The Skeptics’ Guide to Quantum Physics

Skepticism, Critical Thinking, and Quantum Physics

Neil Degrasse Tyson quote for Skeptics' Guide to Quantum Physics: imageI have decided to expand this website a little and address quantum woo and quantum mysticism more directly.  Quantum woo is the justification of irrational beliefs using confused, vague, and ambiguous references to quantum physics.  Many people do not understand quantum physics.  But, they know that it predicts and explains some weird things.  So, con-artists dupe their audiences by stringing together a series of terms and phrases from quantum physics and asserting that it explains whatever it is they are pushing.  Ignorant and credulous consumers are eager to buy their quantum healing, or quantum self-help programs, or their “proof” of an afterlife.  It’s much easier to simply believe them than to try to comprehend the mathematical and experimental constraints that science requires you to understand.

Examples of quantum woo include quantum healing, quantum touch, healing through “frequencies” or “energies”, claims of a “one-ness” with the universe or a consciousness that pervades the universe, or the ability to shape one’s destiny with your mind (specifically, they mean directly influencing and manipulating your world with your thoughts, not by your thoughts motivating your actions which then influence your surroundings).  Products such as The Secret or What the Bleep Do We Know!? are excellent examples of this.  Also, just about anything written or said by Deepak Chopra.  Any claims that quantum physics proves the existence of an afterlife or a universal consciousness also fall into this category.

The Challenge of Being Skeptical About Quantum Woo

Over the years, many authors have written books that claim evidence for some deep role of consciousness in guiding the universe, or a connection between quantum physics and Eastern Mysticism, for example.  Some of these authors have even been credentialed scientists.  That, along with the vague interpretation and description of quantum mechanics adopted by its creators in the first half of the twentieth century (i.e. the Copenhagen Interpretation), makes it difficult to convince the casual reader that this quantum nonsense should be dismissed out of hand.  However, these individuals were mistaken; their claims or conjectures were wrong.  Using them to justify continued support for nonsense that has since been theoretically and experimentally de-bunked makes no more sense than using the fact that Isaac Newton studied alchemy to justify someone’s claim that he or she can transmute anything into gold just by touching it.

So why worry about the perpetuation of quantum woo?  The potential harm includes:

  • Financial exploitation of gullible audiences.
  • Health risks for those that decide to rely on “quantum healing” or similar nonsense in place of proven treatments.
  • Encouraging people to avoid dealing with the real sources behind their problems.
  • Encouraging political or educational complacency (why work hard to solve “real” problems; why work hard to learn “real” science).
  • Misdirection of research funds, resources, and priorities, towards dead-end claims.
  • Wasted careers for those that pursue “research” in these areas; making no contribution to furthering our understanding of the universe; no contribution to improving the quality of life for mankind.
  • Misleading of the public about the nature and limits of science.
  • Erosion of public confidence in the scientific process and legitimate scientific results.
  • A waste of time and a distraction for those who want to learn real science, but who may not yet be able to distinguish the difference between science and pseudoscience.

First and foremost, the best defense against quantum woo and the charlatans that promote it, is knowledge and a proper conceptual understanding of quantum mechanics.  So, I will continue to write about quantum physics theory and experiments; providing background knowledge as well as separating myth, misconception, and fact.  I will also expound on the history of quantum physics and it’s portrayal in the classroom and in the media.  Additionally, I will be adding some additional pages to this website, pages with information and resources for skepticism and critical thinking.

Armed with this knowledge of what quantum physics is and is not, my hope is that people can use the tools of skepticism and critical thinking to help make the world safe for science and reason.  My goal is not to convert the likes of Deepak Chopra.  Rather, I want to give people the tools to recognize BS when they see or hear it, and to apply skepticism and critical thinking to myths, misconceptions, and deceptions involving quantum physics.

The Prototypical Quantum Woo-Master

Deepak Chopra is the poster child for the quantum woo movement.  He has made millions of dollars from people too ignorant and too gullible to realize that his books and speeches are nonsense.  One example is the Nightline Face-off debate: Chopra and Houston versus Shermer and Harris, Does God Have a Future?   You can watch the entire debate at that link.

An example of the word salad that Chopra likes to mix together is this: “Today, science tells us that the essential nature of reality is non-local correlation. Everything is connected to everything else.  But there is hidden creativity. There are quantum leaps of creativity. There’s something called the observer effect where intention orchestrates space-time events.”

