[ExI] The Soul
jasonresch at gmail.com
Sun Apr 26 20:01:57 UTC 2020
On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 2:23 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> John, or anyone: do you think that mathematics is more discovered than
I think it is discovered, for several reasons.
First, Godel proved that it is impossible to define mathematical truth. It
is simply there. It is not created, invented, nor defined by mathematicians
because it provably cannot be.
Second, if we assume mathematics exists independently of the minds of
mathematicians or the physical universe, then we can answer the following
Leibniz’s question: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Einstein’s question: Why is the universe so comprehensible?
Wheeler’s question: Why these physical laws and not others?
Feynman’s question: Why quantum mechanics?
Hawking’s question: What breathes fire into the equations?
Third, we find much physical evidence to support this theory. If we
starting purely from the assumption that all mathematical objects exist, we
can derive the following facts about the world:
- Why we find irreducible randomness at the quantum scale (even the
existence of a quantum mechanics could have been predicted from first
principles, without any experimentation)
- Why we find unlimited complexity in the small scales and more the
closer we look
- Why there is a beginning to time and why we can only trace back so far
before the possibilities explode (this align with our present picture of
the big bang and inflation)
- Why the laws are simple, computable, and probabilistic (it actually
explains the effectiveness of occam's razor-- it is a consequence of
algorithmic information theory applied to an infinite reality).
- Why the laws of physics appear fine-tuned for life (all physical laws
and universes are realized)
Finally, this is merely a continuation of the trend of science which has
been to give ever simpler descriptions which embody ever larger ontologies.
Consider how our picture of reality has grown:
1. Our world and the sky above it are all that exist (since ancient times)
2. Our world is one of many worlds orbiting the Sun (Nicolaus Copernicus in
3. Our sun is one of many stars in this galaxy (Friedrich Bessel in 1838)
4. Our position in time is just one of all equally real points in time
(Einstein in 1905)
5. Our galaxy is one of many galaxies (Edwin Hubble in 1920)
6. Our history is just one of many possible histories (Hugh Everett in 1957)
7. The observable universe is a tiny fraction of the whole (Alan Guth in
8. Our laws are one of 10^500 possible solutions in string theory (Steven
Weinberg in 1987)
9. String theory is just one among the set of all valid structures (Max
Tegmark in 1996)
We get all this explanation, for a theory which is so simple it can be
described in one sentence:
"All self-consistent mathematical structures exist."
Thus it is the pinnacle of Occam's razor. It is a theory that can explain
almost everything, while making the fewest possible assumptions.
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