Matt Hintzke

Student, Coffman Engineers, Inc

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Refuting a quantum mechanics theory

There is a fairly popular theory first developed in the 1950's I believe that states that the universe in which we are all accustomed to is only one of an infinite number of parallel universes and that because of the concept of locality and the act that, due to quantum mechanics, all particles (and essentially objects) can be at 2 or more places at the same time, these "other places" are actually other universes. Meaning that there are inifinite number of you and me doing all different things at the same time.
However, due to simple cause and effect logic, it appears that such a thing is impossible. Every action (or effect) that happens in the universe is governed by a cause. Essentially, I believe that all actions by myself, other people, animals, and inanimate objects can be traced back to the Big Bang itself. If all constituents of math and physics have fixed values, meaning things like gravitational constants, then everything, including brainfunction can be completely defined by a previous cause. All functions are manipulated by the environment around it, whether physically, emotionally, psychologically, or habitually, and because of this, it appears that there is only 1 single way that the space-time can unfold, through infinite number of causes and effects.

Overall, what I am saying is that it appears logical to say that if we could re-enact a big bang with 100% precision, that universe's history would be identical to ours in every single way.

What do you think about this theory?

An example I thought of was this:
Are there any scientific experiments that truly give randomized results given very precise initial conditions? If you do an experiment 1,000,000 times with every initial condition exactly the same, should you not get the same result every single time? This concept can be applied to the big bang's initial conditions

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    Jun 8 2011: There is a slight problem with your theory. The very idea that there be parallel universes for every other possible outcome of each and every experiment (if you believe this) arouse out of our inability to choose the outcome that will be part of "our" universe.

    To simply describe what I'm saying here, consider the universe in 4 stages. Say, at every stage an event forces the universe to 'split' into two parallel universes, each for the two possible outcomes of that event.

    Now at the first stage (after the first event) we have universes u1 and u2.
    At the 2nd stage, you will have universe u11,u12,u21 and u22. For both universes split further with the second event that produces two possible outcomes
    This will continue till we have on the 4th stage - u1111, u1112, u1121, u1122, u1211, u1212....and so on. A total of 2^4=16 universes! Imagine the number of quantum events that must be taking place - Zillions in a single second in a very small space! Multiply that with the amount of time passed since the Big Bang and the total space in the Universe (lazily assuming uniform distribution of particles and events), you'll get an approximate number of parallel universes created since then, AND the number of possible outcomes that each of those events had. With no way to know how which outcome was "our" universe.

    So, to answer your question, there is not a single way that the space-time can unfold, but a multitude of ways! This is because every cause does not have a single effect, but multiple possibilities as effects.
  • Jun 7 2011: Even if every action in the universe had only two outcomes (just like a coin toss), this wouldn't be true. Because each coin toss could either go one way or other and this alone could change the final result.
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      Jun 8 2011: Not if you could measure, air factors like velocity, pressure, humidity and forces applied to the coin during the toss. Given that information you could quite easily predict the outcome of every single toss. Therefore giving cause and effect.
      • Jun 10 2011: Even if you measure all those things, which you can, there is certainly a probabilistic behaviour inherent to the system. Coin toss is just an example. You can use fluctuations in the ionisphere, or noise in an electronic circuit.

        Your "refutation" was considered after unveiling of quantum theory, even by Einstein (infamuos "god does nit throw dice" quote), there were people that argued there are some "hidden variables" that we don't know. We now know that these assertions are not true.

        Famous EPR "paradox" was proved to be a wrong hypothesis experimentally.
  • Jul 18 2011: It seems to me that there is a tendency to assume that the big bang is the only source of cause, because the concept of singularity is so definite. What if our universe started out as a jet in near one dimension of possible infinite length, and is slowly accreting into a disk of near two dimensions of possible infinite area; with the mid transition stage being a volume of set limits changing shape? What if an apparent singularity is the result of staring at a jet down it's axis, and no way to see or postulate the dimension? This would also explain a varying rate of expansion. What if the universe isn't growing in a perfect sphere, and our observational limits are caused from being inside a changing lens?

    Why are we stuck on believing it is a permanently growing ball? Why do we think that phase difference is the same as being in multiple places at the same time, when it just may be that our universe is stretched across a boundary we can't see through? Effective symmetry doesn't have to be identical to be equivalent. The other side might have it's own influences. How could we tell? What if it wasn't actually the other side, but a continuance; with the center defined by our quantum grasp?

    In this thought experiment, our universe would vary in density and energy as it changes shape, and rotational inertia develops and aligns. And it would "cool" over all, having "gained" a dimension from start to finish during the process; though it wouldn't be constant or even linear. And the lack of significant anti matter in our universe might constitute the bulk of the opposing jet. It's a "white hole" kind of thought.

    This is an oversimplified use of some big tools, being my limit. Four parts classical mechanics, one part relativity, and a dash of quantum mechanics. Yet it proposes a potential (if partial) explanation of varying rates of expansion, dark matter, dark energy; and a different look at some quantum expectations.

    Just imagination flying around.
  • Jul 16 2011: The problem lies in the fact that the Big Bang is considered a singularity, as the normal laws of physics break down at the immense temperatures and pressures that the compressed universe was under. We really don't know what things were like immediately before and after the Big Bang. This is why particle accelerator physics is so interesting, because they try to get closer to recreating those conditions to see how matter interacts under such conditions. Thus, we couldn't re-enact the Big Bang in the way you want to.

    Furthermore, there are many cases where precise experiments have errors, for example there was a recent claim that a new particle might have been found at Fermilab which was concluded to be a false signal based on more data. (BBC articles: The discovery: The refutation of the find: ).

    Lastly, the main reason that quantum theory is so intriguing and confusing is that it does not follow the laws of cause and effect in a linear manner. Modern quantum mechanics is based on probability because it is impossible to know what the result of an experiment will be. Which slit does the particle travel through? It travels through both and then when it is observed its trajectory makes it clear which slit it came through. But there is no way to tell beforehand how it will react, and so quantum mechanics acts independently of traditional linear cause and effect.
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    Jun 20 2011: Ertuğrul Karademir 20+ says:
    Famous EPR "paradox" was proved to be a wrong hypothesis experimentally.

    Actually, it was not disproved at all. The experiment (made by Aspect, but inspired by EPR) did exactly
    what Einstein assumed it will (and what is now called entangling).

    What EPR and Aspect show, did is to torpedo the notion (stated often

    , e.g. here by Matt Hintzke:
    "We have no way of measuring how and when this parameter comes into play which is why we are restricted to the probability formulas.." .
    That is a 'classical thinking' - believing that there is a cause for the random results, but we just do not know it.
    It is common in popular books and bad physics courses, often comingled with classical interpretation of the Heinsenberg principle.

    In 'reality', there are no such parameters or hidden causes. The Uranium atom will decay or not, independently of what other atoms will do (that is, excluding real interaction, like in chain reaction..)

    I apologize for perhaps spoiling the brainstorms - or at least trying to.
  • Jun 19 2011: Dear Matt,
    If we re-enacted the big bang with 100% precision (having over come all the difficult), there would be still one catch. One Intial condition would be would not be at the same time t=0 as the orignal and would have an associated history (of an observer recreating the big bang) change the equations. Hence recreating the big bang with the exact initial conditions would not be possible ( even if travelled back in time t=0 to recreate it in a different but identical dimensions). Since creation of initial condition it seems would not be possible, hence replicating the exact same result would elude us. the difference I think between this and the repeatability of the regular experiment we do lies in the R factor.. A 95% factor is good enough to prove say two falling objectsfrom same height falling together. Rest being attributed to shape, wind etc.But to bring out the exact samehigh entrphy state of the universe, from thel ow entrophy state would require an R of 100% and nothing less. and the t>0 would put a varience factor ( however infinitesimally small) which progress geometrically with time.
    Therefore primarily, the cause and effect law stays intact but the effort to recreate an event does not.
    extending this case beyond t=0, to now. I propose if you could create an R=100% for every thing that happens, it should at first flow follow that the universe must become deterministic and future predictable. However the prediction must take into ints calculation ..pre-knowledge of the first iterative future generated by the model. Thus the calculation for the second iteration would be influenced by the first (which would in most cases now be incorrect). If the second iteration should throw up a future x, it would still risk a variance (caused by the pre-knowledge consideration at every second by every sentient being possessing the model)
  • Jun 13 2011: One can imagine a deterministic world whereas one cannot imagine a non-deterministic world. We cannot imagine it because the mathematical formalizations that we use to describe the world cannot be represented in image or in concreto (or how do you depict an object in 12 dimensions on a 2-D plane?). Since a great deal of our brain activity concerns visual processing we tend to favor world views that are 'imaginable'. We want to imagine it because we want to control it.

    My point is that nobody actually understands what a non-deterministic universe means. Usually, aspects of a phenomenon that are 'not determined' are simply not known i.e. an actual cause for x is not known, hence, x is not determined. Then, one puts theoretical considerations into play and claims that x cannot be known fundamentally. However, even this restriction to knowledge may have its peculiar cause.

    And in regard to free will: free will is either free or it is will. Considerations of determinism are not necessarily connected to this question. Different playground.
  • Jun 10 2011: This is mixing to many things together: parallel universes, cause and effect, the arrow of time, and applicability of quantum conditions in a quantum scale. At that scale, things like light, speed and time ceases to exist. No, you would not be able to solve all conundrums with the arrow of time, and with cause and effect.
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    Jun 10 2011: There is good reason to maintain Hume's skeptism of induction. To set the initial conditions accurately is limited by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. To set the position to infinite precision means losing all knowledge of momentum. To define an infinitely precise time entails infinite energy. This means that our world is constrained to a determinism limited by chaos theory. Cause and effect work well for classical dimensions and times but not for the quantum world.
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    Jun 8 2011: In dealing with the quantum world we need to get rid of our instinct for determinism, This is rooted in the physics of Newton and large objects and, yes, does provide a solid basis for scientific prediction and analysis at our macro level of experience. However, when we get down to quantum levels of reality we are dealing with probability of outcome rather than cause and affect. Like in any bell curved statistical framework, there is a centrally weighted probability that manifests strongest and in cases of observable world phenomena, will be the result effectively 100% of the time, due to destructive interference of the less likely possibilities. At a quantum level however, it is impossible to predict the outcome of any event. There is no cause and affect equation, only probabilities. Each time a quantum event occurs, a different result may come. the very early universe was determined by quantum size events, hence, given the same initial conditions an infinite number of outcomes are not only possible, but probably all exist simultaneously. This is what Aaron OÇonnell is illustrating in his TED talk. Any good primer on quantum mechanics will explain these notions.
    If we bow to a totally deterministic model then we must accept that there can only be an illusion of free will. OÇonnell's experiment is a vital peek at the most fundamental questions about the relationships between the brain, consciousness, free will and the 'bleed through' that may occur between a micro quantum world and the macro one we live in.
    The double slit experiment and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle underlie this thinking.
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      Jun 8 2011: Just because we interpret such events to be probabalistic does not mean there isn't a 3rd party variable manipulating the results. I understand the Schrodinger equation and Uncertainty principle completely and I have no doubts that it is a useful tool in the world of QM. However, there has to be some external parameter which validates a specific particle's whereabouts. We have no way of measuring how and when this parameter comes into play which is why we are restricted to the probability formulas.
  • Jun 8 2011: Lectures in Physics by Dr. Feynman will be very useful to you.
    When you ask " can you perform and experiment.... with same initial conditions" the answer is yes and no
    yes i believe with diffraction and no because we cannot define all the initial conditions

    So by what we know today through experiments and deduction / proofs is that quantum mechanics is valid

    Also the things are not really random. they have a probability distribution and as you repeat the same initial conditions - the final conditions will more or less fit into a probability distribution

    Also you mean that all physical phenomena must follow the rule of "implies and implied by" or rather "if a now then b has happened" is true then "if b has happened then a now" is also true.
  • Jun 8 2011: hiya matt, i'm glad you've said that because i've been thinking the same thing for a long time.the response i've always heard from professional physicists is that due to the heisenberg uncertainty principle, we can't know both a particle's position and it's direction at the same time, thus we can never perfectly re-create any experiment because it's impossible to start with every particle in the same place and going the same direction as it was before.however, this has never sat right with me, because human limitations are not the equivalent of physical limitations: just because we can't measure both a particle's direction and position doesn't mean that were it possible, the particle would do something different. on the contrary when particle X impacts particle Y there's a definite non-random outcome, so identical particle interactions (which are at the root of everything really) should always have identical results, and therefore this universe is the only way it could be.
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      Jun 8 2011: This universe may be the only way it could be, but we only see a shade of the entire picture.
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      Jun 8 2011: Thank you for understanding as well, you interpret this causality exactly how I do.
    • Jun 19 2011: I just wanted to clarify on the comment about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. It is not just an experimental/human limitation, it is in fact a Physical Limitation.
      At a quantum level, since it particles are waves (wave-particle duality), there is no such thing as a perfectly-defined position or momentum for the particle. This is the origin of Heisenberg Uncertainty, and this is why it is a physical limitation, a fundamental fact.
  • Jun 8 2011: Simply replicating the conditions of the big bang will not yield identical histories to what we've experienced necessarily...its the collapse of the wave function....the choice (for lack of a better word) of one of the super position states that is based on our observations that determines our history moment by moment...not a moment based on the outcome of the previous moment.....that would be a more classical approach. Basically you would have to replicate every wave function collapse starting at the big bang, to present, to get an identical least that's how i understand it.
  • Jun 7 2011: How would you explain the double slit experiment? If reality were structured as you presume, that every effect has a single distinct cause, then the result of the double slit experiment would be very different. The truth is that things do exist in multiple places at the same time, allowing single photons to interfere with themselves. If you are not familiar with the double slit experiment, look it up, it is a very simple experiment with a very informative result.
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      Jun 8 2011: I am completely aware of the double slit experiment and have even done it in school. This is much more than just that. Just because the photons behave in a probabalistic way to us, does not mean that they are physically like that. Another component to the double slit experiment is when experimenters tag, or measure, the photon going through the slit. Once the photon is measured in some way it deviates from the probability function and has one, definite trajectory. This measurement somehow disturbs the photon's probable trajectory and results in its real physical trajectory. The reason photons seem to be in 2 places at a time in the double slit experiment could be for a number of reasons. They could be travelling in a seperate medium, like another dimension, which allows for them to APPEAR to be in two places at a time in our 3 dimensions. We define location in three dimensions X, Y, and Z. If particles travel through other dimensions that are embedded within our 3, then it is entirely possible that the particle appears to be in 2 places at the same time when in fact it has a single position (x,y,z,w) where w is its spatial position along an unknown dimension.
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    Jun 6 2011: Hi Matt,

    I agree with your analysis. Those who disagree would be well thought of by me if they could explain "what would cause the different outcome given the same set of initial conditions or causes". Unless of course they are implying that some events don't have a cause. If that is so please tell me about one.
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      Jun 6 2011: If you follow a linear progression then it would makes sense to agree, limiting your focus to one cause then effect at a time. However the overall cause and effect is not linear. There are many many many causes and effects happenings simultaneously. This leads to numerous possibilities

      As I had stated earlier in the multitude of cause and effects there will be causes that have the ability to lead to more then one effect. If you have a sphere traveling directly at a wedge divider when the sphere hits perfectly in the center it has the chance to go left, right, or split and go both. In the stance you are taking you're saying that the sphere only goes one direction. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that. What happen to the other possibilities? Why must the sphere only go in one direction, how can it? It would go in each possible direction evenly in this case.
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        Jun 6 2011: Complexity does not answer the proposition. A series, or a group, or a cluster of causes (however you wish to put your argument) when assembled in the same fashion would result in the same outcome....if not why not.

        It is no answer to say "...oh there are many causes and thus it is therefore unpredictable"
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        Jun 8 2011: If the sphere hit the divider perfectly in the middle as you said, what gives it the means to go left or right? It would get divided equally and go in both directions because, after being split, both halves are completely identical and will travel identical ways. In order to go left or right, the sphere would have needed to have more mass in either of those two directions which is not true according to your mind experiment.
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          Jun 10 2011: Then there is the possibility of the sphere not splitting but instead bouncing back or coming to a rest.
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      Jun 7 2011: "what would cause the different outcome given the same set of initial conditions or causes".

      It's really not hard with a little thought experiment. Consider the problem with predicting the decay of an atom of uranium. Nothing we know about the uranium atom that can tell us why one atom will decay and another will not. The best we can do is predict the probability that a particular atom will decay.

      Now suppose your initial conditions contain a single atom or uranium and whether it decays or doesn't decay at a particular time is the point of divergence between two chains of events. If you play through once and the atom decays at the appropriate time you get one outcome. Now go back to the exact initial conditions and you'll find you are stuck with a probability not a certainty the same thing will happen. The only way out of this is to show a cause behind the decay of that particular atom at that particular time.

      The easy answer is 'there MUST be a cause' but it's singularly unscientific answer that assumes knowledge we don't have. It assumes the universe works in a particular way because it's easier to understand. It misses the point and much of the mystery behind QM.
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        Jun 8 2011: Exactly as you said, "Nothing we know about the uranium atom can tell us why one atom will decay and another will not." This is right, however contradicting yourself. Although the Uranium atom does not give us information about whether it will decay or not, that does not mean that there is not some physical property or environmental feature on the microscopic level that denotes whether the atom will decay or not. You honestly believe that one atom will just decay..just because, while another will not..just because. That sounds like terrible scientific logic.
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          Jun 8 2011: Matt, I don't honestly believe anything when it comes to science. Science isn't about belief; it is about evidence and designing experiments to test hypotheses.

          Your arguments are based on what you think the world should look like, not what we actually observe. For instance you are certain, it seems, that the radioactive decay of an atom is caused by some predictable underlying cause. That's a fine hypothesis that a lot of people have had, but until you can test it, it's just that—an assumption based on applying your observations in the macroscopic world to the subatomic world. There is enough evidence out there to cast a lot of doubt on that assumption. Until you can design a way to test, "some physical property or environmental feature on the microscopic level that denotes whether the atom will decay or not…" I think you are kind of stuck. Anything you build on this assumption will be an built on shifting sand.

          So no, I don't honestly believe that, but I do believe that we don't know, which scientifically speaking, is a much better place to be.
    • Jun 13 2011: You wrote: "Unless of course they are implying that some events don't have a cause. If that is so please tell me about one."

      That's an easy one to answer: The existence of the universe (or if you prefer, the initial conditions of the big bang) is without cause.

      So it's not a stretch to propose that similar causes to that which initiated the big bang continue to be at work in the universe.
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    Jun 5 2011: But the fact that we cannot reproduce the Big Bang precisely and that we live in a universe with many-yet-to-be-discovered features, makes us unable to claim a totally logical, unique universe.

    Here is my case for a parallel universe or the like. Our energy is constantly being engaged and often, it is misdirected in this universe. For example, unintended actions: You had planned one thing, but another thing happens. Or null actions: You act by not considering variables you should have and as a result, your consequences show only partially what could materialize. These messy, incomplete string of events leave potential energy throbbing like mad somewhere in space and time. I say that it's all mopped up in a parallel universe or leaves less probable ghosts of us hanging out somewhere else, trying to right wrongs for all of eternity. And I say all of eternity because the densest us in the here and now, actually have enough mass to direct energy effectively. (Unless I am a ghost and am only thinking I'm effectively making a point.)
  • Jun 5 2011: You're following one important train of thought already in the forward-looking mode. You (like I) want to know if there is any "news" that can be injected into the universe without breaking any of the rules. Be that news "random" fluctuations in the ongoing revelation of quantum particles' states or (more interestingly) the "free" decisions of sentient beings, we want to know if the universe is actually still forking along paths of possibility with ends unknown and unknowable. The key here is about the unknowableness. I think it's relatively easy to see that the twists and turns are indeed unknowable and dependent on decisions we make because of the deep nature of the unknowableness we can understand in taking the inquiry in the opposite direction:

    William Poundstone's "The Recursive Universe" uses Conway's Game of Life (CGOL) to elucidate some things about the real world. For one thing he shows how for a particular state of the game board in CGOL, one can always know the very next state (and therefore all subsequent) exactly, but one cannot determine the previous state with any certainty. This is for the simple reason that for almost all CGOL states, there are very many possible preceding states. The key point here is that the laws of CGOL, like the laws of physics, place detailed constraints on how one state transitions to another, but this does not mean it's possible to project backwards in time to identify prior states.

    Understanding this, one sees that your question presupposes something deeply impossible and is therefore flawed. It will never be possible to discover the initial state of the universe, nor to know the full extent of the current state. It's deeply unknowable, or perhaps "fundamentally irrelevant". For this reason the question (which is still a good question, I'm glad you posed it) is only a fantasy (no dis intended).

    The complete universe is exactly and only self-evident. No template, no model, no knower, no parallel applies. For us, anyway.
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    Jun 4 2011: What about the effect of our free will and the principle of quantum entanglement and teleportation working on our brain (mind) and hearts (emotions) even beyond our physical existence or the existence of our intellect and will beyond our grave?

    ( (
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      Jun 4 2011: I think that such a thing is utter nonsensical.

      - The theory is founded on a small part of our ignorance of the exact workings of certain parts of our cells (the micro-tubuli).
      - Our current models don't need to assume such unexplained things to explain what we know. (violation of occam's razor)
      - so far, no verifiable predictions have been made for this theory.
      - the developers of those theories don't understand QM at all. (they aren't even physicists)

      I highly recommend everyone to refrain thinking that quantum-spirituality has any sound scientific basis.
  • Jun 4 2011: I think what you are speaking of is more of an interpretation than a theory in the truest sense of the word. There is another more modern interpretation where the most minute of particles can be at 2 places at the same time because time doesn't exist for things moving at the speed of light. I think this should be a familiar concept, that if you somehow went faster than the speed of light you would go back in time. so slower is in our direction, faster is in the opposite direction and at the speed of light is a sort of equilibrium of time.Therefore if you were right on the edge of the speed of light time would seem to stretch and therefore 2 particles aren't really in the same place at the same "time", they just seem that way to us because we are far left on this kind of "number line" representing the speed of light, and the experiences at these speeds.
    • Jun 5 2011: I'm cool with this interpretation except for one part: A position is taken about going faster than light, ie. that time would go backward under those conditions. Leave that faster than light stuff out of it, and I see something worth exploring here.

