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Thread: Fred Alan Wolf: quantum religion?

  1. #1 Fred Alan Wolf: quantum religion? 
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    First of all this is the correct section of the forum for the discussion of this guy's ideas because it is clearly religion and not physics however many physics ideas there are in it and however much this guy might have been a physicist. Religion can talk about anything, worship anything and incorportate the ideas of any of the sciences and even address questions that any of the sciences address. But the point is that however much it does so, it remains religion and not science. Nor does this mean that religion which ignores the results of science should be considered rational or good religion. I consider religion which does this to be foolish, obstinate, and very much of the nature of wishful thinking - imposing ones will on reality rather than being open to understanding that nature of reality as it is.

    Science on the other hand is much more limited in what it can talk about precisely because it has a strict methodology and that means both that the conclusions of religion are irrelevant to science and that science really cannot speak to many religious topics without ceasing to be science. There is a correct tradeoff and balance between the two that follows logically from the real fundamental difference between them and that difference is methodology.

    In any case I was watching the u-tube video of an interview of Fred Alan Wolf, where some of this guys ideas were being discussed. Never mind the pantheistic religious conclusions I don't agree with, I would like to take a look at some of the things he says about quantum physics. I would call his interpretation of quantum physics "solipsist", which is that rather absurd interpretation of quantum physics that looks at the Schrodinger cat thought experiment and says there really is a dead-alive cat in the box until someone opens the box. Never mind that Wolf MIGHT say that this is not true because the cat counts as an observer because we can always replace the cat with a lower form of life and we are left with the question of where we draw the line.

    Well I don't believe in any such arbitrary line drawn somewhere and thus I MUST disagree with Wolf's statement that we cannot model the quantum collapse as an interaction. To that degree the objections made regarding decoherence are absolutely correct and this claim of Wolf is full of BS. I DO think that there is a simple physical process that is involved in the process of quantum wave collapse (or decoherence if you want to call it that). This is the process of amplification, because that is the process that occurs in every single quantum measurement experiment. In order to make any quantum state observable you have to use an enormous amplification that makes the behavior of trillions of particles depend on a behavior of a single particle. I certainly do not think that the collapse occurs in human consciousness - that is just rot. It most certainly occurs in the decoherence which is essentially just another name for this amplification interaction.

    Now that said, I do think that this amplification interaction or decoherence does absolutely NOTHING to overide the very solid experimental results that forbids hidden variables and thus makes determinism and the closure of physical causality quite impossible. Furthermore I very much do think that this has a great deal to do with human consciousness but quite in the opposite direction than does Dr. Wolf. I most certainly disagree with his solipsist "consciousness creates reality" crap and assert instead that it is this unavoidable involvement of quantum wave collapse in human thought processes that is partly responsible for this experience of human consciousness. And the result is that this fundamental human experience that we are the free cause of our actions is NOT an illusion but a reality. No I am not trying to say we have some kind of absolute freedom but am simply an observation that free will, however small it may be, really is there.

    As for Wolf's talk about the laws of nature being created by us, well of course this is true in a way, just as the word "sun" is an entirely human creation, but there is a reality out there that this word refers to and which is not a human creation in any way shape or form. In the same way, the laws of physics as we understand them and express them are indeed a human creation BUT they refer to a reality out there that is no human creation at all. This is the philosophical position of critical realism as opposed to Wolf's effective solipsism.


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  3. #2 Re: Fred Alan Wolf: quantum religion? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    First of all this is the correct section of the forum for the discussion of this guy's ideas because it is clearly religion and not physics however many physics ideas there are in it and however much this guy might have been a physicist. Religion can talk about anything, worship anything and incorportate the ideas of any of the sciences and even address questions that any of the sciences address. But the point is that however much it does so, it remains religion and not science. Nor does this mean that religion which ignores the results of science should be considered rational or good religion. I consider religion which does this to be foolish, obstinate, and very much of the nature of wishful thinking - imposing ones will on reality rather than being open to understanding that nature of reality as it is.

    Science on the other hand is much more limited in what it can talk about precisely because it has a strict methodology and that means both that the conclusions of religion are irrelevant to science and that science really cannot speak to many religious topics without ceasing to be science. There is a correct tradeoff and balance between the two that follows logical from the real fundamental difference between them and that difference is methodology.

    In any case I was watching the u-tube video of an interview of Fred Alan Wolf, where some of this guys ideas were being discussed. Never mind the pantheistic religious conclusions I don't agree with, I would like to take a look at some of the things he says about quantum physics. I would call his interpretation of quantum physics "solipsist", which is that rather absurd interpretation of quantum physics that looks at the Schrodinger cat thought experiment and says there really is a dead-alive cat in the box until someone opens the box. Never mind that Wolf MIGHT say that this is not true because the cat counts as an observer because we can always replace the cat with a lower form of life and we are left with the question of where we draw the line.

    Well I don't believe in any such arbitrary line drawn somewhere and thus I MUST disagree with Wolf's statement that we cannot model the quantum collapse as an interaction. To that degree the objections made regarding decoherence are absolutely correct and this claim of Wolf is full of BS. I DO think that there is a simple physical process that is involved in the process of quantum wave collapse (or decoherence if you want to call it that). This is the process of amplification, because that is the process that occurs in every single quantum measurement experiment. In order to make any quantum state observable you have to use an enormous amplification that makes the behavior of trillions of particles depend on a behavior of a single particle. I certainly do not think that the collapse occurs in human consciousness - that is just rot. It most certainly occurs in the decoherence which is just another name for this amplification interaction.

    Now that said, I do think that this amplification interaction or decoherence does absolutely NOTHING to overide the very solid experimental results that forbids hidden variables and thus makes determinism and the closure of physical causality quite impossible. Furthermore I very much do think that this has a great deal to do with human consciousness but quite in the opposite direction than does Dr. Wolf. I most certainly disagree with his solipsist consciousness creates reality crap and assert instead that it is this unavoidable involvement of quantum wave collapse in human thought processes that partly responsible for this experience of human consciousness. And thus this fundamental human experience that we are the free cause of our actions is NOT an illusion but a reality. No that is not an absolute freedom but simply an observation that free will, however small it may be, really is there.

    As for Wolf's talking about the laws of nature being created by us, well of course this is true in a way, just as the word "sun" is an entirely human creation, but there is a reality out there which this word refers to which is not a human creation in any way shape or form. In the same way, the laws of physics as we understand them and express them are indeed a human creation BUT they refer to a reality out there that is no human creation at all. This is the philosophical position of critical realism as opposed to Wolf's effective solipsism.
    I'll bite later.


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    Solipsism belongs in the realm of philosophy, where the idea originated.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Solipsism belongs in the realm of philosophy, where the idea originated.
    Solipsism is indeed a philosophical position, and if I did indeed have any interest in discussing its merits on a purely logical basis then it is to the philosophy section I should go in order to avoid the surely less logical objections I might encounter in the religion section. Indeed my own summary dismissal of solipsism as worthless and inane really would not be not be as appropriate in philosophy.

    As for whether this whole thread belongs in the philosophy section rather than the relgion section, here are some points to consider. First is Dr. Wolf own use of the term "God self" in his discussions, second is his stated intent to seek an alternative to traditional ideas of religion as well as a scientific world view, and finally there is my own choice of where to put this, which is part of direction that I intend the discussion to go and what sorts of ideas and arguments I am willing to consider in this discussion. You are of course perfectly free to raise this topic in the philosophy section (and feel free to quote this OP in whole or part in doing so), for a more philosophical discussion of the topic, and I will certainly consider and invitation to participate in that discussion as well.

