Causality and Inevitable Recurrence
Continued from: http://hubpages.com/education/Cyclical-Time-or-Circular-Reasoning
Does a limited number of objects mean that there must be a limited number of interactions?
All understanding of our reality comes from explanations based on cause and effect.
At the level of monkeys, mice and men all phenomena are the result of surface to surface contact between two or more objects.
The only way to understand and explain the world of phenomena is by understanding the difference between objects and phenomena, and assuming an interconnection between all objects. Rope hypothesis assumes a single thread that weaves throughout all objects forming a two strand electromagnetic rope connecting all hydrogen atoms. All references to interconnectedness, threads, ropes and atoms, refers to the rope model of Rope Hypothesis.
Since matter and motion are eternal, and all objects are interconnected, objects and phenomena are forever linked in a chain without beginning or end.
Wherever there are objects in motion there will be some cause(s) and some effect(s). Some causes and their effects are easy to trace. I sling poo at you and where it sticks you stink. At the smallest level of atomic and subatomic, or the largest level of galactic and supragalactic, cause and effect are not so easily determined.
Cause and effect are temporal relationships as far as the hairless ape is concerned. In this sense cause always precedes effect, for a time coexists with effect, and then is replaced by something else.
Arguing if there is overlap between cause and effect, or simultanaeity between cause and effect leads to irrational concepts like multiple time lines and multiple universes. These are ideas founded on the irrational proposals of time and space.
The concept of cause and effect is sometimes divided by time intervals via multiple intermediate links. You looked me directly in the eyes, and so I slung poo at you causing you to stink. You take a bath (or not depending on your preference). So, one may say that your having looked me directly in the eyes resulted in you needing a bath. The cause lives on in its effect. There may be multiple causes, some necessarily consequential and others incidental.
There is no break in the chain of causality, lest we violate reason and the law of the conservation of matter and motion. One may be prone to think that there is a primal mover, or first cause, because of the illusion of the construct of time, or based on the irrational proposition of the creation of matter.
There was no creation of matter or beginning and end of time. There is only matter in motion eternally. We create intervals, clocks and calendars to order our lives. This is natural because our lives had a beginning and will have an ending. Life here began here. But life universally had no beginning. Motion of a cell begins when the cell forms, but there is NO beginning to motion itself. The threads, ropes and H-atoms that comprise our bodies exist forever. Hydrogen atoms combine with other H-atoms forming denser elements which combine with other composite objects that eventually form monkeys and then break back down into H-atoms…forever.
There is something known as feedback that modifies both cause and effect, strengthening or weakening any particular phenomenon. We see this everywhere there are self-organizing systems. For example, in our brains, neurons feedback electrical-chemical signals across synapses. A neuron is comprised of about 10,000 atoms, and all atoms are connected to all other atoms, passing signals simultaneously in both directions.
Just as we note that all phenomena are the result of surface to surface contact between two or more objects, we see that any effect is the result of two or more phenomena; the cause phenomena/on and the effect phenomena/on. You looked me in the eyes/I slung poo at you; you stunk/you took a bath. Each of these involved causes and effects. Staring directly in the eyes may not have had the same effect on another monkey so we see that a particular effect phenomenon is determined by the character and properties of both interacting objects/causes/effects.
Only in the most non-complex cause-effect relationships should we even consider the process without feedback. When observers are involved it may be necessary to ignore feedback when measuring a quantitative effect.
When the apple fell on Newton’s head, it was easy to ignore the small effect the apple had on the very much larger earth, but we understand that we are talking about two objects pulling on each other. Gravitational pull is bi-directional. We just choose to treat this as if it is a one way mechanism as we measure the apple’s 9.8 meters per second per second descent. As well, my swinging through the jungle has little effect on Andromeda though there is a connection between every atom in my body and every atom in Andromeda.
We also realize that there is always motion within both the apple and the earth, the MonkE and Andromeda, so that in the process of cause/effect these objects in turn feedback to the causer via the interconnecting ropes. As any martial artist should know, when I punch you in the nose, if I pull my hand back as quickly as I thrust it forward, the effect on your nose is much greater. Yet an attorney, who may be unaware of the physics behind this, is content to only present to the jurors the fact that I punched you with my fist.
In more complex cases like hydrogen being compressed into helium in the center of a star one can not ignore the feedback between the interacting objects. Neurons and neural nets in the hairless ape interacting with his environment is another example of complex interactions, causes and effects, both minor and major, passive and active, mediate and immediate, with forward and backward feedback.
I can swing or run naked through the jungle taking many different paths to get to the same banana tree, and different causes can lead to identical effects. Also one cause can have many different effects depending on the nature and character, qualities and properties of the objects involved in the phenomenon. The sun’s hot rays may turn a banana peel black, yet turn another green to yellow and illicit the production of sugar in its sweet white meat. As well, many things can cause heat. As I swing through the jungle the vine may rub against a branch causing friction, and the banana farmer’s electric fence may heat up my ass as I brush up against it on the way into his plantation.
In reality there are no phenomena that are the result of only one cause and one effect. If there were no secondary, minor or intermediate effects, then we would all be automatons with no freewill, no ability to move against gravity and along the least path of resistance.
It is not necessary to consider all the myriad interactions to be able to grok a particular phenomenon. We are aware of many primary and secondary, general and specific, internal and external interactions but can choose a limited number of these to explain a phenomenon in our presentation. We choose a limited number of objects to explain a limited number of phenomena. So, although it is not possible to consider every cause/effect, it is not necessary either.
We choose to look at specific causes from which arise particular effects. We understand that there are certain circumstances or conditions that must operate in order for the particular effect to occur. Often there are many different conditions that must be present for this phenomenon. Sometimes we can conceive of all the conditions and specific causes that account for the effect, other times, and more often, there are an incalculable number of interconnected objects and their interactions responsible for the phenomenon of interest.
In order to be objective we must remove the subjective, and so we can not directly consider, for example, my freewill as a living entity in any scientific presentation. We can only consider that my ability to move against gravity and along the path of least resistance can add incalculable numbers of cause/effect relationships into the mix.
Major causes, a few minor, or the first and last links in a chain, are typically good enough to form our hypothesis and accompanying theory.
For purposes of science, generally, any particular phenomenon depends upon a definite number of circumstances, conditions, and elements to occur. It is the interactions that change the conditions into an effect.
Neurons may be said to be the mediators of memory and learning, but it is the interconnecting synapses and the feed-back and feed-forward mechanisms, along with their plasticity, that allows an unlimited number of interactions and therefore man’s unlimited ability to conceive.
Sometimes it is the absence of a condition that can be considered a cause. Your lack of the ability to duck quickly allowed me to hit you with my poo. That condition was not the cause of the stink, but contact between my poo and you depended on it. Causes and conditions can be confused at times because there may be no clear distinction between the two just as there is no clear boundary between the fundamental unit of matter and composite objects without segmenting and ordering time or invoking space. In the former, we have an artificial, linear, single direction oriented, cause/effect relationship, and in the later, there is no space, yet we can not possibly conceive of an object without it.
Particle physics breaks things down into smaller and smaller pieces reifying motion into objects. In other words, properties of the fundamental object are considered objects themselves. With the Rope Hypothesis, we understand that the buck stops here at the fundamental object. With the Rational Scientific Method we understand the difference between objects and phenomena, hypothesis and theory. At some point we arrive at the fundamental unit of matter and understand that we have arrived at the smallest unit in existence. This means that we have matter whose motion is an intrinsic property and can not be explained. We can only describe or illustrate objects and name them. We can only move forward from the fundamental unit of matter, and from the fundamental hypothesis of matter towards a grand unifying theory.
All phenomena are related to all other phenomena because all objects are interconnected to all others. Because we have limited sensory systems, we artificially isolate particular phenomena from all the other interlinked phenomena.
Because we have an unlimited ability to conceive of concepts, we can understand the fundamental object exists and the relationships occur. We can then realize we do NOT live in a world of abstractions, but of interconnected objects and their resulting phenomena. There can be no limit to the number of interactions between the limited number of composite objects because the fundamental unit of matter, although necessarily finite, has the intrinsic property of motion.
Because life (being composite objects) arises here and there forever, and moves against gravity and along the path of least resistance, and since the fundamental is ever present and forever in motion, the feedback between the two insures not just an incalculable number of possible motions or phenomena, but an unlimited number of them.
Living objects continually produce new conditions which can alter or even negate possible effects and new causes in the chain, or more accurately in the loop of thread which forms a two strand rope which interconnects every hydrogen atom forming every existing composite object.
When we are talking about atom and above we can always ask the question of what caused what. As it grows more complex we must artificially isolate causes and effects from each other in order to gain an understanding of any particular phenomenon. Yet, when we arrive at the fundamental unit there can be no particular cause and effect because of the feedback between eternal motion and finite matter (atom and thread).
Our confusion may be compounded by the similarity between living objects and other self organizing systems.
From any regularly occurring sequential phenomena, along with specific accompanying conditions, a particular effect will result. BUT this is an illusion brought about by artificial division related to the concepts of time and space. Events will always appear to be sequential following the cause and effect relationship when isolated from all other events. AND objects will always appear to be discrete and separate from others when we create space in order to perceive it or conceive of it.
The problem is in not understanding that there is a single fundamental object connecting all other objects, and that our limited bandwidth sensory apparatus leads to a limited perception of reality. Fortunately, we have an unlimited ability to conceive of concepts, and this is made possible by synaptic plasticity along with the ability of certain parts of the brain, like the hippocampus, to generate new neurons. It is this and the feedback mechanisms that make possible an unlimited number of interactions in the brain and therefore the mind.
Similarly, a finite number of H-atoms may form a limited number of composite objects but an unlimited number of relationships between objects is possible due to assembly and disassembly resulting from feedback.
I speculate that because the number of H-atoms (a finite amount of matter) is constant, there can only be an odd number of them because there is only one rope between any two H-atoms. Additionally, since living entities can move against gravity or in concert with the never ending motion of the fundamental, this offsets a potentially perfect gravitational balance which would cause motion to cease, and insures unlimited combinations of composite objects and their resulting phenomena.
In his effort to predict events, man selects limited processes from unlimited possibilities, and believes that that deterministic application of cause and effect accounts for all phenomena, and that all phenomena can be accounted for. If one compounds this misunderstanding with creation of matter and time and space, one may also buy into philosophy’s mechanistic determinism, quantum’s uncertainty principle, or religion’s “God done it.”
Mechanistic determinism is useful for engineering but can lead to fatalism, and Quantum’s uncertainty is useful for nothing but mental masturbation, but at least religion may give one peace of mind.
Humans can not only remember the past, but consider possible events that have not yet happened. They can conceive of objects not present or visible, and both of these figure into the feed-back and feed-forward mechanisms which can alter possibilities in ways that other “self-organizing systems” like tornadoes can not. Maybe we’ll cover that at the cosmic scale in a future discussion on stellar metamorphosis and nebular hypothesis.