Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun Mar 17 2002 - 03:09:58 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
    Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 22:09:58 -0500
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    >From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    >Subject: Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
    >Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 20:24:10 -0500
    >On Saturday, March 16, 2002, at 07:19 , Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
    >>Especially when one remembers that the meaning of the term quantum is
    >>smallest discernible amount. new Age folks sometimes think it means the
    >>opposite, as in 'a quantum leap.'
    >But, AFAIK, that refers to the energy state of electrons, and it _is_ a
    >vast leap across a gulf of immense energy, atomically speaking.
    >But, some physicist will be coming along shortly to beat my ears with
    >the facts....
    >It also refers to a dreadful TV show, but, that's another matter.
    Quantum leaps have something to do with discrete (versus continuous) changes
    in energy levels or what not, at least when looking at atoms and their
    electron shells.

    Some fellow named Simpson had an idea about a "quantum evolution", but I'm
    not too sure if this implied as much a discrete change as a saltational
    event. There are IIRC discrete character state changes in evolution such as
    the external cheek pouches of pocket gophers.

    Along myelinated axons there's something called saltatory conduction between
    nodes of Ranvier, but that's more of a dance step I guess.

    Gradualism (ala Darwin) implies a continuous change, which could be
    reflected given a perfect fossil record.

    In genetics there are discrete and continuous traits. A trait strongly
    infleunced by action of a single gene product might be one of those
    either/or things, where a trait influenced by multiple gene products will
    have more of a continuous range of possibilites.

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