Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Rob Sheldon on the latest claim that quantum mechanics imperils objectivity

Spread the love

It involves Eugene Wigner’s Paradox from sixty years ago:

He imagined a friend of his, sealed in a lab, measuring a particle such as an atom while Wigner stood outside. Quantum mechanics famously allows particles to occupy many locations at once—a so-called superposition—but the friend’s observation “collapses” the particle to just one spot. Yet for Wigner, the superposition remains: The collapse occurs only when he makes a measurement sometime later. Worse, Wigner also sees the friend in a superposition. Their experiences directly conflict.

Now, researchers in Australia and Taiwan offer perhaps the sharpest demonstration that Wigner’s paradox is real. In a study published this week in Nature Physics, they transform the thought experiment into a mathematical theorem that confirms the irreconcilable contradiction at the heart of the scenario. The team also tests the theorem with an experiment, using photons as proxies for the humans…

… the new study’s authors believe something just as fundamental is on thin ice: objectivity. It could mean there is no such thing as an absolute fact, one that is as true for me as it is for you.

“It’s a bit disconcerting,” says co-author Nora Tischler of Griffith University.

George Musser, “Quantum paradox points to shaky foundations of reality” at Science (August 17, 2020)

Paper. (paywall)

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

One wonders what will happen to science when the people who hope for the end of objectivity meet up with the war on math, crowd.

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon comments,


The latest buzz in Foundations of QM is an implementation of the thought experiment posed by Nobel Prizewinner, Eugene Wigner.

QM says you can replace point-particles with waves, or more precisely, probability-waves. The outcome then becomes the square of the wave-amplitude (which makes it always positive). In the early days of Bohr versus Einstein, this fuzziness was attributed to big clumsy experiments trying to measure tiny atoms (the “instrumentalist” answer). Einstein (and Podolsky and Rosen) responded with the “entanglement” paradox, which didn’t depend on clumsy experiments, arguing that the atom knows what it is even if we don’t. Bohr’s response to the EPR-paradox, was to dismiss it as “tiny things are QM waves, big things are classical particles”. So Schroedinger made his classic “cat-in-a-box” argument that the tiny, wavy radioactive atom could influence behavior of the big, non-wavy cat, so that there was no separation between “QM regime and classical regime”. While a head-scratcher, the philosophical wiggle room was that it was really the observer’s information that was wavy, not the classical cat.

The Long Ascent: Genesis 1–11 in Science & Myth, Volume 1 by [Robert Sheldon, David Mackie]

So Wigner came up with his “friend” version, where the observer of the cat-in-a-box is himself encased in a box and observed by Wigner. Now the question is whether the physicist measuring the observer-in-a-box sees a wavy observer, and whether the observer feels wavy about it. That is, after the experiment is over they compare notes, whether Wigner’s observation of the friend’s measurements differ from what the friend measured. If “big things are classical” then the two notebooks should agree, but if even scientists can waffle, there could be a disagreement.

That outcome remains a thought experiment, but what this new paper does relate is a test that replaces the observer with a detector, and the cat is replaced with an entangled photon pair. We already know the results of the entangled pair (cat-in-a-box) experiment, it supports the Bell inequality which negates classical “hidden variable” answers. What we don’t know is what happens when we now entangle the sub-experiments. Does the super-entanglement come out with a classical answer? Or does the super-entanglement show that even the measurements of the measurements are as entangled as the sub-experiments?

The Long Ascent, Volume 2

The answer came back that the two detectors do not agree, in agreement with QM that treats the whole thing as a giant wave function. Without answering the question whether Wigner’s big friend can be replaced with a tiny QM wavefunction, the experiment seems to suggest that QM allows independent observers to have differing observations of reality. But that isn’t the only interpretation (though the one currently fashionable in Post-Modernist circles). There are actually 3 assumptions, any one of which could be the culprit:

  1. Einstein locality (all physics has to be local, causes not travelling faster than the speed of light)
  2. Reality is what we measure
  3. The outcome is not known beforehand (also called free-will, or its violation, Super-Determinism).

My favorite of the three is #1, because it shows up numerous places in physics. But Sabine Hossenfelder opts for #3, and I think many physicists prefer #2. And of course, it could be #0 — tiny photons are not big observers like Wigner.

Is this outcome surprising?

No, actually the debate over “the meaning of QM” has been going on since 1935 when Einstein published his EPR paper. It is just that the wiggle-room is getting reduced as our straight-jacket is being cinched tighter.


Rob Sheldon is also the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent and The Long Ascent, Volume II.

11 Replies to “Rob Sheldon on the latest claim that quantum mechanics imperils objectivity

  1. 1

    You can’t “imperil” what never existed in the first place. You can only imperil the belief in it.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Just as Einstein’s relativity was widely abused to try to say that all morality is relative and that there is no objective truth,,,, i.e. ” “The word relativity has been widely misinterpreted as relativism, the denial, or doubt about, the objectivity of truth or moral values.”

    Relativity, Moral Relativism, and the Modern Age – Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. – DEC 7, 2015
    Excerpt: Nevertheless, the cultural impact of Einstein’s theory extends far beyond the laboratory or the science classroom. As the twentieth century unfolded, Einstein’s theory of relativity quickly became a symbol and catalyst for something very different — the development of moral relativism.
    Einstein was not a moral relativist, nor did he believe that his theories had any essential moral or cultural meaning. He recoiled when his theory of relativity was blamed or credited for the birth of modern art (Cubism, in particular) or any other cultural development.
    The philosopher Isaiah Berlin defended Einstein against any such charge: “The word relativity has been widely misinterpreted as relativism, the denial, or doubt about, the objectivity of truth or moral values.” He continued, “This was the opposite of what Einstein believed. He was a man of simple and absolute moral convictions, which were expressed in all he was and did.”
    Fair enough. Albert Einstein was not a moral relativist and his theory of relativity has nothing to do with morality. The problem, however, is simple — Einstein’s theory of relativity entered the popular consciousness as a generalized relativism. The issue here is not to blame Albert Einstein. He is not responsible for the misuse, misapplication, and misappropriation of his theory. But, in any event, for millions of modern people relativity was understood as relativism. And that misunderstanding is one of the toxic developments of the modern age.
    As Walter Isaacson, Einstein’s most important biographer, explains:
    “In both his science and his moral philosophy, Einstein was driven by a quest for certainty and deterministic laws. If his theory of relativity produced ripples that unsettled the realms of morality and culture, this was not caused by what Einstein believed but by how he was popularly interpreted.”
    That is exactly the issue. Einstein, Isaacson reveals, was an influence on the emergence of relativism as a major theme in modern art, philosophy, and morality, even if that was not his intention at all. In Isaacson’s words, “there was a more complex relationship between Einstein’s theories and the whole witch’s brew of ideas and emotions in the early twentieth century that bubbled up from the highly charged cauldron of modernism.”
    Historian Paul Johnson gets it exactly right as he describes the cultural impact of Einstein’s theories:
    “Is was as though the spinning globe had been taken off its axis and cast adrift in a universe which no longer conformed to accustomed standards of measurement. At the beginning of the 1920s the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes: of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, above all of value. Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism.”
    Johnson goes further, arguing that “the public response to relativity was one of the principle formative influences on the course of twentieth-century history. It formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture.”
    https://albertmohler.com/2015/12/07/relativity-moral-relativism-and-the-modern-age

    Just as Einstein’s relativity was widely abused to try to say that all morality is relative and that there is no objective truth, there will doubtless be some people who also try to abuse Wigner’s friend to try to say that all morality is relative and that there is no objective truth. Or perhaps worse yet, to try to say that that we each ‘create our own reality’.

    But regardless of whatever false wider implications people try to draw from Wigner’s friend, (i.e. there is no objective truth or morality), like Einstein’s relativity, that does not negate Wigner’s friend as being any less truthful.

    Moreover, hint’s of the Wigner’s friend paradox were present when Einstein first formulated his theories of relativity.

    When Einstein first formulated both Special and General relativity, he gave a hypothetical observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    per wikipedia

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/.....ode85.html

    And whereas in relativity each ‘hypothetical’ observer was given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, In Quantum Mechanics we find that it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe. As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    – per physorg

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    – per physics world

    What makes quantum measurement unique to each person, i.e. what makes Wigner’s friend necessarily true, is that we each, as a individual person, have a free will that is not shared with anyone else, and it is therefore our own individual free will that plays a integral role in bringing about what type of ‘reality’ is presented to each of us individually.

    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Anton Zeilinger, and company, have now gone on to close the setting independence and/or the ‘freedom of choice loophole’

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Some people, such as Sabine Hossenfelder, have tried to counter the closing of the free will loophole by appealing to what is known as super-determinism,

    Basically the Determinist and/or Darwinian materialist, who deny the reality of free will, claim that “a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure.”

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....112515.htm

    In other words, instead of believing what the experimental results of quantum mechanics are actually telling us, the Determinist, and/or Darwinian materialist, is now forced to claim that the results of the experiments were somehow ‘superdetermined’ at least 7.8 billion years ago and are now ‘conspiring’ to fool us into believing that our experimental results in quantum theory are trustworthy and correct.

    As should be needless to say, claiming that we cannot trust what our experimental results are actually telling us undermines the entire scientific method itself.

    If we cannot trust what our experimental results are actually telling us, then science is, for all practical purposes, dead.

    But to be clear as to the implications of Wigner’s friend, (and contrary to some wild claims that we ‘create our own reality’, or that there is no objective truth and/or morality that is true for all observers), we are, in fact, not ‘collapsing the wave-function’ ourselves but we ONLY have a limited hand, via our free will choices, in determining what type of reality gets presented to each of us individually by God.

    In fact, in order to give an adequate causal account for the ‘collapse of the wave-function’, we are forced to appeal to the infinite, and omnipresent, Mind of God.

    Prior to collapse to its single bit state, the wave-function is mathematically described as being in a infinite dimensional, infinite information, state,

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    – per wikipedia

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Last time I checked, only God has the causal capacity within Himself, omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, to explain how it is even possible for a infinite dimensional, infinite information, quantum wave to collapse to a single bit state,

    The Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence of God
    DEFINITION
    The three “omni” attributes of God characterize him as all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. Each of these involves the other two, and each provides a perspective on the all-embracing lordship of the true God.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/omnipotence-omniscience-omnipresence-god/

    Thus, to be clear, we certainly do not ‘create our own reality’ as some people have tried to claim, but we, via our free will choices, have a integral, yet limited, role in determining what type of reality gets presented to us by God. (In other words, ‘objective truth’ and/or objectivity for all people survives but it must be based in God instead of being based in the universe as is presupposed within naturalism!)

    And although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options,,,

    Scientists build a machine to generate quantum superposition of possible futures – APRIL 9, 2019
    Excerpt: “When we think about the future, we are confronted by a vast array of possibilities,” explains Assistant Professor Mile Gu of NTU Singapore, who led development of the quantum algorithm that underpins the prototype “These possibilities grow exponentially as we go deeper into the future. For instance, even if we have only two possibilities to choose from each minute, in less than half an hour there are 14 million possible futures. In less than a day, the number exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.”
    per physorg

    Although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.

    C.S. Lewis stated the situation for people as such: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    And to support the Christian’s claim that there are only two possible options in the end, (i.e. a heavenly eternity with God, or a hellish eternity separated from God), I can appeal directly to two of our most powerful and precisely tested theories ever in the history of science. Special Relativity and General Relativity respectfully. With General Relativity we find an ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with it.

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476
    Kip Thorne and Charles Misner, and John Wheeler wrote Gravitation (1973), considered a definitive textbook on general relativity.

    And with Special Relativity we find an extremely orderly (1 in 10^10^123) eternity associated with it:

    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized (1 in 10^10^123), whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”
    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?

    Moreover, many Near Death Experience testimonies of a heavenly paradise above this temporal dimension fit hand in glove with what we now know to be true from special relativity.

    That what we now know to be true from special relativity, (namely that it outlines a ‘timeless’, i.e. eternal, dimension that exists above this temporal dimension), would fit hand and glove with the personal testimonies of people who have had a deep heavenly NDEs is, needless to say, powerful evidence that their testimonies are, in fact, true and that they are accurately describing the ‘reality’ of a higher heavenly dimension, that they experienced first hand, and that they say exists above this temporal dimension.

