The Percent Chance that Existence Exists

It has been said by well accomplished and esteemed physicists that the percent chance of our universe having its current constitution, that is, the physical constants of the cosmos, such as the gravitational constant, Planck’s constant, and so on, being precisely what they are, is infinitesimal.

Bosh and nonsense. This is why argument from authority is illogical: because in cases like this accomplished physicists are making a boneheaded schoolboy error.

Ever since Pascal, people have had a confused notion of what probability is. He was asked by a Chevelier de Mere, a gentleman gambler, about the odds of wining at dice. Instead of telling him that math cannot predict outcomes, only aggregate outcomes, Pascal developed a mathematical way of expressing in how many trials out of a hundred a certain set of results out of a given set of possible results would obtain. The chance of getting a six on the roll of one die (or 1d6 for you D&D players) is one in six. The chance of rolling two sixes in a row is one in thirty-six.

But the chance of rolling a second six after you have rolled a first six is still one in six, because the die does not remember or care what the last roll was.

The chance if a man picked up the die in his finger and thumb and places it on the table so that the six is showing is a meaningless question, because this is not a case where random chance if a factor expressing our ignorance about the magnitudes involved.

Probability is when you express that number of results out of a hundred trials in terms of percent, that is, the number of times out of a hundred.

That is what probability is. That is all it is.

Now, in the case of the coin toss, there are some factors that are controlled by the experimenter, such as the shape and balance of the coin, or the number of sides on the regular solid being used as a die. The other factors, such as the impulse and vector imparted by your thumb, the number of spins, the motions of the air as the coin falls, the resulting bounce, and so on, are not controlled.

However, those factors determine the end result of which side lands showing. Whenever a result of a certain number of trials is expressed as a ratio, the unknowns are assumed to be constant.

We often speak of ‘chance’ as if it caused something. This is merely a shorthand way of speaking. Chance is not a cause. The impulse and vector imparted by the thumb is a cause, but their specific magnitudes are unknown.

Now, in this case, we have one example of the universe, and no way of determining whether or not the cosmological constants are controlled by some other factor subject to variation or not. In other words, if you write the current value of Planck’s constant on one face of the die, you do not know how many faces the die should have, or what other values if any should be written on the face, nor do you know the factors which set in motion whatever events, if any, give rise to the constants. Indeed, it is not known whether the constants can chance.

Are the physical constants of the universe like a coin toss, where there was another possibility some unknown event bounced the coin to land it face up, or are the physical constants like saying a triangle has three angles, a matter where there is no other possibility?

Whether or not it is even possible for, let us say, Planck’s Constant, to be different in other universes is unknown. Whether or not it is possible for other universes to exist at all is unknown. Which other values aside from the value we have in this universe is unknown.

Do you see the problem? It is a meaningful sentence to say that the chance of a balanced coin landing headsup is fifty times out of a hundred because and only because the shape of the coin (it has only two sides) is known, and the factors that determine the fall of the coin (the impulse of the thumb) is unknown, but the thumb is known to exist.

Here we do not know how many other outcomes are possible because we do not know what causes the cosmological constants to be what they are. We do not know what would change any of those constants if any of them can be. We do not know if even a single other universe is possible aside from the one in which we live.

So the number produced by any so called physicist claiming our universe is unlikely or likely or inevitable or nearly impossible is utterly meaningless and nonsensical.

You would have to examine one hundred universes to be in a position to say how many of them have one property or another; and would have to observe or control the factors, whatever they are, which changed the cosmological constants, whatever those causes might be, assuming they have a cause.

It is akin to someone saying that the ‘chance’ that Euclidian geometry is true is one in a one hundred twenty five, on the grounds that there are five axioms and five common notions, and each one could be false. The problem is that “Two things equal to a third thing are equal to each other” is a statement that cannot not be true, so there is an not an equal chance of it being true as false; whereas Playfair’s axiom has three possible alternates: parallel lines being equidistant, parallel lines converging, parallel line diverging, that is, Euclidean, Riemannian, Lobachevskian.

Assigning a number value to the possibilities of other universes is not even speculation. It is not even metaphorical. It is pure gibberish.