      Can you tell me more about just what would be meant by "at the speed of light is a sort of equilibrium of time"?

      It's plausible to me that the "ambiguity of state" of a given "particle" is somehow proportional to its speed. I mean, how fast does an electron travel? Is its location equally ambiguous?

      What Aaron's talk suggests too, though, is that getting the energy of something near 0 (very slow?) also makes it become ambiguous. (?)

      Perhaps what both directions are suggesting is that the more unobservable something is, due to it's being too fast or too dark and quiet, its state becomes more ambiguous. But isn't that just stating the obvious?
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    Jun 4 2011: just a minor remark:
    infinite possibilities does not mean that everything is possible. (see Cantor for example)

    As for causality and the arrow of time: violations of causality following the arrow of time doesn't mean causality should not hold...
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      Jun 4 2011: In a limited infinity not everything would be possible but in the infinity of infinities?
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        Jun 4 2011: Even an infinite infinities can be limited...

        The number of lines in a plain are an infinite sets of an infinite number of points, while only one of all possible plains in a space...

        "everything" (possible and impossible) is not easy capture-able in sets of infinity....
  • Jun 4 2011: I agree that we should be able to trace the exact history of the Universe, but not necessarily with a re-enactment of the Big Bang. It would assume there were no other factors that led to the Universe's development. IMO, we should assume determinism (and plea ignorance) when it comes to pseudo-random phenomena in quantum mechanics, for the time being. Even if events occur completely independent of all properties and variables in the Universe, we should not assume absolute spontaneity. There very well may be external stimuli that interact with our Universe that, at the same time, are independent of our Universe to some degree or another. I can't accept something that is 100% random, it defies logic to me.
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    Jun 3 2011: ..and then there's that idea that the big bang was the beginning of time.the beginning of everything..which is kind of going out of may be what we call the big bang created the brane (membrane) we know as our universe but we don;t even have a clueabout the other branes or universes coliding to create our brane...... you know?
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    Jun 3 2011: hmmmmm..except cause and effect is normal physics

    and Aaron has shon that large objects actually exist in two states at once

    exactly as predicted from qunatum pysics and consistent with M-theory and parallel

    both of wihichalmost unify what we understsod bout physics as of einstein and what we came to know when we could examine the behavior fo sub atomic particles..

    doesn't Aaron's work make it apparent that oir weddedness to cause and efect may have kepus from seeing or at least looking in the right direction for how it all really works?

    Isn't it actually more logical to assume, as Aaron did, that what we observe for the components we are made of (sub atomoc paricles)must apply to things made of them > Does it even make sense to assume that aggregating sub atomic particles into larger objects would changes their behvior?

    We don't get it..yet..

    but there it is

    and I love at least that it's consistent

    that what is true of sub atomic particles is true of objects which are aggtegation sof sub atomic paricles.

    and don;t you just love the part that it had to be no one was looking.....
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      Jun 3 2011: Often things behave different in a community then as individuals. So when different types of sub-atomic particles come together it makes sense that they could act differently in the presence of other particles.
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        Jun 4 2011: except.....Aaron just proved that large objects actually do behave as particles..the object was in two places at once... ( did you watch the Ted Talk, Thoams..and actually thereis a comre complete description of the experiement)i
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      Jun 4 2011: it complies with existing between two places continuos aspect.

      thats just me replying to my own thoughts

      you know i thought a black hole was just that,a black hole, nothing escapes?then why is it that theres numerous observations of energy jets coming from proposed singularities?

      it's taken from hubble
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        Jun 4 2011: Hawking Radiation
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          Jun 5 2011: Actually it's gaseous material that has a luminosity brighter towards the leading point,what they can't understand is why did'nt it dissepate?other than attain a speed close to light,an ejectile?
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    Jun 3 2011: Would'nt the infinite cause and effect be cancelled out by the second movement if one were to imagine that they were to move over to the other side of the room and then go out the door but not actually do it, by going out the door the exercise in the mind becomes a proposal not an active possilbility, by not acting on it it dosen't become reality and in no way can it exist.if the bang did happen (personally i'm with eric lerner on that one) would'nt there be infinite possibilities right from the start already in place?

    forgive me if this is a joke

    I always thought it took intelligence that created possibility.
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      Jun 3 2011: This is another look at fate, and how it applies to this definite cause and effect theory. By imagining you are walking through the door but not doing so, you are merely acting on an effect caused by a prior intuitive thought to address the possibility. The reason you created this exercise in your mind was because you had causation (your desire to address the fact that it is possible to go against fate). However, because space-time does not act linearly, the decision to not go through the door even when you were already thinking about it was already set in stone. It is as if your fate at that moment in time was to in fact create your own fate by not going through the door.This is almost too complicated to explain, and to tell you the truth, my brain hurts haha.
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        Jun 3 2011: yes i see your point matt and it is humorous,i did'nt mean go against fate,i should of said if one tried to imagine. the first movement across the room has infinite possibility,the second dosen't because you never moved to the first.though it sounds lineal it is not gets to choose out of a quick possibility of around 5 to 10? possible choices at any given time but can only choose one then onto the next possible multi choice,we do this constantly all the time,the past mulitple choice flits out of existence the minute you make that one choice,one can't step back to that previous multi choice option because time has moved on and only possible within the mind.

        Do you think there is a dimension of choice?

        now to be honest its totally off topic and probaly still humorous and full of......

        i just read everything and yep way off target
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      Jun 3 2011: Did I say that each time step after the big bang creates a split of one dimension into 2? Even if I did, space-time does now flow like a river. The dimensions would not split like branches on a tree as time flows because well it doesn't flow. All space-time is superimposed ontop of itself meaning that all of the future and all of the past is somehow happening all at the same time. This deduction would conclude that there are infinite number of dimensions because for all we know time does not ever stop.
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          Jun 3 2011: I honestly do not think we are talking about the same idea. I have not said that anything moves faster than time. Actually I believe time does not move at all. It is merely a perception of our brains to accomodate the universe's movement from low to high entropy. as for our x, y, z exercise, are those values distances of some type? I am trying to understand what your logic is as well. I know there are other dimensions, not infinite number, but only 27.
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          Jun 4 2011: We know nothing about the concept of time other than the fact that it exists within our universe.

          Can you confidently say that time applies to these other universes just as it applies to ours?

          Speculations can be made, but history will tell us that usually we are wrong when we make speculation.

          This concept will hopefully be grasped by humanity one day, and we will look back and laugh at what we had previously thought.
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          Jun 5 2011: If time is finite then there would be no time.

          How can time all of a sudden just start, and how can anything precede time? All of these terms used to disprove the infinite concept of time are terms of infinite time.

          Are you saying that in our universe, effects need no cause?
          We know nothing of the big bang, and we know nothing of time.

          We will know someday.

          But we do know there is no free will.
          It's ridiculous to say that we have free will.
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      Jun 5 2011: Griffin...........Does paradoxical logic make sense ?
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        • Jun 5 2011: I totally follow you, Griff, and agree. Check out my other comments in this conversation and see if you agree with those.
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          Jun 6 2011: Griffin..............You are right. I am totally out of your league.
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        Jun 5 2011: A paradox indicates the boundary of a logical schema. So if a given logical operation encounters a paradox that it cannot resolve it can only be replaced by another schema. That's why there are several types of logic, most of us are familiar with formal logic and mathematics. There is also fuzzy logic and more relevant to this topic quantum logic. Specifically created for when formal systems fail. But any logic will always encounter a paradox according to Godel's theorem so the paradox will always remain beyond the boundary otherwise it would not be a paradox.
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        Jun 5 2011: Just to clear up beyond the boundary with reference to a given schema.
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    Jun 3 2011: As far as your baseball question if everything was exactly the same it would always lead to the same outcome. The thing is every time would be different. Besides that you brought that point up while missing the point. If you threw baseballs in infinite directions with infinite amount of varying forces then the outcome would be infinitely different.
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      Jun 3 2011: No, you are correct, I don't think you are understanding what the difference between multiple outcomes are from multiple effects and one effect creating multiple outcomes (this is the idea of parallel universes). I will lay it out straight:
      Factual: Infinite number of causes, like you state (directions and forces of throwing a ball), equals infinite number of outcomes (the ball going in infinite number places)
      My contradiction to parallel universes: Parallel universes imply that one single cause can create a multitude (infinitely many) of effects.
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        Jun 3 2011: The different tendrils of cause and effect are the parallels. If you take the big bang as the cause while we are an effect we are not the effect. The pathways from the cause to the effect through all these infinite causes and effect vary. The variances are the parallels.
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          Jun 3 2011: So are you saying that somewhere in a parallel universe, you are a quarter back for the New England Patriots, and are doing warm-ups instead of writing this text? If such a thing could occur, at what point in tracing back all the causes and effects of how your life transpired was there a deviation from your life right now? If the Big bang occurred exactly the same way in both the universes, the total effects in all of space-time of each should theoretically be the same, so where in that ongoing domino effect of causality do you become a QB rather than who you are today?
        • Jun 6 2011: May I know what caused the big bang? From what I read, the universe was created after the big bang, but what about prior to the big bang? Was there any existence or any intelligence?
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        Jun 3 2011: I still don't understand how you can can say that there are an infinite amount of cause and effect and yet argue that there is only one pointed outcome. That statement contradicts itself. If there are infinite possible cause and effects then there are infinite possible outcomes. Just because our minds tend to focus on one possibility doesn't mean that there is only one. It's not where I become a QB rather than who I am today, it's that I am a QB while I am who I am today.
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          Jun 3 2011: There is one effect for cause, yet there are trillions of each in the universe..I don't see how you don't understand that. Try to imagine every particle passing through the room you are in right now and bouncing off objects. The forces between the particle and the surface of the object is the cause, the resulting bouncing is the effect. Yet there are trillions and trillions of particles all doing this at the same time...
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        Jun 4 2011: Sometimes there are different possible causes to an effect, sometimes one cause can lead to different effects. The key thing I am having difficulties with is you say infinite amount of cause and effect. With infinite comes every possibility playing out somewhere. So we are developed as we are based on this effect from a tendral of cause and effect. On a different tendral is where you are the QB. These tendrils occur in the infinite amount of cause and effect. Different tendrals are spin offs from a junction in the path of the first dimension. The first dimension being your linear progression of cause and effect. When a cause leads to an effect that another cause can lead to there must be another effect that can be derived being that there are two causes. Then when following the line of C/E there is choice t this point these choice cause the divergence between me, myself and I. While this also expands past the point of joining me with myself it connects all as a species. There are Venn areas in the tendrals.
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          Jun 4 2011: This is impossible.

          The present is only a preview of the future, the timeline is technically predetermined, that is why we are incapable of determining the future.

          If there are multiple possible effects to a cause, than this would imply that free will exists within atoms.
          Even if atoms are capable of thought, they would not be capable of randomly defining the future, because even human thought is predetermined.
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        Jun 4 2011: First off you contradict yourself, if the future timeline was predetermined it would not only be entirely possible but in fact relatively easy to predict the future. Second why does an atom need to think?
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          Jun 5 2011: They don't "think" (whatever that means), that's why I said "this would imply" as a means of nullifying your claim.

          The future is predetermined, therefore it is impossible to predict it.

          If I told you exactly what you're about to do, then you would not do exactly as you were about to do. Because the conditions of the situation have changed.
        • Jun 19 2011: pre-knowledge would change the initial conditions, making the initial future determination incorrect.. however if the predictions were made based on pre-knowledge, then the future should as you said be determinable.
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    Jun 3 2011: Please don't yell at me. Highly uneducated man here. I will look at the link in a few minutes. But is the theory of parallel universe somewhat similar to the concept of extra-dimensions?

    Regardless, I find this fascinating. But if we are three dimensional beings, the fourth being time, how could we possibly comprehend anything beyond what we are? Surely we can have theories. But then, why wouldn't a plumber theory be as valid as the ones published by scientists? In the end, they are just as impossible to prove or disprove, aren't they? I said don't yell...
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      Jun 3 2011: Completely understandable, however parallel universes and extra-dimensions are two seperate things in most aspects. A parallel universe has multiple interpretations on what it actually is and where it lies. Here is a link to information about it:
      Dimensions on the other hand are completely real entities that have been proven by science. We have mathematical equations in string theory that need other dimensions to exist and I believe, at the top of my head, that we have guessed that there are around 27 dimensions in our universe. Comprehending them is another story. Brian Greene has a famous analogy for this, saying that if you look at a cable supporting a telephone pole from a distance, it appears to be merely a 2D line, correct? However, a closer look at the cable shows that it is crawling with ants, and these ants can move in all 3 dimensions. They can go up and down, left and right, forward and back. This is because the ant's perspective is so small and ours is so big. This can apply to dimensions we do not see, we are too big to see them, yet they are there. If we can look close enough one day, we may be able to physically see them in working order.
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    Jun 3 2011: So an infinite number of causes and effects somehow results in one possibility? Please explain this. An infinite amount of causes and effects would lead to an infinite amount of outcomes. The parallels are different outcomes. Our scope is only so large, we can only perceive so much.
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      Jun 3 2011: Actually yes, a single cause under specific conditions causes a single effect. If you stand in a vacuum and throw a baseball with the same force and direction everytime, it will always have the same trajectory and landing point, right? the same idea can be applied to any cause and any effect given very specific conditions. The baseball does not go different places when you throw it, which means a cause does not result in multiple effects.
      When I say infinite number of outcomes, I am referring to the infinite number of events that take place in the universe at any given moment in time, NOT the outcomes that result in a parallel universe.
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          Jun 3 2011: Well, our rules and laws were put into effect for a reason. Gravity on earth, with its specific mass, is 9.81 m/s/s and will not change unless the mass of the earth changes. This gravitational constant among all matter had to come from somewhere? It is the 'effect' from some 'cause'. This cause is most likely the ideal conditions that were created from the big bang. There is a certain amount of energy (A LOT) that created the big bang and for some reason, that amount of energy allowed for these specific constants to become what they are, constants. If we were to create a big bang with a different amount of energy, I believe these constants would form different values. Its almost as if the entire universe had to fall into a total equilibrium. And human beings' way of dealing with this equilibrium is attaching mathematical constants and equations to the events that occur.
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        Jun 3 2011: You seem to be making an argument that depends on all things behaving the way they do in a macroscopic environment. It's quite an inferential leap to go from baseballs to subatomic particles especially in light of reproducible experiments that consistently undermine the idea. There is a lot (I mean A LOT) of empirical data suggesting that this is not true—particles don't behave like baseballs and resist any attempt to fit them into a rigid deterministic framework.
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          Jun 3 2011: I understand this completely, I have read many books about the strangeness of QM's alone, and understand that particles do not necessarily behave like baseballs in the same reference (macroscopic level) point, where as baseballs behave like particles on a microscopic level. Particles may behave in a fuzzy way where probability allows them to take multiple paths in space-time, however, at the end of the day, where the particles ends up once it is measured is always definite. Its not the path in which it travels, it is its destination. For all I know, baseballs could leap through 19 dimensions on the way to a batter without us ever knowing, but that does not mean it will not eventually reach the bat.
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    Jun 3 2011:

    So here are some of Hume's ideas on causation, scroll down to the part that talks about causation if you check it out.
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      Jun 3 2011: Thank you, that was enlightening and I can related to what Hume talks about and his logic behind it. It is a little "out there" but I feel makes sense when viewing our universe as a whole, macroscopic system where QM takes more of a back seat and classical physics kicks in. Im sure there is a much more complex rule that goes along with this causation effect that appears to happen in the universe that lives deep within QMs. I hope to someday hear of a discovery made that unites the two.
  • Jun 3 2011: Hey Matt! Excellent points you are making. Having a degree in Philosophy, throw me a bone here and bear with me. Yes, your points are indeed, flawlessly logical...and I mean that. Logic, being an "either/or" thing-a-ma-bob, allows only for it's opposite: Non-logic or illogical. The "bone" I'm asking you to throw me is the possibility of there being a trans- logical way of wrapping one's mind around something. Just a thought...and I certainly don't know what's what. But at least this gives me a chance to put my very marketable degree to some use...HA! Ya gotta love it. Keep asking the questions....maybe there's some answers. When you get them, let me know. I'm open and I can use all the answers I can get. Thanks Matt.

