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'[EE]:: It's official - there is no reality - QM ru'
2008\06\08@221207 by Apptech

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Content-type: text/plain; format­owed; charset 2008\06\08@235828 by Cedric Chang
I read the article and then tried entangling two blue couches.  It  
worked.  From across a 7 meter wide room I was able to rotate one  
couch with my hands and the other couch counter-rotated.  I then lost  
conciousness ( i think ).  Later I woke up and had cheese and wine  
with my best friend.  Talk about success !

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2008\06\09@120506 by James Newton

face picon face
Some comments:

1. I gotta get me some of THAT shit, Cedric.

2. Why do I get the feeling that Russell enjoys this for more than
scientific reasons? Is QM the current best friend of the theologian? *

3. The entities who run the simulation we are all living in will have to
increase resolution soon... or kill off all the quantum researchers... ;)


*Here is a story that is totally inappropriate for this list, or maybe it is
appropriate; it doesn't attempt to prove anything improvable: When I was a
young man, my mom and I would drive about 1/2 hour each Sunday to attend a
fellowship in Applegate, OR. The pastor was a great speaker. One Sunday, he
made a comment predicting that when the scientists finally climb the last
hill of understanding, they will find the theologians sitting in the valley
on the other side. He went on to explain what is generally known about atoms
and that science has no real explanation for the nuclear binding force which
holds all the positively charged neutrons tightly together in the center of
each atom. He said that those neutrons should otherwise be flying apart due
to their like charges and the force that held them together was unknown; and
in his opinion, this force was none other than the mighty hand of GOD. He
went on to quote some scriptures on the subject. The congregation ooo'd and

My faith vanished in that instant.

For I knew that religion has, again and again, throughout the ages,
attributed to the hand of GOD any number of things, both good and bad, that
were, at that point, unexplained by science. For some reason, I had never
through of it as a competition between science and religion until that
sermon. I just thought of poor, sad, uneducated peoples trying to find some
way to control their plight; to predict and influence their future and an
equally uneducated church leader trying to help them feel better about their
lives. But I realized that no matter how many times science shows the church
that there is a physical, real, reason for everything that happens, pastors,
no matter how well educated, will always try to claim that the point just
beyond the current reach of science is, smugly, their domain. And each time
science pushes on, they will trust that the people will forget, and readjust
their boarders, just a bit further into the unknown.

Perhaps there are religions that do not depend on cultivating this fear of
the unknown among their membership (in fact I know there are), and perhaps
there is some value in religion beyond addressing this fear. That is not my

Please note that what I am discussing here is the sociology of the use of
the fear of the unknown to influence people. I am not saying that religions
are bad or good or otherwise: Only that many religious organizations use
that fear or promise to influence their membership, and many times, in the
past, when science has shown that it can right and truly conquer the
unknown, those same organizations have denigrated, persecuted, and even
killed men and women of science. This is a historical fact, not open to

"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of
altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their
views... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the
facts that needs altering." Doctor Who, Face of Evil

{Original Message removed}

2008\06\09@194249 by Jinx

face picon face
> Is QM the current best friend of the theologian? *
> *Here is a story that is totally inappropriate for this list

Nice one

2008\06\09@202441 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newton wrote:

> 1. I gotta get me some of THAT shit, Cedric.

Visit me some time... :)

> that there is a physical, real, reason for everything that happens,

Now here's the thing... slowly this ("a physical, real, reason") seems to
be becoming a thing of the past.


2008\06\09@210014 by Sean Breheny

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Hi James,

On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 12:04 PM, James Newton <> wrote:
> 2. Why do I get the feeling that Russell enjoys this for more than
> scientific reasons? Is QM the current best friend of the theologian? *

It's funny you mention that because there are some theologians who try
to bolster certain theological and philosophical ideas using recent
theories in QM, string theory, etc. Unfortunately, since none of them
know much more about it than can be learned from popularist books and
articles, some aspects of what they say fall totally flat.

For example, medieval philosophy had a strong thread of "moderate
realism" in it. This was basically the ideas of Aristotle re-worked
into a Christian framework. Moderate realism basically says this:
there is a world out there which you do not create and which you
connect with through your senses. Each object is a composite of
potential and form. Potential being roughly the "stuff" the thing is
made of and form being whatever it is which makes the object what it
is. St. Thomas Aquinas is the main figure behind this thought.

Eventually, between the 1600s and the 1800s, a strong thread of
"idealism" developed wherein philosophers claimed that we create the
world or at least that we do not connect directly with it but only
with a model of it which we construct from sensory data. Immanuel Kant
was the main proponent of these ideas - which became the modern
philosophical underpinning of the scientific method, although the
basic idea of the scientific method had been around for much longer on
a different (God-centered) rational.

By the late 19th century, scholasticism (the medieval thought) had
dropped way out of favor. Most philosophers were either nihilists or
some flavor of idealists or empiricists.

During the 20th century, some philosophers/theologians noticed that
science was apparently dropping its emphasis on a subject-object
distinction. They saw this as a confirmation that idealism is more
true and tried to find ways to "marry" it with Christian thinking.

So, I'd argue that traditional Christian thinking (say from at least
800 AD until 1600 AD) would jive more with your "real, physical
reason" for things than with idealism or some of the interpretations
of QM.

By the way, IMHO, some of the older philosophical ideas get tossed out
by many people NOT because of their lack of merit but rather because
of the inapplicability of their particular language to today's
worldview. For example, Aquinas's "proofs for God's existence" sound
like a "God of the gaps" type "proof" at first reading. They talk
about God being the explanation for "motion", for example. Most people
would probably dismiss this as totally obsolete since Newton came on
the scene. However, you have to realize that the fundamental idea
behind the proof is causation (in all of its senses, not just
efficient causality), and that "motion" in medieval language meant any
kind of change. Moving from one place to another was called "local


2008\06\09@215050 by Jinx

face picon face
> Moving from one place to another was called "local motion"

Deliberately catching a train to a really bad part of town would be
"loco motion" ?

Not differentiating between cause and effect can be quite misguided
or humorous. There was a seriously-considered theory (by a handful
but it has "urban myth" remnants) that wind is caused by trees waving
their branches

Or the proof that spiders' ears are in their legs. How reasoned ?
Well, if you make a loud noise, a spider will run away. But pull its
legs off ....

By the same token, flies ears are in their wings

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