Notices
Results 1 to 43 of 43
Like Tree13Likes
  • 1 Post By macusual
  • 1 Post By drowsy turtle
  • 1 Post By Makandal
  • 2 Post By Lynx_Fox
  • 1 Post By x(x-y)
  • 1 Post By zinjanthropos
  • 1 Post By Flick Montana
  • 1 Post By dan hunter
  • 1 Post By shlunka
  • 1 Post By Stargate
  • 2 Post By wegs

Thread: The hardest thing for a human to comprehend

  1. #1 The hardest thing for a human to comprehend 
    Forum Freshman macusual's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    5
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Something that you believe reaches the border of human comprehension.

    I'd say the mechanism of human consciousness is up there, and perhaps some complicated mathematical proofs.

    Any ideas?


    incorrect likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,546
    The mechanics of temporal physics. Using multiple dimensions above our own to explain how such phenomena in the universe is possible.


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    The size of the universe. The speed of light. The extent of astronomical time.
    We can put numbers to these, but we cannot grasp them.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,255
    Quote Originally Posted by macusual View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Something that you believe reaches the border of human comprehension.

    I'd say the mechanism of human consciousness is up there
    Yep, I'd say the human mind. When I try and comprehend the comprehending part of myself I run repeatedly brain-first into a brick wall between me and myself that doesn't exist.
    Shaderwolf likes this.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    76
    The size of the universe and conciousness are definitely up there, also thought (I know a girl who once tried to tell me that dogs think in English, because how else would they know what they're doing or what's going on? I then asked her how she thinks people who have been deaf from birth think... she had no answer). Time as well, I personally find it very difficult (usually when thinking or reading about evolution) to comprehend how long, say, a million years would be. I assume that most people who don't accept evolution are often overpowered by this problem, they simply, in their heads, can't accept that a length of time can be that long.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    OPSEC, baby. Sorry.
    Posts
    425
    And than anything that's longer than a few thousand years ends up being clumped into the "forever" or "eternity" categories.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,191
    Quote Originally Posted by macusual View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Anything logical.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Bachelors Degree x(x-y)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    462
    I'd say it's to do with time and energy- the ultimate questions which we often find ourselves asking in physics (Where did the universe come from? How did "something come from nothing"?) may actually make no sense at all; the term "origin" when applied to the universe may be nonsensical and also the latter question of the two above may make no sense- something and nothing could be "manifestations" of the same thing.
    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    171
    That's an interesting question.

    I think humans are wired for deterministic choice based on stochastic workflow. This is fundamentally flawed. Basically, facing a problem, we are able to generate hundred of solutions but we stick to one. Most problems in life requires stochastic solutions i.e. the most probabilistic answerS, the confidence on these answerS

    Let me take an example:
    I make a geological backstrip reconstruction of a basin. When I get a view of this basin in, let's say, turonian, my model will not be the truth but a possible truth. Each part of this model should have a probability function attached to based on the probability of each of sub elements based on the probability of each sub-sub elements etc... The whole model is probably not more than 50-60% reliable if I build a common risk segment map. However, I will consciently and unconsciently chose this model as the 'real' model. It is not. It is (probably) the most probable model. Millions of other models could have been produced.

    In other words, human brain needs certainty and is poorely dealing with probability and uncertainty. This is definetly a mechanism built by evolution to protect us from long decision time but for science, it is a very bad wiring. I think this is the ultimate blocker in our brain to understand this world and be able to test and forecast more a more complex mechanism. And btw, this is where computer will probably become our extension.
    Last edited by Makandal; July 28th, 2011 at 08:58 AM.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
    "Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
    Luxe, calme et volupté."
    (Baudelaire, L'Invitation au Voyage)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,245
    Extra spatial dimensions.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    The opposite sex.
    cosmictraveler and danhanegan like this.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The opposite sex.
    Strangely enough, I think I understand women better than I do men...

    Does that mean I'm gay? :P
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    171
    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The opposite sex.
    Strangely enough, I think I understand women better than I do men...

    Does that mean I'm gay? :P
    Totally out of thread but it reminds me the remarks of this useless french female (unique) prime minister Edith Cresson "English are not looking at women in the street and 25% of them are homosexual"



    More seriously, there may be something else difficult for human mind to grab: understand another reality than our own.
    "Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
    Luxe, calme et volupté."
    (Baudelaire, L'Invitation au Voyage)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    131
    the human mind cannot grasp infinity and will probably never grasp its true meaning.
    Just here to Learn =)

    Not Thinking is a sign of laziness, everyone has to make a choice at some point in their lives, either they reach a degree of non thinking where being stupid is just easier or they start thinking and enjoy the life they have now
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    963
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking View Post
    the human mind cannot grasp infinity and will probably never grasp its true meaning.
    Infinity is not a number altho' it can be tempting to think of it as the" biggest possible" number.
    I do believe, however, that it has something in common with ordinary numbers. Any number is an abstract concept invented by the human mind, and I think infinity is also, an abstract concept, constructed by the human mind/imagination.
    I do not accept that infinities exist in nature altho' I know of individuals who do not hold that view.
    Anyway the point I am trying to make is that it is difficult to argue "the human mind cannot grasp infinity" when the concept was created by that same mind.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,255
    Work with infinity for a while and you'll understand it. You just have to realise that it doesn't relate to a physical quantity.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Bachelors Degree x(x-y)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    462
    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Work with infinity for a while and you'll understand it. You just have to realise that it doesn't relate to a physical quantity.
    Indeed, indeed. The Hilbert Hotel problem helps to show a lot of people that they don't understand infinity!
    drowsy turtle likes this.
    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    depends...
    Posts
    425
    infiniti. But time and extra spatial dimensions are right up there.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Sophomore cluelusshusbund's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Indina USA
    Posts
    193
    ...what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Something that you believe reaches the border of human comprehension.
    I'd say the mechanism of human consciousness is up there...
    I thank the reason the mechanism of human consciousness isnt understood by the vast majority of people is not because it reaches the boundry of human comprehinson... its because of such thangs religous beleifs which teech that consciousness is not biological... that consciousness involves a soul which leads to anuther magical thang known as free will.!!!

