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Thread: Is everything pre-determined.

  1. #1 Is everything pre-determined. 
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    I do not know if this is the correct place for this topic, so, Moderators, please move it if you wish.

    I have long chatted in a number of places, but one particular person is dead set that everything is pre-determined.

    I, personally, do not think so.

    Is there scientific proof that there is any validity to this?

    Or is it just an "Out There Theory"

    Mahalo


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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    one particular person is dead set that everything is pre-determined.
    Now... I'm pretty sure that you have me on ignore...
    But if you see it, anyway- You will then feel like I am picking on you. I'm not picking on you. I'm picking on the repeated wording that has had correction offered numerous times that you consistently ignore.
    If you want to understand the scientific method, you're going to have to stop being "dead set" on saying things like:

    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Is there scientific proof
    There is no such thing as 'scientific proof' ---period. This has been explained to you before.

    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Or is it just an "Out There Theory"
    It is not "theory"- this has also been explained to you before. Both have been explained in depth.

    There are no proofs except in mathematics, alone. The scientific method does not prove things, but models reality in order to learn the most accurate way to describe reality.
    A "theory" is not the same thing as a "hypothesis." A theory is a model of reality that is currently supported by our tests, measurements, observations and gathered evidence. Clearly, theories are not "Scientifically proven." Even if some theory is mathematically proven; the mathematical proofs are only used to support the Model.

    As to your question:
    This is a matter of philosophy. While everything may be pre-determined, we cannot make determinations with our current understanding of Quantum Mechanics where the uncertainty principle will render deterministic measurement nigh impossible.
    Perhaps far in the future, if we have an understanding of the quantum scale that has modeled certainty for the position and velocity of a particle, determinism may have stronger support. There is no current scientific theory regarding the issue.


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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    It currently looks likely that there is an element of randomness in the universe, which would mean that even given the exact same starting conditions, that a system can develop in different ways.

    That takes care of strict determinism, but there is still a strong statistical element to the quantum world which would make some occurrences much more likely to happen than others within certain bounds.

    Due to the laws of chaos though, even the smallest differences can magnify hugely over time.


    PS: Moving to philosophy.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    It currently looks likely that there is an element of randomness in the universe, which would mean that even given the exact same starting conditions, that a system can develop in different ways.

    That takes care of strict determinism, but there is still a strong statistical element to the quantum world which would make some occurrences much more likely to happen than others within certain bounds.

    Due to the laws of chaos though, even the smallest differences can magnify hugely over time.


    PS: Moving to philosophy.
    Thank you. I really didn't know where it belonged.



    Thank you for your response.

    This individual is totally convinced that there is no choice in life, only that those choices are predetermined.

    He also considers himself a scientist.

    I don't believe in the concept. I think we make our own paths.
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    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
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    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
    I don't see why it needs to relate to theism. The vast majority of people will believe in free will, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by babe
    This individual is totally convinced that there is no choice in life, only that those choices are predetermined.

    He also considers himself a scientist.

    I don't believe in the concept. I think we make our own paths.
    Well, my take on it is that we are not predetermined per se (because of the randmoness aspect of the universe), but that doesn't necessarily mean we have any real control over our "will" either.

    As uncomfortable as it might be for some, I just can't see how we can have free will in the normal sense of the word. Our minds are the products of our DNA and the influence of the environment on the expression of that DNA. There is no mind separate form those influences that can be able to make truly free choices.

    I do believe though that we operate under the illusion of free will, an illusion we can't separate ourselves from. Even though I am very sure that we don't have free will in the normal sense of the word, I still live my life and think about stuff as if I have free will. It feels as though I have free will, even though I'm pretty sure that we don't.

    That might be depressing for some people, but to me it is just another layer of the onion that is the human condition.
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    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.

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    I would have to agree with the south african.

    Its actually a paradox to resolve for ppl like us who believe that we have no free-will and everything is not predestined........
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    determinism and(vs?) free will
    is much like the "nature vs nurture" argument

    Nurture allows an individual to fulfill that which is possible from nature.

    and a person has free will within certain constraints

    If you weren't born with wings, it would be better if you avoided jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, off of cliffs, or out of high trees.
    Free will allows you to do all of those--------------------once.
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    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    pre-destination and free will is so much broad.....if we consider free will 1st we realize that it means ability for one to do what he/she wants. Now if I decide to fly I will find out that I cannot and that is already a restriction against my will and it means I have no free will. But I also have to realize that the universe is built base on subtle laws that govern my existence alongside.

    Now dose it then mean that due to gravity if I jump a 1000times and fall a 1000times then it is predetermined that I must fall? It would not be generally correct if I say its predestination because I am of the universe and must obey its laws.

    I can only say that I have no free will when certain decisions cannot be made although they don't contradict nature.

    And I can only say everything is predetermined if I push a pen in a 1000ways and there seem to be only one outcome!

    But it would be wrong to say that there is no predestination if the later happens and I say its due to gravity,in other words I cannot live my life in different ways and always die at same place and I'd say is because I am still me and the number of ways doesn't matter!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
    Scoobydoo, you are MORE than welcome to tag

    I don't think they are always related to theism.

    I don't think of them in that way.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
    I don't see why it needs to relate to theism. The vast majority of people will believe in free will, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by babe
    This individual is totally convinced that there is no choice in life, only that those choices are predetermined.

    He also considers himself a scientist.

    I don't believe in the concept. I think we make our own paths.
    Well, my take on it is that we are not predetermined per se (because of the randmoness aspect of the universe), but that doesn't necessarily mean we have any real control over our "will" either.

    As uncomfortable as it might be for some, I just can't see how we can have free will in the normal sense of the word. Our minds are the products of our DNA and the influence of the environment on the expression of that DNA. There is no mind separate form those influences that can be able to make truly free choices.

    I do believe though that we operate under the illusion of free will, an illusion we can't separate ourselves from. Even though I am very sure that we don't have free will in the normal sense of the word, I still live my life and think about stuff as if I have free will. It feels as though I have free will, even though I'm pretty sure that we don't.

    That might be depressing for some people, but to me it is just another layer of the onion that is the human condition.
    Don't agree.

    Don't you think when you make choices, you choose freely the decision. I am not saying you do not weigh the decision, just that you ultimately choose that "path".
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    I would agree with 'babe' That we do have free will..', I hardly need to add the proviso of we are governed by pre conceived parameters of knowledge and experience. We are able to leap out of tree's.. but without external assistance are not likely to undertake such actions.. ( even once, ) I will make comment that it does seem to me that a religiously inclined advocate might well think everything is pre determined.. and I am of the counter view for the obvious reason.. but will repeat the thought.
    That we can and will only do what can be done..or not. That we might not always know that is a fact.
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    Free will is not all about making obvious decisions but the outcome is what really matters.

    One can be predestined in many ways so that when ever you make any of these predestined choices it still would lead to one outcome. The idea is not the ability for you to just make decisions on your own but for you to make decisions with no necessary factors. So that when you are confronted with that sort of situation again you can make any random choice that is different from the last(and from many others)!

    By virtue of the above,even if we have free will we would not know by everyday life and can only know by brain maping. In other words if brain maping shows for example that an individual seem to act few microsec before he/she makes a decision,then for sure that's not free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I would agree with 'babe' That we do have free will..', I hardly need to add the proviso of we are governed by pre conceived parameters of knowledge and experience. We are able to leap out of tree's.. but without external assistance are not likely to undertake such actions.. ( even once, ) I will make comment that it does seem to me that a religiously inclined advocate might well think everything is pre determined.. and I am of the counter view for the obvious reason.. but will repeat the thought.
    That we can and will only do what can be done..or not. That we might not always know that is a fact.
    In order to show that we have Free Will, you must show a means by which we can exert 'will' outside of physical influence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I would agree with 'babe' That we do have free will..', I hardly need to add the proviso of we are governed by pre conceived parameters of knowledge and experience. We are able to leap out of tree's.. but without external assistance are not likely to undertake such actions.. ( even once, ) I will make comment that it does seem to me that a religiously inclined advocate might well think everything is pre determined.. and I am of the counter view for the obvious reason.. but will repeat the thought.
    That we can and will only do what can be done..or not. That we might not always know that is a fact.
    In order to show that we have Free Will, you must show a means by which we can exert 'will' outside of physical influence.

    And that is probably the shortest definition to tell one what free will is.

    For those who cannot and have not being able to follow my explanations,pls use this as a guide!
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    The delightful dilemma of 'free choice'...
    If one travels consciously along the backtrail of any decision or choice already made, one will observe the tell tale signs of the indicators that led us to the moment of decision. It is a process, only we don't tend to think of it in that manner because we are embedded in the process and cannot easily gain perspective on the mechanisms of choice and decision making save when we look at another and wonder, "Now why did they do THAT?"
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    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    [QUOTE...
    In order to show that we have Free Will, you must show a means by which we can exert 'will' outside of physical influence.
    ~ ♪ There is part of this I do not understand. What part of this is that? All of it. I do not understand what you have just said;
    Could you please exert some free will and choose to inform the un-informed.. Thank's..
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    @ babe; It was the revenge of the pickles... or a viral infection that turned your free will to change it's previous course.
    Thus Free will is alive and well now and you have a kitchen bristling with pickles.. or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    In order to show that we have Free Will, you must show a means by which we can exert 'will' outside of physical influence.
    ~ ♪ There is part of this I do not understand. What part of this is that? All of it. I do not understand what you have just said;
    Could you please exert some free will and choose to inform the un-informed.. Thank's..
    How did you get a musical note in there?!

