After Physics by David Z. Albert

By David Z. Albert

The following the thinker and physicist David Z Albert argues, between different issues, that the adaptation among earlier and destiny might be understood as a mechanical phenomenon of nature and that quantum mechanics makes it very unlikely to provide the whole thing of what might be acknowledged concerning the global as a story of “befores” and “afters.”

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Evolve that distribution forward or backward in time, by means of the microscopic equations of motion, so as to obtain information about the physical condition of the world at other times. Call this inference by prediction if the other time in question is in the future of T, and call it inference by retrodiction if the other time in question is in the past of T. The entirety of what we justifiably believe about the future, I suspect, can in principle be obtained by prediction from the entirety of what we justifiably believe about the present.

But hook all this up for me, if you would, with questions of the structure of the Mantaculus. Huckleberry: That’s just a matter of language. The Mentaculus is just another way of presenting the fundamental laws of physics. The Mentaculus is just the entirety of what follows (that is) from the microscopic equations of motion, and the statistical postulate, and the past hypothesis. And what the story of the billiard balls is supposed to make clear—in the language of the Mentaculus—is that the effect of conditionalizing the Mentaculus on facts about the present can be mind-bogglingly more restrictive toward the past than it ever is toward the future.

And very much the same sort of thing is going to be true of the regularity discovered by Arbuthnot. What Fisher has given us (after all) is an argument to the effect that it would amount to a gigantic coincidence, that it would represent an enormously improbable insensitivity to pressures of natural selection, that it would be something very much akin to a gas spontaneously contracting into one particular corner of its container, for sex ratios to do anything other than settle into precisely the stable evolutionary equilibrium that he identifies.

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