Re: quantum physics and Buddhism

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sun Jun 19 2005 - 19:26:49 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>
To: "Glenn Morton" <>; <>;
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2005 6:34 PM
Subject: RE: quantum physics and Buddhism

> Something I posted some time ago. Moorad
> From: Alexanian, Moorad <
> <> >
> Date: Tue Feb 15 2005 - 11:23:04 EST
> There is a feature of the Minkowski 4-dimensional spacetime that is
> queer, which is a feature of special relativity. When using such
> diagrams to describe the world curve of anything that exists, one must
> drawn a complete curve, from beginning to end. Therefore, the whole
> history of that particular entity is known, so to speak, from birth to
> death. One is so used to time proceeding moment by moment and viewing
> spacetime in the Minkowski way seems to put us in the position of God,
> where the whole of time is an eternal now. Of course, if we think of God
> as sustaining the creation, then He may be creating all that there is
> instant by instant. In physics we deal with events as points in
> spacetime, I am not sure how to visualize humans embedded in a Minkowski
> spacetime.

My impression ( & that's all it is) is that, among physicists who think
about such things, those who object to the "block universe" view are likely
to be particle theorists like Polkinghorne. Their professional focus tends
to be on short-term happenings like collisions between elementary particles
& the distant future doesn't really matter. (& that in spite of the fact
that they take limits as t -> + infinity in QM scattering formalism.) OTOH
those dealing with general relativity almost automatically assume that the
solutions of Einstein's equations define entire space-times. We could
imagine a space-time with a spacelike edge - e.g., Minkowski space-time
that's just chopped off for t > some chosen value. That would be artificial
since such a manifold is extendable but you could do it. What's hard to
make sense of is the idea of a space-time that's defined only up to some
_variable_ "now" & which "grows" as we move ahead in time. The obvious
problem is that the 3-space of events occuring "now" is different for
different observers.

BTW, you don't have to go to Sproul to find a rejection of any kind of
chance. E.g., Calvin says in the Institutes, Book I, Chapter XVI.2, "There
is no such thing as fortune or chance"



Received on Sun Jun 19 19:28:53 2005

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