    Astro- When it comes to the 'will' any person will exert, that 'will' is a process that is carried out by the body of the person exerting that 'will'- The Brain, mostly- but whatever other body parts are required to carry out a choice...
    Either way, (And this is why this debate will always be a religious one) the necessity for free will is that the persons 'will' is free of physical influence.
    This requires an agent outside of the human brain and body- an agent totally free to make a choice that is utterly without influence.

    My question to you is, can you show me that agent? Can you show me what it is that enables a human being to make a choice that is Without Any Influence whatsoever? A choice that is FREE?
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    @ babe; It was the revenge of the pickles... or a viral infection that turned your free will to change it's previous course.
    Thus Free will is alive and well now and you have a kitchen bristling with pickles.. or not.
    I did them today. Husband wanted me to stay in bed, but I am rather stubborn! *S*...I have 24 quarts of pickles up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
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    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    I can argue that my choice is free. That from within my own brain does come forth the thought based on knowledge previously procured or thought, learned. No external influence can be shown as true. The thought was mine to make and free.
    However I do now concede that it may not actually be free from being encumbered by all sorts of preconceived forces. Imagined.
    ~ and as to the ♪ ♫ ♪ pres and hold Alt while you key in 1 3, and 1 4 . ♪.
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    I feel compelled to say, of course free will exists. (I think that covers all the angles.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I can argue that my choice is free.
    Ok- HOW? Don't just say you can argue it- Argue it.
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    That from within my own brain does come forth the thought based on knowledge previously procured or thought, learned. No external influence can be shown as true. The thought was mine to make and free.
    Oops...
    There's physical Influences in that claim- as well as outside influence. You have no (as in zero) original thoughts. You were born a blank slate and what wasn't genetically (Physically passed down to you) had to be learned from Outside sources.
    Every thought, experience or knowledge you rely upon to make a choice is an external or physical influence.

    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ and as to the ♪ ♫ ♪ pres and hold Alt while you key in 1 3, and 1 4 . ♪.
    I'll have to try to remember that. Thanks for the external influence.

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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Chance is due to our current inability to measure and track ALL factors as well as our inability to fully observe or make observations at the quantum scale without influencing it in the process.
    Treating "Chance" as a fundamental property of space time is rather uhh... Wrong.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I here a miaow. A plaintiff echo of a miaow. Is it a cat in a box?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I here a miaow. A plaintiff echo of a miaow. Is it a cat in a box?
    Addressed in post 27.
    We cannot measure at that scale - which is far, far smaller and comprises the same fundamentals as our instruments- without interacting with and influencing what we're trying to measure. This is certainly nothing new and Heisenberg himself wrote a critical paper on it saying the same thing I just said.
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    I vaguely recall a BBC popular science Horizon episode regarding free will. By mapping brain activity, It was demonstrated that you make decisions seconds before you are actually self-aware of making that decision. To me that suggests we don’t have free will, and it makes me wonder if our own self-awareness has any influence on decision making, if the subconscious brain has already decided?

    I’ll try and dig up the demonstration later to confirm this. It could be another misconception on my part!
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    ok....you are in pain...you get to the hospital.....they tell you that you are having a heart attack, and these are your choices....you pick one....of three....

    was your choice free will

    or was it predetermined that you were GOING to have the heart attack and HAVE to make this choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientist to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientists to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
    Mahalo.

    So are are then saying there are variables to the science/belief/ of predetermination and free will? That the variable is chance?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientists to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
    Mahalo.

    So are are then saying there are variables to the science/belief/ of predetermination and free will? That the variable is chance?
    oops

    So are you then....apologies
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientists to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
    Mahalo.

    So are are then saying there are variables to the science/belief/ of predetermination and free will? That the variable is chance?
    oops

    So are you then....apologies
    I'm not I understand exactly what conclusion you are trying to draw, but what I am arguing is that:

    1) both the current models of science and one branch of mathematics claim that chance plays a fundamental role in the working of the physical world,
    2) consequently not all outcomes are knowable in advance, and
    3) this is true, not just in practice, but as a deeply embedded theoretical principle.

    Then I leave you to draw conclusions about human free will.

    I suppose the gap I leave in the argument is that, while I would claim it is hard (given the above) to see how human thought and action can be fully determinable, the possibility remains that the component that is not so determined could be due just to chance, i.e be random. That certainly seems to account for the behaviour of some people I know!
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    Exchemist you are stating these things as such strong certainties when none of what you've said is established scientifically in such a manner.
    Rather, some chaos mathematical proofs ALLOW for an inability to predict, but do NOT demonstrate that as a certainty of the universe- similar to Einsteins equations allowing for a white hole- does not mean they do, in fact, form out there.
    They May. And that qualification of allowable or may is important- it's allowable that a lack of predictablility can exist is not the same as saying it DOES and it's very far from calling it a Deeply Embedded Principle... It is not a certainty at this time. Even our study into Q.M. is young, yet, and filled with unknowns. We're just beginning to crack that berg.

    As far as claiming it as a deeply embedded principle, you will need to support such an extraordinary argument with extraordinary evidence. Frankly, there's simply no way you could know that at this time- unless you've unified gravity and Solved all issues with the Standard Model and none of us are privy to the fact...
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientists to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
    Mahalo.

    So are are then saying there are variables to the science/belief/ of predetermination and free will? That the variable is chance?
    oops

    So are you then....apologies
    I'm not I understand exactly what conclusion you are trying to draw, but what I am arguing is that:

    1) both the current models of science and one branch of mathematics claim that chance plays a fundamental role in the working of the physical world,
    2) consequently not all outcomes are knowable in advance, and
    3) this is true, not just in practice, but as a deeply embedded theoretical principle.

    Then I leave you to draw conclusions about human free will.

    I suppose the gap I leave in the argument is that, while I would claim it is hard (given the above) to see how human thought and action can be fully determinable, the possibility remains that the component that is not so determined could be due just to chance, i.e be random. That certainly seems to account for the behaviour of some people I know!
    Mahalo! That was a very understandable reply.

    and not just cause it is my take on the subject!!

    CHANCE is the key word.....it is not pre-determined, free will? don't know
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Exchemist you are stating these things as such strong certainties when none of what you've said is established scientifically in such a manner.
    Rather, some chaos mathematical proofs ALLOW for an inability to predict, but do NOT demonstrate that as a certainty of the universe- similar to Einsteins equations allowing for a white hole- does not mean they do, in fact, form out there.
    They May. And that qualification of allowable or may is important- it's allowable that a lack of predictablility can exist is not the same as saying it DOES and it's very far from calling it a Deeply Embedded Principle... It is not a certainty at this time. Even our study into Q.M. is young, yet, and filled with unknowns. We're just beginning to crack that berg.

    As far as claiming it as a deeply embedded principle, you will need to support such an extraordinary argument with extraordinary evidence. Frankly, there's simply no way you could know that at this time- unless you've unified gravity and Solved all issues with the Standard Model and none of us are privy to the fact...
    Yes, you are right that my (3) was too strong. I should have said current models contain chance and lack of determinism as deeply embedded principles, i.e. using the same formula as I did in my (1).

    Because they do, surely? QM may not have been unified with GE, but it is an extremely successful model that has indeterminism at its heart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    I vaguely recall a BBC popular science Horizon episode regarding free will. By mapping brain activity, It was demonstrated that you make decisions seconds before you are actually self-aware of making that decision. To me that suggests we don’t have free will, and it makes me wonder if our own self-awareness has any influence on decision making, if the subconscious brain has already decided?

    I’ll try and dig up the demonstration later to confirm this. It could be another misconception on my part!
    Ok, just found what I was talking about.

    I think Babe, you might find some of this interesting. 5 min long!
    Neuroscience and Free Will BBC video [mirror] - YouTube
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Because they do, surely? QM may not have been unified with GE, but it is an extremely successful model that has indeterminism at its heart.
    Which brings us back to posts 27, 28 and 29...
    The indeterminism isn't presented as a fundamental property of space time; rather a fundamental limitation of our current understanding and ability to interact with that scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Because they do, surely? QM may not have been unified with GE, but it is an extremely successful model that has indeterminism at its heart.
    Which brings us back to posts 27, 28 and 29...
    The indeterminism isn't presented as a fundamental property of space time; rather a fundamental limitation of our current understanding and ability to interact with that scale.
    I don't think you are right about that.

    The Uncertainty Principle is not merely a matter of measurement. It results, surely, from Position and Momentum being non-commuting operators in QM. It is thus, to my understanding, intrinsic.

    Nothing to do with human limitations of measurement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    I vaguely recall a BBC popular science Horizon episode regarding free will. By mapping brain activity, It was demonstrated that you make decisions seconds before you are actually self-aware of making that decision. To me that suggests we don’t have free will, and it makes me wonder if our own self-awareness has any influence on decision making, if the subconscious brain has already decided?

    I’ll try and dig up the demonstration later to confirm this. It could be another misconception on my part!
    Ok, just found what I was talking about.

    I think Babe, you might find some of this interesting. 5 min long!
    Neuroscience and Free Will BBC video [mirror] - YouTube
    Mahalo!! I have seen that before and it is interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I don't think you are right about that.

    The Uncertainty Principle is not merely a matter of measurement. It results, surely, from Position and Momentum being non-commuting operators in QM. It is thus, to my understanding, intrinsic.

    Nothing to do with human limitations of measurement.
    True enough, but it goes deeper than that...
    The factor of Time and its role as a property of Space Time. Which is the one intrinsic factor against which we measure.

    But it's way late here and I really know better than to start a deep debate when I should be snoring like a jungle cat just fed.
    I'll get back to this later.
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    If we assume for a moment that predestination is demonstrated to be true beyond any reasonable doubt, then the next question is: "should we care about it?"
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    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    The argument is convincing. That we do only ever act, think, and respond in a manor that is NOT entirely free.
    That I suggest that I decide from within my own mind I must consed external influence.. be it indoctrinated teachings or just experience. That it is not my own free will I can still make a case for. You are free to be wrong.
    Despite the weight of previous external input. The wrong action is undertaken. Being able to make such blunders is surly a form of freedom. Thus free will. However as I have heard myself say. Very few if any of us can lay claim to ever have had a original thought.
    Is it faulty wiring that draws me to conclude that two very well experienced and educated people can be presented with the same case parameters and yet arrive at very different conclusions. Can I argue free will. No. I can not because as it seems everything I think is ultimately from a external experience. I saw, I heard, tasted, touched, felt... even when I claim interdependent thought it to is from preconceived external input.. I am troubled by my in ability to communicate a argument for the case of free will..
    Which out of stubborn determination I still want to claim it is free will to be mine to decide. Could I claim chance...maybe.
    Then the fault is in the understanding of the question. Not in it's answer.
    All of those preconceived notions are me.. so as me is my own. Then Yes it is my free will to make the choice right wrong, and indifferently..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I don't think you are right about that.

    The Uncertainty Principle is not merely a matter of measurement. It results, surely, from Position and Momentum being non-commuting operators in QM. It is thus, to my understanding, intrinsic.

    Nothing to do with human limitations of measurement.
    True enough, but it goes deeper than that...
    The factor of Time and its role as a property of Space Time. Which is the one intrinsic factor against which we measure.

    But it's way late here and I really know better than to start a deep debate when I should be snoring like a jungle cat just fed.
    I'll get back to this later.
    OK, look forward to that [Babe, look what you've started here!].

    But meanwhile, the reason I contend indeterminacy is deeply embedded in current models is this non-commuting operators business.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
    There is. The legal construct in Western nations for example pretty much comes down to considering actions by individuals outside of extreme duress to be actions of free will--it is not only a practical way to see the world, it's consistent with defining freewill as decisions from someone's brain even if all the activities in that brain are completely deterministic. I think it's the only reasonable way to define freewill at all--most of the other means to define it have to evoke an assumption of an external actor, a soul or other nonsense.

    As for the broader question, whether everything is deterministic doesn't really matter. In complex systems, even if entirely deterministic, there are so many non-linear feedbacks that it would resemble chaotic systems anyhow, and would require a completely 100% modeled universe to the subatomic level to completely simulate and predict things. Of course this isnt' possible.

    -
    Lastly some scientist (which I used to be) and science teachers (which I am sometimes) go too far to belabor the point about science proofs. While it's a good general rule, the reality is science not only depends on inductive reasoning as part of the scientific method and the purified forms we try to teach (which doesn't really exist), but also deductive reasoning, which in large part does include proving things. Proofs are used as baseline assumptions towards developing new hypothesis, used to develop simulations, and oftentimes just to help sort out and categorize both predictions and observations. With a few exceptions, most scientific fields have been good enough to set standards so high for distinguishing between hypothesis and theory, that no major scientific theories have been overturned in the past century--some subsumed into broader ones. Ideally, the standard for declaring a theory as opposed to a hypothesis, should be so high that from a layperson's perspective theories should be considered proven facts.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I've a mildly related question if babe doesn't mind me tagging onto this thread.

    Q: Are Free Will and Determinism topics always/necessarily related to theism, or are there secular aspects of it that I'm not aware of?
    There is. The legal construct in Western nations for example pretty much comes down to considering actions by individuals outside of extreme duress to be actions of free will--it is not only a practical way to see the world, it's consistent with defining freewill as decisions from someone's brain even if all the activities in that brain are completely deterministic. I think it's the only reasonable way to define freewill at all--most of the other means to define it have to evoke an assumption of an external actor, a soul or other nonsense.

    As for the broader question, whether everything is deterministic doesn't really matter. In complex systems, even if entirely deterministic, there are so many non-linear feedbacks that it would resemble chaotic systems anyhow, and would require a completely 100% modeled universe to the subatomic level to completely simulate and predict things. Of course this isnt' possible.

    -
    Lastly some scientist (which I used to be) and science teachers (which I am sometimes) go too far to belabor the point about science proofs. While it's a good general rule, the reality is science not only depends on inductive reasoning as part of the scientific method and the purified forms we try to teach (which doesn't really exist), but also deductive reasoning, which in large part does include proving things. Proofs are used as baseline assumptions towards developing new hypothesis, used to develop simulations, and oftentimes just to help sort out and categorize both predictions and observations. With a few exceptions, most scientific fields have been good enough to set standards so high for distinguishing between hypothesis and theory, that no major scientific theories have been overturned in the past century--some subsumed into broader ones. Ideally, the standard for declaring a theory as opposed to a hypothesis, should be so high that from a layperson's perspective theories should be considered proven facts.
    I believe it is a profound mistake to speak of "proven facts" in the context of scientific theories.

    Adjustments to theories are constantly being made, even if no major theory has been totally overturned in the last century. Look at cladistics in palaeontology for example. It is always, always worth keeping in mind that theories are non-definitive models, subject to improvement. If you don't, you cannot account for the history of science, unless you say everybody was a bit wrong until today when, by some amazing coincidence, we happen to be 100% right.

    Furthermore you cannot account for the fact that science often uses different (implicitly approximate) models for the same thing, depending on the circumstances. In physics Newton's Laws, and in chemistry the Octet Rule, "arrow-pushing" (in organic chemistry) and Transition State Theory are all examples of of theories that work well day to day but are known at some level to be incomplete or logically dubious.

    When I was being taught science it was the exceptions to the "rules" that made the subject interesting. Isn't that always the case in teaching? Teach the rules first and then be subversive, by talking about the occasions where they do not work - and why this might be.
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    With any event we know exactly who or what was affected. If we didn't know who or what was affected by an event then could we say it was predetermined? If a law is passed to protect people from drunk drivers and as a result there are 25% less fatalities then how do we know who was pre-determined to live?
    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
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    Time... seems as much a part of space as space is. We move through it, even as we perceive time as flowing at a steady rate around us.
    And time is what we measure against for determining motion.
    But we don't know what it is - why this perceived effect is not constant and why it appears to be a part of space. Similar to gravity.
    By measuring against it, we treat it as though it is a constant. Yet, we do not know or have a constant for it.
    This is something ol' Albert struggled with heavily. He asked, how can one make a proper measurement if they could not have absolute time- and the answer he put forth was that one cannot; everything is Relative.

    So, you have this particle and you say, "What is its position?" The thing keeps moving around and changing its position, though, and if you really try to nail down its position, you lose accuracy of its motion. And the motion is measured against Time. Which makes sense because how else are you going to measure a rate of change? The problem is, time is relative- not a constant, as Einstein showed. It's a property of the space in which matter moves.
    What if Time could be taken out of the math?
    How the hell do you do that?

    In order to do it, you need a strong and very accurate working model of Electrodynamics and Electromagnetism. Ours is very good, but still not accurate enough to make predictions at the quantum level. But if it was, we would be able to predict the Motion of an Electron.
    You need a strong and very accurate model of spacetime, which shows the cause and manner of interactions of spacetime at the quantum level. And we are nowhere near that, yet... We're only beginning to scratch the surface of it; only in recent times have we begun asking the questions.
    If you can predict the motion of it, accurately, then you can remove it from the equation and balance your equation. Which makes sense because at our scale, we still observe principles and behaviors that repeat under independent testing. If they did not, the Universe would not follow and nothing could ever be certain. Computers wouldn't work and the hardness of a diamond would vary. But this is not what we see- what we see is a steady and consistent Universe that balances its books and follows defined rules.

    The reason for non-commuting operators are that we are unable to show all of the influences that are working on that which we cannot see. We cannot measure at that scale without interacting with it. We lack a theory of Time and of Gravity. In order to progress, we must devise a way to make basic measurements- a method by which we can still see some of what is going on in the hopes that the knowledge we gain from it will give us clues as to what lies beneath.
    We use what we do have because it would be irrational to say, "We don't know enough so let's not bother." We use it to find more, to gain more knowledge and to increase the accuracy of our models as we learn more and observe more. We currently cannot try to observe it without interacting with it and influencing the outcome. We cannot properly measure it without a working theory of Time. That is not to say it's intrinsic to the Universe and therefor- we cannot know... Especially so when a lack of predictability is so very, very, very slight and appears only when dealing with incomplete models.
    It only demonstrates that we have a lot more to learn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Time... seems as much a part of space as space is. (...)
    It only demonstrates that we have a lot more to learn.

    I understand what you state, but I do not understand its relevance in this particular thread.
    Have I missed something in your post?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Time... seems as much a part of space as space is. (...)
    It only demonstrates that we have a lot more to learn.

    I understand what you state, but I do not understand its relevance in this particular thread.
    Have I missed something in your post?
    Uh... Yes, you did. We were discussing how it is that things can appear to be utterly unpredictable. My point is that we are using an incomplete model currently, so stating that a lack of predictability seems intrinsic to the Universe seems a very precocious statement, especially considering how predictable things are, in general. Without a working model of SpaceTime, we cannot reflect all the influences on a particle. We cannot just state that it must be unpredictable as a fundamental property when we don't even know what influences are or are not there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Time... seems as much a part of space as space is. (...)
    It only demonstrates that we have a lot more to learn.

