Big Bang Thought Experiment

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Jack Reacher
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Location: New Zealand

Big Bang Thought Experiment

Postby Jack Reacher » 14 Mar 2012 03:37

Alright so I have been thinking about Dualism vs Physicalism, and Free Will vs Determinism, and I have come up with an interesting thought experiment.

Lets say the universe is deterministic, and in the future physicists somehow manage to account for all the data of the Big Bang. That is, they somehow have all the atoms positions and their volicities, basically they have all the physical information possible on the Big Bang. In theory they could model their paths and predict their next location based on their physical laws (lets ignore the quantum level for now)

Now lets say they put all that info into a supercomputer and run a simulation of the universe. It doesnt have to explain how the big bang started, it just models the atoms from the big bang and runs it to today.

Now this simulation will show the universe run exactly the same as ours right up to the point the Earth is created, and it would even show the scientists creating the supercomputers. It will then show the scientists run the simulation.

Now lets say the scientists decided to only watch the simulation for 5 minutes. They fast forward the simulation into the future, so that eventually the scientists they are watching in the simulation will also stop watching the simulation ( as they pre arranged it so they would only watch for 5 minutes), once the scientists in the simulation stop watching their simulation, the scienists in the real world observe their behavior.

Now here is where it gets interesting. Would they be able to change their actions based on what they see, for instance say the scientists stand up from their chairs and get a coffee, could the scientists in the real world decide not to make coffee? After all the universe in the simulation was created from the exact same big bang as their universe, so if determinism is true then they shouldnt be able to change the physical laws or their behavior.

But intuition tells us this is wrong, there is nothing magical to stop them from not making a coffee, they should be able to change their behavior. This kinda shows that humans are not purely physical beings and have some ability to interact with the physical world...
"There is theoretical abstraction, and then there is true abstraction."

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Peter
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Big Bang Thought Experiment

Postby Peter » 14 Mar 2012 05:14

so at what point are we driven and at what point do we truly have free will. And would the making of the coffee change on not change every event in a particular timeline. And if we would back the model with the scientist now make a coffee in the new model, and from here it could get odd.
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Jack Reacher
Posts: 490
Joined: 21 Jan 2012 05:03
Location: New Zealand

Re: Big Bang Thought Experiment

Postby Jack Reacher » 14 Mar 2012 05:33

Oh yeah man I had some serious problems grasping this before posting it, heres something I haven't quite resolved.

Basically the original scientists sit down and their strategy is to do something different from what they observe. This means the scientists in the simulation also have the same strategy. They must observe something different from coffee in the simulation they are watching (simulation 2).

We kind of have an infinite amount of simulations, each one either drinking coffee or not drinking coffee ( the scientists could write down something as a rule saying coffee or not). Kinda reminds me of the simulation argument, but I dont want to go into that as it since I think it is flawed ( I dont think we can simulate consciousness with computer code)

But the infinte loop aside, the point is is that both the simulation and reality have the same physical starting point, so if determinism is true they should both be exactly the same right up to the end of time or whatever. However if scientists can anlyse it, then maybe they can change it, which goes against the laws of physics doesnt it?

I have another crackpot theory that there is no single starting point for the Big Bang, and that as we create our future we also create our past, in a sense we choose how the Big Bang is distributed, as it clearly isnt symetrical as we can see by clumps of galaxies.
"There is theoretical abstraction, and then there is true abstraction."

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Peter
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Joined: 26 May 2011 08:02
Location: New Zealand

Re: Big Bang Thought Experiment

Postby Peter » 14 Mar 2012 07:49

I will really screw this one up for a little bit - the model assumes that WE are important and that there is not other beings or forms of energy that have free will in the same way so as complicated as it is we are the only variables. So what happens if there are scientists or whatever in some place doing the same thing at the same times?
I think we created the concept of time and therefore past, present and future but I don't have a better model so its hard to debate in any way that makes sense. There is also a gap between modelling and reality, we can change variables in any program and get differing results, just like making a cake but in the sims are just that and not reality itself
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born


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