APPENDIX Z50: “Backward Causation”

Published on 24 Jun 2016 at 2:15 pm. No Comments.
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“Backward Causation”
( meaning, the FUTURE impacting the PAST )
[ support for the “bootstrap” component of Summa’s metaphysics ]
“Quantum Mechanics Could Permit
a Subtle Form of Teleology”
“Crazy though the idea
may seem at rst, there is in fact
no fundamental impediment to a mechanism that allows
later events to inuence
earlier events. In fact, there are
some famous theories of
physics that explicitly involve
backward causation – future events having causative
power over past events.
Wheeler proposed one such
theory with his then
student Richard Feynman in the mid-
1940s. In the Wheeler-Feynman
theory of electrodynamics,
electromagnetic interactions
can travel both forward and
backward in time.
There is no experimental evidence in
favor of the theory, I hasten to add. Something similar
was proposed for
gravitation by Hoyle and Narlikat, and
for quantum cosmology by
Gell-Mann and Hartle and by
Hawking. Again, observation and experiment are silent on
these ideas, but the
theories are certainly not ‘antiscientic,’
and variants of them
are still being investigated today.”*…
* Cosmologist Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma. United Kingdom: Little, First
Mariner Books edition. 2008. pp. 242-243

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