Concluding Schrodinger’s cat

Hello to the skeptical gang, and that one creationist (you know who you are.),

Yesterday I made a post about how there may be infinite universes out there where every single possibility is fulfilled in that universe, and I also said that it not only talks about sub-atomic things like nuclear radiation of particles or whether or not the cat dies, but it most likely also relates to everyday things, like tossing coins.

Now, when I first heard about this theory and when I have since described it to other people, we have all had the same initial reaction. It’s just like those times in a TV series or book series where the writer has clearly run out of ideas for the season so decides to do the cliché parallel universe episode, where the personalities are turned around and it provides everybody with some ironic humor.  This is probably not the case for most universes. Out there somewhere in the multiverse, there will be a universe where that happens, but it won’t be the norm. And no, the way to access these parallel universes is not through a mirror.

I must explain, when things like this happen, obviously our universe is the universe which follows one line through the probability tree, there is no way in which we can change it, and there is no way in which we can leap from branch to branch through universes.

I also referenced a crazy experiment where a scientist conducts the Schrödinger’s cat experiment on themselves. This is just suicidal, because in almost every single instance, the scientist will be killed, but in one of the multiverses, he will survive. In this lucky universe, the scientist will survive and live to fight another day and to research more stuff in particle physics. In the other universes however, there will be much mourning for the gallant scientist who chanced his life for science, and will be forever more wondering, “Was there another universe out there with ‘the scientist that lived'”. The only proof for the multiverse so far, other than disturbances in the CMBR, is that experiment. Proof would be a living scientist, and a dead scientist proves nothing.

CMBR image

Circular disturbances to the CMBR are the only other way which we would be able to test the multiverse.

That’s about it for Schrödinger’s cat and the implications this thought experiment has had on current quantum theory. Originally designed to show how ridiculous it all is, it is now one of the most common descriptions of quantum mechanics around today. It is also the only reason why we remember Erwin Schrödinger, and is his lasting legacy.
To be honest, if there is one thing I would like to achieve in my life, is to have something such as a thought experiment like this named after me, it’s the only way for an Atheist to stick around after his death.

I will leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein, “God does not play dice.” Albert Einstein, possibly the greatest mind to reject the theory of quantum mechanics.


Is SETI pseudoscientific?

Hello skeptical comrades,

Today I will be blogging about my thoughts on SETI, and where it falls on the science-pseudoscience spectrum, but first I will introduce SETI and what it does.

SETI, Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, searches for radio signals which may be from alien life forms as well as look out for earth sized planets which may be suitable for life. SETI uses radio telescopes positioned all over the earth to look for specific radio frequencies and patterns which may have been sent either intentionally or unintentionally by aliens on other planets. It also sends out radio signals on behalf of the human race to any possible aliens which may be out there. One might ask, how could an intelligent life form send out radio beams unintentionally? The answer is that most likely you are doing it right now, probably in more than one manner, because mobile phone towers, television broadcast towers, radio broadcast towers, WiFi, your microwave and Bluetooth all produce radio waves, and these could be picked up by alien life forms. You can test this for your self by tuning your television to a channel with bad reception or a channel with no reception, the white noise you see in just background from everything around you. (as well as the cosmic microwave background radiation.)

SETI is one of those in-betweeners in the pseudoscience spectrum along with naturopathy. SETI is essentially playing the lottery, because there is not really any harm in having a go at finding extra-terrestrial life, but the pay-out is huge if we do find other life out there. There is no proof that life could exist in other places in the universe other than ourselves and the genuinely massive numbers of the universe, but I think it is worth having a go. It falls under the fringe science category, but less fringe than cold-fusion.

SETI is different from ESP researchers which I blogged about recently in the way that SETI looks somewhere, doesn’t find anything, and then moves on, whereas ESP researchers have been sitting on the Ganzfeld experiments for 70 years, and have always come out with results of 0.25 for any rigorous, double-blinded experiment.

I will leave you with a quote from Metrodorus of Chios, “To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field sown with millet, only one grain will grow.” Metrodorus of Chios, a greek philosopher of some note.