Talk:Quantum mysticism/Archive 4

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Only the stuff in the article needs to be free of OR

In my opinion, the Hubert/Yorick thing belongs in the article, to clarify what is the issue with conscious experience when it is thought of as embedded inside a physical description. On the other hand, any interpretation of Hubert/Yorick that links it directly to quantum mechanics might be considered OR, and is not in the article as written. The article is careful to avoid any interpretation or synthesis. It simply states some classical mind/body issues, then states some analogous quantum mechanical issues, without drawing the parallels.

The discussion above [in Archive 3] explicitly draws those parallels, so as to clarify the issue for editors. It is not meant to be included in the article, because, for all I know, this might be OR. So just because an editor might think that some aspects of the discussion above go beyond what is stated in Dennett or Everett or Wigner, that's doesn't imply that the article has gone beyond what is stated in Dennett or Everett or Wigner.Likebox (talk) 01:42, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


Rather than block a couple of editors for edit warring I've locked the page for a week. Work it out here. Vsmith (talk) 02:05, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

We were in a friendly revert cycle, communicating in a friendly way and waiting for a third party to help make a decision between the two versions.Likebox (talk) 03:30, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
A third opinion on the current dispute would really help.Likebox (talk) 03:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Although scientifically savvy, my QM background is insufficient to help resolve the specific dispute. Sorry.
However, I have hovered on the fringes of the conversation and agree with the assessment that this dispute, although possibly not friendly, remained reasonably contained. This was the longest and largest and most divergent revert-festival I have witnessed which did not explode into all-out warfare. It was more like two, old cantankerous curmudgeons arguing with each other.
My only contribution to resolution is this. To my eyes, the current article contains 764 words on Quantum Mysticism (more or less), 727 words critical of the concept, and 1772 words on Quantum Mechanics. The current dispute seems more about the scientific interpretation of what QM says about the nature of reality rather than the application of QM as a model for mystical experience. --Mbilitatu (talk) 19:28, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
All the science became necessary because somebody merged a serious scientific concept: Consciousness Causes Collapse into this article. That forced this article to go beyond "What the bleep do we know" and "Learn how to change your own psi-function by meditating!" into partly an article on the very serious mind/body issues raised by quantum mechanics. There's no other place in Wikipedia that's appropriate, and forking off an article on "mind/body problem in quantum mechanics" seems unnecessary considering that this is here.Likebox (talk) 01:46, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

First off the current debate concerns text that titled "Classical Mind/body problem" so there is no need for expertise in quantum mechanics. In fact the debate is over whether what this content is SYNTH which means you need only to read where am i. Your opinion would be welcome. I also think you have a good point that this article should reflect quantum mysticism as its authentically appears in society especially if it can be properly cited. Wikipedia is not the place to go beyond well documented sources or elevate a conversation on a subject. If "What the bleep do we know" is the most significant mainstream presentation of quantum mysticism followed by "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" and "The Tao of Physics" than the most of the text should focus on the presentation and reception of the content of those sources.--OMCV (talk) 01:34, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

except that the sources you mention are popularizations of serious physics discussions that have been ongoing in the literature for 80 years now. You need the primary sources first, then the popularizations. This is especially true because "What the bleep do we know" is trying to appeal to change-your-own-reality type fantasy, and "dancing Wu Li masters" has an agenda of meshing with baby-boomer drug induced mystical experiences. The scientific literature on the subject is generally clearer, because it is mostly free from these marketing biases.Likebox (talk) 18:13, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Your distinction between the popularizations and historic perspectives sounds much like some one claiming 1990s punk doesn't hold a candle to 1980s punk. It appears that quantum mysticism is one part "baby-boomer drug induced mystical experience" and one part "Nobel laureates from from the Manhattan project". Both are part of the story and need to represented fairly. We don't get to pick the true or right faction of a well documented movement. That likes to think their moods influence the growth of snow flakes.--OMCV (talk) 01:47, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say that "What the Bleep" and "Wu Li" should be excluded from the article, it's just that I have absolutely no interest in writing about them. If you want to write details of this, feel free. The only thing I have read is a good portion of the scientific literature on the subject, and I am confident that the scientific ideas are sourced to the proper original papers.Likebox (talk) 14:15, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Section on the observer in classical mechanics

I think the edits made by Likebox in the previous version of the article about copying thought experiments should be included. Clearly there are similar issues in determinstic theories too and it is helpful to readers to mention these.

I think one can also mention some other issues raised by philosophers and other scientists about deterministic theories and also quantum mechanics. E.g. in a purely determinstic theory where some brain evolves through a sequence of states, you can map these states to the states of a clock and vice versa. In fact, you can map the entire set of states the whole universe will evolve through to those of a trival model describing a single counter that starts at state 1 and then evolves to state 2, etc. etc. One can then take different views. E.g. one can say that conscious observers cannot exist in determinsitic theories.Such views have been expressed, but I don't have the time right now to study the literature to digg up the different views on this.

One view that I know about is that what matters is that counterfactuals must be implemented in the correct way. So, if you list the states of my brain and call the state on time zero 1, the next state 2, etc. and then argue that I'm nothing more than a clock, then I could argue that the mapping doesn't capture what I am. Had I been subjected to a different envoronment, I would ave reacted in some other way, but thatinformation is not captured by the clock model. A problem for the deterministic model is then that while that may be true, counterfactuals still do not exist, so how can I exist, if my existence depends on existence of such counterfactuals?

This is just one additional issue that could be added, I'm sure there are more... Count Iblis (talk) 16:22, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Someone pointed out a source for this type of argument, it's Ned Block's analysis which was brought up on the chinese room talk page. It's the same argument in slightly different language. You are talking about deterministic models of mind, while Block is talking about computational models of mind, but that's essentially equivalent.
Block points out in the computational that you can take a Turing-test algorithm which is purportedly conscious and turn the computer program into a simple clock model, where each input takes you to another state in an enormously long cycle. This is called "refactoring" in Block's language, and the refactored program is called the "blockhead", because intuition suggests that it is not intelligent in any way. This argument made it seem to Block that the computational model of consciousness is false, for essentially the reason you describe above.
My unsourced opinion (but it might have been expressed by Dennett at some point) is that this type of Block argument is not convincing. The reason is that the clock model has hidden away the information containing the conscious experience in a place where you don't expect to find it, in the "instruction pointer" of the computer program. Usually the information in conscious experience is contained in RAM, so that you can identify the conscious experience. But for the refactored program, the data has been shunted to what is usually a small irrelevant pointer.
You can think of the blockhead model as follows: as the program recieves input, all it does is do a "goto" statement to another state based on the input. The program at the "goto" position then keeps recieving more data, and then does another goto. In this way, all the inputs to the consciousness simply serve to move the instruction pointer, and this looks like a simple clock model.
But in order to do this practically, the program has to be enormous, exponentially huge, with a number of goto locations which is roughly equal to the number of different states that the mind can have. This number is 2^B where B is the number of bits in the mind. So this program length is so huge, that the information content of the mind is hidden in the instruction pointer.
Because the instruction pointer is usually a small integer, the usual intuition fails completely. But the essential point is that there is a law of conservation of information in a computer program. The information content of a computation is independent of the form in which it is refactored. It is this Shannon information that forms the content of the mind in computational views.
Thank you for your comment. I agree that these type of things would make valuable additions, but it requires even more mucking around in the philosophy of mind literature.Likebox (talk) 18:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for my absence but back to the question at hand. "Clearly there are similar issues in determinstic theories too and it is helpful to readers to mention these." The issue is not whether it would be nice to include the content, WP:ILIKEIT is not a valid reason. I would have no problem with the content if it was sourced and attributed. The debate is over whether the content is WP:SYNTH. If there are "similar issues" they should be cited directly. Please address these concerns Count Iblis. Thank you for your participation.--OMCV (talk) 00:11, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Please don't pretend that issues of OR can be settled objectively. They are settled by exercizing judgement and common sense. This idea is definitely "out there", and I found a source of reasonable quality. There are other sources which can be added, probably of equal or comparable quality (Hofstadter's many-worlds article is probably a good place to start, along with random philosophy of mind articles). The question of inclusion is therefore "is this expressed clearly?" "Is it out there?" (meaning, is it not OR), and "is the source provided adequate for a reader who wants to know more?".Likebox (talk) 18:09, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Please cite which Hofstadter article you would like me to look at and name any one of the random philosophy of mind articles. Such references is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm more than happy to insure that they are fairly represented. You are right that this isn't OR as soon as you cite the material you allude to. The fact you have declined to cit this material and thus a forced such a tedious debate is a violation of wiki etiquette.--OMCV (talk) 01:40, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The material is not OR as it stands. The further sources would be to clarify undue weight, to see that the discussion is common in the literature. I did not provide them because no one has suggested that undue weight is violated (it isn't). The random philosophy of mind articles establish that philosophy debates mind/body issues all the time, but frankly, this is so well known that I don't know which source to specifically cite. I suppose Descartes was the first.Likebox (talk) 14:10, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The Hofstadter article is called "The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" or something like that, and it appears in Metamagical Themas, a collection of articles from Scientific American with commentary. I don't know for sure if he talks about copying consciousness in this article, but if my memory serves me right, he does.Likebox (talk) 14:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion

RobinK (talk · contribs) wants to offer a third opinion. To assist with the process, editors are requested to summarize the dispute in a short sentence below.

Viewpoint by User:Likebox

Since we already have a third opinion (that of Count Iblis), there might no longer be a dispute. The main issue was whether it was OK to include a discussion of copying minds in the section called "classical mind body problem", and whether the source provided for this discussion was good enough. Count Iblis has said yes, while another editor (who has left) said no before.

If you wish to offer an opinion, there is additional discussion on OMCV's talk page.Likebox (talk) 20:58, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Since OMCV is asking for an opinion, I will quickly state the other side. The issue of mind/body problem in quantum mechanics is philosophically slightly subtle, and some of the discussion is related to pure philosophy discussions that have nothing to do with quantum mechanics. In the article, I started out with these discussions, because I think they help the reader understand the quantum issues.
In order to avoid any OR or SYNTH, I put all the classical philosphy in one section, and called it "Mind Body Problem in Newtonian Mechanics". The reason is because this stuff does not have anything directly to do with quantum mechanics by itself, it's just mind/body philosophy. This title was challenged, so I changed it to "Classical Mind/Body Problem", and now to "Deterministic Mind/Body Problem". I can't think of a great title. It just means "No QM". But you shouldn't say "Mind Body problem before QM", because these issues were only thought of after analogous problems were raised within QM in the 1950s.
The source I chose for this material (because I think it is well known) is Dennett's essay in The Mind's I, which explores what happens when an observer brain-in-a-vat named "Yorick" is copied into a computer named "Hubert". The two copies diverge at some point, and there is confusion about which way the conscious experience for the single unsplit observer will go after the split.
This is exactly like the observer mind splitting in the many-worlds (or many-minds) interpretation of quantum mechanics, and I am sure that having the non-quantum example clarifies the issue for many readers. The mind-splitting is the form that the measurement problem takes in the many-worlds interpretation. Including the notion of "mind" in the formulation of physical law is considered mystical by some.
I tried very hard to avoid SYNTH and OR, but OMCV insists that the results are not satisfactory. Another editor gave an opinion that the "copying atoms positions and velocities" is synth, because Hubert/Yorick copied a brain-in-a-vat into a computer, which is not exactly the same. I changed the article accordingly, but this editor dropped out of the conversation, so I don't know if the change was satisfactory. It was not satisfactory for OMCV.
Count Iblis supports including the Dennett material, as do I, and OMCV still opposes. Perhaps he can be convinced with further discussion, or perhaps a second source can be found. This stuff is not obscure.Likebox (talk) 20:42, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Viewpoint by (User:OMCV)

First I'll quote my earlier text:

You can't paraphrase something as original as Dennett's work (where am i)to the point that you can't attribute it to Dennett or some one else.
  1. Dennett never supposed that consciousness would "stream" to only one of the copies he describes in his scenario, he never even suggested it. The concept consciousness "stream" and the two split alternatives are currently full inventions.
  2. In fact Dennett points out that each copy is fully conscious and indistinguishable untill they split for undisclosed reasons.
  3. In the current form Dennett's scenario is contradicted by saying the experiment is "copying all the atoms relative positions and velocities into two separate brains". What Dennett actually described was two copies of physical minds tied to the same body through some form of radio transmission.
  4. Furthermore its a major omission to ignore that the minds presented by Dennett are made up of vastly different material one an uploaded mind and the other a Brain in a vat far more than one "bit" of difference by any reasonable interpretation an diffidently not "copying all the atoms relative positions and velocities into two separate brains".
  5. Dennett never said the two copies differed by only one bit, that claim is based on an unusual interpretation of the "switch". (according to more recent conversations like box isn't referring to the switch but that doesn't make it clear what the one bite of information is or how it can be cited.)
  6. The part on "atoms which make up the brain get replaced" is not sourced (nor explained/described in a reasonable way).
  7. At no point does Dennett claim to be addressing the mind/body problem from the perspective of Newtonian or classical mechanics nor does he claim to exclude quantum mechanics. Rather he addressing classic philosophical questions like demonic deceiver and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenarios in a modern yet still unrealistic context.
  8. Philosophical zombies are not discussed in any cited source.
More explicitly with points 3 and 4. The statement "copying all the atoms relative positions and velocities into two separate brains" is not related to the idea producing two copies of a consciousness in two different forms, one a brain in a vat and the other an uploaded mind. This idea of "copying all the atoms relative positions and velocities into two separate brains" is central to the entire hypothetical and is not supported by any reference.

To quote the first third-opinion from Anaxial:

"The statement in the article is "by copying all the atoms relative positions and velocities". This is, it seems, not part of the argument made in Dennett's book, since clearly the atoms in a brain and in an uploaded system are not going to be the same. Therefore, this does, in my view, constitute synthesis, and does not belong on WP - unless, of course, there is some other book that does make this exact argument, in which case we need to cite that. Anaxial (talk) 20:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)"

Likeboxe's response to Anaxial opinion was to mildly modify his text that in no way alleviates the WP:SYNTH. The text still does not reflect Dennett's text or any other known source.

To quote myself again:

You have supposed that the the copying (in Dennett's story) was flawless while I would contend that the story was presented in just such a way to encourage the reader to doubt the expectations of the "scientists". For example the contrived radiation wasn't supposed to damage the first body but none the less it did. The scientists are very self congratulatory and secretive. If they got the radiation wrong and display other personality flaws why are we to suppose Hubert/Yorick (uploaded mind and Brain in a vat)are a perfect pair that ultimately deviated. In addition they deviated with only a three paragraphs of first person account before the story closes that amounts to " Oh my, something went wrong". We as readers don't know why Hubert/Yorick deviated, it could be a quantum difference(s) between the copies, an aspect of their physical minds position in reality that was super-sensory, or the possibility that the copy process wasn't perfect, or perhaps the computer couldn't perfectly model a brain indefinitely. These all staying within the bounds of the text that doesn't limit itself to a specific "hypothetical" physics system. Impressing limits on the story is invention that is usually called Synth on Wikipedia.

More recently Count Iblis has offered a third-opinion. To quote a portion of that opinion "Clearly there are similar issues in determinstic theories too and it is helpful to readers to mention these." The issue is not whether it would be nice to include the content, WP:ILIKEIT is not a valid reason to include contended text. I would have no problem with the content if it was sourced and attributed. The debate is over whether the content is WP:SYNTH. I'm aware that Count Iblis is a well established editor but its unclear how much experience he has with WP:Fringe and specific policies related to the issue at hand.

Sorry for the long post but this has been an extended debate and its difficult to be concise. Thank so much for your help.--OMCV (talk) 00:39, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion by RobinK

It seems I can't offer a good third opinion. We need a more experienced Wikipedian for this. Now that both the viewpoints are summarized well, it should be easier for the next person to come in and offer a third opinion.

Thank you for your consideration. Even if you don't feel comfortable offering a third opinion (something that isn't formally binding) you can still become a direct participant in the conversation. In many ways this would be even more valuable. Regardless thanks again for taking a moment to look over the conflict.--OMCV (talk) 13:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Another third opinion by (...)


  1. "But even for hypothetical Newtonian observers, philosophers have raised doubts." Cite them and fiction doesn't count.
  2. "If the copy is not a philosophical zombie," This unimpressive idea needs to be cited.
  3. "subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone" A statement of such specificity needs to be cited. Why one bit, why not a collection of many bits related to the copies relative position? What is the point of "owning" this text.
  4. "The two observers start out exactly the same, but diverge afterwards" this is not represented by the Dennett text find a source for it or leave it out.

You have yet to supply a compelling argument for this text. Superficial changes won't make a difference. Please go back to the library and do some research to see if you can legitimately make the points you want to make.--OMCV (talk) 01:33, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The reason I am arguing hard is because your interpretation of policies like "SYNTH" is wrong and dangerous to the project. SYNTH is designed to exclude original thought, meaning somebody's personal theories. It is not designed to exclude clear explanations of ideas that already exist and are talked about.
Because of this fundamental misinterpretation of policy, the arguments you give are unpersuasive:
  1. I will NOT cite this, because everybody knows this. Most of philosophy is devoted to debating the nature of consciousness and its relation to material world.
  2. This unimpressive idea does NOT need to be cited. It's the definition of "philosophical zombie". While I agree with you that the concept is fundamentally incoherent, it is an important concept in this field, and it is the only way I could think of to link to a proper philosophy of mind article.
  3. A statement of such specificity needs to be understood in context, evaluated for accuracy, and sourced to a philosopher who made the same argument. That is what I did. I explained it to you, and you understand it now. It is properly sourced to Dennett.
  4. The two observers are indistinguishable at first, as stated by Dennett.
We have a third opinion that the material should be included.Likebox (talk) 13:43, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  1. The dualistic questions you describe after this isn't a doubt "for" Newtonian observers but a doubt "in" a the monistic Newtonian observers. This is a wrong statement that needs to be modified, removed, or attributed.
  2. How can you say " is the only way I could think of to link to a proper philosophy of mind article." and not realize that you are not conducting WP:SYNTH. Second after reading some of what Dennett has written about philosophical zombie's there is no way he would use them as a strawman is such a silly thought experiment.
  3. Please cite the difference where you explained or I understand this statement. Just making statements is not part of a proper conversation.
  4. The observers are indistinguishable from the observer's perspective that doesn't mean they are the "same". They are very different from a third perspective.
Please reconsider your position. This is not the place for you own musings.--OMCV (talk) 13:01, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
To reply:
  1. I can't figure out how what you are saying is different from what I said.
  2. The statement that you are objecting to is vacuous, it doesn't say anything. It says "If the consciousness doesn't go both ways, one of the copies is left a philosophical zombie". This is only repeating the definition of philosophical zombie, and I only included this empty statement in order to link to a proper philosophy of mind article. This statement does not convey any information. It cannot be synth, because it does not synthesize anything.
  3. The extra bit of information is the position of the switch in Dennett's story. I explained it already.
  4. I am only talking about the observer's perspective. Remember also that the consciousness is copied. There is only one observer before Hubert is turned on. So "which way did you go" is a very important question from the observer's point of view.
It is my opinion that you have understood everything, and you understand the attribution to Dennett, and still you persist in maintaining that itis SYNTH. These musings are not original to me. If they were original, I could publish them without a reviewer saying "But Dennett said this 20 years ago". Your interpretation of SYNTH policy is all too common, and deleterious to the entire project. It must be resisted, and you should change your mind.Likebox (talk) 15:55, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
  1. The subject of the doubts can be can be the deterministic materialistic perspective (hypothetical Newtonian observers) or the doubts can be a component of that perspective. As it stand it sounds as if the doubts are a component of the deterministic materialistic perspective and than you proceed to discuss a dualist perspective.
  2. How can you say that one of two possible out comes you present for your thought experiment says nothing? You claim in the text there are only two possible out comes and one is meaningless?
  3. I asked for the difference here, I expect you aren't referencing it because it does not exist. Then again this isn't the first instant Likebox has evaded a straight forward request for a reference.
  4. The reference does not limit itself to the observers perspective. In contrast your thought experiment does, this is one of its original aspects. This originality also includes "which way did you go". This statement implicitly includes continuity of consciousness that is not implicit in the concept of hypothetical Newtonian observer. A Newtonian observer can be fabricated in an instant with no history or even a fabricated history. Continuity of consciousness used here is Likebox's invention not discussed in any referenced sources. I understand that this is an idea that is common to popular culture but not all pop culture ideas are consistent with the philosophical ideas you are playing with in this synth.
I'm sorry to say that you have demonstrated that you have no idea what Dennett did and didn't say. Please drop this ownership or request some form of arbitration. I have done my best to attract administrators to offer their opinion.--OMCV (talk) 20:46, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

(deindent) We are getting somewhere now: I understand most of your points.

  1. I understand the confusion. I didn't mean to imply that philosophers raised doubts about whether the deterministic materialistic perspective can predict the future behavior of the observer as a material system (although they have raised doubts about that too sometimes). What I meant to say is that within the deterministic materialistic perspective, they doubt whether the entire internal experience of consciousness is represented faithfully. This is just a mild version of dualism, which is indeed a respected philosophical position. But if you want to clarify the statement, we can do so. Perhaps it should read "philosophers have doubted whether the internal experience of the mind is accurately included in the material description of the observer".
  2. What I was saying was that "either the consciousness goes both ways, or one way is a philosophical zombie". That's the philosophical definition of zombie, and there is no content to this statement. It does not say which of the two outcomes occur, it just says "either you have two conscious observers, or you have one conscious observer and one zombie". I don't understand why this statement is not immediately identified as vacuous. It only serves the purpose of linking to the article on zombies.
  3. I see what you are after. The reason it's "one bit" is because I was only interested in the answer to one yes/no question, the one posed by Dennett: "Which am I? Hubert or Yorick?". This is the interesting question from the internal perspective.
  4. I did exercise editorial judgement in only focusing on the internal perspective, because that's the interesting part of the essay for this article. I didn't use all the ideas in the text, because most of them are irrelevant. That's normal. It's not synth, it's just choosing what to include.

But if you have ideas on how to present things differently, please say.Likebox (talk) 21:34, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

On a side note: I am not OWNing this text, I am trying to prevent it from getting watered down or deleted. The sections presented here allow a reader to easily learn what exactly it is that is considered mystical about quantum mechanics. This is something that improves the encyclopedia, and it required work to write and get accepted. You are intent on deleting it, without any consideration to its value.
If you were adding material, or rephrasing material keeping the meaning, I would be OK with it. But your modifications have been deletion-leaning.Likebox (talk) 00:36, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
  1. Your new language is better. But it is extremely bad form to be vague when attributing an idea common to a group. If its a common belief it should be extremely easy to cite. If we agree on this one we can move on the the changing of atoms in the brain idea which is full of problems.
  2. Yes I agree this section is a strawman and all strawmen have owner and you are the owner of this one. I feel that if we keep it we are going to have to cite USER:Likebox.
  3. From the page: "So the subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone. The value of this bit is subjectively very important for the duplicated--- it predicts the future--- but this bit is not in the positions and velocities of the atoms." vs. from the talk page "The reason it's "one bit" is because I was only interested in the answer to one yes/no question, the one posed by Dennett: "Which am I? Hubert or Yorick?". This is the interesting question from the internal perspective." Stating that this bit off information exists is poorly extrapolated from the Dennett text and there is really no other way to describe this extrapolation than invention. There is no way to know the if this bit, or just as likely bits, of information lies in the "positions and velocities of the atoms" or not that is never described in Dennett's mad cap first person conclusion. This is your own invention, your synth. I easily conclude that the difference is in the "positions and velocities of the atoms" of the brain in the vat versus the one on the computer. There is nothing in the story to contradict this idea. This makes your statement in the text false.
  4. "I did exercise editorial judgement..." At times such action don't represent synth and at times they do. In this situation it a blatant example of synth. It was remarkable your effort to hang onto saying the two copies were atom for atom. Now you fight for every other detail. (owning.)
The text I have offered covers the same ideas (with the exception of providing synth) is more clearly stated and better cited. Again its amazing that Wigner could his predecessors ideas fairly while you do not.--OMCV (talk) 02:41, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
You can keep saying synth, and I keep saying "not synth". We have to follow the 3rd opinion of Count Iblis. The statement that you say is synth is the statement that the bit that tells you which you are is not physical.
I want you to imagine the following. You are Yorick, and there is no Hubert. Tomorrow Hubert will be built, and switched on. Then Hubert will be made to feel that a hammer has hit it on the head, and that's going to be very painful for Hubert. Are you nervous?
Ok, now it's 1:00PM the next day. Hubert has been running for a while, and you fiddle with the switch. Nothing happens. Are you nervous now?
Ok, it's 3:59PM, the hammer blow is about to come at 4:00. Are you nervous now? Since both Hubert and Yorick have exactly the same feelings, but different futures, how can you tell which one you are?
Your friend breathlessly rushed to your house at 3:30 to give you some shocking news: he has a readout of all the positions of all the atoms in Yorick's brain, and a complete source code listing and all the data running in Hubert! He can rummage through the data and answer any question about the atoms that you have. Can your friend tell you find out whether you should be nervous?
How many bits of information are you lacking about your circumstances?
This point, which I have had to belabor, is the only content of the paragraph you want to delete. It is not synth, because essentially the same story was told by Dennett. You should learn to be less literal minded when evaluating ideas.Likebox (talk) 04:58, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

(deindent) About 1, we agree. About point 2: it is not a strawman, because some dualist philosopher will say that Hubert won't work, because it doesn't have a soul. About point 4, I still maintain that the atom-by-atom copy is not different enough to constitute synth, since it is essentially the same idea. I only dropped it to satisfy the first 3rd opinion. Now please respect the second 3rd opinion and stop attacking this section.Likebox (talk) 05:04, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

  1. We agree about the proposed replacement text for 1 since its very similar to the text I have replaced the entire section with.
  2. Is 2 meaningless or a very important to argument you have made to dualists? Because a proper Newtonian system feels no need to acknowledge or explain itself to dualists.
  3. You still have not addressed where the one bit idea comes from. Understandable since its clearly synth.
  4. You might not understand the physical world well enough to understand that a uploaded mind and brain in a vat differ atom-by-atom. Its clear there is little I can do to fix that failing.
Its not worth anyone's time to respond to the scenario you just posted. But I will take the time to point out one fact Likebox says "Your friend breathlessly rushed to your house at 3:30 to give you some shocking news: he has a readout of all the positions of all the atoms in Yorick's brain, and a complete source code listing and all the data running in Hubert! He can rummage through the data and answer any question about the atoms that you have. Can your friend tell you find out whether you should be nervous?" Well here is the rub because that the this information isn't in Dennett's work in fact. Let me quote one of my earlier responses to this type of argument:
"You have supposed that the the copying was flawless while I would contend that the story was presented in just such a way to encourage the reader to doubt the expectations of the "scientists". For example the contrived radiation wasn't supposed to damage the first body but none the less it did. The scientists are very self congratulatory and secretive. If they got the radiation wrong and display other personality flaws why are we to suppose Hubert/Yorick are a perfect pair that ultimately deviated. In addition they deviated with only a three paragraphs of first person account before the story closes that amounts to " Oh my, something went wrong". We as readers don't know why Hubert/Yorick deviated, it could be a quantum difference(s) between the copies, an aspect of their physical minds position in reality that was super-sensory, or the possibility that the copy process wasn't perfect, or perhaps the computer couldn't perfectly model a brain indefinitely. These all staying within the bounds of the text that doesn't limit itself to a specific "hypothetical" physics system. Impressing limits on the story is invention that is usually called Synth on Wikipedia."
You would like to force the system to differ by one-bit but that just doesn't reflect the content of the source.
But we don't have to speculate about everything Dennett thought about his work since he wrote a a "relections" for this piece:
"The story you have just read not only isn't true (in case you wondered) but couldn't be true. The technological feats described are impossible now, and some may remain forever outside our ability, but that is not what matters to us. What matters is whether there is something in principle impossible -- something incoherent -- about the whole tale. When philosophical fantasies become too outlandish -- involving time machines, say, or duplicate universes or infinitely powerful deceiving demons -- we may wisely decline to conclude anything from them. Our conviction that we understand the issues involved may be unreliable, an illusion produced by the vividness of the fantasy.
Since several of the most remarkable features of "Where am I?" hinge on the supposition of independent synchronic processing in Yorick and Hubert, it is important to note that this supposition is truly outrageous -- in the same league as the supposition that somewhere there is another planet just like Earth, with an atom-for-atom duplicate of you and all your friends and surroundings,* or the supposition that the universe is only five days old (it only seems to be much older because when God made it five days ago, He made lots of instant "memory"-laden adults, libraries full of apparently ancient books, mountains full of brand-new fossils, and so forth)."
That's more than enough for now it seems that I'll mostly be recycling previous arguments from here on out since Likebox is avoiding a discussion of content with continuity in favor of a rhetoric with convenient inability to understand or remember key piece of information or discussion. I must assume at this point of the argument Likebox is arguing solely to defend their synth or perhaps they are simply trying to "win" at the expense of the encyclopedia.--OMCV (talk) 12:20, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
The statements Dennett are obviously true, but irrelevant. He is considering the copying of observers in principle, not in practice, and it would be completely impossible in practice of course. The observation you are making is so specious, I don't understand why you make it. Dennett most certainly does not think his story is like demons physically existing, or even time machines. He explicitly says that the story is possible in principle, unlike the other two. This is why I cite him, because he is asking the question seriously.
"You would like to force the system to differ by one bit", is inaccurate. The system has one missing subjective bit of information, which tells you the answer to "which one am I? Hubert or Yorick?" That's explicitly stated by Dennett, in terms of the position of a single switch, which is subjectively unpercievable. I said it as "one bit", he says it as "one switch". They are the same. Your idea that using different language for the same concept is somehow original thought devalues original thought.
I believe you understand the issues now, and you persist in deleting Dennett. We have a third opinion, and that should be enough to make you stop.Likebox (talk) 17:08, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

2 3rd Opinions?

I don't think so. People who left weeks ago don't count. This debate should be closed.Likebox (talk) 15:56, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Request for Comments Regarding SYNTH

Please look to Talk:Quantum mysticism#Third opinion. This discussion has been shifted to absurd rhetoric and I can't start a user RFC until there is more than one party involved. Thanks to anyone willing to deal with all the parties involved.--OMCV (talk) 22:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

(PS: Removed from "policy" RfC where it seems inappropriate, will add to Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard#Quantum mysticism instead. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:01, 16 September 2009 (UTC))
I agree that the discussion has reached a natural endpoint, since we both know the contents of all the sources. An RFC is a reasonable approach. However, I would ask that OMCV respect the 3rd opinion of Count Iblis, and allow the disputed text to remain for now.Likebox (talk) 22:58, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I thank Count Iblis his opinion and wished he had taken a greater part in the conversation. He never responded to my concerns about his opinion so it seems incomplete. Furthermore more there was another 3O that believes the text in question is synth; this opinion had to be explained to Likebox at least twice. Finally there is is a third editor who quickly and easily saw this material as synth.--OMCV (talk) 23:37, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
You are right that this material seems to be synth for many editors, because they are ignorant of the literature. The editors here who have read the relevant literature understand that there is no synth at all. Both Michael Price and Count Iblis are familiar with the quantum mechanics and classical philosophy literature to the point where they can identify this material as standard. Wikipedia does not balance the opinion of the knowledgable against the opinions of the ignorant. It just asks people who are ignorant to edit elsewhere.Likebox (talk) 17:35, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
To quote the Micheal Price opinion to which you are referring: "I can't comment on whether Dennett's views are portrayed accurately or not, since I've never read any of his stuff." I can't speak for Price but if a collaborator misrepresented me this badly I would be very angry with them. Strange to suggest that I'm ignorant when I've taken the time to read the Dennett piece as well as a number of others.--OMCV (talk) 22:46, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I can't comment on whether Dennett's views are portrayed accurately or not, since I've never read any of his stuff. Assuming that they are, can't we just incorporate Dennett's views into a new (sub) section? OMCV's section treats the history by looking at individual contributions; Dennett would seem to merit inclusion alongside the others (e.g. Wigner). Just make Dennett's views another (sub) section. And if the material needs better sourcing, just tag the dubious material. Deleting Dennett's POV due to lack of sourcing does not seem fair -- fact tag it and let the community supply the citations. Same goes for OMCV's material -- deletion does not seem reasonable; it's informative and should be kept.

The more interesting question is whether the zombie argument is correct. I thought it was, but now I'm not so sure. But I'm, too tired to think it through at the moment. --Michael C. Price talk 01:02, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Removing text was not my original concern. My first edit as well as my others edits around that time were slight modification of the language and tagging for sources. These edits were challenged (reverted) in an unreasonable way and so I demanded sources on the talk page. Finally I was told the section was based exclusively on where am i after reading this text it was clear there was significant invention between the source and the text of the article. Nor was Likebox currently familiar with the relevant sources [1] and [2]. Dennett's text which I recommend checking for your self speaks to philosophical questions like the location of identity "is it in the body or the brain or someplace eles" as well as pondering the fundamental coherency of such questions. Dennett cites the "Rational Homunculi" by Ronald de Sousa (1976) as inspiration. Never does he address the physics framework in which his story is set. This is the over arching view of the problem, examining the details of what Likebox has added is really where the synth emerges, every sentence of the hypothetical question based attributed to Dennett is disputable. I'm more than happy to accept anything that reflects the text but I don't see the point since in this paper Dennett isn't addressing classical or quantum mechanics. I hate to cite policy but the impetus to supply citation is on the editor that supplies the text and earlier I was generous enough to look for myself the material myself (This diff. contains a typos and should read "This is generous of me since the burden of citation is not on the editor who challenges the material but the editor that adds it.") Let me emphasize if any of the contentious text was representative of Dennett's material I would leave it be. Thank you very much for your opinion Michael, I hope you have time to follow up on the concerns I've added here. (I think you'll find if you pull on the zombie thread all this Dennett Synth will unravel.)--OMCV (talk) 02:32, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Listen, OMCV, this is a place for OTHERS to say what they have to say, not for you to repeat yourself. Everyone knows your position. Do not harass others. Michael Price believes that this text should be included, as do I, and as does Count Iblis.Likebox (talk) 17:31, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Neither version of the disputed text is well referenced. I suggest scratching section or moving to pre-edit war version of text and re-doing with an eye to referencing.Simonm223 (talk) 18:22, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Pre-edit war text would essentially be Likebox text pre-synth challenge. Redoing that text with an eye to referencing is what I've been pushing over this entire talk page. I see the text I'm backing as a synth free compromise free that makes Likebox's point. Thus if the choice was between pre-challenge section and scratching the section my preference would be to scratch the section.--OMCV (talk) 22:47, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Talk of Dennett's zombie's exists out there. It should be reported here as well. --Michael C. Price talk 20:17, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I completely agree that Dennett has opinions about Philosophical Zombies as it turns out he is heavily referenced in our own article on Philosophical Zombies. But he never mentions Philosophical Zombies in where am i. So where is the pertinent reference? The next question is why would we mention philisophical zombies here? To my knowledge there is no known WP:RS that connects Philosophical Zombies to quantum mysticism/mechanics.--OMCV (talk) 22:46, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I have already expressed my opinion on what I would like to see discussed in the article. Now, I don't think one can resolve the content dispute by focussing first on how to avoid OR or SYNTH by trying to find some suitable source. I think one has to attempt to discuss this from first principles first, and stop arguing about what some source does or doesn't say.

One question that has to be addressed is if some proposed text for the article would be in conflict with what most experts would support. E.g. if you were to write this up for a peer reviewed article, and I'm the Referee, would it be reasonable for me to write in my Referee Report that I have problems with this reasoning, that I would want to see a citation for this statement?

To see if it is reasonable to consider the text to be OR, consider again this to be part of a peer reviewed article. If it is now assumed to be the main subject of the article, would the Referee be justified to reject the article for publication based on lack of originality?

Example. Some time ago I wrote down the the derivation of the formula

But I don't have a source for this. Very likely a source does exist, but I think it is completely irrelevant. Everything follows straightforwardly from first principles. The argument/derivation itself makes the statement far more verifiable than giving a reference to some textbook that most people cannot easily access anyway. Count Iblis (talk) 20:46, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

And that would be great if Wikipedia were a referreed journal. But it's not. It's an open-source encyclopaedia and referencing is necessary; even when something follows logically from first principles.Simonm223 (talk) 20:50, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
When I asked about this loophole on the OR policy page, I was told that you could justifiably invoke WP:IAR to include first principles mathematical derivations that do not exist in suitable form in textbooks. Count Iblis (talk) 21:17, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:IAR is fine until there is a dispute at which point we use rules to resolve the dispute. Count Iblis it would also be worth looking at WP:NOT PAPER. I'll contact you on your talk page to discuss these policies in more detail.--OMCV (talk) 22:56, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I have difficulties with these two sentences: So the subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone. The value of this bit is subjectively very important for the duplicated--- it predicts the future--- but this bit is not in the positions and velocities of the atoms. I don't think it is possible to interpret them in any way that Dennett would agree with -- I think he would say that they contain an implicit dualism. Looie496 (talk) 22:18, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
2 quick comments (sorry for butting in): What you are point out is what OMCV disputed too. I am aware of the difficulty, and I think there is legitimacy to the critique, OMCV does have a point here. But I ask you to try to review the arguments here and on OMCV's talk page before coming to a definitive conclusion, because Dennett's position on "dualism" is subtle and I took pains to stay faithful to it.
A second comment is that I agree with Michael price that if something would be rejected as unoriginal by a referee, then it would be appropriate for Wikipedia. Otherwise, you would create a middle ground between Original Research (which is publishable in a journal) and Unoriginal Rehashing (which is good for Wikipedia). If you create this middle ground, there would be information which has no home either in journals or on Wikipedia, and that would be bad.Likebox (talk) 22:33, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Please keep up with the conversation it was Count Iblis (not "Michael price") who made the comments regarding unoriginal ideas discarded by referees. The main problem with this idea is that we can never deffer to expert opinion on Wikipedia since its fundamentally impossible to obtain, we can only deffer to WP:RS. When I am challenged on a subject that I'm an expert on is challenged I must argue it with sources as any other editor even if I have first hand experience.--OMCV (talk) 23:04, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I can't get anywhere reviewing the earlier arguments, I'm sorry, they are too long for my brain capacity. But I don't think Dennett's position on dualism is subtle. His position is simple: he's against it. He thinks the biggest problem with the philosophy of consciousness is that dualism keeps creeping in, and he thinks that is purely bad. Looie496 (talk) 00:14, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Of course, you are right that you can't defer to experts, but that is not what I am suggesting. The literature on this stuff is well known and online, and anyone can read it and become an expert in short order. The point is that claims of OR or SYNTH need to be evaluated with a background knowledge of what people in the field know. If you take a little time to familiarize yourself with the literature, then some things that look like OR or SYNTH stop looking like OR. I think it isn't too much to ask that people who come to an article familiarize themselves with the literature during their time spent editing.
I agree that Dennett is against any forms of substance dualism, or anything which denies that the mind can be identified in a one-to-one way with the activity of the brain. But the one example he brings up is the case that two separate brains (two different information processing devices) have the exact same activity. This is one of the situations he explores in the essay "Where am I".
In this essay, he has a brain-in-a-vat named Yorick be simulated by a computer named Hubert, so faithfully that they are indistinguishable (at least for a little while). Either Yorick or Hubert can controll Dennett's body, and he does not know which one is controlling the body (most importantly, he does not acknowledge a difference). After the brain Yorick and the computer Hubert diverge, he then notes that you can tell the two apart. The important thing here is that the information about "which one he is" is unavailable to him, even if all the material information is known. This is an example of Dennett identifying mind with activity, not with material substance. For Dennett, mind is software, and software can run on different hardware.Likebox (talk) 01:51, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Discreet Opinions

The following text has been challenged as WP:SYNTH. It would be helpful if editors could offer their opinion in a sentence (or two) starting with SYNTH or NOT SYNTH and then signing the opinion. It would also be appreciated if editors would refrain from commenting on other's opinions within this section.

But even for hypothetical Newtonian observers, many philosophers doubt that the material description is the only thing you need in order to understand internal experience. The atoms which make up the brain get replaced, but the information gets copied into new atoms. In certain contrived thought experiments, this type of copying leads to strange outcomes. For example, take a conscious Newtonian observer and duplicate all the information in the brain, making two separate observers. The two observers start out exactly the same, but diverge afterwards, since they will have different experiences from this point on. In this situation, it is not obvious which way the subjective stream of conscious experience for the observer will go. If the copy is not a philosophical zombie, the consciousness had better go both ways. But each copy feels to have gone only one way.
So the subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone. The value of this bit is subjectively very important for the duplicated--- it predicts the future--- but this bit is not in the positions and velocities of the atoms. These types of thought experiments were widely discussed in philosophy in the 1980s[1], but similar ideas appeared earlier as part of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
  • SYNTH Per my comments on this talk page.--OMCV (talk) 03:33, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not a democracy stop holding votes.Likebox (talk) 16:57, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Abstain (And only that because I've been canvassed for my opinion as a past contributor to the discussion). There is already an RfC going; I think developing a consensus through that medium would be more useful than holding a vote.Anaxial (talk) 17:11, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Irrelevant See WP:ESCA. First we need to establish scientific veracity, then decide on sourcing. --Michael C. Price talk 18:00, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Partly synth The first paragraph accurately describes Dennett's argument. The second one does not, and should not be referenced to him. Looie496 (talk) 00:29, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

scientific discussion

Ok "scientific discussion", lets start with "The atoms which make up the brain get replaced, but the information gets copied into new atoms. In certain contrived thought experiments, this type of copying leads to strange outcomes." In this statement its not clear what is meant by information, is it memories or some more physical description about the information content of the system. If its only memories we should just say memories and cite a source for it since its popular statement thats not strictly true or fully understood. We know that there is a great deal material passing across the blood brain barrier all the time. But we don't know if all the atoms are being changed. After all whether or not its true its conventionally assumed that new neural cells are not produced which means atom of nuclear DNA might rarely be replaced. If I look to verified sources on this subject the first thing I think of is Feynman's speech the "Value of Science". Feynman cites a paper that states "The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of a the rate decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks." [3]. Still Feynman in his popular presentation some what misrepresenting the study as dealing with the whole brain. Since the study measured phosphorus it was mostly measuring the uses and exchanges ATP, the brains fuel and not the brains structure and in turn memories. Its akin to saying the fuel I have in my car today is not the same as the fuel I had in my car yesterday yet it is still my car. So perhaps very little of this information is being "copied" what is sure is that the nature of memories and the structural system through which they store memories is still poorly understood. About a year ago I saw a talk on the "math" though which neurons work. The question was whether neurons function through discrete quanta of information like a PN junction or spectral build-up of input. As you might expect the speaker suggested something in between that was nuanced and specific that we don't yet understand. Lets just say this "atom exchange" statement is scientifically debatable.

Next we get to "this type of copying" which would suggest we are talking about maintaining memories/consciousness in an individual but instead we break into something inspired by Dennett's story "take a conscious Newtonian observer and duplicate all the information in the brain, making two separate observers" the leap from maintaining a the continuity of a mind to producing copies is a leap. Ignoring the source issues there are number of outcomes/interpretation you could expect for "two observers start out exactly the same" First I would expect the author is referring to two observers who are internally identical but exist in different locations this is the most obvious interpretation and if something else is meant it should be explained in the text. My expectation for such individuals is that they would start to diverge due to their respective relationship to external environment under both Newtonian and quantum models.

The more esoteric interpretation that the clone pair have the same relationship to the outside world I would have discarded according to my understanding of the Pauli exclusion principle. But if we assume clone pair have the same relationship to the outside world my expectations would be that they would not diverge under a classical model and that they would diverge statically under a quantum mechanical model. The content concerning philosophical zombies is addressed to dualist philosophers and I have no scientific interest in the concept or conversations related to such an incoherent and unmeasurable concept. I don't consider consciousness a stream with continuity such an idea is unmeasurable and outside the scope of science (I understand that this is debatable but its my honest opinion and I can support it by quoting philosophy of science). I do believe in a temporal pattern existing in the interactions of atoms with no intrinsic "stream" continuity. If any of this valid it means there are more possibilities than represented by the statement: "So the subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone. The value of this bit is subjectively very important for the duplicated--- it predicts the future--- but this bit is not in the positions and velocities of the atoms." This statement is especially wrong if I'm allowed to assume the clone pair does not diverge. I already offered the non-divergent possibility but reiterate here just to emphasize that there is no reason as to why I wouldn't be able to postulate such an outcome. All it take is assuming consciousness lies "in the positions and velocities of the atoms." On top of all this it easily cited that this is the opinion Wigner would have expected for a classical minded person.

If we ignore WP:SYNTH and the misrepresentation of Dennett's beliefs this section is just bad text and the only reason to keep it would be if it was possible to attribute it to a WP:VS. I reverted to arguing through policy due to my difficult in reaching even a very basic level of consensus and discourse with Likebox. For the sake of the discussion I'm going to ask Likebox to allow at least few other other editors to respond to this commentary before altering the flow of the conversation. I will make similar concession to him where appropriate.--OMCV (talk) 21:07, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I read it, but beware of WP:TLDR. I agree that the wording can be greatly improved, but the idea seems clear and valid: deterministic (e.g. Newtonian) observers will experience subjective randomness when they are duplicated, either by some imaginary star-trek style duplicator, by a split brain experiment or by quantum effects in a MWI scenariao. Can we agree on this, before we move onto clarifying the language and finally sorting out sources? --Michael C. Price talk 21:25, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
You are right about WP:TLDR my apologies. I agree a imaginary star-trek style duplicator copies would diverge "due to their respective relationship to external environment under both Newtonian and quantum models." But I don't agree all methods of duplication (imaginary star-trek style duplicator, by a split brain experiment, or by quantum effects in a MWI scenariao) are the same, each scenario is nested in different models and assumptions.--OMCV (talk) 21:38, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
They are not the same, but the effect of subjective randomness is common to all scenarios.... agreed? --Michael C. Price talk 21:43, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I would agree in all but one situation. Under a strict deterministic classical model identical observers within identical environments would have the same experiences and would not deviate. This sort of position was readily acknowledged if not respected by Wigner in his paper "Remarks on the mind-body question".--OMCV (talk) 00:26, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
True, I was implicitly assuming different environments. --Michael C. Price talk 07:19, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Strangely enough this identical environment is one of the possible interpretations of Dennett's text (I think this is the interpretations that Likebox prefers) but in Dennett text the twins eventually diverge for unexplained reasons. It also appears that "Rational Homunculi" by Ronald de Sousa (1976) reference as inspiration in Dennett's reflections on "where am I" might also discuss something like this. It get blurrier for me but I think the MWI can be taken as the same situation minus the classical determinism.--OMCV (talk) 11:39, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

(deindent) Sorry for kibitzing, but I wanted to be fair to all points of view, even those of the dualists. so I tried to stick to presenting the thought experiments without drawing conclusions.

The thought experiment is this:

  1. you have one observer
  2. The observer gets cloned into copy 1 and copy 2 (either Hubert/Yorick or star-trek style)
  3. The copies diverge, either because of internal noise, or because of the environment

From a third person point of view, this is an objective description of the evolution of a physical system, there is absolutely no ambiguity about what is going on--- one observer becomes two. If probed, each copy would say that they were the initial observer before the cloning event. But viewed from the inside, if you are the observer getting cloned, there is a very natural question you can ask: Am I going to end up being copy 1 or am I going to be copy 2? This question cannot even be formulated from the outside, so it has no objective answer, but it is subjectively very important if you are the observer.

This scenario is Dennett's (and to some extent Everett's). Since the question doesn't even make sense when formulated in the third person perspective, the answer to this question does not lie in the position and velocities of any atoms. You might conclude that this question doesn't make any sense. But, in any case, the answer to this question is 1 bit of subjective information which both copy 1 and copy 2 know, and which the original observer does not. In the objective third person view, there is no information gained--- you know that copy 1 will say "I am copy 1" and copy 2 will say "I am copy 2".

To give an example of actual OR and SYNTH, I'll go beyond Dennett's example: suppose that the copying goes on indefinitely, so that the cloning keeps happening again and again. Then it is very difficult to say what it feels like for the observer, from the first person perspective. For example, take a star-trek duplicator, and duplicate the observer, and then duplicate each duplicate, but add a twist: the duplicator keeps the data from the first duplication event in its memory banks, and makes a third copy in the exact same state twenty years later, and starts duplicating that observer too in the same way. And then it does so again forty years later, then sixty years later. What is the subjective experience? From a naive counting perspective, I should predict that I would be nearly certainly teleported in time to some distant future point, because the number of future copies of my present state is vastly greater than the two present copies. On the other hand, the total number of observers descended from the current duplicates will always outnumber the observers descended from the future duplicates. So perhaps the right counting is by the number of descendents at each time slice, rather than by the total number of descendents of my present state. Even worse, how can my subjective experience change depending on whether somebody millions of years in the future turns off the darned duplicator? (Boltzmann's brain is a similar idea).Likebox (talk) 23:20, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Thus apparent paradox used to bother me, until I realised that this probabilistic weighting is unobservable by both the external and the internal observers. Ergo, metaphysical in Ayer's terminology and hence meaningless.
The surprise is that subjective probabilities are analysable in Everett's model. But that's because he's dealing with a specific physical model, not some idealised thought experiment. --Michael C. Price talk 07:19, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

How about approaching this from a different angle?

It seems odd to me to base the motivation for this on Dennett's arguments, when Dennett has really no sympathy whatsoever for quantum mysticism. The argument that is used by every proponent article I've looked at is basically that classical physics is incapable of solving what Chalmers calls the hard problem of consciousness -- that explaining what is special about phenomenal experience requires adding some extra "voodoo juice" which can only come from quantum mechanics. Dennett, as our article points out, thinks that the "hard problem" is a pseudoproblem, an artifact of covert dualism. Looie496 (talk) 00:41, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I completely agree and if you know a citation for one of these articles about "voodoo juice" I think it would be the perfect sort of content to replace Dennett.--OMCV (talk) 02:54, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I would like to note that the entire lengthy "history" section, short of the brief "mystical interpretations" section at the end, is completely offtopic to this article and only rehashes material covered elsewhere that may simply be referenced by a wikilink (see mind-body problem, decoherence, etc.). Yes, people have no chance of understanding this without reading up these topics first, but no, this doesn't mean you need to dump this background knowledge in the article. You can only point people to the material, you cannot make them absorb it, and people aren't going to read it just because you dump the text in front of them. --dab (𒁳) 18:34, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I believe that you are confusing quantum consciousness with quantum mysticism. Quantum consciousness is the claim made by Penrose and others that quantum mechanics has something to do with the working of the brain, and some quantum effect is responsible for consciousness. This has absolutely nothing to do with quantum mysticism, which is based on the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, and does not involve any new undiscovered physics or biology.
The Dennett part does not claim that Dennett supports quantum mysticism, it doesn't talk about quantum mysticism at all. It only talks about the mind/body problem, which is the issue that is being addressed in quantum mysticism. I exercised editorial judgement that mind/body issues are important to discuss here, because that is the central issue with quantum mysticism. I began to edit when the article on the mind/body article by Wigner was merged into this article.Likebox (talk) 19:40, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
To be blunter, in case I wasn't understood: "Voodoo juice" is quantum consciousness, not quantum mysticism. Quantum mysticism is just the name people give to the resolution of the measurement problem in QM by identifying it with the mind/body problem.Likebox (talk) 19:42, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I am responding from the science hub, where I found this troubled article at the call of wikipedian, OMCV. This is my attempt to answer that call. I'll approach this from a very different angle: I think the entire article needs to be condensed, written in an encyclopedic prose, and either (a) merged inside a larger article on the subject of metaphysics or (b) re-written in the form of a factual argument on a scientific and philosophical subject. Right away this article is in serious need of help, notwithstanding its subject matter. The introduction is way too involved and, in its attempt at neutrality, we end up creating a dialog of opinions and despite the sources, that is not very informative to the subject itself. Coming fresh to this page, and being a proponent of physics and mathematics, I find the introduction to severely fragment the article's thesis, to the point of vertigo. The body of the article follows only the weakness of this article's thesis, which, despite being concretley stated at the beginning first sentence of the article, lacks substance for factual introspection. This article ends up looking like a place for an argument on a metaphysical concept. If it is indeed that, and argument articles do exist, as they are a cornerstone of scientific debate and reason, this article should concretely state that, and be formatted as such. This would alleviate your problem of conflicting views and competing ideologies immediately whilst giving everyone a space to breathe and voice their respective sides, of course, highly cited and properly written under our watchful eyes. I hope to be of service here. Let me know what you all think about this change. I formally recommend the option B. Cheers. --Lightbound talk 16:01, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't like your proposed changes, and I think the current prose is "encyclopedic" enough.
Why? Because this is not an article on philosophy. It is an article on "quantum mysticism", the idea that quantum mechanics involves substantial modifications to the observer/system (or mind/body) relationship. Philosophers (with the exception of Dennett who contributed a tiny amount) have contributed absolutely nothing to this discussion, which was conducted by physicists alone, so they don't get to keep this material. So option a, merging into a philosophy article, is, in my opinion unacceptable.
Option "b" is no good either, because the article is not an argument. The article is a condensed summary of arguments that others have made, with citations, written in plain language. Without plain language, the writing of plain-spoken physicists is made to look like the pompous jargon of many philosophers.
So I propose option "c", leave the article as it is!Likebox (talk) 16:35, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Lightbound on this one. I was also brought to this article (from either the NPOV or the Fringe noticeboard, I don't recall which) because of a content dispute and found basically the same problem you mentioned. Simonm223 (talk) 15:26, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I am afraid that you are wrong by about twenty policies that this article does not need changes. And, unfortunately for you (but fortunately for people seeking truth), editors have the ability to change this article regardless of your opinion, which is closed to debate, as it seems. If the article, in your own words, is a "condensed summary of arguments" then you have just agreed with me and contradicted yourself. How can it be "not an argument" and both a "condensed summary of arguments"? I am dissapointed, but not surprised. Typically when an article looks this terrible, from a writing standpoint, it is being guarded by people that have made it that way and/or prevented it from evolving. You do not own the article. It is not "your" or "my" idea or concept. It is freely open to be changed and I came here to open an intelligent and rational discourse on how we aught to go about making this article look better.
  • No one requires your permission to change this article.
  • You do not have to agree with policy, but only accept it, or work to change it.
  • The article can (and will) be modified and still convey its information without any loss or sacrifice to its content; it's called English composition and Wikipedia standards.
  • You did not propose any changes. In fact, you requested it remain the same. Now since we already know it needs to be edited for voice, tone, and structure, you have already closed yourself out of any rational debate on how we should go about that. And, if I find that you begin reverting good faith edits, we will have unnecessary drama and time wasting to contend with. Let us put all that aside and not waste each other's time.
  • Rest assured, your resistance to change on this article, and your unilateral view towards change and disregard for quality aritcles has ensured I will be a lasting presence to make sure as many Wiki policies for this article are adhered to.
Cheers. :) --Lightbound talk 13:06, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Your "voice" and "tone" changes need to be debated, because your prose sounds illiterate to my ears. It is full of words that have no meaning, and wrong links to philosophical topics which did not involve themselves in this conversation.
If you are claiming that this article runs afoul of "twenty policies", you better name them. The intro was written by many people, and their work should be respected.
The article is not an argument, meaning it does not represent one point of view. It is a condensed summary of arguments, for different points of view with their weight distributed as required by undue weight. Your changes so far did not impact any content (thank god), but they did impact the intro, which was fine as it was.Likebox (talk) 23:13, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Copy-edits and Wikification Has Begun

I have begun the initial task of copy-edits and wikification. I only got as far as the introduction. It is much better than it was and objectively defines what this elusive topic is. I am exhausted though, and will need to return later on. All the tags should remain, as this article has a lot of dust and quirks to iron out. The background section will be next and is written in a pedagogical tone that is too active-voice and needs more of a Wiki voice. That will be a tough section to fix, but fix it, we must. I also had to spend a lot of time figuring out what these people had written here. I take no stance on the subject itself, and I know both sides of the house: science and metaphysical, but I had to figure out what this article meant by quantum mysticism. Coming fresh to the article, it looks like a rats nest of conflicting points and frankly, I am trying to save it from being merged into the interpretation of quantum mechanics, by broadening it into a collection of the present day practices, ideologies, and distinct metaphysical philosophies that differ from the general humanities itself, which it does; because many of the thinkers and players in that field are metaphysical practitioners, sometimes known as "gurus." Any help with copy-editing and filtering for essay-voice and tone would be greatly appreciated. --Lightbound talk 15:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

The text you replaced the intro with is illiterate, and inappropriately places this subject within the field of philosophy. This is derived from physics.
If you want to edit the article, please discuss your changes first.Likebox (talk) 23:09, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I have restored Lightbound's edits. Please assume good faith and discuss. Vsmith (talk) 23:28, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Ok--- I'll discuss.Likebox (talk) 17:50, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Is this Philosophy?

If this is philosophy, why did philosophers ignore quantum mechanics from approximately 1927 until 1960-something? Popper was the only philosopher who paid attention, and he was really more of a historian of science. If you exclude a little bit of stuff on the margins, philosophers only started getting seriously into this in the late 80s.

So why is this now a philosophy subject? All the relevant serious literature is physics, and all the popular literature is new-age. None of this belongs to academic philosophy. This is why I am unhappy about the idea that you use the words and concepts of philosophy to discuss this subject. It was discussed very well, and much more clearly, by physicists who had contempt for philosophy.Likebox (talk) 17:50, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Having reviewed the changes I have to say that Lightbound's intro is a considerable improvement over previous versions. It is much more clear at communicating the crux of the issue. Simonm223 (talk) 17:59, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
But you're not answering the question: why is this philosophy?Likebox (talk)
When dealing with issues such as phenomenology and metaphysics it is best approached from a perspective of philosophy. Frankly to approach quantum mysticism as pure science would be terrible folly and approaching it as a fringe belief alone would be a disservice. Philosophy is thus a strong fit, yes. Simonm223 (talk) 18:10, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok--- I accept that. But where in the philsophy literature do we link this, and how do you acknowledge that the philosophy discussion is relatively recent? Do you have a good literature link for the quantum issues in philosophy?Likebox (talk) 18:13, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Please, provide some sort of link to the philosophy literature, because having those dipshits nostrify this material makes me gag.Likebox (talk) 22:55, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
All right, googling on my own, there's this course and dozens of others in the philosophy department. So it's already nostrified. But the original literature is all physics, and should be referenced that way. If you start referencing only philosophers, it would be a disservice to the history.Likebox (talk) 23:07, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I doubt anybody intends to delete all the physics from this article but what it comes down to is that this is primarily a subject of philosophy; albeit one that grew out of the consequences of a theory within physics. It's not the first (Aurelius addresses physics in his Meditations) nor will it be the last (damn physicists using solid math and experimentation to figure out how stuff really works all willy-nilly with no regard to our carefully designed metaphysical card houses...)  ;^) Simonm223 (talk) 23:19, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
This material is featured heavily on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Furthermore those articles contain an extensive set of references. I expect anyone familiar with this subject to at least be familar with the existence of this literature.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy qt-entangle qm-manyworlds
I'm not sure when the term "quantum mysticism" emerged but I'm fairly sure it was around the time that the quantum mechanics was beginning to be discussed by philosophy and new age literature. Before that it was considered ordinary quantum mechanics or private musings. Even if we retroactively attribute the origin of "quantum mysticism" to Wigner[2] or even earlier[3] we must admit that it didn't have a name at the time or much of anything to distinguish itself from the ever present "scientific mysticism" that has always been present. Actually it would be worth figuring out when and by whom the term "quantum mysticism" was coined. As it stands I don't think many grants are provided for the study of "quantum mysticism" that among other reasons would make it hard to argue "quantum mysticism" is currently a mainstream field of science.--OMCV (talk) 02:19, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
This is why I placed the Schrodinger, Dirac, Heisenberg, Bohr, and Pauli quotes in the intro. The mystical nature of the theory was noticed right at the beginning, and heavily influenced the founders.Likebox (talk) 02:50, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
When and by whom was the term "quantum mysticism" coined.--OMCV (talk) 03:02, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I think I understand your POV a bit better now Likebox. It seems to be based on the following assumptions:
  • 1 - Quantum Mechanics is an inherently mystical theory.
  • 2 - Quantum Mechanics is considerably more mystical than previous theories within physics.
  • 3 - The original theorists who formulated Quantum Mechanics were aware of this mystical nature and promoted it.
  • 4 - Therefore Quantum Mysticism should be addressed either through the work of the original theorists or through pseudo-mystical / pseudo-scientific syntheses.
If this is incorrect and you are not operating under these assumptions then you have my sincere apology for misrepresenting your opinion. With this said I do want to address these ideas.
  • 1 - Questionable. Physics tends to veer precipitously close to the realm of mysticism whenever it begins addressing issues related to the fundamental nature of reality. This is why physics, in particular, has attracted the attention of Philosophers and of mystics in a way that... say... Biochemistry... has not. However this doesn't mean Physics is itself mystical. It simply means that the questions physics seeks to answer - through scientific enquiry - are more similar to the questions that religions and philosophies seek to answer.
  • 2 - Just plain wrong. There has been cross-over from Physics into mysticism, religion and philosophy going back as far as Aristotle. Quantum Mechanics is just the latest flavour.
  • 3 - Questionable and would require reliable sources beyond single line quotes potentially taken out of context. Bordering dangerously on WP:SYNTH.
  • 4 - Incorrect and also deep in the heart of the vast jungles of synth.
The truth is that as Quantum Mysticism addresses the consequences of Quantum Mechanics from a Metaphysical and Ontological perspective the ways to look at it are through the lense of philosophy or of religion. Considering that the faiths that are connected to Quantum Mysticism mostly try to prove they are right based on their interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (which would be as inexpert as my own) it would not necessarily do the concept justice nor be within the bounds of WP:NPoV to address Quantum Mysticism from that perspective. This leaves philosophy. That is the best-fit for the topic and the most-neutral. Simonm223 (talk) 12:03, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
My perspective is well outlined by Simonm223. Its the idea that Quantum Mysticism is distinct from Quantum Mechanics. What makes Quantum Mysticism distinct is when it steps beyond Mechanics to make metaphysical arguments and make other philosophical statements. Its strange that anyone would argue this observation. Likebox, perhaps it would be useful for you to explain your beliefs in/about Quantum Mysticism. Do you believe Quantum Mysticism is "science" like other common "sciences"?--OMCV (talk) 12:27, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
It is a philosophical concept because it is ontological. Science does not concern itself with the more human, feeling, purpose driven questions; that is why philosophy still exists and is a highly respectable field of knowledge. Likebox, just because something is philosophical does not mean it ascribes to the "academic philosophical" concepts. "Quantum mysticism" is metaphysics. Metaphysics can be a first theory, such as concepts of cosmology or it can be abstract ideologies. This is how the word is defined in the dictionary and on Wikipedia. Therefor, metaphysics falls under philosophy as a school of thought, and that is something I pulled right out of Wikipedia, not my own head. The word "mysticism" is unclear. It can mean a lot of things. It is a nebulous word. Likebox, your meaning of mystical may not be what a first read has of this article. They have no idea what a "quantum mysticism" is and, worse, they have no way of knowing if this article is real science, theory, metaphysics, philosophy, pseudoscience, a category, a group of people, religion, or what. We have to hammer that down to make it perfectly clear. Ontology is a word that succinctly describes the heart of the quantum mysticism issue and concern. Yes it arose out of physics, but the real problem here is that "new age" and every day people have a difficult time accepting the uncertain nature of the quantum model of the atom. The reason there are interpretations might be for several reasons: (1) the quantum model of the atom might not be correct or closest to the actual nature of the atom (2) the actual nature of sub-atomic particles might be inherently probabilistic and/or indeterminate, thus the model is accurate (3) there is some other unknown area of physics we do not yet understand in human knowledge that is affecting the particles that is deterministic, but we can not measure, detect, or understand it... yet. Therefor, I must concede that this whole body of quantum whatever, is philosophically derived and points to a whole heap of people, and practices. You are trying to make these new age or pseudoscientific abstractions as fact, when they are opinion and metaphysical hypothesis or theory. We can not do that disservice to the public reader. Schrodenger wasn't a mystic, he was a scientist. He asked philosophical questions (not mystical) about the nature of quantum mechanics and life. He coined the term "syntropy" in that wonderful book of his on life. Mysticism is theism, aka, religion, faith, and beliefs. The word religious and religion does not have to mean Catholicism or Judaism or Buddhism or any of the other myriad of "religions," which, by the way, are philosophies most fundamentally. You see, philosophy can include theistic doctrines too. Philosophy is a group of thought and discussion that does not have to be based on anything factual, and more often than not, it discusses the unknowable, unknown, or obscure. Science focuses on what can be known, to find more truth. When they discover more, there are always more philosophical questions to be answered for human kind. This fits the latter clearly. --Lightbound talk 13:45, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

My personal position regarding quantum mysticism

Since people asked, I'll be clear: I am not a believer that quantum mechanics is qualitatively more mystical than other physical theories. I do not believe in any practice labelled as quantum mysticism, nor do I subscribe to any new age belief. But I am aware that they are out there, and need to be convered neutrally.

I also believe that most of the philosophical issues raised by quantum mechanics can be made to happen in classical theories under the condition that the observer is duplicated. If you don't do duplication, you don't get the weirdness. The reason is because the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics allows you to think of quantum mechanics in a more or less realistic way, so that quantum mechanics and realism are not totally incompatible, but at a cost of a computationally intractible description with splitting observers whose "mind" or "stream of consciousness" (Everett uses the more positivist term "memories") travels along a probabalistic path choosing between the options.

However, when I write about a subject, I do not inject my own point of view. I know the history of the subject, and the literature, and I write to be fair to that. There is no dispute about the following points:

  1. The founders of quantum mechanics considered it mystical.
  2. Those that opposed quantum mechanics, Einstein and Bohm, opposed the mystical part. They sought to remove the mystical part by postulating hidden variables.
  3. The issue of copying observers was not thought of by ANYONE before Everett. Sorry philosophers, YOU BLEW IT. Physicists had to do it, within the technical physics literature. That began with Everett. Dennett introduced the discussion into philosophy, but its not a major theme.
  4. The issues raised by quantum mechanics are COMPLETELY NEW, have no precedent in classical mechanics, and were dismissed by philosophers as "same old, same old" for decades, beginning in 1927, when Bohr and Heisenberg addressed a philosophical conference. Bohr was very upset about the philosophers' response. He is reported to have said "If you are not profoundly disturbed by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it". This comment was directed at philosophers, who pretended that they understood Quantum Mechanics, when in fact, they didn't have a clue, and most of them still don't.

Therefore, when writing about this subject, I do NOT pretend that it is in line with the philosophical discussion of the Greeks, because it's not. I do NOT pretend that the issues were well known to philoosphers, because they weren't. To say otherwise is just a plain old lie.

This means that I write the history of the literature, more or less in historical order, with all the major players in physics literature, and their position regarding mysticism. To summarize these positions, here is a list of notable quantum mechanicians and their position:

  1. Pauli--- mystical
  2. Bohr--- complementarian (this is Bohr's specific position: reality is not a coherent concept. He is more of a positivist, but he also advocates some mystical thinking in separating the observer from the system)
  3. Heisenberg--- mystical (he encouraged the author to write The Dancing Wu Li Masters)
  4. Einstein --- Hidden variables (he did think Copenhagen QM was mystical, that's why he opposed it)
  5. Dirac --- hard to say.
  6. De Broglie --- Hidden variables (but he believed in Copenhagen until 1954)
  7. Bohm --- Hard to summarise in a sentence. Hidden variables. Not mystical, but not local, and not knowable, and mystical in a different way.
  8. Schrodinger--- he was a mystic in the non-quantum sense, in the vedic sense, but he may not have thought quantum mechanics was complete. I don't know for sure, because Michael Price read a biography of Schrodinger and says I get it all wrong.
  9. Everett --- realist! This is weird, but he advocates a realist, positivist, "non-mystical" interpretation of quantum mechanics in which observer duplication is the only form of mysticism, if you can call it that. He doesn't call it mystical, but it involves the mind of the observer (the memories of the observer, as he says it).
  10. Wigner --- mystical, sort of. He takes the observer duplication of Everett and replaces it with the equivalent statement that the observer's mind causes collapse. This is what is often identified with "quantum mysticism" in popular literature.
  11. Feynman --- I don't know (I don't think he did either)
  12. Schwinger --- operationalist (I don't know what he thought--- this subject became disreputable)
  13. Gell-Mann/Hawking/Hartle --- Cosmologists often go many-worlds, which is either mystical or not, depending on whether you consider the identification of mind content with wavefunction branches as mystical.
  14. Bell --- He thought quantum mechanics was mystical, and opposed it. He proposed that there were definite "Beables" underneath it all, which is sort of like hidden variables.
  15. Deutsch --- many worlds
  16. Most modern physicists--- From talking to people, I'd say about half think it is mystical.

I made a minor "synth", I suppose, in including Dennett, because he wasn't talking about quantum mechanics. The reason I did that is because Dennett is talking about similar issues, the discussion is pedagogically useful, and it helps to link to articles on philosophy on related subjects which actually were discussed in philosophy first, like dualism, zombies, etc. Most of these discussions I find trite compared to the physics discussions of the same topic.

Quantum mysticism is not exactly a science topic per se, but it lies on the boundary between physics and philosophy. I don't mind if philosophically minded editors add links to appropriate philosophical topics, but I DO mind if people go around falsifying intellectual history.

In particular, if you do not know quantum mechanics, please learn it. Then you won't say ridiculous things like "the issues are not fundamentally different than other physical theories considered as descriptions of reality", because the issues absolutely ARE different, and anyone who does not say that does not understand the theory.Likebox (talk) 16:44, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Pseudoscience: who says?

The original intro had a nice cite to two authors that claimed that this is pseudoscience, with well referenced texts you could look up critical of the whole thing. The new intro replaced this with "practices ranging from philosophy to pseudoscience", without referencing. I tried to move back the two paragraphs that had been shunted into the history section.Likebox (talk) 18:11, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The original intro had nice links to scientists who founded quantum mechanics going on and on about how mystical it all seems. These links are now in the body of the article. That might be Ok, but the lead is now significantly less informative, and full of pompous words like "ontology" that don't appear in the physics or new-age literature (Ok, maybe Bohm uses it, but if you reference Bohm, you had better be ready to talk about holographic universe and implicate order).Likebox (talk) 18:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Ontology does not have to appear in reference text, it is a specific English word that describes what many religious and philosophical doctrines are, as a class. It sums up what all those ideas have been trying to do, since they were invented, with one word. That word then points to the myriad other ideas out there and sets the article up to be understood as something that looks at quantum mechanics from the vantage of, "How does this impact me as a human being? How does it impact me spiritually? Does this change the purpose of my life?" Those types of questions are ontological... and philosophical. Mysticism itself is a way and a thought. Ontology merely is a class of doctrines, from the dictionary: "the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being." --Lightbound talk 13:54, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Except that quantum mysticism does not impinge directly on the "nature of being", but on the "nature of observations". The mystical part is that observations are described differently than physical processes. I don't mind if you say "Quantum mysticism impacts on schools of thought in ontology", so long as you don't make it seem that the issue itself is ontology.Likebox (talk) 16:52, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
We are made of atoms. Atoms are made of subatomic particles. At this level of atoms and smaller we deal with quantum mechanics. This is where everything breaks down. If it changes what we perceive as reality, it has impacts on the nature of being, on humanity, and on consciousness, as neurons are made of atoms too; this is ontology. --Lightbound talk 00:48, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


You've got to be kidding! Lightbound makes radical changes to an intro written by at least a dozen people, and 24 hours later there's consensus?Likebox (talk) 18:14, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

I am not the first person to restore the Lightbound version. You are the only one removing it.Simonm223 (talk) 18:18, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I would have restored it as well.--OMCV (talk) 02:31, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'll wait for others to chip in, if they're not too exhausted by the previous discussion which was about something altogether more substantive.Likebox (talk) 18:22, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
All right, all right. Upon rereading, I agree that there is some improvement (at least it's not noticibly worse). But I would like to tone down the philosophy jargon and state somewhere that the discussion was entirely confined to physics literature and new age literature until relatively recently. If Lightbound could do that, it would be nice, since you guys don't like what I write.Likebox (talk) 18:55, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The intro should discuss the current state of affairs. That information best fits into the history and background section, which not disrespectfully to that history, is the first thing you see after you scroll down past the TOC. The introduction needs to describe what it is, now, not before, or later, but today as it has evolved, then let the reader decide if they want to know more and the history of it. Imagine an introduction for Earth, by your arguments? "The Earth is a spherical body ...etc etc...but it was believed to be flat at one time..." That last statement may be true, but it harms the thesis of the document and the clarity of the prose. --Lightbound talk 13:58, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
That's not a fair comparison. The ideas about quantum mechanics raised by the founders have not been significantly superseded. They have been made more sophisticated by the addition of Bohm's hidden variables and Everett's many-worlds, but the philosophical issues are largely undisturbed (althugh greatly clarified) by these additions.
A more proper analogy would be to say "The Earth is a spherical body, which is known to be oblate because of its rotation, but it is very well approximated as a perfect sphere".Likebox (talk) 16:55, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I think you missed what I was trying to say by an AU. --Lightbound talk 00:50, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Multiple Issues tag

What are the multiple issues? The Synth issue was debated before, with mixed results (I tend to agree with OMCV that there is a tiny amount of synth involved in incorporate the Dennett material into the article, but I don't think that the synth is particularly controvertial or particularly egregious). This issue was being resolved, and would have required at most minor fixes to the content.

The style issue is something that lightbound brought up, but which I think is just because he wants to write this in philosophy jargon, and I strongly oppose that change (and I hope others can chip in). The language in this article can be the day-to-day language of non-academic people, there are no subtleties which are made clearer by using specialized language. This is especially important because the physics literature, to its great credit, has taken great pains to destroy any jargon creep.

Are these the only two issues? If there are others, please state them, or remove the tag, which right now seems to be a licence and an invitation for wholesale deletions.Likebox (talk) 19:11, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

There is also the question of the CoI. I don't know precisely which editor that involved so I'll leave further comment to whichever editor identified that issue.Simonm223 (talk) 19:30, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know which editor the person is referring to, but it might refer to the "quantum touch, matrix energetics" additions, which possibly was added with COI, but which were subsequently shortened and incorporated by editors that are neutral.Likebox (talk) 19:45, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't speculate. Ask the editor who put up the tag.Simonm223 (talk) 19:56, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The issues with the article are structural, cleanup, and tone issues, which are the bulk of the reason of my presence here. It is possible to give all the attention to metaphysical and obscure claims, but to quote Elements of Style: "write obscurely clearly!" The next issues are with the encyclopedic content and nature of how the information is presented and categorized. A spurious list of ideas and arguments with jumbled weasel words that attempt to weave opinion into fact is not the best way to get the truth out. The COI was something I saw within the writing itself. The way the article was written implies that someone is injecting ideals into the article. That may have been a misinterpretation, but the tag does say "may." So it is safe to remove it if we all agree that we just have two conflicting view points going on here. I am not part of those viewpoints, though. I remain neutral and bring a 3rd view, that of the reader that wants to know what all this is. I am editing for that view. Rest assured, the longer and more complete this article is, the better it looks, the more credit it will lend to the "mysticism" the new agers love. It will also do justice to the science of quantum mechanics by distinctly separating these practices from them. I'll go ahead and untag the COI, since I added it. --Lightbound talk 14:07, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Why Ontology?

On what basis does the lead concluded that it is the "ontology" that is important? The subject is the observer/system relationship, which within philosophy without any ontology at all. The issue does not depend on what you believe "exists", it depends on whether you agree that quantum mechanical description is complete.Likebox (talk) 02:55, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Except that Quantum Physics is not the same as Quantum mysticism, as we have discussed at some length.Simonm223 (talk) 03:55, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I touched on this above in my responses in the "Why philosophy?" section, but I'll provide more clarification here. This article is about a group of things, not just one concept like quantum mechanics, or the interpretation of quantum mechanics. This article points to practices, like quantum healing, maybe even DNA activation, or other pseudoscience, and it also points to the ideas and claims behind why the practitioners (and patients) believe they work or why they should work. It is ontological; because, all of these deal with the nature of being at some root level. As we discuss this more and more, I am almost wanting to start a poll to rename the article to Quantum Philosophy. The reason for this, is, this article and its subject and related practices center around their own spiritual views based on the quantum model. This information might be best served al carte in a whole article that describes the myriad of philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics. I have been thinking of this because there are other philosophical concepts that are definitely not quantum mysticism, such as Orch-Or theory, which is a theory of quantum consciousness which is formed as a scientific theory (vs. a metaphysical claim), by reputable scientists. Those types of views really help and contrast the whole category of what this information represents. I will continue reading and commenting and suggest an argument for a rename with a little more research. --Lightbound talk 14:15, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Please take time to read the source provided about the mystical views of the founders--- it will clarify the early literature. Also, please take a look at the quantum mechanics pages and related strange effects. I appreciate your attempts to merge this into the collection of philosophy articles, and perhaps my anti-philosophy bias is getting in the way.Likebox (talk) 18:39, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Classical mechanics/quantum mechanics

It is better to remove "observer" in the title of the section discussing classical mechanics and simply discuss classical mechanics as a deterministic theory. One then has to mention that in physics one traditionally ignores the fact that observers themselves are internal to the universe.

Then, when discussing quantum mechanics, one has to mention that the traditional formulation is/was the Copenhagen interpretation, which is exactly the instrumental formulation in which you can pretend that the observer is somehow external to the universe.

Only at this point should the status of the observer as an entity that is internal to the universe be discussed. One can then mention the Many Worlds interpretation. But, one then also has to revisit classical mechanics and explains the problems one faces there. The copying experiments were already discussed here, one can also mention that in generic infinite universes you'll can have an infinite number of copies of the same observer, so the thery will become non-deterministic from the point of view of the observer.

Another problem in a classical universe is that determinism becomes what is known as "superdeterminism", i.e. the fact that in a deterministic theory, the observer is also deterministic and thus cannot have the freedom to decide what to measure. Superdeterminism is one of the loopholes of Bell's theorem (this was known to Bell) and this loophole has recently been used by 't Hooft to argue in favor of local deterministic theories. The article currently explains in a footnote that 't Hooft's attempts are based on nonlocal theories, but this is not true. 't Hooft specifically works on local determinstic theories. Count Iblis (talk) 03:29, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

In my mind "observer" belongs in the title of the classical section since it is being used to high light how the observer changed between classical perspective and a quantum perspective. For something like Wikipedia I think the take home message for "Quantum mysticism" for the general section is that the importance of the role of the observer was heightened. If there are to be sections on how each interpretation Copenhagen, MWI, etc. viewed the observer, similar to the perspectives of early the pioneers than that would be a good place to go into more detail. It would wonderful if you added those sections Count Iblis.--OMCV (talk) 03:46, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
't Hooft's position is very recent, and incompletely developed, so it is hard to write about. I agree with count iblis that it is very important, but the statements 'tHooft makes in the two or three papers where he discusses this are conflicting, and I am not sure about his views (or about the details of the matheamtical models). I do know that he believes he can make quantum mechanics come out of reasonable hidden variables, where reasonable means not like Bohm, with a wavefunction running around, but with a classical state space of approximately the same size as a complete quantum basis. That's a huge reduction in computational complexity, and 'tHooft has claimed in the past that quantum computation won't work (I heard him say this). But in his latest paper, he claims that a good model will reproduce all of quantum mechanics, including quantum computation. He might mean in the infinite volume limit, thats the only way I can make sense of this.
This is a modern research topic, and it might require a separate article. 't Hooft doesn't have a great model yet--- his models are finite state automata which allow for a weird sort of classical superposition, with complex coefficients, with no definite interpretation attached to the superposition. His claim is that if the evolution is deterministic, then these types of superpositions of the underlying automaton states often evolve with pure complex phases. Then you can define observables in the usual way.
He is worried that the phase rotation rate, the energy in the quantum mechanics analogy, is not usually bounded above or below (in the infinite volume limit). He also worries about reproducing quantum mechanics exactly, with Bell's inequality violations. His most recent paper claims that the violations can be made to happen with local variables, which is known to be impossible. What he probably means from the paper is that the vacuum state is so correlated that the variables correlation with the vacuum give the Bells inequality. The proposal isn't 100% clear to me, and does not seem to have the essential ingredient required of a violation of Bell's inequality.
I don't know how well it can be covered. These issues are not resolved enough to write about without significant OR, I think, since you need to make better models to see if what he is suggesting is possible.Likebox (talk) 17:23, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, 't Hooft assumes that the correlations exists in the initial state. But this is essentially the superderminism loophole that Bell himself had written about. So, when you do an experiment involving measuring spins in which you've set the orientation of the polarizers in a certain way, the counterfactual situation in which you would have set the orientation of the polarizers in a different way, while leaving the measured system unaffected, does not exist, because the whole universe including you is deterministic.
What 't Hooft has argued is that this superdeterminism loophole is not so unreasonable as it sounds. I think what we can write in this article is simply that the superdeterminism loophole exists, giving a ref. to the article by Bell in which he writes about this and perhaps that 't Hooft has invoked it recently. Count Iblis (talk) 21:13, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you that we should write about superdeterminism, but I am not sure that 'tHooft invokes it. I think I understand his papers more or less ok (or at least as best as it can be understood seeing as it the idea is incomplete and perhaps impossible).
Suppose you set up a system which detects electrons here and there, which violates Bell's inequality. Now set up a random number generator which chooses which direction to measure. The point of superdeterminism is that your seemingly randomized polarization choices chosen by the random number generator will be correlated between the distant sites in the same way to violate Bell, no matter how you couple the random number generator to the detector, and no matter what random number generator you choose! That's barely conceivable, considering that there are very good ways to eliminate noise in pseudorandom generators. You can swap in a second generator to seed the first, and then the second and first generators would have to still be correlated with the distant generator. How can it be that these pseudorandom numbers are not correlated according to any statistical test, yet they always somehow stay correlated with the hidden variables determining the electrons' spin? Its certainly not reasonable.
Although I am not sure, and perhaps you are right about superdeterminism, what I think 'tHooft is saying is something else--- that the vacuum contains correlated particles which swap in and out with the particles reaching your detector. This swapping in and out can introduce new nonlocal correlations, if it is done right (essentially because the swapping is instantaneous). Maybe this is wrong, but if he really is invoking superdeterminism, I think he is grasping at straws. Another way to do this is to use a past light-cone notion of instantaneous for the swapping, which would be relativistic and nonlocal, or a holographic description where locality is not an issue. From the example he gives of a massless particle, I got the impression that he was using holography ideas. But I might be totally off base.Likebox (talk) 01:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Philosophical issues in Quantum Mechanics which are not present in classical mechanics

I made the claim that quantum mechanics is profoundly different in its impact on philosophy than classical mechanics. Aside from the well known uncertainty principle and complementarity, there are these effects which have been considered at one time or another profoundly disturbing:

  1. counterfactual measurements--- quantum mechanics allows the determination of the answer of certain contrived counterfactual questions. This observation and its elaboration is mostly due to Vaidman, who gives by this method an operational definition to some many-worlds ideas.
  2. Bell's inequality --- quantum mechanics is incompatible with local deterministic theories. In order to have determinism, it must be nonlocal (it can still be relativistically invariant, though).
  3. Quantum Zeno effect --- this is not as profound as the other two, but it becomes more interesting in the following variant: if you have an atom in state 2, which is unstable to decay to state 1, and you keep looking to see when it decays to state 1, then if you look sufficiently frequently, the atom never decays. If you look at state 1 by using a laser that is tuned to make transitions from state 1 to state 3, the laser never excites the atoms, it remains undisturbed, but the atom behaves differently when the laser is on than when it is off.
  4. Grover's algorithm --- quantum computation allows you to find an object in a database of N items in square-root-of-N steps.
  5. Deutsch's algorithm --- quantum computation allows you to certainly determine the answer in one step to a question which takes order 2^N-steps to answer classically, where N is the number of bits in the problem.
  6. Shor's algorithm --- quantum mechanics allows factoring of large integers, which is unacheivable without a huge brute-force search classically.

