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Sorry, I know it’s Monday and your brain is probably already struggling. But this brain bender is too good not to share: A series of quantum experiments has shown that measurements performed in the future can influence the present.

Tollaksen’s group is looking into the notion that time might flow backward, allowing the future to influence the past. By extension, the universe might have a destiny that reaches back and conspires with the past to bring the present into view. On a cosmic scale, this idea could help explain how life arose in the universe against tremendous odds. On a personal scale, it may make us question whether fate is pulling us forward and whether we have free will.

Tollaksen’s research was inspired by the work of physicist Yakir Aharanov, who came up with a fresh interpretation of quantum mechanics that allowed it to remain deterministic:

Aharonov accepted that a particle’s past does not contain enough information to fully predict its fate, but he wondered, if the information is not in its past, where could it be? After all, something must regulate the particle’s behavior. His answer—which seems inspired and insane in equal measure—was that we cannot perceive the information that controls the particle’s present behavior because it does not yet exist.

“Nature is trying to tell us that there is a difference between two seemingly identical particles with different fates, but that difference can only be found in the future,” he says. If we’re willing to unshackle our minds from our preconceived view that time moves in only one direction, he argues, then it is entirely possible to set up a deterministic theory of quantum mechanics.

The article finishes by discussing the implications of the theory being correct – not least, that the Universe has a fixed destiny, and whether we can detect its ‘influence’ upon us now. Research into this question is actually being undertaken by famous cosmologist Paul Davies and colleagues at Arizona State University:

Cosmologists have long been puzzled about why the conditions of our universe — for example, its rate of expansion — provide the ideal breeding ground for galaxies, stars, and planets. If you rolled the dice to create a universe, odds are that you would not get one as handily conducive to life as ours is. Even if you could take life for granted, it’s not clear that 14 billion years is enough time for it to evolve by chance. But if the final state of the universe is set and is reaching back in time to influence the early universe, it could amplify the chances of life’s emergence.

….“The goal is to find out whether Mother Nature has been doing her own postselections, causing these unexpected effects to appear,” Davies says.

I wonder if this provides any support or mechanism for the positive results for the presentiment research performed by Dean Radin and Dick Bierman, in which individuals seem to have emotional reactions to future events.