Dr. Neil Shenvi gives an overview of quantum mechanics

I saw this lecture posted as one of Brian Auten’s Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links.

Speaker bio:

As it says on the main page, my name is Neil Shenvi; I am currently a research scientist with Prof. Weitao Yang at Duke University in the Department of Chemistry. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, but grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. I attended Princeton University as an undergraduate where I worked on high-dimensional function approximation with Professor Herschel Rabitz. I became a Christian in Berkeley, CA where I did my PhD in Theoretical Chemistry at UC – Berkeley with Professor Birgitta Whaley. The subject of my PhD dissertation was quantum computation, including topics in quantum random walks, cavity quantum electrodynamics, spin physics, and the N-representability problem. From 2005-2010, I worked as a postdoctoral associate with Prof. John Tully at Yale where I did research into nonadiabatic dynamics, electron transfer, and surface science.

Description:

A 39-minute video discussing the history, fundamental postulates, and philosophical implications of quantum mechanics. In particular, I examine how quantum mechanics challenges naive naturalistic assumptions about the existence of miracles, the role of consciousness and the nature of reality.

The lecture has slides with pictures, but even so, it might be challenging for some to understand. I think everyone will get something from it who puts the time in. QM certainly is very mysterious. I will admit that the mysteriousness of it makes me uncomfortable, but many Christians I know (Hugh Ross, Henry F. Schaefer, Michael Strauss) seem to keen on it.

Here is Neil Shenvi’s apologetics web site.

5 thoughts on “Dr. Neil Shenvi gives an overview of quantum mechanics”

  1. Thanks for the link, WK! Quantum mechanics is certainly a wildly unintuitive and beautiful field. I don’t think it has as direct relevance for a Christian worldview as cosmology, for instance. But I do think it does a lot to undermine naive naturalistic views, especially when compared to classical Newtonian mechanics. That’s what I tried to focus on in the talk.

    One thing I forgot to include when I rerecorded this talk was tying it in to the talk I gave the following week on the evidence for the Resurrection. I actually think they tied in quite well together. The QM talk hopefully undermines naive naturalistic ideas about the physical impossibility of miracles, the nonexistence of immaterial realities, the impossibility of mind apart from matter, etc… I think all those points should help open people’s minds to consider the evidence for the Resurrection.

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    1. Well said! I only took one quantum mechanics course in college, but I could definitely see how it presents a major challenge for materialists.

      **watching the talk now**

      Like

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