Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chances are: the world was just created

Here is a proof that the world is constantly being created ex nihilo.

A: Science tells us that the states of the Universe progress from less to more entropy (more to less order).

B: This is because a state which is more entropic (less orderly) is more likely to occur than the state that is less entropic (more orderly). Which is because there are more possible former kind of states than the latter.

This is why it is less likely for the smoke to go back into a cigarette than come out of it. Which is why the flow of time has a directionality: things progress from more to less ordered and don't go back, because it's more likely for them to go forward. The Universe has more states to choose from in the "future" pile than in the "past" pile, which is why it tends to pick the "future" ones.

Now, imagine two hypotheses:

1) The world came into being (as it is, with everything in it, including our memories, etc.) 5 minutes ago
2) The world came into being 10 minutes ago

The world in 1) is less orderly than the world in 2), as per A. But that means that that the world in 1) is also the one more likely (as per B)! Hence, it's more likely that hypothesis 1) is more correct.

Which means that it is more likely that the world came into being 5 minutes ago than 100 billion years ago. And so on...

But that also means that it's more likely that the world was just created — a Planck unit of time ago — than any time before it. Ex nihilo.

Any questions?..


Anonymous said...

why does this even matter? It makes no practical difference either way.

Anarchist Chossid said...

And yet you decided to waste your time answering.

I think it makes a difference for those who take arguments against traditional religious views seriously. Why should people favor Old Earth over Young Earth? Because geological record is more compatible with the Old Earth hypothesis?

Well, what if the Universe came into existence (or was created) in a state with already existing "scars" of creation? For instance, were there ring trees in the trees of the Garden of Eden? What would be the meaning of those rings?

The question also matters for those who wonder about the creation ex nihilo. The correct debunking of this logic also matters for those who try to derive existence of G-d (or whatever other source) from some truth about the world.

Anonymous said...

You reversed your logic. You first assert that Entropy will always increase, and then you say that because of this, it is safe to assume that the older something is, the more order it will have. It is a complete logical dis-connect. The longer something exists, the more time entropy has to effect it, and thus the less ordered it will be. I am literally drunk right now and know that much. Come on, man.

Anarchist Chossid said...

Not if they started from different levels of entropy. Which is what's implied by the world as we know 5 minutes vs. 10 minutes ago.

I am not talking about some random worlds. I am talking about the world you know of at 5 minute ago vs. 10 minutes ago.

I.e., imagine there is a rule that you're more likely to be found drunk than sober (wherever we derived that rule from). Every drunk knows that the more you drink, the drunker you get. So, which are you more likely to have come into existence ex nihilo: you 5 minutes ago, or you 10 minutes ago.

Obviously, you 5 minutes ago, if our rule that you're more likely to be found drunk is true.

Now, you might say: but then, I would've been drinking only 5 minutes! So, I would be less drunk! Thus, less likely to come into existence! No, because you'd already come into existence drunk.

Anonymous said...

That's illogical. To use your own analogy, if I always become more drunk and less sober then if you come across me at any given point in time you can judge the age of the universe by the degree of drunkness or soberness that I exhibit. This supposes that you have the frame of reference of True Sober and True Drunk (Pure Order and Pure Chaos). We don't exist within these constraints. No, our universe is not completely chaotic, and entropy has not taken over. Nor is our universe infinitely old.

Anarchist Chossid said...

I never said any of those things. I never claimed that there is an absolute way to measure the universe by the state of entropy. I only said that you can compare the likelihood of the states of entropy. The more entropic ones are more likely. Do you dispute this?

Anarchist Chossid said...

the age* of universe

Anonymous said...

You use "likely" in such a strange way. You're assuming, for your argument, that the universe comes to be instantaneously. Your argument does nothing to support this, but bases itself in the assumption of its veracity. And yet, the logic in which you route your argument destroys it as well. If the universe were to form instantly and randomly, out of all possible states, then yes, you are correct. A more entropic universe would come to be. And yet here we are, nearly void of entropy. Our universe is filled with order and your logic is debunked by its own suppositions.

Xiaoding said...

Our universe is filled with order? More like it's a train wreck, quickly dissolving into mush.

In a mere 50 billion years ( I can't recall the exact number), people will look up at the night sky, and see...nothing! Due to the expansion of the universe.

That's an ordered universe? It's a cage of death.