Truly random events?

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Truly random events?

Postby Jechbi » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:36 am

Is there any room in the five niyamas for truly random events of the variety that quantum physics seems to describe? Or has the study of physics simply not reached an advanced enough stage to be able to recognize the underlying orderliness of this seeming chaos?
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:41 am

isnt the randomness of the universe only when theres no life though?
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:45 am

at the quantum level there seems to be chaos, such as things poping into exsistence from nothing and then ceasing again (thats my basic understanding)
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby Individual » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:00 pm

Jechbi wrote:Is there any room in the five niyamas for truly random events of the variety that quantum physics seems to describe? Or has the study of physics simply not reached an advanced enough stage to be able to recognize the underlying orderliness of this seeming chaos?

"Probablism" and "Randomism" aren't necessarily the same thing. Furthermore, even within QM, there is room for deterministic explanations -- the many-worlds explanation, for instance. The notion that consciousness causes collapse is another example, except the cause is mental rather than physical. I think that both of these notions would be in line with Abhidhamma, which posits the existence of many interconnected realms and is neither idealist nor materialist (western science is materialist).
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby Jechbi » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:14 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:isnt the randomness of the universe only when theres no life though?

I don't know. Is that what physicists postulate? Does Buddhist cosmology allow for any type of true randomness at all?

clw_uk wrote:at the quantum level there seems to be chaos, such as things poping into exsistence from nothing and then ceasing again (thats my basic understanding)
Mine too. My understanding is that presently, physicists believe that some of the events that occur on a small, small, super small scale are in fact truly stochastic. That understanding seems to fly in the face of the notion that all phenomena must fall into one of the orderly categories of Utu Niyama, Bija Niyama, Karma Niyama, Dhamma Niyama or Citta Niyama. (Or maybe I'm not understanding this correctly?)

Individual wrote:"Probablism" and "Randomism" aren't necessarily the same thing. Furthermore, even within QM, there is room for deterministic explanations -- the many-worlds explanation, for instance. The notion that consciousness causes collapse is another example, except the cause is mental rather than physical. I think that both of these notions would be in line with Abhidhamma, which posits the existence of many interconnected realms and is neither idealist nor materialist (western science is materialist).
Right, but at the quantum level, there still seem to be things popping in and out of existence for no apparent reason. Doesn't the "many worlds" notion of a "quantum multiverse" create even more questions? Like where does the split happen? Constantly? Infinitely? Maybe those questions are less problematic.

Any Buddhist physicists out there? Is this an example of a disagreement between science and Buddhism, or do they actually gel? Not trying to make any point, just asking. :thanks:
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:33 pm

Greetings,

I think the word "random" is a bit loaded.

What the Buddha said was that all conditioned phenomena have a cause - they are not causeless.

That is enough.

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Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Truly random events?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:12 am

If by "random" you mean "currently unmeasurable and therefore unpredictable" then sure we've got lots of things that we can't currently measure and predict. If you mean "absolutely unmeasurable and therefore absolutely unpredictable" then I'm not certain if Buddhism touches on this topic.
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Re: Truly random events?

Postby clw_uk » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:21 pm

Right, but at the quantum level, there still seem to be things popping in and out of existence for no apparent reason. Doesn't the "many worlds" notion of a "quantum multiverse" create even more questions? Like where does the split happen? Constantly? Infinitely? Maybe those questions are less problematic.

Any Buddhist physicists out there? Is this an example of a disagreement between science and Buddhism, or do they actually gel? Not trying to make any point, just asking.



With the many worlds as well it would mean a lack of free will (if any) and also i read that it involves a concept of eternalism, since there would always be a universe in which you survive

There are some people think that QM is in line with Buddhism, but to me QM is still to weird to make any deffinate distinctions about it


Mikenz and Mawkish are scientists, perhaps they know more

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Re: Truly random events?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:41 am

To Quote Richard Feynman:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get "down the drain," into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.

Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation.

I don't think the last couple are relevant to the question, but they are catchy.

I've said before that I don't think much of most comparisons between Buddhism and Physics. B Alan Wallace actually has a Physics degree, so his books are quite good...

One technical note is that when scientists say "chaotic" they are usually talking about a complex deterministic system, not randomness, which is something else. Chaotic systems are, in principle, predictable, but small changes in the initial conditions lead to large differences.

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