Tegmark's Anthropism

Steve Witham (sw@tiac.net)
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 17:02:00 -0400

Hal Finney writes-
>One problem I have with Anthropic Principle reasoning is the claim
>that atoms and molecules much as we know them are necessary for life.

Me too. Max Tegmark's version in particular had me wondering why, e.g.,
the game of Life isn't simpler (lower on his chart) than some unification
of General Relativity and QM.

>[...]Maybe they will have to fall into a narrow range, but there
>will be *some* variability possible. So all the AP can really do is to
>reduce the magnitude of the problem. The essential mystery will remain:
>are there infinite universes, most of which have no life? Is there just
>one, and somehow it was created in the preferred state where life can
>evolve? I think there is a substantial issue here even accepting the AP.

Tegmark says his version is testable: we can see whether we're close to
the *simplest possible* life-sustaining set of rules. If so, why?
Tegmark's TOE says it's just statistically likely if all worlds are real.
If we find ourselves close to the simplest livable world, and Tegmark's
TOE predicted that, then isn't any other explanation of why we see what
we see (for instance, saying that this world is the only "real" one)
more complex than Tegmark's? "Adding information" in his words?


sw@tiac.net           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration
"Philosophers have often attempted to analyze perception into the Given and
 what is then done with the Given by the mind.  The Given is, of course,
 Taken..." --Daniel Dennett