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FlaGator
02-17-2010, 01:02 PM
I came across this at Uncommon Decent (http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-quantum-enigma-of-consciousness-and-the-identity-of-the-designer/)and found it extremely interesting and thought provoking. If this interests you, go to the above link and read the whole opinion.



Quantum mechanics is the most battle-tested theory in all of science. It is also practical. (One third of our economy depends on things designed with it.) But, with the advent of quantum mechanics, physicists, unexpectedly, felt the need to talk of reality, connectedness, and even “consciousness.”

Reality: Undisputed experimental results challenge any common-sense view of physical reality. By your free choice you can establish either of two contradictory prior physical realities. What existed before your observation? Experts in the foundations of quantum mechanics still puzzle about and argue about this.

While the creation of physical reality can be demonstrated only for small things, like molecules, or “simple” situations, only technology sets the limit. Quantum theory is seamless. It presumably applies to everything (including us?). Cosmologists apply quantum mechanics to black holes and the Big Bang.

Connectedness: Quantum theory tells that all things that have ever interacted are forever connected. For example, your friend’s freely made decision of what to do in Moscow (or on Mars) can instantaneously influence what you find in Manhattan. And this happens without any physical force being involved. Einstein called such influences “spooky actions.” They have now been demonstrated to exist. So far just for small things, but they are no less spooky.

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in our teaching of quantum mechanics, we tacitly deny the mystery physics has encountered. We hardly mention Bohr’s grappling with physics’ encounter with the observer and von Neumann’s demonstration that the encounter is, in principle, inevitable. We largely avoid the still-unresolved issues raised by Einstein, Schrödinger, Wigner, Bohm, and Bell. Outside the physics classroom, physicists increasingly address these issues and often go beyond the purely “physical.” Consciousness, for example, comes up explicitly in almost every one of today’s proliferating interpretations of quantum mechanics, if only to show why physics itself need not deal with it. The many worlds interpretation, for example, is also referred to as the “many minds” interpretation, and a major treatment of decoherence concludes that an ultimate understanding would involve a model of consciousness.

The Copenhagen interpretation is, of course, all we need to describe the world, for all practical purposes. And for a physics class, practical purposes are generally all that matter. But a physics student confronting someone inclined to take the implications of quantum mechanics to unjustified places will find Copenhagen’s for-all-practical-purposes treatment an ineffective argument.

megimoo
02-17-2010, 02:56 PM
I came across this at Uncommon Decent (http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-quantum-enigma-of-consciousness-and-the-identity-of-the-designer/)and found it extremely interesting and thought provoking. If this interests you, go to the above link and read the whole opinion.Quantum-Babble!