Where Certainty is an Illusion (Book 1: Uncertainty)
Two things are permanent in this world, contrary to the cliché telling us there is only one: the eternal existence of change. However, there is another one that keeps its place in darkness:
Whether a stray cat dies or not upon being locked inside a box filled with poisonous gas with a 50-50 chance of being released remains a question. Unless we get to observe the whole scenario by opening the box. That’s what a scientist named Schrödinger tells us in his thought experiment in the 20th century. Of course, we would be sure of the outcome of that particular experiment. However, further looking into it will raise a series of questions branching from the premise of the preceding one, making it an infinite inquiry. Why a cat? Why not a dog? Or a bird? What was in Schrödinger’s mind during the experiment?
We know the point of the experiment, but the invisible aspects surrounding it will forever be a riddle.
In short, they’re in the dark realm of uncertainty.
But this dark side of incurable ignorance is constantly challenged. Of course, the challenger is none other than humanity, whose pride won’t let himself be a mere animal, and curiosity won’t make him idle.
Another man called Laplace hypothesized the existence of a being whose intelligence approaches that of a god. He has the knowledge of everything and has the future laid before his eyes.
He was called “Laplace’s demon” after the proponent’s name. Laplace’s demon is the ruler of an absolutely deterministic world. He knows whether Schrödinger’s cat was alive or dead. He knows whether a coin toss will result in a head-up or a tail-up. He knows the exact track of a storm simply by looking into its initial conditions. To almost everything, his knowledge is a universal necessity.
He’s supposed to be a savior of this world doomed to eternal uncertainty. But, ironically, his manifestation to any sentient being, including humans, has never been found.
The world works under the premise of a chaotic system. Science depicts the world as a complex system whose components exhibit behaviors that one cannot predict. If that’s the case, Laplace’s demon should not exist since he would violate the world order.
Throughout history, all of the advancements brought about by several hundred generation-old human civilizations end into nothing like a resolution but more conflict and more profound unknown. As we might ponder, how exactly wide is knowledge? And how far have we gone already in the quest for absolute certainty of everything? No one knows at least the answer to those questions. We can dive deeper into the unknown end of the realm of wisdom, but there has always been a dark side, and no one has ever taken a glimpse of it.
However, we couldn’t conclude everything here. After all, everything is uncertain.
We may not know how the world works. What is the extent of chaos in the world? Can deterministic and chaotic systems coexist, and in what conditions?
Who knows?! Maybe the one possessing the ability of Laplace’s demon has the answer.
Will he appear in this world?
He may be just an urban legend, but I sincerely hope he exists for real.
For someone, like me, who’s the most curious and uncertain about a lot of other things, the one who can answer all my questions is that “person”:
The one who knows absolute certainty.
He exists. I believe that.