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Author Topic:   The implications of quantum physics.
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3188 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 16 of 39 (340833)
08-17-2006 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Parasomnium
08-17-2006 3:28 AM


Re: General questions for whoever....
I realize I don't need to tell you this, Randman, you know all this. But it was the confusing way you described it that prompted me to write this.

Thanks for helping to make it clear.

If there is a lot of evidence for a concept, why would it be strange that science does not want to abandon it?

I may not have been as clear. There is evidence demonstrating a "violation of causality." It's easy to skip the violation part of the phrase.

think the term should be applied very loosely, in that a collision between two particles can be called an 'observation' in a quantum-mechanical sense, without the involvement of humans - or any other conscious beings for that matter.

Well, I agree to a degree, and think some experiments have shown the mere threat of observation causes the collapse. This could be a whole thread on it's own, and sometimes I think the information sharing Bit concept could be right, and other times not. There does seem to have to be somewhere, even in the future or background, an observer or potential observer, but I agree that there does not have to be a measurement by a conscious observer in the present to cause the particle to take on discrete and specific form, or at least I think that's right.

What do you mean by "subluminal"?

I mean the opposite of superluminal. Subluminal may or may not be a word, but I just mean all the universe that exists under the speed of light (and really need to qualify that to include the universe at the speed of light as well). In other words, I think there are dimensions of reality, whether one wants to call them spiritual or extra dimensions within string theory or whatever, but they are non-observed, at least directly, and perhaps we should separate the universe within and at the speed of light that we can observe from the other parts of the universe.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Message 17 of 39 (340838)
08-17-2006 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by randman
08-17-2006 1:11 PM


Re: General questions for whoever....
Hi Randman,

Just thought I'd pop in here to say that your post is an excellent example of constructive discussion. You moved the discussion constructively forward, you stuck to the topic, and at no point did you accuse anyone of bias or nonobjectivity or denial or dodging or fraud. Please make this a habit, even when discussion reaches the point where people state opinions that disagree with your own.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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GDR
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Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 18 of 39 (340853)
08-17-2006 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by randman
08-17-2006 1:11 PM


Re: General questions for whoever....
parasomnium writes:

think the term should be applied very loosely, in that a collision between two particles can be called an 'observation' in a quantum-mechanical sense, without the involvement of humans - or any other conscious beings for that matter.

randman writes:

Well, I agree to a degree, and think some experiments have shown the mere threat of observation causes the collapse. This could be a whole thread on it's own, and sometimes I think the information sharing Bit concept could be right, and other times not. There does seem to have to be somewhere, even in the future or background, an observer or potential observer, but I agree that there does not have to be a measurement by a conscious observer in the present to cause the particle to take on discrete and specific form, or at least I think that's right.

I just recently re-read Chap 7 in Brain Greene's "The Fabric of the Cosmos". If I understand this discussion correctly, (very strong chance I don't), then I think Greene would agree with Randman. It seems that interference can occur not only through space but across time as well. As Greene says, "the future helps shape the story you tell of the past".

It also occurs to me that when Parasomium talks about a collision between particles being an observation I wonder how it is she can know that when she couldn't have observed it. We can only see the results when at some point there was consciousness involved.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

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randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 19 of 39 (340855)
08-17-2006 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by GDR
08-17-2006 2:20 PM


Re: General questions for whoever....
GDR, thanks for the quote. It's sort of been a long haul getting that idea out here at this forum on a thread without a lot of pretty intense criticism, and so far, it seems the forum may be ready to accept that this is a reasonable scientific perspective, whether true or not.

Obviously, I think it's true. It's interesting but the idea of linear causality and global consistency is a basic assumption that has not really been tested. It may be there are ways to test the concept, and that small changes and inconsistencies do appear in the present, showing a lack of consistency, but would we ever notice without some form of testing?

I suspect we would chalk it up to bad memory (and for good reason), or something else, maybe an error in reporting, etc,...

But if true, and there is non-linear causality in respect of time, in the sense that the present can affect the past, the future the present, etc,...then this is a very radical departure from some basic perspectives of reality, and is pretty exciting.

