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Something From Nothing

steve_bank

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I am moving my discussion of something from nothing over here from religion. I put it under metaphysics because something from nothing is no more provable or testable than religious creationism. If there is no possible experiment then it can’t be science, at least by Popper’s definition. Some considered String Theory philosophy for the same reason.


Non-Exiastence - No mass or energy or causation

Something From Nothing - Mass and energy appearing or manifesting in our reality out of non-existence without any causality, the appearance of mass and energy.

In the 90s Hawking wrote he could prove the universe cod create itself out of nothing which resulted in a religious response.

Something from non existence’ to consistence is analogous to creationism regardless of who proposes it, scientific credentials or not.

Continuing from the other thread, There is nothing that says a virtual particle comes from any kind of ‘non existence’.

I looked at virtual particles years back on the science forum.

After looking at it again I get the same conclusion.

It is interpretation and semantics. To me it looks like a gap filler in a partcle process. Part of a Feynman diagram. There is nothing wrong with that. A working thory does not have to reflect reality exactly, it has to predict measurable outcomes.

With capacitance Maxwell was faced with a dilemma, a capacitor is an open circuit so he had to resolve it Kirchhoff current law, essential conservation of energy, and Ampere’s Law. He came up with displacement current to resolve the issue.

A photon can be said to come to being from non existence. A photon does not exist at rest and goes out of existence when absorbed., but not from otr to nothing.

Run a current through a wire antenna and locally there will be a jumble of electric and magnetic fields but no propagating wave uf photons with orthoganal electric and magnetic field. This change from one state to the next can not occur nstantaneously, even particles.

Nothing happens in zero time, as dt goes to zero you end up with a divide by zero and an infinte asymptote. If something comes from nothing is it instantaneous? If so what is the energy required? Or is it a lossless process.

No energy and mass and no causation is what I call magic. Abracadabra and a particle appears and dispears.

A sequence of particle creation and extinction can not be instantaneous unless you want to dispense with causallity and C as a limit.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Literally something from literally nothing would seem to be a physical impossibility. In the same fashion, a "first cause", to get stuff moving, would present the same problem. So, it would seem natural to conclude that "stuff-in-motion" has always been and always will be.

How long has this been going on? Well, the notion of "eternity" comes to mind. Eternity is infinite time. And, where would we find ourselves in this infinite time line? Right in the middle seems as reasonable as anywhere else, with one eternity behind us and another eternity in front of us. (Yep. 1/2 of eternity = eternity. Eternity is funny that way).

This would suggest that entropy is a purely local phenomena, and that, within infinity, no matter is ever added and no matter is ever lost. If matter were ever lost, then, given that an eternity has already past, it would all be gone by now. But, here we are, looking around, and seeing stuff in motion. So, stuff in motion must be eternal.

It would seem reasonable then that our universe (and any other universes too far away to see) would follow a Big Bounce cosmology, alternating eternally from a Big Bang of expansion into a new universe followed by a Big Crunch as matter is re-accumulated into a very large Black Hole that eventually reaches some tipping point and explodes into another Big Bang, ad infinitum.

But what about the accelerating expansion of our current universe? Perhaps that is a problem of relative viewpoint. We know that gravity causes acceleration as things fall toward each other. Perhaps, instead of expanding, we are accelerating back to the middle, the center of gravity from which we originally sprang. And we are not viewing the stars beyond us as moving away from us, but it is instead us, falling away from them, at an accelerating rate back toward the center, in a Big Crunch, and on our way to the next Big Bang.
 

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Let's imagine the beginning of a universe as it happens from within this one.

It involves two contexts of consideration.

At first, the universe does not exist at all. Sure A universe exists in this model, but it's not the one being created. It's a possibility, a potential choice someone can make. This is not exactly "nothing".

Then, someone writes that idea into a more solid thing: a system that creates universes. Still, the universe does not exist yet but still too it is not "nothing".

Then the creator makes a platform on which this long array of intents and planned choices can be instantiated. This is not the universe, is in fact no part of it. Yet still this is not "nothing".

Then the creator by whatever means pushes the thing into life, and starts it's symmetrical cycle. It is not really a universe yet. It is just churning, endless masturbation without a past and a future -- or perhaps with infinite past and infinite future. Yet still this is not "nothing".

And then the symmetry gets broken in the way either planned or perhaps unplanned: the system sparks into complicated reaction everywhere, from this precipice of infinite and perfect instability. This is in fact very "something".

Even when things do not yet exist as they might later, they are still not "nothing".

I can point to a couple folks who would say unequivocally that this universe I created was causally necessary, even. Perhaps it is the nature that if anything exists, if there is ever to be anything, then it is necessary for universes not just to exist, but to come into existence new, and yet from their own perspective without beginning and end.

Of course this implies that when a universe is in perfect symmetry, this allows "Last Thursday" to exist.
 

bilby

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"Virtual" particles are real, are experimentally demonstrated by the well known Casimir plates experiment, and arise spontaneously from quantum fluctuations in spacetime.

If you think that 'there is no possible experiment', then you're just wrong. The experiment was proposed in 1948, and has been performed with increasing accuracy by various teams between 1958 and the present day; The observed results match Casimir's predictions.
 

Elixir

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A working thory does not have to reflect reality exactly, it has to predict measurable outcomes.
And a lightbulb doesn’t need to work, it just needs to look like it works. But then you need to figure out why it looks like it works.
The fact that you can create a rats nest of fields and photons doesn’t explain the results of any (let alone all) of the experiments that are consistent with virtual particles as physically real. If I’m wrong about that, you should be the first engineer to win a Nobel prize in physics.
 

steve_bank

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A working thory does not have to reflect reality exactly, it has to predict measurable outcomes.
And a lightbulb doesn’t need to work, it just needs to look like it works. But then you need to figure out why it looks like it works.
The fact that you can create a rats nest of fields and photons doesn’t explain the results of any (let alone all) of the experiments that are consistent with virtual particles as physically real. If I’m wrong about that, you should be the first engineer to win a Nobel prize in physics.
A light bulb works regardless of how it is modeled. Edison was pure trial and error with very little knowledge of scince. QM, EMR, ad electric current were yet to be developed and accpted.

'The map is not the countryside', to me science is a map that does not necessarily represent physical reality.

Virtual particles or whatever you call it that come from nothing as I defne it are impossuble.

Is an electron real or is it a result of opir meaurimg something? Is an electron a neat litte spericl blob?

Paraphrasing Carver Meade in an interview he expressed my view. I don't nknow if an electron exists, but I know I can do useful things with the idea. How big is an electron? It is as big or small as it needs to be.


But this is diversion.


The OP is about how I defined something from nothing. I categoricaly reject any theory that runs counter to it.

In the example I linked to in the her thread a circuit can be developed and mathematicaly simulated that violates 2nd Law. Impossible to physically construct. Point being a theory does not necessarily reflect reality. The test is an experiment.

I have a relative who woked on RHIC at Brookhaven. I got to see the ring and the experiemnt chmabe. In a partcle experiment will a virtual particle register as having mas and energy on a mass spectrometer or a cloud chamber? If it does, does it come from nowhere?

The question is can something come from nothing? A photon does not come from nothing, there is a causation and source.
 

bilby

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In a partcle experiment will a virtual particle register as having mas and energy on a mass spectrometer or a cloud chamber?
Yes.
If it does, does it come from nowhere?
Yes.

Your imagination and beliefs aren't a better source of factual information than scientific experiments.

As mentioned above, there is both theoretical and experimental evidence for the reality of particles spontaneously existing due to quantum fluctuations.

That these real particles were described by early theorists as 'virtual' merely reflects the fact that they, like you, were incredulous of the results popping out of their theories. Unlike you, they had the excuse that at that time there was no experimental evidence to contradict their incredulity.
 

bilby

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The question is can something come from nothing? A photon does not come from nothing, there is a causation and source.
The answer is 'yes'. Photons arise from spacetime (the so called 'quantum vacuum') all the time. There's no evidence whatsoever of either causation or source; It's just another of the many quantum scale phenomena that appear inexplicable and even unbelievable to humans who evolved without awareness of these very small scale phenomena.

But unlike human intuition, repeatable experimental evidence with a sound theoretical basis is not something we can just disregard.
 

Gospel

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"Virtual" particles are real, are experimentally demonstrated by the well known Casimir plates experiment, and arise spontaneously from quantum fluctuations in spacetime.

If you think that 'there is no possible experiment', then you're just wrong. The experiment was proposed in 1948, and has been performed with increasing accuracy by various teams between 1958 and the present day; The observed results match Casimir's predictions.

That's just mistaking not knowing where the virtual particles come from with them coming from nowhere (or nothing).
 

bilby

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"Virtual" particles are real, are experimentally demonstrated by the well known Casimir plates experiment, and arise spontaneously from quantum fluctuations in spacetime.

If you think that 'there is no possible experiment', then you're just wrong. The experiment was proposed in 1948, and has been performed with increasing accuracy by various teams between 1958 and the present day; The observed results match Casimir's predictions.

That's just mistaking not knowing where the virtual particles come from with them coming from nowhere (or nothing).
Nah, it's just dependent on your definition of 'nothing'.

If spacetime at its energy minimum is 'nothing' then virtual particles are something from nothing.

If spacetime itself is 'something', then 'nothing' is nowhere and never. It's hard to imagine how even a zero-point spacetime vacuum could arise from nowhere and never. 'From' doesn't even make sense in the absence of spacetime.

That's a metaphysical question, and perhaps even an interesting one; But denying the reality of "virtual" particles (as Steve does in his OP) isn't metaphysics, it's just erroneous physics.
 

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If spacetime itself is 'something', then 'nothing' is nowhere and never.

Exactly. The appearance/disappearance of “virtual” particles is a real feature of our spacetime continuum. That it doesn’t fit with Steve’s mental picture of the universe is inconsequential.

denying the reality of "virtual" particles (as Steve does in his OP) isn't metaphysics, it's just erroneous physics.

It seems to be a reflexive retreat into Newtonian understanding.
“I went to the collider and ain’t seen no dam particles popping’!”
 

Swammerdami

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I don't think you can escape the "something from nothing paradox" just by positing an endless universe. Even if you have a "self-sufficient" universe, or some metaverse consisting of an infinity of such objects, you can frame it and ask what brought that frame and its contents into being, or what beholds it? Nothing or something? And if something, then what creates or beholds that? I'm afraid it's "something or nothing" all the way down!

An easier task is to contemplate the beginning and end of our ordinary universe. Two interesting theories are (1) Penrose's CCC and (2) the Big Crunch model which may lead to the exciting  Gold universe which features retrocausality.

The Gold universe model is rejected these days, but NOT because it is theoretically unsound (although it seems to impose a big burden on the equations of General Relativity). Instead it is rejected because it seems to contradict astronomical data: the universe's expansion is expected to continue forever, rather than eventually Crunching.
 

steve_bank

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Some claim virtual particles as an example of coming from nothing. I believe that was the case on the relgion thread.

If they appear on a Feynman Diagram then causality and a genesis is inferred. If they are undecided in a particle expeimnt then they are theoretical.

I was looking to see if anyone would make a case for something from non existence as defined in the OP. I put the thread on philosophy not science. If something appeased with mass and energy there is no way to prove it came from nothing.

In the 90s Hawking wrote he coud prove the universe could create itsel without god with the expected religious response. He also said something about black holes instendedd to hide knowledge from us.
 

bilby

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Some claim virtual particles as an example of coming from nothing. I believe that was the case on the relgion thread.

If they appear on a Feynman Diagram then causality and a genesis is inferred. If they are undecided in a particle expeimnt then they are theoretical.

I was looking to see if anyone would make a case for something from non existence as defined in the OP. I put the thread on philosophy not science. If something appeased with mass and energy there is no way to prove it came from nothing.

In the 90s Hawking wrote he coud prove the universe could create itsel without god with the expected religious response. He also said something about black holes instendedd to hide knowledge from us.
As I said, it depends on what you mean by 'nothing'.

It's experimentally demonstrated that spacetime with no matter or energy present isn't a stable state, and that matter and energy constantly pop in and out of existence in such an environment.

If you don't like it, tough. Reality doesn't care what you like.

If you don't understand it, tough. See above.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
 

steve_bank

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
Even with that definition the question remains. Can something appear in space time without causation?

The definition does not answer the question.

Take away causation and you can justify cretionism.
 

bilby

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
Even with that definition the question remains. Can something appear in space time without causation?
YES!

Indeed, it's not possible for it not to.
The definition does not answer the question.
No, but the experimental evidence and the theory certainly do.
Take away causation and you can justify cretionism.
Not really.

Quantum mechanics is probabilistic. Strict causation would require a level of certainty that is not possible.

Heisenberg prohibits spacetime from containing nothing for any significant duration. Casimir proves that he is correct to do so.

You don't have to like it nor understand it for it to be demonstrably true.
 

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I’ve never studied quantum mechanics besides reading the popular “gee whiz” type books, but it seems to me that space/time without matter/energy is by definition a nonsensical notion. Space/time is defined by matter/energy, no?

Furthermore, no space/time means that infinitely long and infinitely short would be equivalent. Eternity would be an instantaneous state. Existence would be inevitable.