These effects are all impossible to understand classically, and with the exception of the last three, all of them are established exprimentally. The counterfactual measurement is particularly important, because philosophers never asked the question "can you measure a counterfactual?", they just assumed that it is impossible.Likebox (talk) 17:54, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Good source for founders' views on mysticism

There's a really nice article summarizing the views of the founders of quantum mechanics here. This should put to rest the idea that the quotes about mysticism of Pauli Heisenberg and Bohr were somehow lifted out of context. Note also that Einstein considers the mysticism of quantum mechanics reason enough to reject it.Likebox (talk) 18:12, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

That ran me smack into a paywall. Simonm223 (talk) 20:58, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Basically its a 2009 paper summarizing the position of Bohr, Einstein, Pauli, Heisenberg and Schrodinger, and it basically repeats the description of their views I gave above (with more detail). Its just a source to convince others that I am not spouting nonsense.Likebox (talk) 01:03, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

There is no such thing as an ignorance interpretation of QM

Because there is some misinformation in the literature, I would like to clarify a point that has come up several times in editing this, and which came up while I was reading media articles:

"A measurement of position reveals the position of the particle, which was uncertain before the measurement"

It is important for editors to realize that this statement is grossly misleading. When saying this, the implicit assumption is that the position is already "in there", waiting to be revealed. Presumably, a momentum measurement "reveals" the momentum, so the momentum is waiting to be revealed too. In this point of view, the position and momentum are secretly inside, determining how the measurements are going to come out, but the uncertainty about their values means that we can't know what those measurements are going to be.

This point is correct for statistical mechanics, which does not cause philosophical headaches, and this ignorance point of view was briefly held by Heisenberg in 1926-1927 before it was shown to be completely untenable. It is rejected within the Copenhagen interpretation, and within every modern interpretation of QM. To repeat: the results of measurements cannot be thought of as "revealed" in quantum mechanics. Measurement is a statistical property of both the observer or the observing device and the system together, either getting entangled with each other, in many-worlds style interpretations, producing different observers, or just plain collapsing according to the type of measurement in Copenhagen.

The hypothetical quantities which would determine the results of measurements ahead of time are called "Hidden variables". Hidden variables would have to be in communication nonlocally to allow violations of Bell's inequality, which are experimentally observed. Because of this, most physicists do not accept them.Likebox (talk) 20:42, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Renaming of the article

Quantum mysticismQuantum Metaphysics — --Lightbound talk 16:11, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I am suggesting that we rename the article to Quantum Metaphysics. Please note that Quantum Philosophy already exists as a stub redirect to a book and to the term Quantum Metaphysics, which redirects to interpretations of quantum mechanics. Here are my arguments as to why this change should occur:

  • The "mysticism" in Quantum mysticism is a bad choice for the following reasons:
    • It begs the questions, "What is mysticism? What is quantum mysticism?"
    • To readers that are not familiar with it, they are already at a loss upon arrival.
    • It is almost pejorative to the subject matter that it tries to convey.
    • It narrows and limits the scope of the subject matter, relatively to another word.
    • It makes it out to sound like a religion or theistic school of thought.
  • Quantum Metaphysics is better, because:
    • It can include all and more of the content of this article.
    • It can become a clearly labeled article category.
    • It does not have the same "stigma" as "mystical."
    • It opens the article up to other, more orphaned articles, on quantum metaphysics, and would succinctly categorize them, such as:
    • It can contrast with more empirical and philosophical topics that are related to the metaphysics of quantum mechanics, such as:
    • It would set itself apart from the interpretations of quantum mechanics by clearly stating that these views are metaphysical.
    • As in the dictionary, metaphysics can be:
      • "the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space."
      • or, the second definition: "abstract theory or talk with no basis."
      • These two are both the same definition of metaphysics, depending on their use and situation. It is clear that this article means to discuss and, indeed, has elements of both!

These are some of the bigger arguments I have thought of. I feel this article has a larger purpose, beyond quantum mysticism, and that is to rationally include the whole story about the metaphysical nature of quantum mechanics, aside from the various scientific and mathematical interpretations. It would tighten up the dozen or so spurious articles about the subject and put it succinctly into a single category for reflection, discussion, and debate, without making up any words or colloquialisms, like "quantum mysticism." I realize that some author(s) in some book(s) someplace in history may have coined the term "quantum mysticism" and also "quantum quackery," but those words, for the aforementioned reasons, the least of which that they are just words, do not do the subject matter justice. The real justice comes in using very objective categories like metaphysics and philosophy or science. If you support or deny, please let us discuss; because, I seriously think this would improve the quality of Wikipedia to coalesce all these into a tank of thought. We have already shown that these concepts are deeply rooted in metaphysics (philosophy). If, and I hope when, everyone agrees, I will happily rename it and we can really begin building this article into a large one that is well defined and shaped. --Lightbound talk 15:51, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Support. This is my official vote to rename the article. --Lightbound talk 15:51, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Even though voting is evil on Wikipedia gotta say Support well thought out and reasonable proposal. Simonm223 (talk) 15:59, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Ok, I don't oppose in principle. But there is an issue though--- is the "quantum mysticism" article going to be about quantum healing only then? That would be a little bit rough on the new-agers. They are basing their spiritual beliefs on an uncontested bit of science.Likebox (talk) 16:59, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
  • If we're going to do this, we should not capitalize metaphysics; "Quantum metaphysics" is not a proper names.
  • But should we do it? The metaphysics of quantum mechanics is a different subject, barely touched on here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:22, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it may not need to be capitalized. --Lightbound talk 16:38, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Neutral/Negative. I'm neutral on the name change with the following caveat. Most of the suggested articles that could be included into a newly named Quantum Metaphysics are totally inappropriate, for example Energy Medicine. There is a fundamental difference between the two maps of reality. Energy Medicine posits the existence of subtle energy, or Qi, as the mechanism of interaction. The Quantum Healing model borrows directly from Quantum Mechanics as the mechanism and does not presume the existence of subtle energy. You can see this most clearly stated in Richard Bartlett's book Matrix Energetics. If a name change to "Metaphysics" is going to open the article to the kitchen sink of non-materialistic viewpoints, then I am opposed to the change. All in all I think Mysticism is a better name. --Mbilitatu (talk) 19:43, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
A quick comment about these topics: Fatalism,Chaos Theory,Butterfly Effect,Syntropy. These have absolutely nothing to do with quantum mechanics or quantum mysticism, and are not mystical in any way. Syntropy is not even close. That you bring them up is troubling.Likebox (talk) 21:03, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, you meant negentropy not syntropy. But it's still not related.Likebox (talk) 01:04, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Those do have a relation to quantum metaphysics. Determinism and indeterminism are massive central points on the debates and thinking regarding the philosophy of quantum consciousness, which is part of the metaphysics of quantum mechanics, or derived from it as a result. Fatalism is related to determinism, but not exactly the same. Quantum metaphysics would impact interpretations of quantum mechanics for human thought and ethics, which definitely is related to fatalism, indeterminism, determinism, and even more, just as modern views on criminal justice, cause-effect, and more. Some philosophers believe in a deterministic universe, and that quantum mechanics supports it. Some philosophers believe that quantum mechanics is to be interpreted as indeterministic, which totally changes the philosophical discussion, debate, and issues at hand. Chaos theory is related to determinism, and supports it, as a mathematical concept, that explains how small initial conditions can lead to deterministic events that seem random because they are so complex or numerous. The butter fly effect, is another name for the phenomenon of change, like a stone in a pond casting waves, from chaos theory. These all relate to determinism vs. indeterminism, which has been at the heart of quantum philosopher's discussions for a long time, especially regarding consciousness. These wouldn't necessarily be incorporated into the article, but they are examples of related information. I may have been unclear in what I meant by linking them, but be assured that they would not be put in unless it was the right thing to do by the article. --Lightbound talk 16:31, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Determinism and Indeterminism are fine, I didn't contest them. Fatalism is not important at all, since quantum mechanics is, without any shred of a doubt, not deterministic for the observers. "Some philosophers believe in a deterministic universe and that quantum mechanics supports it" is absolutely factually false. There is not a single competent person that thinks this.
Chaos theory and the butterfly effect have absolutely nothing to do with quantum randomness. Quantum mechanics is not what you think it is. Quantum mechanics is a very strange theory, which is very hard to understand, but can be learned with a week or two of patient study. Quantum mechanics does not have a "chaos theory" or a "butterfly effect" like classical mechanics does, it only has some hints of chaos that emerge in the classical limit. Chaos theory absolutely cannot explain any part of the randomness of quantum mechanics, not even in principle. Including these topics in this article, or linking to them, would be an act of ignorance. Please don't do this. I beg you to learn quantum mechanics before editing this article. It is about a subtle subject that it is impossible to fake your way through.Likebox (talk) 04:51, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
You have misinterpreted what I have said and insulted me personally. Don't be rude. I think the worst part of your insult is that you assumed I did not know what I was talking about because you, in fact, didn't read what I had said. So let me clarify it for you: First of all, I said "some philosophers believe in a deterministic universe." I didn't say I do or do not. I then said some philosophers believe in an indeterministic universe. I didn't say I did either. I was illustrating that there are multiple views. Secondly, chaos theory does not describe quantum mechanics, but it describes a concept that points out that what we may think it is random, actually is not and I described that concept here already. That is a very important concept. Please spare me your insults, it does not serve the creation of the article. There were multiple models for the atom in history. There will probably be more models for the atom in the future, as we learn about the truth of it more and more. I was pointing out that some people believe that the randomness is inherent to the universe while others believe that the randomness is a limitation of the model itself. Did you know that there was a model proposed that did not incur the probabilistic limitations and it was discarded for the model we use now, because it was too mathematical? Did you know that scientists voted for the present model we have? I've taken the history of chemistry as part of my education, I remember those facts very clearly and I found them fascinating. I think you should read what I write carefully and realize that I am a neutral editor and judge in this situation and not trying to peddle wisdom behind perceived gaps in scientific understanding. --Lightbound talk 17:27, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
It's not an insult to say that you don't know certain things. I was not talking about your personal views, because they are not so important. I was worried that the things you are suggesting would make bad additions to an article about something related to quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics is not just a temporary model. It is so exact in so many ways that any other theory will have to reduce to it in some limit, much like special relativity reduces to newtonian mechanics. The quantum mechanical atom is about as firmly established as the idea that the earth goes around the sun.
"Did you know that there was a model proposed that did not incur the probabilistic limitations and it was discarded for the model we use now, because it was too mathematical?" What you are saying is not true, or grossly misleading. If you are talking about Bohm's hidden variables model, it was discarded for different reasons.
"Did you know scientists voted for the present model we have?" That also never happened. Science does not proceed by voting. The present model was deduced from the modern quantum mechanical laws in 1926 by Pauli and Schrodinger.
I think that your contributions to the article are valuable, but please take time to learn more about quantum mechanics. It is not completely easy to understand. Nobody is trying to peddle wisdom in gaps in understanding here. The only thing I am trying to do is to write a clear fair history of the association of quantum mechanics and some sort of immaterial dualism, which already started in the 1920s.Likebox (talk) 20:29, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:CIVIL would disagree with you. I find it to be derogatory that you would "beg me to learn" something I already know, simply because I disagree with you. That is rude. Saying things like "act of ignorance." The whole statement could have been approached differently. --Lightbound talk 02:33, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

This isn't about energy healing vs. quantum healing. This is about broadening the scope of the master article. Energy healing, even with Qi, is metaphysical, but it is not "quantum" or at least it is not stated to be derived from a quantum source, so it would not be included, but it could be included as a "see also" or something of notable interest in the related section on "healing." That is what some of those articles were intended to illustrate; the concept that we can link and relate, see also, compare, this and that, know what this is, and what this is not. The goal is not to be a kitchen sink for every possible metaphysical idea, but to document and serve as a container or direction for the vast practices, concepts, thoughts, and ideologies that have been born from the quantum model. The idea of "subtle energies" and "Qi" are all very metaphysical concepts, but perhaps that was a bad example. I see your point, Mbilitatu, and I do not think that will be a concern. --Lightbound talk 16:31, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Alright here is the situation: Quantum Philosophy is a simple, two link, redirect stub. It links to a novel and to quantum metaphysics. Quantum metaphysics does not exist, it is a redirect to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. We currently have no article that documents quantum philosophies, or, rather, the philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics. What would be nice, is to actually document philosophies related to quantum mechanics, or those that have arisen out of the formulation of the quantum model. There are already a host of articles and information about the scientific and mathematical, non-philosophical, derivatives of the quantum model. Yet, we do not have a clear, single source on wikipedia to document the myriad of quantum philosophies. The reason the article would not necessarily be called quantum philosophy is because it is less clear than metaphysics, which can include a whole lot more. Quantum philosophy does not appear to make sense, either, and makes it sound like a philosophy of quantum mechanics, as a single thing or doctrine, which would certainly not fit. Quantum healing would be included as part of an article on quantum metaphysics. I do not want to debate, at this time, what goes into or not of the article, just the name. --Lightbound talk 16:46, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Likebox brought up a huge point: "is the 'quantum mysticism' article going to be about quantum healing only then?" The real answer is I do not know. What I am really driving at is to get away from this term "quantum mysticism" because it generates more heat than light in any discussion. What is quantum mysticism? Is it a religion? Is it a way of life? If that is so, then the article needs to be just about that, with a link other metaphysical articles. There needs to be a founding thinker and formalizer of the doctrine and notable sources that document their rituals, practices, beliefs, and ways. Let us not confuse mysticism with naturalism. Someone can be a naturalist without being theistic. To be a mystic, one has to accept that there is something preternatural or supernatural at some point in the chain of reason. Mysticism involves an element of faith, where naturalism does not. Quantum Healing should not redirect to quantum mysticism. Being a quantum mystic or dealing with the "mystical/magical" qualities of quantum mechanics does not make for truthful reading and becomes original research and synthesis very quickly. If we keep it clear, clean, neutral, and concise, we can document all these viewpoints. "New agers" or "spiritualists" is another term. Perhaps "quantum mysticism" might rightly belong in an article about new age spiritualism, or other "new age" ideologies. But let us not forget that whether they are new or old, they are metaphysical, and sometimes mystical. We could spiral for a thousand years about the debates over these things. I just want to make sure we have a clear wikipedia that houses that information in a way that does not harm any particular type of reader: neutrality, truth, and clarity.

  • Even if we do not rename this article, quantum healing should not redirect here, but have its own article, even if it has to be a stub that is later expanded. Could it link to quantum mysticism/metaphysics, sure.
  • Should we move the information about quantum healing into its own stub. Yes. I think we should.
  • If quantum mysticism is a religion or belief, then that needs to be documented and written as such and the article's name left unchanged.
  • It would be easier to author a new article named quantum philosophy or quantum metaphysics, and include that vast and related information I have mentioned.
  • Likebox, do you feel that this article could stand alone to document the religion, theology, or philosophical doctrines of "quantum mysticism"? Does anyone? That is the real question.

--Lightbound talk 17:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I hereby formally remove my request to rename this page. I have created the stub for quantum healing and removed the redirect to this page. It should be kept named as quantum mysticism and clearly documented as such, whatever that doctrine may be. Thank you for those that discussed the change with me and helped me come to a new view on the subject. It will also be altogether easier and, more respectful to quantum mystics, to leave this article where it stands, reduce, compact it, edit it, and move the quantum healing subjects into their appropriate places. I will craft quantum metaphysics as a new article after I gather substantial sources and information that will help build it. One of the places it will link to and incorporate strongly to will be to quantum healing, quantum consciousness, radionics, and quantum mysticism. These are all very important metaphysical concepts that are not related necessarily to quantum mysticism, but rather, the quantum metaphysics. And rather than attempt to bend this article into something it is not, and lose a lot of work and changes, we can craft a new article that does have that "kitchen skin" of information that it aught to. --Lightbound talk 17:28, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

OK, what is Quantum mysticism?

Let us write an article about quantum mysticism then! Let us write clearly. Let us find the sources and document what this elusive topic really is. I can certainly help there, as I can tell you what it is NOT. Quantum mysticism is not healing or any sort of thing. It may be the founding belief of those practitioners that do the "healing," or it may even be just a deregatory remark regarding spiritualists and new agers. Whatever the case, this article's name is quantum mysticism and we need to know what that is. I updated the quantum healing article and made it into a stub, since it was non-existent, which I find to be amazing; because, there is a whole lot of information about quantum healing. A lot more than quantum mysticism, if it even exists. Now with this information, a lot of this article will be trimmed, and I am going to go ahead and update the introduction, and possibly the hub tag. It may no longer by philosophy, but perhaps theology. We'll have to see. I will do that research immediately. --Lightbound talk 17:33, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The evolution of Lightbound's thinking seems reasonable. It seems reasonable to separate Quantum Healing from Quantum Mysticism, analogous to the separation of Energy medicine from Qi / Energy (esotericism) (the latter term I've never liked).
What is Quantum Mysticism? Good question. The biggest problem with this page is that there is no clear owner of the term. My definition would be "the application of quantum mechanics as a mechanism to explain direct mystical experience" ... but I just pulled that out of my hat after 2 minutes of thinking. --Mbilitatu (talk) 20:52, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I think Quantum Mysticism is the best colloquialism and I also think its best to discuss the subject matter from a philosophical vantage since it exceeds what is commonly called science. Even if Quantum Mysticism was first developed by scientists not everything done by scientists is science. Obviously Quantum Mysticism uses the word Quantum because it is an extrapolation on the ideas of quantum mechanics in any number of directions. In my mind "mysticism" describes the way a western mind perceives eastern culture, philosophy, and religion, regardless of whether or not that perception is accurate, inaccurate, or more than likely romanticized. It was this sort of understanding of the eastern world that landed a Ying Yang on Niels Bohr's family crest. I think from the perspective of Quantum Mysticism the ideas and knowledge found in Quantum Mechanics are believed to logically lead to a reconciliation between eastern thought (mysticism) and western thought (mechanics). The number of forms this reconciliation takes is the product of diverse understandings of eastern and western thought This is of course a subtype of metaphysics. Those are my thoughts.--OMCV (talk) 01:58, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I define quantum mysticism like Einstein and Pauli: it means that notions of observer or mind play a key role in the formulation of physical law in quantum mechanics.
That doesn't imply that quantum mechanics justifies transcendental meditation as a spiritual practice. It only means that the formulation of quantum mechanics has a spooky character, separating the observer from the matter which is being observed. This is what Pauli liked about quantum mechanics, and Einstein hated. Einstein found it incompatible with scientific thought. But they both agreed that this is what is going on.This paper is really terrific in summarizing their views.Likebox (talk) 05:05, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
On the other hand, nowadays it sometimes means the justification of mystical practices with jargon borrowed from quantum mechanics. That's definitely a second meaning.Likebox (talk) 05:05, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
OMCV asked When and by whom was the term quantum mysticism coined?. It seems from the paper I quoted that the term was first used either by Albert Einstein or Wolfgang Pauli, around 1927. Einstein used it to belittle the Copenhagen interpretation, while Pauli used it as a complement. They both spoke German, though. I don't know the first english usage.Likebox (talk) 05:15, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Spreading into superpositions of different worlds is not specific to many-worlds interpretation

Spreading into superpositions of different worlds is a firm prediction of quantum mechanics. Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Von Neumann first noticed that the linear character of quantum mechanics means that superpositions never bunch up into classical states. Wavefunctions spread forever, they never shrink down. They always end up giving you "Schrodinger's cat" eventually. This is a fact, universally acknowledged.

