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Author Topic:   Do you believe in a multiverse?
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 16 of 45 (95325)
03-28-2004 4:36 AM


One of the iteresting parts of the multiverse model is that it allows the ekpyrotic version to model the universe without dark matter and energy. One thing that strikes me though, is that the 'brane' could just as easily be doubling back on itself, igniting two patches that in essence become two universes on the same brane. In fact the whole super-universe (with all the extra dimensions) could be filled with a single 'brane' the ultimate ouroboros worm of existence.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist


  
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 45 (95336)
03-28-2004 6:05 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Darwin Storm
03-28-2004 3:54 AM


experimental tests for many-worlds
The idea of multiverses in intersting, but not really an idea that can be verified or falsified at this time.

Actually there are some ways in which the many universes interpretation can be verified, although you'd need to be pretty brave for one of them.

The first involves playing Russian roulette with the firing of the bullet dependent on the probability of a quantum event happening. It doesn't really matter so much what that probability is, but if you had say, a 99% probability of the bullet firing and 1% chance of it not firing, this means that for every 99 universes in which you would die there is a universe in which you survive.

Repeat the process 10, 100, 1000 times. If you find yourself still alive at the end of it, its pretty good evidence of many universes (obviously there'd also be one hell of a lot of dead yous).

This idea has been extended so that if we live in a multiverse, there should be at least one universe in which we are immortal (see here).

Quantum computing may also allow us to distinguish between the Copenhagen and Many-worlds interpretation of QM. This site gives a little more info (as does this and this.)

Also, there are some suggestions that the Anthropic Principle may imply a multiplicity of Universes. Lee Smolin's fecund universes theory, which he expounds in his book The Life of the Cosmos, states that the physical constants of the Universe are fine-tuned to allow for conditions to maximise black hole production. Black holes then give rise to other Universes where the physical constants are slightly different. This is in direct analogy with biological evolution (differential reproductive success of black holes, you might say).

If Smolin's ideas are true, we would expect to live in a Universe with physical constants to provide a near maximal number of black holes (anything else would be vastly unlikely). This means that if we were to perturb any one of the 40 or so physical constants in either direction, we would expect less black holes to form in our Universe.

No-one knows the effect of changing all of the constants on black hole production as yet, so its no more than philosophically satisfying conjecture. It is testable though, and verifiable.

PE


Mrs Hardy: "And how is Mrs Laurel?"
Stanley: "Oh, fine thank you."
Mrs Hardy: "I'd love to meet her some time."
Stanley: "Neither do I, too."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-28-2004 3:54 AM Darwin Storm has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-28-2004 12:36 PM Primordial Egg has responded

  
Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 45 (95373)
03-28-2004 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Primordial Egg
03-28-2004 6:05 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
The many world hypothesis is conjecture, again there is no real evidence for or against it. As for the bullet scenario, that doesn't mean there are muliple universes. Just because someone doesn't have the gun go off, statiscally it is still normal. For example, every week millions buy lotto tickets. Almost no one wins, which is normal. However, one or several individuals do win, which is normal as well. Likewise, 99 people shooting themselves, and one with a dud, falls within normal probablities (though gun failure is usually much much lower than that, but its just an example.) Interpretation of these staticics as good, bad, lucky, unlucky is placing human emotional attachments to raw probabilities. It doesn't mean there are millions of universes where every one who bought a ticket is a winner somewhere.

BTW: multiple universes doesn't mean parrellel universes either, so even if a "multi-verse" does exist, it doesn't neccisarly follow that they are parrellel, or even similar in nature.

[This message has been edited by Darwin Storm, 03-28-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Primordial Egg, posted 03-28-2004 6:05 AM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Primordial Egg, posted 03-29-2004 2:09 AM Darwin Storm has responded

  
RingoKid
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 45 (95409)
03-28-2004 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by msg3030
02-05-2004 8:00 PM


msg3030...

...what if there were multiple drops in many ponds or allowing for movement in the initial condition of the water you'd get slight variations

time for more bubbles...

Imagine, if you will bubbles...
...expanding as they float around
bumping into other bubbles
and inside of these bubbles
is another bubble expanding
and so on...

...and if all these bubbles
made a musical note,
as they bumped and merged
and expanded,
they created chords and melodies
and so on...

<<(EDIT)>>

oh yeah...I like donuts too

[This message has been edited by RingoKid, 03-28-2004]


This message is a reply to:
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Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 45 (95537)
03-29-2004 2:09 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Darwin Storm
03-28-2004 12:36 PM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
The many world hypothesis is conjecture, again there is no real evidence for or against it.

