Schrödinger’s Cat and Free Will

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post as I too have become a slave to the Twitter/Facebook phenomenon. But I didn’t think either of those forums would do this topic justice.

I was at dinner the other night with my wife and her piano student and we were discussing the topics of predestination and free will.  This post is NOT about Calvinism or Arminianism. There’s plenty of fodder on the internet about that subject. This post is more a thought experiment with some presuppositions.

One of the hardest things to reconcile about Man’s free will is the concept of an Omnipotent and Omniscient  God, and that the foreknowledge of man’s intended actions is an inherent contradiction to Man’s choices. The easiest argument in favor of that concept is that just because God knows what you are about to do, doesn’t mean you don’t have free will to do whatever you choose.

Here is where the concept of Schrödinger’s cat comes in for me. If you are unfamiliar with this thought experiment or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, just Google it as it would take too long for me to explain here. The uncertainty principle fits very nicely with the “Free Will” position of humankind. For any action by man, the “Copenhagen Interpretation” states that the superimposed states of what a person may or may not do, gets resolved only upon observation. A simple example of this is the classic last second shot in basketball. We all watch with bated breath as the seconds tick down. Just prior to the shot there are multiple superimposed states (waveforms) of what the future could be, which resolve themselves when the ball leaves the shooters hands. The “what if’s” are then left for discussion at the water cooler the next morning. But they don’t exist in any physical reality. In the physical reality, the ball either goes in the basket or not. Someone wins. Someone loses.

So the choices of Mankind are usually easy to accept. Even carrying out the consequences to extremes doesn’t seem to impact the biblical aspects of the sovereignty of God. Chaos theory can explain how even a small action can have tremendous consequences. A “San” Bushman lights a fire in the Sahara, and a month later hurricane Katrina devastates south eastern United States causing untold suffering. An unintended consequence of an action by choice. This philosophical thought experiment has been played out by many. What if Hitlers mother decided to have an abortion? One sin that could have saved 6 million of God’s chosen people? “Free Will” – people say – a kind of christian way of saying “tough luck – that the way the chips fall”. Human choices. Human consequences.

There are many examples in the Bible where God influences the actions of Man. Exodus 9:12 comes to mind where the Lord “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart and he wouldn’t let the people go. But one can say it was still the Pharaoh’s choice. And it had human consequences. But the question becomes much dicier if you impose certain biblical absolutes on this.

The biblical presupposition (and I am speaking purely as a run of the mill Christian) is that Man fell into sin due to the “Original Sin” and that Jesus had to die on the cross for our salvation. Now examine Jesus’ death on the cross. That was carried out through the action of men that had free will. Now what if they had exercised that free will and chosen NOT to crucify Jesus? At that moment, what if they all accepted Jesus as the Messiah? Does the entire story of salvation then fall apart? The lay person would respond saying that it couldn’t happen that way because Jesus knew they would crucify him. To me, THAT is then a contradiction in terms. If someone HAD to crucify Jesus, and it was conditionally imposed by God, then it could NOT have been the result of actions based on free will.

Back to Quantum physics. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that prior to Jesus being crucified, there was a probability equation that existed that included Jesus not being crucified. And at one point the probability was pretty high that Jesus would not be crucified by the Romans, as they didn’t find him guilty of anything. Remember that Pilate found “No Fault” in Jesus.   It was only after he was handed over to the crowds that the probability equation changed.

So if free will is described by quantum states, there had to have existed a quantum state in which Jesus was NOT crucified. This poses a big problem because in that quantum state everyone past and present – those looking forward to Jesus and those who were supposed to to be saved after Jesus’ crucifixion had just lost their salvation!


Let’s take another example. The example of original sin. Consider some of the various Quantum states based on free will of Adam and Eve.

So this now presents an interesting conundrum. We have multiple quantum states with distinct probability equations, which theoretically do not appear to collapse into the the Salvation by Jesus’ Crucifixion equation. So how do we go about resolving the biblical presupposition which in Christianity is an absolute. Yes, one can argue there are no absolutes in Quantum Physics, just probabilities with the only stipulation that the product of the standard deviations be a constant – Reduced Planck’s constant.

