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Thread: Mathematical predestination?

  1. #1 Mathematical predestination? 
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    Okay. Sounds a little wacko? Mixing a religious concept with mathematics.

    Here's what I suggest: from every situation, there is one possible outcome (which opposes some multiverse theories). That one outcome can be mathematically determine, should one be provided with every last detail, down to string (or whatever is the basic unit of matter), and lots of free time! :P

    Basically: from every set of conditions, one outcome is possible.

    Anyone follow?

    Anyone disagree? (my dad's disagreement is "it's too pessimistic". Lol.)


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    In science, what you call predestination is called determinism.


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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  4. #3  
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    NO!!! someone already thought of it....? not surprising. Thanks!
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  5. #4  
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somanayr
    NO!!! someone already thought of it....? not surprising. Thanks!

    Yeah, a guy names LaPlace, several hundred years ago.

    Unfortunately it appears tp be wrong. That is the implication of quantum mechanics, and all theories that arise from it, including string theories.
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    I think even quantum mechanics is still considered to be deteministic in the sense that the past detemines the future... or the future is constained by the past.

    Roger Penrose discuss's this in his book.. he reckons that it's be possible for the future to be completely deterministic yet beyond calculation.. he gives some examples of non-computable numbers... and if the future depended on such non-computable numbers then the past would detemine the future but it'd be impossible to predict the future all the same.


    To the OP... what about free will?... do we have it or not? Science would seem to suggest we don't, we may only have the illusion of free will. Maybe ask your religious instructor, if you have one, to explain how we have free will if science is completely deteministic?

    If we do have free will it may very well be because of quantum mechanical effects in the brain.. as only quantum mechanics has the glimmer of a possibility of non-deteminism.. (despite what I said above)

    Quantum mechanics is incomplete.. no-one can say why the state vector reduces, or when.. so it's a mathemathical trick that works, but no-one knows why.. (according to Roger Penose and others)

    Cheers so
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    Quote Originally Posted by pine
    I think even quantum mechanics is still considered to be deteministic in the sense that the past detemines the future... or the future is constained by the past.

    Roger Penrose discuss's this in his book.. he reckons that it's be possible for the future to be completely deterministic yet beyond calculation.. he gives some examples of non-computable numbers... and if the future depended on such non-computable numbers then the past would detemine the future but it'd be impossible to predict the future all the same.

    To the OP... what about free will?... do we have it or not? Science would seem to suggest we don't, we may only have the illusion of free will. Maybe ask your religious instructor, if you have one, to explain how we have free will if science is completely deteministic?

    If we do have free will it may very well be because of quantum mechanical effects in the brain.. as only quantum mechanics has the glimmer of a possibility of non-deteminism.. (despite what I said above)

    Quantum mechanics is incomplete.. no-one can say why the state vector reduces, or when.. so it's a mathemathical trick that works, but no-one knows why.. (according to Roger Penose and others)

    Cheers so
    No, quantum mechanics s not deterministic. While the state function evolves deterministicallly, it is in fact an evolution of probability measures, and quantum mechanics only predicts probabilities and not outcomes. QM is most certainly stochastic.

    What Penrose is talking about is the inability to actyually solve the equations of a deterministic theory and thereby predict the future in practice. That situation is quite common. It can result from a dependence on initial conditions that is sufficiently sensitive to small changes that one cannot hope to know those conditions with sufficient precision to actually predict future behavior, or it can be the result of the equations being so difficult to solve that one simpsly cannot do it.

    Neither quantum mechanics, nor general relativity, as we know them today are the ultimate theory. In fact they are incompatible, and we know that. Qantum mechanics is stochastic. General relativity is deterministic. A complete fundamental theory would be expected to include both the 3 known quantum mechanical forces and gravity, a unification of quantum mechanics and genereal relativity. But no such theory exists today.

    Penrose has written several books. They tend to be a bit speculative. I think you are referring to The Road to Reality, A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. That book is extremely good. If one reads between the lines a bit it is extremely deep. It is also very speculative in many places, and gives some insight into Penroses's ideas as to how a unified theory will eventually evolve. He is not in the majority in his opinions in this regard, but Penrose is extremely insightful and he may well be ritght. Or not.

    As to free will. Science is essentially moot on this point. Penrose has written two books on the subject, The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. Those books are extremely speculative, and reach no solid conclusions. The plain fact is that we know essentially nothing about what makes the mind word or its physical basis. Penrose himself has said as much in interviews.
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