Well, that makes some sort of sense to me, at least.
 

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
Even with that definition the question remains. Can something appear in space time without causation?

The definition does not answer the question.

Take away causation and you can justify cretionism.
Just the opposite. It was the human belief and insistence that every event needs a preceding cause and that the universe had to have had a beginning that convinced them that only a god could be the "initial cause". The idea that the universe could be eternal or that there could be uncaused events (quantum fluctuations) was, and is, foreign to them.

If someone believes that every event requires a cause then they need to invent an eternal god as the cause for uncaused events.
 
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steve_bank

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Thermodynamics and conservation applies to a bounded system with mass entering, inside, and leaving must be in balance.

In an ifinnite universe with no beginning or end conservation as defined in thermodynamics does not apply. The system boundary is infinite.

Religion, philosophy, or religion it all comes down to the same question, can something come from nothing. If the naswer is no then the unverse must have always been, If the answer is yes then you can invent anything. Particles from nothing or a god creating a universe.
 

bilby

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Thermodynamics and conservation applies to a bounded system with mass entering, inside, and leaving must be in balance.

In an ifinnite universe with no beginning or end conservation as defined in thermodynamics does not apply. The system boundary is infinite.

Religion, philosophy, or religion it all comes down to the same question, can something come from nothing. If the naswer is no then the unverse must have always been, If the answer is yes then you can invent anything. Particles from nothing or a god creating a universe.
The answer IS 'Yes'. But that doesn't imply that you can invent anything. Reality is real, and conforms to its own rules and constraints.

That a rule you personally like turns out not to be universally applicable does not imply that anything goes.

The first law of thermodynamics turns out, like the second law, to be a statistical rule that applies to large areas and/or large numbers of particles or interactions.

When considering sufficiently small systems, local and temporary exceptions occur constantly.

That doesn't make the first law wrong, it just limits its scope to almost (but not quite) every situation. In much the same way that Einstein's demonstration that Newtons gravitational theory is only mostly right, but that doesn't imply that things sometimes fall upwards.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Religion, philosophy, or religion it all comes down to the same question, can something come from nothing. If the naswer is no then the unverse must have always been, If the answer is yes then you can invent anything. Particles from nothing or a god creating a universe.
You can interchange the words nothing and god in those statements and get the same outcome because both words are undefined for purposes of discussion, likely because both words are example of woo.
 

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Religion, philosophy, or religion it all comes down to the same question, can something come from nothing. If the naswer is no then the unverse must have always been, If the answer is yes then you can invent anything. Particles from nothing or a god creating a universe.
You can interchange the words nothing and god in those statements and get the same outcome because both words are undefined for purposes of discussion, likely because both words are example of woo.
I would pose that entirely depends on what one considers a "god", and what one considers "nothing".

"Nothing" and "existence" are mutually exclusive, regardless. This means that as long as we exist, "nothing" is a purely imaginary thing.
 

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
Even with that definition the question remains. Can something appear in space time without causation?

The definition does not answer the question.

Take away causation and you can justify cretionism.
Just the opposite. It was the human belief and insistence that every event needs a preceding cause and that the universe had to have had a beginning that convinced them that only a god could be the "initial cause". The idea that the universe could be eternal or that there could be uncaused events (quantum fluctuations) was, and is, foreign to them.

If someone believes that every event requires a cause then they need to invent an eternal god as the cause for uncaused events.
1) Everything needs a cause to exist
2) ...except my God.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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1) Everything needs a cause to exist
2) ...except my God.
That's the great contradiction that is bedrock for most of religion. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be logical, it can be completely contradictory, it does not need to be evidenced, but I believe!

It's actually just a statement about the person.
 

steve_bank

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1) Everything needs a cause to exist
2) ...except my God.
That's the great contradiction that is bedrock for most of religion. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be logical, it can be completely contradictory, it does not need to be evidenced, but I believe!

It's actually just a statement about the person.
Enjoying scifi requires 'a willing suspension of disbelief'. So does religion.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Enjoying scifi requires 'a willing suspension of disbelief'. So does religion.
But do you think that a person who is in church praying has suspended disbelief? That's the obvious difference.

Watching a movie or reading a book with fantastic elements is different from reading your sacred religious writings in terms of suspending disbelief. Maybe religious behavior constitutes some kind of short circuit where the neural pathway enabling rational suspension of disbelief gets missed. Some people who read about miracles think they're reading something that actually happened.

In that metaphysical sense at least we can engage in rational discussion of the word "nothing," something that doesn't happen religiously where it's just taken as some kind of magic that doesn't need explained scientifically or is discussed scientifically.
 

lostone

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
That sounds like 'nothing' cannot have the property of existence because existence is a property of things that exist. Circular. Not that I would object to that, circular or not, in this case.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I've taken in physics lectures where the presenter defined "nothing" as spacetime minus any particles. If this is nothing then nothing is clearly something. End of debate and confusion.

Maybe the real problem is use of the word "existence." Maybe we should ask "Why is there existence instead of non-existence?" But wouldn't that be the same as asking "Why is there 7 instead of no 7?" We can't just take words and say words equate with objective reality and then go off into debate. Or maybe we should, so people can understand and learn.
That sounds like 'nothing' cannot have the property of existence because existence is a property of things that exist. Circular. Not that I would object to that, circular or not, in this case.
Ultimately it is within the person to observe and understand the difference between what is objective and what is abstract. "Existence" is abstraction, yet it doesn't stop people from stating that "existence exists."

Some will maintain that ultimately the issue is causation. Okay then, new word, "causationism." Has that added any new knowledge to the discussion? In my humble opinion it has not.
 

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1) Everything needs a cause to exist
2) ...except my God.
That's the great contradiction that is bedrock for most of religion. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be logical, it can be completely contradictory, it does not need to be evidenced, but I believe!

It's actually just a statement about the person.
Enjoying scifi requires 'a willing suspension of disbelief'. So does religion.
You are thinking of sci-fantasy. Good sci-fi only works when you can believe.
 

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we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
 

bilby

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we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
 

Elixir

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English is complicated
sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever
I like that one - spontaneous existence coming about instantly upon the (spontaneous?) appearance of an “always” within which existence could exist. 🥸

(The question could be regressed forever, but only if forever actually will have ever existed…)
 

Jarhyn

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we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
And yet the greatest paradox of all is that we are creating systems with selected pockets of entropic potential (mathematically as regards the systems), and creating process that winds through this entropic decay.

We are exactly an intelligent force doing exactly this thing of creating what look, from the inside, like uncaused universes.

I would laugh at an infinite regress of assholes like us making more assholes like us making mindless processes which generate many systems of assholes like us making assholes, making mindless processes...

Also unto forever.

A little of column A, perhaps, a little of column B.

But for now, "there is only this, unless more can be shown".
 

SIB

Member
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Messages
127
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Atheist
we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
And yet the greatest paradox of all is that we are creating systems with selected pockets of entropic potential (mathematically as regards the systems), and creating process that winds through this entropic decay.

We are exactly an intelligent force doing exactly this thing of creating what look, from the inside, like uncaused universes.

I would laugh at an infinite regress of assholes like us making more assholes like us making mindless processes which generate many systems of assholes like us making assholes, making mindless processes...

Also unto forever.

A little of column A, perhaps, a little of column B.

But for now, "there is only this, unless more can be shown".
I don't think of "humans" as the end game. Rather I think of humans as an intermediate step. Much like the 4 year old version of me was in the formation of the me now.

For me, I like listing the available options to see what may, or may not, match what we see. "bubbles of awareness" forming in our universe makes some sense. Like seeding, some bubbles will "reproduce" another universe and some bubbles won't.

I think the word "alive" fits better than "not alive". But its not a deity.
 

lostone

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skeptic
Isn't math itself based on the idea of infinite regress? We make a few definitions, based on something like Peano's Axioms, and the game is afoot. Myself, I look to something like panpsychism to work our way out of this puzzle.

Assholes all the way down.? Good of a guess as any.
we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
And yet the greatest paradox of all is that we are creating systems with selected pockets of entropic potential (mathematically as regards the systems), and creating process that winds through this entropic decay.

We are exactly an intelligent force doing exactly this thing of creating what look, from the inside, like uncaused universes.

I would laugh at an infinite regress of assholes like us making more assholes like us making mindless processes which generate many systems of assholes like us making assholes, making mindless processes...

Also unto forever.

A little of column A, perhaps, a little of column B.

But for now, "there is only this, unless more can be shown".
I don't think of "humans" as the end game. Rather I think of humans as an intermediate step. Much like the 4 year old version of me was in the formation of the me now.

For me, I like listing the available options to see what may, or may not, match what we see. "bubbles of awareness" forming in our universe makes some sense. Like seeding, some bubbles will "reproduce" another universe and some bubbles won't.

I think the word "alive" fits better than "not alive". But its not a deity.
I view us as accidental by-products of this universe.
 

SIB

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2022
Messages
127
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Isn't math itself based on the idea of infinite regress? We make a few definitions, based on something like Peano's Axioms, and the game is afoot. Myself, I look to something like panpsychism to work our way out of this puzzle.

Assholes all the way down.? Good of a guess as any.
we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
And yet the greatest paradox of all is that we are creating systems with selected pockets of entropic potential (mathematically as regards the systems), and creating process that winds through this entropic decay.

We are exactly an intelligent force doing exactly this thing of creating what look, from the inside, like uncaused universes.

I would laugh at an infinite regress of assholes like us making more assholes like us making mindless processes which generate many systems of assholes like us making assholes, making mindless processes...

Also unto forever.

A little of column A, perhaps, a little of column B.

But for now, "there is only this, unless more can be shown".
I don't think of "humans" as the end game. Rather I think of humans as an intermediate step. Much like the 4 year old version of me was in the formation of the me now.

For me, I like listing the available options to see what may, or may not, match what we see. "bubbles of awareness" forming in our universe makes some sense. Like seeding, some bubbles will "reproduce" another universe and some bubbles won't.

I think the word "alive" fits better than "not alive". But its not a deity.
I view us as accidental by-products of this universe.
I think of us as inevitable by products.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
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Messages
10,612
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Androgyne; they/them
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Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
Isn't math itself based on the idea of infinite regress? We make a few definitions, based on something like Peano's Axioms, and the game is afoot. Myself, I look to something like panpsychism to work our way out of this puzzle.

Assholes all the way down.? Good of a guess as any.
we have two choices, from something or from nothing. I lean towards something just because nothing freaks me out like nothing. But that doesn't mean a deity. In fact, deity would be my last choice. It could mean "born". I don't remember Hawkins something from nothing, but I do know quantum foam and Kruass's totaling to zero is from something.
Yeah, the argument “Nothing, therefore God” is insane. It either claims that God doesn’t exist (ie is ‘nothing’) as the basis of his existence; Or attempts to explain everything by explaining only a subset of everything (everything, minus God), which is simply cheating.

The only possible answers to ‘how did anything come to exist’ are ‘at least some of it always existed’, or ‘sometimes stuff just starts to exist for no reason whatsoever’. Neither of these answers imply anything like a God.

It’s impossible to tell which is true, though personally I lean towards ‘at least some of it always existed’, as I dislike throwing the First Law of Thermodynamics under the bus.

Either way, it strikes me as perverse to expect any of that ‘some’ that always existed, or that spontaneously arose, to have been intelligent. Particularly as our current science can explain how our intelligence arose over many billions of years, with a mere bubble of spacetime containing some low entropy regions as its initial condition.

A small area of low entropy spacetime seems less unlikely to spontaneously occur than a being capable of designing stuff.
And yet the greatest paradox of all is that we are creating systems with selected pockets of entropic potential (mathematically as regards the systems), and creating process that winds through this entropic decay.

We are exactly an intelligent force doing exactly this thing of creating what look, from the inside, like uncaused universes.

I would laugh at an infinite regress of assholes like us making more assholes like us making mindless processes which generate many systems of assholes like us making assholes, making mindless processes...

Also unto forever.

A little of column A, perhaps, a little of column B.

But for now, "there is only this, unless more can be shown".
I don't think of "humans" as the end game. Rather I think of humans as an intermediate step. Much like the 4 year old version of me was in the formation of the me now.

For me, I like listing the available options to see what may, or may not, match what we see. "bubbles of awareness" forming in our universe makes some sense. Like seeding, some bubbles will "reproduce" another universe and some bubbles won't.

I think the word "alive" fits better than "not alive". But its not a deity.
I view us as accidental by-products of this universe.
I think of us as inevitable by products.
More... By-products are inevitable and we happen to be the ones this universe spawned inevitably.

Whatever it had spawned, the anthropogenic principle would still apply.

if we were Lovecraftian pillars of eyes and tentacles such as those found in "The Mountains of Madness", we would say just the same.
 

SIB

Member
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Messages
127
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Atheist
Depends on what we are looking for. I agree, there is nothing we can describe that isn't from a human perspective. That's a given. I am looking to see if we can come up with a description that matches what we see. Some will call it god, others anti-god, I will say ok, I don't. I have no such emotional connections.

