RE: [asa] promise trumps biology (multiverses)

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Tue Dec 23 2008 - 02:17:22 EST

Dr. Campbell said:
"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."

Why is that important, when you have universes constantly popping into existence, the vast majority of them being non-viable? If this has been going on forever (new universes constantly being produced), why is probability important or even considered? If you get a fraction of universes viable from an almost infinite set, that's a lot of universes!

Dr. Campbell said:
"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."

But you can look at the values of our knobs, and ask if there's anything significant about them, other than being in the viable range. It is like when we humans thought we were so special and the Earth was the center of the universe, then we discovered we are just a dot on the arm of a spiral in the Milky Way. It seems that there's nothing special in our placement in the galaxy... maybe the same thing with the values of our knobs, other than being dialed into the viable range?

A fascinating corollary is that this is all built on math, which means that math is absolute, universal, no matter which universe you live in. Interesting how some things are absolute. What if math worked differently in other universes? That would be beyond science to figure out, because all we have is the math/science of this universe. There is no way we could grasp math or science of other universes if different. Then what about life- the only life we know of is carbon based. Fascinating to contemplate what other kind of life might erupt-maybe even something called "spiritual life?" I know... all just sci-fi...

,,,Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of David Campbell
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2008 10:59 AM
To: ASA list
Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology (multiverses)

> "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
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Received on Tue Dec 23 02:17:55 2008

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