Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Quantum physics and esoteric Hinduism - a physicist responds

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Some of you will remember that our May/June issue featured a piece by Hindu council director Jay Lakhani, who wrote that his academic background in physics had led him to conclude that quantum physics supports his non-materialist, esoteric Hindu religion.

We knew at the time it would prove controversial, and of course our readers didn't disappoint, sending us lots of letters and responding in a lively thread on the blog. To follow this up, we published a page of responses in our current, July/August issue, alongside a response piece, entitled "Lakhani gets his science wrong", from US-based physicist Mano Singham. I've just put Singham's piece online, so have a read and share any thoughts on this post.


Edmund Kyberd said...

This physicist responded in much the same way after the original article, although the original was sufficiently incomprehensible so as to make me miss two of the three errors. And you are right Quantum physics never justifies metaphysical claptrap

Darrick Lim said...

Thank you Mr Singham for providing a lucid, informed criticism of what many have suspected to be yet another misappropriation of science to 'prove' the unprovable. Bravo.

AT said...

What a ridiculously self-righteous response. Lakhani made some interesting points in trying to explain how quantum theory not only describes not just states of consciousness but also traces toward the ineffable.

Which it freaking does.

There's a sort of allergic reaction to speculation in popular humanism that is extremely distasteful.

Zachary Voch said...

"There's a sort of allergic reaction to speculation in popular humanism that is extremely distasteful."

Yes, there is a dislike of triumphal, misleading claims that Quantum Physics has debunked materialism among many humanists. More generally, there is a dislike of pseudoscience.

How distasteful. How self-righteous.

As for Lakhani's claims that QM describes consciousness and "traces toward the ineffable," why don't you try illustrating in what way these were "points"?

Zachary Voch said...

Anyways, good job on the article, Singham.

Hasan said...

The basic problem is that we cannot get rid of primitive ideas inherited from our ancestors, despite achieving academic exceelence. Scientists start justifying irrational ideas. For example,Dr Abdus Salam believed that he drew inspiration for his scientific work from his faith.

Terry Merritt said...

This particular physicist answered throughout quite similar approach following the genuine post, even though authentic had been completely incomprehensive in an attempt to help to make myself overlook a couple of on the a few glitches.

Sherry Molina said...

The article you posted is worth reading. Religion is always a conflict to science but when science can't answer faith comes in.