Is an infinite chain of cause impossible?

termina
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Is an infinite chain of cause impossible?

Hello,

 

infinite regress is a common conter-argument to the cosmological one,

but is it impossible to exist?


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Maybe.  *warning*

Maybe.

 

 

*warning* layperson talking *warning*

Certainly you cannot have an infinite causal chain in the 'real' universe.  I think the problem is we don't know what existed before the big bang, and we might not ever know for sure, so it makes it tough to speculate about what the 'cause' of that event was.

Soon, someone will post here about some quantum thingy that might explain the initial reaction, but if you try to dig into what might have caused that initial quantum reaction, the most you'll get is a hypothesis that quantum events of that type are theoretically causeless and might reside outside of what we call time.  I've never heard of anything speculate as to *why* that might be the case, other than it seems to be a logical necessity to explain quantum behavior.

 

Edit:  The argument against the cosmological one is usually that there "must" be an infinite regress, but infinite regress is impossible therefore something must have broken that infinite regress.  A theist will say that event was a infinitely complex God that exists causelessly, the anti-theist will point out current science that says it is more likely an infinitely simple quantum event, or that we don't know, and that by assigning creation to a complex, conscious being you are not solving infinite regress you are actually just adding a layer of unlikely complexity by making a bald assertion.

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An infinite sequence is

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

As long as sufficient energy is available in the environment, there is nothing fundamentally impossible here, no infinities of time or energy required.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:An infinite

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

As long as sufficient energy is available in the environment, there is nothing fundamentally impossible here, no infinities of time or energy required.

 

 

That is math though, doesn't that break down when applied to a physical universe that does seem to be made up of individual, non-reducible pieces?  The example you gave seems to rest on our being able to conceptualize a smaller number than the number before, but what happens when you need a smaller unit of matter or energy to cause a reaction but there isn't anything smaller?  Doesn't a causal chain continue until you've hit the quantum level, then sort of evaporate/disperse/whatever?

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mellestad wrote:BobSpence1

mellestad wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

As long as sufficient energy is available in the environment, there is nothing fundamentally impossible here, no infinities of time or energy required.

 

 

That is math though, doesn't that break down when applied to a physical universe that does seem to be made up of individual, non-reducible pieces?  The example you gave seems to rest on our being able to conceptualize a smaller number than the number before, but what happens when you need a smaller unit of matter or energy to cause a reaction but there isn't anything smaller?  Doesn't a causal chain continue until you've hit the quantum level, then sort of evaporate/disperse/whatever?

Well, yes, but it still demolishes any argument based on the assumed 'logical' impossibility of an infinite sequence.

It is true that infinities of any kind are problematic in the 'real' world.

Once you get into the quantum realm, random effects predominate, providing potentially any 'cause' needed 'for free'.

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BobSpence1 wrote:mellestad

BobSpence1 wrote:

mellestad wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

As long as sufficient energy is available in the environment, there is nothing fundamentally impossible here, no infinities of time or energy required.

 

 

That is math though, doesn't that break down when applied to a physical universe that does seem to be made up of individual, non-reducible pieces?  The example you gave seems to rest on our being able to conceptualize a smaller number than the number before, but what happens when you need a smaller unit of matter or energy to cause a reaction but there isn't anything smaller?  Doesn't a causal chain continue until you've hit the quantum level, then sort of evaporate/disperse/whatever?

Well, yes, but it still demolishes any argument based on the assumed 'logical' impossibility of an infinite sequence.

It is true that infinities of any kind are problematic in the 'real' world.

Once you get into the quantum realm, random effects predominate, providing potentially any 'cause' needed 'for free'.

Ok, thanks Bob.

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What is the beginning of

What is the beginning of eternity?
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The E letter.

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taking issue here

I'd like to take issue with Bob's reply here - but I will gladly say as a preface two things:  a) my science comprehension generally turns out to be somewhat off, and b) ideologically, I take as a sort of given that a priori knowledge cannot, in principle, be literally contradicted by empirical observation.   It's been awhile since Kant for me but that is the sort of reasoning I am referring to - my knowledge that I exist cannot, for example, be empirically proved to be false.  Otherwise I would be unable to think it.  I will hope to avoid counterfactuals/alternate worlds theory here unless someone wants to specifically bring it up.

I was fortunate enough to meet and attend a lecture with Paul Davies at Hampshire College where I went to school, who actually offered the argument that the infinite-regress tendency is something we are more or less always led to, by the product of our tendency to break down reality further and further.  He did, however, speculate (this if I remember correctly) that an infinite regress of causes into the past is not possible.

I will run with this from the philosophical standpoint - that, in thinking about time in linear terms, as a phenomenon of existence, the idea that there can be an infinite regress of causes into the past is a paradox.  Plain and simple.  It is a paradox just as much as the idea that there is a single, causeless event or entity, from which 'causation' then springs forth.  The classical xeno's paradox (or is it socrates?) answer to the infinite-regress problem is, if there is an infinite regress of causes stretching on infinitely into the past (think about that carefully)....then how have we arrived at the present moment?

I am at this point in my thinking life content to say (largely thanks to drugs!  hehe!) that the best solution is indeed one that sees all time as now, here, one moment quantum experiencing.  Eastern thinkers like Krishnamurti offer us fascinating ideas here.  But in terms of rational/philosophical thought, it is difficult to 'solve' the paradox; indeed I don't know if any great thinker has done it?  I'd welcome suggested reading if anyone knows some good stuff on the subject.

 


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It remains true, regardless

It remains true, regardless of intuitive or philosophical objections, that an infinite series of events of decreasing duration, where the duration of each preceding event is smaller by a factor that is equal to or less than a number represented by '0' followed by a decimal point and a finite number of digits. (to exclude 0.99999... recurring), will fit into a finite duration.

This follows logically from the only sort of a priori 'knowledge' which counts, the fundamentals of logic and math. It is not empirical observation.

In terms of infinite time, that may very well have problems, but that silly medieval 'argument' that if time extended infinitely into the past we could never get to 'now' is hardly worth addressing.

I like Paul Davies, but he does have some 'blind spots', IMHO.

To an extent, any hypothetically infinite sequence of causes is indeed an artifact of our tendency to want to analyse any process into a discrete sequence of cause-effect, where reality is that it is often a more continuous process. This aside from the Quantum idea that even Time may be not an indefinitely sub-dividable process, but a sequence of discrete states.

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Bob schools me on the brainy

Bob schools me on the brainy stuff. But I school him in taking the brainy stuff and putting it in the layman's lingo.

It is true we don't know what came before the big bang.

But if most with a rational brain can accept that a Tsunami or hurricane is not a thinking being, why would what came before the big bang be human?

What we see out there is not US, it is not human, it is not thinking. The universe does not resemble our human brain. It is merely OBJECTS bumping into each other like unthinking billiard balls on a pool table. We simply got lucky because of the random combo that happened.

 

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Brian37 wrote:Bob schools me

Brian37 wrote:

Bob schools me on the brainy stuff. But I school him in taking the brainy stuff and putting it in the layman's lingo.

It is true we don't know what came before the big bang.

But if most with a rational brain can accept that a Tsunami or hurricane is not a thinking being, why would what came before the big bang be human?

What we see out there is not US, it is not human, it is not thinking. The universe does not resemble our human brain. It is merely OBJECTS bumping into each other like unthinking billiard balls on a pool table. We simply got lucky because of the random combo that happened.

That is not precise. We don't know how the universe looks like or what it is. We only know we can reliably detect only small part of it. The rest exists, was indirectly observed, fits into calculations and theories, but is called "dark".
As for objects in the universe, like planets or stars, I would compare them to points. Points in a 3D model. What we don't see, what is missing, are the lines of polygons, color and texture. Of course, string theory also says it's part. And finally, crazy stuff like quantum entanglement suggests, that the universe is not just a heap of objects bumping into each other. Not the majority of it. Is that clear?

In such a situation we really can't assume what is or isn't random, non-living, unique or real. It's more correct to assume that higher dimensions influence the lower dimensions, rather than vice versa. Therefore, material phenomena might be manifestations of not-so-material phenomena. For example, if the mind is not 100% biologic phenomenon, but is partially based on some fields of forces in some higher string dimension, then it might persist after death of a brain. And here we go, a revolution of mankind's worldview... well, at least the skeptical minority's worldview. And heap of old legends and ghost sightings suddenly gives sense.
As for the infinity of cycles, well, I'd say our concept of time is flawed. It's more like illusion of the brain, than physical reality. I recommend the cosmologic theory of Peter Lynds.

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Luminon, what is clear is

Luminon, what is clear is that you really don't understand science all that well.

We don't assume what is random or not, we base our judgement of randomness on actual measurement - there are specific indicators of randomness.

You are the one making unjustified statements about things we cannot know or are contrary to current observation, with your talk of 'cycles' and rotation. There is clear evidence of open-ended processes which do not cycle in any sense. The accelerating expansion of our universe appears to be one. Atoms do not normally 'cycle', some progressively decay toward more stable states. There is some re-cycling, such as the matter expelled by supernova being incorporated in new stars, but much of it may become just cold dust or gas or lumps or rock. It certainly cannot go more than a generation or two, since the matter expelled from a super-nova is different from what went into the original star, and has less available energy.

Such re-cycling is not inevitable, and is not characteristic of 'everything', and usually has an element of progression toward the ultimate thermodynamic/entropic 'heat death'.

There is no real evidence of cycling in galaxies, they will just fade as they run out of available energy.

Quantum entanglement has little or no implications on the behaviour of 'stuff' at the macro scale.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Luminon wrote:Brian37 wrote:

Luminon wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Bob schools me on the brainy stuff. But I school him in taking the brainy stuff and putting it in the layman's lingo.

It is true we don't know what came before the big bang.

But if most with a rational brain can accept that a Tsunami or hurricane is not a thinking being, why would what came before the big bang be human?

What we see out there is not US, it is not human, it is not thinking. The universe does not resemble our human brain. It is merely OBJECTS bumping into each other like unthinking billiard balls on a pool table. We simply got lucky because of the random combo that happened.

That is not precise. We don't know how the universe looks like or what it is. We only know we can reliably detect only small part of it. The rest exists, was indirectly observed, fits into calculations and theories, but is called "dark".
As for objects in the universe, like planets or stars, I would compare them to points. Points in a 3D model. What we don't see, what is missing, are the lines of polygons, color and texture. Of course, string theory also says it's part. And finally, crazy stuff like quantum entanglement suggests, that the universe is not just a heap of objects bumping into each other. Not the majority of it. Is that clear?

In such a situation we really can't assume what is or isn't random, non-living, unique or real. For example, everything in the universe participates in cycles of activity and inactivity, or rotation, in cycles within cycles. From the smallest atom, to galaxy. It's possible that even the universe itself perform these cycles. As for the infinity of cycles, well, I'd say our concept of time is flawed. It's more like illusion of the brain, than physical reality. I recommend the cosmologic theory of Peter Lynds.

WE DONT KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE UNIVERSE.....TRUE.

But we can exclude the universe as being a caused by a giant invisible brain.  It is as simple as taking a slice of cadaver human brain under a microscope and juxtaposing it next to a Hubble deep space photo. THE processes of each are nothing like each other. Atoms making up both don't make them related.

Of course the laws of science are not random. Laymen conflate "laws" as something given by something cognitive like a human, when "laws" merely refer to scientific observation that has been replicated and falsified.

Saying "shit happens" doesn't mean "randomness" like a laymen thinks of it. "Shit happens" as I mean in the sense of "randomness" merely means cognition is not required to cause it.

Again, how is it a stretch for an atheist who accepts that we don't know everything about the universe to put absurd claims in the trash bin?

All claims are not equal simply because we admit we don't know what came before the big bang.

I am simply asserting that a WHAT, an unthinking process is what science leans towards. Just like we accept that a hurricane is not human, or caused by a super human, why would anything that we don't know about the big bang, be given special treatment?

Our universe is random, not to be confused with being the same as the scientific laws we use to observe it. ONE IS AN OBJECT, the other is the TOOL we use to observe the object.

 

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Quote:In such a situation we

Quote:
In such a situation we really can't assume what is or isn't random, non-living, unique or real

Ok, then why don't we believe in a god since we cant assume anything, then Jesus surviving rigor mortis is as possible as me getting a blow job from Cindy Crawford.

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Brian37 wrote:WE DONT KNOW

Brian37 wrote:

WE DONT KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE UNIVERSE.....TRUE.

But we can exclude the universe as being a caused by a giant invisible brain.  It is as simple as taking a slice of cadaver human brain under a microscope and juxtaposing it next to a Hubble deep space photo. THE processes of each are nothing like each other. Atoms making up both don't make them related.

OK, and why don't you consider the other choice? Brain is caused by a giant, mostly invisible universe. The universe is obviously in many ways not like a brain, but is there any similarity or pattern? If the similarity is greater than average randomness, it might give some results. Heron's beard. Of course, there hardly can be any similarity seen, with dark matter, energy and string dimensions out of the picture.

There are legitimate, mathemathically described theories of causality that would teach you more about how the world works. Read Paul Kammerer's Laws of seriality. There are other causalities than direct. They are specially useful in relation of microcosm to astronomic macrocosm.

Brian37 wrote:
I am simply asserting that a WHAT, an unthinking process is what science leans towards. Just like we accept that a hurricane is not human, or caused by a super human, why would anything that we don't know about the big bang, be given special treatment?
Because we know almost for sure, that about 95% universe exists out of the sight. Therefore, it sets a margin of error and it's huge. Our detected nature is not how most of the universe really looks like, it's more like anomaly in nature. So it's not wise to make conservative theories that ignore the remaining 6 dimensions and who knows how many forms of matter, energy, time, information and natural laws that they contain.
For example, if human thought has an electro-magnetic basis that is influenced by cosmic events, then either concept of thought or the universe must be redefined.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are the one making unjustified statements about things we cannot know or are contrary to current observation, with your talk of 'cycles' and rotation.
...
Such re-cycling is not inevitable, and is not characteristic of 'everything', and usually has an element of progression toward the ultimate thermodynamic/entropic 'heat death'.

There is no real evidence of cycling in galaxies, they will just fade as they run out of available energy.

You're right, the cycling is wrong. I originally rethought it and edited it away from the post, or so I thought. Apparently not soon enough. It was related to some obscure theory of the universe's end...

BobSpence1 wrote:
We don't assume what is random or not, we base our judgement of randomness on actual measurement - there are specific indicators of randomness.

Quantum entanglement has little or no implications on the behaviour of 'stuff' at the macro scale.

That's what I mean, we don't see the whole image, we don't know if what we measure is really random. It's only relatively random, for most of practical purposes.
But I wouldn't be so sure that real, absolute randomness exists. The web page of Global Coherence Initiative claims a scientific evidence, that Earth's electromagnetic field, human nerve system and random number generators are somehow linked together. You might take a look if these people's doctorates are real, people like you have a nose for it.

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Luminon wrote:BobSpence1

Luminon wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are the one making unjustified statements about things we cannot know or are contrary to current observation, with your talk of 'cycles' and rotation.
...
Such re-cycling is not inevitable, and is not characteristic of 'everything', and usually has an element of progression toward the ultimate thermodynamic/entropic 'heat death'.

There is no real evidence of cycling in galaxies, they will just fade as they run out of available energy.

You're right, the cycling is wrong. I originally rethought it and edited it away from the post, or so I thought. Apparently not soon enough. It was related to some obscure theory of the universe's end...

OK, you have actually gone up in my estimation...

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
We don't assume what is random or not, we base our judgement of randomness on actual measurement - there are specific indicators of randomness.

Quantum entanglement has little or no implications on the behaviour of 'stuff' at the macro scale.

That's what I mean, we don't see the whole image, we don't know if what we measure is really random. It's only relatively random, for most of practical purposes.
But I wouldn't be so sure that real, absolute randomness exists. The web page of Global Coherence Initiative claims a scientific evidence, that Earth's electromagnetic field, human nerve system and random number generators are somehow linked together. You might take a look if these people's doctorates are real, people like you have a nose for it.

I have come across those ideas, and find them somewhat questionable. If they are looking for links between some proposed 'collective consciousness' and physical phenomena, random number generators are the least likely things to be affected and measurable, both because of their inherently 'noisy' signal, and their well-estblished insensitivity to external influences. It would make far more sense to set up something which is extremely sensitive to fields of various kinds, and isolate it as far as possible from local effects.

Looking for effects in inherently noisy signals is really leaving themselves wide open to false matches. The 9/11 'match' from the Global Consciousness Project made that apparent, when the only match they find to any degree preceded the event, which really makes no sense. If they are fishing around that widely for matches in a noisy signal, back and forth in time, they have a very high probability of finding some totally unrelated 'blip'. 

Similarly, the Earth's magnetic field is a far too crude and 'noisy' thing, dominated by movements of massive chunks of matter deep in the Earth, and enormous flows of changed particles and magnetic fields from the Sun - it can only logically be a signal that gets in the way of detecting any actual magnetic effects from our brains or other organs. The thinking seems entirely backward and unscientific to detect any such signal that they think may be there.

And the idea that the 'magnetic field' of the heart is likely to have some external effect is really stretching things way beyond breaking point. Brain 'waves' would make far more sense that the heart, which has only fairly crude reactions to our emotional state. Their selection of things to look at to find effects seems far more based on medieval, 'woo' thinking than serious scientific reasoning.

The most commonly used natural source of 'randomness' is a sample of a radioactive material, which seems to be as close to pure randomness as anything we know, and has passed every test so far, AFAIK.

Randomness measures are not relative, that would not be a good description, but they do have a degree of uncertainty, which is quantifiable. The longer we accumulate measurements from a given source, the more we can reduce the amount of non-randomness that might still be present but not detectable within the 'noise'.

The alternative approach to generating random numbers is by mathematical algorithms, known as pseudo-random sequence generators. These normally repeat after some longish sequence, which can be made as large as desired, limited by available resources. These can in principle, therefore, approximate 'ideal' randomness to any desired finite degree, and can be used to make comparisons with 'natural' sources.

 Another natural source of randomness is the thermal motion of molecules in gas and liquids.

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BobSpence1 wrote:I have come

BobSpence1 wrote:
I have come across those ideas, and find them somewhat questionable. If they are looking for links between some proposed 'collective consciousness' and physical phenomena, random number generators are the least likely things to be affected and measurable, both because of their inherently 'noisy' signal, and their well-estblished insensitivity to external influences. It would make far more sense to set up something which is extremely sensitive to fields of various kinds, and isolate it as far as possible from local effects.
OK, perhaps that is the reason why they chose random number generators. If even they can be affected, then it's something very real and powerful. And it should be measurable, that is what random number generators are supposed to do, give out random numbers. It seems you think very mechanistically. You give a great significance to direct causal relationship, action and reaction. But there are other kinds of causality than that. All systems are like memories capable of absorbing causes and spitting them out according to certain mathemathic laws defined by Paul Kammerer.
Here it doesn't just study direct action and reaction. We study action and reaction that is transferred and working out through higher dimensions, that are already mathemathically described.

There is the classical esoteric principle, that these higher dimensions equate to what we call collective subconsciousness, emotionality, thought and even higher states of consciousness. These dimensions are natural, physical phenomena, but we evolved in their influence to perceive their events as subjective psychologic phenomena. It is only our prejudice to subjective psychology, that keeps us from seeing the relationship between it and the macrocosm.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Looking for effects in inherently noisy signals is really leaving themselves wide open to false matches. The 9/11 'match' from the Global Consciousness Project made that apparent, when the only match they find to any degree preceded the event, which really makes no sense. If they are fishing around that widely for matches in a noisy signal, back and forth in time, they have a very high probability of finding some totally unrelated 'blip'.
It makes no sense if you take it from the mechanistic point of view. But it makes sense if you consider that 9/11 was an effect, not cause. 9/11 was an effect of old international tension and injustice that culminated in that moment but was prepared long before that. This tension had of course huge emotional and mental potency, which is further in accordance with the theory. The esoteric principle says, that events precipitate more often from higher dimensions to the lower, than oppositely. So it's logical that there will be subtle signs before the material event, not after it.
Furthermore, if the "blip" was confirmed by several random number generators around the world, it can not be a coincidence.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Similarly, the Earth's magnetic field is a far too crude and 'noisy' thing, dominated by movements of massive chunks of matter deep in the Earth, and enormous flows of changed particles and magnetic fields from the Sun - it can only logically be a signal that gets in the way of detecting any actual magnetic effects from our brains or other organs. The thinking seems entirely backward and unscientific to detect any such signal that they think may be there.
'Crude and noisy' are human concepts that may produce bias. In case you're not aware, we evolved and all the life on Earth evolved under the influence of these very signals. It's not a crazy idea at all, that our body and mind is influenced by them on some deep level. Specially if animals can sense incoming earthquakes (and run from the place like crazy) and birds are guided (or confused) by Earth's magnetic field. We are not birds or animals, our conscious control is greater, but we still must be necessarily influenced by these signals. That is no backwards unscientific thinking, it's just perhaps unusual for you.

BobSpence1 wrote:
And the idea that the 'magnetic field' of the heart is likely to have some external effect is really stretching things way beyond breaking point. Brain 'waves' would make far more sense that the heart, which has only fairly crude reactions to our emotional state. Their selection of things to look at to find effects seems far more based on medieval, 'woo' thinking than serious scientific reasoning.
We don't expect the heart to be more clever than brain. But brain is more under conscious control, which heart is not. Therefore, brain is not likely to be affected by crazy ideas, like Earth's magnetic field. But heart is much more likely to be affected, it doesn't judge what is possible or not, it reacts without prejudice. Furthermore, if you remember the first astronauts, when they begun living out of Earth's magnetic field, they started having health problems. The magnetic field must now be produced artificially in their space modules.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The most commonly used natural source of 'randomness' is a sample of a radioactive material, which seems to be as close to pure randomness as anything we know, and has passed every test so far, AFAIK.

Randomness measures are not relative, that would not be a good description, but they do have a degree of uncertainty, which is quantifiable. The longer we accumulate measurements from a given source, the more we can reduce the amount of non-randomness that might still be present but not detectable within the 'noise'.

The alternative approach to generating random numbers is by mathematical algorithms, known as pseudo-random sequence generators. These normally repeat after some longish sequence, which can be made as large as desired, limited by available resources. These can in principle, therefore, approximate 'ideal' randomness to any desired finite degree, and can be used to make comparisons with 'natural' sources.

 Another natural source of randomness is the thermal motion of molecules in gas and liquids.

Well, I mean, the random number generators are probably random. We can't know what number will they spit out. But the amplitude of their random results is possibly not random, if this is what was recorded during the 9/11 event.

I hope that so far my reasoning is logical and within reasonable limits. And I hope I do a good job showing you another way of thinking.

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Quote:There are legitimate,

Quote:
There are legitimate, mathemathically described theories of causality that would teach you more about how the world works.

Yea, ok. And thanks for stating the obvious. But nowhere in the universe will any amount of quantum theory justify the absurd.

The universe is an OBJECT not a thinking being, it does not have the properties of neurology much less brain matter. Just because all the material things in the universe are made up of atoms, including brains, doesn't make them even close to having the same capabilities.

The universe is a what, not a who. All quantum theory does is show us MATH, deep deep deep deep math. It does not make a frog turn into a prince.

 

 

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Bob and I were discussing

Bob and I were discussing the word "recording" in regards to HOW scientists use it vs laymen.

If you leave a couch out in the sun long enough the material fades. The material is RECORDING the wear of the sun, but it is not cognitive.

RNA is not cognitive. It is a replicator it does what it does because it acts like a cup holder in a car. Atoms make up everything that is material, but by themselves they DO NOT THINK.

The stars and galaxies DO NOT COMMUNICATE with each other. Interaction does not equate to cognition anymore than a random acorn is communicating with soil and water. Motion and interaction DO NOT require cognition.

 

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The universe isn't even

The universe isn't even capable of the thought of an fly. It isn't capable of mitosis, it is not a giant strand of DNA. It is not living.

Anyone asserting or even implying the possibility  that the universe is living is to me, in the same boat as a Christian or Jew or Muslim. I like you Luminon, I do, but if you are going to make those types of claims there are those here that are going to kick your claims around no differently than we would any other person.

 

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Brian37 wrote:Bob and I were

Brian37 wrote:

Bob and I were discussing the word "recording" in regards to HOW scientists use it vs laymen.

If you leave a couch out in the sun long enough the material fades. The material is RECORDING the wear of the sun, but it is not cognitive.

RNA is not cognitive. It is a replicator it does what it does because it acts like a cup holder in a car. Atoms make up everything that is material, but by themselves they DO NOT THINK.

I don't say that atoms think, or that universe thinks. I don't even say that brain always thinks. I say, that brain has synchronized activity of neurons that exchange electric signals. Not always this activity is thinking. And similarly, the universe also has activity. As I will suggest, there are certain similarities. I don't say this activity of suns and galaxies is thinking, just as not all activity of neurons is thinking.

Brian37 wrote:
The stars and galaxies DO NOT COMMUNICATE with each other. Interaction does not equate to cognition anymore than a random acorn is communicating with soil and water. Motion and interaction DO NOT require cognition. 
There is Electric sun theory. It places a great emphasis on how electric field of a sun interacts with magnetic poles of planets. It also gives emphasis on how these streams of energy travel across interstellar space. The energetic field of galaxy is a collective environment, in which the energy exchange between suns takes place. This activity is certainly not cognitive, but it's logical, it distributes the energy from center of galaxy to the rim. If such an exchange also works between galaxies, that is beyond my knowledge. The electric sun theory is a part of electric universe hypothesis.
http://www.electricuniverse.info/Electric_Sun_theory



Brian37 wrote:

The universe isn't even capable of the thought of an fly. It isn't capable of mitosis, it is not a giant strand of DNA. It is not living.

What is living? I've seen a plenty of non-living flies, dead cells and other biologic material. DNA is not life itself, it's mechanism. Life is something that DNA performs. It's an organized activity, that is based on energy. In the universe there is a plenty of energy and activity. We just don't know how much it's organized, because we only see the most dense, non-dark matter in the universe.

What you really want to say is, that the universe is not biologic, that's 100% true. But you can't say with certainity that it is or isn't living, until we know what is or isn't life. We have defined what is biologic life. As you know, even biologic life is a mechanism. And there are other kinds of mechanisms. People should be open-minded and not reject things just by their appearance. Specially when there is evidence how little we know about them. Maybe one day the definition of life will be simply "system with energy", not necessarily including cognitive functions or cell division.

Brian37 wrote:
Anyone asserting or even implying the possibility  that the universe is living is to me, in the same boat as a Christian or Jew or Muslim. I like you Luminon, I do, but if you are going to make those types of claims there are those here that are going to kick your claims around no differently than we would any other person.
Can we please converse without mental conditioning? Just because the idea is unusual and different from your worldview, it's no reason to start with Christians and Muslims. It seems you're letting subjective feelings take over. I want you to consider an idea for a while without liking it or not disliking it. Realize, and I mean it, that I'm not here to convince you. I come in peace and mean no harm. There is no need to reach for defensive measures. At most, I want to inspire you, show you a new way of thinking and information that might be new to you.  And I 'd like you to do the same and to point out if there are any objectively inconsistent things. And I will see if there any inconsistent things in what you wrote. That way we will both become wiser.

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Quote:And similarly, the

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And similarly, the universe also has activity.

And so what? The "activity" of a neuron is not the same as the "activity" of a super nova, or gravitational pull of stars, or black holes. The atoms in our bodies have motion and stars and galaxies have motion, YEA AND SO WHAT.

They are still not the same thing and there is nothing similar about these "activities" other than motion. They have different properties and do different things and are at different scales. Equating these as having "similar" activities is like saying that peanut butter and squid are the same thing.

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Mind is based on complex

Mind is based on complex processing of inputs and memories and current 'states'. Memories require significant amounts of persistent 'storage', involving entities which can be in several alternative relatively stable states, which can be selectively 'read out' as required by the various processes currently running.

Cognitive processing involves complex interconnections allowing input data, memory, and the current state of the 'system' to interact in ordered ways.

The Universe on a scale beyond that of our brains, and even more so on a scale beyond any individual solid body such as Earth, has limited and very slow capabilities of information exchange compared even to a cockroach "brain". 

It depends on very specific kinds of 'activity' not just activity in general.

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Brian37 wrote:Quote:And

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
And similarly, the universe also has activity.

And so what? The "activity" of a neuron is not the same as the "activity" of a super nova, or gravitational pull of stars, or black holes. The atoms in our bodies have motion and stars and galaxies have motion, YEA AND SO WHAT.

They are still not the same thing and there is nothing similar about these "activities" other than motion. They have different properties and do different things and are at different scales. Equating these as having "similar" activities is like saying that peanut butter and squid are the same thing.

According to electric universe theory, suns exchange energy with each other through streams of charged plasma propagated through electric fields that they generate. So there may be a kind of "communication", if only exchanging the excessive electric charge.


And there is definitely interaction between the sun and planets. It's both electromagnetic and gravitational interaction. The sun produces electric field that envelopes all solar system and planets moving in it with their magnetic fields induce enormous amounts of energy. Comets that move even faster all across the solar system don't just produce energy, they glow by the induced aurora borealis.
And so on. In the electric universe theory, all suns in galaxy are intensely connected together by electric fields and exchange energy so much, that there's an idea that they're externally powered. And it's a fact that galactic core influences the solar activity.

I don't think that electric universe theory is completely correct, for example it tries to leave out my favorite dark matter, but there are important points to be considered.

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Luminon wrote:Brian37

Luminon wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
And similarly, the universe also has activity.

And so what? The "activity" of a neuron is not the same as the "activity" of a super nova, or gravitational pull of stars, or black holes. The atoms in our bodies have motion and stars and galaxies have motion, YEA AND SO WHAT.

They are still not the same thing and there is nothing similar about these "activities" other than motion. They have different properties and do different things and are at different scales. Equating these as having "similar" activities is like saying that peanut butter and squid are the same thing.

 

'Electric Univer

According to electric universe theory, suns exchange energy with each other through streams of charged plasma propagated through electric fields that they generate. So there may be a kind of "communication", if only exchanging the excessive electric charge.

 

And there is definitely interaction between the sun and planets. It's both electromagnetic and gravitational interaction. The sun produces electric field that envelopes all solar system and planets moving in it with their magnetic fields induce enormous amounts of energy. Comets that move even faster all across the solar system don't just produce energy, they glow by the induced aurora borealis.
And so on. In the electric universe theory, all suns in galaxy are intensely connected together by electric fields and exchange energy so much, that there's an idea that they're externally powered. And it's a fact that galactic core influences the solar activity.

I don't think that electric universe theory is completely correct, for example it tries to leave out my favorite dark matter, but there are important points to be considered.

Comets do not produce energy, they reflect the light of the Sun from the gas boiled off them by the heating effect of the solar radiation. We have sent several spacecraft to actually get closeup measurements and samples of comets, so we are are not just guessing.

'Electric Universe Theory ' is completely incorrect. 

There may be such ideas around, but they are simply wildly incorrect.

See this site for the facts about the 'electric sun': http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html

There is negligible interaction between individual stars. A star the size of our sun at the distance of the nearest star, would have a direct gravitational pull on the Earth, and everything on it, of less than 1% of that of the planet Neptune. Similar factors would apply for any electric fields. The sun has no strong charge, since both positive and negative particles are ejected in the solar wind, by local electrical and magnetic effects in the solar atmosphere. 

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BobSpence1 wrote:Comets do

BobSpence1 wrote:

Comets do not produce energy, they reflect the light of the Sun from the gas boiled off them by the heating effect of the solar radiation. We have sent several spacecraft to actually get closeup measurements and samples of comets, so we are are not just guessing.

There is another theory, that evaporation and glowing of comets is not caused by heating of solar radiation. In that case, why asteroids or moons don't evaporate by sunlight and aren't torn apart by gravitational forces? Here the culprit may be the rapid right-angled movement of a comet. Moving object in electric field of Sun induces a lot of charge. And coronal discharge is the cause of evaporation here, that's what alternative theory says. Also, Wikipedia seems to acknowledge it too, a little. Certainly it's not a simple boiling and evaporation, but electric and magnetic fields and ions of gas play a big role there.

BobSpence1 wrote:
'Electric Universe Theory ' is completely incorrect. 

There may be such ideas around, but they are simply wildly incorrect.

See this site for the facts about the 'electric sun': http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html

There is negligible interaction between individual stars. A star the size of our sun at the distance of the nearest star, would have a direct gravitational pull on the Earth, and everything on it, of less than 1% of that of the planet Neptune. Similar factors would apply for any electric fields. The sun has no strong charge, since both positive and negative particles are ejected in the solar wind, by local electrical and magnetic effects in the solar atmosphere. 

Well, it seems that this theory is really untenable, with present knowledge. I tried to compare the electric sun theory to multi-dimensional theory of the universe, including sun. But apparently, this dense-physical dimension is not dominated by this electric activity. This is what the esoteric theory says, the multiple solar fires are different for each dimension and dense-physical is not dominantly electric, what a pity. A higher dimension's counterpart of the sun may be the case, but that yet remains to be seen. In any way, you won't hear from me about electric universe theory any soon. Thanks for info.


 

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BobSpence1 wrote:An infinite

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

 

This may seem a bit nitpicky, but I cringed when I read this statement.

Each successive term being smaller than the preceding one is not a sufficient quality to guarantee convergence of a series. One example is the harmonic series:

1+1/2+1/3+1/4+...1/n+...

The above series is divergent even though every term is smaller than the one before it.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Whatthedeuce

Whatthedeuce wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

An infinite sequence is possible as long as each preceding 'cause', however defined, is lesser in magnitude of time and energy than what it 'causes'.

As an example, the sum of the infinite sequence of numbers 

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... 1/2r + 1/2r+1 + 1/2r+2 + .. <to infinity> = 2.0

IOW, a very definitely finite number. This will be true as long as each successive term is definitely smaller than the preceding one.

 

This may seem a bit nitpicky, but I cringed when I read this statement.

Each successive term being smaller than the preceding one is not a sufficient quality to guarantee convergence of a series. One example is the harmonic series:

1+1/2+1/3+1/4+...1/n+...

The above series is divergent even though every term is smaller than the one before it.

 

 

OK. Got me there.

The difference is that the ratio between successive terms in the harmonic series approaches unity as the number of terms approaches infinity, even though, as you say, each term is indeed smaller than the preceding one.

That is why I should have modified my statement, to make clear that the ratio must always be less than some specified ratio of finite integers, or equivalently, a finite length decimal fraction. I have done this in more recent references to this idea. (Before I read your post - I did realize this possibility) .

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