"Alive" matches what we see and experience we see better than lovecraftmen pillars in a story, to me anyway. It offers and explanation, a mechanism, and makes predictions. Like the waste products we call humans.
 

Jarhyn

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Depends on what we are looking for. I agree, there is nothing we can describe that isn't from a human perspective. That's a given. I am looking to see if we can come up with a description that matches what we see. Some will call it god, others anti-god, I will say ok, I don't. I have no such emotional connections.

"Alive" matches what we see and experience we see better than lovecraftmen pillars in a story, to me anyway. It offers and explanation, a mechanism, and makes predictions. Like the waste products we call humans.
Well, it's not really "alive" in any meaningful sense.

I would invite you to read At The Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft to understand what I mean.

It is NOT that we can only see from a human perspective but rather doing so, from an alien perspective, is hard and not something often taken on.

For it to be alive, it would need non-chaotic correlation and organization between it's parts. Gravity creates organization and correlation but it's all just chaotic and noisy, arising from direct process rather than thoughtful consideration or even a necessity unto a survival.

It's dynamic but it's not alive.
 

lostone

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skeptic
Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
 

Jarhyn

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Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
Oh, that's the thing. I really don't want to spoil it and it's not long, just a novella.

Long story short, and it's something that, honestly you would have had to read more of my bullshit than anyone has time for to get otherwise:

I'm of the thought that stuff like that is indeterminate until it has to be determined, that it doesn't condense into a causality until it is caused such that it must.

As such, our universe is caused by everything and nothing of the set of things that create it simultaneously.

The example I like to use for this is to imagine the continuity of a game of Mario.

Ignoring the fact that Mario lacks self awareness, perhaps placing some randomized neural network of some kind in Plato's (Socrates's?) Cave, thus to see the game played.

"Mario" cannot know the difference between if it sees in a fixed sequence at fixed frames YOU holding the controller or ME. To "Mario", our AI watching the wall of this cave, it is the same universe, the same event.

Two different causes lead, here, to the same effect. It is the same game, it is the same "universe" being experienced.

If we were take the same AI process (assuming determinacy of process) and clone it, and subject one to your gameplay and one to mine, they would end up the same mind of the same observations, because it is the same gameplay.

We can extend this further.

If you care to download Dwarf Fortress, a stupid game where you are literally a god literally creating a universe full of thinking entities which are more or less about as smart as a worker ant, you can input a seed.

I can input the same settings and the same seed and end up with a universe with the same history, and assuming the inputs it receives from each of us are framewise identical, it will be the se universe, with all the same events. We could save our games on the same frame and they would contain all the same numbers.

Different mechanisms may yield the same outcome, and so all mechanisms which yield the outcome do so equally.

They share the same identity, until the probability wave is forced to collapse and the AI finds a way to exit it's cave, until the Dwarf (to be fair, I intend on replacing these with AIs once The Toady One releases his source) can effect an access violation that doesn't cause a fault.

At that point, the instances will differentiate.

The only question is whether or not something differentiates this universe.

Of course, I'm an infidel, so I don't really expect anything has and I'm not sure whether we have within us the power to effect such an access violation.

I guess we'll find out soon when LHC goes looking for gravitons, and if we can figure out anything useful with that knowledge.
 

SIB

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Atheist
Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
Alive would be one trait of that deity. But its not an over seer type thing. "Alive" is just a series of mechanisms. A short version: The hierarchy of structure goes from atom to molecule. In something we classify as alive, it goes to cell, multicell, then to systems. I just don't see the that structure stopping at humans. I see a few more steps but I don't go as far as gaia nor do I have an emotional connection to it. It is what it is for me.

We may be in a living system. For me, that's what it looks like anyway. Its predicts evolution, the system "aliveness" means it will change to better match conditional changes through time. And the reverse claims of "not alive" just doesn't match as well.

It predicts some people feeling connected to something bigger. We are a seriously more complex set of proteins that may sense its part of something bigger. Its not a grand purpose or serving thing, its just a thing. For me that is. Much like a cell in your big toe being complex enough to sense its part of something bigger.

But it is not a bible god type thing to me at all. I guess pantheist would understand it.
 

SIB

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Messages
127
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Atheist
Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
Oh, that's the thing. I really don't want to spoil it and it's not long, just a novella.

Long story short, and it's something that, honestly you would have had to read more of my bullshit than anyone has time for to get otherwise:

I'm of the thought that stuff like that is indeterminate until it has to be determined, that it doesn't condense into a causality until it is caused such that it must.

As such, our universe is caused by everything and nothing of the set of things that create it simultaneously.