But that doesn't mean it can't be tested - advances in quantum computing may mean that we find out whether or not its true in our generation.

As for the bullet scenario, that doesn't mean there are muliple universes. Just because someone doesn't have the gun go off, statiscally it is still normal. For example, every week millions buy lotto tickets. Almost no one wins, which is normal. However, one or several individuals do win, which is normal as well. Likewise, 99 people shooting themselves, and one with a dud, falls within normal probablities (though gun failure is usually much much lower than that, but its just an example.) Interpretation of these staticics as good, bad, lucky, unlucky is placing human emotional attachments to raw probabilities

I disagree with your assessment here - if you were to win the lottery 100 times in succession, then would you really put that all down to luck?

If we set up the bullet example with a 50-50 chance of the gun firing, had 10,000 trials, and you found yourself alive at the end of it, it is so statistically improbable that you've no other realistic option but to conclude many universes. And by increasing the number of trials, you can make the improbability of it happening by chance as small as you like. Sure you could assume it was all down to chance, but then you have to accept the fact that there's also a chance that all our experiments on everything (physics, biology, chemistry etc) have been freakish outliers and the predictions borne out have been total flukes.

If you can compare it to the fact that someone has got to win the lottery, then by analogy, one of the yous pulling the trigger has to survive - and this only makes sense in the many worlds interpretation.

BTW: multiple universes doesn't mean parrellel universes either, so even if a "multi-verse" does exist, it doesn't neccisarly follow that they are parrellel, or even similar in nature.

True.

When I was talking about quantum suicide I was talking about infinite universes. The fecund universes idea only requires 10^229 universes or so, from what I can remember.

PE


Mrs Hardy: "And how is Mrs Laurel?"
Stanley: "Oh, fine thank you."
Mrs Hardy: "I'd love to meet her some time."
Stanley: "Neither do I, too."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-28-2004 12:36 PM Darwin Storm has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-29-2004 2:46 AM Primordial Egg has responded

  
Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 45 (95544)
03-29-2004 2:46 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Primordial Egg
03-29-2004 2:09 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
1.) It may be possible to test multiple-universe hypothesis in the future, but not at the current moment. There are so many possibbilities in theories, how would you list them, let alone distinguish them. What happens if there are infinite universes, but no two are alike in what we take to be universal constants? What if there are only 3 universes? What if there are parrellel universes, how do w know they are infinite, and not just two. Additionally quantum mechanics could be just as easily solved by other models, which may fit the evidence just as well and with a simplier model. My point was, that scientifically, at this time, any hypothesis that involve more than one universe are , well, hypothesis, with little or no evidential backing at the moment. That isn't to say that can't change, and we shouldn't investigate them as possible, but to simply believe in them because we like the idea isn't science, its belief.

2.) I have to say that your gun theory is amusing. If I pulled the trigger 10,000 times without a shot being fired, I wouldn't assume some wierd cause, I would check to see if the gun was working. Again, you are making a arguement based on conjecture, and what-if, not based on the evidence. That isn't to say that there isn't evidence to be found, we simply haven't discovered any yet.
Additionaly, probablities don't require infinite realities to exist in order to have near infinite probabilities exist. For example, the odds are 1 to a few thousand that you will dies of a car crash, however that doesn't mean that there are 10,000 of you in existance, and in one reality, you die in a car crash. You may believe this is so, but again, at this point, it is simply personal belief.

3.) Again, just because the concept of infinite universes exists, doesnt mean the universes themselves do. It may possible to show there may be more than one universe, but it doesnt follow that there would be infinite universes. Again, without evidence and observation to back any of this, it is conjecture.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Primordial Egg, posted 03-29-2004 2:09 AM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
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Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 45 (95597)
03-29-2004 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Darwin Storm
03-29-2004 2:46 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
I think we might be talking past one another slightly. Here's what I think we agree on:

  • The many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of QM is conjecture

  • There need not be an infinite universes, there could be very very many, or a few. Or just the one.

  • At this time, any hypotheses that involve more than one universe are simply that - hypotheses with little or no evidential backing (unless you count QM, which is debatable).

Here's what I think we disagree on (sorry for any strawmen here):

  • The MWI is on a par with many other conflicting theories about the Universe and so is as good or as bad as any of the rest of them

  • The Quantum Suicide experiment is not sufficient to distinguish between Copenhagen and MWI, and would not constitute proof of at least a phenomenally large no of separate universes.

