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The Invisible String Theory

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posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 03:34 AM
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I have noticed, both in my real-world encounters and experiences/talks with people and online, that people believe a certain number of events that can appear to be related in fact are connected. I will give an example to show what I mean as I'm sure I didn't explain that well:

I flip a coin. It is heads. If I were to ask you why it is heads, you would surely say something along the lines of "The force transferred from your hand to the coin was of a precise measurable quantity. As energy transferred from your hand to the coin, the coin moved into the air, yada yada, wind/air resistance, yada yada." You get the idea. Scientifically explainable. We may not be able to precisely measure everything that accounted for the coin landing heads-up, but surely you would agree that it was due to a number of factors, all of which are scientifically explainable.

Now I flip the coin again. Again, it is heads. This time, due to a similar number of factors (though these factors may differ) the same outcome was reached and it can be theoretically explained without any need to bring up the first time I flipped the coin. That is, just as the first coin flip could be explained independently of any coin flip that came before or after it, so this one can be explained in precisely the same manner.

See where I'm going?

I flip the coin one million more times. It has landed heads every single time, one million times in a row. At this point, many people want to say that because this there is an astronomically tiny chance this would occur, some other force must be at work here. Hence, the invisible string. But wait, at what point was the invisible string attached to the chain of coin flips? If each coin flip can be explained independently of every other coin flip that preceded or succeeded it, what reason could there be for exclaiming that there is a connection between them?

A common answer: probability. But, probability is how we guess future events. It is not an existent thing in the Universe. It is an abstract concept and has absolutely no interaction with anything. Probability doesn't dictate an outcome, it is merely how we explain the likelihood of a future outcome. The outcomes themselves are determined via a causal series of events that are determined by actual and existent things in the Universe (particles, etc).

Taking it one step further: say you disagree with me on the point of the coin flips. You'll concede that, even though it is ridiculously unlikely that I would flip heads 1 million times in a row, it is not impossible, and I'm just lucky or it was a coincidence (depending on how you use terminology). What if I were to replace the coin flips with something more substantial...say, metaphorically dodging a bullet?

What is more common, particularly among the more religious people (and please note that I am in no way trying to be condescending to any religious or spiritual person), is the Invisible String of God's Hand. New example:

I am now a pastor of a a local church. We are doing numerous good works throughout the local community, and I have literally never been happier or more content/peaceful in my entire life. How did I get here? I can trace it back to a specific time/day. October 12, 2004. I just declared bankruptcy. My wife and I are having to move in with her parents. We just had a son, and I can't even support my wife and myself, let alone us and a child. I'm embarrassed, ashamed, and unhappy. I pray. I ask God to give me strength to get through this tough time, and I ask for a sign. A few moments later, just when I'm about to give up all hope, I'm driving along the road and "Son of a Preacher Man" plays on the radio. I suddenly have an epiphany: God wants me to be a preacher! I go to seminary, get out, and now I can't find a job. Still living with my wife's parents. Still poor. Still unhappy, though I do feel like I've got direction. After months of searching for a job with no luck, I start to lose hope again. Again, I pray for strength. And a sign if it wouldn't be too much trouble. Within minutes, "Son of a Preacher Man" comes on the radio again. I know that God wants me on this path. As soon as I get home, my wife says that a church has called. It is the church that I am now a pastor at.

This is almost word-for-word a story from someone I know and respect personally. He truly believes that those two times that the song (it was a different song but I couldn't remember which one so I improvised!) played were God's hand at work. There were many other little 'signs' in-between as well, but that would be a much longer story so I wrote as little as I felt necessary for my point.

Breaking it down, we have Event 1) Song on radio and Event 2) Same song on radio. If the first one were to happen and it never happen again, most people would agree it is coincidence. Some might even say the second one was coincidence too, but others (like this person I based the example off of) would say they have no doubt in their mind that it was God.

My question is: even if this same song were to play 100 out of 100 times that you asked for a sign or prayed, etc., why do so many people think they are related? Why do they tie an invisible string across a series of events when each event has a valid explanation independently of any other event before or after it?




posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:00 AM
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reply to post by Alexander_Supertramp
 



Hmm I see where you are going and as far as logic goes its solid...however...

There are many things that wouldn't exist if it weren't for strings of events tied together in a very specific manner...ie: life...

Life and its apparent uniqueness to the universe (as observed thus far) couldn't have come about by independent singular events all of equal chance...

For example you have x% chance of landing a job and y% chance of getting hired, although you could say the flip of those coins are independent the y% chance wouldn't even be a possibility if at first you didn't land the job...so X and Y are connected and strung together as we all know you cant get a promotion without first having a job.

I know the example is a bit abstract but it was the first one off the top of my head...*shrug*

There are events that happen or have a chance of happening only because of previous events and they are directly related to each-other...

edit to add: I see where you are saying that all events are independent variables and don't acknowledge concepts such as chance/probability/odds etc...and this I agree with to an extent.

Each time you flip a coin its a new event and it doesn't care nor take into consideration the previous flip and abide by things such as odds/probability etc...
edit on 16-12-2011 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by Sly1one
reply to post by Alexander_Supertramp
 



Hmm I see where you are going and as far as logic goes its solid...however...

There are many things that wouldn't exist if it weren't for strings of events tied together in a very specific manner...ie: life...

Life and its apparent uniqueness to the universe (as observed thus far) couldn't have come about by independent singular events all of equal chance...

For example you have x% chance of landing a job and y% chance of getting hired, although you could say the flip of those coins are independent the y% chance wouldn't even be a possibility if at first you didn't land the job...so X and Y are connected and strung together as we all know you cant get a promotion without first having a job.

I know the example is a bit abstract but it was the first one off the top of my head...*shrug*

There are events that happen or have a chance of happening only because of previous events and they are directly related to each-other...


I see what you mean, and I can't deny that! But you're speaking in terms of chance/probability and I don't see how that has any causal role in an event at all. We tend to view things in terms of probability but it doesn't matter whether something is 99% likely or 1% likely to happen, if it actually does happen, and if I were able to list every single factor of why it happened, would I mention its chances of happening at all? Like my coin-flip example, those are all environmental factors of force/inertia, etc. that play a role in it landing heads. Whether it had a 50/50 chance or not wouldn't determine anything. So why is it when a series of things happen do we all of a sudden start thinking they are connected? Is it simply because the chances become more and more unlikely?



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by Alexander_Supertramp
 


Well, to be honest other than examples I provided I'm not sure why we would string events together...at least the ones that are solely related to force/inertia such as a coin flip...

There are unfathomable factors involved in trying to determine the outcome of human psychology for example and the apparent "free will" we have. What I find intriguing about this is that if what you are saying is true for ALL events in the universe then there is no such thing as free will, and at some point predicting and controlling something as obscure as human psychology is not only possibly but inevitable...

Personally though, I think there are some things/events that cannot be quantified/calculated. I believe there is something at work that avoids all attempt of measurement....

Space for example, and I'm not talking about outer-space although that is part of it. Space connects everything outside of a black hole...it cannot be measure or quantified or even observed. Everything has space between it on the micro and macro levels...there is a void between all things and I believe this void has an indeterminable, un-quantifiable, incalculable effect on the outcome of all events.

edit to add: the unfortunate thing is that the claim that "space" or the "void" has an incalculable effect on all things can never be proven as there is nothing to observe/measure etc...




edit on 16-12-2011 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:22 AM
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Now that I think about it, I believe I get what you're saying (maybe!)....even though Event B can be explained individually without mentioning Event A, they are causally connected because B couldn't have happened without A. And I definitely agree with that. But even though this is true, that doesn't seem to be the connection that people are referring to when they say God had a hand in the events. Actually, the people I've talked to in person about this usually use a 'string' of events to try and prove God's existence (or at least provide evidence of his works in their life). That's where this whole thing stemmed from...how can a number of events, no matter how small the chances, be related/be evidence for God's work in your life if the only thing they have in common is a causal determinate role? If that's the case, then literally everything is related, ad infinitum, and it seems like a moot point.

I am allowing the possibility of free will in the examples (even though I'm uncertain as to whether there is such a thing). Making the decision to flip the coin would factor in along with the more concrete scientific principles involved. And I don't think we will ever actually be able to list all the factors in any specific event...but even so, can't we say that based on our understanding of the universe as we know it now, there are a specific number of factors involved that are theoretically knowable, whether we can actually know them all or not? And by that I mean, there are a specific number of cells in the human body at any given time. We can confidently say that without having the ability to freeze time and count them all at one instant.
edit on 16-12-2011 by Alexander_Supertramp because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:35 AM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp
Now that I think about it, I believe I get what you're saying (maybe!)....even though Event B can be explained individually without mentioning Event A, they are causally connected because B couldn't have happened without A. And I definitely agree with that (Determination). But even though this is true, that doesn't seem to be the connection that people are referring to when they say God had a hand in the events. Actually, the people I've talked to in person about this usually use a 'string' of events to try and prove God's existence (or at least provide evidence of his works in their life). That's where this whole thing stemmed from...how can a number of events, no matter how small the chances, be related/be evidence for God's work in your life if the only thing they have in common is a causal determinate role? If that's the case, then literally everything is related, ad infinitum, and it seems like a moot point.


