To: snarks_when_bored; PatrickHenry
...einselection, a quantum process associated with selective loss of information.
Where the Darwinian (macroscopic) process retains information, expressing or surpressing as required to meet selection conditions, the quantum process results in loss of information? I know, I know, it's a super-simplification for both concepts.
But if "observation" on the quantum level is required for decoherence, of what does that observation consist? At our level, the macroscopic and microscopic, we see, weigh and measure. What/who is the observer which sees the unselected quantum observeables, selecting some and finding others "weighed in the balance and found wanting"?
And are the non-einselected states truly lost, or merely unexpressed?
As for the Quantum Creationists, "God retreats faster than we can find Him in our telescopes." And microscopes as well.
posted on 12/23/2004 12:04:42 PM PST
(the boys i mean are not refined, they shake the mountains when they dance!)
I'm not qualified to pronounce on Zurek's ideas, so let me do so.
Zurek speaks of 'environmental monitoring', seeming to reserve 'observing' for the sort of monitoring that we do. What might monitoring mean if there are no observers like us around? Something along these lines, I'd surmise: exchanges of energy/momentum. A source of photons, for example, is announcing itself to its surroundings, and any absorption event of any of the emitted photons constitutes a 'monitoring' of the emitter by the absorber. If the source is constant and prolific, there will be many opportunities for many different absorbers to 'monitor' that source. It's precisely such sources that observers (whenever and wherever they come to be) come to recognize as 'objective'.
If I can find some time, I'm going to read selected portions of Zurek's pre-print (skipping over the parts that would require too much work to understand). If I find reason to modify the previous paragraph, I'll post a correction on this thread. However, if I don't post a correction, don't take that as evidence that the previous paragraph is correct. Maybe I just didn't get around to reading the pre-print, or, if I did, I didn't properly understand it!
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson