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Quantum theory and consciousness. Help. - Page 2

post #41 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar


It is space that bends around objects not light. . .

Okay, I'll go along with that. I thought the light slowed down slightly too, but I'll take your word for it. Now, what about black holes? Doesn't the extreme gravitational field keep light from getting out? I've been phrasing these as questions for a reason. I'm not sure of the answer. General relativity is not my field, but it IS interesting none the less.



Quote:

The speed of light does indeed change, however, but it is constant under identical conditions. . .

That is pretty obvious, even if the speed is influenced by gravity.

post #42 of 82
Once light passes over the event horizon (where the spacial/temporal metric essentially stretches to infinity) it cannot leave (but this is because space has become stretched so much and not because light is changing its speed)...
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post #43 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar


. . . this is because space has become stretched so much and not because light is changing its speed.

I hope you don't mind me taking advantage of your willingness to answer questions, but I'd like to know your opinion on the other physical constants, other than c. It's my understanding that these are affected by mass of the universe and other factors. I hear that the cosmic constant, the one that Einstein threw out as his worst mistake, requires the greatest fine tuning of all for life to exist in the universe, although many other must be fine tuned beyond our imagination too. I guess speed of light must be one of the exceptions to dependence on parameter of the universe. I believe it's only recently that scientists have "rediscovered" the cosmic constant.

post #44 of 82
The so called cosmological constant doesn't matter to life...

I think there is a common misconception that if some constant was off by a bit that life wouldn't have formed -- there are two problems with this reasoning, one -- if life couldn't form no one would know, and two, in most cases (and even our universe) life is transient, our sun will eventually extinguish ending life in this solar system; in a broad sense, the universe will either expand into infinity reducing the likelihood of life coming about again or collapse into a point, likewise ending life.

I think it is reasonable to argue that the formation of life is likely (i suspect it happens far more often than we give it credit), and that even if our constants were slightly different life would still come about transiently...
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post #45 of 82
I had to see whether you were so far beyond me that discussion would be impossible, but I see that I can add something constructive after all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar


I think there is a common misconception that if some constant was off by a bit that life wouldn't have formed -- there are two problems with this reasoning, one -- if life couldn't form no one would know . . .

While this is true, it misses the point that we are capable of discovering whether the universe must be finely tuned for life. Take the strong and weak nuclear forces for example, which determine what atoms form in what quantities. These forces must be within about a 2 percent band for sufficient elements necessary for life. (Richard Swinburne, "Argument from the Fine Tuning of the Universe," Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, 1991) There are many such examples that appear to be very valid.


Quote:

I think it is reasonable to argue that the formation of life is likely (i suspect it happens far more often than we give it credit), and that even if our constants were slightly different life would still come about transiently. . .

Beside fine tuning of the universe, it appears that earth has been tuned for supporting life, and a planet like earth is much less likely to exist than most people believe. Simply obtaining the proper elements was quite amazing. (R. E. Davies and R. H. Koch, "All the Observed Universe Has Contributed to Life," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1991)

post #46 of 82


Here are the the most extreme cases of fine tuning: cosmic mass density within one part in 10 to the 60th, and space energy density within one part in 10 to the 120th. According to Lawrence Krauss and other astrophysicists, these are by far the most extreme fine tunings yet discovered in physics.

post #47 of 82
I've received a thought a few seconds before it was officially due. This thread is going to go down the drainhole of creationist drivel.
post #48 of 82
Thread Starter 
Yes. Here it comes.
post #49 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK


I've received a thought a few seconds before it was officially due. This thread is going to go down the drainhole of creationist drivel.

It may have been Fred Hoyle who coined the term "anthropic principle," and I don't think anyone would accuse him of being a creationist. It is simply an amazing fact that most of the physical constants, I'll exclude speed of light, must be exactly right for life to exist. Whether you believe it is this way on purpose or by chance does not alter the evidence. For those who don't want to deal with these observation now, why not call it one of life's mysteries and let it go at that?

