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The Observer-Universe


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#1 Aethelwulf

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:49 PM

(It will be assumed for the reader at this specific point in time, that consciousness is an issue regarding physics fundamentally. The reader formally will believe in their own opinion on that subject whether physics has anything to say about consciousness, but in this work I will argue the antithesis of that proposal by assuming some fundamental reasoning which will be approached in this essay).

The Final Problem of Consciousness


Abstract

We will approach several different problems on consciousness and propose possible solutions to them. In doing so, we will investigate it to a point in which one might consider the final problem of consciousness.


The Stuff we Know

This work had taken a long time to prepare when I started to write it; it will involve many concepts. It will explore new idea's. It will explore old idea's brought forth by famous physicists of our time. Consciousness is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in physics. We are not sure how important consciousness really is or how it should fit into quantum mechanics if, that is, quantum field theory has anything to say at all about it. If we manage to find a model in our future which helps explain consciousness, the next step would be to formulate a quantum field theory of consciousness (that is if such a feat can be managed) also assuming that quantum field theory has anything to say about consciousness.

One thing I have attempted to do is by slowly introducing some very important concepts involving time which seems have some pivotal roles for consciousness. But usually time is considered a relativistic artifact and is also related to physics in general. Time is so interwoven into the perception of the human being's psyche that there may be no such thing as a difference between the two. A physicist who share's this opinion is Fred A. Wolf. He believes that the past and future are absolutely required to have a working mind and for many various reasons this makes supreme sense.

We know matter has something to do with it as well. After all, the mind is made of this ''matter-stuff.'' consciousness is like a quantum field which may exist around a peice of matter [ref 1]. It emanates from the physical brain through what seems like a bunch of electrical and biochemical interactions. Through all sorts of complex biochemical and electrical distributions of information the complex mind can arise. This is the stuff we generally know, but what about the things not so many people consider?

Why Should Consciousness be Described by Quantum Physics?

The idea that biological entities could require some kind of quantum description has been accepted for quite a long time now. In fact it was coined as ''quantum biology'' by the Legendary Erwin Schrodinger ^*, the man who created the wave equation of matter in his infamous book ''What is Life'' in 1946. Actually, Schrodinger made a number of predictions in his book, such as predicting a crystal-like structure which would encode the information of a single strand of DNA, it was later discovered and named the Double Helix. It was said, that his prediction was a brilliant one, made from the postulates of quantum mechanics.
Quantum Biology.


(*) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group. http://www.ks.uiuc.e...uantum_biology/

Erwin Schrödinger. What is Life?, Cambridge, 1944.


Quantum biology includes concepts of superpositioning, quantum tunneling and entanglement. It may also involve other concepts which cannot be explained except for inferring on quantum behaviour. Many plant forms make good use of quantum behaviour, such as photosynthesis. Even birds make good use of quantum behaviour. Their magnetoreceptors are directly caused by the quantum phenomenon of the zeno effect, a subject which might be important for consciousness, as we will see later.

It would seem therefore, folly to assume that consciousness has absolutely no place in quantum mechanics. We haven't studied all the dynamics relating to consciousness to draw such a conclusion. There has been some suggestions that there are magnetites located in the human noes or eye which may have some effects on our own types of magnetoreceptors; in other words, the types of quantum effects on consciousness could be vast. We will not know, until we have a full-working theory of consciousness which might or might not work well within the classical low energy limit of neurons.

Despite this, a solid argument which is hard to deny, is that if consciousness did not abide by quantum mechanics, then we are somehow ''outside'' of reality. The biggest problem with that view (among many) is that it would violate the first relativistic law of the universe: Nothing is outside of the universe. Therefor we must assume that a logical path from this is that consciousness is a subdimension of the universe at large. This dimension is not of the stuff of crank-pot writing where kooks use dimensions to explain the impossible. This subdimension can be thought of as a sub-set in mathematical set theory. We will investigate what it means then, when something must be contained within the universe and not external of it. And assuming that this is the correct course of action, then we can immediately see that the wave function also has a huge role in understanding consciousness... since after all, everything in the universe is effected by the state function [math]<\psi>[/math], the so called wave function of the universe, and the wave function which effects everything inside of it.

