It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Since the past is predictable and can be known, it has always been knowable. Since it has always been knowable, life has been inevitable since the beginning of the universe.
The quantum arrow of time
According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, quantum evolution is governed by the Schrödinger equation, which is time-symmetric, and by wave function collapse, which is time irreversible. As the mechanism of wave function collapse is philosophically obscure, it is not completely clear how this arrow links to the others. Despite the post-measurement state being entirely stochastic in formulations of quantum mechanics, a link to the thermodynamic arrow has been proposed, noting that the second law of thermodynamics amounts to an observation that nature shows a bias for collapsing wave functions into higher entropy states versus lower ones, and the claim that this is merely due to more possible states being high entropy runs afoul of Loschmidt's paradox. According to the modern physical view of wave function collapse, the theory of quantum decoherence, the quantum arrow of time is a consequence of the thermodynamic arrow of time.
In the 1928 book The Nature of the Physical World, which helped to popularize the concept, Eddington stated:
"Let us draw an arrow arbitrarily. If as we follow the arrow we find more and more of the random element in the state of the world, then the arrow is pointing towards the future; if the random element decreases the arrow points towards the past. That is the only distinction known to physics. This follows at once if our fundamental contention is admitted that the introduction of randomness is the only thing which cannot be undone. I shall use the phrase ‘time's arrow’ to express this one-way property of time which has no analogue in space."
Eddington then gives three points to note about this arrow:
1. It is vividly recognized by consciousness.
2. It is equally insisted on by our reasoning faculty, which tells us that a reversal of the arrow would render the external world nonsensical.
3. It makes no appearance in physical science except in the study of organization of a number of individuals.
I'm not talking about cyclical time. I just meant that we can "predict" the past, as in we can infer what happened.
many a slip, twix cup and a lip