Jeremiah Flaga My thoughts and experiences on programming, life, atbp.

Two witnesses against the 'Copenhagen Interpretation' thing


(TLDR: This is just my story of how I got more convinced that this “Copenhagen Interpretation” thing, this idea of “something being in two different states at the same time”, is not right. If you do not like stories, you can stop reading at this point. :smile: )

Copenhagen Interpretation?

Big words!

What is that?

I don’t really know :laughing:

All I know is that it results to this very absurd notion that something can be in two different states at the same time.

That idea does not seem to match reality… it does not seem to match what we experience in the real world…

It does not match with one of the very fundamental law in logic — the law of non-contradiction.

It is not possible to have both A and not-A at the same time and in the same sense.

I first heard about this idea of “something being in two different states at the same time” a few years ago, in a video of Ray Comfort where he interviews someone, asking him questions, and then sharing the gospel to him.

In that video (I’m not sure if I can still locate it), Ray Comfort was talking about the law of non-contradiction. Then at the end part of that video, the person being interviewed talked about an example where the law of non-contradiction does not apply — the Schrodinger’s Cat.

I googled about it of course!

I found out that it is related to this “quantum” thing, which I also know nothing about. :laughing:

But I heard someone in the past who compared this “quantum” thing to “magic”.

So I dismissed the “Schrodinger’s Cat” example as something I do not have to worry about.

The law of non-contradiction is saved! Yehey!


Then many months ago, I learned (or relearned?), through Wikipedia, that this “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing was actually a thought experiment given by someone named Schrodinger to show the absurdity of what is known as the “Copenhagen Interpretation” of a phenomena being observed by physicists at a fundamental level of our physical world.


So the “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing was not supposed to provide an example of “something being in two different states at the same time!”

It was supposed to change the minds of those who are already convinced that the law of non-contradiction does not always apply… :smile:

So Schrodinger is a friend! :grin:

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Then, while browsing through Hacker News’ feed last July, I found an article which captured my interest: “How Non-Scientists Think About Science and Science Denial”.


I usually read the comments of the articles that I read… I found a very interesting comment by someone named “billg”:

There was great interview of Dr. Carver Mead (google him, he contributed a lot to microelectronics) where he argues that what becomes science orthodoxy is actually very political. He goes on to say the last 80 year[s] of physics has gone in the wrong direction due to “political [con]census”…

Politics!… in science!?…

Interesting… let’s see!

. . .


Dr. Carver Mead has something to say about this “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing (or this “Copenhagen Interpretation” thing)…

… So [Schrodinger] went to Copenhagen to work with Bohr. He felt that it was a matter of getting a “political” consensus; you know, this is a historic thing that is happening.

But whenever Schrodinger tried to talk, Bohr would raise his voice and bring up all these counter-examples. Basically he shouted him down.

… Of course. It was a period when physics was full of huge egos. It was still going on when I got into the field. But it doesn’t make sense, and it isn’t the way science works in the long run. It may forestall people from doing sensible work for a long time, which is what happened. They ended up derailing conceptual physics for the next 70 years.

… huge egos! … (I thought scientists don’t have those. :smile:)

… derailing conceptual physics! …

So it’s possible to hinder advancements in science and technology because of some stupid ideas[1] that huge egoed people force on others!

Tsk tsk…

And Carver Mead is not alone in ridiculing this “Copenhagen Interpretation” thing.

Steve Patterson, who is actually not a physicist but a philosopher, said this about this CI thing:

“… A physicist cannot use physics to demonstrate a logical contradiction. Physics presupposes logic. A philosopher, however, can use logic to disprove a theory in physics – if the physicists are so naive as to accept logical contradictions into their theory.”

— (from page 112 of the free version of his book “Square One: The Foundations of Knowledge”)

And in his article titled “Everything is Grounded in Logic”, he said this:

“… logic applies to every sentence in every area of study, regardless of how abstract or concrete. This allows the philosopher to state, with utter certainty: in any field of thought, propositions which entail logical contradictions are false. This is equally true from economics to gender studies to quantum physics”

Hmmm… Very interesting!

By the way, we should take heart because support for this CI thing is declining.

According to Steve Patterson:

“… the CI is nowadays considerably less popular than it used to be (last poll I saw put the number at around 40% of professional physicists believe the CI is the most compelling theory to explain quantum phenomena).”

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Carver Mead and Steve Patterson…

Two witnesses…

I mean three… Three witnesses, if we include the 60% of professional physicists…

Three witnesses against this CI thing.

“… at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”

— from Deuteronomy of the Bible


(I’m just joking about using that bible verse out of context here :smile:)

But I’m a programmer; and in programming, there are only three numbers (according to Sandro Mancuso): zero, one, and many.

We should change that verse, then, for the programmers who are reading this:

“… at the mouth of many witnesses, or at the mouth of many witnesses, shall the matter be established.”


[1] (Please note that I said “stupid ideas”, not “stupid people”. People who hold on to stupid ideas are not stupid all the time. They might be stupid in that one particular area, (like all of us are stupid in some areas of our lives) but that does not mean that thay are always stupid. They might actually be more intelligent than you and me in many other areas.)

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