# The Destropic Principle

The Destropic PrincipleBy João Carlos Holland de BarcellosTranslated by Débora Policastro Abstract: The “Destropic Principle” is an argument that establishes that every universe is equiprobable, and the possibility of life is not a more special feature than any other. This opposes to the “anthropic principle” when it is used to argue that there is a necessity for a divinity, or multiple universes, in order to explain the configuration of our universe, particularly, the capability of harboring life. In order to explain life in our universe, I will refute the “anthropic principle” when it is used as an argument of the necessity of a deity or multiple universes. I had already outlined this argument in my previous article on the theme, The Anthropic Principle and The Jocaxian-Nothingness” [1], but now I intend to go a little deeper in the analysis. It is not a very intuitive argument, and that is why we should use an analogy to understand the idea behind. But first, I will summarize the anthropic principle and how it is used by creationists and religious people in general to justify God: Introduction The physical laws, usually written in the form of mathematical equations, are considered to be responsible for the characteristics of the universe and its evolution in time. These laws, as we know today, are composed by equations in which we can see some numerical constants (parameters). As examples we can cite, among others: the speed of light, the mass of the electron, the electric charge of the proton, etc. [2] It is argued, without demonstration, that a little alteration (it is not clear what would the magnitude of this alteration be) in any of these constants would make the possibility of life in the universe not feasible. Those who claim that also conclude that a universe created with physical laws generated at random would hardly be able to trigger life. Handicap In all fairness, we need to note that a universe with random laws does not need to follow the pattern of physical laws we have in our universe, that is, the mathematical equations that would define a randomly generated universe could be totally different from the ones we have in our current universe (in principle it would not even be necessary to describe such universes through mathematical equations). That way, the parameters we have today would not apply to any of the equations in this random universe. Thus, it is totally FALSE to claim that all possible universes can be described maintaining the same equations of our particular universe and varying only the constants present in them. However, in order to refute the “anthropic principle” on its own support base, we should consider true the fact that all possible universes keep the same structure of equations as ours. We also assume that these equations are true, but knowing in advance that this is not true, since there is a theoretical incompatibility between the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics. Besides that, we also suppose that any alteration in one of the fundamental constants would make the possibility of life impracticable, although no one has shown it yet. An analogy In order to understand the idea of the “Destropic Principle”, we will make an analogy with the real numbers of the equations which rule the several possible universes. Suppose that each of the possible universes can be represented by a real number between zero and ten. We can justify that by thinking that we can concatenate all the fundamental constants in a single numeric parameter. In our analogy, the parameter “4,22341”, for example, would represent an U1 universe, which would be different from an U2 universe, represented by the parameter “6,123333...”, and so on. Thus, each of these numeric parameters would completely define the characteristics of the universe represented by them. Suppose there is a machine that randomly generates real numbers between zero and ten. Each generated number would be the parameter that would define a universe. We can see that the possibility of predicting what number the machine will generate is very small, almost zero. However, the machine will certainly generate a number. Suppose our universe is represented by U1 (“4,22341&rdquo. Then we can ask: what is the probability of the number of our universe being chosen, once there are infinite possible numbers? There are infinite real numbers between zero and ten, therefore it is almost impossible to foresee that the number “4,22341”, which is the parameter that defines the characteristics of our universe, will be chosen. Thereby, when the machine generates a number representing a parameter of the universe, the answer to the question “How probable would the generation of a universe like ours be?” will be “As likely as the generation of any other specific universe”. Equiprobable In our model of random generation of universes all universes are equiprobable, since any real number between zero