virus: from anon

Ken Pantheists (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 10:35:16 +0000

Anon wrote:

>> > Heisenberg's
>> > uncertainty principle states that at any given moment you can know a
>> > particle's velocity but not its position and vice versa.

XYZ comments:

>Wrong wrong wrong. You never read about the Heisenburg uncertainty
>principle. It states that the velocity and position of an object cannot be
>MEASURED to an arbitrary value of precision... It can be done, but if you
>the velocity to a certain accuracy, you lose that much precision in the
>measurement of the position. It is a very small number, so it won't ever
>affect me any.

Anon replies:

I may have read about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and understood
less than other have. On the other hand, I don't see XYZ's point at
all. I
said you cannot ~know~ a particle's velocity and position
XYZ was good enough to improve my statement so that it is clear what the
word "know" might refer to in this context -- which is precision
if I interpret XYZ correctly. Okay, so far so good, but "wrong, wrong,
wrong" is overstating the case.

As far as XYZ's remark that "it won't ever affect me any" is concerned,
can only say, "so what?" For those who care and take the time to
wonder, I
would suggest that understanding the fundamental structure of matter
be worthwhile.

Anon wrote:

>> > Heisenberg's discovery rendered Bohr's "planetary model" of the atom
>> > obsolete.

XYZ replied, "Heisenberg did not do that! Schrodinger and De Broglie did

Why are you so emphatic about this point? Do you care to elaborate?
How do
you think the ideas of these three influence and effect the Bohr's

Anon wrote:

>> Strictly speaking, it rendered all models obsolete.

XYZ replied:

>It didn't render them just modified them.

Fine with me. "Obsolete" or "~modified~." Whatever floats your boat.
(technically speaking)
do you make special point about this?

Anon wrote:

>> > it has to describe reality. Thus, it has to have a physical expression in
>> > both the micro- and macro-realistic terms. But how do you express a
>> > probability visually?

XYZ: With probability density diagrams.

Correct, and that's just my point. The density diagrams are not a
"realistic" model in the usual sense of the word. A "probability
diagram" is contrived and highly abstracted from the actual atom.

Anon wrote:

>>To answer this question Bohr delved into metaphysics.

XYZ replied:

>Oh! Now I know you are bullshitting...over and out!

Anon: I wonder which aspect of my remarks offended XYZ. He doesn't
say. In
any case, metaphysics is often discussed in connection with quantum
mechanics. That is because many quantum mechanical phenomenon are
if not downright impossible to explain in rational terms. For example:
Solid matter is 90% composed of vacuum, but if I drop a heavy rock on my
foot, it hurts.
Bohr's theory of complementarity has a strong metaphysical influence.
fact, the coat of arms Bohr designed for himself resembles the yin and
symbol of eastern religion.

If anyone knows more about these points and cares to comment, I would
to hear from them.


>> > both the micro- and macro-realistic terms. But how do you express a
>> > probability visually? To answer this question Bohr delved into
>Most mathmaticians use fields to visually describe probabilities. Most
>of the modern texts on college physics use the idea of `electron fields'
>in their `diagrams' of the atom, followed by discussion of the various
>types of electron orbitals.

Does that have any relation to how an atom actually looks? Perhaps
model as well as the contemporary "diagrams" are useful for
the atom's behavior conceptual, but do they reflect the atom's actual
appearance? I'm not so sure.

>For those who've been using Heisenberg to suggest that consciousness
>affects the outcome of experiments, the scientist looks askance at them
>and asks what priviliges them in terms of observation. As I said
>before, HUT says nothing about /consciousness/ collapsing the wave
>function simply that the act of detection changes it.

I'm not sure. Depending upon how you set up the detection experiment,
wave function can appear to collapse. Put a particle in a closed box
example. The particle is simultaneously both particle and a wave.
According to quantum mechanics, there is equal probability of finding
particle at any point inside the box, ~and~ the wave function spreads
and fills the box uniformly. If you then use a membrane to divide the
in two, the particle must be either on the left or right side of the
but the wave is chopped in half, leaving waves on both sides. If the
observer then opens the box and finds the particle on the right-hand
the wave function collapses in the left-hand side and vice versa.

In this case when someone says "the act of detection changes it" I'm not
sure what they mean. No energy was added or removed in this experiment
the box was opened. In this case detection was pure observation. We
say that the presence of the conscious experimenter affected the outcome
the experiment.

Perhaps it would make many of us feel more comfortable to say that we
affect the outcome of an experiment by setting it up in a certain way
not in another. In other words, the conscious design of the experiment
would certainly affect the results.

What do we think about that? I think the connection with memetics might
particularly strong here. How we choose to observe, measure, detect or
with memes, has a particular affect on the meme itself.

>> > light is simultaneously a particle and a wave. However, the moment that a
>> > measurement is taken to detect which slit a given photon is passing
>> > the diffraction pattern vanishes.
>This is either willfully wrong or naively wrong, I can't tell. The
>reason that the diffraction pattern vanishes is that the only way to
>detect the location of the photon is to fire just one at the slit and
>try and see what happens. One electron does not a diffraction pattern
>make. Moreover, the act of detecting its location can and often does
>cause the absorbtion of the photon in question.

~If~ the above statement is wrong, it is naively so. Big if, however,
I'm not convinced by your argument. Why are you so confident about it?
There are many ways to detect the location of the photon. You are
firing a
series of photons (one at a time, of course) and measuring them after
pass through one or the other slit. In Wheeler's "delayed choice"
experiment, you can even measure each photon after it arrives at its
destination. I believe that experiments can be designed that do not
the absorption of the photon in question."

>Again, its not a question of consciousness, its a matter of experimental

The experimental technique is consciously chosen, n'est pas?

>According to
>> > the many worlds hypothesis, the photon which is simultaneously a particle
>> > and a wave is capable of rendering the cat alive and dead at the same time.
>According to the MWH, the cat is rendered into two seperate universi at
>the exact moment the photon is injected or not. One in which the cat is
>alive and one in which its dead. If one applies a very loose version of
>HUT to the question, the cat can be seen as suspended in a probability
>state, neither alive or dead, /until someone opens the box and looks/.


>> > The possibility of hosting conflicting memes could be related to this idea.
>> > Imagine an intelligent system circulating various memes throughout its
>> > network. As in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this intelligent
>> > sustains the possibility of potential and active connections
>There's no need to make old Heisenberg roll in his grave to account for
>the retention of contradictory memes. The much simpler method of
>assuming that all memes are relatively independent and can claim some
>portion of the resources, enough to retain their position in the
>memesphere, is sufficent. Occam's Razor cuts deep.

How are we making old Heisenberg roll in his grave? Can you clarify

>> > little about the link between conscious and reality -- although there is a
>> > great deal of experimental and theoretical evidence (particularly in
>> > mechanics) that supports such a link. 1+1=2 is not a good example
>As demonstrated above, most of this `evidence' is from those who don't
>understand the processess of which they speak.

If you understand them better than I do, please enlighten me. I don't
what your complaint is.

>> > What is an "unscientific" point of view? Is Heisenberg's theory, complete
>> > with its metaphysical implications, also unscientific? I think not.
>Metaphysics is, by nature and definition, unscientific. Thus, the HUT
>/with/ its metaphysical implications is unscientific while the HUT alone
>is not.

Why attempt to keep making this scientific-unscientific distinction?
metaphysical implications co-exist with the classical ones. They appear
complement one another. Before the age of Aristotle, science and
metaphysics were one. Forces of nature, like the wind, were personified
myths served as scientific theory. Aristotle separated Logica, pure
from Ethos and Pathos, keeping metaphysics from science. Nevertheless,
intuition and other "unscientific" aspects of human consciousness
to play a vital role in human discovery. Today more than ever we see
effects in modern science (superconductivity, nanotechnology, quantum
mechanics et. al.) that are more interesting than any sci-fi novel or
story you can find. Isn't it possible to separate science from
pseudoscience without denying the metaphysical evidence that solid

See quote below.

>> > pseudoscience. As you can see, I believe physics could be used as a
>> > yardstick where this matter is concerned. When we talk about Einstein,
>> > Heisenberg or Neils Bohr, we may be standing on some pretty solid ground...
>As long as you know what you're talking about, I agree. Just as I'm not
>going to discuss memes from the PoV of modern literary theory because
>I'm /certain/ I'll make a cock up of it, those that don't understand
>physics should avoid using it to bolster their claims.

That's a poor excuse, I believe. Twentieth Century research ~requires~
multidisciplinary and cooperative work. It calls for us to explore new
areas which we may not fully understand. If you think you know more
about a
particular subject, why not show us why? No one has to worry about
"a cock up" if we work together. I trust that at a certain point we
simply agree to correct one another and cooperate to find the best
solution. I think that's how we even got as far as we are today,
the fact that we sometimes "make a cock up of it" and still have a long
to go.

Does anyone agree?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

"Whence philosophers are in some ways painters and poets; poets
are painters and philosophers; painters are philosophers and poets.
Whence true poets, true painters, and true philosophers choose
one another out and admire one another."

-- Giordano Bruno, 1584

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  Ken Pantheists