Parallel Universes

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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Asteeleleith
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Parallel Universes

Post by Asteeleleith »

Hi All
I know some will queston whether this question actually belongs here. Personally i think it does, and i look forward to seeing what you think to it so here goes
Do you think that when we are born, everything we do, the way we become, our job, who we marry etc etc is decided for us. In otherwords do you think it is possible that every move we make is predetermined before we actually make it.

OR do you think we decide our own fate. In other words, say ur with a girl. Now for a time you are heading in the direction of her having your children. And keeping the line going. What would the children be like?
Then you change direction by breaking up, and going with someone else.

Can you see my point, they call it the theory of parallel universes.

What are you thoughts on this?

Alastair
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davep
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Post by davep »

While I can see that you've got a sort of free will vs predestination thing going on here I'm not sure I can quite see where you think "parallel universes" comes into this (or, indeed, who "they" are that say this). Perhaps you could explain how you think these things link up?
Asteeleleith
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Parallel Unverses

Post by Asteeleleith »

Hi Dave
What i was asking is, do you think that everything we do is predetermined from the moment we are born?
Or do you think we decide our own fate?
Do you think that life as it would have been if you had stayed with one of ur ex's (pardon me for the presumption) in a way continues into another universe?
So lets say you continued with your pseudo ex and she had your children, do you think there is a universe where this has happened? Can you see my point?
I get these ideas, cos i have a brain that never sleeps, and this one i cooked up years ago one night before an exam.

Best Regards

Alastair
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davep
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Re: Parallel Unverses

Post by davep »

Asteeleleith wrote:What i was asking is, do you think that everything we do is predetermined from the moment we are born?
Or do you think we decide our own fate?
I know that my life appears to be one in which I have free-will so, until I have evidence that suggests otherwise, there's no good reason to suppose any different. Moreover, even if the whole course of my life was predetermined, given that I can't and don't know that, it makes good sense to work with what would appear to be the default assumption (free-will). A predetermined life would probably look like a life of free-will to the one living it so you're onto a loser with the question anyway.

I guess I'm saying that it's a moot point really and, accordingly, I personally have no belief in this regard.
Asteeleleith wrote:So lets say you continued with your pseudo ex and she had your children, do you think there is a universe where this has happened? Can you see my point?
I can see both of your questions and obviously know what you're driving at (it's got to be one of the older philosophical questions) I'm not sure that the parallel universe question is one that follows from the first one.

Of course, if you really want a "what's really going to bake your noodle" moment, you probably want to stop thinking about people's lives and think about if the more basic constituents of the universe have "free-will" or not. What's good for the more "complex" structures should be good for the more fundamental ones...
Asteeleleith
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Parallel unverses

Post by Asteeleleith »

DaveP
Again i think you miss the point. Just because you think you are making decisions, does not mean the the outcome was not already been predetemined anyway. It is just that the facts are not ours to know until it has happened.
I think you and i think very differently indeed Dave :)

Best wishes

Alastair
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joe
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Post by joe »

Hi Alistair,

Parallel universes are a possible solution to problems in quantum mechanics where the probability of a particle/wave being somewhere or going somewhere becomes 100% only when an observation is made. Some have speculated that before a sub-atomic particle is observed it has an infinite number of states. After the observation the observer "nails down" one state but others carry on in their relative universes. As DaveP said, what happens at this scale may or may not happen at the macro-scale but I think I see what you're getting at. Have you seen the film "Sliding Doors" where two plots carry on side by side; one where the heroine missed the tube and one where she she caught it?

Free will and predeterminism is right up my alley and it has everything to do with, yes you've guessed it, whether time exists or not. If time does not exist, or flow, then all that has happened and all that will happen is already "out there".

Does this thread belong here? Depends where it goes. More physics, less hollywood and it stays. :)

Regards,
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davep
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Re: Parallel unverses

Post by davep »

Asteeleleith wrote:Again i think you miss the point. Just because you think you are making decisions, does not mean the the outcome was not already been predetemined anyway. It is just that the facts are not ours to know until it has happened.
Far from missing the point, that was exactly my point. To the recipient of a predetemined outcome the outcome would look like free-will so the recipient would be none the wiser either way.
Asteeleleith wrote:I think you and i think very differently indeed Dave :)
On this point it seems that we're actually in agreement.
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Alastair
Re freewill or predetermined.
At first thought I might be inclined to say that this issue is not a suitable topic for this chatline. On the other hand as I think Joe has suggested it is a conundrum a bit akin to quantum mechanical.
Earlier today in Waterstone's bookshop I was glancing at a book, possibly "Hyperspace" or "Parallel Universes" by a professor with a Japanese sounding name, something like "Mikau-ish?. He is not only a expert on such matters but a pretty good ice skater - I once saw him on telly demonstrating how a pulsar spins so rapidly.
Anyway, the prof said in the book something to the effect that if everything in the Universe were a matter of just common sense, science would have solved all the problems by now. well it was something like that?!
I generally tend to go along with a hunch that freewill comes into things, but I think Joe said that if everything is predetermined we probably would not know the difference.
Perhaps one day we might (or someone might) get to know the answer, but it seems to me that we (meaning anyone ever) might never know the answer. On the other hand someone might ask is Cliff happy now or is he grumpy? This is a case where I think quantum mechanics might break down.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff
davep
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Post by davep »

Cliff wrote:He is not only a expert on such matters but a pretty good ice skater - I once saw him on telly demonstrating how a pulsar spins so rapidly.
That rings a bell. Was it possibly an episode of Horizon?
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Post by joe »

Michio Kaku?
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Joe and Davep
Yes Joe, that's him. And yes, Davep I think the prof was doing the skating I saw on an "Horizon" programme.But even after you told us Joe I still forget his name. No disrespect meant, despite my total failure to grasp his name I got the impression he is a great bloke and would love to meet him.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff.
davep
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Article in New Scientist

Post by davep »

Funnily enough I noticed while in WHS today that the current edition of New Scientist contains an article that sort of deals with this subject. Might be worth a read.
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Davep
Yes, I got New Scientist last thursday. I usually get NS if there is any interesting astro\cosmology in it - which means most weeks!
I also got July Astronomy Now on friday, it has an interesting article about the possibility of our unuiverse being fractal.
I was pleased to see that our local newsagent is still stocking Astronomy NowI had thought there might be a danger of our newsagent droppong Astronomy Now for the new BBC Sky at Night mag.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff
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Post by joe »

Slightly related to the subject of predeterminism are the dilations that appear to happen according to the Special Theory of Relativity. If all events are predetermined then one would have no control or influence over them. Influence can only happen at or below the speed of light. If something happens very far away you will only know about it after the event and by extension the same is true for events that are not so far away. Distance involves time lapse and nothing is instantaneous.

If you watch a rocket traveling to a star 10 light years away at 75% of c, we will see it reach the star after 15 years but Relativity tells us that due to time dilation and the slowing of clocks we actually see the arrival after, say 25 years our time (the maths here is [are?] inaccurate but illustrate the idea). WE SEE the arrival after 25 years but in fact the rocket has reached the star and is already half way home by then! Therefore taking these events as one reference frame, if such a thing were possible, then the moment we see the rocket reach the star it is already predetermined that the rocket "will" reach the half-way home point, which is separated from us not only by distance but by many years in the future.

:?
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Joe
I am with you to a point, but not entirely certain where your rocket thread is leading. If I understand right you suggest that once we see the rocket land actually it is then as predetermined half way back home. I think I see what you are getting at, but can we really take that for granted. Taking an extreme case could the rocket crew mutiny when they land and never take off back homewards.
Again associated with this discussion (I hope!) :-I have read from time to time that there are some particles that can instantaneously communicate with another particle even though they might be on opposite sides of the Universe.
However, it occurs to me that with regards to intelligent life tough things might be awkward. Take decision making for example. Could the decision making be done instantaneously. Excepting perhaps for making a pure guess, is it not at least possible that even making a very simple choice between two things needs some sort of thought process that takes a little time. the more complicated the problem the longerthe decision making process - at least that seems possible, rather than something that can be done instantaneously ? Or could it? to be honest i am not now really sure what I am getting at.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff
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