Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Determinism and Chaos

Having recently seen the movie "Knowing" my wife was talking to me about determinism and chaos. She said to me, "I think both determinism and chaos are necessary for the universe to exist. This threw me back to when I was trying to make sense of the universe in College and to a place where I too had come to the conclusion that determinism and chaos operated side by side.

I can remember loving the idea of soap bubbles, the kind you blow as a child with a little circular wand with soap suds. I came to see then that the bubble as it traveled through the air was symbolic of determinism and when the bubble popped in any way, that was chaos. And so, to my way of thinking blowing bubbles was a way to worship the universe the way it naturally occurred everywhere. For example, the earth in this context is like a soap bubble, and as long as the bubble doesn't burst everything makes sense in some context. But if and when earth ends, so does the determinism continuum that earth existed in. It sort of doesn't matter then whether earth ever existed or not in this chaotic context. The same is true with Galaxies or even with thousands of galaxies. So you can see in this context that each planet or galaxy is a soap bubble and that the determinism of a galaxy only exists or is relevant in any way as long as it exists. When it is gone it is possible that no one would ever know it existed except perhaps the sentience within other galaxies that witnessed it existing.

This brings up another interesting conundrum. If a galaxy is so far away that we can still see it even though it collided with another galaxy and we can't see it because it is so far away that we won't see it for about 1 million years does it still exist? I suppose this could be approached by the philosophic question: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one sees it did it happen?" Since the philosophic and scientific answer is "NO!" and since this point of view is the basis of all science since Francis Bacon of England first put forth the Scientific Method I guess even now I'm not quite sure what the answer would be about the galaxy.

I guess also using this method of philosophic reasoning and inquiry one would have to say something like: "Since we can't see that it has collided with another galaxy it did not happen and has not happened yet."

For me, this is one of the problems of modern philosophic and scientific inquiry. If you are true to the system you are going to be wrong about a lot of things in actuality. And hopefully, these flawed conclusions aren't fatal to yourself or mankind in the meantime.

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