Discussion:
Sir Karl Popper on Einstein's Block Universe
(too old to reply)
Maarten van Reeuwijk
2005-12-17 08:42:29 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.

.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).

HTH, Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 09:07:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
classical mechanics, the following two statements can be both true:

1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.

2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.

When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
two reasons:

1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.

2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Bill Hobba
2005-12-17 10:09:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
First Mati excellent post.

But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of the
'small uncertainties of initial values'. Of course if you are getting to
that level of resolution in your measurement for the exceedingly small
uncertainties the HUP implies for classical sized objects one can question
if you should be using a classical model.

Thanks
Bill
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
2005-12-17 16:22:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Hobba
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
First Mati excellent post.
Well, thank you.
Post by Bill Hobba
But what QM does show is that we can never even in principle get rid of the
'small uncertainties of initial values'. Of course if you are getting to
that level of resolution in your measurement for the exceedingly small
uncertainties the HUP implies for classical sized objects one can question
if you should be using a classical model.
Well, that was really the point of my comment (1) above (should've
elaborated more). Because when we use classical mechanics but invoke
QM to state that there are always uncertainties in initial values we
say, in effect, "a deterministic model doesn't fully describe the
situation if it is but an approximation to an underlying
non-deterministic model". Which is true but not very profound:-)

Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
***@cars.uchicago.edu | chances are he is doing just the same"
Mike
2005-12-17 11:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
I also must say this is an excellent post.

I wonder what is the difference between "non-deterministic" and
"indeterminacy". I suspect there is no resolution as to whether QM is
non-deterministic depending on the interpretation accepted.
Furthermore, the accepted definition of deterministic chaos is rather
dubious. Does it manifest due to integration errors starting from the
initial state and going into the future, a numerical problem per se, or
it is natural? Systems we think exhibit chaotic behavior like a
Vamderbeilt (I know I can't spell this) oscillator, do they trully do
that, or we are unable to predict their behavior due to the limited
scope of the dynamical modelling we use?

Mike
tg
2005-12-17 11:48:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
*
If the initial state can't be known in the same way between the two
beasts, then perhaps it would be less confusing if you didn't use the
"in spite of" sentence.

-tg
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
d***@hotmail.com
2005-12-17 12:05:36 UTC
Permalink
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly all -
scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may contain
important anticipations of scientific theories.

*****************************

Yup. Anything may serve as a basis for a scientific theory. Arrived at
by whatever method, under any state of mind, even, say, bipolar racing
thoughts. AS LONG AS IT PANS OUT. AS LONG AS THE THEORY VERIFYS
TRUE. Confir the "Argument against the person".

- Don
Traveler
2005-12-17 14:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by tg
Post by m***@cars3.uchicago.edu
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
This is not really true. The chaos theorists introduced lots of
needless confusion here. To wit, in a deterministic system, like
1) The future state of a system is *fully* determined by the existing
forces and initial values at a given time.
2) For arbitrarily small uncertainties of initial values, arbitrarily
large uncertainties in final values may result, given sufficient time.
When you look carefully, there is no contradiction between these
statements. Furthermore, invoking Heisenberg here is erroneous, for
1) It takes you out of the realm of classical mechanics, into QM
which is not fully deterministic.
2) HUP has no relevance to knowledge of initial values because
values of conjugate dynamic variables are not the initial valus, in QM
(cannot be, since they don't exist). A QM system is fully specified
if you know its wave function at any given time. QM is not
non-deterministic because you cannot know the initial state, it is
non-deterministic *in spite of* knowing the initial state. Different
beast.
*
If the initial state can't be known in the same way between the two
beasts, then perhaps it would be less confusing if you didn't use the
"in spite of" sentence.
I agree with Meron here (ahahaha...). Even if you could know the
initial state of the universe, it would still remain
non-deterministic. The problem with QM is that its claim of
indeterminacy and uncertainty is not given as a consequence of the
theory. It is a hypothesis arising from the inability to take precise
measurements. A better theory would derive/deduce the probabilistic
nature of the universe from first principles. QM fails in this regard.

So far, indeterminacy is just a religious faith among physicists.
Forget determinism since it is is pure crackpottery. This state of
affairs is unacceptable. Contrary to what the "digital physics" school
of thought has been preaching, the reason that the universe is
probabilistic is that it is discrete. Discreteness requires a single
interaction time and a single speed. Nature cannot therefore calculate
exact durations; so it does the best and only thing it can do: it uses
probability to time interactions. This is the reason for the
probabilistic nature of particle decay durations.

Remember where you first heard this, on usenet, the ultimate
peer-review system. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 18:18:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Even if you could know the
initial state of the universe, it would still remain
non-deterministic. The problem with QM is that its claim of
indeterminacy and uncertainty is not given as a consequence of the
theory. It is a hypothesis arising from the inability to take precise
measurements. A better theory would derive/deduce the probabilistic
nature of the universe from first principles. QM fails in this regard.
You might want to read ET Jaynes comments on epistemology versus
ontology.

Bob
2005-12-17 15:04:38 UTC
Permalink
QM which is not fully deterministic.
Wrong. QM is fully deterministic for those quantities that are
relevant to the process under discussion. That's because the
Schrodinger Equation employs Unitary operators.

What QM tells us is there are certain quantities that are not relevant
to the process under discussion. This is a radical departure from
classical physics where such quantities are very relevant.

For example, QM tells us that the time when a particular emission
occurs is irrelevant to the process of spontaneous emission. As long
as there are a constant number of emissions per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations) the process will evolve according to the
wave function. IOW, it does not matter which emissions occur, only
that a constant number of them do per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations).

That is not what classical mechanics tells us. If I put a BB in a
large drum that is mounted horizontally thru its axis, with a slightly
larger hole on the side, and I rotate the barrel, the BB will
eventually come out of the barrel. If I trace the events backwards, I
find that the cause of the BB exiting the drum was a collision with a
specific place on the wall. QM tells us differently, that spontaneous
emission does not depend on the specific details of the interaction of
the system with Vacuum fluctuations. The emission can occur if any
fluctuation or collection of fluctuations causes the system to exceed
the activation energy.

But just because there are intrinsically unknowable quantities in QM
does not mean the process is not deterministic.
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
QM which is not fully deterministic.
Wrong. QM is fully deterministic for those quantities that are
relevant to the process under discussion. That's because the
Schrodinger Equation employs Unitary operators.
What QM tells us is there are certain quantities that are not relevant
to the process under discussion. This is a radical departure from
classical physics where such quantities are very relevant.
For example, QM tells us that the time when a particular emission
occurs is irrelevant to the process of spontaneous emission. As long
as there are a constant number of emissions per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations) the process will evolve according to the
wave function. IOW, it does not matter which emissions occur, only
that a constant number of them do per unit time (subject to
statistical fluctuations).
It has nothing to do with constancy. It has to do with an average
number. The average itself is absolute and deterministic as required
by the laws of conservation but it is not constant per unit of time.
However, as you pointed out, the timing of individual emissions is
probabilistic.
Post by Bob
That is not what classical mechanics tells us. If I put a BB in a
large drum that is mounted horizontally thru its axis, with a slightly
larger hole on the side, and I rotate the barrel, the BB will
eventually come out of the barrel. If I trace the events backwards, I
find that the cause of the BB exiting the drum was a collision with a
specific place on the wall. QM tells us differently, that spontaneous
emission does not depend on the specific details of the interaction of
the system with Vacuum fluctuations. The emission can occur if any
fluctuation or collection of fluctuations causes the system to exceed
the activation energy.
But just because there are intrinsically unknowable quantities in QM
does not mean the process is not deterministic.
Yes. Although I agree with QM physicists that the universe is
probabilistic, QM does not offer any proof of this observed
indeterminacy. It's a mere hypothesis. Proof must comes from first
principles. That is what is lacking in QM. QM physicists accept
indeterminacy partially on the basis of faith. This is unacceptable.
There is a reason for this state of affairs and they should get off
their collective lazy ass and figure it out. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Traveler
2005-12-17 13:52:57 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
Spacetime is more than just deterministic. It is unchanging. Come to
think of it, it would be very hard for anybody in an unchanging to
determine anything since the act of determining precludes the
existence of change.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
I don't see the relevance of this argument when considering a block
universe. As I pointed out, the problem has nothing to do with
determinism. It has to do with the fact that a block universe is
unchanging. You observe change, don't you?
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe,
What are you, autistic? Who said anything about science being about an
unchanging universe?
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
What has been falsified is the notion preached by relativists for
close to a century that matter affects spacetime which, in turn,
affects the motion of matter in spacetime. Spacetime is unchanging. No
motion is possible in it because time is one of its dimensions.

