+     com!!ai-lab!!elwin
From: (Lee Campbell)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt

Subject: Re: Are there truly random phenomena?
Keywords: Perception, Cognition Consciousness
Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 Aug 91 14:55:24 GMT
References: <> <1991Aug04.135708.6689@elevia.UUCP>
+           <> <618@tymix.Tymnet.COM>
Organization: MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Lines: 43

In article <618@tymix.Tymnet.COM>, gregk@opus.Tymnet.COM (Greg Kennedy) writes:
|> In article <> kudzu@ts2.UUCP (Michael Sierchio)  writes:
|> >
|> >In my experience, "random" means a lack of perceived structure in, say,
|> >a data stream.  An encrypted text may appear random, but it (to the
|> >knowlegable parties) is clearly non-random.
|> >
|> >Randomness and Chaos (a trendier term, that) are self-referential
|> >statements about the perception of an observer using a particular
|> >notational system, in the context of a particular world view, etc.
|> >
|> >-- 
|> >  Michael Sierchio                                     kudzu@tfs.COM
|>    The best of the arguments I have heard boil down to the fact that
|>    you must have two asyncronous events to compare to each other to 
|>    get a difference that is truely random.  If you believe in the
|>    big bang theory, that eveything started from a singularity, then
|>    a truely asyncronous event cannot exist.  This is because everything
|>    would be a product of the expansion of the universe, the way the
|>    molecules joined, collided, and moved are all predetermined from
|>    that one moment we perceive as the beginning.  This is also the
|>    base argument for the lack of free will.
|>    Greg Kennedy

   Quantum Mechanics (and its children quantum electrodynamics, quantum
chromodynamics, etc) are based on the assumption that all phenomena have
some randomness. There are theories called hidden variable theories that
postulate that the "randomness" we see is only the predictable behavior
of deeper level structures of which we are ignorant. Unfortunately, the
quantum theories, which assume true randomness, have been spectacularly
successful in predicting results, in some cases to 12 or more decimal
places (certain electron energy levels). Meanwhile, nobody has come up
with a working hidden variable theory despite the fact that such notables
as Dirac and Einstein devoted decades to the problem.

   Please show me a working theory of subatomic particles that doesn't
*assume* randomness before making broad statements about predetermination
and the "perception" theory of randomness.
						- Lee