The difference in many-worlds is that these superpositions are taken seriously, as existing alternate universes. They are not dismissed as nonexisting hypothetical counterfactual worlds. They are actual counterfactual worlds. That's what makes many-worlds different. It's just philosophy.

Please do not tag the statement of "Schrodinger's cat" with citation required, because, really, citation is not required. It is very tiring to argue: this is well understood stuff. Thousands of people understand it completely, please learn quantum mechanics!Likebox (talk) 05:22, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Less is wrong with the new rewrite

Aside from omitting Dennett, which is the whole point, there are some issues:

In classical mechanics the world is measurable, the measurements are independent of what they measure, and determinism is an intrinsic assumption. Given the initial positions and velocities of a collection of the basic particles, and it was expected that the future of those particles could one day be predicted perfectly. When these assumptions are applied to an observer the conclusion is with enough information the entire future behavior of the of the observer can be predicted

This is Ok, except I would replace "one day" with "with a big enough computer".

Classical mechanics approaches the world from a deterministic materialistic perspective that divorced or at least distanced it from many pre-quantum mechanic philosophies that hold various dualist perspectives. The juxtaposition of classical everyday experience built against a quantum foundation, among other observations raised by quantum mechanics, provided a new perspective from which to interpret traditional dualist ideas like the mind/body problem within a mainstream scientific framework.

This is Ok too, but too jargonny for me: you could say the same thing without any big words. Also you probably meant "pre-classical-mechanics philosophies" not "pre-quantum mechanic philosophies". Contrast is better than juxtaposition. But you are burying the main point in a boatload of jargon. I would copy-edit this to

Classical mechanics is deterministic, and encouraged a materialistic prespective that allowed science to reject dualism. Quantum mechanics seemed to revive dualism, because it was formulated in terms of observers and observations, which are treated differently than the atomic system which is being observed.

But this stuff doesn't belong in this section, which is about the mind-body problem without quantum mechanics, just ordinary deterministic materialistic mind/body problem. The only point of this section is Dennett's observer-copying. Everything else is just jawboning.

The introduction of quantum mechanics substantially changed the status of the observer and measurements. Yet the problem remained how to reconcile a world that appears classical on the macroscopic scale yet is built out of matter governed by quantum mechanics. The "measurement problem deals with the transition from a quantum world, described by essentially arbitrary linear superpositions of state vectors, to our perception of “classical” states in the macroscopic world, that is, a comparatively small subset of the states allowed by the quantum-mechanical superposition principle, having only a few, but determinate and robust, properties, such as position, momentum, etc. The question of why and how our experience of a “classical” world emerges from quantum mechanics thus lies at the heart of the foundational problems of quantum theory."[4]

This part is also pretty accurate! There is one point that is not made so clearly: the states which we observe are a comparatively small subset of the entire state space, that's true, but quantum mechanics cannot concentrate the states onto this subset. There is an obvious theorem that ordinary quantum mechanics can never produce wavefunctions which are concentrated on a small subset. That theorem has nothing to do with interpretation, it was essentially formulated by Von Neumann (but understood by Einstein).

If you believe the mechanism of concentrating wavefunction is physics and not philosophy/information gaining, then you believe in a modification of quantum mechanics called an objective collapse theory. This is a position, but one that is only held by a tiny minority.

But overall, it a pretty good description of what happened with the advent of quantum mechanics. But it belongs in the next section. I restored Dennett, and I have will not change my mind that it should be included.Likebox (talk) 05:56, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Collect references

  1. ^ Dennett, Daniel C. (2001-01). The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self & Soul. Basic Books. ISBN 0465030912.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Wigner E P (1961). "Remarks on the mind–body question". The Scientist Speculates: 284. 
  3. ^ Marin, J. M (2009). "'Mysticism'in quantum mechanics: the forgotten controversy". Eur. J. Phys. 30: 807–822. 
  4. ^ Schlosshauer, M. (2005). "Decoherence, the measurement problem, and interpretations of quantum mechanics". Reviews of Modern physics. 76 (4): 1267–1305. 
You stated that you will not install your own opinion about twins in classical mechanics. The following is a misrepresentation of Dennett's where am i and blatant OR.
But even for hypothetical Newtonian observers, many philosophers doubt that the material description is the only thing you need in order to understand internal experience. The atoms which make up the brain get replaced, but the information gets copied into new atoms. In certain contrived thought experiments, this type of copying leads to strange outcomes. For example, take a conscious Newtonian observer and duplicate all the information in the brain, making two separate observers. The two observers start out exactly the same, but diverge afterwards, since they will have different experiences from this point on. In this situation, it is not obvious which way the subjective stream of conscious experience for the observer will go. If the copy is not a philosophical zombie, the consciousness had better go both ways. But each copy feels to have gone only one way.
So the subjective experience after the split requires an extra bit of information to describe--- the bit which tells the observer which way their consciousness has gone. The value of this bit is subjectively very important for the duplicated--- it predicts the future--- but this bit is not in the positions and velocities of the atoms. These types of thought experiments were widely discussed in philosophy in the 1980s[19], but similar ideas appeared earlier as part of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Now that we have some added view points here lets get some opinions.--OMCV (talk) 10:34, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Just to be clear about what is OR/SYNTH: I agree that I probably should not insert the opinion that Dennett's observer copies are weird in the same way that quantum mechanics is weird. But that's not what I did. What I did in those paragraphs is describe Dennett's observer copying, without mentioning quantum mechanics at all (this is what Dennett does). Any relationship with quantum mechanical weirdness is left for the reader to decide, based on their own philosophical views. That's called NPOV. The summary is OK, because it is faithful to Dennett's thought experiments and does not misrepresent his positions.Likebox (talk) 17:18, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

These edits may be irrelevant if...

If we do not first and foremost agree on what quantum mysticism is, we can not accurately describe it. Then this article and this talk page becomes a forum for debate and not an encyclopedia article. It is clear that there is a lot to debate about subject, especially given its obfuscated nature, but continuing to edit and discuss the granularities of it might better be served on a physics forum than here. There is a major edit and revision of this article on the horizon. Some of this incredible work going into the debate may even be moved to another article or cut entirely if it is not related to the subject-matter. This article's problem is that it has no clearly defined thesis. Quantum mysticism is unacceptable for what the contents of the article describe. I only withdrew the renaming of the article so that we could take the information described here that does NOT relate to mysticism and move it elsewhere, and to allow the edit storm to calm, so that a stable and mature article can arise.

From the dictionary:

Mysticism a noun

  • (1) belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.
  • (2) belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, esp. when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies.

Therefor, let us define X as the object of that particular mystical tenant. This could be "God" or "Truth" or "Absolute Reality" or "Whatever you want to call it." That is why I am calling it X. I am using a capital letter because it is easier to pick out of the text.

Based on multiple dictionary entries and reading other encyclopedias, I have finished my research on the term mysticism and found these conclusions:

  • Mysticism can be theistic or it can be secular, depending on the nature of X.
  • The goal of a mystic (one who practices mysticism) is to become one with and/or to directly experience X.
    • This is the most important sentence in understanding mysticism. Every dictionary, every article, every thing distills to this for first definition of the word.
  • The second defintion of mysticism is dangerous and self-conflicting with the first.
    • Much like the word metaphysical, it has two defintions, each that annihilate each other, and possibly the reason for the annihilation of logical and rational discussion when talking about these concepts. The actual perjorativeness of these words is so profound and so split within society, that they have become part of the actual definitions of the words!
  • The second defintion of mysticism, equally viable, implies that a person is under some sort of stupor, a negative mental state, and possibly in extreme denial.

How mysticism can be theistic and secular. That is because X can point to "God" or "Gods" or "Divinity" or "The Divine" or any number of preternatural entities, planes, or extensions of reality or unreality or whatever you want to call it. The theistic mystic feels X is a supernatural or preternatural force or experience. For the secular mystic, X points to "truth" or "enlightenment" or "all knowing" or the "unknowable" or any number of non-deities and non-theistic concepts. The point is that X is not supernatural or even mysterious to the secular version of mysticism, but simply may not be perceptible directly.

Thus it follows that the goal of all mysticism is to achieve what is ordinarily unachievable. They do this by union and direct experience with X. How they achieve that varies with the mystical practices of the doctrine. Mysticism may be religious and it may be secular, but it is not to be confused with science. It is not to be confused with "new age" or "spiritualism" as it is a very distinct and fundamental concept in which the individual attempts union and direct experience. A spiritualist may not be interested in direct union or experience with their X. They may not even have an X.

Further, quantum healing and other activities do not necessitate a belief in mystical practices or even X. Quantum healing may exist as a phenomenon that we do not yet have the technology to measure and empirically deduce to be scientific consensus and fact. Just because an experience is subjective, does not make it false. In medicine, this is distinguished as symptom and sign; one is measurable externally, while the other is subjective, but actually exists to that person: pain, nausea, emotion, etc.

Mysticism fringes between religion and philosophy. Indeed, it could be said that all religion falls under philosophy anyway. So the best category for mysticism, of any kind, is philosophy. This is simply more of a casual relationship with the fact that mysticism is a practice and action more than a thought or collection of ideas and principles to be studied and memorized or worshiped and preached. Mysticism, by these definitions and research, is clearly about a practice and a way of achieving union and direct experience with X. For example, in Christian Mysticism, they use prayer and perhaps other activities to "experience" X. Some modern day thinkers use mysticism to achieve X (enlightenment) everywhere they go, in their home, or at work. This is similar to the concepts of Eckhart Tolle and others. I present another definition for consideration and this word may often be confused with mysticism:

From the dictionary:



  • (1) of or relating to mystics or religious mysticism : the mystical experience.
    • spiritually allegorical or symbolic; transcending human understanding : the mystical body of Christ.
    • of or relating to ancient religious mysteries or other occult or esoteric rites : the mystical practices of the Pythagoreans.
    • of hidden or esoteric meaning : a geometric figure of mystical significance.
  • (2) inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination : the mystical forces of nature.
    • concerned with the soul or the spirit, rather than with material things : the beliefs of a more mystical age.

The physicists that used the term mysticism did not invent mysticism, but they had an idea of what it meant. They were battling between the first and second definition of mysticism when they used it. We can all see clearly now why mysticism has been brought up in the interpretation of classical mechanics, because of the interpretations that it inherently allows and the very (forgive me) mystical nature of the quantum model of the atom, and perhaps, indeed, even the quantum scale of the natural world. Even Einstein said electrons were "spooky." The point is, this article needs to be about the practices and rituals of mysticism in which the X is quantum. This is the best way to put it forth. Then all of this--and I mean this sincerely because it is fascinating--debate about quantum mechanics and interpretations can go into the quantum metaphysics article that I plan to author (with your help!).

Before this becomes an essay (a poorly written one) I am going to stop here and let the discussion unfurl. If this isn't what mysticism is, please open the discussion up, but lets keep it focused around the definitions for the words and not our own colloquialisms and interpretations of thinking and feeling about what is mystical to us. I hope this has brought more light than heat to the discussion. I have enjoyed editing this article already; because, clearly the people here enjoy thinking and questioning the same things I do and the other viewpoints on the subject have been reflective and enlightening. Let us keep this positive and lets agree to disagree and keep those disagreements into a proper article and allow quantum mysticism to develop in its own article.

So with that reasoning founded, I suggest the article contain:

  • With the new information, a better introduction and definition of quantum mysticism.
  • A definition of what quantum mystics might be attempting to do with X and why they go about it.
  • A list of their methods and practices.
  • A section at the bottom, very often called "See Also" that has related articles, such as quantum healing, mysticism, and others. (Don't worry, Likebox, determinism might aught be left out of mysticism, as it might just be irrelevant to a mystic).

Let us discuss. --Lightbound talk 18:33, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the dictionary definition cited for mysticism is not the best. From the "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy" one gets "Thus, in general, ‘mysticism’ would best be thought of as a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institutions, traditions, and experiences aimed at human transformation, variously defined in different traditions." The focus is on practices and experiences, not beliefs. This avoids issues of delusional beliefs ... something is your experience or it is not. It's about practices leading to experiences, and from there individuals may choose to derive beliefs. --Mbilitatu (talk) 06:29, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not going to disregard what several dictionaries use to define the word. All the dictionary entries define it in a similar fashion. And what you said agrees with what the definitions are, except that they also list it as a belief. You are going to one online source over several dictionary sources? --Lightbound talk 15:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
"You are going to one online source over several dictionary sources?" No, I simply chose one on-line source to make a point that just about every mystical text on the planet will make. You are relying on a dictionary to express what mysticism is. I think this is a mistake. Mysticism has nothing to do with belief. That is a fundamental point, and one of the most important places where mysticism diverges from religion. Read The Way of the Sufi. Read Buddhism is Not What You Think. This is a basic point. Miss this point and you miss mysticism. --Mbilitatu (talk) 16:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the essay clearly illustrates that I do not just feel mysticism is a belief. At all. In fact, the bolded sentence, the one I said is most important to understanding mysticism, was about action and direct experience with X. I do not want to get into a semantical debate. I will have to disagree with you: I feel that the action of direct experience must be preceded by a belief that those actions will create the result the mystic intends, less they were mindless and wouldn't have thought to perform those actions in the first place; they believe they will achieve a result, they believe they will acquire experiential knowledge (and do), they believe they will access something that is typically unaccessible by normal means. Did you even read my essay? We already agree. We are on the same page. Perhaps just a misunderstanding. --Lightbound talk 16:44, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
If we really agreed, then you would agree that no definition for mysticism should start with "(1) belief that ..." or "(2) belief characterized by ...".
"I feel that the action of direct experience must be preceded by a belief that those actions will create the result the mystic intends". This is the definition of magic, not mysticism. "less they were mindless and wouldn't have thought to perform those actions in the first place". This is not correct. If I told you there was a great party on the 10th floor of an accounting firm, you might not be convinced of it, but you might be curious enough to check it out. Once you got to the 10th floor, then you would know for yourself if what I said was true or not. For example, Buddha said to never believe what he says because he says it. Then why would a follower of Buddha believe anything? Because of direct experience, which comes first. One only need to be OPEN to the experience, this is different than believing in it. By contrast, magic is the application of belief and will to create a specifically intended outcome, which might include experience. By analogy, a mystic explores an unseen land where there are no maps. A magician takes the map and drives to a known point. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:07, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
But we do agree. I didn't write the definition for these words. I just try to write well. Your argument is pointless, my friend, as we are on the same page; the sentence of the first definition begins with "belief" but then later it appends an "or," which means that it doesn't have to be a belief, that it can be a practice or action of experiential knowledge. The same kind you just mentioned, with great wisdom, I might add. The bottom line: the definition includes both versions of the word. I do not want to debate over if it is a belief or not. I would not call it a belief. I keep telling you that we agree, I just wish you would accept it. I offer you no resistance, so I will not reply further on the topic, as it would only create more enmity, and that is something I do not want. --Lightbound talk 01:32, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. Agreement enough. No need for semantic twiddling to distract from your larger effort to clean up the page. --Mbilitatu (talk) 05:55, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
You are both framing the issue as one where there is a single definition of quanutm mysticism. In fact it is demonstrable that the term has multiple uses. 1Z (talk) 08:20, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


The description of any quantum mechanical system, no matter how complicated, is always by one wavefunction not by many different wavefunctions. Please do not pluralize wavefunction when you are using it to describe a single system. The only plural use is when you have a measurement on a system, which can lead to different collapsed wavefunctions, or when you have different systems measured by different observations, which are given their own separate description. The quantum mechanical description is holistic in this way. In particular, two electrons are described by one wave in six dimensions, three electrons by one wave in nine dimensions, fifty electrons by one wave in one-hundred and fifty dimensions, etc.Likebox (talk) 22:27, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Massive Edits

Alright. This article is about quantum mysticism. It is no longer a weasel word infested haven for spurious debate on quantum mechanics nor is it the home of jargon and synthesis of quantum physics or quantum metaphysics. If you are an expert on quantum mysticism, please contribute. If you have something to add regarding quantum mechanics or interpretations, please post that information in the appropriate articles: interpretations of quantum mechanics, quantum metaphysics, quantum philosophy. The present situation of the sections will have to be cut, re-written, and/or toned down. I had not even gotten to editing the article until today and it will take some more time to sort out the improper synthesis, dubiousness, jargon, tone, prose, and weasel words that are all over the article. --Lightbound talk 16:49, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Tag fest

If you tag the whole article, don't tag each section. Tags are to alert editors to issues, and bring them to the talk page. They are not for advertizing your position. Each editor already knows your position. One tag at the top is enough.Likebox (talk) 19:33, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect. There are section tags for specific issues for each section. Some sections have specific issues. If you untag them, we are not alerted to those specific issues. This talk page is massive and some editors may not be interested in skimming through dozens of pages of text to get to the heart of the issue. You also reverted the introduction. --Lightbound talk 20:45, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't revert anything--- I did some merging. Please read it before knee-jerk reverting. I think I preserved all your text, with minor copyedits. The content of the section tags should be added as sections here.Likebox (talk) 22:02, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

This article needs to be about one thing

The article can not be both about quantum mysticism, as in the basis for the practices and beliefs of quantum healing and other activities, and at the same time, a place to document the criticisms of various interpretations of mysticism. Your interpretations belong in interpretations of quantum mechanics and/or quantum metaphysics. Quantum mysticism is going to become like the article Christian mysticism in that it will document the the mystical experiences, practices, goals, and related rationales behind that practice. It no longer has anything to do with the interpretation of quantum mechanics, except in the loosest sense. --Lightbound talk 20:51, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

This might be a good idea, and you are proposing it, but I am not sure it is the best way to go. Quantum mysticism has both quantum aspects and mysticism aspects. We should discuss.Likebox (talk) 21:51, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we should. 1Z (talk) 22:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Weasel Words, Stop now.

Weasel words.svg

Do NOT keep putting in weasel words, Likebox. See WP:AWW. Words like "tounge-in-cheek" or other adjectives bias the article and sections into a particular viewpoint, rather than just stating the facts. This is a specific Wiki policy and you reverting my removals of these weasel words is not all that acceptable. After uncovering the truth about mysticism and the foundations and rationale certain believers have in quantum mysticism, it is no longer acceptable that you continue to use this article to debate the interpretations of quantum mechanics. --Lightbound talk 20:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

You don't understand what "weasel words" are. Those are vague statements that should be made precise: "Renowned scientists pored over Uri Geller's spoon bending, and concluded it was genuine." The phrase "renowned scientist" is weasel words, it should be replaced with the names of the scientists. Another example is "Some believe that the European Union is a pretty good idea". You should replace that with the specific people and their specific claims on what is good about it.
The words you are objecting to are a neutral description of the Ig-Nobels. These are mockery prizes, awarded by skeptics for work they consider beneath criticism, and only worthy of contempt. For example, Pons and Fleischmann got the award to express skeptics contempt toward cold fusion.Likebox (talk) 21:55, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
And you have just shown everyone how you feel about that prize. I do not care about the prize one way or another. The sentence needs to say prize, or award, and the name of it with a link. Nothing more. Nothing less. Readers do not need your injection of feeling about the topic with your adjectives and adverbs. The inquiring reader may click the lg award and read about it and let themselves make the decision. Just leave it alone, please stop fighting for this type of composition. Does it harm the article to write clearly and without bias towards any viewpoint? Or does it harm you? Really ask yourself these questions. --Lightbound talk 01:26, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be misleading to present the Ig-Nobel prize in the article as just another scientific award without any qualifications. It is a "parody" award. Count Iblis (talk) 01:45, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The whole thing may be moot. See below. --Lightbound talk 02:00, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


Please assume good faith--- I am trying to preserve all text in appropriate positions. We have a lot of things to talk about regarding the edits, so patiently discuss them.Likebox (talk) 22:38, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

You have reversed every edit I have made today. You are the one who has dominated the article and instigated edit wars by reversing all the edits I made today, including removing tags that were very appropriate. Rather than respond to the section on the talk about about the new topic, you have just reverted the article. That is unacceptable. --Lightbound talk 23:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree with calling likebox reversions "vandalism". Some time ago, Likebox had to deal with repeated reversions of his edits too and if I remember correctly, at that time he was notified that such reversions should not be called vandalism.
I think that, instead of inserting tags, it is better to raise the problem with the text on the talk page. Likebox is active right now anyway, so it is possible to directly discuss the issues. Count Iblis (talk) 23:46, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

The tags are made available to wikipedians, so they can be used. Did you know that it is actually a warned offense to remove tags? The "vandalism" was that I edited the weasel words out, and he specifically injected them back. That is not good faith. He then reverted nearly 10 of my edits, which got him a 3RR warning, without even so much as leaving them up for some time so that we could discuss them. I did not even instigate the warning, it was someone else, who, quite thankfully, came to aid on the apparent edit war he was making. This also isn't the first user he had edit warred with. I came here to help. A new editor to this page needs tags so that individuals and those that are not editors can be alerted to the problems and not mistake it for factual representation. It helps the quality of wikipedia by saying something is not right, or needs work, until it can be fixed. By removing the tags, and then not changing the material, it is harmful to the quality of the article. The tags should stay until they are corrected. Further, some of the sections had specific issues that did not apply to the whole article itself. It is unconscionable that tags should be removed when they are designed and given to editors to annotate problems in an article. There are many people editing the article, not just Likebox, by the way. --Lightbound talk 01:23, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Please stop. I didn't revert all your edits, just 4 out of 6. I explained why for each of them: the weasel word business was incorrect, the title of the section you added was subtly annoying, and the critics opinion back in the lead. These are minor points, and should not prevent us from making progress on the main issues.Likebox (talk) 04:28, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The Introduction...

Ok. Can we please reach a consensus on what this article is about? And quantum quackery, no matter what this article is about, needs to go into a criticism section or, frankly, be deleted! Think about this. Would you insert derisive comments and jargon into other articles about mysticism? Religion? Philosophy? No. There are a lot more words to describe this topic in both a pejorative and a positive sense. If you want to document your "quantum quackery" go post it on Urban Dictionary. This is ridiculous. Please do not put quantum quackery back, even if it exists. Just state the critical objections to the subject. And those critical objects need to go into the body of the article. The introduction is not the place to begin blasting; the introduction needs to summarize the thesis of the article. We had already agreed above that quantum quackery did not belong, nor any criticism, within the introduction, and a consensus was made. Further injections of this nature into the introduction is just asinine. --Lightbound talk 01:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

This article needs to be similar to this article: Christian mysticism and Mysticism. The latter needs major editing too, but the content is there. I have found massive research that shows that quantum mysticism is, indeed, an actual thing and not a pseudoscience. You see, quantum mysticism is about experiencing and being one with the phenomena at the quantum level. It is not an interpretation of quantum mechanics or physics or math or science or any such thing. If you want to criticize quantum healing, then yes, that is based on some sort of "quantum quackery" but quantum mysticism is a practice and belief in something preternatural and, possibly beyond present understanding, and is not necessarily "divine" or theistic. If one was to go about criticizing this type of mysticism, then go ahead, but the argument needs to actually apply to the subject and not be confused with something else. My presence here on this article is to end these edit wars and debates through neutrality and good writing for the wikipedia, not for my own or anyone person's agenda. My agenda is the wikipedia. To that end, I suggest this introduction, which succinctly defines what quantum mysticism might be:

That is the introduction I think we should go with. No criticism. No jargon about pejorative words. Just a simple introduction. Let us move one section at a time, but please let us begin at the beginning. The rest of the article is irrelevant until we agree on what this is about. I have described, and talked, and discussed. Let us now take action. Rather than just deleting this introduction, what is good and bad about it? How can we come to agreement? Lets solve this debate by just simplifying the article. It is no longer about a mysterious and occult interpretation of quantum mechanics, but instead about the practices and act of experiential knowledge that comes from the quantum level. Keep in mind I do not subscribe to this doctrine or practice. I do know that there are many books about the subject, not the least of which is written by Deepak Chopra, and others. So there is, indeed, a basis and notable source to provide information about what quantum mysticism actually is. --Lightbound talk 01:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Quantum mysticism is a catch-all phrase with several meanings. You are inflating one meaning beyond all proportion. Another definition is "Quantum mysticism is Einstein's derisive name for the Copenhagen interpretation" or "Quantum mysticism is the attitude of Wolfgang Pauli towards the measurement problem". There are several definitions kicking around.Likebox (talk) 04:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that may be true. But quantum mysticism exists. Your arguments against it need to be put into perspective and not made to be the entire article. A lot of what is written in this article is banal and has no mention of what quantum mysticism is. The cancer of this biased viewpoint is so strong that it consumes any possibility for anyone coming to find out what quantum mysticism actually is. --Lightbound talk 19:29, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I have updated the introduction again. Any criticisms of quantum mysticism need to go in an appropriate section. The article should not read like an essay or a debate. The name of the article is quantum mysticism, as I have stated before. The quantum worldview, which is what quantum mysticism is based upon, is not concerned with quantum mechanics. I have something to say about criticisms and I will add a new talk section just for that subject. --Lightbound talk 20:22, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Criticism should not go into separate sections. It often is, but the practice is deprecated.1Z (talk) 00:24, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Adding material vs. deleting it

Be careful when deleting material, even if it is duplicated. For example, take the issue of "Consciousness causes collapse" being duplicated at "Wigner's interpretation of quantum mechancs". That article was recreated (by me) when the ruckus here started. I put the quantum stuff in this article (which before was just a mockery-fest) after Consciousness Causes Collapse was deleted and redirected here.

The new article "Wigner's interpretation" might get deleted, in which case, the material would be lost if you don't keep it here. So wait a little before deleting it, to see if the new Wigner's interpretation article is stable. It should be named "Consciousness Causes Collapse", but that article namespace is locked.Likebox (talk) 04:39, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Nothing is ever truly deleted unless the page is deleted. --Lightbound talk 19:36, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Extensive changes should be discusssed. 1Z (talk) 20:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
They were discussed. Discussed until 3rd option, then a call for help. I came in to help. We discussed more. Someone has to be WP:BOLD sometime. I took that responsibility and trouble that came with it. --Lightbound talk 00:56, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Where was it discussed? I don't see agreement here for instance.1Z (talk) 08:15, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Copyright violation?

I didn't see any--- be careful with this tag, because it is usually used for word by word copying of about 40 words or more. I don't think that's going on, so I'll remove the tag. If you think this is wrong, point out the sentences which are plagiarized here.Likebox (talk) 16:02, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

It violates WP:PARAPHRASE and possibly WP:COPYPASTE. I can guarantee it violates the former and that any administrator would agree. Secondly, regardless of those policies, we should synthesize and write it in encyclopedic format. This is not an essay, where you build paragraphs of arguments, balanced by counter-arguments. This is an encyclopedia where you state information as if it were true, in the most neutral sense possible, with citations. It is you that should be careful if you are the one who posted it; because, it is very serious to post non-free content. It is less serious, but equally bad, to post walls of quotes to make a point that could be made in a few sentences. --Lightbound talk 19:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


Any criticism needs to add relevant information to an article and not serve to merely voice an opinion about the subject itself. You can write an article in neutral POV without even having or needing a criticism section. We do this through the use of specific nouns and the omission of most adjectives, adverbs, or flowering or biasing of the prose, such as found in WP:AWW and WP:PEACOCK. It is also achieved through a prosaic style that is very different from an essay. Much of this article is written like an essay, with lead-ins to paragraphs like "therefor, thus, because of this, as a result of this." Just state the information. That is reporting. That is neutral. A (good) journalist doesn't preface statements about fact with "therefor (he killed the victim)" s/he just says what happened.

About the criticism itself. It needs to be relevant to quantum mysticism as it has become known. There are several books on the subject and I plan to find more and buy and even read them if I have to, to ensure this article is given the justice of neutrality. It is unacceptable to use Wikipedia as a sounding board for your own personal agenda or opinions. Please read WP:NOT. Its very clear. This article's name matches a very published concept. It should be written about that subject. Any other banal discussion and essay prose needs to be merged, edited, or downright deleted.

  • If there are criticisms of specific practices of quantum healing, they need to go on that specific page.
  • If an editor has an issue with the factual accuracy of quantum consciousness, it needs to go on that specific page.
  • This page should not be, as one editor above put it properly, a "kitchen sink" for all the metaphysical debate about quantum mysticism.
  • Quantum mysticism is based on a "quantum worldview," (which will be defined in the article when I can get past these obstacles). It is not a pseudoscientific interpretation of quantum mechanics. The concept could very well precede the need for a quantum model. A quantum mystic could practice these things and not need to know a single thing about quantum physics. Please stop injecting debate and irrelevant jargon and criticism in a topic that has nothing to do with--except in its first and infantile conception in the mind of its creators--quantum mechanics.
  • I think any administrator would agree these are sane, reasonable, and inline with the purpose of Wikipedia.

--Lightbound talk 20:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The stuff about a "quantum worldview" seems to be based on the view so of a single writer. The claim that it predates the science desperately needs citation. The current page is quite OR-sih. 1Z (talk) 00:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

"Any criticism needs to add relevant information to an article and not serve to merely voice an opinion about the subject itself." False. It is a valid criticism of a subject that there is basically nothing to it. 1Z (talk) 00:39, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Is it coincidence that the criticism has now been shuffled off to nowhere? 1Z (talk) 00:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Well? 1Z (talk) 20:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Your concerns have been addressed in the following talk sections below. --Lightbound talk 00:58, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

A solution

I believe we can solve this dispute by splitting the content of this page into another article or articles.

I suggest that all the information regarding the extensive debate and criticism regarding mysticism and quantum metaphysics go into either Criticism of religion or a new article, Criticism of quantum metaphysics or Criticism of quantum mysticism. In fact, call it whatever you like, but it should branch off, so that this article can document what quantum mysticism is, as evidenced by several books on the subject. Or perhaps this article needs to be renamed, so that the actual quantum mysticism can be documented. Which of these sounds reasonable, and if not, why? --Lightbound talk 22:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I suggest it shouldn't, since it is POV to suggest that quantum mysticism is religion. We laready have some writers saying it is science, and others pseudoscience. 1Z (talk) 00:34, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I am confused. Where in any of the comments I have made or the article, suggest that quantum mysticism is a religion? There are a lot of "ors" there, so I was providing a list of ideas, to be taken or left. --Lightbound talk 18:39, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Here: "I suggest that all the information regarding the extensive debate and criticism regarding mysticism and quantum metaphysics go into either Criticism of religion..."1Z (talk) 20:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Either, or, or, or. It was a list of suggested articles. The reason I suggested you place some of those criticisms there, is if you do a search of the criticism on religion page, you find a criticism of mysticism. I am not going to respond to this section further. --Lightbound talk 00:59, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
YOu should not assume QMyst is 100% mysticism and 0% science: that balance is part of the controversy. 1Z (talk) 08:07, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
It deals with the quantum of the natural world, and its related phenomenon. Just because something deals with something in reality, does not mean that it deals with the science that (attempts to) explain(s) that reality. --Lightbound talk 21:00, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Initial revisions complete, now to expand

I have completed the initial revisions, and summarized a lot of the jargon and conversational tone that was there. Tomorrow I will being adding the claims and various practices of quantum mystics as illustrated in various books on the subject. Please do not mind the dust. --Lightbound talk 23:44, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Okay! I have finished the basic skeleton of the article. There are literally hundreds of books on this subject and right now I have been using a lot of material from only a few of those sources that have pioneered the modern version of it. My research is far from over, but I would sure love any help from others that are familiar with quantum mysticism, quantum worldview, and the related practices so that we can maybe even see this one day as a good, then featured article. My goal here is the latter. I have taken pains to preserve the existing controversy, and reduce the need for any larger criticisms by providing it as much of a NPOV as possible. I will admit, I know very little of quantum mysticism. I am no such practitioner. So my updating of the article has been slow because I have to learn the information in order to synthesize it here. I am pleased so far, that the article at least tells us something about quantum mysticism. I also have conducted some interviews with people so that I could educate myself on it. I met with some practitioners and "gurus" and they believe that this is a form of modern mysticism, such that, the older mystical concepts were founded from the non-existence of science. With the introduction of science to explain so much of the observable reality, the mysticism has changed over time as well. What I am surmising from all this is that mysticism is similar to the philosophy that asks the reasoning, questioning, why, of the phenomenon of existence and the mysticism is not so much concerned with it, but the application of it without being hung up on the need for it to be explained first by models and theories. It has been quite an exhaustive research. I will continue to contribute, but I will leave it for a while to see if other editors are interested in helping with the research of this type of mysticism.

  • The quantum worldview section could be expanded to at least double its existing size now. I just have not had time to synthesize the works.
  • The practices section could include other "quantum" practice, but they should be based on (or update the worldview section) the quantum worldview itself, which is important to the mysticism concept they are trying to directly experience.

--Lightbound talk 19:59, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

"I just have not had time to synthesize the works". Don't. See WP:SYN.
Please sign your comments. It is not synthesis to provide references to actual statements. WP:SYN is about cobbling together sources to make a single statement that they individually do not. The information being reported here is factual to the sources, using terms from the sources, concepts from the sources. Part of writing encyclopedic information is to paraphrase the information. So allow me to correct myself in saying that I need more time to do research and accordingly paraphrase, document, and write the rest of the article and that I would greatly appreciate any help from people who already know the dozens if not hundreds of books written on the subject. This article has essentially started over on a topic that it was not previously about. There is still a lot of work to be done. --Lightbound talk 18:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
It should not have started over, your changes are far too drastic. You should have discussed them here first. 1Z (talk) 20:47, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes they were WP:BOLD, but the article, much like many other metaphysical articles on Wikipedia, was in a skien of three parts criticism and one part on-topic information. Like a garden that has just been cured of some terrible plague, it can now nurture the actual topic! What a concept. --Lightbound talk 01:02, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
1) expect a Bold to be followed by a Revert and a Discuss.
2) You were not entitled to take the level of criticism down to zero.
3) Likebox's disquisitions was not really criticism of tar-and-feather kind. 1Z (talk) 08:06, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Recent changes

The recent changes should be sandboxed and merged with the older article. They are an exercise in POV-pushing desgined to deny the scientific critics of QM a voice. 1Z (talk) 00:45, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

QM as in quantum mysticism or quantum mechanics? I am going to assume you meant quantum mysticism. The article does not make any scientific claims; it makes philosophical claims. The article and wikipedia is not a place to sound your voice, perhaps you mean a blog, or an online journal. The wikipedia is a place to document information that is encyclopedic in nature. The information that is currently presented is neutral in POV. It does not attempt, in any way, to posit itself as scientific fact. It uses words like "belief" and "claim" and "attempt." No one that would come across this page would mistake it for an article like quantum superposition. There is no malicious attempt here to deny any side of the topic. If something is useful to the topic, it should be added. If any content strays from the topic, it should be removed. There is a tag on wiki templates that says that a large criticism section can point to the fact that an article may not be written in a neutral point of view. When an article is written in a neutral point of view, with notable and proper references, it becomes its own self-contained entity; a truth towards that particular subject. Whether individuals like that subject or not, does not qualify, alone, that opinion to be put into an article. If there are specific sentences within the article that put the subject matter in too positive or negative of a light, it needs to be edited. The article has gone from pedantic and banal rants filled with interpretation and a juxtaposition of various quantum theories, and was written like an essay, and included weasel words and peacocking that did not even discuss what quantum mysticism has become known as today. If you would really like to help, please help me expand this article. I think if you want to document the history of the debate of mysticism in quantum mechanics between the great founders, I think that should go into the history of physics or history of quantum mechanics. --Lightbound talk 18:57, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you have misunderstood almost everything here. The new article is not neutral precisely because it does ignore the science and the scientific criticism. Using words like "belief" is not sufficient for neutrality when you are only reporting only one sides' beliefs. Information on the other side has been subtracted. Shifting form one POV to another is not an improvement. 1Z (talk) 20:44, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
POV affects the voice of prose. If that voice is unbiased, then it is considered neutral; the voice must not present the prose in a subjective manner, it should merely report. There is no subjectivity in the reporting of what the practice is, since the last edit. While incomplete, it offers a partial account as to what quantum mysticism is and the related claims and practices. What you are not realizing is that quantum mysticism is a thing that exists today. There are innumerable books on it. If there are criticisms you would like to include, and indeed there are, they should go into the specific articles that relate: quantum mind, quantum healing, et al.. To inject that the philosophical claims are unfounded or just plain wrong is not necessary if the prose is neutral. The prose must state what the concept is. You are also ignoring the controversy section that has intentionally been left in. All we need to do is provide information in that section, if the controversy is notable. --Lightbound talk 21:45, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
POV is a mtter of content as well as style. You are ommitting explicit criticism (eg Gell-Man). 1Z (talk) 21:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

1Z, I honestly and sincerely, tried to preserve a lot of that criticism, but it was so very long, may have only interested a specific audience, and sometimes went on tangents away from quantum mysticism itself. If there is that much critical information on the subject, it may merit its own article entirely, where it could reign free. I disagree with your "interpretation" of what NPOV means. Here is a quote from the Wikipedia section WP:POV:

The "main scholars and specialists" on the topic of quantum mysticism, while incomplete in the article now (more will come with more time to research and other editors), are partially there and that information needs to be presented. I pride myself on neutrality. I am also secular and do not believe in any of these claims that I have edited. I came here to help a problem article while searching for "some way to help" on the Wikipedia. It has become a battle that is quickly winding my patience. I realize there are many people that this topic bothers. I think we all have to put our personal feelings aside and realize when we are being biased and unfair to the truth (as much as it relates to a participle topic). I disagree with a lot of what quantum mysticism is. Yet I feel compelled to properly document the article to the subject of which the article is named! To continue to debate this seems illogical to me. --Lightbound talk 21:59, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Gell-Man is an RS.He has Nobel. 1Z (talk) 22:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
That is a very respectable thing; however, is he a "leading scholar" on quantum mysticism as a practice and philosophical doctrine? Further, what does quantum mysticism have to do with oriental mysticism? Quantum mysticism was inspired by quantum theory in the early 20th century: fact. Please see above for what mysticism is. I wrote a large comment about it that appears like an essay. Mysticism does not have to be based on other types of mysticism. It is more of a doing, action, practice, than a belief. It has some belief component to it, but that is not the focus. --Lightbound talk 22:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
That QMyst is divorced from science so that scientitst can make no comment on it is precisely the POV that you are pushing. G-M is highly notable and he made a comment about "Quantum Mysticism" in exactly those words. 1Z (talk) 22:16, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I generally support Lightbound on this one. There is a wiki-proclivity for including massive so-called criticism sections in metaphysical articles that overwhelm the content of the topic itself. Gell-Mann is related to the extent that the article includes the scientific perspective on QMys, but a dozen Nobel prizes in science do not make someone an expert on the topic QMyst itself. Analogously, one does not see massive amounts of scientific criticism on the Shamanism page for good reason. It doesn't belong there. That said, I do see two fine lines to be careful of. Sometimes authors take quantum mechanics theory as scientific evidence for this or that mystical thing. This is bad science and deserves to be criticized within the scientific paradigm. In addition, quantum mechanics does get thrown around in New Age circles a lot with a poor understanding of what it actually is. So far I think Lightbound is attempting to tread these lines responsibly. If it were my call (and it's not ... I'm on the sidelines) I think a section clarifying the relationship between QM and the (sort of) eponymously named QMys would be in order. --Mbilitatu (talk) 23:02, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I waS not callign for the re-inclusion of the long discursive and under-referened passages, I was pointing out that there was no criticism at all although it is a very contentious subject. The Gell-Man quote is an example of pithy and well-sourced criticism. 1Z (talk) 23:14, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
A dozen Nobel prizes in science do not make someone an expert on the topic QMyst itself. I will

repeat that it is a valid criticism of a subject that it is nonsense from top to bottom. One does not need qualification in astrology to reject astrology outright.1Z (talk) 23:14, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

If it were my call (and it's not ... I'm on the sidelines) I think a section clarifying the relationship between QM and the (sort of) eponymously named QMys would be in order. It should be in the lead. The lead is quite wrong to imply that there is a single commonly agreed on version of quantum mysticism. 1Z (talk) 23:14, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not "pushing" a POV. Before these changes, this article did not have even a whisper of what quantum mysticism is, as it is defined in countless books on the subject. There is a lot of content that needs to be filled into this article about quantum mysticism; there are many practices and much more detail in the claims that can be listed. Quantum mysticism is not entirely divorced from science; because, it is inspired by quantum theory. It is not immune to criticism, just like Christianity or Evolution isn't immune to criticism. Let us end this diatribe and actually discuss what criticisms you would like to see and go from there. --Lightbound talk 23:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
After the changes there was not a whisper of the claim that QMyst is pseudoscience...1Z (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
"I will repeat that it is a valid criticism of a subject that it is nonsense from top to bottom." "One does not need qualification in astrology to reject astrology outright." You presume it is nonsense and thus the criticism must be valid. This is a logical fallacy. One does not need any qualification to reject anything. But in the mystical domain, where it is all about direct experience and not intellectual understanding, to speak with authority without experience is to have little credibility. --Mbilitatu (talk) 23:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
It is valid criticism in the sense that ts a relavant crticiism. I do not have to agree with the criticism to think that kind of criticism should be mentioned where it has been made, which it has been. Your claim that mysticism can only be judged by its own standards, not "intelectual understanding" is POV. 1Z (talk) 08:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

1Z, it is clear that you dislike the subject of this article. I can only surmise that you are here to ensure that it gets the tar and feathers it rightly deserves, am I correct? Well, unfortunately we have a lot of Wikipedia policy to keep editors from turning factual representations of even baseless topics into their personal dart board. Good luck. --Lightbound talk 00:06, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Not exactly an assumption of good faith. FYI, inlcuding at elast some criticism into an uncritical article is not tarring and feathering. 1Z (talk) 08:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
No one needs to assume that which you state so boldly. --Lightbound talk 21:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)


OK, lightbound: the new article has been sandboxed here. [see below] This not an attempt to stop you working on the article. It is an attempt make extensive changes in a balanced and consensual way. 1Z (talk) 21:03, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

We are already attempting to make changes in a balanced and consensual way. Right here on the talk page. But I digress from this sub-section and won't be replying to this area. --Lightbound talk 00:22, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Who's "we"? 1Z (talk) 07:58, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I have now added the version sandboxed by Peterdjones at Quantum mysticism/sandbox to the existing edits at User:Lightbound/Quantum_Mysticism. I prefer to see the (article) namespace kept clean. — RHaworth (talk · contribs) 09:12, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
So much for co-operative editing if we all have our own sandbxes. 1Z (talk) 13:11, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

And another thing

Re the edit summary: "Other sources have the same claims". Find the sources first, then make the change. 1Z (talk)

I know you won't believe this, but just as I was about to add what is there now, Comcast went down for this entire period. I had it in my copy/paste buffer and right as I clicked submit my internet connection went offline. As it is now back up, I pasted what I had written there and updated it. Yes I agree it was an improper synthesis. It has been updated and more sources will be added as follows. The wording has been neutralized as well and the title changed. All wording of "quantum worldview" has been deleted and replaced with what that jargon actually refers to, which are philosophical notions. There is no need to sandbox, as I had already preserved the article on my user page space, as User:Lightbound/Quantum_Mysticism. I have been using the revision system to catalog the daily entries, starting from the first massive edits. I will take a look at the sandbox you have setup, but I am not sure what you are getting at. Rather than setting up a sandbox, let us discuss what your concerns are. I.e. what good is setting up the sandbox if we do not know what to edit? --Lightbound talk 21:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
We need to disucss what to edit and agree what to edit before we know what to edit, don't we? 1Z (talk) 21:45, 29 September 2009 (UTC)


At the time I was interested in India and in the various religious traditions of India — not that I would embrace any religion — my interest was merely academic. I thought it would be a good joke to call the scheme the eightfold way, since the particles tended in many cases to come in sets of eight. Some silly people wrote books trying to connect my work on particle physics with oriental mysticism, whereas the connection was only a joke.

Hello, please sign your comments. I am not sure what this entry means or how it relates. --Lightbound talk 21:33, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
It's an example of something that should be in the article but isn't. 1Z (talk) 21:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Rather than dilute the reporting of the actual practice and claims of quantum mysticism, we should remove any sentences that make references to any such paper or author or speaker. Keep in mind, I have mostly copy-edited, except for the claims section, which was authored by me, which references actual books. The part about eastern mysticism is a relic from a previous edit. It barely relates to what quantum mysticism is today and, perhaps, should be deleted entirely, or reworded, as it biases the article into theistic connotations. While some authors in the practice use words like "divine" in their writing, the practice is overwhelmingly non-theistic. Do we agree to remove those sentences then? --Lightbound talk 21:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean "any such author"? Do you mean G-M's "silly people"? How do you know he wasn't talking about CHopra? 1Z (talk) 21:55, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Do we agree to delete the sentences? Not interested in off-topic debate. --Lightbound talk 22:06, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I don 't know what sentnces you mean. Please answer my questions.Please do not make any edits at all to the article without disucussion. 1Z (talk) 22:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The one that relates "modern science" to Prana. And do not worry, I have not deleted it. --Lightbound talk 22:57, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
why should you? It is well sourced. I don't know what you are getting at here. 1Z (talk) 23:20, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I am getting at that the claim that "modern science" proves Prana and the history of quantum mysticism are totally unrelated. If we can find a book or notable source that says that that particular speech or text inspired future works on quantum mysticism, it would likely fit, but as it stands, it is not a proper synthesis. --Lightbound talk 23:37, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea who you think made that claim. The article is reporting Capras views, correctly, I believe. 1Z (talk) 23:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I deleted the sentence saying that it related it to another concept. I then tagged the sentence with the which? template. It may soon be deleted as well, if it has nothing to do with the history of quantum mysticism. What science was he referring to? And on the nature of the Capra view in the book as it relates to Prana or whatnot, the references surely do not meet notability guidelines. Here they are:

Those are not notable sources (WP:RELIABLE). Even if they were (which they are not), what do they have to do with quantum mysticism? --Lightbound talk 00:20, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

This is bizarre. How did Chopra -- a medical doctor--get to be more notable? Capra is a physicist and so at least qualified to talk about the "quantum" side of things. 1Z (talk) 07:57, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
No, the source is WP:UNRELIABLE, not the person. --Lightbound talk 20:36, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Consciousness causes collapse

The redirect of Consciousness causes collapse is broken as a result of the recent edits. It cannot be readily fixed as it is protected. 1Z (talk) 22:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Excellent find. I have contacted an administrator and noted it on the corresponding talk page. I recommended that it direct to quantum mind, which very much covers that concept. --Lightbound talk 22:54, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Quantum mind is a completely different subject. The idea that consiousness causes (effective) collapse is something that is different and not as speculative as the idea that quantum mechanics is of fundamental importance to consiousness. E.g. within the MWI, you could quite easily motivate the idea that consiousness causes effective collapse. Count Iblis (talk) 23:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I strongly agree. The redirect should go to the page on Wigner's interpretation. 1Z (talk) 23:18, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I can see why it was protected in the first place. It is haunted by opinion. Whatever the case it needs not point here. You should goto that particular talk page and put that point of view there. While I have much to say on that topic you just mentioned, I do not want to open another can of worms. So long as it does not point to quantum mysticism. I see no reason why an article that discusses the theory of mind related to quantum mechanics is not a good fit. Perhaps that is a signal to you that you need to edit that particular page to provide and include that viewpoint. Quantum consciousness points to Quantum mind as well, just an FYI. Consciousness causing the collapse of the wave function is definitely something that is discussed in Orch-OR and Quantum mind theories. That is all I will say for now on that. --Lightbound talk 23:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, it doesn't seem to adhere to WP:NAME very well, which states: "Article names should be recognizable to readers, unambiguous, and consistent with usage in reliable English-language sources." I might even nominate it for deletion. That would solve the problem. --Lightbound talk 23:41, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:Name does no apply to redirects which should stretch to common misspellings, for instance.1Z (talk) 23:52, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
There are different ways ther two can be related. 1Z (talk) 23:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, what happens happens and I officially digress from that mini-debate. Lets get back to work on this page. --Lightbound talk 00:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Blocking/ Deletion-fest

I was blocked for the past 3 days for "edit warring". Whatever the merits of that, in these three days, Lightbound has evicerated the content of this article. I will ask for a quick consensus by everybody else to quickly revert this article to the last pre-lightbound version, and that future changes be discussed. To lightbound: there is no need to respond because I have read your arguments above, and find them unpersuasive. That's to be expected for comments from an editor who had never heard of the subject matter of the article until recently.Likebox (talk) 04:47, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Agree. Extensive changes to a controversial article must be discusssed. It is also a bad idea to jump into the middle of an article that is already very unstable with extensive changes.1Z (talk) 07:54, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion. It may be that in the real world there exists two incompatible definitions of "quantum mysticism", one is what the current version writes about, basically the "New Age" version of the idea. The other definition is the notion of mysticism quantum physicists have argued about. A wiki article about that subject has to be written from the pespective of physics, not philosphy.

Then, content forking may be the best solution. This current version could be moved to "Quantum mysticism (paranormal)", and the old version cpould be moved to "Quantum mysticism (physics)". The latter article based on the old version will fall under the category of scientific wiki articles and must be edited according to the appropriate rules for that category. The former article will fall under whatever rules the the Paranormal/New Age Wikipedians find approppriate. Count Iblis (talk) 13:47, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Response. But the two connected and some QMyst authors make much of the scientific background. The current article refelcts Lighbound's POV . 1Z (talk) 14:05, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
However. I was goign to suggest that Likebox's material be moved to a page on somethign like The observer in quantum and classical physics.1Z (talk) 15:39, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Mysticism doeesn't sit well with physics William M. Connolley (talk) 14:32, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
It's a fact, however, uncomfortable, that the QMyst bandwagon was launched by notable phsyicists in the '20s. I strongly recommend a readign of article. 1Z (talk) 14:35, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
The article you linked to is very accurate, and reflects the views of the founders very well. I take objection to this statement, though: "The dominant modern view is that an observation does not cause an atom to exist in the observed position, but that the observer finds the location of that atom". This is absolutely incorrect, it is incorrect in the Copenhagen interpretation, and it is incorrect in many-worlds-many-minds/decoherent-histories/CCC. It is only correct in the Bohm interpretation, and even then, only if the position is Bohmified and the position is what is being measured. The mysticism debate has not gone away, and you can find echoes of it from the 1920s through the 1990s.
Why I believe that separating the two is a bad idea: Wu-Li is definitely quantum mysticism, and it is definitely trying to advertise the views of Heisenberg and Pauli to the general public, using the 1960's rekindling of interest in eastern mysticism. "What the bleep" is trying to make these views fit into a new-age context (which I think is a bad fit, but whatever). The only difference between the scientists and the popular literature is that the scientists were careful to stay true to "psycho/physical parralellism" (meaning the idea that anything that happens in the mind has an echo in what is happening in the atoms of the brain) and to "no miracles" (meaning they rejected the idea that meditation will alter the physical world). But the two lines of literature are connected by solid history.Likebox (talk) 20:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Disagree with doing a mass revert. That is the sound of instigating a revert war. But, I agree with Count Iblis; if you want to write a page dedicated to the autopsy of pseudoscientific claims made by the individual partitioners of various forms of quantum quackery, that is fine by me. Quantum mysticism exists as a concept today. There are people that perform specific practices that are not based on anything other than a "mystical," aka, philosophical and metaphysical underpinning. Again, this is not "my" viewpoint, this is what hundreds of books on the subject reflect. Welcome back, Likebox, by the way. And if you attack me again in another statement, LIkebox, I will take further actions. I will not tolerate your jabs. Please conform to WP:CIV and keep your comments on the topic and not on a specific editor. Thanks. I realize you were just unblocked and have a lot of anger about that, but I did not cause it, nor did I even report you. --Lightbound talk 20:42, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

You are not the only person who is involved in this article, and you have been rude in deleting large amounts of material without discussion. It is not an "edit war" to revert a misguided bold edit. I am trying to patch together the appropriate version (because during the course of your edits, OMCV made some substantive contributions that should not be erased because your destructive contributions).Likebox (talk) 20:50, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
While I appreciate your concern for my addition Likebox it appears your words and actions are in conflict. You reverted nearly all of my content between this and this edit cycle negating any of my contributions. For future reference the "Ig Noble" awards is a Parody of the "Noble Prize" this does not mean that Deepak Chopra specific 1998 Ig Noble award is a parody of anything, its just a veiled insult. ("veiled insult" is not equal to "parody") Nor would the Sokal Affair be referred to as a "parody" in the common use of language even if quoted text can be invoked. With that said a debate over such language seems irrelevant at this point. I think the article in its current form looks good. As far as using my name to rationalize actions while misrepresenting your true activity, I find that annoying. It might be best not to invoke another editor's name for your own means.--OMCV (talk) 03:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
First of all I did not revert your edits--- I kept nearly all of your text, restoring text that you deleted, with further qualifications. It was not a rationalization to use your name--- you invested much effort in rewriting the philosophy sections, and I thought you might like the end result. Since you don't like it, and you prefer that this article doesn't mention the early literature, I won't mention you anymore. However, your position is misguided, and it would be nice if you would go away again.Likebox (talk) 17:50, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
So what is your goal with this page. Can you describe in one sentence what you want this article to be about? --Lightbound talk 20:58, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
And I have talked on this page. Look at the recent edit history of this talk page. It is mostly my comments. I have spent incredible time commenting, responding, discussing, on this talk page. You are not looking at the facts of the matter. At some time there has to be edits. Either way, let us continue with the evolution of this comment, see blow for the content fork suggestion. --Lightbound talk 21:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Aside from the brief period where you blocked me from commenting, I have explained my position in a very verbose way. I started editing this page when "Consciousness causes collapse" was redirected here. My goal was only to include enough science to make the redirect acceptable. If you remove the science, water down the mind/body philosophy, or otherwise make this article only about the recent new-age practices, the redirect makes no sense, and the CCC article needs to be recreated. I have commented on each and every one of your changes, explaining why they are inappropriate. Mostly, they are too narrow--- they focus only on recent literature.Likebox (talk) 23:28, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Disagree Lightbound's edits may have been bold but they were correct. Furthermore they were heavily documented here without commentary. It was not Lightbound's responsibility to wait for a blocked user to wait out his block before working to repair a previously poorly constructed article. Simonm223 (talk) 21:35, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Disagree I echo Simonm223's well put comments. --Mbilitatu (talk) 22:19, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Lightbound has erased scads of carefully sourced material to reflect his view on the scope of the page. This is intolerable, because it is erasing material without any substantive additions. Constructive edits are one thing, erasures are another.Likebox (talk) 23:31, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Disagree Due to real life obligations I have been away from Wikipedia. After reviewing this article I think I might take leaves of absence more often. The current form is a vast improvement over what I last read. The move away from the essay format, with leading text, to a more encyclopedic format is refreshing. There is no need to fully initiate the reader into the perspectives of the founders of quantum mechanics. It is enough to indicate that at times the founders of quantum mechanics expressed metaphysical views (mostly in private) that fell under the umbrella quantum mysticism. This is now concisely expressed by the article. A reader that wishes to know more about these views can now find such information rather than being "taught" them from limited and science jargon heavy POV. In summary great improvement.--OMCV (talk) 02:56, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Content fork with redirect

This is not the first time it has been suggested here. Now, Count Iblis has also suggested it. Clearly there is a need for those that want to criticize the metaphysics and the need to document the modern practice of quantum mystics, as written about by a very large number of books. My formal suggestion is that you add all the debate on the Quantum metaphysics page and that this page be left alone. Mysticism is an actual practice, a thing. By removing it from this page, you are turning what is documented by so many books into a debate page for rational skepticism of philosophical belief. Quantum mysticism makes no scientific claims. It makes philosophical claims. The individual actions (quantum healing, and associated basis) may be open to debate, but the concept and practice of quantum mysticism itself, as an individual belief should be protected just as much as a page from Christianity should be protected from Atheist editors. Also, none of your contributions are truly lost. According to WP:POV this article is now on-topic. Remember, just because you dislike the topic does not mean that you must WP:GAME the system to attempt to include seemingly normal and notable content for the purpose of diluting or delaminating the subject matter. It has become evident in the talk page discussion, as time has elapsed, that there there may be bad faith on some of the part of the contributors. I agree that the word quantum mysticism is potentially ambiguous. Wikipedia has solutions for that.

  • Go into the history of this page, paste the debate into the Quantum metaphysics article, which is just a redirect page at the moment. Then,
  • Include an disambiguation link at the top of Quantum mysticism which says something like, "For the debate/criticism of.. etc." This is done using a pre-defined template. And,
  • Allow Quantum mysticism to develop in its own path.

This would solve everyone's problem. The articles would be linked so everyone could be clear. They both merit their own articles. Everyone is happy. The edit and talk debate can be ended. Does this sound like a reasonable proposal? --Lightbound talk 21:15, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

As I said before, I am not opposed to a content fork, but we should decide on the two articles in question, and their scope. I believe that if you split off two articles, one article is going to be about metaphysical questions raised by quantum mechanics, and maybe it should be called "quantum mysticism", "quantum dualism", or "quantum mind/body philosophy" or "quantum mind/body problem" (in line with the title of Wigner's article). The other article will be about quantum healing, quantum touch, quantum meditation, and it will be devoid of any actual science, and perhaps it should be called "quantum mysticism" or "quantum meditative practices", or "quantum new-age methods".
To keep the discussion clear, I will call all the science stuff "quantum dualism", and the meditation/telepathy/healing "quantum new-age practices". The question is whether we discuss quantum dualism together with quantum new-age practices, or whether we separate them out into two articles.
If the two articles are separate, the criticism of the skeptics belongs on "quantum new-age practices", not quantum dualism. Since the quantum new-age practices are using quantum mechanical terminology to lend scientific authority to things that are old, they look like any other pseudoscience, and "quantum new age practices" will quickly degenrate into a "skeptics say"/"proponent believe" article, like other articles on pseudoscience.
I think that this approach is unfair to quantum mysticism, because the ideas about quantum dualism are supported by many physicists. It bothers me to think that something as subtle as quantum mysticism, with its mix of mainstream science, mind/body philosophy, and flat-out quackery, will be treated like the paranormal. I think that by having both issues discussed in the same article, the article becomes fairer to the point of view of the quantum mystic.
In particular, as long as the mysticism is in line with psycho-physical parallelism and no-miracles, it is totally in line with the opinion of the scientific founders of quantum mechanics. This can include out-of-body experience, synchronicity, god-mind, consciousness alteration by meditation, which do not contradict psycho-physical parallelism, and don't require miracles. Skeptics usually jump up and down only when someone claims that psycho-physical parallism is violated, or when someone claims a miracle. Since 90% of meditative practices, quantum or non-quanutm, don't make any such claims, it would be a shame to make an article about mysticism which made it sound like pure quackery.Likebox (talk) 23:08, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
That is the first time you have perfectly elucidated the viewpoint you are coming from in a way that is absolutely crystal clear. I believe I agree with the majority of what you have just said, the question now becomes, how to achieve it without destroying the present state of the article. A lot of what you have said is implied already in this article; because, the practice is based on quantum theory. Indeed, I agree, this article and the topic is in no way paranormal or supernatural. But herein lies the problem: mysticism is a practice with an attempt to directly experience or become merged/unified/one with whatever. That whatever, in this case, is the philosophical view that quantum mysticism has implications on existence beyond just the physical description of reality. That underlying discovery about this superposition that makes up every living system is to be used as a tool to the quantum mystic. I think that machines like the QXCI (google it) are total quackery, and need to be criticized, but a quantum mystic needs no tools, only the mind. That is the point. It is a practice, much like prayer, and similar to meditation, but not the same, that says: It might be possible to direct quantum effects for intended purposes. That is what the dozens to hundreds of books on the subject are referring to. Perhaps the article does not need a split. The goal is to keep skeptical rhetoric out of the article, under the explicit and express condition that it is presented in the most neutral voice as possible; it will claim, it will say attempt, it must never say it is truth, it must never say it is absolutely sure, less it be open to criticism. It will be very difficult to use science to break apart the mystical experience. Also, when the initial scientists were arguing about mystical aspects, they were not referring to the same mystical experience that is used today. They were using the 2nd denotation of the word, as referenced by the dictionary: delusional, baseless, or occult. They had this debate because they were amazed that the physical universe could be inherently probabilistic, by nature. They were not trying to say that by becoming one with the idea that they could transcend body, time, and mind. If they did, it is certainly not published in such a way. Shrodenger's book is not about mysticism at all. He does go into philosophical evaluations of it, but not the way in which modern authors of quantum mysticism are doing. There is no use of the word miracle or any such wording on the page now, and it should be devoid of such things. --Lightbound talk 23:29, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any rational reason which will allow you to censor authoritative and well documented critics of quantum mysticism. There are several sorts of criticism:
  1. statements that bunk like the QXCI machine doesn't work.
  2. criticism that the language of quantum mechanics does not fit in well with the concepts revealed during a mystical experience.
On type 1 criticism, I think we agree. If there is a bunk claim that has been debunked by skeptics in a reliable source, then the skeptical position belongs in the article.
But we disagree on type 2 criticism. Type 2 criticism is not claiming that mystical experiences are somehow fake, or not reproducible by others in their own meditation. What a type 2 critic is saying is that words like "entanglement", borrowed from quantum mechanics, are not an accurate description or explanation of the mind-synchronicities that are revealed during meditation.
So if someone uses the words "quantum entanglement" to argue that distant minds are correlated, that person is using a physical non-local strange correlation from quantum mechanics as an explanation of a non-physical nonlocal correlation in minds. Unless entanglement is only being used as a very loose metaphor, this is just a hijacking of jargon to lend scientific authority to an idea which has nothing to do with quantum mechanics, and which is not a part of science. This type of criticism used to appear prominently in the lead.Likebox (talk) 00:00, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Well-sourced criticism should be in the article. Arguing that mysticism is somehow immune from scpeticism is WP:OR and nothing to do with WP editing practice. If a subject is widely crticised, it is appropriate to mention that in the lead -- see astrology for instance. 1Z (talk) 12:23, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Consciousness Causes Collapse

I recreated it under Wigner's interpretation of quantum mechanics when the stuff here started, but as I feared, it is being considered for deletion. There is no way that this page as it stands is an appropriate redirect for Wigner.Likebox (talk) 23:17, 30 September 2009 (UTC)