Ex-News Junkie
Let's expand further on that thought experiment
Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:40am

Suppose a photon is emitted a billion years ago from a star and has been en-route ever since. Recently an experiment was carried out on a particle accelerator in Europe that resulted in the high energy collision of protons and many secondary particles flashing into existence (which didn't exist until this point). One of these new particles subsequently absorbs the photon that has been en-route for a billion years. How could this be a deterministic result if the photon's destination didn't even exist before it embarked towards it?

It may mean that photons are not bound to fate (because the second particle might not exist yet), and also that there is only one extant state of the universe at any given moment (no multiverse). But because for every cause there is an effect, and for every state there is a resulting state, it might mean that pre-existing conditions for the creation of the second particle were all that were required to allow the photon to be emitted from the first particle.

If we assume the universe is infinitely old, because no matter how far back in time you go there is always an earlier cause, then how can the present state be unique? The state of the universe would necessarily be recurring.

Clearly the universe is largely deterministic - how much choice do we have in anything? It must have had a beginning to avoid infinite repetition. But if it had a beginning, it begs the question: What caused it to begin? Wouldn't that 'cause' simply be an earlier time in the same universe? Again, a deterministic line of reasoning leading to conclude in an infinitely old universe. A universe that is finite in time seems to lead automatically to this contradiction. Can we therefore assume it is false?

If we therefore assume the universe is infinite in time, could an infinity of space help to avoid the repetition of history? What is space but the separation of particles? And what is time but the movement of particles relative to each other? If there were no particles of any kind, then perhaps this could help avoid the contradictions mentioned before. There are clearly extant states in the universe that we cannot observe, such as black holes and whatever existed before/beyond the veil of the Cosmic Microwave Background. A black hole is a state of the universe that exists, and yet we cannot see it. Our theories break down. Is it possible that time and space, measures of separation & movement of particles, normally observed by us using electromagnetic radiation (visible light) simply cease to have efficacy in the state of a black hole, from which no form of electromagnetic radiation - not even heat - can escape. Could it be that a black hole therefore "resets" causality as well to prevent the contradictions mentioned before, i.e. infinite repetition in time - because causality might be an electromagnetic phenomenon?

Could gravity be that which underpins our universe, ironing out all the logical inconsistencies that crop up? Like imaginary numbers, could gravity be another abstraction that has a physical effect?

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