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      Jun 3 2011: Wrapping ones mind around the actual, realistic behavior of our universe in this such way is encumbersome beyond all belief, however I see this theory as more of a theoretical stand point in which our 4-dimensional minds (including time) can interpret such bizzare happenings. Just like mathematics used everyday can simulate and calculate 4 dimensional functions without being able to grasp what a physical model would look like, this theory can be used to understand the "unfolding" of time throughout our universe.
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    Jun 3 2011: What you are describing is a pretty old idea with a formulation almost exactly like yours dating back to Pierre-Simon Laplace (and probably earlier). A lot of ink has been spilled on it. Rather than regurgitate, I'll point to wikipedia; it's as good a start as any if you want to get into the history of this idea:
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      Jun 3 2011: Actually Laplace theory sounds a little familiar, and mine is like it in some ways, however mine is purely theoretical and is in no way saying that we could possible predict the future or determine the past. Mine is more theory than mathematical in saying that the cause and effect rule still applies, and that this will in turn refute the idea of parallel universes because there is no possible way that multiple results can be found. Thanks for the link though!
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        Jun 3 2011: I think how or whether determinism functions at a quantum level is still a hotly contested issue. I don't think it's safe to assume "that the cause and effect rule still applies" as a starting point. That claim would require some serious work to back up. Mike Towler's Cambridge course on De Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave theory does a pretty good job with the problems, but I (as a total amateur) still find it almost incomprehensible.
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        Jun 3 2011: Ah, OK. Well you wouldn't be alone in hoping that cause and effect works all the way down, but as far as I know (as a rank amateur) determinism in quantum mechanics is still an open question. There seems to be a lot of evidence that things are not deterministic at this level—even well-studied phenomenon like radioactive decay are problematic. The assumption that the world will always make sense to us and we can know it is a hard one to shake.
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    Jun 3 2011: Well that's really untestable getting every detail of the initial conditions is for most practical matter impossible. With cause and effect I would like to refer you to David Hume, I am gonna provide you with a link later and I want you to tell me what you think. I am kind of debating the soundness of his arguments myself. If cause and effect doesn't exist as hume said, then regularity must exist but does regularity entail an explanation a why or a how? Still can't decide.

    When we are talking about quantum mechanics however the equations can explain the regularity but once again a bunch of equations cannot substitute the physical phenomenon that determines the chances of how a universe can evolve.
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      Jun 3 2011: Like I said to Mark, I completely believe it is impossible to actually test this kind of theory on the scale I am talking about, I am just using deductive reasoning given the physics and behavior of our universe to predict a possible ramification for refuting the parallel universe theory. Thanks
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        Jun 3 2011: Yeah it's reasonable, even when I study quantum mechanics I instinctively look for some kind of a causal explanation behind the wave function and so on but there is a war raging in my head wether this instinct is just my experience of the macroscopic world and how humans have evolved to perceive reason because of the macroscopic environment we live in.
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          Jun 4 2011: yes exactly the fatal flaw in Matts appraoch..and all science that strtas with a theory and tries to fit the wolrd into it..always better to start with a question that does not cobtains ones own version of the answer..

          that's how Hawing & Eisntein made their leaps..

          and Matt how do you reconcile Aaron's results with your construct?
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          Jun 3 2011: I like the idea, and yes that seems much more realistic than a physical experiment. Although it would take a supercomputer beyond or capabilities of today to show actual visual models of this kind of event, Im sure there is a way to eventually do so. At best, we may be able to create a purely DOS-like program that does all the calculations, yet does not apply them to a 3-dimensional world that can be viewed like a video game. Cool idea though!
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    Jun 2 2011: What you basically imply is that free will does not exist as such and that the current state of things is the result of complex interactions at the most basic phyisical level possible, no matter whether this should be strings in the 10th dimension or something else.

    I like your question and have asked myself similar things, however in the meantime I have stopped caring about it... perhaps the reason why I want to become an engineer and not a theoretical physicist. Whether we live in a hologram or a multiverse or whatever else, I can do little to change anything about it.

    As such, I would answer with another question - can we ever find an answer that is true (as opposed to only us thinking it is true)?
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      Jun 3 2011: Free will exists, yes but not in the essence that is portrayed in media. I am saying that the person's choice of free will did actually happen, however, yet again, it was some effect of some previous event that causes that person to make that free willed decision as if the "free will" were apart of their fate in the first place because all physiological condition were at play. However, I enjoy your last statement the most, there is most likely never going to be a way to find the truth in whole
      • Jun 5 2011: Matt, this just happens to be my topic of muse of late. Here's my summary interpretation, and I'd be interested in your comments:

        Our minds are capable of positing a perspective in which determinism becomes valid or possible (as in your original post). But that we can imagine that position does not make that position real, meaningful, accessible, or relevant. In effect, the perspective from which determinism takes on meaning is the perspective of God. And I don't believe in God except as a mental construct defined in just this sort of way. The only way this God is an actor in the universe is in the way that mental construct eventually translates causally through the human will.

        In this sense, there's nothing at all real about determinism. But of course "reality" is a decidedly and unavoidably human interpretation. Unlike some others, I don't then say that reality is illusion, because what's important about reality is that we can agree on it and apply our understanding of it in ways which affect each other meaningfully. We can count on this reality when interacting with it and each other. Meaning and all the other stuff which makes up human experience derives from this reality. And that reality is enough for us by definition!

        So I'm all for exploring reality... that's what it's all about really. There are limits to reality, though, both practical and theoretical. And these limits are far deeper (more significant) than those like quantum uncertainty and trans-light speeds. Those deeper limits, ironically enough, stem from the fact that reality exists only by a sort of consensus of experience. How's that for a logical loop?!

        Drop me a line sometime, Matt. We could have some killer conversations I bet! Send me an email.