does "randomness" exist?

by googlemagoogle 45 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • BrendaCloutier

    You guys make my head hurt! However, I tend to agree that "randomness" appears to be a too simple explanation when all of the (facts,processes,equations,internal and external influences) are unknown or undefined.

    I am finding the current shuttle flight and it's plight interesting as the launch/reentry damages have been around since day 1 of the shuttle program, but the fact that the fuel tank insulation FINALLY caused damage in the wrong place on the shuttle, the knowledge of prior shuttle damage has finally surfaced to the public.

    "This is a random event because it has never happened before ..."

    Current known issues affecting the shuttle Columbia are:

    Trajectory of the projectile based upon the above 3 items plus

    atmospheric conditions
    shuttle launch trajectory
    shuttle launch thrust

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    Random? No. On the Columbia it's that all the components for any given disaster came together in an order to create the explosion.


  • Daunt

    I feel that that is a little impossible seattleguy. There could be an infinite number of variables that makes something non-random that we can never observe. If we isolate and annalyze something and it has no observable indictators that it is effected by anything, meaning absolutely randomness, it could still be an infinite number of other variables that makes it an determinist object of substance.

    All this talk of infinity is hurting my head.

  • Pole


    To the contrary I think the burden of proof is definitely with YOUR camp! ;-)
    I agree there is little or no randomness where you can show me a clear cause. No problem with that. But it is you who claims that there are thousands of "invisible" rules, none of which you can put your finger on, which determine the movement of pollen.
    You say "there must be rules" but that's just empty modality of the language you use. I say for all we know, it looks like there are no clearly deterministic causes EDITED TO ADD: as far as the unrestrained movement of pollen is concerned, and therefore I am happy with the notion of randomness.
    Which is more fair?


  • tetrapod.sapien

    so, Pole, curious:

    are you saying that the movement of pollen is random for all intents and purposes? or that it is truly random? or even radioactive decay. for all intents and purposes, or truly so?

  • Pole


    I can answer that, but I have a problem understanding the exact intent and purpose of this expression (sorry it's my English):

    "for all intents and purposes"

    Explain please. I'll be back posting in about an hour. I'm supposed to pick my wife from work and I'm already 15 minutes late. The odds are she's going to kill me if I don't go now. No randomness will save me. ;-)


  • tetrapod.sapien


    sorry. all "intents and purposes" could also be: "for all we care about". for example: is the movement of pollen random, in so far as we care to find out about for the purpose of making predictions regarding it's movement?

    TS ps- randomness and the wife species do not go together very well at all. LOL.

  • Elsewhere
    Elsewhere, I know the claim is that nuclear breakdown is random. But how can you actually show that it is?

    Good question.

    Experiments have shown that all radioactive materials have a Half-Life. The Half Life is the period of time needed for a given mass to be reduced to ½ of the original mass. This period of time is constant for each given type of material and each type of material has its own Half Life value.

    This means that when one graphs the mass of a radioactive material one will start to see that the mass value will go down exponentially. It also means that for any given atom in the mass, it has a 50% chance of decaying within the Half-Life… it also means that in a time period half of the half-life any given atom has a 25% chance of decaying and so on. After enough half-lives pass the mass will eventually reach 0 and all radioactivity will cease.

    The fact that this material is decaying in a purely random manner is what causes the function to be exponential and at the same time have the ability to always terminate with the value of 0. If there were a pattern to the radioactivity the function would either be linear or would never terminate at exactly 0.

    A good site that talks about this is:

  • tetrapod.sapien

    interesting page! thanks else!

    so, the randomness causes exponentiality. the exponentiality causes the function to terminate at "0"?

  • DannyBloem

    There have been a number of test on quantum rondomness.

    So far quantum theory has survived them all gloriously.

    Of course you can never proof that there is not something causing the randomness in quantum physics. You could even arguing that God is doing this, but that he does it so random that you never can see it was not real random.
    It seems to be that it is best to take the easiest explanation here, that there is true randomness.

    It works really well in QM. For example the prodicted half life of radio active decay.

    What are the implications of this? Well, that the universe is not deterministic.
    The question becomes interesting when connected to the free will.

    There are however some questions: Quatum randomness does not influence larger scale structures. 2) what has randomness to do with free will in the first place.



  • BrendaCloutier

    Yup. Headache.

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