    I would even go so far as to say that such corroboration from ‘non-physicists’, who, in all likelihood, know nothing about the intricacies of special relativity, is a complete scientific verification of the overall validity of their personal NDE testimonies.
    https://uncommondescent.com/physics/black-holes-are-no-surprise-full-of-surprises/#comment-705294

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    Thus, to repeat, we do not ‘create our own reality’ as some people would be prone to erroneously claim, but we, with our free will choices have a integral, yet limited, role in determining what type of reality gets presented to us by God.

    Or to put it in the parlance of Christianity, we, with either our acceptance or rejection of God, and what He has done for us on the cross, are ultimately choosing between eternal life with God or eternal death separated from God:

    Of all the choices we may make in this life, our choice to either accept or reject Jesus Christ is, by far, the most important decision that we will ever make in this life.

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 2

    Just as Einstein’s relativity was widely abused to try to say that all morality is relative and that there is no objective truth, there will doubtless be some people who also try to abuse Wigner’s friend to try to say that all morality is relative and that there is no objective truth.

    Quite correct, you cannot derive ‘ought’ from ‘is’.

    Or perhaps worse yet, to try to say that that we each ‘create our own reality’.

    But isn’t that what you are supporting further down when you claim reality does not exist until it is observed or measured?

    But regardless of whatever false wider implications people try to draw from Wigner’s friend, (i.e. there is no objective truth or morality), like Einstein’s relativity, that does not negate Wigner’s friend as being any less truthful.

    There are three interpretations of the Wigner’s friend conundrum, which one is the truth and why?

    As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    – per physorg

    Except that you have not resolved the paradox of if reality does not exist until you look at it then what are you looking at in the first place? Is that what Truscott actually means?

    In fact, in order to give an adequate causal account for the ‘collapse of the wave-function’, we are forced to appeal to the infinite, and omnipresent, Mind of God.

    No, these observations do not compel such a belief at all.

    Last time I checked, only God has the causal capacity within Himself, omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, to explain how it is even possible for a infinite dimensional, infinite information, quantum wave to collapse to a single bit state,

    The last time I checked, the contradictions between a tri-omni God and His reported behavior in the Old Testament or His apparent indifference to the enormous sufferings of His supposedly beloved creations subsequently has not been explained which makes the very existence of such a being questionable. Invoking such a being as an explanation of baffling quantum phenomena is not really helpful.

    Thus, to be clear, we certainly do not ‘create our own reality’

    So you disagree with Truscott above?

    but we, via our free will choices, have a integral, yet limited, role in determining what type of reality gets presented to us by God.

    But your God is omni-present, which means He is there in our past, here in our present and there in what will be our future. The whole of time is known to Him. That suggests that, as in the case of Peter’s triple denial of Christ, the future is already settled. If God knows that something that is in our future, even though it is unkown to us, then it is actually the case. There is nothing we can do about it. In that case, where is our free will?

    Although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.

    C.S. Lewis stated the situation for people as such: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”

    So Lewis is saying that God allows us to make a choice except if we make the wrong one then we are consigned to Hell and eternal damnation. Nice choice for a loving God.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, my post is unambiguous. I hold that Wigner’s paradox is real. That is to say, measurement outcomes are, and must be, (because we each individually possess free will), ‘observer-centric’ in their fundamental nature. Any ‘alternative’ explanation collapses into absurdity.

    Moreover, to deny the reality of free will, as Darwinists/Determinists do, is to undermine rationality itself. Again, any alternative explanation collapses into absurdity.

    Seversky apparently does not like the fact that he has free will since some people who have rejected God are going to be granted their wish and be separated from God for all eternity.

    So Lewis is saying that God allows us to make a choice except if we make the wrong one then we are consigned to Hell and eternal damnation. Nice choice for a loving God.

    That statement is completely incoherent. People freely choose that they want nothing to do with God. God grants them their wish, and does not force or impose His will on them, and yet somehow it is, in the imagination of Seversky, God’s fault that they have chosen to be separated from all that is, or can be, good? Apparently Severky believes God making ‘meat robots’ is better than God creating man with free will.

    So Seversky, if you had a ‘meat robot’ that you had built that mindlessly repeated the message that you had recorded on it “I love you Seversky”, would that be true love for you? Would that be better than a wife who truly loved you Seversky?

    As I have said before, logic is not Seversky’s strong suit. Which is just as well since, in his forced denial of his free will, (via his Darwinian worldview), logical thought becomes an asset that is impossible for Seversky to hold.

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.”
    – J B S Haldane – “When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927]

    Also see KF’s post,

    Seversky’s IOU On How Conscious Mind Will Be Explained On Materialistic Premises
    https://uncommondescent.com/ethics/science-worldview-issues-and-society/sevs-iou-on-how-conscious-mind-will-be-explained-on-materialistic-premises/

  5. 5

    BA77 said:

    Last time I checked, only God has the causal capacity within Himself, omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, to explain how it is even possible for a infinite dimensional, infinite information, quantum wave to collapse to a single bit state,

    and:

    Thus, to repeat, we do not ‘create our own reality’ as some people would be prone to erroneously claim, but we, with our free will choices have a integral, yet limited, role in determining what type of reality gets presented to us by God.

    The discussion between you and Seversky is what one might expect when two peole attempt to coerce evidence into supporting a particular a priori ideological perspective.

    The reason “God” cannot be that which “collapses” potential into a specific observation is because of the very qualities of God you have listed. An omnipresent, omniscient entity doesn’t have, and cannot have, a perspective; that “God” would necessarily be the full measure of all possible perspectives all existing at the same time. It takes a particular observational perspective to change the infinite potential into a specific observation. The capacity to “create reality” (which is a misleading phrase because nobody is “creating” anything; they are choosing) can only lie in a particular observational perspective.

    Seversky said:

    Except that you have not resolved the paradox of if reality does not exist until you look at it then what are you looking at in the first place? Is that what Truscott actually means?

    I think the problem here is the conception of what the term “reality” means and using it as a kind of vague placeholder where it doesn’t really belong. The evidence is clear here: not everyone is experiencing the same thing because there is no inherent-quality thing “out there” to experience. We are interacting with infinite information that has the potential to be interpreted (“collapsed”) an infinite number of ways into our experience.

    I’m not sure what it even means to refer to “infinite informational potential” as “objective reality” because we have the ingrained habit of thinking about “reality” as some kind of mutually verifiable set of “external things” that are the same for everyone. It is clear this is not and cannot be the case.

    What then is “reality?” Well, it can’t be “external, objective things with innate characteristics that are the same for everyone.” So, then, what would an “objective fact” be? The only objective facts would be those that are aspects that necessarily govern what can be experienced; IOW, “that table has X qualities” is not, and cannot be, an objective fact. “1+1=2” would an example of the only kind of objective facts that exist.

    So, the question “What are we looking at in the first place?” is a phrase that explicitly puts the cart before the horse. It’s not what we are looking at that defines what we see; it’s how we are looking that generates the experience of seeing any particular thing.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever WJM, it ain’t rocket science. The quantum wave is mathematically defined as being in a infinite dimensional and infinite information state prior to collapse. By necessity, the cause by which the effect of quantum wave collapse is accomplished, most possess, at the very least, the attributes of omnipresence and omniscience. You just tossed some word salad around but never did posit a cause that is sufficient to accomplish the effect of quantum wave collapse. And mind you, collapsing the quantum wave while granting each of us the free will in how we choose to make our measurements, all the while keeping the universe cohered as a whole. To put it mildly, that is a tall order. I hold that only God has the causal sufficiency within Himself to explain quantum wave collapse, whilst still granting us free will. You have not, nor can you, provide a realistic cause, other than God, to explain the effect in question.

    Hidden variables? Ha!

    Superdeterminism? Double Ha!

    Perhaps Super-Super-Determinism? Such as what we see with Calvinism? That would at least have a shot, but then you are back to Christianity. Moreover, Calvinism, at least how it is popularly portrayed, has its own flaws that render it theologically untenable. (Again, at least how it is popularly portrayed).

  7. 7

    BA77: said:

    By necessity, the cause by which the effect of quantum wave collapse is accomplished, most possess, at the very least, the attributes of omnipresence and omniscience.

    In the first place, you haven’t substantiated that those qualities are necessary, either logically or scientifically. In the second place, even if you could do that, that would depend on the view that an actual “wave” is actually being “collapsed.” I remind you that “wave collapse” is a model put together to explain the evidence; it doesn’t mean that is what is actually going on.

    IMO, the “wave collapse” model is basically an attempt to preserve materialism. IMO, there is no external, actual “wave,” and so there is no wave collapse. The actual evidence we “see” in our experience is the extrinsic manifestation of a mental process, something that might be stated as one’s observational perspective/state initiating a matching extrinsic interpretation out of infinite informational potential.

    But, perhaps that’s just more “word salad” to you.

    You just tossed some word salad around but never did posit a cause that is sufficient to accomplish the effect of quantum wave collapse.

    Under your model of an external reality, unless you can tell me how many joules (or some equivalent) of consciousness is required to produce a given measurement state in a given situation, how would I – or anyone – be able to provide a sufficient cause for it?

    The only logical argument I can see for your claim would be if any given measurement produced a universal state change that applied to all individuals in the universe. I thought that’s what the evidence clearly disproved? That a measurement-produced state for one observer does not mean that measurement is the same for all observers?

    That would clearly imply that, under the external-world paradigm, that whatever commodity is necessary to produce an observer-local “collapsed wave,” each observer has a sufficient amount of that commodity to collapse the wave.

  8. 8

    BA77 said:

    And mind you, collapsing the quantum wave while granting each of us the free will in how we choose to make our measurements, all the while keeping the universe cohered as a whole. To put it mildly, that is a tall order. I hold that only God has the causal sufficiency within Himself to explain quantum wave collapse, whilst still granting us free will. You have not, nor can you, provide a realistic cause, other than God, to explain the effect in question.

    If by “the effect in question” you mean “keeping the universe cohered as a whole” while “granting each of us the free will in how we choose to make our measurements,” I would say that view depends on your initial assumption – that there is an external world that only God could maintain in the face of free will decisions (measurements.)

    There are many problems with this. First, it would make God incredibly inefficient; it would be far simpler by orders of magnitude for God to just operate in the arena of mental experience than to – for no reason – add an entire domain (the external world) AND the capacity for us to properly process and interpret it into mental experience.

    Second, what does “cohered” even mean? If I can measure X and get A, and you can measure X and get B (the essence of what the evidence means), what does “cohered” mean? The only “coherence” that can exist is that of self-evident truths and the necessary implications thereof. IOW, mental coherence, not physical coherence. If two people can measure the same thing and get two different answers, physical coherence (local reality) has been disproved. God is factually not keeping the universe physically “cohered.”

    The only thing God “is keeping cohered” are the rules of mind and how measurements by each observer affect their experiential path (governed by mental or observational principles), which implies (1) that is where all of this is happening to start with, and (2) there is no external world that must be maintained by God. What a ridiculous, problematic inefficiency that would be.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM,

    IMO, the “wave collapse” model is basically an attempt to preserve materialism.

    You are clueless. The materialistic ‘many world’s’ model, which is one of the main models that sought to preserve materialism, denied the reality of wave collapse.

    Moreover, wave collapse has been experimentally verified. Moreover, the quantum wave has been shown to be able to be encoded with a massive amount of information prior to collapse.

    But then again, in your thread explaining your ‘mental model’, you denied that any evidence could ever contradict your ‘mental model’, so why should I even waste my time trying to correct you on quantum wave collapse? You have apparently already made your mind up and, according to your model, no evidence can ever challenge what you have already talked yourself into believing.

    Frankly, if evidence means that little to you as you claimed in your thread, I have more productive things to do, like watching paint dry, than trying to ever change your opinion about anything.

  10. 10

    BA77 @9,

    Nobody has ever seen or touched a “quantum wave.” Nobody has proven a quantum wave even exists, much less collapses. A quantum wave is like “gravity;” it is a theoretical model that explains and predicts behavior of phenomena. The map is not the terrain.

    It’s just logical fact that no evidence is even in principle capable of contradicting MRT. Evidence matters; but logic matters more. It’s not “my opinion” that we live in a mental reality; it’s an inescapable existential fact whether or not any external physical universe exists.

  11. 11
    AaronS1978 says:

    I know this is old and I hope somebody hands on this but is there anyway to disapprove or prove super determinism

Leave a Reply