and ten would have the same probability of being generated. No universe is more likely to be generated than the other. So, whatever the number generated by the machine was, it would be as unlikely to be predicted as any other number. We then conclude that our universe is so likely to be generated as any other. Life However, someone could retort:“-Our universe is the only one where the possibility of life exists”.The possibility of life is a peculiarity of our universe. Any other generated universe would also have its specific peculiarities. For example: maybe one of them could be made of tiny colored crystal balls, the other could form elastic goos, others, perfect spheres, and so on. If, for example, the generated universe produced little blue crystal balls, then we could make the same exclamation: “-Only this universe produces little glowing balls!”Or:“Only in this universe there is possibility of producing elastic goos!” And so on. For us, humans, life can be more important than little glowing balls, or elastic goos, but this is only a human valuation. There is no logic reason to suppose that a universe with life is more important than a universe that produces little glowing crystal balls, or elastic goos. Therefore, we cannot claim that our universe is special and unique, because it is as special and unique as any other universe that was generated at random. All universes would have their specific features, generated by their also unique physical constants. Another Formality In order to clarify this idea, we can redo our argument using another formality:Suppose the universes are described by six fundamental constants (the exact number does not matter, the following reasoning is for any number of constants).Thus, any U universe could be defined by a system of equations that uses six basic constants. We represent this dependence as follows:U= U (A, B, C, D, E, F).Our U1 universe in particular is described in that formality as:U1= U (A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1) Now, consider a U2 Universe with constants different from U1:U2 = U (A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, F2) As U1, by definition, contains the parameters of our universe, it will generate a universe that may harbor “life”, but cannot generate “lofe”. Similarly, U2 can generate “lofe”, but cannot generate “life”. “Lofe” is a random feature of U2, as the characteristic of being able to form a group of particles where the density is exactly 0,12221 (a random number), for example. Only U2 can generate “lofe”, and any change in the parameters would make the generation of “lofe” not feasible. Of course, the same way, another universe, U3, with other constantsU3 = U (A3, B3, C3, D3, E3, F3)would not make “life” feasible, nor “lofe”, but would make “lufe” viable.“lufe” is a physical condition that occurs when the particles are subject to the regime of forces generated by the constants of U3 (A3…F3). Any change in one of these constants would make “lufe” not viable. Note that there is no INTRINSIC importance about the universe generating “life”, “lofe”, or “lufe”. It does not make any difference to the generating machine or to the universe itself. Especially because the universe and the random machine do not have consciousness or desires. What differs to the machine is the value of the fundamental constants, not what they will generate or not. For the generating machine and even for the generated universe, it is irrelevant if it will be able to harbor life, “lofe”, “lufe”, or present any other peculiarity. Each universe has its own feature. If U1 allows “life”, it does not allow “lofe”, nor “lufe”; if U2 allows “lofe”, it does not allow “life” nor “lufe”; if U3 allows “lufe”, it does not allow “life”, nor “lofe”. It goes that way for any generated universe. Thus, we can see that our universe does not have anything special, once nothing is intrinsically special. “Life” is as important as “Lofe” or “Lufe”. The universe is not worried if “lofe” generates consciousness or not, nor if “lufe” generates a cluster of an incredible yellow glow which would never exist in U1 or if “lofe” generates micro colored pyramids with their own indescribably beautiful glow. That matters to humans, little egocentric beings of U1 that care about “life”, maybe because they are alive. Thereby, the probability of generating a universe that has “lufe” is equivalent to another one that has “life” or “lofe”. There is nothing miraculous or magical about our universe that makes it REALLY special. Therefore, there is no sense in saying that the probability of our universe being that way is the work of some deity. Whatever the generated universe was, its probability of having that feature is exactly the same as the probability of our universe being exactly as it is. It is like choosing at random a real number between zero and ten. They are all equally probable and difficult to be chosen. None is more or less special than the others.

