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I need your help to prove this wrong.

  1. Oct 6, 2007 #1
    I wanted to start of by apologizing for my bad English, especially Grammar.

    I don't know anything about physics. But I have this friend that believes in everything.
    God, Guardian Angels, inner spirit, the Universe, Karma you name it!

    She sent me this video, supposedly made by physicists... But is it really physicists?

    I have seen a chemist saying that the Earth is 6000 years old. But is that a chemist's area?
    There are doctors saying that evolution is wrong, but then doctors haven't studied evolution.

    There are many Mormons that become geneticists to prove Mormonism right and then end up converting.

    The theory I posted as a video can't be real right? Particles can't change simply by observing. She says that the Human mind can change the outcome of physics...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    A chemist who thought the earth was 6000 years old and a doctor who didn't acccept evolution would scare me. Both should know better - those subjects are related to their areas of expertise.

    Anyway, that video clip - is it a clip from the movie "what the bleep do we know?" That's a banned subject here because it is mostly super-crazy crackpot nonsense. Nevertheless, that particular clip is a pretty good layman's introduction to the double-slit experiment and it's implications for QM.

    Welcome to PF!

    Btw, your english is fine.
  4. Oct 6, 2007 #3

    Doc Al

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    That clip comes from the preposterous crackpot movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?". However, that clip is probably the most sensible 5 minutes in the entire film. (Yes, I saw the film--my head almost exploded.) It's a fairly accurate description of the double slit experiment, one of the mysteries of quantum mechanics and the real world. But forget all the nonsense about the human mind changing the outcome of experiments and that you "create your own reality". To put it mildly, not many working physicists would share such a view.

    I'd say that the few physicists and academics involved with that film are all cranks except for David Albert, who was pissed and embarassed about his interview being included and his words taken as an endorsement of the new age silliness promoted in the film. Most of the others interviewed in the film are out and out screwballs and con artists.

    Again, that bit about the double slit is pretty weird--but real science often doesn't match common sense. But most of the other claims made in the film are just plain nonsense, not even a grain of truth. Don't waste your time.
  5. Oct 6, 2007 #4
    Sadly, I don't think all the physics in the world will manage to sway a person who is dominated by religious/esoteric convictions.

    The video is correct for the most part, but suffers from serious oversimplification. The observer process is not that simple, and is even today subject to different interpretations. But that does not imply in any way that the mind can "alter" physics, that is pseudoscience.

    Every time a scientist says the Earth is 6,000 years old, he is putting the Bible before a wealth of scientific evidence that says otherwise. If anything, it helps to illustrate the scary reach of religious beliefs.
  6. Oct 6, 2007 #5
    So my English has improved a little? Then those hours of studying must have paid of! Was a time when people refused to read what I have written for my horrible English.

    I knew that movie was bull. This friend of mine tries to convert me to that new age ****. So there is no article or something to prove it wrong? If you want another piece of bull see "the secret", that you can attract wealth with your mind powers et c. millions have fallen for it which is sad.

    Are you sure that doctors should know anything about evolution? isn't that for microbiologists? And isn't the age of the earth for Geologists?
    Can be wrong here, science isn't my thing.
    At least in America there are many scientist defending the bible view of the Universe. It has convinced 70% of Americans that the Earth is 6000 years old and that the first people where Adam and Eve. And this "trend" has spread here to Europe too.

    But what you are saying is that this is true? That this experiment did happen? There is no link to something to prove this wrong? It can be something bad I am going to save someone that believes everything she hears so the source doesn't have to be perfect.
  7. Oct 6, 2007 #6

    Doc Al

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    Sure. That's standard stuff. Google: Double Slit Experiment

    You'll find plenty of sites debunking the pseudoscience in that film. Google: "What the bleep" debunk
  8. Oct 6, 2007 #7
    Your English is pretty good. Thank you.
    A few years back, the Dalai Lama was asked what he would do if science contradicted a religious view and he said something to the effect that he would immediately change his religious view because it would have been mistaken.
    You are to be commended for looking at these issues and asking honest, open questions. Keep doing that and you'll find your way.
  9. Oct 7, 2007 #8

    Claude Bile

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    One of the things that makes the "Quantum" world different from the "Classical" world is that to measure the property of a particle, you must interact with it in some way. In other words, a "Quantum" measurement perturbs the system you are trying to measure, whereas a "classical" measurement is completely passive.

    What the video neglects to show (or at least emphasise) is that the act of observing electrons requires you to illuminate the electrons in some way. The video should really have shown a beam of photons or something shining on one of the slits.

    Without the illumination, each electron is free to exist in both slits as it passes through and an interference pattern results. With the illumination however, the electron is forced to "choose" one slit or the other, which is why one gets two single slit patterns superimposed on one another.

    USernames_s; I suggest you show your new age friend a movie of your own - I suggest Richard Dawkins' "Enemies of Reason" which can be found by searching Google video.

    As Dawkins would say, the onus is not on you to prove your friend wrong, the onus is on your friend to come up with evidence of their claims.

    I will say one thing about the creationism - the "scientists" that support these views are a vast minority. While there is a significant percentage of scientists that share religious views, few of these actually believe in a literal creation as claimed in the bible. The creationist lobby/PR machine try to manufacture the impression that creationists are well represented in scientific circles (to gain credibility amongst the non-scientists), when they are in fact, not.

  10. Oct 7, 2007 #9
    Thank you! I gave her my copy of "The God Delusion". But she didn't read it cause she doesn't like books. A video might help on that.

    Dawkins is an amazing man, I once went to see him speak in Stockholm University where I study.
  11. Oct 8, 2007 #10
    What we often fail to realize is how intimately we as subjective observers participate with microscopic interactions. It is becoming commonsense, if not fully understood, to consider the action of measurement when probing a quantum world so elusive it captures us just as we capture it.
  12. Oct 8, 2007 #11
    I agree. It is a great explanation of the double slit experiment, but distorting concepts of physics you don't fully understand to serve as crackpot propaganda is horrible. After seeing the part of 'talking to water,' I searched for the doctor they mentioned and his experiment and the only results on Google were just a few sparse links to the actual scripts of the film. Apparently conjuring up nonexistent scientists is o.k. in crackpot land.
  13. Oct 8, 2007 #12
    How has a discussion about physics taken a religious turn? Not to mention, how can you state on one hand that you only believe what you see, yet at the same time, blindly follow second-hand observations (possibly biased) performed by everyone other than yourself? Not to mention, whole-heartedly give into hypotheses that have yet to be proven...

    Certainly no one can prove a belief system, but I challenge you to disprove it, and until then, quit bashing other people's beliefs. This is not what these forums are for. The scope of the "existance of God" goes beyond what you know, and is far more systematic than it has evidently been explained to you. Perhaps the opiate of the masses is arrogance.
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