Discussing free will is closer to a religious discussion that discussing any phenomena observed in nature. I consider free will so obvious it is hardly worth discussing. What hard evidence shows that we don't have free will? I don't believe there is any. We can choose to sacrifice our will and do something for the good of another. It can make a good movie too. When you boil it down, it is still free will however.

I am not interested in a free will discussion, however, and I don't know what has been written on it, except that it keeps coming up in religious discussions. People use the Bible to try to prove we have no free will. God is in control and determines everything that happens. If so, why not just run a simulation? It wouldn't cost so much. Making the universe must have been expensive.

post #50 of 82
Thread Starter 
'The Anthropic Principle' refers to a human-centric view of how the universe came to be. It doesn't mean that the universe came into existence in order for us to be in it.

Free will, secondly, is a pretty controversial subject. There are philosophers like John Gray who say categorically that it doesn't exist, that there's nothing you can possibly do in reaction to anything that hasn't been decided by your genes and your environment and your experiences in your formative years.

Maybe there's no hard evidence that it doesn't exist but it's impossible to prove either way, so there's no evidence it does either. Just because you think you perceive it is absolutely no proof that it exists, since studies in consciousness tell us that we attribute causes and explanations to our responses after the fact all the time. So it's a grey area, free will.
post #51 of 82
Thread Starter 
Oh, and while we're at it, there is absolutely zero evidence of the existence of the Christian God (or indeed any other god), so let's keep this on topic and keep all that religious nonsense out of this.
post #52 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah


'The Anthropic Principle' refers to a human-centric view of how the universe came to be. It doesn't mean that the universe came into existence in order for us to be in it.

Thanks, but I already realized that distinction. The Anthropic Principle describes characteristics of our universe, but does not infer why these came to be.


Quote:

Free will, secondly, is a pretty controversial subject. There are philosophers like John Gray who say categorically that it doesn't exist, that there's nothing you can possibly do in reaction to anything that hasn't been decided by your genes and your environment and your experiences in your formative years.

Maybe there's no hard evidence that it doesn't exist but it's impossible to prove either way, so there's no evidence it does either. Just because you think you perceive it is absolutely no proof that it exists, since studies in consciousness tell us that we attribute causes and explanations to our responses after the fact all the time. So it's a grey area, free will.

I've noticed there are a lot of things that fall into this category, things we cannot prove or disprove. There are those who say the world and universe are just an illusion, and it is not real. Such topics make poor discussions, IMHO, since neither side can prove a thing. The theorist has an answer for every objection, but it is framed in acceptance of the theory in the first place. Maybe free will is a notch above the Matrix however.

post #53 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

I had to see whether you were so far beyond me that discussion would be impossible, but I see that I can add something constructive after all.




While this is true, it misses the point that we are capable of discovering whether the universe must be finely tuned for life. Take the strong and weak nuclear forces for example, which determine what atoms form in what quantities. These forces must be within about a 2 percent band for sufficient elements necessary for life. (Richard Swinburne, "Argument from the Fine Tuning of the Universe," Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, 1991) There are many such examples that appear to be very valid.




Beside fine tuning of the universe, it appears that earth has been tuned for supporting life, and a planet like earth is much less likely to exist than most people believe. Simply obtaining the proper elements was quite amazing. (R. E. Davies and R. H. Koch, "All the Observed Universe Has Contributed to Life," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1991)


I disagree actually. How are these calculations done? We don't know how life came about in fine technical detail, and a crude back of the envelop calculation won't do.

Also, there is a presumption here that life can only exist on earth and not in a range of conditions.

I don't believe life is special. We are all just chemical reactions linked together.
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post #54 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

I'd welcome comments, but I believe it is explained by Einstein's theory of general relativity. Constants in physics are the result of fields, such as gravity. The universe has a total mass and a density, which results in an overall gravitational field in the universe. Change it, and the speed of light will change. This explains why light slows down when it gets close to a heavy object, like a star. It explains why light cannot get out of a super heavy object like a black hole.

Fields like gravity and electromagnetism determine all the physical constants, not just the speed of light. This is how we have discovered that the universe is finely tuned so that life may exist somewhere, which happens to be earth. It has been debated whether such fine tuning is the results of an intelligent designer, or whether it is random chance. in some cases the fine tuning is to within one part in 10 to the 100th power. Although chance is easily ruled out for a single universe, some speculate that there are an infinite number of universes, and we are the lucky ones to be in the right universe. But that's another topic. Even the existence of other universes is unknowable according to one theory.


If as you suggest that C has a dependency upon 'an overall gravity field' in the universe, then should it change, according to the proximity of mass, in some relationship/correlation with the inverse square law? In deep 'intergalactic' space where the nearest star may be thousands of light years away and there is virtually zero gravitational influence, is the velocity of light any different, than in a region of space densely populated with stars? If so, is C really a true constant?.. and is there any way of measuring C in an relatively more "empty" part of space where the influence of gravitational fields is less than it is "locally"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeehar

a better way to think about it is that the speed of light is a constant, period. Our units are arbitrary; it could be 530 barsdeit/umpta as long as it is 530 everywhere (in empty space).

My original question wasnt so much about units.. i realize they are arbitrary... it was about why that particular velocity, and what was the factor(s) about the structure of space that limits C to what it is. (which is such a snail's pace, when taking the size of the universe into consideration).

Flight-of-fancy time, for a non-physicist: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle allows for the creation and spontaneous annihilation of "virtual particles", and the Casimir Effect is a practical demonstration of this property. Might this intrinsic property of space/vacuum have something to do with the limit of C? And if so, can technology be created to modify this characteristic of space/vacuum, and therefore allow FTL transmission of information, or even physical objects?

or should I go back and read relativity?
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post #55 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo


If as you suggest that C has a dependency upon 'an overall gravity field' in the universe, then should it change, according to the proximity of mass, in some relationship/correlation with the inverse square law? In deep 'intergalactic' space where the nearest star may be thousands of light years away and there is virtually zero gravitational influence, is the velocity of light any different, than in a region of space densely populated with stars?

I've put that thought aside for a while, but I think you miss one point. In deep space and on earth there is a gravitational influence from all the mass in the universe, as I understand it. It might be compared with the overall background radiation from the stars, in that it is everywhere. The mass of earth is too small to overshadow the effects of the total mass of the universe, which is enormous. However, near a good size star, its field does bend space somewhat. So it takes a lot of concentrated mass to change the effect of total mass of the universe even a little bit. It's pretty uniform, except at black holes.

I'm not an astrophysicist, so take it with a grain of salt.

post #56 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar


I disagree actually. How are these calculations done? We don't know how life came about in fine technical detail, and a crude back of the envelop calculation won't do.

Also, there is a presumption here that life can only exist on earth and not in a range of conditions.

I don't believe life is special. We are all just chemical reactions linked together.

I believe life is very special. It can only be carbon based, which is the only stable source of the extremely long molecular chains needed for life and the codes in the DNA. Ideas of silicon based life is science fiction. Life is also very delicate. I think something like a 5 percent change in the sun's temperature would wipe out all life on earth. Our sun must be exceptionally stable, a second generation, medium size star.

Regarding the elements, there are certain ones that are essential for life. I'm not a biochemist, but this is what I've read. One of the essential elements on earth, for example, can only be produced in a white dwarf star. It had to be rotating in a binary star that exploded and scatter the element into space, to be a part of the matter that formed earth eventually. The literature is full of such examples.

post #57 of 82
The distribution of elements for life isn't so rare, and no it isn't essential to have very specific elements for very specific functions (I am a biophysicist/chemist).

You're still stuck on the idea that earth is the only place life can exist. If the sun were 5% warmer and Mars would look a hell of a lot more attractive.

It is also a mistake to believe that life is fragile. Some species are fragile, but life isn't.
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post #58 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar

The distribution of elements for life isn't so rare, and no it isn't essential to have very specific elements for very specific functions (I am a biophysicist/chemist).

You're still stuck on the idea that earth is the only place life can exist. If the sun were 5% warmer and Mars would look a hell of a lot more attractive.

It is also a mistake to believe that life is fragile. Some species are fragile, but life isn't.

Look at life here on Earth. It is everywhere. Life thrives in the vents of volcanoes, in the frigid wastes of Antarctica, the depths of the oceans, the hottest and driest deserts, in superheated underwater volcanic steam vents... in heavily acid or alkaline places... ie the most austere and unfriendly environments imaginable. Life is hardy.. (ask any gardener). Life is also composed of common elements that occur thoughout the universe. Even if life on Earth was triggered by some 'one in a billion event' (what might that have been, one wonders??), then the chances are that some form of life occurs somewhere in the universe, with so many quadrillions of stars and and presumably planetary systems. If 'life was triggered" by some random event... what was the material that "this event" affected, in order to start life in the first place.. and ...how does one define "life"?
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post #59 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar


The distribution of elements for life isn't so rare, and no it isn't essential to have very specific elements for very specific functions (I am a biophysicist/chemist).

With your knowledge of living organisms, how important is fluorine? It is the element that is produced on the surface of a white dwarf.


Quote:

You're still stuck on the idea that earth is the only place life can exist. If the sun were 5% warmer and Mars would look a hell of a lot more attractive.

Mars has other problems. It is not massive enough and has lost almost all its water to outer space. Planets a little heavier than Earth hang on to methane and ammonia. It's got to be just the right size. Those specific gravities are very close together.


Quote:

It is also a mistake to believe that life is fragile. Some species are fragile, but life isn't.

I was just looking out for my own hide, so I thought human life.

post #60 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo

If as you suggest that C has a dependency upon 'an overall gravity field' in the universe...

The speed of light isn't dependent on gravity. What does slow light down is the density of the medium through which light is transmitted. Light travels slower through air than it travels through a vacuum, slower through water than through air, slower still through glass than water. The constant 'c' is more precisely defined as the speed of light in a vacuum.

Quote:
And if so, can technology be created to modify this characteristic of space/vacuum, and therefore allow FTL transmission of information, or even physical objects?

or should I go back and read relativity?

The speed of light is a very different kind of limit than, say, the speed of sound. It's not like you hit a barrier and have trouble moving past it. In fact, if you keep pushing harder and harder, you can travel to any place as arbitrarily quickly as you wish with no limit at all (apart from available energy and how much acceleration you can endure without turning into mush) from your own perspective on how long it takes to get there.

If you could survive the acceleration and had plenty of energy to burn, you could get from here to the other side of the galaxy in a year, or even a day. You could get back home just as quickly. Funny thing is, however, when you get back home something like 200,000 thousand years will have passed for everyone else on Earth. That's more jet lag than most people want to deal with.

What we'd ideally like is to take that same trip and have to same amount of time pass at home as we experienced while traveling, or at least not have the difference in the two rates of time be so vast. The problem is that anything (be it an actual physical object, or even nothing more the abstract concept of information) traveling from point A to point B faster than the speed of light will appear, from some frames of reference, to arrive at point B before it has left point A. That's not only just weird, but can lead to kill-your-own-grandfather paradoxes. One reason to suspect that faster-than-light travel or communication is impossible is because it seems reasonable to figure that those kinds of paradoxes simply can't happen.

There are a couple of ways to have faster-than-light communication and travel without these paradoxes arising, but you either end up with some fanciful system that can only be implemented at light speed (spend the next 100,000 years creating a grand Cross Galactic Highway, and when you're done, you can thereafter cross this galaxy FTL without those pesky paradoxes), or it could be true that one of the philosophical underpinnings of Relativity is false, that there is a "preferred frame of reference"... and I'm running out of time to make that all make sense right now, so I'll have to leave it at that.
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post #61 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline


Funny thing is, however, when you get back home something like 200,000 thousand years will have passed for everyone else on Earth.

It's nice to find someone who really understands special relativity. It is so weird. I keep wanting time to unwind on the trip back home, but it doesn't work that way. Back to the Future's time machine worked better IMHO.

Since relativity was confirmed by atomic clocks flying around Earth, I guess I have to believe it, even if I don't like it.

post #62 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

The problem is that anything (be it an actual physical object, or even nothing more the abstract concept of information) traveling from point A to point B faster than the speed of light will appear, from some frames of reference, to arrive at point B before it has left point A. That's not only just weird, but can lead to kill-your-own-grandfather paradoxes. One reason to suspect that faster-than-light travel or communication is impossible is because it seems reasonable to figure that those kinds of paradoxes simply can't happen.

There are a couple of ways to have faster-than-light communication and travel without these paradoxes arising, but you either end up with some fanciful system that can only be implemented at light speed (spend the next 100,000 years creating a grand Cross Galactic Highway, and when you're done, you can thereafter cross this galaxy FTL without those pesky paradoxes), or it could be true that one of the philosophical underpinnings of Relativity is false, that there is a "preferred frame of reference"... and I'm running out of time to make that all make sense right now, so I'll have to leave it at that.

I don't quite agree, i think that those who come up with these theoretical miracles are forgetting one simple thing. If you hit the magic 'c' then there is no distance (to anywhere in the universe) in your direction of travel. People seem to forget this - you can have any multiplication of c you can think off, but distance is an absolute - once there is no distance then concept of less than no distance becomes your limiting factor.

In effect if you hit 'c' then you are everywhere in the universe all at once. It makes the concept of x10 warp drive irrelavent. Theoretically you can move at x10 c, but the concept of x10 less than 0 distance is the problem.
post #63 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

It's nice to find someone who really understands special relativity. It is so weird. I keep wanting time to unwind on the trip back home, but it doesn't work that way. Back to the Future's time machine worked better IMHO.

Since relativity was confirmed by atomic clocks flying around Earth, I guess I have to believe it, even if I don't like it.


why dont you like it? I assume you're quite fond of Gods creation from your posts - if so then you have to accept that God created relativity as part of this creation. What is there not to like?
post #64 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

With your knowledge of living organisms, how important is fluorine? It is the element that is produced on the surface of a white dwarf.

which pretty much proves that the age of the universe is far far older than you'd have us believe, for there to be fluorine in our part of the universe. You are aware that our sun is atleast a second generation star, formed by the extincions and explosions of previous stars. Incase you were'nt aware - according to the list of 'tailored intelligent designs for life' a high frequency of supernova explosions and suchlike completely rule out the possiblity of life developing. This means that the ingredients of our makeup didn't arrive here overnight, it don't happen often.

Anyway, if you are certain of free-will and infact have little interest in it as you claim, why did you feel the need to contribute to this thread? Is there some overriding constraint on your free will that makes you do things, proving you are not in control of yourself?

ie - freewill is being happy and contented in your beliefs to the point of accepting them regardless of what anyone else believes - and negates the feelings of insecurity, or the need to make a case for your belief, to try to make others accept your belief.

As ive said, i dont believe any of us really have freewill - lest the forums and life be a very quiet place.
post #65 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK


which pretty much proves that the age of the universe is far far older than you'd have us believe, for there to be fluorine in our part of the universe.

Fourteen billion years suits me; I don't know about you.


Quote:

You are aware that our sun is atleast a second generation star, formed by the extincions and explosions of previous stars.

Yes, and I think I mentioned the sun being a second generation star. Only supernovae make elements heaver than iron, which gives us a rocky planet.


Quote:

Incase you were'nt aware - according to the list of 'tailored intelligent designs for life' a high frequency of supernova explosions and suchlike completely rule out the possiblity of life developing.

I realize that we can't have a supernova in our vicinity, but of course the one that gave us the earth and sun happened long before life was established.


Quote:

Anyway, if you are certain of free-will and infact have little interest in it as you claim, why did you feel the need to contribute to this thread? Is there some overriding constraint on your free will that makes you do things, proving you are not in control of yourself?

I've made up my mind on free will, and it's not my favorite topic. I got on this thread because it is about consciousness, not necessarily free will. (I've been wanting to get around to Roger Penrose's books on consciousness, but haven't made it yet.) Then sammi jo asked about the speed of light and I jumped into that discussion, with the wrong answer.

