Reply To: General "Block Universe" Discussion

Ian Durham


Well, I guess the fact that evidence continues to point to the impossibility of HVs. Every time someone thinks they find a loophole that allows for HVs, it is usually fairly rapidly closed.


The multiverse *could* be a BW (or a BU, I guess). There’s no reason it couldn’t be. In any event, I still see the “future events as HVs” scenario as being just a fancy way of saying everything is simply pre-determined.

Either way, let’s look at it this way. Suppose you are right and future events are simply hidden variables (or “governed by HVs” might be a more proper way of putting it). Under that scenario the apparent randomness of the universe corresponds to a lack of knowledge on our part. But if they are truly HVs then they are impossible to fully know. Hence the theory is untestable, i.e. there’s no way to prove such a theory is the correct theory of future events. If they’re not necessarily truly hidden, then where are they and how does a BW theory predict them experimentally?

So, in short, either give me something physically testable or else it’s just philosophy in my book. I’m sure that makes me look like an operationalist but I’m really not because I do believe that Occam’s razor can be employed to root out the simplest but broadest theoretical explanations whereas true operationalists don’t care.

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