[ExI] The Quantum Zeno effect

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 14 18:38:16 UTC 2010

On Dec 14, 2010, at 1:02 PM, Damien Broderick wrote:

> if you conducted the S's cat experiment using a macroscopic randomizer like a series of spinning coins, it wouldn't prove a thing.

I think that's true provided you make the pretty reasonable assumption that the outcome of a spinning coin is a deterministic event.

> If this is correct, the M-W universe doesn't split if you walk left instead of right, unless that decision is somehow triggered by an indeterminate or stochastic quantum-scale event in your nervous system

If that human decision is deterministic (and sometimes it probably isn't) then you always walk left and there is no universe where you go right, so obviously there is no split.

> the sort of thing Nobelist Eccles got all excited about, because he thought that might be a place where a non-physical entity or soul might couple to the machinery.

I suppose so, but I don't understand why he got all excited, randomness is not what people usually mean by the soul; as for free will, people don't mean anything by it, it's just a noise made by the mouth.

 John K Clark

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