ThePolyMath, Quantum Bayesism, Wave Functions, and more

He’s back… ThePolyMath actually did a video reply to my blog post reply, to his video reply, of my original video. This is getting long… But he uses the exact same tactic he used the first time: a retreat to vagueness, personal attacks, and bouncing around from different interpretations. All he has succeeded in doing is showing idealism is a pretty solid understanding of reality if this is the best he can offer.

He starts out by replying that it was not an ad hominem to dismiss certain physicists as quacks because as he says, “Well, actually it is, if the person you are citing is spewing fringe quackery.” Now, if he thinks this constitutes as a reply then I have more to question then just his arguments. Naming-calling people who disagree with you and then dismissing them as quacks is not an argument. The reason certain people are quacks is because their arguments are terrible and based off bad or no evidence. That is why some people are labeled as quacks. If ThePolyMath thinks some of the physicists I cited are quacks then it is his duty to explain why, not just say they are quacks because they are quacks.

I believe Benny Hinn is a quack because he makes doctrines up based on his “so-called” personal revelations he claims to receive, and doesn’t provide objective evidence or support for his claims. That is why he is a quack, not because I can just label him one. ThePolymath fails to demonstrate these things about the physicists he labels as quacks. He seems to imply, “they don’t agree with me, therefore they must be quacks.” It doesn’t work that easily. If you want to call someone a quack then back it up with reasons as to why, do not just say they are quacks because they are quacks…

Ending at 3:18 – ThePolymath tries to refute the von Neumann chain and in doing so demonstrates he doesn’t understand the philosophical implications. He argues that physicists accept the photo detector causes collapse and thus the observer is not necessary. But this is not the point. Advocates of the von Neumann chain agree the photo detector causes collapse, obviously. It is part of the chain and interacts and no one denies this. What we then ask is what caused the photo detector to collapse? If the answer is the environment, then what caused the environment to collapse? Hence you get a chain, a von Neumann chain of several things causing collapse. Trying to say the photo detector causes complete collapse doesn’t address the von Neumann chain.

What he seems to be doing is arguing from the Copenhagen Interpretation alone. Well, of course in the Copenhagen Interpretation the photo detector can fully explain collapse, but it is only a pragmatic interpretation. Of course the von Neumann chain is not necessary in a pragmatic understanding alone. But it doesn’t take any metaphysical conclusions into account, so it can hardly give a complete description of reality. If we are talking from a pragmatic standpoint, then yes, the photo detector causes collapse and I have never denied that. However, it completely misses the real issue of what that would entail, namely a following von Neumann chain to initiate ultimate collapse. So despite “the PolyMath’s claim, the von Neumann chain does take into effect the environmental decoherence effects on particles. But decoherence alone cannot fully explain collapse beyond a pragmatic understanding, and the debate is over the truth of reality. So this appears to be a bait and switch: announce interaction/decoherence can fully explain collapse, but fail to mention that it only applies in the pragmatic Copenhagen Interpretation, which doesn’t address the truth of what reality is.

Also where are these physicists he speaks of that say the photo detector can entirely explains collapse? He claims this all physicists accept this is true, but he seems to leave out the fact that I quoted several physicists in my previous reply to him, which showed interaction/decoherence cannot fully explain collapse. However, he seems to have simply ignored all those quotes and say the exact opposite of what they overwhelmingly agree on – that interaction cannot fully explain collapse. As E Joos said and I previously quoted, “Does decoherence solve the measurement problem? Clearly not. What decoherence tells us, is that certain objects appear classical when they are observed. But what is an observation? At some stage, we still have to apply the usual probability rules of quantum theory.1

There are far more I could of used, like this one from Maximilian Scholosshauer, “…decoherence arises from a direct application of the quantum mechanical formalism to a description of the interaction of a physical system with its environment. By itself, decoherence is therefore neither an interpretation nor a modification of quantum mechanics.2 In fact I could keep going on, but the point is physicists do not say the interaction/decoherence can fully explain collapse other than from a pragmatic standpoint. So ThePolyMath needs to back up his claim, and not just assume something that is obviously true, without evidence. That is intellectual dishonesty at its finest.

Ending at 4:11 – Ok, he did this last time and I skipped over it because it was not an issue. He quotes Lawrence Krauss who says quantum mechanics is deterministic, but our measurement is not what is deterministic. I agree and is why I never addressed it. I fail to see how this is supposed to be shattering for my argument for idealism. We agree the Schroedinger equation is deterministic. As Henry Stapp says:

The Schroedinger equation, like Newton’s and Maxwell’s equations, is deterministic: given the motion of the quantum state for all times prior to the present, the motion for all future time is fixed, insofar as the Schroedinger equation is satisfied for all times. However, the Schroedinger equation fails when an increment of knowledge occurs: then there is a sudden jump to a ‘reduced’ state, which represents the new state of knowledge. This jump involves the well-known element of quantum randomness.3

Of course nature is deterministic, but it is incomplete without our input. This is Henry Stapp’s point, who I quoted in my last reply and ThePolyMath ignored. As I already said in that reply:

Interaction stems back from an observer’s “Heisenberg choice” (to use Henry Stapp’s terminology) which derives a “Dirac Choice” from nature. That is how we can derive the Born Rule and get one actual outcome from the possibilities of the wavefunction. Only the observer has the ability to ‘choose’ between possibilities. Non-conscious measuring devices cannot. As Henry Stapp says, “The observer in quantum theory does more than just read the recordings. He also chooses which question will be put to Nature: which aspect of nature his inquiry will probe. I call this important function of the observer ‘The Heisenberg Choice’, to contrast it with the ‘Dirac Choice’, which is the random choice on the part of Nature that Dirac emphasized.4

 So I fail to see what this is suppose to accomplish in pointing out the evolving wave function by itself is deterministic. No one denies that and neither have I.

Ending at 6:02 – Okay, now I am confused about his position. Prior to this he seemed to argue decoherence theory or from a pragmatic Copenhagen view. In his last video he did that as well, but also implied hidden variables. But now he is advocating quantum bayesism? First thing to note, he seems to be jumping between different ways to avoid idealism, which doesn’t seem reasonable, but instead is an attempt to avoid the most logical explanation. Second, I don’t think quantum bayesism is a good way to save materialism. It seems to be more akin to a scientific anti-realist view of quantum mechanics. Scientific American did an article on this interpretation titled, “Quantum Weirdness? It’s all in your mind: A new version of quantum theory sweeps away the bizarre paradoxes of the microscopic world. The cost? Quantum information exists only in your imagination.5

Now if ThePolyMath is actually an antirealist then it is his right to hold to this view, but I don’t think he has been advocating it up until this point and he doesn’t seem to be elsewhere, which is why I am confused of his position. QBism argues the wave function is just a description of what the observer believes. We are detached from reality and can never know what is taking place and the mathematics is all in our imagination, so to speak. As they say in the Scientific American article:

By interpreting the wave function as personal degrees of belief, it gives precise, mathematical meaning to Bohr’s intuition that “physics concerns what we can say about nature.” And proponents of QBism embrace the notion that until an experiment is performed, its outcome simply does not exist. Before the speed or position of an electron is measured, for example, the electron does not have a speed or a position. The measurement brings the property in question into being. As Fuchs puts it, “With every measurement set by an experimenter’s free will, the world is shaped just a little as it participates in a kind of moment of birth.” In this way, we become active contributors to the ongoing creation of the universe.5

This doesn’t sound like the salvation of materialism (And ThePolyMath fails to demonstrate how this rescues materialism). It sounds like a scientific anti-realist position and more close to subjective idealism. If ThePolyMath wants to hold to QBism, that is his right, but he never demonstrated how this rescues materialism or what the interpretation implies. It seems to lead more towards idealism, which defeats his argument.

It is also a fairly new theory and is unable to explain macroscopic phenomena, so I don’t see it is competing with interpretations based off of standard quantum theory. When I pointed these things out in the information section to ThePolyMath, he simply jumped to Bohmian Mechanics. I’m sorry, but I must ask: are we following the data to where it leads or starting with a presupposition that materialism must be true and then finding anyway to explain the data to save that presupposition? Bohmian Mechanics is incomplete as physicsts have noted.6,7 But also becomes ad hoc due to problems with contextually and over complicates things, causing it to lack parsimony.