Well in the case of god...I try not to go there most times as it usually ends in frustration on both ends. In my opinion god is whatever people want it to be and it always has been, its the easy answer to any mystery and for many its a very very comfortable thought.

I believe people attribute strings of "fortunate" events to god because there is first an acknowledgement that things could have gone a completely different less fortunate rout...and second is the appreciation that the turnout was fortunate and they feel the need to be thankful for whatever it is that made the coin land heads up for example...

Where it confuses me and probably you as well, is that the determination of an event turnout as fortunate or unfortunate is based on the persons bias...so when things don't turnout like people want them to, they don't usually show appreciation to god and again that's all based off of their perceptions of the event.
Many times people realize that unfortunate events lead to fortunate events (again stringing events together).

I think part of the problem is that you are using an very finite and determinable method such as flipping a coin to decipher and understand what ultimately turns out to be not chance but human perception and interpretation of events...

The two different types of events don't explain each other accurately, well because one is determinable and the other is quite frankly a freaking mystery...
edit on 16-12-2011 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp
My question is: even if this same song were to play 100 out of 100 times that you asked for a sign or prayed, etc., why do so many people think they are related? Why do they tie an invisible string across a series of events when each event has a valid explanation independently of any other event before or after it?


People do this because they have been strongly conditioned to believe in hope, faith and luck. It fills us with warmth and comfort to believe these things actually exist, despite the fact they are impossible to verify in the outcome of events. As humans we like to seek closure for why events occur and attribute a reason.
edit on 16/12/2011 by Dark Ghost because: clarity



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp
My question is: even if this same song were to play 100 out of 100 times that you asked for a sign or prayed, etc., why do so many people think they are related? Why do they tie an invisible string across a series of events when each event has a valid explanation independently of any other event before or after it?




Originally posted by Dark Ghost
People do this because they have been strongly conditioned to believe in hope, faith and luck. It fills us with warmth and comfort to believe these things actually exist, despite the fact they are impossible to verify in the outcome of events. As humans we like to seek closure for why events occur and attribute a reason.
edit on 16/12/2011 by Dark Ghost because: clarity


And you completely discount that there may in fact be some 'string' that has caused these events to happen in a meaningful sequence?

An event happening in isolation may have 'x' chance of happening, but a number of events which are not correlated to each other in any logical way, yet all happen to happen in a way which is meaningful to the observer may have a much much lower probability of happening. And this can be cause to show that there is in fact something external going on, be it the mind of the observer itself somehow influencing these events to 'make' them happen, or maybe even something else external independent of the observers mind.

The mind has been shown it can influence things well beyond the confines of the human body, and the subconscious speaks a symbolic language. Whose to say that the events are not in fact 'strung' together?



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 04:07 PM
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And you completely discount that there may in fact be some 'string' that has caused these events to happen in a meaningful sequence?

An event happening in isolation may have 'x' chance of happening, but a number of events which are not correlated to each other in any logical way, yet all happen to happen in a way which is meaningful to the observer may have a much much lower probability of happening. And this can be cause to show that there is in fact something external going on, be it the mind of the observer itself somehow influencing these events to 'make' them happen, or maybe even something else external independent of the observers mind.

The mind has been shown it can influence things well beyond the confines of the human body, and the subconscious speaks a symbolic language. Whose to say that the events are not in fact 'strung' together?


I'm not discounting the possibility, I'm asking why people do that. Then I showed what I believe to be a sound logical example of why it is not only unnecessary, but illogical, to do that.

The lower probability of something happening is irrelevant, even if it is astronomically low and has a powerful impact on the observer. Probability has no causal role whatsoever in anything that occurs. It is merely a way for us to guess what may or may not happen. It is useful for betting and plays a role in our decisions, but that's about it.

