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Author Topic:   The implications of quantum physics.
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 31 of 39 (342737)
08-23-2006 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by GDR
08-23-2006 11:12 AM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
If a tree falls in a forest and there is no consciousness to observe or measure it does it make a sound?

Of course it makes a sound. Is the sound recorded? In many cases no. In others yes.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 11:12 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4533 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 32 of 39 (342773)
08-23-2006 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by GDR
08-23-2006 11:12 AM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
GDR writes:


When you say that consciousness is a universal property of the life process I'm wondering what you would include in the term life process. Does an ant have consciousness; does an amoeba or a rose?


Yes of course. The quantitative measure of consciousness may differ by factors of millions to one, but yes; the ant much more conscious than the rose which is much more conscious than the amoeba. Although all of these may be more conscious as a species than as individuals (not sure though). Life processes occurs not only in these individual organisms but also in communities and even in the species as a whole. Certainly mankind is much more conscious as individuals than as a species or as communities. The development of the community consciousness of man is an important part of the next stage of human "evolution."

GDR writes:


Do you see the human mind and human consciousness as being synonymous?


No. Human consciousness is however primarily an inherent property of the life process of the human mind. But human consiousness doubtless includes a consciousness of the body as well.

GDR writes:


Would you say that the brain acts like a computer with the mind providing input to the brain?


More like the other way around, but I don't think the brain is anything like a computer at all. The human brain is certainly a very complex thing and there are many aspects to it and many ways to think about it. I am characterizing it as a living environment for a living organism whose substance on the most basic level is electro-chemical information. From the information of the senses and motor function is formed a hierarchy of cyclical structures of information from raw data, to concepts, beliefs and personality.

GDR writes:


Gerald Shroeder suggests, in his book "The Hidden Face of God",
that each particle in QM is in reality a little bit of thought or information. Would you agree with him?


Not really. There may be truth in this as an analogy, but ultimately I do not see QM as anything but the limitation of physical causality.

GDR writes:


When you talk about a sea of non-quantitative energy would you consider this to function along the line of the Higgs field?


No I would not. The Higgs field would be quantitative, because it is a concept of physics.

GDR writes:


Is this the same thing as decoherence?


Only in the sense that both are trying to describe the measurement process. My description is certainly a lot less developed.

GDR writes:


While I'm at it I'm wondering what you think would be left of the universe if all consciousness ceased to exist. If a tree falls in a forest and there is no consciousness to observe or measure it does it make a sound?


Well as I said before consciousness is an inherent property of life. So you could only have a universe without consciousness if the universe was without life of any kind.

For your second questions there are many ways to think about that but one way is in terms of the physical definitions of the words in which case the answer would be yes. I do not think that existence of the physical universe or any part of it depends on the existence of consciousness.

GDR writes:


As we are spiritual beings do you see our consciousness as being the part of us that survives physical death? If not, then what is the relationship of the mind, consciousness and soul.


I see the spirit as the part of us that survives death. The spirit participates in the life process we have now and that it is part of consiousness. It is in fact the true subject of consciousness. It is the "I" which ultimately claims our actions and thoughts as its own. But the spirit does not contain our current consciousness, which is a process that involves the body and mind as well. Since the body and mind dies, our consciousness must at least be transformed if it survives. For there to be consciousness there must be life and life requires interaction. So religion claims that spiritual life ultimately requires a relationship with God.

The meanings of the words spirit and soul do have specific meanings in Christian tradition, but I do not find them particularly helpful. If you want to describe what you think these terms mean I could comment on this. In any case, I use the word mind for a physical but living entity that lives in the human brain. Like all living things the mind is connected with a spirit which it identifies as the subject of its thoughts and actions, and the choices of the mind recreates the spirit in the process. The mind dies but its spirit continues to exist.

GDR writes:


What do you mean by a coscious observer choosing his reality in the spiritual world.


Well the the spirit is created by the choices of the living organism, and it is not ruled by any laws except its own. It is like a separate universe and its reality is of its own choosing. The movie "What Dreams May Come" gives a pretty good illustration of what I am talking about.

What can no longer be taken for granted is the connection between things. In the physical world we are all part of one being and bound into space-time relationships by our place in its structure, but no such connection exist externally in the spirit world. You must have forged the connections to others within yourself by the choices you make in life, or you will be alone. In the movie, Christy (played by Robin Williams) cannot find his children until he reaches past what he believed and wanted them to be to the real connections he made with them in life, so that he can see past appearance to the reality underneath. One of the moments of greatest danger is when Christy is about to go chasing after the illusion of his wife, and only the warning of a friend pulls him back.

GDR writes:


I have no scientific training and is there a simple way of explaining to me what you mean by non-linear equations?


Well we are talking about differential equations, and these are of two types: linear and non-linear. Non-linear equations are difficult if not impossible to solve except perhaps by numerical methods using computers. So for a long time scientist approximated the non-linear equations in nature with linear ones. It was eventually discovered however that the non-linear equations had properties that greatly differed from the linear ones, and so by using such approximation we were over-simplifying reality. This discovery was the beginning of the science of chaos, or chaotic dynamics. I can reccommend the book "Chaos" by James Gleick for more explanation.

GDR writes:


I know I have a lot of questions, but that is only because I have so few answers.


The more answers you have the more questions you have. But it is the questions which are the true key to understanding.

Edited by mitchellmckain, : answer incomplete


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 11:12 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 4:00 PM mitchellmckain has responded
 Message 38 by miosim, posted 04-15-2007 2:03 PM mitchellmckain has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 33 of 39 (342797)
08-23-2006 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by mitchellmckain
08-23-2006 2:18 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
mitchellmckain writes:

Yes of course. The quantitative measure of consciousness may differ by factors of millions to one, but yes; the ant much more conscious than the rose which is much more conscious than the amoeba. Although all of these may be more conscious as a species than as individuals (not sure though). Life processes occurs not only in these individual organisms but also in communities and even in the species as a whole. Certainly mankind is much more conscious as individuals than as a species or as communities. The development of the community consciousness of man is an important part of the next stage of human "evolution."

I wouldn't have thought you'd go as far as a rose. If consciousness means that their existence continues into the next life then I'm ok with roses, but I hope that it doesn't go all the way down to dandelions. :) Actually, now I think of it, if as you say our spirit is part of our consciousness, then does it follow that a rose is eternal. That would be consistent with those physicists such as Barbour that talk about each moment of time being an eternal universe.

Can you expand on the next phase of human evolution?

mitchellmckain writes:

I do not think that existence of the physical universe or any part of it depends on the existence of consciousness.

I guess I have trouble trying to imagine what could exist if there were no life in the universe to measure or observe particles. If time and space are merely illusions that are perceived by consciousness then how does change happen at all? How can the universe as we know it exist without change at some level? Isn't time just a construct by which our mind perceives change? By the way, as I'm sure you've gathered, I a long way out of my depth here. :)

mitchellmckain writes:

I see the spirit as the part of us that survives death. The spirit participates in the life process we have now and that it is part of consiousness. It is in fact the true subject of consciousness. It is the "I" which ultimately claims our actions and thoughts as its own. But the spirit does not contain our current consciousness, which is a process that involves the body and mind as well. Since the body and mind dies, our consciousness must at least be transformed if it survives. For there to be consciousness there must be life and life requires interaction. So religion claims that spiritual life ultimately requires a relationship with God.

Your contention is that human consciousness is made up of mind, brain and spirit. (I think) You said that the mind is a part of the brain and that both mind and brain cease with physical death. I still don't understand then the difference that you see between the brain and the mind. I understand that the brain is an organism but then it follows that the mind must be as well doesn't it?

Why does spiritual life then require relationship with God? Wouldn't interaction with community suffice? (Not that I don't think that relationship with God is a very good thing.)

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 2:18 PM mitchellmckain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 5:01 PM GDR has responded

    
mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4533 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 34 of 39 (342819)
08-23-2006 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by GDR
08-23-2006 4:00 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
GDR writes:


I wouldn't have thought you'd go as far as a rose.


You have to understand what I mean when I say consciousness is quantitative. Clearly the rose does not think like we do, none of the living things on this planet do. But the rose bush is aware and self aware on some level because it responds to the environment and regulates its own internal activities. It could, however, be more conscious on a cellular level in which case its superiority over the amoeba would be mostly in the numbers of cells.

GDR writes:


Can you expand on the next phase of human evolution?


Evolution occurs in stages because the evolution of individual ceases in some respect when it becomes a part of communal evolution. When communities are formed they start to protect the weaker members of the community. This greatly reduces the effect of natural selection on the individual and opens up a great new range of variation for the individual. In this next stage the individual adapts to specialized roles in the community which makes a community technology possible, which in turn increases the communities ability to protect weaker members and even compensate for their inabilities. Certainly such a next stage of evolution happened in the development of multicellular organisms, but it surely happened many many times before that. Clearly the same thing is happening to the human community now in both the protection of weaker members, giving them productive new roles in the community and compensating for inabilities with technology.

GDR writes:


If time and space are merely illusions that are perceived by consciousness then how does change happen at all?


Well I don't believe that they are. Time and space are part of the mathematical structure of the physical universe that relate all its parts to each other.

GDR writes:


Your contention is that human consciousness is made up of mind, brain and spirit. (I think) You said that the mind is a part of the brain and that both mind and brain cease with physical death. I still don't understand then the difference that you see between the brain and the mind. I understand that the brain is an organism but then it follows that the mind must be as well doesn't it?


The brain is a part of a biological organism whose substance is chemical reactions. In other words biological life consists of a self-organizing structure of chemical reactions cycles. The mind is not a biological organism. The mind is a living organism whose substance is information (sensory data comming in from the body and and motor responses that are returned. An infant's motor responses start out as largely random but the infant's ability to see its own movements creates an information feed back loop which are part of a rudimentary lifeform which can learn (evolve) much much faster than biological organisms since its material requirements are minimal.

Of course it always helps when living organisms do not have to start from scratch, so they inevitably have means to pass on what they have learned to the next generation by some type of inheritance. The learning process of biological organisms is largely that of evolution and the inheritance is by means of DNA. The human mind passes on its inheritance to its offspring by means of verbal (and non-verbal) communication. The stories of the rare child who has survived on its own in the wilds (so called feral children) indicate what is left when we are deprived of that inheritance.

The point is to understand that the human difference largely derives from the fact that we are not really biological life-forms. Our ability to learn and make choices is one a whole different time scale because of this. The other animals have brains and thus some of our innate abilities but they do not have a mind, unless the dolphins and whales are an exception.

GDR writes:


GDR writes:


Why does spiritual life then require relationship with God? Wouldn't interaction with community suffice? (Not that I don't think that relationship with God is a very good thing.)

The spirit is eternal but life depends on external relationships. In the physical world these are supplied externally against your will. In the spiritual world these external relationships must come from within you and subject to your own will. The spirit of a person who hates everyone will be alone. The relationships to finite beings will provide only limited life, only a relationship to an infinite God can provide eternal life. To oversimplify you could say that the death of the spirit is a death of boredom, isolation, and stagnation.

Edited by mitchellmckain, : spelling


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 4:00 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 5:33 PM mitchellmckain has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 35 of 39 (342829)
08-23-2006 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by mitchellmckain
08-23-2006 5:01 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
mitchellmckain writes:

You have to understand what I mean when I say consciousness is quantitative. Clearly the rose does not think like we do, none of the living things on this planet do. But the rose bush is aware and self aware on some level because it responds to the environment and regulates its own internal activities. It could, however, be more conscious on a cellular level in which case its superiority over the amoeba would be mostly in the numbers of cells.

That is very helpful. I assume then that you would consider all cellular life to have consciousness to one degree or another. I am still curious then if you believe that all consciousness is eternal.

mitchellmckain writes:

Evolution occurs in stages because the evolution of individual ceases in some respect when it becomes a part of communal evolution. When communities are formed they start to protect the weaker members of the community.

This is reminiscent of Dawkins "memes". Do you consider this human evolution to be physical or spiritual?

mm writes:

The mind is a living organism whose substance is information (sensory data comming in from the body and and motor responses that are returned. An infant's motor responses start out as largely random but the infant's ability to see its own movements creates an information feed back loop which are part of a rudimentary lifeform which can learn (evolve) much much faster than biological organisms since its material requirements are minimal.

I assume by that then the our memory is stored in the mind and that the brain then interprets information from the mind and responds. I think then that you are saying that the brain as a physical organism just performs as it is designed to do in the same way our heart does, but the mind evolves with time and experience throughout our life time. What is the mind then? Is it physical, spiritual or both? Wouldn't that mean then that the spirit after physical death would no longer have a memory of this life?

Thanks again for your time.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 5:01 PM mitchellmckain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 7:42 PM GDR has responded

    
mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4533 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 36 of 39 (342850)
08-23-2006 7:42 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
08-23-2006 5:33 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
GDR writes:


I am still curious then if you believe that all consciousness is eternal.


Spirit is eternal. Consciousness is relational. I don't have all the answers but I would guess that the spirit of a human being would have some innate capacity for what I think you would call consciousness after the death of the body.

GDR writes:


Do you consider this human evolution to be physical or spiritual?


Just as physical as any other evolution. But evolution is a life process which means it is never entirely physical. In fact, I would think that the higher the life form the greater the role that the spirit plays in its evolution.

GDR writes:


What is the mind then? Is it physical, spiritual or both?


Purely physical.

In some sense you could say that the mind is our true physical form. Our body is just an animal, but we are not animals at all. Yet the mind depends on and mostly controls the body and so we think of it as part of us, just as our hair and fingernails are a part of us. But of course the same is true of the earth. We depend on it and are unopposed in our control of it. Now if only we can come think of it as just as much a part of us as our bodies are.

Remember that the mind is a living organism. The highest form of life on the planet. And so its connection to the spirit is greater than any other living thing. As with all living things, all the actions and choices of the mind are claimed by its spirit. Everything we experience can in the immediate sense be traced to a physical cause. But this sense that we are the author of our choices and actions is a delusion unless it points to a spirit.

GDR writes:


I assume by that then the our memory is stored in the mind and that the brain then interprets information from the mind and responds.
... Wouldn't that mean then that the spirit after physical death would no longer have a memory of this life?

Memory is still one of the great mysteries, but I expect a physical explanation. The idea of memory belonging to the mind would go along with holographic ideas of memory that I have heard.

The spirit is created by the choices that the living organism makes, but those choices are somewhat inseperable from the context in which they are made. So in some sense each choice makes the whole universe as it is known by the living organism a part of the spirit. So the spirit retains a kind of memory independent of body and mind.

GDR writes:


I think then that you are saying that the brain as a physical organism just performs as it is designed to do in the same way our heart does, but the mind evolves with time and experience throughout our life time.


In a general sense, yes. But to be perfectly accurate the brain is alive and so it is neither designed nor does it simply perform as it was made to do, although by comparison to the mind this is a fair statement.


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 5:33 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 10:25 PM mitchellmckain has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 37 of 39 (342867)
08-23-2006 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by mitchellmckain
08-23-2006 7:42 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
Thanks a lot. It is a lot to mull over. I hope that cavediver gets back soon from his move as I'd like to read what he has to say as well.

I think it might be worthwhile to start discussions using your essays as an opening post.

Thanks again
Greg


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 7:42 PM mitchellmckain has not yet responded

    
miosim
Member (Idle past 3788 days)
Posts: 57
From: NH, USA
Joined: 04-07-2007


Message 38 of 39 (395191)
04-15-2007 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by mitchellmckain
08-23-2006 2:18 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose

GDR:
When you say that consciousness is a universal property of the life process I'm wondering what you would include in the term life process. Does an ant have consciousness; does an amoeba or a rose?

mitchellmckain:
Yes of course. The quantitative measure of consciousness may differ by factors of millions to one, but yes; the ant much more conscious than the rose ...

GDR:
I wouldn't have thought you'd go as far as a rose ...

Looks like I missed a very interesting discussion!

I agree with Mitchell, probably more that he would like me to, because my current views are even more radical than his and are summarized as follow:

... Consciousness is the fundamental property of Matter that is just not observable in the non-living systems. Consciousness property of subatomic Matter is not recognized by fundamentally incomplete quantum mechanics theory. Consciousness property of Matter also is not observable in the thermodynamically equilibrium systems. However if a system steered far enough from an equilibrium and past a critical point, a non-equilibrium system will emerge. The further development of these systems in the direction out from equilibrium will reveal the property that causes the phenomenon we call - LIFE ...

To find more about this idea you can go to http://www.iscid.org/papers/Iosim_ComplexSystemSimplicity.pdf.
An introduction to this essay was posted also in this EvC forum in Biological Evolution section under topics "THE SIMPLICITY OF THE COMPLEX SYSTEMS"

Mark

Edited by miosim, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 2:18 PM mitchellmckain has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16094
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.2


Message 39 of 39 (395317)
04-15-2007 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by mitchellmckain
08-15-2006 1:55 PM


Re: determinism and causality
With the failure of determinism in physics, the scientific description of evolution becomes only appearance with a possible underlying reality. Each physical event of the process is now open to the possibility of non-physical causation. This opens up the possibility of an itermediate pov which accepts both scientific description of evolution and an underlying reality of God creative participation.

"All nature is but art unknown to thee;
All chance, direction which thou canst not see."

--- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

I doubt that he was inspired by quantum theory.


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 Message 4 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-15-2006 1:55 PM mitchellmckain has not yet responded

  
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