RE: FIN insanity

From: Charles Goodwin <>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 12:26:24 +1200

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacques Mallah []

> At first the problem seems simple: they need someone to explain some
> physics to them and correct their misconceptions. Explaining the physics to
> them doesn't work, though. They rationalize their way around anything you
> can say to them. I know I'm personally somewhat ineloquent and tend to be
> overly frank, but I've seen many other people try to help out as well. The
> observing crowd is firmly on the side of accepted science, so someone will
> often help.

I have had this problem trying to explain why I believe the theory of evolution (with 99.999...% certainty) to various religious
types. It happens exactly as you describe. This isn't a form of insanity, though: it appears to be a common human trait (presumably
you can't define MOST people as insane . . . or can you???)

On the subject of FIN, I don't believe it myself, but I haven't yet seen good arguments either for or against it. The SSA argument
fails because if FIN is true, we would still expect to see what we do in fact see, i.e. observers who (appear to) die at roughly
their appointed times while we personally get older. So FIN has not yet been shown to be incompatible with observation (regardless
of how (er) religiously one applies Bayesian arguments....)

On the other hand I can't see how FIN is supposed to work, either. I *think* the argument runs something like this...

Even if you have just had, say, an atom bomb dropped on you, there's still SOME outcomes of the schrodinger wave equation which just
happen to lead to you suriviving the explosion. Although these are VERY unlikely - less likely than, say, my computer turning into a
bowl of petunias - they do exist, and (given the MWI) they occur somewhere in the multiverse. For some reason I can't work out, all
the copies who are killed by the bomb don't count. Only the very very very (etc) small proportion who miraculously survive do, and
these are the only ones you personally experience.

Is that a reasonable description of FIN? Ignoring statistical arguments, what is wrong with it?

Received on Thu Aug 30 2001 - 17:24:19 PDT

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