Re: Science of the Gaps (Re: God acting in creation #4+++)

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 21:58:21 EST

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Science of the Gaps (Re: God acting in creation #4+++)"

    Walter Hicks wrote:

    > It is natural (no pun intended) for one to want to allow science to
    > be unimpeded by thoughts of God or anything else beyond x, y, z, and
    > t. However, the mysteries of quantum mechanics -- and its multiple
    > "interpretations" -- allows us
    > no such comfort.
    > One perfectly good scientist (Eugene P. Wigner), speaking as a
    > scientist, said the following:
    > "The being with a consciousness must have a different role in the
    > quantum mechanics than the inanimate measuring device."
    > "In other words, the impression which one gains at an interaction,
    > called the result of an observation, modifies the wave function of the
    > system. The modified wave function is, furthermore, in general
    > unpredictable before the
    > impression gained at the interaction has entered our consciousness: it
    > is the entering of an impression into our consciousness which alters
    > the wave function because it modifies our appraisal of the
    > probabilities for different
    > impressions which we expect in the future It is at this point that the
    > conscious mind enters the theory unavoidably and unalterably."
    > This was not offered as an alternative "interpretation", but rather as
    > something which this Nobel Laureate believed to be the only valid
    > physical conclusion.
    > I've never heard a good rebuttal to Wigner's claim.

            I have a good deal of sympathy with Wigner's argument, though it
    is certainly a minority one among physicists. It should be noted,
    however, that there is nothing inherently "religious" about human
    consciousness. This doesn't mean that the idea is of no significance
    for theology, for it suggests a way in God, through the Incarnation, is
    involved in the collapse of wave packets and thus with the realization
    of one out of many quantum possibilities for the universe.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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