Author Topic: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics  (Read 1196 times)

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Offline Count Iblis

God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« on: January 05, 2009, 01:26:22 PM »
My apologies in advance if this should be in one of the religious forums.

God is usually defined with the quality of being omniscient. There are a couple problems when omniscience confronts quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that one cannot simultaneously measure two conjugate variables with arbitrary precision. For example, one cannot know exactly the position and momentum of a particle. The more information that we have about the position of a particle the less we can have about its momentum. So how can God know both?

Now I know Theists will say that God is not bound by the laws of physics. But what does this mean as a practical matter? From God's point of view is the universe random, or does it obey laws?

Related to this is the question about the collapse of the wavefunction. An observation of a system causes a collapse of the wavefunction of the system. If God knows everything then surely all of the wavefunctions in the universe must collapse at every instance. How could we have discovered wavefunctions in the first place?
Religion is an act of sedition against reason.--P.Z. Myers

To find out more about the Evil Atheist Conspiracy visit http://www.atheistthinktank.net/

you know, hell is going to be so jammed full of lying Christians that I fear I will never get in.  --velkyn

Offline velkyn

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 04:04:59 PM »
My apologies in advance if this should be in one of the religious forums.

God is usually defined with the quality of being omniscient. There are a couple problems when omniscience confronts quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that one cannot simultaneously measure two conjugate variables with arbitrary precision. For example, one cannot know exactly the position and momentum of a particle. The more information that we have about the position of a particle the less we can have about its momentum. So how can God know both?

Now I know Theists will say that God is not bound by the laws of physics. But what does this mean as a practical matter? From God's point of view is the universe random, or does it obey laws?

Related to this is the question about the collapse of the wavefunction. An observation of a system causes a collapse of the wavefunction of the system. If God knows everything then surely all of the wavefunctions in the universe must collapse at every instance. How could we have discovered wavefunctions in the first place?

well, it assumes that quantum physics is right at all, but I do like that bit about the wavefunctions collapsing with an omniscient deity looking over everything.
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline rickymooston

Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 04:16:18 PM »
My apologies in advance if this should be in one of the religious forums.

God is usually defined with the quality of being omniscient. There are a couple problems when omniscience confronts quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that one cannot simultaneously measure two conjugate variables with arbitrary precision. For example, one cannot know exactly the position and momentum of a particle. The more information that we have about the position of a particle the less we can have about its momentum. So how can God know both?

One might view God as the one making the Quantum choice.

Quote
Now I know Theists will say that God is not bound by the laws of physics. But what does this mean as a practical matter? From God's point of view is the universe random, or does it obey laws?

Obey's laws but there exists a randomness at the subatomic level providing God with room to act.

Quote
Related to this is the question about the collapse of the wavefunction. An observation of a system causes a collapse of the wavefunction of the system. If God knows everything then surely all of the wavefunctions in the universe must collapse at every instance. How could we have discovered wavefunctions in the first place?

The "observation" ASSUMES a measurement is taking place.

God NEVER measures anything. He knows where everything is at all times. The Heizenberg principle does not apply to him.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline JII

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 04:24:33 PM »
God NEVER measures anything. He knows where everything is at all times. The Heizenberg principle does not apply to him.

He knows where your left testicle is every nano second, of every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year, of every decade, of.........[big deep breath]........ your entire freaking life?  Yikes!  My left nut too?

Offline rickymooston

Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 04:36:53 PM »
God NEVER measures anything. He knows where everything is at all times. The Heizenberg principle does not apply to him.

He knows where your left testicle is every nano second, of every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year, of every decade, of.........[big deep breath]........ your entire freaking life?  Yikes!  My left nut too?

I don't like where this is going but yes, in so much as he exists, you would be correct. (I'm not gay, there are some gay members on this board; I have no clue
whether they'd be interested in the position of your left testicle.)
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Cyberia

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 05:04:20 PM »
Even if there was a God, he wouldn't be able to violate the Uncertainty Principle.  Quantum particles don't have both a velocity and a position simultaneously.  They have one or the other, at any given moment, not both.  It's a weird concept, but that's how it works.  Nature is not bound to do what we think makes sense.
Soon we will judge angels.

Offline JII

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2009, 05:19:30 PM »
I don't like where this is going but yes, in so much as he exists, you would be correct. (I'm not gay, there are some gay members on this board; I have no clue whether they'd be interested in the position of your left testicle.)

Ricky... you need to lighten up just a bit my friend. It was a yoke. And there wasn't a speck of "gayness" in it. And don't even get me started on how we probably differ on the the plight of a gay or lesbian person?

Speaking of testicles... Do you really think that the external location of testicles, was an example of "intelligent design"?  :'(

Offline velkyn

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009, 11:30:41 AM »
I don't like where this is going but yes, in so much as he exists, you would be correct. (I'm not gay, there are some gay members on this board; I have no clue whether they'd be interested in the position of your left testicle.)

Ricky... you need to lighten up just a bit my friend. It was a yoke. And there wasn't a speck of "gayness" in it. And don't even get me started on how we probably differ on the the plight of a gay or lesbian person?

Speaking of testicles... Do you really think that the external location of testicles, was an example of "intelligent design"?  :'(

my husband insists that external testicals are the SIGN to tell you, no there ain't a God and if there were, he's a vicious bastard.
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Cycle4Fun

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2009, 04:06:31 PM »
my husband insists that external testicals are the SIGN to tell you, no there ain't a God and if there were, he's a vicious bastard.

He's got a point there Velkyn.  Can you imagine getting hit in the ovaries?  How much pain would that cause?  Why would anyone design a highly vulnerable system to be external?

Ever see something the size of a large grape swell to the size of a grapefruit after being hit by a baseball?  Luckily I never have.  My high school baseball coach has.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2009, 04:35:44 PM »
my husband insists that external testicals are the SIGN to tell you, no there ain't a God and if there were, he's a vicious bastard.

He's got a point there Velkyn.  Can you imagine getting hit in the ovaries?  How much pain would that cause?  Why would anyone design a highly vulnerable system to be external?

Ever see something the size of a large grape swell to the size of a grapefruit after being hit by a baseball?  Luckily I never have.  My high school baseball coach has.

Agreed.  I've racked myself with no external genitalia and it still *hurts*.  I can't imagine any thing making it *worse*. 

and #*&$@( ovaries hurt enough inside :P
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Cycle4Fun

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2009, 04:45:09 PM »
and #*&$@( ovaries hurt enough inside :P

I forgot about that part of a woman's life.  Each sex has its good points and bad.
How do you define soul?
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Offline I KILLED JEBUS

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2009, 10:21:16 PM »
young lady in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics

H. Simpson
Bow down my hairy children and behold the world I have laid out for you,walk away from your electronic devices and listen to the sounds of nature. Tear from you the ties that bind you to your pathetic existance,walk back into the woods with me and we shall feast on the bounty I have left
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Offline Cycle4Fun

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2009, 09:56:06 AM »
Even if there was a God, he wouldn't be able to violate the Uncertainty Principle.  Quantum particles don't have both a velocity and a position simultaneously.  They have one or the other, at any given moment, not both.  It's a weird concept, but that's how it works.  Nature is not bound to do what we think makes sense.

Close, but not quite correct.  The particles do have a given momentum and position.  It's just impossible to know one and know the other at the same time.  Determining the position of a particle takes energy that changes it's momentum.  Determination of a particles momentum means you just watched it fly by two points, but have no idea where it is now.

The wavefunctions in quantum mechanics can be thought of as probability distributions.
How do you define soul?
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Offline Cyberia

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2009, 04:37:46 PM »
That's a common misconception, Cycle.  Here's a direct quote from Wiki: (emphasis is Wiki's not mine)

Quote
The uncertainty principle is often explained as the statement that the measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum, and vice versa—i.e., that the uncertainty principle is a manifestation of the observer effect.

This explanation is sometimes misleading in a modern context, because it makes it seem that the disturbances are somehow conceptually avoidable — that there are states of the particle with definite position and momentum, but the experimental devices we have today are just not good enough to produce those states. In fact, states with both definite position and momentum just do not exist in quantum mechanics, so it is not the measurement equipment that is at fault.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle
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Offline Cycle4Fun

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 09:25:32 AM »
That's a common misconception, Cycle.  Here's a direct quote from Wiki: (emphasis is Wiki's not mine)

Quote
The uncertainty principle is often explained as the statement that the measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum, and vice versa—i.e., that the uncertainty principle is a manifestation of the observer effect.

This explanation is sometimes misleading in a modern context, because it makes it seem that the disturbances are somehow conceptually avoidable — that there are states of the particle with definite position and momentum, but the experimental devices we have today are just not good enough to produce those states. In fact, states with both definite position and momentum just do not exist in quantum mechanics, so it is not the measurement equipment that is at fault.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle

I'll have to yell at my professor then.  Either that or I didn't get the concept.  I probably just didn't get the concept.  P3 was a class I was happy I got a "C" in.
How do you define soul?
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Offline Count Iblis

Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2009, 07:19:22 PM »
Actually there's a question of interpretation here. In Bohm's interpretation of quantum mechanics each particle would have a definite position and momentum, but the uncertainty principle arises because of our imperfect knowledge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohm_interpretation#Heisenberg.27s_uncertainty_principle
Religion is an act of sedition against reason.--P.Z. Myers

To find out more about the Evil Atheist Conspiracy visit http://www.atheistthinktank.net/

you know, hell is going to be so jammed full of lying Christians that I fear I will never get in.  --velkyn

Offline Cyberia

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 08:47:01 PM »
Actually there's a question of interpretation here. In Bohm's interpretation of quantum mechanics each particle would have a definite position and momentum, but the uncertainty principle arises because of our imperfect knowledge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohm_interpretation#Heisenberg.27s_uncertainty_principle

Bohm's interpretation should be testable soon:

Quote
While it is possible to assume that quantum mechanical predictions are due to nonlocal hidden variables, and in fact David Bohm invented such a formulation, this is not a satisfactory resolution for the vast majority of physicists. The question of whether a random outcome is predetermined by a nonlocal theory can be philosophical, and potentially intractable. If the hidden variables are not constrained, they could just be a list of random digits that are used to produce the measurement outcomes. To make it sensible, the assumption of nonlocal hidden variables is sometimes augmented by a second assumption — that the size of the observable universe puts a limit on the computations that these variables can do. A nonlocal theory of this sort predicts that a quantum computer will encounter fundamental obstacles when it tries to factor numbers of approximately 10000 digits or more, an achievable task in quantum mechanics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle#Critical_reactions
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Offline Omega

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Re: God v.s. Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2009, 10:26:02 AM »
You view uncertanity principle incorectly.

it is not that wavefuctions colapse, but evertthind is wavefunction and particle at once, there are no changes.

yiu can calculate wavlwngth of brick, husing e=mc and plack formula.
there was also test  performed when interference of 2 pieces of silicon droplets were observed.

so uncertainity principle is not about something impossible to do it is about something that dows not exsist.
we cant know momentum and position because these just does not exsist