Tuesday, August 14, 2007

God does play dice

A recent discussion on the Guardian CiF site showed that people (particularly people of faith) are still having problems assimilating Quantum theory. Not its weirdness mind you (everyone struggles with that) but it’s very existence is taken as an affront to the natural order.

The problem for those who think that the “Copenhagen interpretation" is a blip, a temporary usurper of universal order, and that the indispensable norms of causality, symmetry etc. will soon be restored via string theory is that (as Peter Woit says) – string theory is so unscientific that it isn’t even wrong! As knowledge deepens it may well be that the weirdness of the revealed Universe will grow, not diminish.

Maybe God (as Capra has suggested) is a Zen Buddhist and has not provided us with a coherent universe of natural laws which harmonise one with another but with a koan – the universe as riddle.

The knowledge gained from our scientific attack on this riddle is beautiful in itself and is also incredibly useful (Copenhagen = computers) i.e. it satisfies both aesthetic and utilitarian requirements. What it is does not do (and perhaps can never do) is resolve all of its own contradictions. This may violate Plato but it vindicates Lao tzu and since Plato was a hyper authoritarian and Lao tzu was the prophet of tolerance what real harm is there in that?

2 comments:

featurespoon said...

It is hard to see why people of the Christian faith would have trouble with the idea that an entity could be more than one thing all at the same time. After all, electrons can only be two things (a particle and a wave) at the same time, whereas God can be three persons at the same time. In both cases these conclusions were arrived at by observation of how things were (the Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible), not by some philosophical Big Idea. Truth is stranger than anything anyone would have made up.

The idea that the Copenhagen interpretation gave rise to computers can't be right. The ancestor of the modern computer is Babbage's difference engine which was a purely mechanical contraption. CPUs on chips are no different in the sense that they are also entirely deterministic. Even random number generators are deterministic, they just try to make it as difficult as possible to determine what they might come up with.

Now quantum computers would be something different, if they can be successfully constructed, although they are usually described in terms of the many-worlds interpretation rather than Copenhagen. If they are successfully built, then it is likely that Internet commerce would come to a halt, because credit card numbers could be intercepted.

John said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne Australia.Please check out these related references on Quantum Reality and Real God as A-Causal Conscious Light.

1. www.dabase.org/dht6.htm
2. www.dabase.org/dht7.htm
3. www.dabase.org/broken.htm
4. www.adidabiennale.org
5. www.dabase.org/dualsens.htm