And as for the mind influencing things outside of the human body, I am unaware that has ever been shown to be true? Perhaps there is some groundwork in quantum physics you are referring to, but that does us no good here. We aren't talking about quantum physics, and until scientists can tie quantum physics together with the other sciences (particularly classical physics), the two simply cannot be spoken of together. What I mean is, the rules of quantum mechanics and the rules of classical mechanics are entirely different sets of rules, and those rules only apply to things within their boundaries (as far as we know at this point, anyways). Talking about how quarks interact with each other has no known effect on how I flip a coin, for example. And vice versa.

Again, I'm not saying there isn't a possibility of an Invisible String tying seemingly unrelated events together. I am questioning the fact that so many people do it despite good reason for what appears to be only to 'validate' their beliefs.



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp

I'm not discounting the possibility, I'm asking why people do that. Then I showed what I believe to be a sound logical example of why it is not only unnecessary, but illogical, to do that.

The lower probability of something happening is irrelevant, even if it is astronomically low and has a powerful impact on the observer. Probability has no causal role whatsoever in anything that occurs. It is merely a way for us to guess what may or may not happen. It is useful for betting and plays a role in our decisions, but that's about it.


I will admit that I was pretty tired when I read your OP, so if I did miss your question at the end. I will also admit that I am somewhat spiritually inclined so obviously this will color my answers.

But when one talks in terms of probability, there is a point where you have to consider whether the probability is higher that a set sequence of seemingly related events is in fact unrelated, or that they are somehow connected by either external or internal influences beyond the realms of that which can be proved by everyday science.

In terms of your coin toss example, obviously each toss has a 50/50 chance of being heads or tails, and each individual toss would not have any influence on the next one. But the probability that it would happen 1 million times in a row is extremely remote, making it far more likely that something else is influencing the outcome. In fact, it would be illogical not consider the fact that something external was not influencing the toss, be it a weighted coin or something else.

In terms of your pastor example, on the surface it may appear (especially on the first occasion) that may appear merely a coincidence, although you may also consider the fact that the chance a certain song which is meaningful to him be played at the exact time he pondering a certain thought related to the thoughts that song evokes within him is also a fairly slim. For it then to happen a second time when he is thinking very similar thoughts the chances are truly astronomical.

I have a friend who was having a baby. They's just had an ultrasound and found out it was going to be a baby girl. Top of their list for girls names list was the name Ruby. As soon as they left the ultrasound clinic the song 'Ruby' by the Kaiser Chiefs started playing on the Radio. The song finished and the next song was crap so they changed stations. The first station they changed to also had had 'Ruby' by the Kaiser Chiefs playing. Song finished, once again another crappy song. They changed the station again and on the third station the same song Ruby was playing. Now the chance of this happening while they were considering to name their daughter Ruby are probably a trillion to one, and they took this as an external sign that this was the name they were meant to choose. And I would probably too.

Probability is not irrelevant for when the chance of something happening in a certain way are remotely low, and then it happens it can indicate that there are unseen forces at play.



And as for the mind influencing things outside of the human body, I am unaware that has ever been shown to be true? Perhaps there is some groundwork in quantum physics you are referring to, but that does us no good here. We aren't talking about quantum physics, and until scientists can tie quantum physics together with the other sciences (particularly classical physics), the two simply cannot be spoken of together. What I mean is, the rules of quantum mechanics and the rules of classical mechanics are entirely different sets of rules, and those rules only apply to things within their boundaries (as far as we know at this point, anyways). Talking about how quarks interact with each other has no known effect on how I flip a coin, for example. And vice versa.


I am no theoretical physicist. But when it is an established scientific fact that our mind can influence the behavior of external subatomic particles, particles which form the building blocks of matter and everything you see around you, this is enough for me to infer that the mind is likely to be able influence matter and events visible on the macro scale. Being one who has mixed in pagan circles in my past, I have seen all manner of things happen everyday where it would be foolishly close-minded to consider something other than external forces are at play.


Again, I'm not saying there isn't a possibility of an Invisible String tying seemingly unrelated events together. I am questioning the fact that so many people do it despite good reason for what appears to be only to 'validate' their beliefs.


As said above, when an event happens which has an astronomically low chance of happening, it becomes illogical not to consider there may to be something else outside of the realms of that which hast been proven by today's science influencing this event.



