Re: [asa] Many Worlds Interpretation and ID

From: David Heddle <heddle@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Aug 15 2007 - 17:11:03 EDT

David C:

"I think this merely moves the presumed low probability back a step.
Habitability being built into the fabric of spacetime is an indicator
of ID only if that has a low probability of happening without
intelligent involvement."

No--in some multiverses (SS landscape) the constants are effectively a
random draw. So their small probability (if it is small) doesn't favor
design any more than it favors a multiverse--indeed the lack of an
explanation for the constants, I would say, favors the multiverse. If the
constants have probablility unity (from a fundamental theory), the
multiverse is dead--at least the SS landscape is--since it more or less
predicts that the search for such a fundamental theory is a fool's errand,
likened by Susskind to religion. Derived constants, from a fundamental
theory, do not push low probability back one level unless the next claim is
that the fundamental theory itself is obtained from a random draw. It pushes
design back one level (and makes it more elegant)--to designing the laws
that determine the constants for which habitability is sensitive-- rather
than just cleverly choosing the constants,

but Idon't think it can be appealed to as a scientific conclusion or as
proving anything, rather than suggesting plausibility.

Agreed, even in the best case scenario ID is not science, in my opinion.

David Heddle
Associate Professor of Physics
Christopher Newport University &
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

On 8/15/07, David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >But low probability is, in my opinion, the wrong way to look at
> cosmological ID anyway. Fine-tuning arguments should not be based on
> assumed low probabilities of the constants--something that cannot be
> calculated. It should be based on the sensitivity of habitability (for
> any kind of life) to those values, which is quite different. In fact,
> the best possible case for cosmological ID is the high probability
> scenario. If we uncover a fundamental theory that derives the values
> of the constants (so that they have probability unity) and the
> sensitivity of habitability stands the test of time, then we must
> conclude that habitability is built into the fabric of spacetime.
> Short of God appearing on earth, this would be the strongest possible
> argument in favor of cosmological ID. <
>
> I think this merely moves the presumed low probability back a step.
> Habitability being built into the fabric of spacetime is an indicator
> of ID only if that has a low probability of happening without
> intelligent involvement.
>
> I should also note that I am talking about scientific "proof". I
> would certainly agree that it seems unlikely that all the different
> physical parameters necessary for intelligent life just happened to
> end up at the right values in this universe. It is thus not
> unreasonable to suppose that this reflects intelligent agency, but I
> don't think it can be appealed to as a scientific conclusion or as
> proving anything, rather than suggesting plausibility.
>
> > For example "survival of the fittest" isn't clear-cut with probability
> 1.
> > Better adapted species are more likely to reproduce/ propagate genes
> etc.
> > But in some universes the arguably less fit will still outnumber the
> more
> > fit. That way highly implausible evolutionary sequences become
> possible.
>
> Actually, the probability of absolutely fittest permanently surviving
> is near zero. Unless a particular feature is either essential to or
> completely prevents surviving and reproducing, the odds of its
> establishment in a population are a probabilistic function of the
> population size, the frequency of the feature in the population, and
> its effect on survival. Because DNA copying is imperfect, minor
> fluctuations that theoretically increase or decrease the fitness by a
> miniscule amount are happening all the time. Also, most traits
> involve tradeoffs between advantages and disadvantages, such that
> extreme selection for one feature often yields problems in other areas
> (think of artificial selection and the problems of, e.g., many
> purebred pets or grocery tomatoes selected for durability rather than
> flavor or roses selected for color rather than aroma). Again, some
> features would convey evolutionary fitness advantages only in unusual
> circumstances. Numerous situations exist in which rapid running would
> convey an advantage, yet track stars show no sign of taking over the
> human race. Thus, "fittest" is a rather complex concept. In
> addition, the environment rarely holds still enough for a particular
> unchanging form to continue to be highly fit-even in relatively
> constant physical environments, your competitors, predators, prey,
> etc. have an inconvenient habit of evolving. Survival of the fit
> enough is a much more accurate description.
>
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
>
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Received on Wed Aug 15 17:11:50 2007

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