Pursuing the dream of reduction...

Quantum physics wound up turning on the dreamers.

If reductionism were true, then quantum physics ought to be its apotheosis. But essentially all of the founders of the discipline, as far as I can tell, at some point or another clearly expressed the non-reductionist nature of their findings. The little "bits" the identification of which was supposed to result in an explanation of everything else turned out to be nothing at all in isolation: only in their relations to other particles could they even be given meaning. (This is a far cry from the self-contained and self-existent billiard balls that materialists had imagined would make up the atomic level.) In fact, given the reality of quantum entanglement, what any particular particle is up to turns out to depend on the entire state of the universe. Far from supporting reductionism, this discovery simply reeks of absolute idealism.

No comments:

Post a Comment