Is the Universe computing something?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by arfa brane, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    5,094
    Interesting!
    Can you give me an example which does not involve a variable in the question?
    Sorry if this seems dense, but in view of the multiple definitions and interpretations of *sense*, can you be more explicit in your answer. Other than the sensory abilities of humans and other living organisms, I did come up with this definition in Websters which implies a non-human function
    But is that a logical, mathematical, or physical limitation?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Why can't it involve a variable? Or do you men an input variable?

    If you ask a computer for a random number, and it uses a better-than-awful algorithm, it will produce a random, non-predictable number each time.


    That was my point. Only living creatures can have "a sense of time".
     
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Right, so whether or not humans evolved or life got started on this planet, the solar system would still be here. But we use the orbits of planets and earth's rotation as clocks, anything we've built to make observations with is a mechanism that "reads" an input, i.e. a computer of some kind (viz the Antikythera device). The "clockness" of planetary orbits would be here without us. God didn't do it, the universe did.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    5,094
    Yes, that's what I meant.
    Of course, because you asked it to produce a random number.

    But the universe is not "asked" to function randomly or predictably, yet it seems to function predictably in some logical or mathematical fashion.
    I agree, and neither does it have a sense of logic, but why does it function so predictably, as we have discovered through our maths?
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. I'm simply pointing out that computers don't always produce the same result if you ask the same question. That was incorrect.

    It does what it does, based on a very limited set of causes (the entire universe emerges from the four fundamental forces). The better we get at understanding these causes, the better we can predict what the universe will do and the more logical it appears.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  9. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    The universe computes it own future. It is believed that this happens in small, finite steps (quantum time - debated).
    The initial input was randomized data, which bore no information, but it came with computational laws (not part of the data).

    I tend to second Hawkings opinion, that universes do not halt. Some thin out and finally progress so slowly that they appear frozen, others go through cycles. I believe that the question for the origin is meaningless, becuase it can't be answered from within an universe, and we know nothing about the embedding of the universe(s). Maybe later this question becomes meaningful, at the moment hints seem to exist which say, this question has no answer - time, history, did not exist "before" the universe. It only exists withinn the universe, within in bot spatial and historical sense.

    "Before" always refers to a time or history. If there is no time, there is no "before", so a question about the "before" in an embedding that might not have time, it not to answer.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,623
    In addition to supporting Dave's comment, I'd just reiterate, from our other thread, that the universe appears to behave not only according to the order imposed by the four fundamental forces, but also according to an intrinsic randomness. There are numerous natural processes that seem to require randomness to be present in order to account for what we observe. I venture to suggest that randomness appears to be just as fundamental as order.

    In this context it is also worth bearing in mind that the predictability we observe is generally only approximate, i.e. our maths does not generally replicate exactly what we observe (though we can fool ourselves into thinking it does, by deliberately ignoring inconvenient complexities.)

    Actually I think the recognition of both randomness and order goes some way to remove the false dichotomies erected in so much metaphysical speculation about the world.
     
  11. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    512
    I thought this intrinsic randomness was a well established fact already. At least in quantum physics, there are many random influences, which are also well supported by experiments which show, these influences are indeed there.

    And this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_foam
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, I am being only tentative in proposing it is as fundamental to the world as order.
     
  13. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Being careful with revolutionary ideas never was a fault. But I think it's time that the idea of intrinsic randomness (and some inpredictability due to that) spreads further. The old mechanistic model needs an update.

    Seeing that even particles can pop up from nowhere, live a while, furthermore have measurebale effects, and then vanish again, seems to say to me, that randomness is a very fundamental principle of our universe. I'm not quite sure though if I have understood the concept of quantum foam properly though, and today I lack sleep badly, so thinking is a bit a thing like a roulette game for me today. (Meaning: please correct me if I tell rubbish.)
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think you and I agree about this. But I was not thinking even of such exotica as quantum foam. I was thinking of much older fields of study such as statistical thermodynamics: the statistical basis of entropy, say, or the explanation of the dependence of the specific heat of gases on temperature. Or even the kinetic theory explanation of gas pressure. Or the temperature dependence of the rates of chemical reactions.

    Many, many phenomena are best explained by random behaviour within aggregates of atomic-scale entities.

    But as you say, the old "mechanistic" - or, rather, "deterministic" - conception of the world of science is still deeply ingrained in society.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
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  15. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    4,098
    The WMAP empirical results predict the universe geometry is flat to some small measurement error and infinite in extent. This means there is a specific origin event and, from that point on, the universe will expand forever described by the flat geometry. That's one of the predictions associated with Guths Eternal Inflaion Theory. Amoungst others. You'd be surprised what evidence cosmologists are looking for. Evidence for the sign of a possible collision between our universe and a different universe. Pretty esoteric but some recent evidence for that. Based on an empirical model which includes inflation. Eternal inflation predicts that the origin was a soliton in a quantum scalar field where space and time exist before our inflation event. It also predicts that we can't know if there was an initial inflation event because a horizon blocks any knowledge of what happened in the past. The past of the scalar field. So cosmologist's have been very busy and very successful, theoretically and empirically, over the last 40 years of research. I often wonder why this research isn't well known amoungst amateurs? I would think modern cosmological empirical research would be discussed, by amateurs, just based on the mind blowing aspect? Blows my mind.
     
  16. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    5,365
    Yeah, I don't know what that really says. Anything can be said to compute its own future; a rock computes its own future by being a rock.
    Ok.
    How is it that randomized data bears no information? If you have a random string, the string bears the information that it's random at least.
     
  17. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    4,098
    I started out very religious in the Episcopal faith. Over the years I've evolved into an atheist. I've always considered the possibility exists that a deity, for loss of another way to describe, could be involved in the origin of a multiverse such as Eternal Inflation Predicts. One of the main reasons, beyond the sociopathic behavior, is that no church was willing to allow for people interpreting God in this way. A way where, over time, the church dogma could evolve with the scholarship we've come to call fact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    5,094
    yes, the question did not set any parameters, so I do agree on that point.
    But allow me to rephrase it from a different perspective of the famous famous phrase "garbage in garbage out.".
    If we compare the garbage of a chaotic state of the early universe, somehow the universe seems to be able to find order from the garbage.
    IMO, these four fundamental forces have unique mathematical potentials which are both permittive of some functions and non-permittive of other functions.

    But because the input, consisting of a near infinite number of the four fundamental forcess (energetic chaos), always contains variables such as proximity, temparature, speed, charge, gravity, etc. then, given enough time, from these chaotic conditions, must naturally (by natural selection) produce some (or many) regular natural forms (particles, geometries) and functions (deterministic mathematical interactions), while the rest of the free energy (garbage) remains chaotic and unformed or (as yet) *indeterminate*.

    Interested amateurs such as myself do not alway have access to reliable information. Moreover, when an attempt is made to popularize (condense) a concept of the fundamental nature of the Universe for consumption by the general public, it often gets dismissed as too simple and not useful in the considerations of the professional scientists, which discourages the layman for fear of being ridiculed.
    As layman, I seldom look at the maths, but if I understand the accompanying narrative, it satisfies the scope of my inquiry, which is a generalized understanding of how the universe works. This is why I always qualify my statements as *probative* rather than "declarative*. I never try to argue against scientifically accepted theory. I just try to fit the pieces of information into a personal worldview. This is why my inquiries may seem random at times, but sometimes I see relative connections between seemingly disparate phenomena and try to explain (often inadequately) what my intuition presents.

    I do wish to thank all *knowledgeable fellows* who take the time to either explain or correct my *assumptions* in greater detail. IMO, that is what makes Sciforum a valuable tool for amateurs to gain information.
     
  19. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    4,098
    All the research is documented in the literature and pretty much accessible on the Internet for free. Everything to know can be accessed at the WMAP site with experimental revisions, tightening the measurement error, using the ongoing Planck experiments greater resolution. Here's a summation of Guth's Eternal Inflation, from 2007 before the WMAP results were in, by the master himself.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0702178
    This is the recent search for colliding universe. The folks doing this research blow my mind.
    search.arxiv.org:8081/paper.jsp?r=1012.3667&qid=14273251518649a_nCnN_-45139058&qs=Eternal+inflation+search+for+evidence+of+multiverse&in=physics
    I'll try to give my answer why I think this research is ignored by the public. It's not just weird it's beyond weird. Weird is black hole physics. Beyond weird is searching for evidence of colliding universe based on a theory of Eternal Inflation. Right up my alley. Our entire lives we were led to believe that nothing outside this universe can exist. No space or time. Just a big ??.
    If I could write worth a crap I'd consider some science fiction evolving from this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    5,094
    Thank you for the link, I agree that understanding of this *unknown* is cruciaI to any subsequent theory of this Univere and its functions..

    My catch-all phrase has always been that for this universe to come into existence, there must have been a prior "permittive condition", but obviously that is not a sufficient description. I am eager to read the current concepts.
     
  21. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    4,098
    Another experiment that predicts a possible confirmation of the collision hypothesis.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.5045
     
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    5,094
    and
    Questions:
    a) Is there such a thing as randomized data, lacking information? Is that not a contradiction in terms?

    IMO, aside from the four fundamental forces (in this universe) the earliest dynamic of the universe must have included the duality of *positive active values* and *negative counteractive values*.

    b) Computers have a dual state also but this duality consists of *positive active value* and *nul (zero state) value*. Does that not present a profound difference in the effective function of either?

    I can support a Bohmian viewpoint of infinite randomized energy, which would give us an almost infinite potential for causal action and expression. That action being formed in constantly changing mathematical organization of the random energetic values, first as an implication in the potential field, but with a degree of probability to become physically expressed.
    A string is by definition no longer a random state, but posesses potentials from all positive or negative values within the string.

    Perhaps an example: Early Hydrogen formation, the simple and probable (inevitable) bonding of 2 negativly charged particles of energy with one positively charged particle of energy would support this argument?

    I can imagine an instant in time where there is complete random energetic chaos, overwhelming any mathematical (or logic) function. It is pure energy with near infinite potential for expression (probabilities), but given sufficient time the four fundamental forces which create physical reality will become expressed.
    14 billion years is a long time and wherever we look, we find new expressions of this evolutionary process of energy values being expressed as physical things. Moreover this process seems to have an exponential aspect to it.
     
  23. The God Valued Senior Member

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    3,546
    Apart from the initial data input, it may need the external power source on regular basis. Even if we presume that initial conditions are nil set, still external power cannot be done away with.
     

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