Quantum physics does indeed confound our quotidian expectations. This does not mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive for coherent interpretations where possible and reject interpretations that fail basic logical tests.

Schrodinger's cat is the classic example of a failure to think the problem through. It assumes only a human observer can cause the collapse of the wave form. Yet a moment’s thought reveals this to be absurd. Surely the entire universe hasn’t been waiting for our little ape species to come into existence in order for quantum reality to operate satisfactorily? Surely if “observer effect” is valid then a hypothetical alien race with a requisite number of scientists could qualify as observers also? In which case, surely the cat itself can be an observer?

This means that the wave form has collapsed prior to any human observation and we’re merely left with a statistical uncertainty, not an existential one.

Alternatively there’s another way to fail the thought experiment. Let’s say the cat is entangled with the isotope; this is why the cat can’t be the observer.

Fine. But here’s the problem: once the human experimenter opens the box s/he too is entangled. And if some other human watches the first human opening the box, this other human is entangled. And so on ad infinitum.

We really do need to be very mindful of anthropocentricity when trying to understand quantum mechanical phenomenon for it can often lead us astray.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.