February 18, 2008
"Edward Diener" <eddielee_no_spam_here@tropicsoft.com> wrote in message news:fp7sft$21bl$1@digitalmars.com...
> Craig Black wrote:
>>
>> "Edward Diener" <eddielee_no_spam_here@tropicsoft.com> wrote in message news:fp50mt$v2o$1@digitalmars.com...
>>> Craig Black wrote:
>>>> I apologize for the inappropriate post, but I read this material last night and am still buzzing about it.  I just have to share it.  I personally am an agnostic, so not trying to preach anything, but I thought this was very interesting.  I didn't realize that modern science has such a solid theory about consciousness.  Namely, that there is only one conscious mind in the universe, and that matter is the result of observations of that mind.  At the subatomic level, there are only possibilities that require a mind to bring into actual reality.  And that mind is not Many but One.  The universe essentially consists of a single Indivisible Mind from which matter emmanates.
>>>>
>>>> Are these the ramblings of a deluded philosopher or religious cult? Nope. The conclusions that result due to observations and discoveries made by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Niels Bohr, all pioneers of quantum mechanics.
>>>>
>>>> http://www.integralscience.org/ConsciousQM.html
>>>
>>> Utter rubbish !
>>>
>>> For a person in a mathematical/scientific field such as computer programming buying such hogwash is pathetic. Try studying the great physicists, even a little, to understand that they were not in the business of supporting mystagogues of any type.
>>
>> Actually after reading more on the topic, this is actually not the "conclusion" that the author here states.  But it is one hypothesis that unless I misunderstand was posed by Schrodinger himself.   This quote is from Shrodinger on Wikipedia:
>>
>>    * Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind...
>>          o "The Oneness of Mind", as translated in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (1984) edited by Ken Wilber
>
> Because Schrodinger, or any other person, happens to write something, does not make it true in any sense. Do you really believe that science, and in particular quantum mechanics, has attempted to measure "consciousness", or even define it in scientific terms ?

Unfortunately, you are questioning me about someone else's idea that I really don't fully understand.  Like I said I'm not trying to preach anything, just trying to learn.  I find it interesting that Shrodinger held this belief.  Just because he was a smart guy doesn't make everything he believes true.  But I think it's interesting and would like to better understand what line of thinking led him to that "conclusion".  Probably both you and Shrodinger know much more than me about quantum mechanics, so I'm not the best one to defend his idea, at least yet.

> Furthermore the author of that tract is oblivious to some 70 years or more of quantum mechanics, which post-dates the theories and science of the three scientists on which he focuses. During that period enormous strides have been make in attempting to understand the quantum nature of physical reality. The challenges are still so enormous that it is doubtful the leading scientists in the field have any time to waste on a notion which belongs clearly outside their science and how that science is defined. Physical reality is quite complex enough without worrying about a notion that has the vaguest of meanings outside of science.
>
> By attempting to subvert serious, challenging, and fascinating science to mystico-religious belief the author of the tract is doing a great disservice to actual scientists in the field ( I am not one but as a layman, and someone who studied a good deal of physics in college, I have done some reading and further learning in the area ).
>
>> It may be the case that the author here takes this idea further than Schrodinger did.  However, because this particular hypothesis violates the Ockham's Razor principle, it gets less attention from mainstream science than the other alternatives.
>
> It gets no attention because there is no way to measure "consciousness" in scientific terms, or even define it. This has nothing to do with Ockham's Razor or mainstream science, but everything to do with what science is.

Perhaps I was incorrect to call it a hypothesis.  Beyond that, I think we are both saying the same thing here just in different ways.  The bottom line is that scientific community disregards the idea.  Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

"In general, physicists regard this theory as a non-scientific or pseudoscientific concept, pointing out that it is experimentally unfalsifiable and that it introduces unnecessary elements into physics, rather than simplifying."

And I would interject that this unnecessary complexity violates Ockham's Razor.  Does that make sense?

However, even if it's not science and just philosophy, it's still interesting.  Further, just because something isn't science doesn't make it untrue, just unprovable.  Don't expect me to become a Buddhist monk any time soon though. ;)

-Craig 

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