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Author Topic:   Big Bang Found
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1902 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 227 of 301 (723651)
04-05-2014 6:49 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by Taq
04-04-2014 11:45 AM


Re: Double talk..
If, as some claim, the instability of a vacuum (i.e. nothing) produces a probability that a universe will emerge, then you have your cause.

A cause for one element of existence to arise from another - hardly profound nor really what kb is talking about.

This is why claiming that nuclear decay is "uncaused" and therefore we have an example of how the Universe can come into being "uncaused" is completely bogus.


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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1902 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 228 of 301 (723653)
04-05-2014 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 217 by NoNukes
04-04-2014 1:34 AM


Re: Double talk..
The problem is that you have not established what causes an alpha particle to leave when it leaves and what causes it to stay when it stays. Yes, quantum mechanics does predict exactly that behavior, but QM does not explain or point to an impetus for the alpha particle to escape. As best we know, there is no such impetus.

"as best we know" - good words

Nuclear emission of an alpha particle is such a macroscopic event - the complexity of the state of all the underlying interacting particles (fields) involved here is staggering. The nuclear decay probability is not some simple random distribution, but the aggregate of an unfathomable number of interactions. The state space of a nucleus is enormous and it is continuously moving through that space. Some areas of that state space may lead to some decay mode. Our inability to probe that state space leads us to say "random" and "stochastic" but it does not give us the right to declare "uncaused" in some ontological sense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by NoNukes, posted 04-04-2014 1:34 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by Son Goku, posted 04-05-2014 12:25 PM cavediver has responded
 Message 233 by NoNukes, posted 04-05-2014 1:08 PM cavediver has responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1902 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 234 of 301 (723667)
04-05-2014 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Son Goku
04-05-2014 12:25 PM


Re: Double talk..
in that I could take a hydrogen atom in an excited state, which at some point transitions to the ground state. In standard Quantum Mechanics this transition is uncaused.

Of course, if you *model* the situation in the usual way with QM. But you are setting up an oversimplification of the what is actually occurring. I'm not claiming that QM is deterministic, but we are looking at higher level processes.

similarly with the tunneling of an alpha particle out of a nucleus, reagrdless of how complicated the interactions are, they are still only a complicated development of a wavefunction which only gives a probability.

Yes, but this *single* wavefunction is a coarse-graining of what is going on within the nucleus. To simply describe the emission of the alpha particle as uncaused suggests some random-number-generator associated with a solid-ball nucleus, rather than the nucleus as a complex composite quantum entity, and the alpha emission as a complex quantum process. As you well know, the half-life isn't some god-inspired parameter casually associated with a particular nucleus.

In the current scientific theory of the strong interactions (QCD), I think Nonukes' statement is correct. Alpha emission is uncaused.

As far as I am aware we only have an excessively idealised and over-simplified QCD description of alpha emission, so this is not exactly surprising.

My concern with this kind of language, attributing the acausal behaviour to high-level QM phenomena (H-atom transition, alpha-emission), is it suggests that there is no further underlying mechanism to investigate (E-W and QCD)

But more to the point, while the probabilistic nature of QM may very well have something to do with the "trivial" idea of our Universe coming into being from some pre-existing state, it has nothing to do with the theists' (and KB's) ideas of "creation" of existence itself - "something from nothing" - and talking about uncaused quantum events within our Universe is decidedly unhelpful, not to mention a great example of the fallacy of composition.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by Son Goku, posted 04-05-2014 12:25 PM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by NoNukes, posted 04-05-2014 1:37 PM cavediver has not yet responded
 Message 247 by Son Goku, posted 04-06-2014 5:47 PM cavediver has not yet responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1902 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 235 of 301 (723668)
04-05-2014 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 233 by NoNukes
04-05-2014 1:08 PM


Re: Double talk..
I cannot rule that out, of course, but what you are saying does not appear to be kbertsche's argument.

It's not - I was merely getting a bit upset at what I was seeing as a "trivialising" of the incredible process of nuclear decay

And more importantly, the utter irrelevance of quantum processes to the question of what "caused" the Big Bang if there was no "before". KB made the cardinal sin of talking about existence "beginning" to exist, and he wanted a cause for this. Rather than talking about uncaused events, he should have just been dissuaded of this notion as it is only there to provide a "gap" for a theistic intervention.

Do you believe that probing the state would turn up a mechanism?...

...Perhaps the Creator watches individually over atomic nuclei and triggers their fate on a schedule that produces the half lives we observe.

As I tried to explain in my reply to SG, yes there is a more fundamental mechanism (nuclear QCD) and that is where the half-life is determined, but I'm not trying to discount the uncaused nature per-se, just that it occurs at a deeper level.

Edited by cavediver, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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