Total Posts:10|Showing Posts:1-10
Jump to topic:

Quantum Mechanics and causal determinism

Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 2:32:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 2:20:52 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

Not all accounts of QM are indeterministic.

I know, but the most widely accepted versions are indeterministic. Deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics seem to be Ad Hoc by presupposing determinism and trying to "get around the problem" by positing something we cannot detect to solve it. If you follow Occam's Razor and take the equations and experiments for what they are, then an indeterministic view seems to follow naturally. The good thing about determinisitc views is they eliminate some of the problems of the indeterministic views, but at the high cost of abandoning locality!

This is why indeterministic interpretations have remained the standard in quantum physics, however I suspect that if any deterministic view has a shot is it the Bohm interpretation (I am not too fond of the Many Worlds interpretation).
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 2:35:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I guess what I mean by "is QM the death of causal determinism?", is "does QM make causal determinism implausible, when determinism used to be the scientific standard?"
000ike
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 3:46:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

if you're invoking determinism as an explanation for human actions, then QM is not the death of it. If you're invoking it universally, then sure.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 4:20:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 3:46:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

if you're invoking determinism as an explanation for human actions, then QM is not the death of it. If you're invoking it universally, then sure.

Well I agree that universal causal determinism would take a blow, but that is not the same form of determinism that B-Theory proposes (where everything is "fixed" and not "caused").
medv4380
Posts: 200
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 5:45:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

Depends on your definition of determinism. If you refer to determinism in the frame of causality that there is a unique prior state that leads to the present state then yes QM throws that out the window.

You have two nasty solutions. Ether you have non-local variables. On the surface they sound nice. However, non-local variables mean you can have a future state influence a past state. That eliminates causality. There is a nasty part in allowing for non-local variable that can cause a problem, and that's a paradox. How do you "determine" the outcome when you've setup a future state of one system with a non-local variable to influence the past state of another system and vis versa. It would be an infinite loop, and determination would be impossible. The solution is that the result is always random and then your back at indeterminism.

The Many Worlds Hypothesis is another determinism option, but it also has a problem. Even if every possible combination happens, and you allow for it to break the conservation of matter and energy by creating an infinite number of universes constantly, you have the problem of determining which "path" you're going to take. That path you take in the Many Worlds Hypothesis is indeterminate.

So both "determinism" options will lead you to indeterminism.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2013 7:58:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

That is indetermined.

See what I did there?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/3/2013 7:26:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

Causal determinism was never that alive to begin with, I'd say QM was just another nail in the coffin that it never really emerged from.

Causal determinism was never more than a useful methodological presupposition of science, it has never been a conclusion of science. Science has never come anywhere in the ballpark of demonstrating the causal closure of the physical world, and most have stop even trying.

Laplace's thought experiment was a mink hole, a rat hole that you are willing to go down because it feels good. It feels good to postulate that we could be omniscient, we all want to be infinite and God-like, but it is a na"ve fantasy with no basis in fact.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
v3nesl
Posts: 4,474
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/3/2013 10:07:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/2/2013 12:03:46 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Is QM the death of causal determinism?

If QM were truly non-deterministic, the macroscopic world wouldn't be either. Obviously nobody thinks any quantum can just 'do anything'. It's behavior is limited, just in a statistical way. This stuff gets badly misunderstood - causality itself changes at the atomic level, just as [the apparent] continuity of matter does, but that doesn't mean we're going to 'uncaused', just different sorts of causal relationships.

And btw, when you see things that are only deterministic in a statistical way, the usual explanation is that you just don't have the tools to measure everything. Coins flip in a statistical way not out of lack of causation, but because the causation is too complex for us to control or analyze in normal situations.
This space for rent.