The Scientific Ignorance of Stasia Bliss – Part VI: Quantum Mechanics
Note: This is the sixth installment in an article series debunking the massive amount of pseudoscientific claims made by Stasia Bliss. This post will examine her claims about quantum mechanics and human relationships. For more posts in this series, see the introduction post here.
Throughout the previous five posts, we have seen some despicable claims made by Stasia Bliss. She has asserted that people with cystic fibrosis caused their own disease by eating acidic foods and being too negative (and therefore have themselves to blame). She recommended that people stare into the sun without protection (very dangerous and harmful to the eyes) and that this would give them telepathic power, the ability to perform astral projection and unaided human flight. Many of her statements are also blatant pseudoscience, such as the notion that the DNA double helix has twelve strands, that eating genetically modified foods makes you less human and brainwashed by evil corporations and that dark matter is just something the brain invented and does not exist out in the real world.
In this installment, we will discuss some of her claims about quantum mechanics and human relationships. It will turn out that quantum mechanics does not mean that the mind creates reality, that the correspondence principles assures that the predictions of quantum mechanics correspond to the predictions of Newtonian mechanics on larger scales, quantum mechanics is not relevant for brain processes on a larger scale, quantum mechanics does not claim that anything can happen, causes still precede effects in quantum mechanics and quantum mechanics are not relevant for human relationships. In fact, her post about quantum mechanics and human relationships is so incoherent and rambling that it is difficult to pin-point her errors. Most of those errors, such as the flawed notion that the brain creates reality, continues to be repeated over and over again, ad nauseum. This contributes to this post being a bit shorter than the previous parts.
Bliss slips up when contrasting Newtonian and quantum mechanics
In Newtonian physics, everything has a cause and an effect, one thing leads to another. An object will continue in the same direction (like linear time) unless acted upon by ‘another’ object. In quantum mechanics, this is simply not so. Things pop in and out of existence with no apparent cause and can change directions at any time for no reason. Quantum reality functions very differently from Newtonian reality.
Events that occur at the quantum scale differs from events that occur at everyday scales. In quantum mechanics, energy can transform into a particle-antiparticle pair (a process known as pair production) and this does not appear to have a cause. So far so good, but then Bliss screws up.
Particles “changing direction at any time for no reason” is not an accurate description of quantum mechanics. Large permanent violations of conservation laws cannot occur, even at the quantum level. Quantum physics does not mean that “anything whatsoever can happen” (Crowell, 2013). It just means that the things that can potentially happen are assigned probabilities of occurring.
Bliss does not understand the correspondence principle
How is it that we can experience anything different than the quantum reality if the quantum predominates?
A new model that seeks to replace an old model must make the same predictions as the old one in an area where they both claim to apply. This means that quantum mechanics must mirror the predictions of Newtonian mechanics on the scale of everyday life and it does. As the scale becomes larger, the distance between the discrete energy levels found in quantum mechanics becomes smaller and smaller and converge on being continuous, which matches the predictions made by Newtonian mechanics.
What we perceive as “quantum weirdness” only occurs at the quantum scale. As the scale becomes larger, reality becomes more and more like the reality predicted by both Newtonian and quantum mechanics for that scale.
Quantum mechanics does not entail that the mind creates reality
Without any justification, evidence or reference to the primary scientific literature, Bliss asserts (over and over throughout her post) that quantum mechanics entail that the mind creates reality. However, as we saw in the previous installment on dark matter, this is a complete bastardization of quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics is not relevant for large-scale brain structures
It is an interesting speculation to note that we experience our bodies and relationships with Newtonian eyes even though our brains works in the quantum world.
No, the workings of our brain is probably completely classical because the brain (from groups of cells and brain area to the entire brain) is too large systems for these “special” quantum events to have any practically significant influence.
Quantum mechanics does not state that anything can happen
In Newtonian physics, you might count on a person to continue their ‘development’ in a certain direction and judge them according to the distance they have trod. In a quantum world you would realize that anything could completely change spontaneously at any moment based on nothing more than the joy of experience, therefore life would be full of potential surprises and gifts of renewal.
Newtonian physics is about forces and the movement of bodies. It is not about the psychological dynamics of human romantic relationships. Special quantum mechanical events are also irrelevant for human relationships as they exists on a too large scale for “weird” quantum effects to be influential (Stenger, 1997).
Bliss is abusing scientific models in physics to poetically dress up her personal beliefs about human relationships. However, it is about to become even worse. Bliss is going to attempt to discuss quantum entanglement.
Quantum coupling does not occur in human relationships
In the linear way of thinking, it is believed (and perceived) that we and the ‘other’ are separate, with individual choices. Quantum mechanics would give us a very different interpretation of relationship. Instead of separation, there is unity, particles that were once together, though seemingly separated, forever are joined and dance as if they are one.
Here is an explanation of quantum entanglement by physicist Sean Carroll (Carroll, 2013):
Entanglement is by no means a mystery, in the same way that the measurement problem is a mystery. It’s just a straightforward prediction of quantum mechanics, repeatedly verified by experiments. But it bugs us, because it seems “nonlocal.” […] This bothers people, although it doesn’t lead to anything dangerous or immoral, like communication faster than light. That’s because physical information still travels slower than light.
We can easily see that Bliss description of the situation attempts to use quantum mechanical concepts to dress up her views on romantic relationships among humans. She does not appear to be overly interested in getting the science right.
This particular post by Bliss is not really about quantum mechanics at all. She abuses yet another scientific field to prop up her personal beliefs (in this case human relationships). It is another example of Bliss shamelessly promoting pseudoscience.
Carroll, S. (2013). Visualizing Entanglement In Real Time. Accessed: 2013-07-16.
Crowell, B. (2013). Simple Nature. Accessed: 2013-07-16.
Stenger, V. (1997). Quantum Quackery. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Accessed: 2013-07-16.
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