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Originally posted by Wertdagf
You cannot bend the laws of physics with thought though. You may babble about how matter is energy and thoughts are energy that does not mean you can manifest a purple unicorn driving a corvette. Your taking something logical and stretching it into the common abomonation that is new age religion.
Originally posted by outsider13
Very interesting thread.
Its hard to say we live in a consensus reality, when at times it seems there is so little consensus on anything!
On the other hand, there are also many things people generally believe in without finding it necessary to discuss - the sun will rise tomorrow, the force of gravity will continue to hold us safely against the earth, the object in front of me is solid, and real, and not just a figment of my imagination.
Ah, stop right there. I do not take any of the things you just named for granted. In my reality those are all "maybes"(those of you into quantum logic should know "yes/no/maybe"). And those "solid" object that are "non-imaginary" only exist in my mind, as does the entire universe, and hence are imaginary.
So there we have it, you and I do not live in the same reality.
Great thread but I must say, as a philosopher, that this subject is one that even philosophers can't come close to settling.
The problem is that all information that we have about the "supposed" world out there only exists in our minds.
But great topic! Mind exercises are always a good thing.
Q: the theory of observing changing the observed
-Anonymous (age 55)
A: In quantum mechanics we learn that the behavior of the very smallest objects (like electrons, for example) is very unlike the behavior of everyday things like baseballs. When we throw a baseball at a wall, we can predict where it will be during its flight, where it will hit the wall, how it will bounce, and what it will do afterward.
When we fire an electron at a plate with two closely spaced slits in it, and detect the electron on a screen behind these slits, the behavior of the electron is the same as that of a wave in that it can actually go though both holes at once. This may seem odd, but its true. If we repeat this experiment lots of times with lots of electrons, we see that some positions on the screen will have been hit by many electrons and some will have been hit by none. The observed "interference pattern" for these electrons is evidence of their dual wave-particle nature, and is well described by thinking of each electron as a superposition of two "states", one that goes through one slit, one that goes through the other.
To add to this already mysterious behavior, this interference will only happen if both possible paths that the electron can take are not distinguishable. In other words, if we could somehow tell which slit the electron went through each time, we would no longer get the interference. The act of making a measurement of the electrons path fundamentally changes the outcome of the experiment.
There is a related issue in quantum mechanics relating to whether systems have pre-existing — prior to measurement, that is — properties corresponding to all measurements that could possibly be made on them. The assumption that they do is often referred to as "realism" in the literature, although it has been argued that the word "realism" is being used in a more restricted sense than philosophical realism. A recent experiment in the realm of quantum physics has been quoted as meaning that we have to "say goodbye" to realism, although the author of the paper states only that "we would [..] have to give up certain intuitive features of realism". These experiments demonstrate a puzzling relationship between the act of measurement and the system being measured, although it is clear from experiment that an "observer" consisting of a single electron is sufficient -- the observer need not be a conscious observer. Also, note that Bell's Theorem suggests strongly that the idea that the state of a system exists independently of its observer may be false.