A response to Dean Esmay, part one.

This is a response to Dean Esmay regarding the video he linked to me. I’m not well grounded on Quantum Mechanics, so I’ve had to educate myself on the fly as this went down. I should thank you, Dean, because I now know more than I did. What follows is a commentary on the video, based on what I’ve been able to find out. I’ve sent the video to various people who I know who have greater expertise in the subject, so I’ll update this post when they get back to me.

Dean Esmay has a problem with atheists and he likes to let us know.  In our conversation he made the good old claim that god exists. His evidence? He thinks Plato’s writings are a good enough example for a quick ‘Gotcha’, but, in a move that surprised me, he actually linked some science.

*As an aside – why is anything Plato wrote proof of god?*

Dean sent me two links – one to a video and one to a book. If I can I’ll have a look at the book, but let’s deal with the video for the moment.

The running claim in it is that Quantum Physics disproves materialism. Well, ok, I’m sure that’s nice, but materialism isn’t atheism. Materialism is the idea that everything is either made only of matter or is ultimately dependent upon matter for its existence and nature. It is possible for a philosophy to be materialistic and still accord spirit a place, but most forms of materialism tend to reject the existence of spirit or anything non-physical. I can see why people would conflate the two.

The video then goes on to say that because QP disproves Materialism then it proves God, and cites a bunch of stuff to help it back up that claim. It details what is known as the observer effect. Unless you want to slog through the linked wiki article you’ll just have to put up with my hatchet job of a summary for it. The observer effect is where you look at something and it changes what it’s doing. Let’s call it the ‘Uncle Bob is looking at me in the shower’ effect if you will.

Philosophers have used this as the jumping off point for several arguments surrounding the question ‘Does this prove God exists?’

Dean and those who made the video, have taken some factual insights into the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum (like Schrodinger’s cat only with more maths), some knowledge of the Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP), and have found a way to insert God as a necessary component to the universe. Say I made a cake and in addition to flour I used sawdust. I can now say that sawdust is integral to the structure of cake. Voila.

I’ll freely admit that I’m only finding this out now as I research this stuff, so feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I could well be.

So where does this leave us? With a few questions.

Have we ascertained that the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics is correct regarding the need for a conscious act of observation?

Does the wavelength collapse have to take place prior to the creation of that observer? In other words; what observed the observer, therefore creating it?

If God observes everything all the time then why, when we use the double slit experiment described in the video, does anything happen at all? Are there layers of observation? Does the change in wavelength only occurs when we, humans, are watching? If God exists and counts as an observer, then it would need to be a God who makes no observations, or else the results of quantum physics (the very ones trying to be used to support God’s existence) fail to make any sense.

Modern philosophers – and I include the religious when I say that – have a tendency to abuse Quantum theory once they grasp the idea that if nothing really exists, then everything is negotiable (the probability of existence). They also bang on about things only happening if they are observed to, thinking themselves highly scientific because this sounds similar to the scientific method’s Observation principle with very limited understanding. You see that particular one in things like ‘You ever seen a monkey become a man’ when they try and disprove evolution.

As for how this proves the existence of God, I see nothing more there than wishful thinking, to be honest. I don’t know how you get from “everything is uncertain” to “God certainly exists”. Sounds like another god of the gaps argument.

I blame the overabundance of mystery people give quantum mechanics. Oh, yes, to the people who know how it works it’s a pretty straightforward business, but to those who only half understand it it’s basically magic. Why? Well, it uses maths like words and words like maths and jumps up and down on the macroscopic world of classical mechanics we inhabit.

Most physicists are comfortable acknowledging that Quantum theory works just because it works and understanding why is for sissies, but by this careless attitude they allow the peddlers of woo to get their hands on it.

The video Dean provided can be summed up as ‘There’s a god, this is proof, no really you guys’ and everything in it can be explained by Quantum Mysticism. Thank you Dean for ‘settling on something with its own wiki page – I’ve had to deal with guys who believe carbon nanotubes are proof for god’ *attributed to Clay Garner*

But let’s look at the links.

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1961ZPh…

Links to the double slit experiment – no mention of god.

http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v47/…

A link to an abstract that provides its, as yet unsupported conclusion, in its abstract. Much rigor, such science, wow.

http://philoscience.unibe.ch/document…

Doesn’t open for me. Let me know if it does for you.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/…

Pay wall. Sounds like a wrestling promo – who’s theory is correct, Bells or Einstein’s?! Come see, this Sunday, Sunday SUNDAY!

Edit – oh joy, I found a PDF. Long story short, yes, the writer found that Bells inequalities had been violated. But the existence of each measurement (whether or not you actually do that measurement) is all you need for Bell’s inequality!  So if the inequality is false, then the result of those measurements don’t exist if the measurement isn’t made!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvMx1…

Watching the video in full kinda invalidates what you’re trying to prove with it.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1…

TL;DR – we don’t know that we don’t know, this could be the case. Again, pay wall.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.2529

Bell’s theorem is really about local realism. Experimental results could in principle violate Bell’s inequality but not agree with QM predictions either. This would still rule out local realism and all theories satisfying it. The fact that QM does predict correlations higher than allowed by Bell’s inequality and experimental results do agree with those predictions is kind of incidental.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/n…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mysticism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nttB3…

Even though Haisch has a fair bit on the credit side of the ledger he’s used some dubious and pseudoscientific stuff in his books such as advocating reincarnation and aliens. I’m surprised that Dean is keen on him as he promotes a pandeism rather than monotheism.

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9903047

I fail to see how this proves a god or even supports the assertions made in the video.

http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/kim…

Something’s wrong with the site.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.4481

Doesn’t support your assertions.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/d…

Err, what? The way they are using the term reality is completely different to the way you are using it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiNJRh…

I will be passing this one on elsewhere – Based on your usage of it this looks like a case of quote mining. But, who knows, perhaps my expert will have a better time with this than me.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.6578

You’re inferring things that this study does not support.

http://www.nature.com/news/2007/07041…

Again, reality being used incorrectly.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5294

Oh, for fucks sake, the ability to violate Bells inequalities does not prove a god exists!

Well that was fun (no it wasn’t). Now my head is swimming with Quantum Mechanics and I’m almost sure that I’ve attracted the attention of Great Cthulu.

I’ll do the book as soon as it arrives.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A response to Dean Esmay, part one.

  1. Love it as per usual everyone is aloud an opinion no matter how wrong it is. So lets try it this way if man created god in his consciousness to explain the happenings science at the time couldn’t ( were talking awhile back now say 2000 years give or take and man has also created Quantum mechanics to try and understand the galaxy we live in, are they not both constructs of the human psyche and their for flawed. we cannot observe our universe from the multiverse and there for our observations have to be based on materialistic but as we do comprehend the galaxy is in fact matter controlled by energy which in turn is controlled by forces exacted on it (you try finding the graviton) facts we simple do not have the ability to measure everything or indeed theorise everything we do not know, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in some form and by observing what we don’t understand invariably we change or construct a mean by which to understand it and observe/ measure it. In the same way we cannot find a planet millions of miles away without observing its sun and looking for the shadow. Everything we perceive or understand is a construct of the human psyche our understanding of the universe, god, science, religion and hence is invariably flawed as its all open to a point of view and interpretation the cat may very well be dead or could he simply have transferred his energy to the radioactive isotope whilst his body decade and there for ascended to a being of energy find a test to test that theory 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s