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Would you get the exact same universe from a common starting point?


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I get that the universe does not care. and that the past cannot be changed, but surely the future is not written in stone. If I send this post or not will change what happens in the future. will you stay in long enough to read it if I post it or if I don't will you leave your house early enough to be hit by the 2pm bus and not make that discovery that changes life as we know it. I can't believe that I have no choice and that my sending this is already decided. I wish I could explain myself better :)

I knew you were going to answer that post ;).

The simple answer is, we do not know. Your actions are determined by your personality, and your state of mind, which in turn is determined by (your) history. If some "Laplace Demon" knows your entire history (and that of every atom in the universe) and current state of mind in infinite detail, could he not predict what you would be doing? I am not saying it is definitely possible, but it is a possibility.

It does sound creepy that my every move is predetermined, and yet I am not sure randomness lets you off the hook (maybe it does, but it may put you on a bigger one). What if your actions are not fully determined by who you are and where you are (and when you last had lunch with Zaphod Beeblebrox), but your actions are a mixture of your desires, state of mind, modulated by random events beyond your control. Is that a lot better?

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In a chaotic system there is no place for random events. Only in a non-deterministic system do we have true randomness. The big problem is that we cannot distinguish between randomness from chaos if t

If we could say turn back time for the entire universe, by which I mean every single atom, every single photon, every energy state, every particle position and it's vector etc etc etc became what it w

No Stephen, the fact that we cannot rewind time makes it moot... Doesn't mean we can't ponder though

I knew you were going to answer that post ;).

The simple answer is, we do not know. Your actions are determined by your personality, and your state of mind, which in turn is determined by (your) history. If some "Laplace Demon" knows your entire history (and that of every atom in the universe) and current state of mind in infinite detail, could he not predict what you would be doing? I am not saying it is definitely possible, but it is a possibility.

It does sound creepy that my every move is predetermined, and yet I am not sure randomness lets you off the hook (maybe it does, but it may put you on a bigger one). What if your actions are not fully determined by who you are and where you are (and when you last had lunch with Zaphod Beeblebrox), but your actions are a mixture of your desires, state of mind, modulated by random events beyond your control. Is that a lot better?

I'm glad you stayed and didn't walk under that bus Michael. (well in this universe anyway  :grin: )

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I think the such a re-booted universe would look identical on the galactic scale but may be devoid of identical fine detail.

I read somewhere about people having their dogs DNA frozen so that a clone can be created when poochy dies.

These people expect the clone to be a replica of their original dog. That isn't the case though.

Although the dog may look identical it isn't going to be the same dog. It may well have an entirely different personality.

A cloned universe would only need imperceptible variability at the quantum level (and we know what a seething cauldron on virtual realities that is) for it to evolve into an entirely individual one-off.

* Note: I process waste water for a living and don't often clone universes. My opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it! :D 

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Anyway, I think I'm best staying away from this "physics, space science and theories" forum. it makes my head hurt and I'm not sure I'm mentally equipt to deal with it :D

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I think the such a re-booted universe would look identical on the galactic scale but may be devoid of identical fine detail.

I read somewhere about people having their dogs DNA frozen so that a clone can be created when poochy dies.

These people expect the clone to be a replica of their original dog. That isn't the case though.

Although the dog may look identical it isn't going to be the same dog. It may well have an entirely different personality.

A cloned universe would only need imperceptible variability at the quantum level (and we know what a seething cauldron on virtual realities that is) for it to evolve into an entirely individual one-off.

* Note: I process waste water for a living and don't often clone universes. My opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it! :D

now that put a smile on my face.....but that was always going to happen ;)

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Maybe somebody already tried this and we are living in a restarted universe, of course if it turns out to be identical that will happen again ;)

TSED70Q, iOptron Smart EQ pro, ASI-120MM, Finepix S5 pro.

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It strikes me that the apparent randomness of say a particles path/state is what seems to be unexplained by all accounts.

Does not cause and effect come into play ?

Are we really doing the right thing by just simply explaining away a change of or differing path/state of said somethingness as being what we call 'random/uncertainty' ?

Is that not just a different way of saying (as Michael rightly mentions) we just do not yet know what causes such changes ?

Of coarse, if randomness was found to not actually exist and was in actual fact caused by some other currently unknown underlying properties of the universe, it would make everything and anything (including thought) predetermined right from the start, which would then have some hoojly enormous implications to say the least. Blame for example would be a thing of the past. Where would we be without that ?

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If everything is deteremined from the start, blame and punishment are built in from the start too (as is income tax). :D

Things might be random, changing without cause, uncertainly might be real. In my view, randomness does not necessarily imply free choice, nor does determinism necessarily deny it. As a thinking entity I make choices based on who I am and what I want. These states (complex as they are) are determined by my past history and current situation. People who know me superficially will often have some idea what I might choose. People who know me better might guess what I will choose more accurately, some entity with perfect knowledge might be able to predict it perfectly if the universe is deterministic. And yet I still experience freedom of choice.

Even if I decide that my course of action will be determined by a roll of the dice, it could be argued that the dice do not introduce randomness, because they are subject to deterministic laws, and knowing the initial state (including that of the arm that throws) perfectly determines the outcome.

By contrast, if my choices are influenced by random quantum fluctuations (beyond my control), I am not much more than a plaything of chance. It wasn't me guv, it was quantum fluctuations what did it!!

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The world of Neuroscience is suggesting that many decisions happen in the brain a second before we are aware that a decision has been made, that many more decisions happen as much as seven seconds prior. That would suggest that consciousness is nothing more than a recognition of action. Everything we do as individuals is a result from previous experience, if those experiences had being different so would the self. We may think that we would still be the same person but would we? As has been said, the cloned dog will look the same but it will not behave the same as its enviroment will be different. Our great 'human' illusion, is to think/believe (a belief, what is that) that somehow our rules are different and that we are more special, but the rules are still the same. Fight it as much as we may, we can not change anything..  and if we think/believe we do it was always going to be inevitable.

Hope ya all well...

:)

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This is a great discussion. The distinction between true randomness and an incomplete understanding of the initial conditions is fascinating.

However, the whole discussion is predicated on one vast and possibly incorrect or highly incomplete theory, the 'tensed theory of time' which posits a past, a moving present and a future. Because this theory is apparently so obviously true (alarm bells!!) we often fail to recognise it as a theory - but that's what it is. Quantum theory has, however, given us good reason to worry about the completeness of the tensed theory. An electron cannot be distinguished from a positron travelling backwards through time. (In Cath's orginal rewind, what happenes? During the process electrons become positrons etc!) The double slit experiment. Entangled photons. And the problem of simultanaity in relativity on cosmological scales.

In the macro world the tensed theory holds up very well and makes life possible to understand - more or less. If it is wrong then we lose more than free will, we lose the whole structure of cause and effect. My own hunch is that the tensed theory arises from a trick of our perception and violates the Copernican principle. It locates us in a special place, the present. I suspect that this distorts our view of reality considerably. If we could leave our special observing place to see the wider picture we might see that reality was not constrained to move along a time dimension linearly but existed multi dimensionally in some way which, stuck with the dimensions we can detect, we cannot understand.

This thought is a blind alley, by its very nature, but I always feel it should be raised as a grim reminder of the limitations under which we think.

Olly

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Our brains evolved (BTW, evolution implies time and cause and effect, otherwise it would not work :D) to cope with mesoscopic reality, not the quantum or cosmological scales, we really need mathematics to deal with these scales, because our brains are not that good at thinking in different terms than 3D space + time. Give us naked apes somthing as simple as a 4D hypercube and we go all to bits when we try to visualise it. We have come surprisingly far in modelling nature with maths, despite our limitations, but at the same time quantummechanics and general relativity, successful as the y are, are just that: models. They are incomplete, and even incompatible (there is no relativistic Schroedinger equation, Dirac "just" made a Taylor approximation of one, close, but no cigar!).

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Even if I decide that my course of action will be determined by a roll of the dice, it could be argued that the dice do not introduce randomness, because they are subject to deterministic laws, and knowing the initial state (including that of the arm that throws) perfectly determines the outcome.

 

By contrast, if my choices are influenced by random quantum fluctuations (beyond my control), I am not much more than a plaything of chance. It wasn't me guv, it was quantum fluctuations what did it!!

Perhaps we are all playthings of chance. A non-limp wristed roll of the dice should suffice for a random outcome. In "idealized snooker", no friction/air resistance, with cueing as accurately as allowed by The Uncertainty Principle, Newton's Laws would be useless to us after the struck ball had made ten successive collisions.

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