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Quantum Physicist Wins $1.4M Templeton Prize For Writing on "Veiled Reality"

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:31 AM
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Quantum Physicist Wins $1.4M Templeton Prize For Writing on "Veiled Reality"


blogs.discovermaga zine.com

French physicist Bernard d’Espagnat has won the annual Templeton Prize with its purse of $1.4 million; the prize is often given to scientists who find common ground between religion and science. Professor d’Espagnat, 87, worked with great luminaries of quantum physics but went on to address the philosophical questions that the field poses [BBC News].

Physicists may be more open to seeing a higher power behind the great mysteries of the universe than scientists in other disciplines.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:31 AM
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This is something to ponder now isn't it? I would like to get some of the resident Atheist's views on this story. I have always been of the mind that if God does exist, proof will lay in the area of quantum physics. This is an amazing paper. There is still so much about life and consciousness that we have yet to discover. This FACT leads me to believe that it is supremely arrogant to say that "God" does not exist or only exists only through a specific faith.

Your thoughts?

blogs.discovermaga zine.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:47 AM
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"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment." Bernard d'Espagnat

The only quote of his I really happen to disagree with... He's saying that if some consciousness were not present to observe some phenomenon, then the phenomenon would cease to exist. Ostensibly, the results of current experimentation actually supports this hypothesis. I think this more a reflection of our lack in technological ability. I'm sure people in the future will look back on that quote and find it humorous; it might appear in some high school physics textbook as some marginal historical anecdote. The field is still immature, and so it is clearly too early to make such assumptions. I'm not surprised at all that religion has hopped onto this development so quickly... A £1.4 million reward is not all insignificant; it surely adds a degree of credence to the work. Of course, they would undoubtedly go out of their way in recognizing whatever work attempts to recognize religion.

That said, it is quite remarkable how the positivist natural philosophies are just now beginning to fail to provide solutions for an increasingly irreconcilable pool of scientific data. The social sciences have long been confronted by this barrier. Sociology is currently the most afflicted. Fortunately, this does tell us one thing. We clearly lack computational power. For example, if the social sciences were ever to match the level of clarity of the natural sciences, that would require processing power akin to that of the popular Wachowski brothers' movie "The Matrix". Massive simulations would have to take place in order to ever construct logical scientific sentences for certain social phenomena. Likewise, technological advances in the natural sciences should harmonize our current analytical deficiency.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by cognoscente]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:58 AM
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"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment." Bernard d'Espagnat



It is a marvellous quote, and quite to the contrary of the opinion expressed above, the question is not about something ceasing to exist because it is not observed, but rather the observable scientific data demonstrates that the act of observation actually changes the quantum reality being studied.

In other words, the intention of observation has a direct bearing upon what is observed. Of course, his word goes beyond that but the point is that Consciousness is an area heretofore uncharted by modern science, and the good professor's work points to a huge new area of research and philosophy ... which I suspect will leave the "scientific method" as we learnt it will be like cave painting to future scientists and philosophers and the broad vistas of discovery that they will see unfurl.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by Pellevoisin
 


Wow. I agree. We know so very little yet profess to know so much... I remember watching the documentary "What the bleep do we know..." where this phenomena was explained very well.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by Pellevoisin

Of course, his word goes beyond that but the point is that Consciousness is an area heretofore uncharted by modern science, and the good professor's work points to a huge new area of research and philosophy ... which I suspect will leave the "scientific method" as we learnt it will be like cave painting to future scientists and philosophers and the broad vistas of discovery that they will see unfurl.


Well put. I personally felt giddy with a childlike wonder at the myriad possibilities that this could take us. I hope that this inspires people to study quantum mechanics. I wish that I was smart enough!



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente
 


a lot of people say that quantum physics is impossible to understand unless you can actually complete and understand various formulas, and you have multiple years of involvement in the field.

I however think its pretty simple. We are all made up of atoms and atoms are made up of what they are. For the people who care, it is great to find out what atoms are made up of, but you already have something of a miracle.

If the big bang theory is true, then this goes hand in hand with many ancient creation stories. Many ancient spiritual traditions that have been passed down allege that we are all connected.

Depending on your definition of connected, this could mean many things. But what it means to me is that we are all made up of the same energy that was at one time, connected as one.

everything vibrates...

If we are conscious, than everything is conscious in its own way, because we are connected with everything.

Many ancient peoples refer to the rocks as ''grandfathers'' because of how long they have been there. Despite having a low vibration and no apparent central nervous system, with our limited understanding of the universe, we can never prove that rocks or any other manifestation of atoms is not conscious.


