These two principles seem to have caused an uproar within the scientific community and to have supposedly disrupted notions of 'causality'. Since both features already existed before their 'discovery' and operate at such a miniscule level, how can they alter what we experience in our reality of everyday life. Black holes exert millions and even billions of more power than our sun and each galaxy is said to have one. And yet they exert no discernable effect on life on earth. It seems that those who make claims about this overthrow of Newton's theories and who postulate some worldview changing effect from these phenomena are just confused, could that be possible?

  • I do not follow the reasoning. Black holes can exist even under Newton's theory, and the gravity falls as a square of a distance. That's why the effect on us is miniscule, but it is well detectable with telescopes, not postulated. For that matter, how does the effect on our everyday lives matter at all in the grand scheme of things? We are not the pinnacle of creation, and people had everyday lives long before Newton, thinking that the Earth is flat or stands still at the center of revolving crystal spheres.
    – Conifold
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 13:26
  • See Quantum mechanical paradoxes: "A significant set of physical paradoxes are associated with the privileged position of the observer in quantum mechanics." Those are the puzzling aspects of QM (nothing to do with Black Holes). Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 14:12
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    Quantum mechanics affects macro-world too. Perhaps, without uncertainty principle the way neurons operate would be different and that's a huge effect on everyday life and experiences. But it is only a possibility.
    – rus9384
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 15:42
  • The main philosophical issue with quantum physics is that it makes it harder to imagine a self-contained universe where universal laws explain the behavior of all systems including measuring devices & human measurers. There are ways to recover an objective world but they involve new strange assumptions like instantaneous causality in Bohm's interp. (see p. 46-47 of this paper by John Bell on how Einstein's main objection to QM was the lack of an objective world with local causality) or the multiverse of the many-worlds interp.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 22:09
  • See his “Physics and Philosophy”. He basically tells non-physicists to forget about QM. There was a 2007 reprint of this book I believe.
    – Gordon
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


The short answer is yes -- too many (most?) people are quite confused.

Specifically, they are confused about things that we don't experience on a day-to-day basis. Things that can only be understood through mental models and abstract reasoning.

Remarkably, one the first concepts they would struggle with, is also fundamental to our notion of truth, to our ability to tell whether something is true, and to our capacity for the knowledge itself.

Specifically, it's the objective nature reality that they are not comfortable with. Yet that is exactly what we must assume -- the objective and explainable reality that we all share and are a part of -- before we can know of anything else. Truth and knowledge, therefore, must be, by definition, objective.

Yet when a person relies exclusively on their own experience, when their own experience is everything they will ever know, it makes the necessarily subjective.

BTW, as extreme as it sounds, it is a very old news indeed:
And although the lógos is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding.
   -- Heraclitus, circa 450 BC

And that's the reason for their fascination with Quantum Mechanics -- because, on the surface, it undermines the concept of objective reality, if only on the subatomic scale.

  • How can there exist any objective knowledge for humans to grasp if their experience of the sensible world is only subjective?
    – user37981
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 23:12
  • "How can there exist any objective?" -- well, what is your definition of an "objective"? or you wanted me to explain what it is, but didn't how to ask? ;) Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 0:37
  • It has become more or less common knowledge that the concept of 'objective' knowledge involves a built-in contradiction. Since human perception of the sensible world does not include any direct, concrete access to knowledge and because the researcher who proposes the hypothesis, sets up the experiment, captures and measures the results and finally ANALYZES and reports on the results, apparently miraculously the human who has no direct access to the sensible world has become the 'agent' who declares the experiment's results as objective knowledge. The science is OK. What is said is not.
    – user37981
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 15:17