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Thread: Randomness

  1. #1 Randomness 
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    Is there such a thing...

    This has come up quite a bit in debates. It seems most people think there is no such thing as randomness as everything seems to be determined by initial conditions. Even chaos evolves based on initial conditions however difficult it is to predict.

    The result of flipping a coin depends on which side it was originally on, force of the flip, air pressure, aerodynamics of the coin etc...

    Even randomness at the atomic level seems to be based on probability as opposed to randomness. Quantum effects are based on probability as opposed to randomness. This of course has repercussion on free will or determinism.

    So my question exists... is there such a thing as randomness and if so what would be a truly random event!


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    It's been awhile since I've read up on it, but chaos theory is based on randomness... However, it is about order from randomness.... Muaha!


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    audacity, tHAT WAS random...

    but i took that word form a frinds instant message!

    so it was not so random.. that he told me the word....he was explaining somthing....

    i was random to chose to put it here.... but agian.. the only reason.. was a was searching google for it.. copy'd and paseted in the wrong window....

    but random none the less....



    everyting comes back to something...
    but what dose the something go back to?
    everything.... that could possibly go forward to something,

    randomness exsists because we make it exist! i made that up.. but it makes sense.... to me....
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  5. #4  
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    Wheres my fruit platter.

    now thats random.
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    Chaos is not random. It just means a system is very dependent on ititial conditions. Disorder increases as time moves on. Just because it is extremely difficult to predict the final state of a chaotic system, it does not mean it is random.

    I don't believe random comments or numbers that one thinks up (first thing to enter their head!) is random. It may appear random but the mind is based on electrical signals and anything you say can be linked back to a cause or stimulus to say that thing.

    This is vague I know....
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  7. #6  
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    nothing in nature is random.... we make it random.. with human nature...

    example.. tossing the coin is random.. in that it lands on a side we do not know it will.... but only becasue we are thinking about what side it will land on,

    and eg 2.. a rabbit may appare to be randomly walking across agreen area,,, but it is wlaking there because of a condition it has thought of,

    intellagance causes randomness.. but its not really there, make any snse
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    your right there goodgod3rd, it seems that nothing in nature is random. The coin toss and the rabbit walking in a green area are also NOT random in any way.

    As for human nature being able to produce random effects, that is debatable and with far reaching consequences...
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodgod3rd
    nothing in nature is random.... we make it random.. with human nature...

    example.. tossing the coin is random.. in that it lands on a side we do not know it will.... but only becasue we are thinking about what side it will land on,

    and eg 2.. a rabbit may appare to be randomly walking across agreen area,,, but it is wlaking there because of a condition it has thought of,

    intellagance causes randomness.. but its not really there, make any snse
    Tossing a coin is not random, unless we have a random social context as i mentioned above.
    when we toss a coin we know that there is a 50% chance of it landing either side hence it is now a statistical probability as opposed to a random outcome. the only time i can think of where a random outcome can be produced from tossing a coin is when the coin lands on its side and begins to roll.

    the human mind is the perfect example of a system that is sensitive to its initial condition, a slight change of which often does produce unpredictable outcomes.
    but since there must always be a change to the initial condition there is always a cause for the change.
    so while a human act may seem random to other people there is in fact a reason behind it, which means it's not a random act.
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    It's been awhile since I've read up on it, but chaos theory is based on randomness... However, it is about order from randomness.... Muaha!
    Is it not the case that Chaos Theory is based upon unpredictability, which is not the same as randomness?
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    Wikipedia to the rescue, lets get a clear deffinition on chaos theory before we continue shall we:

    In mathematics and physics, chaos theory deals with the behavior of certain nonlinear dynamical systems that (under certain conditions) exhibit the phenomenon known as chaos, most famously characterised by sensitivity to initial conditions (see butterfly effect). As a result of this sensitivity, the observed behavior of physical systems that exhibit chaos appears to be random, even though the model of the system is 'deterministic' in the sense that it is well defined and contains no random parameters. Examples of such systems include the atmosphere, the solar system, plate tectonics, turbulent fluids, economies, and population growth.
    that should settle it then.
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    I read that to mean unpredictable, not random - but then I would, wouldn't I?
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  13. #12 Re: Randomness 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Even randomness at the atomic level seems to be based on probability as opposed to randomness. Quantum effects are based on probability as opposed to randomness. This of course has repercussion on free will or determinism.
    Something can still be random even if it follows a probability distribution, and indeed it appears that some things in the quantum realm really are truly random. Something is “random” if the outcome isn’t mechanistically determined by the initial conditions. An event is not random only if you can determine with certainty how it will turn out; simply being able to say that there's a 30% chance of it ending up one way and a 70% chance of it ending up the other way doesn't make it non-random. Most of the things that we consider to be random like flipping a coin or rolling dice aren’t really random; if you had very precise information about the orientation and velocity of a coin, you could determine whether it would land heads or tails while it was still in the air.

    There are, however, examples of things on the quantum scale that really are random. Take a particle that decomposes into two other particles, one with an up spin and one with a down spin. The particle decomposes, and the two daughter particles shoot off in opposite directions. Which of the daughter particles will be spin-up and which will be spin-down? There’s no way to know without actually measuring. Even if you had all the information about the parent particle at the exact moment before its decay, there would be no way to tell.

    Einstein was really bothered by this, and this is what he was talking about when he made his famous statement that “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.” He spent years trying to disprove quantum randomness, but in the end he only ended up accumulating more and more evidence in favor of it.
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    Good points there. When Einstein said "God doesn’t play dice with the universe", Bohr answered "Don't tell god what he can and can't do".
    I think Einstein was more worried about the unpredictability and uncertainty of quantum nature. His theory was totally predictable and determinant so quantum didn't agree with it (still doesn't).

    Something can still be random even if it follows a probability distribution
    This is not true: by definition a probability distribution is not random.

    An event is not random only if you can determine with certainty how it will turn out
    That is not true, we have already established that chaos is NOT random however the outcome is impossible to dtermine. (some people may say extremely difficult but if you knew all the conditions you could predict the outcome, however it is impossible to know all the conditions unless you had an infinite number of detectors).

    Take a particle that decomposes into two other particles, one with an up spin and one with a down spin. The particle decomposes, and the two daughter particles shoot off in opposite directions. Which of the daughter particles will be spin-up and which will be spin-down? There’s no way to know without actually measuring.
    This again is based on conditions. Particle decay has preconditions and the two particles produced would have been "instructed" how to behave. You already pointed out that they have opposite spin and direction, this is so as to satisfy conservation laws.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    This is not true: by definition a probability distribution is not random.
    I think you have that backwards.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=random

    That is not true, we have already established that chaos is NOT random however the outcome is impossible to dtermine.
    There is a difference between being unable to figure out how something will behave because we don't have enough information and/or aren't clever enough and being unable to figure out how something would behave because it's fundamentally impossible to predict, even if you somehow had all the information.
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    i mean , that by tossing the coin, and picking a side, we creat a sense of random ness... if it lands on our side(say heads) the we say,.. well i coulda gone the other way.. it was random. but its not,

    hey... if i contradict my self.. it becasue im confusing my self! :P
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    Quantum and I became entangled (to give you a smile) recently when some very nice and intelligent people introduced me to the thought. It was amazingly disappointing to discover quantum is not a mysterious place of chaos as many describe it. In fact, it is so normal when you seriously consider it, I became quite bored with it for a while. It was only when I began to learn about the interaction between quantum particles I once again became enthralled. This is the real enchantment of quantum, the interaction between what we know and what is yet to be discovered. When you consider a particle reacts or changes in an unusual way before it arrives at its destination, the excitement is finding what made the change possible. There is something in between, yet undiscovered causing the interaction or change.
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  18. #17  
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    [quote="Scifor Refugee"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    This is not true: by definition a probability distribution is not random.
    I think you have that backwards.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=random

    Yes indeed, I think random in this case is not the right word for what I am trying to describe. If a random variable falls into a probability distribution, then it is not truly random. In other words in a probability distribution we can work out a average outcome and limits to the outcome. A truly random event could not be modelled in this way. The word random is used as variables in probability distribution but it is not used in the way I mean here.

    For example the number of radioactive decays of a particle in an hour would give you a normal distribution is if modleed say 100 times. You could guess the outcome of another even by looking at this distribution and you would find it very unlikely that the answer would be well off the mean.

    A truly random event should be totally unpredictable and radioactive decay is not random.

    Anyway I do not wish for an argument over semantics. I mean the word random in its true and real form not its mathematical equivalent.

    I do not know if there is such a thing as true randomness but I sure hope there is....
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  19. #18  
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    Any event with a finite number of possible outcomes can be described with a probability distribution. If you’re looking for outcomes that don’t follow a probability distribution, you probably aren’t going to find any.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    There is a difference between being unable to figure out how something will behave because we don't have enough information and/or aren't clever enough and being unable to figure out how something would behave because it's fundamentally impossible to predict, even if you somehow had all the information.
    Indeed; this is one of the main points I think.
    Is it possible to prove that a result of a certain event is fundamentally impossible to predict? or are all the things we can not predict a consequence of lack of knowledge and/or parameters.
    If the seconds is true the Laplace’s Demon goes into action, able to predict your choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    This of course has repercussion on free will or determinism
    However even in a deterministic world we still have a free will.
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  21. #20 Re: Randomness 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    So my question exists... is there such a thing as randomness and if so what would be a truly random event!
    No that is not the question. Whether something exists or not is never the question. The question is always what is it? What are people talking about? What do they mean when they use this word? Existence questions are meaningless attempts to avoid discussion. Saying something does not exist simply means that you don't think what other people are talking about is of any value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Even randomness at the atomic level seems to be based on probability as opposed to randomness. Quantum effects are based on probability as opposed to randomness. This of course has repercussion on free will or determinism.
    Your statement here shows absolute confusion. Probability is based on the idea of randomness. Without randomness there is no probability but only certainty. What I guess is behind your statement is the fact that probability distributions are not always flat with equal chances for all results. But I do not think that any conclusions can be drawn from this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    This has come up quite a bit in debates. It seems most people think there is no such thing as randomness as everything seems to be determined by initial conditions. Even chaos evolves based on initial conditions however difficult it is to predict.
    No not everything is determined by initial conditions. In quantum physics, this statement would be equivalent to the claim that there are hidden variables. And it has been proven that there are no hidden variables. Experiments have proven that Bell's inequality does not hold so local realism or absolute determinism is out. This means deterministic reductionism is dead. Either things are not merely the sum of their parts or not all events are determined by initial conditions. On a local level this amounts to the same thing. Events are not determined by localized initial conditions. The point is that quantum physics wins the day and the indeterminacy which it describes is unchallenged.
    The important consequence of chaotic dynamics, proven by Ilya Prigogine, is that the causal determination of events requires knowing the initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision. Since this is impossible, randomness makes sense. In addition, this means that Schrodinger was wrong and that quantum indeterminacy has macroscopic consequences. Quantum indeterminacy means that initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision are not only not known but they simply do not exist. Nonlinear systems amplify these causally deficient wave collapse events to macroscopic consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    The result of flipping a coin depends on which side it was originally on, force of the flip, air pressure, aerodynamics of the coin etc...
    And the initial force depends on a complex entity ruled by the nonlinear dynamics which routinely makes quantum indeterminacy a macroscopic reality. But if you used a device to to measure the initial velocity and rotation of the coin after leaving the hand and the coin is not caught by human hands, you just might be able to predict the result with a fair degree of accuracy. But I would not be too sure of this until it is actually accomplished and successfully demonstrated.
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    Interesting insights there mitchellmckain. It has been some time since I studied quantum mechanics, however there are a few quantum mechanical interpretations that are deterministic and avoid the need for hidden variables (Bohm interpretation, many worlds), however they are not very popular.

    No not everything is determined by initial conditions. In quantum physics, this statement would be equivalent to the claim that there are hidden variables. And it has been proven that there are no hidden variables. Experiments have proven that Bell's inequality does not hold so local realism or absolute determinism is out. This means deterministic reductionism is dead. Either things are not merely the sum of their parts or not all events are determined by initial conditions. On a local level this amounts to the same thing. Events are not determined by localized initial conditions. The point is that quantum physics wins the day and the indeterminacy which it describes is unchallenged.
    The important consequence of chaotic dynamics, proven by Ilya Prigogine, is that the causal determination of events requires knowing the initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision. Since this is impossible, randomness makes sense. In addition, this means that Schrodinger was wrong and that quantum indeterminacy has macroscopic consequences. Quantum indeterminacy means that initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision are not only not known but they simply do not exist. Nonlinear systems amplify these causally deficient wave collapse events to macroscopic consequences.
    This is very interesting. I thought quantum mecahanics was deterministic as the time dependent Schrodinger equation can determine the development of the wave function with respect to time.

    Experiments have proven that Bell's inequality does not hold so local realism or absolute determinism is out.
    Tell me more about these experiments or send me a link, very interesting...

    Also I thought that Quantum indeterminacy had little to no effect on macroscopic consequences so if you could send me more info on that would be much appreciative....

    Note: I am not disagreeing with you just interested in more information, like I said it has been some time since I studied quantum mechanics and I didn't specialise in that area :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Interesting insights there mitchellmckain. It has been some time since I studied quantum mechanics, however there are a few quantum mechanical interpretations that are deterministic and avoid the need for hidden variables (Bohm interpretation, many worlds), however they are not very popular.
    Yes Bohm is one of the most determined followers of Einstein and mechanistic determinism, so much so that he is willing to disregard the limitation of the speed of light to keep his point of view. He is very far from the modern physics academic consensus. I have read his theory and I don't thnk it works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    This is very interesting. I thought quantum mecahanics was deterministic as the time dependent Schrodinger equation can determine the development of the wave function with respect to time.
    Yes it is deterministic for the most part. Some people like to emphasize that the time evolution of wave functions is all deterministic. They want to overlook the one part of quantum physics which is not deterministic. This is the wave collapse. This happens when you make a measurement of something which is represented in quantum physics by a wave and probability distribution. The probability distribution tells you the probability of the different possible results of your measurement but what measurement you actually get is completely undetermined. It was the result of such measurements and the wave collapse that mechanistic determinists like Einstein hoped could be explained by hidden variables. This is what Einstein meant when he argued that Quantum physics was incomplete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Experiments have proven that Bell's inequality does not hold so local realism or absolute determinism is out.
    Tell me more about these experiments or send me a link, very interesting...
    Any google search on Bell's inequality will produce an abundance of info on the topic, which will be more detailed and less biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Also I thought that Quantum indeterminacy had little to no effect on macroscopic consequences so if you could send me more info on that would be much appreciative....
    That is what Schrodinger thought and argued. But the fact of the matter is that every time you make a measurement as described above you are amplifying a quantum wave collapse to a macroscopic event which you can see. And that is before you take the advent of chaotic dynamics into account. Illya Priogogine proved that non linear far from equillibrium processes require the specification of the initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision, in order for their results to be determined. Quantum physics says that such an infinite precision doesn't even exist and if you force it you get a wave collapse. The result is that such naturally occuring complex systems which are far from equillibrium also amplify the quantum wave collapse to macroscopic events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Note: I am not disagreeing with you just interested in more information, like I said it has been some time since I studied quantum mechanics and I didn't specialise in that area :-D
    Since you are so agreeable, I will make it clear that what I am talking about is more in the realm of the metaphysical implications of contemporary physics and not physics itself, athough physicists like Schrodinger and Hawkings draw conclusions in this area a lot themselves.
    So when I say that mechanistic determinism is dead, that is my own metaphysical opinion and not the modern academic physics consensus, which has nothing to say on the matter.

    By the way what did you specialize in. I did a little work in Classical mechanics (in the GR dept) and then a bit of work in high energy physics (particle physics).
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    Cheers mitchellmckain...

    I did research in space science, gamma ray bursts...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius
    Cheers mitchellmckain...

    I did research in space science, gamma ray bursts...
    I graduated from the University of Utah which is really big in the cosmic ray dept, so I had to hear a lot about it whether I wanted to or not. I even attended a Chandra workshop at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference this summer. Anyway this mean that I am not completely ignorant in the field and would like to hear more about what part you are playing or played in this very broad and very active field of research. Since my interest has since turned to astronomy and astrophysics I am particularly interested in anything which has impact there.
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    :? Probability is a measure of randomness. In scientific esscence, every event is random. Unless, you agree with Alby that God don't play dice of course
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    the idea of randomness derives solely from our inability to comprehend the complexity of some processes.

    for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. every minute change is the direct cause of a physical action. randomness does not actually exist, there are only increasing levels of disorder--which can be traced to specific individual causes. The only reason we don't know those causes is because they are so minute and there are so many of them it is impractical to trace them all back. it is like trying to follow every molecule of air in the atmosphere. each one pushes another, and soon enough you get a hurricane on the other side of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    the idea of randomness derives solely from our inability to comprehend the complexity of some processes.
    Wrong! Hidden variables do not exist. When you collapse a quantum wave function there are no unknown factors that determine the result of the measurement. The randomness behind its probabilitty distributions are real. The failure of Bell's inequality proved this once and for all. Hidden variables imply correlations but the correlations do not exist. And if you reach for ultimate causality beyond local reality and the Minkowsky space-time structure then you are beyond the reach of science and might as well be talking about spirits, feelings, and magic where logic and other deterministic mathematical laws hold no sway.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. every minute change is the direct cause of a physical action. randomness does not actually exist, there are only increasing levels of disorder--which can be traced to specific individual causes. The only reason we don't know those causes is because they are so minute and there are so many of them it is impractical to trace them all back. it is like trying to follow every molecule of air in the atmosphere. each one pushes another, and soon enough you get a hurricane on the other side of the world.
    Wrong! The nonlinearity of these complex systems you are talking about require knowing intitial conditions to an infinite degree of precision to be predicted which means these amplifications of insignificant events reaches down to the ultimate indeterminacy of the quantum wave collapse, so their bifurcations are not just unpredictable in practice but unpredictable in truth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    the idea of randomness derives solely from our inability to comprehend the complexity of some processes.
    Wrong! Hidden variables do not exist. When you collapse a quantum wave function there are no unknown factors that determine the result of the measurement. The randomness behind its probabilitty distributions are real. The failure of Bell's inequality proved this once and for all. Hidden variables imply correlations but the correlations do not exist. And if you reach for ultimate causality beyond local reality and the Minkowsky space-time structure then you are beyond the reach of science and might as well be talking about spirits, feelings, and magic where logic and other deterministic mathematical laws hold no sway.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. every minute change is the direct cause of a physical action. randomness does not actually exist, there are only increasing levels of disorder--which can be traced to specific individual causes. The only reason we don't know those causes is because they are so minute and there are so many of them it is impractical to trace them all back. it is like trying to follow every molecule of air in the atmosphere. each one pushes another, and soon enough you get a hurricane on the other side of the world.
    Wrong! The nonlinearity of these complex systems you are talking about require knowing intitial conditions to an infinite degree of precision to be predicted which means these amplifications of insignificant events reaches down to the ultimate indeterminacy of the quantum wave collapse, so their bifurcations are not just unpredictable in practice but unpredictable in truth.
    i see what you are saying, but i look at it like this;
    i try not to limit my view to the assumptions that explain what we know. a scientist must limit his worldview to what he knows, what he has observed. he must limit his experimental conclusions to what the assumed event is. you can't get around this because you don't know what the outcome will be. but i try to keep skepticism as a large factor in how i observe things--not the skepticism that makes you think every explanation is wrong, but in that every explanation doesn't explain as much as it could. its more of philosophical thinking that scientific thinking, but it suits me better. anyways, this predicament makes me think that our view of quantum mechanics as being completely random and contradictory of causality is due to how we (as humans) percieve space and time. i think that if we were able to view it in a more... objective perspective, then we would find that those probability waves are merely how we percieve the function of change, not how they actually happen. its like how the rate of time seems to speed up or slow down depending on chemical interactions in our brain--we feel time go faster when we are happy, slower when we are unoccupied--or how one color is relative to all other colors around it and vice versa. the difference is that we have no frame of reference with which to relate to--we live in this quantum probability world and we are completely subject to it.

    or...
    i could be completely wrong and there is no such thing as randomness except for at the quantum level, where randomness ultimately rules all henceforth causality. i'd like to learn more about how QM works and what kind of 'decisions' are randomly made. is it the spin of a particle, or the direction in which it flies off from collision, or is it a charge, location, velocity, or any of the previous and more?

    could you still call it causality if a constant caused this random underlying universal process (QM) that was the root of all subsequent causal reactions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    i see what you are saying, but i look at it like this;
    i try not to limit my view to the assumptions that explain what we know. a scientist must limit his worldview to what he knows, what he has observed. he must limit his experimental conclusions to what the assumed event is. you can't get around this because you don't know what the outcome will be. but i try to keep skepticism as a large factor in how i observe things--not the skepticism that makes you think every explanation is wrong, but in that every explanation doesn't explain as much as it could. its more of philosophical thinking that scientific thinking, but it suits me better.
    Sounds good, caution is always comendable. However I cannot comprehend what this phrase means: "but in that every explanation doesn't explain as much as it could."

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    anyways, this predicament makes me think that our view of quantum mechanics as being completely random and contradictory of causality is due to how we (as humans) percieve space and time. i think that if we were able to view it in a more... objective perspective, then we would find that those probability waves are merely how we percieve the function of change, not how they actually happen.
    But that is the difference between the explanations of physics and the physics itself. The physics is already objective and it doesn't matter how we think about the things it studies. When we study an electron, the physics develops testable mathematics to describe its behavior, and so it doesn't really care what the electron really is. It is only when we try to understand what the mathematics means in the process of explaining this stuff to the non-physicicst, that we start puzzling over whether the electron is a wave or a particle. When we start to visualize these things and explain them in non-mathematical terms that is when this objectivity goes out the window. The failure of ultimate determinism is in the mathematics not in how we look at things.

    Quantum mechanics is not completely random. Most events in quantum physics is quite deterministic. It is just these particular events called a measurements where we force a particle to give us a number where it does not have any definite value. To do this we have to set up a process (a measuring process) by which that number effects the behavior of a large number of particles so we can see the result. Clearly this involves amplification. Left alone the particle acts like a wave with no exact value for position or velocity. To make an analogy: the particle is like a knife in free fall, which can stand on its point without any problem, but adding this amplification process is like adding gravity which makes the knife standing on its point unstable so that it falls one direction or the other. This process has been proven not to be deterministic, meaning that it has been proven that we cannot blame the result of this process on any unknown factors.


    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    we live in this quantum probability world and we are completely subject to it.
    Yes we do and the lesson of QM brings us back to the intuitive experience of reality and away from the distortion due to old physics. It is perfectly obvious in our everday experience that most things are determined but that there are also events (like the weather) which are almost completely unpredictable. The old physics convinced us that this obvious fact of lives must have been mistaken because we supposed that we were just a bunch of atom sized billiard balls bouncing around in a predictable manner. QM annihilates this image completely but gives us no easy picture which we can replace it with. It only says that the old picture is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    or...
    i could be completely wrong and there is no such thing as randomness except for at the quantum level, where randomness ultimately rules all henceforth causality. i'd like to learn more about how QM works and what kind of 'decisions' are randomly made. is it the spin of a particle, or the direction in which it flies off from collision, or is it a charge, location, velocity, or any of the previous and more?
    NO NO NO the randomness isn't in the quantum level or in the macroscopic level. Both of these by themselves are quite deterministic and predictable. It is only when they touch, when one affects the other that the randomness appears. As I explained before there are many nonlinear processes which amplify small things without limit and these processes are what force the quantum waves to collapse in a completely unpredictable manner. It would be easy to suppose that it is the complexity of the rest of the world that introduces the unpredictable element to the result of the wave collapse, but that would be a set of unknown variables and the objective mathematics says these unknown variables do not exist.

    Take the weather for example. Sixty years ago we dreamed that with big enough computers we could predict the weather perfectly. Now we know that will never happen. The weather is ultimately determined by things too small to measure and in fact the mathematics says that this goes all the way down to the quantum level. The conclusion is that the weather is not just unpredictable in practice, it really is unpredicable in theory. We have to accept that weather forcasting is just a matter of using more information and sensitive measuring devices to notice the gross trends of the weather before most of us realize what is basically already happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    could you still call it causality if a constant caused this random underlying universal process (QM) that was the root of all subsequent causal reactions?
    Quantum mechanics is not about any underlying randomness like I said, although there could be an underlying randomness and some people like to think of things this way. But it is certain that there are events which cannot be explained to be the result of unknown numbers. The only way you can recover causality is by reaching beyond the assumptions under which physics operates, called local reality, and supposing that there are causes that affect us from outside those limitations, but I think this is the same as supposing that there are non-physical causes affecting events in our life. But then we have no basis for presuming that these non-physical causes which must be outside the known system of mathematically deterministic laws of physics, are themselves a part of any deterministic system.

    The point is that you can believe that all is fated by deciding that the world is deterministic (whether you are a materialistic atheist or a Calvinist), but you can also decide that our instinctive feeling, that the future is not written and that we have free will and that we are truly responsible for our own actions, actually has a basis in reality. Since science does not preclude the second possibility I see no reason to distrust our insticts, or at least my instincts if you do not share them.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Well, as for me, i believe that everything about humans is RANDOM.
    There's no contradicting that, otherwise all scientists would have managed a human counterpart robot till now.
    It is absolutely impossilble (according to me) to create any technological or mechanical reproduction of the human mind based on logarithms, probablity, quantum, this, that or anything at all.
    IF it can, then won't it be the greatest achievement possible by science?
    To Recreate the creator of science by science?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir
    Well, as for me, i believe that everything about humans is RANDOM.
    There's no contradicting that, otherwise all scientists would have managed a human counterpart robot till now.
    It is absolutely impossilble (according to me) to create any technological or mechanical reproduction of the human mind based on logarithms, probablity, quantum, this, that or anything at all.
    IF it can, then won't it be the greatest achievement possible by science?
    To Recreate the creator of science by science?
    I agree with you in spirit, but I think you are confusing random with unpredictable. These are not the same thing. There are strong correlations between the different actions of a human being. There are a lot of internal states in a human being which strongly influence his behavior and even determine his behavior most of the time, but I do not believe that even these internal states determine his behavior all of the time. That is where you will find disagreements with other members of this forum. Some may actually believe that humans are completely determined by the combination of their internal states and environmental circumstances.

    I do not even say that the deviations from this determination should be called random (even though they may qualify as such from an objective point of view) because we take possession of these deviations and become them. In fact, they are not really deviations from a determined course at all but bifurcations in the deterministic process itself. These are points where the deterministic course divides into two possible courses which the system (the human being) must choose between. I believe that these "random" bifurcations are the acts of free will that define us and make us who we are.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Humans aren't completely random, they're unpredictable, but there not random. Give a starving man food and he'll eat it, nothing random about that. If you can predict what a lizard would do, you could just get increasingly more complicated until you reach mamals, then primates, then humans. We're not really all that different.
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