Re: The Anthropic Principle Boundary Conditions

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 11:25:59 -0700 (PDT)

I like the way you think! The principle you were trying to remember is
Murray Gell-mann's "Everything not forbidden is mandatory."

The WAP permits wabbits - the miracles some people see. One of the
interesting ideas deriving from the Plenitude is that by assigning some
measure to the universes that can exist one may be able to prove that
wabbits have vanishing probability. I haven't seen a way of assigning
this measure that seems completely convincing in detail, but the idea
seems right.

Brent Meeker

On Thu, 25 May 2000 wrote:

> In a message dated 05/23/2000 9:43:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> >
> > The WAP is simply a consistency statement, that should be true
> > regardless of what you believe. I think it is quite true to say that
> > assuming an ensemble explanation (pick your favourite Plenitude here),
> > the SAP and the WAP are one and the same thing. Therefore I go on to
> > use the AP without qualification.
> >
> I have never seen a good clean explanation for the SAP and I am not sure who
> is the first person who talks about it. I should check Carter's paper.
> Going back to the WAP. Saying the world is consistent is analogous to saying
> that it is rational, that we can find logical explanation to every
> observation.
> The principle of the Plenitude is also based on our perceived rationality of
> the world.
> If the world is rational, and if something that could potentially be in many
> alternatives states, ARBITRARILY exists in one of these alternatives states
> with no apparent reason, ( in other words it is "fact-like") then this
> something MUST also exist in all other alternatives states. Allowing only one
> state to be real but not the others, would lead to an unexplanable situation.
> This gives rise to symmetry in the small scale and to the Plenitude in the
> big scale. So in general, symmetry breaking in Physics must itself be
> symmetrical!!! (i.e., breaking must occur in all possible ways) Note the
> recursive nature of this phenomenon.
> The principle of the Plenitude is also related to absence of causality and to
> a principle in physics whose name escapes me: Unless there is a reason for
> something not to happen then it will - electronic transitions and the like.
> Another way of stating absence of causality, is saying that there is no
> primal cause. This statement immediately propels the boundary of the world to
> infinity- Hence, the Plenitude.
> Yet another way of proving the Plenitude is to rely on Goedel
> consistency/completeness theorem. Insisting on consistency, while trying to
> achieve completeness (which is an impossibility), forces the boundary of the
> set of discourse to infinity.
> Thus both the WAP and the Plenitude can be derived from the assumption that
> we are rational and that everything exists unless there is a reason (cause)
> for it not to.
> In a message dated 05/23/2000 10:09:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > It
> > seems to me that an ensemble theory implies that there must be a universe
> > with
> > "us" or "I" in it only if it is known that such a universe is possible.
> Defining "us" as observers leads to difficulties as I will explain below.
> In a message dated 05/23/2000 11:58:24 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > > > The world is the way it is, because I am what I am --- I am, therefore
> > the
> > > > world is.
> >
> > Yes, the observer is key. It would be interesting to learn this being's
> > sense of
> > fine-tuning. The last sentence seems a bit strong. It seems we are going
> > full
> > circle, backing away from the Copernican viewpoint, and coming dangerously
> > close to
> > the:
> >
> > > Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP):
> How do you define the observer? Animal? Human? Adult? Male? Engineer?
> Canadian? Us? How do you draw the line around the set of creatures with the
> quality of observer? The simplest way is to draw it around yourself,
> ("The world is the way it is, because I am what I am --- I am, therefore the
> world is.")
> and to adopt a relativistic philosophy, which I did. Note the above statement
> relies purely on WAP consistency that uses the mind itself of the observer as
> a boundary condition, to explain the world. It has nothing to do with PAP
> magical mumbo jumbo.
> In a message dated 05/24/2000 3:26:44 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > Just for completeness, note that the original idea (WAP explains cosmology)
> > was proposed by Brandon Carter in 1974 - not Barrow & Tipler. Carter's
> paper
> > is superb.
> >
> Well noted. I'll try to get Carter's paper.
> George
Received on Thu May 25 2000 - 11:30:58 PDT

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