Quantum Mechanics / Physics?

(Neal Heires) #41

I am curious as to how you view the electron double slit experiment. This simple experiment demonstrates that conscious observance collapses the wave function. In other words, the multi-universe scenario is has to be created by observance. Who would you propose is observing these, I wonder?
The compelling point about Quantum Physics is that observance by a conscience mind or minds creates reality. And before man, who exactly was doing this observing?
And this does involve the macro world - the moon would not exist if it was not observed. As Bohr said, “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it”
So what collapsed the wave functions that resulted in our universe before man existed? Seems obvious that is was God. But how can God know where or when to observe to create the reality that the big bang expands at just the right rate to create the universe, and/or all of the other low probability phenomena we now know about through science?
It would take a God who can know the future and all possibilities and then make choices per His will.
“The earth was without form and void and the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters. And God said let there be light and there was light.”
Does Quantum Physics prove God exists? Probably not but certainly makes a powerfully strong case. A multi-universe scenario rather than God - seriously? Sounds like a very very weak case to me!

If the original person on this blog wants a couple You Tube examples of the double slit experiment and what this means to the concept of idealism, and how it destroys materialism (causality), and even blows up dualism pretty good too, I share them here. Furthermore, there is a book “Jesus Christ Quantum Physicist” by Dirk Schneider, which is a good read although I don’t agree with it completely. It describes how a Triune God is consistent with Quantum Physics. So don’t be afraid of Quantum Physics but embrace it, even though it is difficult to understand.

The Electron Double Slit Experiment

What this experiment means about God:

(Mitchell W McKain) #42

It is the consensus of the scientific community that observation and consciousness has nothing to do with it. The majority view is that it is the interaction with the measuring device that causes the change called decoherence in what is observed. The measuring device forces the quantum object to interact with a very VERY large number of particles, otherwise we would not be able to see the results of the measurement - and this is even before there is any interaction with the scientist himself. The usual explanation is that such an interaction is a form of entanglement which bears considerable similarity to phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking and the phenomenon of bifurcation in chaotic dynamics, where instability forces a choice among alternatives according to some probability distribution.

The minority interpretation closest to what you suggest is the Everett many worlds interpretation, but in that case there is no causal connection between observation and the result at all. All results happen and all are observed by a superposition of observers. Advocates of this view like to say this should be called a deterministic process simply because the randomness has been eliminated, but I think is pretty weird to call something deterministic when no determination is made at all. But the observable measurable reality is that we see only one result and thus this imagined superposition is outside the realm of demonstrable science. So I think there is no reason to think these other results represent anything more than unrealized possibilities.

This kind of solipsism is usually just an example of absurdity because very few philosophers let alone scientists take such an view seriously. But there is one interesting thing about your suggestion and that is the idea that if God observes, then it forces a choice and thus creates the result. To that I would certainly agree and as a result it makes human free will and God’s absolute foreknowledge incompatible. God cannot know the future without actually creating the future by doing so. You can say this is one of the reasons why I am an open theist.

If you are going to insist on dogma regardless of the evidence then you certainly do have reason to fear science. But if you just want to know the truth, whatever the truth might be, then science is your friend. But I will say that it isn’t just theists who try to coop science and claim that it supports their beliefs. I see atheists doing that too. And you really shouldn’t buy into either of these. It is not that science is irrelevant – hardly! But mostly it will just inform your opinions to make them a bit more reasonable. We can go to the north pole and see that there is no Santa Claus workshop to be found. This doesn’t mean the thing doesn’t exist somewhere somehow, but it does mean that you do have to be a little more careful about what you claim if you don’t want to sound naive and foolish. In the same way both theists and atheists need to alter the details of their belief somewhat in order for them to agree with the evidence.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #43

I am interested the random motion of quantum particles, however it seems that this statement says not that there are no hidden causes, but no observable causes.

I was a not able to clarify the meaning of this statement. How does one count the number of possible states and how does this affect probability.

Order is not a vague concept and philosophy is needed to define the character of science.

(Mitchell W McKain) #44

Quantum physics basically says that thinking of electrons and photons as particles moving around with some velocity is wrong. They just look like that temporarily as a result of some measurements, just as they temporary look like a wave as a result of other measurements. Otherwise they seem to exist more like some kind of probability distribution. Well… maybe. The interpretations trying to figure out what quantum physics means about the reality of these things are many. The accuracy of the calculations from the equations are incredibly precise. So there very little doubt that it is correct, but trying to picture them in your head is quite problematic.

John Stewart Bell proved that the existence of hidden variable would result in correlations between measurements that would obey an equation known as Bell’s inequality. Experiments showed that the inequality did not hold and that meant there were no hidden variable determining the results of these measurements.

It is just like how you calculate the probability of results when you roll dice. When a six-sided die comes to rest there are six possible states for the six different numbers which could show on the top face. So you conclude that the probability of rolling the number five is 1 out of the six.

What does this have to do with entropy. Well consider a sealed box with a thin gas inside, so thin there is only 4 molecules of the gas in there. Since these are always moving around pretty much at random, we can imagine the box divided up into 64 sections by dividing it in each of the three directions into fourths. Now with each of the 4 molecules being found equally likely in any of those 64 section, it gives us a total number of possible states as 64 to the 4th power = 16,777,216. But how many of those have all 4 particles only on the right side of the box (i.e. the 32 on the right). Again we can count the number of states as 32 to the 4th power = 1,048,576. So the probability of this happening is the ratio of these two numbers which gives .0625 or a 6.25% probability. The more molecules of gas the lower this probability becomes. Entropy, given by the natural logarithm of the number of states multiplied by Boltzmann’s constant, is thus said to be lower when all the molecules are all on the right side of the box.

Seems pretty vague to me in comparison to the mathematically precise definitions of things in physics. Can you measure it? You can measure the entropy. But does that have anything whatsoever to do with whatever concept of order you have which you do not think is vague? But let’s hear your definition, because I am really skeptical that it can be called objective.

And for whom is such philosophy needed? Did scientists need it in order to discover extra-solar planets? I don’t see how you could say that. Did scientists need philosophy in order to discover the chemical composition of pyrite? No. Are scientists often required to use anything taught in philosophy classes in their work? No. If any philosophy studies are required for science majors at public universities, it has nothing do with any need of philosophy in science but only a desire by the university for its students to have some breadth in their studies.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #45

Would you say that even Occam’s Razor isn’t particularly convincing in this case for many who don’t already believe in a divine, transcendent, etc. Creator? It makes perfect sense to you I think which of the two options is to be preferred.

I kind of like Ethan Siegel’s approach in this blog summarizing some of the thoughts about the multiverse where he concludes ‘yes its real, but it provides the answer to absolutely nothing’:

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #46

The problem that I have with those who refuse to accept the view that the universe has a beginning and that God may have created it is simple. From all appearances they have an a priori belief that God does not exist. They back this up with the mantra that there is no evidence for the existence of God, which is flatly untrue.

In other words they have constructed as circular argument. Reality is purely physical. God does not exist because God is not physical.

Certainly the universe could not be created by God if God did not exist, but that is not a scientific argument as I understand it, which is to state the evidence of how the universe was created and then give the evidence pro and con as to whether God or something else is the Source of the universe.

What you seem to be suggesting is that we accept the rejection of the existence of God out of hand as valid. As I have said before, no one can force anyone to believe in God, but really one does not have to believe in God to discuss objectively the existence of God.

The other serious issue that I have is that accepting only “scientific” physical evidence for God indicates that Reality does not have a Spiritual and/or a Rational dimension. Evangelical Christianity denied the reality of evolution because they accepted the Bible over Darwin. Some scientists believe that the Multiverse created our universe instead of God because they accept speculation over evidence.

The essay you presented was good. It agrees with what I said in that it is not the scientific answer some people are looking for. Its main point seems to be that we cannot observe the whole universe, so there MAY be other universes, which is not the multiverse theory I am familiar with.

It also says that physics needs to be fixed. I do not see how physics needs to be fixed. Maybe we have reached the edge of physics. The universe is finite so there must be boundaries, even if people do not want to accept it.

We should have a dialogue on these issues. However I do not see how others could dictate the answer to these questions in advance.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #47

I seem to be confused. When I turn on a switch and electrons flow through a wire and causes tungsten to light up sending photons throughout the room so I can see, you are telling me that none of that is true. Very strange.

Entanglements are an interesting puzzle that we do not understand.

If entropy has to do with energy, what does location have to do with it?

Order the filter which is used to locate a problem. When everything is in order there is no problem. When something appears to be out of order there appears to be aw problem.

Without order there would be no science, no knowledge, and no way to identify and solve problems. Science deals with the physical order. Philosophy deals with how we can use our minds to understand what is Real, which included the physical world, the world of ideas, and the world of relationships with others. .

(Mitchell W McKain) #48

No, I am telling you it is not as simple as little balls moving with particular velocities. And the traditional way of looking at light is a wave which radiates out from a source just like sound. So which is it? Is light a wave or a particle? Both and neither. Like I said. Some measurements make it temporarily look like a particle and some measurements make it temporarily look like a wave. In both cases there is no problem with your talk of flowing through wires and lighting up a room. You just have to be careful about oversimplifying things.

Speak for yourself, and that is just a cop out which doesn’t explain the result of the experiments showing that no hidden variables exist.

There is so many things wrong with this question, it is hard to know where to begin. Energy has location and I said absolutely nothing about the relationship between entropy and energy. I am ready to give up explaining anything to you.

You seem to have change your claim from the need of science for philosophy to the need of science for order. Time to call quits on this discussion.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #49

I do not disagree with that conclusion. I am just not sure what it means.

Thank you for your effort. I probably did not understand it properly.

It is my observation that philosophy needs science and science needs philosophy to better understand what reality is like. Theology is essential also, because Truth comes in many forms.

(Chris Falter) #50

Hi Neil,

Why does it have to be conscious observation? If instruments detect the photons and log their positions, but no human beings observe the logs, is it your contention that the (unobserved by conscious beings) logs would indicate uncollapsed wave functions? Do the data in the logs somehow change when a conscious being examines them?


(Neal Heires) #51

Yes exactly. Conscious observation is required. Click on the link to the You Tube tutorial for explanation.

(Neal Heires) #52

You seem to be in Einstein’s camp, refusing to accept that God would place dice with the universe. (I had to look up “open theism” and see that it is the belief that God does not know the future.) I realize that you have a very scientific mind, but seem to be convinced on the view of materialism and that all is cause and effect yet somehow God acts on the universe? The issue I have with this is the old conservation of energy issue - how does God create energy and also why does he have to if he is already Almighty - why does God need to add to himself?.
You state that chaos explains why the electron measuring device creates a chaotic entanglement and it is not observation of conscience mind even though you say the apparatus measured it before the scientists saw the result - did they - how do you know this - if the scientists did not read the devices result it would still be a quantum event that is unknown. And chaos theory is not based on quantum physics but rather is saying that you don’t have enough data to be able to predict the outcome of such chaotic systems. I guess you are using the same argument to explain quantum physics? Convenient way to slip back into the materialistic (all is cause and effect) view and one of course that you and most scientists may rationally pursue until the probability of such a view is so low that one must say that believing in God is more rational than not.
On your point that God cannot know the future without actually creating the future, means that you do not to understand the attributes of God. God knows all possibilities and chooses per His will. Amazing isn’t it that this attribute of God described in a ancient book like the bible would be consistent with quantum physics and explain scientifically how we all came to be.
One can accept by faith that materialism created mind, but I know that mind created the universe and our conscience minds in it.

(Mitchell W McKain) #53

What in the WORLD would give you that idea, since quite the opposite is the case?? That is how I would describe die hard determinists like David Bohm, and I consider them to be guilty of refusing to accept the results of the scientific test of the hypothesis. Since Bell’s inequality failed, physical determinism is dead.

I am a scientist, but I am convinced that materialism and naturalism are wrong. I am a theist and Christian, so I believe not only in a spiritual reality but that the spiritual is the greater reality. So this is another case where for some bizarre reason you have jumped to a conclusion which is the opposite of the truth.

Yes I can see that you very confused.

Ohhh… I get it! You have set up this false dichotomy and bin everyone into only two categories, either solipsist or materialst. Oh how very very amusing… LOL I don’t know if I can fruitfully carry on a conversation with someone with that much of a black and white mentality. I think I will limit my responses to questions only.

Energy erases the division between thing and action. Both matter and motion are forms of energy and one can be converted into the other. Therefore, God’s action of creation is sufficient to create whatever energy is required. I think the idea of magic is derived from the experience of infancy where we just cry out and beings with more knowledge and ability respond to ease the discomfort we feel but do not understand. But clearly in the case of God there are no beings with greater knowledge and ability so He has to supply those Himself.

Your paraphrases are not what I said, and they seem to be a product of your black and white thinking. I don’t think I will repeat myself, but simply point back to what I have said already.

(GJDS) #54

An Orthodox doctrine speaks of ‘the energies’ of God invoked as the way God’s creation acts and is according to His will. My speculation is these energies include all possibilities placed on the creation, including time, space, energy, matters and anything that comprises the creation.

EDIT: for anyone interested, this link provides a useful summary of the theological discussions on the energies, and a comment on nature and divine volition.

(Chris Falter) #55

Hi Neil,

You have linked to more than one YouTube video. Would you kindly post the link that you would like me to look at?

And before I begin, are you sure that the presentation distinguishes between observation and conscious observation, and states furthermore that the collapse of the wave function only occurs when a sentient being examines the observational data, even if it was measured and transcribed 5 years ago?

