Determinism - No Parrallel Universes?


Temporal Novice
Hello Folks,

I have just joined this forum. I hope Im not invading a close knit secret party?
Sorry about my other dodgy post. It sounds awfully pathetic reading it back! But I didnt really know anything about it, was just giving y'all the jist of the story I read...

Anyway, I was a philosophy student at A-Level. It was always a bit of a head screw but Im so glad I did it. It posed so many questions that I rarely have a blank head as they come back to haunt me. Its terrible at 4am! But I shall get to the point!

Determinism. The theory that 'if' we knew every single measurement and detail at the time of the Big Bang we could theoretically predict every single future event. hence destiny and wot not. We feel we have control of our lives but that is really an illusion. Yes, I know its an annoying theory and there are plenty of arguments. Chaos theory (problem of measurement causing changes (but thats not the point, we dont want to know the measurements because thats impossible, it just means that everything is determined)) Er, also the random element of electrons or something...
Anyway. Although I have ruined the point I want to make by questioning determinism... it might still all be determined. If this is the case, what implications would that mean for parrallel universes? Would we always just travel along the one branch (There are no others) Or would all the other branches have just started at the beginning. What theories are there to what causes a tangent or is that too complicated to explain?

Im thinking now how irrelovant this is as splits could just have been determined too.

I think it has been determined that I will get no replies to this post!
Well, the whole parallel universe idea really developed out of a thought experiment in quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics, a system can exist in a super-position of possible states until directly measured at which point it collapses into a single state. One of the founders of QM, Erwin Schrodinger who developed the picture of time evolving states proposed a thought experiment often called Schrodinger's Cat Paradox. In this thought experiment, a cat was placed in a closed system, i.e. a box, along with a radioactive atom, a geiger counter attached to a hammer and a sealed tube of cyanide. The idea was that the radioactive atom could decay emitting a gamma ray or x-ray which would be detected by the geiger counter which in turn would activate the hammer and smash the tube of cyanide thereby killing the cat. But just as likely the atom could not decay and thus the sequence of events would be such that the cat would be alive. What lies at the heart of the Schrodinger's cat paradox is that quantum mechanics which by its nature is the laws describing the systems on the atomic scale and below could invade on the macroscopic world(i.e. much larger systems such as in this case cats). Since the radioactive atom exist in a super-position of two possible states, the cat must also exist in a super-position of two possible states since its condition depends on the atom's. This strange idea of a system exisiting in a super-position of states has been experimentally verified, of course not on cats but through something called S.Q.U.I.D s. Primarily philosphers but also a number of physicist have interpreted this aspect of quantum mechanics to mean the existence of parallel universes in which this super-position of states branches off at the point when it collapses into a single state. For example if I am playing baseball and go up to bat, there must be a superposition of states in which I hit the ball to make a home run, miss the ball, etc... When I actually swing the bat, this super-position of possibilities collapses to a single state but some would argue that there is nothing special about this particular state and that the other states could have occured as well just as easily. Thus, you have the idea for every event there are essentially infinite number of possible outcomes which would branch off into what could be considered parallel universes. So, that would mean there would be a universe in which the United States never broke away from England but there could just as easily be a universe in which life never developed on this planet. To some people this idea is rather nice, it is the ultimate idea of infinite diversity in infinite combinations. It would mean that there really is no such thing as destiny or fate, for every possible event would take place.
Dear Sirs:

Thank you for sharing your concept of parallel universe(s). I suppose this means that time travel is just moving in-between different states of realities. Thus, as we accept things from a broader perspective it may be that we will see time itself as an illusion. If so, does this mean that we will be able to age/time travel? And is this the way so many before us and after us already have time travelled: By seeing time as an illusion and thus there is nothing to transcend? Well, I have questions but few answers at this point in time...

Sincerely Yours,

Harry Petersen
Nice one, Harry!

Certainly, the concept of time as an illusion is an old idea. For that matter, the concept of reality as an illusion is nothing new either, as you're probably aware.

Take the paradox sometimes attributed to the ancient philosopher, Zeno, for example:

In order for a runner to get from point A to point B, he must first cross intermediary point, C. However, before he can reach point C from point A, he must cross another intermediary point, D. Still before he even gets close to point D, yet another point between A and D must be crossed (We'll call it E? What the heck.) It works a lot better when it's drawn on paper.

At any rate, the basic idea is that by dividing the distance to be traveled into infinite subsections, it becomes apparent (at least to Zeno) that movement is an illusion.

It's only a brief extension from that to postulate that space is also illusory, and from that, we can state that time is indeed an illusion.

Now the real question is: If all this (sweeping gesture)is so illusory, why are we nonetheless perceiving it?

Any ideas?

Someone once described the universe as an idea-construction having certain root assumptions, e.g., the physical sciences, time, cause and effect, etc. It could all be as illusary as a dream. Maybe it's the physical analog of a dream.
Nice idea NoTime!

We've all had dreams that feel like reality, and sometimes reality feels like a dream. Maybe we all need to wake up from this present "dream", to advance in our existence?

Let me know your thoughts guys.

"Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream..."

"Omnia Vincit Amor"
"Time is the web of change, woven from the eternal to the changing human body. The mind is the maker and operator of the loom, spinner of the web, and weaver of the veils called "past" or "present" or "future". Thinking makes the loom of time, thinking spins the web of time, thinking weaves the veils of time; and the mind does the thinking."
well if reality was just a dream, who would dream it up and how would all these individuals imagine the same reality. this brings up something i wrote up a while ago. its basically a bunch of questions pertaining to this topic, and i dont really answer anything, it just puts this kinda stuff into (or out of) perspective:

is existence psychological?

do things exist just because you are aware of its existence? does that mean that nothing is real, that what your conciousness believes to be real is reality? if you are unaware of something, to you it does not exist, and vice versa. kind of like the whole "tree falling in the woods- does it make a sound?" scenario. but then there must be some kind of collective where everyone's consciousness comes together because everyone exists in the same reality. but only what you know to be true is true to your mind.

this is a paradox. do our consciousnesses exist separately or are they part of a collective? it can be neither.

psychological existence of one's mind cannot be in a separate world from others. that is obvious because we come into contact with others every day, and share and see many of the same things in the same world where people live and interact together.

but at the same time we do not exist in a collective because each individual has their own experiences and points of view. to be in a collective world everybody would have to know and see everything that everyone else sees. but does your reality not end when you die? once you are unconscious existence as you know it ceases. everything known to you is lost at that moment. even if the tree falls, you are unaware, it does not make a sound, therefore the sound does not exist. however, to everyone else, the world and everything they know is maintained.

how can everyone live in the same reality when, at the time of one's death and all existence they know ends, everyone's else is the same? how can everyone have an individual reality if we live in the same world as other's minds?
Maybe there is only one consciousness and only one mind that connects us all (collectively). Our brains, our bodies, and our psychology are the parts that make us individuals. Perhaps consciousness is the carrier wave of all existence.