Monday, October 26, 2009

If God plays dice with the universe......he'll win!

Albert Einstein is believed to have quipped "God does not play dice with the universe" in a letter to Max Born. The famous quote is a declarative paraphrase. The perceptive scientist he was, Einstein really had it as

"Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice"

Of course quantum mechanics is as "dogma" today as Darwin's evolution. Even an arts major taking a "physics for pedestrians" course need to understand what it is. Without quantum theory, then digital cameras and LCD TVs should not make sense (or had been invented!).

Nonetheless I bring up this subject since the blurbs have it that Typhoon Ramil (Lupit) zipped out of Aparri since people prayed. Some think it is a miracle and a good friend of mine insists it is.... Perhaps.

However the statistical models predicted with increasing probability that the typhoon will go along the NE track as the high pressure steering ridge moved along the China coast. In fact the probability that that would happen reached 0.5 or a 50% chance.

The problem with us scientists is that we have to put the effects of prayer in the backseat for the effects of nature in explaining things of the natural world. In a real sense we are killjoys.

But Einstein had the zinger.....

"I have second thoughts. Maybe God is malicious"

By that he meant
that God leads people to believe they understand things that they actually are far from understanding

However I won't blame God. I blame people for sleeping through their science class!

God has a penchant for at least two things

1) an inordinate fondness for beetles
2) playing dice

In any case He wins!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

since the probability of the storm zipping through luzon had an even chances (0.5, you say) of either keeping on or off its track, this would not statistically qualify in the divine sense as a miracle. a miracle would be that there was very high certainty the storm would make a land fall suddenly did not.

it's like the creation of the universe, where the probability of the right combination of matter to meet up and explode is vastly infinite, and yet the very constants required to process it are well in placed--now that's god's hands working in great wonders. life is indeed a miracle.

as to ramil, it just took a normal biglang liko.

inodoro ni emilie