But first of all, we shall provide an answer to the Hard Problem(s) of consciousness... And find out, from the psychological sense, how we come to remember things and how quale are involved in our understanding of the world.

The Binding Problem, Qualia and the Hard Problems of Consciousness

For a while, it has been known that the way consciousness binds reality together seems to be a bit of mystery. In fact, it is such a problem, it has in fact been dubbed as one of the ''Hard Problem of Consciousness.''

Qualia are the things that consciousness attaches to ''raw feelings''. Such examples may be the color blue associated to the sky, maybe the taste of a specific cheese to even perhaps the kind of drug-induced effects we may experience from taking a drug. Here is a question, are qualia attached with a physical meaning? Erwin Schrodinger did not seem to believe so, as he is qouted saying:

"The sensation of color cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the processes in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so."

In fact, so odd is this problem of consciousness that qualia are often used in arguments against the physical nature of consciousness, or more specifically, the mind-body problem. Daniel Dennett has identified four properties that are commonly ascribed to qualia. These are:

ineffable; that is, they cannot be communicated, or apprehended by any other means than direct experience.

intrinsic; that is, they are non-relational properties, which do not change depending on the experience's relation to other things.

private; that is, all interpersonal comparisons of qualia are systematically impossible.

directly or immediately apprehensible in consciousness: that is, to experience a quale is to know one experiences a quale, and to know all there is to know about that quale.

Another problem of consciousness related to qualia results from the question, how can the eye collect just as much information from a written text to one who simply hears it? But what if the experience of seeing a color does not hold all the relevant information that someone who simply listens to an experience can know everything there is to know about the said experience? For instance, if someone see's the color blue they may be unable to attach some experience to this perception, yet someone who is simply hearing about the experience can in theory know everything there is to know about the experience.

The Inverted Spectrum Argument is perhaps the best way to explain whether a quale is a physical manifestation or not. In this argument, proposed by John Locke explains that if you woke up one morning and found all the colors of nature had inverted, such as the grass had turned red, but no physical change has been found in the brain, then it would stand to reason that qualia would seem to be a subjective phenomenon, one part of our perception and experience alone rather than being tied to a physical explanation.
It must be noted that some take this argument very seriously, while others find it difficult to comprehend an explanation for qualia which requires a purely imaginative thought experiment, which, can never in principle be measured. However, I believe it is an important argument.

I contend that qualia are not physical. They are part of the experience of a human observer. One could explain this as part of a specific ''conditioning'' of reality, that we tune into the specific kind of experiences we all agree on, because that has been the way we have been taught. We don't for instance, assume the color blue is a warm color normally, yet, if someone had been brought up believing this, then surely it is possible to condition someone to that erroneous fact. Assuming also you keep out of their way, any associations between the color blue and the de facto that it is usually attributed to cold experiences.

Qualia therefore, arise from three arguments:

1) Conditioning

2) Experience (personal attachment which will affirm the attribution between the qualia in question)

3) Self-consistency (a recurrence of the same experience which will solidify the original experience)

If we woke up one morning and found out that every color had indeed inverted, then this would violate 3) and would soon effect 1) and 2). Thus, things do not invert in color, we know certain qualia because of a conditioning of our upbringing. After being told about something, we may come to experience, or we may experience it first then be told about it. And finally, to make sure that it remains a consistent experience, it must be one which occurs again and again.

Choice and Determinism

The zeno effect might be the next revolutionary idea for consciousness.

Henry Stapp in his book ''Mindful Universe'' actually seems to share a common idea with me. I have stated in the past that the ability to have choice is in fact analogous to having a superposition of possibilities - it is only when we make a decision on something does a collapse of the wave function happen. Henry stapp believes that the quantum zeno effect is the method in which the brain uses a superposition when in attention. Interestingly, I had not known of his model till now, so if his conclusions are right, then I have drawn similar conclusions independently.

I decided on my own contentions when I decided to view the many choices an individual could have as being the same as having a superpositioning of different states. The importance of Stapp's conclusions is that he has given a quantum mechanical mechanism which involves our perception. He believes it is this phenomenon which brings about the conscious will of change. This obviously includes the phenom of attention.

Attention has probably been best described by William James in 1890 in his textbook Principles of Psychology

''Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state which in French is called distraction, and Zerstreutheit in German.''

For a conscious will of change, in my model, you require that there be a superpositioning of conscious states (because we are the system itself in question, these states appear to us as choices). No one has ever proposed anything like this for the illusion of choice being the wave function of possibilities. But it ties in remarkably well with the zeno effect, because the zeno effect is all about the time evolution restriction on the wave function. This would seem to imply that attention itself is when the time evolution is static, a change in consciousness is when that is no longer valid and the choices we have is because of a collapse in the wave function that must be a function of time [math]|\psi(t)|^2[/math]. We now have a quantum picture of consciousness, involving choice, attention and a corresponding change of conscious state. Because everything is dictated by the wave function, it could very well be deterministic and we would be none the wiser. Even though we appear to have the choice to do something, we must ourselves be dictated by the determinism inherent in the wave function depending on your interpretation. The interpretation which best fits this model, would be the Bohmian Interpretation, where the wave function collapsed at the Big Bang (therefore writing it's own destiny).

So in conclusion, with the facts stated above, we cannot rule out that we could be living in a deterministic world and our consciousness is also subject to that under the same wave function [math]\Psi = \sum_{n = (1,2..k)} \psi_n + \phi[/math] where [math]\psi_n[/math] is the wave function of everything else (also composed of wave functions of individual systems), and [math]\phi[/math] is the wave function of consciousness. The wave functions sum up to produce the total wave function which is also a state vector [math]\Psi[/math] which encodes the system in information.

It is also an interesting thing to note that time is not complexified in relative respect to consciousness itself. All measurements from the observers point of view is made in real time events. The very experience of consciousness posits a real time scenario. It is also interesting to note, concerning time, is that if we imagined a scenario of how ''time moved'' the question would be, ''relative to what though?''.

Time doesn't move, no more than it is a river flowing downstream. But if that concept was to be adopted, one could argue it moved relative to observer, which is quite fitting poetically, since consciousness is bound inexorably in a very linear experience of time without recourse in our measurements. But still, it remains that the past is nothing but a record of our memory (it has no physical significance) and the future seems to us as though within constant grasp, as though our thoughts and wishes exist beyond the observer. Certainly, it often feels that way.

Consciousness as a Sub-Dimension

This isn't your ''woo woo'' use a dimension to explain something kind of idea which you often come across in many non-mainstream theories. Instead, it is based on the conjecture that consciousness does have an inextricable tie with time itself. There are some who argue, that time is actually a psychological phenomenon and not an objective reality [ref 2.]. Nonetheless, it must be also noted that Dirac himself pointed out that the four dimensional concept of space-time where concerning time, was not fundamental but here we are today, still modelling the vacuum as a four-dimensional continuum. With respect to consciousness then, it is inextricably tied itself to the four dimensional concept of spacetime because of its relationship with time. Perhaps then, there is evidence time could be objective, because the vacuum has (without a doubt unlike time) exists, therefore, if time really is fundamental, our brains have successfully replicated this by casting two dimensional images into the four dimensional phenomena known as perception. So perhaps it seems more likely gene regulators like the suprachiasmatic nucleus where a product of evolution, to better ourselves in our ability to understand the world more correctly.

So the mind in this sense, could be considered a type of sub-dimension, a dimension ''connected'' through unusual relationships. In this sense, perhaps a better terminology might be that consciousness is a ''pseudo-sub-dimension''. Because of this, we can model it as such using set theory. If consciousness was represented by B and the universe by A, then consciousness would be a proper subset of the universe ( A ⊆ B ). Consciousness is therefore part of a much larger subsystem of systems, creating the holistic interpretation of our placement in this vast universe. It also places a us within a range period within the universe called the low energy phase which makes gravity and geometry emergent properties of the vacuum [ref 3.]. In this phase, geometry appears and therefore we can see that evolution began on the platform which would allow them to slowly develop the ability to feel your reality and time fly by you in a linear fashion. Also be able to ''see'' a three dimensional world around them to boot. In a strange kind of way, you could argue this might be some kind of evidence to a universe fine tuned for life. A similar argument was made by Paul Davis who said that you can think of there being three dimensions a fine tuning for life. I guess he made this assumption because consciousness as we know it could not exist in dimensions lower than three.

Using set theory to describe the universe was also expanded upon by physicist Fotini Markpoulou who showed mathematically what it looks like inside the universe. It's written as a Causal Set in a discrete spacetime. In our case, ours is causal as well, so it is compatible with the chronological order of things. Consciousness arrived when geometry appeared in the universe and from a single prokaryote flourished life as much as it could, to produce organisms capable of processing the information capable of understanding their three dimensional existences and a forth added for good measure.


But in my example, we are obviously making an argument for evolutionary bias in the time scale of the universe capable of allowing us to understand dimensions after a long arduous climb up the ladder to our current status. The low energy phase is when matter appeared including geometry (curvature). It is interesting to note that this was predicted through the Einstein Field Equations or (EFE) for short. Curvature and matter are consider the same monsters in General Relativity. There is an old chicken and egg question as old as modern relativity is, ''which came first, curvature or matter?''. There is no obvious answer to this question, because, whilst the universe was supposed to have been born from a singular region, consistent with the idea there is an infinite amount of curvature then we could say that matter originated from it there is still the idea that matter existed in a very dense point, so it can be argued that curvature came from that instead. So the debate could continue forever.

After that side-track, we will now have a look at the time problem and how it could fit in with consciousness.

The Time Problem

In a nutshell, without boring this out with too much detail, the time problem comes about because, when you quantize the Einstein Field Equations, you end up with a non-complex field describing gravity, but another artifact of the results is that the derivative describing the time evolution of the universe simply vanishes. The equation is called the Wheeler de Witt equation and it looks like this [math]\hat{E}|\psi> = 0[/math]. As you can see, where this would normally look like a Schrodinger equation, the time derivative is zero. Some interpret this as being indicative that the universe is essentially static.

As crazy as it sounds, it not only ties in with geometrogenesis, but it is also a concept taken very seriously by a countable amount of physicists in the mainstream. Essentially an appeal to authority, but one with merit if you calculate it through. Julian Barbour is probably the most strongest advocate of the theory essentially stating that time as we know it is an illusion, but instead you only have motion ^*. In a holistic approach he says the sum of the motion of all the particles in the universe is the only was to calculate time. So in a sense, whilst he does accept the Wheeler de Witt equation saying the universal time does not exist, but he has regained a ''sense of time'' in the rhetorical manner through the description of the motion of systems.

(*) - http://www.platonia...._time_essay.pdf

The reason why this is connected to geometrogenesis is because if time consists of changes in motion, then motion in terms of relativity only existed in the low energy phase when matter appeared alongside curvature because in the special theory of relativity, radiation does not move through time. In effect, they don't even move through space according to the weird laws of physics [ref. 4]. Because of this, time obviously cannot be fundamental. This goes back to the argument that spacetime is emergent in Fotini's model. Time is quite obviously not static for us, we seem to be free of the prediction of a quantized EFE describing the universe. It occurred to me, that the reason for this was probably quite simple, that being the quantized EFE result was in fact concerned with Global wave functions whereas we are concerned with Local wave functions. So because of this, Local time seems to truck on linearly, whereas Global time is completely static. This might be just a strange relativistic rule of the universe and of us. It might not be so surprising though. Such things in nature can be allowed, if the evolution of the Global Wave function is independent of the Local wave function.

What it seems the Wheeler de Witt equation does is describe the total energy as unchanging - the energy is real as described by it's Hamiltonian [math]\hat{H}|\psi>[/math]. What the Local wave function allows for is change, because it has nothing to say about the overall energy of the system, it is only concerned with how it is concerned system-to-system. This is only one possible solution, there are many because the time problem has been one which has been in the history of physics for a while now. The other addition I am making however, is a model of consciousness along with this. This local wave function also has similar attributes to the wave function which governs consciousness (from my principle stating that consciousness can't be outside of the universe and therefore must effect consciousness because the laws of physics are the same everywhere).

