Physics Encounters Consciousness

Posted by Herb7734 6 months, 2 weeks ago to Science
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I remember the first time I encountered Nathaniel Branden. One of the questions I asked him was about quantum theory's impact on Objectivism. He slid right into another topic so cleverly that I never did get an answer. However, I was in the midst of hero worship so I didn't mind. What I'm going to try to present is a quantum enigma and its impact on philosophy, Objectivism philosophy in particular.

All philosophies are based on a universe filled with laws and put down by Newton and his inheritors. Even approaches to quantum physics are done, by and large, via a Newtonian universe. Our limited senses are adequate to keep us alive and reproducing, but they are totally inadequate when it comes to the sub atomic world. Therefore, the definition of truth get all squirrelly when confronted by quantum theory. "Truth is that which pertains to reality" is one of the common definitions of truth. But, what is reality? Quantum has brought us a new reality and it is nothing like what we are used to.
"Anyone who claims to understand the quantum theory is either lying or crazy." -- Richard Feynman, winner of 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Without going into all the proofs and equations I will attempt to describe the universe via quantum physics. Keep in mind quantum theory is a work in progress and it is very likely that less than 1% has been completed. Theoretical and practical successes of quantum theory exposes classical physics as a primitive tool. For the purpose of studying consciousness it is like using a muzzle loading rifle in place of a particle accelerator. We remain mired in the 17th century wearing Newton like a strait jacket. Thus, it damages our ability to examine and discuss the nature of existence and free will.

Quantum physics invalidates classical physics like this: Classical physics holds that any action must be caused by current, local, and totally mechanical circumstances. Classical physics also holds that there is matter and there is energy, sometimes equal but always separate. Quantum entanglement and superposition destroys the first proposition and the second is destroyed because matter and energy are manifestations of the same thing. neither exists as a simple either - or.

The universe continues to get weirder. NASA has proved that everything we know about matter and energy only comprises 4% of the universe. The rest is dark matter 23% and dark energy 73%. We know virtually nothing about these two mysterious manifestations. How does the missing 96% of the universe affect our consciousness? I think that once we discover what that 96% is versus the universe as we perceive it and hold dear, it will invalidate much of what we consider to be the truth. So - how does this affect the nature of reality as it pertains to philosophy? How can we discern the truth? Does quantum theory now allow us to posit any reality we want in order to get it to give us the kind of results we want? That is the quantum enigma.

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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago
    The French existentialist writer Albert Camus once wrote, “…there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.” Though we are not accustomed to thinking of science as hopeless labor, there is a domain of science today for which the description may be perfectly apt. Space Age technology has achieved wonders. But according to critics, many theoretical adventures undertaken to explain astonishing Space Age discoveries have set the theoretical sciences down a dead-end path.

    An example of this may be the unyielding belief of a majority of scientists in the existence of “dark matter.” Dark matter entered the lexicon of astronomers and cosmologists as a way of dealing with a serious theoretical problem. In observing the motions of galaxies in clusters, they calculated the mass needed to hold the cluster together. They found there was not nearly enough. So they calculated the amount of mass that could not be seen but MUST be there in order to account for the observed motions.

    The line of reasoning seemed unassailable, and it followed directly from a theoretical assumption shared by almost all astronomers. This foundational assumption is that, at the macrocosmic scale, gravity reigns supreme. It is gravity that organizes galaxies and gives birth to their constituent stars. So if there is not enough visible mass to do the surprising things seen in space, then the only option is to add invisible mass to make the astronomers’ equations match observations.
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    • Posted by 1 month ago
      So....I watched the movie. It dealt with many questions I myself have had and took a lot of what I call the mysticism out of the cosmological sciences. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago
        Thanks for taking the time to view it. Tesla over 100 years ago had a similar theory and also used his understanding to create inventions . He made the modern age of technology develope much faster than it likely would have IMHO. The genius of that man is so underrated.

        The Grand Solar Minimum , that cycle we have moved into is all about the weakened electromagnetic field of the Earth due to low Sunspot activity. Sun spots interact with each other having opposite polarity ( neg and pos) and that electrical current will show an umbral arc allowing the magnetic current to be viewed.
        Apparently this excites and strengthens our shield around earth. Resulting in it blocking cosmic rays and shielding the planets from solar wind and coronal mass ejections and plasma.

        Currently the weakened electromagnetic shield has had the most intense northern lights witnessed in modern times. In fact a new visible phenomena is called ," Steve" named by the observer. It comes from some hedgehog named Steve in an animated flick.

        I get very excited about this new understanding and have found my interest in ancient civilizations
        Once again bringing me to cutting edge info extremely important for today. On a recent trip to the valley of Fire in Nevada we were able to view ancient petroglyphs many of which are explained by this video produced by the same folks Thornhill and Talbot
        I understand if you have had enough of this topic
        And don't care to view it but I find it entertaining and enlightening , like my interactions with you sir.
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        • Posted by 1 month ago
          Ancient civilizations are as mysterious as the mysteries of the cosmos. The various remnants of past civilization makes one wonder how they achieved the miraculous edifices with their supposedly primitive equipment. Couple that with the lame propositions when physicists couldn't get their theories as to why something worked because the math didn't work, or if the math worked the lab. didn't.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago
      Another “weird” and “invisible” influence that supposedly affects the motions of galaxies is “dark energy.” Discovered (or perhaps “invented”) in 1998 in response to anomalously low brightness of Type 1a supernovae in high-redshift galaxies, dark energy is believed to be a kind of cosmic antigravity. Its proponents say that its repulsive effect causes galaxies to fly apart at an ever-increasing speed – thus accelerating the supposed “expansion” of the Universe. But these claims depend on the astronomers’ interpretation of redshift as a reliable indicator of velocity in an expanding universe and therefore, distance. It also depends on a shaky theoretical understanding of Type 1a supernovae. (See Supernova 1987A Decoded) Today, that interpretation is challenged by a rapidly growing number of contradicting observations, causing scientists to look for alternative causes of redshift. (See The Picture That Won’t Go Away and Redshift Rosetta Stone)

      Under the pressure of unsolved enigmas, the current position of official astronomy is that only 4% of the universe is “visible” matter. The other 96%, is composed of dark matter and dark energy—all of which, by definition, is invisible. "The universe is made mostly of dark matter and dark energy," says Saul Perlmutter, leader of the Supernova Cosmology Project headquartered at Berkeley Lab, "and we don't know what either of them is."

      But these mysterious, ubiquitous, and invisible inventions are only “necessary” because astronomers hold to a belief that is no longer tenable -- that electromagnetism plays no appreciable role in the organization of cosmic structure and powering of stars. Plasma cosmologists and proponents of the “Electric Universe” – who study the behavior of electrically powered plasma in the lab and in nature – insist that the astronomers’ belief is incorrect.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago
        One of the great scientific “secrets” in modern times is that many of astronomy’s most fundamental mysteries find their resolution in plasma discharge behavior. On the pages of, this point has been enumerated in countless Pictures of the Day. For example, computer simulations have demonstrated that the motion of the spiral galaxy can be achieved through nothing other than interactions of electric currents in plasma. From the TPOD Plasma Galaxies:

        “Plasma experiments show that rotation is a natural function of interacting electric currents in plasma. Currents can pinch matter together to form rotating stars and galaxies. A good example is the ubiquitous spiral galaxy, a predictable configuration of a cosmic-scale discharge. Computer models of two current filaments interacting in a plasma have, in fact, reproduced fine details of spiral galaxies, where the gravitational schools must rely on invisible matter arbitrarily placed wherever it is needed to make their models ‘work’.

        A recent Knight-Ridder news report refers to dark matter as the “ghostly-glue” that keeps galaxies from flying apart. But scientists in increasing numbers are asking if astronomers have invoked the ghostly-glues of dark matter and dark energy to keep their THEORIES from flying apart. The most fundamental cosmological questions – How did the Universe begin? What is it made of? How does it work? – may remain unanswered until astronomers explore the role of electric currents in space. Until then official science may be doomed to an expensive and futile chase of theoretical ghosts.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 month ago
    For a basic understanding of "Truth"...which I posit must be the physical laws of existence and the smallest common denominator would be the quantum. The one law, I feel is the basis of all quantum physical truth and therefore the main constituent allowing existence to exist in the first place is magnetism, north's attraction to south in addition to the fact that + electricity's propensity to flow to a grounding source; without electromagnetism, existence would not exist.
    It seems to me, that everything in existence operates and is perpetuated from this stance. We might even say that basic morality and ethics could stem from this observation which of course could not be realized without an awareness of the awareness of it or Consciousness.
    The point here is yes, nature, not being aware of it's own awareness of the surrounding environment seems to work these things out fine. But for mankind, beyond behaviors of survival which at one point must have considered mutuality beyond the basic family unit which was in itself a survival of the entire human species act. This is perhaps where the initial conversation started that lead to what we call, philosophy.

    So, from here, an objective look into the survival of the individual and the species as a whole; our interactions, shared goals, knowledge and resulting civilization being rationally self interested, (I say, "celf interested", is the most important concept of "Objectivism" and morality, ethics and survival systems developed from observations of the obvious.

    To answer the big question having established the basic realities that cannot be ignored and cannot be ignored, perhaps, without consequences is no, we cannot posit any imagined reality to suit our liking, we cannot "manifest" anything that doesn't already exist or having a favorable probability of existing in the first place. But we do need to discover those things, understand them which in turn would be the truth as far as we understand it at the time. For mankind, this is our journey; a journey that should be undertaken with an understanding that inquiry, experimentation and the resulting knowledge always be accounted for in our understandings of Truth and this all starts and is successfully perpetuated via a proper philosophy that takes account and builds upon the basic truths of existence starting at the quantum level.
    Just as living matter is built upon by the bonding of various energetic particles into electrons, neutrons, protons to the atomic level, all with the needed information for too, philosophy be built in the same fashion.

    For me, it's been my observation, that objectivism has been built in this fashion and it's now our job to understand it, to grow it, to apply it and live it.
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