Wednesday, 21 May 2008

God & Dice

Comparing intelligent living structures created by unintelligent interactions of random processes to dice being thrown in which by pure chance enormous series of coincidences occur thereby creating patterns, which can be described as said intelligent structures: The main problem with this idea is that left to their own devices the dice will remain inert on the table, and so there is no dynamic which can produce any patterns. The random interactions of the dice require an active agent throwing the dice.

Einstein's thought of God not playing dice is presumably inspired by the realisation that the complexities of the patterns, forces such as gravity, consciousness, etc, produced within life are endlessly beyond the possibilities of undirected mathematical chance. See the previous post's linked piece to monkeys, on pure randomness producing Shakespeare's works. However, even if chance could produce the unlikeliest of intelligent results, chance still requires a separate agent propelling itself beyind the inertia that would be its natural condition in the absence of this separate element; in that case monkeys. Chance requires a force propelling chance in the first place, else there is no chance.

So, for example, tossing in the air a million million times a coin of two perfectly balanced halves may hypothetically produce sequences of thousands of consecutive heads or tails. The key factor here to take note of, however, is the necessity of someone doing the tossing, and also of course the already existing elements upon which chance can act to produce more elements; these already existing elements
upon which chance acts having, presumably, required chance acting on other elements so as to have produced said elements, and so on. Otherwise absolute inertia.


Neil Forsyth said...

Is it not the case that given there has always been matter in the universe and before that other matter comprising the ingredients of the universe, and that none of it, or very little of it, could be described as inert, that is, not manifesting active properties of some kind, then is it not possilble that by a series of incredibly complex processes over a very, very (very!) long period of time, simple biological entities could have emerged from the infinite number of interactions between the various types of matter, and they in turn evolved over further great stretches of time into intellgent living beings until finally we arrived at you, Bryan Appleyard, Nige and Elberry? It has nothing to do with chance. Chance is merely the name we give to those events we can't fathom or explain in rational terms (like George Bush becoming President).

Andrew K said...

How has there always been matter in the universe? I find it incomprehensible how matter could create itself from nothing, or simply be there without cause. It makes no sense. Also what is motivating the processes of interactions. That's what i mean by the necessity of snother force propelling the interactions by which 'chance' results can occur. The coins on their own, even if we considered them autonomous creations- though that makes no sense- will do nothing. Why would there be any interactions?
For instance if I don't go on my computer & use my music equipment, there will be no interactions between the various devices, even if we allowed for the eternal existence of the relevant instruments. No music will ever be produced. There will be no reason any infinite interactions might by extraordinary fluke produce masterpieces- artistic creations of significant structure- because there simply won't be any energy motivating those interactions.

And even if, in defiance of all logic, there were infinite interactions going on, I don't see any reason anything but endless gobbledeegook would be produced, like with the mathematics of that monkeys Shakespeare scenarios.

Andrew K said...

If the matter is by definition completely impersonal, unmotivated, senseless matter, there can be nothing to inspire any interactions. Also since the universe as is, including our consciousnesses within it, is patently an intelligent structure of an order of unfathomable genius, I find it very strange to try to use our own incredible intelligence to search for a way of attributing all this manifest intelligence- including our own- to a total absence of intelligence. Such an explanation makes no sense anyway, whereas life being intrinsically intelligent explains the intrinsic intelligence of life perfectly. And even if the odds on such an intelligent structure of things like gravity, light etc were explicable though at odds of almost infinite billions to one, why on earth would one choose those ridiculous odds in the effort to deny significance, rather than simply accept the intrinsic significance of life. The creation of emotions such as love, the existence of memory, for example, all produced by unmotivated senseless matter. I find it completely incomprehensible.