Ask A Genius 527 – No Governor for the Self-Consistency of the Universe
August 8, 2019
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, there’s no governor anywhere. There are principles guiding things.
Rick Rosner: The principles are emergent, whatever does not contradict itself can exist, but all these principles are not necessarily pre-existing. They’re embodied in the worlds that incorporate them.
It was a circular statement. I’m not sure if there is a metaphysical ground. I’m not even sure you could say anything pre-exists anything. In that, worlds that can exist in this hypothetical set of worlds that can exist come with their own histories, having a history is part of existing.
Having a worldline is part of being a thing that can exist, so pre-existing is something that needs to be defined or hemmed in.
Jacobsen: If you take any point of time in a worldline, and if you say, “Existing apart from that,” any object with dimensions and none of the dimensions are time.
Rosner: A moment, and you don’t really have a moment; what you have, a manifestation or a perception of a world that can exist. We have an incomplete perception of the entire universe. But our perception of the universe indicates that the universe is self-consistent to a fantastically high degree.
Within that self-consistency is an implied deep, deep history, and deep extent in space, all this stuff is implied. Like, I am sitting here in my TV room. The farthest that I can really see if like 30 feet into another room towards the other end of the house.
So, I can’t see into the universe across 14 billion light years. But everything I have learned and know implies that the universe is at least that old and that wide. All that stuff. It implies vast time and vast space, and a bunch of principles of self-consistency and related principles.
But these principles somehow have an existence independent of the world. It is something that needs to be chased down and pinned down.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Founder, In-Sight Publishing
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