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Question for awareness

  1. Apr 2, 2016 #1
    Hello dear physicists
    Me, as a teenager, I love studying some concepts of physics and I intend to become a respectable physicist in the future, and PhD, I really love physics.
    but the problem is that I hate pseudoscience, and new age woo woo..
    I'm arguing with a moron now that insists to say that David Bohr, John Wheeler, Routledge "proved" that particles are 'aware' of stuff, and he insists that this is not a 'new age BS', but he has no background in physics and his page is full of new age bollocks.
    Can you guys help me? I know you guys can answer this better to me. Just take out this doubt for me.
    THanks, It will be helpful for my future!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2016 #2


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    Learn not to let it bother one and stay away from nonsense.

    Some folks are beyond assistance.
  4. Apr 2, 2016 #3
    People believe what they want to believe. Let them. It's a free world. Argument has no effect.
  5. Apr 2, 2016 #4
    As far as I can tell, your acquaintance is referring to:


    As it explains, this isn't physics, per se, but a "philosophical consideration." That might be worth debating if you could exclude all parties who can't resist the temptation to push it over into mysticism. Unfortunately, quantum physics is flypaper for mystics, so you can't. There's a long history of this going back to Arthur Eddington who wrote a book full of essays about QM exploring its philosophical implications, as he saw them, and created an atmosphere about it ripe for infestation by mystical animacules.

    Anyway, I suspect the anthropic principle's tautological underpinning:

    "The anthropic principle is often criticized for lackingfalsifiability and therefore critics of the anthropic principle may point out that the anthropic principle is a non-scientific concept, even though the weak anthropic principle, "conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist",[7] is "easy" to support in mathematics and philosophy, i.e. it is a tautologyor truism. "

    is being mistaken by some as a "proof" of something, being blown up into much more than it actually is.
  6. Apr 2, 2016 #5
    No, It is not that simple. Arguments do have some effect, can lead people to the wrong side of the whole thing, with the misuse of physics being used by non-physicists and their new age bs. We physicists are here for what? To be new agers food and direct the public in a wrong way? Or are we here to show the truth? It is obviously nonsense that there is any 'awareness' in a particle, I know this is a big lie, so I won't let a moron argue for it as If it was a real truth and that physics support it. NO, this is a lie and must be debunked as a lie. I go for the truth.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2016
  7. Apr 2, 2016 #6


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    If the person you are arguing with is receptive to having their opinion changed, then arguing can certainly be productive. Unfortunately, it's far more often that the person is already convinced that they are correct and your argument will actually polarize them even more, pushing their view even further away from mainstream science.
  8. Apr 2, 2016 #7
    That's not the problem, the problem is with this quote from Hornbein "People believe what they want to believe. Let them."
    This way of thinking is wrong, as they are using PHYSICS to prove their point.
    If they simply say "I believe there is awareness in a particle, because that's what I believe" whatever, you believe whatever you want to believe, while you don't use the physics to prove something, it's all ok
    but no, instead, they are like "There is awareness in a particle, and physics prove it, you are wrong, because I read somewhere else , and must be a fact "

    this is totally a affront for all physics lovers that one day want to become a great physicist studying hard, with a lot of dedication reading by a new ager hippy who never even read the first page of a basic quantum physics book
  9. Apr 2, 2016 #8


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    Let's see how wrong you think it is in 5 years time. After you've wasted countless hours banging your head against a wall trying to convince crackpots the error of their ways.

    If you are interested in improving science skills and awareness in the general public then there are legitimate ways of doing so but arguing with crackpots will only waste your time.
  10. Apr 2, 2016 #9


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    You are preaching to the choir, Andrew. The problem is that the other person doesn't see it this way and you are unlikely to convince them that they are wrong. That's just how people work.
  11. Apr 3, 2016 #10


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    Ask for a link to a paper (that is published in a serious peer-reviewed journal) that demonstrates this as an empirical fact. And/or ask where the Nobel Prize for this discovery is. :smile:
  12. Apr 3, 2016 #11
    I would want to advise you to not argue with them too much about scientific truths because they are true to you and many more but probably not the rest of others. For this specific case, I and they would have enlisted a series of criteria to define what were called "awareness" then asked them to answer all based on their current assumptions and knowledge about particles, if I were you.
    Fallacies are always hard to detect. The older people get the more fallacies they can create.
    Nuances too are embarrassing people as insiders and sometimes can even make them lose their control. But how serious we should consider stuff to shoot the right one at the right time to complete each other seems more essential in life than to earn stupid nonsensical pride like what a kid always likes to do. :smile:
  13. Apr 3, 2016 #12
    See what I mean?
  14. Apr 3, 2016 #13
    I've got something to look forward to.
  15. Apr 3, 2016 #14
    I'm sorry Andrew, but this person still has all the right to say and believe what he wants to. The fact that he's provably wrong doesn't mean he can't say these things;
    What do you propose? Censoring him? Punishing him? I would be totally against any of this.
    Maybe trying to set him straight? Argue with him? Let him see the error of his ways? Good luck with that. It's impossible to do that. If you don't realize that now, then you'll realize this very soon. Arguing with these kind of people is very fun, but don't do it from some kind of higher moral purpose such as defending the truth. You'll end up frustrated and disillusioned.

    It's better to put your time into teaching people who are interested to listen and who will listen. This is what we do on PF.

    The guy believes what he believes. Let him be. He's probably happy this way.
  16. Apr 3, 2016 #15


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    No, they aren't. And that's why physicists just ignore them.
  17. Apr 3, 2016 #16


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    Arguing with people that understand science, especially if they believe misinformation, aren't worth your time. And this thread won't change anything, so it is closed.
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