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As a popular thought conundrum it is said that if our universe can randomly fluctuate into a self-conscious formation (called Boltzmann brain), then given enough time it will do so and hence the paradox is claimed to be that for a random given observer there's way higher chance to be a Boltzmann brain rather than a normal evolved consciousness.

My thought is: what if the chance to randomly fluctuate into simple cellular life that then evolves intelligence is just way higher than the probability to create an entire brain from a single enormous random fluctuation? If this is the case, then for a given observer the chance to be a normally evolved brain is way higher than a chance to be a Boltzmann brain and hence even though formation of Boltzmann brain can be possible, it can just have negligibly low probability for a given observer to emerge randomly than to randomly evolve intelligence.

This is a conundrum that's used to disprove serious cosmological theories that allow Boltzmann brain formation, so there clearly has to be something that I don't understand about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think the answer to this depends heavily on the meaning of "for a random given observer". What set of observers are you choosing this random one from? If it's, for example, an infinite set of observers that extends infinitely far in the future, then, given that cellular life is guaranteed by thermodynamics to exist for a finite amount of time, isn't the probability of finding a cellular brain basically zero? $\endgroup$ – probably_someone Nov 27 '19 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ "then, given that cellular life is guaranteed by thermodynamics to exist for a finite amount of time" this is a critically important notion. If cellular life is allowed to form for a finite amount of time, then why do we assume that Bolzmann brains are allowed to form over infinitely long time? Isnt cellular life just so much more probable to form under the same conditions than a whole brain? $\endgroup$ – Suslik Nov 27 '19 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ It can be assumed that cell life also creates the Boltzmann brain in the form of artificial intelligence, and AI, in turn, creates cell life. Probably 5–10 thousand years is required for this cycle. In such a model, AI and cell life exist on an equal footing (out of spite for physicists) :) $\endgroup$ – Alex Trounev Nov 27 '19 at 14:25

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