Quantum Reality 2:
Classical Physics aspired to be strongly objective, assuming that it could be interpreted as a description of mind-independent reality. But right from the start, when Galileo began to quantify “speed” in simple terms like (∆x/∆t), Western Science took a big step out of a Sense–Perceived World onto a page of Mathematical formulas. Instead of mind-independent reality, the focus, all the way through SR [special relativity], GR [general relativity], QM [quantum mechanics], QFT [quantum field theory], QED [quantum electro-dynamics], QG [quantum gravity] & String Theory shifted to a mind-created reality of Mathematical models. But only Quantum Mechanics, especially in the standard Copenhagen II Convention admitted explicitly to Consciousness-created Quantum Reality. Even so Quantum Mechanics claimed to be weakly objective in that “real” phenomena (if not real entities) were inter-subjectively valid, (shared experiences of many observers), but still referred to operations of the Mind that participated in an observed phenomenon or measurement. Delayed-Choice Double Slit, Quantum Erasure, & various Bell’s Theorem – related experiments may occupy us another day, but suffice it to say for now, that such as these contradict any strongly objective descriptor for Quantum Mechanics.
What Quantum Mechanics did retain was the “Gold Standard” of Science Models, the ability to Predict previously unobserved or unmeasured phenomena. But conventional Scientific Realism remained denied by Quantum Mechanics, so that Hidden-Variable, Many-Worlds, Decoherence, & many other Realist alternative formulations have been adhered to now by a majority of leading Physicists – though not justifiably so. These Realists cling with strong Metaphysical bias for Realism that smacks of pseudo-religious fervor. Similarly, the Multi-Verse is fantastically held up as denial of any Strong Anthropic Principle explanation of the extreme Fine Tuning of our Universe. These Realist movements ceased being Science & have long become ideological, pseudo-political, pseudo-religious, metaphysical bastions of intolerance of any alternatives or opposition. Ad hominem put-downs of nay-sayers, non-funding, non-tenuring, non-hiring freeze-outs coral even Instrumenalist Anti-Realism, not to mention Quantum Idealism into the same academic prison-camp reserved for Young-Earth Creationists, Astrologists, Para-Psychologists, & so on.
The Scientific Realist swears to the objective reality of a RWOT real-world-out-there & even their invisible invented– entities like Electrons, Quarks, Strings, Branes, & so on. The Quantum Idealist, for one, established that such a Realist proposition is unprovable. At the same time all admit that the fact that a proposition can not be proven is not a proof that it is wrong.
Lines of force, action at a distance, various fields, & even “inertia” can neither be directly experienced or proven. More significantly, alternate interpretations always remain unexamined, even for Quantum Mechanics where dozens of interpretations have already been studied. Science, as we know it, amounts to (mathematically synthesized) relations between observed phenomena. Predictive & Prescriptive principles, of themselves, are not strictly objective.
In fact, Immanuel Kant, a defender of Realism in the end, still found “Time & Space” to be mental constructions that we project onto an otherwise real World. Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas & medieval Western Philosophers echoed, neo-Platonists, Plato, & the Eleatic Philosophers (Parmenides, Zeno, Melissus) in questioning the Reality of Time, as we conceive it. While “time” for instance, is a side-issue in Quantum Reality, we will divert to that discussion, in brief, if only because it is so accessible. Cause & Effect, Perception, & similar issues previously introduced here will also see the light of day before we finish with Quantum Reality.
For the moment we end for now with a quick review of the “3 Times” principle found throughout Eastern Philosophy for millennia & echoed again in the above mentioned Eleatic Philosophers, Plato, neo-Platonists, medieval philosophers, Kant, McTaggart, etc. What amounts to a Presentism (& beyond) goes as follows.
In the simplest Time Line with an infinitesimal Zero-Point Origin at “Now”, the entire ray to the negative left-side of this 1-D space of Time is the Past which is gone forever & no longer has any reality. The entire ray to the positive right-side of this 1-D space of Time is the Future which has not yet come to be does not yet possess any reality. The so-called Present is an ever shrinking, thin slice between an unreal Past & an unreal Future. We can imagine this supposed slice of Present time to be vanishing to an infinitesimally short duration, bracketing & then merely consisting of the infinitesimal Zero-Point Origin of “Now”, & then it’s gone. Even one Planck Quantum of Time, ~ ½ x 10–43 sec, back into the Past is that which is gone forever. Even one Planck Quantum of Time forward into the Future is that which has not yet come to be. The Present vanishes as what Augustine called a “knife-edge”, while some Eastern Philosophers referred to it as one version of a “razor’s edge.” It’s gone, all with the Past, the Future, & Time itself. Non-Dual Absolute Reality is Timeless.
Consilience of Inductions
“Consilience of Inductions” was a quaint term coined by William Whewell in his 1840 Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences.
's term vera causa “true cause” supposedly lies at the center of the very
best kinds of scientific theories. Some, the Empiricists held that a true cause
is something that we ourselves experience directly. We know for instance that a
force [Gravity] is pulling the Moon toward
the Earth, because we have had direct experience of the tug of a string [tension]
as we are whirling it around with a weight tied to its end. But Whewell was a Rationalist who characterized
a true cause as something that is adequate to explain the empirical facts. Such
a cause has tot be at the center of a scientific explanation, explaining all of
the facts & in turn being explained by them. If such a cause can predict &
explain new & unexpected facts, then so much the better. Such a fanlike
construction, with the Cause at the
apex, was a "Consilience of Inductions". Occam's
Razor, that it be as simple as it is possible for a theory to be, suggests
that a "true cause" is also marked by being the most economical of
explanatory forces, with many parts being reduced to one fundamental mechanism.
The gravitational attraction within Newtonian mechanics, the wave theory of Light from Christiaan Huygens & Thomas Young’s explained the Double-Slit experiment while Light Particles could not. Whewell’s arguments impressed the young Charles Darwin, whose vera causa became Natural Selection. For Geologists, it became Plate Tectonics.
The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through: