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Can Any Two Things Be Identical???

 
 
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:13 pm
Hi Everyone,
Can you think of any two things that are identical to one another in every way?
This is an ongoing research question, and all your answers will be gratefully received.
Thank you.
Mark...
 
View best answer, chosen by mark noble
qtvali
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:51 pm
@mark noble,
What is a thing?

I think there are two aspects:

If, for example, data on CD (not the physical part of it, but logical) is a thing, they can.

Otherwise - Universe is filled with fields. At every point you should have Universe around you affecting your current state (like gravity fields etc.) and thus it's hardly believable that even two electrons can share exactly the same state.

I know that it's widely believed that in the history of Earth, there hasn't fallen two identical snow flares. Search that from Google.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:57 pm
Hi qtvali.
We'll stick with the material, I guess. Between the sub-quantum and the universe's perimeter (not that either are, of course). It may well be that there is only one electron in all given locations? If the electron exists, that is.
Thank you for replying. Have a great day.
Mark...
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:57 pm
Two peas in a pod?
mark noble
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 05:01 pm
@Mame,
Hi Mame,
They differ by location, in the least. Thank you though.
Have a brilliant day.
Mark...
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 05:03 pm
@mark noble,
Thanks for taking it with good humour.

Pax.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 05:25 pm
@mark noble,
The simple answer is no, because there are two of them .

Trivially any two items are both similar and different...similar because they are both objects of comparison...and different because there are two.

But it gets worse. From a materialistic point of view, a time lapse allows exchange of atoms from "an object" with its surroundings, so that two instances of the object could be deemed dissimilar.

So if instead of considering "material existence" per se, we say "things" are a function of "observer states" (and vice versa) we could argue that "identity" is "functional equivalence" with respect to the outcomes of those interactions between observer and world. That is, we have "observation events" as part of a stream of events.

A celebrated example in philosophy is consideration of the planet Venus which prior to more careful astronomic observations was thought to be "two separate objects" (the morning star and the evening star). On my functional definition the original historical observation events were indeed not identical, even if later astronomical findings changed subsequent observer states to give "functional equivalence". In other words, it is meaningless now to say they were really the same "object" all the time because that seperates "things" from their "thingers" as part of a paradigmatic progression.

Considering "observer states" of course leads to the interesting scenario of questioning the the integrity of "self". In other words is self1 at time 1 identical to self2 at time 2. Lawyers often resort to such a distinction in pleading "mitigating circumstances".
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 05:41 pm
@fresco,
Hi Fresco,
Thank you for your reply.
Can I therefore assume with clear definition that NO two atoms are identical? I've been through this with physicists, and they just keep quoting the identical-property paradox. They can't measure or apply this theory so they just sidestep it.
Am I potentially correct in my assumption?
Thank you Fresco, and have a brilliant day.
Mark...
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 05:53 pm
@mark noble,
Quote:
They differ by location, in the least.


That stipulation would certainly eliminate most candidates, possibly to the point where such a strict definition of "identical" ceases to be a usable or useful concept. Is there some advantage to restricting the criteria for identity so drastically? In what context would one ever use this particular concept of identity?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 06:03 pm
@mark noble,
The problem with "atoms" is that they are not directly observable. So from a mainstream point of view, the idea of identity which implies "keeping your eye on an item over time" is not applicable, nor indeed is being able to count "two".
The situation is somewhat similar to watching "a wave" (since atoms could be thought of as wave packets in multi-dimensions).In what sense does a wave "retain its identity" given that it keeps altering its molecular membership...only in terms of its functionality for the observer who "things" it (a surfer maybe).
Perhaps the functionality issue resolves the paradox you mentioned,

But the problem is further complicated at the sub-atomic level by "non-locality" findings, which leads me to suggest that you cannot use the term " identity" at the atomic level.

And I agree with Shapeless who makes the Wittgenstein point "meaning is use".
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 06:17 pm
confidentially, Heisenberg told me that everything looks different every time he look at it but he seemed uncertain about it.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 06:27 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:

Hi Everyone,
Can you think of any two things that are identical to one another in every way?
This is an ongoing research question, and all your answers will be gratefully received.
Thank you.
Mark...


All things covered by the same concept are identical... All cats are identically cats, and all lines are identically lines... That is the true meaning of identity, which in another sense is conservation... It does not mean equal, and what it does mean is the point of shared identity from which differences become meaningful... You cannot compare apples and oranges because they are not identical... Their differences are complete, and expected, and too great to allow for meaningful comparison...
DrDick
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 07:40 pm
I'm just throwing this out there. With such a strict definition limited to material things in time and space there can only be two things identical if there are two (or more) realities that co-exist. What the purpose would be of having two identical realities, I have no idea. I guess there could be another one of me made up of the exact same identical atoms typing this exact same response in an alternate reality.

jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 07:48 pm
I have a very poorly-formed idea that a necessary criteria for existence is identity. Kennethamy once quoted Quine as saying 'no entity without identity'. Basically I think that 'ex-ist' means 'to be separate' or 'to have an identity'. I would think that this applies to any composite thing - anything that is made of molecules. But when you get down to the subatomic, it becomes more hazy. That idea you have of there being 'only one electron' was floated by Richard Feynman, there is a Wikipedia entry on it. In any case, I think electrons and photons are all completely identical. So I guess I am saying, on the 'level of manifestation' (i.e. the material world) everything has an identity, but on another level, they may not. Still lots of big holes in this theory still though.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 07:51 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
All cats are identically cats


but this is demonstrably untrue. Every creature is an individual. The DNA of each is different. That is what makes the question interesting.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 08:14 pm
@qtvali,
qtvali wrote:

What is a thing?

I think there are two aspects:

If, for example, data on CD (not the physical part of it, but logical) is a thing, they can.

Otherwise - Universe is filled with fields. At every point you should have Universe around you affecting your current state (like gravity fields etc.) and thus it's hardly believable that even two electrons can share exactly the same state.

I know that it's widely believed that in the history of Earth, there hasn't fallen two identical snow flares. Search that from Google.


Well, even data, pure information if you want, has a necessary context, a spatial and temporal relation with what is around, being an integrated flowing part of a frame who support┬┤s it and retro supporting the background in which it rests, all of course, in a dialectical integrated dynamic, hardly boundary objective... and such that, that alone, given true, changes its purpose and how it fits from case to case...an object such as Information in its nature, and even eventually anything else, without its correlative links cannot be, as it addresses nothing...so, when under the microscope, sufficient difference in apparently similar Informational algorithms, or path assembly┬┤s should eventually show up, given its backgrounds asymmetry !

Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 08:53 pm
@mark noble,
http://www.unc.edu/~jfr/II-STR.htm
0 Replies
 
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 09:20 pm
If two entities have the same ontological properties, they are usually identified as the same thing.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 09:35 pm
@RealEyes,
If two entities have the same ontological properties, they are usually identified as the same thing.

I don't know whether that is true, but it has nothing to do with the issue.
mister kitten
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:01 pm
@mark noble,
Yes of course.
x=x
the two, when separate, are (x) and (x). They both equal each other. If (x) is a shape, then it is not only equal but congruent to (x) as well.

Aside from math, I cannot think of two identical things. Even if two things were completely completely completely identical down to each atom, the two would not be identical because they cannot occupy the same space (thinking of solids here).
 

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