Something new: ten word debating

Presuppositionalist
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Something new: ten word debating

mellestad
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BobSpence1 wrote:mellestad

BobSpence1 wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Blake wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Which is why I asked a question.  Don't be a prick.  If you can't restrain yourself, let Bob answer.

Undecanymic!  For f*ck's sake.

 

Quote:
So research has shown a) We don't know the cause of quantum fluctiation or b) We know it is causless?

Neither.

Quote:
I am confused about how you would know something is without cause, instead of simply being ignorant of the underlying forces at work.  How do you prove a lack of cause is because there is no cause?

Bell's!

Learn to Google.  PLEASE!

Uh-huh.  http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath521/kmath521.htm It is all so clear to me now.

Like I said, maybe Bob or someone else can actually take a stab at answering my question instead of telling me to take a physics course.

My basic response was in post #69.

There could indeed be an underlying process 'explaining' the randomness. I think this is akin to the 'Hidden Variable" alternative to explain many of the weird manifestations of QT.

I imagine the possibility of a 'sea' of colliding sub-sub-atomic particles  , like the molecules in a gas. The individual impacts of such particles on some larger entity would be essentially random, so close to random as truly doesn't matter. A random impact of sufficient size and 'direction' (insofar as that is meaningful in this 'particle-sea' will trigger a radioactive decay, or whatever other 'quantum' event is under consideration.

Doesn't really need to be that specific explanation, maybe the 'quantum foam', but that is the sort of thing which would quite plausibly explain the random 'uncaused' events of QT.

It doesn't quite explain the origin of the random sea, but if anything is assumed to have just always existed, it is arguable infinitely simpler than a God, so is certainly no less plausible than 'God' as an explanation, arguably infinitely more plausible.

However you spin it, Quantum observations mean that any simplistic assertions about cause and effect cannot be assumed to be unquestionable truths.

So is this the idea that while there might be a theoretical cause for quantum effects, there is no practical cause because there is no way to measure or predict things at that scale/speed?  ie: Once you hit a certain level, cause and effect are not knowable in practical terms, so we must treat them as random for the purpose of anything real?

If so, that is fine and makes perfect sense for practical matters and I have argued the same thing regarding free will...even though I believe free will is 'materialistic' I doubt it will ever be predicted perfectly because the system has too many moving parts and variables.

However, if you are trying to make the point that quantum randomness means not everything in the universe has a cause and effect and so avoid the idea that you need something outside the standard realm to get the ball rolling, like a god...doesn't that require that you somehow *prove* that the system is causeless rather than indiscernible to human scientific method?

I've seen you bring up quantum stuff quite a few times, and I am just trying to get it sorted in my head.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Blake wrote:kidvelvet

Blake wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

I can't find it either...un is "not", deca is "ten", and "nym" is a mail relay server.  So you weren't using 10 mail relay servers.

Suffix: -onym; word.  Roughly Deca-onym.  Coined for this purpose.

Great wordplay, didn't see it, good form!


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mellestad wrote:BobSpence1

mellestad wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

[My basic response was in post #69.

There could indeed be an underlying process 'explaining' the randomness. I think this is akin to the 'Hidden Variable" alternative to explain many of the weird manifestations of QT.

I imagine the possibility of a 'sea' of colliding sub-sub-atomic particles  , like the molecules in a gas. The individual impacts of such particles on some larger entity would be essentially random, so close to random as truly doesn't matter. A random impact of sufficient size and 'direction' (insofar as that is meaningful in this 'particle-sea' will trigger a radioactive decay, or whatever other 'quantum' event is under consideration.

Doesn't really need to be that specific explanation, maybe the 'quantum foam', but that is the sort of thing which would quite plausibly explain the random 'uncaused' events of QT.

It doesn't quite explain the origin of the random sea, but if anything is assumed to have just always existed, it is arguable infinitely simpler than a God, so is certainly no less plausible than 'God' as an explanation, arguably infinitely more plausible.

However you spin it, Quantum observations mean that any simplistic assertions about cause and effect cannot be assumed to be unquestionable truths.

So is this the idea that while there might be a theoretical cause for quantum effects, there is no practical cause because there is no way to measure or predict things at that scale/speed?  ie: Once you hit a certain level, cause and effect are not knowable in practical terms, so we must treat them as random for the purpose of anything real?

If so, that is fine and makes perfect sense for practical matters and I have argued the same thing regarding free will...even though I believe free will is 'materialistic' I doubt it will ever be predicted perfectly because the system has too many moving parts and variables.

However, if you are trying to make the point that quantum randomness means not everything in the universe has a cause and effect and so avoid the idea that you need something outside the standard realm to get the ball rolling, like a god...doesn't that require that you somehow *prove* that the system is causeless rather than indiscernible to human scientific method?

I've seen you bring up quantum stuff quite a few times, and I am just trying to get it sorted in my head.

Whether it 'really' has no cause, or behaves exactly as if it had no cause, or the 'cause' is a random background phenomenon, it really doesn't matter.

All those possibilities defeat the 'first cause' argument. Either there really is no need for a first cause, or the 'cause' can be ultimately a random twitch of whatever generates the all-pervading sea of uncertainty that drives quantum phenomena. There is no need to postulate anything more than that randomness is a fundamental feature of reality, which is consistent with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Going beyond this in the absence of new data is against Occam's Razor.

Granted, we only normally see such randomness at scales no larger than that of radioactive atoms, but in principle a quantum twitch can cause as large an effect as we desire, from killing a cat in a box and indefinitely up.

The other unspecified assumption in the First Cause argument is that obsolete and ultimately meaningless 'Principle of Sufficient Reason', which assumes that causes must be of a scale matching the effect, which is simply not true, and cannot be true. There may need to be a cascade of events needed to go from a very small 'first cause' to the ultimate effect, but there definitely is no necessity for a cause larger than the effect. Such an assumption would mean every 'effect' had to be preceded by an infinite regress of ever larger causes, which is plainly absurd. Even the idea of a cause no 'larger', whatever that may mean, still implies an infinite sequence extending infinitely. Whereas a chain of decreasing 'causes' will be finite in extent, even if infinite in enumeration. Actually it will terminate when the 'cause' reaches the Planck scale.

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The First Mover version of

The First Mover version of the argument is equivalent to saying that God is necessary to create energy as well as matter, but since we know these are really closely related aspects of the same stuff, that loses its distinctness.

It is also plausibly argued that the net energy content of our Universe is zero, when the negative sign attributed to gravitational potential energy is included. So matter energy conservation is not violated if the Universe just expands from a virtually massless point.

 

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

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:3

 Pie is delicious.

 

 

Your god: where is he now?


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Hmm.  I guess I don't see

Hmm.  I guess I don't see it.  If you say quantum twitches have no discernible cause due to chaos in a complex system it still seems like it would have a cause at some level, even if only in theory, which to me seems like enough reason to avoid the point about not all events having a cause.  I don't know how you would 'prove' that the events were causeless (If that is even possible), and without that proof it seems like relying on a practical gap in knowledge to make a point about theoretical stuff.  That is why I brought up god of the gaps, because it seems to be using ignorance to prove a point by assuming the unknown is non-existent.  I don't see how you can show things do not need a cause by saying there are events that humans might never know the cause of due to too much complexity. 

If I were a theist I would just say, "Prove it" and all I am seeing in response to that is, "We can show behavior that we cannot predict.", which isn't the same thing as proving something is truly random.  To a lay-person this seems like the same argument that must have happened before every breakthrough in physics.

I might just be missing the point though, if you think I am wrong and don't see another way to explain it don't worry about it.  I don't see a need for any argument against the prime mover besides pointing out special pleading and Occam's Razor or "why God, why couldn't nature be eternal?" or pointing out the illogic of anthropomorphizing the unknown.

Thanks for the effort trying to explain it though.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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BobSpence1 wrote:There could

BobSpence1 wrote:

There could indeed be an underlying process 'explaining' the randomness.

Explaining- not only.  *Necessitating*

Quote:
I think this is akin to the 'Hidden Variable" alternative to explain many of the weird manifestations of QT.

Unequivalent.

