The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby TJrandom » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:12 pm

Besides... cats meow, scratch, hiss.... and of course stink if dead.

Which reminds me... I once found a desiccated and very dead cat in a box, with a box on top of that box - which I had moved several months before in a barn as I was tidying up. I will never know if the cat was already dead when I placed the box on the box. I buried the cat and lit some incense, since it seemed the right thing to do.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:15 pm

'Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't'

This was in the drop down menu as I went to google something else. The first line after that supports what I say and opposes what Poodle says: "Schrödinger’s Cat Theory is a paradox used to explain the apparent contradiction between what quantum theory tells us is true at microscopic level and what we see with the naked eye.

It shows the problems of applying the rules of quantum mechanics to everyday objects."

CONFIRMATION of what I've been saying.... all these years with no support. Google Says It...and I believe it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 57514.html
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:21 pm

Schroedingers cat was never something to take seriously. It was a story invented by Schroedinger to point out the absurdity of certain quantum mechanics ideas (it didn't), and was never correct. Bobbo said that the cat is always either dead or alive and we simply do not know which until we open the box. That is the correct interpretation. Those who labour on over the cat being half dead and half alive are just showing their ignorance and stupidity.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:15 am

Lance said it........and I believe it. thats two votes.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:23 am

You're both wrong (this is going to run and run). The correct interpretation is that the state of the cat is completely unknowable, and neither dead nor alive is a better functional description than either dead or alive. It isn't just 'we' who don't know - the entire cosmos does not know. We could, by the way, totally evacuate the box and wait for a particle to pop into existence and then take bets on whether it appeared in the upper half or lower half. It's precisely the same situation.

The point is when we open the box, it is (according to the principle) the act of observation which determines the state of the cat or the position of the particle. This is quantum indeterminacy. The cat will now be seen to be dead or alive, but this definition did not exist before the box was opened. It is a statement that is apparently so completely contrary to human logic that people will not accept it, but that's what the theory implies - previous to the observation, the cat was neither dead nor alive. You don't like it, I don't like it, but there's no way anyone can prove it's nonsense without looking, and we know what happens at that point.

It is the act of observation (which can be carried out by humans, cats, or any other interacting entity like a photon, as long as it begins from outside the box) which collapses the wave function and determines the state of the observed system. Prior to that, the wave function has not collapsed. It's a simple (hah!) as that. If you don't like this state of affairs, then choose another interpretation from the list, but you can't simply say that we do not know the outcome of an event which hasn't happened - there's nothing to know.

EDIT: I call on the double-slit experiment to testify for me.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:51 am

Google disagrees with you Poodle. so do Lance and I. Me just from common sense and "looking" but also from the dictionary based meaning of words. As in:

1. "The correct interpretation is that the state of the cat is completely unknowable, and neither dead nor alive is a better functional description than either dead or alive." //// NO. EXACTLY NOT. The best description of the state of the cat is: unknowable. Anything other than that is woo.

2. "We could, by the way, totally evacuate the box and wait for a particle to pop into existence and then take bets on whether it appeared in the upper half or lower half. It's precisely the same situation." //// AGAIN: NO. EXACTLY NOT. As stated: a quantum particle is NOT a cat. As what I guess is this "wave" you are talking about....the observable to human eyes is "all waves, all collapsed" with no mystery left except what we know/observe and what we don't.

3. Dead cats are preferrable to live cats...but I accept their reality. There is nothing here that is contrary to human logic...in fact, just the opposite. You don't dissappear just because I leave the room and can't see you any more. Silly to argue that such observational limits apply to humans, cats.....anything other than the quantum level....if even there but I've seen cats and haven't seen particles...so, not qualified.

4. " which collapses the wave function and determines the state of the observed system..." //// NO. EXACTLY WRONG. There are no waves, aka: all the waves that are relevant are totally collapsed all the time, aka: one single lump of reality.

YOU and most of qualified scientists don't understand an analogy....that doesn't work. Ha, ha. ........... All these years, I feel so vindicated. maybe "I'm" losing my flexibility? Hmmmm..... good and bad news. I like the ying/yang balance of the thing.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:07 am

Poodle is assuming that the 'observer' has to be a conscious agency. Not so. The observer could be a random atom interacting with the cat. The cat will, as Bobbo said, be dead, or alive. We do not know which, but it will NOT be a half dead/half alive state. Just one or the other.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:56 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Poodle is assuming that the 'observer' has to be a conscious agency. Not so. The observer could be a random atom interacting with the cat. The cat will, as Bobbo said, be dead, or alive. We do not know which, but it will NOT be a half dead/half alive state. Just one or the other.


I'm with Lance. I think the word "observer" is misleading. It simply needs to be measured for the quantum function to collapse into discreet states. I could probably make a machine that could test the two slit photon experiment and end up with the same result. Observation is itself a measurement because you are measuring the photons coming from the object which mathematically causes the quantum function to collapse.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:53 am

Poodle quite clearly said "It is the act of observation (which can be carried out by humans, cats, or any other interacting entity like a photon ...". Poodle never once said "half dead/half alive". Poodle did say neither dead nor alive.

What Poodle is saying is, basically, what the Copenhagen interpretation says (which, being the most popular one, slightly outranks Google), the only real difference being that we are talking about Many Worlds so that, instead of observing that the cat is either alive or dead, two realities come into being in one of which the cat is dead and in the other of which the cat is alive. Before the observation, then (by whatever agency) - when the cat is still in a single reality - it is, perforce, neither alive nor dead as either of those two states precludes the coming onto existence of one of the possible future worlds.

Poodle rests Poodle's case, Your Honour.

(Bobbo - there is a reality in which you agree with every word I say).

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:33 am

As I said, Poodle, I do not like the Many Worlds idea.
It strikes me that you are replacing a relatively minor problem with a much worse one. If the outcome of every double possibility is two completely new universes, you have to explain how they came into being. Explaining the creation of entire universes is kind of more complex than explaining why a choice of this versus that happens.

We also know that the macroscopic world does not exhibit quantum behaviour. So trying to suggest a whole cat can exist in a state of quantum superposition is simply wrong. I do not know exactly why this is true, but I suspect it is due to probability. A single quantum particle can have indeterminate properties, but a whole cat is the result of the net actions of about E23 atoms and molecules. (For those who do not know, E23 is 1 followed by 23 zeroes.) The probability that more than a tiny fraction of that incredibly large number should be doing something weird is so low as to be essentially zero.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:53 am

I completely agree with you, Lance. I don't believe a word of it and I've already said that. My problem is that there are areas within every interpretation in which you have to suspend your disbelief. They all appear to have 'magic' and we are obliged to accept stuff which, in our everyday lives, we would reject out of hand. Whatever the real explanation (if there is one), quantum reality is a very strange place indeed.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:35 pm

Taking off from Lance's excellent interpretation, the Cat Hypo to demonstrate quantum physics is very much like what I'll guess is the very related example of quantum space? At the quantum level, most of atoms are empty space. This leads to the quantum notion that we "should" be able to walk through walls...but we can't. The hold outs like Poodle who want to say they don't believe but argue for it anyway, all that needs to happen is for all the atoms in the wall and in the body to align in that perfect way so that indeed one can walk through a wall, there are no solid objects at the quantum level. But I think Lance is showing its true only at 1 in 10 to the 23rd power chances in the best case scenario? ((Or is this further made impossible by charged force fields at the atomic level?)) And I further assume this event would last only in Plank time?....so you better move fast???

Ha, ha. "I don't believe it either, but we have to suspend disbelief because............" Now, why do we have to suspend disbelief/common sense Poodle?

Speaking of believing in things that are evidenced otherwise, I do assume most if not all physicists don't accept the Cat Hypo either..... they just all do a terrible job of explaining that the hypo only demonstrates what would be the case "IF" quantum mechanics played out in the macro world instead of just at the micro world. They skip over the if for their own perverse reasons and laugh at we the layman as we go off and repeat it...banging our noses into the wall looking for that damn cat.

Common sense. The universe is just one big ball of collapsed jizz.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Paul Anthony » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:11 pm

Poodle wrote:I completely agree with you, Lance. I don't believe a word of it and I've already said that. My problem is that there are areas within every interpretation in which you have to suspend your disbelief. They all appear to have 'magic' and we are obliged to accept stuff which, in our everyday lives, we would reject out of hand. Whatever the real explanation (if there is one), quantum reality is a very strange place indeed.


In defense of cats, people are inclined to suspend common sense in an effort to believe nonsense but I've never met a cat who is as naive as humans. :)
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:34 pm

Bobbo, I already gave you the link for almost 20 interpretations dreamed up by very competent people in the field of quantum theory. It's very interesting to hear you categorise them all as mere woo, something I wouldn't have the nerve (or the ability) to do. Writing off a quantum event as impossible because the chances of it happening are extremely small is a little on the naive side though, unless you're going to go on to prove that all small numbers are actually zero.

The interpretations are all weird - very weird in some cases. However, unless you are going to suggest that quantum mechanics is a fairy story dreamed up by gremlins disguised as physicists, then you're going to have to accept that there must be some way of describing what, at this moment, looks like magic.

So do have a go - as you are so disparaging of the interpretations, would you like to venture your own theory? Or then again, maybe you'll like this ... http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-phys ... al-1.17585

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:26 pm

Poodle: I pretty much skipped your link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpret ... _mechanics as in quick review it did not address THE SUBJECT of this thread: the "Schrödinger's cat" thought-experiment (Cat Hypo).

Reviewing again for the Cat Hypo, about the 3rd sentence at your link says: "There exist a number of contending schools of thought, differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered "real", and other matters." It is NOT settled physics...so to refer to the list of competing hypotheticals as if they provide a definitive answer is..... wrong.

Because you remain UNFOCUSED AND FUZZY on what's at issue here, I did not say QM was fuzzy or woo...I said the Cat Hypo or your explanation of it was fuzzy and woo. Perhaps I was overbroad at a point or two, but thats my clear intent.

Here is your fuzzy woo: "Writing off a quantum event as impossible because the chances of it happening are extremely small is a little on the naive side though, unless you're going to go on to prove that all small numbers are actually zero." /// Yeah 1 in 10 to the 23 as close to zero with no time frame given for the event sure is "naive." so naive that NO ONE tries to walk thru walls or levitate off the end of a peer. I will take the 1 in 10 to the 23rd possibility as naive and credit you with the inverse ratio of being disingenuous.

I have given "my" own theory about 4 times above. More distraction on your part....or do you honestly not perceive that? I've said: quantum theory does not apply in the macro world...see the numbers above. I have said the Cat is either alive or dead not both or half of each. I have said the confusion is one of equating lack of knowledge with dual states of existence. So...there are three explanations whereas you have given NONE.

And thats pretty much the score.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:50 pm

Good way of not addressing the point, bobbo. OK - you have certainly written off the Many Worlds interpretation on the grounds that you don't like it and you've written off the Copehagen interpretation on the grounds that you don't like collapsing wave functions. And you've now made a strenuous attempt to write off a real number as irrelevant. And you've said that QM does not apply in the macro world, although you said it via the medium of the computers both you and I are using and which depend upon solid-state electronics to operate and are therefore extremely good examples of how QM plasters itself all over the macro world. I think it fair to say that's your theory?

You've added to that that you can be party to information concerning events which you cannot witness and cannot measure. That's interesting. And then you have told me that "to refer to the list of competing hypotheticals as if they provide a definitive answer is..... wrong". The fact that I haven't even hinted at such a thing seems not to have been seen.

At no point in this entire discussion have I said "this is what happens in reality". What I have been doing is trying to illustrate what the Many Worlds interpretation actually says rather than what I might want it to say for no other reason than I can't get my head around it. Admit it, bobbo - you're a bit of a Luddite in disguise, aren't you?

There are some very interesting things said in the article I linked to in my last post. I know you haven't read it.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:30 pm

Poodlè

It is correct that quantum physics do not operate in the macro world, in spite of the fact that the principles are used in computers. A computer uses quantum particles like electrons. Schroedinger's cat, though, does not. It is simply a lump of E23 particles together, and any quantum effects are utterly swamped by the probabilistic results of that many particles doing their thing.

I have often thought that quantum particles like electrons are better viewed as some kind of probability graph. An electron 'cloud' is not a cloud, but simply a region of varying probabilities that an electron might be detected in a particular spot in that cloud. This does not translate into our everyday perception of reality, of course, but that does not prevent it from being (possibly, more or less) correct. Put enough such particles together and the overall probabilities totalled together provides an object that obeys classical physics principles.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:11 pm

I surrender. I'm obviously having one of those nightmares in which words get all scrambled and mean different things from last week. Tomorrow the world will look different again.

Probably.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:15 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:As I said, Poodle, I do not like the Many Worlds idea
Poodle wrote:I completely agree with you, Lance. I don't believe a word of it and I've already said that.
I agree with you two.

We all have to wait for better information, but I think "Infinite Worlds" is just one possible interpretation of the information we currently have, Mathematicians still have to study "Infinite worlds", even if it is to simply prove it wrong.

I hope all three of us live long enough to get the better information.
:D

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:04 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:I hope all three of us live long enough to get the better information. [/color] :D


What?................. Just because I'm a Luddite, you hope I die???

Seems a bit harsh.

Yes Poodle....I disagree with everything you last posted.... you know... as a matter of objective analysis. But I also agree we have reached impasse. The arguments/positions that cats are either alive or dead independent of human knowledge seems pretty straight forward to me. It would be fun to "understand" how I could possibly be wrong ... but that will take a different discussion.
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Poodle » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:45 am

It's been interesting, more for the illustration of how a common language divides us than the insights into the quantum world. I think I may return to this, if only to prevent bobbo from imagining he's scored a victory (yes, you do - admit it). Well, not this exactly - I think we've flogged the cat to a genuine death. But interpretations of quantum theory are intrinsically fascinating. I'll take an Arnie.

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:48 am

The most onerous thing about any cat analogy is that it has nine lives. Beating the cat to death still leaves 8 more cats to deal with. I don't see how the language has divided us...its the ideas that he language expresses that does that.

I'm not exactly sure what it is that you disagree with either. Its all so clearly set out above that if the language is separating us....its by YOU walking away from the clear meaning of words.

With various interpretations of what the disagreement may be about it centers on whether or not a cat in a box, out of view, or anywhere else in time and space can be anything other than alive or dead. A very simple question that language and QM should not separate.

OTOH===if you think that cats can be alive or dead at some level approaching one to 10 to the 23rd chances...then I wouldn't even call that a disagreement or a separation.

Could you at least explain what your disagree is about?
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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby Bart Stewart » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:20 pm

Relinquish85 wrote:One thing that I think gets overlooked all too often is the utter profundity of the fact that, in some way or other, 'life' has arisen in the universe.

We can't really conceive of a universe in which life never arises, simply because in order for there to be the conception of such a universe, life must first arise in the universe.

Even if we accept the notion that the arising of life is just like any other natural phenomenon, this implies that it is simply an inevitable occurrence.

My question is, do you find this fact profound or not, and why?


I didn't read the entire thread, so maybe somebody has already covered what I'm about to write.

It seems to me that what you are talking about is entirely subjective. Profundity is an emotional state, similar to the state of awe, unless you are defining it differently. People feel that way about all kinds of things. I might find incredibly profundity in the fact that my gas company account number is 7G88-3204-0502-D.

Now, one might argue that if you can't feel a sense of awe about the universe, and life arising in it, then maybe you're just not capable of feeling that particular sensation about anything. The universe is the most awesome thing we know of. But I wonder, what is your point in asking this question? Are you trying to say that skeptics and science-minded people, and non-religious people, are emotionally-dead reductionists who want only to live as analytical machines? I am not saying that is your contention, but it is something that is pushed on this forum frequently, so it came immediately to mind.

If that's your view, it seems to me there are any number of cases that could refute it. Someone mentioned Einstein, who had an appreciation for the arts and humanities while still maintaining pretty solid scientific cred. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have spoken of "the numinous" part of the mind, which they say is perfectly valid but need not be coupled with supernatural belief.

There is a non-rational component of the mind; all kinds of dreams and passions and imagery reside there. It evolved along with the rest of the mind, and I must assume it has a useful purpose. I think it goes to establishing identity. It is part (not everything, but part) of who a person is. So, it serves to differentiate people, and probably drives us to assert our identity. It may figure into the sex drive.

If I have read too much into your post, and you are simply asking "Do you feel a sense of profound awe when you think about life arising in the universe," then I would answer "Yes."

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Re: The over-looked profundity of life in the universe

Postby mirror93 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:18 pm

Relinquish85 wrote:
Poodle wrote:You mean we haven't found one yet. That doesn't make it imaginary.

Having said that, I'm looking out of the window across the road. There may well be a universe over there devoid of life.


Any possible 'other universes', with or without life, that would exit would STILL fundamentally exist in THIS Reality. Ultimately, there can only be one Reality.


BS.

reality isn't a thing to be "one" "two" or "three"
reality> the state or quality of having existence or substance
your computer has a reality, it exists, it's one computer.
your definition of reality is wrong and nonsense.
you're trying to prove some parmenides BS, but is failing miserably.


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