    The line between philosophy and religion may be far less clear than that between science and religion, but there is line of sorts. The philosophy section should at least be free of appeals to scripture and that sort of thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Solipsism belongs in the realm of philosophy, where the idea originated.
    Solipsism is indeed a philosophical position, and if I did indeed have any interest in discussing its merits on a purely logical basis then it is to the philosophy section I should go in order to avoid the surely less logical objections I might encounter in the religion section. Indeed my own summary dismissal of solipsism as worthless and inane really would not be not be as appropriate in philosophy.

    As for whether this whole thread belongs in the philosophy section rather than the relgion section, here are some points to consider. First is Dr. Wolf own use of the term "God self" in his discussions, second is his stated intent to seek an alternative to traditional ideas of religion as well as a scientific world view, and finally there is my own choice of where to put this, which is part of direction that I intend the discussion to go and what sorts of ideas and arguments I am willing to consider in this discussion. You are of course perfectly free to raise this topic in the philosophy section (and feel free to quote this OP in whole or part in doing so), for a more philosophical discussion of the topic, and I will certainly consider and invitation to participate in that discussion as well.

    The line between philosophy and religion may be far less clear than that between science and religion, but there is line of sorts. The philosophy section should at least be free of appeals to scripture and that sort of thing.
    I must say, it's interesting having a discussion on Fred Wolf. I would go through your whole original post on him, but if fear it would just lead to momentary madness. Howwever, two points i want to bring up in this post which i bolded.

    1) His term use of ''God Self'' was actually flowered from the proof of a student of Schrodinger called Ludvic Bass who found that from a quantum mechanical viewpoint, there can be no singular self.

    2) Did he really state that he was seaking for an alternative to traditional idea, because i feel this is a bit of a backwards logic if he did state this. truth be told, all he has ever done is take religion and then plant physics in it to answer for some of their mythodologies? In other words, i would say he has taken a scientific approach to Shamanism, Religions of all arrays, and used them to speak to a wider audience, whilst supporting them with possible quantum interpretations. I would hardly call these a new religion however.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    2) Did he really state that he was seaking for an alternative to traditional idea,
    That is the problem with the video format on the internet. It is such a pain in the butt to download and go through again to find his exact words in order to quote them. The download time may have been worth it to watch the first time, but not to obtain such a quote. The link to the video is there in the OP for you to download and see what he said himself.

    OK, I did find one quote, "we need a new spirtual way of understanding what it means to be a human being" ..."because the old monarchy king God versus the old lawful scientists way of doing everything are dead." "We need a new realm - a new vision, and I think quantum physics if anything can help us get a step up in the right direction."


    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    because i feel this is a bit of a backwards logic if he did state this. truth be told, all he has ever done is take religion and then plant physics in it to answer for some of their mythodologies? In other words, i would say he has taken a scientific approach to Shamanism, Religions of all arrays, and used them to speak to a wider audience, whilst supporting them with possible quantum interpretations. I would hardly call these a new religion however.
    Well apart from your use of the term "new religion" which I certainly did not use, I think that this reaction is a bit over the top. Frankly this is just a typical "religious speak" for the infusion of fresh ideas, new inspiration for old ideas, reform or revival, and I frankly find the haggling over which of these it actually is, to be bit boring. Whether it is old to you, it is new to them and such haggling is just a cynical excuse to act superior, which is really boring. I find such excuses to make religion nothing more than the study of ancient ideas to be a death sentence for religion. Let the study of the ancients be part of the spiritual journey for those who are so inclined and not be so self-important about it in the process.

    I certainly don't share his excitement and enthusiasm any more than I agree with his pantheist solipsism, BUT I very much believe that religion is worthless unless it is your own. So while I have little interest in the direction of his ideas, I will not pretend to making any other judgement than this fact that it does not interest me. Criticism of the conclusions he draws from scientific claims is another matter, for to say that they are unwaranted simply means that we are free to draw other conclusions, and I can also observe that the majority does draw other conclusions.
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    What is the purpose of science in the first place? and what is the purpose of religion? Both have different approaches but seek to explain the existence of the universe and purpose of life. Yet these two could not provide satisfactory answers to the purpose of life and its existence. He is just saying that these two methods, the 'monarchy' and 'science' are no longer able to give us the answer we seek. Hence a new approach is needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    What is the purpose of science in the first place? and what is the purpose of religion? Both have different approaches but seek to explain the existence of the universe and purpose of life. Yet these two could not provide satisfactory answers to the purpose of life and its existence. He is just saying that these two methods, the 'monarchy' and 'science' are no longer able to give us the answer we seek. Hence a new approach is needed.
    I agree with this. The new approach isn't by any means a new cult, but rather the two science and religion must go hand-in-hand.In fact... that reminds me of a qoute by Einstein:

    ''I do not necesserily think think that it is the case that science and religion are natural opposites... I think science without religion is lame and conversely religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand.''
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    The purpose of science and religion is not unanimously to discover the meaning or secrets of existence. That is more of an enlightenment type thing, philosophers seek truth, Buddhists seek enlightenment.

    Most sciences and religions are meant to be productive in daily life. Science develops useful technologies, to feed, clothe, house, destroy, kill, protect, teach, observe, heat, hydrate, cool, etc.

    Religions are like psychological therapy for some. They are a community, they provide emotional support and a sense of solidarity that is lacking more and more in civilization. People join a religious group to meet like minded people, using the rituals and the language to connect to their inner selves, each other, the universe, nature and/or God. Ultimately it is a form of self expression, it's a place to let go, a place where the most suggnificant memories are made, wear people are married, where people are mourned for, where people help each other in various ways.

    It has and will always be the unorthodox that seek truth because the first step in finding it is admitting how little you know, and one of the last steps in finding it is admitting how little you are. This is not something most people will ever think of doing never mind going to the poor house over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    What is the purpose of science in the first place? and what is the purpose of religion? Both have different approaches but seek to explain the existence of the universe and purpose of life. Yet these two could not provide satisfactory answers to the purpose of life and its existence. He is just saying that these two methods, the 'monarchy' and 'science' are no longer able to give us the answer we seek. Hence a new approach is needed.
    I disagree for the simple fact that the role that I see for religion in my life is not explanation at all. Certainly I do not see God in such a role. As a scientist before I was involved in religion, the idea of God never filled a role of explanation in any way that was worth a damn in my thinking. Now it is truth that science and religion can be seen as specialized branches of the same tree have the same mythical origin in the telling of tales to the tribe at night time fireside gatherings. I have no doubt that many atheists and naturalists would like to equate religion to those fireside tales and see science as its replacement.

    Life is not just about the objective observation and explanation for which science has proven so apt and successful. Life is also participation and assertion of identity, purpose and meaning over and against an indifferent environment. And this role that the fireside tale fulfilled is not one that science has ever or ever could fill because that is inimical to its methodology. That is the role that religion continues, that modern science cannot.

    There is however some ambiguity and conflict due to what people expect from an explanation. If you expect these things of identity, purpose and meaning then you might indeed feel that science does piss poor job, and that is because that is not the goal of a scientific explanation. Its purpose it not to tell you who you are but to explain why the things we observe to happen in the world around us happen the way that they do. And it is compared to this very precise and fruitful meaning of what it is to explain something in science that causes me dismiss the idea that religion is about any kind of explanation at all, but it is about these other things: identity, purpose and meaning that some do perhaps think is what an explanation should be about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    ''I do not necesserily think think that it is the case that science and religion are natural opposites... I think science without religion is lame and conversely religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand.''
    Well it is hard to see science and religion as opposites when there really have very different goals and functions in human life. But there is a very real sense in which they are opposites. This becomes obvious to me when we try to find a unifying thread by which to identify what is religion. Becuse for all that I have summed up as role I see in relgion, the truth is that they ALL state their own purpose, giving answers to questions which they themselves pose, and it is very difficult to see a commonality between them. However there is one commonality that tends to be made in this juxtaposition with science, and that is that whatever their purpose and methodology it is not the purpose and methodology of science.

    However I think there is something very insightful to be learned by looking at what Einstein says here very carefully and that is that is by science that we should see and understand the world around us even if we need religion as part of the process by which we participate in the world as active living beings. If we would see the world for what it is then we must embrace scientific inquiry, and if we would not be handicapped as impotent observers then we must have religion OR SOMETHING that carries on this role that religion has traditionally filled. I think it is exatly such a SOMETHING that Wolf is suggesting. Saying that traditional religion is not doing a good job at it and science by its very nature and limitations cannot do a very good job at it, and so we need something that does.

    I cannot imagine that Wolf is actually advocating an abandonment of scientific inquiry. No one who has been a scientist would do such a thing. So to tell the truth it is an alternative to traditional relgion which is exactly what Wolf is suggesting.



    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Most sciences and religions are meant to be productive in daily life. Science develops useful technologies, to feed, clothe, house, destroy, kill, protect, teach, observe, heat, hydrate, cool, etc.
    On the contrary, you confuse science with technology and they are not the same thing at all. Science is practical only in the serendipitous way that understanding and percieving the world around us more clearly is bound to be of benefit to us, but it is NOT practical use that drives scientific inquiry but simply the effort to understand. The vast majority of scientific inquiry has no practical use whatsoever.

    However, I think you ARE correct about religion being fundamentally practical and that it is very much about living a better life. How we should live our life, is its most fundamental and universal concern. Science may give us the tools of technology by which we can know how to manipulate things in the world around us and accomplish things we never have before, but is the goal of religion to address the question of, "what IS a productive life?"

    But there is no doubt that people seek answers to this question as well as find identity, meaning and purpose outside of any traditional forms of religion. Many find a great deal of help in doing this from the writings of philosophy as I have. Not everyone has such an exclusive approach to these efforts that they exclusively follow the party line of some traditional relgious organization, indeed I find it difficult to see why anyone would limit their efforts in that way if they really want such answers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    What is the purpose of science in the first place? and what is the purpose of religion? Both have different approaches but seek to explain the existence of the universe and purpose of life. Yet these two could not provide satisfactory answers to the purpose of life and its existence. He is just saying that these two methods, the 'monarchy' and 'science' are no longer able to give us the answer we seek. Hence a new approach is needed.
    I disagree for the simple fact that the role that I see for religion in my life is not explanation at all. Certainly I do not see God in such a role. As a scientist before I was involved in religion, the idea of God never filled a role of explanation in any way that was worth a damn in my thinking. Now it is truth that science and religion can be seen as specialized branches of the same tree have the same mythical origin in the telling of tales to the tribe at night time fireside gatherings. I have no doubt that many atheists and naturalists would like to equate religion to those fireside tales and see science as its replacement.

    Life is not just about the objective observation and explanation for which science has proven so apt and successful. Life is also participation and assertion of identity, purpose and meaning over and against an indifferent environment. And this role that the fireside tale fulfilled is not one that science has ever or ever could fill because that is inimical to its methodology. That is the role that religion continues, that modern science cannot.

    There is however some ambiguity and conflict due to what people expect from an explanation. If you expect these things of identity, purpose and meaning then you might indeed feel that science does piss poor job, and that is because that is not the goal of a scientific explanation. Its purpose it not to tell you who you are but to explain why the things we observe to happen in the world around us happen the way that they do. And it is compared to this very precise and fruitful meaning of what it is to explain something in science that causes me dismiss the idea that religion is about any kind of explanation at all, but it is about these other things: identity, purpose and meaning that some do perhaps think is what an explanation should be about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    ''I do not necesserily think think that it is the case that science and religion are natural opposites... I think science without religion is lame and conversely religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand.''
    Well it is hard to see science and religion as opposites when there really have very different goals and functions in human life. But there is a very real sense in which they are opposites. This becomes obvious to me when we try to find a unifying thread by which to identify what is religion. Becuse for all that I have summed up as role I see in relgion, the truth is that they ALL state their own purpose, giving answers to questions which they themselves pose, and it is very difficult to see a commonality between them. However there is one commonality that tends to be made in this juxtaposition with science, and that is that whatever their purpose and methodology it is not the purpose and methodology of science.

