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Tags double blind , homeopathy , physics

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Old 22nd October 2009, 01:18 AM   #1
Kuko 4000
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Entanglement Theory and The Effects of Blinding on Trials of Homeopathy...

Journeys in The Country of The Blind: Entanglement Theory and The Effects of Blinding on Trials of Homeopathy and Homeopathic Provings

Lionel R. Milgrom
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ, UK

http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/c...urcetype=HWCIT

Quote:
CONCLUSION:

...

Therefore, an algebraic argument has been proposed that if remedy and placebo really are entangled by application of the DBRCT methodology to homeopathic provings, then any attempt to have prior knowledge of them both should break the entangled proving state. This should then deliver results showing clear differences between remedy and placebo in terms of proving symptoms. Thus, the use of DBRCTs for testing homeopathy would appear to be a flawed strategy as they seem to destroy the very effects they were purportedly designed to investigate. Clearly, such a rationale could be applied to many CAMs and perhaps even to DBRCTs of conventional medicine. For as Nelson intimated, when one looks at the world with a blind eye, one tends not to see anything.

This, Hahnemann of The Gaps, is one of the most popular explanations / excuses why DBRCT's are not suitable for homeopathy. Would any of the physics guys want to take a closer look at this?
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Old 22nd October 2009, 01:31 AM   #2
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If I've read this right I think they're saying that it's impossible to apply a double blind clinical trial to homeopathic treatment because the interaction between the therapist and patient is a vital part of the treatment. They're trying to wrap it up in clever words by linking it to various quantum effects but the upshot is that they're saying that homeopathic treatments rely on the placebo effect and that's something we know already.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 01:33 AM   #3
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There are some good blog posts from a physicist about Milgrom's nonsense here:

http://shpalman.livejournal.com/tag/lionel+milgrom

Not that I understand any of it, because they contain stuff like this:
PPR=12[|Px|0|Rx+|Px|0|Rx]=12[|Px|Rx+|Px|Rx]|0
http://shpalman.livejournal.com/8644.html#cutid1

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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:15 AM   #4
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Shpalman is an excellent source. Milgrom refers to "weak" quantum theory which does not employ Planck's constant. Without it, quantum theory is mere mathematics since that constant connects the math to reality. In other words, Lionel is racing his engine and wasting his gas.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:29 AM   #5
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Bra and ket notation. I can read it still . Milgrom is basically trying to use the same equation on slit or similar experiments with a practitioner patient etc... and it is complete bunk because some state are disallowed by momentum conservation and if you take the same to be true for Milgrom equation , you only get utter non sense :

Quote:
It would seem to indicate that only two states are allowed. The patient is well, the practioner is helpful and the remedy is curative; or the patient is unwell, the practitioner is unhelpful and the remedy is non-curative. The unphysical entanglement situation here means that if we know that the patient is unwell then the remedy and the practitioner must both be useless. There are no states included in which the remedy and the practitioner are beneficial to an unhealthy patient, who can then flip to the healthy state. There is no time-evolution in any of Milgrom’s equations. We are left with the trivial but useless tautology that a helpful practitioner and a beneficial remedy mean a healthy patient - if the remedy is curative then the patient must already be healthy. There is in any case no reason given for such an entanglement (created in Eq. (1) by conservation of momentum) to come about.
That one is even more funny showing milgrom do not understand what he is writing about :

Quote:
|Pr〉=0 (3)

and substituting this into Eq. (2) instead of |Pr↑〉 and |Pr↓〉. This is invalid, since “0” is not a state: the states of Pr continue to exist whether or not there is anything in them. It is unclear whether Milgrom would rather mean 〈Pr|Pr〉=0 (which makes Pr non-normalizable and therefore not a state) or |Pr〉=|0〉, but the second case seems slightly more likely.
Basically I jsut summarize it with :"You are trying to apply particle equation and law to your own type of woo , and only get a big bag of FAIL".

Quote:
In summary, Milgrom seems to have copied out a few equations from articles, textbooks and popularizations of quantum physics, assigned arbitrary and shifting properties to the entities within them, and then claimed to have a model/analogy/metaphor for homeopathy. The more seriously the metaphor is taken, the less sense it makes. It would be simpler to set up something called “Weak Number Theory” in which 2+2 doesn’t have to be four, and he can pretend to prove whatever he likes with that.

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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:39 AM   #6
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What they are basicaly saying is that there is some magic force which, in the presense of a skeptic investigator, deliberately either:

1) Turns the placebo sample into real remedy.

