Arthanari Chandrasekaran

This conversation is closed.

Is there anything that a human being can never possibly do?

We humans are so overwhelmed with the millions of actions that we perform everyday. We call ourselves multitaskers and have todo lists and sometimes are concerned about over todo lists being overloaded.

But there should be zillions of things that human beings can never be able to do or are incapable of doing.

We might not have thought much about them. So thinking in this new perspective might create some new connections in your brain.

All the best.

  • Feb 2 2013: Rather than answering this question, I want to say the reason why human beings can do something is that something—our brain, history, nature and God—always enables us to manage to do that.
    We do see a lot of miraculous happenings around the world, but we also acknowledge that quite often those are beyond our understanding.

    If the things—could be anything—which have been enabling us to do something no longer work in us, that would be the key point of answering this question.

    By "a human being", I think you mean more than just a person.
    It’s not merely about what a person is really capable of right now.
    We, humans are not just on our own, ironically.

    (fyi, I don't want you to take this the wrong way. I'm not talking about some religious opinion. I hope you understand what I mean)
  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: I'm disappointed with the comments below that limit their answers to the physical limitation of out bodies, as out species has spent the last 150,000 years extending those with science. We can't walk on water, but we've invented boats, etc.

    What humankind can do is limited only by the physical laws of the universe, and our own imaginations.
  • thumb
    Jan 18 2013: I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to take off the filter of personal bias.
  • thumb
    Jan 15 2013: Yes. To live a life without sin, hate, lust or greed.
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2013: Arthanari,

    A human being can never know everything. And, related, a human being can never be fully flawed or, conversely absolutely perfect.

  • thumb
    Feb 10 2013: Humans try to do things to attain maximum in their field of interest. Climber wants to climb highest peaks, space sceintists wants to see the whole space etc. Similarly every wise person in the world try to be as wise as possible.
    Though we are taught that plants are lower form of life as compared to human species, ironically all the wise people in the world try or teach us, to be like a tree.
    Gives only ,never takes.
    Survives on minimum ,Water and minerals
    Makes its own food, no dependance
    Sambhav (equinamous)- free of twin opposites
    Takes all the set backs and bounce back , cut it chop it - it sprouts again .
    we can only try to be like a tree can never possibly attain all its qualities.
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: To live in peace and harmony.
    Well actualy people would be able to do anything if they will not destroy themselves before that...
  • thumb
    Jan 30 2013: Well, at first, everything was impossible. If you ask a man from the 9th century: "Do you know that in the future people will write letters by a machine, called computer?", he'll laugh and say you're weird or crazy. So, impossible things won't be impossible one day.

    I think so, too. And I hope that in my lifetime I'll be able to visit the Moon and Mars as a traveller. :)
  • Jan 19 2013: Tha answer is no. We are capable to do everything specially considering the fact that we are using no more than 4% of human brain :)
  • Jan 19 2013: the fact is that we are limited by our bodies themselves but the thing that we cannot do is pull someone out of death
  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: Human beings can not, by their own power, put an end to evil; because a mass of people are still groping in the dark, wondering what is 'good' and what is 'evil'.
  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: With respect to the scale of the universe, it seems likely that there are plenty of things that might fall outside the scope of human comprehension and ability.

    Although I cannot speak for human descendents who evolve from us, I am inclined wonder if there may be some physical laws or inherent properties of the universe that our very nature prevents us from being able to fully understand, even if we were aware of them. Trying to comprehend such topics would be analogous to trying to impart the laws of classical physics to an ape. Understanding and applying basic physics is quite possible (if not intuitive) for humans, but the ape's brain will only allow it to experience the depth of physics to a certain degree. The ape has some physical intuition that it is able to apply while interacting with its environment (for example, an ape would be aware that things fall towards the Earth), but the physical structure and programming of the ape's brain would make it extremely difficult/impossible to communicate to the details or mechanics of physics to it, even if it occurred to the ape to be curious about such things to begin with.

    I realize this answer is very unspecific, but given all the science that we have barely scratched the surface of, I believe it's a good starting place when it comes to identifying our own limitations. Thank you for asking this excellent, thought-provoking question.
    • thumb
      Jan 18 2013: What if you give that ape a cybernetic neuronal implant from 2023 and that same ape becomes more aware of the laws of the Universe than the whole Humanity combined in 2012.

      Within these conditions would you consider the ape gain or loss something to it ?
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: "But there should be zillions of things that human beings can never be able to do or are incapable of doing."

    I don't agree.
    I believe that anything is possible if enough time and energy is applied to it.
    It may not be exactly as expected, but it can still happen.

    We can fly, we can find out more or less anything in a minute, we can leave the planet, we can breath underwater, we can see into the past, we can talk to people almost anywhere in the world.
    Sure, its not in the way that would define us as superheros or gods, but its a pretty good (but a frustratingly slow) start.
    • thumb
      Jan 14 2013: I tend to agree with you Xavier...anything is possible with time, effort and energy:>)

      "Only as high as I reach can I grow,
      Only as far as I seek can I go,
      Only as deep as I look can I see,
      Only as much as I dream can I be..."
      (Karen Ravin)
  • thumb

    . .

    • +1
    Feb 12 2013: We can never
    Undo an act.
    Unsay a spoken word.
    Unthink a thought.
    Unsee what we saw.
    Unhear what we heard.
    Unknow what we know.

    We can not reverse time.

    On the bright side:
    We CAN HEAL someone and something.
  • Feb 11 2013: yes, avoiding from death. we just can survive.
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2013: Why limit yourself? Impossible is nothing!
  • Feb 9 2013: Our level of achievement will ultimately be limited by our imaginations.
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2013: Be Goddess.
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: To know what really is reality and truth.
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2013: even impossible has the word possible.
  • Feb 3 2013: I doubt if we will ever be able to create nature as we see it in this world. No human has created a mountain, an ocean or the blossoming tree outside my window. We live on a planet of questions. In time we may be able to provide answers to many of them, but I think our nature is limited in that we will will never have all the answers we seek. l
  • thumb
    Feb 3 2013: Human beings will never find God through Science or organized Religion.
  • thumb
    Jan 30 2013: We cannot count to infinity. This is a limitation we created with the nature of numbers. A thought is that many of the limitations we see today we created. Usually inventions make something possible and open doors to new possibilities. We see this with the seemingly limitless possibilities of what you can accomplish with numbers: calculations, statistics, organization, etcetera. But one limitation we do see in he inability to count to the highest number..
  • thumb
    Jan 23 2013: using the word never means we are making predictions about the future, humans of the 22nd century and beyond, having benefited from accelerated evolution due to genetic remodeling, may very well do things and think in ways that humans in their current form clearly can't. It seems obvious to me that accelerated understanding of nature feeding into accelerated technologies, and visa versa, in an upward spiral, will change our current human abilities and form in profound ways. If not this century, soon. Hopefully, this will lead to a better, more humane civilization and not advantage the dark side of the human animal.
  • Jan 20 2013: There is nothing called impossible for human's because impossible it self says that "i'm possible".
    Correct me if i am wrong...!!
  • thumb
    Jan 20 2013: One thing I like to say is that you can not die in order to save yourself. I like to pair that with MLK Jr's accredited quote that if you have not found anything worth dying for, then you have not found anything worth living for. Therefore, if you can not die in order to save yourself then living solely for yourself is not a life worth living.
  • Jan 18 2013: The "spark" of life. We human beings will never have the ability to create or to apply new life to mass. We will discover a great deal about life, its energy, its application, but to create it---never.

    We humans are limited, as many comments here affirm.

    The next question could be: Who does have the capability to do what humans will never do?
    • thumb
      Feb 1 2013: The only answer that comes to mind is the one who can create life in the first place and have no limitations: God. Except that it's hard for anyone to prove that.
  • thumb
    Jan 18 2013: We can never fully comprehend human consciousness, using only science.

    Consciousness is far bigger than anything that can be grasped objectively. Consciousness is something we experience, but is impossible to define. We can 'distil' that experience by embracing the metaphysical, the poetic, the artistic - but the full gamut of consciousness still remains out of reach of the scientific method.
  • Jan 18 2013: the which human being can never possibly to do is we can never throw anything with the speed of light..
  • Jan 14 2013: Perhaps we are incapable of defining the limits of human imagination.

    IMO, the comment by Jacqueline d'Etienne is superb. There may be many things we cannot achieve because we cannot imagine them.

    This question has important implications.

    Should we trust that human imagination and innovation will result in a world of abundance?
    Should we admit that human innovation is limited and that we must live within limitations?

    Thinking of ourselves in a positive light generally results in more positive outcomes. But thinking of ourselves as having no limitations might lead to catastrophe. "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs, 16:18)
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: We cannot change the laws of nature or fully understand the meanings of "infinity" and "forever".
    • thumb
      Jan 13 2013: 'We cannot change the laws of nature'
      We've overcome natural selection in its natural form, we've ended diseases, we've manipulated nature for the sake of agriculture, we've cloud seeded to make it rain on command, we've bred species, we've brought others to extinction, we create houses that dictate temperature, we've created new breeds of animals..
      We manipulate it consistently and change the nature of any environment we see fit, thats pretty close.

      'or fully understand the meanings of "infinity" and "forever".'
      Infinity and forever are not evidential in nature or even verified to exist.
      Currently they're Mathematical constructs that we created AND utilize,
      So clearly we must understand the meanings of our own design, atleast largely.
      • thumb
        Jan 14 2013: 1) Well, that's true, but I was referring to gravity, electromagnetism...We cannot change the way they rule the universe.

        2) Even if those concepts don't exist in nature, what I said is that we cannot fully understand them. We do use them, but cannot wrap our heads around the idea of an infinite and eternal universe.
        • thumb
          Jan 27 2013: Luis Javier Slavador.

          Here, we will wrap our head around the idea that eternity exists using simple aritmatic.

          If 0 + 0 implies that nothing can be derived from nothing then 1 + 0 implies that something must have always existed, or nothing would continue to exist.

          This implies eternity Luis. The only way something could always exist is if eternity always exists.

          The fact nothing can come from nothing automaticly implies the existence of eternity.

          The fact eternity can so easily be demonstrated using simple aritmatic is a testiment that the human mind has problems with simplicity.
    • thumb
      Jan 13 2013: Not yet anyway. :)
  • Feb 12 2013: If you think of logically achieving something which is impossible, it always looks impossible.. you have to believe that there are some people on this earth who went beyond logics and boundaries because of their confidence, creative thinking, strong will and never say never attitude.....

    This line is bore but I believe it is the ultimate truth " U can never know u could not do it, unless you failed to do it "....

  • thumb
    Feb 12 2013: We have achieved a lot but world peace is yet a distant dream. We try to prove our government systems secular and democratic but they are from being truly secular or democratic. Ideally, in a peaceful world, weapons need not exist in the first place; but it seems that shall never happen.

    Gender Inequality is another issue prevalent at least in the developing societies. God knows when people will start treating each other equally.

    So there are a lot of basic issues and goals that we as humans with our present attitudes might never be able to achieve..
  • thumb
    Feb 10 2013: reach zero
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: Live in peace.

    Yep, Human Being shan't ever live in peace....

    "Except for those who have believed (in One God) and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience." Al-'Asr (103:3)
    • thumb
      Feb 6 2013: I don't believe in god (or gods), because all wars and hatred is caused by religions.
      Today i opposed group of homophobes and all those who hated gay people, were relgious people.
      I don't need a book to justify what is good and what is bad.
      Religion is selfish.
      • thumb
        Feb 6 2013: Fair enough. Your beliefs to you, mine to me.

        I do believe in one God/Allah/The Creator/The Merciful. All wars are started by people, who manipulate minds of others using religions, to obtain resources or power. I respect my fellow human beings regardless of their sexuality (which is a personal matter). I do oppose homosexuality in the same way I oppose shamelessness pop culture is pouring on our young minds. And I do consider myself religious. The Book contains ultimate guidance for all humanity.

        Religion asks you to be unselfish.

        Dick Brown, have you ever read Quran? Do you know what Islam is about?
        • Feb 9 2013: I'll be honest Dick, your ignorance lost the debate.

          Religion is too broad of a discussion. For example, Satanism and Catholicism are two religions, but are of opposite ends. Putting them into one category would be insanity!
  • thumb
    Feb 5 2013: Good question.
    One thing that a human being can never possibly do is to change the physical laws of nature. And, interestingly, another thing that a human being can never possibly do is to stop aspiring for achieving something seemingly impossible and succeed to achieve it through innovation, industry and technology.
    I am deliberately avoiding the spiritual undertone of your question.
    • thumb
      Feb 6 2013: When a human being says he has achieved something that was considered impossible, It should always be recalled that it was just another human being whose assumption was that it might be an impossible action which another human being proved that the assumption is fallacious.

      Hence no human being on this planet can ever be able to achieve things that are naturally impossible.
  • thumb

    . .

    • 0
    Feb 5 2013: A human being can never un-harm anything and / or anyone.
    Un-harming would require turning back time.
    However, on the bright side, we can heal it / them .
    ♥ ♥
    • thumb
      Feb 6 2013: Hey thanks for pointing out the typo, I am surprised about such thoughtful response of this question in spite of my silly typo.
      • thumb

        . .

        • 0
        Feb 8 2013: Your questions asks: " Is there anything human beings can never possibly do?"
        Human beings can never possibly un-harm someone or something they have harmed.

        It doesn't matter how much more technology we have or how skillful we get in 'multi tasking', what matters is the harm we bring to someone, or the harm that we cause to be brought to them.

        While technological advancements are meant to facilitate living, more technology can enable a greater harm. One example now is the increased injuries and deaths from texting auto drivers.

        You can hear how Einstein felt and what he said on the topic at;
        ♥ ♥
  • Feb 4 2013: Firstable to be able to understand this question I think it's important to realize that the impossible you question exists because we imagine it ; so the impossible are things we dream about or have nightmares about but we do not think will happend (putting aside the absurd mind constructions we can create just for the fun of it). Plus at the present century on his own there are many things a human cannot do.
    -(Teamwork is also an important question about this ; we often say that we are more than the sum of our components). (if working together)-
    So my question would be : Is human capacity to reach it's objectives limited in it's essence ?
    I think this is the real question because it puts aside the : "what if I wanted to create a flying spider elephant. Now that's impossible right ?"
    Now to me the real thing is about our own limitations, Human ones more than environmental. At the human scale, the one of a life.
    And I think we are not limited by ourselves, I have that faith that human will can overcome human problems. That in the strictly Human field : the mind, we are not limited.
    But our environment limits us and we have to accept it in order to make our objectives from impossible, to unlikely, to reachable, to fullfilled ; in our minds, because that is that is important.
    Sure enough we should not give up our most "crazy" projects because we are being told they're impossible, enough stories prove that, but reevaluating the way we want to get there makes our objective go from one step to the other.
  • Feb 4 2013: No
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2013: Let's try. Why not?
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2013: live beyond his reality
  • thumb
    Feb 2 2013: @ Richard Krooman,

    Yes Richard. I've read them in thier entirity. You write good english, by the way. You appear to be a very interesting young man/lady?. Brash, curiouse and challanging. As to your talents, I know nothing. I have read your profile.

    Richard, this is where my head is at:

    Perhaps you could help me out. Norbert Wiener, Richard Feynman and Dirac are a bit complex at times and both Dirac and Feynman, can be a bit showy with their talent. I lack the immediate genues to understand in short periods of time, but over time I can understand their implications. These forumualtions have to do with the idea of intgrating potential particle paths in the quantum relm, by summing the historyical paths a particle could take from poistion A to B. Of course, infinity posses some limits on how many histories we can sum but we can, by taking into account the extream minutness of particles and energy, limit the number of histories to get a good approximation. Neithier Feynman nor Dirac take this approuch. It is something I'm tinkering with.
    I'm curentlly having to refresh my calculs just to follow along. I also admit, I'm a bit lost here.

    My email is listed so we could bear the other members the bordeum of our conversation by continuing it in email.

    John Moonstroller.
  • thumb
    Feb 2 2013: "But even in physics you could say that you can create "something from nothing" in the sense that one part of an equation is 0 while the other part is not. Actually the whole of physics seem to be forces which are able to cancel each other out." ~ Richard Krooman

    Excellent point Richard. Matter anti-matter cancels each other. But this is implying that the sum of all matter anti-matter particles equals zero. Before they can be summed, they have to exist. 0 would imply either they never existed or the summation equals zero. Without some kind of after effect, we would never know.

    Black holes exist but inside, there is no math nor physics that can describe the conditions there. Black holes were created from per-existing matter, so let's assume that all matter anti-matter particles existed before cancellation.
    From whence came the matter with opposite compositions such that they cancel and is there any energy produced by this cancellation, which would imply incomplete cancellation, leaving evidence of a one sided summation event?

    Before any reaction can take place,the elements of the interaction must exist. We are right back to whence came the elements? The whole of the math of the current class of physics we study is based on the assumption that the egg came before the chicken. There is no math where something is created out of nothing. The closet I can come is to suggest that something has always existed.

    Ponder this Richard: "What is a force without something to act upon?" Can a force even exist without something to generate it? If the sum of all forces equals zero,does this imply they don't or never existed?
    • Feb 2 2013: "Excellent point Richard. Matter anti-matter cancels each other. But this is implying that the sum of all matter anti-matter particles equals zero. Before they can be summed, they have to exist."

      Why do they have to exist? If none of them exist the sum would still be 0. You don't need particles to have the sum of them be 0.
      This is what I meant when I said (in my origional post) 5 - 5 = 0.... So take 5 particles + 5 anti-particles = 0.
      So why can't you have 0... and then split it to 5 and -5?
      There is no law of physics against that. Also no math to prove me wrong.

      The only thing that can be wrong is causality.... we have the idea that something must split the 0 into 5 and -5. However there is no proof of any of that.

      Also I never seen a black hole... and I've never attempted to describe the physics. But Stephen Hawking has made a carreer out of reasoning about them. Perhaps you should ask him?
      Your point being that I don't know everything about physics/math/the world... is a silly argument because nobody knows everything.

      And I don't get your "The whole of the math of the current class of physics we study is based on the assumption that the egg came before the chicken.". It kinda tells me that you have no idea what math really is (language). Also physics doesn't assume that anything came before something else. It merely describes how things change in a way such that we can predict what will happen.

      "Ponder this Richard: "What is a force without something to act upon?" Can a force even exist without something to generate it? If the sum of all forces equals zero,does this imply they don't or never existed?"
      How the &*%^#$ should I know? But that I don't know it doesn't mean anything.
      Nobody knows....

      Although it appears that in nature a force always has a counter force going in an opposite direction (on some axis... be it electrical charge / speed / whatever). So perhaps everything is a force... and perhaps 0 was magically split.
      • thumb
        Feb 2 2013: "Why do they have to exist? " ~RK.
        They exist so you and I will have something to talk about. :)

        "This is what I meant when I said (in my origional post) 5 - 5 = 0.... So take 5 particles + 5 anti-particles = 0." ~RK

        There is a big difference between your 5-5 = 0 and my 1 + 0 = 1. It's the apples and oranges thing.

        Before you can use the number 5, you have to justify where it came from.
        Look at this again. "if in the beginning you have nothing 0" you only have the set of all things with one element in it. To create another element, you have to have the number 1 in the set. 0 + 0 = 0 but 1 + 0 = 1, continuing: 1 + 1 = 2.... 1 + n, where n = infinity. < notice this: infinity.... eternity... This is the implication.

        Chicken and the Egg. One child has two parents...... all the way back to the first two parents, but where did they come from? The ancients conjered up God as an answer. Evolution teaches us the the first parents were chemicals and the forces of nature, which makes sense and does away with God.

        But, where did the chemicals come from, which puts God back in the picture, but answers nothing because where did God come from?.

        We can break it down till we have only one element to work with. Because 0 + 0 = 0 (nothing) we have to use 1 because 0 + 1 = 1 and ... 1+1 ... 1 + n = infinity...
        The only way we can put 1 in the picture is to allow that 1 has always existed and there never was a time when nothing existed.

        We can't multiply because 0 X [n] = zero.

        And this is the end of this conversation RK.... Good luck.
    • Feb 2 2013: You're not actually reading my posts... you just re-iterate what you already said.
      And although I agree on there being infinity and eternity etc... your arguments for them are so wrong.

      If in the beginning we have 0... and we want to get to 1... we can split the 0 into -1 and 1.
      That way we end up with a 1.
      And there are infinite ways to split 0... because you can even split it in -inf and +inf.

      You should be able to explain where your 1 comes from... while I'm only forced to show that if the universe works this way 0 is always maintained.
      • thumb
        Feb 2 2013: Split 0? impossible 0/2 = 0
        0/n = 0.
        zero divided into infinit pieces still = 0.

        Now divide (0 + 1/n) and let n = infinity. How many pieces do you get?

        As far as I know, it's the only argument for eternity. Join

        See how crazy crazy can be.... :)
        • Feb 2 2013: ...........................

          Have you even read my posts?
          Because I don't think so.
  • Feb 1 2013: There are many things humans can never do. Many of them pretty simple.

    Be objective.
    Know the future.
    Read the mind of another.
    Turn back time.
    Find certainty.
    Avoid pain.
    Look in the Face of God.

    This is a quick list. Kind of silly, we know that they can't be done, but pretty well universally keep trying anyway.

    I almost forgot, we will never "win the War on Drugs," eliminate poverty, or end crime.

    Finally, the thing that humans will never be able to do... is to know their limits.
  • Feb 1 2013: Everything is possible as long as we ( human beings) need it, want it and work for it . In the past , there is a common tthought to suggest that it's not possible to reach the moon or to fly with plans , I can continue and give a lot of examples but the thought is that we can do everything as long as we want it .
  • Feb 1 2013: Understanding the reality & facts about the human "spirit"....!!
  • Feb 1 2013: No.
  • Feb 1 2013: Why ask what we cannot do ? Look at the things humans have done over the years, just incredible!
  • thumb
    Feb 1 2013: Humans can only use so many resources to defy whatever laws of physics 'cause no matter how intelligent they can be, it is simply impossible for humans to fly and breathe underwater. I rest my case. Oh and it's impossible for them to NOT die.

  • thumb
    Jan 29 2013: "Yes and no. In Nassim Taleb's book antifragility he talks about the concept of iatrogenics -- harm done from the healer. From this perspective we are advancing technologically, but we're also advancing how much harm our technology is doing to ourselves" ~ taylor tomasini

    Taleb's works are well known in the modern world. His ideas about "run over costs and dead end runs - my words" associated with building foundations based on statisitical implications was known well before his time, especially in the area of science.

    The nature of science, having to prove, experimentally, weither something is feasible or not, helps to reduce these setbacks. In areas where statistics is the only route, the effects are not so pronounced on the material world in which everyday people live, rather, effecting the theoretical implications of the creative process which happens, with or without our intervention.

    The harm of loosing a leg due to gangrene through surgery can be weighed against the odds of dying trying to save it through the healing process and cost is usually applied to the individual, rather than society as a whole. Looking for ways to heal a gangrenous limb is not affected by the indivudual loosing the limb and may have applications down the road.

    Social techical revolutions like the induestrial revolution, are noted to having impact on a society but those societies who failed to embrace the concept, suffer more so in a world where this was deemed to be a promising move. There is little doubt that techonolgy increases efficiency, allowing the distribution of wealth to be readily obtainable by the average person. It's impact on the environment is still being questioned but I have seen the results in my lifetime and agree there could be a better way to impliment new technology, at least pursuing more study on it's impact.

    I think this is the route we are taking, based on our obsevations of the effects we've seen so far.
  • thumb
    Jan 28 2013: Moving back onto the topic, Is anyone familiar with the singers RyanDan?

    When I wonder at the capacity of a human being, it becomes mind boggling at the depth of analysis we need to use to measure the human aspect of emotional depth. Our ability to add emotional content to just about anything we see or do is hard, for me, to quantify in order to determine our range of emotion.

    For those who don't know, RyanDan is a duet of singers, two twin brothers. One day in their career, they received the sad news that their 4 year old niece, "Tal" was dying of a brain tumor. They dropped everything to go home and the song, "Tears of an Angle" was born from their emotional experience during this event.

    If there is one avenue of the human experience where we can communicate correctly with one another, it is on a plane of emotional expression. When you cry, I feel it. When I cry, you feel it. (for normal humans).

    After reading the words to this song, "Tears of an Angle", and hearing it, I found this dance, done by the male-female, team "Salvation", that added motion to the idea of the sense of lose felt by RyanDan.

    It is hard to view without shedding tears. The tightness in your chest becomes very apparent.

    There is so much to being a human being. I'm glad I born to be one.
  • thumb
    Jan 28 2013: "But saying that because we defined something in some way it must lead to some conclusion, other than the use of the definition, is wrong..." ~ Richard Krooman.

    I stand by the point I make Richard, unless you have something pertenate to reveal a flaw or incorectness, I see no reason to change the stipulation. Not everyone who has read this supposition disagrees wth it.

    The point remains, if there was nothing in the beginning there would be nothing still.
    Eternity exists.
    If there was "nothing" in the begining, we would have an eternity of "nothingness". But, because you and I are this,"something" exists instead. I know it's hard to wrap our heads around the simplness of this idea but there it is.

    The math only serves as a guide towards the understanding. It is, of itself, just a sign on a pole, pointing in a particular direction. In this sense, you are correct.
    • Jan 31 2013: How you are arguing your point here is very different from your post before.

      Here you are not talking about anything math related but just say that "if there once was nothing then we cannot be here now because nothing simply cannot 'create something' ".
      This is a philosophical argument that makes (somewhat) sense... it is very different from "simple aritmatic".
      There are other philosophical views which disagree but I hold all of those to be false as well ;).

      But anyway you seem to be confused about what math is...
      Math is nothing more than a very precise language.
      • thumb
        Feb 1 2013: Yes, I saw early one that you were confused by the math so I decided it would be best to pursue a different path, but you appear confused by philosophy as well. Let's talk about something else you feel more at ease with.

        I understand math very well and have no problem following both classical and quantum physics. I'm a long time member of where we engage is such conversations.

        But, as you see, the emphasis is on the fact of nothing can be derived from nothing. It is on this point that you need to ponder. Perhaps you might find a way around it. It has stooped me for many years.
        I would love someone to find another way.
        • Feb 1 2013: I'm not really confused about math... I've had quite a few pretty difficult math courses ;)

          But even in physics you could say that you can create "something from nothing" in the sense that one part of an equation is 0 while the other part is not.
          Actually the whole of physics seem to be forces which are able to cancel eachother out.

          All you have to do is invert the equation (which mathematically is correct but it also inverts our sense of causality in physics).

          Take for instance positive charge and negative charge... they cancel eachother out nicely... so you could X + Y = 0 (where either Y and X are opposing charges).
          Mathematically there is no reason why you cannot have 0 = X + Y.

          The main problem which doesn't allow this is that of causality. It makes you "force X negative... and because you apply force to X, Y becomes positive".
          For instance you hit something with a cloth... you become positively charged.. the object you hit negatively... and when you touch the charge eliminates eachother.

          Now I'm not saying that "from nothing something can suddenly start" because theres no 'start point'.. it appears logical to us that something is needed to split + and -.
          But the (mathematical) laws of physics don't actually tell us that a force is needed... it is just assumed by people.

          Even then though eternity probably exists (or well I can't find any way that it does not exist)
  • Jan 27 2013: A human being will never be able to defy the currently defined laws of physics. That's about it.
    • thumb
      Jan 28 2013: Friedrich von Hayek seemed to believe that human beings would have a tremendously difficult time with the social science -- being able to observe that which doesn't matter and not being able to observe that which matters. He went on to talk about the Spanish schoolmen of the sixteenth century who emphasized pretium mathemtaticum, which depended on so many circumstances it could ever be known only to God. We're able to do a lot less than we think we can.
      • Jan 28 2013: Einsten has been quoted as saying that imagination is more important than intelligence. We cannot currently conceive of what we will know; the earth used to be flat, the sun used to revolve around the earth, disease used to caused by demons, atoms used to be the smallest possible units of matter. We are surrounded by commonplace items which would be clear evidence of magic or demons only a few hundred years ago by the most educated people in the world. While there will always be immediate limits because each answer leads to new questions, there is no limit to our ability to discover what's next. There may be an example of where human knowledge and ability has hit a wall (other than physics) and stopped, but none come to mind. While our ability to encompass all knowledge on an individual basis is long since gone, this hasn't stopped the discovery of new knowledge. We may be overwhelmed as individuals, but not as a species. "Never" is a very long time.
        • thumb
          Jan 28 2013: I like the point you make. I think it's true.
        • thumb
          Jan 28 2013: Hi David, indeed Einstein favored imagination and was a great pursuer of "the mysterious", that which calls us but is always slightly out of our reach... Still, I would caution against the common assertion that "because it has not been discovered yet it does not mean it will not be discovered ever".

          There is a great letter written by Isaac Asimov called "The Relativity of Wrong" that talks about this concept. Science does not jump from one finding to the completely opposed, but rather builds up slowly over time.

          We know now, for example, that the earth is not flat, but spherical, and even more than that, not spherical but slightly flattened on the poles, and beyond that even slightly wider below the equator than above. However, unless the physical laws of this universe suddenly change, there is absolutely no way that tomorrow, in 100 years, or in 10000 years someone will suddenly find that the earth has changed shape into a diamond or a cube.

          So even though there is always something new to be discovered, most scientific discoveries are only refinements of (or more general frameworks which encompass) previous working models, and new theories need to continue explaining phenomena currently explained with the limited theories we possess

      • thumb
        Jan 29 2013: "We're able to do a lot less than we think we can. " ~Taylor Tomasinl

        But, with technology, we are discovering we can do a lot more than we thought we could.
        • thumb
          Jan 29 2013: Yes and no. In Nassim Taleb's book antifragility he talks about the concept of iatrogenics -- harm done from the healer. From this perspective we are advancing technologically, but we're also advancing how much harm our technology is doing to ourselves. Statistics is a great example of a technological tool that is valuable yet misused, and with quite acute iatrogenic effects. The restructuring of our society as a result of the industrial revolution is another example that comes to mind. While the industrial revolution has been extremely valuable we have social and environmental problems large enough to call into question the benefits of the industrial revolution.

