Two voices in the void!

From: Eddie Edmondson <>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 12:29:06 -0000

Hi Jacques & Wei Dai
Is there anybody else out there?
I subscribed 6 October after Max pointed me in this direction, but total zilch happened until now. Do we need to get the ball rolling, or is it there already, but just inaccessible from my e-universe? I'm happy to kick it off, with the following text extracted from a mail I sent to MT:
"I hope you will allow me to contribute some postulations (no reply is
necessary, but I do hope you can find time to read):

1. Mathematics is a continuum, putting it into discretely labelled packages
may hinder thought.

2. I believe the total math continuum exists independently of any universe,
i.e. it was there "before" "our" big bang, and "outside" of our space.

3. Assuming the total math is consistent (it seems to be so far), then it
can never be complete (Godel): there is an infinity of theorems to be

4. We should regard theorems as the cause of physical laws, not just the
explanations for them. Relativity's a good model to ponder about on this
one, as is the 4-colour map.

5. It follows from 3 and 4 that there exist mathematical causes for the
creation of an infinity of universes and all the physical laws pertinent to
each universe: you can start with a set of axioms and arrive at a set of
dimensions, a set of physics and a set of physical phenomena. And in any
universe, if a theorem can have a valid physical representation, then the
representation will be realised.

6. Our existence is proof that there is at least one theorem which allows a
dimensional system which is (reasonably) stable in both time and space.
There may be an infinity of other stable dimensional physical systems.
There's certainly an infinity of others which aren't.

7. We may be able to prove there's a universe which differs from ours, for
example, only by a change in the zillionth decimal place of the ratio of
electron/proton mass. Would it sustain observers? We should in theory be
able to deduce whether there are valid rules which would allow
self-awareness to come into being.

8. If we can deduce all of 7 above from within our own universe, by using
the "Universal" mathematics, then we have also demonstrated that existence
of the other universe does not require its own internal sentience, or SAS.

I'm afraid that leads to the conclusion that awareness - internal or
external - is not a requisite for existence. I love your ideas, but I think
you're pushing anthropic principles too much. We're here because we're here
because we're here, and that's that (and as you say, "luck" has nothing to
do with it). The fact that vastly complex chemical feedback processes exist
which generate "life" doesn't prove anything outside of those processes. The
external world is solely and completely defined by mathematics, and we are
just a small part of that definition.

If you read this far, thanks for your indulgence. Good luck in your
researches. And congratulations on your marketing skills!"
As Stephen Hawking says in a talk-over (synthesize-over?) for a British Telecom ad on TV here,
we must keep talking, keep talking, keep talking....

James Edmondson
Received on Sat Nov 14 1998 - 04:33:27 PST

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