Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Firing Squad Argument and fine-tuning

Defended against Elliott Sober, here.

3 comments:

William said...

Here's a place where DrLogic's fantasy world intuition pump comes in very handy.

The argument seems to be that there are many (10^50 by some SUSY theories) ways that the world could have been, but only rare ways that could have let us exist to be seeing the way things are.

But let's use DrLogic's fantasy world intuition pump: there are infinite ways the world could be,and infinite ways that living intelligences quite unlike us could have been considering them. S the ratio is infinity:infinity, or incalculable, by those lights.

Dustin Crummett said...

Taking that to its logical conclusion would destroy *any* kind of probabilistic reasoning. (I *thought* it was very unlikely that you would get six royal flushes in a row, and so I supposed you were cheating. But of course, there are an infinite number of possible worlds, consistent with everything I know about the universe, in which you're dealt six royal flushes in a row, and an infinite number where you aren't...)

William said...

Yes, that is a big problem in some versions of QM: in the Many Worlds interpretation of QM there is no genuine probability.

Probability of future events in this world can be more simply calculated based on similar events in this world's past, ignoring all other possible worlds in doing so.