Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I don't know...

Can scientists know that they do not know?
Imagine you knew everything about the current universe – the state of every single
particle – and all the laws governing the universe's evolution. Endowed
with such knowledge, you could then predict the future, right? French
mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace thought so.

Not so, according to an analysis by SFI Professor David Wolpert – not even for the non-chaotic, non-quantum-mechanical universe that Laplace assumed.
The explanation in the article is not at all clear, but it seems an interesting argument worth following up.

UPDATE:   here's a short .pdf report from Nature in 2008 on Wolpert's idea.     

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