Nov 26 2013

Biocentrism Continued

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62 Responses to “Biocentrism Continued”

  1. Jerry in Coloradoon 26 Nov 2013 at 9:21 am

    Excellent article, Steven.
    Your sorting and analysis of the quantum woo is very helpful, even to a retired academic physics Ph.D.

  2. evhantheinfidelon 26 Nov 2013 at 11:20 am

    Ah, quantum woo! This reminds me of my aunt the other day. She was talking about how her kitten had died, but she could still “feel her presence”. She then went on to claim that she didn’t care what “they” said and that anything they discover today will be contradicted tomorrow since we don’t really know anything at all. The next day, she proceeded to cite flimsy science to support her own notions of how the brain works and to support global warming (which I believe in, make no mistake). It seems that such contradictions are common among the fuzzier of thinkers.

  3. ccbowerson 26 Nov 2013 at 1:51 pm

    “Yet another possibility is that there are many universes, perhaps even infinite, and in each one the physical laws are shuffled. Only in those universes compatible with the evolution of consciousness will there be beings capable of asking questions about the laws of their universe.”

    I think that no matter which possibility you choose to attempt to address his questions regarding physical laws and constants, his perspective that they must be ‘carefully chosen’ (and his incredulity they they could be otherwise) is little more than the ‘lottery fallacy.’

    A universe like ours must have some values for those constants, and must have some laws if there is uniformity in that universe, so no matter what those laws and values were one could come to the same erroneous conclusion that they must have been carefully chosen. The only exceptions are those universes in which life (as we know if) were not present to contemplate such question (as your quote mentions). I don’t see any deep lessons or insights to be learned from these types of counter-factuals without any substance behind them.

  4. Gallenodon 26 Nov 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Steve, I enjoyed both posts on this topic. :)

    So, according to Idealists, if enough people (or even one person) belives something strongly enough, their belief could, in theory, reshape reality?

    Or does it just reshape their reality, leaving the rest of us trying to deal with people living in a universe of their own creation?

  5. Sastraon 26 Nov 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Consciousness is awareness, or perception, which in an utter mystery has somehow arisen from molecules and goo.

    Except that Lanza’s entire argument is that Consciousness did NOT arise from “molecules and goo.” It always is and always was and never had to get that way.

    Doesn’t this assumption throw out his entire Fine Tuning Argument? The laws of physics don’t have to be “perfectly balanced” for life, mind, awareness or perception to exist if we’re not looking for a material, physical explanation and instead just positing that the substrate of reality is “Biocentric.” A biocentric universe would still have Consciousness regardless of WHAT the physical constants were, given that our ‘explanation’ for Consciousness is Consciousness itself, a skyhook from nowhere which does all the heavy lifting without any background work, history, or environment.

    I’m so tired of being reassured that religion is “man’s way” but there’s some wonderful, pure spiritual core which is completely supported by modern science — and then this sort of dreck is dragged out as if it were cutting edge. As you wisely point out iIt’s the same stuff they’ve always been on about.

  6. Dreaded Anomalyon 26 Nov 2013 at 10:38 pm

    This is essentially correct, the universe has all the physical laws necessary, and sometimes within a very narrow band of tolerance, to allow for stable complex forms such as life.

    I wouldn’t even concede the “narrow band” point to the anthropic woo-ers. “Narrow” has to be in comparison to something. For the most part, we have virtually no basis to speculate about other possible (not imaginable) values of the fundamental constants. Without that, there’s no real way to conclude how finely tuned they are.

  7. BillyJoe7on 27 Nov 2013 at 5:20 am

    “Yet another possibility is that there are many universes”

    I think this has to be a front runner.

    We already know of the existence of one universe so, as Sean Carroll says, we don’t need any new concepts to propose more universes. Also, as Lawrence Krauss says in his book “A Universe from Nothing”, cosmological inflation theories proposed for other reasons suggest the existence of multiple universes as natural consequence of these theories.

  8. Mlemaon 27 Nov 2013 at 5:34 am

    to me this seems less like pseudoscience and more like pseudo-philosophy.
    reminds me also of Krauss’s adventures in philosophy.

  9. BillyJoe7on 27 Nov 2013 at 6:03 am

    Sounds to me like shooting the messenger with badly constructed sentences. |:

  10. bluedevilRAon 27 Nov 2013 at 9:57 am

    Gallenod, this is exactly what Chopra argues but I do not know if Lanza has argued as much. This idea is what pisses me off the most about quantum/consciousness woo. It’s offensive to every person on this earth that is currently dying or has already died. As if they could just alter their perception of the world and that would somehow cure their disease. Do these people really think humans are like Franklin Richards?

  11. chrisjon 27 Nov 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I have never understood why so many people think the anthropic principle presents such a mystery. Any possible configuration of the fundamental constants is equally unlikely. One of them had to happen. We only find it amazing because we think life is a particularly salient feature of the universe. If the constants had been set at something else and we (I know, we wouldn’t exist, but this is beside the point) found white dwarfs particularly interesting for some reason, then there would be a big mystery about why the universe was fine-tuned to produce lots of white dwarfs. The anthropic principle has more to do with our particular biases than it does with a true mystery.

  12. billyphillips7on 27 Nov 2013 at 12:12 pm

    TO suggest that dead molecules create life or that mindless bits of matter can produce consciousness is the very stuff of hocus pocus that skeptics seek to debunk. When was the last time an apple just popped into thin air out of nothingness? There is always a seed.

    If it isn’t in the seed, it isn’t part of the tree.

    The whole idea of consciousness or intelligence being an emergent property reeks of mysticism.

    What determines or acknowledges that there is a detector detecting the photon as it passes through the slit? Consciousness. What invented the double slit experience and placed the detector there in the first place? Consciousness. What is making the argument, right now, about there being no need for consciousness to detect the photon? Consciousness. What is making the argument that we only need a detector? Consciousness. What observes the result of that detector? Consciousness. It is consciousness that is denying its own power and existence.

    How ironic.

    We already have the power of mind over matter. However, the moment your consciousness decides that mind over matter does not exist, that innate power of consciousness now empowers matter and you will be “right” in your reality. You relinquish control of your own consciousness.

    What Chopra and Lanza have not yet figured out is that there are two aspects of consciousness. Ego, which denies its own existence and is rooted in self interest, and our true consciousness, the will to care and love other unconditionally.

    Our skepticism and doubts are implanted by ego. This is for free will purposes. Your argument against this is also ego.

    The power of consciousness can be tested.

    How?