First of all, the so-called observer effect in quantum mechanics has nothing to do with intention orchestrating space-time events.  And non-local correlations are present only in very specific systems and circumstances.  Moreover, the intrinsic randomness in quantum mechanics precludes us from using non-local correlations in any sort of “intentional” way.  Before you start catapulting from non-local correlations to speculations about “hidden creativity” or what exactly it means to be “connected to everything else”, you need to understand what the words used by scientists actually mean.  Chopra’s assertions are completely baseless and unsupported.

During the question/answer session of that debate, Sara Mayhew (illustrator, writer, and skeptic) asked an insightful question. I encourage you to check out her webpage and blog.   Her question to Deepak Chopra was:

“Deepak mentioned that there are deeper ways of knowing, …based on intuition and the subjective.  …If we don’t use the objective scientific method, how do we distinguish what is true from what we simply want to be true?”

Chopra does not answer the question but makes it painfully obvious that he does not understand the vocabulary of science, much less the concepts of science.  His response includes “nature does not decide that this is the subject, that is the object…”  He doesn’t understand the meaning of subjective versus objective claims, hence he cannot possibly understand the scientific process nor why it succeeds where hope, faith, and feelings do not.

subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions; dependent on the mind or on an individual’s perception for its existence.

For example, if I believe that I am connected with the universe through a universal consciousness because it makes me feel good or because I fear the alternative, that does not make it true.  If I believe that all super models would love to date me if only they had a chance to meet me, the idea may make me feel good, but it is nonetheless delusional.

objective: not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts; not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.

This includes repeatable and verifiable experimental evidence.  For example, we use the scientific method to figure out what medications or treatments actually work, based on data and not based on opinion, wishful thinking, or desire.  Some subjective claims can be made objective by quantifying them, or making testable predictions based on them (rendering them falsifiable).

Apparently, Chopra does understand the meaning of obfuscation, because he is so effective at it: to render unclear, or unintelligible; to hide the intended meaning, to make communication confusing, willfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret.  One thing is certain.  If a conscious universe wants to be taken seriously, he/she has to find a better spokesperson, someone who understands the scientific process and understands why it works so well (when used correctly).

About Warren Huelsnitz

Former submariner, now high energy physicist. Neutrino physics and astrophysics, quantum physics and other mysteries of the universe. Engaged in life-long learning and pursuit of knowledge. Blogging about quantum mechanics and other issues at
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I'm certainly no expert but either quantum states are real or there not.  Either Quantum Physics and the things that fall under it's discipline are real or not.  Physicist such as Stephen Hawking and others propose String Theory and yes they call it a Theory.  In string theory they are multiple dimensions and multiple earths each with a copy of me on it.  Really?  So science fiction now has become a Theory.  Yet any proposed hypothesis like Quantum Consciousness or other such things are dismissed out of hand.  I would argue you have just as much evidence for Quantum Consciousness as you do for String Theory.  I would ask why in Stephen Hawkings multiverse the end result of evolution is always human beings, I mean those universes that survive anyhow?  I happen to believe there is no such thing as nothing and never was.  I happen to believe consciousness never ends and existed before and after me.  My consciousness came from nothing, goes to nothing and will come from nothing again.  You can call it Woo, Foo, Moo, Goo or what ever.  There just as much evidence for such a belief as many of your so called Quantum Theories.  Science will never solve the hard problem of Conscisousness! Never!  They will never explain how human consciousness came about.  Until Science excepts at least the possiblity of human consciousness not being brain centered nothing will move forward.  The brain is like a vessel in my opinion.  Without it consciousness can't express it's self in this world but consciousness exist none the less with or without the brain.  How? why?  Who knows.  How or why a multiverse?  How or why gravity?  How or why anything?  Perhaps it is just nature.  Perhaps consciousness is the end result of all things Quantum.  So yea I'm a woo guy!  Good Day. 


The founder of all quantum woo was actually Niels Bohr with his rediculous "Copenhagen Interpretation".


Science/logic/mathematics Cannot explain 'satori' the Zen world for Presence or Awareness knowing that it is Awareness or INFNITY. Again if you've never LOVED u cannot explain this to someone who has never experienced it. Lets assume as an example that only 10% of the population ever experienced LOVE and 90% never did. The 90% would have NO IDEA what ur taling about , AND, youd never be able to fully define or explain it to them. ****Well SAME SAME with Unconditional Love aka Satori. You CANNOT COPMPREHEND AT ALL what it feels like to experience Unconditional Love. Impossible. If uve never felt or experienced it.

*** Unconditional Love is when you wholeheartedly KNOW that you are the Observer or Watcher of ur mind. Its a switch in Identity. If u are very very very attached to 'the voice inside ur head', then youll never be able to SPLIT ur mind into TWO and be able to Watch and Observe 'the voice inside ur head driving u mad'.

The 'voice inside ur head' is ur EGO. But it is NOT YOU. If u can WATCH ur thoughts / the stream of ur thoughts moment to moment to moment to moment, like I can, and many many others, then youll understand that YOU cannot possibly be your thoughts! For what is 'that which can observe the thoughts' moment to moment????

Likewise YOU cannot possibly be ur FEELINGS , bcoz AGAIN, you can Observe and Watch a feeling arise in you moment to moment. You are not the feelings. For what is 'that which is aware, witnessing, observing, watching and paying attention to the feelings arising' moment to moment to moment???

So IF youre are not your thoughts. And you are not your feelings. Then the lowest common denominator of mind is Consciousness aka the 'Observer' of the mind.

**** Whatever it is - whatever thought, whatever feelings are arising in you, THEY ARE NOT YOU. When you fully accept this and Understand this, you are much much much FREER from your Ego (ur ego is ur thoughts and feelings)

Ur thoughts and feelings DOMINATE your life ONLY because you choose to IDENTIFY with them. 90% of the time all ur thoughts are FALSE, and likewise all ur FEELINGS are FALSE. Why do I say 'False'?? Because most of the time your thoughts are based on beliefs of an INFANT ie ur subconscious beliefs are formed btwn the ages of 0-8yrs old. All ur EMOTIONS are based on what beliefs u formed as a kid btwn the ages of 0-8yrs. Thus all ur perceptions are mostly FEAR BASED and not LOVE BASED. For a 8yr old child doesn't know HOW to PERCEIVE any and all the Unconsciousness it is witnessing.

*** Watch ur Infantile ego mind. The only REASON ur mind is thinking thinking thinking all the time is because it doesn't KNOW how to MAKE PEACE with the PAST, and doesn't know how to make PEACE with the FUTURE

Your Egoic infantile mind is FEAR BASED. Notice. Notice. Start Noticing that 'the voice inside ur head' is constantly spinning judgements and stories to you about the PAST. Notice. Notice and start noticing the constant 'judging'. And if its not spinning judgements and stories to you about the PAST, it damn sure gets stuck on projecting judgement into the FUTURE. Ie theres an SCARED INFANT INSIDE YOU that's constantly in FEAR (judging) the past and judging (in fear) about the future.

Notice the voice in ur head. All its judgements. All its 'stories' it keeps spinning to you all day long ....

*** If you were NOT in FEAR, then ur mind would be mostly 90% of the time QUIET. Like the yogis. But is bcoz the ego mind hasn't made peace with the past and is in FEAR that it keeps judging , spinning stories , and driving u crazy. And bcoz it hasn't made PEACE with the PAST, the same FEARS that rule ur past as projected into the FUTURE.

*** Notice all this. .......Now WHO IS DOING THE NOTICING???? YOU ARE. CONSCIOUSNESS IS! Consciousness aka 'the observer of the mind' is WHO U ARE. And it is NOT INVOLVED IN THE JUDGING. IT IS SIMPLY OBSERVING THE JUDGING. NOTICE THIS.......NOTICE. Notice that ur IDENTITY lies in ur ego. but NOTICE that u are DELUDED. YES DELUDED. Bcoz u are NOT the EGO. You at the CORE , At the lowest common denominator are the OBSERVER and WATCHER of the mental commentary and judgements. But NOTICE how you are NOT, and could NOT POSSIBLY BE  the commentary and judgements!

Its an IDENTITY ISSUE my friend. Some ppl are so ATTACHED to their EGO, they cannot SEE what im saying. The Ego will PROTECT THEM AT ALL COSTS. TO KEEP THE DELUSION GOING ON AND ON AND ON AND ON FOR LIFETIMES....

But im telin ya - you are DELUDED. You could not possibly be ur thoughts. And u could not possibly be ur feelings. All the 'stories' ur ego is spinning you've IDENTIFIED WITH. All the judgements re people,events, memories of the past youre IDENTIFIED WITH. But that intellect which made the judgements is NOT YOU. You are simply the NON JUDGEMENTAL OBSERVER or NON JUDGEMENTAL WATCHER of all the 'stories' and 'judgements'.

Can u not SEE and WITNESS that something in the background can be aware , watch and observe the constant 'judging' and 'stories' and constant stream of 'mental commentary'??? THAT AWARENESS that watches and observes is NOT PARTICPATING in the judgements of ur ego! Its is SIMPLY WATCHING and OBSERVING in peace and quiet unscathed and unharmed!

Again, the Observer of the mind, is simply NON JUDGEMENTAL. It is simply WATCHING and OBSERVING all the constant barrage of judgement of ur ego. The observer is NOT PARTICIPATING in the ego minds 'stories' or 'judgemnents'...its simply a bystander OBSERVING and WATCHING all the madness of the 'voice inside ur head' unfolding....

Now because the Observer of the mind is NOT INvery VOLVED in the judgement of the ego mind. IT IS AT PEACE. IT IS FREE. IT IS UNSCATHED. IT IS UNHARMED. If ur IDENTITY SWITCHES from ego mind to Observer of the ego mind, YOU ARE FREE!

Again, if u SWITCH IDENTITY from the ego minds constant barrage of judgements/stories, and you don't IDENTIFY with the 'voice in ur head driving u nutz' anymore, and You Understand that you are Consciousness aka the Non Judgmental Observer of the Ego minds judgements/stories .....then YOU ARE FREE!

*****Its an IDENTITY ISSUE. You need to be aware constantly and 'CATCH OUT' the voice inside ur head with all its bullshit stories and judgements. Every time you CATCH IT OUT, uve switched Identity! YOU aka Consciousness aka the OBSERVER caught the ego mind out ;)



I like very much for you to tell me why you shift from using quantum physics to using quantum mechanics, and back and forth? Are the two terms identical? Why did the original authorities of this discipline called it -- if I am correct -- quantum mechanics instead of another name?

Without mathematics the original authorities of quantum mechanics would not have landed on this science or discipline, or could they have?

Forgive me, but I like to ask you, are you as good or even better in the kinds of mathematics that the original authorities of quantum mechanics and today's adepts of this discipline are good at, by which they have landed on this discipline called by them originally as quantum mechanics -- if I am correct, of course.

Could you just go through their maths whatever and point out how they are strictly consistent in their mathematical concepts and their manipulations of these concepts and quantities, as to arrive or to land into what they call quantum mechanics – or they took liberties.

I read -- and correct me if I am wrong -- that mathematics of the kinds used or availed of by the original authorities and today's adepts of quantum mechanics cannot be proven to be true by their own internal rules, but they always talk about how beautiful are their maths, and never how true they are – correct me for my wrong stock opinions, though.

That seems funny to me, that they are into a science but it is founded upon their sense of what is beautiful, instead of what is true and on their observance of strict consistency and coherency in their manipulations of entities, concepts, and quantities.

Perhaps you can bring up in your website my curiosities, for your exposition and discussion, and also tell me and people like myself what are the truths and/or facts and what are essentially fictions in quantum mechanics, as propounded by the original authorities of this discipline and today's adepts.


sorry pal if u actually watch remote healing vids on youtube , they have a very profound effect on SOME people - like me...for example I can close my eyes and u can play ANY remote healing video and I can tell you which part of mt body is being sister can do the SAME...whether u play a healing vid for the spleen, the heart, the eyes, the liver, thre back etc...I can close my eyes and I can TELL YOU 100% of the time where im feeling influence...this mny friend is Quantum Entanglement - once u develop a relationship and consent to the healer in the video to send u the healing, u open u. rself up to entanglement. What the Healer does to manipulate his/her energy, is felt by me on me with my eyes shut I can tell you which body part is moving ie where the energy or Chi is moving and spinning.  Ive had an awakening of consciousness so my energetic body is open and sensitive. I was a HUUUUUUUUGE SKEPTIC but 100% of the healing vids I watch work 100% of the cannot be PLACEBO since I can close my eyes and if its a spleen vid or a gallbladder vid etc...I can tell u with 100% accuracy which organ or body part is being worked on. When u develop the ability to Watch ur mind. Observe ur mind moment to moment to moment and u observe ur mind and thoughts NON judgementally, you are experiencing Unconditional lovie. If ive never been IN LOVE, you cannot prove to me what LOVE is. Coz ive never felt it. Well SAME SAME with Unconditional love. Lets just say that when u learn to experience Unconditional love by learning to be the Non Judgemental Observer or Watcher of ur thoughts, you open up the gateway to diff levels of consciousness occurring from the SEED of Unconditional Love and u understand everything holistically frm a very high level. Ur body goes thru intense changes etc...all part of an awakening of consciousness. Everything becomes ALIVE 30-40% more. The whole world is ALIVE. Coz ure more Conscious. Healing vids likewise can be felt non locally in this higher state of awareness. It cannot be PLACEBO if it works 100% of the time with eyes closed ;) Lookup on youtube "remote energy healing videos' ...if u cannot feel anything its coz ur consciousness isn't strong. Isnt open. I can watch and observe my thoughts and feelings and transmute those lower frequencies to neutrality or neutral energy all the time. Furthermore I can watch my mind from ANY COORDINATE within my body eg the stomach or the heart or my third eye, OR, I can do high high level Buddhist stuff by watching my thoughts from ANY COORDINATE outside my body in the empty spaces al round me. I can neutralize physical PAIN by being the non judgmental observer or watcher of the pain. I can neutralize emotional pain by being the watcher or observer of my Egos Emotional pain. The mind can be watched and Observed moment to moment to moment in non judgment. Whose Observing and Watchinh??? If im my Mind , if im my thoughts and Feelings m how can I observe and watch and be the Witness of those thoughts and feelings moment to moment to moment in non judgment ;) I AM CONSCIOUSNESS, im not my thoughts or feelings...Im their Watcher, their observer, their Witness,,,I am NOT them! Once u SWITCH IDENTITY and u know Wholheartedly that you are the Obseving Consciosness of your thoughts and feelings and u can observe them in NON JUDGEMENT moment to moment to moment, u are ENLIGHTENED in that state...u rose ABOVE ur Mind. I go in and out of Enlightment all the time. Unconditional love changes ur entire bodies hormones and chemistry over time as u RELEASE old dense frequencies ie lower vibrating energy in ur Human energetic field ..Consciousness BURNS these old energies ie it Converts low vibrating frequencies to Higher Faster Vibrating frequencies and hence theres an energetic entropic release of massive amts of energy. AWAKENING is real  - its a Purification Process where the new awakened energy of consciousness in you (neutral energy ie non judgment) burns away and converts older darker denser slower moving vibrating energies to faster. IN all awakening cases the person feels like theyre on speed or cocaine coz theres such a HUGE RELEASE of energy. Unconditional Love as an energy ie neutral energy or zero point I dare say,,,is REAL. Awakening Purifies ur HEF field withere ur soul or HEFs darker denser slower energies get burnt converted and realeased to higher frequencies... it changes the body and the hormones. Many ppl call this 'DNA Activation' ie a lot of charletons. Its really just Awakening of Consciousness. And u cannot FORCE it like the DNA Activation charletons and gurus say they can. U can receive a transmission from a guru or healer but u have to be able to receive It fully. I can tell u what every healer is doing to my body sinmplhy coz my consciousness at every coordinate inside and outside my body has OPENED. Its all very real. Any YOGI in Nepal china japan the east will tell u they've seen 1000s of cases like mine year in year out. U can MANIPULATE chi with ur mind , U can INFLUENCE others thru chi manipulation too like the videos show and u can manipulate and influence them REMOTELY. My explanation is QM entanglement.

huelsnitz moderator

@orlandog  Hi, thanks for the comment.  We can have a science-based discussion about what you experienced, if you like. But it is not quantum entanglement.


@huelsnitz  the KEY point here is -  you can DROP the inner chatter, and the inner dialogue  - its all a function of how STRONG ur AWARENESS is moment to moment. You can drop the inner voice coz u realize its mostly BS , its mostly fear based chatter. Theres no need for 90% of ur inner dialogue. So u drop it. The PEACE u get from being FREE from ur inner dialogue is PRICELESS ;) Its all a Function of the Strength of ur Awareness or 'the Watcher of the mind'. 97% of ppl are Wholly Identified with their inner voice. And are thus trapped in it. About 3% switched Identity from the inner voice (fear based stories of the ego mind) to Awareness / the Watcher of the mind . You are the Watcher of the mind, and when you realize this, u can start 'dropping' the weighting of the inner dialogue which keeps u trapped in Fear . There is less need to think. The Peace and joy u receive from being the 'watcher of the mind' rather than being identified with the 'inner voice' feeds you. Your True Identity is that of the Watcher of the mind. This is who u are. You are not the 'inner voice'. You are Awareness . When u know this u can start to drop the weighting of ur inner voice and u can start to 'drop thinking' by quite a lot , which gives u immense Peace.


Brilliantly written! And yes, these pseudo scientists are polluting minds...


  1. […] Skepticism, Critical Thinking, and Quantum Physics I have decided to expand this website a little and address quantum woo and quantum mysticism more directly. Quantum woo is the justification of irrational beliefs using confused, vague, and ambiguous…  […]