I ask this because there is more than one kind of uncertainty. There is ontological uncertainty (e.g., the spin and position of an unmeasured electron). There is also epistemic uncertainty (e.g., the die rolled off the table and came to rest on a flat surface, but you were telling a joke so you haven’t looked at it yet to see the outcome). My understanding is that ontological uncertainty ends at measurement time, even if epistemic uncertainty persists.


(Mitchell W McKain) #56

I have been double checking my terms and found that my use of the term “solipsism” was not entirely correct. Apparently “idealism” is the more accurate term. But I think part of my problem is that there are so many kinds of idealism and so many uses of the term idealism and I tended to associate this more with another usage. Solipsism is a more extreme form of philosophical idealism that even doubts the reality of other minds, and I certainly do not know that heirsnt believes anything like that.

In any case I am certainly an opponent of all forms of idealism especially those of Plato, Neoplatonism, and Whitehead. But that doesn’t make me a materialist. I also reject the classic Descartian dualism separating reality in to that of the mind and that of the body. I am a substance monist but see reality divided into a number of different effective dualities. Science demonstrates that monism has more explanatory power than dualism because it provides explanations for many dualities and other pluralities within.

The first and most primal effective duality is that between physical and spiritual, due to the physical universe being a singular space-time mathematical structure. Everything physical is a part of that structure and derives its existence and nature from their part in it. Spiritual things are simply not a part of this structure nor innately a part of any other – they are what they are by their own nature alone, though that nature can make them a part of something else. But there is no dualism here, for they are just different forms of the same basic stuff which can be called the pure potentiality of being.

Also while I am a physicalist with respect to the mind body problem, I nevertheless see an effective duality of different living organizational systems of mind and body with completely separate needs and inheritance.

(Neal Heires) #57

First I want to apologize for jumping to labeling you this or that. It was inappropriate of me to do so.
I too had to look up solipsism! Yes idealism is more where I am coming from, but even this term borders on pantheism. The hypothesis I am suggesting is that quanta is the substance of the universe which coexists and is controlled by mind, but by a triune Mind where the “Father” exists in all time and places and sees all possibilities without collapsing the wave form, this will is seen by the Word and directed to the Spirit who collapses the wave function. I must give recognition to the author of Jesus Christ Quantum Physicist here - except that I see the triune God is one Mind functioning in harmony in different time and space.
What came first one may ask, Mind or Quanta, and I suggest both existed from the beginning as quanta is part of what God is, But alas, could God have created quanta? Anyway, I don’t see this as dualism, but rather a harmonious existence of Mind and quanta, that is transformed by mind into the physical world. By this hypothesis I am suggesting that God can act on the physical at his choosing while still letting it alone on so-called automatic pilot.
My question to you is, can you destroy this hypothesis? You might ask what evidence I have to support this hypothesis? And you have me there, and so left with the idea that if evidence cannot destroy it, then maybe it is true. And so my challenge is not meant to be hostile. I seek the truth, while being an advocate for it.
As to your view, when you say that the physical and spiritual are just “different forms of the same basic stuff which can (be called) the pure potentiality of being” - maybe we are actually closer to the same viewpoint? I am asking here, not telling.
Anyway, anything you can throw at it please do so.

(Mitchell W McKain) #58

The idea that mind creates the world is idealism. Idealism has nothing whatsoever to do with pantheism. A person can be either one without the other.

I think that doesn’t really agree with the scientific use of the word “quanta.” But I think it is demonstrable that the substance of the universe is not controlled by mind. It is controlled by the mathematical laws of nature.

I have said something very similar to this myself.

Destroy? What you do with hypotheses is test them to determine if they are true or false.

I believe God created the physical universe so of course He can act on it. The more interesting question is whether He can act on the universe without violating the laws of nature which He created. And I think quantum physics makes that possible.

God came first and He is spirit.

(Christoper P. Garside) #59

Through the Wormhole series that was on the science channel is a great place to look. Also look on You-Tube for Dr. Michio Kaku, he explains things really well so most can understand. He has also authored the String Field Theory that links Relativity and Quantum Physics together to make the illusive Theory of Everything. CERN will be trying to run some experiments to confirm it soon. This apparently is the first math that successfully links the two together.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #60

The substance of the universe, or the physical, is represented by the Father Creator Who is not the universe, but is the Source of the Universe. The substance of the universe is directed, not controlled by the Logos, the rational aspect of the Universe, or Son.

God is not only Spirit, God is Creator, Logos, and Spirit. The Trinity came first. God the Spirit is the purpose or Love of God Who gives everything meaning and order.

Where can I find out more on Kaku’s String Field Theory?