Saturday, October 20, 2012

St. Vrain Mountain Loop

...and more on Deepak!!!

I received some criticism for my demolition of Deepak Chopra in a recent post. This was hardly unexpected. With so many gullible and sycophantic followers, one of them was bound to track me down sooner or later to defend their guru. And by "defend" I don't mean in the sense of refuting my criticisms with evidence. No. I mean it in the sense of a New York Yankee fan responding to the opinion that A-Rod is over the hill and a liability. It was a pure, emotional diatribe of...well, nonsense. The fact of the matter is that some babies really are ugly and my pointing out just how ugly Deepak is was just too much for this "mother" to bear.
A freezing pre-dawn climb onto the exposed ridge.
It seems my main "error" was in the area of "quantum consciousness", so I thought I'd give this a little more treatment. Apparently it is me who doesn't understand the term. Here's what Deepak has to say in this article.
Quantum physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended physical state until observed, when they collapse to just one outcome -- we don't know what happens until we investigate, and our investigation influences that reality. Whether or not certain events may have happened some time ago, may not actually be determined until some time in your future -- it may actually be contingent upon actions that have not yet taken place.
 Chopra is confusing three separate issues in this paragraph - wave particle duality, quantum entanglement and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle - and he gets them all completely wrong. Let's start with the simple one first. Wave function doesn't collapse just because it is observed. This is a 4th grade error and he should be embarrassed to be discovered repeating it in full view. Quantum mechanics states that photons, electrons and all fundamental particles  don't exist discretely but are spread out as a wave. The wave function is simply a description of the probability that they will be in a specific place at a specific time. We know that when particles are free from interactions with other matter they behave like a wave. Simple double slit experiments have proved this beyond doubt.
Just before sun-up
But when a particle does interact with other matter it collapses to a point. This is the wave particle duality of matter. This collapse has got zero to do with an observer. We don't need an observer to make this prediction and calculate the effect. Deepak is dead wrong. But let's not allow proper science to get in the way of a whole stream of stupid. here's Deepak again...
Scientists in France shot particles of light "photons" into a measuring apparatus, and showed that what they did -- now, in the present -- could retroactively change something that had already happened in the past. As the photons passed a fork in the apparatus, they had to decide whether to behave like particles or waves when they hit a beam splitter. Later on -- well after the photons passed the fork -- the experimenter could randomly switch a second beam splitter on and off electronically. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle actually did at the fork in the past. At that moment, the experimenter chose his reality.
A cold stretch heading toward the eastern flank of St Vrain mountain
 Here Deepak completely bastardizes quantum entanglement in order to compute with his worldview about consciousness. Again, he gets the science dead wrong. Unfortunately for Deepak, these experiments do not describe the future affecting the past. We know that when particles are linked, some of their properties are also linked even while still being in a wave of probability. As this description of quantum entanglement makes perfectly clear,
quantum entanglement does not enable matter to convey genuine information beyond the relativistic speed limit of normal spacetime.
A view out to the Flatirons above Boulder as the sun rises
 No matter how much Deepak lies, he cannot get quantum entanglement to mean that the future can affect the past, which is a central claim of his quantum consciousness BS. Either Deepak is genuinely confused, or he knows what he is doing. It is difficult for me to be charitable. Let's get back to more of his claptrap.
It was only with the advent of quantum physics that scientists began to consider again the old question of the possibility of comprehending the world as a form of mind. Since that time, physicists have analyzed and revised their equations in a vain attempt to arrive at a statement of natural laws that in no way depends on the circumstances of the observer.
It's hard to know what evidence would support Deepak's claim that the universe is really a "mind". It's difficult to even begin to think of how such a claim could be falsified. It is certainly not a scientific claim even though he makes it as one. And this is Chopra's ultimate deception - by incorrectly using scientific terms (terms that actually have specific meaning) and liberally sprinkling them in his also playing on his medical background by pretending to be a scientist...he intentionally fools the masses. He also fools the chattering classes - those who have read enough books to be dangerous, but without really understanding any of them. Jeeez...I'm not a scientist, but even with my limited understanding of particle physics and quantum mechanics it is trivially easy to completely destroy Chopra's pretensions.
Just prior to the descent
The problem is that Chopra thinks quantum measurement applies to everything and, again, he is dead wrong. He writes...
quantum theory implies that consciousness must exist, and that the content of the mind is the ultimate reality. If we do not look at it, the moon is gone. In this world, only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality -- to a dandelion in a meadow, or a seed pod, or the sun or wind or rain. Anyway, it's amazing, and even your dog can do it too.
Oh dear. Actually, there is one part of that paragraph that has the potential to make some sense and it is the suggestion that a dog can do something that Deepak can't. But let's not go there. Unfortunately it seems that Chopra hasn't seen or understood  de Broglie's equation.
λ = h/mv
You see, all objects no matter how large or small, are also waves and particles. But the wavelength of matter decreases with mass (m) and velocity (v) as de Broglie clearly established. So with λ the wavelength and h Planck's constant, when you start to get larger than a large molecule the quantum wavelength shrinks to insignificance, and when a wavelength gets close to zero you can treat it as zero. What this means is that items like dandelions, seed pods, the sun, wind and rain, (for any macroscopic object), all the particles in that object are interacting with each other and decohering all the time and will all behave like objects in classical physics absent of any quantum indeterminacy
Livvy thawing out in the back of the car. This dog knows more about quantum mechanics than Chopra
Deepak suffers from "stopped clock" syndrome. He's wrong all of the time, except the two times a day when he isn't. Unfortunately, he has absolutely no idea when that is.

By the way, if there are any more of Deepak's "silent observers" reading my posts and not liking them, please publish your comments for all to see and then I can point out why you are also misguided.

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