    However I think there is something very insightful to be learned by looking at what Einstein says here very carefully and that is that is by science that we should see and understand the world around us even if we need religion as part of the process by which we participate in the world as active living beings. If we would see the world for what it is then we must embrace scientific inquiry, and if we would not be handicapped as impotent observers then we must have religion OR SOMETHING that carries on this role that religion has traditionally filled. I think it is exatly such a SOMETHING that Wolf is suggesting. Saying that traditional religion is not doing a good job at it and science by its very nature and limitations cannot do a very good job at it, and so we need something that does.

    I cannot imagine that Wolf is actually advocating an abandonment of scientific inquiry. No one who has been a scientist would do such a thing. So to tell the truth it is an alternative to traditional relgion which is exactly what Wolf is suggesting.



    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Most sciences and religions are meant to be productive in daily life. Science develops useful technologies, to feed, clothe, house, destroy, kill, protect, teach, observe, heat, hydrate, cool, etc.
    On the contrary, you confuse science with technology and they are not the same thing at all. Science is practical only in the serendipitous way that understanding and percieving the world around us more clearly is bound to be of benefit to us, but it is NOT practical use that drives scientific inquiry but simply the effort to understand. The vast majority of scientific inquiry has no practical use whatsoever.

    However, I think you ARE correct about religion being fundamentally practical and that it is very much about living a better life. How we should live our life, is its most fundamental and universal concern. Science may give us the tools of technology by which we can know how to manipulate things in the world around us and accomplish things we never have before, but is the goal of religion to address the question of, "what IS a productive life?"

    But there is no doubt that people seek answers to this question as well as find identity, meaning and purpose outside of any traditional forms of religion. Many find a great deal of help in doing this from the writings of philosophy as I have. Not everyone has such an exclusive approach to these efforts that they exclusively follow the party line of some traditional relgious organization, indeed I find it difficult to see why anyone would limit their efforts in that way if they really want such answers.
    Bolded by me:

    Religion in many ways serves it's purpose for many people. Some do not need to have a scientific outlook or perspective on how their religion operates... however, with this said in this new age of fanatic religion, and this technostyled world, it seems more and more of us are turning into ''Dana Scully's'' if you catch my drift...? The agnostic nature of scientists are blooming, and religion in the scientific community is dying out.

    What wolf is doing is commendable, because not only is he given the upcoming scientific community with new thoughts on how to interpret a scientific religion, but he is doing it from his own neck and reputation. Many scientists have done this and failed, but he is doing remarkably well, in my eyes.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    Religion in many ways serves it's purpose for many people. Some do not need to have a scientific outlook or perspective on how their religion operates... however, with this said in this new age of fanatic religion, and this technostyled world, it seems more and more of us are turning into ''Dana Scully's'' if you catch my drift...? The agnostic nature of scientists are blooming, and religion in the scientific community is dying out.

    What wolf is doing is commendable, because not only is he given the upcoming scientific community with new thoughts on how to interpret a scientific religion, but he is doing it from his own neck and reputation. Many scientists have done this and failed, but he is doing remarkably well, in my eyes.
    If you say so... I certainly don't see any fundamental contradiction between science and religion, but this does require a kind of multidimensional thinking that many seem to be, shall we say, unprepared for. I find myself constantly appalled by the number of people that insist that questions must have simple answers. There is this inane philosophy that only that which can be expressed simply is of any value and science itself proves that this is plain wrong. I can appreciate Wolf for the simple reason that he is familiarizing people with the ideas of quantum physics and getting them to look at the implications which if nothing else may be a good starting point for the simple reason that it opposes this tendency to look for simple minded answers.

    How are we to understand the fact that we see the historical rise of modern science in a Christian culture. I think we cannot credit any claim that the religion of Chrisitanity is somehow fundamentally responsible. But I think that modern atheist dogma that science was the work of closet atheists whose Christianity was only a concession to social realities, is even more ridiculous. I think the truth is simply that if the culture encourages and tolerates rationality in religion, then there are those individuals like myself who are willing to embrace the kind of mutidimensional thinking that can embrace both theology and scientific inquiry as two different and valuable methodologies for seeking the truth about things: one seeking to objectively explain objective observations and the other subjectively asserting meaning, purpose and identity for human participation.

    I think there is ample evidence that rationality is NOT an inherent quality of Christianity any more or less than other religions, and that what we see instead is that both trends towards rational and irrational are present in ALL of the religions and Christianity is very far from being an exception to this. Thus the historical rise of modern science in a Christian culture simply means that the rational trend managed to gain enough influence long enough for scientific acheivements to get people's attention for the momentum it needed and this is what did not happen in the Islamic world, where the irrational trends managed to put an end to their era of scientific progress. This should be a warning that we need to guard against the irrational trends and forces in Christianity. But the lesson of history should be that the best way to do that is to encourage rationality in religion and that the demonization of religion will only accomplish the opposite. In other words, we need to encourage respectful dialogue where issues and questions can be discussed rationally in a mutual search for truth rather than a battle between unthinking theist and atheist dogmas.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Manynames
    Religion in many ways serves it's purpose for many people. Some do not need to have a scientific outlook or perspective on how their religion operates... however, with this said in this new age of fanatic religion, and this technostyled world, it seems more and more of us are turning into ''Dana Scully's'' if you catch my drift...? The agnostic nature of scientists are blooming, and religion in the scientific community is dying out.

    What wolf is doing is commendable, because not only is he given the upcoming scientific community with new thoughts on how to interpret a scientific religion, but he is doing it from his own neck and reputation. Many scientists have done this and failed, but he is doing remarkably well, in my eyes.
    If you say so... I certainly don't see any fundamental contradiction between science and religion,(1) but this does require a kind of multidimensional thinking that many seem to be, shall we say, unprepared for. I find myself constantly appalled by the number of people that insist that questions must have simple answers.(2) There is this inane philosophy that only that which can be expressed simply is of any value and science itself proves that this is plain wrong. I can appreciate Wolf for the simple reason that he is familiarizing people with the ideas of quantum physics and getting them to look at the implications which if nothing else may be a good starting point for the simple reason that it opposes this tendency to look for simple minded answers.(3)

    How are we to understand the fact that we see the historical rise of modern science in a Christian culture. I think we cannot credit any claim that the religion of Chrisitanity is somehow fundamentally responsible. But I think that modern atheist dogma that science was the work of closet atheists whose Christianity was only a concession to social realities, is even more ridiculous. I think the truth is simply that if the culture encourages and tolerates rationality in religion, then there are those individuals like myself who are willing to embrace the kind of mutidimensional thinking that can embrace both theology and scientific inquiry as two different and valuable methodologies for seeking the truth about things: one seeking to objectively explain objective observations and the other subjectively asserting meaning, purpose and identity for human participation.

    I think there is ample evidence that rationality is NOT an inherent quality of Christianity any more or less than other religions, and that what we see instead is that both trends towards rational and irrational are present in ALL of the religions and Christianity is very far from being an exception to this. Thus the historical rise of modern science in a Christian culture simply means that the rational trend managed to gain enough influence long enough for scientific acheivements to get people's attention for the momentum it needed and this is what did not happen in the Islamic world, where the irrational trends managed to put an end to their era of scientific progress. This should be a warning that we need to guard against the irrational trends and forces in Christianity. But the lesson of history should be that the best way to do that is to encourage rationality in religion and that the demonization of religion will only accomplish the opposite. In other words, we need to encourage respectful dialogue where issues and questions can be discussed rationally in a mutual search for truth rather than a battle between unthinking theist and atheist dogmas.
    Bolded and numbered by me:

    1) Again, for many, religion serves it purpose, but i do see a clear distinction which seems to be almost ''stigma'' of science where the laws of nature may not need to abide by such a divine spirit. It seems that the whole notion of God back in Einsteins day was more acceptable than what it is today... for i do not know how mant times Einsteins referred to His God, and was never classed as psuedoscientific... but do it today, and you are crucified for being a woo woo. It' a shame that such things have been drastically changed, including the notion there is an actual fundamental difference between the materialistic side of QM, and the spiritual side of of the self, God, or even ''God-Self,'' which wolf has been trying to prove from QM.

    2) I think even Einstein said, ''things should be kept simple, but no more simpler.''

    3) I personally hope his endeveaours will release a whole bunch of religios folk wanting to know more about Gods fundamental design. It is afterall, within our reach, and with the new physics of a new era round the corner, it seems that there are plenty ways for the ''religious-minded'' can also be highly scientific about it. Frank Tipler comes to mind, and he has tried to do this, but the amount of bad-press he has gained from other physicists is quite disturbing. It surely has become a dog-eat-dog world. But yes... i hear everything you are saying.
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  15. #14  
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    I think even Einstein said, ''things should be kept simple, but no more simpler.''
    Once I dropped a brick on my big toe while helping a friend build a wall..I cried out "Fuck you, I hope you fucking die for making me help you!"

    What you need is context. Why did he say that?

    I personally hope his endeveaours will release a whole bunch of religios folk wanting to know more about Gods fundamental design.
    Since you want to quote-mine Einstein for support..he also said:

    I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.

    Spinoza asserted that God cannot be something outside of nature that controls it, but must necessarily be part of it. Thus God=Nature. He cannot, therefore, be the omniscient, omnipotent, miracle performing supernatural being that many of the "religious folk" claim, if you follow Einstein's drift.
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  16. #15 Re: Fred Alan Wolf: quantum religion? 
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    I would like to do mitch a kind service. I am going to REWRITE some of his first post into something coherent. One which represents his terribly written, though accurate, views. The below is that interpretation.

    ----------------Begin----------------
    This belongs here because this person clearly expresses religious ideas, even though physics plays a part. I would like to make a clear distinction where religion ends and science begins. Religion is faith based, and as it's faith based, one can have faith in anything. This does not mean religion that ignores science is rational or good.

    Science, contrary to religion, is far more limited in scope. Due to strict methodologies, the conclusions vastly differ from those of religion (whose only guiding limit is faith). Science is science. Religion is religion.
    ----------------End----------------

    This, in my mind, is all that needs to be said. Religion and science cannot be mixed together, because they are two opposing paradigms. Attempting to skew the boundaries results in merely incorrect science.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  17. #16 Re: Fred Alan Wolf: quantum religion? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I would like to do mitch a kind service. I am going to REWRITE some of his first post into something coherent. One which represents his terribly written, though accurate, views. The below is that interpretation.

    ----------------Begin----------------
    This belongs here because this person clearly expresses religious ideas, even though physics plays a part. I would like to make a clear distinction where religion ends and science begins. Religion is faith based, and as it's faith based, one can have faith in anything. This does not mean religion that ignores science is rational or good.

    Science, contrary to religion, is far more limited in scope. Due to strict methodologies, the conclusions vastly differ from those of religion (whose only guiding limit is faith). Science is science. Religion is religion.
    ----------------End----------------

    This, in my mind, is all that needs to be said. Religion and science cannot be mixed together, because they are two opposing paradigms. Attempting to skew the boundaries results in merely incorrect science.
    I, of course, do not accept Darius' rewrite and I certainly do not think it is better written because I do NOT accept his "simplified for consumption by the simple minded" as being in any way equivalent to better written. What we have instead is what he would pass off as a version of what I have said which he thinks that he can accept. But I do not accept his distinction between science and religion AT ALL. I would in fact say that it is the typical muddle of those who have only a pretty vague idea about the difference between science and religion. But then I suppose there are people who prefer the muddle because because it provides a smokescreen for their own unsubstantiated prejudices.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  18. #17  
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    Of course.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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