Digging deeper, I found an almost insatiable hunger to link quantum physics with philosophical thought. The idea behind this appears to be that quantum physics somehow lends credence to whatever the thinker is espousing. Quantum mechanics is shrouded with a lot of awe because it seems rather complicated and somewhat mystical to the uninitiated. So, if anybody can explain it (or seems to explain it) and then link it to things that go on in real life, this somebody has to be just incredibly smart because it all sounds so complicated and mystical. Except that the emperor wears no clothes! Quantum mechanics, based on my limited understanding of it, deals with the study of tini-tiny parts. And just because we’re all made up of particles does not mean that we act like them. There might be similarities but one certainly does not proof the other. Quantum mechanics does not say anything about systems, at least not the ones inhabited by humans. And why does it have to? Systems theory is perfectly capable to stand on its own. We do not have to resort to distorting findings from quantum physics to advocate that people start thinking about the interrelationship of their actions.
The big strawman put up by “What the Bleep” is the scientific method. Suggesting that the scientific method is the main culprit that brought us into our current predicament, whatever that is, quantum physics is hailed as a way toward an integrated science. The scientific method is never truly defined but one can gather that the main criticism is the reductionist tendencies inherent in a lot of scientific work. Well, yeah, in order to study something, you have to break it into parts (hypotheses) but then you put the parts back together again (theory). That is conveniently ignored. Also, historians of science knew that the scientific method was useful in small, incremental scientific discovery but that true scientific leaps where just that: leaps that were based on intuition (Darwin’s theory of evolution is probably a good example for that). However, unlike what seems to be suggested down in the rabbit hole, these scientists made every effort to make predictions, which would then validate their theory, and formulate and test hypotheses because they knew that knowledge that is not grounded in reality is useless. And, yes, that means using the scientific method: Testing hypothesis, including predictions, in a repeatable way. Of course, the scientific method has to be discredited because the arguments set forth in “What the Bleep” are largely untestable, nice sounding sound bites. Ironically, the usage of quantum physics to lend credibility to largely outlandish claims, tries to have it both ways: Quantum physics is based on research that uses the scientific method…
- A review of the movie from the Skeptical Inquirer.
- Popular Science on the movie.
- Not even wrong blogged about it, with some very interesting comments from the math & physics community on some of the “expert” in the movie.
- Salon.com explains how the movie is tied together with JZ Knight’s enterprise.
- An interesting book about the mysteries in quantum mechanics.