Erwin Schroedinger

Been reading his “What is Life” (1944) and “Mind and Matter” (1958), together with his own autobiographical sketches. Marvellous stuff. These physicists who first came into contact with quantum physics, were clearly all deeply affected by the strange view of “reality” it presented and how this related to human scale everyday reality. Einstein famously struggled with “god playing dice”. Heisenberg too I’ve read and found the same philosophical and moving experience. Stops you in your tracks.

“What is Life” is a very interesting discourse on genetics and evolution – the Lamarckian metaphor, despite the clear Darwinian causality – and the relationship between quantum scale physics and DNA biochemistry – fascinating. Life and crystals as negative entropy or free energy. Roger Penrose provides a glowing introduction of this theorectical physicist’s contribution to molecular biology.

“Mind and Matter” goes further into the subject / object divide in scientific reality – and leads straight into the Vedic Upanishads and Eastern “mystical” “holistic” views being much closer to the quantum world view. He’s no cod philosopher either – he draws on Spinoza, Descartes, Schopenauer, Kant et al, and rails against the Greek legacy in western culture, whilst still naturally defending its correct position in science itself.

(Didn’t notice if Fritjof Capra and Michael Talbot cited Schroedinger – must check that out. I wonder if that erstwhile budding molecular biologist Robert Pirsig ever read Schroedinger. Intriguing.)

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