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[ontolog-forum] [LIKELY_SPAM]Re: brainwaves (WAS: to concept or not to c

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 09 Dec 2007 11:07:59 -0500
Message-id: <p06110437c381bf6eeb8f@[]>
Paola,    (01)

Pat did NOT say we can choose our science to justify our views of the 
world!  Quite the contrary. He said there are several different 
observationally equivalent interpretations of quantum theory. That is 
a very different thing.    (02)

The empirical predictions of quantum theory have, as Pat pointed out, 
been confirmed to extremely high precision.   Any theory that does 
*not* make identical predictions for experiments conducted to date 
would not qualify as science.  That is a very severe constraint.  We 
can't just take any old worldview and make up a science to justify 
it.  It is *hard* to come up with a worldview that conforms to the 
predictions of quantum theory.    (03)

As Pat pointed out, an interpretation of quantum theory is a story to 
make sense of the mathematics. In each of these stories, the 
experimental set-up and the experimental results observed by 
scientists are *identical*.  They must be, if the storyteller is a 
legitimate scientist.  Where they differ is in what purportedly 
happens "behind the scenes" -- the part of Nature that the scientists 
cannot observe directly.    (04)

One way of looking at this is it's just a storytelling exercise.  You 
tell your story, and I tell mine.  Neither of us can be proven right 
or wrong.  Indeed, it's more likely (IMHO) that we're all wrong.  Our 
imaginations are, after all, rather limited in comparison with what 
Nature is capable of doing.  So this storytelling thing is just a 
meaningless game.  To my understanding, that was what Bohr tried to 
do with the Copenhagen interpretation.  Use quantum theory as a set 
of mathematical rules to predict the results of experiments, but 
don't even try to figure out what Nature is "really doing." 
Input-output rules are all we're going to get.    (05)

Another way of looking at it is that it is a good thing to have 
multiple stories, each with its passionate adherents -- because this 
is the way science progresses.  Each scientist loves her favorite 
story, and tries to devise experiments that would support it and 
knock holes in the others.  Eventually, someone comes up with a story 
-- and math to go with it -- that agrees with the well-validated 
experimental evidence and predicts things the other stories don't. 
That's real progress.  We are not there yet with quantum theory, but 
it's not for want of trying.  Nevertheless, it has been less than a 
century -- so perhaps it's just a matter of time.    (06)

Kathy    (07)

At 8:45 AM +0100 12/9/07, Wacek Kusnierczyk wrote:
>Christopher Menzel wrote:
>>  On Dec 7, 2007, at 6:59 AM, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>>  ...
>>>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_interpretation
>>>  In this account, there is no 'collapse', so its a hard stretch to
>>>  posit that consciousness causes or results from it.
>>>  luckily we can all have our favourite choice of science to justify 
>>>  our views of the world
>>  So, let's see, we have our worldview and then we choose the science 
>>  that fits.  Great!  I choose Young Earth Creationism.  Man, that was 
>>  easy!
>provided that YEC is science...
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