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Crawley's Cat - implications of EC's research for physics

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by TiredSam, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I realise that there may be limited interest in quantum mechanics on PR, but I find myself forced to reappraise Esther Crawley’s contribution to science and have to share it somewhere, so here goes:

    According to EC in her New Scientist article:

    So Crawley now accepts that the initial illness is “caused by the bug”, or “triggered by something, usually an infection”.

    So a biological cause, which leads to metabolic, and hormonal changes. So far so good. What baffled me was this sentence:

    In particular:

    The point that was confusing me was, how does she know when the initial illness has passed? ie How does she identify the point at which the metabolic and hormonal changes cease to be caused by the original infection/bug/trigger, and start to be perpetuated by the patient’s beliefs and treatable by behavioural therapy?

    This is important because CBT can only work if the cause of the symptoms is behavioural, to give CBT to a sufferer whose symptoms are still being caused by the initial infectious trigger would be cruel and harmful. Likewise, to give biomedical treatment to a sufferer whose symptoms are now being perpetuated by behavioural factors would be ineffective and counter-productive, because it would simply reinforce and legitimise their false illness beliefs.

    Identifying the point at which symptoms stop being caused by the initial trigger and start being caused by the false belief that one is still ill is therefore crucial, but unfortunately does not seem to have been mentioned in any CFS studies, biomedical or behavioural, to date.

    I believe that it is EC’s unique ability to identify this point that is her most important contribution to the field of ME/CFS research. Unfortunately for some reason she has so far undersold this aspect of her work, which is a pity because I think it could lead to a breakthrough that the world of physics has been waiting for. Bear with me.

    I propose the following thought experiment, similar to Schrödinger’s Cat, in which an ME sufferer is placed in a box. Whilst in the box, the ME sufferer is in a super-position of having both biologically caused and behaviourally perpetuated ME symptoms.

    At some point, the lid of the box is opened by EC, who observes the sufferer. Due to her act of observation, the sufferer collapses into a state of behaviourally perpetuated ME.

    Now let us imagine that there are two boxes, both containing an ME sufferer in the super-position of having both biologically caused and behaviourally perpetuated ME symptoms. The lid is taken off the first box and the sufferer observed, who collapses into a state of behaviourally perpetuated ME. The lid is then taken off the second box, and when the second suffer is observed by EC we would expect, according to the rules of quantum entanglement, that they would collapse into a state of biologically caused ME symptoms.

    However, no matter how many times we repeat the experiment, upon observation by EC, both sufferers collapse into a state of behaviourally perpetuated ME, with both sufferers being spun the same way upon observation.

    So we can conclude that if the rules of quantum entanglement do not apply, the only other possible explanation is the many worlds theory, where upon observation by EC each patient goes into two parallel universes, in one of which their ME symptoms are behaviourally perpetuated, and in the other, biologically caused.

    Quite why EC should always end up in the parallel universe with the behaviourally perpetuated ME sufferer and never in the universe with the sufferer of the biologically caused illness is a problem yet to be solved. Theoretically she should be able to inhabit both versions of the “real world”. I suspect there may be an element of free will involved, but that’s a whole other area of research for a later date, along with the the funding black hole paradox and the big tent hypothesis.

    But in the meantime, should we start a petition demanding that Esther Crawley be awarded the nobel physics prize for her work leading to the disproof of quantum entanglement and proof of the many worlds / parallel universe theory?
     
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  2. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Perhaps it depends on who it is who's looking at Esther. Maybe if I observed Esther in the biomedical parallel universe, I would see a woman making judgements about patients' illness beliefs based on bias and conjecture. But if Stephen Holgate was the observer, he would see her as a world renowned Fatigue expert using her experience to understand this complex biomedical disorder which, nonetheless can be cured by behavioural interventions and computer programmes.

    And who is to say which of those different "reality tunnels" have a greater importance, who's narrative is the "one true narrative", as it takes many paths to lead us what may be understood as a "greater truth" within those many worlds that we may well inhabit.

    And of course there are the infinite other worlds, where the ME patient springs up tap dancing to the Marseillaise, or turns into a frog or something.
     
  3. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Not in this Universe.

    Incidentally, Schroedinger introduced his cat as a counterargument to show that we don't see such superposed states on a large scale. The whole difficulty is covered in the book Where Does the Weirdness Go?

    Astrophysicist and science fiction writer David Brin had fun with the idea of observation pushing outcomes in a particular direction in the fantasy The Practice Effect. This seems like the basis for Crowley's therapy. Perhaps she should cite it.
     
  4. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @TiredSam - Good job! :) However, I think the underlying premise, Schrodinger's thought experiment involving a cat in a box, is fatally flawed. No cat would allow him or herself to be placed inside a box, and sit calmly while being observed. It has been verified that any attempt to do so would result in the cat destroying said box within seconds and madly feeling, inflicting as much collateral damage as possible on the way out. For more on the behavior of cats see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC372253/ (who knew the gov't had a sense of humor?!? :p:cat:)
     
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  5. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    Please Ms Crawley can you find me the wormhole that takes me into the parallel universe where I'm tap dancing.
     
  6. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    But you're already there!
     
  7. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    Less discussion about Crawley, more discussion about cats, thanks.
     
  8. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    My avatar agrees with your avatar :cat:;)
     
  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    NOOOOOOO!!! Careful there, next we will hear her saying on the radio that some ME/CFS patients are advocating her to get a Noble Prize for her work. She's a master of deception and she'll probably twist anything including talk like this.
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    In the spirit of lively debate concerning cats...

    Well, in your first example, there is no quantum process governing the creation of indeterminacy in your experiment. You're simply assuming that the ME patient has a chance of changing states while in the box. This is like putting Schrödinger's cat into a box without any provision for the possible release of poison, hoping instead that the cat might, by chance, choke on a furball.

    The indeterminacy must be governed by a quantum process in order for there to be to a superposition of states. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I used to sit in a box for hours hoping to emerge as a young Robert Redford. All I wound up doing was choking on a furball.

    Your second experiment assumes that the two patients are quantum entangled after they enter their boxes. Since it is relatively easy to quantum entangle pairs of human beings using common household tools, I'll grant you that. By observing the state of one member of the pair, we should be able to say with certainty that the other is its opposite. But, of course, as observers of the experiment, we experience just one of its possible "many world" outcomes. One of those outcomes is indeed one in which both subjects wind up in the same state time after time. This is the outcome you get when, in your universe, the experiment is repeatedly screwed up. It's statically unlikely, but no more so than a human choking on a furball.

    I wish I had time to write more, but I'm due to give a speech at the NIH.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  11. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Maybe we should send Esther a cat, pill optional. Or a pill with cat optional depending on which universe you choose.a
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
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  12. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Why haven't we seen anyone receive a Nobel Prize for proving the Many Worlds Interpretation? I contend there have been many such prizes, but the winners had to go to other parts of the multiverse to accept them.
     
  13. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Sorry I think I made a spelling mistake, I meant to say that EC should receive a prize for her Many Words / Parallel Universe Theory.
     
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  14. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    As long as she accepts it in another universe, I think that is fine.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    Yes, but there is a downside...

     
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