Click here to support the Daily Grail for as little as $US1 per month on Patreon

Quantum Enigma

There’s a recent and interesting book out which deals with the ‘skeleton in the closet’ of physics, which is the interaction between consciousness and the physical world, via quantum processes. The book is Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness (Amazon US and UK), by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner:

Every interpretation of quantum physics encounters consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself—and encounter quantum physics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing.

Don’t expect a “What the Bleep” in book form though – the authors explain that only by exposing this ‘skeleton’ can physicists “challenge the purveyors of pseudoscience who use the mysteries of quantum mechanics to promote their quantum nonsense.” Nonetheless, they do give some ground to parapsychology – at least in private – as according to Dean Radin one of the authors agrees that non-local correlations do make “the a priori probability of anomalous cognition an order of magnitude more likely”.

Perhaps most interesting is the growing momentum towards a change in the paradigm, with more physicists and cosmologists starting to lean towards the idea that consciousness is an integral part of the Universe. Another recent book Biocosm (Amazon US and UK), comes at the question from a different angle, while asserting that life and intelligence are primary cosmological phenomena. Perhaps Roger Penrose is closer to the truth than many have given him credit for?

  1. Penrose, Karl and quantum
    I don’t think Penrose is pressing his theory much anymore. His co-author Stuart Hameroff is still pushing it though.

    I had dinner with Roger Penrose and Karl Pribram at a conference at Radford University. When Karl asked him “So what does your theory have to do with psychology?”, Penrose replied “I don’t know. You’re the psychologists, that’s your job.” Not much of a theory. More of a hypothesis, really.

    As far as I recall, quantum collapse (and so conversion from probability to reality) requires measurement, not consciousness. According to Bell’s Theorem (actually the disproof of Bell’s Theorem, which proved quantum entanglement and action at a distance) those particles in a system remain part of that system despite separation. Since all particles came from the same quantum event, the Big Bang singularity, all particles are entangled. All parts of the universe are being measured, through entanglement, by the other parts — they all affect each other to some degree. All of the universe collapses the probability wave of each part of the universe. This requires no intervention of or interaction with consciousness.

    If it did require consciousness, who or what was conscious just after the Big bang when particles were forming?

    No, I am not the brain specialist…..
    YES. Yes I AM the brain specialist.

    1. Consciousness after the big bang
      If there was a Big Bang, indeed but I digress.

      Why would we think in terms of requirements at all?

      Consciousness needs not be a who or a what. This is our psychology at work groping for a form to tag it unto.

      I suggest that at one point in the future, we may consider that energy ‘is’ consciousness. Not psychological, analytical or consciousness the way we think it because it is the way we perceieve it.

      It seems to me that the fundamental problem is that we do not have a scientific explanation for consciousness at all, we only have which is described in our dictionaries and that definition is only one of perception.

      For example, cells are not conscious the way multicellulars are but the consciousness remain. Parasites may be no Einstein but they still know to infest our brain and command our very perception of ourselves to force certain habits upon us. Is there anything at all that would be bereft of consciousness?

      What is missing is an ‘atomic’ consciousness factor, that of energy taking form to organize itself. This is difficult though as we alrady have a hard time coming to grip with cellular consciousness or the consciousness of even a tree for instance.

    2. DynaSoar
      All of this is hypothesis, bar consciousness – and even that might be said to be a little hazy…*smile*

      Besides, regarding quantum collapse – doesn’t this involve frames of reference (Lorentz). Note too this includes ‘preferred’ frames of reference…This is all theoretical in shape & form.

      Consciousness, on the other hand is (likely) not a theoretical assumption – it is simply an…elusive value – and one that defies reckoning at this present moment in our scientific understanding – therefore, it is not included within the equation. I fail to see how theory built upon hypothesis built upon theory holds any real truth and/or meaning. Calculations built upon mathematical foundations that lack a crucial & intrinsic value is simply scientific juggling.

  2. contact of DG editor
    how do you contact the DG editor(s)? I see nothing on the site of how to do so…..If it’s there, tell me where, I got some questions

    1. Email
      You can email any of the editors by putting their name, followed by

      Kind regards,
      You monkeys only think you’re running things

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mobile menu - fractal