Monday, June 1
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Tag: state vector

Brane Damage And The Big Bang … (No, That’s Not A Typo)

Brane Damage And The Big Bang … (No, That’s Not A Typo)

"Life" Issues, Astronomy, awareness, Big Bang, Biology, black holes, Challenge, Change, Contact, Cosmology, Creation, Creator, creator senses, critical judgment, Current Events, epistemology, extraterrestrial intelligences, grand unification, Holy Mystery, Imagination, Intelligence, mathematics, Milky Way Galaxy, physics, quantum physics, Rationality, Relativity, Science, Secularity, superstring theory, Uncategorized
My thanks to Rev. John Heagle for pointing out to me a New York Times link to cosmology, superstring theory, and "relative state" cosmology that led to this column. Fr. Heagle is a one-man instantiation of what the Catholic Church should be, in terms of integrity, spirituality, justice, inquisitiveness ... and just plain indomitable good humor. Being friends with him is like being friends with the late Thomas Merton. I have been thinking a lot lately about landscapes.  Now, by “landscapes” in this context, I do not mean physical landscapes like the ones painted by, e.g., Albert Bierstadt, members of the Hudson River School, or Monet’s haystacks, etc.  I mean landscapes that result from the possibility that other Universes, other Kosmoi, may exist other than the one we see around us....
Rivals To “Arrival”

Rivals To “Arrival”

Astronomy, birth, Cosmology, Creation, Creator, curiosity, epistemology, extraterrestrial intelligences, Imagination, monotheism, Mystery, Neo-Platonism, paradox, Philosophy, Plato, postmodernism, quantum physics, Randomness, Rationality, Science, SETI, Statistics, The Divine, Theology, Uncategorized, Universe
If you have not yet seen the science-fiction movie Arrival, stop reading right now, and run – don’t walk – to the nearest theater where it is being shown. SPOILER ALERT:  if you intend to see Arrival, read no farther than this first paragraph. Be assured that the movie is far more provocative than the following comments, which do not profess to do it justice. Specifically, Arrival (1) harks back almost 1500 years to a text, The Consolation of Philosophy, by the early-Christian philosopher Boethius; and (2) at the same time leverages some of the implications of the quantum “measurement problem”:  the relationship between (what we once were pleased to call) “objective” reality and the consciousness of the observer. A lot has been written about both the latter, but Arrival’s twist is to r...
Letting Schroedinger's Cat Out of the Bag

Letting Schroedinger's Cat Out of the Bag

curiosity, doubt, paradox, quantum physics, Science, Skeptic, Spirituality, Theology, wonder, world
At least one perennial philosophical puzzle has been put to rest by quantum theory: the question of whether events are contingent or determined. By "contingent" I mean the possibility that the future is "open" in the sense that  future events have not already been determined by antecedent conditions.  By "determined" I mean the opposite:  that future events have already been determined by past and present conditions. I have never seen any paper or book or journal article, much less a popular discussion of the subject, that actually went so far as to draw the logical inference. But the answer to the question of contingency vs. determinism implicit in quantum mechanics is: the question itself is a phony question, a non-question. Newtonian mechanics was shown to be incomplete by Einstein’s de...