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

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Mon Dec 24 2001 - 14:09:33 EST

  • Next message: Moorad Alexanian: "RE: Science of the Gaps (Re: God acting in creation #4+++)"

    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
    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."
    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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