Ex-News Junkie
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:08pm

"Determinism is often contrasted with free will. Determinism often is taken to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states."


Consider the thought experiment:

An astronaut fires a laser for a fraction of a second, just long enough that it emits a single photon of light. He then hops in a spaceship and chases it, traveling at close to the speed of light until he sees it absorbed by a molecule and destroyed. Because the astronaut was traveling so fast, special relativity demands that the universe appear to contract in the direction of travel, that is along the path that the photon took. Therefore, from the astronaut's perspective, the photon was emitted and absorbed at nearly the exact same time and place. It would appear that the photon's origin and destination were pre-determined, even though spectators at rest might perceive that it had to travel a billion light years in between. Since each photon's origin and destination are therefore pre-determined, and the universe is full of photons zipping around every which way, then everything is connected and the state of the entire universe is deterministic.

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