Is the universe logical?

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Offline yamo

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Is the universe logical?
« on: 10/09/2012 14:33:55 »
...or do we impose logic on it?
Science is what you want it to be.
                   --Dr. Leo Spaceman--

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2012 19:34:41 »
It was the universe that gave us logic through the apparent constraints on what can be and what can't. If the universe turns out not to be logical, then we've incorrectly derived logic from it and need to adjust logic to match the actual universe, and once we've done that, it will be logical. It may already be logical though, so the fault may be the way people are misapplying logic, for example by flatly ruling things out on the basis that they can't be detected.

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Offline evan_au

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #2 on: 16/09/2012 13:27:05 »
With our current technology, it is not possible to collect precise information about the bulk of the universe, so we can't really say how it behaves (in detail).

Due to Heisenberg's uncertainty Principle, it is not possible to gather entirely precise information on even the small part of the universe to which we do have ready access, even in principle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle

The thing bothering superstring theorists is that the physical universe is full of seemingly arbitrary parameters which (they think) govern the behaviour of physical matter. Others think that the physical universe really is arbitrary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory_landscape#Criticism

Even in mathematics, Godel showed that you cannot create a system which is both logically complete, and logically consistent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems

So in practice, we select a class of logic which seems to work for a certain class of problems - and watch out for inconsistencies where that logic breaks down.

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Offline grizelda

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #3 on: 16/09/2012 23:31:01 »
Plus it's hard to see how you could logically disprove logic. It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.

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Offline imatfaal

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #4 on: 17/09/2012 17:22:54 »
Plus it's hard to see how you could logically disprove logic. It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."  Hofstadter GEB

It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
The Geometriy of hyperbolic space shows that the parallel postulate is limited rather than universal
Thereís no sense in being precise when you donít even know what youíre talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #5 on: 17/09/2012 20:04:45 »
Logic describes all the universe there could ever be, and all the universes there couldn't, so yes; but it's not a particularly useful question.

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Offline grizelda

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #6 on: 18/09/2012 20:53:07 »
Plus it's hard to see how you could logically disprove logic. It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."  Hofstadter GEB

It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
The Geometriy of hyperbolic space shows that the parallel postulate is limited rather than universal

WMAP data indicate that the universe is Euclidian (flat) so the parallel postulate is universal in our universe. Plus, some of my best friends are cretins.

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Offline imatfaal

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Re: Is the universe logical?
« Reply #7 on: 18/09/2012 21:47:19 »
Plus it's hard to see how you could logically disprove logic. It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."  Hofstadter GEB

It would be like using geometry to prove Euclid was wrong.
The Geometriy of hyperbolic space shows that the parallel postulate is limited rather than universal

WMAP data indicate that the universe is Euclidian (flat) so the parallel postulate is universal in our universe. Plus, some of my best friends are cretins.

The data are not quite that certain - but even if it were that exact, that would only be the large scale universe.  The universe is most certainly not purely Euclidean, gravity is the curvature of space time.  If GR is correct we have gravity because geometry is not always Euclidean. 

I like the Cretans as well - in fact I am investigating whether I can sneak a quick holiday there before the weather turns cold.  I will advise if they all lie.
Thereís no sense in being precise when you donít even know what youíre talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n