Re: [asa] promise trumps biology (multiverses)

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Fri Dec 19 2008 - 13:58:51 EST

> "Many worlds in one: the search for other universes" by Alex Vilenkin
>
> http://www.amazon.com/Many-Worlds-One-Search-Universes/dp/0809067226/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229361747&sr=1-4
>
> I didn't have very much respect for the multiverse idea before reading this
> book, but I do have some respect for it now. He has an interesting
> discussion on the anthropic principle- explaining how physicists avoided
> (hated) it, but it can be accepted with the multiverse idea. The idea that
> there's all those "knobs" of values that need to be set just right.
> However, he says each knob has a value range, and if we are one of many
> universes, then our particular setting should be mediocre. Interesting
> idea. Just like we thought we were the center of the universe- but now know
> we are just sitting out there on the spiral arm of the milky way.

Actually, if the knob settings are random, about one out of every
twenty knobs will be set outside of the 95% range of the norm.

In reality this is merely the fallacy of ignorance. Unless we have
data on a statistically significant set of knobs, we can't tell
whether our settings are within the normal ranges for a multiverse.

The difference between this and mainstream ID is the philosophical
assumption that guides the interpretation. Same goes for Dawkins-his
"undesigned" conclusions have no more merit than Wells' "designed" and
both reflect the same sort of assumptions about design detection.

-- 
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 Fri Dec 19 13:59:06 2008

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