I don't know what to think anymore.

Cpt_pineapple
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I don't know what to think anymore.

With recent advancements in String Theory, I was hoping for a 'Theory Of Everything' that will unify physics into a nice little equation. With this we will be able to 'read the mind of God.'

 

However, it has come to my attention that Godel's theorem(or some for thereof.) rears it's ugly head, and since String Theory is fundamentally mathematical, it also applies. The TOE could very well be staring us in the face, but beyond our mathematical grasp.

 

I am by no means an expert at the Theorem(s.), however, it seems that some physicists hold that TOE will not be reached due to it.

 

This has some serious implications to me. 

First I was hoping for the TOE, so that we can unlock the mysteries of the universe. Scientific knowledge of the universe is fundamental to my beliefs. However, if this cannot be reached, I think I'm in theological trouble, but I don't think it will be in-reconcilable depending on the data.

 

 

Now, it could just be that our mathematics is just too primitive and hence we cannot solve the equations necessary to complete String Theory.

 

However, physics has somewhat of a leverage over mathematics in the sense that physics is an experimental science.

Hopefully the LHC will give us insight into super-symmetry, Higgs mechanism, and the standard model or even take us beyond it to read the mind of God.

 

 

 


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Have Patience

Science takes time, look at where we were 500 years ago and where we are today. I mean we have only found out about gravity, heliocentrism, relativity, string theory, other galaxies, and evolution etc. The scientific advancements made in the last 500 years are a basically a hockey stick graph of technological, cosmological, and scientific advancement in relation to the entire history of Homo Sapiens sapiens. If there is a way to understand the universe with a theory of everything, humans will find it eventually(assuming we do not become extinct before that time). I doubt it will be in your life or mine, but that is something I truly "BELIEVE" is possible.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:With

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

With recent advancements in String Theory, I was hoping for a 'Theory Of Everything' that will unify physics into a nice little equation. With this we will be able to 'read the mind of God.'

 

However, it has come to my attention that Godel's theorem(or some for thereof.) rears it's ugly head, and since String Theory is fundamentally mathematical, it also applies. The TOE could very well be staring us in the face, but beyond our mathematical grasp.

 

I am by no means an expert at the Theorem(s.), however, it seems that some physicists hold that TOE will not be reached due to it.

 

This has some serious implications to me. 

First I was hoping for the TOE, so that we can unlock the mysteries of the universe. Scientific knowledge of the universe is fundamental to my beliefs. However, if this cannot be reached, I think I'm in theological trouble, but I don't think it will be in-reconcilable depending on the data.

 

 

Now, it could just be that our mathematics is just too primitive and hence we cannot solve the equations necessary to complete String Theory.

 

However, physics has somewhat of a leverage over mathematics in the sense that physics is an experimental science.

Hopefully the LHC will give us insight into super-symmetry, Higgs mechanism, and the standard model or even take us beyond it to read the mind of God.

 

 

 

Capt,

You are a smart person. But you fall into the same trap ancient myth lovers fall into. Instead of accepting the unknown you fill in the gap with a pet "guess".

Your ideas that you have postulated here are in the same boat as all other gap arguments.

I am by no means a rocket scientist. But I know a gap argument when I see one.

There is no such thing as a "GOD" be it an athropromorphic comic book hocus pocus deity, nor is the universe a giant brain. Do the right thing and simply say, "I don't know" instead of sticking your pet guess into the gap.

Whatever we don't know about the universe should not make us fill those gaps with naked assertions and wild speculation.

You fall into the emotional appeal the same way an ancient myth lover does. It appeals to you that some sort of cognition has to be the cause because you are cognative yourself. It is still anthropromorphizing human qualities on the universe.

 

Quote:
even take us beyond it to read the mind of God.

Why are you so desperate to want a god to exist? A rock has no cognition, so why would a giant ball of burning gass have any more cognition, much less the universe?

It never occures to you that god is merely a product of human emagination.

Get over yourself and accept that nature is not magical and no amount of math is going to make the universe a giant brain any more than thor makes lighting any more than human flesh can survive rigor mortis.

 

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:With

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

With recent advancements in String Theory, I was hoping for a 'Theory Of Everything' that will unify physics into a nice little equation. With this we will be able to 'read the mind of God.'

However, it has come to my attention that Godel's theorem(or some for thereof.) rears it's ugly head, and since String Theory is fundamentally mathematical, it also applies. The TOE could very well be staring us in the face, but beyond our mathematical grasp.

Here's the problem, though: if you're upset about this, then the result is unlikely to be meaningful to you. Since Newton's equations are actually really close to determining the nature of the universe with a few exceptions, you could describe the "mind of God" with them adequately. Then, with Maxwell, Rutherford and Einstein's contributions (to name only three), you get an even more precise notion of the universe. But even Einstein's equations, as much as they did to bring yet more precision to the understanding of the universe, still reinforced how right Newton was. Of course Newton "missed" some things, but physicists creep ever closer to a theory of everything that probably looks like the rest of the math that they've been doing for 100 years. Even Maxwell's equations, which unified the electrical and magnetic forces, can be expressed in terms of differential tensors, which wouldn't have surprised Newton.

String theory is part of an effort like Kaluza and Klein's, which showed that Maxwell's equations could be derived by using general relativity if you gave it an extra dimension. The kind of work these things represent is so über-mathematical that string theory (or its mothership M-theory) puts itself outside of testability. But ultimately, if string theory DID unite the forces, the result wouldn't necessarily look all that elegant, or help you to understand "God".

I dont' know if you remember Fermat's Lost Theorem. It used to show up in math textbooks as a little tease of something that Fermat claimed to have proven, but his notes were lost. So generations of mathematicians tried to solve it. It looks so simple:

"If an integer n is greater than 2, then the equation an + bn = cn has no solutions in non-zero integers a, b, and c."

So tantalizingly simple. When it was finally solved it, though, it was by a proof for the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, which dealt with elliptic curves.

If you're scratching your head at this point, you wouldn't be alone. It's a highly technical proof that would put most people to sleep in a sea of variables. It never ended up being a simple answer, and that's what you'd get if string theory unified the four forces. You'd get a lot of very heavy-looking math, and we could all say "There. At least all the forces are united." But we'd still have a LOT of questions to answer about the universe.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Now, it

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Now, it could just be that our mathematics is just too primitive and hence we cannot solve the equations necessary to complete String Theory.

This, right here, is why I wrote the rather harsh response I did. Our math is awesome. I mean that in the literal sense.

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Can't add quantum gravity

Can't add quantum gravity yet. YET.

You said it yourself: Physics is experimental ergo applicable to REAL things.

When we know how everything works then what use is there for a god?

 

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Quote:Why are you so

Quote:

Why are you so desperate to want a god to exist?

 

It's not that I'm 'desperate', it's that I think it's possible and no, I'm not filling any 'gaps' with 'Goddidit., quite the opposite.

 

Quote:

Get over yourself and accept that nature is not magical and no amount of math is going to make the universe a giant brain any more than thor makes lighting any more than human flesh can survive rigor mortis.

 

I wouldn't go so far as to call it a 'giant brain', but it could very well be a Quantum computer.

 

Quote:

The kind of work these things represent is so über-mathematical that string theory (or its mothership M-theory) puts itself outside of testability.

 

It could very well become testable with advancements in our technology.

 

 

Quote:

It never ended up being a simple answer, and that's what you'd get if string theory unified the four forces. You'd get a lot of very heavy-looking math, and we could all say "There. At least all the forces are united." But we'd still have a LOT of questions to answer about the universe.

 

But with the forces unified, we'd have a stepping stone for the rest we don't know.

 

 

 

Quote:

When we know how everything works then what use is there for a god?

 

More than you think.


 

 

 


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"Quatum computer" LOLThat is

"Quatum computer" LOL

That is just a Star Trec version of "design". Do you have a giant poster of Data hanging above your bed?

 

 

 

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Data

Rodenberry's Intelligent Design? Lol.

 


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Not as far-fetched as it sounds

Brian37 wrote:

"Quatum computer" LOL

That is just a Star Trec version of "design". Do you have a giant poster of Data hanging above your bed? 

There are some very smart folks who think the universe is a quantum computer. Physicist Seth Lloyd (who works at MIT doing quantum computer research) has written a nice introduction to the subject.

It's an interesting approach to the Theory of Everything; reduce the physics to quantum information, and you are suddenly dealing with information theory instead of pure physics.

In the end, though, it all just means the universe is computing itself. There's no God, just a naturalistic program continuously calculating the state of the universe. The only real knowledge gained from the concept is an ability to study the universe using small-scale quantum computers. That will also be the test for the hypothesis, I imagine.

In any case, it's just speculation at this point. Interesting speculation, undoubtedly, but mere speculation nontheless.

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nigelTheBold wrote:There are

nigelTheBold wrote:

There are some very smart folks who think the universe is a quantum computer. Physicist Seth Lloyd (who works at MIT doing quantum computer research) has written a nice introduction to the subject.

It's an interesting approach to the Theory of Everything; reduce the physics to quantum information, and you are suddenly dealing with information theory instead of pure physics.

I have that book but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I have read Kaku, Randall, and Haisch though.

 

Quote:

In the end, though, it all just means the universe is computing itself. There's no God, just a naturalistic program continuously calculating the state of the universe. The only real knowledge gained from the concept is an ability to study the universe using small-scale quantum computers. That will also be the test for the hypothesis, I imagine.

 

The falsification comes if we build a 'hyper-computer' since a simulation cannot simulate a superior machine, or something to that effect.

 

Quote:

In any case, it's just speculation at this point. Interesting speculation, undoubtedly, but mere speculation nontheless.

 

String Theory, Multiverse etc... are speculation as well. But they all have mathematical basis.

 

While these are all speculations, doesn't mean they always will be. Our current technology cannot test them as of now, but in the future they could be confirmed, discarded, revamped, replaced, or any variation thereof based on new experiments using better technology than we have today.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

In any case, it's just speculation at this point. Interesting speculation, undoubtedly, but mere speculation nontheless.

String Theory, Multiverse etc... are speculation as well. But they all have mathematical basis.

While these are all speculations, doesn't mean they always will be. Our current technology cannot test them as of now, but in the future they could be confirmed, discarded, revamped, replaced, or any variation thereof based on new experiments using better technology than we have today.

Oh, absolutely! That's how science works.

Don't get me wrong. I'm really excited about the possibility of a quantum-computer-based universe. It's not only fascinating, but it would establish information theory on a par with physics. This could potentially link other information-based processes like evolution to even more fundamental processes.

I was just pointing out that we still don't have a way to prove this one way or the other right now. As you point out, we may one day be able to test all these great hypotheses. It'll be exciting times when we can.

Until we have experimental validation, though, I'll not count it as a description of our universe.

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Nothing pisses me off more

Nothing pisses me off more than people who fuck up with Godel's theorem. It's potential for abuse is astonishing, from theists who argue they don't have to prove their assertions because of GI theorem, to postmodernists who argue that reality cannot be known, based on GI theorem. Eventually, I just learned that whenever someone used the phrase "GI" theorem and had never cracked open a textbook on mathematical logic, they should shut up. Physics is not a formal system. It does not mean the inconsistency-incompleteness requirements set down by GI theorem. You can bloody well rest easy. It may be the case that a TOE is simply outside the capacity of human cognizance, but it won't be because of GI theorem. I, on the other hand, do hope we should one day find the TOE.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:Nothing

deludedgod wrote:

Nothing pisses me off more than people who fuck up with Godel's theorem. It's potential for abuse is astonishing, from theists who argue they don't have to prove their assertions because of GI theorem, to postmodernists who argue that reality cannot be known, based on GI theorem. Eventually, I just learned that whenever someone used the phrase "GI" theorem and had never cracked open a textbook on mathematical logic, they should shut up. Physics is not a formal system. It does not mean the inconsistency-incompleteness requirements set down by GI theorem. You can bloody well rest easy. It may be the case that a TOE is simply outside the capacity of human cognizance, but it won't be because of GI theorem. I, on the other hand, do hope we should one day find the TOE.

Aw, that's what I was gonna say!

I think his heart's in the right place, so to speak. When Godel proved that we can't know everything, he didn't prove that we can't know everything about something (such as physics). Rather, he showed that we can't know EVERYTHING; some theorems are just super-independent like that. Some hypotheses can't even be proved without using brute force to be provable or unprovable despite being necessary, since in some cases the hypothesis would have to be tested individually for every number in existence. This would require an infinite number of steps, so even in mathematics (of all places!) we end up using inductive reasoning. So as I've mentioned before, that doesn't stop us. We simply invent new types of math, new axioms, to deal with these things. We hinge every blindfolded on the hope that if each unsupported idea wasn't true, then the very fabric of the systems we use to measure things would come unraveled.

And the scary thing is it works. It works so well, in fact, that it allows us to move forward to the point where every once in a great while we get to look back at what we've used and see the foundation of some of those previous hypotheses and are able to say once and for all that they are true. It's almost fashionably Zen: sometimes you have to move forward in order to understand how you were able to do so.


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deludedgod wrote:Nothing

deludedgod wrote:

Nothing pisses me off more than people who fuck up with Godel's theorem. It's potential for abuse is astonishing, from theists who argue they don't have to prove their assertions because of GI theorem, to postmodernists who argue that reality cannot be known, based on GI theorem.

But all assertions like that are annoying. "Science can never prove anything 100%, so we should just give up" is such a lazy, garbage answer to working things out. Oh, we can't know EVERYTHING (as inspector mustard points out, that's the way Gödel is reasonably interpreted) so it's all so hopeless! C'mon.

What is it with people (and here, I'm not actually talking about Cpt_Pineapple, who seemed disappointed with the implication that Gödel would spoil the party) with needing a reason to stop trying to understand things? Is it because science is hard?

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 Hawking's conclusion is in

 Hawking's conclusion is in line with what inspectormustard said, and kind-of with what I said. The theory of everything is actually just a unifying of forces through equations. Perfectionistic positivism with regards to simple-looking equations may not be possible (who knows?) but if you want to study the equations to know "God", they're right there. You can probably pick up a physics textbook with modern physics in it at your local library.

Even if we do end up with elegant "E=mc2" equations, what does that tell you about a supernatural entity? It certainly tells you a lot about the natural world, but the natural world doesn't necessarily apply to a supernatural creature that doesn't need to adhere to natural rules.

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Calling the universe a

Calling the universe a "giant comupeter" is just as anthropromorphic as calling it a brain.

My laymen's understanding of "Quantum theory" is that it amounts to severe number crunching.

I am fine with that. But computers and programs have builders and writers. We know from science that complexity can come from simplicity and doesn't need a builder or a writer. Calling the universe a computer or a program is defaulting to complexity, which begs the question, what created that complexity, ect ect ect.

Maybe I am arguing sematics here. But I do get a lip twitch when people make claims about "ultimate answers" instead of accepting that they are merely in AWE of what we know now while pondering what we might or might not discover.

I don't think quantum theory should be projected like theism does with deities as having a purpose. Computers have a purpose made by people who designed them and wrote the programs for them. The universe wasn't kicked started like humans kick started computers.

The analogy Cpt  calling it a computer seems woefully inadquate to describe the universe.

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:Calling the

Brian37 wrote:

Calling the universe a "giant comupeter" is just as anthropromorphic as calling it a brain.

It also breaks down pretty quickly, like calling the internet an "information superhighway". The idea of a computer that computes itself removes the necessity for the idea of a computer.

Now, if we're speaking in purely information terms, and viewing the universe as producing information is a method of discourse, that's fine. But it hardly gives the entire universe "computing" status, since the universe would be its own simultaneous input and output.

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I never said we'll never

I never said we'll never reach TOE.

 

I wrote:

Now, it could just be that our mathematics is just too primitive and hence we cannot solve the equations necessary to complete String Theory.

 

I left the possibility open, with advancements in mathematics. As Newton developed calculus to describe motion and such. ( Interestingly Leibnez was also working on the same stuff Newton at about the same time and accusations of plagerizim surfaced.)


 


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HisWillness wrote:Brian37

HisWillness wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Calling the universe a "giant comupeter" is just as anthropromorphic as calling it a brain.

It also breaks down pretty quickly, like calling the internet an "information superhighway". The idea of a computer that computes itself removes the necessity for the idea of a computer.

Now, if we're speaking in purely information terms, and viewing the universe as producing information is a method of discourse, that's fine. But it hardly gives the entire universe "computing" status, since the universe would be its own simultaneous input and output.

Ultimately what Seth Lloyd argues is that the universe operates fundamentally on the same principles we use in our quantum computer research. His argument is that this makes the universe an information processing system, in the same way that evolution is an information processing system. His basic assertion (and it is only an assertion at this point) is that information processing is on par with physics as an underlying process in the universe.

All this is, as I stated, pure speculation. Kinda cool, kinda kooky, and definitely nothing more than something to discuss when really, really high. The implications are drastic, and so the assertions should be treated as outlandish.

In the end, it does stand as an hypothesis, to the same extent that string "theory" (in quotes as it has had no tests performed against it) stands as an hypothesis. It makes all sorts of testable predictions. We just can't perform any of those tests right now, based on our current level of technology.

All I'm suggesting is, this is safe ground for a hard SF novel. Assuming you like your hard SF really, really boring.

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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

 Hawking's conclusion is in line with what inspectormustard said, and kind-of with what I said. The theory of everything is actually just a unifying of forces through equations. Perfectionistic positivism with regards to simple-looking equations may not be possible (who knows?) but if you want to study the equations to know "God", they're right there. You can probably pick up a physics textbook with modern physics in it at your local library.

Even if we do end up with elegant "E=mc2" equations, what does that tell you about a supernatural entity? It certainly tells you a lot about the natural world, but the natural world doesn't necessarily apply to a supernatural creature that doesn't need to adhere to natural rules.

Supernatural entities don't like simple equations. Otherwise, they wouldn't be causing floods all the time, or giving random devout people the pox and sending them out into the desert, or telling them to sacrifice their own first-born sons. (Why not daughters? Why's it always the sons? And what's the point of a sacrifice, anyway?) If they liked things neat, they would've stacked fossils in chronological order, instead of in order of the way they bought them at Wal*Mart. And they wouldn't've made stars more than 6,000 miles away, since that's all the time light has to reach earth, since the universe is only 6,000 years old.

Supernatural entities always wear lobster bibs, they like things so messy.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

 Hawking's conclusion is in line with what inspectormustard said, and kind-of with what I said. The theory of everything is actually just a unifying of forces through equations. Perfectionistic positivism with regards to simple-looking equations may not be possible (who knows?) but if you want to study the equations to know "God", they're right there. You can probably pick up a physics textbook with modern physics in it at your local library.

Even if we do end up with elegant "E=mc2" equations, what does that tell you about a supernatural entity? It certainly tells you a lot about the natural world, but the natural world doesn't necessarily apply to a supernatural creature that doesn't need to adhere to natural rules.

Supernatural entities don't like simple equations. Otherwise, they wouldn't be causing floods all the time, or giving random devout people the pox and sending them out into the desert, or telling them to sacrifice their own first-born sons. (Why not daughters? Why's it always the sons? And what's the point of a sacrifice, anyway?) If they liked things neat, they would've stacked fossils in chronological order, instead of in order of the way they bought them at Wal*Mart. And they wouldn't've made stars more than 6,000 miles away, since that's all the time light has to reach earth, since the universe is only 6,000 years old.

Supernatural entities always wear lobster bibs, they like things so messy.

Quote:
Supernatural entities always wear lobster bibs, they like things so messy.

That is awesome, that would make a great bumper sticker! Wish I had thought of it.

But in all seriousnes, I don't fault Capt for being science smart, I have no doubt that my knowledge is first grade compared to his, as far as math and quantum theory. BUT, I do have an introspection on human phycology and have seen time after time otherwise intelegent people slap an answer in where there actually isnt one.

He has simply phycologically mistaken his natural emotion of "awe" for some greater answer. That is hard for most people, including intelegent people to understand and be aware of. I think the best for all to do is not to assume and work with the best data we have to date.

 

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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
Supernatural entities always wear lobster bibs, they like things so messy.

That is awesome, that would make a great bumper sticker! Wish I had thought of it.

Thanks. I like to be pithily funny.

Quote:

But in all seriousnes, I don't fault Capt for being science smart, I have no doubt that my knowledge is first grade compared to his, as far as math and quantum theory. BUT, I do have an introspection on human phycology and have seen time after time otherwise intelegent people slap an answer in where there actually isnt one.

He has simply phycologically mistaken his natural emotion of "awe" for some greater answer. That is hard for most people, including intelegent people to do. I think the best for all to do is not to assume and work with the best data we have to date.

I definitely get that. When Einstein talked of God, he referred to that which is awesome (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) about the universe. I can see it's dangerous to make assumptions about the universe, even when just trying on an hypothesis for size. The salesman is always convincing, and then you end up getting it home, and it doesn't really go with any other hypothesis in your wardrobe, but you spent so much on it, and it does look cool all on its own. So you keep it, even though it doesn't quite fit.

Or maybe I'm just taking this clothes metaphor to far. That's the last time I go shopping with my wife.

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers