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daniel l.

Seed of the Universe?

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daniel l.    1231

Anyone who has played a video game (Who hasn't??) may know that many games use "Random Seeds" to procedurally generate the world. A single number that can be used to define everything that comes afterward.

But isn't everything in the Universe based on mathematics? Numbers, Everything in our Universe is defined by a number, Which was in turn defined by a preceding number which it was a chain reaction. All this could potentially go back to one single number that defined our Universe in it's earliest form and branched itself outwards into the universe we see today.

If this is true, The potential implications of this would be fantastic, If we could somehow obtain this "seed" and use it in a simulation of the universe (Quantum computing?) depending on how accurately we can simulate the nature of physics to which we would be applying the seed to, We may be able to predict or even see the past present or future in any region. We could locate habitable planets and alien civilizations anywhere in the Universe simply by checking our simulation to see where they appeared, Depending on the previously stated variability of our understanding of physics, We could predict it so accurately that we could study these beings or explore these new worlds in levels of detail down to the subatomic, Yet never leave Earth.

Of course this would have obvious negative effects as well. If it can predict the past and present through the use of a single number, It can also be calculated further into the future. Everyone would be able to know everything that ever happened and ever will happen long before it happens. Imagine the repercussions of that! Not to mention the paradox that would occur: 

Spoiler

Basically, If you could predict your own death, And avoid it. The you would live right? But if that prediction was also factored into the seed (As it obviously would be.) then such an event would have been taken into account, And thus your death would still be recorded. :confused:

But also, Anyone who had this power would be able to breach anyone's privacy, Just zoom into people's bedrooms and watch... :0.0:

 

Ultimately this invention would destroy the linearity of our existence, And yet it would be so terribly addictive that nothing short of a order placed under martial law could get people away from it.

 

... Please someone make a story about this, I'm kinda busy right now, @Spaceception?

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Green Baron    956
Posted (edited)

Sorry, but the universe is not deterministic. Also, determinism is rater a religion than science. Neither in small scale (subatomic) nor in large scale (galaxies) exact figures cannot be computed.

It is only for the restricted conditions we live under and the methods we use that things can be modeled and computed.

@Scotius: not only Heisenberg, also n-body movements, vacuum fluctuations in large scale. Live ("compute own death") organisms evolve in a feedback with environment, the environment changes. And it is influenced by extraterrestrial events. Even if you ignored Heisenberg and knew the position and impulse of all particles in your observable universe you only had the current state. Sonner or later chaos would make your computation of the future useless.

@daniel l.: you are applying computer game techniques to the universe ...

 

Edited by Green Baron

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daniel l.    1231
4 minutes ago, Scotius said:

Basically it means - you can type in your "seed" and start your simulation. But the very fact that you are observing it, will change the outcome.

But what if my observing it was defined in the seed as well. Everything that has happened or ever will happen including use of the seed.

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daniel l.    1231
8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Sorry, but the universe is not deterministic. Also, determinism is rater a religion than science. Neither in small scale (subatomic) nor in large scale (galaxies) exact figures cannot be computed.

It is only for the restricted conditions we live under and the methods we use that things can be modeled and computed.

@Scotius: not only Heisenberg, also n-body movements, vacuum fluctuations in large scale. Live ("compute own death") organisms evolve in a feedback with environment, the environment changes. And it is influenced by extraterrestrial events. Even if you ignored Heisenberg and knew the position and impulse of all particles in your observable universe you only had the current state. Sonner or later chaos would make your computation of the future useless.

@daniel l.: you are applying computer game techniques to the universe ...

 

Okay then... But how do we know that time itself is not set in stone? And that the system of it is determined from a single number.

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kerbiloid    2107
Posted (edited)

As the seed should define the processor which should process this value, looks very probable that the exact seed value would be defined by all bits in the Universe.
I.e. the Universe would be its own numeric seed.

(Also why limit the seed with a single number? It could be a complex number, a quaternion, an infinite-dimensions supercomplex number).

Edited by kerbiloid

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Green Baron    956
11 minutes ago, daniel l. said:

Okay then... But how do we know that time itself is not set in stone? And that the system of it is determined from a single number.

I can't answer your questions exactly because of obvious reasons :-)) and because they are out of my scope and knowledge.

The direction of time is "set in stone" for the universe, if we ignore singularities, but since these are inside the universe it doesn't matter in the long run. Entropy dictates that it can only move forward.

We can model the state of even a simple system only under certain physical conditions and restrictions. That works good enough for everyday use.

 

 

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kerbiloid    2107
13 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

The direction of time is "set in stone" for the universe,

And amount of "times" and criterion of treating some dimension like "time" if take more general case than 3+1 Universe.

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YNM    551

There can be many starting points yet many directions that the universe could adopt.

It doesn't mean that on a particular seed in a game the player will always win, and some other lose; the chance is still 50:50.

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monstah    2233
Posted (edited)

I find this subject highly interesting, but I don't think that's the case. In fact, there is one key assumption here (and this is not the first time I've seen it, it's quite common) that, to me, undermines the whole idea:

4 hours ago, daniel l. said:

But isn't everything in the Universe based on mathematics?

Actually, no, nothing is, unless its something we created ourselves. Mathematics is a tool that we use to describe things. We define mathematics, and we do so in a way that simulates some of the structure that we see around us, and in a way that is useful to learn things about the world. That is why mathematics works so well, not because the universe is based on it.

In fact, mathematics works so well because it doesn't try to explain the "real world". It's all a construction within itself, built from premises and rules we agree on, which in turn are based on our experience with the world (and, thus, are probably useful). It's up to, say, physicists or chemists to figure out which of the tools we mathematicians have created actually applies to things (and, thus, are actually useful. We can't tell the difference :P).

 

The universe doesn't care or calculate, it just is. But it's beautiful, nonetheless...

Edited by monstah

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Gaarst    2643

Physics are non-deterministic in general, QM being then most obvious example with randomness included in its very definition.

Also, you couldn't simulate the Universe since that would require a computing machine greater than the Universe itself because you can't encode more information in an element than its own definition. At best you can consider that the Universe simulates itself in real-time, but you can't predict the future.

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magnemoe    912
11 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

Physics are non-deterministic in general, QM being then most obvious example with randomness included in its very definition.

Also, you couldn't simulate the Universe since that would require a computing machine greater than the Universe itself because you can't encode more information in an element than its own definition. At best you can consider that the Universe simulates itself in real-time, but you can't predict the future.

True, any chaotic system can not be determined long term. This is not as much quantum mechanic as complex feedback. 
Weather is an good example, Using lots of data and improved models has improved weather forecasts a lot but its still limited. 

Another example is harley's comet we can not predict its orbit more than 4-500 year into the future, 
Small changes then its close to the sun affect Pe a lot, this changes the orbital time who again changes how close it get to Jupiter mostly, who changes the next Pe,
Same with an probe in orbit around Jupiter or Saturn, the moons will change its orbit over time. 

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Ultimate Steve    2219
On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 2:51 AM, kerbiloid said:

42

I was going to make that reference!

 

Well, we know the ultimate question now: What is the seed of the universe?

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StrandedonEarth    2004
24 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

What is the seed of the universe?

Obviously, it's 42.

This "seed" theory fits into Arthur C. Clarke's four book Rama series (the first written by himself, the rest in collaboration with Gentry Lee). The final book, Rama Revealed, reveals the premise that.... (spoiler protection activated)

Spoiler

...God is a scientist and our universe is one of many experiments. He is searching for that set of initial conditions (the "seed," if you will) for the big bang that results in everything in the universe ending up in total harmony with everything else (whatever that was supposed to mean). He didn't care if it did or not, He was just looking for all the seeds that ended up like that.

I don't want to debate the premise, as then we would probably run afoul of the forum rules. I just wanted to point out that something similar to "seed theory" has been already fictionalized.

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daniel l.    1231
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Obviously, it's 42.

This "seed" theory fits into Arthur C. Clarke's four book Rama series (the first written by himself, the rest in collaboration with Gentry Lee). The final book, Rama Revealed, reveals the premise that.... (spoiler protection activated)

  Reveal hidden contents

...God is a scientist and our universe is one of many experiments. He is searching for that set of initial conditions (the "seed," if you will) for the big bang that results in everything in the universe ending up in total harmony with everything else (whatever that was supposed to mean). He didn't care if it did or not, He was just looking for all the seeds that ended up like that.

 
 

I don't want to debate the premise, as then we would probably run afoul of the forum rules. I just wanted to point out that something similar to "seed theory" has been already fictionalized.

 
 
 

I already knew that :wink: I read the whole trilogy. Can't quite say I enjoyed it too much though, It was very graphic and violent, And the ending was emotionally draining. I liked the first book though, It had a futuristic appeal, Whereas the sequels seemed to depict a dystopia where civil rights never existed and disparity reign supreme.

Edited by daniel l.

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Bill Phil    1453
On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 8:19 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

I was going to make that reference!

 

Well, we know the ultimate question now: What is the seed of the universe?

"Oh carp! Don't you know that having the answer and the question in the same universe means that said universe will colla-"

Then the universe ended. It just so happened that an inter-universal highway was being built through it. Needless to say, the construction workers were quite glad that the universe which was in the way no longer exists. If only they could tell their supervisors exactly why it was no longer present, their lives might go on fine.

On-topic

The problem with having a seed of the universe is that we need to know the algorithm that said seed goes through to generate the result. We don't know that.

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YNM    551

Even if you have a seed, you'll never know what will happen once it's there, and after, and after etc. etc. As I have pointed out, in analogy with game (often map game) seed, even on the exact same map / seed things can happen differently.

This is also true of the past - you have no idea what it really, really was, you can only say it's likely to be a group of possibilities but it's still a fuzzy circle (or ellipse ?).

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Green Baron    956
4 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

The problem with having a seed of the universe is that we need to know the algorithm that said seed goes through to generate the result. We don't know that.

Aaand ... let's hope the player doesn't get bored of this version of the map, cancels it and generates a new one :-)

(have been playin' factorio ...)

 

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daniel l.    1231
3 hours ago, YNM said:

Even if you have a seed, you'll never know what will happen once it's there, and after, and after etc. etc. As I have pointed out, in analogy with game (often map game) seed, even on the exact same map / seed things can happen differently.

This is also true of the past - you have no idea what it really, really was, you can only say it's likely to be a group of possibilities but it's still a fuzzy circle (or ellipse ?).

The difference between a game seed and a real life one would be that a game seed ceases to effect after the universe has been generated, the player then decides the future. But IRL, we may all be little more than mere matter, even our thoughts and actions are predefined and determined.

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Green Baron    956
Posted (edited)

Physicists have written books on the current state of research on cosmology. One of those would help understanding why the universe is at it is. Though it's hard stuff, at least for me ...

 

Edited by Green Baron

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YNM    551
Posted (edited)
On 3/17/2017 at 4:52 PM, daniel l. said:

The difference between a game seed and a real life one would be that a game seed ceases to effect after the universe has been generated, the player then decides the future. But IRL, we may all be little more than mere matter, even our thoughts and actions are predefined and determined.

So why shouldn't the world ? You realize that, until today, no one has been able to predict perturbations in systems to a very high accuracy right ? And that's still in the realm on classical physics... Quantum would be even more problematic (statistics != single outcome). Yes improvements are there, but finger cross all is only good to a certain accuracy.

Edited by YNM

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Snark    6698

Cannot be done.  For reasons people have already cited.

On 3/9/2017 at 0:45 AM, Scotius said:

This little obstacle makes your idea a fantasy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

 

On 3/9/2017 at 0:48 AM, Green Baron said:

Sorry, but the universe is not deterministic.

Not only can't you predict the whole universe... you can't even predict one atom.  Quantum uncertainty is a thing.

Basically:  predicting any system depends on accurately knowing the start conditions.  To predict more accurately, you need more accurate knowledge of start conditions.  For a chaotic system (such as the universe), any inaccuracy whatsoever in the knowledge of start condition will essentially "blow up" and make the entire model completely wrong.

And quantum uncertainty says that it's physically impossible to drive that uncertainty down to zero.  Planck's constant sets an absolute limit to the precision with which a system is knowable.

Cannot be done.

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IceGiant    14

Whether it's realistic or not, there's probably an episode of Dr. Who in here somewhere.  Maybe a TV series where they have the seed of the universe and can predict the future from the current conditions, but due to chaos theory they only have the probability of various paths.  Percentages change as the episode goes on, and adventure ensues.

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daniel l.    1231
10 hours ago, IceGiant said:

Whether it's realistic or not, there's probably an episode of Dr. Who in here somewhere.  Maybe a TV series where they have the seed of the universe and can predict the future from the current conditions, but due to chaos theory they only have the probability of various paths.  Percentages change as the episode goes on, and adventure ensues.

 

In my opinion, there is no such thing as chaos. Everything is the result of prior stimuli from a source. We simply lack the ability to detect that source as of yet, so it appears random.

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