However, that is besides the point. This is not how we do science. We don’t start with a metaphysical belief, like materialism, and do everything we can to save it in the face of new evidence. I’ll let the evidence lead me. As Henry Stapp says, “…once the physics assumptions are rectified the philosophy will take care of itself.8 We do not start with a set belief. We start with science and build a philosophical worldview that fits what science has given us. This is why I am idealist now and wasn’t when I started my channel. Scientific evidence converted me.

Ending at 6:48 – Ok he seems to be jumping back to a neo-Copenhagen Interpretation or a hidden variable interpretation now. I wish he would just pick a position to argue from. ThePolyMath is not holding to an interpretation he feels best fits the data, but it simply trying to do anything he can to avoid idealism. When I pointed out the environment cannot choose between different possibilities he responds by quoting something from his last video, where he argues “the wave function doesn’t have a physical reality, it is just a mathematical model that describes the expectation values of particular observables of a quantum particle or system.” To which I reply: why on earth would I disagree with this? Of course it doesn’t have a “physical reality”. Seriously, is he even trying or has he been listening to me up until this point? I argue it is real, just as something nonphysical from which physical reality emerges from upon collapse. So his argument is a straw man. I never said the wave function had a “physical reality.”

He then tries to argue the Neo-Copenhagen view of the wave function, that it is just, “…a mathematical model that describes the expectation values of particular observables…” Well that is fine, but not everyone agrees as he implies. In fact the ThePolyMath fails to explain why this view of the wave function is the only view one can hold to. The problem is ThePolyMath fails to explain why this is the most logical way to view the wave function or even demonstrate that it is not an actual thing (non-physical that is).

Rosenblum and Kuttner in “The Quantum Enigma,” argue the wave function is a real nonphysical thing:

Quantum probability, waviness, on the other hand, is mysteriously objective; it’s the same for everyone. The wavefunction is the whole story: The standard quantum description has no atom in addition to the wavefunction of the atom. As a leading quantum physics text would have it, the term “the wavefunction of the atom” is synonym for “the atom. If someone looked in a particular spot and happened to see the atom there, that looked “collapsed” the spread out waviness of that atom to be wholly at that particular spot.9

If you read the surrounding the context, they keep iterating the point “Observing the particle creates it being there,” “the atom’s widely spread out wave function to be concentrated at that spot on the screen.” Now the reason I bring this up is because later in his video ThePolyMath comes back to this point and tries again to say that no physicists thinks the wave function is a real thing. Which is clearly false. I could name several.

Here is another recent paper which also makes a similar argument: http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.7127

He can call “The Quantum Engima” a book of far-out ideas, but he has yet to demonstrate why this is. If particles have properties prior to measurement and the wave function is only a mathematical model that describes what we can know about the system, then how does that not collapse to scientific anti-realism or hidden variables? And if it is hidden variables then where is the evidence for it? Perhaps I am misunderstanding his position, but he is jumping all over the place making it is impossible to follow or know what his position actually is.

He then goes on to say, “…It is not as if the particle did no have any properties prior to measurement” (and later quotes Stenger who says the same thing, so I address that here as well). As before, I reply – what evidence suggests they do? If hidden variables have been ruled out and the Kochen-Specker shows us the experimental context is essential for the outcome obtained how does this show particles had physical properties prior to measurement? Where is this hidden variable that can give a particle it’s physical properties prior to measurement that he speaks of? As Rosenblum and Kuttner say, “We can never rule out “undetectable things.” But a theory with no testable consequence beyond what is was invented to explain is unscientific”10. If ThePolyMath wants to argue particles can have properties prior to measurement he better get some data to back it up. If he cannot he is being unscientific, because all the data I’ve presented in my blog and videos suggests hidden variables do not exist. He has failed to present evidence for hidden variables so far or explain how particles obtain properties without an observer’s measurement. Until he does that, simply repeating the same assertions in a new video will not change that and I’m sick of repeating myself. So I’ll just ignore his sad attempts to pretend hidden variables exist until he presents evidence.

Ending at 7:13 – ThePolyMath directly lies, literally. There is no other way to put it. He implies I am only quoting some of the early pioneers of quantum mechanics, and we have moved past their ideas so they do not hold any power today. This is incredibly dishonest and he should be ashamed. It is pathetic propaganda. I have quoted early pioneers, but I’ve also quoted recent physics like Paul Davies, John Gribbin, Bruce Rosenblum, Fred Kuttner, Bernard Haisch, Anton Zeilinger, Eaun Squires, Maximilian Scholosshauer, etc. (and Henry Stapp, since he is still alive today and still contributing work). I’ve quoted both early and modern physicists and for him to dishonestly leave out that detail demonstrates his video is a piece of propaganda. Perhaps he is getting desperate at this point and why he feels he has to resort to these types of tactics.

Also why is it wrong to quote the early pioneers of quantum theory? Here is a recent paper Anton Zeilinger co-authored that directly uses a Neils Bohr quote that I have also used – http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.6578v2.pdf

Is ThePolyMath going to whine about modern physicists quoting early pioneers as well, or only when I do it? The point is their ideas have not been kicked to the wayside as ThePolyMath dishonestly implies. Quantum theory is the most accurate scientific model ever developed. The work of the early pioneers still has an impact and is used by physicists today. If ThePolyMath doesn’t realize this, then he once again has demonstrated poor research on his behalf.

Ending at 14:07 – We finally get to my favorite part. He first tries to claim something I already addressed last time. Yes, Zeilinger doesn’t ever say mind or consciousness, and I addressed this in my last post, so I won’t repeat it here. Did ThePolyMath conveniently leave out that this little fact in his video reply? That is adorable… Just repeating an argument I already addressed is not a counter.

He then say the second half of my response is just a hissy fit and to just ignore it. Yes, the old ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’ act. So just ignore the parts where I pointed out his error on the Kochen-Specker theorem, quote mining of Zelinger, his errors surrounding the Leggett-Garg inequality, etc. If that is what he thinks works as a reply, then it only reassures myself that my arguments are sound, to which I owe him thanks.

He ends the video by resorting back to his ways of childish of insults and then quotes Matt Dillhaunty who is trying to argue you can’t test God, because God is not a variable. This is so much of a misunderstanding I don’t even no where to begin. First, I never said there was a God variable, because God is not a natural process that can be studied. If He were, He would not be God. That much should have been obvious to anyone who tries to debate theism. So that is a straw man. Second, you can’t test any metaphysical view of reality. All we can do is study the data in the natural physical word and reach a metaphysical conclusion of what that data means. To just call a metaphysical inference a conjecture doesn’t make it one. The skeptic needs to show why. There is no materialism variable either. Materialists study reality and feel the data infers the philosophical belief of materialism. So shall we kick materialism to the side since it cannot be tested in the same matter as well?

That is all for now. At this point if I get another response I doubt I’ll respond. ThePolyMath has advocating the hidden variables idea for a second time – that a particle can have properties prior to measurement, but he has yet again failed to offer evidence for it. If he can come up with something better I’ll take another crack at it, but I doubt he will. Furthermore, he seems to just be bouncing around from interpretation to interpretation, trying to find anything to save materialism. If that is his tactic it is pointless to converse with him. Apart from acting like a 5th grade bully who insults people he doesn’t agree with, he doesn’t seem to make coherent sense. He claims I misrepresent physics and that is the cause of his anger but he can’t seem to justify it. So what is the real cause of his childish anger? What he seems to actually be angry about is I offer an interpretation and argue it best fits the data. He doesn’t like the presented interpretation because it doesn’t fit with his philosophical beliefs, so he is angry people disagree with him, which again is childish.

Look, I don’t agree with Many Worlds interpretation but I would never say Everettians are misrepresenting science. They just have different metaphysical beliefs, and I argue they are wrong. But to say either of us is misrepresenting science shows us ThePolyMath doesn’t know what that means and just throws out these lines to further is propaganda work.

Since he doesn’t give evidence or an account of which interpretation he is arguing from it is pointless to keep pointing this out. All he has done is demonstrated that if this is the best reply materialists can come up with then he has assured me idealism and the argument from quantum mechanics is pretty strong and cannot be refuted.

Notes:

  1. Joos (2000). Decoherence: Theoretical, Experimental, and Conceptual Problems, Page 14.
  2. Schlosshauer (2005). Decoherence, the measurement problem and interpretation of quantum mechanics, Page 8. http://arxiv.org/abs/quantph/0312059
  3. Stapp (1999) “Attention, intention, and will in quantum physics,” J. Consciousness Studies, Page 17 http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9905054v1.pdf
  4. https://inspiringphilosophy.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/quantum-physics-still-debunks-materialism-refuting-thepolymath/
  5. Von Baeyer, “A New Version of Quantum Theory Sweeps Away the Bizarre Paradoxes of the Microscopic World. The Cost? Quantum Information Exists Only in Your Imagination.” Scientific American June 2013: 49-53. Web.
  6. Schlosshauer (2005). Decoherence, the measurement problem and interpretation of quantum mechanics, Page 31-33. http://arxiv.org/abs/quantph/0312059
  7. Gao (2011). Why the De Broglie-Bohm Theory Goes Astray. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/8956/
  8. Stapp (1999) “Attention, intention, and will in quantum physics,” J. Consciousness Studies, Page 4 http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9905054v1.pdf
  9. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 81.
  10. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 110.
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Refuting and Exposing Atheist “EssenceOfThought”

This is a response to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G82eM_o_u_U

Have you ever had someone try to respond to you, and wondered if they did any research or even tried? Well EssenceofThought (EoT) did just that in a attempting to respond to my video, “Is Christianity Slavery?” Not only did he do poor research, but also he directly took my words out of context to further his propaganda. This will be easy to point out. But even worse he goes on a hateful rant about how terrible God is while actual being very hypocritical. I’ll point this out below.

Several of his comments are more like quick little attacks on Christianity – claims that it is not factually correct. These will be ignored, since I am only interested in defending the thesis, and not getting sidetracked, like he sure does. These among other objections will be saved for later videos.

Ending at 0:56 – Wow! Apparently, semantics is a crime now… EoT is getting upset because I said, “Why would anyone want to be a Christian? Don’t you lose all freedom?” He goes on a rant about how no one has ever accused Christians of losing all freedom. Well, we have our first example of EoT taking me out of context. The very next line, I explain what I mean by that when I say, “Instead of doing what you want, you have to conform to the strict rules God lays out. How can anyone enjoy that?” Obviously when I say we are accused of losing all freedom, I am speaking in this context, and not saying we philosophically lose even the freedom to think.

For example, when physicists argue the universe could of come from nothing, they don’t mean an actual philosophical nothing, yet people accuse them of this. Instead when we listen to the “context” we see what they are talking about. I expected common sense to prevail here, but EoT has proven me wrong. But I guess it is easier for EoT to take things out of context. How else could he spread his propaganda?

Ending at 3:09 – He first claims that he can have positive freedom without Christianity, to which I reply, fair enough. I never claimed that no one will ever think they can find positive freedom for themselves outside of Christ. Many people feel they do, and as a Christian it is not my job to force the idea down their throats that they are wrong. All I can do is present the Gospel. My entire video is written from perspective of a Christian, and where we use our positive freedom. It is answering a charge against Christianity – not attacking secularism.

‪Second, he says, “Positive Liberty only works where the answer or meaning is not set by another or intrinsically existent.” Well I am not sure if he read Berlin, but that is not what Berlin defines it as. It is fine if he wants to redefine terms for himself, but that just shows you he is no longer addressing my video, as that is not how the terms were defined. Just claiming my definition is wrong and redefining terms based on how he think they should be is not a rebuttal, it is a sad attempt to make things up on a whim, which is laughable. I went of what Berlin defines positive freedom as. He writes about positive and negative freedom as:

The consequences of distinguishing between two selves will become even clearer if one considers the two major forms which the desire to be self-directed – directed by one’s ‘true’ self – has historically taken: the first, that of self-abnegation in order to attain independence; the second, that of self-realisation, or total self-identification with a specific principle or ideal in order to attain the selfsame end.1

The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

 Positive liberty is the possibility of acting — or the fact of acting — in such a way as to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes… One might say that while on the first view liberty is simply about how many doors are open to the agent, on the second view it is more about going through the right doors for the right reasons.2

So I wonder if he actually researched this or just made up his own definition on the whim to fit what he thought it should be, instead of how it is actually understood.

On a side note, I agree with Berlin that a political tyrant should not be setting positive freedom for their people. In fact, Berlin was mainly writing about freedom in regards to political philosophy, which is why I put this disclaimer in the description, “*Disclaimer – Berlin was mainly writing about political philosophy and positive and negative freedom in political thought. However, from reading his work we can easily see how his definitions of different types of freedom can transcend political philosophy and explain other areas of life and thought.”

Ending at 4:28 – He really shows he has not read Berlin and has done poor research. He claims that I have taxed on my own “bull crap” in explaining what positive freedom does for us in liberating us from less rational desires. In actuality, this is what Berlin says about negative freedom. I merely took it from him, “… the pursuit of immediate pleasures, my ’empirical’ or ‘heteronomous’ self, swept by every gust of desire and passion, needing to be rigidly disciplined if it is ever to rise to the full height of its ‘real’ nature.3 This should be a lesson for all. Do not rush into things without research. It will only hinder your argument. EoT has claimed that I’ve tacked it on, but if he read Berlin’s paper, he would see that that is not the case. This should be embarrassing for him and evidence he doesn’t research well.

Ending at 5:20 – Now he is getting nit-picky. He attacks an example I gave of someone trying to find positive freedom in being a businessman, and argues it will lead to insufficient meaning in life. Now why on earth would I disagree with that? The example was meant to show a contrast of how different people try to seek a purpose. Of course, as a Christian I am going to agree with EoT that being a businessman is not going to give someone true fulfillment. Why even bother bringing this up? Did he listen to what I said? The now suggest he barely paid attention.

Ending at 7:36 – EoT points out several people like JK Rowling, didn’t need to use positive freedom in a career… And so what? Where did I say that all people try to find positive freedom through a career? He clearly didn’t pay attention, and only heard what he wanted to hear. I said, “If you build your life on a career…” Obviously, I never said that all people will. I was merely pointing out, what he already agreed with, that building your life on a career is not a smart decision. However, he implied that I did, which shows a lack of intellectual honesty or an inability to pay attention.

Ending at 8:30 – Here we go with the lies… EoT says, “Who are you to tell people what they can and cannot feel fulfillment on?” But if he clearly listened I said, “But what Christians come to find is trying to earn this purpose….” I never said that other people cannot try other means. I said that this is how Christians look at it. Instead of taking me at my word, EoT has lied and said that I’ve claimed something that I’ve never actually claimed. I am merely arguing from what the Christian feels – not how others feel. EoT clearly didn’t paying attention, and just heard what he wants to hear. By the way, he should never of said this line and I’ll explain why further down.

Ending at 10:30 – Same misconception as before. I never said that other people do not feel that they cannot find positive freedom in another person, I said, “what Christians come to find is that trying to earn this purpose will never work.” He also accuses me of thinking that differences in people are errors, which I never said. I argued that people are imperfect – which he agreed with. No where did I say that this is terrible, or that differences in appearance (as he implied) is horrid. He continues his rampage of attacks on arguments I never made. What a nice work of propaganda. The dishonesty is unbelievable.

Ending at 10:45 – He says, “Millions of non-believers fully disagree.” Well obviously… That is why they are non-believers. Again, I am speaking of what Christians feel. EoT, question for you, did you actually listen to the video?

Ending at 11:56 – EoT claims that to be a Christian means that there are strings attached, and claims that the video clips I used of Christians worshipping God shows this. And this only demonstrates a lack of understanding Christian theology. Paul clearly says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace and not works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” When we Christians worship Jesus, we do it out of love, not obligation. A husband doesn’t do things for his wife out of obligation, but out of love. Just showing pictures of Christians worshipping doesn’t mean that we are obligated to do so, we want to. I love worshipping my savior.

Ending at 12:28 – Atheists always tell me how much they hate it when Christians argue from personal testimony, because it is not convincing. Well the same goes for an atheist’s personal testimony. EoT claiming that ‘he is a living witness to being fulfilled without Christ’ is about as convincing as a Muslim’s personal testimony would be for him. If he assures himself he doesn’t need Christ, then I am not going to force it down his throat, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with him. I believe he thinks he is satisfied – just like he believes the same of me. Why would he try to argue from his personal testimony? Does he think it will work? Apparently arguing from your personal experiences is okay if you are an atheist.

