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Decoherence And Consciousness: The Myth of Observer-Created Reality

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posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 07:17 AM
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One of the most curious and counter-intuitive understandings regarding quanta is that they exhibit a wave/particle duality at the same time. Quanta seem to exist in two distinct separate expressions of reality simultaneously, but no one has observed this yet. Whenever an observation to determine this is carried out a quantum always presents itself to the observer either as a particle or as a waveform, never both at the same time.

Many clever measurement experiments have been set up and made to try to observe this seemingly dual nature in the same instance of measurement, but due to space-time differentiation, the observations cannot reconcile into a singular observation. Even when we set up an experiment that is able to take two measurements at ‘A’ and at ‘B’ simultaneously, where at measurement ‘A’ we observe a quanta's particle expression, and at ‘B’ we observe a quanta's wave form expression, we are still making two distinct and disparate measurements that cannot resolve into a single observable of wave/particle duality.

We can of course, abstract the seeming duality of a quantum in mathematical formulation as a wave function. However, this has led to an interpretation that the very act of observation/measurement collapses the superpositional state of the quanta into either a particle expression, or a wave form expression, due to observation/measurement being thought of as a form of interaction that decoheres (collapses) the wave function of the quantum?

It seems we cannot look at quanta neutrally in such a way that we are able to view them in their dual aspect during the same instance of observation. Our observation seemingly ‘interferes’ with the quantum’s expression, and no matter how many different and ingenious experiments we are able to idealise and perform, observation/measurement interference will always…well, interfere. This has further led to thinking that our consciousness plays some interactive part in collapsing a quantum’s wave function, and that our consciousness is what creates our reality. This belief raises an impossible scenario.

Thomas Young (1773-1829) – an ancestral compatriot – established the wave theory of light against Newton’s theory of light as a particle. He established the idea of ‘interference’ firstly in water waves, and then in light. Through his Double-Slit experiment, he was able to show that light moved like waves on a water’s surface. Our eyes perform the same experiment every second throughout our wakeful hours.

Our eyes act like the slits in Young’s experiment, they are the openings through which the wave form of light decoheres into particle expression, and then hit the rods and cones in our retinas to cause a firing of a signal along the optic nerve to the brain. This occurs prior to our conscious experience of light. Only when the signal from the optic nerve is transposed and processed in the brain does a conscious experience of light arise. This natural and inbuilt latency negates the idea and belief that consciousness itself plays any part in wave function breakdown, or that consciousness creates our reality. Consciousness is a phenomenon after the event that raises it. It is not prior nor simultaneous to the event that brings it into being.

Observer-created reality is a myth.




posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: elysiumfire


Our eyes act like the slits in Young’s experiment, they are the openings through which the wave form of light decoheres into particle expression, and then hit the rods and cones in our retinas to cause a firing of a signal along the optic nerve to the brain. This occurs prior to our conscious experience of light. Only when the signal from the optic nerve is transposed and processed in the brain does a conscious experience of light arise. This natural and inbuilt latency negates the idea and belief that consciousness itself plays any part in wave function breakdown, or that consciousness creates our reality. Consciousness is a phenomenon after the event that raises it. It is not prior nor simultaneous to the event that brings it into being.

Nice explanation. Obviously the photons must be interacting with the rods and cones at the back of our eye before we even become aware of them, which shows the wave-function can collapse before consciousness actually plays any role in the observation. It is also very easy to prove measurements can be made by non-conscious machines with eraser variants of the double slit experiment.

The only alternative to this is that we project reality from our mind and see what we expect to see, instead of reality being injected into our mind from the outside world. This would imply we are living in some sort of shared delusion or that I'm the only truly conscious being and everyone else in my reality are just philosophical zombies projected out of my own mind.

Even if other people exist and we are sharing some sort of dreamed up reality, that still cannot really explain the very consistent nature of reality. For example why can two people on the opposite sides of the world discover the same planet independently and only later corroborate their findings? Or why do the laws of physics always work the same even if I don't know how they work?

These people pushing the idea they we create our own reality constantly ignore this simple logic and act as if their ideas are backed up by science, which I find highly annoying. It seems to me it's really just an avenue for arguing that God exists because they can claim consciousness existed before anything else, so the mind of god could have existed before everything else.
edit on 17/6/2015 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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originally posted by: ChaoticOrderIt seems to me it's really just a avenue for arguing that God exists because they can prove consciousness existed before anything else, so the mind of god could have existed before everything else.