(The experiment was not devised by me btw. Credit where its due - its generally attributed to Hans Moravek, Bruno Marchal and Jan Tegmark - you can download Tegmark's paper here. He'd do the experiment himself, but his wife won't let him!)

That isn't to say that can't change, and we shouldn't investigate them as possible, but to simply believe in them because we like the idea isn't science, its belief.

Thats a fair point. In the higher echelons of physics, theories are selected for their aesthetic qualities and elegance of explanation, as there is an overriding belief (faith, if you like) that Mother Nature herself is elegant. Whether or not this approach constitutes science, I leave to the philosophers (I've seen art defined as "what artists do", so go figure).

Suffice to say, when you have two main interpretations of a physical process (QM) and one requires you to abandon notions of reality and what it means to exist, then I'm more likely to prefer the other one especially as it can, in principle at least, be tested.

I have to say that your gun theory is amusing. If I pulled the trigger 10,000 times without a shot being fired, I wouldn't assume some wierd cause, I would check to see if the gun was working. Again, you are making a arguement based on conjecture, and what-if, not based on the evidence. That isn't to say that there isn't evidence to be found, we simply haven't discovered any yet.

You can build an experiment to check the gun very easily. Every few 'clicks' you could fire the gun into the air to ensure it was working properly. You could do all sorts of things like fire at head or fire in air based on the decimal expansion of pi (i.e. 3 times at head, then 1 time in the air, 4 times at head, 1 time in the air,5..,9..etc) and assuming the gun fired as normal in the air you could perform a sufficient number of trials to rule out anything but the MWI. Its up to your imagination really. The conceptual point of the experiment is that the experimenter sets up a quantum experiment where it is very likely that he dies. If he survives, then it means that all quantum actualities do in fact "happen" and MWI is the correct interpretation.

Like I said above, I think we're slightly talking past one another - you're accentuating the fact that this is unsupported conjecture (which it is) and I'm saying that we shouldn't instantly assume that outlandish and seemingly implausible concepts like MWI cannot be tested. I also think you're unfairly dissing MWI by associating it with crackpot theories - I saw somewhere that there's a rough 50-50 between Copenhagen and MWI amongst physicists, but with several big hitters (Hawking, Feynman, Deutsch) in the MWI camp.

PE

added by edit: "or just the one"

[This message has been edited by Primordial Egg, 03-29-2004]


Mrs Hardy: "And how is Mrs Laurel?"
Stanley: "Oh, fine thank you."
Mrs Hardy: "I'd love to meet her some time."
Stanley: "Neither do I, too."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-29-2004 2:46 AM Darwin Storm has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-29-2004 11:28 AM Primordial Egg has responded
 Message 25 by Darwin Storm, posted 03-29-2004 7:35 PM Primordial Egg has responded

  
Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 45 (95649)
03-29-2004 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Primordial Egg
03-29-2004 8:25 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
I like our conversation and will respond later today, but I have to dash to my college classes right now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Primordial Egg, posted 03-29-2004 8:25 AM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
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Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 45 (95674)
03-29-2004 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Darwin Storm
03-29-2004 11:28 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
No worries - take your time.

In he meantime, this is quite germane:

http://www.hep.upenn.edu/~max/everett_newsci1.gif
http://www.hep.upenn.edu/~max/everett_newsci2.jpg
{Changed the import of rather large graphics files to just links for the same. Slow to load on slow connections (like mine), and also probably a copywrite violation. Click on links to see. - Adminnemooseus}

As is this (but I haven't read all of this, yet).

PE

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 03-30-2004]


"Probably the toughest time in anyone's life is when you have to murder a loved one because they're the devil." - Emo Philips

