Re: Strange Anthropic Probabilities

From: Norman Samish <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 19:46:05 -0800

What you say rings true! Thanks for a breath of fresh air.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Porpora" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:32 PM
Subject: Strange Anthropic Probabilities

> Hi all,
> I have a query about Tegmark's argument I hope some of you might be
> able to address.
> First, let me say I am not a physicist or computer science person but
> a humble sociologist with some lay physics knowledge on this topic.
> Let me also say I find it a morally ghastly proposition that each of
> us is duplicated an infinite number of times in an infinite number of
> universes. If so, why ever bother to do the right thing? Some
> infinite set of me's will be doing the wrong thing, so why not be one
> of them?
> So I have been thinking of possible counter considerations. Here is
> one: Is it possible that the parametric coincidences required for
> the existence of advanced (beyond microbial) life are so improbable
> that (i) even in the right kind of universe, advanced life is likely
> to occur only once; and (ii) it requires an infinite number of
> universes even to get one occurrence of a me-ish person?
> I am wondering whether probabilistically, (ii) is a coherent
> theoretical possibility. It seems to suggest a probability that would
> be represented as (1 / infinity) or perhaps as the limit as N goes to
> infinity of 1 / N.
> Then, according to this scenario (I think), the likelihood of a
> me-ish person is equal to the limit as N goes to infinity of N * (1 /
> N) = 1.
> As I say, I am just a sociologist, not a mathematician. So I don't
> know whether what I am suggesting is plain nonsense. It is certainly
> speculative, but no more so than Tegmark's scenario.
> Thanks for any feedback.
> doug
> --
> doug porpora
> dept of culture and communication
> drexel university
> phila pa 19104
Received on Mon Jan 12 2004 - 02:46:11 PST

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