Sunday, May 25, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #11iii

11. On classical causality v. quantum probability:

iii. Einstein’s theology was in conflict with the nature of quantum mechanics. He believed in the omniscient God of Pierre-Simon Laplace and John Calvin, where everything was done to some predetermined plan. Allegedly, Max Born told Einstein to quit telling God what to do. This attitude reconciles the notions of quantum mechanics with the ideas of God, and swayed many with objections along philosophical grounds. It probably unintentionally led to philosophy largely being discarded from the development of modern physics. Meaning is less important that the usability of the theory. It works; the atom bomb is proof. No less true in scientific careers than any other profession, pragmatism is easier: for advancement, one must move onward even if potentially short shifting fundamentals.

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