I do not subscribe to the catholic/christian patriarchal goodcop/badcop god, however I know for certain that there is some ineffable being responsible for whoever may have been responsible for us being here.

I haven't been on the planet for too long, but the way I see it, proof of god is everywhere.

You look at the evil in the world and some say how could god let this happen? You look at the good in the world and it puts a smile on your face. How could you get that smile without the evil?

How could the true creator be out of balance and be only good, and not the reverse polarity at the same time?

To me god is everywhere, is every atom, and is much too complex to be referred to only by gender, class, or any other human characteristics alone. to me, god is an amalgamation of all that is in the universe and more than I will ever be able to fathom with my limited brain power.

so after I wrote this I read the article and this jumped out at me




D’Espagnat argues that such experiments show that quantum mechanics only gives us a glimpse of a “veiled reality” that is beyond our comprehension.

“Quantum mechanics introduced another point of view, which consists essentially that the aim of science is not to describe ultimate reality as it really is,” d’Espagnat recounted by phone Friday from Paris. “Rather, it is to make account of reality as it appears to us, accounting for the limitations of our own mind and our own sensibilities” [The Christian Science Monitor]. D’Espagnat, a Catholic, says that leaves open the possibility that a greater power is involved in what he sees as a deeper level of reality. “I would accept calling it God or divine or Godhead but with the restriction that it cannot be conceptualised for the very reason that this ultimate reality is beyond any concept that we can construct” [Times Online], says D’Espagnat.



this does not seem like an immature assumption but rather spot on the nose.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by Pellevoisin
 


Science will win out in the end because it doesn't adjust its criteria for valuation. The "scientific method" isn't concerned about the creation of absolute truth-claims but rather the gradual construction of singular theoretical paradigms, which propose explanations of natural phenomena that are irreducible to any other. In this way, the best reality is approximated and subsequently categorized.

This prize, to be honest, is not highly regarded in meaningful academia. Sure, it's nice but it's ultimately trivial. It doesn't do anything really, except raise the idea that there are different avenues in respect to learning about the world around us, which is highly important in itself.

Regarding the Measurement problem, recent work is currently demolishing old assumptions. We might see a solution from anywhere between ten and twenty years. Weak measurement is currently the method used when tackling the paradox. There are new advances every year. D’Espagnat's work, while an excellent contribution of knowledge to society, is not in any measure spectacular; it's ultimately neutral and finishes with few conclusions... It reads rather boring from my point of view... It's definitely important in some ways...

Here is the full paper on recent advancements in Quantum measurement techniques:
www.iop.org...
Implications:
altman.casimirinstitute.net...

[edit on 17-3-2009 by cognoscente]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 06:59 AM
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Your use of "approximated" is very telling. The remainder of what you offer is reduceable to: You're wrong.

Among other things the Templeton is huge, your condescension notwithstanding. Au revoir.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by cognoscente
"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment." Bernard d'Espagnat

The only quote of his I really happen to disagree with... He's saying that if some consciousness were not present to observe some phenomenon, then the phenomenon would cease to exist. Ostensibly, the results of current experimentation actually supports this hypothesis. I think this more a reflection of our lack in technological ability. I'm sure people in the future will look back on that quote and find it humorous; it might appear in some high school physics textbook as some marginal historical anecdote.



Actually, when you get down to the level of the subatomic, the delineations we make about an objects independence are completely conceptual. In the realm of the QM we find that all descriptions of independence are based on concepts, not in reality.

Don't attempt to assuage your own ability to comprehend this by dismissing it as silly.

Dig into it and understand where from this statement comes.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment." Bernard d'Espagnat




the good doctor then must explain how the first 14 billion years of cosmic expansion & evolution took place as human or human like consciousness began at most... a mere 5 million years ago.

or else the intermingling/'entanglement' is not reliant on human consciousness or observation at all.

Then, foremost... the definition of 'god' needs to be detailed better than it is presently!

[edit on 17-3-2009 by St Udio]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:18 AM
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This paper looks interesting; I'll have to download and read it. I really like the idea that it is possible to rationally and scientifically study the phenomena and paradigm of even "non-rational" things, like belief-systems and religious implications. It's very saddening to see such discussions and attempts degenerate into polarized arguments, or inflexible demands that a certain viewpoint must be taken:

"We place no faith in preacher or pidgin, our method is science, our aim is religion."

Another interesting quote, but not from this author.


Edit: to comment on my amusement at my mis-remembering of the previous quote, after searching to verify the exact phrasing.


[edit on March 17th 2009 by Ian McLean]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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Man, I think some people are just unwilling to let their inner child come out and play. I find this attitude in fundamentalists of all types, Atheist and religious. Let em out to play guys!

The Templeton being a worthless award is a worthless comment. This is an amazing award meant to bridge the gap between science and religion, which are alike in many ways, starting with the attitude that I stated above. Another basic similarity is that they both offer explanations of observable and unobservable phenomena. This specific paper illustrates that very well. There is more that we do not know than we do know. The mystery is still there.

The doctor was not saying that the big bang could not happen because we did not witness it, he is saying that attempting to witness and study such phenomena changes the phenomena. This was stated very well in a post above by "Pellevoisin."



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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It seems the book that D’Espagnat won this prize for is "On Physics and Philosophy". Chapter One is available online:

press.princeton.edu...


In this respect, let it be noted that the question “reality or just model?” never comes to light in the articles physicists write. The latter wisely remain on “secure ground,” which means that their theoretical constructions, elaborate as they may be at the level of equations and methods, are left by them very much “open” regarding concepts. In fact, when they work on such constructions the condition they impose on them is just that they should be highly general models, correctly accounting for what we observe in a great variety of experiments. Consequently it is without qualms that they ground them—tacitly at least—on the basic principles of “standard” quantum mechanics, without being in the least worried by the fact that, as we shall see, some of these principles impart a fundamental role to such notions as “measurement” and “preparation of system states.” Now, this fact—the occurrence of a reference to human action within the very axioms of physics—is sometimes explicitly stated. Often it is kept implicit. But in any case it implies that the theories built up in this way markedly depart from a principle that was one of the main guidelines of all classical ones. I mean the rule that basic scientific statements should be expressed in a radically objectivist language, making no reference whatsoever, be it explicit or implicit, to us (“operators” or “measurers”).



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 

WOW!!!! Thanks Ian!!! I will read this when I get back from job-hunting today, I will probably have to mull it over for a while and let it marinate in the ole' grey matter. Thanks again for the synapse branches. Star for you, bub.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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He's saying that if some consciousness were not present to observe some phenomenon, then the phenomenon would cease to exist. ---- above post

Didn't David Hume say something of the sort as well...



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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allow me to summarize his paper to one sentence.

"if a tree falls and when nobody is around, is there a sound?"

This award has alot of money but very little credibility in the physics community.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Does this mean that a great creator or " god " created the universe with which we live, and within that universe are certain laws and principles that apply.

So there for, the god created that which we know and still don't know, but that science applies within this realm of living which was created by a higher power.




That makes sense for both people. religious and non.

You therefore have creationism , evolution, darwinism, and divine intervention all that mix in with each other and have their place in society all around the world.


That means that yea a god created all of this. Within it certain scientific principles apply. so there is a god and there is science.

Within this god created world, evolution has taken place. Natural selection also occurs and the best of the best survive.

Also sometimes certain things happen and certain species ( humans ) are saved from time to time by a higher power or advanced being.


Those beings that save us could be aliens, that also inhabit this "god created universe" and also have learned how to work around the science.

They realize because they are more advanced that science and religion.....actually spirituallity both have their place in existance.....

It is the balance of everything which is the main law that hold reality together.

The balance between science and religion is one which we have not excepted.

Religion can only take you so far...........

Science can only take you so far...........


When you limit yourself to just one then you can never achieve your full potential.


When you combine the two, then you can open your self up to a greater understanding of life and what it's purpose and meaning is.

Both apply and both are very real.

Our problem with humanity is that we want to always pick a side, instead of realizing that one said is weak without the other and they need to combine .

Kinda like a power ranger and his mega zord or whatever it's called.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by ModernAcademia
 


Finally... I'm not a physicist, but as an economist and part of academia I have to say no one is particularly enthused by this paper. Of course, that probably doesn't matter to anyone. It's just that... you would have to be sitting here to get it, you know?

The Templeton is a strange beast indeed. I can see the obvious implications for society, but quantum mechanics is close to solving the Measurement paradox, or even completely debunking it anyway. I can definitely see where this might inspire young scientists to explore new ways of thinking.

Obviously, reality can only be approximated. Modern mainstream positivism does the best job at accomplishing this so far.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by cognoscente]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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Interesting and I think there is a God. But I think we lack the technology and knowledge to fully understand and explain that God. Take a look at organized religion for example. Every one has their specific opinions about God and the afterlife when in reality they are probably all wrong about it with small basics that might be correct. Religion tends to tweak truth into mysticism where something like quantum physics and other fields similar to that actually delve into the scientific and technology side. Knowledge that may potentially spawn from these studies can free us as a people in the future.

IMHO we also will be able to look back from the future and realize that "WOW, how did those people believe all that crazy religious stuff when the logical answers are laid out here uncovered by studies like quantum physics".

Just a thought.



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