[extropy-chat] The Anthropic Principle

scerir scerir at libero.it
Sun Mar 4 19:46:47 UTC 2007

> But are they reality challenged if they are not aware 
> of the random processes of nature {the uncertainty principle}?

According to W.Pauli ('Wave Machanics', circa 1933)
theorists use different terms, depending on 
the personal interpretation of the UP.

Ungenauigheit = inexactness
Unbekanntheit = unknowability
Unsicherheit = uncertainty
Unbestimmtheit = indeterminacy

Since then, it seems there is no good, general 
agreement about questions like the following.

Do uncertainty relations apply to a single system [I hope so] 
or just to ensembles of identically prepared systems? 
[and in the latter case, doesn't QM presuppose hidden 
variables (local, or nonlocal, or contextual)?].

Do u.r. imply a mere limitation on making certain kinds 
of measurements _simultaneously_?

Do u.r. imply a limitation on the possible knowledge 
obtainable about a system?

Do u.r. imply a limitation on the properties that can be 
ascribed to a quantum system?

(Not to mention that there are cases in which the
u.r. are wrong, ie because one observable is discrete 
and the other, noncommuting, is bounded).

So, as you can see, it is a typical 'Zen' scenario,
and it is not easy to be completely 'aware' of the UP,
since it is more misanthropic than anthropic.



"Turning now to the question of the empirical support 
[for the uncertainty principle], we unhesitatingly
declare that rarely in the history of physics 
has there been a principle of such universal importance 
with so few credentials of experimental tests". 
-Max Jammer, 1974.

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