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  That cat - and other misconceptions Richard
Posted: 15/4/2009
Recent correspondence in the UK';s Guardian newspaper has brought to mind the common misconception that Schrodinger, a founding father of quantum mechanics, held the view that a thing can both be and not be at the same time. The everyday example he used involves a cat which, as a subject in a quantum mechanical experiment, is proposed to be simultaneously alive and dead. But Schrodinger knew that this offended a central logical axiom (the principle of the excluded middle) and in fact he was arguing against the idea of ';random'; bursts of radiation. Along with Einstein, he was dismayed by the notion of ';un-caused'; bursts of energy and preferred to think in terms of continous flows. He even produced a paper which showed that the formulation devised by Heisenberg, which seemed to support the idea of quanta, was just a more complicated expression of his own elegant formulae.

Despite this, the notion of discrete quanta has most definitely not gone away and some thinkers suggest that the literally unthinkable notion of the cat that is both alive and dead at the same time is an indication that there is ';another logic';beyond the familiar one. This proposition is akin to those relating to multiverses and hidden dimensions. These deeply mysterious devices are needed only if there is a determination to cling to materialism at all costs. The arguments presented in the ';Alphomism and Modern Science'; paper on this site suggest that we can escape logical absurdity through the incorporation of consciousness. The same strategy frees us from the need to allude to Einstein';s non-gambling ';god';.



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