Saturday, October 17, 2015

I love anomalies because they aren't really anomalous. Everything is the way it is for a reason but when we don't have an explanation for some odd behavior, a lot of people just paper over the cognitive dissonance and dismiss it as an anomaly. Back when Galileo pushed the theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun, people asked "If the Earth's moving, how come when I throw a ball up, it comes straight down?" and it wasn't until many years later thanks to Isaac Newton, the father of classical physics and calculus, that this objection was answered.

The "huh, that's funny" moment is where real progress takes place.

Like the case of a mathematics graduate with an above average IQ who did not have 90% of his brain. This has some implications for the assumptions behind General AI and the Singularity but I have to admit I'm somewhat partial to the explanation made by Youtuber InspiringPhilosophy. He uses this example to support his theory of an eternal soul via the mechanism of quantum entanglement.

There's a lot of woo-woo in the quantum sciences, mostly toward Eastern philosophies and religion; Oppenheimer and Schroedinger studied Hinduism for example. Bohr and Heisenberg, Wikipedia tells me, were Christians but a Christian understanding of quantum sciences hasn't really developed, unlike Monsignor Lemaitre's work which led to the Big Bang Theory.*

Something I like about "InspiringPhilosophy" is that he more or less approaches things from a traditional (classical) framework and can provide one answer to the question "How would the Greeks or Scholastics view quantum mechanics?" He could be way off base, but looking at Greek and Scholastic philosophers, that's a feature, not a bug.


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