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 45 (95753)
03-29-2004 7:35 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Primordial Egg
03-29-2004 8:25 AM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
I think we can agree on the same premises. As for the disagreements, I would like to qualify a bit. I don't neccisarily thin MWI is one of a million equal possillitibies. It is one interpretation of several that currently has the public imagination of physicts. However, that being said, it does what any conjecture does, seems to solve some problems while bringing up a slews of others. The main support I have seen for it is more based on philosophical considerations and not on evidential support. There are numerous complex assumptions that also must be made, many of which are axioms without logical support. That being said, this is an area of physics that still has a long way to develope. Such ideas as MWI can be usefull tools, either succedded, failing, or raising other questions. However, public like of the theory is not the same as scietific support. As such, I don't think it should be taken too seriously until more evidence or testable conseqeunces are devised.
I will also say that the quantum suicide experiment isn't an experiment at all, and is more of a philosophical question. Normal experience seems to contradict the idea. You can win the lotto twice ( it has been done), but that doesnt mean there are millions of universes that are also generated without you winning both, or either. You could make the same experiment where you toss a penny 10,000 times in a row. According to the logic, if you did get a 10,000 heads in a row, than MWI would be proven. However, that probabilty is still an acceptable outcome for normal probability, and can't be distinguished between probablility, and a "seperate" universe. All things being equal, the probablility idea is a simpler model and the one we would use, unless there is other, strong evidence that we should use a MWI model.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Primordial Egg, posted 03-29-2004 8:25 AM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
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Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 45 (95757)
03-29-2004 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Primordial Egg
03-29-2004 1:33 PM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
The one gaping fault with this experiement is that if multiple unverises are created with each trigger pull, than multiple copies of that person are generated as well. Perceptually, each copy would not know abou the existance of the other. If the gun didn't fire, even after 10 trigger pulls, you still would be unable to disguish between a single universe where your odds of surviving where low, and a MWI model where there was guarenteed to be one universe where you did survive. Therefor this experiment wouldn't be able to confirm or deny the MWI model. The assumptions made by that article are terrible from a acutal experimetnal viewpoint. The experiment would verify nothing. However, the odds, in either model, is that you will expereince death. Even in MWI, most of the versions of you get shot, and since they don't all share consiousness, you may well be the alternate universe where you are simply dead.

This message is a reply to:
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Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 45 (95882)
03-30-2004 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Darwin Storm
03-29-2004 7:35 PM


Re: experimental tests for many-worlds
Darwin Storm writes:

However, that being said, it does what any conjecture does, seems to solve some problems while bringing up a slews of others. The main support I have seen for it is more based on philosophical considerations and not on evidential support. There are numerous complex assumptions that also must be made, many of which are axioms without logical support.

I'd like to go into what you think those a priori assumptions actually are, if you don't mind. Other than the obvious argument from personal incredulity about the existence of multiple universes, the idea seems to answer more questions than it raises. The one problem seemed to be its apparent testability, but even this can be resolved.
I think it does a good job of explaining why there is something rather than nothing but is rather expensive on Universes. We shouldn't find ourselves too surprised, in the whole scheme of recognising how tiny we are in the Cosmos, to discover that the Big Bang was merely the beginning of the local region of Spacetime, and the whole Multiverse is bigger and weirder than our wildest imaginations.

Its an interesting point you make later on:

Darwin Storm writes:

All things being equal, the probablility idea is a simpler model and the one we would use, unless there is other, strong evidence that we should use a MWI model.

I don't think its simpler at all - a wavefunction collapsing in the presence of a conscious observer making a measurement sounds incredibly complicated to me. Its cheap on Universes certainly, but expensive on coherence (no pun intended!). I guess the choice is how much you value one over the other and that's all based on incredulity.

Aside: if you have two competing ideas - how do you determine which is the simpler? Many people start off with God as the Creator of the Universe (or conversely, the Big Bang) as the "simplest" explanation, without realising just how complicated that "simple" explanation is. Why is the Copenhagen interpretation, with its conscious observers and its limitations on reality, any simpler than MWI?

Now onto your comments on Quantum Roulette:

Darwin Storm Msg 26 writes:

The one gaping fault with this experiement is that if multiple unverises are created with each trigger pull, than multiple copies of that person are generated as well. Perceptually, each copy would not know abou the existance of the other. If the gun didn't fire, even after 10 trigger pulls, you still would be unable to disguish between a single universe where your odds of surviving where low, and a MWI model where there was guarenteed to be one universe where you did survive. Therefor this experiment wouldn't be able to confirm or deny the MWI model. The assumptions made by that article are terrible from a acutal experimetnal viewpoint. The experiment would verify nothing. However, the odds, in either model, is that you will expereince death. Even in MWI, most of the versions of you get shot, and since they don't all share consiousness, you may well be the alternate universe where you are simply dead.

Actually, via your "gaping fault" you've identified why the experiment is so good. I'll explain further....

Imagine that its you performing the experiment. The first shot goes off and you die. What do you experience? Answer: nothing. You are dead.
In a parallel universe the shot didn't go off. What do you experience? Answer: a 'click' on the gun, probable urinary discharge and an overall sense of relief.

