathematical objects exist, as it also explains the appearance of the physical world. If one accepts mathematical realism, then postulate the physical world as some other kind of thing, in addition to its mathematical incarnation, is pure redundancy. Jason > > > > Also, the "point test" fails to work for past or future times, different > branches of the wave function, etc. > > > But it's fundamental. All the others depend on it through physical links. > > Brent > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.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. > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.