If the human mind can think it, it can be done.

  • Thread starter Richard87
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  • #1
Richard87
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From Wikipedia talk page on time travel:

Time travel will certainly become a reality; all things the human mind can comprehend can be accomplished. The claim that only photons can travel at the speed of light will be ridiculous to a first year student in the year 3008. Ask almost anyone on the planet 108 years about travelling from New York to San Francisco in 8 hours and they would have said its impossible. Ask someone 508 years ago about travelling 70 miles in one hour and they would have said thats impossible. Any problem is solvable given enough time and resources. The atom did not even exist in the year 1744, at least not to scientists of the day, yet in 1945 we smashed a few together over Japan with spectacular results. One new discovery leads to discovering something else which will lead to travel faster than the speed of light. If the human brain can think it, then it can be done. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.44.1.69 (talk) 11:03, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

You might want to consider the difference between science and wishful thinking

I can think of jumping to the moon, but I can't do it. There is a difference between that which is difficult and that which is impossible. Just because difficult things have been done does not mean that there are no impossible tasks.--RLent (talk) 20:27, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that jumping to the moon is much more likely then travelling in time, but i believe both scenarios are accomplishable. - Thymo

Do you believe this statement? "If the human mind can think it, it can be done"
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
rewebster
837
2
no


and personally I don't think time travel will ever be possible, a reality, or anything else for people, particles, or anything at all
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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no


and personally I don't think time travel will ever be possible, a reality, or anything else for people, particles, or anything at all

Really? It must be tough being stuck in one moment in time. :biggrin:
 
  • #5
rewebster
837
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Really? It must be tough being stuck in one moment in time. :biggrin:

I wasn't thinking about the 'twisted wish' slant :eek:
 
  • #6
dacruick
1,039
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i dont even think we will get past mars. i mean, it takes so much energy and time to get that far, that it wont become economically advantageous to do so. and it took a creation of a car to travel +70mph, how can anyone put that on the same conceptual level as folding time and so on. if energy has no mass, and a certain amount of energy, doesn't its speed have to be infinite? and if its speed is infinite and still 3e8, how can anything pass that? ohhh warp drive right? true true, that makes sense. thanks scotty.
 
  • #7
flatmaster
501
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The atom did not even exist in the year 1744,

So much for observing hydrogen emission lines from distant quazars.
 
  • #8
Char. Limit
Gold Member
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I think that this poster does need to get his facts straight.

The atom was first thought of in Classical Greece, by a man named Democritus. He didn't know the structure of an atom, but he did believe that there are tiny, indivisible parts in everything.

Also, some things truly are impossible. Here's one example: A human can never run faster than a photon can travel.
 
  • #9
Rob060870
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i dont believe that we will ever travel faster than light. unless we can build a power supply with a infinite energy source.
however i do believe the statement up to a point. if it can be imagined then we can do it as long as we dont break any fundamental laws of the universe.
 
  • #10
From Wikipedia talk page on time travel:



Do you believe this statement? "If the human mind can think it, it can be done"


In a nutshell yes. I believe firmly in evolution and that we know a fragment of what is possible. What were 2000 years ago? What could be in 200,000 years? 2,000,000 years?

As we don't know our ancestory down to the creation of life on our planet, will we even be reconizable to our future generations 2,000,000,000 years from now? What will they be capable of, what barriers will they transcend.

While you can certainly probably correct my details, there is some line of theory that believes we evolved from an ameoba, that all life did really. That evolution has taken us on this journey of several hundred million years to reach the point where we are now. At one point in our ancestory how did we interact with the world around us. What sense could we bring to bear to determine our surroundings and learn from it.

Now, we can hear, we can smell, we can touch, we can taste and we can see. We are freely mobile and have the ability to realibly store and pass on knowledge to our offspring. Humanity has come a long way, and there is still a long path ahead for what we will achieve.

Many things will be impossible to us, and our closest generations following. I don't discount anything being a possibility for what technology and understanding that will seem every day to us.

It's a tough pill to swallow, but as advanced as we are today we will one day seem not very much more then cavemen to our distant descendants.

Also, some things truly are impossible. Here's one example: A human can never run faster than a photon can travel.

Isn't that assuming that because we can't do it or conceive of it, it simply can't be done. That's a pretty strong assumption given humanity's penchant for taking beliefs supported by older technological standards and proving them wrong with newer technologies. You don't know what lies at the end of our possibility and can little more conceive it then a roman could possibly have imagined life 2000 years removed from his own.

As much as Science Fiction and other creative outlets try to imagine our future, it likely doesn't hold a candle compared to the absolutely astounding feats and miracles education and a thirst for trying to figure out everything about our sorroundings will provide us in our races distant future.


*disclaimer: I totally acknowledge the possibility of extinction of humanity, and earth as a cradle for life as a possibility. However, it seems like life has a way of hanging on and evolving so I like the chances of life continuing to evolve on our lil rock.
 
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  • #11
russ_watters
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This doesn't have anything to do with evolution, it is a matter of whether there exists a set of laws governing how the universe works. If these laws exist, then they set the limits on what is possible.
 
  • #12
Mathnomalous
78
4
Yes, if the mind can conceive it, then it is possible.

A simple way to test this is by trying to imagine "absolute emptiness." Many people will probably imagine some form of blank (white or black) picture however those colors are physical properties. Absolute emptiness cannot be imagined because it does not exist. Therefore, the mind cannot conceive, it is not possible.
 
  • #13
Char. Limit
Gold Member
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Oh, come on.

A human cannot run (implying footwise movement) faster than a photon can travel.
 
  • #14
rewebster
837
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hmmm....

I'm thinking about someone (not me) naked at the center of the sun....
 
  • #15
rootX
412
4
Depends on how creative you are :rofl:
 
  • #16
Proton Soup
142
1
From Wikipedia talk page on time travel:



Do you believe this statement? "If the human mind can think it, it can be done"

two can play at that game. i think it is wrong
 
  • #17
K29
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Well, we all know that's a stupid statement. But since this is PF lets give a more formal proof:

Can we prove whether an event thought up by humans is possible?

The Halting Problem (and other mathematical contradictions) show that essentially there are more questions than answers, and that it is thus possible to think up a question that has no answer.

The question in consideration: "Is [event A] possible?" Let us assume that this is a specific question that has no answer. i.e. we do not know whether it is possible or not, and never will know. Then we will never be able to make said event possible. Therefore this event is not possible. We have a contradiction since we assumed the question had no answer.

Completely analagous with the Halting problem, we can therefore say the initial question can never be proven i.e. we can never prove whether an event we think of will ever happen [or not happen for that matter].

Note: for those unfamiliar with the Halting problem, it is a proof that it is impossible to prove whether a program will halt or run infinitely. [read it or take a computer science 101 course before you argue with me on that :) ]
 
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  • #18
dacruick
1,039
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In a nutshell yes. I believe firmly in evolution and that we know a fragment of what is possible. What were 2000 years ago? What could be in 200,000 years? 2,000,000 years?

a meteor could destroy our planet. or the sun could blow up. or we could run out of resources. or we could reach the limit of our technology based on lack of resources. or alien races could conquer our planet and enslave us. i dunno.
 
  • #19
Brian_C
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Further proof that Wikipedia is garbage.
 
  • #20
Pagan Harpoon
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It would be easy to expect Wikipedia to be garbage based on the fact that the articles are open to anyone to edit. However, I usually find it to be surprisingly very informative. Calling Wikipedia garbage based on a comment in one of the talk pages is extremely unfair. I go so far as to say that Wikipedia is one of the most useful resources on the internet.
 
  • #21
Char. Limit
Gold Member
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Yes... and people expect you to distrust every piece of information coming from there.

I doubt Wikipedia would lie about a helium atom having 2 protons, for example.
 
  • #22
planck
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From Wikipedia talk page on time travel:



Do you believe this statement? "If the human mind can think it, it can be done"

To a point. You can't break the laws of the universe. If you can think about having your cake and eating it too, it is possible?

The problem for time travel, for me at least, has always been--where are the moments being stored. Obviously, if I want to travel back in time--that period or moment has to be filed away somewhere. I'd just like to know where that moment is being stored.
 
  • #23
sylas
Science Advisor
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Further proof that Wikipedia is garbage.

This was the TALK page. Not the article.

A contribution like that in the actual wikipedia article itself would last only minutes. Really. Nonsense as blatant as that does get into less followed pages or quiet corners of wikipedia, but in an active page like "Time travel", it would gone very quickly indeed. You generally have to be more sneaky and less blatant to get a change in a widely read wikipedia page that lasts for a substantial time.

I'm a bit of a fan of wikipedia, up to a point. I'm well aware of its limits and don't trust it to be stable. But as a starting point, it is quick, and convenient, and quite comprehensive. There is an army of folks working to watch pages and maintain their quality; and that you get raving loons who write nonsense on the talk pages doesn't mean anything. It's what gets into the encyclopedia that counts.

Junk does get in and you should always check anything you are unsure of. But wikipedia as a whole isn't garbage. Its a very useful resource, worth understanding and using with eyes open to the pitfalls.

Cheers -- sylas
 
  • #24
Mathnomalous
78
4
Since I have been proven wrong in a brutal manner, let me revise my statement. Any thought that resides within the boundaries of scientific laws that the human mind may conceive is possible.
 
  • #25
sylas
Science Advisor
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Since I have been proven wrong in a brutal manner, let me revise my statement. Any thought that resides within the boundaries of scientific laws that the human mind may conceive is possible.

My favorite response to this was "I think that's not true". :biggrin:
 
  • #26
MotoH
31
2
I think that I can fly without the aid of machinery.
 
  • #27
The statement "If the human mind can think it, it can be done" is an assumption, hypothesis, wishful thinking, overly optimistic and naive sentence.
For the sake of argument, let us imagine that we have achieved the stage where we are able to do anything our mind can think of. That is the end point of imagination as such. What's next? Continue dwelling as idiots and imbecils who can do whatever their minds can think of. Now turn it around and you get "idiots who can only think of primitive matters". Hm. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
 
  • #28
Addition.
it is not that mind is a constant and humankind is trying to reach a certain line.
mind does evolve, too. the more we can do, the more our mind expands. is it reasonable to assume that at one point the mind, the motor, the drive, will give up and the raw muscular force will finally catch up?
i believe that human mind is, and will forever be the pulling force. for the humankind, mind you. not for the universe.


humankind is great. we do stuff. what about other species, and even other elements of our life form on this planet? why do we extract human mind as the mind? what about synergy? it seems very logical to me to assume that human mind is just a part of something right here on this planet. it is our weakness that we do not seem to communicate efficiently with our neighbours on this planet. not a wise idea to think that we are the only species with a "mind". hey, why don't we ask e.g. the rats if they are able to do anything their mind can think?
 
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  • #29
alt
Gold Member
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On the issue of the possibility of time travel - surely the answer to that is self evident ?

If tt was possible, if it was 'invented' at some future time, near or far, wouldn't we have evidence of it now by visitations from there ?
 
  • #30
On the issue of the possibility of time travel - surely the answer to that is self evident ?

If tt was possible, if it was 'invented' at some future time, near or far, wouldn't we have evidence of it now by visitations from there ?

good one. well, who knows. maybe - just maybe - we happen to be living in the less interesting era for the time tourists of the future.
time travel as such appears to be a fascinating idea. yet, it is entirely controversial and self-excluding. i don't believe TT is possible.
at the same time, I do not find the constant argument ridiculous, as the more the subject is discussed the more we learn about it. thus, i expect the argument to bring us closer to the truth about the possibility of TT.
 
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  • #31
DaveC426913
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Since I have been proven wrong in a brutal manner, let me revise my statement. Any thought that resides within the boundaries of scientific laws that the human mind may conceive is possible.
Now the claim has lost all of its oompf.
Saying it has to follow known physical laws pretty much takes all the profundity out of the statement.




And why stop there? Since the human mind is rather limited in what it can conceive, it's actually the smaller of the two sets. So we can revise your statement even further:


Any event that resides within the boundaries of scientific laws is possible.
 

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