    I understand what you state, but I do not understand its relevance in this particular thread.
    Have I missed something in your post?
    Uh... Yes, you did. We were discussing how it is that things can appear to be utterly unpredictable. My point is that we are using an incomplete model currently, so stating that a lack of predictability seems intrinsic to the Universe seems a very precocious statement, especially considering how predictable things are, in general. Without a working model of SpaceTime, we cannot reflect all the influences on a particle. We cannot just state that it must be unpredictable as a fundamental property when we don't even know what influences are or are not there.

    I see.
    Thank you for explaining!
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post

    I see.
    Thank you for explaining!
    It really is dangerous ground and my shins have lost their rigidity placing me in greater danger of foot in mouth.
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    Just catching up on this thread...
    Some things do appear to be more predictable than others...
    ...not that I am going to wager hard-earned coin on any of the outcomes, lol.

    Some interesting responses by all parties. Thank you for the read.
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    ~ I dislike this, but must except it is as true as we can as yet determine.
    We do not know of all that is time and gravity and space itself.. so to move forward and state we can predetermine by way of a statement of knowledge of what must be the outcome of all possible outcomes is not possible..
    If free will is a construct of not being able to pre guess 100% of all outcomes.. we have a concusses.. We can not.
    So the rule applies free will is real and active.. Any individual has free will based on his own interpretations of his own reality.
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    Originally posted by astromark:
    If free will is a construct of not being able to pre guess 100% of all outcomes.. we have a concusses.. We can not.
    Have you utilized a verb tense where you intended a noun? The sentence seems a bit confusing at present but I think I know what you mean...
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ I dislike this, but must except it is as true as we can as yet determine.
    We do not know of all that is time and gravity and space itself.. so to move forward and state we can predetermine by way of a statement of knowledge of what must be the outcome of all possible outcomes is not possible..
    'Possible' is a funny word...
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    If free will is a construct of not being able to pre guess 100% of all outcomes.. we have a concusses.. We can not.
    So the rule applies free will is real and active.. Any individual has free will based on his own interpretations of his own reality.
    I see this as a changing of the definition. Free Will is a Will that is Free from physical limitation.

    If our will is physically limited- causing an inability to predict, then it is not free even if we cannot determine a future outcome. Our inability to determine does not mean the same thing as indeterminant. Something can be determinant but we would still not be able to determinate it. Currently...

    Let's look at 1 mol of Barium-137. It has a half life of about 156 seconds.
    Don't worry- I'm not going to ask you how many mol of 137Barium you have left after 1 minute.
    I wouldn't be so crass.
    Instead, I'll ask that if you numbered each individual atom within one mol of 137Barium, which numbered atom would show decay first after 1 minute?

    This may get a little complicated, actually...

    Cluster decay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    In order to do it, you need a strong and very accurate working model of Electrodynamics and Electromagnetism. Ours is very good, but still not accurate enough to make predictions at the quantum level. But if it was, we would be able to predict the Motion of an Electron.
    ah, no. In fact most of the evidence points towards the facts that regardless of the model we use, or our level of understanding...the best we'll be able to do is predict a distribution that describes those electrons....not an electron.

    "Free Will is a Will that is Free from physical limitation." That's one of those nonsense definitions that get us nowhere. Obviously our will is a byproduct of the brain which is a physical thing, which would likewise mean people don't have freewill, regardless of whether that process were predictable or not, deterministic or not (not the same).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    In order to do it, you need a strong and very accurate working model of Electrodynamics and Electromagnetism. Ours is very good, but still not accurate enough to make predictions at the quantum level. But if it was, we would be able to predict the Motion of an Electron.
    ah, no. In fact most of the evidence points towards the facts that regardless of the model we use, or our level of understanding...the best we'll be able to do is predict a distribution that describes those electrons....not an electron.
    It's a bit like evolution- if someone asks, "do you believe in evolution?" you might say, I'd be hard pressed not to accept it given the overwhelming evidence that we observe all around us.
    Given the overwhelming and massive evidence of determinant predictability we see all around us, we're hard pressed to conclude that at a scale too small to see, suddenly a magical "Random Factor" appears to throw it all out of whack.

    What you just said makes no sense because you're advocating that we've achieved all knowledge of a system we're still puzzled about.
    No matter what model we use? Nonsense. You couldn't possibly know that. Perhaps our models do not describe an electron very well. That seems far more likely than a divine Random Factor, to me.
    We can say what to expect from behaviors, we can say what an electron will do- but we do not yet know what it is, similar to time or gravity. We don't know what it is. We don't know what other interactions are taking place that we haven't observed, yet.
    The model is based around and built upon the notion that we must observe it indirectly- this is Basic To the Model- because it's smaller than our instruments. We cannot observe it without interacting with it. Without interfering with the outcome.
    I just covered this in post 50.
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    Originally posted by Neverfly:

    What you just said makes no sense because you're advocating that we've achieved all knowledge of a system we're still puzzled about.
    No matter what model we use? Nonsense. You couldn't possibly know that. Perhaps our models do not describe an electron very well. That seems far more likely than a divine Random Factor, to me.
    Where did the divine Random Factor come in? Why interject that?

    Sorry to post and run but I am trying to stay ahead of the weather where my outdoor projects are concerned. I was just taking a quick break and refueling on lunch followed by coffee and chocolate. We're good to go again. CLEAR!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Where did the divine Random Factor come in? Why interject that?
    The Random Factor is that which is truly random or Pure Chance.
    I call it "divine" because I can see no other way to describe it.

    For example, Alpha decay. If you have a substance that appears to spontaneously emit an alpha particle, was the alpha nudged free by some (unknown and never can be figured out) supernatural "Random Factor?"
    Or was it because the wave/particle duality of matter allows the alpha particle to spend some of its time far enough from the nucleus of the atom that the potential from the electromagnetic force has fully compensated for the attraction of the nuclear force?

    What is this wave/particle duality? Is it clearly defined? Here's a hint: No. Given that, can we really say that we know enough to make the claim that our inability to predict is because the system is unpredictable?
    We cannot even "see" this stuff.
    We've got to build massive colliders and accelerate particles to near light speed and smash them together just to get indirect evidence about what is inside.
    And we cannot perceive the "environment" they interact in. Is it quantum foam? What is "SpaceTime?" Is it truly empty space? The utter void? Or is it something that a very very tiny particle could tunnel through, giving the illusion of disappearing and reappearing?
    Further, we are only at the very beginnings of understanding the relationship between energy and matter.
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    Originally posted by Neverfly:

    The Random Factor is that which is truly random or Pure Chance.
    I call it "divine" because I can see no other way to describe it.
    Thank you for your reply. The word 'divine' already has a definition that most associate with a deity.

    Divine - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    By using the word in the manner you have, do you not foresee that it could further confuse the discussion? Later....
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    By using the word in the manner you have, do you not foresee that it could further confuse the discussion? Later....
    No... because I used the word as defined. I do see a "Random Factor" as God.
    I also referred to the notion of true randomness as "Supernatural."
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I believe it is a profound mistake to speak of "proven facts" in the context of scientific theories.
    I respectfully disagree, and ironically so does the National academy of Sciences when they were asked about the the Theory of Evolution:

    "Is evolution a fact or a theory?
    The theory of evolution explains how life on Earth has changed. In scientific terms, "theory" does not mean "guess" or "hunch" as it does in everyday usage. Scientific theories are explanations of natural phenomena built up logically from testable observations and hypotheses. Biological evolution is the best scientific explanation we have for the enormous range of observations about the living world. Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is a fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence supporting the idea is so strong."
    Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition ( 1999 )

    -
    -
    You see at some point scientist need to climb out of their ivory towers and engage the public in a language they'll understand. To a great many laymen the world is black and white--in that world if you've got to nuance an answer about facts, proofs than you've already lost credibility fighting for an ideal that isn't even that well held up within the tower walls of science. If you haven't notice scientist are losing the PR war in the US. Scientist are part of the problem. Ironically that statement from the National Academy of Science was a reversal from their traditional views and the reason they'd rejected one of the most influential scientist only ten years earlier because they were was willing to drop the rarified , nuanced and arrogant language of science and engage the public with similar statements about proofs and facts of science--I'm speaking of course about Carl Sagan. I'm darn glad they've softened their views a bit and see many more scientist willing to come forward to engage the public. As a science teacher its simply better to take it from the other direction and teach that facts and theories are hypothesis so well supported we assume they are true (similar to a statement by Biologist Douglas Futuyma). It's an examination of how they define facts and takes the somewhat arrogant, inflexible and to a large degree impractical strict definitions of science methods off the table. Science advances based on those sorts of facts.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; September 17th, 2013 at 10:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    ok...playing a little devil's advocate.....scenario

    I ordered my canning pickles, got all my ingredients, everything was a go, then woke up sick on Sunday. Slept all day.

    Was that predetermined, that I would be unable to can that day?

    Or was it free will?
    Neither. It was chance.

    Does your "scientific" (but quantum-illiterate?) friend acknowledge the operation of chance in the world? Or does he or she think the outcome of the roll of a die, or the toss of a coin, is predetermined?

    Seems to me any scientifically trained person who denies the role of chance and statistics in nature is very weird indeed. How would such a person be able to cope with the kinetic theory of matter, or statistical thermodynamics?
    Not a friend, more of someone who debates.....until he can't give a reason..

