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  #11  
Old Feb 12th 2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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Originally Posted by shekib82 View Post
well ok. I think it is established that as far as human comprehension is concerned, we can only deal with it at the sub-atomic level using probabilitic math. But what i want to know is that if this the inherent property of the universe that is beyond any experimental observation attempts. Maybe it is as you say, beyond human science.
The only way to find out is to continue to try to figure it out. It does appear that our successive attempts to explain the universe does get better over time. A couple thousand years ago both Plato and Ptolemy envisioned explanations that seem rather absurd in light of our modern theories. It is likely that our present theories (QM included) might be discarded/replaced/refined sometime in the near future.

That being said, it does seem as if [human] scientific knowledge of the universe is a bit like an asymptote on a graph - always getting closer, but never quite getting there.
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  #12  
Old Feb 15th 2012, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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I think my phrasing was poor. I didn't mean to infer or aver any property to the universe (or not). My point was meant to be entirely humancentric.

For example, I believe that the sky is blue because that's the way the human eye perceives the color spectrum, not necessarily because the sky itself is blue. The sky likely appears a different color to different animals because they have different types of eyes for perceiving the color spectrum.

Same goes for probabilities in the universe - the universe may, or may not be deterministic - that's probably beyond human science anyway. But the limitations and perceptions of the human intellect are the true defining factors determining our understanding of the universe. If humans are inclined to percieve the universe as a function of probability theory, then that's the way the universe will look to us. In human terms, the universe appears to conform to our theory.
It's only "blue" because someone assigned the name "blue". It could very well be "orange" but we wouldn't know the difference. My point being its more than what the human eye perceives but rather the influence.
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Old Feb 15th 2012, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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It's only "blue" because someone assigned the name "blue". It could very well be "orange" but we wouldn't know the difference. My point being its more than what the human eye perceives but rather the influence.
Actually, the word used to label the color blue is mostly irrelevant - the color is defined by its wavelength in the spectrum. That particular wavelength of the spectrum is labeled blue by humans.

My point was that wavelength spectrum might be perceived differently by other mammals who have physically different eyes.
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Old Feb 16th 2012, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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I'm inclined to say that measuring probabilities is a human imposed limitation, rather than an inherent property of the universe. I'm only speculating here though.
This is what I'm thinking as well on the subject. Our observations of quantum phenomena are necessarily limited (for now anyway), so there's nothing to suggest that some underlying or driving determinism isn't at play.

The concept of "randomness" is a very interesting one mathematically. In the context of this discussion, consider that we wrote some computer program that would generate a random number and use it to model the position of an electron as a function of probability. To the observer, the computer program and the electron would both be random within the context of the appropriate probability.

But, in a computer program, there is no such thing as random. I could actually spit out an algorithm that would account for all of the numbers that appeared random to the user (specifically, in software, the random generator works by 'seeding' with system time in number of ticks elapsed since Jan 1, 1970, and putting it through a series of calculations). So user's perception of random is explainable deterministically.

There's nothing whatsoever to say that there isn't some underlying mechanism by which quantum mechanics is similarly stripped of its apparent randomness.
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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Originally Posted by shekib82 View Post
Does this means that the universe is not deterministic? QA certainly can disprove laplace's view, but would it also invalidate the thought experiment i suggested at the beginning of this thread? Would a clone universe who shared this one's initial conditions evolve to be different from this one? or would such a clone universe evolve in the same way as ours down to the writing of this thread on this very forum ?
With Evolution, a mutation is by chance. Whether or not that mutation lives on is determined by natural selection. If we could reset life to the very beginning and rerun billion of years of Evolution, we would have far different results then we have today.

Iím not too familiar with the Big Bang, but I believe during the initial moments of the Universe, there was a battle between matter and anti-matter. It is by chance that matter won.

When you enter chance into an equation, you are virtually assured of different out comes each time. So yes, I would say a clone universe from the beginning would give a vastly different out come.
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Old Feb 18th 2012, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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With Evolution, a mutation is by chance. Whether or not that mutation lives on is determined by natural selection. If we could reset life to the very beginning and rerun billion of years of Evolution, we would have far different results then we have today.

Iím not too familiar with the Big Bang, but I believe during the initial moments of the Universe, there was a battle between matter and anti-matter. It is by chance that matter won.

When you enter chance into an equation, you are virtually assured of different out comes each time. So yes, I would say a clone universe from the beginning would give a vastly different out come.
I think the question that this thread is asking is whether there is some grand design (either by a designer or by... chance ) that predetermines outcomes. If what we see as mere chance (you used genetic mutation, I used atomic decay), is actually some vastly subtle, infinitely predictable system.

I tend to agree with you, though.
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Old Feb 18th 2012, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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I think the question that this thread is asking is whether there is some grand design (either by a designer or by... chance ) that predetermines outcomes. If what we see as mere chance (you used genetic mutation, I used atomic decay), is actually some vastly subtle, infinitely predictable system.

I tend to agree with you, though.
How can one have a 'grand design' without a designer? That's logically impossible.
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Old Feb 18th 2012, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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How can one have a 'grand design' without a designer? That's logically impossible.
One has laws of physics without an author.
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  #19  
Old Feb 18th 2012, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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One has laws of physics without an author.
Um... no we don't.

All 'laws of physics' are human made laws with human authors. All such laws are nothing more than theories that have not yet been disproven.
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Old Feb 18th 2012, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Scientific determinism

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Um... no we don't.

All 'laws of physics' are human made laws with human authors. All such laws are nothing more than theories that have not yet been disproven.
Semantics.
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