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Daily Inspiration — Quantum Physics and The Core of Who We Are

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments, In Series: Daily Inspiration

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There is a debate at the foundation of physics that even physicists avoid thinking overmuch about, and yet it goes to the heart of our sense of who we are and where we come from.

The mainstream scientific view is that the universe is an objective, physical entity made up of elementary particles and associated force fields. Life was an accident. Intelligent life was a further accident. And consciousness is a big mystery that doesn't seem to have anything to do with physical matter, but somehow arises from the electrical activity in the brain, or maybe"

"The conception of the objective reality of the elementary particles has evaporated not into the cloud of some new reality concept but into the transparent clarity of a mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of the particles but our knowledge of this behavior."

-- Werner Heisenberg, describing the Quantum revolution

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In view of the fundamental re-entry of mind into basic physics, it is nigh on incomprehensible that so few philosophers and non-physicist scientists entertain today, more than nine decades after the downfall of classical physics, the idea that the physicalist conception of nature, based on the invalidated classical theory, might be profoundly wrong in ways highly relevant to the mind-matter problem"The orthodox quantum ontology is in essential accord with the dualistic ideas of Descartes"

This conclusion that nature is fundamentally mind-like is hardly new. But it arises here not from some deep philosophical analysis or religious insight, but from direct examination of the causal structure of our basic scientific theory"

-- Henry Stapp, from How Consciousness Became the Universe

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Henry Stapp is a theoretical physicist, an emeritus professor of at UC Berkeley. My interpretation of this quote:

The idea of an objective physical universe was the height of 19th Century science, but it has been supplanted by 20th Century quantum physics. There is no room for mind in 19th Century physics, but there is an explicit place for mind in quantum physics. So why are we still working with an understanding in which our world is dead, our brains are meat computers and consciousness is an illusion?

The light of consciousness is our primary experience, something we know before we know anything else. Science is supposed to be empirical, that is, rooted in experience. Why would science want to deny the most fundamental fact of our experience? If physical theory led inexorably to the conclusion that the physical universe is a complete, objective system, with no room in its laws for interference by anything mental then we might understand science, pushed into a corner, would be at a loss to embrace consciousness as anything else but a curious epiphenomenon. But this was 19th century physics. Why has the scientific world-view worked so hard to avoid the quantum implication that consciousness has a role in fundamental physics?

Stapp has many articles and 3 books in which he offers us one alternative understanding of physics and its relation to life. Conscious observation and conscious intention exist outside of the physical world of particles and fields, but exchanges information with that physical world. Intention can alter quantum probabilities. And brains are so exquisitely constructed as to be able to leverage the tiny quantum effects of our intentions turn them into thoughts, ideas, and motor triggers.

Do you remember the butterfly effect? The weather is such a complex system, poised on the knife-edge of chaos, that it is unpredictable, because the fluttering of a butterfly's wings in Tahiti six weeks ago might affect the weather in New York tomorrow. It appears that our brains are designed on an analogous principle, but not to make neuronal activity chaotic, but to make it exquisitely sensitive to tiny quantum events that can, conceivably, be affected by this entity I call "me".


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Article about Henry Stapp and his perspective on the Quantum Soul.

 

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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
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David Watts

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Your article is like dessert for the imagination.

"The conception of the objective reality of the elementary particles has evaporated not into the cloud of some new reality concept but into the transparent clarity of a mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of the particles but our knowledge of this behavior."

"In view of the fundamental re-entry of mind into basic physics, it is nigh on incomprehensible that so few philosophers and non-physicist scientists entertain today, more than nine decades after the downfall of classical physics, the idea that the physicalist conception of nature, based on the invalidated classical theory, might be profoundly wrong in ways highly relevant to the mind-matter problem"The orthodox quantum ontology is in essential accord with the dualistic ideas of Descartes."


You had me convinced after reading your article,

Daily Inspiration -- The Zeroth Law of Science.

You talked of human subjects altering the random number output of a quantum random event generator simply by "thinking high" or "thinking low." Another was using the pinball machine mounted on the wall -- Pachinko Game? -- where a human subject would alter the normal distribution of balls at the bottom by "thinking left" or "thinking right." You had me convinced there is something to what you say.

I will get back with more after I watch your video link Intention can alter quantum probabilities.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 at 2:53:14 AM

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Dana Bruce Thibault

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The very fabric of spacetime is akin to the surface of a pot of water just a fraction of a degree below the boiling point poised to erupt into boiling from the slightest influence of additional vibration, which is what consciousness can do to reality.

Out of body experiences absolutely prove consciousness is transcendent and can exist outside the body yet science absolutely refuses to admit what it cannot prove objectively, so continuously puts forward "brilliant" minds to elucidate how actually abysmally ignorant they are.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 at 3:16:50 AM

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Your link its very interesting.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 at 9:50:30 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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Both "inspiring" and fun!

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 at 6:19:30 PM

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Janet Supriano

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It's been said, When the scientist reaches the pinnacle, the guru sitting there will smile and nod.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 at 6:26:19 PM

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If I could have ever reached the pinnacle, I would have loved to be a scientist; if for only to see the guru smile... :)

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 at 5:01:48 AM

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:) Me too, my friend, me, too. But alas! I will never be a scientist.

So I would like to be one of the last weary gurus, clawing my way up the mountain together with the last scientist, saying "I think I know; I think I know."

Maybe we all get there one day...or maybe we're all there already, and just don't realize it.

The fun is in the journey. But man oh man, you need a sturdy pair of hiking boots. :)

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 at 4:41:57 PM

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I watched the video. It seems they tried to take into account every possible 'other' influence that might possibly alter their results other than the quantum effect of the subjects. The results of the repeated experimentation seem solid. That is super neat. I understand the effects are small, but the effects are there none the less. Kind of like mind being "slightly" over matter.

I wondered if it would be worthwhile to have two subjects both keeping the double slit in mind to see if it increased the quantum effect. If it did, that would be interesting.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 at 5:34:53 AM

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