Whether the universe is truly timeless or not, is something which will be left to the reader to decide, but what is for sure, is that our subjective of experiences of time is not the kind of time physics deals with in the world outside. Time according to us, creates a distinction of a past and future, where we feel like we ''have an experience of what was past'' where the future lies ahead of us waiting to be experienced. It causes the illusion that perhaps somehow thoughts and wishes may exist beyond the observer.

A curious interpretation of time to finish up here, is that consciousness does experience something which physics says does not exist. That is the distinction of a past a present and a future. In General Relativity, world lines are static. [ref. 5] In a similar stance to Julian's beliefs, the equations which generate motion in time is a symmetry of the theory and is not true time evolution. So there is no past or future in this interpretation of the Global wave function but it can work with the Local one because it will allow a reference to history with respect to itself. The history of the universe is non-existent, it's a bleep at best - there is no motion relative to itself and therefore no internal dynamics will have changed. It is interesting to note, that it is possible our universe could reach an excited state and quantum leap into a new configuration. Completely possible under Quantum Cosmology, where you are using quantum mechanics to described the universe.

Time and Space is not Fundamental and why Consciousness Chose It

Interestingly, the thing we see, this three dimensional world around us, is not actually fundamental in the slightest. Spacetime did not appear until the universe considerably cooled down. It also according to current belief, originated as a point, so no space and time actually existed fundamentally. But a problem exists here, one which I have never heard before but had realized. If we think about this in a relativistic sense, we cannot say that this point even existed because to do so, we'd need to ask what is that point relative to, to compare it with.

Consciousness has the same problem, because consciousness is as we have surmised above, tied inextricably with the Local and Real definition of time. We always experience it and we know it takes a linear shape. Because of this, we could state that the geometry associated to the whole universe means that Global time is in fact non-linear. Hardly a surprise since it doesn't change.

But why did consciousness chose this?

It didn't, evolution did. Consciousness is a by-product of millions of years of evolution, since the dawn of the original genus 2.4 million years ago. It was a primitive consciousness no less back then, but we have a different level of awareness - a great leap with no exaggeration. But when our minds could (whenever that was) understand the three dimensional space around us and sense time flow as a consequence of knowing there being a linear direction to time, was hardly a choice as such. It happens that our minds could not function without a sense of past and future. Our brains would never understand how to separate one moment to another without a memory to know what happened before it. Therefore, time it seems at least from our perspective is something projecting an order in time. There may not actually be an order just to note it may just be a reflection of what we are observing on a personal level.

The Universe is not Observer-Dependent

And this is the final part we have arrived at concerning my view on consciousness and possibilities in the realm of physics concerning it. The major result of the subset of the set expression ( A ⊆ B ) is that if the universe is ''A'' then it is not observer-dependent. We are not that special in the universe in this sense. The universe ''A'' is quite willing to ignore the dynamics of ''B'' consciousness. However consciousness will compensate this by designating an arrow in time. It is taken in this work that there is no such thing as time, therefore there cannot actually be a universal arrow of time. But consciousness did allow for one called the Psychological Arrow of Time [ref. 6]. The problem with believing in a real arrow of time for the universe is understanding that time is not actually linear.

The argument for the linear psychological arrow of time is actually based on an assumption (something which not many people are aware of). The assumption is that particles are described using time-symmetric laws. The same forward would seem the same backwards, but that would not be true in a universe which was leaking energy [ref. 7]. In reference 7, I showed how there is evidence suggesting that energy is somehow leaking from the universe so time-symmetric laws may not actually hold. Whilst it be true many systems will be time-symmetric, the truth is there is no bias. And you may even just simply consider the universe as a whole system to understand there is actually a change after all with respect to itself - it's loosing energy! But of course, that is just a speculation to be aware of and nothing more.

However, the final part of this work will look at whether we live in a conscious universe... that could create a new argument for an observer-dependent universe.

Conclusions

For consciousness to be ''outside of the laws of physics'' seems like a contradictory statement if relativity states ''nothing can exist outside of the universe.'' We have to admit then the possibility that consciousness is in fact within the realm of certain quantum effects, such as the wave function. As I have shown, if we are somehow apart of the whole picture, then every time we consciously decide to do something, a collapse in the wave function happens. This is not the observer principle, but the wave function in respect to have those choices available to you. As I explained, it is very easy to explain choice as a superpositioning of the wave function itself. The choice which manifests is the one we choose and the result is a collapse of the wave function.

I also explained, that this approach shows that we don't actually know whether everything is determined or not, because the wave function might actually be interpreted in a new light. The one we used of course, was the Bohmian Interpretation which stated there is a universal wave function which collapse at the Big Bang. So in effect, consciousness itself could very well be intertwined into this deterministic framework of the Bohmian Interpretation, showing us that consciousness truly is a part of the system, but in an unusual ethereal way.

What we see is actually a kind of hologram, produced by the electrical awareness of the human perception. The world we see is projected the way the information tells us from photons which hit our eye. Extraordinary that we can be personally connected to the holograph such that in some sort of back seat kind of way, we have a relationship to the outside world. Even though it is artificial.

Our place in the universe, is by no argument quite odd. There does seem to be just the right kind of quantum cosmological evolution to allow the conditions set for life. I wondered if the readers would want me to elucidate more on this matter. It actually concerns it in two ways.

1) That the conditions of the universe where just right (those concerning the fine structure constant and other fundamental parameters) that a phase transition happened in the universe when it had the ability to cool down (which is also due to the Inflationary Phase of the universe which has its own fine tuning arguments). When it did, life could emerge and that life would also endeavor to copy that four dimensional configuration.

2) That in the beginning, the universe in the Bohmian Interpretation was dictated by a universal wave function, which in it's true initial state was a wave of possibilities. Something collapsed the wave function (out of which came pilot waves) governed on a destined path. Why did it chose this particular state? Assuming quantum mechanics can be applied here, there should have been an infinite amount of possible states to chose from.

Perhaps the answer to 2) is obvious? Maybe the solution to that is by saying it is pointless to talk about a universe with no intelligent life. Maybe the universe prefers that organisms get a chance to create themselves through the first enzymes leading to the first prokaryote (single celled life). On a similar topic, scientists found evidence we are living in a simulation. They did that by loosely speaking, making a simulation of our universe and turned out just like us. This shows us that what we call determinism could actually be a programming. It was also discovered recently that supersymmetric string theory has hidden binary codes within its structure: The kind of binary code in fact you would find in your computer.

Binary codes are the most efficient kind of codes which can be produced. Wouldn't be without a sense of irony then that the universe concerns itself so efficiently and yet we often struggle day to day. Of course our day to day activities may be at the pleasure of something more sophisticated than ourselves, the so-called destined path could very well be a universe programmed to have the fundamental constants written into spacetime as we know it. Who is this hand?

Even if we are not in a computer simulation, the other question also remains... ''then why did the wave function collapse to this state in the first place?''

We will probably never know the answer to that question, but one thing assured, we can be glad it is in this state and not something else indescribably different.

Let's go into the philosophical aspects of consciousness.

The Fundamental Argument of Consciousness

This concerns the observer principle concerning reality; that is, what reality is there to talk about without the observer?

It was at one point, a first-principle of quantum mechanics that we play a pivotal role in the development of the universe. This led to the Observer Effect, which is different to the principle, but is very similar.

That is, a system like an atom will exist in a superposition of eigenstates that will persist until interrupted by the observer measuring the system. The discovery of decoherence (the natural process of collapsing atomic states) put the importance of the observer in physics in jeopardy. Because of this, physicists began not to attach importance with the observer on the fundamental level.

Still, the interesting philosophical argument exists... ''what is a universe without someone measuring it?''

This of course, would entice all kinds of fine tuning arguments as well if it was true that the human (and indeed all possible extraterrestrial life) adds importance by measuring the universe. It's a principle of relativity in a sense. A universe without any observer relative to it, doesn't have the same meaning as a human attentively watching a system. There was an old question Einstein asked. He asked ''can a mouse collapse the wave function?''

Another interesting philosophical question that persisted at this time, was ''if no one was observing the moon, would it still exist?''

The last one is an anecdote of the Schrodinger Cat Experiment. But I actually call them non-physical thought experiments because they do not purport to reality; they were originally proposed to highlight the strange quantum reality, but that is the fallacy. Things at the macroscopic scale are not effected by quantum mechanics in noticable ways, therefore you will always find the cat dead or alive depending on whether the atoms in the geiger counter have collapsed. The moon still exists as well when no one is around to observe it. However an experiment was conducted to probe reality, if you like, without ''observing it'' to settle the question once and for all. What they found was that particles where showing up where they shouldn't have been! I have wondered whether this could be one of the reasons behind ''dark matter.'' Matter in the vast universe could be showing up in places where no one can observe it accounting for strange gravitational effects.

Our participatory role in this universe might not appear at first hand very important, but using the idea that the universe is somehow a relative matter when concerning intelligent recording devices then we might still have some importance.

The only thing I would add to this, however, is that I strongly do not believe that consciousness is in any way, fundamental in a cosmological sense. It has fundamental ties with possibly the wave function (which is a quantum phenomenon) and it may also display non-locality, a theory suggested by a number of scientists.

Energy, is a fundamental concept so obviously consciousness requires energy. As I have shown before as well, consciousness might be connected to the zeno effect and another possibility mentioned by many scientists today is it could be linked to quantum entanglement as well.

Consciousness is definitely connected to reality and so physics needs to reconcile how to explain it. So I am making an argument that consciousness and physics are compatible.

The Holistic Argument of Consciousness

It was proposed by a student of Schrodinger, a physicist called Ludvic Bass (and independantly by two other physicists) that there is evidence that there is only one consciousness [ref. 8]. This can be viewed as I have named, the Holistic Argument of consciousness. His work was entitled, as you will see in the reference using the link, The Mind of Wigners Friend.

The idea was novel and mathematical proved it using entanglement. Taking the idea seriously, it doesn't take an idiot to realize that it has implications for psychic abilities. However, will these implications in hand, psychic abilities are usually far outside mainstream though there are some scientists who professionally study that field of work.

In this idea naturally, there is no longer any sense of ''individuality'' and one could argue that all consciousness unifies as one single body.

The Conscious Universe

And so, is the universe fundamentally conscious? Ok... we seem to be juggling two different idea's. On one hand, consciousness is not fundamental concerning the timeline of the universe, but may be related to fundamental concepts in physics. The major question of course, is whether we actually live in a conscious universe. Are we the universe trying to understand itself?

Many scientists have pondered this question. Dean Radin, who has worked on ways to test whether consciousness is related to quantum entanglement has even written a book titled ''The Conscious Universe.''

Taking my principles seriously, by stating that nothing is outside of the universe and that consciousness is part of the whole, then yes, the obvious answer is that we are living in a universe that attempts to observe itself. We are the universe looking at ourselves!

Why would the universe do this? If the universe wanted to observe itself in all its wonder, then surely the universe came into existence with one prime directive... that was to create consciousness. But consciousness was not around at the Big Bang, so it must be deduced that whilst this was the directed path of the evolution of this universe, it needed a lot of space and most importantly needed a lot of time. One could argue that even though the path has been arduous, the universe may have arrived at this state for life in the most efficient way possible.




Final Words

Consciousness is a mystery and I by no means claim to have the answers. This is simply my view of how consciousness could fit into a physics and cosmology. I believe that consciousness will be last major problem of physics when the Standard Model is fully complete (arguably we are close to that with the proposed discovery of a candidate for the Higgs Boson). Many fear that this will be the end of particle physics, but if that is true, physics still has many unanswered questions and possibly one of the oldest of them, involves the observer.







References

[ref. 1] Mind into Matter - F.Wolf

[ref. 2] Our sense of time is regulated by two gene regulators. That means we have ''a sense of time'' because of this and is no longer a direct evidence that time must be objective. Instead, the evidence suggest it is subject.

- http://en.wikipedia....asmatic_nucleus

- http://en.wikipedia....i/Sense_of_time

[ref. 3]

- http://en.wikipedia....poulou-Kalamara

excerpt of wikipedia

''As the temperature drops and the graph cools, it is conjectured to undergo a phase transition to a Phase II where spacetime forms. It will then look like a spacetime manifold on large scales with only near-neighbour points being connected in the graph. The hypothesis of quantum graphity is that this [g]geometrogenesis[/b] models the condensation of spacetime in the big bang. A second model, related to ideas around quantum graphity, has been published.''

- A. Hamma, F. Markopoulou, S. Loyd, F. Caravelli, S. Severini, K. Markstrom (27 Nov 2009) "A quantum Bose-Hubbard model with evolving graph as toy model for emergent spacetime"

[ref.4] Some have proposed however, that to solve this problem it is better to say that the photon does not have a frame of reference so it is pointless to speak about whether time passes for it. Certainly that seems the case. But not everyone is satisfied with the case.

[ref.5] http://arxiv.org/pdf/0909.1861v1.pdf

- Anderson, Edward (2004) "Geometrodynamics: Spacetime or space?" Ph.D. thesis, University of London. -------- (2007) "On the recovery of Geometrodynamics from two different sets of first principles," Stud. Hist. Philos. Mod. Phys. 38: 15.

[ref. 6] http://en.wikipedia....i/Arrow_of_time

[ref. 7] In fact, scientists have found evidence suggesting that the universe may in fact be leaking energy (source) http://www.scientifi...-leaking-energy - It would also correlate with the idea the universe might quantum jump into a new configuration at some point at a critical energy density.

[ref. 8] A very rare paper http://www.fredalanw...cles/Bass_1.pdf

Edited by Aethelwulf, 04 February 2013 - 12:32 AM.


#2 Aethelwulf

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:35 AM

For a more in-depth analysis of the time problem, and several concepts of time including those concerned with the global and local aspects spoke about in the above work, I refer you to a previous article http://scienceforums...-witt-equation/

#3 Curiouser

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:35 PM

Interesting, this is something like looking at the negative of a photograph in terms of quantum causality systems. In that system a cognitive function could keep the physics systems aligned so they do not drift.

So consciousness is a node of cause and effect relationships that are connected to subatomic cause and effect relationships.

Active telekinesis is the standard rather than the exception.

Then our cognitive connections seem real to us, however what we think we see as hands and arms are just causal energy systems that through telepathy and telekineses we manipulate the conscious based systems around us.

We manipulate spacetime using systems of spacetime we call biology and matter; but biology and matter are conscious methods and relationships that give us intuitive connections with large systems of complexity.

Is this kinda in line with what you are presenting?

Edited by Curiouser n Curiouser, 27 February 2013 - 03:38 PM.


#4 Aethelwulf

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

Interesting, this is something like looking at the negative of a photograph in terms of quantum causality systems. In that system a cognitive function could keep the physics systems aligned so they do not drift.

So consciousness is a node of cause and effect relationships that are connected to subatomic cause and effect relationships.


I've kept away from psychic abilities, I only mentioned it briefly, so forgive me if I don't indulge that part of your post.

The psychological arrow of time plays it's role in a cause and effect of consciousness. It creates the illusion of a linearity to time. Cause and effect might not be fundamental so it is hard to say whether it is an empirical rule. But certainly there is a cause and effect relationship between the way we process reality.

Quantum physics and consciousness seem to intersect in harmony when we recognize the world around us and when the system is no longer attentively shuffling through all possibilities: In other words, the world around us breaks out of the dizzy spell of superpositioning (wave function phenomenon) and a certain reality appears to us, both subjective and objective. Subjectiveness is a kind of illusion as well - it is a personal attachment to a certain moment in existence. Objectiveness is the absence of a recording device (actually, objectivity involves the observer, but it really is the absence of the personal attachment).

Edited by Aethelwulf, 27 February 2013 - 04:53 PM.


#5 Aethelwulf

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

When we extract information from the outside world and become aware of it simultaneously, is when reality properly conjoins the definition of the observer to the observed.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 27 February 2013 - 04:52 PM.