September 06, 2013
Higgs Boson To Destroy Universe Before Boltzmann Brains Invade
One less thing to worry about: We will avoid a future where Boltzmann brains pop into existence all over the universe. Though the evidence is not yet definitive. So do not relax just yet.
How many of you were aware of Boltzmann brain threat?
A Boltzmann brain is a hypothesized self-aware entity which arises due to random fluctuations out of a state of chaos.
Maybe we are all Boltzmann brains who just think we are the product of natural selection.
Randall Parker, 2013 September 06 10:54 AM
That sounds kinda-sorta like one of the characters in Ringo's Looking Glass series.
Having examined the links, I'm still not sure I understand why Boltzmann brains are a threat to our worldview. Doesn't natural selection show that isolated brains are, after all, less likely than brains in integrated, organised systems?
I'm puzzled: Why would anyone worry about Boltzmann brains? Why is it anything to worry about? What makes it a threat?
What if a Boltzmann brain comes into existence with a glowing green hand and believes he is the Greek god Apollo? This obviously could cause us problems.
Brett, I think the danger is not that Boltzmann brains could threaten us but that we might actually be Boltzmann brains and our beliefs about the world simply delusions... Kind of like a spontaneously occurring counterpart to the brain in a vat scenario.
However, as to what this has to do with the Higgs Boson...
Again, I don't see the problem. Either we're Boltzmann brains in a long term coherent system that is functionally indistinguishable from reality, (Words hardly exist to explain how unlikely this is.) or the 'problem' resolves itself almost instantly. 99.99 repeating percent of Boltzmann brains are going to be dead a moment later, because there they'll be, spontaneously created brains without bodies around them, or survivable environment. The fact that you last long enough to think about it is almost iron clad proof you're not one.
This is the sort of college bull session worry that one ought to abandon by the next morning.
Worry about Boltzmann Saberhagen Berserkers, if you want to worry about something. Not BEING a Boltzmann brain.
" Boltzmann brains are going to be dead a moment later, because there they'll be, spontaneously created brains without bodies around them, or survivable environment. The fact that you last long enough to think about it is almost iron clad proof you're not one."
The brain could pop-up with accompanying self-contained machinery to keep it alive. Sensory information provided by a program running on the machine. The problem is that while highly unlikely it is probably not more unlikely than a whole universe popping out of the vacuum.
That really depends on the mechanics of a whole universe popping out of the vacuum, doesn't it?
The point here is that worrying about Boltzmann brains is juvenile. Isolated brains showing up out of nothing is wildly more probable than the particular universe we live in suddenly appearing, but what do we know about the probability of A universe appearing? Diddly squat.
All is not chaos, there are physical laws that skew the probabilities. Even they may have been set up by chaos, or maybe not, but you can't reason as though they weren't there. We don't need to worry about Boltzmann brains.
The problem is that however low the probability of such brains popping out, if the universe keeps expanding forever, there will be infinite time and infinite space, and thus infinite brains. Vastly outnumbering the brains developed through natural selection. If this is so, then by statistics it would be infinitely likelier to be a boltzmann brain than a natural selection developed brain.
That is unless time comes to an end or something causes the probability to drop to zero.