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Do we have a scientifically valid destiny?


drewmillar
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Destiny  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Do we have a scientifically valid destiny

    • yes
      1
    • no
      1
    • yes but only in our universe
      1


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Over the past couple of months my life has seemed to lack direction and no matter what i did things became no clearer until an idea regarding the age old theory of destiny came into my head. I was wondering if we could all have a set destiny laid out for us, but not by a god or any other spiritual force but by scientific reason. If my life, for example, were to be lived out a thousand times to the same exact beginning specifications then surely all instances would be exactly the same. I came onto this idea by wondering how i would do things differently and if we really have any choices to make or does the chemical make up of our brain and everything around us mean that we would always follow the same path. In short do we have a scientific destiny that can be proved using reason and is even hypothetically calculable using a computer that knows the make up of our universe.

 

 

 

if anyone knows of any books or such things that would very helpful, thanks

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I don't know about an eventual destiny, like a final culmination type of thing. I don't believe anything is "set", like etched in stone, but I do think it's very likely we're headed off-planet. We'll need more resources and room if our global population continues to grow. That at least seems to be scientifically supported. There's an awful lot of mining to be done in our system, but it's not practical to keep taking off from Earth, so some kind of other base seems like a next logical step.

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Many systems in the universe are chaotic -- that is, you could try to simulate them and predict the future, but even the tiniest measurement or rounding error will lead you to a wildly different result. So in that sense, no, there couldn't be a computer that could calculate our destiny, no matter how powerful.

Edited by Cap'n Refsmmat
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Many systems in the universe are chaotic -- that is, you could try to simulate them and predict the future, but even the tiniest measurement or rounding error will lead you to a wildly different result. So in that sense, no, there couldn't be a computer that could calculate our destiny, no matter how powerful

 

I think it's also interesting to note that with all the computing power we have we still can't predict the weather on our own planet very well.

 

Large systems are complicated to state the obvious.

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drewmillar,

 

Couldn't answer the poll. If you mean will what turns out to be the case be consistent with reality I would say yes.

If you mean has it already been determined, I would say definitely not.

 

Not even "whether it is heads or tails" can be scientifically known ahead of time. (provided its a "human" "unrehearsed" flip). But the probabilities can be determined. And each flip has rather similar "initial conditions".

 

If your imagined "life repeater" were to start again with everything exactly the same, and where to flip a coin, at the age of 10, what about the universe and the initial conditions would "cause" the coin to only land heads up, every time the life was repeated? If the chances were 50 50 the first time, they would be the second time as well.

 

And that is one moment in one life. It is easy to point out any number of places in one life, where a coin flip, so to speak, would have potentially made a change, even a small change in a life. How could an entire life, even one life be "already" determined. Now consider all the other lives going on at the same time, changing the conditions. Now consider all the other objects and entities, changing the conditions that other objects and entities are operating in.

 

More likely to me, that the universe, though scientifically valid up to now, does not know what it is going to do next. After it does it, it was obviously possible. Predicting its exact next move is rather a huge undertaking, and one that could not possibly be done before the universe made the next move. By the time you could figure it out, it would be history.

 

Think it is better to concern oneself with local predictions, where one has a modicum of possible control over both the initial conditions and the outcome.

 

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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Thanks tar, helpful summary. However, i am still a little confused as to how chance can really exist as i had previously only considered it a theory that we as humans apportioned to things that we could not possibly know. How can two things happening in exactly the same way produce a multitude of different outcomes? To bring it back to the coin toss analogy, the chance of a coin landing heads or tails is known to be 50-50, but surely that chance cannot really be accurate as it is the factors that effect the coin which determine how it lands, ie air resistance and speed of toss to name but a couple, and therefore under those specific conditions the outcome would always be the same, so the real chance would be 100-0 or 0-100. So i guess i just cant accept chance as a concept in this sense given this reasoning, although i do understand it is a useful property given that we will unlikely ever be able to comprehend the extreme complexity with which things occur. I am again reverted back to my original point of all things happening in a linear timeframe having the same outcome under identical circumstances.

 

 

 

 

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Phi for All,

 

Next logical step perhaps. But there is no place like home.

 

Humans "fit" the Earth. Here is where we came to be. Its air, it water, its density, its gravity, its temperature, its web of life, its abundace of organic molecules laid down by our predecesors, would all have to be reestablished on other stations and planets.

 

Not that there will not be explorations and satellite bases, but "logically" we are liable to as well, figure out how to share this place for a long time, and keep it viable.

 

China has already (I think) established a two child rule. And I generally would guess that we would rather fight and work, and plan and sacrifice, for our place here, then cause ourselves to have to "switch" to a less desireable place.

 

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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drewmillar,

 

I was trying to say that although our species expanding our environment into the solar system and perhaps the local Galaxy is one logical outcome, there may be other logical outcomes as well.

 

To your coin toss, with still air and a mechanical flip, so calibrated as to account for exactly how the coin will land on a known surface, how it will bounce so that it makes the exact same bounce and "always" will land with the same side up or down that was up or down on launch. How could you know this without "practicing"? And setting it up and running the experiment over and over, calibrating and arranging and filing the coin to balance it the way it would need to be balanced to get your results. And what if the precision of your launching apparatus, in velocity and angular rotation could not be adjusted fine enough to assure a "heads" landing with any more than 4 360 degree rotations and a height of toss less than 2 feet. Would you claim the experiment a success, and ignore the variations that might occur if it was an eight foot toss with 15 rotations?

 

I read in Discover once, about the problem designers had with water slides. It seems that "chaos" theory is involved, and slight changes in the water stream at the top, combined with the weight and distribution of the rider, every once in a while sets up a harmonic oscillation that unfortunately throws that very occasional rider out of the chute.

 

In anycase, these are situations where we test and figure and do what we can to get the desired result. In many places we have achieved amazing reliability. But not without practice and adjustment and not without control of the initial conditions and not without efforts to eliminate anything that "might" interfere with the desired outcome.

 

Here we are talking about destiny. That somehow, as soon as you are born, the whole life follows, scientifically, or divinely set. That there is no chaos, that there are no unintended consequences, that there is no "choice".

 

I think that there is choice. As soon as there is thought, and will and the ability to make your will so. At that point, you can either make it so, or fail to make it so. And that choice will set the conditions for your next choice.

 

With 8 billion or whatever wills on this planet, all with the ability to do, and not do any number of things, I do not think the exact result is preset.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

and I failed to include all the other lifeforms on this planet that each have their own will to be done.

nor did I include the interactions of the wind and sea, clouds and movement of earth and lava.

 

The Earthquake in Japan in the spring had wide ranging effects on many lifes around the planet. What if nuclear power falls out of favor, replaced by wind and solar and thermal and shale oil and gas...and we needed the nuclear to blast out of the solar system. Where would the "logic" of our species spreading to inhabit the local galaxy be then?

 

If "destinies" can change. Then they are not destinies, merely possibilities.

 

And if we have, together, the ability to make a possible thing a real thing, or not, then we are in charge of our destiny. And so for each of us, to the limits of our personal reach.

Edited by tar
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drewmillar,

 

Sorry, no, I just sort of am aware that there are investigations into Probabilistic logic, game theory, chaos theory and such, and that there seem to be such attributes that reality appears to "consist of", or that have some role in the mix.

 

I am not familiar with the "actual" determinations that have been made in these fields.

 

I didn't mean to bring these things up, as someone who knew exactly to what they were referring. Just a personal "feeling" of mine, that I am unique, and by extension, all other humans that ever where or are to be, were, or will be as well. And by further extension, that every "location" in space and time is unique, as soon as its position in space and time is defined...because no other "entity" but it, occupies that particular place and time...and such a place and time, in a "changing" universe, is not repeatable...because the entire universe would have to "go back" to the exact same configuaration it had before...which in my estimation is impossible. Something can be "like" something else, but I do not see a way it can be exactly the same in both space and time and in reference to the rest of the universe...because if it was, it would be that unique thing, not "other than" that unique thing.

 

So no, I don't have a book to point you toward. But you might Wiki these things, and if you find I am talking out the wrong end of my body, please let me know.

 

 

Regards, TAR2

 

Electrons may very well be "interchangable", but a particular electron, is one that is perhaps orbiting in the x energy level of the x shell of a particular type of atom that is in a particular molecule in a particular mineral on a particular hillside in South Dakota at 12:32am sharp on Dec. 3rd here on Earth (in the milkyway, local string, this part of the universe), which differenciates it from one I imagine is existant somewhere in my right pinky fingernail orbiting in a particular energy level and shell of a particular calcium atom, I might be able to identify if I wasn't typing and had an electron microscope at my disposal. It also is a "different" electron that is orbiting the nucleus in South Dakota, one shell up from the one first located.

 

Makes we wonder what people are thinking about, when they say something like "if I was born in Russia in the 12th century". Which attributes of "them" are they taking on the imaginary trip? If I were born in 12th century Russia I would be a 12th century Russian, most likely, and have no particular TARlike attributes (other than generically human ones), and no benefit of any human insights or technological advances that were made in the "yet to be" 800 years. I am not arguing that we can't put ourselves in other peoples shoes. We can and do. But it is a mental excercise that does not "complete" the transferal in all aspects. If all aspects were completed, it wouldn't be you at all, it would be a 12th century russian.

Edited by tar
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I don't know about an eventual destiny, like a final culmination type of thing. I don't believe anything is "set", like etched in stone, but I do think it's very likely we're headed off-planet. We'll need more resources and room if our global population continues to grow. That at least seems to be scientifically supported. There's an awful lot of mining to be done in our system, but it's not practical to keep taking off from Earth, so some kind of other base seems like a next logical step.

 

 

You think its likely that we will be able to "headed off-planet" in the future with our molecular structure in our bodies that would rapidly degenerate outside of our planet? I think, not likely!

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I think this is so funny! Two days ago I was pondering about the exact same thing and came to the exact same conclusion you did. I believe that at the beginning of this universe, the ingredients or chemical elements as well as all the game rules (laws of physics) were determined. So, since these laws are set and the chemical elements can only react and interact with each other a certain way given these laws, I believe that the physical part of the universe (stars, galaxies, etc) were already meant to happen and develop the way the have. Then I thought that even thought this might be true, perhaps at the moment the universe rearranged itself into living organisms and they eventually evolved to have some kind of thought process that would allow them to make decisions, this is where randomness would come into play. However, the more I thought about it, I also concluded that regardless of how simple the organism or the decision it made, this decision was made based on several aspects, such as the physical environment, past experiences, other organisms' decisions, etc. Therefore, even though all living organisms (maybe not plants) have the choice to make all kinds of different decisions, the ones they(we) actually make are the ones that, for whatever reason, they considered to be the best at the time. Also, even the decisions we make unconsciously are based on something, be it subconscious thought process or simple laws of physic, and like you said, regardless of how many choices we can make at any given moment, we we were all taken back to any particular moment in time, we would make the exact same decisions over and over again.

 

Now, the only thing I've found kind of deals with this in science is the multiverse theory, which states there's a universe for every possible outcome, so, without taking into account that other universes might have completely different laws of physics, there's supposed to be a parallel universe where we all made different decisions and lead different lives.

 

I don't know... this is all sooo interesting but soooo confusing. I'll post more later, right now I'm at work :P

 

PS: Brian Green's books talk a lot about the multiverse in case you're interested.

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