    In the book "Clan of the Cave Bear"... Creb's personal answr to you'r queston woud be his ability to count to 20.!!!

    Clan of the Cave Bear

    "Creb can, with difficulty, count to twenty, and Ayla immediately grasps the full force of the idea, using the hands of as many people as needed to keep counting."
    Go here an play the "Guess Game".!!!

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/gener...uess-what.html

    When the curent game is guessed... post anuther photo for us to... "Guess what this is" :-)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,920
    Quote Originally Posted by macusual View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Something that you believe reaches the border of human comprehension.
    Nothing..... need I say more?
    Stargate likes this.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Sophomore somfooleishfool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    196
    the size of anything much bigger than earth.

    a googol plex

    the size of an elementary particle

    quantum physics

    quantum chemistry

    what is after the "edge" of the universe (although in my own mind Ive come to terms with this in a way I couldn't reiterate)(not to say I "comprehend" it).

    what happens after you die.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4
    i = the square root of -1. I don't know anybody that fully understands how that fits into our linear (or even spatial) understanding of numbers.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakatackka View Post
    i = the square root of -1. I don't know anybody that fully understands how that fits into our linear (or even spatial) understanding of numbers.
    Who says we all have a linear and spatial understanding of numbers?
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Freshman lawsinium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, USA
    Posts
    18
    That we do not exist at all !!!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Fort Lee, NJ, USA
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking View Post
    the human mind cannot grasp infinity and will probably never grasp its true meaning.
    The true meaning of infinity (in mathematics) is that it is a limit, not a number. I have no problem with understanding this.
    .
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    224
    Quote Originally Posted by macusual View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Something that you believe reaches the border of human comprehension.

    I'd say the mechanism of human consciousness is up there, and perhaps some complicated mathematical proofs.

    Any ideas?
    Understanding comes from comprehention, that is being able to conceive a concept without understanding
    the details
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    19
    Time! Does it even exist?
    Why did God give me nipples?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12
    The power and limitations of the placebo effect. Not the most difficult but pretty buzzy
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12
    "September 1st, 2011, 04:36 PMTime! Does it even exist?"I think we just gave it our own reference if measure
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Cambridgeshire
    Posts
    656
    The hyperbolic plane.....
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by macusual View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand?
    Quite literally, nothing. Complete and absolute desolation.
    LuciDreaming likes this.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    what do you guys think are the hardest things for the mind to truly understand
    Those things which they do not understand for once they have understood those things they are known and no longer hard to understand. Those things can be many.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12
    I got thinking about things I comprehend and spelling may not be my strong suit anymore but I think I got it. The things we don't know we don't know. A quote I heard "all knowledge can be classified into three categories What we know we knowWhat we know we don't know, and What we don't know we know."We need to know the question to even think about comprehending the answer. Universal evolutions pretty trickyOr the concept I'm still struggling withWhy the beings that created our multi dimensional material universe projection use wormhole time traveling space aliens to steal odd socks from laundries around the world???
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8
    Life and Existence
    Exploring the unique cultural factors of the world and how they interact within society that leads to growth, unity, yet maintaining individuality.

    www.AnthemCulture.com

    Appreciate Culture.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Other humans
    wegs likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dogbox in front of Dywyddyr's house.
    Posts
    1,786
    Bush's foreign policy.
    wegs likes this.
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    291
    The human brain is on the list for sure because I always wonder is it possible for a system to understand itself?
    I'd say #1 is quantum physics. They say that if you DON'T find it confusing, you're not understanding it correctly. That is just WOW.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Why people are so destructive to one another. Why is the world shared up into first, second, and third world.
    wegs likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    ...matter and pixie dust
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    2,156
    Why we have to die? I understand HOW we die, etc...but why must we? I miss those who have died, that I once knew...loved....worked with, etc. WHY must we perish?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    ...matter and pixie dust
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    2,156
    And, love. I will never understand love. Maybe there are things we aren't meant to understand, but rather....experience.
    Stargate and dan hunter like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Maybe experience is the only way to understand anything.
    Understanding understanding itself is a hard one.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    And, love. I will never understand love. Maybe there are things we aren't meant to understand, but rather....experience.
    We yearn for it yet it can kill you. I do not like the idea to fall in love, I rather want to rise in love. When most people fall in love they become stupid, and foolish and will do anything for someone they really do not know. The other side is it feels wonderful and unexplained.

    Watch it lady Wegs, don't let cupid near you.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Maybe experience is the only way to understand anything.
    Understanding understanding itself is a hard one.
    I feel the same way.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •