Quantum Quackery

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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Mon May 26, 2008 4:08 am

Actually, it's not a "free lunch" and it's not classical thermodynamics.

First you need to understand the concept of a "False Vacuum."

I recommend this for historical background on the concept of vacuum in quantum field theory:

http://wlap.physics.lsa.umich.edu/umich ... l/f001.htm

And from Okun's historical paper:

Being a student of Isaak Pomeranchuk I first heard from him in 1950: “The
vacuum is filled with the most profound physical content” ...
It is paradoxical, but it took many years before the first paper appeared
in which it was proven that it should be (not in a mathematical way, but in
physical, by Yakov Zeldovich). If you have quantum mechanics, then there
must be in the framework of general relativity a cosmological term due to
virtual particles. In other words, due to zero state quantum oscillations.
Zeldovich was the first who published estimates of the cosmological term.
His first estimate was that it must be more than 120 orders of magnitude
larger than the upper limit on it.


...

What does it mean: the Universe can tunnel? Assume that at a given
place you have the upper vacuum; then you will gain energy, if you go at
that place to the lower vacuum. Thus, at first sight a simple question arises:
Why not to go to a lower vacuum here and now? The answer is that between
two vacua there is a wall which I’ve already described before: a material
wall, very heavy, very dense. You need energy to create it. Therefore there
exists a critical radius Rc at which the gain in energy in volume of a bubble
is becoming larger than the loss of energy used for creation of the surface of
the bubble.

It was a very frightening experience which I had when I first thought
about these bubbles. I thought about the possibility that at some collider
the collision of two particles would enhance the probability of creating such
a microbubble. And if a bubble of critical dimension is produced, then it
can expand infinitely, because the volume energy goes like r3 and the surface
energy – like r2. Thus, for large r volume will predominate. And very soon
the wall of the bubble would move with a velocity of light, and the bubble
would expand and destroy the whole world
. I really shivered when I thought
about this. But then I somehow relaxed by thinking about the past: that
Universe was hot, there was a lot of various collisions in it. Therefore if
bubbles could be produced by collisions, then they already were produced
and we are living in a true vacuum now.

A few months later I told Andrei Sakharov about these bubbles. I vividly
remember his reaction. He said: “Such theoretical work should be forbidden.
It’s too dangerous”. I tried to persuade him with arguments about past of
the Universe and all that. And he said: “Nobody had collided two lead nuclei
in the Universe”. I took this quite seriously.


The notion of a false vacuum with large energy density (VEV) naturally led
Alan Guth [68] to the idea of inflationary universe (1980). The exponential
expansion solves the problems of flatness and the horizon as well as homogeneity
and isotropy problems. It also explains the vanishing abundance of
magnetic monopoles.


Papers:

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0112031

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0112032
Last edited by Gary on Mon May 26, 2008 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Mon May 26, 2008 4:12 am

My quotes came from a Nobel Laureate and leader in the international physics community. Who is this from?

http://van.physics.uiuc.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1256
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Access Denied » Mon May 26, 2008 4:34 am

Doesn't matter, the Nobel Laureate you quoted COMPLETELY out of context [a favorite technique of yours] said the same thing...

(Weinberg) We don't have a way of reliably calculating the energy in empty space. When we try to use our present quantum field theory to do this calculation, the answer in the simplest approximation comes out infinite, which is clearly nonsense. My estimate, that the energy in a volume of empty space the size of the earth is not greater than the energy in a gallon of gasoline, is a crude upper limit that was not based on direct calculations of the energy in any fundamental theory, but was based instead on observations of the way that the universe is expanding. If the energy density in empty space were much greater than this upper limit, it would produce enormous gravitational fields, which would mean that the universe would have to be expanding much more rapidly in order to avoid collapsing, just as a rocket leaving a heavy planet like Jupiter has to travel much faster than one that leaves a lighter planet like the earth. But (as I explained in a part of my interview with Alan Alda that was not broadcast) it really doesn't matter how much energy there is in empty space. The conservation of energy tells us that if we get energy out of empty space, then we have to leave it in a condition of lower energy. But what could have lower energy than empty space?

Who are you trying to fool here Gary?
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Mon May 26, 2008 4:59 am

AD, Weinberg does not refute:

Vacuum energy has a NON-ZERO value.

The actual value of vacuum energy cannot be determined by existing theory.

And, as explained by Okun, our universe may exist in a metastable false vacuum.

Furthermore:

Einstein himself flirted with a weird form of energy that might just fit the bill. He called it the cosmological constant. These days physicists prefer the name vacuum energy, and like to think of it as the "cost" of free space. By that they mean that every cubic metre of space, no matter how cold or empty, contains a certain amount of energy. According to the equations of general relativity, this energy drives the expansion of the universe.

