Measured Against Reality

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quantum Mechanics Isn't Spiritual

I cannot stand it when people invoke Quantum Mechanics in the context of spirituality. Why? Because it’s stupid, and it shows that they don’t understand it at all.

Quantum mechanics isn’t spiritual. Why do I say that?



That’s why.

In case you’re unfamiliar, that’s the Schroedinger Equation, which is at the heart of quantum mechanics. Any waveform satisfies that equations, and from the waveform you can, in principle, determine the probability of the particle’s behavior.

Wow, second order partial differential equations, I feel such intense spirituality I might just break down and give up this whole materialism thing.

Even at the popular level, only someone with a highly distorted “understanding” (if you can call it that) of QM could possibly derive anything spiritual out of it. I suppose it would be understandable if the entirety of your knowledge came from What the Bleep do we Know?, which is widely regarded as the stupidest misinterpretation of QM ever.

Yes, QM is very weird. But it’s just equations that describe how particles behave in certain situations. It’s no more spiritual or special than Newton’s Laws or the equations of Special Relativity, or any mathematical construct. They may be beautiful in the sense that the contain vast amounts of information in such simple forms, and they have dramatic consequences for our understanding of the world, but they’re not spiritual. That’s just silly.

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20 Comments:

  • And the fact that interference patterns form during the 2-slit experiment when photons are emitted one at a time -- that doesn't cause you to ask yourself whether there's something fundamentally unknowable in nature, that is to say, a truth which one might hope to grasp through spiritual means? (I don't myself, but I can see as how it might.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 PM, January 25, 2007  

  • Anonymous, that's a matter of which school of thought you buy into, I happen to like the idea that you can't collapse the waveform until it's measured by some real means (and thus it actually goes through both holes, as counterintuitive as it is).

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 12:38 AM, January 26, 2007  

  • In the same way people find mathematics beautiful, some may probably find it spiritual. On the other hand, these are probably people who don't understand the mathematics anyway.

    By Blogger Simen, at 4:52 AM, January 26, 2007  

  • Good point; I've been saying this under my breath for a while, especially when I pass fliers for the latest "Eastern Religion and Physics" course.

    By Blogger jbruno, at 6:31 AM, January 26, 2007  

  • I can see the link: all the religious talk of the trinity, god creating the universe and the forced adherence to silly morals gives me a headache.
    So does all the quantum mechanics talk: the slit that a photon went through being decided after the photon went through it, virtual particles and not being able to find that damn electron.
    So if your prone to spirituality I guess you could move it from one to the other.

    By Blogger Alex, at 2:28 PM, January 26, 2007  

  • Mathematics can't be spiritual? You have got to be kidding me. Archimedes found the idea of spiritual mathematics very attractive.

    By Anonymous praxodas, at 2:22 AM, April 21, 2007  

  • Once again man boasts about physical knowledge. I cannot stand people that claim they know the root source of their knowledge! Yes the physical aspect is very evident, we can see that, duh! Yet, just because I know that the earth orbits the sun and that humans have concious, doesn't mean I can claim that the root cause of this is simply a physical matter! As far as science is concerned it can claim only what it knows, so please share with us what you know that you claim that QM has nothing to do with spirituality. I would be surprised if you had proof of your claim. Just, because it cannot be physically measured or detected, doesn't mean it does not exist. This sort of thinking is the thinking of the primitive scientist that thought that their is nothing in the air, cause it is transparent or that the sun orbits the earth. Farewell stoneage fella. As far as spiritual mathematics are concerned I have made a personal discovery that has gave me a tramendous depth of understanding into the relationship between the spiritual and physical world. Yet at this stage the human race still cannot make that connection, however if you know where to look and have an open mind, you can discover the formula for life and it is quiet simple to be honest.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:12 AM, June 27, 2007  

  • To the OP , it is apparent that you understand QM , but it is obvious that you do not understand spirituality.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 PM, November 11, 2008  

  • Most recent anonymous, care to explain yourself? I'm genuinely curious here.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 1:51 PM, November 11, 2008  

  • To me Science is spiritual. The more I can know about what it is that I came from and how I am a part of it the more I feel spiritually connected to the universe. This is hard to realize when you are crunching cold hard equations or repeating the same experiment for the umpteenth time. But, when one reflects upon how much more we know about our origin because of Science, how Science is not just fact, but truth and justice, how Science can be used to dispel falsehoods and bring people to agreement, it is then and only then that one understands that Science is the language of a universe, and as such is the sole purveyor of fundamental truths. Quantum mechanics is merely the weirdest language we have come across so far.

    Some would go as far as to call Science the voice of God. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, it is undeniable that any single concept has had more impact on the modern life: both physically and spiritually. This topic is far too huge to cover in a single book, let alone a couple of paragraphs. - Jeff Langley

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 AM, January 24, 2009  

  • I agree the abovementioned statement- I think everything that exists is no different from Spirituality and everything that exists is no different from Science either. Science (no matter what aspect, theories or equations) is one approach towards a better understanding of the True nature of being/process/phenomenon. But one approach alone is not sufficient to describe and speak for everything. As long as microscopes weren't discovered, there was an unknown world of microbes and scientists said it did not exist. Once they could see entities under microscope...a new world of microbe came into existence! Similarly science cannot explain the true meaning of human feelings etc...Science is extremely important to enable human mind to streamline and conceptualize the truth...But certainly not enough. High time for science and spirituality to join hands and work together and not point fingers at each other....We are minds as well as spirit with feelings, intuition etc. So Science and Spirituality is ONE of the whole thing...On ecannot exist without the other.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 AM, March 17, 2009  

  • QM is the science of infinate possibilities, for which no human brain or great mind will ever be able to figure out. Saying you have the answers to something you can't test and not account for the spiritual side of the laws of the universe, simple makes you look like a caveman. Good luck finding what it is your looking for. I promise you the truth will one day be revealed and that pain you feel inside from time to time is the truth in spirit, for God is upon us all. Even the holiest man is blind, the brightest man can never be the finite one or God. He is in all of us and in our hearts and souls. You can not deny this because you love right? You must have peace because you sleep right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 PM, May 07, 2010  

  • Well, you need to play with your mind waves(thoughts) to realize the spiritual connection to this physical world.At the end of the result,you'll realize quantized form of your energy. As you feel particles in the form the physical body and waves are form beyond physical plane.Here is the concept of astral & parallel universe appears.So always "something parallel exists" for any physical matters & can travel more than speed of light.tunnel and black holes are act as bridge between the planes i guess...any thoughts?

    By Blogger Pseudo(Occult) Science, at 8:12 AM, May 19, 2010  

  • I'm trying to understand this...I don't think that anyone really claims that QM is Spiritual except in the sense that from a spiritual perspective everything is spiritual. The purpose for people envoking QM in conversations about spirituality is more related to the idea that, from my understanding, these discoveries cast doubt on a purely materialistic-reductionist conception of reality. From what I've heard QM paints a picture of a universe based on probabilities and may help us to understand things like genuine choice or 'free-will' which arent compatible with a reductionist view...I once heard it said that instead of Carl Sagans 'we're all made of star stuff' QM suggests that it may be more accurate to say that reality consists of 'mind stuff'. I don't know much about the topic...in fact, I think anyone who says they know a lot about QM, doesn't really understand QM from what I've heard lol.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 PM, May 18, 2011  

  • It won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I think.

    By Anonymous muebles madrid en stok, at 12:59 AM, August 02, 2011  

  • Looks like you are the one who didn't understand the universe around you...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:11 AM, August 14, 2011  

  • I will be brief. Particules have wave properties.wave is one equation and has potential to be in many places at same time. if you are the observer you change the properties to act like particule again. Upscale from particules to real world. You are the observer, and you change the properties of everything around you.If you don't observe, there is only potential...When you observe, you choose one possibility of the infinite potentials.This is where the QF turns to be spiritual, and changes ones vision of the world, turning to be a philosophical way of thinking. There is nothing to do only with this formula, but with the implications of it in "real" (what is real?) world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 AM, August 14, 2011  

  • sub atomic particles in ancient hunduism was called Prana , in taoism it is called Chi or Life Force. there is no soch thing as matter its all energy at different levels. consciousness is "ENERGY" is is eternal it is NOT created by the physical body , and does not end at the death of the physical body . consciousness IS reality the so called material realm is only a reflection of consciousness or visable light. consciousness is what connects the quantum particles, humans are stable as we ARE the "expression" of consciousness to know itself all the great world teachers have taught this in one form or another . sincerely and with respect guardiantext.org

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:38 AM, November 25, 2011  

  • I find it very sad that in this world of "technology" that man is STILL ignorant of the invisible side of life. Man's ego will NEVER let him be open to what the TRUTH of life really is. Quantum physics reveal the spiritual order of the Universe, but of course man's ego will NOT see it that way..... because it does NOT conform to HIS "intelligence" which is simply idiocy...........

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 AM, November 27, 2011  

  • why would you take part of a man's work (schrodinger's equation) but not the other (schrodinger's cat)? What about proven studies of 2 people focused on creating a connection between each other's minds, one being in a room with controlled electromagnetic activity and the other in a regular old room, the one in the controlled room being shown a series of lights (still while meditating) and their brainwaves' reactions being recorded and the person in the other room has their brainwaves recorded also and the two are nearly identical with the reactions toward the light except only one saw the lights.

    explain to me how this does not bridge the gap between spirituality and science from the approach of science (the hard proof of the eeg)?

    By Anonymous Kayla, at 8:18 PM, April 30, 2012  

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