If information cannot be created/destroyed...

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Equinox, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    106
    If information cannot be created/destroyed as described here:

    https://phys.org/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html

    Does this mean we do not really 'die'? A person, their memories, genome ect - is basically just accumulated information and despite the fact we/it /is/are (sorry don't know the correct syntax!) dispersed by entropy upon our death - does this mean that if a future culture (should it have the means and wish to do so) could conceivably resurrect anything and all that has lived?

    Or, have I taken this study completely out of context? (would not be the first time, and probably wont be the last!)

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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    The joy of speculation is you can answer yes or no to your question.
    It may be argued either way I suspect.
    Alex
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No.
     
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  7. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    If information cannot be destroyed, why is 'no' the answer?
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Entropy. You can't even rebuild a broken teacup.
     
  9. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    That's fair enough I guess...

    So assuming that we may live in a Cyclic Universe where entropy is 'sidestepped' do you think this information would still survive another contraction/expansion of the universe - will it always be there but forever unobtainable?
     
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I will represent a yes answer.
    Consider this.
    I suggest you could rebuild a broken teacup, even now and it could be made functional.
    If all our broken pieces were found maybe in the future someone may be able to put it all together.
    Until it doesn't happen we will never know.
    Alex
     
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    5,365
    In physics, information is a configuration of energy. Changing a configuration doesn't destroy anything because energy can't be destroyed.

    So if you drop a teacup so it breaks, that's only rearranging information, not destroying it. In some sense energy and information are equivalent, but we're still working out the details.
     
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I have no idea why this thread is in Religion (maybe there's some missing information).

    Anyways, to round out my earlier post, and bear in mind you can find out if I'm mistaken about it all by yourself, or just take what I'm saying at face value, the following:

    Classically there are no restrictions on copying information or erasing it. Suppose you have two identical teacups. Well, if you look really closely you'll see they aren't identical, and if you break one of them they certainly don't look identical any more. But physics says even though they are, at some remove, "identical" they can't be absolute copies because they are made up of distinct particles, and you can't copy those.

    Likewise you can, in a computer, have two identical binary strings and erase or scramble one of them, then restore the identicality by copying one to the other. As far as your computer is concerned, they have the same information in them again.

    But again, physically these strings might be classically identical but they can't be identical at the quantum level and you can't clone quantum information.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,624
    You raise a good question about what this "conservation of quantum information" means, in relation to the concept of entropy. I do not know what is meant by it.

    The fact is that in systems of macroscopic ensembles of QM entities, including dying human bodies and their environments of course, entropy increases. This is sometimes interpreted as loss of information. Personally I have always found the concept of entropy as the inverse of information totally unhelpful in my understanding of physical science, but no doubt that is because I was trained as a chemist and I am not conversant with information science.

    But your question demands that the link between "quantum information" and entropy be addressed. I see we have Arfa on the case, so maybe he can help. It seems to me impossible to reconcile how "quantum information" can be conserved with the tendency of entropy to increase - unless we are allowed to abandon the idea that information and entropy are linked. I hope maybe he can shed light on this.

    Meanwhile here is a link that says information entropy and thermodynamic entropy are NOT the same thing: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10773-006-9245-6 This in fact has always been my understanding - which is why I tend to eschew discussion about information and entropy, present case excepted.

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Something wrong here.

    If information is the configuration of energy (I'm not sure quite what you mean by that, but never mind), then changing the configuration changes the information. The fact that it is a conserved quantity (whether energy, mass or something else) that is "configured" does not come into it.

    I do not see how you can jump from saying information is a configuration (an arrangement) of a quantity to saying that information is the quantity itself.

    Can you explain what you really mean?
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Classical information is not the same thing as quantum information, and it's the latter which is conserved. There is no choice to be made about this.

    On the other hand, classical information which is the domain of large numbers of quantum particles does have plenty of choice. You have as much freedom to copy or erase it as you choose.

    Again, "identical" means different things classically because there are many ways to decide or choose what that means.
     
  16. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Like some other concepts there seems to be confusion between a concept and physicality

    Consider I know something no-one else knows (my knowledge)
    I tell one, and only one, other person
    The knowledge has not doubled
    It had no material existence in my brain
    (

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    yes I know I claim a 3 neurone brain Huey Dewey and Louie

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    ) and the knowledge has no material existence in the other brain
    The knowledge is a process of chemical / electrical stimulations and perception
    If both of us die the knowledge is not lost - it never existed in the first place
    100 years later someone else perceives the knowledge (the process occurs again)
    This time because of the Galaxy Wide Web not only millions of humans know the knowledge but billions upon billions of entities know it

    But it still does not exist as a physicality

    Before you say write it down (or record it in some manner) that does not make the knowledge into a physical form. Anymore than a recipe makes a physical cake

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  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    You are not dealing with my point, which is that you seem to be eliding the configuration (arrangement) of a conserved quantity with the conserved quantity itself.
     
  18. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It can never be returned to it's exact original state. That would be like time travel.
     
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  19. Thales Registered Member

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    I feel like this post is improperly "categorized" under Comparative Religion. So, I'm curious: What does this thread have to do with this "study" of the world's religious traditions? Am I missing something? Thanks for your best responses.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think because it could have gone either way at the outset.

    As it happens, the science has been picked up, rather than the speculations about reincarnation or immortality.
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    5,365
    That makes no sense. First you say you know something, then you say it has no material existence in your brain, a contradiction surely? Besides, copying information once doesn't mean there is twice as much, classically.

    And you seem to be confusing knowledge with information. Suppose I have knowledge of a random string of bits, in that I know how many bits there are and I can't compress the string. What's the information in the string?

    Addressing the OP question: it's really about reversibility, you can't reverse the state of being dead. However all the particles you are physically made of, even though they can't think or speak any more, do not get erased, only reconfigured. Ok?

    And the whole "information can't be destroyed" argument is founded on the nature of quantum information and how it can't be copied or erased. Classical information is quite a different thing, it has or appears to have extra freedom because "quantumness" isn't there.

    Although quantum interactions and quantum information must still be a feature of large collections of particles, there are so many that nothing "stands out", everything is "smoothed".
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,537
    Isn't this concept analogous to "determinism" vs "free will" in a classical system? At the lowest (classical) level everything is deterministic. If you could model every atom everything would be deterministic.

    At the higher level that we live in, there is certainly some "free will" in our daily lives.

    The quantum world isn't deterministic however due to the random quality of it (but "information" is still conserved and not lost). "Information" in our everyday use of it isn't what is being talked about on a quantum level.
     
  23. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    3,688
    No contradiction

    The information, knowledge, is a PROCESS not a physical object

    The process is the chemical and electrical activity within the brain

    It has no body which can / could be extracted and examined

    The PROCESS is unique within brain and even if the knowledge is conveyed to another brain that second brain can duplicate the knowledge but with a separate PROCESS

    You can reproduce two, almost the same, objects from say 500 gm of the same type of material, you cannot produce two objects from the same (as in the exactly the same 250 gm) material to make two objects

    As mentioned if both brains die, the process is lost, not the knowledge

    That can be recovered via another process and because processes do not have physicality you can have a million processes running with the same knowledge

    Suppose I have knowledge of a random string of bits

    Right

    in that I know how many bits there are and I can't compress the string

    Right

    What's the information in the string?

    Do see the parts of your suppose I made bold which gives you that knowledge (information)?

    Not OK

    Don't think it has anything to do with reversibility

    ALL information is available and only awaiting suitable processing to be realised (brought forth)

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