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Quantum Physics

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I'm don't know anything about Quantum Mechanics, but I do think my lecturer said something about there being no such thing as cause and effect in that field, and something to do with predictions in that field are impossible, unlike other things such as the weather, which is actually a chaotic system that is ultimately deterministic. I'm not sure about whether they generalise the laws of the QM universe into the general universe though...

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No, it's like this.

"According to science, everything that happens is only a chemical reaction. you seeing something is a chemical reaction, and that reaction goes all the way into your brain. Your thinking is only a complicated set of chemical reactions. So if one were to have a super powerful computer, and one could type in the position of all atoms and particles, and of all energy, then it could predict the future.

For example, currently, the weather can only be predicted for a few days, and not even accurately. But, if we had the position of each and every atom, and we knew every factor that could influence it, the we could tell you how much it is going to rain in 234 years from now, at 2:37 in the morning. Accurate to the droplet!

However, thanks to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of any particle simultaneously. So, you would never be able to compile the information to any degree of arbitrary accuracy and therefore, would not be able to predict the future.

The idea that you would be able to predict the future if only you knew the position and momentum of every particle is known as the deterministic (causal) model of the universe, which although was popular during Newton's time, was basically proved incorrect by quantum mechanics."

So, what the heck does the above article say?

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It means that one some level, the universe is deterministic, but the universe and smaller systems are dynamic systems (see Chaos Theory for one example), and due to our lack of ability to compile enough accurate information, we'll never be able to completely predict the future.

Hope that helps, but I'm not too sure about the subject in question either. :no:

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I'll take that back.

Basically QM is a theory that is more accurate and has more explanatory power than traditional Newtonian Physics.

In QM, it was discovered that, at an atomic and/or sub-atomic level, the movements of electrons are not deterministic, but probabilistic.

This has implications for those who believe in the deterministic model of the universe. It is a generally accepted view now that (parallel to QM) events are probabilistic, rather than fully deterministic.

So, to some degree there is still determinism, but to say that everything can be predicted due to cause and effect is too strong a claim for most people to support. Whether QM has any significant influence in the bigger picture remains to be seen.

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I'll take that back.

Basically QM is a theory that is more accurate and has more explanatory power than traditional Newtonian Physics.

In QM, it was discovered that, at an atomic and/or sub-atomic level, the movements of electrons are not deterministic, but probabilistic.

This has implications for those who believe in the deterministic model of the universe. It is a generally accepted view now that (parallel to QM) events are probabilistic, rather than fully deterministic.

So, to some degree there is still determinism, but to say that everything can be predicted due to cause and effect is too strong a claim for most people to support. Whether QM has any significant influence in the bigger picture remains to be seen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok so your point is?

Things can happen without cause.

They are due to mere chance (probability).

So, that means we have no free will at all?

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The point of QM is that it disproves the deterministic model of the universe; where if you know the movement and position of every atom in the world and shoved them all into a computer with all the necessary equations, then you can make accurate predictions about the future until the end of time (see Laplace's Daemon). Rather, events should be viewed in a more probabilistic way, this would (arguably) give rise to "more" free will, as some philosophers would tell you, though in my opinion, these probabilistic pathways are ultimately determined.

So, imagine you have a MOTHERFUCKING HUGE tree with many many branches, and let's say each branch gives rise to 10 other branches, and in turn they have 10 other branches on them etc. If you were an ant, and you wanted to get to the top of the tree, then at each branch you can choose from 10 paths, and after choosing you arrive at another "fork in the road" where you can choose from another 10 paths. That would represent your how your life unfolds; you have the "free will" to choose with path you want to take.

In reply to the things happening by mere chance I shall reiterate myself as I'm not sure I can make it any clearer. At a sub-atomic level there seems to be not just chaos (which is be deterministic according to cognitive science), but complete randomness (everything is left to chance and there is no possible way to predict anything). Whether this randomness has any effect on our everyday lives remains to be seen. Some people have taken this notion and transferred it into the "free will vs determinism " argument. There are many other views on free will and determinism amongst the sciences, philosophy and religion. I suggest you read up on it as I'm not even sure if I'm interpreting it correctly.

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You define free-will as the availability of choice.

I define free-will as having total control of the choice you make, by having total control of the factors that cause you to make your decision.

An ant climbing the tree can choose ten alternate paths/branches.

But, no matter the outcome, the ant choose a certain path because of a reason. If there is no reason at all, that means the ant picks a branch randomly. In this case, it has no total control over its decision at all.

Say this ant chooses a particular path because it seems a shorter route to it, this might be caused by the ant's desire to reach its destination as fast as possible. This may be due to the ant's rapidly dimishing energy level, which is in turn might be due to ...

Therefore, the aforementioned ant has no absolute freewill, as it cannot control the factors that leads it to make a decision.

So what is absolute freewill? I would think of it this way, the ant can control anything.

The ant can choose any ten branch, because every single branch seems to be free of predators, plus time factor or energy level is not an issue to the ant, plus idealistic weather conditions (minimal wind, no rain, etc), plus any other possible factor that you can think of which will influence the ant's decision making process directly or indirectly. This also means that the ant's range of choices should not even be limited to ten branches, it should be infinite. Ergo, it should be able to make as many branch as possible to appear, right before its very own eyes, should the ant desire to. Total control, remember?

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as soon as i saw the title of this thread, i knew that u had made it heidegger  :laugh:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Am I such a geek?

I think I am going to start a thread on how, finally, Fermat's Last Theorem was proven.

I kid! I hate math!

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You like math, right?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

hell no! :yuckky:

i used to be good at math...i ALWAYS hated it but i was at least good at it....then calculus came along and basically kicked my ass...now i both HATE and SUCK at math.

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You define free-will as the availability of choice.

I define free-will as having total control of the choice you make, by having total control of the factors that cause you to make your decision.

An ant climbing the tree can choose ten alternate paths/branches.

But, no matter the outcome, the ant choose a certain path because of a reason. If there is no reason at all, that means the ant picks a branch randomly. In this case, it has no total control over its decision at all.

Say this ant chooses a particular path because it seems a shorter route to it, this might be caused by the ant's desire to reach its destination as fast as possible. This may be due to the ant's rapidly dimishing energy level, which is in turn might be due to ...

Therefore, the aforementioned ant has no absolute freewill, as it cannot control the factors that leads it to make a decision.

So what is absolute freewill? I would think of it this way, the ant can control anything.

The ant can choose any ten branch, because every single branch seems to be free of predators, plus time factor or energy level is not an issue to the ant, plus idealistic weather conditions (minimal wind, no rain, etc), plus any other possible factor that you can think of which will influence the ant's decision making process directly or indirectly. This also means that the ant's range of choices should not even be limited to ten branches, it should be infinite. Ergo, it should be able to make as many branch as possible to appear, right before its very own eyes, should the ant desire to. Total control, remember?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Didn't read your whole post so forgive me if I stray.

I didn't intend for you to overanalyse the example, as it was just made to illustrate a point. But I agree with you that there are only a finite number of choices it can choose from and that's why my view is that on a lower level, it is rather deterministic.

Also, the term 'free will' is used in many contexts and even now, there is no one definition for it between or within disciplines. So think of it what you must. Just understand that with the introduction of QM the very premise that is the soul of the deterministic model has been shattered, hence the need to relax the claim to make actions and behaviours probabilistic and not fully deterministic.

To me behaviours are more a disposition or propensity to act in a certain way. Remember what I was talking to you about on MSN about my beliefs of a lower-level type of determinism, this probabilistic model is probably 99% what I meant, just that I couldn't explain my beliefs using my words because I'm retarded.

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Is anyone here well-versed enough in quantum physics to explain to me why causality is incorrect?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have studied one course.

Causality is correct on macroscopic but incorrect on microscopic, atom level. Atoms and their subparticles don't behave in a causal way but a coffee cup, a car or a planet does because causality is a stochastic phenomena.

In QM the observer influences the state of the process under observation. You don't know what the state would have been if you didn't observe. It is like the question: "does a falling tree make sound when nobody is listening?".

Even if everything were causal we would not be able to predict weather precisely. We just can know everything so precisely and chaos theory says small variations in the initial state leads to huge differencies very fast.

To my understanding free will is an illusion like the whole life itself. This is not a problem because we feel we have free will, we feel we are making free choices even if we are not. I think even time is an illusion. I think the past, present and future is all here. String theories may explain this.

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:yes: Listen to the man with the IQ of 140.

Isn't String Theory meant to be the bridging law between QM and Newtonian Physics?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Heidegger: I'm pretty sure no one would be silly enough to argue that we have absolute free will ;) Otherwise they'd bitchslap you and fly away :laugh:

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by my free will I shall wish away this second post...

*cue admin action please!*

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:yes: Listen to the man with the IQ of 140.

Isn't String Theory meant to be the bridging law between QM and Newtonian Physics?

Rather listen to someone with the IQ of 200 like Edward Witten! :laugh:

Quantum Mechanics (microcosmos) and Gravitation (macrocosmos) are in serious contradiction. That's why a "string theory" is needed to brigde these two. Newtonian physics is not relativistic.

http://www.superstringtheory.com/

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Something like that :p

I think I might be an instrumentalist with regads to string theory. That might change once I get more information on it, but I don't think I'd be a realist about it.. :ermm:

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