Quote:
I imagine the possibility of a 'sea' of colliding sub-sub-atomic particles  , like the molecules in a gas. The individual impacts of such particles on some larger entity would be essentially random, so close to random as truly doesn't matter. A random impact of sufficient size and 'direction' (insofar as that is meaningful in this 'particle-sea' will trigger a radioactive decay, or whatever other 'quantum' event is under consideration.

No. 

Quote:
It doesn't quite explain the origin of the random sea

Manyworlds.

 

mellestad wrote:
doesn't that require that you somehow *prove* that the system is causeless rather than indiscernible to human scientific method?

Proved by Bell's.


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mellestad wrote:So research

mellestad wrote:

So research has shown a) We don't know the cause of quantum fluctiation or b) We know it is causless?

Proving that Quantum fluctuation is 'causeless' is to attempt proof of a negative, ergo, it can't be done.

What Physics has done OTOH is exhaust our contemporary knowledge of causal relationships in search of a phenomenon determining quantum fluctuations.

 

 

Quote:

I am confused about how you would know something is without cause, instead of simply being ignorant of the underlying forces at work.  How do you prove a lack of cause is because there is no cause?  It seems to me like there are plenty of things we don't know the causes of, but we don't assume they are causless.

It's not a mere assumption. Bell's inequality, having now been proven, rules out 'hidden variables' (ie causes we cannot measure), and Gendanken, like the EPR paradox demonstrate that it is absurd for QM and "it's because we're ignorant" to both be true.  So, as frustrating as it is, there are no satisfactory answers to your questions in established Quantum Physics.

However, what is well established in Quantum Physics is that classical logics, such as those you're applying above, are violated in this domain.

 

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Eloise wrote:Proving that

Eloise wrote:

Proving that Quantum fluctuation is 'causeless' is to attempt proof of a negative, ergo, it can't be done.

Wrong.

Quote:
Bell's inequality, having now been proven, rules out 'hidden variables' (ie causes we cannot measure)

Also measurable ones- all relative predetermination.

Quote:
and Gendanken, like the EPR paradox demonstrate that it is absurd for QM and "it's because we're ignorant" to both be true.  So, as frustrating as it is, there are no satisfactory answers to your questions in established Quantum Physics.

Not so.

Quote:
However, what is well established in Quantum Physics is that classical logics, such as those you're applying above, are violated in this domain.

WTF?


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Blake wrote:Eloise

Blake wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Proving that Quantum fluctuation is 'causeless' is to attempt proof of a negative, ergo, it can't be done.

Wrong.

Easy to say, Blake, but the convention is to make an argument beside your assertion - this can make it more convincing to the reader.

Quote:

Quote:
Bell's inequality, having now been proven, rules out 'hidden variables' (ie causes we cannot measure)

Also measurable ones- all relative predetermination.

mellestad only inquired as to variables beyond measurement.

Quote:

Quote:
and Gendanken, like the EPR paradox demonstrate that it is absurd for QM and "it's because we're ignorant" to both be true.  So, as frustrating as it is, there are no satisfactory answers to your questions in established Quantum Physics.

Not so.

What is..?

 

Quote:
However, what is well established in Quantum Physics is that classical logics, such as those you're applying above, are violated in this domain.

WTF?

What do you not understand, specifically?

 

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Eloise wrote:Easy to say,

Eloise wrote:

Easy to say, Blake, but the convention is to make an argument beside your assertion - this can make it more convincing to the reader.

Not enough words.  Convenient that you cheat...

 

Quote:
Bell's inequality, having now been proven

That.

 

Quote:
What is..?

 

Both:

Quote:
and Gendanken, like the EPR paradox demonstrate that it is absurd for QM and "it's because we're ignorant" to both be true.  So, as frustrating as it is, there are no satisfactory answers to your questions in established Quantum Physics.

 

Quote:
What do you not understand, specifically?

 

Quote:
classical logics ... are violated in this domain.

Impossible.


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People discussing QM

People discussing QM undecanymically: start a new thread.  Seriously now!


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Blake wrote:People

Blake wrote:

People discussing QM undecanymically: start a new thread.  Seriously now!

Either explain or post a link to some source material that does not require a degree to understand.

If someone has proved that quantum fluctuations are truly causeless then using that theory to argue against the necessity of a prime mover is acceptable.

On the other hand, if all you have is what boils down to the uncertainty principle, I don't think it is appropriate.  One says something is without cause, the other says the cause is not knowable.  The former would be a good argument in this case, but I don't think the latter would be.

Since there is obviously some disagreement about which exactly that is I am even more skeptical, since I don't tend to trust arguments made on either side that cannot be summarized somewhat simply.  Reading Wikipedia articles about it seems to be leading me towards quantum fluctuations being uncertain, not unknowable...but that is me reading a dubious source with dubious understanding.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:If someone

mellestad wrote:

If someone has proved that quantum fluctuations are truly causeless then using that theory to argue against the necessity of a prime mover is acceptable.

Mentioned briefly in the new thread I started discussing this.


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mellestad wrote:Blake

mellestad wrote:

Blake wrote:

People discussing QM undecanymically: start a new thread.  Seriously now!

Either explain or post a link to some source material that does not require a degree to understand.

If someone has proved that quantum fluctuations are truly causeless then using that theory to argue against the necessity of a prime mover is acceptable.

On the other hand, if all you have is what boils down to the uncertainty principle, I don't think it is appropriate.  One says something is without cause, the other says the cause is not knowable.  The former would be a good argument in this case, but I don't think the latter would be.

Since there is obviously some disagreement about which exactly that is I am even more skeptical, since I don't tend to trust arguments made on either side that cannot be summarized somewhat simply.  Reading Wikipedia articles about it seems to be leading me towards quantum fluctuations being uncertain, not unknowable...but that is me reading a dubious source with dubious understanding.

Your argument is really a bit like the Theists who say "you can't prove God doesn't exist".

The First Cause argument starts with a proposition about Causality which needs to be proved.

They could say "You can't prove there are uncaused events".

I can say "You can't prove every event is caused". I at least can point to events which do not appear to be caused, after a lot of detailed scientific study. 

You cannot prove empirically that every event has a cause, since that would require testing every possible event. You cannot even prove 100% that any specific class of event does not have a cause, even if some Quantum Theory result seems to require it, since we can't be sure that will not be re-interpreted later.

We have a current set of observations which appear to show uncaused events. Like any other scientific result, we can't say it is 100% proven. This means that Quantum Theory, which is extremely well-tested, actually explicitly requires that the outcome of a wave-function collapse, when an event occurs which is dependent on that quantum state, cannot be dependent on the state of any other variable without violating the Theory. (Have I got that roughly correct, Blake? - I will move to your new thread for any future posts on thsi topic...).

Their position is a "GodOfThe Gaps" argument - to accept proposition 1 of the FCA you have to rely on the assumption that current science has not been 100% proven, that somewhere down the track we will find the cause for apparently uncaused events. But the empirical proof that there are no uncaused events is never going to be possible in the absolute sense, just like we can never prove that there is no God of some sort anywhere in the Universe. But their position is even weaker, since it looks like the reality of uncaused events is not just dependent on empirical observation, it is part of QT. So they have to disprove Quantum Theory before they can get past the first proposition....

They are actually relying on the assumption that it is logically impossible for there to be actual uncaused physical events. So pointing out that we have detected what appear to be uncaused physical events, and even after detailed study, we still have not shown any cause, is as damaging to that position as any other scientific result.

Since there are also theoretical reasons which suggest that certain events are intrinsically uncaused, that further strengthens the case that their proposition is NOT an absolute logical truth, which means they are effectively already back at the position of "you haven't looked everywhere in the Universe so you can't prove God doesn't exist".

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:This means

BobSpence1 wrote:
This means that Quantum Theory, which is extremely well-tested, actually explicitly requires that the outcome of a wave-function collapse, when an event occurs which is dependent on that quantum state, cannot be dependent on the state of any other variable without violating the Theory. (Have I got that roughly correct, Blake? - I will move to your new thread for any future posts on thsi topic...).

Correct.

Quote:
But the empirical proof that there are no uncaused events is never going to be possible in the absolute sense, just like we can never prove that there is no God of some sort anywhere in the Universe. But their position is even weaker, since it looks like the reality of uncaused events is not just dependent on empirical observation, it is part of QT. So they have to disprove Quantum Theory before they can get past the first proposition....

-Requires falsification:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose_einstein_condensate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_slit_experiment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement