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Everything posted by SebastianOakes

  1. In my mind, suggesting that there cannot be any objective fact in turn suggests that the only objective fact is that there are no objective facts, which is contradictory. Could this just be seen as semantics?
  2. I don't think this needed to become an argument.
  3. What does this mean? that atomic events happen with some degree of randomness? (It cannot be a great deal of randomness, otherwise nothing would happen with any structure) Does chaos theory not state that a system is determinable, but affected by the most minor change? The idea is that we any change no matter how minor would affect the outcome, making long term prediction impossible. However, If you did have the exact initial conditions you could surely still determine the outcome? The fractal maths theory seems to make sense, i understand that any change, however infinitesimally small will yield a hugely different outcome, but again if we could somehow know the exact initial conditions, it would still be deterministic. Obviously the idea of ever being able to know the exact initial conditions is more or less impossible, but in a theoretical sense, if we could, would the universe be deterministic? Try to think of this as a thought experiment; ' Is it possible that the universe is determinable? ' not 'Is it possible that the universe is determinable by us'
  4. So there is no non mathematical explanation? Perhaps if someone could explain what occurs during the single photon double slit diffraction experiment? Most explanations seem to just give 'The photon goes through both slits and interferes with itself', which makes no sense at all, It is OVERLY simplified. On top of this is the whole concept of the photon only acting in this manner when unobserved; again however most explanations just appear to personify the photon in question for dramatic effect - 'The photon almost seems to KNOW it is being watched'. What is the definition of being 'observed' in this sense, and how does it affect the outcome?
  5. This makes for great discussion, but I can't see humanity ever gaining a definitive answer. The way I see it is this: Our universe has a defined set of laws, even if we don't know/understand them yet. We know this because we can make predictions. If i drop a ball, it will fall to the floor; If i repeat, then it does the same thing again. We make all of our logical/reasoned decisions based on this fact. Now in terms of what was there before the big bang? A literal nothingness - no dimensions of space, no time, no laws to govern how anything interacts ( since there is no universe to contain it) . In this pre-universe, what is to say that a universe can't simply pop into existence. It would be true randomness. It is not even a matter of it being a long period of nothing and then a sudden expansion, since there is no TIME to govern it. These are all things that are impossible to imagine in their entirety, because there is no comparison; Everything we have ever seen is based upon our own universe and its laws.
  6. You certainly sound extremely clued up on the subject! There was a lot of jargon there, but i suppose that is unavoidable. If i stare at it for long enough I'm sure it will make sense.
  7. I quite simply want to get a discussion rolling about the concept of a deterministic universe; that is, one in which every event, from the tiniest atomic collision to the individual thoughts and feelings of a living being, is entirely predetermined by a set of initial conditions. In this situation, would a big bang event with the exact same initial conditions play out in an identical fashion? Or do you feel it is more likely we hold a firm grasp on our free will? With standard physics, it seems to me that a deterministic universe is entirely feasible, but am I missing something in terms of quantum behaviour of particles? Can anything happen at random that could upset a predetermined path? Any opinions would be most welcome, as food for thought!
  8. The more accepted definition is, as far as I'm aware, the idea that anything living has the ability to self sustain: metabolism, growth, reproduction, adaptation to environment etc. This may be some answer to your question on the 'condition', since the organism is balancing its existence with the environment around it, rather than being a part of it. Of course this is a loose definition, mainly because no definitive list has been decided upon, other than simply describing features that life on our planet exhibits/shares. In some cases, such as with viruses, many of these conditions are met, but not enough for them to be considered 'alive' in the same sense as most life on earth, which poses some very big questions. The origin of life is another broken aspect of our understanding. If the theories of life simply springing into life from simple chemical compounds is true, then i see no reason why life couldn't spring up elsewhere if the conditions are there, though again what is to say these other 'living' creatures/molecules/whatever bear any similarities to our definition of life at all? If we ever came across life this different, we may be incompatible in ways we can't yet comprehend.
  9. You mention a few times here the idea of time before the big bang, but the general thought (As far as i'm aware) is that time itself did not exist before the big bang, and was in fact created with it. It is something that seems literally impossible to picture in your head, in the same way that picturing literally nothing seems impossible. You must remember that time is not constant; around huge gravitational sources such as black holes, and near the speed of light, very strange things happen (warping of space-time etc) according to the tried and tested theory of special relativity. I also find the idea of anything being infinite, time included, a rather perplexing notion, though I see no reason for it to be outside the realms of possibility. In terms of what happened to cause the big bang, I would be inclined to believe we will never know, As we exist within it. This sounds intriguing, please elaborate!
  10. Ahh thank you, I know of the Planck's constant, I just never made the connection! And sorry, that was supposed to be 'in no way' not 'in now way', i have now changed it.
  11. Obviously explaining quantum physics is in no way an easy thing to do, but I was hoping that if anyone has a deep understanding then they MAY be able to provide a basic explanation of the main principles. If you feel you can, then please do; I'm sure it would be considered useful to many on here. I have a relatively strong understanding of physics in other areas, but quantum physics still blows my mind.
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