Wally 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
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."
P. C. W. Davies and J. R. Brown present what I think are reasonable
rebuttals to Wigner's claims in their book, THE GHOST IN THE ATOM. That
QM presents strange data with even stranger possible interpretations is
not to be denied. I had great fun with some of these interpretations as a
participant in a Theology & Science class here at the Iliff School of
Theology taught by William Dean (one time associate of Paul Tillich) last
spring. Some of the materials I shared are on page three of my web site.
However, I see Wigner as not violating the methodological naturalism
principle in his interpretation, but rather bringing in human
consciousness as part of the natural world, and, in principle, as capable
of natural causation as anything else.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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