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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?