Now just before the experiment there would have been an infinite number of universes exactly the same, where the same you would have gone through exactly the same life and made the same decisions. The Universes would be identical up until the point where the gun fires / doesn't fire.

If you were some pan dimensional being looking down at the experiment, you would see scores of experimenters dying. As big a number as you can imagine.

If you were the experimenter, you would experience a never ending sequences of empty 'clicks'. After all, in your head, how can you experience anything other than being alive?

So you're right in the sense that in most Universes you die, but what you actually experience is a miraculous coincidence to contrive to make you live. Of course, you'd have a tough time explaining this to somebody after the experiment. If you're saying this isn't a very practical experiment then maybe so, you'd have to put your life on the line. An offshoot of the idea has been used to attempt to solve the upcoming pensions crisis in Europe.

Darwin Storm Msg 25 writes:

I will also say that the quantum suicide experiment isn't an experiment at all, and is more of a philosophical question. Normal experience seems to contradict the idea.

Normal experience also seems to contradict the idea of something being in two places at the same time. Why one and not the other?

You could make the same experiment where you toss a penny 10,000 times in a row. According to the logic, if you did get a 10,000 heads in a row, than MWI would be proven. However, that probabilty is still an acceptable outcome for normal probability, and can't be distinguished between probablility, and a "seperate" universe.

Oooh I don't know about this. Reminds me of that old maths puzzle:

Q. I throw a coin in the air 20 times and it lands heads every time. What is the probability it will land heads on the 21st attempt?

A. 100%. The coin is loaded.

If you really got 10,000 heads in a row that wouldn't mean anything fishy to you? Honestly?

Imagine all the experiments and all the independent lines of research which confirm, say, the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution. What's the chance that all of these experiments are the result of some spectacular fluke with freakish confirmations across labs all over the world? Remember, simply by increasing the number of trials on Quantum Roulette, we can make the probability of any interpretation other than MWI even smaller than the chance that the ToE is complete luck (we wouldn't even have to increase n (the number of trials) to an unfeasibly large number as the probability falls exponentially. It should all be manageable).

Wouldn't catch me doing it though

PE

[This message has been edited by Primordial Egg, 03-30-2004]


"Probably the toughest time in anyone's life is when you have to murder a loved one because they're the devil." - Emo Philips

This message is a reply to:
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Chimp
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 45 (170654)
12-22-2004 4:59 AM


The multiverse posits that there exists an unbounded infinite number of all possible worlds, where anything is possible. This definition of the multiverse is the same as postulating an ultimate God exists because an ultimate God then must exist in at least one universe.

So believing in the existence of a multiverse is the same as believing in an ultimate God.

Ergo, there is no real conceptual difference between an infinite multiverse of all possible worlds and an ultimate "intelligent creator". Since by definition all possibilities must exist, therefore God must exist in at least one universe.
Thus it becomes necessary to eliminate the infinities, in order to ensure that parsimony is well served.

Spontaneous events happen. They cannot be truly accidental but must be connected with an overarching purpose[intent] IF spontaneity is not due to acausality.

Acausality demands a logical justification, hence there is the explanation of randomness and probability distributions, which ultimately lead to absurdities[infinities], therefore the universe cannot be acausal.

The only logical choice is the factor of *intelligence* as the basis of ultimate reality.


Replies to this message:
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2385 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 29 of 45 (170657)
12-22-2004 5:04 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Chimp
12-22-2004 4:59 AM


Why cross-post/spam this over several threads? Why not just post it on one thread?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Wounded King, posted 12-22-2004 5:16 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

    
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2385 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 30 of 45 (170661)
12-22-2004 5:16 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Wounded King
12-22-2004 5:04 AM


Since the other thread has just been closed I'll repost my response here.

the Multiverse is defined to be an unbound infinity of all possible worlds

You may choose to define it that way, but it is by no means the only possible definition. The set of all possible worlds need not be infinite, and even if it were then the existence of God would still have to be shown to be possible for what you propose to be true. Also, a God who requires an infinite multiverse to allow his existence seems less than omnipotent.

hence there is the explanation of randomness and probability distributions, which ultimately lead to absurdities[infinities],

Since you are using infinities as the key stone of your argument for God existing it is perhaps rash of you to dismiss them as absurd. Why should a study of probabilistic phenomena neccessarily run in to problems with infinities, probabilities need only range between 0 and 1, are you trying to apply some form of Xeno's paradox here?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Wounded King, posted 12-22-2004 5:04 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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