Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
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12-11-2013, 04:22 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
Rolleyes I think goblins would be a much more reasonable choice as dice throwers.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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12-11-2013, 06:31 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(12-11-2013 03:49 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(12-11-2013 12:02 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Not being a physicist I will adopt the consensus view of physicists (as I do on all matters in which I am unable or unwilling to gain expertise) that randomness is an objective feature of the universe, an ontological category. I agree that this randomnes--like everything else--needs explaining but I don't see any grounds for ceding the issue to a deity. Quantum theory is less than 100 years old. In the context of human history 100 years is miniscule. The history of science suggests that we should work on it a little longer before invoking a supernatural origin.

Its not proof of God....and Polis isn't making the argument that I am making. I included it so people could have some reference to probability and randomness.

If you think about it, If God exists, what are the minimum functions you would expect God to fulfill in the world? Creator would be one, and right behind that would be dice thrower. If the dice thrower is supernatural, it is not unexpected then that the physics would say the world is just random on the deepest levels and there are no hidden physical variables. This isn't God of the Gaps.....but rather God of expectations. We see what we would expect to see if supernatural God exists.

We generally acknowledge that randomness is a function of ignorance(Polis explains this)....We all acknowledge this until we get we get to the quantum level....then suddenly its randomness just is. I have a hard time accepting randomness just is...it doesn't jive with any of my experiences with randomness....which is random events always require a randomizer or dice thrower.

I don't know what 'we' you are referring to. I certainly don't acknowledge that randomness is a function of ignorance.
Radioactive decay is an excellent example of randomness (when a particular atom decays) and is not any sort of proof that ignorance is the explanation.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-11-2013, 07:09 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
Radioactive decay is a stochastic (i.e., random) process at the level of single atoms, in that, according to quantum theory, it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay.[1] However, the chance that a given atom will decay is constant over time. For a large number of atoms, the decay rate for the collection is computable from the measured decay constants of the nuclides (or equivalently from the half-lifes)

There is no guiding force or architect here, its purely a
Case for Stochastic Modelling and Applied Probability.

No matter how you want it be otherwise Heywood , your argument is for the God of the gaps.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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12-11-2013, 11:55 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(11-11-2013 08:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(11-11-2013 05:41 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Blink

I really didn't understand that at all, sorry. However, if you're getting 2 different outcomes, are you 100% sure that there were no differences at all in any way between the two measurements?

Yes. 100%. All that is knowable in quantum mechanics is the amplitude of the probability density (and how it varies in space, time).
(and actually the number of problems which can be solved exactly and analytically is frustratingly small regardless)

But that's electron spin. I mean, I assure you, you can set up a two-axis measurement, and go 'measure z', 'measure x', 'measure z', 'measure x', and it'll be the universe's only true coin flip, but why take my word for anything? Tongue

You can see for yourself, with the ol' double slit experiment. Take a light. A laser works great. (Young's original experiment used candles so that's waaaay more high tech than you need to go!). Point it at two slits (like, literally slits in a black card - the narrower and closer the better, again, but it's possible to do this with 1810s technology). Observe the pattern (a wall works nicely for this).

Now, I doubt you can isolate single photons with the equipment lying around your house ( Wink ), but the interference pattern (which you can see!) is necessarily their sum total. Therefore the photons, which all begin on the same trajectory, finish in some statistical distribution (most land in the centre, and also in constructive and destructive bands decreasing in intensity as one moves outward).

To interpret this and think on its implications we need an outside bit of knowledge - the original experiments were explained as being indicative of a purely wave-like nature for light; quantum hadn't been invented yet - but we know that photons are discrete excitations! Which is to say, photons are quantum phenomena (and of course, it so happens that the original quantization theories - proto quantum mechanics - were precisely to explain the behaviour of light, ie photons) and thus play with themselves (as it were).

Of course, then we must move to the realm of the though experiment (so far as our immediate apparatus is concerned). What if you could send one photon at a time? What if you did? The answer is, the same interference pattern results. This experiment has been done probably millions of times in the last century plus (and incidentally it was totally Feynman's favourite experiment). Though usually if you want single particles you use electrons...

So; for each single photon, how is its path determined? We know (statistically, in aggregate) what the outcome is - that there are many possible paths for a photon to take. What happens when we send them one at a time? The same pattern. Send one identical photon from an identical source through an identical apparatus, and the result is exactly the same interference pattern. Each time it will take a different path according to probabilities which are exactly calculable. And there is no possible way to know beforehand which path an individual photon will take. Only the probabilities are knowable.

...

All kinds of people (and even very, very smart people - Einstein!) absolutely could not stand the idea that reality is fundamentally not completely knowable or deterministic. And so ever since there've been attempts at hidden variables and such to make the scary quantum go away and get back to a nice, pure, deterministic classical state of affairs.

None of them have worked.
Well, I admittedly know zero about quantum physics so I'll just throw in the towel on this one. Thumbsup

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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12-11-2013, 12:21 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(12-11-2013 03:30 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  1. You've learned you can never predict when it will dispense an edible puck or when it dispenses a shock. There is no discernible pattern. It is completely random.
2. However one thing you observe is that on average about once every six times you get shocked by the button.

"On average, 1 in 6" IS a pattern.

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13-11-2013, 04:19 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(12-11-2013 12:21 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "On average, 1 in 6" IS a pattern.

No it is not.
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13-11-2013, 04:35 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(11-11-2013 01:57 PM)Chas Wrote:  You have not demonstrated a need for a 'dice thrower'. The phrase 'generating randomness' remains ill-defined, even inchoate.

Play poker and you are dealt random cards. The randomness is generated by the shuffle. In monopoly, your boot moves a certain distance as determined by the random result of a roll of the dice. In football(American) you get to choose to kick or receive based upon the random result of a flip of a coin. In each case there is something which generates the randomness.

Physics does not tell us that a random generator is not needed at the quantum level. It only tells us that the random generator does not exist in the physical sense. So I ask you Chas, who throws the dice for you atheists?
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13-11-2013, 05:02 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
The act of rolling a die is to create an event that would otherwise not happen.
It is a true random causality.

When there is no die roller (rain/atomic decay) then what
Appears to random is actually causality outputing a seemingly random result.

So when things appear random, there is a cause for this seeming randomness, and one cannot assume they are truly random. Causality has been proven, but true randomness has never been proven.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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13-11-2013, 05:04 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 04:19 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(12-11-2013 12:21 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "On average, 1 in 6" IS a pattern.

No it is not.

Weeping
I see your problem.
What is it ? An avocado ?

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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13-11-2013, 05:08 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 04:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Play poker and you are dealt random cards.The randomness is generated by the shuffle.

How random is it really? Out of 52, subtracting cards dealt to other players and your own hand. The order of the cards is determined by the shuffle, that is controlled by whatever shuffled the deck (either programming or physics). It's not like you'll get 5 aces or end up with a Uno card. Not random, probabilistic.


(13-11-2013 04:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In monopoly, your boot moves a certain distance as determined by the random result of a roll of the dice.

Also determined by physics as the dice and the force it was imbued with reacts with the world until it comes to rest. A 6 sided dice won't magically transmute itself into a 12 sided dice and allow you to move extra spaces. Once again, probabilistic.


(13-11-2013 04:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In football(American) you get to choose to kick or receive based upon the random result of a flip of a coin. In each case there is something which generates the randomness.

Once again, physics.


(13-11-2013 04:35 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Physics does not tell us that a random generator is not needed at the quantum level. It only tells us that the random generator does not exist in the physical sense. So I ask you Chas, who throws the dice for you atheists?

False dilemma. You are assuming that a 'who' will be the answer, and that the only other answer is your god. Intellectually honest people (as in, not yourself) know that 'I don't know' is an perfectly acceptable answer to questions for which we lack enough evidence or understanding.

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