Schrodinger's Cat and The Universe

vanhees71
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Really? Your posts here are not scientifically accessible evidence that you are conscious and freely chose to post them?
Well, my posts are evidence that I communicate with you, and as far as my subjective feeling goes, I do this freely.

On the other hand, couldn't my postings also come from some algorithm? Does then the computer have consciousness and free will?
 
vanhees71
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And the interior of the sun? Or that of a black hole inside its horizon?
The interior of the Sun as well as that of Earth is of course also accessible by observations of waves of their surface (seismology, astero seismology):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seismology#Mapping_the_earth's_interior
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroseismology

Of course, here we also use models, based on general physical laws to draw conclusions about the interior of the Earth and the Sun.

The question about the black holw inside its horizon is of course more tricky. In one sense its unobservable, i.e., we cannot say anything about what's going on beyond the event horizon as outside observers we only can observe the behavior of matter and radiation falling into the black hole, but then all its properties are just subsumed into the fundamental properties of the singularity, i.e., total energy or mass, electric charge, and angular momemtum of the black hole. On the other hand in principle we could just "dive" beyond the event horizon (despite the fact that maybe we'd get destroyed due to the large tidal forces) and look what is there. The only trouble is we couldn't communicate it outside and write a paper or adventure book about our journey ;-)). Whether you can consider it as accessible to the scientific method or not is not so clear.
 
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couldn't my postings also come from some algorithm?
Only if there is some algorithm that can pass the Turing test.

Does then the computer have consciousness and free will?
If its behavior was indistinguishable from that of a human (and a human with expertise in science at that, if we're talking about posts here on PF), then that would be the natural inference, yes.
 
DarMM
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Wait is vanhees realism being debated here?

I assert priority when the Nobel committee come around.:wink:
 
vanhees71
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I guess, with this topic you have some chances for a literature Nobel ;-)).
 
A. Neumaier
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The interior of the Sun as well as that of Earth is of course also accessible by observations of waves of their surface (seismology, astero seismology):
But only very summarily, based on simplified models. Measurability is always very limited compared to what is assumed in the associated physical models. Thus one cannot equate physical reality with measurability.
 
vanhees71
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It's typical that one can only say what "physical reality" is not, but there seems to be no clear definition of it. If it's not the sum of (at least in principle possible) objective observations of phenomena, what is it then? Some ideal idea a la Plato, which we can never really grasp?
 
A. Neumaier
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It's typical that one can only say what "physical reality" is not, but there seems to be no clear definition of it. If it's not the sum of (at least in principle possible) objective observations of phenomena, what is it then? Some ideal idea a la Plato, which we can never really grasp?
Even though I cannot specify clearly what "physical reality" is, it is clear to me that physics is supposed to
describe what happens in Nature everywhere, not only where it can be measured. Otherwise it would be impossible to base successful technology on advances in physical understanding.
 
vanhees71
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To develop successful technology it's sufficient to successfully describe what's observable, and that's what science is all about. It's the strength (and maybe at the same time the weakness) of the scientific method to describe and only describe what can be subject to empirical investigation. As far as we know today, QT describe what happens in Nature everywhere as far as we can observe it.
 

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