On Sunday, March 10, 2013 5:51:35 PM UTC-4, Brent 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?
> 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.
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