Saturday, June 12, 2010

Understanding Fate & Destiny - II

In the last post, we observed the definition of fate in the conventional sense. We also saw how the reactions of a subject toward his surrounding circumstances determine his "destined path" later in life, by bringing new circumstances and choices. The choices / decisions made in turn, "chalk-out" a new destiny for him, as well as those surrounding him. Thus, we concluded that it is a self-feeding cycle.

Now, we shall see how every event or occurrence is pre-determined. We use the term pre-determined because here we attempt to subscribe to a scientific and plausible explanation, rather than subjective terms, "fate" or "destiny".

We first see how computer simulations work. While predicting the weather, super computers take the current weather condition as input, and calculate the movement of winds and clouds, or storms over a period of the next few days. They are able to do this, because wind /cloud patterns follow the basic laws of motion. These can be deployed by school-level students to calculate the speed and position of very simple particles after a period of time, as also by supercomputers, which can predict the results of simulated car crashes, typhoons, and nuclear explosions.

From the above, it is clear that be it car crashes, or weather patterns, a multitude of forces acting from many directions on many objects results in what may be termed as a chain-reaction of events, which in turn create the new forces and new directions that act on the same set of particles. For example, in a simulated real car crash, some shards of broken glass may fly and hit the dummy passenger, which in turn may halt their backward advance --- while triggering a new sequence of events in the passenger's body, like fracturing his skull, or stopping blood flow to some body organ and so on and such forth.

Here it must be observed that the above is very analogous to the conclusion of the previous discussion i.e. of the surrounding circumstances and the subsequent re-actions to them being a self-feeding cycle. We saw how the re-action of the 10th std. results of a student in India can impact his future career, which in turn impacts himself and his family members. With a small difference, this is similar to the calculated path of a single shard of glass that impacts other objects in its way, depending on where/how it flies. The difference is, that while the shard's path of flight (as also its re-actions to other objects that it hits) is determined by simple laws of motion, the student's path is determined by the choices he consciously makes --- a 'luxury', that the inanimate shard does not have. Yet in both examples, the similarity in the interplay of surrounding circumstances vis-a-vis re-action to them is apparent.

Now, we shall see that even the choices that we supposedly make after due deliberation, are actually no different than the completely physical path of an inanimate object in motion.

As per a scientific research, I quote, "..... study by German researchers, published two years ago, found a gap of up to 10 seconds between the brain activity that indicates that a decision is being made and the direction in which it is tending, and the awareness of the decision that has been made. In other words, researchers can guess what the subject is about to do even before he himself knows...."

The implications of the above scientific research are immediately obvious and profound. It is simply this : when confronted with a situation, a series of neurological and neurochemical occurrences in the brain act together over a period of time, to produce an output. This output, is the decision or choice taken by the person ! This is exactly the same as the final resting place of a shard of glass in a car crash (could be the road or the passenger's body as determined by the laws of motion), or as an even better example : the final resting place of a billiards ball after acting, and being acted upon by a multitude of forces.

So we see that like a billiards ball in motion, whose final resting place is pre-determined, our choices and decisions too are pre-determined. This over-rules the concept of fate or destiny in the conventional sense.

In fact, without "raising the heckles" of environmentalists, animals can be seen as nothing but instinctively reactionary "toys". Their simple predictable reactions to their surroundings begin right from the moment they are born, till they die. In between, they continuously re-act to their surrounding circumstances, and their instinctive choices are nothing but this : totally predictable reactionary instincts. In fact, mathematicians have already succeeded in modelling the behaviour patterns of birds and small animals like mice, without the need to examine the neurochemical reactions (unlike in humans), mentioned earlier. In case of humans, it is simply more complex, as they are more intelligentand are also guided by complex emotions.

We shall now move on from the pre-decidedness of human decisions, to macro events. We claim, that every occurrence --- from minute ones (like the falling of a leaf), to major ones (like the Bhopal gas tragedy, which killed thousands in a single day) --- are actually pre-determined since the "beginning".

For this, we just have to extrapolate and "elongate" our previous discussion. Since the Big Bang, all laws of physics have governed the formation of our planet Earth. The same purely reactionary forces, formed life and then intelligent life, as we know it. Every tree crushed under the feet of a T-Rex dinosaur --- which also simply acted per its totally predictable neurochemical interplay --- was also pre-determined since the Big Bang. Then a comet collided with Earth, due to which dinosaurs became extinct, and much later, humans evolved.

Like the clash of the comet, whose formation and motion since 4 billion years too has purely been governed by the laws of "galactic" Physics, humans too evolved by purely by the laws of predictable biochemistry. So, the formation and evolution of simpler organisms, to amphibians, to more complex ones to finally apes and Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens was pre-determined --- since the Big Bang (for, had the comet not crashed into earth, the biochemical evolution of humans wouldn't have kicked in).

We may fastforward to modern times, and extrapolate thus, that the same neurochemical reactions of our daily decisions and the inputs to our situations --- have been pre-decided since the Big Bang.

For, if an infinitely powerful supercomputer were built that simulated the exact conditions of the Big Bang, its occurrence and the formation of the Earth, the dinosaurs, the human evolution, the building of the Pyramids, the Battle of Plassey, the World Wars and how the great-great great great grand uncle of President Obama was killed by a freak tripping on a gorge in Kenya --- each and every "tid-bit" of every incident that has occurred since then, would be simulated exactly as it has occurred. The reader of this blog would see himself born and see his exam paper of the 10th standard snatched by the invigilator in exactly the same way as occurred to him actually.

He would also see himself reading this blog and scratching his head, in exactly the same way, as he did in actuality. It has of course, all been pre-determined since the BiG Bang.

So, that's what we may consider "Destiny" or "Fate" to be : A sequence of events that have occurred, as also that are to come, all of which pre-determined by the interplay of laws of the Universe (from Physics to neurochemistry). And all of which were DESTINED from the BiG Bang.

This ends our discussion on the meaning of Fate and Destiny. Comments and suggestions would be greatly welcome and appreciated.


  1. You have 0 comments until now. This could not have happened any other way.
    I have personally had the above thoughts, and expressed them to others (who didn't really follow what I was saying).
    This morning I decided to google "big bang predetermined" and this blog came up. It basically put in words perfectly my feelings on the matter, I especially like the supercomputer analogy because that is EXACTLY how I think of it too.
    Truly Epic blog post.

  2. Hi Anonymous. I express my heartfelt and sincere thanks towards your comments. Yours is really the first one in many months since this was posted. And I'm glad that you've really understood the core of the post, because you indeed were destined to be the first poster since the Big Bang occurred.

    I hope that your friends understand your views, and I'll be happy if this post assists you.

    I'm humbled by your last line.

    Thanks & regards.


  3. Just think about a star 4 light years away from earth.You can see today what happened 4 years ago on that star. Now assume a child was born 4 years ago on that star. What you see today is his past. So his past is your present. Or vice versa he can tell you what you will see in next four years if he can communicate it to you today. But his communication itself will take at least 4 years to reach you. This is a good example of seeing an event in two different time frames. If we can see the event in two different time frames , it means future is predetermined. only issue is that the message about this future can not be communicated to the past. This time and space puzzle really make me believe that world is just an illusion (or Maya).

    Nice blog


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