On Jul 2, 2013, at 5:25 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 7/2/2013 3:08 PM, Jason Resch wrote:



But what is the basis for the assumption that it's possible to derive a unique set of physical laws mathematics alone?

It's not an assumption, it's a working assumption by those who want to work on the problem instead of resting on the anthropic principle.

I'm not saying physicists should pack their bags and go home, only that they should remain open to the possibility that some things, such as a unique value for the fine structure constant, may not be explainable from within the theory itself.

So far they've been vindicated.


Physicists can dismiss the anthropic principle when they can show the values for the dimensionless constants can be derived by some more fundamental (non-anthropic) principle(s).

What if they show that intelligent life is possible over a factor of 10 range for the constant? How about a factor of 2? 1.1? 1.0001?

I believe I have answered this before some time ago. We need to know what the theory (be it M theory or something else) predicts the distribution and/or ranges of possible values to be before we can determine the probability.

There are other approaches though: consider the length of description of our universe's laws, and compare that length to other possible universes

There are other possibilities though



What if they show that all the dimensionless constants can be derived except for one. Will we then apply the anthropic principle to that one?

The anthropic principle starts to look like god-caulking - stuff to fill gaps.

Brent

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