So why are you getting on me about my posts anyway? I don't think you have me all figured out, as it appears you believe.

post #66 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

So why are you getting on me about my posts anyway? I don't think you have me all figured out, as it appears you believe.


sorry, you are right, i assumed one to many things and i apologise.
post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK


why dont you like it? I assume you're quite fond of Gods creation from your posts - if so then you have to accept that God created relativity as part of this creation. What is there not to like?

There are many things I must accept, but I don't have to like them. I like things to be intuitively obvious, and all we need to do is figure out the details of how it all works and how we can predict its behavior. If I drop a brick from a tall building it will fall with an acceleration of 9.8 m/s until air resistance takes over. I can understand all that. Relativity is weird. I do accept it as fact, and realize it must be dealt with.

The only time I used the word God in these posts is when I said, "People use the Bible to try to prove we have no free will. God is in control and determines everything that happens." It is a philosophy or doctrine of determinism that I don't agree with. Why are you assuming so much about my religious beliefs?

post #68 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK


sorry, you are right, i assumed one to many things and i apologise.

Oops! I dashed off another reply and didn't see yours come in. No need to apologize. I didn't expect or want that. I was curious what it was about my posts that that made you come to those conclusions. You are not too far off, but I like to stick to the subject. Religious discussions usually go nowhere.

post #69 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

With your knowledge of living organisms, how important is fluorine? It is the element that is produced on the surface of a white dwarf.




Mars has other problems. It is not massive enough and has lost almost all its water to outer space. Planets a little heavier than Earth hang on to methane and ammonia. It's got to be just the right size. Those specific gravities are very close together.




I was just looking out for my own hide, so I thought human life.


Fluorine?

Some may be needed for humans, but its role isn't known and certainly it doesn't take much of it to be toxic -- lets put it this way, you can grow e coli on media that contains no fluorine without a problem. Elements get scattered througout the universe when a sun explodes, the formation of fluorine isn't well defined, there is apparently evidence that it can form in Red Giants... but who knows, we do not know completely how a lot of things happen, but that doesn't mean they don't happen in more ways than we do know...
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post #70 of 82
What governs the speed of light is, actually, a mystery. Nothing in our understanding of the universe says that the light speed must be what it is. It could have been twice as fast or half as fast. Sure, other things will be different as well (quantitatively, but not qualitatively), but the light speed (a constant connecting space and time) was, for all we know, arbitrary chosen at the very instant the universe was created. The same goes for number of dimentions.

On the topic of negative and positive time:
Negative and positive time are not the same since our universe is not symmetric with respect to the time dimention. In order to make time go backwards you'd have to reverse all of the charges on the particles (electrons will now carry a positive charge...) and reflect a weak decays in the mirror (this is a bit more difficult to explain... look up P-symmetry of the universe in google). Other universes maybe different in that respect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo

Related, (but not completely on topic)... a question for all you physics knowledgeable folks....
What is the property of space/vacuum/whatever that governs the speed of light (in a vacuum), faster than which nothing can travel? There must surely be a physical reason for this constant being what it is (approx. 186,000 mpsec.), rather than "that's the way is is because it is"....

There's probably a simple reason for this which has been explained decades ago... but casually looking around for an answer, I found nothing... yet.
post #71 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar

Fluorine?

Some may be needed for humans, but its role isn't known and certainly it doesn't take much of it to be toxic . . .

All I know is that in sophomore semiconductor lab, we wore two pair of gloves and a giant smock, but there was a direct line to the hospital anyway, in case any of the Hydroflouric acid got on you. The HF wasn't going to burn through your skin or anything, but apparently the flourine ions don't want to bond with anything except bone, and they work their way down to the bone pretty fast, where they begin to deteriorate the bone.

I would like to add to this thread in a more meaningful way, but it's a really busy week at work and now I'm going to bed. Cheers.
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post #72 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel


. . . flourine ions don't want to bond with anything except bone, and they work their way down to the bone pretty fast, where they begin to deteriorate the bone.

And water districts add it to our drinking water! Aluminum plants have lots of this toxic waste, and they found a way to pawn it off for a profit. Sorry for getting off topic. I'll be quiet now.

post #73 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK

I don't quite agree, i think that those who come up with these theoretical miracles...

