Alan Turing (1 Viewer)

Jon

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We built our computers based on our existing laws of physics.
I am not talking about us building the computers, but alien civilisations building the computers. They create the laws by which our simulated universe operates. Their universe may have different laws.
 

The_Doc_Man

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The problem with ALL of those comments about predictability is that there is actually a well-accepted law of physics that says you cannot make predictions with infinite precision. It's called the Heisenberg Principle.

To say "let's make a simulation of all the atoms in the universe and predict what will happen" (Saphirah's comment) - cannot EVER happen because (a) we don't have a predictive model for small numbers of atoms so we SURE don't have one for larger numbers and (b) there aren't enough atoms in the universe to do this - because the simulation would ITSELF have to occupy many atoms in the simulator for each atom of the universe - and yet the simulator would have to be in the universe for us to use it. Somewhere in there, Russell's Paradox kicks in. Because the predictor would then be forced to predict its own behavior.

The question of "Does physics pre-ordain everything" is simple. NO, it does not. If you look at "spontaneous pair production" you will find that it happens but is totally unpredictable. You can talk about high-level predictability because statistically you can extrapolate aggregate behavior, but you cannot perfectly predict the behavior of individual members of the aggregate.

Jon, Chaos Theory does include randomness among its sub-disciplines. SDIC incorporates that there are random (thus unpredictable) micro-events in many things including weather and biological functions.

If you don't like the word "random" then substitute "intrinsically unpredictable" - in effect it is the same.
 

Jon

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Chaos Theory does include randomness among its sub-disciplines
I think this is a discussion about scale. What may be unpredictable at the atomic scale becomes predictable at the macro scale. If the position of the electrons is unpredictable (if indeed there is a position, since they are paradoxically both a wave and particle), the law of large numbers brings an average position, which is predictable to a very high degree (although not 100%). That is why we are functioning beings rather than a random mass of gloop. The averages give us predictable structure.

The term chaos theory with weather is more about the huge complexity of the system due to the unfeasibly large number of elements involved in the system. It is less about subatomic particle unpredictability, due to my statistical average point.

You can talk about high-level predictability because statistically you can extrapolate aggregate behavior, but you cannot perfectly predict the behavior of individual members of the aggregate.
Agreed. However, if we take out the word "perfectly", there is less agreement. We cannot make perfect precision on anything, since our tools are not infinitely granular. But we can make accurate predictions. Interestingly, if the randomness of an unpredictable element goes to infinity, I am wondering if the distribution curve of that random event becomes perfect.

When I talk about preordained, I am talking less about the ability to predict the future, and more about the fact that our own free will is an illusion, and that exerting this "force" is futile since it does not exist. The complexity of our universe is such that we only have a limited ability to foresee the future. Yet despite this, we are on the runaway train and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

The responses to my messages are slighly preditable, although there are random elements added. However, none of us can do anything about that!
 

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