On Thursday 15 May 2008 02:40:10 pm paul at clubi.ie wrote:
> If we can't determine randonmess, why should trust the output of a
> man-made algorithm that /seems/ random over measurements of physical
> processes that we apparently have good reason to believe /are/
Because we know far more about mathematical functions
than we do about the physical processes you are talking about.
Take the time distribution of emissions from radioactive material,
which is often taken as a model of a random process.
There are any number of reasons why this might not in fact be random,
eg the measuring apparatus might be defective,
there may be cosmic ray emissions from a completely different source,
the rate of emission may not be independent of the temperature,
the direction of the magnetic field may affect the result,
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
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