    Each time we gain the courage and muster the will to let go of our ugly ego, to admit it and then to squash it (and it has to be transformative effort where letting go of it is devastatingly painful) then, and only then, we will experience the result of perceiving a higher truth.

    That is when we experience the “aha!” moment and realize consciousness is the root of our reality.

    This is something that cannot be taught from one person to another. To teach it is to preach it and preaching only leads to intolerance, conflict and war. Rather, each person must find this truth on their own.

    Healthy debate about these ideas is positive. Debate laced with anger, resentment, reactive emotions, are the work of ego. An open mind, the ability to see both sides, temporarily, where it hurts — deeply hurts — when we let go of our ego to see the other side, THAT is when we are able to unleash our true consciousness, and perceive these higher truths.

    If we disagree now and call this nonsense, we will be “right” in our reality. It is ego that thrives on the position of skepticism and defending our own position in the name of science. This is religion.

    This intolerant egocentric view keeps us imprisoned in this world of chaos, pain, conflict, suffering and death. Make no mistake, we would rather die and be right, than to be proven wrong. That is how strong our ego is.

    When someone has found this truth, they also acquire the wisdom to allow others the space and dignity to find the truth on their own.

    Lanza thinks he has found truth, and he seeks to impose his view on others, but this is ego, this is for his own profit, self interest, the desire for acclaim, fame and other egocentric impulses. Novella seeks to disprove Lanza but he too is motivated by ego, self-interest, the desire for acclaim, approval and respect.

    Ego lives at both ends of the spectrum and plays both sides against the middle.

    Any anger, reaction, reflex emotion, insult, unkind response resulting from hearing someone else opinion is a result of ego.

    To be able to reason without ego, to be fully open, not matter how embarrassing or nervous we are, takes superhuman strength. However, when we get there, that is when our consciousness will bring forth a reality where all our dreams come true.

    Removing the influence of ego is the work of mankind. We get their through suffering and pain (look around) or we can proactively get there using tools to diminish the influence of ego.

    Realizing that our consciousness can create a world of paradise once its free of self interest and ego is why we are here in this world. This is how we, mankind, can create a world of peace and never ending contentment, instead of it being handed to us carte blanch, like a free lunch, by the Cause of all causes that brought forth the cosmos.

    The ego was created by design, so that we could overcome it and become the cause of our own happiness.

  13. steve12on 27 Nov 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve met a few scientists who are very good in their field, but don’t seem to understand the philosophical underpinnings and assumptions of science itself.

    Like many people, they think of science in a colloquial sense. Any ordered search for truth about the universe is science – there are no preconditions or necessary assumptions. Of course, science is not that and never was, but I do see where the confusion is. Most people, I think, define science colloquially and not technically.

  14. chrisjon 27 Nov 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I had forgotten about this, but Douglas Adams makes the same point I was trying to make in much wittier and eloquent way.

    “Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say.”
    Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, (1998)

  15. Mlemaon 27 Nov 2013 at 4:13 pm

    ok BillyJoe *sigh* I’ll bite…so you believe Krauss has a “message”? Beware – that sounds a bit religious.

  16. whunsickeron 27 Nov 2013 at 8:47 pm

    The anthropic principal is a chicken or egg problem as in “Which came first: life (and consciousness) or the conditions that lead to life (and consciousness)?”

    I think that we have the sort of life and consciousness we have because these constants produce the conditions under which this sort of life naturally occurs. If some of the constants were different there would be a different sort of life and, possibly, a different sort of consciousness.

    To me, saying “The conditions that exist have resulted in the kind of life (and consciousness) we observe.” makes more sense.

    It takes some huge ego to think that reality exists just so you can exist.

  17. BillyJoe7on 28 Nov 2013 at 5:36 am

    I made two points which complemented each other.

    The first was that to propose two universes involves no additional concepts than to propose one universe. Same for three universes, four universes, or an almost infinite number of universes. We know there is at least one universe. Hence, conceptually, there is nothing extraordinary about proposing a Multiverse.
    Sean Carroll is the messenger of this piece of insight.

    The second was that there are cosmological inflation theories that predict the existence of a multiverse. These theories fit the observed facts very well, which lends credence to the proposed existence of the multiverse, in a situation where, on the face of it, the Multiverse cannot actually be observed.
    Laurence Krauss is the messenger of this piece of science.

  18. Steven Novellaon 28 Nov 2013 at 10:47 am

    Billyphilips had sent me his comment in an e-mail. Here is my response:

    Billy,

    That premise is just that – a premise. It’s not an argument, you present no evidence, just assertions. It’s a narrative, but you present no reason to take it seriously let alone prefer it over other narratives.

    I do think there is also a gaping hole in your concept of what skepticism is. Skepticism is not about a position, it’s not about being right – it’s about following a process, one that recognizes logic, evidence, our own capacity for self-deception, and in short – critical thinking. Being a skeptic means valuing the process over any particular conclusion. So if you can convince me using logic and evidence that my current position is wrong, then my egocentric identity as a skeptic, if anything, would motivate me to follow the correct process rather than violate a skeptical process in order to defend an invalid position.

    You may also benefit from reading some psychological texts. Psychologists have been studying cognitive processes, ego, needs, etc ofr decades and have a lot of valuable information. I do not think that your position, which puts ego at the center of everything, is consistent with the psychological literature. At the very least, it is an oversimplification.

    Of course, you can say that his is so because the ego makes it so. That is really the core problem with your premise – it is a self-contained belief system immune to external validation or refutation. The way you frame your premise there is literally no evidence that can convince you of the materialist position, because you can dismiss all evidence as a product of the ego.

    The very notion that consciousness is required for any of the experimental results to occur is not even wrong – because it cannot be tested, even theoretically. At some point we will need to learn what the results of any experiment are, and you can say that at that point consciousness makes the result, even if there was no conscious element throughout the experiment itself. By definition we can never know what will happen without consciousness in the loop, because knowing puts consciousness in the loop. The entire notion is therefore unfalsifiable. I therefore cannot say that it is wrong, only that it is completely useless.

    I can also say that the materialist paradigm works very well, and is not incompatible with any evidence we have. It makes predictions that are useful. Your premise of the role of consciousness adds nothing in terms of predictive or explanatory power.

    I also suggest you do some reading about epistemology and philosophy of science, as you are wading deep into these areas.

    Regards,

    Steve

  19. Steven Novellaon 28 Nov 2013 at 10:53 am

    Further response – Billy writes:
    “TO suggest that dead molecules create life or that mindless bits of matter can produce consciousness is the very stuff of hocus pocus that skeptics seek to debunk. When was the last time an apple just popped into thin air out of nothingness? There is always a seed.”

    There is no hocus-pocus necessary. Our current materialist theories do quite well. You cannot so easily dismiss “emergent properties” – all this means is that the interaction of pieces of a system can generate new phenomena that do not derive directly from the pieces themselves.

    The example I already gave is apt – explain the functioning of a car by focusing only on the properties of the materials out of which it is made, steel, etc. You can’t. You have to resort to higher-order interactions among the pieces of the car. You have to refer to physical principles, such as combustion, air pressure, and temperature.

    Explain the functioning of my blog by describing the properties of silicon. How does software arise out of inert silicon? No hocus-pocus required. There are simply higher order interactions.

    When certain molecules interact in a complex way, you have life. When living organs function in a certain way you have consciousness.

  20. Bronze Dogon 28 Nov 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Billy Phillips demonstrates one thing I’ve seen in the hyper-reductionism. When they assert you can’t break life, consciousness, and such down into components, they simultaneously imply that components can’t add up to a new whole. Billy seems to be explicitly asserting the latter with his rejection of emergent phenomena. There’s no “car-ness” in steel, rubber, etcetera. You can’t put a steel bar in cruise control. It’s only when you put those materials together in an arrangement we call a “car” that you can put it in cruise control.

    I’m reminded of a facepalm moment in Watchmen. Dr. Manhattan says there’s no difference between a live man and a dead man because they contain the same number of particles. Nope. That’s not how it works. The difference is how those particles are arranged. Like Dr. Manhattan, these woos fixate on substance while neglecting form.

  21. BillyJoe7on 28 Nov 2013 at 3:43 pm

    bp7,

    “We already have the power of mind over matter”

    I would invite you to provide a link to any experiment in quantum physics that demonstrates this to be true. I will tell you now that you cannot do it, because this is not the first time I have invited someone to do so. The result is always complete silence except for the chirping of crickets. Provide me with a sample, of where some physicists or non-physicists has altered the expected outcome of an experiment in quantum physics by the power of his mind. Turn the detectors off and, with the power of your mind change the interference pattern to a scatter pattern.

    “Removing the influence of ego is the work of mankind”

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UduuxKdPt9Q&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUduuxKdPt9
    Enjoy!

  22. billyphillips7on 28 Nov 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Steven,

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    You said it best when you said, “By definition we can never know what will happen without consciousness in the loop, because knowing puts consciousness in the loop.”

    That is my point. Air is everywhere, and thus, even before science could prove it, it’s clear that air is a vital component to the emergence of life and human existence. Water is everywhere, within us and around us, so even before science proved that our body was over 60% water, we could surmise that water is essential to the origins of life. The evidence is compelling. The only thing more pervading that air and water is consciousness.

    Consciousness is always in the loop. Consciousness is everywhere. Consciousness devises the experiments and produces the theories that tell the story of our creation. It is always in the loop. Therefore, Lanza and others surmise that consciousness plays a vital or key role in the creation of life and the universe. It’s a smart, astute and logical assertion and topic to pursue for intense study.

    And the most compelling reason to focus on consciousness is the utter foolishness to suggest that dead, mindless molecules give rise to living thinking creatures, as if life and consciousness magically spring up out of nowhere. When you speak of magical thinking, it is the ultimate magical thinking to believe that thinking and consciousness springs out of nothingness.

    Once again, an apple, a leaf, sap, and bark do not just magically appear out of some random or ordered design of constituent parts that produce something altogether different from its own substance. They are all present in the seed. Our hair does not magically turn brown, curly and bushy magically out of thin air. There is always a cause, that being our DNA. Consciousness has to be in the “DNA” of the universe if it is to materialize as the fruit in this tree called life.

    Instead of denying that premise and the compelling evidence as a skeptic, your argument should be, we need more science to prove that consciousness is the cause because its always in the loop. It is everywhere. It even manages to discredit itself in the process. To not see this stunning dynamic is to be blinded by it. But you cannot convince a blind man of something he cannot see. One must first remove the blinders.

    Furthermore, science can never, and will never provide the complete answer because it limits it’s own consciousness by only asking how and not why. This reeks of the same lame excuse religion offers when you ask why. Religion cannot answer why, accept to say its outside our domain because God works in mysterious ways.

    When science asks why then they will derive a Theory of Everything and consciousness will lie at the root. The blindfold is not knowing the why.

    The blindfold is the ego. Would you be prepared to lose your career, to wind up broke, penniless, to be shunned by your colleagues, labelled a quack, but in return, to receive the truth that consciousness is the cause, root and very fabric of our reality? I don’t know if i would have the courage to do so.

    This is the power of ego and as I mentioned, it takes near superhuman strength to transcend it.

    Psychology’s view of the ego is light years away from the definition i am proposing.

    Let me point out that these are not my views, but rather, the views of the ancient science of Kabbalah.

    The same science of Kabbalah intensely studied by Newton, Leibniz, Henry Moore, Wolfgang Pauli and others.

    Some 2000 years ago, the Zohar, the ancient text of Kabbalah, said blockages in our arteries caused by “impure fats” causes heart disease and death.

    The Zohar described liver function some twenty centuries before Albrecht von Haller.

    The Zohar described pure and impure fats and the role of bad cholesterol in blocking our arteries leading to heart disease some twenty centuries before Konrad Bloch won the Nobel Prize for it.

    The Zohar said the microscopic realm is made up of energy that flows in “heaps of waves, like the waves upon the sea.”

    The Zohar said there are seven seas, seven continents, different time zones where it is day for a long time and the night is very short, and the earth is a sphere.

    The Zohar said time, space and motion are illusions of the material world and that true reality is a realm of Light and from the Light’s perspective, reality is timeless, spaceless and motionless.

    This is time dilation and length contraction 2000 years before Einstein.

    The Zohar got all that right, so I was more than intrigued to know what it had to say about our origins and the reason for it. After all, if it was good enough for Newton and Leibniz to study, I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise.

    When you understand what consciousness is, where it comes from, why it bothers to exist, from the Kabbalistic perspective, you now have the tools to resolve the paradoxes of physics.

    Specifically the Loschmidt paradox (the time reversibility paradox): How do time reversible molecules in the microscopic world bring forth a time irreversible macroscopic realm?

    How do invisible atoms create visible structures?

    How do waves also behave as particles?

    My novel will not explore Kabbalah per se, but rather incorporate its stunning views on the inner workings of the universe, the role of ego (known Kabbalistically as “the adversary) which is an opposing force of consciousness that arouses doubt, skepticism and extreme self interest.

    The Aramaic and Hebrew word for “adversary” is the word Satan (pronounced similar to rattan). The word Satan first appears in human history in the Old Testament, the Torah. It is not a devil or demon or evil force. It simply means adversarial or opposing force of consciousness.

    In other words, we know something is bad for us, yet we are motivated to do it anyway. We know something is positive, yet we procrastinate. It is easier to become addicted to junk food and heroin than it is to become addicted to steamed zucchini, broccoli and daily exercise. It is easier to get angry and hate, than it is to be calm, patient and loving.

    These “negative” impulses are called “Adversary” in the Torah aka known as the human ego. The ego says, I am the best, but it also says I am the worst. It says I can do no wrong. But it also says I can do nothing right.” It lives at both ends of the spectrum.

    The Zohar, 2000 year ago, said whoever takes the Bible literally, it would be better that such person had never been born into this world. The Zohar lays the blame of all darkness, destruction and death at the doorstep of religion, specifically the Rabbis. This is quite profound because the Kabbalist who revealed the Zohar, and all Kabbalists were “rabbis.”

    My point in mentioning all of this, is if you are truly seeking an answer about the role of consciousness and the meaning of life, there are answers. You will have to overcome skepticism, and fear of what others may seek, because that is the price of admission and the actual way in which we prepare our consciousness to grasp the truth.

    if you want to see how we reconcile the time reversibility paradox, the Zohar explains it.

    Many esteemed scholars now credit Kabbalah as the reason behind the sudden eruption of scientific discovery during the renaissance and the scientific revolution. The evidence is compelling.

    Even something as simple as Newton’s discovery of white light containing the seven colors of the spectrum can be found inside Isaac Newton’s personal copy of the Zohar, which is still archived at Trinity College in Cambridge.

    Finally, the existence of ego as a separate force, and the power of mind over matter can be proven. It is testable. It is not a self-contained belief system.

    To do so, the individual must begin eradicating the influence of one’s own ego. The individual must begin to recognize the ego as a separate distinct entity created to test us, and challenge us. One must begin living these principles, attuning one’s consciousness to these truths. At that point the proof must be in the pudding. Life must change. There must be solid evidence of mind over matter, mind altering negative situations into positive, concrete results that prove to the individual, and no one else, that consciousness is the cause of the universe and the cause of our own life, including our present state of happiness or unhappiness, chaos or order, darkness or light or what ever exists in between.

    That is how one establishes a personal connection to truth and the Cause of all causes.

    The moment we engage in convincing others that our truth is the sole truth, the moment we begin teaching, preaching, telling, selling, then we are in the realm of ego and we are in a dimension opposite of true reality and we are in the business of organized religion.

    Most of us do not want truth. We want careers. Acclaim. Grants. Popularity. Respect. Approval. Money. Social standing. We go after our version of truth as scientists as a means to an end. If the authentic, primary goal was truth, we’d give up all the acclaim, our reputations, everything, in order to attain the truth. That is the test.

    So the biggest delusion of science is that they seek the truth.

    The field is overflowing with jealousy, envy, conflict because scientists jealousy protect and horde intellectual assets the same way corrupt Wall Street brokers horde monetary assets.

    Are you open to the possibility that consciousness could be the cause of the universe, or are you saying Lanza has failed to prove it, but it is still a possibility?

    Do you agree consciousness magically showing up from unconscious
    matter and lifeless molecules is ridiculous and magical thinking?

    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings and much good fortune for you and your loved ones.

    Billy

  23. Ekkoon 28 Nov 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Essentially, Billy has substituted the word “God” for “consciousness” and made a large number of sweeping generalizations based on personal opinion and assumptions coupled with misunderstandings. I’m not really sure it is worth the effort to break them down in detail but suffice to say, he does not understand what “emergent properties” really means yet.

  24. Bronze Dogon 28 Nov 2013 at 5:34 pm

    You said it best when you said, “By definition we can never know what will happen without consciousness in the loop, because knowing puts consciousness in the loop.”

    That is my point. Air is everywhere, and thus, even before science could prove it, it’s clear that air is a vital component to the emergence of life and human existence. Water is everywhere, within us and around us, so even before science proved that our body was over 60% water, we could surmise that water is essential to the origins of life. The evidence is compelling. The only thing more pervading that air and water is consciousness.

    1. You’re confessing that you’re engaging in unfalsifiable circular reasoning. All you’re saying is “Everywhere you go, there you are.” If an assertion is unfalsifiable, it can’t really tell us anything.

    2. You’re working causation backwards. Conscious life is one of many consequences that happened to come about because of how the universe and evolution went. It’s perfectly conceivable that if the universe took a different turn, there could be air, water, and such but no consciousness. Consequently, there’d be no one to complain. You might as well go solipsist and say your consciousness is at the core and the rest of the universe exists solely to give back story.

    And the most compelling reason to focus on consciousness is the utter foolishness to suggest that dead, mindless molecules give rise to living thinking creatures, as if life and consciousness magically spring up out of nowhere. When you speak of magical thinking, it is the ultimate magical thinking to believe that thinking and consciousness springs out of nothingness.

    Do we need to find steel, rubber, and such with “car-ness” attributes in order to build a car?

  25. Davdoodleson 28 Nov 2013 at 7:20 pm

    “Consciousness is always in the loop. Consciousness is everywhere.”

    No. It isn’t. It’s inside your head, and inside mine. As far as we can tell. And besides, why is it “ego” to claim that consciousness occurs entirely within the brain (ie a position consistent with all the available evidence), and yet making the claim that “consciousness is everywhere” (ie a position inconsistent with all the available evidence, which elevates mere human brain function to some sort of pan-universal super-force) is what happens when one lets go of “ego”?

    ‘Cos that certainly sounds one heck of a lot like the purest form of conceit, to me.

    “You will have to overcome skepticism, and fear of what others may seek, because that is the price of admission and the actual way in which we prepare our consciousness to grasp the truth.”

    I can see why one would need to abandon scepticism to arrive at the “truth” you are peddling, but it does your argument no good to admit that point.

    “So the biggest delusion of science is that they seek the truth.”

    On the contrary, that is not a delusion of science, it is a mis-description of science typically propagated by people who would rather not argue with what science actually is. Science does not seek “truth”, it seeks facts and knowledge. It seeks to better understand the universe in which your brain and mine are temporarily conscious.
    .

