Re: Fwd: Why physical laws

From: Christopher Maloney <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 06:03:12 -0400 wrote:
> In a message dated 99-06-05 08:27:11 EDT, writes:
> << The answer is that the structure(s)
> we are in obey physical laws, not because they were cast by
> fiat from some omnipotent being, but simply because the structures
> that do obey physical laws are more numerous than those that do
> not, and hence we are likely to find ourselves in those. >>
> To paraphrase Einstein, and in keeping with the MWI, when God threw the dice,
> all faces came up. Not just a dice with six faces but one with an infinity.
> This is brute force creation to say the least, requiring no "creative
> ingenuity" in the human sense. You assume that "the structures that obey
> physical laws are more numerous than those that do not, and hence we are more
> likely to find ourselves in those."
> The problem with this reasonning is that it is self sampling. We can find
> ourselves ONLY in those structures that obey physical laws because these are
> the ONLY structures that can support us as rational beings (SAS). The
> assumption that worlds with (rational) physical laws are more more numerous
> than those without is therefore unwarranted. In fact I would believe in the
> opposite. That the worlds without rational physical laws, (if these could be
> called worlds at all), are more numerous than those with rational physical
> laws.

Yes and no. I agree that SASs can only find themselves in universes
with some sort of physical laws: viz: some way to define time. I
think that the fundamental thing that allows us to define an "SAS
observer moment" (denote that M) in a given mathematical structure
(denote the structure S) is that there be some way to define a
"next" moment, M'. It doesn't matter that, within S, the SAS
persists throughout its subjective lifetime, or not. All that
matters is the one moment in question, and the connection between M
and M'.

Now, the physical laws for S are derived from the evolution of the
subjective experience of the SAS as it moves from M to M'. So in
that sense, you are right, that I made a self-sampling assumption,
and that I'm only considering structures in which such a definition
is possible.

Now, within that subset, I would contend that those structures that
have stable physical laws are more numerous than ones that have
random, shifting, incoherent physical laws. This is because, as
Tegmark indicated in his paragraph 2-G, and which I alluded to in my
post, that for a structure to have physical laws that change, it
would have to have more, "ad hoc" axioms, which would make it more
specific, and thus smaller in measure. (That's an awfully
hand-waving argument, but it feels right).

Chris Maloney
"Knowledge is good"
-- Emil Faber
Received on Mon Jun 07 1999 - 03:38:26 PDT

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