Re: God

Eugene Leitl (
Mon, 12 Jan 1998 17:11:01 +0300 (MSK)

On Sun, 11 Jan 1998, Hal Finney wrote:

> One reason for believing in the existence of God is the fact that the
> universe appears to be narrowly tailored for the existence of our kind

Anthropic principle. From a (semi)infinite population of universes only
very few create (mostly, puzzled) observers. Homogenous, degenerate states
obviously do not make very good observers.

> of life. Take a look at figure 5 on
> and you see what a tiny fraction of the possible values for physical
> constants would allow life as we know it to exist. One way to explain
> this seeming coincidence is to say that our universe was intentionally
> created to have parameters in this region.

Let's assume that planck quantum foam-spawned universes are
mutation-catastrophe-subthreshold, and that generation of stable ones is
rare. Let's assume we can both boost (by many orders of magnitude) their
generation rate/shift their basic parameters by a) shifting the spectrum
of femtoscopic events into a high-energy scale (lots DIY deity particles
colliding) b) make them very special kind of events (special particles,
special energies, special everything).

Let's say our universe is open (bummer), and that fabrication of new ones
connected with traversable wormholes are impossible here (what a botched
design!). Soon the cosmos is full with superaltruistic supercivs, which
can maximize the generation of optimal, or nearly-optimal universes. At
the cost of their reduced lifetime: Good Gardening is incompatible with a
long life. If the supercivs are not homogenous, this would seem to make
for lots of dilemmas. (Why, the idiot altruist next door senselessly
wastes his resources! [lots of incomprehensible activities] That one has
teached him.)

Would you do such a thing, making the metacosmos a (much) better place to
live, at _your_ costs?

Gods'R'Us? Or Devils'R'Us?

> Note that this does not explain where the universe creator came from.

I think such questions are meaningless in a fluctuating multiverse, for
they are rooted in beliefs of monkeys with an euclidian spacetime habitat.
A pseudoproblem, like hen & egg precedence, or looking for edges in a
hypertoroidal spacetime.

> It is possible that the universe in which he lives is fundamentally
> different from our own in ways we can't currently imagine, and is such
> that life can exist automatically. He then created our universe to
> explore the possibility of how our kind of life would work, which is
> only possible within this narrow and special range (an advanced version
> of the way we play with different rules for cellular automata, and find
> that only a limited set of rules lead to interesting behavior).

As Moravec has argued, usurping God would require quite a collaboration on
his part. This may be different if our metalevel is sufficient high, and
not isolated as e.g. Ray's networked Tierra is. One hypothetical path to
Singularity is (spontaneous, or induced) complexity explosion of agents in
future network matrix. Maybe we _should_ be looking for a bug in the
metalevel (notice that many systems, as cellular automata, can be
implemented to be provably uncrashable). What's the particle physicist's
equivalent of crashme, and would it be a wise thing to try?

> Of course there are alternate explanations for this coincidence. It
> may be that all possible universes exist, and only those for which the
> constants are such as to allow the formation of life do have life form.
> But that is not a much simpler theory than the one which says that
> we were formed out of another universe; both require the existence of
> universes that we otherwise have no evidence for.
> Hal