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Old 01-03-2012, 11:23 AM
whc.03grady whc.03grady is offline
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Montana
Posts: 451
I read the column long ago, and FWIW it seems in fact to bolster my point of view (that physicists should just say, "I don't know", not "It's in a superposition") (emphases added):

"The cylinder's sealed. The hour's passed away. Is
Our pussy still purring or pushing up daisies?
Now, you'd say the cat either lives or it don't
But quantum mechanics is stubborn and won't.
Statistically speaking, the cat (goes the joke),
Is half a cat breathing and half a cat croaked.
To some this may seem a ridiculous split,
But quantum mechanics must answer, "Tough shit.
We may not know much, but one thing's fo' sho':
There's things in the cosmos that we cannot know.
"

I can accept that statistically the cat is alivedead, because statistics is just a measure of ignorance. But other treatments of quantum physics I've seen want to go beyond that. They don't seem to say, "it's even odds the cat's dead". They seem to say, "There exists a state of being that in principle cannot be observed, and the cat [or decaying atom, or whatever], when unobserved, is in that state."
And THAT. Goes beyond good science. Or so it seems to me.