On Sunday, March 10, 2013 5:51:35 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 3/10/2013 1:08 PM, spudb...@aol.com <javascript:> wrote:
> Question- I also thought determinism  mean't that you could predict where 
> and when, a particle could move. But that Werner Heisenberg, said that you 
> could determine, on, but never the other. Would you say that the universe 
> is predictable and Heisenberg might be wrong?
> Thanks.
> Mitch
> Determinism doesn't mean that you can predict everything.  Determinism 
> means the future is completely determined by the past.  

Which means that a deterministic universe always begins with a miracle that 
is never allowed to happen again.



> But in order to use that for prediction you have to know the past as well 
> as the time evolution operator. This is impossible for a couple of 
> reasons.  First, you can only know about the past that is within your past 
> light cone.  There are things happening on the Sun that you can't know 
> about for another eight minutes.  If those are things that can influence 
> what you're trying to predict then you're out of luck.  Second, 
> deterministic systems are not necessarily stable, so infinitesimal errors 
> in your knowledge of the present state or in the evolution operator can 
> result in large errors in  prediction.  So even if Heisenberg was wrong 
> (and there's lots of evidence he wasn't and none that was) the universe 
> still wouldn't be predictable.
> Brent

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