Portuguese version: http://www.genismo.com/logicatexto26.htm

**#36**

The point is that it is NOT a matter of a 'one-to-one' correspondence, or nothing.

Our equations have become progressively refined to more closely match reality, but it is unlikely that they will ever match precisely, or at least we may never be able to prove it.

You don't appear to understand what the Anthropic principle means. It is not about math equations, it is about assessing the likelihood of a the physical constants being in the range that would give rise to a Universe suitable for life. But I have already pointed out why we do not have remotely enough information to assess that.

The Planck constant IS unique - the article you quoted made the same point I did, in other words - it is DIMENSIONLESS.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

*The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds* - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

**#37**

the point is that it is NOT a matter of a 'one-to-one' correspondence, or nothing.

Our equations have become progressively refined to more closely match reality, but it is unlikely that they will ever match precisely, or at least we may never be able to prove it.

You don't appear to understand what the Anthropic principle means. It is not about math equations, it is about assessing the likelihood of a the physical constants being in the range that would give rise to a Universe suitable for life.

But I have already pointed out why we do not have remotely enough information to assess that.

**#38**

The physical laws, usually written in the form of mathematical equations, are considered to be responsible for the characteristics of the universe and its evolution in time. These laws, as we know today, are composed by equations in which we can see some numerical constants (parameters). As examples we can cite, among others: the speed of light, the mass of the electron, the electric charge of the proton, etc. [2]

It is argued, without demonstration, that a little alteration (it is not clear what would the magnitude of this alteration be)

Bs'd

That magnitude is at least one part on 10^173 parts.

in any of these constants would make the possibility of life in the universe not feasible. Those who claim that also conclude that a universe created with physical laws generated at random would hardly be able to trigger life.

Handicap

In all fairness, we need to note that a universe with random laws does not need to follow the pattern of physical laws we have in our universe, that is, the mathematical equations that would define a randomly generated universe could be totally different from the ones we have in our current universe (in principle it would not even be necessary to describe such universes through mathematical equations). That way, the parameters we have today would not apply to any of the equations in this random universe. Thus, it is totally FALSE to claim that all possible universes can be described maintaining the same equations of our particular universe and varying only the constants present in them.

Who says only universes like ours which can be described by math can exist? He is attacking a straw man.

However, in order to refute the “anthropic principle” on its own support base, we should consider true the fact that all possible universes keep the same structure of equations as ours. We also assume that these equations are true, but knowing in advance that this is not true, since there is a theoretical incompatibility between the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics. Besides that, we also suppose that any alteration in one of the fundamental constants would make the possibility of life impracticable, although no one has shown it yet.

It is nonsense to say that "no one has shown it yet". There is no scientist who denies the anthropic principle.

An analogy

In order to understand the idea of the “Destropic Principle”, we will make an analogy with the real numbers of the equations which rule the several possible universes. Suppose that each of the possible universes can be represented by a real number between zero and ten. We can justify that by thinking that we can concatenate all the fundamental constants in a single numeric parameter.

In our analogy, the parameter “4,22341”, for example, would represent an U1 universe, which would be different from an U2 universe, represented by the parameter “6,123333...”, and so on. Thus, each of these numeric parameters would completely define the characteristics of the universe represented by them.

Suppose there is a machine that randomly generates real numbers between zero and ten. Each generated number would be the parameter that would define a universe. We can see that the possibility of predicting what number the machine will generate is very small, almost zero. However, the machine will certainly generate a number.

Suppose our universe is represented by U1 (“4,22341&rdquo. Then we can ask: what is the probability of the number of our universe being chosen, once there are infinite possible numbers? There are infinite real numbers between zero and ten, therefore it is almost impossible to foresee that the number “4,22341”, which is the parameter that defines the characteristics of our universe, will be chosen.

Thereby, when the machine generates a number representing a parameter of the universe, the answer to the question “How probable would the generation of a universe like ours be?” will be “As likely as the generation of any other specific universe”.

This is a bad variation on the cardgame or dice story. It doesn't cut any mustard, chances for our universe remain abysmall.

Equiprobable

In our model of random generation of universes all universes are equiprobable, since any real number between zero and ten would have the same probability of being generated. No universe is more likely to be generated than the other. So, whatever the number generated by the machine was, it would be as unlikely to be predicted as any other number. We then conclude that our universe is so likely to be generated as any other.

Life

However, someone could retort:

“-Our universe is the only one where the possibility of life exists”.

The possibility of life is a peculiarity of our universe. Any other generated universe would also have its specific peculiarities. For example: maybe one of them could be made of tiny colored crystal balls, the other could form elastic goos, others, perfect spheres, and so on. If, for example, the generated universe produced little blue crystal balls, then we could make the same exclamation:

“-Only this universe produces little glowing balls!”

Well, that would NOT be possible, because in order to say: "-Only this universe produces little glowing balls!" you need life, and that is what is missing in that little glowing balls universe.

Or:

“Only in this universe there is possibility of producing elastic goos!”

Well, that would NOT be possible, because in order to say: "Only in this universe there is possibility of producing elastic goos!" you need life, and that is what is missing in that universe.

That points out how important and special life is.

~

And so on. For us, humans, life can be more important than little glowing balls, or elastic goos, but this is only a human valuation. There is no logic reason to suppose that a universe with life is more important than a universe that produces little glowing crystal balls, or elastic goos.~~

If you think that consciousness is not more important than non-consciousness, then there is something terribly wrong with you.

If you really think so, you might as well kill yourself. But most people are very afraid to die, so they realize how important is consciousness.

Life is much more important than little glowing balls.

Therefore, we cannot claim that our universe is special and unique, because it is as special and unique as any other universe that was generated at random. All universes would have their specific features, generated by their also unique physical constants.

Another Formality

In order to clarify this idea, we can redo our argument using another formality:

Suppose the universes are described by six fundamental constants (the exact number does not matter, the following reasoning is for any number of constants).

Thus, any U universe could be defined by a system of equations that uses six basic constants. We represent this dependence as follows:

U= U (A, B, C, D, E, F).

Our U1 universe in particular is described in that formality as:

U1= U (A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1)

Now, consider a U2 Universe with constants different from U1:

U2 = U (A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, F2)

As U1, by definition, contains the parameters of our universe, it will generate a universe that may harbor “life”, but cannot generate “lofe”. Similarly, U2 can generate “lofe”, but cannot generate “life”. “Lofe” is a random feature of U2, as the characteristic of being able to form a group of particles where the density is exactly 0,12221 (a random number), for example. Only U2 can generate “lofe”, and any change in the parameters would make the generation of “lofe” not feasible.

Of course, the same way, another universe, U3, with other constants

U3 = U (A3, B3, C3, D3, E3, F3)

would not make “life” feasible, nor “lofe”, but would make “lufe” viable.

“lufe” is a physical condition that occurs when the particles are subject to the regime of forces generated by the constants of U3 (A3…F3). Any change in one of these constants would make “lufe” not viable.

Note that there is no INTRINSIC importance about the universe generating “life”, “lofe”, or “lufe”. It does not make any difference to the generating machine or to the universe itself. Especially because the universe and the random machine do not have consciousness or desires. What differs to the machine is the value of the fundamental constants, not what they will generate or not. For the generating machine and even for the generated universe, it is irrelevant if it will be able to harbor life, “lofe”, “lufe”, or present any other peculiarity. Each universe has its own feature. If U1 allows “life”, it does not allow “lofe”, nor “lufe”; if U2 allows “lofe”, it does not allow “life” nor “lufe”; if U3 allows “lufe”, it does not allow “life”, nor “lofe”. It goes that way for any generated universe.

Thus, we can see that our universe does not have anything special, once nothing is intrinsically special. “Life” is as important as “Lofe” or “Lufe”. The universe is not worried if “lofe” generates consciousness or not, nor if “lufe” generates a cluster of an incredible yellow glow which would never exist in U1 or if “lofe” generates micro colored pyramids with their own indescribably beautiful glow. That matters to humans, little egocentric beings of U1 that care about “life”, maybe because they are alive.

Thereby, the probability of generating a universe that has “lufe” is equivalent to another one that has “life” or “lofe”. There is nothing miraculous or magical about our universe that makes it REALLY special. Therefore, there is no sense in saying that the probability of our universe being that way is the work of some deity. Whatever the generated universe was, its probability of having that feature is exactly the same as the probability of our universe being exactly as it is.

It is like choosing at random a real number between zero and ten. They are all equally probable and difficult to be chosen. None is more or less special than the others.

Saying life is equal to no life is of course nonsense. If the writer or this artikel really believes so, let him then commit suicide in order to prove his point.

Eliyahu

#1Firstly, there seems to be something odd going on here. The OP is a huge block of text but when it appears as a quote in the comment box it's very well formatted... any Mods got any suggestions to fix that?

Jocax wrote:Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here

- Lawrence Krauss

#2#3MichaelMcF wrote:The problem is that the original post was cut'n'pasted from a website that used <div> instead of <p> for paragraph blocks. The way to fix it would be to simply change the <div></div> tags to <p></p> tags.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers

#4Jocax wrote:That's a fallacy of equivalency. The physicist assumes the equations describe aspects of the universe. The strong anthropic principle assumes the equations cause or control the aspects of the universe. Physicists assume the equations are descriptive; the strong anthropic principle assumes the equations are prescriptive. There's a huge difference between the two.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers

#5#6Can you please reword the above, Jocax, so that it makes any sense at all?