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by 1littlewolf
I will admit that I was pretty tired when I read your OP, so if I did miss your question at the end. I will also admit that I am somewhat spiritually inclined so obviously this will color my answers.

But when one talks in terms of probability, there is a point where you have to consider whether the probability is higher that a set sequence of seemingly related events is in fact unrelated, or that they are somehow connected by either external or internal influences beyond the realms of that which can be proved by everyday science.

In terms of your coin toss example, obviously each toss has a 50/50 chance of being heads or tails, and each individual toss would not have any influence on the next one. But the probability that it would happen 1 million times in a row is extremely remote, making it far more likely that something else is influencing the outcome. In fact, it would be illogical not consider the fact that something external was not influencing the toss, be it a weighted coin or something else.


Thank you, that is exactly the kind of answer I was hoping to get. I hadn't seen it from that point of view, and quite frankly, when you put it that way, I think you may be right.


In terms of your pastor example, on the surface it may appear (especially on the first occasion) that may appear merely a coincidence, although you may also consider the fact that the chance a certain song which is meaningful to him be played at the exact time he pondering a certain thought related to the thoughts that song evokes within him is also a fairly slim. For it then to happen a second time when he is thinking very similar thoughts the chances are truly astronomical.

Probability is not irrelevant for when the chance of something happening in a certain way are remotely low, and then it happens it can indicate that there are unseen forces at play.


Like your point above, I see what you mean. When you take a step back and view things as a sum of events rather than each individual event, it does seem to be more logical to assume some kind of Invisible String (I'm just using that as a general term describing the mysterious/unknown connection of events) is involved rather than them happening merely by chance/coincidence.


I am no theoretical physicist. But when it is an established scientific fact that our mind can influence the behavior of external subatomic particles, particles which form the building blocks of matter and everything you see around you, this is enough for me to infer that the mind is likely to be able influence matter and events visible on the macro scale. Being one who has mixed in pagan circles in my past, I have seen all manner of things happen everyday where it would be foolishly close-minded to consider something other than external forces are at play.


Another good point. I do have to disagree with you on the 'established scientific fact' part, though. With particular theories that state an observer can influence the behavior of subatomic particles comes numerous paradoxes that, unless solved, pose significant threats to said theories. Example: 'Wigner's friend' thought experiment. Basically, the paradox is an extension of Schrodinger's Cat (which I will assume you're familiar with...if not, it's easily searchable!). Where the 'cat' in Schrodinger's example is the variable that is only alive/dead once observed, Wigner takes it a step further and suggests the observer can be a 'cat' to another observer. And you can see how you can continue with another observer observing that observer, etc. ad infinitum. There are other paradoxes (such as the problem of how could the Universe could have first started if quantum particles needed to be observed first before they could behave one way or the other, etc.) that similarly cause problems for observer theories that may cause such theories to have to either be revised or totally changed.


As said above, when an event happens which has an astronomically low chance of happening, it becomes illogical not to consider there may to be something else outside of the realms of that which hast been proven by today's science influencing this event.


This is a very good point that you've brought up a few times now. When taking probability into account, it seems that you're absolutely right, and it actually would be the more logical thing to acknowledge that there is probably an Invisible String involved with a series of events that have a low probability of occurring. Honestly, the only rebuttal I can think at the moment involves ignoring probability altogether, and I'm not too sure if that even could be done, let alone should. Haha I'll have to get back to you on that one!



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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Consider, existence is the result of consciousness. What if the intent is to achieve, or generate, a pure non-existence? An absolute non-existence self annihilates the instant any consciousness considers it, thereby altering "it" away from the pure state and attaching definition as an "it". The stone too heavy for God to lift.

Don't "look" into it, you may not come back. Took me 3 days once to make it back.



posted on Dec, 17 2011 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp


Another good point. I do have to disagree with you on the 'established scientific fact' part.........


I will admit I've never heard of the Wigner's Friend thought experiment, I was more thinking about the famous Double Slit experiment.

But in terms of everything else you mentioned you pretty much nailed it. The event itself cannot necessarily been seen in isolation, especially if your question relates to why humans often attribute things to your 'Invisible Strings'. It is definitely the sum of events that matters. And not just that but the sum of events when compared to the subjects thoughts or frame of mind at the time.

Imagining a particular person is going to give you a call is not significant. That particular person actually calling you is not significant. But when you imagine someone will call you and a few seconds later they do, then that may definitely be seen to be significant.....
edit on 17/12/2011 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)




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