At some point in the past, children went to school and learned that the Earth–the World–was flat. At some later time in the past, after it was discovered that the Earth was really a sphere, children went to school and learned that the Earth was round, and that at one time people held the silly notion that the world was flat. Aside: I wonder how many people on the planet still believe that the world is flat?
Today, children go to school and essentially learn that the universe is Newtonian and deterministic. Later, a few will discover in their higher education that there is this thing called Quantum Mechanics and they will have to deal with the fact that what they had already learned was essentially wrong–the universe is really weird and is definitely not deterministic but more along the lines of being probabilistic.
Is a Newtonian view of the world wrong? Well, yes it is! In my view, Newtonian physics is an incorrect description of the workings of the universe even if it provides a nice mathematical approximation for various classes of calculations. Learning Newtonian physics first is just plain wrong. It leaves a mis-conceptualization of reality.
Someday, our educational system will figure it out and learn how to teach at the very first instance that the world is Quantum (round) and that at one time we all believed the silly notion that the world was Newtonian (flat). I don’t know how long it took to transition our thinking from flat to round (I would guess several decades if not centuries). The transition to quantum thinking has certainly started, but we are probably near the beginning of this transition. We have a long way to go.
Howard Bloom in “The God Problem” describes the evolution of our conceptual thinking. We are still evolving. I can imagine that the educators that figure it out–how to teach grade school science from a quantum field theory perspective from the start–will lead that phase of our conceptual evolution. I predict that those students will have a distinct business and technology advantage in what is really (in reality) a Quantum World.
An encouraging fact is the rapid growth in the number of books (currently of mixed quality) that address various topics from a quantum perspective. I will be reading and reviewing many of these books in future blogs. In an upcoming Blog I will give you my reading list and my initial impressions of each book.
The Quantum Radical