I have a question. There is a theory, and I forgot what it was called. It says that if this world was totally duplicated and everything in it, including all circumstances, would everything happen the same? What do you people think about it?

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- 12-01-2001gnu-ehacksA Theory
I have a question. There is a theory, and I forgot what it was called. It says that if this world was totally duplicated and everything in it, including all circumstances, would everything happen the same? What do you people think about it?

- 12-01-2001doubleanti
"if we knew the position and state of all matter in the universe, we'd be able to predict the next click in time"...

this goes against chaos theory right? a pure rationalist would say of course... but any others would disagree... personally i have a strange balance of spirituality and rational that gives me void status on the matter... yes, but no... there are untangibles, and whether or not they are independant of matter is not for me to say... - 12-01-2001gnu-ehacks
Hmm...I just thought of something. If we were to duplicate a computer exactly, then compile a program on both of those that comes up with a random number, couldn't we find out? We would have to go through the exact same manufacturing and installation procedure, and they would probably have to have clean installs...Has anyone every tried this?

- 12-01-2001doubleanti
y'know, that does work in fact... so far as my practices have gone... there's a whole other topic... plus there' sthe example of seeding the RNG... good point to bring up...

- 12-01-2001The V.
Gnu: Depends on which school of physics you buy, and which school of philosophy.

Some physicists interpret uncertainty as the limitations on our ability to MEASURE a quantity -- the measurement is probabalistic and uncertain, so we can only assign a position of velocity with a certain degree of accuracy. Under this formulation, every particle HAS only one TRUE position and one TRUE velocity, but we never know it for sure. This is analogous statistical sampling -- there is one, EXACT value for the mean population height for males 25-30 in the USA. If we added up every person in that group's height and divided by the number, we'd know it exactly. But when we sample, we can only assert that we are x% confident that our mean is close to the true mean; we can never know the true mean without sampling the entire population. So although we can only probabalistically predict the mean, there IS one, exact, correct answer.

The other physicists say that there IS no "true" velocity, or "true" position, but each are probabalistic.

BTW, chaos theory doesn't preclude determinism -- a system can be both determined (governed completely by causality) yet chaotic. Chaotic systems are ones in which a very tiny perturbation of an input causes large changes of the output. A determined system only means that for the same inputs, you get the same outputs; this doesn't require that the system is stable/nonchaotic. - 12-01-2001doubleanti
>A determined system only means that for the same inputs, you get the same outputs; this doesn't require that the system is stable/nonchaotic.

Wouldn't it if we could verify the complete and correct similarities of inputs? I agree that there are exact values, and that our only limitations would be the means for obtaining these exact values. I would imagine that there is one true logic, but in saying that monotony is introduced.

Speaking of instantanious variables, I would have thought it impossible to know a functions exact derivative in a real-life situation, considering that real-life apparently hardly follow function. But do we, as programmers, fundamentally believe that we have the aptitude to account for all variables? If we do, then may our universe become as monotonous as others stereotype our work to be.