#7Jocax wrote:Yah, don't just cut and paste from a web site. Run it through a word processor as an intermediate step and that ought to fix it. Actually, a text editor such as notepad++ would remove more possible errors than a word processor will.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:=

#8The Destropic Principle

By João Carlos Holland de Barcellos

Translated by Débora Policastro

Abstract: The “Destropic Principle” is an argument that establishes that every universe is equiprobable, and the possibility of life is not a more special feature than any other. This opposes to the “anthropic principle” when it is used to argue that there is a necessity for a divinity, or multiple universes, in order to explain the configuration of our universe, particularly, the capability of harboring life.

In order to explain life in our universe, I will refute the “anthropic principle” when it is used as an argument of the necessity of a deity or multiple universes. I had already outlined this argument in my previous article on the theme, The Anthropic Principle and The Jocaxian-Nothingness” [1], but now I intend to go a little deeper in the analysis.

It is not a very intuitive argument, and that is why we should use an analogy to understand the idea behind. But first, I will summarize the anthropic principle and how it is used by creationists and religious people in general to justify God:

Introduction

The physical laws, usually written in the form of mathematical equations, are considered to be responsible for the characteristics of the universe and its evolution in time. These laws, as we know today, are composed by equations in which we can see some numerical constants (parameters). As examples we can cite, among others: the speed of light, the mass of the electron, the electric charge of the proton, etc. [2]

It is argued, without demonstration, that a little alteration (it is not clear what would the magnitude of this alteration be) in any of these constants would make the possibility of life in the universe not feasible. Those who claim that also conclude that a universe created with physical laws generated at random would hardly be able to trigger life.

Handicap

In all fairness, we need to note that a universe with random laws does not need to follow the pattern of physical laws we have in our universe, that is, the mathematical equations that would define a randomly generated universe could be totally different from the ones we have in our current universe (in principle it would not even be necessary to describe such universes through mathematical equations). That way, the parameters we have today would not apply to any of the equations in this random universe. Thus, it is totally FALSE to claim that all possible universes can be described maintaining the same equations of our particular universe and varying only the constants present in them.

However, in order to refute the “anthropic principle” on its own support base, we should consider true the fact that all possible universes keep the same structure of equations as ours. We also assume that these equations are true, but knowing in advance that this is not true, since there is a theoretical incompatibility between the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics. Besides that, we also suppose that any alteration in one of the fundamental constants would make the possibility of life impracticable, although no one has shown it yet.

An analogy

In order to understand the idea of the “Destropic Principle”, we will make an analogy with the real numbers of the equations which rule the several possible universes. Suppose that each of the possible universes can be represented by a real number between zero and ten. We can justify that by thinking that we can concatenate all the fundamental constants in a single numeric parameter.

In our analogy, the parameter “4,22341”, for example, would represent an U1 universe, which would be different from an U2 universe, represented by the parameter “6,123333...”, and so on. Thus, each of these numeric parameters would completely define the characteristics of the universe represented by them.

Suppose there is a machine that randomly generates real numbers between zero and ten. Each generated number would be the parameter that would define a universe. We can see that the possibility of predicting what number the machine will generate is very small, almost zero. However, the machine will certainly generate a number.

Suppose our universe is represented by U1 (“4,22341&rdquo. Then we can ask: what is the probability of the number of our universe being chosen, once there are infinite possible numbers? There are infinite real numbers between zero and ten, therefore it is almost impossible to foresee that the number “4,22341”, which is the parameter that defines the characteristics of our universe, will be chosen.

Thereby, when the machine generates a number representing a parameter of the universe, the answer to the question “How probable would the generation of a universe like ours be?” will be “As likely as the generation of any other specific universe”.

Equiprobable

In our model of random generation of universes all universes are equiprobable, since any real number between zero and ten would have the same probability of being generated. No universe is more likely to be generated than the other. So, whatever the number generated by the machine was, it would be as unlikely to be predicted as any other number. We then conclude that our universe is so likely to be generated as any other.

Life

However, someone could retort:

“-Our universe is the only one where the possibility of life exists”.

The possibility of life is a peculiarity of our universe. Any other generated universe would also have its specific peculiarities. For example: maybe one of them could be made of tiny colored crystal balls, the other could form elastic goos, others, perfect spheres, and so on. If, for example, the generated universe produced little blue crystal balls, then we could make the same exclamation:

“-Only this universe produces little glowing balls!”

Or:

“Only in this universe there is possibility of producing elastic goos!”

And so on. For us, humans, life can be more important than little glowing balls, or elastic goos, but this is only a human valuation. There is no logic reason to suppose that a universe with life is more important than a universe that produces little glowing crystal balls, or elastic goos.

Therefore, we cannot claim that our universe is special and unique, because it is as special and unique as any other universe that was generated at random. All universes would have their specific features, generated by their also unique physical constants.

Another Formality

In order to clarify this idea, we can redo our argument using another formality:

Suppose the universes are described by six fundamental constants (the exact number does not matter, the following reasoning is for any number of constants).

Thus, any U universe could be defined by a system of equations that uses six basic constants. We represent this dependence as follows:

U= U (A, B, C, D, E, F).

Our U1 universe in particular is described in that formality as:

U1= U (A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1)

Now, consider a U2 Universe with constants different from U1:

U2 = U (A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, F2)

As U1, by definition, contains the parameters of our universe, it will generate a universe that may harbor “life”, but cannot generate “lofe”. Similarly, U2 can generate “lofe”, but cannot generate “life”. “Lofe” is a random feature of U2, as the characteristic of being able to form a group of particles where the density is exactly 0,12221 (a random number), for example. Only U2 can generate “lofe”, and any change in the parameters would make the generation of “lofe” not feasible.

Of course, the same way, another universe, U3, with other constants

U3 = U (A3, B3, C3, D3, E3, F3)

would not make “life” feasible, nor “lofe”, but would make “lufe” viable.

“lufe” is a physical condition that occurs when the particles are subject to the regime of forces generated by the constants of U3 (A3…F3). Any change in one of these constants would make “lufe” not viable.

Note that there is no INTRINSIC importance about the universe generating “life”, “lofe”, or “lufe”. It does not make any difference to the generating machine or to the universe itself.

Especially because the universe and the random machine do not have consciousness or desires. What differs to the machine is the value of the fundamental constants, not what they will generate or not. For the generating machine and even for the generated universe, it is irrelevant if it will be able to harbor life, “lofe”, “lufe”, or present any other peculiarity. Each universe has its own feature. If U1 allows “life”, it does not allow “lofe”, nor “lufe”; if U2 allows “lofe”, it does not allow “life” nor “lufe”; if U3 allows “lufe”, it does not allow “life”, nor “lofe”. It goes that way for any generated universe.

Thus, we can see that our universe does not have anything special, once nothing is intrinsically special. “Life” is as important as “Lofe” or “Lufe”. The universe is not worried if “lofe” generates consciousness or not, nor if “lufe” generates a cluster of an incredible yellow glow which would never exist in U1 or if “lofe” generates micro colored pyramids with their own indescribably beautiful glow. That matters to humans, little egocentric beings of U1 that care about “life”, maybe because they are alive.

Thereby, the probability of generating a universe that has “lufe” is equivalent to another one that has “life” or “lofe”. There is nothing miraculous or magical about our universe that makes it REALLY special. Therefore, there is no sense in saying that the probability of our universe being that way is the work of some deity. Whatever the generated universe was, its probability of having that feature is exactly the same as the probability of our universe being exactly as it is.

It is like choosing at random a real number between zero and ten. They are all equally probable and difficult to be chosen. None is more or less special than the others.

Portuguese version: http://www.genismo.com/logicatexto26.htm

#9#10Jocax wrote:knowsthat the Physical Laws are mathematical descriptions of observed effects. What the physicist also knows is that these Laws are descriptions of the universeas we understand it. There is nothing to say that the universehasto operate by the mathematical laws we have described, but observation does tend to suggest that our mathematical models are close. The physicist also understands that these Laws weren't handed down from anywhere; they're not a framework given unto the universe that must be obeyed.Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here

- Lawrence Krauss

#11In one case, natural laws precede the universe. In the other, the laws are merely derived from the universe. The laws exist cannot independently of the universe because they are abstractions of how the universe behaves, right?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare#12OK Jocax, I see where you are going now. Honestly, I can't really tell how much is being lost in translation against how much is your errors but you do seem to be clearer than you were in the last thread.

Anyway, I see so many errors and assumptions that it is not worth trying to correct them all. Even so, let me suggest that you start with an analogy to try and make your point before attempting an actual physics post. Let me show you what I have in mind:

Let's start with the Earth. Isn't it obvious that it is just right for us? So right in fact that if it were any different, we would not be here to have such a discussion...

Well, if by “the Earth” you mean the bits of dry land that are within (approximately) 40 degrees to either side of the equator and exclude frozen mountain tops, the insides of active volcanoes and so on, then yes, it is remarkably like the conditions under which we evolved.

Also, I would point out that if polar bears could have a similar discussion, they would not worry about dry land so much but they would exclude anywhere that is south of the Hudson Bay.

OK, what about the rest of the solar system? We have eight major planets, a dozen or so minor planets and a few dozen moons. The lot of them have one thing in common, in that they are just so different from our perfect environment that obviously nobody is there to have such a discussion (at least nobody with a biochemistry similar to our own).

However, there is one small problem here. The galaxy has certainly more than 100,000,000,000 stars. From what we have observed, many of them have planets and those that do seem to have something like 5 to 10 planets. Let's take Gliese 581 D as an example. It orbits a red dwarf star and it does so at a distance such that liquid water may exist on it's surface. From this we see that conditions rather different from our own may well be conducive to a biochemistry similar enough to our own that there could (in principal anyway) be beings there having similar discussions.

So yah, if we take the analogy of different planets as “island universes”, then we see that the anthropic principal is of astoundingly limited use for proving anything.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:=

#13#14http://hypography.com/forums/astronomy-and-cosmology/21609-the-jocaxian-nothingness.html

So you've invented a template. Big deal. Where's the action?

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com

#15#16#17I think too many people are subscribing to the notion 'law requires a lawmaker', especially among those striken by the anthrop(omorph)ic principle

#18We don't have remotely enough information about the

range of values those fundamental constants referred to in the 'Anthropic' argument have, or what possiblepossibleof values would allow something we might recognise as 'life' to emerge. It is extremely unlikely that the laws of physics we have currently deducedcombinationspreciselyeven our Universe, let alone all possible universes with similar laws but different constants - even small departures or omissions could lead to vastly different consequences.describeSome have attempted to estimate the total size of plausible 'islands of life possibility' within the multi-dimensional mathematical space defined by the fundamental 'constants', and it suggests that the possibilities are much greater than if we restrict ourselves to just varying one figure at a time. It would be like exploring only the edges of a cube in the case of three constants, rather than the whole volume, which is literally infinitely larger.

So the Anthropic Principle is not a good base to make such arguments on. It would be an argument from ignorance.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." -Sam HarrisThe path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds- meFrom the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

#19Wasn't there already a thread on this topic?

Jocax wrote:Let's see....what can I ask to clear this up?

If these laws can exist without the universe, in what manner would they 'exist?' What would be meant by them existing? Do they have any physicality to them?

Jocax wrote:So, without transcendental laws, there is no stability? Is chaos some sort of a default state of things?

Jocax wrote:But, why can't the laws simply be properties of the universe? Like, characteristics? You're claiming an additional step that seems unnecessary to me.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare#20Jocax wrote:I mean that you have made a model of a static universe. I don't think you are wrong, only that you should consider applying some dynamic agents to the model and see where it goes. My bet would be that "life" (not "lofe" or "lufe" or whatever) would manifest no matter what initial conditions you configure into the matrice. It may LOOK very different from anything we are familiar with, but I think it would pretty much amount to the same.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com

#21If 'stuff' of any sort has orderly or chaotic behaviour, that will be an attribute a property of the stuff, like its mass, density, transparency, etc, whatever may be applicable.

Any regularity of behaviour of anything is a property of the thing itself. Such regularities as we can identify can be

by mathematical expressions which can be referred to as a 'law'.describedStuff, whether 'ordinary' matter or energy, or the stuff of nominally empty space, and any regularity of behaviour or composition it displays, is what is observed as fundamental.

Any mathematical description of its behaviour is part of

way of describing it, just like simpler attributes like density and size, which can be assigned a single figure rather than a formula.ourRegularity and order in behaviour of some entity typically is determined by details of its physical structure, NOT by some Platonic mathematical formula.

Any formula we have devised to describe the behaviour of an actual entity is only an

, it does NOT precisely define the beviour in any ultimate sense.approximationFavorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." -Sam HarrisThe path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds- meFrom the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

#22Jocax wrote:Well yes, the universe did exist before we did. I am not sure how that relates though. The anthropic principal holds that the "here and now" are what matters. As far as the anthropic principal goes, I will state that it conflicts with the Copernican principal. We do not live in a special place.

There is a sense in which we do though. 10^9 years ago, the universe was not complicated enough for life as we know it to have existed. 10^9 years from now, the universe will be so different that life as we know it probably will not exist. So we do exist in a special part of space-time.

However, you missed my basic point.

There are many ways that we might not exist. There are many ways that life (as we know it) might exist. In fact, we don't even know that life as we don't know it might exist. In some other universe with different physical constants, there might be other “people” who hold that “the universe” is “just right” for them.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:=

#23#24#25So you are merely observing that there is some regularity in the fundamentals of reality. OK.

That has been already observed, long ago.

Now what is your point?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." -Sam HarrisThe path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds- meFrom the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

#26#27#28Jocax wrote:But regularity as such does not lead to or refute either 'principle", "athropic' or "destropic". The fact that we use math equations to describe the regularity is utterly irrelevant, that is just another way to affirm that the regularity exists.

It does not address the question of

there is such regularity. You need to follow the logic the other way.whyThis tends to follow from the idea that there is a finite lower limit to the size of entities, which seems to around the Planck scale, or not much less than the size of quarks and electrons. And also that energy can only have multiples of some discrete finite value, or 'quantum'.

This means that at the fundamental level, there can only be a relatively small number of different ultimate particles. This means that when we have large quantities of matter, it will contain only a limited number of types of constituents, such as atoms.

Large assemblages of identical units tend to spontaneously form regular patterns, like the hexagonal pattern formed by a collection of identical spheres packed together in a single layer.

This 'quantization' is in fact the fundamental principle that allows order to form and,

. It stops atoms and other structures from falling apart by progressive tiny changes of energy levels - such levels can only change in discrete steps, which means that as long as disturbing forces are less than that threshold, the atom remains in exactly the same state indefinitely.more importantly, topersistSo the finite lower limit on the size of the steps by which anything can change is what determines that we have order and regularity, persisting thru time.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds- meFrom the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

#29Jocax wrote:Okay then, I agree. Of course they exist independent of our abstractions.

Jocax wrote:Again, you confuse me. The way I understand "laws" is that they do not determine the physical world. The physical world determines the laws; or, rather, the characteristics of the physical world ARE the laws, i.e. the fact that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum IS the law.

Your question implies that there is some law of "the constancy of the speed of light," and that if this law did not exist, then the speed of light would not be constant, correct? This doesn't make any sense to me. Light being constant in a vacuum results from the physical properties of the individual protons. I don't understand how you're defining "laws," but if protons still hold all the same physical properties, light would inevitably travel at the same velocity. So, in order for any 'law' to have any effect on the velocity of light, it must be synonymous with some of light's physical properties. If that's the case, then sure, I'll agree with that; it would make this entire part of the discussion rather pointless. If it's not synonymous with some physical properties, then, well, that the heck is it, and how could it affect the speed of light?

Jocax wrote:Right.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare#30BobSpence1 wrote:Oh, BobSpence cleared up all my confusion with one sentence. Yay.

Jocax wrote:Well, now I'm starting to get confused again.

How does the strong anthropic principle follow from this?

#31BobSpence1 wrote:OK, that was obviously a mistype. Even so, it merits going in my sig.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:=

#32#33Jocax wrote:Or maybe not...?

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com

#34Jocax wrote:Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds- meFrom the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

#35