Re: Many Worlds?

Date: Mon Jan 03 2000 - 14:36:36 EST

  • Next message: Wesley R. Elsberry: "Re: Many Worlds?"

    In a message dated 1/3/00 6:55:24 AM Dateline Standard Time, writes:

    >Further stuff showing that B&T made the original error and MikeB
    >simply repeated it credulously, deleted.
    An alternative explanation is that Wesley cannot appreciate
    the subtlety of the relationship perceived by B&T and thus flippantly insists
    an error was made.

    >Wheeler's "Many Worlds" hypothesis isn't about the number of
    >planets in the universe, which the Democritus quote appears
    >to address.

    I think I see Wesley's problem - he is interpreting too literally and doesn't
    see the general mode of reasoning (briefly highlighted in the
    previous post) behind the literal claims.

    The question is why is Wesley so selective about these literal
    interpretations? Consider that same posting also had this:

    "And speaking of borrowing, does this sound familiar?:

    "When we see some example of a mechanism, such as a globe or
    clock or some such device, do we doubt that it is the creation of
    a conscious intelligence? So when we see the movement of the
    heavenly bodies‰¥Ïhow can we doubt that these too are not
    only the works of reason but of a reason which is perfect
    and divine?"

    No, this is not from William Paley, but instead was written
    by the Roman lawyer and orator, Marcus Cicero (106-43 BC)."

    Why doesn't Wesley also take issue with the fact that Paley
    didn't compare a clock with the heavenly bodies? Why do
    I want to say something about selectively straining out gnats?
    >I don't have a problem with the questions of teleology being
    >discussed by the ancients. I do have a problem with ancient
    >quotes that don't connect to the modern counterpart being
    >put forward as examples.

    They connnect as generic approaches to the world. Your error
    is in looking for connections that are too specific.

    >Perhaps further context in Democritus
    >would show that he was not talking about planets and their
    >number, but rather whole universes.

    At the time of Democritus, what makes you think such
    a distinction was all that significant? Nevertheless, this misses
    the point.

    > But until such information
    >becomes available, I will continue to be a skeptic of the claim
    >that Democritus prefigured Wheeler in any significant sense.

    In my opinion, your skepticism is based on a trivial distinction that
    misses the larger point. But it doesn't matter to me if you continue
    as a skeptic. So be it.


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