Ending at 13:25 – EoT continues his straw man definition that positive freedom must be a self-mastered or ascribed one. Now I’ve already quoted the experts above to show that this is not how it was defined, so this continues to be a straw man, or redefining terms to fit his needs, instead of how my video defined them. Just redefining positive freedom from what it is in my video is not a rebuttal. Perhaps I should just redefine atheism as believing the earth is a goddess, and then attack that. I wonder if EoT would like that?

Ending at 14:02 – His lies continue. Now he claims that I said that God seeks positive freedom in us. This is laughable and I would like to ask him where I claimed this. No where did I say this, so he is directly lying and should be ashamed. The Bible most definitely doesn’t say God needs us. This is one of the big reasons I call his video a piece of propaganda. All he is doing is making things up that I never said or that Christians have never claimed.

Ending at 16:21 – A lot of problems in this section. He claims I have entered deep water, so I’ll show him how well I can swim and fight off monsters. He is arguing that Christians really aren’t free and happy from his personal testimony. Once again, this is not convincing. He should know better than to tell me what I am supposed to think. Remember earlier when he said, “Who are you to tell people what they can and cannot feel fulfillment on?” Well then… Let me say back to EoT, “Who are you to tell Christians what they can and cannot feel fulfillment in?” The mentality of EoT is quite simple: Christians cannot tell others how to find fulfillment but he sure as hell can. It is apparent his mentality is ‘do as I say not as I do,’ which is hypocrisy at it’s finest. He doesn’t want us to say we can find fulfillment in Christ, but he sure as hell will turn around and tell us where we can and cannot find fulfillment, and that is hypocrisy. But it gets much worse.

He then claims that Christianity takes all the value out humanity (which humanism restores), because of original sin. This is clearly wrong, as the Bible teaches we are highly valued by God, as we were created in His image (Genesis 1:26), that we are his friends (John 15:15), and that He loves us so much that He came into this world to die for us (Romans 5:8). Having sin doesn’t mean that God does not value us – especially if God willingly came to freely give salvation through His sacrifice.

Let’s compare this to humanism. Lets say we are witnessing to an impoverished third-world child. Tell him the Christian message: that he was created in the image of the living God of the entire universe, and God came to earth to sacrifice Himself to freely offer him eternal life out of His love. Then tell him the humanist message: that we humans came about by accident, and at best they will live about 70 years and die. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything gone. Everything is meaningless and value is purely subjective. CS Lewis says:

…a Christian and a non-Christian may both wish to do good to their fellow men. The one believes that men are going to live for ever, that they were created by God and so built that they can find their true and lasting happiness only by being united to God, that they have gone badly off the rails, and that obedient faith in Christ is the only way back. The other believes that men are an accidental result of the blind workings of matter, that they started as mere animals and have more or less steadily improved, that they are going to live for about seventy years, that their happiness is fully attainable by good social services and political organizations, and that everything else (e.g., vivisection, birth-control, the judicial system, education) is to be judged to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ simply in so far as it helps or hinders that kind of ‘happiness’.4

Please answer me: which gives humans more value? This is why atheist Matthew Paris wrote an article titled, “As an atheist I truly believe Africa needs God.” He writes:, “In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good… Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.5″ He closes the article by saying:

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted. And I’m afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.5

EoT then goes on to saying Christianity is akin to being abused, and this is just plain wrong. Abusers tend to not sacrifice themselves for their victims, and neither do they usually give us the option to follow them or go our own way. Christianity couldn’t be further from abuse. Even the atheist philosopher Albert Camus recognizes this:

 [Christ] the god-man suffers too, with patience. Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies. The night on Golgotha is so important in the history of man only because, in its shadows, the divinity ostensibly abandoned its traditional privilege, lived through to the end, despair included, the agony of death. Thus is explained the ‘Lama sabachthani’ and the frightful doubt of Christ in agony.6

People who abuse do not make sacrifices for their victim, and Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice. How can I not see unconditional love in that?

But here is the worse part. He claims God is akin to a domestic abuser because He devalues us and offers Himself as the only salvation. Now I just argued that is not the case, but look at how EoT handles his response. He spends an entire video dishonestly ridiculing my intelligence and calls me a moron in my comments section:

EOT being verbally abusive

 

He says I am a victim and he offers his ways and his humanistic believes as the salvation. So he tries to devalue me by being verbally abusive and then says he is only trying to help and save me, which is exactly what he says abusive people do to their victims. The hypocrisy is astounding. Perhaps EoT’s view of God is just a psychological projection? It is clearly false and he does exactly what he claims God does to us.

I do fell sorry for the guy in that he was abused. I, myself, had a childhood of being ridiculed and bullied by those who claimed to be Christians, so I can understand what it is like to be a victim, but Christ is nothing like that. He only has given us value and love. But if EoT seriously wants to help people, then trying to verbally abuse theists with insults and ridicule, while offering his own ideas as salvation is doing exactly what he claims is wrong. It is hypocrisy at its finest and it does nothing to liberate us. It only does as the French theologian Henri de Lubac said it would: in its attempts to liberate man by abolishing God, atheistic humanism results solely in chaining man to the whims of the powerful.

So there you have it. EoT just redefines positive freedom, claims that I don’t know what it is, misconstrues Christianity, and directly lies about things I’ve said. If he wants to attempt to respond to someone, he should respond to what they said – not a warped view. His response is filled with lies, hypocrisy, emotion filled attacks, and is hardly a worthy response. If he continues (like he claimed he would) and responds to this, then I plan on just ignoring it. He clearly is not interested in having a conversation, but doing whatever it takes to be right, even the truth won’t get in his way. That is not intellectually honest, that is propaganda.

 

Fin

 

 

 

Notes:

1. Isaiah Berlin (1958) Two Concepts of Liberty, Page 10

2. Ian Carter (2012) Postive and Negative Liberty, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberty-positive-negative/#TwoConLib

3. Isaiah Berlin (1958) Two Concepts of Liberty, Page 9

4. CS Lewis Man or Rabbit?, Page 25

5. Matthew Parris (2009) As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God: http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/3502-matthew-parris-as-an-atheist-i-truly-believe-africa-needs-god

6. Gillimard (1965) Essais, Page 444. Translated and quoted by Bruce Ward in “Prometheus of Cain? Alvert Camus’s Account of the Western Quest for Justice,” Faith and Philosophy (April 1991): 213

The Magical Quantum Post – A Response to Martymer81

Video this is a response to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WusCyD_eTc

So Martymer81, a popular youtube atheist who responds to theists, but who I admire for his attacks on pseudoscientific ideas, has decided to respond to my video Quantum physics debunks Materialism. For the most part he doesn’t come across as rude or arrogant, even though at specific times it seems that way. But he says he’ll try not to be, so I can look past those specific times. However, his response seemed to attack my points by mischaracterizing them. Raatz also did a video response and noted a lot of the same ideas as I did:

So lets dive in and look at his points:

Ending at 2:30 his first point is nit-picky and I hardly see why it needed to be pointed out. I agree with that and don’t see how it contradicted my definition of realism. I agree that realism would be a system that exists in a distinct state even if it is not observed. I did say in my video that realism is the idea that “physical reality exist independent of observers.” I don’t see how different these are, as I go on throughout the video to pretty much define realism as this. Minor point though.

Ending at 3:36 – Unfortunately, he starts out directly misunderstanding what I am saying in my video. He claims that I say observation brings the entire system into existence. But that is not what I said. Of course something exists prior to observation. We would argue that would be information. What I said (and he put on the screen) was, “The conclusion was drawn that the very act of observing caused the wave function to collapse and create the existence of matter either in the state of particles or as a wave.” I would like to ask him where I said observation creates the whole system, because I clearly said it only “creates the existence of matter either in the state of particles or as a wave.” If he can’t listen to what I actually said, and reword things, then he shouldn’t be trying to criticize my video. This is an odd mistake since he flashed my words on the screen and then attacked something I never said.

Raatz and I are pointing out that quantum states do not exist as particles or waves prior to measurement. The state of the system is information, and appearance of particles comes about from that system depending on what we choose to measure. Didn’t he notice the quotes that followed this section from Rosenblum and Kuttner?

“The waviness in a region is the probability of finding the object in a particular place. We must be careful: The waviness is not the probability of the object being in a particular place. There is a crucial difference here! The object was not there before you found it there.1

Here is another from Heisenberg, “. . . the atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.2

Ending at 4:19 – Here we go… Marty accuses me of misunderstanding what the wavefunction is, and then takes it to be that of the neo-copenhagenist understanding. On the screen he flashes this, “A wave function tells us the probability of finding the system in a particular state.” This is similar to what Dirac advanced, that the wavefunction just represents our available knowledge of the system, not an ontological claim. Well this is useful in the Copenhagen interpretation for practical usage. But, if I misunderstood the Schrodinger equation as it pertains to the orthodox interpretation or quantum information theory, then perhaps Rosenblum and Kuttner did as well. Allow me to read what they say:

“Quantum probability, waviness, on the other hand, is mysteriously objective; it’s the same for everyone. The wavefunction is the whole story: The standard quantum description has no atom in addition to the wavefunction of the atom. As a leading quantum physics text would have it, the term “the wavefunction of the atom” is synonym for “the atom. If someone looked in a particular spot and happened to see the atom there, that looked “collapsed” the spread out waviness of that atom to be wholly at that particular spot.3

If you read the surrounding the context, they keep iterating the point “Observing the particle creates it being there,” “the atom’s widely spread out wavefunction to be concentrated at that spot on the screen.” All I do is borrow the same language they used for my video. People sometimes ask me why I fill my videos with quotes from experts. Well the answer is simple: if skeptics are going to say I am wrong on a point, then you are going to say the physicists and philosophers are wrong as well. All I do is stand on their shoulders. Also, we are not saying the wavefunction is that of a physical objection like wave in space-time, but information prior space-time.

Ending at 6:34 – It seems all he is doing is just saying the same thing as I am in different words. Raatz said this in his video as well. I find nothing wrong with this section and wonder where he think I disagree. He rightly points out that Bell’s inequality shows we can only have a theory that either violates locality or have hidden variables. What I said was “If this inequality was shown to be false then the local hidden variable theories would be debunked…” So the idea of having both locality and realism (local realism) would be false. No where do I disagree with him on this as I said, “local hidden variable theories.”

Ending at 7:10 – Here he attacks the idealist understanding of the violation of Bell’s inequality. He says it is wrong to say that only from the violation of Bell inequality we can infer that observation defines the properties particles have. Now I agree, as you can avoid it through loopholes, which were closed later. One could avoid that (as John Bell did) with violating relativity and using faster than speed of light signals. However, the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that last bit of freedom.

Remember, I am going off the argument that the idealistic view is still the best understanding of this. So of course I will conclude observation is what is giving particles their properties instead of non-local hidden variables or other metaphysical interpretations, which I would argue are ad hoc and suffer problems from later experiments that I get to in the next section of my video.

Ending at 8:39 – Now he is challenging the claim that the observer needs to be conscious. But he never actually explains why this is wrong, he just says it is wrong and moves on. Well if that is his argument I guess there is not much to point other than he doesn’t have one. I was absolutely sure one was going to follow and I was ready to respond with failures of decoherence, employing von Neumann’s work, etc. But unfortunately he didn’t offer an argument, so there is nothing more that needs to be said and all I’ll note is this will be addressed in a later video called “The Measurement Problem.” Expect it this August. In actuality all interaction constitutes as measurement but that doesn’t change the implications of the von Neumann chain and the need for a mechanism to derive the Born Rule. Decoherence/interaction cannot do this. But again, this will be explained in my August video.

Ending at 10:16 – Marty makes the point that quantum effects disappear in macro objects, but I fail to see why this matters or where I disagree. The basic point I am trying to make here is that the macro-world is emergent from the quantum world. So the universe isn’t built by tiny particles that are fundamental and independent existing objects. The macro-world is an emergent phenomenon of an underlying reality. Of course the further in size you go up the smaller the probability spread gets and eventually converges to a classical limit. But this doesn’t mean the macro-world is a separate world with a different ontology, so if one tries to posit that they run into issues.

Second, on a bit of a side note, Anton Zeilinger has said that the effects of quantum mechanics may go quite far. In fact they may go further than we expect, but will have to wait and see. We have already demonstrated quantum effects with objects big enough to be seen by the naked eye:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

http://www.wired.com/2009/09/quantum-entanglement/

Ending at 10:59 – Now, we get to the core of Marty’s position. He argues for the Many World Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, and argues that there is no interpretation of QM that makes fewer assumptions than MWI. Well, I can hardly agree, as I can point out that idealism posits much less, namely, only what we know to exist. Which is that consciousness exists (no one can deny that) and that there is a reality we experience and participate in. It is pretty simple, as it doesn’t need to posit extra substances from which the information comes from.

If we just look at the double slit experiment, what it seems to show us is that we decide how to measure the particle and therefore decide which properties they have, whether it is wave-like or particle-like. The 2011 confirmation of the Kochen-Specker theorem, and other recent experiments show us that what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision of what to measure. So we cannot discount the input of the observer.

With that being said, all this idealist interpretation says is that this what reality is, namely information and consciousness (mind). Minds select one possibility to be actual from the only ‘information reality’ we know to exist. All you need to accept is that we exist and are conscious, and there is one reality, which are mathematical possibilities of what we could experience. Why posit these other possibilities are physically, real, existing worlds that we could never detect or know to exist, when it is simpler to say they exist as information, which is how we know them to be in the mathematics?

Why would it be more parsimonious to argue that the particle really has both sets of properties: one in our world and another in an undetectable world, and we are just measuring to find out which world we are in? The idealistic view is really just the philosophical implications of the pragmatic Copenhagen view. The Copenhagen interpretation was formulated as the most practical way to handle quantum mechanics. If the MWI is far simpler, then why didn’t the founders of quantum theory posit that to begin with? Instead they formulated the most practical way of handing it. All idealists like myself say, is that this practical solution is metaphysically true, and there is no need to posit anything else.

Also quick note, I never said the MWI posits one extra entity per world. I was referring to turning the countless abstract possibilities into a real thing. Minor point though.

With recent experiments like the confirmation of the Kochen-Specker, MWI advocates cannot deny the input of the observer is needed to play a role, so they have to assume some sort of superdeterminism, basically saying all our decisions in this ‘one world of many’ are somehow predetermined. Although it appears we are choosing the outcome, we are really not, and we are really just conforming to what is already set in this world.

However, that makes far more assumptions. Why not just agree that we are affecting reality as it appears in the experiments? Why add the assumption that this selection is an illusion? Why posit realism and then an ensemble of worlds we can never detect to save realism, instead of simply saying they are what we know them as, which is information? Why posit an interpretation that cannot be falsified? Where as, it is easy to falsify the idealistic view scientifically, simply with hidden variables, show that matter can act independently. It seems far more parsimonious.

Furthermore, idealism can go beyond collapse and explain other elements of reality, which Brian Whitworth explains and I addressed in my video, “Digital Physics Argument for God’s Existence.4” The MWI is only employed to explain collapse. It is incapable of explaining other areas of reality, unlike idealism. So if one employs it, then they still have to make extra assumptions to explain these other aspects of reality, which idealism has no problem explaining since it is akin to Whitworth’s virtual reality theory. I hardly see why Marty could say that the MWI can explain more with less.

The irony of all this is that he admits that none of this make sense when he says at 11:30, “Hey, it doesn’t have to make sense, just shut up and do the math.” If that is his mentality, then perhaps he really doesn’t have much faith in MWI, and I don’t blame him for that if it is true. I’d invite him to come over to idealism, where it can make sense. If he doesn’t want to take my word for it, then listen to an atheist:

Now quickly I want to address his assumptions he says we make:

  1. That wave functions are “real things”.

– Yes, and as I have described above it is not an actual wave in space-time but non-local information outside of space-time.

  1. That “real things” don’t exist, yet wave functions do.

-This is false, and I addressed in the beginning.

  1. That observation causes wave function collapse.
  2. …but only of the observer is conscious.

– Yes, and I gave plenty of evidence for why this must be so in my video and I am planning another one soon called “The Measurement Problem.”

  1. That consciousness is fundamental to reality.

– Yes, and basically, if idealism is true and matter is emergent I don’t see why this would be an extra assumption. It would be a consequence of monistic idealism.

