Re: Not born of the morality of quantum physics?

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 22:56:05 +0100 (BST)

Carl Fink:
> For a less extreme case, consider the U.S. debate about abortion -- I
> don't think it's possible to say that abortion is "inherently evil or
> it isn't."

If only it were indeed not possible! (Poster resides in the only country in the world (I understand) with a constitutional ban on abortion...)

> I don't know of any physicists who consider quantum mechanics to
> represent a "higher level of reality". I've never even found it
> particularly complex or hard to understand -- anyone who passed
> calculus should recognize its simplicity.

I'm tempted to risk being labelled a Digest Airhead, and paraphrase a certain Friends character: But physics is, like, the _easiest_ Nobel Prize to win... The Many Worlds Interpretation would be the handiest example of Peter's point: reality _is_ the uncollapsed wave function; your perceptions of it, to wit the "common sense reality" is neither here nor there. (Apologies to any died in the wool Copenhagenists out there, but lest this really turn this into the Terra Digest...) Which is a lot like what an awful lot of geneticists, brain biochemists, cognitive scientists, et al end up saying about consciousness, but most of us, at least when we clock out from our reductionist day jobs, are somewhat fond of, even if we're equally philosophically uncomfortable with being Vitalists, Dualists, or Compatiblists.)

> Certainly the quantum isn't inherently contradictory. It does seem
> to contradict relativity, but for that very reason physicists assume
> that one or the other is flawed, which rather defeats your argument.

Rather that both are, since you can contrive experimental conditions in which one or the other break, or if you're _really_ good (and have an accelerator the size of a small Grand Duchy or so), both simultaneously... I'm not sure if that was Peter's point, but it was an instance of mine: they're both 'aspects of' (or to put in in the more usual terminology, partial, inaccurate but useful working approximations) to what one might call a 'deeper' (description of) reality.

Slán leat,

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