28 – On Uncertainty and Probability …

Uncertainty and Probability are inescapable and powerful elements of Existence.

These two elements were introduced into Science as the Uncertainty Principle in the early part of the 19th Century by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg and as the Probability Theory in the 17th Century by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal.

According to the Uncertainty Principle, and due to the inherent constant change of atomic systems, we cannot measure accurately the position and the momentum of an atomic particle at the same time. To get an approximate measurement we have to go back to the work of Blaise Pascal and his Probability Theory.

Using Probability Theory we can estimate the occurrence (when, where, how) of an event. For instance, we can estimate the death of a star within so many billions of years, or the number of human beings on earth in five or fifty years from now, or the natural death of a human being at so many years of age, or the position of an atomic particle at certain point in space, or the breakdown of the human mind after certain amount of duress, or the length of time it takes for a sperm to reach the ovum, or how long it takes for an Oak tree to reach maturity, or the number of revolutions of a planet around a star in a certain period of time. Probability Theory gives us the alternative of seeing the world in terms of a rich range of consequences and possibilities, not with complete knowledge or total certainty though, but with an estimated guess of its possible outcome, which in turn might be right or wrong or somewhere in between.

The philosophical outcome of these two Theories can be summed up as: Existence is a temporary tendency to unfold amidst the uncertainty of an infinite set of possibilities. We can never predict an event with total certainty, only the likelihood of its occurrence.

Thus Existence in our Universe is but a potentiality – the probability of some combination of energy and mass coming together into one, out of myriad possible configurations. The progressive movement of Evolution, chance events, the role of the individual, altruism or selfishness, the instinct to survive, the urge to bond, or a combination of all, is what ultimately determines which potentiality is actually manifested.

Isn’t it incredible to know that we can exist at all in a constantly changing environment where we are completely uncertain of what is going to happen next, except for the certainty of our own dissipation back into where we came from some unknown time in the future? Isn’t it amazing that with that knowledge we still continue to make plans for the future counting solely on a set of possibilities that may or may not be realized?

In the midst of uncertainty and myriad possibilities, the human being exists with the expectation of becoming either by natural design, or by our instinctive drives, or by the force of our own determination, the catalysts of events that may reach beyond our own existence; the yearning to leave a mark on the world is inherent and formidable in myriad degrees in all of us. But Existence is extremely vulnerable and, especially in its early stages, easily influenced.

Instead of the promise of a future full of possibilities, we are giving our Youth a world where Uncertainty is used as a controlling menace, where the freedom of the human mind to inquire and be different is castigated, where it is okay to blame others for the consequences of our greed and selfishness, where corporations have been given the right to plunder and destroy the environment that gives us life, where religions instigate divisiveness, where education is geared to perpetuate an unsustainable economic system, where the value of human life is measured by the accumulation of material possessions, where the crimes of an elite are protected by the ‘law’, where acquiring material wealth is more important than acquiring Knowledge, where Reason and Morality are compromised for the status-quo, where the abject poverty of millions is ignored for the “happiness” of a few, where there is no vision for Humankind except for Consumerism and War and Hate, where the Possibilities for the future are drowned in Hopelessness. No wonder why so many of our kids are willing to commit suicide.

When Uncertainty is paired with Hopelessness and when the Possibilities of the future are violent and bleak, it is heavy, and often unbearable, on the young human mind.

One of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease control report that it is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. It is important to recognize the fact that the suicide rate amongst teenagers is on the rise. In order to prevent teen suicide, it is vital to recognize what leads to it. [teensuicidestatistics.com].

Why is it that the powerful and the rich, the men and the women making the decisions for Humankind, cannot see beyond their own selfish needs? Why can they not share their wealth of possibilities and educate, and mend, and help Humanity define a vision for tomorrow other than hate and devastation?

How different the promise of the future could be!!!

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367 Responses to “28 – On Uncertainty and Probability …”

  1. Mundo says:

    They are all good. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Here are some insightful quotes I like… Lemme know if
    you like them:

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

    “I, at any rate, am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice.”

    “The significant matter isn’t to stop questioning; interest has its own reason for existing.”

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not certain about the universe.”

    “Falling in love isn’t at all the most ignorant thing that people do — but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.”

    “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

    “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of worth”

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  4. Amelia says:

    Thanks, this post is so helpful.

  5. mon corps says:

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  9. Hello. Article is fantastic.

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  11. Cori Kunesh says:

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is also very good.

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