[ExI] Subject: Boltzmann brains
atymes at gmail.com
Sun May 3 14:27:51 UTC 2020
This seems to be an unfalsifiable hypothesis. The theory is that
everything you remember, all data and history and evidence, is a lie forged
by the random coincidence that caused your brain to exist in this moment.
This is a form of the old, "am I really experiencing what I seem to be
experiencing, or is it an illusion of some sort" chain of thought.
While it is true that the only thing you can prove is that you exist -
because you are thinking about the problem, which means there has to be
some thing that is doing that thinking, and the thing that is thinking your
thoughts and having your experiences is you by definition - Occam's Razor
suggests that it is far more likely that the universe as we experience it
is in fact what's going on. This further suggests that mathematical
convolutions that suggest something else have an error in their logic or
In this case, "brains just randomly forming and miserably and almost
immediately expiring somewhere in the universe should outnumber galaxies
randomly forming in that universe" seems to be the error. Specifically,
ignoring the different time scales needed for construction (and its effects
on the likelihood of random assembly) between extremely short-lived
entities that would need near-instant formation - brains forming and almost
immediately expiring - versus extremely long lived entities that can take
much longer to assemble - galaxies.
On Sun, May 3, 2020 at 4:34 AM Re Rose via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> To clarify my comment below, I didn't mean the proto-biolgical building
> blocks that have been observed, such as R,S-glycine, R,S-alanine, adenine,
> ribose, and their friends; or the simple protenoids and polypeptides -
> those building blocks of biology can and do spontaneouly form. I meant
> higher-order biologial molecles like, I dunno, hydrolases, or NADPH
> synthases, biologcally active structures like that.
> I have never seen evidence of the spontaneous formation in the galaxy of
> even biological-like molecules (like an ATPase or something), much less
> functional ones.
> Message: 12
> Date: Fri, 1 May 2020 22:31:29 -0400
> From: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: [ExI] Boltzmann brains
> HgjjLyA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> It occurred to me today that Wolfram's hypergraph theory offers a solution
> to the paradox of Boltzmann brains.
> Boltzmann brains show up when you contemplate sufficiently large numbers
> of fluctuating physical entities (atoms, molecules), where any physically possible
> arrangement of molecules eventually happens by some random aggregation of
> The theorists assume that the likelihood of a particular arrangement of
> smaller entities coming "randomly" into existence is a more or less
> simple function of the number of entities needed to form that
> Since it takes a lot fewer atoms to make a brain than needed to make a
> galaxy, brains just randomly forming and miserably and almost immediately
> expiring somewhere in the universe should outnumber galaxies randomly
> forming in that universe by some hundreds of orders of magnitude.
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