  26. Steven Novellaon 29 Nov 2013 at 8:46 am

    billy – you did not really engage with my response, or that of the other commenters. You restated your premise and then explained that this is a religious belief. That’s it. You entirely missed all the actual points that I made.

    You are simply asserting that consciousness is everything, rather than the far more simple explanation that is consistent with current scientific understanding – the human mind is simply the functioning of the human brain. The universe is not dependent upon our existence or our experiencing or knowing the universe.

  27. Bronze Dogon 29 Nov 2013 at 9:55 am

    Billy might be thinking that if he’s not conscious of our arguments, they can’t undermine his assertions.

    Your fallacy for the day, Billy: Fallacy of Division.

    The whole point of normal reductionism is that we recognize that there are a lot of things that can be broken down into parts. Those parts do not necessarily share properties with the whole. It’s ironic that we have to remind the people who rail against reductionism that you can make something that is “greater than the sum of its parts,” or more precisely, has properties that none of the parts have individually. The fact that it’s possible to take things apart necessarily implies that it’s possible to put parts together to make wholes.

    We live in a world full of emergent phenomena. Chemistry, biology, ecology, neurology, language, culture, morality, economics, politics, computer science, and so on. When you have lots of small things interacting, it can add up to bigger events. There’s no “magical thinking” involved in believing in emergent phenomena, just basic knowledge of the everyday world.

    But I expect my comment will fall on deaf ears. Like Dr. Manhattan, Billy will continue to fixate on the “dead” substance of simple atoms and pass up the importance we place on form. To a hyper-reductionist, everything is just particles, only with additional exotic “life” and “consciousness” particles that serve as a brick wall answer against curiosity.

  28. billyphillips7on 29 Nov 2013 at 11:15 am

    Davdoodles: “No. It isn’t. It’s inside your head, and inside mine. ” Yes, its inside your brain and your brain is merely the manifestation of consciousness. The brain is the seat of consciousness and the fact that its all inside your brain means everything is consciousness. You are proving my point.

    Music is inside a transistor radio, but the music is not created by the parts of the radio. The radio is merely a vessel, a channel to express the music.The music also does’t originate in the “airwaves” that transmit the signal to the radio. The wave is just a carrier of the music. The music originates far away, in a studio, as a direct result and manifestation of human consciousness.

    The rest of your arguments make no sense and clearly show you have failed to understand my point and examples concerning human behavior.

    Bronze Dog: You are merely avoiding the point. I showed how it mind over matter can be proven. I explained it. Lose the ego, walk a path that is designed to tear away the ego consciousness, which is solely designed to doubt the power of consciousness, and when you remove that ego, you will experience and discover the evidence that proves, unquestionably, the existence of mind over matter. As i said earlier, your innate power of mind over matter is handing this power over to matter right now because your ego is making you believe matter is more powerful and so it is. The only way you can test my theory is to lose the ego and watch what happens. But not one person here asked me to show them the path as to how to lose the ego. You are too busy defending your position and ego instead of pursuing science and the experiment of losing ego in an attempt to see if truth and mind over matter exists on the other side of the ego.

    Steve Novella: Car-ness is profoundly weak. The universe did not bring forth a car, the way it brings forth water, a tree and animal, vegetable, inanimate kingdoms. Consciousness created the car. But all the parts of the car and their function to create motion, are already embedded into the universe and the laws of nature. So you are proving my point, once again. The engine, the wheel, the headlights are all tapping into energy and forces and laws of motion that already exist and have always existed. The wheel as a potential force multiplier is not something new or derived out of nothingness when a man builds a car. He is tapping into the laws of physics and nature. When he needs electricity to ignite the headlights, he is accessing a force already in existence, though unseen, though without any odor.

    Finally, consciousness is the cause and it is infinite and there is nothing new under the sun.
    You only think its new because you were not privy to it beforehand.

    If you TIVO a football game, you will still enjoy it after its been played, after the outcome of the game has already been determined, provided the outcome is unknown to you. Watching that game unfold in time will give you the same up and down excitement, drama and thrills as much as the person who watched it “live.” There is no difference.

    The invention of the car was already contained within the seed that birthed the universe. Every song, story, invention is already whole and complete in this seed of infinite consciousness, including all future inventions. Same with knowledge. Newton didn’t invent the laws of motion, he revealed them. Einstein did not invent his General and Special theories of relativity. He merely was the channel to reveal them. Mozart said the same thing about his compositions. He said he could capture a full, one hour symphony, already completed in a flash, in his mind, somehow transcending the laws of nature. He was convinced it already existed.

    To argue more, is merely to allow the ego to continue its hold over you, giving you the illusion of free will, when in fact, you are being a puppet and slave to its whims and impulses.

    instead, be a scientist. Ask me now to test this idea by applying tools and knowledge that diminish the ego, if you have the courage, to discover what is hiding on the other side.

  29. tmac57on 29 Nov 2013 at 11:20 am

    BillyPhillips said “And the most compelling reason to focus on consciousness is the utter foolishness to suggest that dead, mindless molecules give rise to living thinking creatures, as if life and consciousness magically spring up out of nowhere.”

    So where did consciousness come from in your world view if it did not just “magically spring up out of nowhere”?

    Got to come from somewhere right? Let me guess,consciousness created consciousness…?

  30. tmac57on 29 Nov 2013 at 11:33 am

    BillyPhillips- This is your consciousness speaking to you now.Why have your created this situation in which you are arguing with ‘people’ who don’t agree with you? It is only your ego again.I have told you about this kind of trap before,remember?
    So now,please quit typing on the ‘computer’ and the ‘internet’ that you have manifested, and go meditate to bring forth peace and light. Namaste.

    P.S. Please tell Zohar that a one ‘Chuck Norris’ has heard about him and thinks he can kick his butt.

  31. Bronze Dogon 29 Nov 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Bronze Dog: You are merely avoiding the point. I showed how it mind over matter can be proven. I explained it. Lose the ego, walk a path that is designed to tear away the ego consciousness, which is solely designed to doubt the power of consciousness, and when you remove that ego, you will experience and discover the evidence that proves, unquestionably, the existence of mind over matter. As i said earlier, your innate power of mind over matter is handing this power over to matter right now because your ego is making you believe matter is more powerful and so it is. The only way you can test my theory is to lose the ego and watch what happens. But not one person here asked me to show them the path as to how to lose the ego. You are too busy defending your position and ego instead of pursuing science and the experiment of losing ego in an attempt to see if truth and mind over matter exists on the other side of the ego.