There's nothing theoretical about travel and time dilation. We've confirmed time dilation in a number of ways, including experiments with traveling atomic clocks. Since the relatively low speed results agree perfectly (within the precision of our measurements) with theory, there's no good reason to suppose that just when it becomes inconvenient for us, when we'd like to travel the galaxy and not come home to find our family and friends have all been dead for a few thousand generations, the math will suddenly shift into a more favorable set of equations.

Quote:
...are forgetting one simple thing. If you hit the magic 'c' then there is no distance (to anywhere in the universe) in your direction of travel. People seem to forget this...

What you seem to be forgetting is that talking about traveling at the speed of light is really no more meaningful than talking about dividing by 0. These problems have to be dealt with as an approach to a limit.

As you approach the speed of light, distances in the direction of travel approach zero. But here's the interesting thing... if I go so fast that the opposite side of the galaxy is conveniently only a mile away from me, it's a much older opposite side of the galaxy than the younger version which was 100,000 miles away before I started going so fast. In fact, it's nearly 100,000 years older.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #74 of 82
Um, younger opposite side...
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post #75 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar

Um, younger opposite side...

In case that wasn't very clear...

Imagine some Planet H (Planet X is just too horrible to imagine) 100,000 light years from here on the other side of the galaxy. As far as relativity is concerned, any differential motion between Earth and Planet H, as they move around in their orbits and their suns move in their galactic orbits, etc., is very minimal. We can say that Earth and Planet H share roughly the same inertial reference frame.

Somehow, some way, there's a clock sitting on Planet H right now which has miraculously been synchronized with Earth time, so it shows the year to be 2006 right now (it's important to remember that "right now" is a relative concept!), and this clock will conveniently stay nicely in synced with Earth time long into the future.

I get into space ship headed toward Planet H and slam my foot down on the accelerator really, really hard. Discounting the fact that I'd be squashed by the acceleration worse than having Mt. Everest dropped on my head, I quickly get up to a speed where Planet H is just a mile away from me, and coming up really, really fast. But it's a much older Planet H than the one which had been so far away. On this older Planet H, the clock reads 102,006.

I can make my own travel time to Planet H as short as I care to, limited only by available energy and my ability to withstand acceleration forces. But I simply can't get to the Planet H where the clock reads 2006. The youngest Planet H I can ever get to, if I leave right now, is the one where the clock reads 102,006.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #76 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

There's nothing theoretical about travel and time dilation. We've confirmed time dilation in a number of ways, including experiments with traveling atomic clocks. Since the relatively low speed results agree perfectly (within the precision of our measurements) with theory, there's no good reason to suppose that just when it becomes inconvenient for us, when we'd like to travel the galaxy and not come home to find our family and friends have all been dead for a few thousand generations, the math will suddenly shift into a more favorable set of equations.


What you seem to be forgetting is that talking about traveling at the speed of light is really no more meaningful than talking about dividing by 0. These problems have to be dealt with as an approach to a limit.

As you approach the speed of light, distances in the direction of travel approach zero. But here's the interesting thing... if I go so fast that the opposite side of the galaxy is conveniently only a mile away from me, it's a much older opposite side of the galaxy than the younger version which was 100,000 miles away before I started going so fast. In fact, it's nearly 100,000 years older.

yes, yes yes i know and agree, and in your second post you're arguing from the POV of the distance between the two planets as seen from the reference frame of the planets speed - what im saying is that if the clock is set at 2006 and you travel around the universe at c, then your clock will always read 2006 until you decelerate.

What im also saying is that if you travel around the universe at c, then until you decelerate, you will have moved nowhere (in effect because the distance to everywhere is 0 - you are 'everywhere' all at once -in your direction of travel) until you decelerate, regardless of what it looks like in the reference frame of someone who is not moving at c.

Now I know it is not possible for mass to travel at c, unless it is possible to convert yourself into energy while you are moving.

However, what i am trying to make the point of is that while it is possible to conceive travelling at 2 x 'c', or 372000 mpersec - and in effect get somewhere in half the time, or make time go backwards, in reality it is often forgotten that you cannot decouple space from time, and you will hit an impassable limit at 186000, because there is no valid concept of having less than no distance to travel.
post #77 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

All I know is that in sophomore semiconductor lab, we wore two pair of gloves and a giant smock, but there was a direct line to the hospital anyway, in case any of the Hydroflouric acid got on you. The HF wasn't going to burn through your skin or anything, but apparently the flourine ions don't want to bond with anything except bone, and they work their way down to the bone pretty fast, where they begin to deteriorate the bone.

I would like to add to this thread in a more meaningful way, but it's a really busy week at work and now I'm going to bed. Cheers.


Exprosure HF is bad news... it'll hit the tissue pretty bad. HF exprosure is treated with calcium gluconate to bind up the F and take out of the body.
post #78 of 82
so back to the original post.

I think that in order to prove/disprove free-will, you would first have to prove/disprove the concept of yourself being conscious. And to add problem to that, you would need to prove complete and utter consciousness throughout the sphere of execution of the decision you are making under free-will

secondly, in order to prove free-will in the event that consciousness is proven, you would need to evalutate the choice you are mulling over in order to exercise the free-will, and conclude that in actual fact there is a genuinely a choice to be made, that is not constrained by any outside influences.

For instance - you might think you could ultimately express free-will by chosing to murder someone, it could be framed so that the choice is simply to pull the trigger or not. but the personal cost of doing so versus the benefit of doing so will prevent you from executing the necessary actions- so in actual fact, you are not exercising free-will here, because the perceived 'choice' is actually an illusionary sham, and the moral issue will always act as a constraint over your free will.

Infact, seeing as there is a moral constraint, cost or reward in everything you do, it might be that all apparent choices are governed by an external factor that reduces the amount of genuine choice to be made.

You might sometimes be determined to exercise the free-will in the illusionary choice, but the cost of doing so will almost certainly constrain your actions more (than the baseline) in the future. Exercising free-will, you will certainly lose a greater amount of freedom than you gain. In effect, because it is a sham, exercising free-will only serves to further bind you to slavery.
post #79 of 82
so what is consciousness?

There must be atleast two forms of consciousness.

Firstly, there is the common usage of consciousness - I can contemplate myself.

Secondly, there is being conscious of yourself, but more importantly, being conscious of the constraints, factors and influeneces on your perception of yourself that limit and define you.

I might argue, that unless you are God, it is not possible to correctly evaluate all the possible internal and external constrains on yourself, so in reality, it is not possible to be fully conscious.

Not being fully conscious, must mean that all apparent choices to be made - in which you get to exercise free-will, really are illusions.
post #80 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK


I think that in order to prove/disprove free-will, you would first have to prove/disprove the concept of yourself being conscious.


What comes to mind is, "I think, therefore I am." It likely isn't applicable, logically, but it's close enough for me.

Quote:

. . . the personal cost of doing so versus the benefit of doing so will prevent you from executing the necessary actions -- so in actual fact, you are not exercising free-will here . . .

. . . seeing as there is a moral constraint, cost or reward in everything you do, it might be that all apparent choices are governed by an external factor that reduces the amount of genuine choice to be made.


What you say is true enough, but it doesn't affect free-will at all, at least as I look at it. Say a man meet a beautiful woman who he is attracted to and she also to him. In his opinion, she is the perfect mate. Say he is also married and has several young children, so he must make a choice. Does he leave his wife or not?

There are many moral and economic constraint here. If it meant that he could not exercise his free-will, then he would stay with his wife and kids and we would not have so many families breaking up. The fact that these type of choices tend to go both ways seems to imply free-will is working just fine.


Quote:

. . . In effect, because it is a sham, exercising free-will only serves to further bind you to slavery.

What you are talking about here is the consequences of making bad decisions in the exercise of your free-will, not whether free-will exists or not. For example, trying drugs and getting hooked does not mean you did not have free-will in making your choice. Once hooked, you still have free-will, but it become extremely difficult to exercise it, being a slave to drugs. Obviously such examples are plentiful, beyond drug addiction.

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