2) Turns the real remedy sample into placebo.

I assume they infer #1. Such a force, if working universally, should turn all water and all sugar pellets in the universe into all kinds of homeopathic remedies that exist. Since this is obviously not the case, or that is at least not, as of yet (but wait for Dr MAS), claimed by any homeopaths, it follows that this entanglement force is somehow aware of when a remedy and a placebo are involved in a blinded trial, and only then does its insidious work.

... Of course, this goes for #2 as well, except for the possibility that all remedies are turned into placebo, against which scenario my only objection is that it can't be turned into something it already is.

In short, as already observed, the entanglement thesis is just technobabble meant to fool the peasants. If you take it to the core, it is simply a very elaborate way to admit that homeopathy depends on the placebo effect.

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Old 22nd October 2009, 04:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
What they are basicaly saying is that there is some magic force which, in the presense of a skeptic investigator, deliberately either:

1) Turns the placebo sample into real remedy.

2) Turns the real remedy sample into placebo.

I assume they infer #1. Such a force, if working universally, should turn all water and all sugar pellets in the universe into all kinds of homeopathic remedies that exist. Since this is obviously not the case, or that is at least not, as of yet (but wait for Dr MAS), claimed by any homeopaths, it follows that this entanglement force is somehow aware of when a remedy and a placebo are involved in a blinded trial, and only then does its insidious work.

... Of course, this goes for #2 as well, except for the possibility that all remedies are turned into placebo, against which scenario my only objection is that it can't be turned into something it already is.

In short, as already observed, the entanglement thesis is just technobabble meant to fool the peasants. If you take it to the core, it is simply a very elaborate way to admit that homeopathy depends on the placebo effect.

Hans


That is not fully what they say. They say that in double blind experiment since it is NOT known which is the placebo which is the homeopathetic remedy, then the ENTANGLED remedy , patient and practitioner cannot go to a state where the H remedy heal the patient (it stays in a mixed state of heal/not heal the patient). But when it is known, the entanglement collapse down to a state where the homeopathetic remedy heal the patient. In other word it is the knowing which lead the collapse of the wave function to helping the patient.

This is pure bunk woo. And as the link provided above (by pr Yaffle) shows , it does not even make sense the way they put it in mathematical equation. GIGO.

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Old 22nd October 2009, 04:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kuko 4000 View Post
Journeys in The Country of The Blind: Entanglement Theory and The Effects of Blinding on Trials of Homeopathy and Homeopathic Provings

Lionel R. Milgrom
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ, UK

http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/c...urcetype=HWCIT




This, Hahnemann of The Gaps, is one of the most popular explanations / excuses why DBRCT's are not suitable for homeopathy. Would any of the physics guys want to take a closer look at this?

See the "e-letters" for that article, in which a physics guy did just that: http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/eletters/4/1/7

Poor Lionel got a little confused in responding to some of the other e-letters, and managed to conflate Simon Baker and Simon Gates into a former Radio 1 DJ. He also Godwined himself.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 05:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
That is not fully what they say. They say that in double blind experiment since it is NOT known which is the placebo which is the homeopathetic remedy, then the ENTANGLED remedy , patient and practitioner cannot go to a state where the H remedy heal the patient (it stays in a mixed state of heal/not heal the patient). But when it is known, the entanglement collapse down to a state where the homeopathetic remedy heal the patient. In other word it is the knowing which lead the collapse of the wave function to helping the patient.

His attempt at an analogy to the double slit experiment breaks down because the remedy and placebo are not indeterminate. Although the homoeopath and the patient don't know whether the patient has been given remedy or placebo, they have certainly been given one or the other, and not some sort of indeterminate remedy/placebo. The information about which is which exists, even if it is unknown to them.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 05:08 AM   #10
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See also: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=85740
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Old 22nd October 2009, 05:36 AM   #11
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Thanks Mojo, that'll teach me to search before posting...good stuff.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 06:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
His attempt at an analogy to the double slit experiment breaks down because the remedy and placebo are not indeterminate. Although the homoeopath and the patient don't know whether the patient has been given remedy or placebo, they have certainly been given one or the other, and not some sort of indeterminate remedy/placebo. The information about which is which exists, even if it is unknown to them.
It does not make sense on so many level, it is like showing a hoop and saying it is a sieve. really.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:29 AM   #13
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If someone invokes quantum physics in the macro-world, they are full of crap. No math needed.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
If someone invokes quantum physics in the macro-world, they are full of crap. No math needed.
That's exactly right. The idea that quantum entanglement could have an effect like that is totally ridiculous.

