Does the Schrodinger's Cat experiment say/mean what this personal trainer/life coach says it means?

From here

Is that what these experiments imply?

What does “consciousness directed at any given result influences outcome” mean?

No. Consciousness is not pertinent to any one of these experiments and the theory behind them.

Oh dear. This guy, Paul Chek, is a bleeper.

This is a textbook example of quantum mysticism, a general set of beliefs popularized by the film What the Bleep Do We Know, which arose from confusion concerning quantum physics in relation to human consciousness. Quantum mysticism claims that quantum physics proves that human consciousness is inherently special and powerful.

Oh yeah I remember meeting a few people in my life, who when they found out that I was a physics major and science teacher, would go on and on about how quantum physics could explain the human mind and blah blah blah.

The quote sounds like a bunch of silly nothingness. Almost a word salad.

It is basically a bunch of bullshit, but it is true that there have been serious interpretations of quantum theory, from real physicists, in which consciousness supposedly plays a key role in causing the wave function to collapse, and particular outcomes (such as the cat actually being alive, or actually dead) to emerge from the underlying quantum uncertainty. As I understand it, the Copenhagen Interpretation, on some interpretations of what it itself is, may be one of them.

It is also true that some fairly serious researchers (mostly physicists, again, but also some neuroscientists) have tried to build theories of consciousness as a fundamentally quantum phenomenon around such interpretations of quantum mechanics. These ideas are not really mainstream, but they are not necessarily considered to be completely loopy either. My impression is that that they are now getting less play in the consciousness studies community than they did a decade or so ago, but this is not because the problems about consciousness that they attempted to solve have been solved by other means.

Directly to the OP, Schrödinger’s cat was a thought experiment to counter the probabilty nature of quantum mechanics. What he ended up showing was that quantum mechanics makes no sense if adapted to macroscopic scales.

A personal trainer is as qualified to pontificate about quantum physics as your cat.

Is said cat dead or alive?

Sounds like Deepak Chopra. Oprah has him on all the time to babble about this crap.


Bohr (and Heisenberg) came up with the Copenhagen Interpretation to try to explain why we don’t see quantum effects in our everyday world. The main bit that is usually taught about the Copenhagen Interpretation is that an Observer, merely by the act of observing, causes the wave-function to collapse so that we do not see quantum effects at the size of, let’s say, Ed Norton. This is what the Quantum Mystics are trying to appropriate when they’re trying to sell us on some nutball idea.

Interestingly, Schrödinger wanted to use the famous cat thought experiment to show why the whole thing is just silly and possibly throw a shout-out to his EPR crew. Those who subscribed to CI just shrugged it off and said: yup, that’s right homey.

Roger Penrose is the first to come to mind. He’s about as serious as they come and he has dedicated several large books and gone on tour to explain his ideas. His ideas are not without its detractors which makes the debate fun to follow.


I can’t count higher than 125. Also, people selected because they made scientific advances, by definition, advanced science beyond its previous circumstance.

But it is what the Shrodinger’s cat theory implies since that states wityhout consciousness of a state, there is no certain state.

No. On the most conventional reading, it’s measurement that causes the ‘collapse’ of the superposition; but that measurement is just a physical interaction with a measurement device, consciousness has no part in it (and doesn’t have any special place in the formalism).

It’s true, there is an interpretation—which I think doesn’t really have any adherents today—by Wigner in which ‘consciousness causes the collapse’, but this essentially just amounts to stipulating that ultimately, conscious observers are the only measurement devices. And even here, the collapse happens randomly, so it’s never the case that consciousness ‘chooses’ the state you end up with.

But other interpretations can do without consciousness just fine (well, to the extent that they ‘do’ at all). Take many worlds: there’s one world in which the cat is dead, and another in which it is alive; looking in the box just tells you in which one you ended up. Or Bohm theory: the cat is determinately alive or dead, the superposition is just an artifact of the fact that we don’t have access to the true fundamental degrees of freedom. Something similar happens with modal interpretations: aside from the quantum state, which describes the possibilities for the system (i.e. the cat being alive or dead), there’s also a physical state which we discover upon measurement. And so on: there’s no need to invoke consciousness at any point, unless you have a vested interest in doing so. Saying anything else is just Chopra-style quantum magic.

Well, yeah. If you stare continuously at a pot of water on a stove top, it won’t boil. Everyone knows that.

You actually understood that?! :eek: My hat is off, sir!

Well, he is a serious mathematician/physicist, and respected for his work in those fields, and some of his reputation as a smart guy gained there carries over into people giving his ideas about consciousness a bit more of a hearing than they would get if proposed by some random dude with a Ph.D. I suspect, however, that most other mathematicians and physicists think his work on consciousness diminishes his stature rather than enhances it, and, although there are no doubt a few exceptions, most of the neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and philosophers who comprise the core of the consciousness studies community, having once given him a hearing, now just ignore him. The reason he only has a few detractors (and probably fewer supporters) is that most of the people in the field can’t be bothered to argue about it any more.

I couldn’t get past:


Well, I interpreted. It’s kind of what I do… :wink: