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Yet another problem

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'Yet another problem'
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deathjester's user image
deathjester
23.06.2003 - 14:47
forum administrator
Made a logical conclusion i need you to hep me demonstrate as flawed, otherwise I might start going insane sooner rather than later.

As you prolly gathered i like to play with the whole creation/wtf is going on/big bang problem, and the constant stream of plausible yet conflicting evidence in support of any number of theories (and the STUPID ASS beleif systems and delusions that often arise from this).

I was sat in the hills this weekend 'playing', and I have managed to give myself a headache again.

DNA. Chemical reactions. Matter-matter interraction. These are all PASSIVE events, governed by the rules of the universe we model and encapsulate using science. There is NO ACTIVE process we can observe where Mr ribosenuclade says "mmm, i think ill bond with this disulphide bridge over here.." it merely comes down to the rules of the universe (be they choatic or ordered- this being a moot point regards the issue at hand, but a very interestign one in itself (new thread later :D)).

In any given system based on sheer occurance, it follows (and can be demonstrated formally i would think) that if there is no choice-making mechanism at the parent level, all child mechanisms will be equally without choice.

Easy peasy huh? You have probably already spotted the problem...
deathjester's user image
deathjester
23.06.2003 - 14:49
forum administrator
...We got two possibilities: Either there is an ACTIVE process, ie a mechanism where choices can be made at the chain of interraction somewhere above us; or we are in fact completely freedomless, down to every single last interraction. (!!)

This is HARD to chew on, cos we seem to all instinctively reject the idea that we are not able to make choices. The alternative is much more painful however, cos we are basicly forced to conclude that creation happened if we wish to hypothosise that we CAN make choices (becasue our parent mechanism must be capable of choice-making).

It gets nastier though. If creation happened... who made the choice?.... and where did IT coem from?...... and omg look we have an infinite journey all the way back up to root. Cos root must be active. which means soemthign came b4 it.... and OUCH OUCH OUCH

You see the problem.

Rather, u see yet another problem.

Help.
arar's user image
arar
23.06.2003 - 15:51
First cause is the reason (and only logical reason) that I beleive in some kind of god, external entity, whatever you want to call it.
At the end of the day, the only thing you can't program a computer to do is connect to a power supply and boot itself up...
deathjester's user image
deathjester
23.06.2003 - 16:12
forum administrator
oh dear. u used the phrase "i believe".

your contribution has been noted and summarily dismissed.

next.
nelson's user image
nelson
24.06.2003 - 07:24
forum administrator
Craigisms apart,

there are two ways to look at the issue of whether we have any "freedom" of choice or not: (you're gonna like this one) - we either have it or we don't!

Ok, ok, laws of physics being what they are, if they apply entirely to our brains then no, sorry, no freedom for anyone. This needn't be a bad thing (read on).

The other possibility is that the human brain is... well, not outside the laws of physics, but "special" (although we all know what happens when someone goes around shouting "we're special"...) What I mean is, there is a possibility that, due to its characteristics, the human brain can actually play around with the laws of physics at some level, or maybe obey different rules than what we are used to. I'm not saying this out of any scientific evidence; think of it as an agnostic proposal.

Interestingly, this second idea also opens the door to more or less weird "theories" about psychic powers and what-not. There might be something there; it might not. Again, it's an agnostic proposal.

Now, if all we have is the sorry-mate-no-choice-but-this-message-was-always-going-to-get-written-because-the-laws-of-the-universe-say-so scenario, on the one hand you have the fact that although we can understand that the situation is as it is, you can ever do anything about it. I mean, the level of complexity required to actually know what we will do next (even if we do it because we always would) is beyond our reach - hence...
nelson's user image
nelson
24.06.2003 - 07:36
forum administrator
... it has no practical effect on our lives. I mean, for us it has no practical implications besides it being a curiosity. For us, we always have to make choices - consider that our predictment. We can understand the ultimate reality of the situation, but we still have to play by the rules anyway.

On the other hand (yes, there is more) even if everything is "pre-programmed" by the laws of physics, then what a fantastically complex and rich universe exists just on the basis of some basic principles that say things like "e=mc2"... it encompasses things like quasars, black holes, iguanas, and the British National Party. Which is, in my opinion, much more "grand" than any concept of god I've heard of lately.

Just a final note on your last question - if there is "anything" (i.e. god) that can understand and foresee the working of the universe, it must necessarily exist in a more complex universe (you can't simulate a PC in a pocket calculator). Which of course causes the question "and what created that?"

There was a monk who wrote something about this in the 13th century - that it was pointless to ask a recursive question that would create inifinitely more complex gods. He then started to question the whole concept of god.

The Church burnt him.
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richard
24.06.2003 - 09:55
forum administrator
Has anyone ever read the Stephen Baxter novels? There are a group of them and they are very good: "Time", "Space", "Phase Space" (the latter I have not yet read).

One of his ideas (which I personally think is kind of cute) is that the universe was 'born' from the explosion of a singularity (or black hole), which produced a universe with a set of physical parameters (i.e. diameter of an electron, the mass of an up quark, etc. etc.) and this new universe may or may not have lived for a long time (for example if the atoms in this universe were too heavy, it would very quickly collapse back into singularities).

These new singularities formed the seeds of the next universe, which with something akin to DNA/mutations, spawned new universes with their own set of physical parameters.

For more stable universes (i.e. those whose physical parameters allowed for greater longevity), it might be possible that a great number of singularities be formed throughout it's lifetime, and these grew to become the dominant form of universe (more kids, basically!)

Gradually, after so many iterations of the parent/child lifecycle, universes began to be born that allowed the stable formation of a number of elements. Some universes might only be able to support a few stable elements (i.e. Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, etc.), but others could support many hundreds of the buggers (i.e. like our universe).
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richard
24.06.2003 - 10:22
forum administrator
In these universes, it was then possible to have complex chemicals which would eventually come together to form life.

I think the upshot of which was that one of these lifeforms was clever enough to realise what was going on and initiated a vacuum cascade, which basically annihilates everything, although in doing so created billions of singularities, thus ensuring that life would propagate in all the universes to follow...

ANYWAY!! I hope you all enjoyed that...(!)

Andy, the theory you put forward I agree with completely (and have done so for a long time). I don't believe there is anything more mystical in the universe other than the basic(!) laws of physics at work. I think everything will one day be predictable (to some degree - you'd need a pretty poweful computer to calculate all the molecular movements in the world let alone the universe).

As for Chaos Theory? Pah! The only reason things are not predictable at the quantum level is because we haven't discovered the underlying law which governs this 'unpredictability'.
richard's user image
richard
24.06.2003 - 10:26
forum administrator
Oh and yes I realise that in the theory I propsed, there still lies the question "Where did the initial singularity come from".

My answer to which is 'fuck off'.

:o)
deathjester's user image
deathjester
24.06.2003 - 10:29
forum administrator
I HATE YOU ALL!!

You are supposed to easy my headache; not justify it!

U simply can't find the staff these days.

(Mr Baxter's books soudn good btw. Unfortunately, I'm STILL wrestling with Mr Jordan's 10500 page monstrosity)

Nelson I am going to be burnt? :(
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