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In a message dated 3/16/2002 5:28:21 PM Central Standard
Time, Scott Chase <email@example.com> writes:
> >From: <AaronLynch@aol.com>
> >Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >To: email@example.com
> >Subject: Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
> >Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 14:17:30 EST
> >In a message dated 3/16/2002 11:45:46 AM Central Standard
> >Time, Douglas Brooker <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > > Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
> > >
> > > > Good morning, everyone,From another list...
> > > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: email@example.com
> > > > [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of nargess
> > > > sabeti
> > > > Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 7:41 AM
> > > > To: email@example.com
> > > > Subject: Re: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
> > > >
> > > > Glenn Bradford <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Richard Dawkins, in a Forbes article written three
> > > > years ago, speaks his
> > > > mind on the notion, popularized by Fritjof Capra
> > > > and others, that the
> > > > science of quantum mechanics is converging with
> > > > religious mysticism.
> > > >
> > > > DAWKINS:
> > > > [A] kind of marriage has been alleged between
> > > > modern physics and
> > > > Eastern mysticism. The argument goes as follows:
> > > > Quantum mechanics, that
> > > > brilliantly successful flagship theory of modern
> > > > science, is deeply mysterious
> > > > and hard to understand. Eastern mystics have
> > > > always been deeply
> > > > mysterious and hard to understand. Therefore,
> > > > Eastern mystics must have
> > > > been talking about quantum theory all along.
> > > >
> > > > Similar mileage is made of Heisenberg's
> > > > uncertainty principle ("Aren't we all,
> > > > in a very real sense, uncertain?"), fuzzy logic
> > > > ("Yes, it's okay for you to be fuzzy,
> > > > too"), chaos and complexity theory (the butterfly
> > > > effect, the Platonic, hidden
> > > > beauty of the Mandelbrot Set--you name it,
> > > > somebody has mysticized it and!
> > > > turned it into dollars). You can buy any number of
> > > > books on "quantum
> > > > healing," not to mention quantum psychology,
> > > > quantum responsibility,
> > > > quantum morality, quantum immortality, and quantum
> > > > theology. I haven't
> > > > found a book on quantum feminism, quantum
> > > > financial management, or
> > > > Afro-quantum theory, but give it time.
> > > >
> > > > The whole dippy business is ably exposed by the
> > > > physicist Victor Stenger in
> > > > his book, The Unconscious Quantum, from which the
> > > > following gem is taken.
> > > > In a lecture on "Afrocentric healing," the
> > > > psychiatrist Patricia Newton said that
> > > > traditional healers "are able to tap that other
> > > > realm of negative entropy--that
> > > > superquantum velocity and frequency of
> > > > electromagnetic energy--and bring
> > > > them as conduits down to our level. It's not
> > > > magic. It's not mumbo jumbo. You
> > > > will see the dawn of the 21st century, the new
> > > > medical quantum physics really
> > > > distributing these energies and what they are
> > > > doing."
> > > >
> > > > Sorry, but mumbo jumbo is ! precisely what it is.
> > > > Not African mumbo jumbo but
> > > > pseudosc! ientific mumbo jumbo, down to the
> > > > trademark misuse of the word
> > > > energy. It is also religion, masquerading as
> > > > science in a cloying love
> > > > feast of bogus convergence.
> > > > --
> >Hi Douglas.
> >My earlier use of the phrase "the ineffable Quantum of being"
> >a few months ago was also in reference to some of the mystical
> >interpretations of quantum mechanics.
> > > and memetics is a science?
> >Just suppose that Eastern mysticism got attached to quantum
> >physics in the early days, so that a substantial fraction of
> >the physicists reading their first quantum physics books were
> >asked to swallow a lot of mysticism. The word "quantum"
> >would have gained a very bad reputation among serious
> > > sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.
> >Perhaps this is the old strategy of the best defense
> >being a good offense.
> Dawkins is right on the money. "Quantum" seems to be a popular adjective
> attach to a lot of goofy ideas making them more trendy in pop culture.
> like a vague allusion to QM has hybridized with various kooky pet theories.
Credit for the scathing critique of "quantum" silliness should really
go to physicist Victor Stenger. The title of his book "The
Unconscious Quantum" is meant in a satirical way. Dawkins
merely excerpts a bit of it and popularises the topic for Forbes
> Dawkins says some similar stuff to the above in _Unweaving the Rainbow_
> which was probably cryptomnesically bubbling below the surface in my
> store when I made some casual jokes about a "quantum" (or anti-"quantum")
> filter not so long ago. A rough list offered by Dawkins (in _UtR_,
> paperback, p 188) includes "quantum healing", "quantum psychology",
> responsibility", "quantum morality", "quantum aesthetics", "quantum
> immortality", and "quantum theology". Dawkins laments that "quantum
> was absent :-)
I suppose one of the hazards to my use of the word "mnemon"
is that it may give some people the impression that I was
claiming to have discovered quanta of memory.
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