This. Whenever I see this "reality needs a conscious observer" meme, it's nearly always tied up with someone's desire to validate their religious/spiritual beliefs (notably dualism, which has no scientific basis).

The silly thing about the whole debacle is the adamant swearing that such interpretations are backed up by the scientific evidence, when it's clearly not. You can't have it both ways; you don't get to ignore what the scientific says when it contradicts your beliefs but then claim that they are backed up by science.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: elysiumfire
Quanta seem to exist in two distinct separate expressions of reality simultaneously, but no one has observed this yet. Whenever an observation to determine this is carried out a quantum always presents itself to the observer either as a particle or as a waveform, never both at the same time.

Many clever measurement experiments have been set up and made to try to observe this seemingly dual nature in the same instance of measurement, but due to space-time differentiation, the observations cannot reconcile into a singular observation. Even when we set up an experiment that is able to take two measurements at ‘A’ and at ‘B’ simultaneously, where at measurement ‘A’ we observe a quanta's particle expression, and at ‘B’ we observe a quanta's wave form expression, we are still making two distinct and disparate measurements that cannot resolve into a single observable of wave/particle duality.


But the duality has been recorded, at least, seemingly, according to this recent experiment?
www.nature.com...
phys.org...

I'm not a scientist, just wondering what this experiment is showing and how it relates to your claim?



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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originally posted by: ChaoticOrder
a reply to: elysiumfire


Our eyes act like the slits in Young’s experiment, they are the openings through which the wave form of light decoheres into particle expression, and then hit the rods and cones in our retinas to cause a firing of a signal along the optic nerve to the brain. This occurs prior to our conscious experience of light. Only when the signal from the optic nerve is transposed and processed in the brain does a conscious experience of light arise. This natural and inbuilt latency negates the idea and belief that consciousness itself plays any part in wave function breakdown, or that consciousness creates our reality. Consciousness is a phenomenon after the event that raises it. It is not prior nor simultaneous to the event that brings it into being.

Nice explanation. Obviously the photons must be interacting with the rods and cones at the back of our eye before we even become aware of them, which shows the wave-function can collapse before consciousness actually plays any role in the observation. It is also very easy to prove measurements can be made by non-conscious machines with eraser variants of the double slit experiment.

The only alternative to this is that we project reality from our mind and see what we expect to see, instead of reality being injected into our mind from the outside world. This would imply we are living in some sort of shared delusion or that I'm the only truly conscious being and everyone else in my reality are just philosophical zombies projected out of my own mind.

Even if other people exist and we are sharing some sort of dreamed up reality, that still cannot really explain the very consistent nature of reality. For example why can two people on the opposite sides of the world discover the same planet independently and only later corroborate their findings? Or why do the laws of physics always work the same even if I don't know how they work?

These people pushing the idea they we create our own reality constantly ignore this simple logic and act as if their ideas are backed up by science, which I find highly annoying. It seems to me it's really just an avenue for arguing that God exists because they can claim consciousness existed before anything else, so the mind of god could have existed before everything else.


Have you ever heard of global consciousness?

What I'm trying to say is, if you are born into a world that believes you can't do this or that, you're going to have a hard time overcoming that influence.




posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: elysiumfire

You know, at the end of the day, the answer to this is very simple: the 'dual aspect' is illusory, an artifact of our minds' inability to perceive or conceive the single reality that integrates the aspects. Far from being a fundamental determinant of reality, consciousness is capable only of approaching reality.

Things have so panned out that, in physics, the approach has taken place from two different directions, one of which conceives of mass-energy as wavelike, the other conceiving of it as particle-lke. Both approaches are valid. Neither of them is complete. Most probably the quest to unify them is a wild-goose chase because even a successful unification only tells part of the story. Remember dark matter and dark energy, those cosmological wild cards.

You'll notice that waves and particles are both things we can see.


This natural and inbuilt latency negates the idea and belief that consciousness itself plays any part in wave function breakdown, or that consciousness creates our reality.

Agreed, provisionally. But Time is a funny thing. Consciousness is lamentably trussed to a flatcar on the one-way Future Express, but why should we assume unconscious processes are bound to be travelling in the other cars?

A very clever man once experimented with the idea that they weren't. His name was J.W. Dunne and he wrote a book about it called An Experiment with Time. It was written in the era of relativity: quantum mechanics hadn't been invented yet. But though I'm certainly not endorsing his conclusions, his book is well worth reading.

I'm beginning to feel that the long, long drought in theoretical physics may be about to end. The smell of the times reminds me of the mid-to-late Victorian era, when — having assumed for a couple of generations that pretty much all that could be known about the world was known — physicists, chemists, biologists and just about everyone else in science were suddenly faced with lots of new data that revealed serious contradictions in existing theory. I think that's happening in physics and cosmology now — and the logjam may be about to break. This was what spurred the great discoveries of the nineteenth and early twentieh century, beginning with Darwin and ending with, I don't know, Richard Feynman perhaps.

The next twenty years will be interesting; I hope I live to see them out.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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a reply to: WASTYT

Nice one. I think this bears out what I've said above, but maybe others will have a different take on it.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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WASTYT:

But the duality has been recorded, at least, seemingly, according to this recent experiment?


Thanks for this.


I don't believe it relates to the intrinsic duality of a clearly identified sub-quanta. If the imaging device of this experiment can simultaneously see a quanta in its particle expression and also, its wave form expression spatially separate a little distance further, then I must stand corrected.

However, the way I currently understand this experiment I don't believe that is what is occurring here...of course, I could be mistaken. Writing it out in this rational way doesn't feel correct. I should maintain that looking at a specific isolated quantum can only yield one of its dual state expressions to observance at each measurement. So strictly speaking I cannot currently agree that this experiment is yielding a snapshot of a quantum's dual nature.

If there are others out there who could correct me, I'd appreciate it.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 12:14 PM
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Astyanax:

I'm beginning to feel that the long, long drought in theoretical physics may be about to end.


Wouldn't that be nice.


I think with all disciplines in science and some of the humanities, a re-interpretative evaluation of what has already been posited must necessarily bring about a new understanding, and a pointing of the way to more pertinent and correct questions. The course and outcome of any investigation must always begin with the right question, not just any question that fits within the scope of the investigation.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: elysiumfire


The course and outcome of any investigation must always begin with the right question

To be trite, that's where experiment and observation come in. The data raise the questions.


edit on 17/6/15 by Astyanax because: 'data' is plural.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: elysiumfire

You do realize this is the Science Forum? There's not one shred of Science in your post to back up anything you say. You said:


Our eyes act like the slits in Young’s experiment, they are the openings through which the wave form of light decoheres into particle expression, and then hit the rods and cones in our retinas to cause a firing of a signal along the optic nerve to the brain. This occurs prior to our conscious experience of light. Only when the signal from the optic nerve is transposed and processed in the brain does a conscious experience of light arise. This natural and inbuilt latency negates the idea and belief that consciousness itself plays any part in wave function breakdown, or that consciousness creates our reality. Consciousness is a phenomenon after the event that raises it. It is not prior nor simultaneous to the event that brings it into being.


WHAT??????

This is just gobbledy gook. Where's the scientific experiment that says our eyes act like slits and they're openings through which the waveform decoheres into particle expression?

Define consciousness for me. You must know the nature of consciousness. This way we can call up the Nobel Peace Prize board and tell the rest of the Scientific world that you have all of the answers so they should just stop all experiments.

Please list some scientific experiments to support your assertions. What do you mean by particle expression? How does the waveform express this particle expression?

What exactly do you mean by wave function breakdown?? What in the world is that?? This post belongs in the fantasy section because you didn't present a shred of Scientific evidence to support anything you're saying.

You guys are so scared of consciousness. You try to claim consciousness can't be this or can't do that but you don't know what consciousness is. Why are you so threatened by consciousness?
edit on 17-6-2015 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: elysiumfire

Everything we assume is after the , wave input is decoded . The actual information input could be infinite. To much to decode, so we decode a miniscule amount . Then a model of it is created in our own mind. But the fact still remains, that it is only a working model, one in an infinite amount of probable, realities, created in our own heads.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: neoholographic

Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't science. The OP is perfectly comprehensible and reflects a fully valid understanding of the double-slit experiment and its implications.


Where's the scientific experiment that says our eyes act like slits and they're openings through which the waveform decoheres into particle expression?

Scientific experiment? It's obvious. If you think there's any difference between the human eye and any other kind of light detector, explain what the difference is.


What exactly do you mean by wave function breakdown??

He means wavefunction collapse. Do you need to be told what that is, Mr Theoretical Physicist (as you claimed to be in another thread)?


You try to claim consciousness can't be this or can't do that but you don't know what consciousness is.

And you do? Go on, then, tell us what it is.



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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Its apparent enough, I think, that human consciousness does not create reality but is there not an altogether more comprehensive consciousness? The consciousness that created us? I know, I know, I know what you are thinking but can you prove it does not exist?



posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: Anadandan

It might not create reality, but it does interpret it. What we perceive is a shared space, that's internal, to the input. The model of reality, is shown in three dimensions in this shared mind. If it takes five photons to hit the retina, to send an electron down the optical nerve. This is then decoded, like all the other input information, to form a model of reality , its not out there, its decoded information, in the mind.



posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 12:24 AM
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a reply to: anonentity

That's a good reply that I agree with for sure. And because we interpret reality with our minds which is in our minds we would like rule over it which to a growing degree we do, isn't this the true aim of science after all? And is it not all illusionary? Reality is a brick wall that science chips away at ultimately to discover what lies behind it while believing, on the most part, that nothing does. Ridiculous really but that's kind of how it is. Well, to me anyhow.



posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: elysiumfire

If a single photon is a wave with width (like an ocean wave)(only way that can explain an interference pattern of one photon going through double slit right?) does a single photon enter both eyes at once?



posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 01:09 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

No, the OP rattled off opinion not science.

Again, he made a statement now let's see the scientific evidence to support it.

Our eyes act like the slits in Young’s experiment, they are the openings through which the wave form of light decoheres into particle expression

Also, when it comes to Theoretical Physics we can get technical. I think I asked you a question in another thread you never answered.

What is the difference between conformal field theories and quantum field theories that make it symmetric and mathematically give rise to a thermodynamic critical point and how is this derived? How does this relate to this thread in light of recent discoveries about the entropy of entanglement and the equivalence between these energy densities and gravitational theories?

Here's one about String Theory.

How do you come up with the 10/500 false vacua? Is that the number and there's hundred of cycles in the homology for each topology so how are the the differences between the cosmological constant derived and what are some of the specific negative values and how does that relate to this thread?

I usually get more technical on Physics Forums and Physics Stack Exchange but we can go there if you like.

All I'm asking for is some Scientific Evidence to support what's being said.



posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic

You say everyone is wrong, but you never say in what way you are right.

Is there anything you know about reality? What is the most fundamental thing you know?

Do you believe that no thing can truly be known or understood about reality?

If that is so, then of course you can just say everything everyone says is wrong.

If you think that anything can be known about reality, if you think anything is known about reality; state one thing you think is known.

State one thing you think is known about reality, that you think I disagree with



posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 05:45 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic


Also, when it comes to Theoretical Physics we can get technical. I think I asked you a question in another thread you never answered.

What is the difference between conformal field theories and quantum field theories that make it symmetric and mathematically give rise to a thermodynamic critical point and how is this derived? How does this relate to this thread in light of recent discoveries about the entropy of entanglement and the equivalence between these energy densities and gravitational theories?

As I said in that other thread, O Theoretical Physicist, I will answer the question as soon as it makes sense. Right now, it is gibberish. Make what symmetric? Your pronoun 'it' lacks a subject.

Tell me what 'it' is supposed to refer to, and if the answer makes sense, I will attempt a reply to your question. Until then, it's just some gibberish you just cut and pasted into the thread without even understanding what it means.


How do you come up with the 10/500 false vacua? Is that the number and there's hundred of cycles in the homology for each topology so how are the the differences between the cosmological constant derived and what are some of the specific negative values and how does that relate to this thread?

This is not relevant either to this thread or another. It is obviously cut and pasted from some physics forum, and you clearly don't understand it either.

But as it happens, this one's pretty easy. So I have already posted the answer as a private message to WASTYT. I will ask him or her to post it on this thread as soon as you have satisfied me that you correctly understand the question itself. Here's a clue: that isn't 10/500 (which, as everyone except an absolute scientific ignoramus knows, is just the fraction 1/50, or 2%), but 10^500, that is, ten to the power five hundred. Surprising that I have to explain Grade Four arithmetic to a 'theoretical physicist'.

And — just to make myself quite clear — if elysiumfire's post is gobbledygook, how come I understand it, and others do too? It only looks like gobbledygook to someone who — ahem — doesn't understand the physics.


edit on 18/6/15 by Astyanax because: I boldly went.



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