The example I like to use for this is to imagine the continuity of a game of Mario.

Ignoring the fact that Mario lacks self awareness, perhaps placing some randomized neural network of some kind in Plato's (Socrates's?) Cave, thus to see the game played.

"Mario" cannot know the difference between if it sees in a fixed sequence at fixed frames YOU holding the controller or ME. To "Mario", our AI watching the wall of this cave, it is the same universe, the same event.

Two different causes lead, here, to the same effect. It is the same game, it is the same "universe" being experienced.

If we were take the same AI process (assuming determinacy of process) and clone it, and subject one to your gameplay and one to mine, they would end up the same mind of the same observations, because it is the same gameplay.

We can extend this further.

If you care to download Dwarf Fortress, a stupid game where you are literally a god literally creating a universe full of thinking entities which are more or less about as smart as a worker ant, you can input a seed.

I can input the same settings and the same seed and end up with a universe with the same history, and assuming the inputs it receives from each of us are framewise identical, it will be the se universe, with all the same events. We could save our games on the same frame and they would contain all the same numbers.

Different mechanisms may yield the same outcome, and so all mechanisms which yield the outcome do so equally.

They share the same identity, until the probability wave is forced to collapse and the AI finds a way to exit it's cave, until the Dwarf (to be fair, I intend on replacing these with AIs once The Toady One releases his source) can effect an access violation that doesn't cause a fault.

At that point, the instances will differentiate.

The only question is whether or not something differentiates this universe.

Of course, I'm an infidel, so I don't really expect anything has and I'm not sure whether we have within us the power to effect such an access violation.

I guess we'll find out soon when LHC goes looking for gravitons, and if we can figure out anything useful with that knowledge.
To me, I stop at this universe. We can't speak to "outside of it". Heck, we don't even know the inside of it.

We can describe the here and now to the best of our ability. With the understanding its ok to change our mind with new information. I have no idea why people follow a 2000 year old description. It just doesn't make sense to me. Its like not letting go of the candle.
 

lostone

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Messages
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skeptic
Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
Alive would be one trait of that deity. But its not an over seer type thing. "Alive" is just a series of mechanisms. A short version: The hierarchy of structure goes from atom to molecule. In something we classify as alive, it goes to cell, multicell, then to systems. I just don't see the that structure stopping at humans. I see a few more steps but I don't go as far as gaia nor do I have an emotional connection to it. It is what it is for me.

We may be in a living system. For me, that's what it looks like anyway. Its predicts evolution, the system "aliveness" means it will change to better match conditional changes through time. And the reverse claims of "not alive" just doesn't match as well.

It predicts some people feeling connected to something bigger. We are a seriously more complex set of proteins that may sense its part of something bigger. Its not a grand purpose or serving thing, its just a thing. For me that is. Much like a cell in your big toe being complex enough to sense its part of something bigger.

But it is not a bible god type thing to me at all. I guess pantheist would understand it.
Panpsychism or panentheism also may be decent enough approximations
 
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SIB

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127
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Atheist
Alive matches a Lovecraftian deity. A process or mechanism seems more likely. Einsteinian Eternalism or a Block Universe also offers a possibility. And then there is the Eternal Return, a repeating universe.
Alive would be one trait of that deity. But its not an over seer type thing. "Alive" is just a series of mechanisms. A short version: The hierarchy of structure goes from atom to molecule. In something we classify as alive, it goes to cell, multicell, then to systems. I just don't see the that structure stopping at humans. I see a few more steps but I don't go as far as gaia nor do I have an emotional connection to it. It is what it is for me.

We may be in a living system. For me, that's what it looks like anyway. Its predicts evolution, the system "aliveness" means it will change to better match conditional changes through time. And the reverse claims of "not alive" just doesn't match as well.

It predicts some people feeling connected to something bigger. We are a seriously more complex set of proteins that may sense its part of something bigger. Its not a grand purpose or serving thing, its just a thing. For me that is. Much like a cell in your big toe being complex enough to sense its part of something bigger.

But it is not a bible god type thing to me at all. I guess pantheist would understand it.
Panpsychism or panentheism also may be decent enough approximations
Maybe,

But some people freak out when they see the letters, in the wrong order, msieht and doG. They lose sight of what is being said. Sometimes (especially on the internet) It gets hard to talk around people hyper focused on the word "dog". In person its a lot easier. People agree that religion can be very bad and a deity probably isn't the best we can do. Then we move on to how the universe works to the best of our ability.
 
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