Saturday, September 8, 2007

For the past few days I have been interested in the history of life on Earth. One question that is sure to arise when dealing with such things is if we restart the system (from the big bang) will intelligent life arise again. More specifically, will humans always be the victors on the top of the evolutionary tree. Will we truly be the king of the mountain?

I think that the above question begs another. Is there true randomness in nature or are there definite causes and effects? For different outcomes to occur in a system that is initiated with the same values for each variable there needs to be randomness. If the evolution of intelligent life is inevitable then it would have to be the end of a long string of causes and effects occurring in a world that lacks randomness.

Nature is all about regularly occurring phenomenon. The laws of physics must work in such a way that a certain set of causes will produce an effect. Science, at its foundation, requires the 'necessity' of a certain effect from a certain cause (science of course does not dictate how the world works but only finds the best way of explaining it. So far it has worked really well). There are plenty of terms like "random" in scientific models, such as the "stochasticity" or how the "electron cloud" but these are random in the sense that they are uncertain. There are so many variables affecting the model that we just say it is random. But of course it is not truely random.

So we do not see any randomness in nature. What does this mean about free will? Unless we conjure up some sort of spiritual tinkerer to bless our minds with something outside of the physical world then we must accept that our thoughts and actions are predestined. We are part of the same laws that govern everything else in the world and if those laws lack randomness then we must as well.

It seems that the actions you choose to take when you're 80 years old are predictable from the moment you are conceived. Well, actually, they are predictable from the moment the universe began.

Update:Hmmmm.... Determinism


Anonymous said...

If everything is predestined, and if whatever happens in everyday human life is decided long back, then why are there non-believers of zodiac? according to believers, seers and fortune tellers have predicted what exactly happened to them thereafter.. then why have they been unsuccessful in predicting calamities like the rita or the tsunami etc.? If there was no randomness in this world, then what decides who is to live luxuriously n who is to die ten seconds after birth? there must be some criteria that makes a person live longer than another..dont u think? N wat can they possibly be if whether he is going to be good or bad is preordained? i would like to think we have the free will to do things and face the repercussions

Post a Comment