The consequence of this observation is that there is no time travel
toward the future or the past, no geodesics, no motion in spacetime,
hence no spacetime and no time dimension. There is only the ever
changing present, the NOW. Time is not a variable, regardless of what
you have been taught or want to believe.

This immediately makes a bunch of physicists bona fide crackpots in my
book. ahahaha... That's the point of this thread. Enough with the
Star-Trek physics, please. Get with it.

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Bob
2005-12-17 14:54:05 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly
all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Quantum mechanics has repeatedly produced certain quantities that are
intrinsically unknowable. That is a stronger condition than chaos
produces. If the probability per unit time for the spontaneous
emission is a constant (as it is in a first order Poisson process),
then there is no way to know when the emission will occur because each
time interval t -> t +dt has the same probability for emission.

Another way to put it, in light of Greg Chaitin's research into
unknowables in mathematics, is that there is no algorithm possible
which could compute the time of an emission. The quantity is truly
random in any sense (Martin Loff, et al) (cf. Chaitin for a proof of
this).

The Schrodinger Equation is deterministic because it employs Unitary
operators. That does not mean that there cannot be certain quantities
that are unknowable. These quantities are irrelevant as far as
determinism of the process is concerned. The time when any particular
emission occurs is not relevant because any emission would work, not
just the one being observed. Determinism requires that there be a
uniform number of emissions per unit time (subject to statistical
fluctuations) but it does not require that specific emissions occur
duing that interval.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
You have stated in a very articulate manner the dilemna we face with
QM and the spacetime continuum model of Relativity. I come down fully
on the side of QM. I thing the spacetime continuum is fatally flawed,
just like the Luminiferous Ether was fatally flawed.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.

If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.

To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.

In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
tg
2005-12-17 15:23:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 09:42:29 +0100, Maarten van Reeuwijk
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon. As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Quantum mechanics has repeatedly produced certain quantities that are
intrinsically unknowable. That is a stronger condition than chaos
produces. If the probability per unit time for the spontaneous
emission is a constant (as it is in a first order Poisson process),
then there is no way to know when the emission will occur because each
time interval t -> t +dt has the same probability for emission.
Another way to put it, in light of Greg Chaitin's research into
unknowables in mathematics, is that there is no algorithm possible
which could compute the time of an emission. The quantity is truly
random in any sense (Martin Loff, et al) (cf. Chaitin for a proof of
this).
The Schrodinger Equation is deterministic because it employs Unitary
operators. That does not mean that there cannot be certain quantities
that are unknowable. These quantities are irrelevant as far as
determinism of the process is concerned. The time when any particular
emission occurs is not relevant because any emission would work, not
just the one being observed. Determinism requires that there be a
uniform number of emissions per unit time (subject to statistical
fluctuations) but it does not require that specific emissions occur
duing that interval.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
You have stated in a very articulate manner the dilemna we face with
QM and the spacetime continuum model of Relativity. I come down fully
on the side of QM. I thing the spacetime continuum is fatally flawed,
just like the Luminiferous Ether was fatally flawed.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
Almost all the posters on alt.philosophy are not trained in physics,
so those who are cannot expect them to understand the issues
confronting physics. Most are Idealists who do not acknowledge the
existence of the real objective world.
Too bad, you had done a good job of pointing out the source of
confusion in how people use the term deterministic, and now you are
exhibiting confusion of your own. Just as there are some things that
don't matter sometimes in physics, there are some things that don't
matter sometimes in metaphysics. Why should I care if there is 'really'
a hot stove, as long as I am being burned? Why do you wish to deny to
others that liberty which you take yourself in evolving a utilitarian
methodology?

