You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
(via Calamities of Nature)
Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Deepak Chopa can get the high score by just building a lot of +1′s for pseudoscientific uses of the word ‘quantum’. As a philosopher, I actually know how to use quantum for other purposes, but I really do not need to since we have better words for ‘a minimum amount of an entity’ and would not want to have our work misunderstood as dealing with quantum mechanics.
What better words? We use it in CS, even when we’re not dealing with quantum computing. It’s a well-understood word (within the field) that has a specific meaning, even if it’s abused by quantum wooists like Chopra. If we were writing something for consumption by non-CS people, then we would probably use different terminology, but that’s typical of any specialized field.
Yeah, I misspoke. Instead of saying I have better words, I should have said better words for common language usage. Other terms might be like the philosopher’s atom, which was supposed to be indivisible. Peter Unger of NYU thinks the only legitimately existing thing is what he calls primary particles because he is merelogical nihilist.
The 1998 original:
Also, I thought the accepted term was quantum science these days?
i actually think the real things water and magnets do are pretty amazing.
Like keeping us from dehydration and keeping the harmful cosmic rays off the planet? Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
Considering life as we know it wouldn’t exist without them, yeah, I’d say that’s amazing.
And all the pictures would fall off my fridge.
I’d just like to point out that there are a small number of other words which can acceptably follow “quantum”. For example “electrodynamics” and “chromodynamics” are fine.
It appears that the image has been updated. I guess some quantum physicists emailed the author.
Quantum mechanics, of course, are the guys who fix your Ford Quantum. The Quantum is the car where you can determine its position or its direction, but not both at the same time.
I’d like to point out, though, that often ideas tend to be dismissed flat out as woo without explanation. From my experience, this concerns especially the field of alternative energy (or maybe that’s the only one I’ve been looking at). Every time somebody presents some idea, we have hordes of people saying stuff like “yeah, like this is going to work” or “this violates all known and unknown laws of thermodynamics” without actually explaining how. Being a skeptic is good, but skepticism must not devolve into simple denial of anything new or unusual. In other words, even if a claim seems implausible, it still deserves evaluation and honest feedback, rather than lazily dismissing it.
Not to defend Chopra, though. That guy needs to go. And also all those “send us $200 and we will share our know-how.”
YAAAAAHOO,an artical on somthing other than christian bagging,a bit of “free thinking”at last…HA
Follow Patheos on