I would like to share my view on this issue.
I think some answers with the word "anthropic" need not to be dismissed, but could be interpreted them in a deeper sense.
Anthropic should not be something derogatory, "just humans", as if we were not part of universe, instead perhaps it could be treated as concepts like "inertial frame of reference" are treated. A measure, a way to measure, a point of view, a frame of reference.
An imagination exercise:
Suppose one day a networking software is self aware.
Then is make some self replicas, and they ask themselves :
"Why we are on layer 7 of the OSI model?"
"Does it have something special?"
One of them would say "Because we can't live in lower layers then if
the universe would be lower layered we wouldn't be asking things like
Another might say : "To live in layer 7, previous layer must exist to
allow us, but, think on layer 0, our conversation are ultimately
travelling through a cable for example, then we are at the same time,
layer 0, layer 1, ... layer 7, the universe is not layer 7!!,
its one or all layer at same time, depending "who" is measuring it,
we can see it till layer 7, but the top we see doesn't mean it's the whole
that exist, perhaps there are higher layers than 7, and lower than 0,
that are forbidden to us, and can't be known at all"
I think 3D+1 is the top that our natural senses are aware of, with technology we could know or suspect other dimensions, as far we know, "conscious beings" can't rise in lower dimensions, but that perhaps is a prejudice, because whatever we call 3D+1 perhaps can be parsed in just 1D! (similar as in the above story), so we should review our statements, of course beings could exist in higher dimensions too (if they do not exist already, they would).
A single matrix in a paper although is within a 3D+1 it could contain higher dimensions, of course a matrix in a paper is not conscious, but nobody knows if a computer program will be aware of itself someday, that day, it will "live" and even "measure" a higher dimension, and again as the matrix in the paper, we would know that it coexist in a lower dimension too.
It's a very interesting topic, I've asked about this before, you could read the answer to that question too
what are dimensions?
This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 14:30 (UCT), posted by SE-user HDE