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Does science have a limit?


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18 replies to this topic

#1
Maximum7

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I honestly can't decide. Will science and technological advancement plateau out in a few hundred years or is it limitless? If we one day are able create our own universes, what the heck would be next after that? Would science cease to exist?

 

Star Trek shows that science still progresses as does Star Wars Disney canon. Legends Star Wars is static. I can't tell which of these views are more realistic.



#2
Hyndal_Halcyon

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The grand unified theory and its artistic applications on cosmological tectology. Once that's done, imagination becomes reality. Culture becomes a natural phenomenon. Technology becomes biology. Societies will be everywhere. The only limit of science will be the number of sentient entities that can imagine stuff.


As you can see, I'm a huge nerd who'd rather write about how we can become a Type V civilization instead of study for my final exams (gotta fix that).

But to put an end to this topic, might I say that the one and only greatest future achievement of humankind is when it finally becomes posthumankind.


#3
starspawn0

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I think all the "big discoveries" are pretty much behind us. What remains is refinement. So, in a sense, science is slowing down.

However, the process of empirical investigation that is at the heart of science is limitless. For example, you can use a scientific approach to do mathematics. It's called "experimental math": you run some numerical experiments, notice some patterns, and then try to prove that they exist.

Technology will also continue unabated. Any device we can imagine, that doesn't violate the laws of physics, will eventually get built. This doesn't even require advances in science -- just good engineering. Eventually, we will perfect Full Immersion Virtual Reality, and then people can live in universes where you can do things that physics doesn't permit in our universe -- as seen in the film The Matrix ("You think that's air you're breathing").

....

What is the nature of existence? Well, there's the universe, right? But why is it the way that it is? Each time you try to give an answer, by producing a good story or explanation, there are always going to be "brute facts" that you assume. e.g. you maybe assume the laws of quantum mechanics. But why should those laws even be there?

Now imagine you have a giant computer that can run many processes in parallel. Imagine you run all possible programs of length 1 billion bits on this giant machine -- that's 2^1000000000 processes, running in parallel. Some of these processes may result in simulated universes like our own; others will quickly get in infinite loops; almost all will produce uninteresting behavior. A creature that wakes up in one of the simulations might marvel at the laws of physics it observes, and wonder about what it means -- but it was a random choice; there is nothing very interesting about it, when seen from the higher perspective outside the machine.

I often think that that's how our own universe and laws of physics are -- that there are an infinite number (not merely 2^1000000000 worlds) of possible universes that exist (causally-disconnected from each other), and we happen to be in one that can support life, by necessity.

But this, too, is just a story. It looks like one with no "brute facts", but if one looks more closely, one discovers that are many: who or what decides what makes a world "possible"? What does it even mean to say something "exists"?

"Exists" and "existence" are words that we think have substance independent of human thought; though, I am suspicious of that. They probably originated with early language-using humans as an extension of "object permanence". A person sees an object; it moves out of visible range, but still "exists".

Soon, the concepts were abstracted to mean basically any object that "has extension" in space and time. Then, it was abstracted further to include things like ideas. Philosophical puzzles began to emerge with this extended meaning, and you had things like Russell's "Theory of Descriptions" to explain it.

Perhaps we take the word "exist" too seriously, and forget how we came to the concept. It's conceivable that an advanced alien species somewhere in the universe may not even use the concept at all.

So where does this leave us? I would say it leaves us in total ignorance. Enjoy the small discoveries of the sciences, and enjoy life as long as it lasts -- look too hard for the ultimate answers, though, and you will be depressed.



#4
tomasth

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Being depressed is one response being spurred is another.

By the time the remaining refinement and Technological exhaustion get old we will have better evaluations , so even if contemporary attempts won't add anything new , one can't rule out futuristic attempts succeeding.

#5
Outlook

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I don't know, nor do I think anyone else does. Seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes however, I'd wager it doesn't.


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#6
Hyndal_Halcyon

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Soon, the concepts were abstracted to mean basically any object that "has extension" in space and time. Then, it was abstracted further to include things like ideas. Philosophical puzzles began to emerge with this extended meaning, and you had things like Russell's "Theory of Descriptions" to explain it.


Exactly. Just like in object-oriented programming, abstraction is the key in creating templates that can be used to create objects that creates good behavior. Only abstraction creates a relative meaning that the objects themselves, such as us, can understand. Look way beyond your own code and either you will go mad, lose your own meaning, be absorbed in the native code, or something else entirely outside our comprehension. There is no way a temporary variable can comprehend the totality of the program it resides in without making an abstract copy of the entire program. God is the algorithm of existence itself, and questioning how it works is like questioning why we're alive. No purpose, just be, and let it all be. The best we can do is enrich the abstract meaning of existence, by allowing more objects to be able to question it.

