Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Destiny, Big Bang and Why There Isn't Much You Can Do About Your Life

Destiny is a tricky topic and often a boring one too. There are those who believe that all our lives are pre-written and then there are those who think we create our destiny by our skills and hard work. I am not going to get into a debate over this, nor am I going to impose my beliefs on you. I do come from an extremely religious family and happen to be a firm believer of destiny. But in this post I am not going to discuss about the things which I learnt from my grandparents not would I discuss our ancient scriptures. I would stick to the things we learnt in school. I will stick to the laws of motions and the chemical reactions we memorized during our JEE preparation days. I would somehow try to make sense of the things all of us learnt in school and college. Being among the "below average" performers during my college days there might be some loopholes in the below line of thinking and I would really appreciate a healthy debate. (Don't be too harsh on me as I am the only one who has the access to delete other's comments on this blog)

So let me begin with telling you why I think a bunch of smart guys with a few Param computers can predict future. Well we know that whatever we do, whether its moving our hand, picking up a book, watching television, or just sitting is governed by the instructions our respective body parts get from our brain (Spine in case of involuntary actions). The instructions are electric signal which are passed through our neurons. The electric currents are produced in the brain cells as a result of specific chemical reactions. So basically these chemical reactions govern each of our actions. Since a 'thought' too is just and an electric current, even what we think while sitting idle is decided by the chemical reactions in our brain. Similarly the actions of others too are governed by the chemical reactions in their brains. Now to go further, these chemical reactions are governed by the collision of atoms and molecules in our brain. The collision and motion depends on the trajectory and velocity of these particles and also on the external forces applied due to other atoms and molecules. Now if I know the position and velocity of each atom as of now (provided Mr. Heisenberg focuses on my intent and does not play spoil sport), and also know the strength of different field forces applied, then I can predict there velocities and positions five minutes from now. Which means I can predict what someone would think and do after five minutes. This way, by considering the situation as of now and by doing some out of the world calculations, I can successfully predict the future. But the real fun is not in knowing what lies ahead, the real fun is in going backward in time.

Big Bang and Destiny

Based on the above, I can assume that the fact that you are reading this blog could have been predicted 5 minutes ago. And if I take my calculations even further then this could have been predicted even years ago. Infact as long as were are talking in terms of forces and trajectories, we can say that what is happening today could have been predicted at the time of big bang when all the matter around us was put into motion. Looking at the position and velocities of object just after the big bang, someone could have predicted the scene and events of today. Now this scares me. The fact that what I will do or even think about doing was already decided many many centuries ago is a scary thought. What it essentially means is that we have no control on our lives or even our thoughts. It means that it was decided centuries ago that this idea would come to my mind and then I would write about it. The fact that you will be reading this too was decided at the time of big bang itself.

So, the life we are living today is just a movie which was shot long time back. Its just that we are watching it now. The only thing you can do now is to either keep trying to change the movie which was shot long back or grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.

PS: Whether you decide to watch your life as a spectator or not too was decided long back. So don't bother yourself too much with the idea.


  1. I quite agree with what you have said...There are countless but finite number of parameters that has to be taken into account for such a prediction. Every thought leads to an action and this action leads to another thought and so on.. But it is scary to know that nothing is under our control!

  2. There are still somethings which we do not know, and hence we may not consider. For example, what is that spark of life that makes us living beings capable of understanding rather than just a mass of skin and bones with extremely complex internal systems?

    @Kapil.. the number of parameters will be dependent on what you think the size of the universe is, will it not? If you say infinite, then the number of parameters will be infinite too.

  3. I also agree the notion that based on perfect info of neural system, one's thoughts can be predicted. Albeit, it has numerous parameters indeed(as Kapil said), which are apparently next to impossible for tracking.

    But, is this theory applicable to nature as well?
    E.g. what theory(in context of chemistry) would you apply to predict earthquake?

    I mean it is very well clear that we can predict the climate and all, but its aftermath on varied individuals are going to be distinct. That's why it makes it almost impossible to predict what one can think at a particular moment.

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  5. I thought this long back but if you take into account the quantum nature of particles.. it is not possible to predict the path or spin of electron.. not because we dont have the resources.. its just not the way how the world behaves..

    Read about entanglement its amazing.. all the newtonian concepts will vanish..

    1. Hi Chandu...yes the quantum nature does create a lot of complexity.. disregarding the newtonian concepts makes it impossible (as of now) to predict future.. but the view that the brain works on the basis of science and not free will still holds.. will surely read about entanglements and then may be another post will follow.. thanks a ton :)

    2. I think more than entanglement, this is a debate over whether big bang set up the initial conditions for everything or is consciousness, in some way, an extension of the will/process that led to Big Bang. But this perspective ultimately leads to the God debate, and I will try to avoid going into that. Although entanglement does give an element of doubt over the very existence of things without our consciousness, but then that could be debated too.
      This debate (and many others) is very well taken up in a movie called "Waking Life". Watch this 3 minute excerpt from the movie:
      Another important watch would be this documentary (15th to 22nd minute). I somehow feel that the destiny questions is somehow interlinked with our perception or belief about time, but I can't quite make the exact connection since the implications of the actual nature of time is pretty counter intuitive:

  6. @Kuldeep.. Yes natural events too can easily be included in the theory.. Infact they are probably easier to analyze than human thought process...

  7. @Kapil...Yes its scary indeed...

  8. this blows my mind i have recently been pondering about life etc and i tripped myself out beyond beleif...'What it essentially means is that we have no control on our lives or even our thoughts. It means that it was decided centuries ago' i started thinking stuff like that... no matter what i do its all been done its all been done.. i have no choice at all in it...really scary stuff... a few weeks later it happened again and it went deeper into this'So, the life we are living today is just a movie which was shot long time back. Its just that we are watching it now. The only thing you can do now is to either keep trying to change the movie which was shot long back or grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.' i of course wanted to "change the movie" but the more i tried the more i realised its soooooo pointless like "WTF this is all Fake WTF its all been done... calm down calm down ;s tried to turn off the light.. thats been done before tho so i decided not to but that too was destined to not happen!!!... these events are recent to me im thinking its caused by drugs i did a few years back(6-7 years ago i started doing some "extacy") it only happens every now and then and when the feelings are gone their gone

  9. According to Heisenberg Uncertainty principle: You cannot locate the exact position of an electron, the position you locate is actually its apparent previous location, before it got excited because of photons falling over it.
    Hence we can conclude that we can know only the past as future will show a deviation of h/2π

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