    Interesting....but then....my question, to you then....though ,..(you seem to have clarified this) ..was itfree will that I didn't can? ( I could have and been miserable)......or was it predetermined I'd get a cold....or as you infer...

    It was just chance....I got a cold, and chose not to can.....I like how you brought this up!

    No one has ever mentioned CHANCE!!

    Mahalo!
    Well, free will vs. predetermination (or predestination in some theological debates) is a philosophical or theological argument about the "freedom" of human thought and action, while determinism vs. chance is a very old scientific debate about the working of the physical world itself.

    Determinism was a very respectable scientific position for a couple of hundred years after Newton. Strictly speaking, determinism in this sense does not mean everything has been determined (as that raises the question of "determined by what or whom"), only that it is, in principle, determinable, for example if one had a sufficently powerful computer to calculate all the interactions of everything.

    It was only the kinetic theory of matter in the c.19th (the idea of atoms and molecules in constant random motion), the theory of thermodynamics that Boltzmann and others built on that and then finally in the c.20th quantum theory, with its strange "probability waves" and the Uncertainty Principle, that put the kibosh on scientific determinism.

    Latterly of course we also have, from mathematics, chaos theory, which is able to prove (something science can never do) there can be systems in which is it impossible - in principle, not just in practice - to predict an outcome.

    Many of us would say all this makes it absurd for a modern scientist to maintain everything is predetermined or determinable.

    And that might lead those of us with metaphysical inclinations to think is it an uphill struggle to argue that human thought and action is fully determinable, still less determined. Though of course there are many, many influences that can at least partly explain particular particular human thoughts and actions.
    Thanks for your insights. It is interesting to read all of them.
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    flip side

    Is anything pre-determined?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    By using the word in the manner you have, do you not foresee that it could further confuse the discussion? Later....
    No... because I used the word as defined. I do see a "Random Factor" as God.
    I also referred to the notion of true randomness as "Supernatural."
    ~ You were doing fine in post #62.. Now you have dropped of the edge of reality. 'Supernatural' and 'God' are words I do NOT except in a science forum. No such entity has been proven as to exist or even need to exist.. I am going to chase pink unicorns for a while.
    Please sort this out before Sunday when I shall return.. It's interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    By using the word in the manner you have, do you not foresee that it could further confuse the discussion? Later....
    No... because I used the word as defined. I do see a "Random Factor" as God.
    I also referred to the notion of true randomness as "Supernatural."
    ~ You were doing fine in post #62.. Now you have dropped of the edge of reality. 'Supernatural' and 'God' are words I do NOT except in a science forum. No such entity has been proven as to exist or even need to exist.. I am going to chase pink unicorns for a while.
    Please sort this out before Sunday when I shall return.. It's interesting.
    Astromark, how long have we been dealing with eachother... Over 7 years, now?

    I referred to the "Random Factor" as an absurdity, comparing it to the divine hand of God.
    astromark likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    flip side

    Is anything pre-determined?
    That was part of the question *S*
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I don't think you are right about that.

    The Uncertainty Principle is not merely a matter of measurement. It results, surely, from Position and Momentum being non-commuting operators in QM. It is thus, to my understanding, intrinsic.

    Nothing to do with human limitations of measurement.
    True enough, but it goes deeper than that...
    The factor of Time and its role as a property of Space Time. Which is the one intrinsic factor against which we measure.

    But it's way late here and I really know better than to start a deep debate when I should be snoring like a jungle cat just fed.
    I'll get back to this later.
    OK, look forward to that [Babe, look what you've started here!].

    But meanwhile, the reason I contend indeterminacy is deeply embedded in current models is this non-commuting operators business.
    Uh oh!! Did I do something wrong?
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    Predestination must be non-linear in some sort of ways and you cannot tell what possible ways of carrying out an action and receiving same final result.........unless you wanna rewind time and still keep the info of the past. And once that is done the system is fried!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I believe it is a profound mistake to speak of "proven facts" in the context of scientific theories.
    I respectfully disagree, and ironically so does the National academy of Sciences when they were asked about the the Theory of Evolution:

    "Is evolution a fact or a theory?
    The theory of evolution explains how life on Earth has changed. In scientific terms, "theory" does not mean "guess" or "hunch" as it does in everyday usage. Scientific theories are explanations of natural phenomena built up logically from testable observations and hypotheses. Biological evolution is the best scientific explanation we have for the enormous range of observations about the living world. Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is a fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence supporting the idea is so strong."
    Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition ( 1999 )

    -
    -
    You see at some point scientist need to climb out of their ivory towers and engage the public in a language they'll understand. To a great many laymen the world is black and white--in that world if you've got to nuance an answer about facts, proofs than you've already lost credibility fighting for an ideal that isn't even that well held up within the tower walls of science. If you haven't notice scientist are losing the PR war in the US. Scientist are part of the problem. Ironically that statement from the National Academy of Science was a reversal from their traditional views and the reason they'd rejected one of the most influential scientist only ten years earlier because they were was willing to drop the rarified , nuanced and arrogant language of science and engage the public with similar statements about proofs and facts of science--I'm speaking of course about Carl Sagan. I'm darn glad they've softened their views a bit and see many more scientist willing to come forward to engage the public. As a science teacher its simply better to take it from the other direction and teach that facts and theories are hypothesis so well supported we assume they are true (similar to a statement by Biologist Douglas Futuyma). It's an examination of how they define facts and takes the somewhat arrogant, inflexible and to a large degree impractical strict definitions of science methods off the table. Science advances based on those sorts of facts.
    You know, I guessed that worries about the march of Creationism in the USA informed your attitude. This is largely a parochial battle within one country, and I really cannot see that it justifies twisting people's perception of what science is.

    By the way, I think the "ivory tower" criticism is wholly misplaced. By conflating "fact" with "theory", scientists come across as closed-minded and arrogant - precisely the accusation levelled at them by creationists.

    In fact, I have often encountered demands from creationists to "prove" the "so-called fact" of evolution. When I point out it can't be proved, because no theory ever is in science, but that it explains and predicts observed facts in a way no rival does, I find that usually takes them by surprise. Then we can move on to the need for THEM to show it FALSE, if they want to establish a rival. Which stumps them, obviously.

    I think there is a lot of fashionable cant, quite frankly, about "engaging with the public". The public, or at least that portion of it that is interested enough to pay attention to such matters, is not nearly as stupid as some people seem to think. Dumbing down in order to get on their wavelength is patronising. Most people are well capable of understanding that a "theory" in science is not just a "hunch".
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Predestination must be non-linear in some sort of ways and you cannot tell what possible ways of carrying out an action and receiving same final result.........unless you wanna rewind time and still keep the info of the past. And once that is done the system is fried!
    Well stated.

    So, in another words....nothing can be pre-destined (Determined) because of variables?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Time... seems as much a part of space as space is. We move through it, even as we perceive time as flowing at a steady rate around us.
    And time is what we measure against for determining motion.
    But we don't know what it is - why this perceived effect is not constant and why it appears to be a part of space. Similar to gravity.
    By measuring against it, we treat it as though it is a constant. Yet, we do not know or have a constant for it.
    This is something ol' Albert struggled with heavily. He asked, how can one make a proper measurement if they could not have absolute time- and the answer he put forth was that one cannot; everything is Relative.

    So, you have this particle and you say, "What is its position?" The thing keeps moving around and changing its position, though, and if you really try to nail down its position, you lose accuracy of its motion. And the motion is measured against Time. Which makes sense because how else are you going to measure a rate of change? The problem is, time is relative- not a constant, as Einstein showed. It's a property of the space in which matter moves.
    What if Time could be taken out of the math?
    How the hell do you do that?

    In order to do it, you need a strong and very accurate working model of Electrodynamics and Electromagnetism. Ours is very good, but still not accurate enough to make predictions at the quantum level. But if it was, we would be able to predict the Motion of an Electron.
    You need a strong and very accurate model of spacetime, which shows the cause and manner of interactions of spacetime at the quantum level. And we are nowhere near that, yet... We're only beginning to scratch the surface of it; only in recent times have we begun asking the questions.
    If you can predict the motion of it, accurately, then you can remove it from the equation and balance your equation. Which makes sense because at our scale, we still observe principles and behaviors that repeat under independent testing. If they did not, the Universe would not follow and nothing could ever be certain. Computers wouldn't work and the hardness of a diamond would vary. But this is not what we see- what we see is a steady and consistent Universe that balances its books and follows defined rules.

    The reason for non-commuting operators are that we are unable to show all of the influences that are working on that which we cannot see. We cannot measure at that scale without interacting with it. We lack a theory of Time and of Gravity. In order to progress, we must devise a way to make basic measurements- a method by which we can still see some of what is going on in the hopes that the knowledge we gain from it will give us clues as to what lies beneath.
    We use what we do have because it would be irrational to say, "We don't know enough so let's not bother." We use it to find more, to gain more knowledge and to increase the accuracy of our models as we learn more and observe more. We currently cannot try to observe it without interacting with it and influencing the outcome. We cannot properly measure it without a working theory of Time. That is not to say it's intrinsic to the Universe and therefor- we cannot know... Especially so when a lack of predictability is so very, very, very slight and appears only when dealing with incomplete models.
    It only demonstrates that we have a lot more to learn.
    Neverfly, thank you for this insightful contribution. Would I be right in thinking this is one of the areas that people attempting to harmonise General Relativity with QM are exploring?

