Re: [asa] Contingency and Quantum Indeterminacy

From: <>
Date: Wed Mar 19 2008 - 11:45:10 EDT

I can answer the last question.? They are completely open as far as we know from physics unless you choose to believe in a multi-verse model.? The violation of Bell's inequality shows that there is nothing localized in?spacetime around a particle that contains sufficient information to determine what it will do.? So if there is anything that determines what the particle will do (thus taking away the contingency) then it must be a non-local effect and no such non-local thing has been identified in physics so far.? Everett's Multi-Worlds interpretation does remove contingency by saying that all possibilities necessarily occur.? Things only seem contingent because you are just one of many copies of yourself and you (as one copy of yourself) cannot choose which of the many parts of the multiverse you will exist within.? But if you don't accept the multi-worlds interpretation then there is nothing known to physics to remove the contingency.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Opderbeck <>
To: ASA <>
Sent: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 11:23 am
Subject: [asa] Contingency and Quantum Indeterminacy

In the ASA statement of faith, we use the term "contingent order."? Contingency is important in Torrance's thought as well as Polanyi's.? Contingency is also part of Aquinas' teleological argument.? Does the notion of contingency as we use it require a creation ex nihlo, a big bang?? How does contingency relate to quantum indeterminacy, since states are only represented by probability distributions?? Are quantum probability distributions completely open, or are they bounded by more basic physical laws?

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
(ASA Member)
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Received on Wed Mar 19 11:46:41 2008

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