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Old May 12 2013, 10:01 AM   #76
R. Star
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

So... all things being equal.. what's more likely? That an all powerful mysterious god somehow came into being and created the entire universe before disappearing, leaving no proof of his existence.... or that man created god to explain the things he doesn't know?
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Old May 12 2013, 10:04 AM   #77
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Enjoy the false dichotomy.
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Old May 12 2013, 03:04 PM   #78
Lumos Ziyal
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
Yes. Good distinction. And I will now think of you whenever I play checkers, dude.
Checkers sucks, chess is better.
Good scene. Unfortunately, chess and I just never clicked. I'll keep playing checkers (not that I do very often).
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Old May 12 2013, 03:34 PM   #79
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

R. Star wrote: View Post
So... all things being equal.. what's more likely? That an all powerful mysterious god somehow came into being and created the entire universe before disappearing, leaving no proof of his existence.... or that man created god to explain the things he doesn't know?
With our modern understanding of things, and the evolution of the concept of deities, gods would appear to be more or less equivalent to the people in charge of running a computer simulation of our universe. If that's the case, the gods neither disappeared, nor are mysterious, and are likely a result of Darwinian evolution themselves. Not as unlikely as you painted it. Of course, it is still more probable that we evolved on our own.

On the other hand, things change a lot if there are an infinite number of universes, including infinite copies of our own – the possibility of gods only watching us jumps dramatically. They only have to watch one of the copies. And if the existence of a continuation of your experiences after death in one of the copies counts as afterlife, afterlife is also a given.

As for time travel, my gut tells me that time travel would either create new universes, or be full of predestination paradoxes (or both, but I don't know what that means). Predestination paradoxes would change the rules of everything (including evolution) and overcomplicate the universe they are applied to, so chances are we aren't in one like that. Evidence and probabilities would suggest we are not at the receiving end of time travel either, i.e. we are not in a universe created by time travel. As for travelling back in time ourselves – the same thing as for gods and afterlife applies, and since humanity will go extinct, time travel could be its afterlife. But only an infinitesimal number of the civilizations identical to ours will do it.

Which leads to a peculiar reason as to why the questions in the OP are unanswerable. There is a serious possibility that there are at least two universes in which you are asking the same question, getting the same answer, while the answer between them is different, so whichever one you got, it is wrong for at least one instance of yourself.
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Old May 12 2013, 05:14 PM   #80
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Australis wrote: View Post
Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
We can't. There have to be things that are impossible, there have to be strict rules, when you want an ordered, functioning universe. If anything were possible, the universe wouldn't exist.
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Old May 12 2013, 05:20 PM   #81
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Australis wrote: View Post
Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
We can't. There have to be things that are impossible, there have to be strict rules, when you want an ordered, functioning universe. If anything were possible, the universe wouldn't exist.
Just because you can't break the rules doesn't mean you can't get around them somehow. An Alcubierre drive or wormholes or travling "around" space using higher dimensions could very well be possible.
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Old May 12 2013, 05:26 PM   #82
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Australis wrote: View Post
Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
We can't. There have to be things that are impossible, there have to be strict rules, when you want an ordered, functioning universe. If anything were possible, the universe wouldn't exist.
Just because you can't break the rules doesn't mean you can't get around them somehow. An Alcubierre drive or wormholes or travling "around" space using higher dimensions could very well be possible.
With a bucket of color there can also be blue elefants.

I see the point, but while we can keep up the research, the general public still needs to learn to accept that a lot of stuff we see in fiction simply will NEVER be possible.

There also is no bending the rules, that's a concept that applies for man made laws, not for the laws of nature. If the laws of physics allow Alcubierre drive and wormholes, then it's within the rules. You don't "bend the rules", because that's impossible.

I recently talked to physicists about the holograms in Iron Man 2, for example. It is never going to happen. You cannot project glowing 3D objects into normal, breathable air and interact with them. It's not a question of time and money. It's simply never going to work. It's just a wet dream.
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Old May 12 2013, 06:09 PM   #83
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Australis wrote: View Post
Question: how can we get past the apparent light speed barrier?
We can't. There have to be things that are impossible, there have to be strict rules, when you want an ordered, functioning universe. If anything were possible, the universe wouldn't exist.
Well, it's still a valid question to ask the OP's magic oracle. Presumably, if it really is impossible, the oracle would say so in the answer.
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Old May 12 2013, 08:35 PM   #84
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

There are FTL possibilities that are compatible with the laws of our universe so far. If nobody used them so far, a future where we use them is possible, and is one of the potential timelines that extend our own. Some of my parallel universe descendants will travel with warp drives. Exciting. Imagine if some of them are up to getting in bed with extraterrestrial individuals with long playful tails.
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Old May 12 2013, 11:41 PM   #85
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

I didn't realize you knew Everything about physics as well as psychology, JarodRussell. You must be so clever!
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Old May 13 2013, 12:12 AM   #86
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
It's simply never going to work. It's just a wet dream.
That's what any physicist would have said 100 years ago if you had asked him whether a large gravitational source could bend space itself.
Given the very little we know about the world and given the limited abilities of our primate brains "never ever" are not words you really wanna use.
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Old May 13 2013, 12:28 AM   #87
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

horatio83 wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
It's simply never going to work. It's just a wet dream.
That's what any physicist would have said 100 years ago if you had asked him whether a large gravitational source could bend space itself.
Given the very little we know about the world and given the limited abilities of our primate brains "never ever" are not words you really wanna use.
100 years is a long time, our understanding of physics skyrocketed in that time. And the properties of light is one of the things we understand pretty thoroughly and won't change. c is a constant that will remain. Or the particle wave duality. What we don't know is WHY it is like that, and that's where quantum mechanics will kick in at some point. But that explanation won't change the limitations. Which is why stuff like FTL travel and FTL communication on the one side, and Iron Man 2 or Star Trek style holograms on the other, won't work. Ever. Or lightsabers. Or visible laser beams in vacuum. Sound in space. Superman. Time travel. That is stuff that doesn't work because it's just fantasy.

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Old May 13 2013, 01:41 AM   #88
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

Quantum entanglement, at least information can already travel faster than light. You build a quantum computer and you might be able to calculate stuff which is physically impossible with a normal computer.
Quantum mechanics implies all kind of crazy stuff so I doubt that we have, as you claim, learned most of what there is to learn about how the world ticks in the last 100 years.

Time travel would mess with causality. So what? Doesn't mean it is no possible, it merely means that our theory wouldn't be able to deal with it so we'd have to throw it out and get a better one. In science you do not rule out observations just because your current theory says they cannot exist.
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Old May 13 2013, 02:53 AM   #89
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
It's simply never going to work. It's just a wet dream.
That's what any physicist would have said 100 years ago if you had asked him whether a large gravitational source could bend space itself.
Given the very little we know about the world and given the limited abilities of our primate brains "never ever" are not words you really wanna use.
100 years is a long time, our understanding of physics skyrocketed in that time. And the properties of light is one of the things we understand pretty thoroughly and won't change. c is a constant that will remain. Or the particle wave duality. What we don't know is WHY it is like that, and that's where quantum mechanics will kick in at some point. But that explanation won't change the limitations. Which is why stuff like FTL travel and FTL communication on the one side, and Iron Man 2 or Star Trek style holograms on the other, won't work. Ever. Or lightsabers. Or visible laser beams in vacuum. Sound in space. Superman. Time travel. That is stuff that doesn't work because it's just fantasy.
Everything's just a fantasy, until it's not. Saying that something won't happen ever is absolute hubris.

We have learned a lot, but what we know is still a tiny fraction of what there is to know. You can't conceptualize how a holodeck might work based on current scientific knowledge any more than Da Vinci could conceptualize an iPhone. That doesn't mean it's impossible.
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Old May 13 2013, 05:32 AM   #90
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Re: one question about objective reality you'd want answered

I agree with the spirit of what JarodRussell is trying to say, and that is early human beings were perplexed by their surroundings and tried to make sense of it, attribute some kind of order to things and the reasons why everything exists. Before you have any kind of scientific method, all you have is your limited observations and the expanse of imagination. This is why there are many different sets of independent religious scriptures, and why they contain numerous contradictions, errors, and conjured up stories. Even the Old/New Testaments contradict each other--the God depicted are two vastly different entities. And yet, due to the fervent desire for many to maintain a trusted familiar belief system, those people convince themselves that it's all correct and done that way for good reason. They rationalize it, or "fan wank" it.

Yet... we still have a mystery, of how the whole universe came to be. If there was any kind of intelligent orchestration to it, creating an enormously vast network of celestial bodies, our existence could just be a lucky side-effect. Our imaginings of God fabricated without any shred of credibility. Intelligent design doesn't automatically mean omnipotence. It's all a matter of scope.


As for the laws, well... we have had instances of establishing scientific laws and then finding they've been flawed, able to be superseded and redrawn with new parameters and boundaries. But we've also established laws that are hard fast, holding true for all subsequent theories that have been built upon it and thus folly to consider dangerously flawed. While I am optimistic about the capability of human imagination, I'm also pragmatic. As others have said, there have been plenty of ideas conjured up in science fiction that are just way too "out there" to have a chance of becoming reality down the road.

But I have to come back to the core, that being the technology that might even give a hope of "warp drive" or "wormholes" is just so far out there, we'd better worry about social evolution first... finding a way for humanity to exist in harmony, at sustainable levels of exploitation, in order to create the foundation for much greater scientific progress. We need to worry about that first.
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