    Your position seems to be founded on a personal conviction that a solution WILL be found and when it is, the indeterminacy intrinsic to QM will be shown to arise from hidden variables and will disappear once they are taken into account. But surely this is mere hypothesis at present, isn't it? It seems to me that until such time as your convictions may be shown correct, this indeterminacy does indeed - for the time being - remain a fundamental feature of science, however suspicious you may be about it.

    I can appreciate that someone such as yourself may choose to side with Einstein in being convinced that "God does not play dice" and hence that there must be something incomplete about QM. While I can respect this position, it looks to me like an optional belief.

    From some of your other posts, I have the impression that you are a fierce reductionist who regards any intrusion of "chance" as a ridiculous notion, akin to invoking God. Which is one point of view, but not representative of scientists generally, I venture to suggest.

    My own view is of course coloured by my own education. I realise now that non-commuting QM operators have actually had a big impact on my world view! I admit I have become comfortable with the idea that there are limits to how much can be known. It certainly feels in tune with everyday experience. And it certainly does not inhibit my scientific curiosity: it just makes me a bit modest about what we can hope to know.

    I know you also acknowledge how little we know, though interestingly you seem to come at it from the opposite viewpoint, i.e. that this apparent limit to knowledge MUST be wrong.

    P.S. Apologies if I have misrepresented your point of view at any stage - discussion forums are an imperfect means of communicating subtle ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Predestination must be non-linear in some sort of ways and you cannot tell what possible ways of carrying out an action and receiving same final result.........unless you wanna rewind time and still keep the info of the past. And once that is done the system is fried!
    Well stated.

    So, in another words....nothing can be pre-destined (Determined) because of variables?
    Something can be predestined with constants which will seem as variables so that if 101001 is a constant for my place of death,and I live my entire life unaware of this I would some how fulfill the purpose of 101001 by decisions made by me(thinking am free)...so we can say I living my life in 100101 will lead to my death place(101001) then am predestined in the order of 100101 yields 101001(death place)

    But the above is not enough to tell me that am predestined to die in 101001(death place) if its true am predestined then any way I live my life would lead to 101001(death place) so that living in 202002,100001,001010,100012...etc would still lead to 101001(death place). Meaning no matter how I live my life there is one location destined that I must die an there is nothing to do to change it.

    Now if one can try living his/her life in different ways and there's still one final outcome then predestination is satisfied. But we cannot do that now in our current life. So how do we know that if we start again we would not end up discussing a thread "is everything pre-determined." In same science forum at same time?

    To summarize;what I mean is even if we are predestined there is no way we can realize this without further study and maping of the brain activities how we make decisions and how consciousness plays a role. I.e our everyday life cannot distinguish btw predetermined existence and free existence!
    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Predestination must be non-linear in some sort of ways and you cannot tell what possible ways of carrying out an action and receiving same final result.........unless you wanna rewind time and still keep the info of the past. And once that is done the system is fried!
    Well stated.

    So, in another words....nothing can be pre-destined (Determined) because of variables?
    Something can be predestined with constants which will seem as variables so that if 101001 is a constant for my place of death,and I live my entire life unaware of this I would some how fulfill the purpose of 101001 by decisions made by me(thinking am free)...so we can say I living my life in 100101 will lead to my death place(101001) then am predestined in the order of 100101 yields 101001(death place)

    But the above is not enough to tell me that am predestined to die in 101001(death place) if its true am predestined then any way I live my life would lead to 101001(death place) so that living in 202002,100001,001010,100012...etc would still lead to 101001(death place). Meaning no matter how I live my life there is one location destined that I must die an there is nothing to do to change it.

    Now if one can try living his/her life in different ways and there's still one final outcome then predestination is satisfied. But we cannot do that now in our current life. So how do we know that if we start again we would not end up discussing a thread "is everything pre-determined." In same science forum at same time?

    To summarize;what I mean is even if we are predestined there is no way we can realize this without further study and maping of the brain activities how we make decisions and how consciousness plays a role. I.e our everyday life cannot distinguish btw predetermined existence and free existence!
    LAYMAN TERMS!


    I buy the X car instead of the Y car.

    Was that pre-determined? Pre-destined.

    The person I am speaking of WHO IS NOT IN THIS FORUM

    believes that what you eat in the day is predetermined.

    What you watch on television is predetermined.

    My premise is.

    I don't think ANYTHING is PREDETERMINED. I am sure there are exceptions, like you will get a flat tire in your life time.

    But I am talking day to day!



    I say bullshit.

    WE MAKE CHOICES!

    I am sorry if I am not clear in what I am trying to say.

    But that is my question, in my own little words!

    IS there science that PROVES we are pre-determined?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Predestination must be non-linear in some sort of ways and you cannot tell what possible ways of carrying out an action and receiving same final result.........unless you wanna rewind time and still keep the info of the past. And once that is done the system is fried!
    Well stated.

    So, in another words....nothing can be pre-destined (Determined) because of variables?
    Something can be predestined with constants which will seem as variables so that if 101001 is a constant for my place of death,and I live my entire life unaware of this I would some how fulfill the purpose of 101001 by decisions made by me(thinking am free)...so we can say I living my life in 100101 will lead to my death place(101001) then am predestined in the order of 100101 yields 101001(death place)

    But the above is not enough to tell me that am predestined to die in 101001(death place) if its true am predestined then any way I live my life would lead to 101001(death place) so that living in 202002,100001,001010,100012...etc would still lead to 101001(death place). Meaning no matter how I live my life there is one location destined that I must die an there is nothing to do to change it.

    Now if one can try living his/her life in different ways and there's still one final outcome then predestination is satisfied. But we cannot do that now in our current life. So how do we know that if we start again we would not end up discussing a thread "is everything pre-determined." In same science forum at same time?

    To summarize;what I mean is even if we are predestined there is no way we can realize this without further study and maping of the brain activities how we make decisions and how consciousness plays a role. I.e our everyday life cannot distinguish btw predetermined existence and free existence!
    LAYMAN TERMS!


    I buy the X car instead of the Y car.

    Was that pre-determined? Pre-destined.

    The person I am speaking of WHO IS NOT IN THIS FORUM

    believes that what you eat in the day is predetermined.

    What you watch on television is predetermined.

    My premise is.

    I don't think ANYTHING is PREDETERMINED. I am sure there are exceptions, like you will get a flat tire in your life time.

    But I am talking day to day!



    I say bullshit.

    WE MAKE CHOICES!

    I am sorry if I am not clear in what I am trying to say.

    But that is my question, in my own little words!

    IS there science that PROVES we are pre-determined?
    Currently no science break through has said for or against it but the answer to that would be coming from the science of the brain neuroscience!

    Why this is so as I may have explained earlier,once brain activities show that a human takes action before he/she decides to or not then we must be predestined to make such actions.
    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    IS there science that PROVES what we consider to be choices are pre-determined?
    If you factor in the application of whim in decision making processes; I do not think so.

    Consider this. You are allowed to pick a meal out of ten different choices unknown to you, and through a method of pointing at a time of your choosing at a revolving/spinning cylinder (240 rpm) marked with nine lines separating numbers one through ten. Feel free to include a blindfold if you think it helps.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
    Not only would you choice be somewhat-to-entirely random, your meal is unknown to you ahead of time too. The result of your choice through the application of whim in a scenario like this can't reasonably be pre-determined by factors preceding it. Increasing the number range from one to ten; to that of a hundred, a thousand, etc. wouldn't likely change the conclusion if I'm not mistaken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    IS there science that PROVES what we consider to be choices are pre-determined?
    If you factor in the application of whim in decision making processes; I do not think so.

    Consider this. You are allowed to pick a meal out of ten different choices unknown to you, and through a method of pointing at a time of your choosing at a revolving/spinning cylinder (240 rpm) marked with nine lines separating numbers one through ten. Feel free to include a blindfold if you think it helps.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
    Not only would you choice be somewhat-to-entirely random, your meal is unknown to you ahead of time too. The result of your choice through the application of whim in a scenario like this can't reasonably be pre-determined by factors preceding it. Increasing the number range from one to ten; to that of a hundred, a thousand, etc. wouldn't likely change the conclusion if I'm not mistaken.
    This again is not a good enough experiment to show predestination or free will. Now consider your experiment which I will now call 'pick a food',if you pick any food within the 10 options it does not actually imply if you picked out of free will or was compelled. Now let me present the 'pick a food thought experiment'....
    Experiment carried out while you are blind folded
    Consider 10options of food(numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) with the tray spinning at these possible speeds(24r/s,200r/s,174r/s and 0r/s) now if at speed 24revoultion/sec you pick food no5 unknowing to you and the experiment is repeated with all speeds and 0r/s(while tray is stationary) you still picked food no5,and for some other reason the 10 food where randomly mixed in thesame tray and you pick the food that was once in no5 then you can consider predestination.

    Because in whatever conditions given you appear to pick one particular food but this cannot fully justify predestination since it is much more broad!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Because in whatever conditions given you appear to pick one particular food but this cannot fully justify predestination since it is much more broad!
    I wasn't attempting to justify predestination. To justify predestination would require evidence of predestination.

    I was attempting to propose a way around a deterministic outcome by the application of whim, since determinism requires our choices via supposed "free will" to be influenced by exterior factors outside of our conscious control; such as psychological preferences as an expression of our genes influenced and shaped by environmental stimuli.

    We could build a case that the approach to apply whim in decision making processes in a/some/all cases to be deterministic in nature, but not the outcome of choices resulted from the application of whim. Therefore wouldn't my "choice" of the meal not be deterministic?
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    There are many paths to the same destination. We have no way of knowing this at the many forks of the road we encounter several times a day, often several times an hour.
    Yes, we make choices, and while the details of those outcomes are apparently of infinite variety, is the final outcome affected at all?

    I certainly cannot say, but more than once I have contemplated how I have arrived at my present point in time by the route I have taken. Just my perspective. It does little in aid of the debate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Because in whatever conditions given you appear to pick one particular food but this cannot fully justify predestination since it is much more broad!
    I wasn't attempting to justify predestination. To justify predestination would require evidence of predestination.

    I was attempting to propose a way around a deterministic outcome by the application of whim, since determinism requires our choices via supposed "free will" to be influenced by exterior factors outside of our conscious control; such as psychological preferences as an expression of our genes influenced and shaped by environmental stimuli.

    We could build a case that the approach to apply whim in decision making processes in a/some/all cases to be deterministic in nature, but not the outcome of choices resulted from the application of whim. Therefore wouldn't my "choice" of the meal not be deterministic?
    Yea it will
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    There are many paths to the same destination. We have no way of knowing this at the many forks of the road we encounter
    Ah, Glasshopper!
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Would I be right in thinking this is one of the areas that people attempting to harmonise General Relativity with QM are exploring?
    Einstein referred to the problem as the Marble and the Wood.
    Marble being beautiful and elegant and wood as being rough and ugly.
    The macroscale Universe is much easier to make observations about (even so, we're still sticking our toe in) than the microscale. He was quite frustrated with Q.M.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Your position seems to be founded on a personal conviction that a solution WILL be found and when it is, the indeterminacy intrinsic to QM will be shown to arise from hidden variables and will disappear once they are taken into account. But surely this is mere hypothesis at present, isn't it? It seems to me that until such time as your convictions may be shown correct, this indeterminacy does indeed - for the time being - remain a fundamental feature of science, however suspicious you may be about it.
    Correct, that is how I see it. Those that first set pen to paper (Or chalk to chalkboard? ) beginning research in Q.M. quickly became aware of how counter-intuitive and weird observations of Q.M. were. They quickly organized 'the rules of the game,' by which we're able to make observations of the nearly invisible micro-world; rules that made it clear our inability to make observations was the cause.
    Yet, it's common today that many people, PhD's included, seem to think it's intrinsic. I liken this to Dingle on Relativity, to be blunt.
    There are many people, even scientists in the field, that today will still insist that Bohr believed that the Moon did not exist unless it was observed, in memory of Einsteins good natured ribbing of him. But this is in spite of Niels Bohr repeatedly clarifying that he did believe the Moon existed even if unobserved. Heisenberg even addressed these misconceptions numerous times and yet, what usually remains in the common view is the opposite of what they had said.
    I blame journalists, for the most part, as the wacky, weird and mind numbing captures a readers interest. So they added such spin- a bit like the double slit experiment being portrayed as, "The electron somehow knows when it's being watched," rather than the more accurate, "The electron is interfered with by our instruments of measurement. Whatever we use to detect the electron will interact with the electron."
    Even some scientists are guilty, while they write articles in obscure wording in order to appear to be really smart in order to understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I can appreciate that someone such as yourself may choose to side with Einstein in being convinced that "God does not play dice" and hence that there must be something incomplete about QM. While I can respect this position, it looks to me like an optional belief.
    Not just Einstein... Even so, I likened it to Evolution, above. There is overwhelming evidence of the consistency of physics in everything we observe- so why have one exception to all of the evidence and why would that one exception be an area which is most difficult to make observations about?
    That does not seem like an "optional belief" to me, as it would be irrational to reject a mountain of evidence merely for the excitement of thinking some special place in science is different from ALL other physics.
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    From some of your other posts, I have the impression that you are a fierce reductionist who regards any intrusion of "chance" as a ridiculous notion, akin to invoking God. Which is one point of view, but not representative of scientists generally, I venture to suggest.
    In Medicine, a doctor cannot build a micro-machine that can enable the doctors to see all of the Molecule Structures within a person and record all the interactions between them. Due to this limitation, they resign themselves to trial and error, which is more cost effective than direct examination of a drugs effect - the vast majority of the time (only high profile illnesses such as aids and cancer seem to get enough funding for direct drug experiments and even some of those tests are still cost prohibitive...)
    They are resigned to our limitations- NOT operating under the belief that the human body is a mystical machine that has random factors that cause side effects or whatever... no, the side effects are caused by present conditions and chemical compositions within the body. The doctor merely accepts that they cannot be aware of all of those factors and takes chances, instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I know you also acknowledge how little we know, though interestingly you seem to come at it from the opposite viewpoint, i.e. that this apparent limit to knowledge MUST be wrong.
    I see the limitations as not "wrong" but as an obstacle to overcome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Would I be right in thinking this is one of the areas that people attempting to harmonise General Relativity with QM are exploring?
    Einstein referred to the problem as the Marble and the Wood.
    Marble being beautiful and elegant and wood as being rough and ugly.
    The macroscale Universe is much easier to make observations about (even so, we're still sticking our toe in) than the microscale. He was quite frustrated with Q.M.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Your position seems to be founded on a personal conviction that a solution WILL be found and when it is, the indeterminacy intrinsic to QM will be shown to arise from hidden variables and will disappear once they are taken into account. But surely this is mere hypothesis at present, isn't it? It seems to me that until such time as your convictions may be shown correct, this indeterminacy does indeed - for the time being - remain a fundamental feature of science, however suspicious you may be about it.
    Correct, that is how I see it. Those that first set pen to paper (Or chalk to chalkboard? ) beginning research in Q.M. quickly became aware of how counter-intuitive and weird observations of Q.M. were. They quickly organized 'the rules of the game,' by which we're able to make observations of the nearly invisible micro-world; rules that made it clear our inability to make observations was the cause.
    Yet, it's common today that many people, PhD's included, seem to think it's intrinsic. I liken this to Dingle on Relativity, to be blunt.
    There are many people, even scientists in the field, that today will still insist that Bohr believed that the Moon did not exist unless it was observed, in memory of Einsteins good natured ribbing of him. But this is in spite of Niels Bohr repeatedly clarifying that he did believe the Moon existed even if unobserved. Heisenberg even addressed these misconceptions numerous times and yet, what usually remains in the common view is the opposite of what they had said.
    I blame journalists, for the most part, as the wacky, weird and mind numbing captures a readers interest. So they added such spin- a bit like the double slit experiment being portrayed as, "The electron somehow knows when it's being watched," rather than the more accurate, "The electron is interfered with by our instruments of measurement. Whatever we use to detect the electron will interact with the electron."
    Even some scientists are guilty, while they write articles in obscure wording in order to appear to be really smart in order to understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I can appreciate that someone such as yourself may choose to side with Einstein in being convinced that "God does not play dice" and hence that there must be something incomplete about QM. While I can respect this position, it looks to me like an optional belief.
    Not just Einstein... Even so, I likened it to Evolution, above. There is overwhelming evidence of the consistency of physics in everything we observe- so why have one exception to all of the evidence and why would that one exception be an area which is most difficult to make observations about?
    That does not seem like an "optional belief" to me, as it would be irrational to reject a mountain of evidence merely for the excitement of thinking some special place in science is different from ALL other physics.
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    From some of your other posts, I have the impression that you are a fierce reductionist who regards any intrusion of "chance" as a ridiculous notion, akin to invoking God. Which is one point of view, but not representative of scientists generally, I venture to suggest.
    In Medicine, a doctor cannot build a micro-machine that can enable the doctors to see all of the Molecule Structures within a person and record all the interactions between them. Due to this limitation, they resign themselves to trial and error, which is more cost effective than direct examination of a drugs effect - the vast majority of the time (only high profile illnesses such as aids and cancer seem to get enough funding for direct drug experiments and even some of those tests are still cost prohibitive...)
    They are resigned to our limitations- NOT operating under the belief that the human body is a mystical machine that has random factors that cause side effects or whatever... no, the side effects are caused by present conditions and chemical compositions within the body. The doctor merely accepts that they cannot be aware of all of those factors and takes chances, instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I know you also acknowledge how little we know, though interestingly you seem to come at it from the opposite viewpoint, i.e. that this apparent limit to knowledge MUST be wrong.
    I see the limitations as not "wrong" but as an obstacle to overcome.
    Well OK, each to his own, but I am fairly sure your view of this is highly unusual. QM is not just some obscure corner of physics, after all, it is pretty fundamental, its "rules of the game" were merely created to reflect observational reality and to predict (i.e. normal science at work) - and have been a triumphant success. I also read that a number of the Hidden Variable theories have run into trouble and there are grounds for excluding some of them.

    I realise there could be a danger that someone like me might have become out of date by now and that it could be possible that quantum indeterminacy might be under more serious challenge than when I was at university. However from what I have read recently this does not seem to be really so. So you'll have to forgive me for sticking to my ground that QM does contain intrinsic indeterminacy and that, according to this model, that is part of nature.

    Changing the subject slightly, how do you view statistical thermodynamics? Does this not again depend on random motion between energy states?
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Well OK, each to his own, but I am fairly sure your view of this is highly unusual.
    I... Really don't think so. Now, I admit... Popular Science Magazine doesn't agree with me...
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    QM is not just some obscure corner of physics, after all, it is pretty fundamental,
    I never said it was. I did not imply that it was.
    I said that it would be absurd to think that it was. I said it would be odd to think that the mountain of evidence suddenly does not apply to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    its "rules of the game" were merely created to reflect observational reality and to predict (i.e. normal science at work) - and have been a triumphant success.
    Predict- yes. Define, no.
    The 'rules of the game' were not set to reflect observational reality because we cannot directly observe that reality.
    We Can Not Observe It. That is why they formulated their experiments and conclusions as they did. I have already covered this above.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I also read that a number of the Hidden Variable theories have run into trouble and there are grounds for excluding some of them.
    This means little to me... I've directed no attention toward any specific hypothesis other than that claiming a mystical and mysterious Random Factor is absurd. It's counter to all other observation and scientific conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I realise there could be a danger that someone like me might have become out of date by now
    Out of date? What a strange thing to say, since what I've said is pretty much the same thing that was said back in 1940 and consistently since then.
    Out of date. Jeez, you're kidding, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Changing the subject slightly, how do you view statistical thermodynamics? Does this not again depend on random motion between energy states?
    No, it does not. However, we cannot directly observe all the factors within a given system and then calculate their trajectories. So, we calculate the entire system, instead.

    A simpler example might be Brownian Motion.

    I'll ask you a question: What is the direct cause of influence if neither energy nor physical interaction is to blame?

    If you're driving down 66 and your car acts like you hit a bump, was that bump a lump in the roadway that had a direct cause that made it exist?
    Or did your car 'randomly bump up' for no reason at all?
    Taking a "Random Factor" seriously is an absurdity. It assigns an intrinsic value of God-like quality, a mysterious and mythical force that cannot be measured, defined, seen in any way... does that not seem ODD to you? Does it seem likely?
    Or is it more likely that when you hit a bump in the road, you ran over a hump in the road?
    The evidence for physics is OverWhelming. Much like the case with Evolution. It's Very, very well supported. Claiming that in the one area where you are not able to make direct observations or see very well, what you cannot see is magically influenced by magical properties is utter madness.
    It is nothing more than the superstitious mind doing its thing, rather than the rational mind saying, "Ok, what is really going on here?"
    Now, scientists and even University instructors/professors are not immune to it.
    But I say that there is a rational reason. I say that with development and study, we can find out what it is. There is no need for mystical and unusual magic.
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    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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    Simple minds like simple answers- and my grudge is that journalists and even, sadly, educators, pander to that while seeking out the L.C.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    One could argue that the simplest answer is "Godidit."
    "Wif majik 'n such."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    One could argue that the simplest answer is "Godidit."
    "Wif majik 'n such."
    Arguably. But truth had never appeared in multiplicity and confusion of things,but truth will be found in simplicity!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Because in whatever conditions given you appear to pick one particular food but this cannot fully justify predestination since it is much more broad!
    I wasn't attempting to justify predestination. To justify predestination would require evidence of predestination.

    I was attempting to propose a way around a deterministic outcome by the application of whim, since determinism requires our choices via supposed "free will" to be influenced by exterior factors outside of our conscious control; such as psychological preferences as an expression of our genes influenced and shaped by environmental stimuli.

    We could build a case that the approach to apply whim in decision making processes in a/some/all cases to be deterministic in nature, but not the outcome of choices resulted from the application of whim. Therefore wouldn't my "choice" of the meal not be deterministic?
    Yea it will
    Are you saying that it will still be deterministic? And if so, please elaborate.
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    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    One could argue that the simplest answer is "Godidit."
    Perhaps for the simple minded (sorry if that offended folks). A good fraction of scientist reject that argument because in fact "gogdidit" is the most complex explanation of all because though masked it begs a hundred questions about "god," with even less evidence than the original question.
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    True. But my point was that "simplicity" can be relative. In fact, many scientific conclusions raise a great many more questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    There are many paths to the same destination. We have no way of knowing this at the many forks of the road we encounter several times a day, often several times an hour.
    Yes, we make choices, and while the details of those outcomes are apparently of infinite variety, is the final outcome affected at all?

    I certainly cannot say, but more than once I have contemplated how I have arrived at my present point in time by the route I have taken. Just my perspective. It does little in aid of the debate.
    Well said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    This is too simplistic and I have to agree with Neverfly's implied criticism of it.

    Occam's Razor simply says unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

    Which raises the question of what complexity is necessary.

    It is essential that any scientific explanation should be able to (a) account for the observations already made and (b) successfully predict what new ones can be expected.

    Occam's razor applies in the sense that an explanation has to be sufficiently complex to enable (a) and (b) to be done, but not more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    This is too simplistic and I have to agree with Neverfly's implied criticism of it.

    Occam's Razor simply says unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

    Which raises the question of what complexity is necessary.

    It is essential that any scientific explanation should be able to (a) account for the observations already made and (b) successfully predict what new ones can be expected.

    Occam's razor applies in the sense that an explanation has to be sufficiently complex to enable (a) and (b) to be done, but not more.
    Clearly you do not get the discussion here#

    Neverfly has stated how elusive phenomenons/occurrences that seem to defy present skill and knowledge leads to superstitious believes and he further showed why these believe is not needed(using the browain motion question and others). That was what I extended when stating how the mind seek for a comfort zone where it needs not to worry about elusive phenomenon,and the only way to achieve this is by attributing some believe(superstitious which neverfly denounced earlier) and lynx fox also concluded what we had started and consider how it might relate to occam's razor due to the sort of explanation a lazy mind would give so as to simplify,demystify an eluding phenomenon......

    So the above statements by all 3members are coherent and well simplified so as to be understood by a lazy mind!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Clearly you do not get the discussion here#

    Neverfly has stated how elusive phenomenons/occurrences that seem to defy present skill and knowledge leads to superstitious believes and he further showed why these believe is not needed(using the browain motion question and others). That was what I extended when stating how the mind seek for a comfort zone where it needs not to worry about elusive phenomenon,and the only way to achieve this is by attributing some believe(superstitious which neverfly denounced earlier) and lynx fox also concluded what we had started and consider how it might relate to occam's razor due to the sort of explanation a lazy mind would give so as to simplify,demystify an eluding phenomenon......

    So the above statements by all 3members are coherent and well simplified so as to be understood by a lazy mind!
    While this is an accurate enough representation, what exchemist said is also perfectly valid and accurate.
    Occams Razor is not a rule or law, it is a guide.

    For example, exchemist said that it's possible that a Random Factor (Cause unknown or knowable) is intrinsic to the Universe. He could be right.

    Imagine for a moment that the Spacetime itself is a sort of Quantum Foam and that there is more than one Universe (I do not mean alternate Universes in which there is another you... rather just more than one Universe, as you can have several different trees standing in a grove).
    If a particle is small enough to pass through tiny, tiny holes in the foam, from one universe to another, then it could appear as though particles are popping in and out of existence with no apparent cause and we could not leave the universe and check out the other Universe to follow it and find out, maybe not without a few million years of scientific and technological advancement, maybe not at all (and maybe it's not so difficult to leave the Universe at all and we don't know it, yet.)

    I've referred to the "simpler" likelihood that we have not fully understood events at a scale that we cannot see, as that is simpler than bringing in accompanying universes and the like. But it's not so complex or fat-fetched a step to have the other Universes.
    There are a few reasons that I push the argument in the manner that I do:
    1.) We need to understand the nature of what's going on at that level without requiring another Universe to explain it unless no other explanation will do... Since our observations of the Quantum Level are incomplete; I think more completeness of our theories should be the prioritized factor.
    2.) For the question of whether or not the Universe is Deterministic, allowing that other universes exist, spacetime as a quantum foam does not mean that Random Chance is intrinsic, rather that we cannot follow all the factors to personally determine events; this is no different from how things are anyway... Even in a closed deterministic system, we, personally, still cannot follow and know the trajectory of every particle in the Universe to make a determination. So, even what may appear strongly to be random may well not be.
    3.) Wave/particle duality; makes inter-universe tunneling seem much less likely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    The mind looks for the simplest explanation when rational explanations is not adequate thereby placing itself in a comfort zone where it needs not to worry much about the phenomenon......
    Of course. And the rule of thumb that the simplest explanations are the most likely is at the core of scientific method (Occam's Razor), whether there's a fully developed rational argument backed by empirical evidence or not.
    This is too simplistic and I have to agree with Neverfly's implied criticism of it.

    Occam's Razor simply says unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

    Which raises the question of what complexity is necessary.

    It is essential that any scientific explanation should be able to (a) account for the observations already made and (b) successfully predict what new ones can be expected.

    Occam's razor applies in the sense that an explanation has to be sufficiently complex to enable (a) and (b) to be done, but not more.
    Clearly you do not get the discussion here#

    Neverfly has stated how elusive phenomenons/occurrences that seem to defy present skill and knowledge leads to superstitious believes and he further showed why these believe is not needed(using the browain motion question and others). That was what I extended when stating how the mind seek for a comfort zone where it needs not to worry about elusive phenomenon,and the only way to achieve this is by attributing some believe(superstitious which neverfly denounced earlier) and lynx fox also concluded what we had started and consider how it might relate to occam's razor due to the sort of explanation a lazy mind would give so as to simplify,demystify an eluding phenomenon......

    So the above statements by all 3members are coherent and well simplified so as to be understood by a lazy mind!
    Yes, point taken, thanks for reminding me of the context of all this.

    It was just the comment about Occam's Razor requiring the simplest explanation that I thought I needed to take issue with, because that is a lazy formulation of it that I've often seen before - and even worse, actually used by creationists to argue all sorts of rubbish.
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