- Hassan Syed
- Rosemount, MN
- United States

Executive Director (Resources), Twycross Zoo, United Kingdom

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## Is Universe design pre-programmed or random?

Is the incomprehension of complexity called chaos or does the true randomness exists in the universe? If we believed in what Laplace said, then we could argue that the whole universe is pre-programmed.

This could be the most compelling logical argument on the existence of intelligence outside the known physical universe.

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## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

But I think on the macroscopic scale things tend to follow a cause and effect progress. On this scale we only call things random if a phenomnon is too complex for us to elucidate a real cause. Like the roll of dice appears to be random, but that is because it's hard to determine how the dice will land and travel.

This applies to most molecular and biological systems and so on. But once we go subatomic, randomness does become inherent to the object. With quantum theory particles are calculated as probabilities. It is conceptually baffling and mathematically tedious. In traditional science and logic we are used to thinking of objects as only occupying a single position at a given time, with subatomic particles those traditional notions completely break down.

## Tim Colgan 50+

I've studied a bit of quantum physics - Heisenberg uncertainty principle, Schrodenger equations and the like. Have gone through the math. Applied it to hypothetical applications. Got the expected results. But was never too sure about it's true significance.

You have reiterated the common viewpoint - that randomness is inherent to sub-atomic phenomena. But I question the truth of this statement. In fact, a discussion here calls this interpretation into question:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty

"The interpretation of these relations has often been debated. Do Heisenberg's relations express restrictions on the experiments we can perform on quantum systems, and, therefore, restrictions on the information we can gather about such systems; ... Or else, are they restrictions of an ontological nature, i.e., do they assert that a quantum system simply does not possess a definite value for its position and momentum at the same time? ... The debate between these different views has been addressed by many authors, but it has never been settled completely."

In other words, although it has been proven that we can't simultaneously observe a particle's position and momentum, it has not been proven that an underlying deterministic foundation does not exist.

What do you think?

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

There could be a deterministc foundation to quantum physics, but I don't see a reason why we have to assume that there is one.

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

So if macroscopic determinism can be reduced to quantum mechanics. Why reverse the theory and say quantum mechanics can be reduced to non-macroscopic determinism.

## Tim Colgan 50+

So I just wanted to point out that quantum theory does not seem to prove whether the universe is "pre-programmed or random".

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

Even with determinism we thought it was rigid cause and effect sequence but then we discovered quantumm mechanics and we found out that determinism only appears to be deterministic in actuality it is just a highly probable random event. One day we may find out that what seems random in quantum mechanics is somehow determined who knows. But currently we have to work with what we have.

## Hassan Syed

## Hassan Syed

This is the reason; I think there is enough room to challenge the existence of true randomness.

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

Quantum theory predicts all the same natural phenomna as classical determinism and it does it very well. So I don't see a reason to assume that some "additional" variables are hidden from observation.

## Tim Colgan 50+

The popular press version of quantum mechanics is that it is "based" on randomness.

If you have any profs with a strong background in this area please do me a favor and bounce these ideas off of them. I'd really like to know how they respond.

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

The only reason why you are assuming determinism is the underlying principle is because that's what you've been accostumed to observing your whole life, that all things have a deterministic explanation, that the principles of probability only apply to phenomena where we don't have enough knowledge or information.

But that doesn't have to be the case for subatomic particles. mathematics is mathematics, we don't govern how it applies to reality we discover how it applies to reality. If subatomic particles can be inherently probabilistic and they can predict macroscopic determinism then the theory is sound. It can't be discarded. It can only be challlenged by further results but not by proposing hidden variables. To me this is like proposing a God like mystical presence to fill in details so the theory adheres to our preconcieved notions of reality.

## Tim Colgan 50+

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretation_of_quantum_mechanics

Quotes:

"There exist a number of contending schools of thought, differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered "real", and other matters."

and

"The Copenhagen interpretation was traditionally the most popular among physicists, next to a purely instrumentalist position that denies any need for explanation (a view expressed in David Mermin's famous quote "shut up and calculate", often misattributed to Richard Feynman.) However, the many-worlds interpretation has been gaining acceptance; a poll mentioned in "The Physics of Immortality" (published in 1994), of 72 "leading cosmologists and other quantum field theorists" found that 58% supported the many-worlds interpretation, including Stephen Hawking and Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman"

The "many-worlds interpretation" is deterministic.

Maybe you've become too accustomed to a probabilistic explanation.

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohm_interpretation

This is what the article you posted was talking about and I didn't see this interpretation as a credibl;e one because it relies on smoke and mirrors to describe the effects of the wavefunction.

Hassan also made it fairly clear that he believes our knowledge of quantum mechanics is in some way incomplete, it probably is, but there is enough evidence for a credible theory in either interpretation so it's not any more "incomplete" than any classical theory.

Now if we are discussing Many Worlds, which I neglected until you brought it up, I would say this theory could rightfully compete with the Copenhagen interpretation. I was always open to the idea of challenging the Copenhagen interpretation and we can discuss that if you want.

## Tim Colgan 50+

My purpose in debating the issue was primarily to test my own belief that the results of quantum physics don't discount the possibility of the totality being deterministic.

Thanks for helping me.

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+

## Budimir Zdravkovic 20+