    1. Once again, that’s a conveniently circular position. In order to believe you, I have to just believe you. I suppose you want me to lower my evidential standards while I’m at it. Or do you want me to apply a double-standard and do it just for you and your particular beliefs? I’ve heard that one before from lots of religious nuts. It seems to me it’d be rather egotistical to assert my correctness based off of my own evaluation of my enlightenment the way you seem to be. I’d rather have externally verifiable evidence, not the self-idolatry you seem to be proposing.

    2. “Mind over matter” hasn’t been doing very well scientifically. Parapsychology hasn’t made any demonstrable progress in the past century to my knowledge. It’s just been a steady stream of the same old logical fallacies, sloppy science, and conjurer’s tricks. Same old boring stuff it always was. If you’ve got something that’s actually new and interesting, post good citations to peer reviewed articles.

    3. You’re projecting your belief in the disparity of mind and matter onto me when my position is the rejection of that disparity. I’m both mind and matter, simultaneously and interchangeably. It’s not a power hierarchy, it’s a change in terms of description. Don’t presume that I will just roll over and accept your limitations without question, particularly those born from your prejudices and poor imagination.

    4. Can’t you come up with a more objective test for me to do? One of the chronic problems I’ve encountered with a lot of woos is that they have a severe lack of imagination when it comes to designing experiments or noticing flaws in an experimental protocol. The other problem is that if you can’t come up with a way to prove something to someone else and not just yourself, that’s a warning sign of self-delusion.

  32. billyphillips7on 29 Nov 2013 at 1:12 pm

    tmac57 “So where did consciousness come from in your world view if it did not just “magically spring up out of nowhere”?

    Great question. True reality has no time or space. So there is no before. the whole idea of before and after is an illusion of this macroscopic world. Consciousness is the Cause of causes. There is no prior cause to Cause otherwise Cause would be the effect. There is no time so the infinite Cause consciousness is, was and always will be. There is nothing new, there is only infinite consciousness always existing, always being, all there is. What is new is a space that was created in this spaceless realm. A tiny “microscopic” vacated space that Cause of causes created, by contracting a small aspect of itself, so that man would have the opportunity to also become a cause.

    How can man become a cause if there is already a Cause?

    Simple.

    Here is an analogy to help us grasp what happened. Imagine a painter (the first Cause) creating the most beautiful painting in existence, a painting of paradise. And just gazing at it ignites profound pleasure. The souls of humanity were created to enjoy this painting, this paradise but, inheriting the DNA of their Creator when they were created, a desire to want to be the cause sprung up in the souls of humanity. They also wanted to create the painting that is paradise, instead of just being an effect.

    But the painting is already created. So now what?

    So, the Cause of causes fabricated time and space and the painting was separated into pieces and jumbled about randomly creating a cosmic “picture puzzle.” This was the Big Bang.

    Now it was left to mankind to resemble the puzzle through his own work and effort. Man did not create the original paradise. But through his own blood, sweat and tears, he will reassemble the puzzle and create paradise through his own effort, thus becoming the cause of its creation.

    Read and study this well until the “aha!’ moment hits you.

    I am signing off. Thank you for the debate and i wish you all much good fortune and happiness.

  33. Ekkoon 29 Nov 2013 at 1:45 pm

    billy,
    What if I told you I have meditated and gone beyond the ego into the pure white light of consciousness where I saw a giant purple turtle? The turtle told me it made the whole universe because it was lonely. I hope one day you will see the giant purple turtle too. The end.

  34. Bronze Dogon 29 Nov 2013 at 2:45 pm

    My biggest question: billy, how do you know that?

    Lower priority points:

    1. Did you ever consider the possibility the universe is uncaused?

    The souls of humanity were created to enjoy this painting, this paradise but, inheriting the DNA of their Creator…

    2. You’re putting humanity and, by extension, yourself on a pedestal. We see humans as an unintended result, and just want to see what we can make of the universe. Which sounds more arrogant?

    3. I sense a potential Disneyfied view of nature behind this sentiment. Life gets pretty nasty.

  35. BillyJoe7on 30 Nov 2013 at 1:28 am

    billyphillips7: “I am signing off”

    I guess he wasn’t getting the same ego trip that he gets from his flock on his own blog:

    http://kabbalahstudent.com/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-life-11/

    Sue: “thank you, Billy xx”
    David: “Okay :D thanks!”
    Rajel: “Amazing! Thnks Billy!”
    Tanya: “I love this, it is so true thank you!”
    Luisa: “I must say : THANK YOU Billy”
    Sue: “Dear Billy, thank you”

  36. Bronze Dogon 30 Nov 2013 at 9:21 am

    I have a comic in mind if he comes back.

    Read and study this well until the “aha!’ moment hits you.

    This really strikes me as arrogant and condescending. It’s one thing to give parting food for thought. It’s another to presume that the problem is our understanding. Me in particular, I’ve seen a lot of woos present “big ideas” about life and the universe similar to those I had when I was a teenager. They present them as ground shaking epiphanies long after I’ve grown embarrassed by my youthful naivete and know the fallacies I committed in those days.

    It also reminds me of one Scientologist tactic I’ve heard about: They tell you to read Dianetics or whatever and make sure you understand each word before moving onto the next. If you criticize the ideas, they blame it on your poor vocabulary or grasp of Scientology jargon and tell you reread it. This effectively shuts down debate on the content itself by pretending the existing material works for everyone. Over here, billyphilips preferred repetition of ideas over answering questions or seeking to understand our position.

  37. BillyJoe7on 30 Nov 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Perhaps he’s gone off to see if the removal of his ego has given him sufficient power of mind over matter to change the outcome of the double slit experiment. Of course the ego required to think he could pull this off would guarantee that he would fail. Hopefully, trying to resolve that paradox will bind him up sufficiently long that we’ll never hear from him again. I do empathise though. I once spent half an hour every Saturday morning for a year concentrating all my energies on levitating off my bed, convinced that this was actually possible. Of course it was probably my ego that convinced me that I failed because it wasn’t possible rather than that I wasn’t up to it.

  38. Davdoodleson 01 Dec 2013 at 8:02 pm

    The woo cannot fail the people. Only the people can fail the woo.
    .

  39. steve12on 01 Dec 2013 at 10:17 pm

    “This effectively shuts down debate on the content itself by pretending the existing material works for everyone.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments

  40. DanCon 05 Dec 2013 at 10:38 am

    Good two articles, the last-but-one paragraph reminds me of John Gray’s ‘The Immortalisation Comission’ (when Gray talks about late C19th/early C20th spiritualists like Lord Rayleigh and William James) – reading Lanza’s article, he just seems to be attempting to [publicly] transmute his personal loss into physical phenomena. It just seems nuts, thanatological fantasy.

  41. ThisGuyHereon 23 Feb 2014 at 9:36 pm

    “The very experiments he refers to, the double-slit experiments, demonstrate that the presence or absence of a conscious observer is irrelevant. All that matters is if the photons interact with anything, such as a detector, while they are passing through the two slits.”

    If light is a wave until it interacts with “anything”… Why isn’t it interacting with air particles and then becoming a particle? It is only when a device used specifically to detect a photon is used that light becomes a particle. And it doesn’t revert to a wave either once it’s left the detector, as you would expect it to if this was some property of the detection device: it remains a particle until it hits the second detector. And it is these same second detectors, like a photographic plate, that can also detect light in its wave form.

    Clearly intelligent observation is playing some part, unless the devices humans build to to detect light as a particle are magically the only things in the universe that can cause light to collapse from a wave to a particle and stay that way.

  42. Steven Novellaon 24 Feb 2014 at 9:32 am

    TGH – Unless you are a physicist specializing in quantum mechanics I would avoid making such statements such as “clearly” when referring to QM. What we muggles understand is a very dumbed down version of complex interpretations of what is being experimentally observed and mathematically described. The general rule is – if you think something is clear, then you don’t understand QM.

    Your characterization, however, is not what is generally accepted about QM. You need to look up decoherence. Photons do interact with their environment (such as hitting air molecules) and this does cause the apparent collapse of the wave function – or the combination of the particle and its environment into a combined wave function.

    There is nothing magical about detectors. That is simply not what the experiments show.

  43. ThisGuyHereon 25 Feb 2014 at 12:25 am

    Steven,

    I thought I was being obviously sarcastic when I used the word magic. Sorry you missed that. I read up on decoherence, admittedly not my school of thought I am a computer programmer not a quantum physicist, but nothing I read seemed to have any bearing on the double-slit experiment. Of course light interacts with anything it touches but I am very familiar with the double-slit experiment and the only time scientists stop creating the interference pattern is when they use a detector to see which slot the photon passes through. Another fascinating variation of the experiment is this one:

    It was shown experimentally in 1972 that in a double-slit system where only one slit was open at any time, interference was nonetheless observed provided the path difference was such that the detected photon could have come from either slit.[42][43] The experimental conditions were such that the photon density in the system was much less than unity. (Wikipedia)

    I don’t know how you can see results like this and not conclude that the state of the physical universe is somehow linked to conscious observation thereof. It sounds to me like you are biased against the idea, as are most people, it counters “common sense,” but the results are the results.

    For any readers unfamiliar with the double-slit experiment, here’s a short video that explains it well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

  44. BillyJoe7on 25 Feb 2014 at 7:15 am

    TGH,

    “the only time scientists stop creating the interference pattern is when they use a detector to see which slot the photon passes through…I don’t know how you can see results like this and not conclude that the state of the physical universe is somehow linked to conscious observation thereof”

    The experiment does not have to be consciously observed. The experimenter can set up the experiment, put it on time delay, and die before the experiment even commences. The result will be exactly as predicted. If the experimenter set it up with the sensors switched off, an interference pattern will result. If the experimenter set it up with the sensors switched on, a scatter pattern will result. No conscious observation required. And no conscious observation can alter that pre-determined outcome.

    When physicists say talk about an experiment being observed, they simply mean that they have turned on the sensors. They don’t mean that they have to actually be there observing the damn thing.

  45. Steven Novellaon 25 Feb 2014 at 7:17 am

    TGH – Find me a quantum physicist that agrees with you and I will take the idea seriously. I have spoken to several and read many – they all agree that there is nothing about the double-slit experiment or QM that points to or requires a conscious observer for the effects to occur. At most this is a fringe idea with a few adherents. A detector is not conscious – it is just forcing the photon to behave like a particle.

  46. BillyJoe7on 25 Feb 2014 at 7:48 am

    TGH,

    “For any readers unfamiliar with the double-slit experiment, here’s a short video that explains it well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

    I can see how you’ve been confused.

    That video is a confusing explanation of the double slit experiment. They even have an eye drawn on the damn sensor! They are emphasising the very thing they should be de-emphasising. The sensor does not observe. There is no eye looking. The sensor is simply switched on or off. If the sensor is switched on, it senses the photon – by interacting with it (how else could it sense the photon? By magic? By ESP?). This interaction causes decoherence. Loosely speaking, the waves become particles which scatter onto the screen.

    The weird part is that, if the sensor doesn’t detect the photon, this means that the photon must have presented itself at the other slit. A scatter pattern occurs even though there was no interaction with the photons that presented themselves at the other slit. If the system “knows” which slit the photons go through, a scatter pattern results. If the system doesn’t “know” which slit the photons go through, an interference pattern results. Weird, but totally predictable. And no conscious observation can alter that predicted outcome.

  47. ThisGuyHereon 25 Feb 2014 at 10:45 am

    I realize that the detector is not conscious, time can pass, etc. And I posted the video for anyone unfamiliar with the subject, I realize it is a machine making a recording and not an eye. That video is not where I learned about the experiment. My question to you all is, how do you explain the variation I posted, I’ll post it here again:

    It was shown experimentally in 1972 that in a double-slit system where only one slit was open at any time, interference was nonetheless observed provided the path difference was such that the detected photon could have come from either slit.[42][43] The experimental conditions were such that the photon density in the system was much less than unity. (Wikipedia)

    In this variation there is no initial detector at the slit. The photons act is if they “know” the slits were being intermittently closed. Explain that to me.

  48. ThisGuyHereon 25 Feb 2014 at 11:00 am

    And I realize that to accept that conscious observation is the determining factor, one must also accept that linear, absolute time is a construct of the mind, but the theory of spacetime, which is universally accepted, already asserts this.

  49. Bronze Dogon 25 Feb 2014 at 11:55 am

    The big issue I think should be emphasized about this sort of stuff: Observation is not a passive process. To observe something, you have to interact with it in some fashion. “Observation” is essentially a term for interactions that we get information from. The only thing that makes it different from all the other forms of interaction is the purpose we assign to those interactions. Scientists have to keep in mind that we’re not separate from the universe or the experiments, so we have to know how our ham-handed equipment is going to affect the experimental subject.

    In our middle world minds, we’re geared to think observation is largely passive because in everyday life we can have changes small enough to be “negligible” for our middle world purposes. In quantum experiments involving tiny individual particles, there’s generally no room for negligible.

  50. BillyJoe7on 25 Feb 2014 at 3:45 pm

    TGH,

    “Explain that to me”

    Explain to me where conscious observation comes into that scenario.
    (Also, a link to the actual experiment would be useful)

    “To accept that conscious observation is the determining factor, one must also accept that linear, absolute time is a construct of the mind, but the theory of spacetime, which is universally accepted, already asserts this”

    I think you are asserting that.
    In fact, relativity does just fine without conscious observation.
    Muons reach the Earth’s surface regardless of whether any consciousness is observing them.

  51. Bill Openthalton 26 Feb 2014 at 3:20 am

    Arguably, the biggest problem is the model. We talk wave and particle because that makes sense at our macroscopic level, but there is no reason why at the subatomic level particles should have the same constraints as macroscopic particles, or waves (on the water, because that’s what we’re already modeling EM waves with). The fact that photons, muons, gluons, bosons and other quarks are not limited to the behaviour of the model are the problem of the model, not the particle. What is more astounding is the fact that the mathematics that describe the behaviour of the infinitesimally small also apply, mtutatis mutandis, to the macroscopic.

  52. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 4:47 am

    I never said relativity had anything to do with conscious observation, I simply said that relativity proves time is not absolute or necessarily linear, and this fact in turn refutes the argument that conscious observation can’t be the cause of waveform collapse because scientists aren’t actually watching the photons, just reading a printout at a later time.

  53. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 4:54 am

    And I AM asserting it because the most brilliant minds of our day all do. I have attended a lecture by Dr. Stephen Hawking and he spoke (well, his computer did) at length about the relativity and non-linear nature of time.

  54. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 4:58 am

    I suggest you read A Brief History Of Time if you don’t believe me.

  55. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 5:10 am

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0375960172910158

    There’s the link to that study you asked for.

  56. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 5:27 am

    And BillyJoe7, conscious observation “comes into it” at the point that the scientist looks at the results and sees the interference pattern.

    I’d also like to point out that the author of this blog is a not a quantum physicist but a doctor of medicine. I’m not a physicist either, but I feel I’ve done a better job defending my position.

  57. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 5:34 am

    Here’s a link to an actual quantum physicist and recipient of the Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics performing and discussing the double-slit experiment. To quote him: “The modern answer is that the path taken by the photon is not an element of reality.”

    Reality. Hmmm. Sounds like a matter of perception and therefor consciousness to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

  58. BillyJoe7on 26 Feb 2014 at 6:12 am

    TGH,

    “And BillyJoe7, conscious observation “comes into it” at the point that the scientist looks at the results and sees the interference pattern”

    Fair enough :)

    For a while there, I thought you were championing the idea that conscious observation actually causes the interference pattern to collapse into a scatter pattern.

    I’m confused, though, what relevance relativity has to the double slit experiment.
    But let’s leave it there. Your posts up till now don’t instil me with much confidence that you’re about to clarify whatever it is that you’ve attempted to say here.

  59. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 7:00 am

    It’s not an idea I am championing, it’s what happens when one conducts the experiment.

  60. ThisGuyHereon 26 Feb 2014 at 7:41 am

    It has been proven, time and time again, that “conscious observation actually causes the interference pattern to collapse into a scatter pattern.” If you want to believe that it is some property of the detector that causes this, that’s fine. But that wouldn’t explain the illogical results of the variation where one slit is closed and then the other. The only explanation that explains the results of both experiments is that it is the act of observing, of determining which slit the photon travels through via whatever means, that collapses the wave function. Many prominent physicists agree with this, despite what this blog’s author would have you believe.

  61. BillyJoe7on 26 Feb 2014 at 9:40 am

    TGH,

    Yes, it’s totally predictable. If the experiment is set up to detect which slit the photon travels through, you get a scatter pattern. If not you get an interference pattern. Just drop the “conscious observer” bit. It’s totally irrelevant and confusing. And wrong. You are misunderstanding what physicists are saying.

    ( BTW, your linked article will cost me $35 to read. Have you got a cheaper link by any chance?)

  62. Hosson 26 Feb 2014 at 10:19 am

    TGH

    “I don’t know how you can see results like this and not conclude that the state of the physical universe is somehow linked to conscious observation thereof. It sounds to me like you are biased against the idea, as are most people, it counters “common sense,” but the results are the results.” – TGH

    “It has been proven, time and time again, that “conscious observation actually causes the interference pattern to collapse into a scatter pattern.” If you want to believe that it is some property of the detector that causes this, that’s fine. But that wouldn’t explain the illogical results of the variation where one slit is closed and then the other. The only explanation that explains the results of both experiments is that it is the act of observing, of determining which slit the photon travels through via whatever means, that collapses the wave function. Many prominent physicists agree with this, despite what this blog’s author would have you believe.” – TGH

    I’m not sure what to say besides that you are misinterpreting the double slit experiments. You’re wrong about the conscious observation. Whatever you think the implications are for the completely unjustifiable notion of conscious observation in the double slit experiments – well, those implications are most likely causing your motivated reasoning.

    Below is an overview of the double slit experiments.
    http://physics.wikia.com/wiki/Double_slit

    “Normally, when only one slit is open, the pattern on the screen is a diffraction pattern, a fairly narrow central band with dimmer bands parallel to it on each side. When both slits are open, the pattern displayed becomes very much more detailed and at least four times as wide. When two slits are open, probability wave fronts[7] emerge simultaneously from each slit and radiate in concentric circles. When the detector screen is reached, the sum of the two probability wave fronts at each point determines the probability that a photon will be observed at that point. The end result when many photons are directed at the screen is a series of bands or “fringes.” The interference of probability wave fronts is shown in the graph below.

    When two slits are open but something is added to the experiment to allow a determination that a photon has passed through one or the other slit, then the interference pattern disappears and the experimental apparatus yields two simple patterns, one from each slit. (See below.)

    However, interference fringes are still obtained even when only one slit is open at any given time,[8] provided that difference in length between the two paths in the interferometer is such that a photon could have traveled through either slit. This is the case even though the photon density in the system is much less than one.

    The most baffling part of this experiment comes when only one photon at a time is fired at the barrier with both slits open. The pattern of interference remains the same as can be seen if many photons are emitted one at a time and recorded on the same sheet of photographic film. The clear implication is that something with a wavelike nature passes simultaneously through both slits and interferes with itself — even though there is only one photon present. (The experiment works with electrons, atoms, and even some molecules too.)”

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