(Short intro in Dutch, the post itself is in English.)
De losgebarste discussie over het geknip in David Attenborough door de EO (mijn standpunt: het is -ook van de BBC die kennelijk toestemming gaf- niet erg netjes tegenover Attenborough, én de EO had op z’n minst aan het publiek duidelijk moeten aangeven wat ze gedaan hadden: “delen van deze documentaire zijn door ons gewijzigd of verwijderd”), die discussie deed mij denken aan twee oude postjes van mij over Intelligent Design en Quantummechanica.
Want het is nog niet ingewikkeld genoeg. :-)
(First posted on Friday 27th januari 2006 – 11:09:36 AM)
Last week I was talking about Intelligent Design (with, by the way, the founding father of the now sadly closed down UVvN) when an analogy with quantum mechanics occurred to me. Or maybe even two analogies. Today, I bring you the first one.
Both theories have a problem with evolution.
Of course, it’s not the same evolution. In the case of ID, it’s the famous Darwinian evolution of random mutations and natural selection, that is the mechanism for change in large groups of organisms, over (usually) large stretches of time. For QM, the evolution at stake is the way the Schrödinger equations tells the wavefunction of a system, say: the physical state it is in, to change over time. The wavefunction is said to evolve according to the Schrödinger equation.
So how is there a problem with evolution? Well, it’s not the whole story. In QM (at least in the orthodox interpretation) there are exceptions to the rule that the wavefunction simply evolves. These exceptions are called measurements. In the usual course of nature, the wavefunction obeys the Schrödinger equation, but when a measurement is done, it is said to collapse instantly into something else. (It does not matter so much now into what exactly.) In ID, on the other hand, there are exceptions to the usual course of the Darwinian evolution. These exceptions happen when the change is too great, when something truly new and different emerges. In that case, there is said to be design.