"Had everyone been happy with the cosmological constant there would be no need to continue," says cosmologist Rocky Kolb of Fermilab in Illinois. The trouble is, no one really is happy with it. One reason for this is that quantum theory predicts a vacuum energy that is 120 orders of magnitude larger than what is needed to cause the observed acceleration in the universe's expansion. This colossal discrepancy is one reason why physicists formulated supersymmetry theory, which cancels out vacuum energy completely.

The trouble is, the universe has other ideas: if the dark energy pushing it apart really is vacuum energy, the small amount that exists is infuriatingly difficult to explain. It certainly defeats any existing model.


"If dark energy is the cosmological constant then we will just have to wait for the theorists to catch up," says Adam Reiss of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.


http://space.newscientist.com/article/mg19325911.700

For those willing to expore these issues in depth, Volovik has reviewed the controversies from a condensed matter point of view:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/0604062v4

Vacuum Energy: Myths and Reality
Authors: G.E. Volovik
(Submitted on 14 Apr 2006 (v1), last revised 10 Jul 2006 (this version, v4))

Abstract: We discuss the main myths related to the vacuum energy and cosmological constant, such as: ``unbearable lightness of space-time''; the dominating contribution of zero point energy of quantum fields to the vacuum energy; non-zero vacuum energy of the false vacuum; dependence of the vacuum energy on the overall shift of energy; the absolute value of energy only has significance for gravity; the vacuum energy depends on the vacuum content; cosmological constant changes after the phase transition; zero-point energy of the vacuum between the plates in Casimir effect must gravitate, that is why the zero-point energy in the vacuum outside the plates must also gravitate; etc. All these and some other conjectures appear to be wrong when one considers the thermodynamics of the ground state of the quantum many-body system, which mimics macroscopic thermodynamics of quantum vacuum. In particular, in spite of the ultraviolet divergence of the zero-point energy, the natural value of the vacuum energy is comparable with the observed dark energy. That is why the vacuum energy is the plausible candidate for the dark energy.

Comments: 24 pages, 2 figures, submitted to the special issue of Int. J. Mod. Phys. devoted to dark energy and dark matter, IJMP style
Subjects: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); Astrophysics (astro-ph); Statistical Mechanics (cond-mat.stat-mech); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)
Journal reference: Int.J.Mod.Phys. D15 (2006) 1987-2010
DOI: 10.1142/S0218271806009431
Cite as: arXiv:gr-qc/0604062v4
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Mon May 26, 2008 3:00 pm

Clearly, RU forum moderators have totally confused 'vacuum energy' with High Frequency Gravity Waves and Pilot Wave Quantum Theory. They are all different subjects altogether.

RU also confuses exploratory academic research (Valentini) with crackpot science.

Point number one: Pilot Wave theory has been shown by David Bohm and Basil Hiley to reproduce ALL of the predictions of the best tested theory in all of science: Quantum Mechanics. That fact puts the theory, which originated with one of the founding fathers of Quantum Theory, Louis de Broglie, on an EQUAL footing with the existing theory in terms of predictive power.

The ACCELERATING universe driven by an UNKNOWN invisible DARK ENERGY is physical evidence of HUMAN IGNORANCE of the complex dynamics involved in the vacuum. All very interesting but not related to pilot wave quantum theory.

High Frequency Gravity Waves research is another area entirely; since BIG MONEY SCIENCE is only now about to probe low frequency gravity waves using LIGO and LISA, the relatively low cost of a HFGW detector would appear to be insignificant. Keeping in mind that gravity is 40 orders of magnitude weaker than the EM force, to the scales at which it can be tested, which are only a fraction of 1mm. Below that scale it has been proposed by numerous scientists, using different theoretical frameworks, that the force of gravity might increase at smaller scales and become unified with the EM force scale. Of course if HFGW worked, there would be a lot of egg on the faces of the LIGO/LISA group.

The L-shaped detector here and its recently completed twin in Hanford, Wash., are called LIGO (pronounced LIE-go), for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Having cost $296 million so far, it is the largest enterprise ever financed by the National Science Foundation -- and one of the riskiest.