If you wanted to make it quantitative, you could estimate the time it would take for such an entangled state (assuming you somehow started in one) to decohere, or the odds that such a state would arise in the first place. You'll get some crazy numbers out (numbers like 10^23 will appear as exponents).
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
If you wanted to make it quantitative, you could estimate the time it would take for such an entangled state (assuming you somehow started in one) to decohere, or the odds that such a state would arise in the first place. You'll get some crazy numbers out (numbers like 10^23 will appear as exponents).
<Homeopath mindset on>
So you're saying it is possible?
</Homeopath mindset off>
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
His attempt at an analogy to the double slit experiment breaks down because the remedy and placebo are not indeterminate. Although the homoeopath and the patient don't know whether the patient has been given remedy or placebo, they have certainly been given one or the other, and not some sort of indeterminate remedy/placebo. The information about which is which exists, even if it is unknown to them.
I like this one the best.

Although it helps for physics-savvy people to point out how ridiculous it is, realistically, the fence-sitter will be thinking that maybe they are simply ignorant with respect to Milgrom, who is a chemist after all. This explanation makes it very clear where he goes wrong, without the need to try to get anyone to understand entanglement.

Linda
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Old 22nd October 2009, 09:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
You'll get some crazy numbers out (numbers like 10^23 will appear as exponents).

x 6.0221415, perhaps?
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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
Although it helps for physics-savvy people to point out how ridiculous it is, realistically, the fence-sitter will be thinking that maybe they are simply ignorant with respect to Milgrom, who is a chemist after all.
I'm a chemist and I will tell you I learned basically nothing about QM at the undergraduate level. I don't have a masters or PhD, but I would be surprised if a doctorate in chemistry covered entanglement in detail. It is called quantum physics for a reason.

In other words, being a chemist means nothing.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
I'm a chemist and I will tell you I learned basically nothing about QM at the undergraduate level. I don't have a masters or PhD, but I would be surprised if a doctorate in chemistry covered entanglement in detail. It is called quantum physics for a reason.

In other words, being a chemist means nothing.
You and I might know that, but the average Joe (JJM excepted) may not be able to make the distinction. Especially since he (Milgrom) is 'published'.

Linda

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Old 23rd October 2009, 12:57 AM   #20
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What is totally beyond me is that this is supposed to be a peer reviewed journal, yet a paper which misunderstands basic physics as badly as this sails through.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 12:58 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
I'm a chemist and I will tell you I learned basically nothing about QM at the undergraduate level. I don't have a masters or PhD, but I would be surprised if a doctorate in chemistry covered entanglement in detail. It is called quantum physics for a reason.

In other words, being a chemist means nothing.

Then again, Lionel says "I continually run my ideas passed [sic] highly competent quantum physicists (including a Nobel Laureate), so he should have no qualms concerning at the very least, their plausibility."

http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/eletters/4/1/7#61
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Old 23rd October 2009, 12:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Asolepius View Post
What is totally beyond me is that this is supposed to be a peer reviewed journal, yet a paper which misunderstands basic physics as badly as this sails through.

Depends on who the peers are, I suppose.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 01:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
That is not fully what they say. They say that in double blind experiment since it is NOT known which is the placebo which is the homeopathetic remedy, then the ENTANGLED remedy , patient and practitioner cannot go to a state where the H remedy heal the patient (it stays in a mixed state of heal/not heal the patient). But when it is known, the entanglement collapse down to a state where the homeopathetic remedy heal the patient. In other word it is the knowing which lead the collapse of the wave function to helping the patient.
If this was true, could it not be said to be true for any double blind investigation, woo, or not? Would successful double blind testing of non-woo cures not invalidate this concept?

Before entanglement can be invoked, it would have to be shown that entanglement is in fact in force.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 06:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Then again, Lionel says "I continually run my ideas passed [sic] highly competent quantum physicists (including a Nobel Laureate), so he should have no qualms concerning at the very least, their plausibility."
Well I'm convinced.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
What they are basicaly saying is that there is some magic force which, in the presense of a skeptic investigator, deliberately either:

1) Turns the placebo sample into real remedy.

2) Turns the real remedy sample into placebo.

I assume they infer #1. Such a force, if working universally, should turn all water and all sugar pellets in the universe into all kinds of homeopathic remedies that exist. Since this is obviously not the case, or that is at least not, as of yet (but wait for Dr MAS), claimed by any homeopaths, it follows that this entanglement force is somehow aware of when a remedy and a placebo are involved in a blinded trial, and only then does its insidious work.

... Of course, this goes for #2 as well, except for the possibility that all remedies are turned into placebo, against which scenario my only objection is that it can't be turned into something it already is.

In short, as already observed, the entanglement thesis is just technobabble meant to fool the peasants. If you take it to the core, it is simply a very elaborate way to admit that homeopathy depends on the placebo effect.

Hans
If scepticism can change inactive substances to active, I would think the most effective treatment possible for any disease would be to take a sugar pill and have a skeptic give you a good hard look. On the other hand, as anecdotal evidence to the contrary, I've never managed to cure any of my patients with a good hard look, and I've been trying that for years.

A
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Old 28th October 2009, 08:10 AM   #26
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There's some giggle-worthy letters there, thanks
I love some of the crazier ideas Milgrom has. I look forward to the time he offers homeopathic dilutions using superfluid helium as the solvent.
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Old 28th October 2009, 08:19 AM   #27
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Incidentally, I strongly suspect the Nobel laureate is Brian Josephson. I will let people research him and draw their own conclusions on what weight his opinions should be given.
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Old 28th October 2009, 08:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by edd View Post
I love some of the crazier ideas Milgrom has. I look forward to the time he offers homeopathic dilutions using superfluid helium as the solvent.

He's recently strayed into legal scholarship.
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Old 28th October 2009, 08:31 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
He's recently strayed into legal scholarship.
I don't think I'd phrase it quite like that....

Anyway, it's one of those rare occasions when I have the deepest sympathy for lawyers.
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Old 19th November 2009, 02:01 AM   #30
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More Milgrom: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs.../acm.2009.0004

Quote:
Based on known observables, a rudimentary fractal model of the universe is proposed consisting of a series of self-similar integrated levels of reality, or “wholes” contained one within another like a set of Russian dolls. This model suggests possible contextualization of homeopathy and biomedicine's observational stances.
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Old 19th November 2009, 06:14 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by shpalman View Post
I'm not sure if he is a clever man pretending to be stupid, or........
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:22 AM   #32
Soapy Sam
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Or, indeed.

I do wonder why anyone would publish such stuff. If it does not impress those able to understand it, who is it intended for?
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:52 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Kuko 4000 View Post
Journeys in The Country of The Blind: Entanglement Theory and The Effects of Blinding on Trials of Homeopathy and Homeopathic Provings

Lionel R. Milgrom
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ, UK

http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/c...urcetype=HWCIT




This, Hahnemann of The Gaps, is one of the most popular explanations / excuses why DBRCT's are not suitable for homeopathy. Would any of the physics guys want to take a closer look at this?
This is the awesomest quote out of the chain of replies to that paper:
Originally Posted by D. Chrastina
I certainly am entertained by Milgrom’s new notion of “the importance of isolation from the external
environment (the consultation) in order for coherence and decoherence to bring about the possibility
of cure.” It formalizes the position that homeopaths, and the people who feel a subjective benefit in
going to them, have lost contact with reality. Indeed, my experience is that a lack of coherence is
often seen in homeopaths with whom I try to interact.
(from http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_jo.../chrastina.pdf)
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:59 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
In other word it is the knowing which lead the collapse of the wave function to helping the patient.

This is pure bunk woo.
This is exactly right, but I'd like to point out that it seems to be a commonly believed aspect of QM, that what collapses the wave function into a point is that a mind becomes conscious of the measurement. The truth is that the wave is forced to a point when the measurement takes place, not when or whether some consciousness is aware of it.

I have seen it explained (wrongly) that if you put a detector at one slit of the classic double-slit experiment, but don't have someone watching, the wave pattern will have shown an interference pattern as long as the data will eventually be seen and understood. But if you were to collect the data, and the data were to be destroyed before being seen by a mind, there won't be an interference pattern.

You can see that it's a short trip from that mistaken impression of QM to Milgrom's flaky ideas about entanglement.
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Old 19th November 2009, 08:00 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by nescafe View Post
This is the awesomest quote out of the chain of replies to that paper:

(from http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_jo.../chrastina.pdf)
Thanks: http://shpalman.livejournal.com/8644.html

Although the subclause "and the people who feel a subjective benefit in going to them", which was necessary for reasons of accuracy, spoils the impact of that sentence a bit and this still bothers me even now.
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