Consciousness is fundamental to reality
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14-06-2015, 03:11 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 02:08 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 12:50 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Therefore-UNIVERSE!!!!

I am GOD! I create the universe with my mind!

Now give me 10% of your wage.

Wink

If you're God, you can just take it... right? If you don't, it means you don't want it Smile

Mysterious ways yo!
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14-06-2015, 03:40 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
Money "mysteriously" finds its way into GOD's account.

Don't you forget it!

Evil_monster

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14-06-2015, 03:54 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(12-06-2015 09:30 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(12-06-2015 09:17 PM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  You are correct, my assertion is that life-consciousness has existed all the way back to the Big Bang. The universe exists in terms of a big-bang observer system. Consciousness existed at the moment of creation. In fact, creation was a conscious act.

I think that's right.

And yet, there is no evidence for it. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-06-2015, 03:57 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
Who created the creator?

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14-06-2015, 04:18 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(13-06-2015 08:11 PM)ZoraPrime Wrote:  I was wondering when quantum mechanics would be brought up here -_-

hooray for my first non-introductory post (/i mostly just lurk)

Let's get a few things straight. Quantum mechanics, as previous posters have pointed out, simply means the mechanics of the very small. The fundamental change is that the 'state' of a particle is described by a so-called wavefunction (or probability amplitude) that gives information about the particle; namely, it gives the probability of being in a certain eigenstate (eigen- is a prefix that means 'characteristic') upon 'observation;' this process is called the wavefunction collapse. Eigenstates are also called characteristic states or stationary states; I prefer writing eigenstates because it's shorter and generally what's used in a quantum mechanics class.

Obviously, it's the statement "[the wavefunction] gives the probability of being in a certain eigenstate upon 'observation'" of interest the OP is referring to, and I'll get back to it in a minute. Before I discuss that in gory detail, I want to clarify a few things. First, the fact that the wavefunction (or probability amplitude) was interpreted as a wave is mostly an artifact. It was Max Born who gave the modern interpretation to the wavefunction after Shroedinger already used it to solve the hydrogen atom; it was interpreted as a (somewhat literal) wave by de Broglie who was able to motivate an assumption used in the Bohr model of the atom. The details don't matter, just remember wavefunction gives you probability that you'll find a particle is at a particular position with a certain momentum etc. However, when we 'observe' the particle, it'll (momentarily) have a certain position and a certain momentum with an exact energy. Energy, in particular, after 'observation' has an exact value.

So now, let's move onto what Q.M. observation is. The fact that the observer is conscious is *not* important. We can see gamma rays, for example, from stars billions of lightyears away. Gamma rays are produced by a nuclear decay process; as you might expect, atomic nuclei are small and occur from a quantum mechanical process. In particular, when a particle collapses from an excited state down to a low energy eigenstate, it'll emit a gamma ray; that is the gamma ray is a direct result from the wavefunction collapse. Yet, the star is billions of light years away, and since no information can travel faster than the speed of light (a fact consistent with the special relativistic formulation of quantum mechanics), that process must have happened before life existed on earth. I can even let some radioactive substance decay and a geiger meter measure it, remove myself from the room, and view results on a computer. For all practical purposes, the geiger counter itself is the observer.

So why exactly are observations important anyway? In particular, all known particles in the universe are made of fundamental particles; but moreover, how fundamental particles interact is probabilistic (with the probability a certain interaction occurs, again, given by a wavefunction that eventually collapse). For example, let's consider an interaction between two protons. When a proton and proton interact, they may scatter off due to the fact they repulse each other; alternatively, a proton and proton can fuse together to form helium. The wavefunction of the proton-proton system is what gives the probability of which interaction occurs. However, the reason why observation is important fundamentally boils down to this logistical point: if you or an instrument is observing the system ('the observer'), that observer is part of the system. For example, suppose we want to examine an electron by probing it with light (or a photon). Whether or not we find an electron at point X and whether or we find an electron at point X and a photon in our instrument at point Y are two different questions (this is discussed on page 167 in Cox's and Forshow's 'The Quantum Universe' book, if you want more infromation). The reason why an observer plays the role simply boils down to the fact that in order to observe our system, we need to interact with it. Our interaction fundamentally changes the wavefunction. As such, the fact that an observer CAN influence the results at the microscopic level, when viewed in this light, is actually not a particularly interesting fact (how the system is influence, on the other hand, is interesting). No, this doesn't explain why the wavefunction collapse works, it simply motivates why we would expect observation of a quantum system to influence our results by making the simple point that probing our quantum system disturbs it.

In particular, this discussion fails to describe the specifics of how wavefunction collapse manifests--for example, why Nature loves certain discrete energies and not any old energy. We don't actually know; the nature of the wavefunction collapse is ultimately the strangest and most bewildering part of quantum theory. In the same way we don't know how life started but we know how life evolved, we don't know how the wavefunction collapses but we understand what that wavefunction collapse affects our universe. To stretch the analogy further, although we are not sure how life got started, we can still make some reasonably guesses to its nature (e.g., it started over 3.5 million years ago, it probably involved some chemical reactions, etc.); the above paragraph was doing just that. The fact that observations affects a quantum system is about as surprising as learning life started due to a chemical reaction; the real mystery is knowing how the wavefunction collapse precisely occurs (analogous to knowing what chemical reactions tarted life). Since we don't know the ins and outs of the wavefunction collapse entirely, there are many different interpretations of how the wavefunction collapse occurs and who the exact agent is. Nevertheless, nearly every scientists will agree that a non-conscious camera is just at good at 'observing' as is a human with a naked eye. This goes back to my first point: we can observe the gamma rays (i.e. photons) that is older than life itself--the wavefunction collapse must have preceded life. And although there are fringe interpretations (namely, the von Neumann interpration) that do argue consciousness is the agent involved in wavefunction collapse; I've never seen them taken seriously. Understand that these interpretations of quantum mechanics are just guesses--all interpretations of quantum mechanics are not seen as scientific per se because their answer cannot be resolved by experiment. In other words, just because something like the von Neumann interpretation exists doesn't mean that science, as an enterprise, has said that consciousness is prerequisite for reality; rather, it says von Neumann has said that consciousness is prerequisite for reality (or something to that effect).

My overall point is this. When looking at quantum mechanics, don't take the definition of observer too seriously; physicist's aren't entirely sure what does or doesn't qualify as an observer. My point, however, is that trying to argue that science (specifically quantum mechanics) suggests that consciousness is necessary for reality is a dead end, because anything related to quantum mechanics that even remotely relates to 'reality requires consciousness,' at best, an interpretation that is itself not science as the solution cannot be resolved by experiment. In other words, using quantum mechanics to support your position is a dead end.

Anyway, I probably gave this discussion more time than it's worth, but I figured I'd add my two cents. I'll leave everything else not relating to QM to everyone else.

Interesting, but I think you utterly misunderstand the term "wave function collapse", e.g. electrons changing energy levels is not "wave function collapse".

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-06-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
Sometimes I think science is bad at communication and this is why some people misunderstand concepts.

M- you've built all of this consciousness crap around misunderstood concepts and your own wishful thinking.

We all wish things were different, but accepting the reality around you is the first step to changing it for the betterment of all people.

Being stuck in a fantasy only makes matters worse

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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14-06-2015, 09:21 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 07:59 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Sometimes I think science is bad at communication and this is why some people misunderstand concepts.

M- you've built all of this consciousness crap around misunderstood concepts and your own wishful thinking.

We all wish things were different, but accepting the reality around you is the first step to changing it for the betterment of all people.

Being stuck in a fantasy only makes matters worse

No actually my argument is the one that is more simple. No mind or word games here. I'm just presenting an obvious fact that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists. Without consciousness we can't be certain anything exists. How can you deny that statement? Do you not get it by now? What would a universe devoid of consciousness look like? That is a reidiculous question because there would #1 be no such awareness that it even existed and #2 it wouldn't 'look' like anything. In order to know what something looks like you need a conscious observer.

There is no way around this. Any of the scientific data you are using to refute my argument only strengthens it, because the conscious observer is the only single common denominator in each experiment, piece of data, or anything science has known. Nothing can be known without consciousness. It's simple bud, nothing you say can refute these simple facts.
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14-06-2015, 09:22 AM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2015 09:28 AM by mmhm1234.)
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 09:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 07:59 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Sometimes I think science is bad at communication and this is why some people misunderstand concepts.

M- you've built all of this consciousness crap around misunderstood concepts and your own wishful thinking.

We all wish things were different, but accepting the reality around you is the first step to changing it for the betterment of all people.

Being stuck in a fantasy only makes matters worse

No actually my argument is the one that is more simple. No mind or word games here. I'm just presenting an obvious fact that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists. Without consciousness we can't be certain anything exists. How can you deny that statement? Do you not get it by now? What would a universe devoid of consciousness look like? That is a ridiculous question because there would #1 be no such awareness to confirm the existence of this universe #2 it wouldn't 'look' like anything. In order to know what something 'looks like' you need a conscious observer.

There is no way around this. Any of the scientific data you are using to refute my argument only strengthens it, because the conscious observer is the only single common denominator in each experiment, piece of data, or anything science has known. Nothing can be known without consciousness. It's simple bud, nothing you say can refute these simple facts.
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14-06-2015, 09:25 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 03:54 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-06-2015 09:30 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I think that's right.

And yet, there is no evidence for it. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

There is also no evidence that there was ever a universe devoid of consciousness. None. Zilch. Nada. The only one we know for sure exists is the one we are in now. And it is teeming with life.
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14-06-2015, 10:20 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 09:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  I'm just presenting an obvious fact that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists.

I think it would be better to say that the only thing we can be 100% certain about is the existence of our own consciousness. That's true.....even if the matrix (film) scenario is true, and we are nothing more than brains in vats, and all sensory input is an illusion, there is still the old "I think therefore I am" exercise that proves our own existence. Other things could still truly exist, even if we are unaware of them. It's a fallacy to claim that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists.

(14-06-2015 09:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  Without consciousness we can't be certain anything exists.

I somewhat agree, but I would go further and say that without consciousness, there is no "we".

You're taking the "brain in a vat" exercise too far. Just because everything could be an illusion, doesn't mean that everything is an illusion. You keep making this leap.
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