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Old Oct 6th 2012, 02:47 AM
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Dominick Dominick is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dying Europe
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Default Re: Scientific determinism


The biggest problem with such discussions is that a word like 'deterministic' is simply too vague or at least has become so. This was a meaningful discussion and issue in the days of Newton and Descartes but nowadays the word 'deterministic' would have to be defined so narrowly to be meaningful that only a mathematical definition would suffice. That definition would also be multi-layered. It's theoretically perfectly possible that the universe were deterministic on one level of organization but not on another and then again on a third one. There's no contradiction in that whatsoever. There is a lot of self-organization in the universe that is entirely independent upon the underlying constituents (this is 'emergence').
What we are certain (*) of though is that it's non-deterministic on the quantum level. The uncertainty principle guarantees that and this is an intrinsic property of the universe. It's the result of the physical properties of e.g. photons, not of a lack of knowledge or technology.

(*) certain here means mathematically : 1-(1 in 10E14~10E17). Nothing in any science is more certain.
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