          One last example. Friedrich von Hayek in his Nobel address talks about the mess the Economic sciences created by trying to mimic the application of thought of the physical sciences. He argued that we are 'Scientistically' approaching the social sciences in an attempt to be as successful in understanding the social sciences. And his Nobel address rings as true today as it did 50 years ago.

          Not being a neophyte here, just recognizing that our supposedly never ending world of technological and scientific possibility comes with a cost. What cost is too high? Is it a boom-and-bust cycle that almost collapses the world economy, is it the threat of global climate change, or how about something simple like our new found neglect for the elderly?
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2013: Humans do suprising things. A sweeping statment that limits the progress of man would have to include a complete understanding of the totality of reality. I know of no one with that wisdom.

      This statement: " A human being will never be able to defy the currently defined laws of physics. That's about it. ", remindes me of a statment made by scientists back in the early part of the 19th century:

      From 1894:

      "The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.... Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals."
      - Albert. A. Michelson, speech at the dedication of Ryerson Physics Lab, U. of Chicago 1894

      From 1888:

      "We are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy."
      - Simon Newcomb, early American astronomer

      Science is at its end,
      all the important things
      have already been discovered!
      W. Beaty

      You can read more here:

      We call it the unknown because it is: Unknown.
      • Jan 29 2013: I agree with you. My imprecise use of the word "current" was intended to mean current at any given time. I have no doubt that our understanding of the nature of things will continue to evolve in unexpected and unpredictable ways.
    • Feb 3 2013: I think a better or more apt conclusion is that we will never be able to defy the laws of physics. Because every time we surpass what the laws of physics are, we have a new law of physics, not just as we understand them on this or any other day.
      • thumb
        Feb 7 2013: Yes Pat, I agree, to a degree. I'd like to add that as our (supposed) understanding of Physics increases, so too does the level of complication necessary to describe our view from the current frontier.

        Due to our slow velocities we pursue in our everyday life, thankfully, classical physics enables us to deal with most, everyday problems. When an average person like myself jumps into the fray with the likes of Micio Kaku et. all, it can be very dazzling and confusing. It's a bit like trying to put a 10,00 piece puzzle together of nothing but a sunset.
  • Jan 27 2013: The answer to your question is mainly answered by how you would define human being.
    Which is also the problem with the question.... as I don't know how you would define it.

    We can invent a lot of stuff (it seems) but for instance it would be very hard to see a human fly like a bird on his own. So the question is more of where you draw the line... perhaps though in several million years humans have naturally developed wings and are capable of flight... you never quite know :D
  • thumb
    Jan 27 2013: Because the idea of eternity came up, I will demonstrate how the proof of eternity is a matter of simple aritmatic.

    If 0 + 0 implies that nothing can be derived from nothing then 1 + 0 implies that something must have always existed, or nothing would continue to exist.

    The fact nothing can come from nothing automaticly implies the existence of eternity.

    The fact eternity can so easily be demonstrated using simple aritmatic is a testiment to the fact that the human mind has problems with simplicity.
    • Jan 28 2013: sorry to interrupt you here but... since when does "0 + 0" imply that nothing can be derived from nothing?
      And also how does that imply that 1 + 0 implies that something must've existed?

      Math doesn't work like that...
      • thumb
        Jan 28 2013: Sure it does...... f = Ma implies that force is a measurably quantity that is equal to the product of a mass under going an acceration.

        Math leads us to the truth but that does not imply we will reconize it when we see it or experience it.

        The main point is: something cannot be derived from nothing.
        • Jan 28 2013: f = Ma simply defines what we call force. It doesn't imply a thing... it represents something though. And you can use that representation to calculate other things.
          For instance you can calculate how one moving object can change the acceleration of another moving object when they collide.

          But saying that because we defined something in some way it must lead to some conclusion, other than the use of the definition, is wrong...

          The 0+0 implies blabla is wrong on many more levels than what I've described in this post though.

          Also you can get 'something out of nothing'... because 5 - 5 = 0... so you can split 0 into a positive and negative number and still remain at 0.
  • Jan 23 2013: I guess there are a lot of things we cannot naturally do, for example, we cannot naturally fly.
    However, human beings are at an advantage as we can use resources effectively and with intelligence to allow us to do these kind of things, in comparison to other organisms who cannot do this to the same extent as us.
    I think there are a lot of things we cannot or should not be able to do, yet, I do not think this will stop us trying, and maybe even succeeding in most cases!
  • Jan 20 2013: A human being can't do what can't be done by a human being.

    Not very clever answer, obviously.. let me try again: can a human being accept that he can't answer to some questions, that his bounded rationality, biased point of view and experience occur in the middle beyond his control, can he step back and refrain to give an answer at any cost just because he need it, thus actually advancing more forward than he has ever gone? can he truly get rid of his ingenuous mind that provides him biased knowledge at constant rates, and look at things with a perspective that is no more subjective but objective? can he really know that is objective, without subjective definitions? can he live outside the pond?

