Does Quantum Mechanics embrace/perpetuate eastern religions?

In summary, the book "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra is a study of similarities in language drawn between eastern philosophy and quantum mechanics. While the book is a best seller, many experts in the field believe it is a shallow and misleading interpretation of quantum mechanics.
  • #1
agentredlum
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  • #2
I would say the lack of clear metaphysics in QM supports mysticism in general and popular eastern religions just tend to be more mystical then western. Otherwise its a bit like asking if a wrench embraces/perpetuates religion. Its mechanics, not theology or even psychology.
 
  • #3
Why not say it perpetuates Catholicism? Hail Mary... barrier tunneling and all.

I'll agree with wuliheron: Quantum mechanics is not theology. Mixing science with religion (using religion to promote some science agenda or science to promote some religious agenda) is just a bad idea.
 
  • #4
What specific studies and data do you think is influenced by eastern philosophy? Semantic similarities drawn by non-experts are not evidence for an influence.
 
  • #5
agentredlum said:
In my opinion the answer is yes. I would like to read your opinions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics

http://www.swaveda.com/articles.php?action=show&id=14

This, like many others, is a bastardization of physics.

Zz.
 
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  • #6
ZapperZ said:
This, like many others, is a bastardization of physics.

Zz.
On the other hand, the criticism is worthwhile:
Jeremy Bernstein said:
At the heart of the matter is Mr. Capra's methodology — his use of what seem to me to be accidental similarities of language as if these were somehow evidence of deeply rooted connections.

Thus I agree with Capra when he writes, "Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science but man needs both." What no one needs, in my opinion, is this superficial and profoundly misleading book.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics#Acclaim_and_criticism

Jeremy Bernstein is a professor of physics.
 
  • #7
physics girl phd said:
Why not say it perpetuates Catholicism? Hail Mary... barrier tunneling and all.

I'll agree with wuliheron: Quantum mechanics is not theology. Mixing science with religion (using religion to promote some science agenda or science to promote some religious agenda) is just a bad idea.

Why do you say this? I, for one, believe that there is a possible mixture of religion and science that could be acceptable to the majority of both groups.
 
  • #8
physics girl phd said:
I'll agree with wuliheron: Quantum mechanics is not theology. Mixing science with religion (using religion to promote some science agenda or science to promote some religious agenda) is just a bad idea.

Agree, and I would say it’s not only a bad idea – it’s an impossible/unworkable idea:
  • Science is about knowledge, in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world.
  • Religion is about belief systems, which relates to spirituality and moral values.
Try writing a testable mathematical equation that proves or disproves the moral value of my statement above.

Good luck!

(TOE seems like a piece of cake in comparison... :bugeye:)
 
  • #9
ryan_m_b said:
What specific studies and data do you think is influenced by eastern philosophy? Semantic similarities drawn by non-experts are not evidence for an influence.

Capra's book is a study on the subject and has tons of data. He is not the only one with this view in the scientific community.

Capra is a physicist, therefore an expert on the subject, and his book is a bestseller.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritjof_Capra

Who would purchase a book with title 'The TAO of Physics'? This is not a book that everyone understands, you need to be smart on the subject. Knowledgable people on the subject have made this book a best seller

Bohr adopted the ying-yang symbol as his coat of arms when he was knighted. This is a bold statement and sends a clear message by one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics.

Hiesenberg admitted he was influenced by eastern philosophy. Another strong message by another founder of Q.M.

Capra later discussed his ideas with Werner Heisenberg in 1972, as he mentioned in the following interview excerpt:I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China. ? Fritjof Capra, interviewe
As a result of those influences, Bohr adopted the yin yang symbol as part of his family coat of arms when he was knighted in 1947.

There are also many quotes by J. Robert Oppenheimer that clearly show his admiration for eastern religion.

Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.J. Robert Oppenheimer

In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.J. Robert Oppenheimer

The general notions about human understanding? which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find [in modern physics] is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.

You can google quotes by Oppenheimer and see for yourself.:biggrin::smile:
 
  • #10
DevilsAvocado said:
Agree, and I would say it’s not only a bad idea – it’s an impossible/unworkable idea:
  • Science is about knowledge, in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world.
  • Religion is about belief systems, which relates to spirituality and moral values.


  • I agree. When one looks at a segment of science (Q.M. in this case) and parallels can be drawn between this science and mysticism, one starts to wonder if this science is without bias.:smile:
 
  • #11
agentredlum said:
Bohr adopted the ying-yang symbol as his coat of arms when he was knighted. This is a bold statement and sends a clear message by one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics.
What does it state? It doesn't say anything clear to me at all. Do you have any quotes from Bohr explaining what he meant by choosing it?

Hiesenberg admitted he was influenced by eastern philosophy. Another strong message by another founder of Q.M.
Correction: Capra says Heisenberg said. The caveat: this was not published anywhere, sounds like a soft way of saying "Of course, you won't be able to find anything among Heisenberg's papers that will support my story, but..."

I think that is suspicious and should be suspected.



There are also many quotes by J. Robert Oppenheimer that clearly show his admiration for eastern religion.
Here, it seems, you have your one valid point.
 
  • #12
agentredlum said:
Bohr adopted the ying-yang symbol as his coat of arms when he was knighted. This is a bold statement and sends a clear message by one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics.

Really?? What bold and clear message would that be...? :bugeye:
  • Yin: soft, the moon, femininity and nighttime.
  • Yang: hard, the sun, masculinity and daytime.
Please elaborate.
 
  • #13
This violates our guidelines on religion.
 

Related to Does Quantum Mechanics embrace/perpetuate eastern religions?

1. What is the connection between Quantum Mechanics and eastern religions?

Quantum Mechanics is a scientific theory that explains the behavior of particles at a subatomic level. It has been noted that some of its principles, such as the concept of interconnectedness and the observer effect, have similarities to certain beliefs in eastern religions. However, this does not mean that Quantum Mechanics endorses or promotes any specific religion.

2. Does Quantum Mechanics support the idea of reincarnation?

No, Quantum Mechanics does not support the idea of reincarnation. While some quantum theories suggest the possibility of parallel universes or multiple realities, there is no scientific evidence to support the concept of reincarnation.

3. Is the concept of non-duality in line with Quantum Mechanics?

The concept of non-duality, which is the idea that everything in the universe is interconnected and part of a unified whole, can be seen as compatible with certain principles of Quantum Mechanics. However, this does not mean that Quantum Mechanics promotes or validates any specific religious or spiritual belief.

4. Can Quantum Mechanics explain the concept of consciousness?

Quantum Mechanics does not offer a definitive explanation for consciousness. While some theories suggest that consciousness may have a role in shaping reality at a quantum level, this is still a topic of ongoing scientific research and debate.

5. Is there any evidence to support the idea that Quantum Mechanics is influenced by eastern religions?

There is no evidence to suggest that Quantum Mechanics is influenced by eastern religions. The principles and theories of Quantum Mechanics have been developed through scientific experimentation and observation, and any perceived connections to eastern religions are largely speculative and subjective interpretations.

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