It could get a little complex to discuss here, but in terms of the biblical creationism debate, I think one implication is that we would need to look at the Bible verses a little more closely and consider what they do say and don't say, and on the other hand, I think evo assumptions of uniformatarianism would need to be reviewed, and at the least, stating that observations about past events could still be evolving such that confirming that something never occurred is a bit iffy.

What I would expect to see are definite patterns revealing a common structure, but perhaps some inconsistencies in the details due to the evolving aspect of the past, present and future.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 985 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 20 of 39 (340881)
08-17-2006 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by randman
08-17-2006 1:11 PM


Re: General questions for whoever....
There is evidence demonstrating a "violation of causality." It's easy to skip the violation part of the phrase.

Now I understand what you meant. But I did not skip the word 'violation'. Instead, I misunderstood what you meant with "the concept". I thought you meant the concept of the violation of causality. But you meant the concept of (inviolable) causality itself.

However, I think that if quantum mechanics entails violations of causality, and if there is evidence for it, then scientists will not hang on to causality no matter what. They will go where the evidence leads them.

There does seem to have to be somewhere, even in the future or background, an observer or potential observer, but I agree that there does not have to be a measurement by a conscious observer in the present to cause the particle to take on discrete and specific form

I think there doesn't have to be a conscious observer at all. After all, we've only been in the universe a fraction of a second on a twenty-four hour scale. What happened to all those undetermined states before consciousness arose in the universe? Did they remain undetermined for aeons and aeons, waiting to be observed until we came along?

The words 'observation' and 'measurement' have connotations with consciousness, but that's just language. I think an observation, or a measurement, can just as easily be constituted by any form of interaction that demands that the wave function collapses. If a particle flies through space without interacting with anything, it may stay undetermined. But as soon as it interacts with something, be it a photon, another particle, or whatever, the interaction causes the wave function to collapse.

What do you mean by "subluminal"?

I mean the opposite of superluminal. Subluminal may or may not be a word, but I just mean all the universe that exists under the speed of light (and really need to qualify that to include the universe at the speed of light as well). In other words, I think there are dimensions of reality, whether one wants to call them spiritual or extra dimensions within string theory or whatever, but they are non-observed, at least directly, and perhaps we should separate the universe within and at the speed of light that we can observe from the other parts of the universe.

I see. But in my opinion you don't need to pose extra dimensions for that purpose. Whatever part of space is so far away that its light can never overtake the expansion of the universe, such part can never be observed by us. But logically and mathematically, it's the same kind of space as our own part of the universe, and has the same kind of dimensions.

At least, that's what I think.

Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.

Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 985 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 21 of 39 (340882)
08-17-2006 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by GDR
08-17-2006 2:20 PM


Re: General questions for whoever....
GDR writes:

It also occurs to me that when Parasomium talks about a collision between particles being an observation I wonder how it is she can know that when she couldn't have observed it. We can only see the results when at some point there was consciousness involved.

See my reply to Randman.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by GDR, posted 08-17-2006 2:20 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4712 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 22 of 39 (340903)
08-17-2006 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by randman
08-17-2006 1:11 AM


Re: determinism and causality
quote:

Or another way to say this is reality is not only physical, right?


You got it.
quote:

I think we are on the same page, but not exactly sure....Determinism as you use it, and I think of it can be a little different, and perhaps I am not hearing the physics term of the word. Maybe random here is a relative term? I definitely agree that physical causation alone cannot explain reality, and that reality supercedes the subluminal universe we think of as physical reality.


I am just saying that there is no need to flatly proclaim that nothing is random. It contradicts both scientific evidence and human experience that much is random. It enough to say that randomness is not universal or neccessary. Any particular event could be truly random but it also might not be.
quote:

I don't follow this. How can the term supernatural apply to anything as far as science. Nothing is supernatural according to a valid perspective of science.


Confusion! The supernatural has no part of any scienfic explanation or statement. Therefore science cannot say that "nothing is supernatural". Science is not equivalent to truth. Science is merely one technique for discovering truth about certain types of things.

quote:

1. Spiritual things by all account possess energy which interacts with the physical world. (note I see you covered this later, but the interaction still suggests principles and order and so potentially mathematical descriptions).


There is a mathematical description of the interaction and it is called the uncertainty principle. But the quantification of the interaction does not quantify the source even in an interaction between two physical objects. I do not think that quantity or measurability is inherent in energy itself and I certainly do not think that these are properties of spiritual forms of energy. Why would it be? All my experiences of spirituality suggest otherwise.

quote:

3. I disagree that everything is controlled by deterministic mathematical forumulas. Is the human will truly controlled by such formulas?


Macroscopically the universe is quite deterministic. Gravity always does the same thing whether we like it or not. It is only in certain types of processes described in the science of Chaos where quantum events which lack of physical causes can effect macroscopic events. The weather is certainly one example, living organisms is another.

quote:

4. If we are talking laws so that the structure of physical reality is controlled by deterministic mathematical formulas, there are laws for the spiritual arena as well, and not only just as strict,
...
But the spirit is bound by laws, just different laws than those that govern matter.


Wonderful. Such agreement is more than I could ever expect. Someone else who believe in the operation of natural law in the realm of the spirit is a rare treasure. I feel that any disagreements we could possibly have are dwarfed into insignificance by comparison.

Off the topic comment: An eternal hell could make sense as a consequece of a natural spiritual law even though it makes no sense at all as a punishment from God.

quote:

but if you accept the Bible and even other spiritual traditions, even more strict, and so it may well be those laws, like physical "laws" can be expressed as mathematical forumulas as well, if we can advance that far in math.


Never read that in the Bible. Strict is not the same thing as quantifiable. Is love quantifiable? Which of your children (family members if you have none) do you love most? How much more? Without quantity, mathematics does not apply. Are you really looking for spiritual truths in mathematics? God is not quantifiable, that I know for sure. Is anything about God quantifiable? And if nothing about God is quantifiable, then I think it is strange to that spiritual things are quantifiable.

quote:

5. You mention QM as the true boundary of the physical world, and thus presumably where it intersects with the spiritual world, and I agree. But terms like physical and spiritual are just different descriptions of subsets of reality.


Grrrr.. That is a little trite. Saying that they are different subsets of reality does not erase the difference between them. I think you have become a little shell-shocked in your battle with atheists, desperately chanting that spiritual things are just as real as physical things. ....relax.... Of course they are.

quote:

6. QM describes an ordered world nonetheless. So I am not so sure the following is correct.


You are missing the point. Of course QM describes an ordered world. It is physics. It describes the physical world!!!! The point is that in describing the physical world it describes a limit to that order. It describes a limit to the causality within it. If you are hoping that anything in physics will prove the existence of the spirit or God, this is pure fantasy. That will never happen. If God wanted such proof to exist He would have made it more readily available. You are looking for an non-existent shortcut. There are no shortcuts around faith. Don't put so much faith in science and rationalism, they are not worthy.

quote:

I guess what I am saying is we agree on a lot, but I think it's premature to say we cannot discover a mathematical description of the spiritual arena.


I don't think so. All the evidence of science and history is against this. The reconciliation of science and religion can only be found in the recognition of their limitations. I think you are refusing to see those limitations.

quote:

Are you sure? Paul states "In Him we live and move and have our being," and he wasn't talking to Christians when he said that, but referred to Greek philosophy, and so posited an immanent aspect to God's being. There are other spiritual traditions that emphasize this immanent aspect, some overemphasize it probably.


The boundary I am talking about is everywhere. God is not out there somewhere precisely because the boundary is not a spatial one. God is everywhere around us and in us. You cannot get more immanent than that. But it is not the immanence of pantheism. God is not the universe and we are not pieces of God. God is definitely other than us but He has an intimate but not neccessary relationship (it is by choice) with everthing.

quote:

I can accept there are aspects of God that are off-limits, but you said yourself we see in QM the intersection of the spiritual with the physical. If we see the effects (the intersection) then we are in a sense measuring something spiritual, right? We have accepted gravity for a long time but not measured it directly or hadn't done so for a long time if we even have now.

So I wouldn't say we cannot measure or detect spiritual things, and think we actually are measuring and detecting spiritual realms within QM.



No. As I explained QM describes nothing spiritual. It only describes a gap - a hole, which you can choose to see as empty or as filled. Spirituality will always be a choice between seeing meaning in things or not. Christianity is not deficient. The spiritual truths are there in the proper form. There is no advanced "scientific" version. There are only people who get confused about the difference between Christianity and science.

