If you knew the force applied, wind, specific gravity, initial position, and the state of all surfaces that the coin could interact with you'd have a
near 100% certainty of knowing how the coin would land.
This actually gets to a point I've been trying to make for some time now
Nothing is random.
There are two actions:
- The initial state of the universe
On the macro-scale objects do not deviate. If I throw a ball up in the air I can reliably track the motion both forward and
backwards in time. The only thing that causes deviation is choice. I can choose
to let the ball fall to the ground or attempt to do something
else like swat it away, but without my involvement the state can be perfectly predicted.
Put another way things can be 100% deterministic inside of a specific domain using explicit constraints
. For instance your computer
works day in and day out because the MOV, ADD, SUB operations on the processor behave exactly the same way, every time. The only time this isn't true
is when the processor starts to fail due to age, heat, or other external stimuli like an electrical surge. Thus this caveat represents the
Likewise in math we can build on past knowledge using corollaries because abstract proofs have been demonstrated to continue to hold in a particular
domain (human knowledge) despite being built on core axioms that have no proof and are simply self-evident. No one contests the identity axiom B = B.
As a simple test get 6 people together and ask them, "Does B = B?"
The assertion that it's physically impossible for 100% certainty should be viewed as a mathematical limit. Sometimes we approach so close the two are
virtually the same despite their still being an underlying constraint that makes it hold 100% of the time. Removing the constraint it might instead
represent 99.9999999999999999...% accuracy rounded up, which still presents enough accuracy to say it's reliably true.
So the explicit constraint that makes a coin flip represent 50/50 odds is based on the notion that it only has two faces to land on irregardless of
other information known about the system. As humans become more advanced we solve more of these systems (i.e. checkers is a solvable game).
This implicitly changes the odds because we shift the constraints.
[edit on 11-12-2009 by Xtraeme]