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Read his entire essay on the Big Questions Online site. Barr’s Ignatius Insight interview with Mark Brumley about the “mythological conflict between faith and science”.
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No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just “machines made of meat.” Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things.
No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism — at least with regard to the human mind — is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.” And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, “the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being …
This is a good image of two dynamics that often happen after divorce: some don’t have enough sense and want to jump right back in, and others want to get out of the pool altogether—too afraid to ever go in again.
For some divorced people who have barely made it to the side and are clinging to the steps, they do NOT want a new relationship. No way are they ready to leave the safety of the steps in a world of relationships where emotionally you can’t touch bottom and can’t catch your breath.
They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities — if any there be.
Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena.
There is still something missing.” How, one might ask, can quantum mechanics have anything to say about the human mind?Now fast forward a year or so and Sara has learned to hold her breath and kick her feet; she’s put on her floaties and is splashing merrily in the deep end.But suddenly the rough-housing older boys in the pool have pushed her under, she’s gulping in water, and with her fear threatening to weigh her down she almost drowns.And that, as we shall see, is a fact that cannot be ignored in trying to make sense of quantum mechanics.If one claims that it is possible (in principle) to give a complete physical description of what goes on during a measurement — including the mind of the person who is doing the measuring — one is led into severe difficulties.