The Lisa gravity-wave detector, a three-satellite mission planned jointly with NASA for around 2011. The mission's complexity calls for a so-called Lisa Pathfinder satellite to prove Lisa technologies in orbit in 2009. Cost to ESA: about 360 million euros for Lisa, and around 180 million euros for Lisa Pathfinder.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/LIGO_Up_ ... usive.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A96F958260

http://www.space.com/spacenews/archive0 ... 12306.html

This thread was supposed to be about PILOT WAVE theory which AD confused with "quantum quackery."
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Access Denied » Mon May 26, 2008 5:06 pm

:duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk: :duckwalk:
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Tue May 27, 2008 1:25 am

Lol! According to quantum theory, your little "quantum quackers" don't exist until a measurement takes place, whereas pilot wave theory says each little "quantum quacker" follows a real trajectory.

Bohmian mechanics inherits and makes explicit the nonlocality implicit in the notion, common to just about all formulations and interpretations of quantum theory, of a wave function on the configuration space of a many-particle system. It accounts for all of the phenomena governed by nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, from spectral lines and scattering theory to superconductivity, the quantum Hall effect and quantum computing. In particular, the usual measurement postulates of quantum theory, including collapse of the wave function and probabilities given by the absolute square of probability amplitudes, emerge from an analysis of the two equations of motion — Schrödinger's equation and the guiding equation - without the traditional invocation of a special, and somewhat obscure, status for observation.


You see? Bohmian mechanics does away with the quantum metaphysical quackery that reality does not exist unless it is consciously observed.


The pilot-wave approach to quantum theory was initiated, even before the discovery of quantum mechanics itself, by Einstein, who hoped that interference phenomena involving particle-like photons could be explained if the motion of the photons were somehow guided by the electromagnetic field — which would thus play the role of what he called a Führungsfeld or guiding field (Wigner 1976, p. 262) ... Not long after Schrödinger's discovery, in 1926, of wave mechanics, i.e., of Schrödinger's equation, Louis de Broglie in effect discovered Bohmian mechanics: In 1927, de Broglie found an equation of particle motion equivalent to the guiding equation for a scalar wave function (de Broglie 1928, p. 119), and he explained at the 1927 Solvay Congress how this motion could account for quantum interference phenomena.


What Valentini has shown is that the distribution Bohm used to reproduce quantum statistics is only special case in a set of possible distributions.

And as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy continues to explain:


This demonstrates that all claims to the effect that the predictions of quantum theory are incompatible with the existence of hidden variables, with an underlying deterministic model in which quantum randomness arises from averaging over ignorance, are wrong. For Bohmian mechanics provides us with just such a model: For any quantum experiment we merely take as the relevant Bohmian system the combined system that includes the system upon which the experiment is performed as well as all the measuring instruments and other devices used in performing the experiment (together with all other systems with which these have significant interaction over the course of the experiment). The "hidden variables" model is then obtained by regarding the initial configuration of this big system as random in the usual quantum mechanical way, with distribution given by |ψ|2. The initial configuration is then transformed, via the guiding equation for the big system, into the final configuration at the conclusion of the experiment. It then follows that this final configuration of the big system, including in particular the orientation of instrument pointers, will also be distributed in the quantum mechanical way, so that this deterministic Bohmian model yields the usual quantum predictions for the results of the experiment.


See http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-bohm/
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Tue May 27, 2008 4:05 am

A must read for AD and Ryan: email exchange between Prof. Goldstein and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg on Bohmian pilot wave mechanics:

http://www.mathematik.uni-muenchen.de/~ ... ingold.htm

A point of possible interest:

"And since Bohm's equations make exactly the same predictions as those of ordinary quantum mechanics, it is not clear what is accomplished by adding the complication of guiding waves, except to restore a sense of sanity to the whole affair." -- Timothy Ferris, NY Times, as quoted by Goldstein

Actually Ferris got this wrong, since Bohmian mechanics adds particle trajectories, to "restore a sense of sanity."
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Access Denied » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:06 am

[from viewtopic.php?p=19419#p19419]

Gary wrote:Otherwise, talk is cheap. If it's only as good as AD's (mis)understanding of pilot wave theory, then it's not worth a lot, IMHO.

What misunderstanding is that again Gary? Why should I or anybody else elevate Valentini’s pilot wave theory above quantum quackery status when for example, according to Citebase, it appears at best maybe only a handful of his peers consider his work relevant…

http://www.citebase.org/search?submit=1 ... %2C+Antony

Note that a significant number of those cites are to his own work or his coauthor’s works and many of the authors who cited him only have one or two cites themselves (e.g. Sarfatti).
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:34 pm

AD, you do realize the same argument could have been made against Einstein's earliest works?

It's simply too soon to tell. The article in NATURE is the first step in presenting the idea to a wider group of Valentini's peers.

And for the record, I remain a "Many Worlder" -- I'm not a proponent of "pilot-wave theory" or other superluminal schemes, until better evidence convinces me otherwise. (Thus the necessity of "human time machines" in MW Theory to explain remote viewing -- as confirmed to me by Paul Werbos at the NSF, such a scheme may exist due to the time-symmetric nature of quantum theory, in the sense of Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson's concept of biological utilization of quantum 'non-locality' (where remote viewing is merely advanced information from future alternative worlds moving through 'backwards time').

That said, pilot wave theory remains a viable alternative since none of the predictions of the theory have been falsified (since it reproduces exactly the same predictions as Quantum Mechanics).

BTW re: "Many Worlds" you might wish to check out this paper by WHEELER and TEGMARK:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0101077v1

An informal poll taken at a conference on quantum computation at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge
in July 1999 gave the following results:

3. Which interpretation of quantum mechanics is closest to your own?

(a) Copenhagen or consistent histories (including postulate of explicit collapse): 4

(b) Modified dynamics (Schr¨odinger equation modified to give explicit collapse): 4

(c) Many worlds/consistent histories (no collapse): 30

(d) Bohm (an ontological interpretation where an auxiliary “pilot wave” allows particles to have well-defined positions and velocities): 2

(e) None of the above/undecided: 50

The reader is warned of rampant linguistic confusion in this area. It is not uncommon that two physicists who say that they subscribe to the Copenhagen interpretation find themselves disagreeing about what they mean by this. Similarly, some view the “consistent histories” interpretation (in which the fundamental objects are consistent sets of classical histories) as a fundamentally random theory where God plays dice (as in the recent Physics Today article by Omn`es & Griffith), whereas others view it more as a way of identifying what is classical within the deterministic “many worlds” context. Such issues undoubtedly contributed to the large “undecided” vote on the last question.


MAX TEGMARK and JOHN ARCHIBALD WHEELER discussed quantum mechanics extensively during Tegmark’s three and a half years as a postdoc at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Max Tegmark is now an assistant professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Wheeler is professor emeritus of physics at Princeton, where his graduate students included Richard Feynman and Hugh Everett III (inventor of the many-worlds interpretation). He received the 1997 Wolf Prize in physics for his work on nuclear reactions, quantum mechanics and black holes.
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:47 am

For anyone interested in the fundamental "measurement problem" at the heart of the controversy between various "interpretations" of quantum mechanics, Oxford's DAVID WALLACE has an excellent overview of the field here:

This is a preliminary version of an article to appear in the forthcoming Ashgate Companion to the New Philosophy of Physics.

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/071 ... 0149v1.pdf

One fascinating corollary of these dynamical strategies is that the Universe — or at least some subsystems of it — might not be in “quantum equilibrium” at all. This would create observable violations of the predictions of QM, and
might provide a context in which hidden-variable theories could actually be tested (Valentini 2001; Valentini 2004).
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:21 pm

I just came across this new paper from HENRY STAPP, for a different point of view on the mind/matter problem:

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0803/0803.1625.pdf

This work was supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy and
Nuclear Physics, of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC02-05CH11231

In the context of theories of the connection between mind and brain,
physicalism is the demand that all is basically purely physical. But the
conception of “physical” embodied in this demand is characterized
essentially by the properties of the physical that hold in classical
physical theories. Certain of those properties contradict the character
of the physical in quantum mechanics, which provides a better, more
comprehensive, and more fundamental account of phenomena. It is
argued that the difficulties that have plagued physicalists for half a
century, and that continue to do so, dissolve when the classical idea of
the physical is replaced by its quantum successor. The argument is
concretized in way that makes it accessible to non-physicists by
exploiting the recent evidence connecting our conscious experiences
to macroscopic measurable synchronous oscillations occurring in
well-separated parts of the brain. A specific new model of the mindbrain
connection that is fundamentally quantum mechanical but that
ties conscious experiences to these macroscopic synchronous
oscillations is used to illustrate the essential disparities between the
classical and quantum notions of the physical, and in particular to
demonstrate the failure in the quantum world of the principle of the
causal closure of the physical, a failure that goes beyond what is
entailed by the randomness in the outcomes of observations, and that
accommodates the efficacy in the brain of conscious intention.
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Re: Quantum Quackery

Postby Gary » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:37 am

Born's Nobel Lecture:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/phys ... ecture.pdf

Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects.
The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects. From this point
of view, the present universally used system of concepts in which particles
and waves appear simultaneously, can be completely justified.
The latest research on nuclei and elementary particles has led us, however,
to limits beyond which this system of concepts itself does not appear to
suffice. The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of
quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods
will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our
doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate
to open up the road.
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Quantum Reality and Free Will