Ending at 11:26 – He has made another odd mistake. I am not arguing the Copenhagen Interpretation, as that is just a pragmatic interpretation. I am arguing an idealistic view, based on von Neumann (orthodox) and Quantum Information Theory.

Ending at 11:45 – Well this is straw man. He makes the same remark about the wavefunction, which I addressed earlier, but then accuses me of arguing that no real objects exist. Where did I say there are no real objects? Clearly I would argue that minds exists and information exists. I didn’t say “no things” exist… I argue that matter doesn’t exist independent or fundamentally. It is an emergent illusion of underlying information. Even at that it still exists, just not how realist or materialists argue it does, but as an emergent illusion. So I never said real object do not exist.

Ending at 12:18 – Here we go, with the old contingency argument. Marty sadly decided to raise, what I honestly feel is the worst objection to theism: If God created reality who created God? This has been addressed so many times (even by atheist philosophers like Michael Ruse and Nicolas Everitt) that I can’t believe he would even try it. If he has never heard of the response to this, then allow me to sum it up for him.

God is defined as a necessary being, which basically means uncaused and eternal. Philosophers have pointed out for centuries that since contingent things exist, like us, our existence can only be explained by appealing to external causes. However, there has to be a first cause, an unmoved mover, which started this chain to begin with. Whatever this is, it would be necessary and not needing to be created. Now, I argued this more in-depth in my video, “The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument5“, but basically, when theists say that God is the first mover or creator, we are saying He is necessary and that would entail He doesn’t need a cause. He simply is. Just asking who created God is not a good argument and is in fact meaningless. Even Michael Ruse, in responding to Dawkins points out that this is a terrible objection:

Look at it this way, David Hume said the universe was necessary. If you would have gone to David Hume and tried to refute his theory that the universe was uncaused, by asking if the universe is the explanation for our existence then what created the universe, he would have simply replied he stated that universe is necessary and therefore didn’t need a creator. So this objection is meaningless. Sadly, I may need to do a video pointing this simple fact out because I keep hearing it…

12:35 – Marty tries to argue that the MWI is more parsimonious because we know one reality exists, so why couldn’t more exist? My question is: how does that follow that there are trillions and trillions more? We know one exists… how does that infer that there can be more? Just because something is, that doesn’t mean there ought to be more of them. I don’t see how that logically follows. This is like arguing with people who believe we have been visited by aliens, who have tried an argument on me, “life exists on this planet so there must be life on other planets.” Well that is fallacious to assume based on that reasoning. Perhaps there are good reasons to believe in aliens, but life on this planet doesn’t mean there is on others though. This argument he gives for the MWI commits his same error. I address the MWI more in-depth further above, but I just wanted to note here, the existence of our reality is in no way evidence of other worlds. It is only proof that our reality exists. To infer that there are others just from knowing ours exists is fallacious.

Next, all he does is presuppose physcialism, which would be question begging. I didn’t see any argument that matter produces mind, just the assumption. I argued throughout my video that it is mind from which the illusion of matter emerges based on the scientific evidence. To say that we cannot theorize a mind without a brain is question begging, in that it assumes physcialism from the start. I would argue we cannot experience matter without a mind. So Marty needs to argue that matter produces mind, not just assume it.

14:04 – I am not sure where he got this, but he accuses me of creating a false dichotomy. However, I didn’t create a false dichotomy. I didn’t say we pick one or the other: materialism or idealism. I said that science has buried materialism and inferred theism. That is not a false dichotomy. That is claiming that science has ruled out materialism and is favoring another view. So this is, once again, a mischaracterization. No where do I say we can pick only one of these two. My argument is that materialism is scientifically falsified and theism is the best inference. This obviously doesn’t rule out something like agnosticism.

He ends by saying that I resort to “magic’ to explain my interpretation. Well, he can claim “magic” all he wants like this is some sort of theistic witch hunt and all of us are the same, but I clearly don’t need to invoke ad hoc reasoning to respond. Furthermore, if I am going to also throw out cheap shots as well, then the MWI is just magic. How do these several worlds exist, never interact, and where did they come from? Magic? Or I could be nice and call it a misleading metaphysical interpretation. Calling it “magic” is not an argument, it is resorting to caricatures. If Marty wants to show that people don’t know what they are talking about, then he should rest primarily on arguments, not caricaturing.

Other than that I hope Marty continues to do videos because some of them I rather enjoy, even if I don’t fully agree with him.

 

 

 

Notes:

 

  1. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 81
  2. Werner Heisenberg (1958) Physics and Philosophy, Page 160
  3. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 83
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Xsp4FRgas
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ULF5WixMM

Quantum Physics Still Debunks Materialism – Refuting thePolyMath

Response to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuEHe_BK-oI

When a video starts out with a bunch of name calling, you know the video doesn’t have good arguments. The reason is because one has to bolster his arguments by trying to throw out a bunch of insults in an attempt to give the illusion that one’s opponents are beneath him. Calling someone a ‘fringe quack’ is not an argument. There was a time when the big bang was thought to be quackery, as well as the need for doctors to wash their hands. You need arguments and evidence to show why a theory is wrong, but name-calling doesn’t work. This seems to be the new tactic of some angry new atheists: just call quantum mechanics ‘woo woo’ and move on. It’s really hysterical when we cite scientific studies, and they come back with-name calling. ThePolymath decided to do an hour-long response to my video, “Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism” and that was pretty much what he did. There was little to no evidence given for why the video was wrong, and he didn’t even address many of my points. Here, I’m going to respond to his points (if you can call them that), and show how he failed in many several ways to debunk the video, or to give evidence of hidden variables, giving realism a leg to stand on. Perhaps next time, he should spend more time doing research instead of wasting time figuring out fun ways to insult someone he disagrees with.

Ending at 8:55 – He starts by getting technical and saying that when it comes to observation, “As a matter of physics, it cannot be a human observer, as our eyes are not sensitive enough to see the low intensity light that is frequently dealt with in these types of experiments.” That I agree. I thought it would have been obvious that we are not actually seeing subatomic particles, which is why in my original video I only say an observer makes measurement or an observation, never that we are ‘seeing’ particles. This technicality is hardly a problem for idealism and I’ll explain more in a moment with the decoherence project and the von Neumann chain, as you still need an observer to begin with.

But first, ending at 9:17 – He seems to accuse me of endorsing the pseudoscience documentary “What the Bleep do we know” by Fred Allen Wolf. But do I ever refer to Fred Allen Wolf or cite him in my original video? No, because he does take things too far. I merely use graphics from a documentary to explain the double slit experiment. I never endorse his work, nor do I say that I agree with him. This shows desperation if you have to get upset over the graphic choices I used, and jump to the conclusion that this means I endorse the documentary. Ironically, ThePolymath also uses graphics from the same documentary later in his video, so I guess he must support Wolf… In fact by his own reasoning he does agree with Fred Allen Wolfe.

Ending at 15:27 – Now as expected Polymath tries the interaction/decoherence argument, that observers are not needed to cause collapse to one definite state. But this has been dealt with so many times now. When two photons interact they will cause collapse, but that is only because one is connected back to conscious observer, through what is known as a von Neumann chain.1 When one photon is measured by another they entangle, which is what Bohr pointed out mathematically years ago. If one particle measures another it inherits part of it wave function, so to speak, and that particle (which is supposed to be measuring) cannot be fully explained without what it is measuring. So you need another measuring device to collapse that (initial measuring) particle to a definite state and so on and so on. This creates a chain of material objects in a superposition of measuring. Since quantum laws are what truly describe all material things some other particle or measuring apparatus always need to collapse the next one so it can also measure. You keep going back until you get to something non-local, outside the system, which escapes this chain by not being described by physical quantum laws, which is a conscious observer. And the observer cannot be fully described by quantum theory. I like the way the physicists Stephen Barr explains this:

             The surprising claim, however, is that this cannot be done. The observer is not totally describable by physics… If we could describe by the mathematics of quantum theory everything that happened in a measurement from beginning to end-that is, even up to the point where a definite outcome was obtained by the observer- then the mathematics would have to tell us what that definite outcome was. But this cannot be, for the mathematics of quantum theory will generally yield only probabilities. The actual definite result of the observation cannot emerge from the quantum calculation. And that says that something about the process of observation- and something about the observer- eludes the physical description.2

On top of that advocates of the decoherence project (that interaction will cause collapse without the conscious observer) admit this cannot fully explain why there is a collapse to one definite state and derive the Born Rule. E. Joos says, “Does decoherence solve the measurement problem? Clearly not. What decoherence tells us, is that certain objects appear classical when they are observed. But what is an observation? At some stage, we still have to apply the usual probability rules of quantum theory.”3 G. Bacciagaluppi  says, “Claims that simultaneously the measurement problem is real [and] decoherence solves it are confused at best.4

‪See more in this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0312059

Why would they say this? Well as, G. Grübl demonstrates in “The quantum measurement problem enhanced,” initial state environmental effects cannot explain the occurrence of definite experimental outcomes. The environment lacks the ability to choose between the possibilities in the wavefunction and choose one to be actual. Plus the environment is also described by the same quantum laws and has the same results. Thus is why Stephen Adler says “Decoherence, in the absence of a detailed theory showing that it leads to stochastic outcomes with the correct properties, has yet to achieve this status.”5 Even in “Preferred states, predictability, classicality and the environment-induced decoherence” Zurek refers to the observer being involved in the ultimate collapse.6

Interaction stems back from an observer’s ability to make “Heisenberg choice” (to use Henry Stapp’s terminology), which derives a “Dirac Choice” back from nature. That is how we can derive the Born Rule and get one actual outcome from the possibilities of the wavefunction. Only the observer has the ability to ‘choose’ (give a Heisenberg choice) between possibilities. Non-conscious measuring devices cannot. As Henry Stapp says:

 The observer in quantum theory does more than just read the recordings. He also chooses which question will be put to Nature: which aspect of nature his inquiry will probe. I call this important function of the observer ‘The Heisenberg Choice’, to contrast it with the ‘Dirac Choice’, which is the random choice on the part of Nature that Dirac emphasized.7

Niels Bohr said in reply to Einstein once said:

“To my mind, there is no other alternative than to admit that, in this field of experience, we are dealing with individual phenomena and that our possibilities of handling the measuring instruments allow us only to make a choice between the different complementary types of phenomena we want to study.”8 

Ending at 16:21- Here is tries to claim particles actually have properties prior to measurement. And of course, he provides no evidence for this hidden variable, or why we can choose what properties a particle has, as shown by the double slit experiment. How does the particle know what we are going to pick so it can conform to that?

He continues with this theme even though he provides no evidence, he just assume he is right. The problem is, in absence of observation, all we can speak of in regards to a photon is its wavefunction, which is a wave of possibilities rather than a real thing. As Niels Bohr said, “No elementary phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is a registered phenomenon.”9

As they point out in book, ‘The Quantum Enigma’, “Quantum probability is not the probability of where the atom is. It’s the objective probability of where you or anybody, will find it. The atom wasn’t someplace until it was observed to be there.”10

As Heisenberg said years ago: “. . . the atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.”11 Unless there is evidence of some hidden variable, then how can someone even suggest that a particle has its properties prior to measurement? ThePolyMath doesn’t seem to care or provide any evidence for hidden variables.

But at 21:43 – He tries to quote Victor Stenger to say that particles have properties prior to measurement. However, Stenger never actually explains why this is so. He goes on for several minutes and concludes, “This whole thing is a total misunderstanding.” Okay… Why? Can skeptics not back up this claim, or it is easier to pretend it already has been?

You can call it what you like, but that doesn’t make it true. This would be as bad as if my argument was: “Idealism is true because Amit Goswami says so.” ThePolyMath fallaciously thinks he can just appeal to the opinion of Stenger and be done with it. It’s truly adorable.

Now, lets be clear before we move on. I am not attacking the use of referring to an expert here. That is fine. Quotes are a good way to provide support for your argument, but the key is using them to support an argument, not just saying “person X” disagrees with you, therefore you are wrong. It would have been fine if he gave an argument for hidden variables then quoted Stenger, or even vice-verse. But just relying on the beliefs of one physicist is not an argument.

Ending at 30:10 – He tries to say Haisch doesn’t support an idealist picture of reality, which is laughable! I don’t think he has read much of him. I’d recommend his book “The God Theory” even though I don’t entirely agree with his theology. But to say that astrophysicist Bernard Haisch doesn’t support the idea that mind is fundamental shows very poor research.

He also continues to claim that particles really have properties prior to measurement, but doesn’t really say how or why. In 1982, the violation of Bell’s inequality demonstrated that particles can obtain their properties instantly over a great distance, when the other entangled particle is measured by an observer. So what causes this if not the observer? Why does it just appear we can decide what properties a particle has, and cause non-local effects instantly? Why does observation just appear to collapse the wavefunction to a definite state every time, and even so non-locally?

John Bell theorized that maybe the particles can signal faster than the speed of light. This is what he advocated in his interview in “The Ghost in the Atom.” But the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that possibility and rules out all non-local hidden variables.12 Observation instantly defines what properties a particle has and if you assume they had properties before we measured them, then you need evidence, because right now there is none which is why realism is dead, and materialism dies with it.

Ending at 30:16 – ThePolymath tries an ad hominem against Haisch here, which shows his desperation. Because Haisch believes some crazy stuff (in his view), he must be wrong about the violation of Leggett’s inequality. So how does that follow? To refute an argument you need evidence, not character assassination. ThePolymath fails to give any. Instead, he just moves on thinking he did his job.

Imagine if I said Dawkins is wrong on his philosophy because he is just a biologist and an atheist… That is pretty much what ThePolyMath does here. In my original video I merely use a video clip of Haisch talking about the 2007 violation of Leggett’s inequality, who is citing “The New Scientist magazine.” Nowhere did I say that I fully agree with Him; just that Leggett’s inequality was violated, and any testable hidden variable has been ruled out.

Ending at 32:37 – Things start to get interesting now. ThePolyMath becomes vague and obscure in his choice of words. He admits something interesting, which is that the knowledge of the properties a particle has, is inaccessible to us. Right! And so we must then ask why it appears that my choice of how to measure gives it a definite position. Are they really there when we don’t measure? If so, why can’t we find hidden variables showing that matter is not dependent on how we choose to measure?

Ending at 34:11 – He continues to remain vague and says something that I could not agree more with at this point. He directly says, “the system itself is information.” Why would this challenge idealism? I doubt he would agree with this claim metaphysically, but he never clarifies. We idealists would completely agree because all reality is information. I also love some of the other things he says before this, like “…in this sense the experimenter is preparing the wavefunction with an initial condition. It can be said that the “which path’ information of any quantum mechanical experiment reduces the state vector, simply because the preparation of the system at any point in time of observation is such that an amount of information which would tell you one of the many eigenstates or paths of the superposition is known to be the definite state or path.” So basically the observer prepares the wavefunction to yield one definite state, which is something I completely agree with. The observer chooses one possibility from the wave function to be actual. How is this challenging what I already said in my original video?

Also love how he says “in principle” we could of measured something different and obtained some other result, and I agree. This is actually the same thing taught in “The Quantum Enigma.” In principle we could of chosen a different possibility to be actual. How does any of this show particles have defined properties before we choose to measure them?

Ending at 36:02 – I almost laughed out loud at this point. Things really start to go down hill now (if they weren’t there already). In my original video I quote Anton Zeilinger talking about the implications of the Kochen-Specker theorem. That our notion of reality depends on our earlier decision of what to measure, which destroys the idea that matter acts independent of us. ThePolyMath says he agrees. Well, if he accepts that our notion of reality now depends on our earlier decision of what to measure, then he agrees that there are no hidden variable acting independent of us, which refutes his opinion (I can’t call it an argument because there was no evidence for it) he gave throughout the first half of a video: that measurement doesn’t give a particle it’s properties. So was he too lazy to go back and fix the first half? Whatever it is, we can’t avoid the implications of the Kochen-Specker theorem.

But he seems to think he can by arguing this doesn’t apply to the macro-world. Now if he’d actually cared to research this topic before thinking he can make a response video, he would’ve of watched the full interview with Zeilinger that I cited. He would have seen that Zeilinger was asked this very question next, no less than a few seconds later. So here ThePolyMath is caught once again doing very poor research. Zeilinger’s reply to question (whether or not the effects of the observer are limited to just quantum objects and not macro-objects) was, “As people say, this is comforting possibility, but there is no reason to believe that, nothing in this theory tells us that. There is no limit for the validity of Quantum mechanics and we and other groups are actually exploring how far can we go and I’m sure we will go to sizes that our quite surprising.” If ThePolyMath actually cared about research instead of just finding any way he thought might work to refute the overwhelming evidence for idealism, he wouldn’t have put his foot in his mouth by trying to argue they very thing that Zeilinger says is not possible in the next question of the interview.13

The Kochen-Specker theorem applies to all matter including the macro-world. Our notion of reality depends on our earlier decision of what to measure, and you cannot escape by positing a separation of the macro world, as Zeilinger points out. And if he agrees with this section, then what was he talking about in the first half of his video that properties of particles exist prior to measurement? As Zeilinger said in the interview (which appeared in my video and his response video), “…we know it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement.” Case closed on hidden variables.

Ending at 39:03 – I am not sure if he remembers the video he is responding to. I directly cited several violations of the Leggett-Garg inequality. When he states the Leggett-Garg inequality has not been violated, he is just wrong. But he does say experiments, which show violations of the Leggett-Garg inequality, are criticized. OK… Why? What evidence can he give? Or is he just going to assume that is good enough? The recent violations are even harder to dismiss. Such as:

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/050411/full/news.2011.210.html

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

Why are these not violations and where is the line between the quantum and macro-world? Furthermore, there is no way around the fact that the macro-world is made of quantum objects. So the fundamental nature of reality stays quantum (indeterministic and dependent on observer’s input) and the macro-world is just an emergent illusion of this quantum world. That fits just fine into my worldview.

This idea of a dividing line as recently been challenged by Johannes Kofler and Caslav Brukner in a presentation titled “Macrorealism Emerging from Quantum Physics,” which I cited in my original video. As they say, it is conceptually different from the decoherence program but not dynamically. What they say is macrorealism emerges from quantum mechanics under coarse grain-measurements, not independent through a limit for large quantum numbers. Observation still affects macro-objects; we just don’t notice it because the effects are so small.

They argue, and I agree, it has more explanatory power as it can fully explain isolated systems and how macro-realism emerges. Where as the decoherence program has a hard time explaining the dividing line and how to explain why we observe one definite outcome. Coarse-grained measurements for macro-realism has more explanatory power so far, and fits with the frequent violations of the Leggett-Garg inequality.14

So continuing this, ending at 41:00 – I can stop laughing at this point? When Zeilinger was asked what the limit was on showing quantum effects on macro objects. He replied “Only Budget.”15 As I write, physicists are already planning experiments on mid-sized proteins and viruses and no one doubts that the results will be different than before. As I already said in my original video, quantum effects have already been demonstrated with macro-objects. There is no dividing line here. Macro-objects are quantum objects and this has been shown. Case Closed.

Ending at 46:17 – This shows his anger, bias, and ignorance. Nowhere did I see an argument here; just immature bully tactics. Obviously he has some personal anger issues he needs to work out. These arguments from quantum mechanics are really bothering him, and it appears more personal than ‘respectful disagreement’.

Schrodinger’s thought experiment about the cat was meant to show quantum mechanics was absurd and needed to be fixed, but as I already demonstrated in my videos with the experimental results, and as Michio Kaku pointed out: the answer is that this thought experimental is actually true in a sense. Matter, even macro-objections, are quantum objects and observation gives a definite outcome to one state. He has done nothing to show this is false.

Naming-calling is the tactic of children when they are outsmarted, and that is all he does here. So instead of refuting my original video he only reconfirms that he cannot and can only insult.

Second, this shows his bias. ThePolyMath’s thought process seems to be: scientific evidence is okay as long as it doesn’t support the existence of a God. This is not thinking objectively; this is presuppositional atheist apologetics, meaning all the evidence must favor his worldview, or something is wrong with it. If I am actually wrong, then he can show that with evidence, not presuppositional beliefs that science cannot provide evidence for theism no matter what.

Just before the end he throws up a slide saying that the words “mind” or “consciousness” do not appear in any of Zeilinger’s papers. Well, neither does idealism, but so what? ThePolyMath continues with his list of fallacies by now adding an argument from silence. Not using certain words doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t favor the idealistic explanation. And I doubt he has ever read anything of Zeilinger papers, because Zeilinger use phrases like, “If the observer measures,” “No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results,” “one can actively choose whether or not to erase which-path information,” “achieved by independent active choices,” “Victor is free to choose” “we can actively delay the choice of measurement.” These are only a few phrases from two papers.16,17

To be fair Zeilinger, keeps his personal beliefs private, which I would prefer. He is a scientist, not a philosopher, and I believe he would prefer to present the findings of his results, and leave his personal view out of it. Nowhere do I say “Idealism is true because Zeilinger said so.” I merely cite his experimental results as evidence that idealism is true.

To conclude this response, I have one final thing. At the end, he tries to compare me to Deepak Chopra, which is an ad hominem. Although we would agree on many things, that doesn’t mean we agree on everything. Is ThePolymath actually thinking that these comparisons should be taken seriously? This is like if I said, “Stalin believes the earth is round, God doesn’t exist, and evolution is true. ThePolyMath believes the earth is round, God doesn’t exist, and evolution is true, therefore ThePolyMath is Stalin.” This a cheap shot, but we wouldn’t expect anything better from someone like ThePolyMath, who can’t give a coherent argument, and just resorts to insults as the basis of his argument. This is something you would get from someone in the first grade, not someone claiming to be intellectually honest. He should be ashamed and apologize for this. Of course he won’t, because of the pride and rage in him is obviously overpowering his intellectually honesty and reason, but I hope I will be wrong about this point. We’ll have to wait and see. To be honest, if he apologizes by taking down his video and re-uploading it without all the childish insults, I am willing to redo this blog post and make it sound more respectful, because I long for respectful, intellectual conversation. This mud-slinging is a disgrace.

He ends by saying (in comparing me to Chopra) “Would you really trust some who spews as much bullshit as he does?” Well, the different between ThePolyMath and myself is that I use evidence, scientific experiments, and quotes from the experts. He uses insults, opinions, and no evidence. So why would we trust someone like this guy, who can’t even give evidence for his worldview, and then throws a tantrum when the evidence is presented and contradicts his worldview? He can call it all BS, but that is not an argument. I’ll choose to follow the evidence. He can stay with his pseudoscience and continue to respond with anger.

 

 

Notes:

1. John von Neumann (1955) The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Princeton: Princeton University Press

2. Stephen Barr (2003) Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, Page 231.

3. E. Joos (2000). Decoherence: Theoretical, Experimental, and Conceptual Problems, Page 14.

4. G. Bacciagaluppi (23 April 2003) Lecture at workshop, Quantum Mechanics on a Large Scale, Vancouver. http://www.physics.ubc.ca/∼berciu/PHILIP/CONFERENCES/ PWI03/FILES/baccia.ps.

5. Stephen Adler (2002) Why Decoherence has not Solved the Measurement Problem: A Response to P.W. Anderson. http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0112095

6. Wojciech H. Zurek (1994) Preferred states, predictability, classicality and the environment-induced decoherence, Page 30 http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9402011

7. H. P. Stapp (1999) “Attention, intention, and will in quantum physics,” J. Consciousness Studies Page 21 http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9905054v1.pdf

8. Niels Bohr (1951) “Discussions with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics”

9. N. Bohr (1984) in Quantum Theory and Measurement, J. A. Wheeler and W. H. Zurek, Eds. Princeton University Press, Page 9-49.

10. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 129

11. Werner Heisenberg  (1958) Physics and Philosophy, Page 160

12. Simon Groeblacher, Tomasz Paterek, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Caslav Brukner, Marek Żukowski, Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger (2007) “An experimental test of non-local realism” http://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.2529.pdf

13. See full interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiNJRh2fxY8

14. See the presentation here: http://www.powershow.com/view/11ad57-NjM4M/Macroscopic_Realism_Emerging_from_Quantum_Physics_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

15. Bruce Rosenblum & Fred Kuttner (2011) The Quantum Enigma 2nd Edition, Page 156.

16. (2013) “Quantum erasure with causally disconnected choice” http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.6578v2.pdf

17. (2012) “Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping” http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.4834.pdf