Sunday, January 26, 2014

Physicists promote quantum woo

The London Daily Mail had an article on Quantum physics proves that there IS an afterlife, claims scientist:
By looking at the universe from a biocentric's point of view, this also means space and time don't behave in the hard and fast ways our consciousness tell us it does.

In summary, space and time are 'simply tools of our mind.'

Once this theory about space and time being mental constructs is accepted, it means death and the idea of immortality exist in a world without spatial or linear boundaries.

Theoretical physicists believe that there is infinite number of universes with different variations of people, and situations taking place, simultaneously.

Lanza added that everything which can possibly happen is occurring at some point across these multiverses and this means death can't exist in 'any real sense' either.

Lanza, instead, said that when we die our life becomes a 'perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.' ...

Lanza cites the double-slit test, pictured, to backup his claims. When scientists watch a particle pass through two slits, the particle goes through one slit or the other. If a person doesn't watch it, it acts like a wave and can go through both slits simultaneously. This means its behaviour changes based on a person's perception

This is nonsense, but I cannot be bothered with all the nonsense in the world. This blog focuses mainly on nonsense from physicists pretending to do physics.

Physicist Phil Moriarty posted a video rant against the above article and its quantum woo. Leftist-atheist-evolutionist Jerry Coyne praises it. I agreed with much of what Moriarty said, but along the way he argues:
You make a measurement on this one [particle], and this [other distant] one responds instantaneously. Not at the speed of light, instantaneously. ... We don't understand it. [at 5:00] ...

Spin is not spin.
No, it has never been shown that a particle responds instantaneously to a distant measurement. He is referring to the phenomenon of entanglement, which is well-understood and explain in textbooks. (BTW, all three volumes of the Feynman lectures are not freely online.) If such nonlocality were ever proved, a Nobel Prize would be given for it, and it would be one of the great discoveries in the history of science.

When genuine physicists recite this nonsense, there is little wonder that non-physicist intellectuals say it, and the popular press reports it. I blame the physicists.

His argument that spin is not spin is also nonsense. Quantum spin is the quantization of classical spin, as explained in
The electron is spinning, after all. If you treat the electron as a classical particle, you will get some paradoxes, but not just with spin. You get them with position, momentum, charge, and every other observable. Spin is real spin just like those other observables.

Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci
I’ve been reading for a while now Jim Baggott’s Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth, a fascinating tour through cutting edge theoretical physics, led by someone with a physics background and a healthy (I think) dose of skepticism about the latest declarations from string theorists and the like.

Chapter 10 of the book goes through the so-called “black holes war” (BHW) ...

And now comes what Baggott properly refers to as the reality check. Let us start with the obvious, but somehow overlooked, fact that we only have (very) indirect evidence of the very existence of black holes, the celestial objects that were at the center of the above sketched dispute. And let us continue with the additional fact that we have no way of investigating the internal properties of black holes, even theoretically (because the laws of physics as we understand them break down inside a black hole’s event horizon). We don’t actually know whether Hawking radiation is a real physical phenomenon, nor whether black holes do evaporate.

To put it another way, the entire BHW was waged on theoretical grounds, by exploring the consequences of mathematical theories that are connected to, but not at all firmly grounded in, what experimental physics and astronomy are actually capable of telling us. How, then, do we know if any of the above is “true”? Well, that depends on what you mean by truth or, more precisely, to what sort of philosophical account of truth (and of science) you subscribe to.
I previously made similar points in my book, How Einstein Ruined Physics. "Ruined Physics" is another way of saying "Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth". One of my examples is how the black hole war is debated based on faulty theoretical concepts for things like information, with no possibility of scientific evidence either way.

I partially blame the trend on how Einstein idolizers claim to be following in his footsteps. Baggott does not go so far in blaming Einstein.

Coyne hates Pigliucci for calling him on the bad science, philosophy, and theology of the New Atheists like himself. I am not sure about the philosophical issues, but Pigliucci does explain decisively why Coyne and the others are wrong about free will.

No comments:

Post a Comment