David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Sat, 23 Nov 96 06:08:12 UT

The Past Hypothesis

If Transhumans become capable of consciously creating universes which are very
similar to our own, similar enough that they too develop intelligence and go
on to create intelligent universes of their own, which do the same and so
forth, then it will seem very likely to us that our universe was created by
one or more conscious beings also. As far as we know, we have not created any
universes similar to our own or any at all, actually, so we don't have that
reason to consider it likely that this universe was created by a conscious
being. But if this universe ever develops an intelligence which creates other
universes which become intelligent and do the same, then it will seem likely
that our universe was created this way as well. This would be because those
created universes would be very similar to ours, and since the universes this
universe may create will have the property of being created by intelligence,
then it will seem likely that our universe will have the same property. Of
course, even if we do start creating universes like ours, it's possible that
ours is the first universe ever to develop.

The idea that our universe was created intentionally by intelligence does not
explain how the whole process got started in the first place; it just makes us
wonder how the universe that created us was created and how whatever created
that was created and so forth. Some think that this weakness is enough to
throw out the whole idea that our universe was created by intelligence. Of
course, the same argument could be used to declare that right now is the only
moment in time that has ever existed, since to say that this moment is the
result of previous moments is just a way of pushing the problem of where
moments came from back one moment, and we must ask where that moment came from
and so on, and our question is left unanswered. Some people say that
postulating the existence of a creator of this universe just adds an extra,
complicating idea that doesn't really explain anything, so it should be
rejected. I would say that this same argument also applies to the idea that
there is a past, that there are events prior to this one. Postulating a past
"does not explain anything. It adds to the number of things to explain. It's
simply a speculation." (the quote is from Max More, referring to the God
Hypothesis, but I think it also applies to the Past Hypothesis just as

Of course, there are some that will scoff at this notion that there is no
past, but then many in the Dark Ages, and many still today scoff at the notion
that there is no God. But as a true skeptic, I demand evidence that there is
a past. Can you prove to me that there is a past? Anything you show me I
will witness in the present, and it won't be proof at all. You have no real
evidence there is a past. All we're aware of is the present. Even what we
call "memories" are being experienced right now and should not be regarded as
evidence for the past any more than thinking about God should be considered
evidence for the existence of God. But we're so indoctrinated to believe that
there is a past, even though we have no empirical evidence at all for that

Keeping this in mind, many of the arguments that are used to attack the God
Hypothesis as an explanation for the universe can also be used to attack the
Big Bang hypothesis or any other Origin of the Universe hypothesis. Now, I'm
not necessarily arguing in favor of the God Hypothesis, but I just wanted to
make it clear that the same arguments that some people use to attack the God
Hypothesis can also be used to attack the Past Hypothesis. If using the Past
Hypothesis helps you achieve your goals in life, then go ahead and use it, and
if the God Hypothesis helps you achieve your goals in life, go ahead and use
that as well. It's none of MY business how you run your mind.

- David Musick

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