Five Christian experts in quantum mechanics, one venue, Pittsburgh April 6-7

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The cat may or may not attend.

7 Replies to “Five Christian experts in quantum mechanics, one venue, Pittsburgh April 6-7

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    Is the cat still alive?

  2. 2
    News says:

    john-a-designer, an announcement on that question may or may not be expected at the conference.

    UD News has received a communication from an entity purporting to be Schrodinger’s cat, asking us to transfer money. We are plagued with Uncertainty in the matter.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    I got that email too, so I sent it some bitcoins. I don’t know if they were received – I haven’t checked my account.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Many Scientists and Philosophers even of the Christian persuasion, much like the cat, mentally try to put God in a box when it comes to science in general and to quantum mechanics in particular. A sort of quasi-Deism where God created the universe and then basically walked away.
    I hold that any diminished view of God that does not have God actively sustaining this universe in its continual existence is not compatible with Christianity.

    Acts 17:28
    For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

    Job 38:12
    ‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place,’

    Yet if any theory ever let God out of that self imposed mental box to show that God is always alive and never dead, and is always sustaining the universe in ts continual existence, quantum mechanics is it.

    A few notes to that effect:

    In the following video, Dr. Bruce Gordon examines all the various interpretations of quantum mechanics, interpretations that try to get around God, and finds each of them wanting.

    The Incompatibility of Physicalism with Physics: A Conversation with Dr. Bruce Gordon – video

    In the following article, which dovetails into the preceding video, Dr. Bruce Gordon states that in regards to quantum mechanics “our experience can be seen to be best explained by an occasionalist idealism of the sort advocated by George Berkeley (1685-1753) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).”

    Divine Action and the World of Science: What Cosmology and Quantum Physics Teach Us about the Role of Providence in Nature – Bruce L. Gordon – 2017
    Excerpt page 295: In light of this realization, the rather startling picture that begins to seem plausible is that preserving and explaining the objective structure of appearances in light of quantum theory requires reviving a type of phenomenalism in which our perception of the physical universe is constituted by sense-data conforming to certain structural constraints, but in which there is no substantial material reality causing these sensory perceptions. This leaves us with an ontology of minds (as immaterial substances) experiencing and generating mental events and processes that, when sensory in nature, have a formal character limned by the fundamental symmetries and structures revealed in “physical” theory. That these structured sensory perceptions are not mostly of our own individual or collective human making points to the falsity of any solipsistic or social constructivist conclusion, but it also implies the need for a transcendent source and ground of our experience. As Robert Adams points out, mere formal structure is ontologically incomplete:
    [A] system of spatiotemporal relationships constituted by sizes, shapes, positions, and changes thereof, is too incomplete, too hollow, as it were, to constitute an ultimately real thing or substance. It is a framework that, by its very nature, needs to be filled in by something less purely formal. It can only be a structure of something of some not merely structural sort. Formally, rich as such a structure may be, it lacks too much of the reality of material thinghood. By itself, it participates in the incompleteness of abstractions. . . .
    [T]he reality of a substance must include something intrinsic and qualitativeover and above any formal or structural features it may possess.117
    When we consider the fact that the structure of reality in fundamental physical theory is merely phenomenological and that this structure itself is hollow and non-qualitative, whereas our experience is not, the metaphysical objectivity and epistemic intersubjectivity of the enstructured qualitative reality of our experience can be seen to be best explained by an occasionalist idealism of the sort advocated by George Berkeley (1685-1753) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). In the metaphysical context of this kind of theistic immaterialism, the vera causa that brings coherent closure to the phenomenological reality we inhabit is always and only agent causation. The necessity of causal sufficiency is met by divine action, for as Plantinga emphasizes:
    [T]he connection between God’s willing that there be light and there being light is necessary in the broadly logical sense: it is necessary in that sense that if God wills that p, p occurs. Insofar as we have a grasp of necessity (and we do have a grasp of necessity), we also have a grasp of causality when it is divine causality that is at issue. I take it this is a point in favor of occasionalism, and in fact it constitutes a very powerful advantage of occasionalism. 118

    Of note to the Christian George Berkeley, for whom Berkeley university, of all places, was named after:

    George Berkeley,,,, A convinced adherent of Christianity, Berkeley believed God to be present as an immediate cause of all our experiences.,,,
    Berkeley believed that God is not the distant engineer of Newtonian machinery,,,
    ,,, The University of California, Berkeley, was named after him,,,,

    Just yesterday, someone on UD tried to claim that “realism” was true, to which I responded:

    ,,,the presumption of ‘realism’ (in quantum mechanics) is not secure,,,

    An experimental test of non-local realism – 2007
    Simon Gröblacher, Tomasz Paterek, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Caslav Brukner, Marek Zukowski, Markus Aspelmeyer &; Anton Zeilinger
    Abstract: Most working scientists hold fast to the concept of ‘realism’—a viewpoint according to which an external reality exists independent of observation. But quantum physics has shattered some of our cornerstone beliefs. According to Bell’s theorem, any theory that is based on the joint assumption of realism and locality (meaning that local events cannot be affected by actions in space-like separated regions) is at variance with certain quantum predictions. Experiments with entangled pairs of particles have amply confirmed these quantum predictions, thus rendering local realistic theories untenable. Maintaining realism as a fundamental concept would therefore necessitate the introduction of ‘spooky’ actions that defy locality. Here we show by both theory and experiment that a broad and rather reasonable class of such non-local realistic theories is incompatible with experimentally observable quantum correlations. In the experiment, we measure previously untested correlations between two entangled photons, and show that these correlations violate an inequality proposed by Leggett for non-local realistic theories. Our result suggests that giving up the concept of locality is not sufficient to be consistent with quantum experiments, unless certain intuitive features of realism are abandoned.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    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.”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    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.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

    As to (re)establishing the Agent Causality of God back to physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, it is good to see how Quantum Mechanics has now validated certain aspects of “Mind”, (particularly validated the aspects of ‘the experience of “the now”‘ of the mind that Albert Einstein himself once claimed would never be a part of experimental physics and for free will which Einstein claimed did not really exist but was only an illusion:

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Quantum Mechanics is far more friendly to Christian presuppositions than many people, apparently including many people who identify as Christians, are willing to concede.

    The ‘simple’ double slit itself is good for drawing that fact out:

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism

    Anton Zeilinger, who is a leading experimentalist in quantum mechanics, states the compatibility between Christianity and quantum mechanics as such:

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: “In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum mechanics

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video

    Of supplemental note, as ‘spooky’ as quantum mechanics is turning out to be, it is also interesting to note that biological life itself is best looked at as a being a ‘quantum affair’ instead of being ‘materialistic affair’ as is presupposed in Darwinian thought:

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology

    All in all, I find quantum mechanics to be extremely comforting to overall Christian concerns. Moreover, if any worldview is completely incompatible with quantum mechanics, it is atheistic materialism that is completely incompatible…, and indeed the entire field of quantum mechanics should be a cause of great discomfort and nightmares for atheists who constantly try to champion materialism.

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,
    The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist

  6. 6
    News says:

    Bob O’H at 3, Good for you! I sent possibly expired coupons but don’t know if they are worth anything or not. When it comes to quantum, the rule, of course, is: Always try to be doubtfully helpful.

  7. 7
    john_a_designer says:

    This OP got started thinking that damn cat but then it got worse. Last night the academy awards were on and, even though I didn’t watch them, for some reason I started thinking about 1965 western Cat Ballou starring Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin and Lee Marvin. Yes, Lee Marvin, the very same Lee Marvin, gets double credit because he plays two roles. Ironically in real life Lee Marvin won the academy award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this movie. But which one? Does this have something to with quantum duality?

    It must, because Marvin that year beat out Sir Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton and Rod Steiger. That’s some pretty serious highbrow competition.

    Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie here’s a clip starting from the very beginning:

    Watch the Columbia Pictures “torch lady.” It will give you a hint that this movie is definitely not highbrow.

    Personally the beginning is my favorite part of the movie. What can top a banjo playing duet by the legendary Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye. Other than that, it’s a fun silly movie with a special charm all of its own. Academy Award quality? They must have been hard up that year.

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