But I started with a “presupposition”, which by definition entails that salvation through Christ is an absolute. To use the probability equation would be a Quantum “cop out”. One cannot look to the Bible for the solution because the Bible by definition only exists in ONE of these quantum states. But one can look to the Bible for the “nature” of God. By example, one notices that in the Bible, God never gives Mankind a catch 22 situation.  There is always an “out” as they say. In Genesis 18, God reduces the “required” righteous people from 50 to 45 to 40 to 30 to 20 to 10! to keep Sodom from being destroyed. Romans 1, 19-20 talks about knowing God through his creation even if one has never heard the Gospel. So what is the out?

Back to Quantum Mechanics. Instead of the Copenhagen Interpretation to the Schrödinger’s paradox, let’s use the Many Worlds interpretation. In this interpretation, every event is a branch point. The different equations of state are branches to different universes just like branches in a tree, but with the Quantum Stipulation that they cannot interact with each other. If we take into account every choice that every man woman and child has made, every millisecond of the day since Adam, the probability equations would be mind boggling. But the number would still be FINITE. And for an Omniscient God, any finite number no matter how large would be easily discernable.


That is how God can “know” every choice that you and I would make but still leave it as free choice. It’s simply a matter of knowing the probability. The other “advantage” God has is that God is the only observer that will not influence the outcome of an event by observation. This is because God doesn’t have to “observe”. He just has to calculate all the probability equations. Every single one of them. In simple terms God CAN know the momentum AND the position of any particle at the same time.

And what about the branches that lie outside the “Salvation through Jesus” equation? The “nature” of God revealed in the Bible shows that God always gives us a way back to him. We cannot know what form Salvation would take had Jesus NOT been crucified, or had Eve been the only one that ate the forbidden fruit – because quantum mechanics prohibits communication between branches. But just as mankind’s choices in a single branch, if we take all the Quantum states since the beginning of time, all the branches no matter how numerous, are still finite when it comes to an Omniscient God. They are only infinite to us mere mortals. God is then able to provide a manner of salvation for each branch without ever interfering with free will.

I guess my first question when I finally meet my maker then has to be – “Tell me Jesus, was the Cat really dead or alive?”


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9 Years ago

Nine years ago our world changed forever.

And the next morning, all one heard in the eerie silence was the sound of active PASS devices still chirping away amidst the rubble. For a firefighter, that is the most heartbreaking sound you can hear.

My wife and I still can’t watch a 9/11 documentary without tears in our eyes.  I dare say that is the way it should be.

Never Forget this day.
It is your solemn duty to remember.

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I first heard this on a Podcast by Ravi Zacharias.  Don’t stop till you read it all the way down.

by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don’t hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes
UFO’s and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What’s selected is average.
What’s average is normal.
What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
except the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshiping his maker.

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Beyond Crazy

OK. I know Rob Enderle is an Apple Hating, Microsoft Shilling, ego maniacal, tin foil wearing nut. But this latest piece takes crazy to a whole another level.
If you are unfamiliar with his other classically crazy pieces, just Google his name. But this stuff is beyond crazy. To paraphrase the Macalope, this guy works in “crazy” like artists work in pastels or water colors! I sincerely hope he gets sued by Robbie Bach or someone from Microsoft for Libel – for insinuating that they are Apple “double agents” inside Microsoft. Of course, that would be the ultimate irony.  Note to Enderle: Please stay on your meds dude.  What bothers me is that people still go to him for quotes from an “analyst”.   Sheesh.

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Memorial Day 2010

They sacrifice every day so we may live to be free.

Please take some time to remember our fallen soldiers this weekend.  And if you have Children/Grandchildren, remind them too.

I know I always put this same poem up every Memorial Day. But that is what “remembering” is about. So as long as I can keep posting I will.

In Flanders Fields

– John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep,though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

To those that I have never met but I owe my life and freedom to, I can’t say anything more than Thank You.

And I promise, I will never forget.

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Post Migration – First Impressions

The migration from Blogger to WordPress is now complete.  This was necessitated by the fact that Blogger was deprecating FTP publishing.  I tried the migration tool but didn’t like the way I would have to publish my blog on a sub-domain.  I decided to bite the bullet and switch to WordPress.  I use cPanel on this domain and installing WordPress was a snap using Fantastico.  The hard part (for a little while) was getting my old posts on to WordPress.  I had to eventually resort to exporting a backup of my blog from blogger and then used an online tool to convert the file to a WordPress file that I could then import.

The WordPress dashboard is very intuitive and incredibly easy to use.  I was able to download themes, set my parameters, and configure my settings with ease.  The (free) WordPress  themes have a crisp and professional look and feel that I certainly found lacking in blogger.  I am a HUGE Google fan but my First Impressions of WordPress as a publishing tool have me hooked.

I’m hoping to get back to blogging regularly and I think having easy convenient software such as WordPress certainly makes it more enticing.

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Hi All,

I am migrating from blogger to WordPress.  Hopefully I will be able to get all my legacy posts back.  Stay tuned.

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So What’s New?

I don’t keep up with my blog anymore. I have often thought if I should just shelve this blog like my good friend Matt Dattilo did. But I can’t get myself to do it. The main issue of course is time. It takes time and effort to put something down on this blog even if it is just typing for a bit. It’s the organization of thoughts in your brain that takes the longest. And now with the proliferation programs like twitter and facebook, most of the “impromptu” things that people write is on these micro-blogging sites.

I guess I will continue to try to write things on this blog. Things that I believe take more than 140 characters to express. There’s not that many that read this blog anyway. But it does serve as a reminder to me as to what I was thinking years ago…

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Resistance is Futile

So now it’s official. Microsoft and Yahoo reached a deal today that turns over all of Yahoo search to Microsoft.

Although it is not the complete takeover of Yahoo!, that will only be a matter of time. “Bing” now becomes the official search engine of Yahoo, and Yahoo is supposed to do all the sales stuff. We will see how long THAT lasts. How long before Yahoo guys realize that Microsoft’s ads on Bing are geared to sell Microsoft NOT Yahoo?. And the Yahoo sales guys are now forced to use Microsoft’s AdCenter to do their jobs?

The biggest question no one is asking is what if this doesn’t work out? Yahoo doesn’t have a choice. It’s not as if in 5 years they can say Sorry and choose another search provider. They gave ALL of their search algorithms/technology to Microsoft in this deal. Yahoo is now married to Microsoft for life without possibility of divorce. All Microsoft has to do is to ditch the Yahoo sales force and switch back to their own, and Yahoo ceases to exist. For those who follow “Star Trek – Next generation”, they have now become “assimilated” with the Borg collective. As much as I hate to say it, I think in a decade Yahoo will be the next AOL and will die a slow death on the vine. The Microsoft poison is in their blood and there is nothing they can do about it. Carol Bartz was out there today gleefully hobnobbing with Ballmer. Trust me, Ms. Bartz, you will one day look back on this day with regret. Then again Carol unlike Yang is an outsider. She is not a coder that built a company from scratch. Just a CEO that worries about shareholder value, so I’m sure she will sleep well at night. And if that means someday Yahoo ceases to exist, so be it.

Make a deal with the Devil and he will get his due. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish … It’s the Microsoft way.

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Memorial Day 2009

They sacrifice every day so we may live to be free.

Please take some time to remember our fallen soldiers this weekend. And if you have Children/Grandchildren, remind them too.

In Loving Memory
– Joanna Fuchs
On every soldier’s tombstone
should be a message of honor, respect and love:
“In loving memory
of one who loved his country,
who fought against evil
to preserve what is right and true and good.
In loving memory
of one who is a cut above the rest of us,
who had the surpassing courage,
the uncommon strength,
to do whatever had to be done,
perservering through hardship and pain.
In loving memory
of one who was brave enough
to give his life, his all,
so that those he cared about
would remain safe and free.
In loving memory
of a unique and treasured soldier
who will never be forgotten.”

To those that I have never met but I owe my life and freedom to, I can’t say anything more than Thank You.
And I promise, I will never forget.

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