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

  1. Mar 2, 2010 #1
    From Wikipedia talk page on time travel:

    Do you believe this statement? "If the human mind can think it, it can be done"
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2010 #2

    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. Mar 2, 2010 #3


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  5. Mar 2, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Really? It must be tough being stuck in one moment in time. :biggrin:
  6. Mar 2, 2010 #5
    I wasn't thinking about the 'twisted wish' slant :eek:
  7. Mar 2, 2010 #6
    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.
  8. Mar 2, 2010 #7
    So much for observing hydrogen emission lines from distant quazars.
  9. Mar 2, 2010 #8

    Char. Limit

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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.
  10. Mar 2, 2010 #9
    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.
  11. Mar 4, 2010 #10

    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.

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2010
  12. Mar 4, 2010 #11


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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.
  13. Mar 4, 2010 #12
    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.
  14. Mar 4, 2010 #13

    Char. Limit

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    Oh, come on.

    A human cannot run (implying footwise movement) faster than a photon can travel.
  15. Mar 4, 2010 #14

    I'm thinking about someone (not me) naked at the center of the sun....
  16. Mar 4, 2010 #15
    Depends on how creative you are :rofl:
  17. Mar 4, 2010 #16
    two can play at that game. i think it is wrong
  18. Mar 4, 2010 #17


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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 :) ]
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  19. Mar 4, 2010 #18
    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.
  20. Mar 4, 2010 #19
    Further proof that Wikipedia is garbage.
  21. Mar 4, 2010 #20
    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.
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