-tg
Post by Traveler
If you ask them what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove
burner, they will come up with insane double talk about vague
psychological theories. Physicists know what Feynman had to say about
vague theories in psychology, but these Idealists do not understand.
To them the world is completely subjective and the purported "real
objective world of physics" is created by the mind as a model of
Idealist reality. The reason the planets maintain a nearly elliptical
orbits around the sun is because these Idealists believe we have
created models and the Laws of Physics are merely specifications
describing these models.
In the next round of civilization, mankind is going to have to require
people to have studied physics and existential metaphysics thru
graduate level in order to claim they are fully educated.
Mike
2005-12-17 15:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
<snip>
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and
become testable; that historically speaking all - or very nearly
all - scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth
may contain important anticipations of scientific theories.
Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error,
or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which
nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension,
becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever
happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking,
determined and laid down from the beginning).
Did Popper write this before the advent of chaos theory? It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting.
You are using contradiction in terms, often the basis for setting up a
straw man argument.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon.
Straw man. This is an unfounded statement and experimentally
non-falsifiable.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
As initial values are intrinsically only known up to a
finite (as made quantitative by Heisenberg) accuracy, there are no
skeletons in the closet there. So even in a universe governed by
deterministic rules, the future is not certain.
Initial velocity of a system can be known to arbitrary accuracy allowed
by measuring instrument. What cannot be known, according to QM, is both
the velocity (actually momentum) and the position of a particle, with
arbitrary accuracy.

More importantly, there is no known connection of HUP in the
microscopic level to behavior in the macroscopic level. Actually, what
is known is the reverse, a puzzling realization indeed, that
indeterminacy at the particle level does not emerge at the macroscopic
level.

Even the 3-body problem has been shown to lead to a chaotic system. The
problem is that for some initial conditions back 1 or 2 billion yesrs
ago, our planetary system is doing pretty well now. it seems then that
deterministic chaos is related more to computational instability due to
integration error accumulation rather than a physical phenomenon.
Empirical evidence falsifies chaos theory and points to the possibility
that what we call deterministic chaos is simply our inability to come
up with accurate models of physical reality. This is actually what
Einstein believed in a sense.

http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf002/sf002p02.htm
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
even though it requires an unchanging universe, we, in fact, observe
change in nature.
Science is not about an unchanging universe, but about the things that
remain *invariant* under change. Einstein's theory of relativity is an
excellent example of this. To my knowledge, it has *never* been falsified
up till now.
it depends what this "knowledge" of yours is based on. Judging from
your post, you have limitted exposure to these concepts or even a gross
misunderstand and for a Ph.D student this is bad news. I wonder if you
have passed any qualifying exams and if you haven't yet, try to get
more informed before you do.
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
.... well, except for 10 claims in sci.physics every day of course :-).
It seems your "knowledge" is limited to sci.physics posts reading in
this area. Try other sources:

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20000610/fob7.asp

I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.

Mike
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
HTH, Maarten
--
===================================================================
Maarten van Reeuwijk dept. of Multiscale Physics
Phd student Faculty of Applied Sciences
maarten.ws.tn.tudelft.nl Delft University of Technology
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:25:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Mike
2005-12-17 15:32:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Traveler
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...
Louis Savain
Accoring to the Bible, Travelers and Sick are exempt from the rules of
fasting. You can eat [like a] big now. hahahahahahahahahahaha

Mike
Post by Traveler
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Traveler
2005-12-17 15:40:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Traveler
Post by Mike
I suggest you get to your univ library, study the concepts you like to
talk about first and then come back for a serious conversation.
Wow! Pomposity knows no bounds in science. ahahaha...
Louis Savain
Accoring to the Bible, Travelers and Sick are exempt from the rules of
fasting. You can eat [like a] big now. hahahahahahahahahahaha
ahahaha...I must have cranked you big time. You're delirious.
ahahaha... AHAHAHA... ahahaha...

Louis Savain

Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It:
http://www.rebelscience.org/Cosas/Reliability.htm
Ben Rudiak-Gould
2005-12-17 16:43:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maarten van Reeuwijk
It is well known
these days that the future is not certain, even in a completely
deterministic setting. Many dynamical non-linear systems exhibit a
sensitive dependence on initial values, which results in a finite
prediction horizon.
Chaotic behavior aside, locality alone implies that we can't predict
anything. The information available at a particular point in spacetime is
limited to the contents of that point's past light cone, but the state at a
"later" point (i.e. timelike separated, at larger t) depends on additional
information from outside the first point's light cone. Hence the prediction
horizon is zero, even assuming a deterministic universe following known
laws, perfect information gathering ability, and unlimited computational power.

-- Ben
d***@hotmail.com
2005-12-17 17:10:20 UTC
Permalink
Not to mention emergent phenomena, creating free will in intelligent
biological systems on the macroscopic level, and then those systems
combining by metasystem transition into yet higher level systems,
creating emergent phenomena, creating free will.......

Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.
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