Old 01-10-2009, 03:30 PM   #31
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You can't determine which universe you are in because both of them are being controlled in the same way, to the same extent and with the same outcomes.
Wrong, I've already stipulated that one universe has a law for coin flips and the other one doesn't. You can't design an experiment to tell us the difference between the two yet you insist that there is some hidden difference. This is just a baseless assertion and whatever can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:36 PM   #32
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Why won't looking at the statistics of tossing tell you which universe it is?

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:42 PM   #33
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Why won't looking at the statistics of tossing tell you which universe it is?
Let me explain it again. Both universes have the same behavior. One is controlled by laws so that a coin flip always has 50 heads, 1 tail, 50 heads and so on.

The other universe behaves the same way, 50 heads, 1 tail, 50 heads, 1 tail but there is no law controlling it, it's simply a huge unexplained coincidence.

This means that no matter which universe you are in, the lawful universe or the one that behaves the same way out of chance, you will always flip a coin get 50 heads, then 1 tail, 50 heads, 1 tail and so on...

Any experiment you perform in either universe is always going to come up with the same results. There is no detectable difference between a universe that controls a coin into behaving a certain way and a coin that just happens to have the same results by randomness or chance.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:47 PM   #34
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But if there's no law controlling it and it's a huge coincidence then you will be able to tell by taking a large number of samples. A "coincidence" is nothing more than a statistical outlier, and the more you measure the less of these there will be. The only way increased observation would continue to support the original observation is if there is in fact some law governing it. All you have to do to know what universe you are in is toss many many times.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:03 PM   #35
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But if there's no law controlling it and it's a huge coincidence then you will be able to tell by taking a large number of samples. A "coincidence" is nothing more than a statistical outlier, and the more you measure the less of these there will be. The only way increased observation would continue to support the original observation is if there is in fact some law governing it. All you have to do to know what universe you are in is toss many many times.
No, there's no upper size to a coincidence and I'm talking huge. In both universes, if you toss it 50 times or 50 million times you still get the same results, even if you toss the coin forever you will still get the same results. How can you prove which one has a law controlling it and which one will be just a really big coincidence?
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #36
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Also let me remind you that we're talking about designing an experiment that we can actually carry out in one of these universes. We can't "flip a coin forever" to find out how it behaves. At some point we have to stop the experiment. It's not possible to flip a coin forever. How will you know, even though in both universes you got the same results, which universe you are in?
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #37
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In that case I don't think I understand the nature of this coincidence because random chance follows very well defined statistical rules and what you are describing doesn't. Indeed, the coincidence you describe seems to me to have properties more like those of a physical law, in which case I would have to agree with Sternwallow's earlier assessment.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #38
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In that case I don't think I understand the nature of this coincidence because random chance follows very well defined statistical rules and what you are describing doesn't. Indeed, the coincidence you describe seems to me to have properties more like those of a physical law, in which case I would have to agree with Sternwallow's earlier assessment.
I'm not talking about randomness. These coins aren't random. They are predictable. Each coin in each universe can always be predicted but one is governed by laws and one isn't.

It seems like the question is being avoided.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:23 PM   #39
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You are talking about randomness. Even though a law (and I'm not even going to get into the impossibility of such a law) says that you toss and get head 50 times and then tail once, you won't actually get that, you'll get a 50:1 statistical average after you satisfy the central limit theorem. IF you do really mean that you will always get that exact sequence then you're describing a universe so different to our own that you can use it to suggest anything you want. In your universe you'd be able to have a coin that had been tossed 50 times previously and know for sure it would give you tails the next time (quite handy for settling bets, especially in this universe where everyone will always call heads).

The question is not being avoided, it simply doesn't make sense.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:28 PM   #40
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #41
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It's called a thought experiment. You don't seem interested in actually thinking it through. I'm not trying to prove anything about our universe. I'm trying to prove that physical laws as governing forces are superfluous concepts but you have to be willing to actually play along and try to think it through.

Since you can't see through the thought experiment to the end I'll just tell you the conclusion.

There's no observable difference between a universe with laws that govern us and a universe that is orderly because that's just the way it is for no reason at all.

The idea of controlling laws is thusly rejected due to a lack of empirical evidence.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:34 PM   #42
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Thought experiments have to make sense too, otherwise what's the point? All you have demonstrated with your flawed thought experiment is that an undefined "coincidence" that leads to behavior indistinguishable from an undefined physical law is functionally the same as that law.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:34 PM   #43
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... You don't ...I'm not...you have to...actually think...
...you can't ... I'll just tell you...

...rejected ...


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Old 01-10-2009, 04:42 PM   #44
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an undefined "coincidence" that leads to behavior indistinguishable from an undefined physical law is functionally the same as that law
I think you might have actually understood it finally.

The question remains, if they are indistinguishable then why do some people insist on saying "no no, it's not a coincidence, it's a law that we are controlled by"?
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:46 PM   #45
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You said yourself that your so-called thought experiment proves nothing about this universe. That's one of the few areas where we agree. The fact that your "argument" demonstrates the equivalence of two undefined things is because it is tautological to begin with,and as such entirely trivial.

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