    No, he can step outside it for certain moments, but will eventually slip into it to live on.
  • thumb
    Jan 20 2013: We can never understand the "theory of everything". We will not find the answer to every single question, because you can never understand the "whole" while your a part of it.
  • Jan 20 2013: skin and gut them self and still be walking
    but then there is the idea that anything is possible but most EVERYTHING is improbable. and as we all know, under every mask there is more than just flesh, there is an idea, and ideas my friends are bulletproof.
  • Jan 19 2013: Doing math as fast as computers, computers have got human beings beat for many tasks. They can perceive and react to causal events on orders of nanoseconds. This is why automated drones are the big thing in the military a "wireless pilot" is merely there to correct for random events and the odd aim and shoot mission.
  • thumb
    Jan 18 2013: I there anything that a human being can never possibly do?

  • Dan F

    • 0
    Jan 18 2013: I think individually we are bound by our history. I don't believe we will ever be able to relive to re-chart our past history. We can't relive the life we lived.
  • Jan 17 2013: Be responsible with power
  • Jan 17 2013: Well, if you think in depth about human beings' abilities we are able to do so much, but at the same time so little.

    We can cure some diseases, think, talk, write, walk, and more.
    But can we truly ever understand the world around us? The answer may or may not be no.

    You see, most of us are too busy to look around themselves and see what's happening in the world. Some of us are not even open to any thoughts besides what is happening directly towards us, our relatives, and our friends! Why are we so nearsighted towards what happens around the world?(I know some aren't, but just keep reading?) It is because we just don't care or we are to lazy to go look! Human beings ussually just want to focus on their life alone(this includes friends and families also)!

    The second part of this is understanding the nature around us. Oh! Science you say? That explains all about nature? Hah..Science really doesn't tell us much about nature. Yes, you plant seeds and a flower blooms. But even with these joining of cells from both mother and father plants cannot be explained. How does it happen? Well, we don't know. It almost rather seems like a work of magic if you think about it..

    We don't understand money..oh?Yes, of course you know how they work...Not
    You may know about inflation, how to spendit and save it,debt, and all this, but do you realize how foolish parts of it all is! Inflation is caused, because of the fact that paper money is "backed up" by gold and silver. Well, for a country to pay off debt, they must pay back money? Correct. Well then the paper money is worth less! So inflation occurs.. You pay more paper dollars, which are actually less than a dollar so that you can pay the full price! It's incredibly ridiculous how it all plays out! Humans truly do not understand how to handle money correctly... And anyways, who said money and gold had any worth in the first place? Humans.


    (I'm sorry that some of this is irrelevant to the topic.. I got carried away)
  • Jan 16 2013: A human can never possibly stop questioning. It can be perceived as the action of one's imagination or thought process, but I don't think there will ever be a time a human will be complacent about ones existence.
    There are always questions about faith, humanity, ability, progress, emotions, science, community and society.

    I think it is impossible for a human to let things be and not..question.
  • thumb
    Jan 15 2013: Let go of the thought that there is nothing we can never possibly do.
  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: Before we die, we will never know with certainty what comes after death.

    If nothing comes after: we will not know because, we can’t get evidence proving nothing.

    If heaven comes after: then God clearly does not want us to have proof of heaven, and so we will not get evidence proving nothing ether.

    We can know in our heart, but that is the limit.

    I figure life here on earth is more than just a pass/fail test; we are here to have experiences/lessons that we cannot have in heaven.
    So don’t just experience life, learn from it.
  • Jan 14 2013: There are hell lot of things humans still dare to do. First... Jumping on Sun..
  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: Dealing with questions and answers on my question area "Volunteerism", has made me think more about this question. What are the limits of human capabilities, not only in body but in willingness to help others?
    What may cause those limitations?

    Violence limits human potential by inflicting fear and apprehension on individuals, clustering them into groups, separated by ideals, fears and needs.

    How can such human interaction be put aside and do we humans, have the capacity to do so? Are we too grounded in or exoteric, natural inclinations to change?

    Are these inclinations a result of evolutionary forces, pointedly centered on the conditions of our planet and it's solar, oriented location?

    Are we different somehow from our ice age ancestors (technology aside), who predate us with their obvious, harsher environmental conditions?
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: G'day Arthanari

    Walk on water.........become all accepting, loving & nurturing
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: It would appear think sanely. Perhaps the definition of a human?
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: It appears to me that humans cannot live in sheltered environmental areas in space or on low gravity planetoids without suffering harmful effects on the human body. The human body was developed under the effects of gravity at a certian level of force and trying to alter that aspect of our body might not be possible by natural means.
  • thumb
    Jan 13 2013: How about kissing one's elbow? It's a very nice example of how limited we are.
    • thumb
      Jan 14 2013: Dear Jedrek...your comment made me want to try!!! LOL:>)

      I'm only an inch away from the target, and I believe with a little more stretching, I can do it! I firmly believe those who are a tiny bit more flexible CAN indeed kiss their elbow easily:>)