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Posted September 23, 2009
Well Worth Reading
The author makes a compelling case that quantum mechanics can't be used to justify the concepts promoted in books like 'The Secret' or to explain consciousness or some even greater cosmic consciousness. He also makes a compelling case that you do not need to call on some external force or being to account for all that we see around us in the universe. Of course, there are a lot of smart people who disagree, as pointed out in the review by Dr. Stenger. As of now, however, I don't believe anyone has conducted an experiment whose outcome is not explained by ordinary particle physics. Maybe it will happen someday, maybe not. Until then, the idea of quantum spirituality seems to mostly be a thought experiment that hasn't lead to any concrete evidence.
For those that find the superficial quantum theory arguments used in books like 'The Secret' convincing, this book is probably a must read as they may not be aware that there are strong scientific arguments that the reasoning in these books is seriously flawed. For the more serious proposals made by scientists like Penrose this book can probably not do more than let the reader know that these proponents have a long way to go before they have proved their case.
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Posted July 18, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Debunking New Age Nonsense
Quantum mechanics is strange. It presents us with a worldview that is against common sense. This strangeness has led gurus and the religious to make absurd claims about how quantum mechanics 'proves' their beliefs. Using established scientific theories and hard-hitting analyses, Stenger shows how the claims of the gurus and religious are void of any truth. He explains what quantum physics says, and what it does not. 'Quantum Gods' is a fascinating science book, as well as a useful guide for debunking new age nonsense.
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Stenger's book is pseudoscience, as well as being mistaken, misinformed and misleading
Quantum spirituality--the idea that some aspect of consciousness plays a fundamental role in the universe and that advanced physics should be interpreted as having to some extent already incorporated this principle--has had distinguished representation among both physicists and philosophers. It has generated an upsurge of grassroots enthusiasm because of the widespread sense that science and spirituality, rather than being fundamentally separate or even opposed, are in fact deeply connected and mutually reinforcing. Victor Stenger's purpose in writing Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness is to "debunk" this idea--but attention to the details shows that it is actually Stenger's arguments that need the debunking.
Stenger--a retired physicist who is leveraging his scientific background to try to discredit anything and everything that smacks of spirituality--doesn't respect his intellectual opponents enough to get their positions right; in some instances he appears to deliberately misrepresent their views; and, most important, his own reasoning is characterized by unremitting carelessness. Moreover, there is a method to his carelessness--it enables him to systematically avoid addressing the tough arguments of his opponents. Hence we find him frequently setting up a straw man by misrepresenting the debate as a simple matter of science and reason versus superstition. Once having defined this as the issue, all he needs to do is assume the attitude of an outraged scientist and heap on the ridicule. But if he had done his homework and taken the trouble to really understand the science and logic supporting quantum spirituality, he would have discovered that it is harder to dismiss than he had imagined. Indeed, the more carefully--and yes, critically--one considers the issues, the more one finds quantum spirituality to be eminently worthy of serious consideration, as a plausible and measured approach to the most long-standing and intractable questions at the basis of science.
My full-length critical review article is posted at: www.truthabouttm.org/truth/SocietalEffects/Critics-Rebuttals/StengerRebuttal/index.cfm.
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