Sunday, July 10, 2011

UFOs, Moby Dick, and Quantum Theory


Herman Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick, is an excoriation of God, with a prescient intuition about quantum mechanics.

Melville’s premise that God is Evil, is “footnoted” by the subtle suggestion that those who give credence to God -- pray to Him/It – get His/Its attention and bring catastrophe down upon them.


Their “observation” interacts with God and draws Him/It to behave intimately with the observer, often malevolently (as was the case with Captain Ahab), sometimes benevolently (but such instances of benevolence are rare).

Melville’s literary tenet and insight ends with the maxim that to survive whole and intact in this life one should take a benign attitude when it comes to God (Moby Dick): Ishmael.

The quantum intution is about how observation of events (measurement of them) affects the outcome – the reality – of those events. (Schrodinger’s cat is the theoretical example.)

Lithograph by Jie Qi, 2007

Now, since brilliant UFO mavens, such as Bruce Duensing who visits here, and a few others, think that UFOs are affected by our observation of the things, one can intersect Melville’s view with the ongoing and historical observation of flying saucers and/or UFOs.

The difference is that UFOs are not God – nor even a manifestation of God – and observing them hasn’t brought dire consequences down upon observers, generally.


But observation/measurement of UFOs has, according to devotees of the quantum effect, caused them to behave in ways they are irrational, much as quantum artifacts behave irrationally when observed/measured.

I, personally, don’t think UFOs are metaphorical quantum artifacts. And I think that while observing them in he past may have had an effect upon them, what they do or how they appear now indicates that observation of UFOs has no bearing upon them.

UFOs have become benign, ineffective, and without obvious purpose or intent; they operate like God before Ahab paid attention to Him/It.


Melville’s God is dead, and so are UFOs, as they once were in their reported incarnation(s).