If We Were Quantum Particles

"Our convincing feeling is that time is absolute. It is a very convincing feeling...Our convincing feeling is that there should be no limit to how fast you can travel. We just go faster and faster and faster. Our convincing feelings are based on our experiences because of the size that we are — literally, the speed at which we move, the fact that we evolved on a planet under a particular star. So our eyes, for instance, are peak in their perception at yellow, which is the wave band the sun peaks at. And so it's not an accident that our perceptions and our physical environment are connected. And so we're limited, also, by that."

"That makes our intuitions excellent for ordinary things, for ordinary life. And that's how we evolve. That's how our brains evolved and our perceptions Janna Levinevolved, was to respond to things like the Sun and the Earth and these scales. And if we were quantum particles, we would think quantum mechanics was totally intuitive.  And it's not intuitive for anybody else that we would think that things fluctuating in and out of existence or not being certain or whether they're particles or waves or — these kinds of strange things that come out of quantum theory would seem absolutely natural."

"And what would seem really bizarre is the kind of rigid, clear-cut world that we live in. So I guess my answer would be that our intuitions are based on our minds, our minds are based on our neural structures, our neural structures evolved on a planet, under a sun, with very specific conditions. So we reflect the physical world that we evolved from. So I guess our intuitions are good, our intuitions are good for a lot of things. And that's why they're good...It's not a miracle."

-- Theoretical physicist and novelist Janna Levin in conversation with Krista Tippett on Speaking of Faith (1/10/08) "Mathematics, Purpose, Truth"