Fare's response on threads

Kyle Lahnakoski kyle@arcavia.com
Mon, 25 Sep 2000 16:43:19 -0400

Massimo Dentico wrote:
> "Lynn H. Maxson" wrote:
> >
> > > Kyle Lahnakoski wrote:
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > > Humans are deterministic.  We just lack the appropriate
> > > understanding of biology, and have insufficient computational
> > > power to consider environmental influences.
> >
> > Here I must disagree.  The argument is that we do not know enough,
> > that if our knowledge increased beyond some threshold value, one
> > for which we had sufficient computational power, then everything
> > that occurred within the brain for the interval under
> > consideration would be deterministic.  Carrying that one step
> > further to believe that it extrapolates in predicting future
> > behavior also assumes that environmental factors themselves are
> > predictable.  I had thought that argument effectively had been
> > laid to rest by quantum mechanics and Heisenberg's principle of
> > uncertainty.<g>
> IIRC one of the interpretation of Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty
> is expressed *exactly* in terms of insufficient available information
> (Kyle speaks about insufficient computational power and I think
> it's a closely related matter). In this interpretation the uncertainty
> loses any "magical" character which disturbed some (great) minds like
> Einstein. I don't remeber the reference, probably an article on Scientific
> American.

You picked up my thought exactly.  The axioms of quantum mechanics
assume a single particle acts as a large sample of deterministic
particles.  This may be a valid axiom, quantum computing may show it
is.  But I suspect that QM is just a statistical approach to an unknown
deterministic process.

Kyle Lahnakoski                                  Arcavia Software Ltd.
(416) 892-7784                                 http://www.arcavia.com