Here’s a comment I received on my Tinfoil Multiverse thread a while back:
Just because you throw the phrase “quantum physics” around doesnt mean you (a) know what the hell you’re talking about or (b) the universe is mysterious beyond comprehension.
Scientists don’t fear quantum physics (I am an active scientist, and I have never, ever feared QP); QP is a part of modern science. yes, it’s wierd from a classical/Newtonian view of the universe, but that’s no reason to fear it. There is a vast difference between QP and woo-woo mysticism:
The former makes demonstrable, falsifiable claims about the universe, which can be (and are) experimentally verified and discarded if necessary; the latter does no such thing.
edge100 – June 22nd, 2007 at 4:26 pm
Wow, my first scientist, and he flamed me!. Oh well, it’s to be expected as I’ve learned, the hard way of course. He didn’t like the way I bandied about “quantum mechanics/physics”.(actual quote: “Quantum mechanics is some weird shit. Most scientists don’t like to use it because it often explodes their own little pet theories/dogmas. As I always said and continue to say, ‘there’s more to reality than our puny five senses.” If we knew what the whole truth was, we wouldn’t even get out of bed!”) It wasn’t in the thread, it was a comment I made, the first one in fact.
So my response was in effect, show me, I want to learn and explain in layman’s terms. Here’s the response:
Quantum physics is not the explanation for all things we cannot explain. It IS difficult to grasp (”if you think you understand QP, you don’t understand QP”, is the standard quote), but it makes predictions, which are experimentally verifiable. Until “ghosts, hauntings…” etc are subjected to experimental verification, this is just woo woo hypothesizing (and it’s barely that).
But my real beef was with the comment you made:
“Quantum mechanics is some weird shit. Most scientists don’t like to use it because it often explodes their own little pet theories/dogmas.”
QM is the subject of active research, by real scientists, who publish their work in real journals, which are reviewed by other real scientists. It explodes classical mechanics, but this is the way science works: theories are developed, based on real data, that explain a given phenomenon. If new data is obtained that does not fit the theory, the theory is modified and/or discarded. BUT, any new theory must explain why the old theory SEEMED to be correct. Special relativity (another ‘hard-to-understand-using-conventional-thinking’ theory) destroyed Newtonian mechanics, but suggested why the latter APPEARED to be correct (SR simplifies to Newtonian mechanics at velocities that are very low with respect to the speed of light).
“As I always said and continue to say, ‘there’s more to reality than our puny five senses.”
There is, of course, more to reality than our five senses (which is why we have devices that can detect information that is beyond our senses). But that doesn’t imply any of the things discussed above.
Quantum physics does not predict anything and everything, but it often gets used to justify things that seem “wierd”.
Ok, Dr. edge100 believes that quantum physics doesn’t predict anything and everything and he doesn’t like the way it gets used to explain “weird” stuff (use a spell checker “Doc”). Fine, I would buy that except for some pretty smart people who say quantum science might explain some weird shit:
- Why do ‘particles’ appear to affect each other at a distance, no matter the distance?
Answer: There are no such things as ‘particles’ according to Milo Wolffe:
It is the purpose of this article to explain the origin and cause of the strange instantaneous events associated with these laws. We will show that causality is not actually being violated. Instead, the strange events are merely appearances, “shaumkamm” in the words of Irwin Schroedinger. They were created by our former incomplete knowledge of the Wave Structure of Matter and of the energy exchange mechanism of quantum wave structures. All communication is actually at velocity c. Source
That’s novel, Wave Function Theory, never heard of it, wonder if Dr. edge100 has? Is it ‘woo-hoo mysticism’?
Because here’s the counter theory to that:
Quantum physics tries to explain the behavior of even smaller particles. These particles are things like electrons, protons, and neutrons. Quantum physics even describes the particles which make these particles! That’s right; the model of an atom that you were taught in high-school is wrong. The electrons don’t orbit like planets; they form blurred clouds of probabilities around the nucleus. Source.
Different theories about the same science? Which is ‘woo-hoo mysticism’? Who’s right? The model of the atom taught to us in school is wrong. Hmmph. And isn’t probabilities something like throwing dice continuously, like for a very long time?
And didn’t Einstein say something like, “You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the Quantum Theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one. (Albert Einstein to Max Born, Sept 1944, ‘The Born-Einstein Letters’) Source
How ’bout that, the Father of Quantum Physics doesn’t like his child much. He must’ve thought it was ‘woo-hoo’ mysticism.
My point is that today’s “woo-hoo” mysticism could be tomorrow’s accepted theory and the unforeseen future’s truth. Why couldn’t Paul Eno be right? Just because his theory doesn’t fit present dogma and can’t be proven with “physical evidence”, without instrumentation to measure any effects? Present particle/wave theories couldn’t be tested until particle accelerators became available. Who’s to say that some machine won’t be invented that extracts a “wormhole” from the “quantum foam” and expands it wide enough to see a “parallel universe” using a Casimir device?
No, I am not a scientist, hold a PhD, a published author, a professional researcher or any of that, I never claimed to. I have a blog that is dedicated to asking hard questions about politics, conspiracy theories, science-fiction and science. Especially dogma of any type. I love to question that. Along with authority.
Like Milo Wolffe says, “Most scientists will deny any new truths”. Source