RE: Small probabilities

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 09 2005 - 08:50:21 EST

Laplace's statement is based on pure determinism with its accompanying
causality. However, quantum mechanics is not casual. The interpretation
of quantum mechanics is not a "measurement problem" but seems to
underlie the functioning of Nature. Witness the EPR states that violate
locality and reality. Of course, in what sense God knows or interacts
Nature is hard for us to discern except by reliance on Scripture, which
may not impinge on the specific question at hand. The notion of free
will brings in life and consciousness, which may lie outside the
physical and be surely nonphysical or even supernatural.

 

Moorad

 

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Mervin Bitikofer
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:42 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: Small probabilities

 

Aren't terms like 'randomness' and 'probability' ultimately more a
statement of perspective than of reality? I may refer to a series of
computer generated numbers as random because they appear that way to me,
but when I become aware of the algorithms used to produce the numbers,
then I no longer view the sequence as random but as determined. In the
same way coin flips only appear 'random' to us because of the
overwhelming calculations that would be involved analyzing initial
velocity & spin vectors, air currents, micro-gravitational influences,
etc about the event. But if we had a 'God's eye' perspective where are
computational capabilities weren't limited, then each coin flip is
pre-determined, right? This, of course, assumes that the quantum
uncertainty principle is merely a measurement problem rather than an
ontological one. I.e. even though we won't ever be able to
simultaneously measure velocity & location of a particle, it would still
have these definite properties (in principle) to be known by
omniscience. Apart from this humanly inescapable ignorance, what could
the concept of 'randomness' possibly mean? If something (presumably
many things - like every electron movement) was truly ontologically
random (even to omniscience), wouldn't this require each so called
random event to be divorced from the causality that underpins science?
This would be indistinguishable from what we call 'miraculous' or
'supernatural' - except in that it would be common place, indeed always
happening, at the microscopic level.
Received on Wed Nov 9 08:51:43 2005

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