Postby Gary » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:51 pm

Quantum randomness can be controlled by free will -a consequence of the before-before experiment
Authors: Antoine Suarez
(Submitted on 5 Apr 2008)

Abstract: The before-before experiment demonstrates that quantum randomness can be controlled by influences from outside spacetime, and therefore by immaterial free will. Rather than looking at quantum physics as the model for explaining free will, one should look at free will as a primitive principle for explaining why the laws of Nature are quantum.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.0871v1

About the author

Dr Antoine Suarez took his Ph.D. in natural science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich or ETH) in 1975. While at ETH, he not only became interested in the philosophical significance of quantum mechanics but also in genetic epistemology. For more than a decade, he was engaged in research on cognitive growth that led to the development of improved methods for teaching mathematics and science to children. He directed the Swiss think tank, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS), from 1985 to 1993, and, with major support from the Leman Foundation, he undertook studies that brought the insights of philosophers, theologians, and ethicists to bear on advances in science. Antoine Suarez was the first (with Valerio Scarani in 1997) in proposing experiments using moving measuring devices to investigate the tension between quantum mechanics and relativity, especially whether there is a real-time ordering behind nonlocal influences. He actively collaborated with Nicolas Gisin’s group in the realization of these experiments. In addition to articles in scientific journals, chapters in volumes of collected works, and an early study on the relation of thought to action in adolescents, Dr Antoine Suarez is the co-editor, with Alfred Driessen, of the book Mathematical Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of God (Kluwer, 1997).

http://www.quantumphil.org/history.htm
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Re: Quantum Reality and Free Will

Postby Access Denied » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:19 am

[sigh]

Quantum Quackery (redux)

No amount of metaphysical interpretation is going to change the fact that the reality is quantum mechanics is irrelevant to human experience.

1. Determinism (causality in physics) and free will (not to be confused with uncertainty in quantum mechanics) are NOT mutually exclusive… in other words sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield.

2. Any quantum effects in the brain would be several orders of magnitude below that needed to affect neurons and at body temperatures our cells are far too “noisy” of an environment to maintain coherence… in other words there’s no theoretical basis in modern physics for “alien mind control” or a “cosmic consciousness”.

3. The idea that we somehow create reality (the “observer effect”) is a conflation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Schrödinger's cat, which is purely a thought experiment… in other words it’s bunk.

“What The Bleep Do We Know?” you ask?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind#Science

The main argument against the quantum mind proposition is that the structures of the brain are much too large for quantum effects to be important. It is impossible for coherent quantum states to form for very long in the brain and impossible for them to exist at scales on the order of the size of neurons.

[snip]

This does not imply that classical mechanics can explain consciousness, but that quantum effects including superposition and entanglement are insignificant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orch-OR#Ob ... to_Orch_OR

Penrose's take on the Gödel theorem is rejected by many philosophers, logicians and artificial intelligence (robotics) researchers. His proposal for objective reduction is distinct from anything else in physics. The main objection to the Hameroff side of the theory is that any quantum feature in the environment of the brain would undergo wave function collapse (reduction) as a result of interaction with the environment, far too quickly for it to have any influence on neural processes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_my ... nd_mystics

Responding to results of violations of Bell's inequality, results which cast doubt on hidden-variable interpretations, physicist Heinz Pagels explicitly rejected any link between the supernatural phenomenon often associated with mysticism and quantum mechanics, writing:

"Some recent advocates of Bell's work when confronted with Bell's inequality have gone on to claim that telepathy is verified or the mystical notion that all parts of the universe are instantaneously interconnected is vindicated. Others assert that this implies communication faster than the speed of light. That is rubbish; the quantum theory and Bell's inequality imply nothing of this kind. Individuals who make such claims have substituted a wish-fulfilling fantasy for understanding. If we closely examine Bell's experiment we will see a bit of sleight of hand by the God that plays dice which rules out actual nonlocal influences. Just as we think we have captured a really weird beast--like acausal influences--it slips out of our grasp. The slippery property of quantum reality is again manifested."

[note that to some “hidden variables” are “desirable” as a mechanism for a Godlike influence over our free will]

That quantum mechanics is statistical in nature (apparently nondeterministic) does not necessarily mean new physics (the “supernatural”) is needed to complete our understanding of reality…more likely to me it’s simply a natural consequence of us not being Godlike.

[omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent]

I think what we call free will can most easily be described in classical mechanical terms as “he who exerts the most energy wins”… with the caveat that there are consequences like increased entropy.

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