# Search results

1. ### Losing Heisenbergs constant

But surely we can't just "transform away" something like Heisenberg Uncertainty. I'm still missing something incredibly simple here.
2. ### Losing Heisenbergs constant

I'm very confused. Energy can be expressed as: h.C/wavelength So, in Planck units, the energy of the plank mass could be written h-bar.C/Lp h-bar is in units of m^2 S ^-1 and C is in m s^-1 In plank units h-bar=Lp^2 Tp^-1 and C=Lp/Tp So h-bar.c/Lp=Lp^2. T^-1.Lp.T^-1.Lp^-1 = C^2...
3. ### Can computers only do what we tell them to?

I knew it would be a philosophical question ;) Admitting randomness in the form of thermal noise is only pushing the problem back (albeit a virtually infinite way) if we consider the universe as a whole to be deterministic. I bet there's a dozen threads here regarding determinism and no...
4. ### Can computers only do what we tell them to?

Is it true to say "computers only do what we tell them to"? If we write any program and we know all the inputs then surely we ought to be able to predict the outputs so long as we know all initial states (including the seed in any pseudo random generator as well as the generator taps). If we...
5. ### Negative energy analogy

OK thanks. So what was the purpose of the example I wonder? I'm sure it was given to show more than just the equivalence of mass and energy. The proposition related to the cancellation of mass/energy within the totality of the universe on account of the "negative energy" contributed by the...
6. ### Negative energy analogy

I seem to recall reading an analogy describing the total mass/energy of a jack-in-the-box. This said that a compressed spring insided a box would "weigh" more than the same when relaxed (albeit immeasurable small). This makes sense given the equivalence of energy and mass. But what if the spring...
7. ### Material realism under attack

These five points have all been raised by an anti-materialist. I am interested in well-reasoned responses that restore a material basis to the World. I accept that this might not be possible but I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that the points raised here arise from a...
8. ### Material realism under attack

How can the materialistic viewpoint be defended from the following attacks: 1) Local interactions vs. spooky action at a distance: Action at a distance suggests non-material interaction. 2) Descriptive laws vs. prescriptive laws: Prescriptive laws are non-material entities, and this is a...
9. ### Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

Curse my carelessness! That's exactly what I meant to write. Irrespective of the two types of media you mention, media is nonetheless required to express the information. This is my whole point: no media - no information. I don't think we are going to break out of this loop by placing...
10. ### Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

Mentality has the same relation to mind as software has to hardware. It seems to me that software is supervenient on hardware. Despite a number of counterexamples that various people have tried to present, sufficient examination always reveals a need for a material structure to support patterns...
11. ### Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

Hold on, there's a mysterious loop here. Surely it shouldn't be quite so easy to jump out of it like that? Cybernetic wisdom aside, it's only natural for the Platonic and Physical worlds to follow on from there -- but that's true if we break out of the loop in any other way! And I don't see...
12. ### SOS and the design argument

I think simple cellular automata like rule 110 below: Give us a big hint as to the true source of all the apparent design in the world: OK, the automata running on the shell is only decorative (the rules are played out by the molecules of pigment in the developing edge of the shell ) but...
13. ### Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

Thanks Paul. As I read it you are accepting the transformation of concepts from the Platonic realm into realities. But in (2)The laws of physics are stated to be propositions but if they were not fully independent then how can they be interpreted? It seems to me that we would arrive at a totally...
14. ### Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

1)According to Paul Davies, most physicists who work on fundamental physics believe the laws of physics have some independent existence to the universe 2)The laws of physics are propositions if they exist independently to the universe 3)Propositions are semantic-based structures 4)We are...
15. ### News Physical laws: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Thank you MF. This epistemic horizon that you speak of is clearly an impediment to anyone seeking to dispel dualism and other metaphysical concepts born out of philosophy. Do you have any words of comfort for the material realists out there?
16. ### Universe=Black Hole?

I think this idea is presented in Lee SMolin's bookThe Life of the Cosmos . He argues that natural selection accounts for the apparent fine-tuning of the physical constants leading to carbon based life because such constants also lead to the formation of universes having a large numbers of black...
17. ### News Physical laws: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Philosophers David Armstrong, Fred Dretske, and Michael Tooley talk in terms of Universals: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/laws-of-nature/#3 Paul Davies has this to say: Establishing the correct order of supervenience seems to be the main issue here. In our collective experience...
18. ### News Physical laws: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Excellent point. It's one of those terms that gets bandied about without too much care or thought. But there are some who believe that there are prescriptive laws governing the universe that somehow exist "out there" in a platonic realm. Generally this is the province of philosophers. So am I...
19. ### News Physical laws: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

I think you might be right. It's something that has been atributed to Roger Penrose but having just looked into again it it seems that one of the most important principles in LQG is that there are no observers outside the universe. If all observers must be a part of the universe they are...
20. ### Creationism's New Museum

If I lived in the US I'd be thinking of leaving after seeing that. Sorry, no offence meant but there's something chilling about what is taking place among the religious fundamentalists in your country these days. If some crackpot organization (e.g. the moonies) pulled this sort of stunt it...
21. ### News Physical laws: Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Something that keeps cropping up in philosophical discussions is the nature of physical law. From time to time Mathematicians, physicists and philosophers give us reasons to believe that the world operates according to Platonic laws. Loop Quantum Gravity is just one recent example. For me...