Show 470: Dale DeBakcsy on Quantum Quackery in the New Age

Dale DeBakcsy on Quantum Quackery in the New Age: “Stop Heisenberg Abuse!” and “The Dark Side of Buddhism!”

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Quantum Mechanics is one of the most counter-intuitive branches of physics, and consequently, one of the hardest to understand – especially at a popular level.  What can we make of the ability of quantum particles, for example, to exist in a superposition of different states – and hence different locations, with different speeds – at the very same time?  Does this signal the end of science as we know it, proving age-old claims about the supernatural?

Physics teacher, cartoonist, and skeptical writer Dale Debakcsy doesn’t think so.  His new article in Skeptical Inquirer magazine, “Stop Heisenberg Abuse! Three Outrageous Misappropriations of Quantum Physics”, examines some of the worst misunderstandings of the science, and why the resulting mystical conclusions are not justified.

One such unjustified conclusion is that Buddhist concepts, like Karma and Reincarnation, are vindicated by Quantum Mechanics.  Even the Dalai Lama has associated Quantum concepts with those of Buddhism.  Frequent listeners of ‘Equal Time for Freethought’ know that we’re no strangers to criticizing religion – and yet, while we’ve had shows on most of the other major religions, Buddhism has somehow escaped our ire.  Until now.

Besides discussing the Quantum aspects of Buddhism, Dale Debakcsy will tackle Buddhism itself.  Debakcsy spent nine years working in an American Buddhist school, seeing its effects firsthand and, in another recent essay of his, “The Dark Side of Buddhism”, he argues that Buddhist belief isn’t quite as rosy as the culture makes it out to be.

Join us as we discuss these fascinating topics with Debakcsy, on his third appearance on the show!

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