Quantum Metaphysics Unavoidable


Quantum everything is unavoidable, because the world is Quantum.

When a non-Quantum explanation is advanced it has to be simple enough to be clearly non-Quantum. Yet, much that was thought to be very simple, turns out to be Quantum!


Here is an example: the magnetic shield which protects life originates, everybody agreed, with something more or less like molten iron at more or less at the temperature of the surface of the Sun, circulating below our feet. However, the details did not work out. Researchers at the universities of Washington, Rutgers, Carnegie Institution, just revealed that “Quantum correlations between electrons” were crucial. They help generate twice the thermal convection that the old theory (from 1930), which neglected electron to electron scattering, had found!

Down In Hell, Electrons Collide, Convection Goes Up

Down In Hell, Electrons Collide, Convection Goes Up

“We uncovered an effect that had been hiding in plain sight for 80 years,” Cohen, one of the physicists, said. “And now the original dynamo theory works after all!

Of course the dynamo theory had to work, for the good and simple meta reason that there was nothing else imaginable in sight! This will to make the dynamo theory work, is an example of metaphysics in action.


Meta-whatever has its use.

Because of this Meta-Physical reason (the Dynamo Theory HAD to works, thus (some) researchers kept on searching). This is a typical aspect of how metaphysics works. The Will To Explanation is intrinsically metaphysical. (Especially when it is a will to a BETTER explanation.)

According to so-called “physicalism”, a philosophical theory, all that exists in our world (including consciousness) is physical.

Indeed, what else could it be? By definition of physis, nature is all there is. Even the god(s) would be part of nature, should they exist.

(That problem, the problem of who created god, should god exist, makes the existence of god unlikely, let me say in passing; or then “god” is another word for nature, physis… Let a million Jihadists faint.)

Nature is all-encompassing (differently from Allah in the Qur’an, who is one actor out of many, including Shatan, Djinns, Believers, Unbelievers, etc.)

Jealousy is part of nature. So is hope.



All this “physicalism” sounded scary and unlikely, even ridiculous, as long as the world was viewed as made of tiny billiard balls. How could small balls, predictably colliding, do it all? What happened to Free Will? Was god himself deprived of Freedom, let alone Will?

Tempers flared.

However, a Quantum peace should have come all over. All over those aware of the Quantum, and its Wave.

The world is made of Entangled Quantum Waves, and no one knows what this entanglement exactly is, if it has a range, if it collapses. Nor does anyone know how these Quantum Waves really behave in all imaginable cases, nor how they achieve their non-locality, or whether they truly collapse, and then why and how if they do.

This is not just all metaphysical sounding, it is also at the core of extremely practical considerations for making a Quantum Computer. Life is a Quantum Computer. Since god does not exist, we need to make our own.

Nobody has any idea what these Quantum Waves are made of. Space? Mind? Even time seems to be sitting on the sidelines, as the Quantum Waves pass by, and fill the universe.

In other words, by going from Classical mechanics to Quantum Physics, our view of nature went from certain, and certainly all-too simple to the point of silliness, to certainly very mysterious, full of baffling possibilities, and nearly as ethereal as consciousness itself.

Quantum Waves can be proven to exist experimentally… with the correct philosophical perspective.

And they don’t reduce to waves a la Bohm (potential waves), or Born (probability waves; Born got the Nobel for that idea). Quantum Waves’ nature and existence can be demonstrated just a bit better than consciousness itself (especially in academic zombies).

A number of physicists, confronted by the sudden possibilities imagination was overwhelmed with, thanks to the Quantum, got over-stimulated, and fell victim of a collective mania, the Multiverse Derangement Syndrome (an attempt to deny the reality of Quantum Waves).

However, it’s somewhat also deranged to consider nature, and consciousness, while trying to go around the elephant in the bathroom, Quantum Physics, as if it did not exist.

This is what all too many thinkers are apparently doing.

In Quantum Physics as we have it, PARTICULAR aspects (when particles show-up) are an epiphenomenon (that’s why, in particular, the definition of a “particle” is not too clear). All the machinery that leads to the particular is wavy, not to say fuzzy. How much? That’s what both Quantum Computer engineers and fundamental physicists such as Haroche are trying to determine. It is both hard physics, and hard philosophy (as not just the motivations are metaphysical, but the subject at hand, Quantum Waves, is certainly metaphysical, in the sense that it is beyond physics as it is commonly understood).

Those who are interested by “grounding” our fundamental views, in particular metaphysics, cannot ignore the Quantum (and, I add, somewhat more controversially, because the conventional, probabilistic (Born), Quantum Interpretation, denies their physicalism), its Quantum Waves.

Should those who claim to try to ground thinking do so, while disdaining the Quantum, they will look deliberately incomplete. Not to say downright silly.

There are non-Quantum explanations. However physics is Quantum, and what is beyond it, metaphysics, has to recognize it is therefore defined by it.

Patrice Ayme’


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15 Responses to “Quantum Metaphysics Unavoidable”

  1. gmax Says:

    The Quantum Mechanics is metaphysical, if ‘physics’ is interpreted as classical physics. That’s why that stuff was so controversial from the get-go. That’s what one expects from a fundamental theory

  2. Paul Handover Says:

    Patrice, would you stop giving me a headache so close to me turning off the bedside light for the night! 😉

    Seriously, what I’m hearing from you is that reality is everything, and everything is reality. Is that correct?

    The other, possibly naive, question is whether a quantum reality offers a re-evaluation of the hitherto immovable limit of the speed of light in vacuo?

  3. Adfhgd Says:

    Is this a Fundy atheist blog?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      If you have to ask the question, meaning you read nought, it is dubious you deserve an answer.

      Urban notions and semantics are fun for the lowest types, but do not replace general culture. American obsessions, pro and con god(s) are so yesterday. Or, rather before yestercentury.
      Something for Nineteenth Century European peasants to worry about… Or, apparently USA urban types… ;-). This is not a blog, either. This is a collection of essays, in the best tradition. One ought not to call Montaigne a “blogger” (some have tried).

      Writers are not bloggers. The typical “blogger” is somebody who reacts emotionally rather than think, and reflect. It is, typically just an aggressive activity, often consisting in asking stupid questions, with a violent pseudo-naivety akin to insulting out of the blue.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        My point is that France (nuclear bomb) and Britain (preparing for total carpet bombing), were ready to fight those savages, the Nazis, in a savage way the Nazis themselves did not expect, because for them to expect it, would have required for them Nazis to realize how abominable they were. The Brits and the French had no problem doing that, realizing how abominable the Nazis were.

        A democracy fighting to death can be more savage than a dictatorship ever could be.

    • gmax Says:

      No, but you sure sound like a clueless theist, upset from your cluelessness!

  4. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice. From your previous assays about the subject I understood that you oppose the string theory and all derived from it, including the Multivers, etc. Since the string theory is purely mathematical speculation, as mathematician could you explain your position?
    Then i found previously that you oppose the holographic concept of Universe, which is kind of interpretation of the universe as information system. To my understanding, this way of perceiving the existence has no inconsistencies except that it is contraintuitive.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Eugen: Very interesting subject and question. I have all too little time to answer it now. However, I did, in the past.
      I know very well some of the main actors of String Theory, I walk up the path myself.
      Math can be many things.
      The future is, IMHO, to non-linear wave theory, a subject far removed from strings.
      The Multiverse I view as a logical descendant of a logical-philosophical mistake ERROR made by Einstein (and duplicated by zillions of brainless parrots since). “Holographic” universe sounds good, because nobody (or close to it) knows what a hologram is.

      I think that to try to understand the universe when we do not Quantum Computing is philosophically wrong headed.

      • EugenR Says:

        I thought it is obvious. Christianity is a popularised version of Judaism, and European arts, science, philosophy, mathemathics is improved interpretation of clasical masters. I visited many times China, and remember a Chinese intelectual couldn’t differentiate between christianity and judaism. I don’t remember who said it, that all the philosophy is about interpretation of Plato. Conclusion, European culture stands on two legs, one is ancient Greek culture and the other leg is the Jewish Monotheism.

        • EugenR Says:

          Ups, this slipped in without my intention.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Well, Eugen, I do agree about Christianism being Judaism. More exactly, weaponized Judaism.
          This being said, as I have argued forcefully in the past, Christianism contributed LITTLE to (our) civilization. Trajan, or Clovis contributed more than Christ. Trajan had tax on plutocrats and welfare, Clovis had what he called Catholicism, but was actually its Frankish ways (tolerance, ferocity in freedom, etc.).
          Catholicism (because that’s what it was called for 12 centuries) ACCOMPANIED deeper systems of moods and thoughts.

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