As you can see, such levels of abstraction, be it in this universe or some parallel one, or some other virtual one, spreads sentience like a self-supporting computer virus, and so we are doomed to exist as the stories we tell ourselves. Ignorance is part of a grand design that will one day be too scarce and it will be necessary to create it if we want to keep having fun.

This is what I mean when I say gods need us to give meaning to themselves more than we need their mercy. This is also why I'm having trouble with my own stories, because we have doomed ourselves and others to exist forever beyond time and reality, and I don't know how to write about something like that.

The only limit of science is the number of people trying to do science.

As you can see, I'm a huge nerd who'd rather write about how we can become a Type V civilization instead of study for my final exams (gotta fix that).

But to put an end to this topic, might I say that the one and only greatest future achievement of humankind is when it finally becomes posthumankind.


#7
CharlieFG

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I'm sure the development of science is infinite. What we have learned now is actually only a small part of what we can still learn. Physics is now studying the processes taking place at the level of matter and energy. But it is not yet known what is behind matter and energy. Physics of higher dimensions is not known. Not to mention multiple paradoxes and unsolved questions in science, for example, black holes, creation of the Universe. Rather interesting directions of physics development are marked in the report of the group of ALLATRA SCIENCE "PRIMORDIAL ALLATRA PHYSICS" https://allatra.tv/e...-fizika-allatra These are manned long-range flights, climatic geoengineering, creation of foodstuffs from elementary particles, forecasting of natural cataclysms and many other things. After reading this report there is a clear understanding that we have a lot to develop!



#8
Lucid

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We live in three dimension space. Imagine if we lived in four dimension space, or five, or six, or seven. Just because we cannot imagine such a life does not mean it doesn't exist. 

 

If we can produce superintelligence, this means we have a robot helper that can learn and discover much faster than any human. With this, we can simulate other realities with other physics and learn far beyond what this reality allows us to learn. 

 

If we live in a computer simulation, and we aren't the first ones to produce superintelligence, then the creators of our reality could teach us far beyond what we currently understand. 

 

Do not think just because we made a huge discovery or haven't made one in a while that it is the last of science or knowledge.

 

Knowledge is infinite, as new possibilities can always occur. 



#9
tomasth

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We do not know that Knowledge is infinite , it might but maybe not.

 

The limits of science have changed in the past and might in the future.

 

The finite is big , even a tiny one of 10^80 atoms is far in reach now.

 

Build a super-intelligence being that live trillions of year , first , then return to this.



#10
Lucid

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We do not know that Knowledge is infinite , it might but maybe not.

 

If infinity can exist, infinite knowledge does as well

 

For example if I lived forever:

Can I make new letters for eternity? Yes as shapes for letters have no limit

Can I make new words for eternity? Yes as letter combinations have no limit

Can I make new meanings for those words? Yes as concepts have no limit (I can always learn something new)

(ex. lol means laugh out loud which means I'm laughing)

Can I make new understanding with those meanings? Yes as imagination has no limit (I can always create something new)

(ex. lmao means laughing my ass off which means I find something very funny, and not my ass fell off due to laughing)

 

If I can create something new, I can learn something new. 

If I can learn something new, I can create something new. 

 

Knowledge is infinite



#11
tomasth

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If.

(Was my point)



#12
Lucid

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If.

(Was my point)

 

What? It's not "if". Infinite is existent, just try counting to infinity



#13
Raklian

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I don't know. This may be analogous to asking if alchemy has a limit.

 

In the timeline, it talks about transcending beyond paradigm of science into a totally new field and way of thinking.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#14
Lucid

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I don't know. This may be analogous to asking if alchemy has a limit.

 

In the timeline, it talks about transcending beyond paradigm of science into a totally new field and way of thinking.

 

Try thinking about living in a different dimension, like 4 dimensional space for example. 

 

Or how about living in a simulation created by superintelligence and controlling the aspects of existence with your mind 



#15
tomasth

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"try counting to infinity" if its existence why try and not do ? Even the idea of in-finite is a small finite negation.
Counting is finite just like doing pushups.

"living in a simulation created by superintelligence" is finite. how long ? A few trillion years ? 10 to the power of 10000 years ? Those are finite tiny numbers.

The comparison is between what human and creatures of earth had and what future ones.

"living in a simulation created by superintelligence" could be much better then anything before it , by many orders of [finite] magnitude.



Raklian
The problem of
"transcending beyond paradigm of science into a totally new field and way of thinking"
Is that [unlike alchemy] it's totally new , so we don't know.

#16
Erowind

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So where does this leave us? I would say it leaves us in total ignorance. Enjoy the small discoveries of the sciences, and enjoy life as long as it lasts -- look too hard for the ultimate answers, though, and you will be depressed.

 

Not critiquing or counterarguing, just expanding on this from my perspective. 

 

I've been on an eternalist high recently. I don't know if I'm too far down a rabbit hole or not but the question of whether or not we're immortal is tantalizing. Relativity is true as far as we know, therefore all time, past present and future is equally real. Therefore we are all immortal because we always exist because all times always exist and we exist within some time. Eternalism is a satisfying answer to one of nihilisms primary questions. Where part of the nihlist line of reasoning begins with the question, "if we are finite what meaning is there?" This question follows from the death of god since the afterlife ceases without god and hence our meaning in salvation. The eternalist answer is to say, "no, we are immortal because relativity." I've come to peace with this in the sense that I don't really care what the unknown "why" is that fuels the laws of the universe. If I'm immortal that is more than enough. 

 

Thinking more I'd add that the concept of existence is at the very least real relative to humans. If there are always humans sometime than there is always existence sometime. If eternalism is true existence is always real. I'd also argue that there's a point where there is so much reduction in exploring questions like whether the concept of existence is real or not that one ends up saying nothing at all. It doesn't matter if existence is "real" or not, we experience this thing as real, and we can observe the world within that conceptualization. Our observations are consistent and serve us. It doesn't matter if we're practicing magic or not, it just is. 

 

All this I'm saying without any understanding of quantum physics. I've head some people say that the cutting edge of some philosophy lies in quantum physics. But I wouldn't know either way.

 

Edit: This position I'm expressing is distinct from absurdism. Where absurdism would say that existence is purposeless and offer that one should rebel against this reality. I'm saying it's flawed to explore the concept too far to begin with because the conclusion of such exploration offers nothing. Cogito ergo sum. I observe therefore it is as it is consistent with my observation. If it looks like a duck than it is probably a duck. To suggest the duck is not a duck doesn't make any sense. It doesn't serve anything or offer any new information. Even if the duck that looks like a duck isn't actually a duck why should anywhere care when for all intensive purposes it's a duck and it's seemingly impossible to know what the not-duck actually is if it is even anything at all? This is what I mean by reduction to a fault. Follow the reasoning long enough and it leads to nothing, which is inconsistent because our experience clearly necessitates something. Cogito ergo sum. 



#17
Jessica

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I believe science can discover everything as everything is part of the universe.

 

It might be a few hundred or  maybe as long as a few thousands of years before the next breakthrough is found that allows the next leap of advancements to occur, but there's little question with in my mind that science can evolve to allow humanity to become "gods" with time. It took men like Newton to advance math and physics that made much of modern science that spun into modern civilization that we enjoy today...Who's to say that another guy/gal won't one day find another which allows the next rapid advancement forward?

 

I don't believe there's a limit as light speed, organ function, control of age and so much more is very possible.



#18
SeedNotYetSprouted

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I believe science can discover everything as everything is part of the universe.

 

It might be a few hundred or  maybe as long as a few thousands of years before the next breakthrough is found that allows the next leap of advancements to occur, but there's little question with in my mind that science can evolve to allow humanity to become "gods" with time. It took men like Newton to advance math and physics that made much of modern science that spun into modern civilization that we enjoy today...Who's to say that another guy/gal won't one day find another which allows the next rapid advancement forward?

 

I don't believe there's a limit as light speed, organ function, control of age and so much more is very possible.

 

 Define what you mean by 'everything'. Some things cannot be known in conjunction with other things due to constraints placed by the laws of physics. Take, for example, the Uncertainty Principle which makes it impossible to know both the position and momentum of a particle at the same time. Quantum fog is a terrible mistress.

 

Though, I should note that I'm not dismissing changes to those theories, but I am acknowledging their unlikeliness. 



#19
Miky617

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In addition to what SNYS has said above about the Uncertainty Principle, Gödel has pretty definitively proven that any formal logic system will always have truths that cannot be discovered by that system, rendering all sufficiently comprehensive formal systems of mathematics or descriptive logic "incomplete" by nature. I don't know to what extent this relates to the overarching search for answers that we often describe as science, but I'd venture a guess as to say that there will always be questions that we can speculate about that we will never have definitive answers for, no matter how advanced scientific knowledge gets. Many of these questions will probably be historical in nature, such as what exactly happened on XXXX date in YYYY location. The biggest barrier currently to exploring things in exact terms at the quantum level is the Heisenberg principle, and I don't believe that we'll ever find a good way around that, which of course severely limits our understanding of the conditions that surrounded the origin of the universe up to the point that it was strongly governed by the principle. Though, I'm not a physicist, so my understanding of the topic may be very flawed and it might someday be cracked. After all, there are big plans for CERN and the LHC, so we might find some exotic physics in the near future that allows us to probe deeper than we can currently picture.






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