Your use of the words "off limits" is very strange to me, for it is like your are saying that only science has any access to truth!?!?

quote:

How can you be sure?


How can we know anything for sure? We accept the conclusions which are most consistent with our experiences as a human being and I have thought long and hard about all of these questions, with the faith that I could find the answers. I know this with the same certainty that I know that the scientific description of reality is not the complete one. My experience of life as a human being tells me that there is an aspect of reality which is not quantifiable, objectively observable or measurable. Your description of the spiritual reality would force me to believe in a third aspect of existence. But common sense tells me that, the more likely truth is simply that your idea of spiritual reality is wrong. Perhaps time will eventual tell us which of us is correct.

Edited by mitchellmckain, : missing important "not"


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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Admin
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Message 23 of 39 (340907)
08-17-2006 7:25 PM


Randman Has Been Showcased
Randman has been showcased. This means he no longer has access to any discussion forums, except for Showcase.

I can move this thread to Showcase if people would like to continue discussing this with him. I'll do whatever is the consensus. If the thread moves to Showcase, then those who do not already have access will have to request it in the Showcase Forum Issues and Requests thread.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4712 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 24 of 39 (341171)
08-18-2006 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Admin
08-17-2006 7:25 PM


Re: Randman Has Been Showcased
Well of course I object to moving the whole thread to Showcase. Randman is participant, but I have been opposed to making this thread restricted to any one person's (or even two persons') ideas from the beginning. I can continue my discussion with randman in a separate thread under Showcase.


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12631
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 25 of 39 (341176)
08-18-2006 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by mitchellmckain
08-18-2006 6:32 PM


Re: Randman Has Been Showcased
mitchellmckain writes:

Randman is participant, but I have been opposed to making this thread restricted to any one person's (or even two persons') ideas from the beginning.

Anyone can request access to Showcase.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4712 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 26 of 39 (341379)
08-19-2006 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Admin
08-18-2006 6:45 PM


Re: Randman Has Been Showcased
Well according to randman everyone else who has participated agrees so I guess we should give it a try.


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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RAZD
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Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 27 of 39 (341384)
08-19-2006 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Admin
08-18-2006 6:45 PM


Showcase Topic Suggestion
post moved to Message 195

Edited by RAZD, : see message


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 28 of 39 (342458)
08-22-2006 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mitchellmckain
08-14-2006 6:16 PM


Hameroff and Penrose
Thanks for your thoughts Mitchell. I find your line of inquiry fascinating and would like to get your comments on Dr. Hameroff's work. I paste his web site and follow that with his response in an interview from that site.

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/

Stuart Hameroff M.D. is Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He spends most days providing anesthesia for patients in the surgical operating rooms at University of Arizona Medical Center.

Dr. Hameroff:
"As I said in the credit clip at the end of "Bleep", every day as I give the drugs that put my patients off to sleep I wonder where it is they go. Or more importantly, why are they 'here' in the first place? Why are they-why are WE-conscious? Consciousness remains a profound mystery. It touches not only science and medicine, but the nature of reality, our place in the universe. There can be no sense of spirituality or serenity without consciousness occurs".

Dr. Hameroff attempts to bridge the gap between medical science and the essence of existence, of being subtly connected to what he calls the "Funda-Mental" level of the universe.

He says:
"Consciousness is far more than the brain acting like a computer. Evidence from various directions suggests non-local interactions-spooky action-at-a-distance as Einstein called it-among people, and a connection to the most basic level of reality. The best way to understand this is through quantum physics which describes how the universe actually is, at least at small scales. The problem is 'how small is small?' Where is the boundary, the edge between the quantum world and our everyday world?

In the quantum world there are deep interconnections and multitudes of possibilities. Time doesn't exist. In some sense our unconscious dream world is a lot like the quantum world. In fact, dreams may actually occur in the quantum world. Its not a different dimension, just the other side of our everyday reality.

But our everyday reality is different. Consciousness has something to do with that. Some say the conscious observer chooses our reality. That may be true but it doesn't explain what the conscious observer actually is."

Dr. Hameroff is known for his collaboration with the eminent British physicist Sir Roger Penrose whose ideas and books "The emperor's new mind", "Shadows of the mind" and "The road to reality" have shaken up science.

Hameroff:
"Penrose suggested that Plato's world of pure forms, mathematical truth, ethical and aesthetic values actually exist in the quantum world, in the most basic level of the universe. That level is described through string theory, quantum gravity and so forth but is far, far too tiny to be measured. It is what makes up empty space, the fabric of nothingness. It's tiny, but vast; wherever we go, there it is! We can't see it, but according to Roger, we can feel it. He suggested that conscious thought connects to, and is influenced by, these Platonic values.

To me, that sounds like 'following the way of the Tao', 'Divine Guidance' or 'surrendering to your Higher Power'. Roger avoids such comparisons but I think it's fair to speculate along those lines.

Roger didn't have a good biological way of making the connection between the brain and the 'funda-mental' level, but I had been working on the idea of small scale computation in structures inside neurons called microtubules which seemed perfect for the job. He and I teamed up 11 years ago and put forth a theory of consciousness based on this connection. It's been rather controversial but still going strong. Time and experiments will tell, but I am fairly certain something like that must be going on.

The basic idea is that consciousness is, in itself, a transition between the quantum and everyday classical worlds. So it isn't so much that the conscious observer causes a 'collapse of the wave function', as it's called. Rather, consciousness IS a collapse-a particular type of self-collapse. Consciousness is a process on the edge between the quantum world and our everyday world. I get this funny image in my head of someone-me, I guess, but anyone -surfing on the edge, like a wave breaking between the two realms."


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

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 Message 1 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-14-2006 6:16 PM mitchellmckain has responded

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mitchellmckain
Member (Idle past 4712 days)
Posts: 60
From: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Joined: 08-14-2006


Message 29 of 39 (342667)
08-23-2006 5:47 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by GDR
08-22-2006 5:13 PM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
Hameroff writes:


"Consciousness remains a profound mystery. It touches not only science and medicine, but the nature of reality, our place in the universe. There can be no sense of spirituality or serenity without consciousness occurs".

Consciousness is far more than the brain acting like a computer.


I believe that consciousness is a universal property of the life process. It is, however, quantitative as all life is quantitative, so although all life has consciousness, that does not mean that all forms of life are equally conscious. There are measurable differences of complexity, sensitivity, freedom, and time scale. Human consciousness can develop these measures to such a high degree because the human lifeform is not only biological. The human brain provides a place for such a free interaction of sensory and motor information that it gives birth to a complex of life processes that operate on a much faster time scale as well as higher sensitivity and freedom. This lifeform which lives in the human brain is none other than what is commonly known as the human mind. So I cannot agree with Hameroff more when he says that consciousness is more than the brain acting like a computer. Indeed, I see no similarity between the human mind and the operation of a computer at all.

Hameroff writes:


"Evidence from various directions suggests non-local interactions-spooky action-at-a-distance as Einstein called it-among people, and a connection to the most basic level of reality. The best way to understand this is through quantum physics which describes how the universe actually is, at least at small scales. The problem is 'how small is small?' Where is the boundary, the edge between the quantum world and our everyday world?"


Well I think that boundary is described by the uncertainty principle because I do not think this can all be explained away with non-local physical processes. Certainly there are deterministic non-local physical processes , and I cannot blame physicists for seeking such an explanation of quantum physics, but since this leaves no room for the spiritual reality as I have experienced it, I cannot believe that it will succeed.

Hameroff writes:


In the quantum world there are deep interconnections and multitudes of possibilities. Time doesn't exist. In some sense our unconscious dream world is a lot like the quantum world. In fact, dreams may actually occur in the quantum world. Its not a different dimension, just the other side of our everyday reality.

I certainly would not put things this way because I do not think of the quantum world as anything but the scale on which we can see the limitation of physicical causality. Instead this suggests to me that that the quantitative energies bound to the physical form of the universe interact (in accordance with the limitations imposed by the uncertainty principle) with energy from outside the space-time physcical law structure of the universe. I envision a sea of non-quantitative energy (with no space or time measures), within which forms of energy can exist independent of one another and defined and "ruled" only by their own internal structure. This is what I call the spiritual world/realm/reality.

Yet I would hesitate to completely attibute human dreams to the experience of this spiritual reality. I think it is very similar but suspect, at most, something more like a sympathetic correspondence rather a direct experience of the spiritual. I think that dreams are more of a physical phenomena consisting of the experience of life (or state of consciousness) that the human mind has when the brain is asleep. I find it quite likely, however, that the human mind becomes even more sensitive to its spiritual environment when the brain shuts down the mind's connection to most of the physical senses.

Notice that I do not attribute the human mind and its activities to anything non-physical. It think that this confusion of the mental with the spiritual is a product of ignorance. But on the other hand I believe that all the activities of any living organism, including the human mind, involves a relationship between the physical process and a spiritual entity which is created by the choices made. It seems quite possible to me that this spiritual entity also represents a means by which the living organism can interact with other spiritual entities transcending time and space.

Hameroff writes:

But our everyday reality is different. Consciousness has something to do with that. Some say the conscious observer chooses our reality. That may be true but it doesn't explain what the conscious observer actually is."

Well the conscious observer may choose his reality in the spiritual world but in the physical world choice has very little to do with it. In regards to the physical reality the conscious observer can only choose how to respond to what is observed. I believe that the observer in QM which collapses the wave function need not be something conscious at all. I think that it only requires a simple physical amplification process which makes the particular property, which is undetermined in the wave function, effect the behavior of many particles in a macroscopic effect.

To understand what the conscious observer is, I believe you have to understand what the life process is. The life process is a cyclical process that can only be described by non-linear equations because the cyclical nature involves the feedback phenomenon, which is capable of amplifying insignificant disturbances into macroscopic results. The bifurcation phenomenon discovered in the science of chaos explains how such processes can respond to changes in the environment with choices in how they will change their struture both as temporary behavioral responses and as permanent adaptations. We can see the simplest examples of such processes in the weather patterns of the earth (and other planets). And even in these simple patterns we see how such cyclical structures draw energy from their environment to maintain themselves as living things do.

In what we call living organisms, cyclical chemical processes interact with other cyclical chemical process to form cyclical processes on higher and higher levels of organization. It is easy to imagine how such structures could have formed step by step in response to environmenal changes to achieve higher degrees of stability and sensitivity to the environment. In this way, creativity and the ability to learn are ultimately basic properties of this life process. We just see its most complex, sensitive, and intensive realization in human creativity and learning.

Hameroff writes:

"Penrose suggested that Plato's world of pure forms, mathematical truth, ethical and aesthetic values actually exist in the quantum world, in the most basic level of the universe. That level is described through string theory, quantum gravity and so forth but is far, far too tiny to be measured. It is what makes up empty space, the fabric of nothingness. It's tiny, but vast; wherever we go, there it is! We can't see it, but according to Roger, we can feel it. He suggested that conscious thought connects to, and is influenced by, these Platonic values.

I am not much of a fan of Plato's ideas, and do not believe in pure forms of any kind, but if ideas and values exist as independent entities then I would expect to find them in that sea of non-quantitative energy that I call the spiritual realm. But if these are to influence human consciousness, we should consider how.

I have painted a picture of reality in which we are submerged in this sea of energy I call the spiritual realm, and so it might seem that it influences everything. But the physical evidence suggest that for the most part, "uncaused" events on the quantum level have little or no influence on macroscopic events that we can see. But there are notable exceptions. Chaos science has discovered that non-linear systems can only be predicted if you know the initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision. This means that such non-linear systems do amplify the effects of quantum events to macroscopic consequences. One result is the ultimate unpredictability of the weather. Another result is that wave collapse can play a role, via the bifurcation phenomenon, in the choices that living things make in behavioral and adaptive responses to environmental change.

Hameroff writes:

The basic idea is that consciousness is, in itself, a transition between the quantum and everyday classical worlds. So it isn't so much that the conscious observer causes a 'collapse of the wave function', as it's called. Rather, consciousness IS a collapse-a particular type of self-collapse. Consciousness is a process on the edge between the quantum world and our everyday world. I get this funny image in my head of someone-me, I guess, but anyone -surfing on the edge, like a wave breaking between the two realms.

As I explained in my first post I believe these choices represents an interaction between physical and spiritual in a self-causal event, that simultaneously determines the result of the wave collapse and re-creates the spirit as the subject of the choice which is made. So there is certainly some similarities in our ideas but (just like between me and randman) there are some big differences. They are looking for consciousness (or spirit) in the physics where they find the hints of possibility, whereas I do not expect to find these thing in quantum phenomena at all. I see the consciousness already in an important physical process (described more by the mathematics of chaos science than quantum physics) and I see the spirit as being ultimately unreachable by science because the spiritual is by its very nature unquantifiable and unmeasurable.


See my relativistic physics of space flight simimulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by GDR, posted 08-22-2006 5:13 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by GDR, posted 08-23-2006 11:12 AM mitchellmckain has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 30 of 39 (342733)
08-23-2006 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by mitchellmckain
08-23-2006 5:47 AM


Re: Hameroff and Penrose
Thanks for the reply. It is a lot to digest.

mitchellmckain writes:

I believe that consciousness is a universal property of the life process. It is, however, quantitative as all life is quantitative, so although all life has consciousness, that does not mean that all forms of life are equally conscious. There are measurable differences of complexity, sensitivity, freedom, and time scale. Human consciousness can develop these measures to such a high degree because the human lifeform is not only biological. The human brain provides a place for such a free interaction of sensory and motor information that it gives birth to a complex of life processes that operate on a much faster time scale as well as higher sensitivity and freedom. This lifeform which lives in the human brain is none other than what is commonly known as the human mind. So I cannot agree with Hameroff more when he says that consciousness is more than the brain acting like a computer. Indeed, I see no similarity between the human mind and the operation of a computer at all.

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

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

mitchellmckain writes:

Instead this suggests to me that that the quantitative energies bound to the physical form of the universe interact (in accordance with the limitations imposed by the uncertainty principle) with energy from outside the space-time physcical law structure of the universe. I envision a sea of non-quantitative energy (with no space or time measures), within which forms of energy can exist independent of one another and defined and "ruled" only by their own internal structure. This is what I call the spiritual world/realm/reality.

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?
http://www.geraldschroeder.com/

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

mitchellmckain writes:

Yet I would hesitate to completely attibute human dreams to the experience of this spiritual reality. I think it is very similar but suspect, at most, something more like a sympathetic correspondence rather a direct experience of the spiritual. I think that dreams are more of a physical phenomena consisting of the experience of life (or state of consciousness) that the human mind has when the brain is asleep. I find it quite likely, however, that the human mind becomes even more sensitive to its spiritual environment when the brain shuts down the mind's connection to most of the physical senses.

I can be looking at my wife, and close my eyes and find that I can't form a clear visual image of her in mind. The other night however I dreamt about my grandfather who died nearly 40 years ago and I had a very clear visual image of him. I find it strange that while asleep with my eyes closed I can visualize details that I can't when I'm awake with my eyes closed.

mitchellmckain writes:

I believe that the observer in QM which collapses the wave function need not be something conscious at all. I think that it only requires a simple physical amplification process which makes the particular property, which is undetermined in the wave function, effect the behavior of many particles in a macroscopic effect.

Is this the same thing as decoherence?

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?

mitchellmckain writes:

Notice that I do not attribute the human mind and its activities to anything non-physical. It think that this confusion of the mental with the spiritual is a product of ignorance. But on the other hand I believe that all the activities of any living organism, including the human mind, involves a relationship between the physical process and a spiritual entity which is created by the choices made. It seems quite possible to me that this spiritual entity also represents a means by which the living organism can interact with other spiritual entities transcending time and space.

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. (Note to admin:I know we're in a science forum but I think that this is relative as this about establishing the boundary of science.)

mitchellmckain writes:

Well the conscious observer may choose his reality in the spiritual world but in the physical world choice has very little to do with it.

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

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

I know I have a lot of questions, but that is only because I have so few answers. :)Thanks again for your time and effort.
Greg

Edited by GDR, : To add a link


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 5:47 AM mitchellmckain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by jar, posted 08-23-2006 11:16 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 32 by mitchellmckain, posted 08-23-2006 2:18 PM GDR has responded

    
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