# What's more probable?

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What's more probable?

A simple thing having always existed?

A complex thing having always existed?

And why?

Not the same question as "A simple thing popping into existence? A complex thing popping into existence?"

(Background: I'm watching some interview between Dawkins and some other guy.. so the question sort of formed.)

MrRage
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I don't know how to answer

I don't know how to answer the probability question. A simple thing always existing seems more intellectually satisfying, but that's probably the mathematician in me. Even in math, some of the axioms are quite complex.

ParanoidAgnostic
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I would say a simple thing.

I would say a simple thing. A complex thing is made up of a number of simple things with certain relationships. so we have the probability od a simple thing 'S' or the probability of a number of simple things nS and relationships mR. If a complex thing exists then simple things must also exist (as parts of the complex thing) but a simple thing can exist independent od complex things so at the very least the probability of a simple thing just existing and a complex thing just existing are equal. but as there are extra parts that must also just exist for the complex thing I would extimate that it is much less probable.

This is the obvious answer but as you have a 'theist' tag under your name and have not made it clear why you're asking I suspect some sort of trap. Are you coming to claim that God is simpler than the universe?

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

Cernunnos
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I would assume a complex

I would assume a complex thing is necessarily made up of simpler things.

For a complex thing to have always existed simple things are cardinal.

There are far more potential scenarios for just a simple thing(s) to have always existed.

It is more likely for a simpler thing to have always existed.

[EDIT: got beat to it...snap]

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

pariahjane
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Like Paranoid, I'm going to

Like Paranoid, I'm going to have to say a simple thing. After all, complex things are often made of simple things. Kind of the like the idea that everything is made of small building blocks.

If god takes life he's an indian giver

Cpt_pineapple
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I have recently pondered

I have recently pondered the improbablity of God. Here is my respones.

Our universe is obviously complex, take for example the speed of light. It is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated.  It did not 'evolve', it didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.  The same goes for particle physics and Quantum Mechanics and basic chemistry laws. The chemicals themselves may have evolved, (started with Hydrogen stars formed Helium...up to Iron then supernova created higher elements), but the laws did not. Sodium didn't 'evolve' to react with water.

The point is complicated things can exist eternally. The universe is 14.5 billion years old. Some say the multiverse (I personally hold this belief) and there are an infinite number of universes and we are in this one, because it suits us. Occam's razor can apply here too. How the hell did an infinite number of universe come into existance? Was there one 'mother' universe that budded off universes with different laws?  If a mother universe always existed,it is extremely complicated.

So the main point is, the begining was probably complicated.

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Alright.. a reformulation

Alright.. a reformulation of the question-- some of your responses have led to it.

What is more probable, a single complex thing having always existed? or a billion simple things having always existed?

ParanoidAgnostic
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Alright.. a reformulation of the question-- some of your responses have led to it.

What is more probable, a single complex thing having always existed? or a billion simple things having always existed?

Depends on the complexity of the complex thing. Is it made up of at least a billion simple parts? If so then the argument stands: If the complex thing exists then atleast a billion simple things exist anyway, but the same is not true in reverse as the complex thing also requires the relationships between the parts. So the simple things are still more likely.

If the complex thing is made up of less than a billion simple parts then it's hard to say. At some point it would become more probable but that's impossible to quantify without knowing it's nature in more detail than simply 'complex'. It will not instantly become more likely at one part less than a billion, but certainly if we get down to a thousand simple parts we'll most likely have a higher probability (depending on the complexity of the relationships).

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

Cernunnos
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Quote:

Quote:
Our universe is obviously complex

Compared to what? - The bits that make it complex?

Quote:
take for example the speed of light. It is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated.

The speed of 'light' is simple. Electromagnetic radiation may be complicated.

Quote:
It did not 'evolve', it didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

'It' being the speed of light or EM radiation? Your 15m/s could be pretty close, light has been slowed to 17m/s in a Bose-Einstein condensate. The theory of relativity only places an upper limit on the speed of light.

Quote:
The same goes for particle physics and Quantum Mechanics and basic chemistry laws. The chemicals themselves may have evolved, (started with Hydrogen stars formed Helium...up to Iron then supernova created higher elements), but the laws did not. Sodium didn't 'evolve' to react with water.

You should try being honest. It is not a sin to say "I don't know". However, I can assert that neither you nor I know how the universe got its laws. There are current hypotheses that suggest precisely that the laws evolved.

Quote:
The point is complicated things can exist eternally. The universe is 14.5 billion years old. Some say the multiverse (I personally hold this belief) and there are an infinite number of universes and we are in this one, because it suits us.

Hang on a minute. You believe in the multiverse theory. Yet you suggest the laws of physics are eternal?

The whole purpose of the multiverse theory is to explain how 'our' universe seems perfect for life. The multiverse holds a huge assortment of universes and we live in just one. What separates these universes are their unique local laws.

Perhaps you wish to make a conjecture on a complex eternal universe generating mechanism?

...or a mum

Quote:
If a mother universe always existed, it is extremely complicated.

Perhaps, it could be pretty dull. Still the point remains your mother universe, if complicated is made up of different stuff. Therefore it is more likely that something simpler came first.

A + B makes C

You can have:

A first or

B first or

A and B together that then cause C or

C. (and C is very simple here to boot!)

Quote:
So the main point is, the begining was probably complicated.

Piffle. Unfounded assumption after assumption then a weak statement.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

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Quote:

Quote:

Depends on the complexity of the complex thing. Is it made up of at least a billion simple parts? If so then the argument stands: If the complex thing exists then atleast a billion simple things exist anyway, but the same is not true in reverse as the complex thing also requires the relationships between the parts. So the simple things are still more likely.

If the complex thing is made up of less than a billion simple parts then it's hard to say. At some point it would become more probable but that's impossible to quantify without knowing it's nature in more detail than simply 'complex'. It will not instantly become more likely at one part less than a billion, but certainly if we get down to a thousand simple parts we'll most likely have a higher probability (depending on the complexity of the relationships).

How bout.. this..

What's more probable, a rock (which is complex in consideration of all the atoms/molecules/etc and connections between them) which has existed forever? or enough of a single type of atom that if the atoms were spaced as evenly apart as the atoms with the rock, could be a billion times as large?

Heh.. this question is getting better by the moment. I like it.

Cpt_pineapple
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Cernunnos

Cernunnos wrote:

Quote:
Our universe is obviously complex

Compared to what? - The bits that make it complex?

What the hell am I suppose to compare the universe to?

Quote:

Quote:
take for example the speed of light. It is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated.

The speed of 'light' is simple. Electromagnetic radiation may be complicated.

Yes, the speed of light is PART of light. Take any property of light and it did not 'evolve'

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Quote:
It did not 'evolve', it didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

'It' being the speed of light or EM radiation? Your 15m/s could be pretty close, light has been slowed to 17m/s in a Bose-Einstein condensate. The theory of relativity only places an upper limit on the speed of light.

I'm not talking B-E states. Yes light can be slowed down, I made no statement to the contrary

Quote:

Quote:
The same goes for particle physics and Quantum Mechanics and basic chemistry laws. The chemicals themselves may have evolved, (started with Hydrogen stars formed Helium...up to Iron then supernova created higher elements), but the laws did not. Sodium didn't 'evolve' to react with water.

You should try being honest. It is not a sin to say "I don't know". However, I can assert that neither you nor I know how the universe got its laws.

That wasn't my point.

Quote:

There are current hypotheses that suggest precisely that the laws evolved.

meh, not quite. Granted things could have been plenty different, (The seperation of the Four forces), but still, the laws didn't 'evolve' in a sense I said.

Quote:

Quote:
The point is complicated things can exist eternally. The universe is 14.5 billion years old. Some say the multiverse (I personally hold this belief) and there are an infinite number of universes and we are in this one, because it suits us.

Hang on a minute. You believe in the multiverse theory. Yet you suggest the laws of physics are eternal?

The whole purpose of the multiverse theory is to explain how 'our' universe seems perfect for life. The multiverse holds a huge assortment of universes and we live in just one. What separates these universes are their unique local laws.

That wasn't my arguement. Mine is that an infinite number of universes just existing is extremely complicated.

Quote:

Perhaps you wish to make a conjecture on a complex eternal universe generating mechanism?

...or a mum

no u

Quote:

Quote:
If a mother universe always existed, it is extremely complicated.

Perhaps, it could be pretty dull. Still the point remains your mother universe, if complicated is made up of different stuff. Therefore it is more likely that something simpler came first.

A + B makes C

You can have:

A first or

B first or

A and B together that then cause C or

C. (and C is very simple here to boot!)

I would assume the mother-verse is made up of 'stuff. I made no statement to the contrary.

Quote:

Quote:
So the main point is, the begining was probably complicated.

Piffle. Unfounded assumption after assumption then a weak statement.

no u

Cernunnos
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The universe is both the

The universe is both the most complex and simplest thing we know that can contain all the stuff in it. Stating the universe to be complex is superfluous in any discussion.

Cpt wrote:
take for example the speed of light. It [the speed of light] is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated. It [the speed of light] did not 'evolve', it [the speed of light] didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

You clearly state the speed of light has always been the same. You never refer to light just the speed of light. I hope you can understand my confusion.

I take you mean 'evolve' to mean change over billions of years. I was considering change due to interaction/altered environment i.e not requiring large spans of time. My mistake.

Quote:
Mine is that an infinite number of universes just existing is extremely complicated.

Your argument includes both eternal complex laws of our universe and a possible multiverse. Merely to show that complexity exists?

In no way does this back up your claim of a probable complex beginning. I stated as soon as stuff is made up of parts the simpler parts are more likely to have come first.

I do not get where you are coming from. Consider reductionism and the role it played in aiding the progress of particle physics.

Perhaps you should have left it at "the universe is complex".

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

Cpt_pineapple
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Cernunnos wrote: The

Cernunnos wrote:

The universe is both the most complex and simplest thing we know that can contain all the stuff in it. Stating the universe to be complex is superfluous in any discussion.

The only reason it's 'simple' is because there is no alternative.

Quote:

Cpt wrote:
take for example the speed of light. It [the speed of light] is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated. It [the speed of light] did not 'evolve', it [the speed of light] didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

You clearly state the speed of light has always been the same. You never refer to light just the speed of light. I hope you can understand my confusion.

I take you mean 'evolve' to mean change over billions of years. I was considering change due to interaction/altered environment i.e not requiring large spans of time. My mistake.

That was my error. I worded it wrong.

Quote:

Quote:
Mine is that an infinite number of universes just existing is extremely complicated.

Your argument includes both eternal complex laws of our universe and a possible multiverse. Merely to show that complexity exists?

No, that complexity may be the begining.

Quote:

In no way does this back up your claim of a probable complex beginning. I stated as soon as stuff is made up of parts the simpler parts are more likely to have come first.

I never said the multiverse isn't made up of 'stuff'. If the budding theory is true, this mother universe must be complex since it can spit out universes with different laws.

Quote:

I do not get where you are coming from. Consider reductionism and the role it played in aiding the progress of particle physics.

Perhaps you should have left it at "the universe is complex".

The universe is complex as is the multiverse. That is my argument.

MrRage
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ParanoidAgnostic wrote: A

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:
A complex thing is made up of a number of simple things with certain relationships.

So a "simple thing" is something that cannot be reduced further? That's a fine enough definition, but that doesn't mean a simple thing is in anyway understandable by the human mind or anything...just irreducible.

It could be that if the Christian God exists, it's irreducible, but it's hard to call it simple. In mathematics, there's the Axiom of Choice which is crucial to the branch of math called analysis, but it's a very non-intuitive axiom, almost magical in the way you can summon many proofs by using it.

DZXirkthia
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If the REALITY IS

If the REALITY IS ---

That A SIMPLE THING HAS ALWAYS EXISTED ---

Then  THAT IS MOST PROBABLE.

But if the REALITY IS ---

That a COMPLEX THING HAS ALWAYS EXISTED ---

Then THAT IS MOST PROBABLE.

But since BOTH CANNOT BE TRUE. But ONLY ONE --- then  PROBABLITY TO EITHER IS NOT PROBABLE --- BUT ONLY TO THE ONE THAT IS IS PROBABLE --- BECUASE THAT'S THE ONE IT IS ----

BUT IF YOU MEAN SAY --- A TURD IS COMPLEX --- AND PEE IS SIMPLE --- THEN IN THAT SUCH A CASE OR OTHERWISE --- BOTH ARE MOST PROBABLE --- OR THAT THEY ARE WHATEVER THEY ARE BY WHATEVER STANDARDS OF REALITY --- THEN THAT IS ALSO MOST PROBABLE --- AND THE PROBABILITY OF THE PROBABLE PROBABILITY IS PROBABLE TO THE PROBABLITY OF ITS PROBABLENESS

And other such STUPID crap to STUPID questions.

-- yes I'm just being silly.

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I don't even know what that

I don't even know what that means. What I get from it is:

"If something is, it is more probable than not that it is."

"If something is not, it is more probable than not that it is not."

"If something is and the other is not, it is more probably than not that the thing that is is more probable than the thing that is not."

All of statements of which.. are probably ridiculous. :P

Rev_Devilin
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Our universe is obviously complex, take for example the speed of light. It is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated. It did not 'evolve', it didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

Cpt_pineapple the speed of light is not a constant, it almost certainly did not start at 3x10^8, and it is extremely unlikely to stay at 3x10^8, it's slowing down

http://www.ldolphin.org/constc.shtml

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

So the main point is, the begining was probably complicated.

If you consider energy without mass complicated, otherwise evolution takes care of everything else

Cpt_pineapple
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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Our universe is obviously complex, take for example the speed of light. It is and has always been 3x10^8 m/s and is extremely complicated. It did not 'evolve', it didn't start 1m/s then 15m/s then over billions of years evolve to 3x10^8.

Cpt_pineapple the speed of light is not a constant, it almost certainly did not start at 3x10^8, and it is extremely unlikely to stay at 3x10^8, it's slowing down

The link doesn't work. I highly doubt light 'evolved'. Special Relativty says c is constant. I will have to see insane amounts of evidence for this.

Even if it didn't stay at 3x10^8, (It's actually 2.997x10^8 ) the mechanism that determines the speed of light is extremely complicated.

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

So the main point is, the begining was probably complicated.

If you consider energy without mass complicated, otherwise evolution takes care of everything else

It is complicated. If it was simple particle physicists would be out of the job.

MrRage
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What does c being constant

What does c being constant have to do with this thread? Why do so many threads on this forum get hijacked?

Rev_Devilin
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Soz try this

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

If you consider energy without mass complicated, otherwise evolution takes care of everything else

It is complicated. If it was simple particle physicists would be out of the job.

No it's become complicated, it started simply, energy that's it

Rev_Devilin
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MrRage wrote: What does c

MrRage wrote:
What does c being constant have to do with this thread? Why do so many threads on this forum get hijacked?

Cpt_pineapple wrote, that light began as a complex un-changing event, I'm just trying to correct this error

This is sill within the main topic

Cpt_pineapple
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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Soz try this

I'll read those when I have more time. Like I said, even if it did change speeds, the mechanism of light is very complicated.

My point still stands. The initial expansion is extremely complicated.  By your logic it should have been relativly simple.

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

If you consider energy without mass complicated, otherwise evolution takes care of everything else

It is complicated. If it was simple particle physicists would be out of the job.

No it's become complicated, it started simply, energy that's it

The laws that govern them are extremely complicated. No laws, no consequence. Energy action and symmetry breaking are extremely complicated. My point still stand.

You're trying to apply Darwin evolution to physics.

Cernunnos
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Special Relativty says c is constant.

Special relativity is called special not because it is held in esteem but because it applies only to a particular limiting situation. Uniform motion.

i.e. It does not apply to accelerating, rotating objects.

As an example recall a journey in a plane or a car, when your motion is uniform you do not experience any forces and the world acts in the same way as if you were not in the plane or car (if in uniform motion). However try drinking your coffee during turbulance (nonuniform motion) on a plane.

My point is Special relativity only states that the speed of light is constant during uniform motion.

Moreover special relativity was introduced in Einsteins paper

"On the electrodynamics of moving bodies"

In this paper he states on the relativity of lengths and times:

Quote:

1. The laws by which the states of physical systems undergo change are not affected, whether these changes of state be referred to the one or the other of two systems of co-ordinates in uniform translatory motion.
2. Any ray of light moves in the ``stationary'' system of co-ordinates with the determined velocity c, whether the ray be emitted by a stationary or by a moving body.

This can be interpreted as the laws of physics are the same for everything in uniform motion. (ie including electrodynamics in the Galilean notion of (the relativity of) moving bodies).

Hence whatever special relativity states about the speed of light does not necessarily hold true to the overall universe.

Einstein later had a general theory of relativity (to apply in a wider range of circumstance). This theory took into account dealing with acceleration or more accurately gravity. Newtons theory of gravity allowed instantaneous reactions. This did not fit with special relativity as information can not travel faster than the speed of light.

In this theory the speed of light is consistent to the resulted structure of the universe. If you exist in the same curvature of spacetime as the light you observe it will travel at speed C but values of distance and time (speed is distance over time) are not absolute (they are also relative to the structure they are in!).

To understand it better if you took the physical objects we use to define distance and time into a different structure of spacetime the speed of light as defined by them would still equal C. Yet outside of the position the speed of light would appear to be different or vary (if we consider the structure of spacetime to be uniform).

Hence the mechanism that defines the speed of light is a fundamental (basic/simple) feature of the geometry of spacetime.

One could argue that the purpose of physics is to understand the simple principles that reflect the intelligible order of a seemingly complex universe.

Particle physics: matter, energy, force, space and time

The five simple building blocks of particle physics.

[edit: fixed quote]

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

Rev_Devilin
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Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The laws that govern them are extremely complicated. No laws, no consequence. Energy action and symmetry breaking are extremely complicated. My point still stand.

You're trying to apply Darwin evolution to physics.

Whatever the question, the answer is physics

Although using the term laws is inappropriate, these "laws" are subject to change and amendments, they should be considered more as guides

Described the creation of the heavier elements (which were created in Sun's)

Described the creation of the first Sun's ( which were created by the first simpler elements)

Describe the creation of the first simpler elements ( which were created by energy, big bang)

? is this not evolution, or does evolution need to be expressed in biological terms only

Matter created by energy, evolution

ParanoidAgnostic
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MrRage

MrRage wrote:
ParanoidAgnostic wrote:
A complex thing is made up of a number of simple things with certain relationships.
So a "simple thing" is something that cannot be reduced further? That's a fine enough definition, but that doesn't mean a simple thing is in anyway understandable by the human mind or anything...just irreducible. It could be that if the Christian God exists, it's irreducible, but it's hard to call it simple. In mathematics, there's the Axiom of Choice which is crucial to the branch of math called analysis, but it's a very non-intuitive axiom, almost magical in the way you can summon many proofs by using it.

I took simple and complex to be relative terms. A car is more complex than a bicycle. but both are reducible. A bicycle is more complex than any of it's component parts (eg a wheel).

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

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[cough

[cough] back on track [cough]

[repost]

How bout.. this..

What's more probable, a rock (which is complex in consideration of all the atoms/molecules/etc and connections between them) which has existed forever? or enough of a single type of atom that if the atoms were spaced as evenly apart as the atoms with the rock, could be a billion times as large?

Heh.. this question is getting better by the moment. I like it.

Cernunnos
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Quote: What's more

Quote:
What's more probable, a rock (which is complex in consideration of all the atoms/molecules/etc and connections between them) which has existed forever? or enough of a single type of atom that if the atoms were spaced as evenly apart as the atoms with the rock, could be a billion times as large?

This is too silly for me...and I sometimes try to go through a wall headfirst!

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

Cpt_pineapple
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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Whatever the question, the answer is physics

I agree. Physics is merely a way to understand God.

Quote:

Although using the term laws is inappropriate, these "laws" are subject to change and amendments, they should be considered more as guides

You seem to be confusing actual laws to our written laws based on observation. All the laws of thermodynamics were in place before we discovered them, this is obvious. My point is as our understanding of the laws may change, the laws themselves don't.

Quote:

Described the creation of the heavier elements (which were created in Sun's)

Described the creation of the first Sun's ( which were created by the first simpler elements)

Describe the creation of the first simpler elements ( which were created by energy, big bang)

? is this not evolution, or does evolution need to be expressed in biological terms only

Matter created by energy, evolution

The laws had to be there for this to occur. The Grand Unification theory is extremely complicated. Which is my point.

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Quote: This is too silly

Quote:
This is too silly for me...and I sometimes try to go through a wall headfirst!

Heh, but still.. an interesting silly question-- for me at least.

I guess.. the issue that I'm getting out.. which of course came out of the debate I watched.. is this:

When someone says they have a hard time believing that something as complex as the christian God "popped" into being.. what, I'm assuming they mean, is that something as complex as the christian God "always was".

In the same sense that some form of material thing must have always existed within the evolution theory, correct?

So.. I do not understand why one find its one more probable than the other?

If God is irreducible, then, by certain accounts, he is the simplest thing of all.  If he is not, and is the culmination of a bunch of little things-- how is this less probable to have "always been" then a bunch of other little things seperate from one another?

And upon what do we base the probability on?

I don't know.. I just found the statement fascinating..

ParanoidAgnostic
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The christian god is

The christian god is omniscient. Meaning he must be able to store all the information about everything within the universe. No matter how comlex the universe god must be more complex in order to store the information.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

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But how does that address things of probability? Even if I grant that a Christian God is more complex than the universe-- it does not mean that the universe is "a part" of God.  They could be seperate.

Like saying an cluster of bananas is less likely to have always existed than an orange-- or vise versa.

I will grant, as someone pointed out in this thread-- that if X is made up of Y, then it would seem more probable than not, that Y always existed and X came out of that.. than merely X.

..it seems agreeable to the senses.

However, that is not what I'm saying, nor do I think that is necessitated by any doctrine of Christianity... or any theistic belief that I know of.. perhaps I'm wrong, again.

ParanoidAgnostic
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I did not say the universe

I did not say the universe had to be a part of god, just that god would need a memory that held every piece of information about everything in the universe. this memory in itself is atleast as complex as the universe.

If we also include knowledge of the future (god knowing the future implied by christian dogma) then god had to have this information for as long as he's existed.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

ParanoidAgnostic
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...the universe existing

...the universe existing is atleast as likely as every bit of information about the universe itself existing. So it is more likely that the universe could just exist than god just exist because god requires that all that information also just exist.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

Rev_Devilin
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Cernunnos

Cernunnos wrote:

Quote:
What's more probable, a rock (which is complex in consideration of all the atoms/molecules/etc and connections between them) which has existed forever?

This is too silly for me...and I sometimes try to go through a wall headfirst!

The rock, which was made of heavier elements,which were made in a SUN,  In the same way the heavier elements in your own Bobby were made, ie carbon, you are a carbon based life form,

( carbon, 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons )

forever no, big bang the beginning of our universe, simpler elements were made , Sun=big fusion reactor, which makes heavier elements, the Sun becomes a supernova and ejected the heavier elements, when it exploded, boom, I think astronomers are detecting about 2 supernova exploding a week

And no our Sun is to small to become a supernova

Cernunnos wrote:

or enough of a single type of atom that if the atoms were spaced as evenly apart as the atoms with the rock, could be a billion times as large?

I don't understand this question ?

Rev_Devilin
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Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

You seem to be confusing actual laws to our written laws based on observation. All the laws of thermodynamics were in place before we discovered them, this is obvious. My point is as our understanding of the laws may change, the laws themselves don't.

ooooohhhh yes they do ( sorry couldn't resist )

The "laws" themselves change under extreme circumstances

The four recognized forces – gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces

Bose Einstein Condensation, for example (extremely low temperatures)

Or extremely high temperatures Big Bang,

"Physicists know that the laws of physics as formulated at present do not apply at extremely high temperatures and energies, so that events in the first fraction of a second after the Big Bang are not at all understood"

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Matter created by energy, evolution

The laws had to be there for this to occur. The Grand Unification theory is extremely complicated. Which is my point.

The theory of everything (which hasn't been written yet)

Will be poetic in its simplicity and will probably look like this

SU(5)

This universe started extremely simply energy, all the complexity followed from the simplicity of this energy, evolution

Electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces were probably unified at extremely high temperatures, ie it started as one simple "law" well except for gravity which is a "law" unto itself

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Quote: ...the universe

Quote:
...the universe existing is atleast as likely as every bit of information about the universe itself existing. So it is more likely that the universe could just exist than god just exist because god requires that all that information also just exist.

Fascinating.

Cpt_pineapple
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Cernunnos, yes c is

Cernunnos, yes c is constant in an inertial frame of reference. I knew that.  I don't see how that applies to my point.

Quote:

The "laws" themselves change under extreme circumstances

The four recognized forces – gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces

Bose Einstein Condensation, for example (extremely low temperatures)

Or extremely high temperatures Big Bang,

"Physicists know that the laws of physics as formulated at present do not apply at extremely high temperatures and energies, so that events in the first fraction of a second after the Big Bang are not at all understood"

You don't seem to be getting my point. Once again, it is our understanding of high energy physics that is evolving not the laws themselves. The seperation of the four forces still obeyed laws.

To give you an example, if I discovered a new protien that we never thought we would find, does that mean that the laws of biochemistry are evolving? No, our understanding of the laws of biochemistry would evolve. That protien could have existed millions/billions of years.

Quote:

The theory of everything (which hasn't been written yet)

Will be poetic in its simplicity and will probably look like this

SU(5)

This universe started extremely simply energy, all the complexity followed from the simplicity of this energy, evolution

Electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces were probably unified at extremely high temperatures, ie it started as one simple "law" well except for gravity which is a "law" unto itself

The energy obeys laws. I am struggling to make this more clear.

wavefreak
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Personally, I think our

Personally, I think our capacity to measure complexity is limited. We can say the universe is complex, but how do we compare the complexity of two systems beyond our capacity to measure either of them. We say god has to be more complex than his/her creation, but for all we know there is some upper bound to complexity just like the speed of light in a vacuum has an upper bound. What is the measure of complexity? How do we empirically decide that system A is more complex than system B? Is there a minimum complexity? Is complexity "real" in the same sense as velocity?

Rev_Devilin
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: You

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

You don't seem to be getting my point.

I believe your point was, things started in a complex manner, which they didn't, which I am slowly but surely demonstrating

Hawking "if we do discover a complete theory it should in time be understandable in broad principles by everyone, not just a few scientists"

Richard Feynman  "you can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. When you get it right, it is obvious that it is right...The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought."

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Once again, it is our understanding of high energy physics that is evolving not the laws themselves. The seperation of the four forces still obeyed laws.

"The seperation of the four forces"  the unified theory of everything, Grand Unified Theory, the clue is in the mane one single point from which all evolved, matter the laws everything !!!

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The energy obeys laws. I am struggling to make this more clear.

Those first few nano seconds at the beginning of our universe had all the laws been in place, we wouldn't be here, the universe would have collapsed back in on itself

Cpt_pineapple
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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

You don't seem to be getting my point.

I believe your point was, things started in a complex manner, which they didn't, which I am slowly but surely demonstrating

Hawking "if we do discover a complete theory it should in time be understandable in broad principles by everyone, not just a few scientists"

Richard Feynman "you can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. When you get it right, it is obvious that it is right...The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought."

That is my point that the begining was complex.

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Once again, it is our understanding of high energy physics that is evolving not the laws themselves. The seperation of the four forces still obeyed laws.

"The seperation of the four forces" the unified theory of everything, Grand Unified Theory, the clue is in the mane one single point from which all evolved, matter the laws everything !!!

You mean the single, extremely complicated, point? That single point?

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The energy obeys laws. I am struggling to make this more clear.

Those first few nano seconds at the beginning of our universe had all the laws been in place, we wouldn't be here, the universe would have collapsed back in on itself

I don't know what you're saying here. The laws started complex and ended complex. While the laws change (seperation of the forces), the mechanism is complex perhaps more so than after.

My main point still stands. Whatever was eternal is extremely complex.

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Hey Cpt.

Hey Cpt.

Who am I to try and clarify your point.. but, perhaps I can-- and, perhaps, I'm way off.

What I think you're saying is this:

"Physical Laws, as we have them now, are extremely complex. If they are not eternal, then the physical laws which allowed them to come into being were extremely complex.  If those physical laws were not eternal, then the physical laws which allowed them to come into being were extremely complex. Ad infinidum."

In other words.. something must exist for other constructs to come about.  If what IS is complex then the something which allowed it to come into being must also have been complex (albeit, perhaps, in a different way).

Therefore, since we have complex physical laws now, then there must be something eternal which was complex as well. (Either the physical laws themselves, or something else.)

(Kind of in the same way that dirt and mud can't be used to make an automobile. An imperfect analogy.. but.. maybe. )

Of course.. perhaps you've already clarified this perfectly in your last comment.

ParanoidAgnostic
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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
Personally, I think our capacity to measure complexity is limited. We can say the universe is complex, but how do we compare the complexity of two systems beyond our capacity to measure either of them. We say god has to be more complex than his/her creation, but for all we know there is some upper bound to complexity just like the speed of light in a vacuum has an upper bound. What is the measure of complexity? How do we empirically decide that system A is more complex than system B? Is there a minimum complexity? Is complexity "real" in the same sense as velocity?

I agree (except for the bit about the upper bound on complexity) however I'm not discussing a measured complexity, just a theoretical complexity based on the understanding definition of the two entities being compared.

The universe has some level of complexity 'U'

God has atleast the level of complexity of the universe because he contains all of the information in the universe. So if the complexity of god is 'G' then

G = aU + C

where C is the rest of the complexity that makes up God and a is some number greater than or equal to 1 (it will take atleast the same level of compexity to store information about that complexity but may take more than one 'bit' (not meaning the same as a bit of data (1/0) but I can't think of a good word) of complexity to store information about each bit of complexity.

I suppose we could discuss data compression. which from a certain point of view may make 'a' less than 1. But compression works on patterns wich would mean the complexity of the original was lower anyway by the same factor, as the same patterns would be present.

A water molecule is more complex than an oxygen atom. We don't need an empirical measure to know that, just the knowledge that whatever complexity is in the oxygen atom is also in the water molecule and then some more (the hydroden atoms and the bonds).

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

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Quote: God has atleast the

Quote:

God has atleast the level of complexity of the universe because he contains all of the information in the universe. So if the complexity of god is 'G' then

G = aU + C

where C is the rest of the complexity that makes up God and a is some number greater than or equal to 1 (it will take atleast the same level of compexity to store information about that complexity but may take more than one 'bit' (not meaning the same as a bit of data (1/0) but I can't think of a good word) of complexity to store information about each bit of complexity.

I suppose we could discuss data compression. which from a certain point of view may make 'a' less than 1. But compression works on patterns wich would mean the complexity of the original was lower anyway by the same factor, as the same patterns would be present.

Speaking of data compression:

So a computer contains all the information that one could get from the library of congress.

Is the computer more complex than the library of congress? or all that information? Than the realities (practical application) of that information?

I'm not sure.. I'm not sure "capacity to know/understand/contain the complexity of X" perfectly translates to "at least as complex as X."

ParanoidAgnostic
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So a computer contains all the information that one could get from the library of congress.

Is the computer more complex than the library of congress? or all that information? Than the realities (practical application) of that information?

The computer is more complex than the information. If the computer also stored the information about every molecule (and atom, and subatomic particle..) that made up the library then it would be more complex than the library. This is the knowledge that christians atribute to god - omniscience.

As for the practical application, that's irrelivant because the library itself does not contain that complexity.

Quote:

I'm not sure.. I'm not sure "capacity to know/understand/contain the complexity of X" perfectly translates to "at least as complex as X."

I'm not discussing the capacity to store, I'm discussing the information itself. the data (however it is stored) has complexity. If that data is part of a system (the computer or god) then that system includes that complexity. If god only had the capacity to know everything then you'd have a case, but the christian god does know everything and always has. That data is part of him and that data is complex.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

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Quote: As for the practical

Quote:
As for the practical application, that's irrelivant because the library itself does not contain that complexity.

Isn't this the most important aspect?

If a computer can apply the information in a book about "How to build a Model T," does that make the computer more complex than the model T? or more complex than the process of making the Model T?

Even.. as you say.. the omniscience of the Christian God is one that it "knows every molecule," that would only pertain to raw data.. with raw data, as you stated, there is not always a 1=1 correlation.

I'm just not sure I understand the comparissons that are going on here..

A computer does not store the atoms of molecule X, therefore how can one make the assertion that it is necessary that the computer is as complex as molecule X?

...perhaps I'm just hitting some dissonance.

wavefreak
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Still not sure if there is

Still not sure if there is a good way to measure complexity. IT seems contextual to me. Which is more complex H2 or He2? Well a helium molecule has more protons and electrons. But it is inert. Hydrogen is VERY reactive. So if you count elements then Helium molecules are more complez. But if you look at dynamic properties, hydrogen is the winner.

Hmmm ....

ParanoidAgnostic
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Quote:
As for the practical application, that's irrelivant because the library itself does not contain that complexity.

Isn't this the most important aspect?

If a computer can apply the information in a book about "How to build a Model T," does that make the computer more complex than the model T? or more complex than the process of making the Model T?

If the library itself could apply the information practically then yes, but it can't. The ability to use the inforamtion is in the minds of the people who will read the information. this is complexity in human beings, not in the library.

Quote:

Even.. as you say.. the omniscience of the Christian God is one that it "knows every molecule," that would only pertain to raw data.. with raw data, as you stated, there is not always a 1=1 correlation.

God knows all the raw data, he's omnicient.

Quote:

I'm just not sure I understand the comparissons that are going on here..

A computer does not store the atoms of molecule X, therefore how can one make the assertion that it is necessary that the computer is as complex as molecule X?

the complexity of a molecule is due to all the information. It's components, arrangement etc. that is its complexity. that data itself, even if the moclecule didn't exist is just as complex in itself.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!

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Quote:

Quote:
It's components, arrangement etc. that is its complexity. that data itself, even if the moclecule didn't exist is just as complex in itself.

So then.. information of X (in whatever medium) is an complex as X (in actuality).

Or maybe I missed something again regarding what you are saying.

Hm... now my head hurts, again.

wavefreak
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What about complexity in a multiple universe cosmology? We can't really say much about other universes other than certain theories say they must exists. How can we measure that complexity?

Textom
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There's a section in

There's a section in Gould's "Full House" on "The Drunkard's Progress" that addresses this issue.

Gould addresses it in terms of biology, but it applies to any system of probabilities where things are equally likely to become either (1) more complicated or (2) less complicated.  With metaphors and graphs and equations, Gould shows very clearly how--over time--if you start with very simple things in a particular kind of system, they invariably to tend to become more and more complex.  Because there's a limit on how simple they can be, but not necessarily a limit on how complex, so things that drift below the simple threshold will process out of the system, wheras things that drift randomly toward more complex will persist (and have a chance to become even more complex).

I was looking around for a good link to a source for the drunkard's progress, but everybody on the open net I found apparently has misunderstood the illustration.

In biology the limit on how simple thing can get is the most basic forms of life, because if they get any simpler then they're not living anymore.  Not sure what the equivalent would be in physics.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert

Cernunnos
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I'll be sure to look up

I'll be sure to look up "The Drunkard's Progress" Textom, thanks. I think the idea will fit snuggly with this:

Consider chess:

At what age can somebody learn the rules and be able play the game?

Would you consider the rules simple or complex?

How complex is a game of chess?

There are simple ways in how the universe goes about its business. These simple rules create complexity.  In a game of chess you have an 8x8 grid of space and 2 teams of 16 pieces with 6 unique pieces defined by how they can move in the space. (please think how this compares to the universe!)

In chess to reach the goal you need to be able to look ahead. To look ahead a mere 5 moves (considering 20 possible moves per play) there are about 5x10^11 board positions to evaluate! If you manage to evaluate 2 positions every second you'll be stuck some 8000 years.

Simple rules and geometry create huge complexity.

The laws of physics are not complex. They are simple. I like to think of them as the simplest principles that explain the observations we make - some only relating to mathematical observations.

Cpt wrote:
Cernunnos, yes c is constant in an inertial frame of reference. I knew that.  I don't see how that applies to my point.

You said c was constant. Then you back it up saying special relativity says c is constant. I explained:

How special relativity limits the consistancy of c to a particular limiting case.

How general relativity makes the speed of light a consequence of spacetime. i.e. spacetime forces light to travel in curved lines necessitating a change in velocity.

You said the mechanism that defines speed c as complex. I explain how it is a simple consequence of the fundamental geometry of spacetime.

The very fact you want the laws of physics to be complex is deeply troubling, one would almost be forced to consider that you have a belief in physics rather than an understanding of it. The laws have to be simpler than what they explain or understanding how something is would be easier without them!

"Is there something that exists more efficiently than nothing?"

That I would expect to exist before nothing did

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.