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Thread: What exactly are initial conditions of the universe, and are acausal events determined by it?

  1. #1 What exactly are initial conditions of the universe, and are acausal events determined by it? 
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    Quantum fluctuations and radioactive decay are acausal events.

    from discussing another thread, If we had all the information of the current universe, can reverse-causality (back-tracking casuality) be used to calculate the past events?

    I got confused about a new topic: initial conditions, and acausal events(are they caused by initial conditions?)

    How, and when are initial conditions set?
    Do things happen that do not depend on the initial conditions of the universe?

    Are initial conditions present before the big bang occured?
    Or: is the time of the big bang determined by initial conditions of the universe?
    i know time exists before big bang exists from what i know the last few months.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanawe123 View Post
    Are initial conditions present before the big bang occured?
    Note that "big bang" is the name give to a theory (or family of related theories) describing the evolution of the universe from an early hot dense state. It is a process not an event. It is still occurring now.

    Initial state? Unknown. The basis of much research.

    i know time exists before big bang exists from what i know the last few months.
    I think, according to GR (the theory that the big bang model is based on) that is not true.


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    Space-time only starts with big bang?

    Space-time did not exist before big bang?


    Whats wrong with this statement?
    "Before big bang, all there is was voided space-time, empty from any matter or energy. Then, an acausal event of quantum fluctuation, know as the big bang, appeared,.......etc."
    if not then why do google say BB is a quantum fluctuation?



    Since spacetime can exist without matter or energy, how do we conclude that spacetime did not exist before this quantum fluctuation(big bang)?
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    Space-time in GR is a completely static construct (as far as I know). You can use it to show how space evolves over time but it doesn't really make sense to ask what was "before" space-time as space-time includes time. (It is like asking what is outside of space.)

    if not then why do google say BB is a quantum fluctuation?
    Google is just a search engine. It will find anything anyone has said. The idea that the universe could have started with a quantum fluctuation is quite a popular one. But it is just a speculation; it has no more support than any other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanawe123 View Post
    Whats wrong with this statement?
    "Before big bang, all there is was voided space-time, empty from any matter or energy. Then, an acausal event of quantum fluctuation, know as the big bang, appeared,.......etc."
    As I pointed out in my post in another thread:
    how can there be quantum fluctuations when there's no space time, no matter, no energy? In order for there to be quantum fluctuations there has to be a universe...

    if not then why do google say BB is a quantum fluctuation?
    I've seen that a few times - but if you actually CHECK the links you'll find that it's either debunked completely or pointed ouit that it's intended as some sort of "analagous description" - NOT given as actual fact.
    (At least for the half-dozen or so I looked at).
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    Perhaps this may clarify a few things.

    Can space exist by itself without matter or energy around?

    No. Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time itself...no arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation........Gravity Probe B - Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Space-time in GR is a completely static construct (as far as I know). You can use it to show how space evolves over time but it doesn't really make sense to ask what was "before" space-time as space-time includes time. (It is like asking what is outside of space.)
    then the milne model
    doesn't really make sense?

    [QUOTE=Strange;413297]
    if not then why do google say BB is a quantum fluctuation?
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Google is just a search engine. It will find anything anyone has said. The idea that the universe could have started with a quantum fluctuation is quite a popular one. But it is just a speculation; it has no more support than any other.
    hmm... the idea that "big bang is a quantum fluctuation" has to mean that singularity as an acausal origin?

    or if you say its acausal, would you mean its not determined by any initial conditions?

    or are there initial conditions that determine how acausal events occur?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    how can there be quantum fluctuations when there's no space time, no matter, no energy? In order for there to be quantum fluctuations there has to be a universe...
    Go tell that to Stephen Hawking!

    I think the idea is that there was space filled with a "false vacuum"; i.e. with non-zero energy. (Note that the big bang theory doesn't actually say that the universe must have been zero-sized or was "created".) Within that space there would quantum fluctuations (Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) one of which could be large enough to trigger the collapse of the false vacuum to a lower energy state, releasing the energy that makes up the universe.

    (But this is one of those occasions when I am just repeating a popularisation I have read, and have no idea whether it is an accurate description of Hawking's idea or not.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanawe123 View Post
    doesn't really make sense?
    Milne Model:
    the Milne model is contradicted by cosmological observations
    the assumption ... limits its use as a realistic description of the universe
    lacking the capability of describing matter
    it makes no prediction of the cosmic microwave background radiation nor the abundance of light elements

    hmm... the idea that "big bang is a quantum fluctuation" has to mean that singularity as an acausal origin?
    What?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanawe123 View Post
    then the milne model
    doesn't really make sense?
    I don't know why you would say that. It is an exact solution of the equations of GR. So it must "make sense". Of course, it doesn't describe our universe, so in that sense it doesn't "mean" anything.
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    @ Strange.
    I see what you mean.
    But (always one of them, isn't there? ) posts #3 and #5 of this thread.

    I'm just sort of winging it, along the lines of before the BB the (current) laws of physics don't/ probably don't/ may not apply.
    IOW applying what happens now (after the laws "formed") to what happened then is speculation.

    I suppose that puts me firmly in the camp of "We don't know, therefore we can't/ shouldn't make claims on what happened, and any statement that says X is what happened is a "pointless" guess."
    (That's gonna need some work, I haven't explained myself very clearly ).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I don't know why you would say that. It is an exact solution of the equations of GR. So it must "make sense". Of course, it doesn't describe our universe, so in that sense it doesn't "mean" anything.
    He was, I think, paraphrasing me.
    I wrote that it's not valid. By which I meant it's not valid for our universe - i.e. applying the Milne Model to "us" isn't correct.
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    No, because the amount of information that we can gather is always intrinsically smaller then the amount of information that was there before observation. It is intrinsically outlawed in Quantum Mechanics. Even in hidden variable theory, it knows that it can never do that. (the variable are not called hidden for nothing). So no, in all interpretations.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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    I still like David Bohm's proposals of a condition of pure Potential from which an Implicate becomes energetically expressed as the physical Explicate (reality).

    One of the most impressive theories emerging out of scientific cosmology respecting these ancient truths was set forth by the late physicist, David Bohm in his book, Wholeness and the Implicate Order. Using the language of mathematics, Bohm set out to describe the transcendent reality and its graded energetic hierarchy in four basic states or orders of energy beginning with the physical world, which he called the Explicate Order.

    'The Explicate Order, weakest of all energy systems, resonates out of and is an expression of an infinitely more powerful order of energy called the Implicate order. It is the precursor of the Explicate, the dreamlike vision or the ideal presentation of that which is to become manifest as a physical object. The Implicate order implies within it all physical universes. However, it resonates from an energy field which is yet greater, the realm of pure potential. It is pure potential because nothing is implied within it; implications form in the implicate order and then express themselves in the explicate order. Bohm goes on to postulate a final state of infinite [zero point] energy which he calls the realm of insight intelligence. The creative process springs from this realm. Energy is generated there, gathers its pure potential, and implies within its eventual expression as the explicate order.' Will Keepin, David Bohm, Noetic Science Journal

    When Bohm's resonant fields are arranged in a vibrational hierarchy they represent energy in successive states of manifestation from infinitely subtle to the gross physical reality.
    IMO, it supports the notion of a (near) infinitely small singularity of (near) infinite potential of latent energy as a dynamic metaphysical causality for change.
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    ryanawe123,

    i know time exists before big bang exists from what i know the last few months.
    No, I think this statement is not the consensus. As far as I know the concensus opinion is still that both time and space originated from a Big Bang beginning. There have been a number of other proposals made as explained by postings above.
    Last edited by forrest noble; April 23rd, 2013 at 02:03 AM.
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    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    No, because the amount of information that we can gather is always intrinsically smaller then the amount of information that was there before observation. It is intrinsically outlawed in Quantum Mechanics. Even in hidden variable theory, it knows that it can never do that. (the variable are not called hidden for nothing). So no, in all interpretations.
    Yes but what if instead of getting information about system through meaurement, we would somehow knew full wavefunction of the universe. Since evolution of wavefunction is coherent and collapse is not an issue with full wf wouldn`t it mean that we would be able to backtrack to arbitrary time? Pure speculation though.
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    We could reverse an event and get all the info we need because of symmetry that seems to exist between going forward and back! I personally discovered this when I was playing ps2 soccer. While running a replay I found out that at any point if motion is paused I cannot by any means tell whether it was going forward or backward. With this if we can take back an event we would have complete knowledge of it because nothing would be lost!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
    I agree. What you are describing IMO, is the condition of Potential (infinite possibilities of expression) before the BB.
    Our universe is one, but not necessarily the only expression of potential.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
    I agree. What you are describing IMO, is the condition of Potential (infinite possibilities of expression) before the BB.
    Our universe is one, but not necessarily the only expression of potential.
    BB theory do not seek to explore how many possible ways our universe could have come to exist but how it came to be!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
    I agree. What you are describing IMO, is the condition of Potential (infinite possibilities of expression) before the BB.
    Our universe is one, but not necessarily the only expression of potential.
    BB theory do not seek to explore how many possible ways our universe could have come to exist but how it came to be!
    BB theory does not seek to explore anything. It is an inference of what we see, when we look back in time.
    We seek to explore the condition that existed before the BB and by definition that includes the existence of a causal potential, which needs not necessarily be physical in nature.
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    well, my christian friends say even scientists "cant explain the big bang and says its a miracle" ._.

    perhaps hes not a scientist.

    although he quoted from a creationist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
    I agree. What you are describing IMO, is the condition of Potential (infinite possibilities of expression) before the BB.
    Our universe is one, but not necessarily the only expression of potential.
    BB theory do not seek to explore how many possible ways our universe could have come to exist but how it came to be!
    BB theory does not seek to explore anything. It is an inference of what we see, when we look back in time.
    We seek to explore the condition that existed before the BB and by definition that includes the existence of a causal potential, which needs not necessarily be physical in nature.
    Do you realize what you are saying by eliminating a physical potential? Anything beyond physical realm is spiritual...science and certainly physics don't seek and don't believe in that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by merumario View Post
    By my understanding,space itself is a vacuum with energy ie its a form of energy itself and this form of energy formed after the minuscule universe expanded in all directions before cooling to temp that permits matter to exist....

    From the BB theory we don't need and its not compulsory for a universe to exist before the quantum fluctuations can occur!
    I agree. What you are describing IMO, is the condition of Potential (infinite possibilities of expression) before the BB.
    Our universe is one, but not necessarily the only expression of potential.
    BB theory do not seek to explore how many possible ways our universe could have come to exist but how it came to be!
    BB theory does not seek to explore anything. It is an inference of what we see, when we look back in time.
    We seek to explore the condition that existed before the BB and by definition that includes the existence of a causal potential, which needs not necessarily be physical in nature.
    Do you realize what you are saying by eliminating a physical potential? Anything beyond physical realm is spiritual...science and certainly physics don't seek and don't believe in that!
    I disagree, meta-physical is not the same as spiritual.

    Before you can understand why, how, and where physics and metaphysics will converge, you must understand exactly what is meant by physics and metaphysics. Metaphysics is basically the philosophical study of being and knowing. Metaphysics is very closely related to spirituality, but it is not religious
    http://www.whatismetaphysics.com/whe...sicsmerge.html

    And from wiki:
    Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it,[1] although the term is not easily defined.[2] Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:[3]
    1.What is ultimately there?
    2.What is it like?
    and
    Definition of spiritual (adj) Bing Dictionary

    1.of soul: relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things
    2.of religion: relating to religious or sacred things rather than worldly things
    3.temperamentally or intellectually akin: connected by an affinity of the mind, spirit, or temperament

    Synonyms: religious, holy, sacred, divine, heavenly, saintly
    And that is not what I am talking about.
    Last edited by Write4U; September 17th, 2013 at 01:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    And the thread has now gone woo...
    In context of the thread title can you clarify why you are using the phrase "gone woo" now?

    IMO, Acausal events can be either physical or meta-physical. I am exploring if Causal events can be meta-physical as well as physical.

    This is not a woo question. I specifically excluded spirituality from consideration, because IMO, that is woo.

    But is meta-physics woo?
    Last edited by Write4U; September 17th, 2013 at 03:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Re-read post 26. If you can find any physics I'll take it back.
    I suggest that you reread post 26 and the definition of meta-physics is clearly quoted and separated from spirituality, in my closing sentence.

    Metaphysics
    Metaphysics is the philosophical study of the notion of existence as well as concepts such as space, time, free will and the individual.

    Quantum Physics
    Quantum physics, on the other hand, is the study of quanta--small units that make up energy. These quanta are problematic because they are unpredictable in behavior and movement as they have qualities akin to both particles and waves.

    Significance
    Importance of philosophy claims that metaphysics is the basis for all ensuing philosophy. Quantum physics, however, is a way of attempting to understand how the universe works by studying its smallest parts.
    Read more: Difference Between Metaphysics & Quantum Physics | eHow

    I will stipulate that meta-physics is more philosophical than practical, but to call it woo? Are you dismissing meta-physics? That might make a few meta-physicists not very happy.

    But I realize that this is a physics forum and normally philosophy does not belong, but in context of the question and the OP, I thought it might be an interesting aspect to add to the discussion.

    I am NOT arguing against accepted scientific theories. I was introducing the philosophical meta-physics of David Bohm, who was a properly qualified Physicist, as well as a meta-physicist.
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    This one's a bit more complex...
    I admit- I have a bias against the philosophical meaning. Yet, all Modern Physics can also qualify as being under metaphysics. As metaphysics is not well defined, anymore, since the Scientific Method brought about a paradigm shift, the existing philosophy partly adapted to the empirical standards now employed among many philosophers- yet did not do so among others.
    As a left over from pre-scientific method days in philosophy, it both encompasses modern science- and doesn't- depending on who you ask and what definition they are going by.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    well, my christian friends say even scientists "cant explain the big bang and says its a miracle"
    First, science can and does explain "the big bang", which is the evolution of the universe from an earlier hot dense state.

    I assume what your friends mean is, "scientists can't explain the creation event prior to the current big bang theory". The trouble is, there is no reason to believe there was a "creation event". There may have been, there might not. We don't know.

    That said, some days I'm willing to accept "god did it" as being as good as any other speculation at the moment. However, I see no reason that at some point we won't have an explanation. In which case "god did it" becomes redundant.

    The trouble is that saying it is a miracle, explains nothing. You can't deduce anything else from that. It doesn't tell you anything more about the nature of the universe. It is no more useful than "I don't know".

    On the other hand, a scientific explanation would be based on tested scientific observation and theory. It would be applicable to more than just the earliest history of the universe (any such theory would probably also tell us more about the interior of black holes, for example). It would tell us if the universe was "created" (if so, from what) or if it arose from some pre-existing universe (e.g. a "big bounce"), or some other explanation.

    Just labelling it a miracle doesn't advance the state of human knowledge. In fact, it does the opposite by discouraging the further investigation of the universe. If I were a Christian, I would call this approach blasphemous because, if mankind has any purpose, then it must be to understand God's creation as thoroughly as possible and not just put a barrier to further thought in the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quantum physics, on the other hand, is the study of quanta--small units that make up energy. These quanta are problematic because they are unpredictable in behavior and movement as they have qualities akin to both particles and waves.
    That is a horribly incomplete and incorrect definition of quantum physics. It does more than study "quanta of energy" and quanta are not "unpredictable". So, two sentences, both of them wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quantum physics, on the other hand, is the study of quanta--small units that make up energy. These quanta are problematic because they are unpredictable in behavior and movement as they have qualities akin to both particles and waves.
    That is a horribly incomplete and incorrect definition of quantum physics. It does more than study "quanta of energy" and quanta are not "unpredictable". So, two sentences, both of them wrong.
    I defer to your greater knowledge of the subject.
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    Write4me I would ωαηт you to know that meta- means beyond or after hence metaphysics is study of things beyond or after physical so you may check your definition to see if its correct. Anyways if something appears to be beyond physical and spirituality is things that are not of physical although its mostly attributed to spirits,then it depends on where you draw the line btw metaphysics and spirituality.because if let open both may entangle with each other both in meaning and explanation.
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    I appreciate the responses.
    Allow me to clarify a few things, the definition you referred to is not mine but a quote from a link. I am not sure about the validity of that definition, so taking your advice I shall research the subject further.

    But as far as spirituality is concerned, I am an atheist so my distinction is in that context. I understand the origin of he word meta, but I try to take a literal interpretation of the word, i.e. "beyond the physical world". IMO, this may well be a natural condition of the universe, but (as yet) unobservable by our technology. As I understand it, we are "hunting" for several proposed objects, such as dark matter, dark energy, etc.

    In my interpretation, "time" is a metaphysical (and acausal) part of spacetime, while I consider "space" is a physical (causal) object. Thus I intuitively see no reason to deny the existence of another meta-physical plenum, to which we have no access, but is integral to the functions in and of the universe.

    Perhaps it might be just another (unobservable) dimension to the universe. As I understand it, String theory deals with (11?) dimensions. M-theory postulates even more dimensions, I believe. Must these dimensions be necessarily physical, or can they be non-physical, yet causal under certain conditions?

    OTOH, I interpret the word spiritual as the assumption of a "sentient" metaphysical object and is an individual personal experience of connectedness to the greater Wholeness. This, IMO, sets it apart from science as it cannot be quantified by science.

    But I digress back into philosophy and will just observe and learn about the physics involved in the discussion of the OP .
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  34. #33  
    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    If we must discuss science/physics,words like meta-physical and spiritual must not be used because they have no place in science and if the BB theory is base on scientific method then words ℓιкє metaphysical and spirituality again cannot find their place any where within or around the theory or its foundations#
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    In my interpretation, "time" is a metaphysical (and acausal) part of spacetime, while I consider "space" is a physical (causal) object.
    I'm not sure why you make a distinction. In science (at least in relativity/cosmology) they have equal standing as the dimensions that measure the separation of events.

    Space isn't "physical": you can't touch or see space any more than you can touch or see time. All you can do is measure them.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    And the thread has now gone woo...
    Personally, I think this thread crapped out at post #15 with the mention of "hidden variable theory". Doesn't Bell's Theorem rule out hidden variables?
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  37. #36  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    In my interpretation, "time" is a metaphysical (and acausal) part of spacetime, while I consider "space" is a physical (causal) object.
    I'm not sure why you make a distinction. In science (at least in relativity/cosmology) they have equal standing as the dimensions that measure the separation of events.

    Space isn't "physical": you can't touch or see space any more than you can touch or see time. All you can do is measure them.
    I only based that interpretation on these links.

    Definition of time (n)
    Time,
    a) system of distinguishing events: a dimension that enables two identical events occurring at the same point in space to be distinguished, measured by the interval between the events.
    b) period with limits: a limited period during which an action, process, or condition exists or takes placec) method of measuring intervals: a system for measuring intervals of time
    time definition - Bing

    Definition of space,
    Space, is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction.[1] Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime.
    Space - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I do not see where my original statement says anything different than these two definition. I did not say they exist independently from each other. I merely tried to identify the individual components of that which is called spacetime .

    The four dimensions of spacetime consist of three spatial (physical) and one temporal (meta-physical) dimension.

    IMO, while time and space are inextricably connected they do exhibit different behaviors.
    Simply said, you can travel back and forth and sideways in space, but you cannot travel back in time, it always goes forward.
    Last edited by Write4U; September 18th, 2013 at 09:15 PM.
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    duplication deleted
    Last edited by Write4U; September 18th, 2013 at 09:11 PM.
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