God's Existence and Buddhist philosophy: An Interesting Debate -4


 Ksanika Quantum Mechanics ...

In response to my previous post, Vir Gupta wrote : 

After reading mathematical point instant (ksanika) philosophy one more time, I feel more confident than ever that ksanika philosophy can explain quantum mechanics better than existing quantum theories. Ksanika philosophy can also explain why the light behaves differently (as particles, as simple harmonic waves, electromagnetic waves, and as quanta). I am giving some thought to this and I will discuss this in my future e-mails. I read in every modern physics text book that photons travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per hour). This is absurd as per Ksanika philosphy. Ksanika philosophy believes in point instants of reality, and to say that the same photon is traveling at 186,000 mph is completely no no. In the words of Dignaga, a 4th century Buddhist logician, this construction (of stability and continuity) is produced by productive imagination, it is not a source of cognition. It is recognition, not cognition. In my previous e-mail, I stated that electrons do not spin. Electrons, like light photons, consist of point-instants, and at every moment a new point instant is created. But since this creation and dissolution is occurring extremely fast, our senses view this motion as continuous motion.  ...

...In my future e-mails I will present Buddhist arguments against the presence of space and time which are independent of point instants of reality. It is only around 1900 western scientists were able to talk about relative time and relative space. In that respect Buddhists were ahead of modern scientists by almost 1100 years

( Read more...)

 

Response: Hmm. Ksanika philosophy can explain quantum mechanics better than existing quantum theories? I wonder why physics students are studying plank hypothesis, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, photo electric effect, Schrodinger Equation, Bose-Einstein distribution etc by attending physics courses. ksanika itself should be enough. It's a shame that west did not include, or not even mentioned the great Buddhist contribution in physics! Must be some conspiracy of the west! Readers might get some similarity with those Bangladeshi Muslim apologists also claim that the Qur'an predicted the expanding universe, long before Hubble discovered it in twentieth century. Who needs to know about the Hubble expansion through Einstein's theory, if Qur'an had made such prescient 'predictions,' one should seriously ponder.

The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the 20th century by Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schr´┐Żdinger, Max Born, Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman and others. If Vir is right, then they all did a redundant and senseless job! You know what, Vir? If you start looking in any ancient history of human civilization, I am sure you can find some "Joe"'s who in some perspective somewhere might have said "all are relative" long before Einstein formulated his theory of relativity in physics. You are not suggesting that "Joe" knew better physics that Einstein and that Joe should be given all the credit for inventing that theory of relativity, do you? No reasonable person would suggest that Joe, who had not been identified or ascertained for his contribution in history of physics could be ahead by almost 1100 years of reputed scientist like Einstein.

Again, let's consider of Tunneling microscope, for instance. It is only in the early 1980's two IBM scientists, Binnig & Rohrer, developed a new technique for studying surface structure - Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy ( STM ) using quantum mechanics principles. I wonder what restricted those Buddhist gurus to invent those worthy instruments at their time, as they already knew Quantum physics much better compared to even today's scientists.

Vir Gupta also  wrote:

...  Now we know that when energy of gamma radiations exceeds 1.02 million electron volts (MeV), these gamma rays split into electrons and positrons. Now if electrons do not spin and consist of point instants, why photons will not consist of point instant? That is where lies the contradiction in modern quantum mechanics. How can a photon who is stable suddenly transform into a different reality where at each stage a new energy compact is generated in an electron?. . .

 

Response: It is not clear to me what you are trying to infer. Electron does spin; I will touch on the topic in later part of my response. Let me state few words on Gama radiation for time being. Gamma rays are indirectly ionising radiation (i.e it carries enough energy to ionize an atom or molecule), whereas our visible light is not. When a gamma ray passes through matter it undergoes an interaction with an atomic particle, usually an electron. During this interaction, energy is transferred from the gamma ray to the electron, which is a directly ionising particle. As a result of this energy transfer, the electron is liberated from the atom and proceeds to ionize matter by colliding with other electrons along its path. This is a very common phenomenon in physics. I don't see anything wrong or any contradiction in such interpretation, what your Ksanika philosophy is trying to infer?

 

Vir Gupta also  wrote in his piece:

...  In my previous e-mail, I stated that electrons do not spin. Electrons, like light photons, consist of point-instants, and at every moment a new point instant is created. But since this creation and dissolution is occurring extremely fast, our senses view this motion as continuous motion.. . .

Response: No, not true. Electrons do spin. An electron spin, normally represented by s = 1/2 (electrons have intrinsic angular momentum characterized by quantum number 1/2) is an intrinsic property of electrons. Two types of experimental evidence arose in the 1920s that clearly suggested this property of the electron. In 1921, Otto Stern and Walter Gerlach performed an experiment which showed the quantization of electron spin into two orientations. This was in fact a major contribution to the development of the quantum theory of the atom. Another evidence of electron spin is the closely spaced splitting of the hydrogen spectral lines, called fine structure. When the spectral lines of the hydrogen spectrum are examined at very high resolution, they are found to be closely-spaced doublets. This splitting is called fine structure and was one of the first experimental evidences for electron spin. If Buddhist philosophy really suggests that electrons do not spin, the philosophy is wrong. One should try to accept this reality. Your attitude is like those Muslims who rejects the theory of evolution just because Quran does not support. Absolute belief in scripture is no science per se as it is not subject to experimentation, prediction, revision or falsification. To the believer, these scientific process or experimental evidences are irrelevant though, because they believe they possess the "truth" as set forth by the biblical, Quranic or Buddhist scripture.

 

Vir Gupta concludes:

...  In my future e-mails I will present Buddhist arguments against the presence of space and time which are independent of point instants of reality. It is only around 1900 western scientists were able to talk about relative time and relative space. In that respect Buddhists were ahead of modern scientists by almost 1100 years... . .

 

Response: I have no problem if one keep on propagating pseudo-science in the name of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or whatever, as long as internet is free:-), however sometimes a strong rebuttal would be owed as a debt. Many apologists originated form Islam, Hinduism, or Christian faith are nowadays quite desperate to "prove" that their respective scriptures are much advanced in describing modern scientific facts and discoveries. They can now easily find Big bang, Embryology, Quantum physics, astrophysics, human genome -every single stuff of modern science in those vague pun, quote, allegories of century old religious scriptures. We have seen Mauris Bucaille's dire attempt in his "Bible Quran and Science", we also have R R. Mohan Roy's "Vedic physics", we did not forget Gerald L. Schroeder's "Genesis and the Big Bang" and many others of such kind. Now we've got Buddha-physics in our list in addition to to those which has been emphatically claimed 1100/1200 years ahead of modern science! Nonetheless the truth is, none of the modern scientific discoveries were inspired from, dependent on, any of the religious revelations and interestingly enough, its always AFTER the scientific fact that these "miraculous advancement" in scriptures are found; it has never been found BEFORE the modern scientific discovery.

In my previous post I asked Vir Gupta to enlighten me how Lord Buddha solved theory of noncommuting operators, or Hamilton-Jaccobi equation of motion to infer wave equation. Also I asked him to cite the name of scientific journals (Nature, Science, Physical review, Physics Letters etc...) that used Buddha's mathematical derivation. Vir wrote a lengthy piece in response, just avoiding my questions which I exactly called for in last reply.

[Also see Dr. Biplab Pal's response to Vir Gupta:
 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mukto-mona/message/21104]

 

Avijit

Nov 17, 2004 

 My debate with Vir Gupta is coming to an end. Before cessation, Vir came with another response which I hope would be the last one ...

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