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Everything that can happen, will happen?

  1. Jun 4, 2008 #1
    Am I observing one of the Everetts near-but-not-quite-infinite number of possibilities of what can happen in my existence? If I had control of this said existence (my life) then wouldn't that affect EVERY other possible outcome? This doesn't seem logical, as EVERY other Astroboy's actions would affect MY current universe. What seems plausable to me about Everetts theory is that I am merely an observer of this current now happening universe, in which case I have absolute no control over. Thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2008 #2
    I think this would more a phylosophical question.

    Everytime you make a decision, every possible outcome possible could in theory, create its own universe where all those possible outcomes do happen.

    However, I do not believe you are merely watching, you are making decisions, in a fashion that merely creates more universe everytime you come upon a different choice.

    If you ask me, this sounds like an unpleasant inneficient way of handling quantum uncertainty principle.

    To create entire new universe just to account for all the infinite choices we are faced with, not to mention all other factors that would get their own universe, makes ya wonder what kind of use is there for all those alternate universe.

    I am a big fan of ocam's razor, I'd rather believe we live in a universe governed by unknown laws, to which we postulated many intriguing theory, however, I don't think it is very likely that every possible options create its own universe to answer the question we ask when we say "what if?".

    So, if any theory is valid until proven otherwise, you can safely postulate that until proven wrong, you are responsible for your own actions.

    Furthermore, just try to imagine explaining to a judge why your view of the universe as a being with no free will is the reason you commited any crime... I'm pretty certain you'd face a very skeptic judge with a not too lenient attitude toward you.
  4. Jun 30, 2008 #3
    Having moral judgements about the actions of other human beings and thede-facto juridical system that punishes wrong actions at the basis of existing human laws, and the question wether or not our actions can be said to have been caused by free-will are two different things.
  5. Jun 30, 2008 #4
    Here's food for thought; A man purchases a lotto ticket every single week of his life. A possible outcome would be for this man to win the million dollar prize, every single time. Not likely, but 'possible'. So there is a universe that has this man winning 1st division lotto every week of his life? What are the odds? Why hasn't such an event with those extraordinary odds ever happened in our universe? Because there's only one universe.
  6. Sep 2, 2008 #5
    Based on the lotto theory, we cannot be sure whether the such an event occurred in history or not since we are only aware of knowledge; which has global effect or is specific to our locality. We also have other factors, if you win n times, the portability of you winning further reduces each time, because of factors like you would get bored after a while; others would try to sabotage your odds due to jealously, etc. The more variants you bring into the equation, the more the outcome would change. Only an universe where they are no variants to the action "You would win every week", the action could succeed. By introducing certain key variants, you can effectively change the outcome of most actions to probability of 1 or 0, but that too would be good for the occurrence of an event a single time or specific finite number of times, nothing can work with probability of 1 or 0 for all time.
  7. Sep 2, 2008 #6
    Well, if every possible outcome is defined by its own universe, theres someone out there who bets the number 1,2,3,4,5,6 and wins every jackpots with it, every week.

    I don't specifically like that theory, as its not very elegant, its also wastefull, why would we need a different entirely new universe for every possible outcome of every conceivable actions?

    Beside science fiction, its not all that usefull either.
  8. Sep 2, 2008 #7
    Basically i want to give a new view to the whole idea of multiple universe. The thing is if we think each universe as a large entity occupying huge amount of space, it seems pretty wasteful. But if you think of a non-linear state of existence, it much more easy of visualize it.

    Consider a DVD, i don't need a whole lot of resources to quadruple my storage capacity, but just need to use a double-side double layer disc.

    Consider another example of video encoding, i can store the whole video frame by frame or, i can store the deltas from one scene to another since in most scenes in a film the background is pretty constant only the actors move around.

    I was most inspired by this article, which correlates many theories circled around the concept of a hologram having a non-linear storage capability.
    http://twm.co.nz/hologram.html [Broken]

    I am saying; not to accept or neglect a theory based on humanity's current knowledge of physics, but if you can visualize such a system where storage can be infinite within relatively small containers, then wastage of space would not be a factor to disprove the theory of multiple universes.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  9. Sep 2, 2008 #8
    I'm more then willing to entertain the idea of multi verse, however, a separate universe for every possible events? Highly dubious, everytime a mosquito farts or not, a new universe?

    Lets say I open a sac of pop-corn, and theres 90 trillion combinations of the order in which I eat every piece, it does seem weird to have that many universe for each probable order I'll eat them.

    Also, I'm not sold on the idea that because of quantum fluctuation and uncertainty principle, they are all valid until verified, and verifying them actually changes the result.

    Ok, so we don't know where is what, or at what orbit electron orbits their nucleus if we know X, or Z, but to have a whole new universe, no matter how compact, for every possible particule orbit or state, seems a tad on the over-doing it side.

    To take your DVD analogy, we're talking about 10E80 atoms, with each nearly infinite random facts about them, that would each require a special quantum state, that would thus mean infinite universe to cover all possible outcomes.

    Call it vanity, but the thought of an infinite amount of me in multiple universe varying by as much as one atom each, doesn't make me feel all that special.

    I'd rather think that I'm in a single universe, all alone, and that each action I take and chose are mine to make, and not just a permutation in some wicked quantum-multi-universe computer.

    Taken to its extreme, we could then claim that our action are not of our own chosing, since we're simply acting to fullfill our quantum position in the multi-verse quantum equation. I didn't chose to kill the man, I had to since the me of the previous universe spared the man, and all possible outcome had to be explored and done.
  10. Sep 2, 2008 #9
    Ok, we were discussing 3 concepts in general

    1) Probability of occurrence of events
    2) Existence of multiple universes for the outcome of each event
    3) Whether we can control our own fate

    I think the 3rd topic is what you are focusing on. So in the assumption, that there are multiple universes, why would you think the person in the next universe who is your counter part is same as you. Consider the first universe started of like a base class, but each individual universe even though most might look almost alike are their own instances.

    The person in the other universe might have a totally different personality. Say there was a fork in the evolutionary chain, a person's counterpart in another universe could a intelligent fish or a intelligent dinosaur.

    Basically until a theory is disproved i am fine welcoming both theories of a single or a multi universe. I am just interested in drilling into how reality would work.

    In case of concepts of causality or fate, i really don't put much thought into am i being controlled or am i just a machine. Basically any form of intelligence is a difference engine, hence given a history of inputs, given a current scenario and given n choices, any intelligence would weight what would be the outcome based on the stated inputs.

    Say you have a dream and at that point you do not have much knowledge of the real world, you react to the dream sequence based on what is thrown at it, but that not change who you are, i am still me, my principals are me, even the whole world might think 1+1=3, if i believe 1+1=2, i will stand by my believes or if i have a reasonable approach to it, i might ask why is 1+1=3.

    In general, i am fond of the saying, "You thinking is only limited by the number of assumptions you make", hence if someone says there is only one universe, i am not going to appreciate him since he is sticking to what is common or discourage him for not thinking outside the box.

    Since everyone thinks a little different, says in the DVD example i thought about bytes per layer, while you thought about quantum states, hence getting more theories into the discussion would be better than supporting any one quarter.

    Ok, lets try a different approach assume there is only one universe, and may be the rest of them are in some sort of sleep mode and in our dreams our consciousness is able to live in those parallel universes, would that theory be a good point of argument.
  11. Nov 2, 2008 #10
    Can I make a decision while asleep that will produce an alternate universe, and if so is it a single universe... or would I continue to create more universes while making decisions in my sleep?

    Obviously the decision to sleep is a choice I make, thus creating a new universe built from that decision. What if I were to remain asleep indefinitely, or in a comatose state?

  12. Oct 17, 2009 #11
    this discussion is like running into a chit chat with gods so forgive me if my I.Q. is not up to your high standards but i just have to say this...depending on the reference of what 1+1=3 is referring to. a man and a woman makes a child. so now i can't just take a 1+1=2 without asking if your adding it right. 1x1=1 WTF? this is where the universe becomes complicated.
  13. Oct 19, 2009 #12
    What if you say this to the judge " I did not commit the crime. I have completely no choice on the matter. The big bang happen, and i everything just happen according to blind physical laws".
  14. Oct 23, 2009 #13
    A friend told me this thread title when I was 12 and I immediately disagreed; a few years later I came around and have ever since had a lot of trouble trying to persuade (or even debate) other people on the topic.

    Essentially I believe it boils down to determinism- If something can happen, this implies that either:

    (i) determinism: all the prerequisites for this event are fulfilled and it must occur
    (ii) non-determinism: there exists the possibility that an alternate event occur instead

    For example, the die can land on 6, so if there is no random input or uncertainty, then it will. As the contrapositive, if something does not happen, it could not have happened, for example, in hindsight, "that die didn't land on 6, so the prerequisites for that event were not satisfied, for example, you did not let go of the die at the right time to ensure with its angular momentum it settled on 6".

    I think if you agree with the thread title you believe in fate, if not, you believe in "chance", or even stranger, "free will" (effects without causes IMO).
  15. Oct 24, 2009 #14


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    Fate is the easiest to swollow because it's just a form of Newtonian mechanics, but I for one don't subscribe to it. I do believe in free will, but it is also a very strange concept as it does completely defy Newtonian mechanics. Still, I have good reason to believe it because all one has to do is look at a Farrari sports car or the paintings in an art museum and ask oneself if it's possible that this car or these works of art are random events of atoms colliding. It's possible, but..well...is it really? For a universe to go from a big bang to an art museum in a mere 13.7 billion years is by any measure bordering on an act of God or something we simply do not understand.

    However if the multi universe theory is correct then that means there is almost an infinite number of universes where art museums did not form and in fact nothing formed, it's all just rubble as the chances of disorganized atoms staying disorganized if far far greater than the chances of 10^80 atoms organizing themselves into cities and humans by random chance.

    I think one has to put one more factor into the equation and that's our awareness of the world around us. Why am I only in front of this computer in the NorthWest typing this and not the person in another universe or for that matter another person in this universe who right now is sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. There is no logical explaination for that.

    In my opinion, the only theory that makes sense is solipsism where I am the only conscious entity in the entire multiverse and everyone else is just a mindless android because then this question would be answered. This however is the least pleasing of all theories so I'm going to continue searching for another.
  16. Oct 24, 2009 #15
    I disagree... but I suppose an android would too.
  17. Oct 24, 2009 #16


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  18. Feb 23, 2010 #17
    Here's some more food; how come there's only one universe? Has anybody proven so far that the possibility of another universe is out? I'd like to hear it. I don't know anything about astral worlds or parallel universes, but I do think that the universe creates itself over and over again every single tiny part of a second. By making other decisions you could say you're reinventing the world again, together with the whole world, that is. In thoughts, to me it looks like a gigantic tree-like diagram, with a million possibilities per branch, and each of that branch its own million or more possibilities, and so on. But that would say that some decisions rule more out more other possibilities as other ones. Isn't that interesting? But who knows what decision that might be. If I turn out the light at my desk, will some moth fly off to find a new source of light and get in the path of a person, walking at the street, who irritably waves his hand at it and is presumed by someone else as a friend or so, seeing as he seems to greet him/ her, would they meet and talk and create new possibilities, thanks to the fact that I, at my little desk, put out the light?
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