Joined: Oct. 2005
Gordon Davisson April 25, 2019 at 9:27 pm
Bornagain77 @ 10:
|Over the years here on UD, Gordon Davisson has also often times tried to unsuccessfully defend his Darwinian belief that the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, is somehow not incompatible with Darwinian evolution, (or at least defend the possibility that entropy is not directly defeating to Darwinism).|
“Unsuccessful” only in the sense that I haven’t convinced you. But is that due to my not making a solid case, or you you refusing to accept anything that doesn’t fit your views? Funny thing is that almost all of the competent physicists and chemists agree with me, and not you. I think you should take a serious look at the possibility that it might be you that’s being blinded by your biases.
But you’re actually talking about something completely different here:
In short, experiments in Quantum Mechanics have now demonstrated that, (directly contrary to what Gordon Davisson and other Darwinists apriorily believe), entropy is not a property of a system, but is a property of an observer who describes a system.
This has nothing to do with evolution or “uphill” vs. “downhill”; the second law has essentially the same implications no matter which definition you use (or rather, it had better be the same, or else you’re going to have trouble matching the last century-and-a-half of research, usage, and testing). You appear to be arguing that it does have something to do with consciousness having a special role in the universe, which is a completely different question from evolution.
But you’re wrong about it implying a special role for consciousness, because:
A) It implies that observers are special to themselves, not in any objective sense. That is, to me, my observations and knowledge are special but yours aren’t; you’re just another part of the universe. To you, yours are special, but mine aren’t; I an just another part of the universe. To a third observer, neither one of us is anything special.
B) Even more importantly, there’s no implication that the observers being talked about are conscious observers. A non-conscious observer might seem like nonsense to you, but to the physicists actually working on this it seem to consider it entirely normal. Worse, when they run experiments to test these ideas, they actually use non-conscious “observers”. This means that they are specifically not showing something special about consciousness.
Let’s look at some examples of non-conscious “observers”. In your video (or at least, the linked paper version), you cite the quantum zeno effect, in which continuous “observation” prevents something from changing state. You cited two experimental demonstrations of this effect. In the first experiment (phys.org summary, actual paper), they used used a laser beam to “observe” atoms’ positions via fluorescent scattering:
The fluorescence emitted by the atoms can, in principle, be captured by a detector and thus constitutes a position measurement of the emitting atom. […] We introduce a position measurement rate Γm which we define to be the scattering rate of photons from the imaging beam, and note that this underestimates the actual scattering rate since it neglects the spontaneous emissions during the subsequent recooling of atoms to |D>.
…I don’t see anywhere that they bother to mention whether they actually captured the emitted photons or what the detector’s efficiency (if any) was, let alone whether they had a conscious observer watching the detector’s output. If conscious observation were required, all of these things would’ve been critical elements of the experiment, but they left them out. Furthermore, to show that conscious observation is a critical part of this, they would’ve had to compare runs where they had the laser on but no (running) detector vs. runs where the laser and detector were both on but no conscious observer was watching the detector vs runs where laser, detector, and conscious observer were all there. Instead, they just looked at how the effect depended on the laser’s intensity (and hence the “position measurement rate” defined in the quote).
In the second experiment you cited, an interaction-free version of the quantum Zeno effect (paper) they also used a laser beam as the “observer”. The descriptions are a bit hard to follow, since they sort of turn the observer/observed relation backward, and use whether a Bose-Einstein condensate remains in an unstable state to detect whether it’s being “observed” by a laser:
In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object [“observer” -GD]–realized by a laser beam–prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its [the laser beam/”observer”‘s] presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
Again, the quantum Zeno effect happened without any sign that a conscious observer was involved, let alone necessary. In fact, it’s pretty clear that they didn’t have an actual conscious observer watching the laser, because they were using the Bose-Einstein condensate to tell whether the laser was on or off.
The last example I’ll discuss is one you cited in your comment #11 where “quantum knowledge” can allow deleting data to absorb heat rather than producing it (ScienceDaily summary, actual paper). Here there are explicit (if hypothetical) observers involved. Three of them: Alice, who knows something classical about the state of the system; Bob, who doesn’t, and Quasimodo, who has a quantum memory that’s entangled with the state of the system. But they never discuss whether these “observers” are actually conscious, only how their states relate to the system. When analysing Quasimodo’s interactions with the system, “he” is treated as a normal quantum system. Furthermore, there’s a (somewhat fanciful) picture of “him” in figure 2, where he’s shown as a rectangular box with two robotic-looking arms (and the desciption starts “An observer, here represented by a machine with a quantum memory, Q, erases a system, S.”).
So, basically, you’ve latched onto the term “observer” and assumed it has to do with consciousness, but the actual physics — in all of these cases — is the same whether the “observer” is conscious or not.
it will not surprise the experienced observer that batshit77 responds with approximately eleventy billion words and references to thermodynamics, ATP, Erwin Schrodinger, Michael behe, Steven Weinberg, entropy, Sam Harris, Jim Al-Khalili, David Bohm, special relativity, and the book of Romans.
Edited by stevestory on April 26 2019,12:44