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At some time in the conception of a child, gender is determined by the X or Y chromosomes given by the male. This is, from my perception, a random selection, like the decaying atom.

Like Schrodinger's cat in a box, I am unable to know the gender of my child until I observe it through an ultrasound. Is my baby both a male and a female until I observe it?

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No. The point of Schrodinger's cat isn't just that you didn't know something, then you learn it, so you know it, like choosing to look at a coin you've flipped. It doesn't just reflect the change in your knowlege of the state (at least, not according to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics). The point is that a (hypothetical) Schrodinger's cat would actually ontologically exist in a nontrivial superposition of two macroscopically distinct states, whether or not any conscious even knew it existed.

The reason that the thought experiment isn't physically realistic is that it is extremely difficult for macroscopic objects consisting of a huge number of quantum degrees of freedom to maintain this "quantum coherence." The "measurement process" that collapses quantum superpositions is generally believed to simply take place via "quantum decoherence," which comes from the system in question interacting with many external degrees of freedom which "steal" its internal entanglement and render it essentially classical. Preventing this decoherence requires almost completely isolating the quantum system from any external interactions (including thermal heat exchange), which is really hard to do. An embryo in a womb (or a sperm cell in a testis) is at very high temperature (by quantum-mechanics standards) and interacts very strongly with its environment (the surrounding organs, cosmic radiation, etc.), so any quantum effects have almost certainly been washed away.

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No. Even if you died during childbirth and therefore never knew your baby's gender, that would have no effect on the baby. (Well, it might have a psychological effect on it as its grows up, but it certainly doesn't change baby's anatomy!)

Remember that the Copenhagen interpretation of QM is exactly what it says: it's an interpretation. There is no way to discover experimentally which of the various interpretation is "correct", and in practice it doesn't matter, because the only possibilities for any "interpretation" are either (1) it is consistent with exactly the same observable phenomena as every other "interpretation", or (2) it's just plain wrong.

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Schrodinger's cat is a confusing example to be used for quantum mechanics. The poor cat is used as a classical detector of whether a quantum dynamically controlled process, i.e. the probability of its happening follows QM probability distributions, happened.

A geiger counter would do the same. Before a hit, the atom has not decayed, after the hit it has. Before the hit of the atom on the poison capsule the cat is alive, after the hit it is dead. The noise of the geiger counter is much more humane as far as killing a cat goes.

In your case, the quantum mechanical probability happens at the molecular level when ovum and sperm meet. All the rest, waiting for birth to see which way the probability went, or a scan to look at the body, ... are classical macroscopic detectors of an already occurred quantum mechanical probable throw of the "dice".

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protected by Qmechanic Nov 27 '16 at 6:57

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