Quote:<hr> David: Science constantly engages in hypothesizing.
Thomas: This is really getting quite silly. Science does engage in hypothesizing, okay, but an unsubstantiated hypothesis cannot be used to prove another hypothesis, since it doesn't offer any support. A (physical) hypothesis requires empirical evidence to be of any value. Ergo, you argue out of thin air. <hr>
It is not a physical hypothesis. The truth that all things have causes is a purely logical assertion, and the argument which utilizes the "destructive force scenario" is also purely logical in nature. That a particle cannot possibly arise if the process of causality deploys a sufficiently destructive force at the moment of its birth is necessarily true
from a logical point of view. End of story. There is nothing more to the matter. Your demand for empirical evidence is both unnecessary and unwarranted.
Quote:<hr> David: In a similar vein, I ask, "What if a destructive force were to exist at the moment of a particle's birth, what would be the result?" The answer is, no particle. Thus, its existence is definitely dependent upon causal conditions.
Thomas: This argument is so flawed â€“ it is plainly embarrassing that you keep repeating it. Once again, the absence of a non-existing (hypothesized) force has nothing to do with the creation of a particle. You actually make two errors in this argument. First, -as already mentioned above- you are not allowed to use an unsubstantiated hypothesis to prove a statement and second, according to Occam's "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" meaning "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity" the factoring of an unrelated entity is ill advised. Since only the most ignorant person could fall for that, I strongly recommend to revise that argument in your book. <hr>
I know you have trouble with these kinds of reasonings, Thomas. You always have. Since I don't think I can restate the argument any more simply, I'm going to have to leave it there. If you can't see it, then you can't see it.
Quote:<hr> David: There are always too many factors involved. What face the dice will show can never be predicted with any certainty, no matter how much we know.
Thomas: It seems you misconceive the problem. The rolling of a dice is a completely deterministic and linear(!) process, hence, it can be modeled in a computer with comparable ease and with good accuracy. You need to know the geometrical properties of the dice and the contact surface, the starting forces (spin, momentum) and voila â€“ you can compute the face for any roll. You can do this on a cheap home PC, really. It is far less complicated than you might imagine. <hr>
What if your home PC predicts that the next roll of the dice will turn up a two, and then during the process of the dice rolling a meteor suddenly falls out of the sky and smashes the table and dice to smithereens before the dice has a chance to finish its roll? What happened to the predictive powers of your PC there?
Quote:<hr> David: Imagine an alien who has never seen trains before and doesn't know how they work. Imagine that he is suddenly asked to predict whether a train will be at Central Station or Bond Street station. He has no idea how to precede. From his point of view, the train is either at Central Station or Bond Street Station. In the absence of any other data, he begins to create statistical models based on the past behaviour of trains as indicated by timetables given to him. But no matter his ingenious his statistical models become, he still won't know which station the train is at until he actually looks.
Thomas: This comparison can be invalidated with ease. In your story, the alien must be capable of perceiving the train to be in a certain location, at Central Station or at Bond Street. This means that we can assume the alien observer is capable of perceiving the train at any given location. The observer will therefore soon discover that the train is not only found at Central Station and Bond Street, but at any point between the two stations. Given a sufficient number of measurements, a continuum will emerge and it can be concluded by the alien observer that the train describes a path between Central Station and Bond Street. <hr>
Unfortunately, the aliens aren't able to do this because, unbeknownst to them, they have a peculiarity in their visual cortex which prevents them from perceiving trains in motion. Because of this, they naturally create the theory that trains don't actually move at at all, but simply blink in and out of existence in a random manner. Indeed, believe it or not, they have actually come to believe that trains just pop into existence without any cause at all, as a result of a quantum fluctuation. The silly fools.
Quote:<hr> David: If you accept that the behaviour of particles can seem non-deterministic from our current point of view (and no one is disputing this), even though they might be completely caused, then why on earth are you arguing with me?
Thomas: Intellectual integrity requires me to work with the best possible explanation we currently have and that is -like it or not- the assumption that non-deterministic process are a property of nature. <hr>
Translation: I am too cowardly to think for myself. I just submit to whatever is popular.
Quote:<hr> I don't see sufficient reason to believe any of the deterministic explanations, such as the many world theory or Bohm's version. I could return the question and ask you why you insist on "hardcore determinism" while you proclaim that you haven't been impressed with any deterministic interpretation of quantum theory. <hr>
Because, as I have shown, it is logically impossible for anything to arise uncaused. This knowledge is more authoritative and powerful and more cutting than any of the tentative theorizings currently entertained by quantum physicists.