# Why does a non uniform distribution often seem to “beg for an explanation”?

Take for example the proposed fine tuning of the universe. Because there are certain constants proposed to be fine tuned for life, some postulate the existence of a multiverse with constants ranging through all possible values. This seems intuitive.

But why is this an explanation that is more intuitive than a multiverse that say has trillions of universes that all support life with the exact same constant values that we have in this universe? This concept seems to beg for an explanation. One can claim that it seems unintuitive and less amenable to “blind/chancy” forces because the constants being the same in all universes seems to require a reason for being so.

But why doesn’t a uniform multiverse beg for an explanation? More generally, why doesn’t a uniform distribution of values in any context require a reason for being so? It seems to me that something about values obeying a uniform distribution is enough to be intuitive and thus require no further explanation whereas values obeying a non uniform distribution may indicate evidence of design, or if not design, beg for a non design explanation such as a regularity or law in nature.

Now, this kind of design based thinking may be justified in the cases of a coin continually landing on heads or seeing the same lottery winner win each time. But in each of these cases, we have additional evidence suggesting both the existence of riggers or cheaters and the existence of incentives to both rig a coin or cheat in a lottery respectively.

Even in cases of non uniform distributions that don’t seem to indicate design, such as pebbles being ordered by size on a beach, it is only because we have an explanation based on physical laws that allow us to conclude that this arrangement of pebbles didn’t happen “blindly” or ”haphazardly”.

Without this additional evidence, is there anything fundamental or inherent in a non uniform distribution of values that requires or needs an explanation? Can a non uniform distribution of values “just be so”?

• I would be suspicious about any claim that a distribution is just intuitive and needs no explanation. Whether uniform or not, it always makes sense to ask for an explanation. And we have the familiar issue of: uniform in what variable? Some phenomenon can be uniform when described in one quantity and non-uniform in another. Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 1:24
• I think uniform distributions are the most "spread out" of all in the infinite limit (e.g. as the number line approaches infinity). We might liken this to a heat death of an infinite universe, where that distribution seemingly depends on very little, a low entropy prior condition, stat mech, and not much else. Again, this reasoning only applies toward infinity. The uniform distribution is somewhat manifest from very little towards the infinite limit. I don't know that other distributions share this. I might be off track but that seems like one possibility. Apply that to an infinite multiverse Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 2:00
• Also you might like youtu.be/ZnYQ3CXFhMo and golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2020/11/the_uniform_measure.html. Sadly the video has no transcriptions and is very long (but just look at who's in it!). I don't think they bring this exact question up but it's worthwhile for learning about what prominent philosophers make of the multiverse and fine tuning. They bring up lots of related ideas. Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 2:05
• It's a bad question since the distribution of universes is not an observation or falsifiable claim, but just a scholarly argument. So there are 2 very different questions in one here. Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 5:02
• Historically the observations about the "fine tuning" of the universe happened the other way around: people looking for creationist arguments claimed the universe is fine tuned to support their predetermined conclusion that it was designed. There is actually no objective reason to think the universe is tuned, let alone finely or with a specific purpose. Concerning the tendency of people to look for reasons behind what seems odd or unusual, there is an argument that it's a valuable evolutive trait for a species. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 6:32

You refer several times to intuition. Timothy Williamson argues that intuition has no special role in philosophy. In my view, the multiverse hypothesis is merely a thought experiment. So, if you are referring to non-uniform distribution within the one universe that we know, I will attempt an answer. I have argued elsewhere that there may have been necessity about the existence of the universe. In the panpsychist view, the fundamental stuff of the universe is matter-consciousness. The conscious universe may have decided to exist. Any deviation from a uniform distribution stems from that moment of initiation.

You need to refine your terminology to get a useful answer, as follows.

Mathematically, a uniform distribution assigns the same probability of occurrence to all different possible values within a specified range. So, rather than looking like a bell curve (for example), the uniform distribution looks like a rectangle.

Now a uniform distribution of a variable within a fixed range is a classic hallmark of outside intervention: within descriptive statistics, there is no naturally-occurring, randomly-driven process which yields a rectangular distribution shape. In a factory, for example, humans sort and select the members of the population to "fill" the variable range with as many items as possible, for a variety of reasons, so a uniform distribution is taken as a smoking gun of intervention.

In fact, in a factory containing a concatenated variety of outcomes where each is individually subject to the central limit theorem, any non-gaussian distribution is taken as evidence of what my favorite industrial statistician called "the hand of man".

• There may be a few uniform distributions in the universe. Like the density of the rings of Saturn along it's circumference. Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 5:22
• For rolling a regular die, the distribution of which face shows is uniform over the 6 possible outcomes.
– Dave
Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 17:51