reply to post by OmegaPoint
It is certainly more trouble than it is worth, but since you are so eager to be debunked...
1. A false first step
Originally posted by OmegaPoint
Before quantum physics was properly understood, a materialist physics prevailed in science - elementary particles make atoms, atoms make molecules,
molecules make cells, including neurons, neurons make the brain and brain makes consciousness. This theory of causation...
Here is your first error, which makes everything you say thereafter false. What you describe is not a theory of causation. It is a theory about how
objects are constituted
. It says nothing about how they are brought into being or why they behave the way they do. That
would be a
theory of causation. This is just a theory of the composition of matter.
...is called the theory of upward causation: cause moves up from the micro elementary particles all the way to the macro brain and
There is no such principle in science. No scientist is stupid enough to pretend that all causes originate at the level of elementary particles. They
can all theoretically be described
in terms of the interaction of elementary particles but that is neither here nor there.
On the contrary, science embraces emergence
, the idea that complex systems may have properties that
cannot be predicted by studying their component parts. Thus consciousness cannot be predicted from studying any part or activity of the brain.
Emergence is directly opposed to your spurious 'theory of upward causation'. Only a fool believes that there is
no causal power in any entity of the world but in the interactions between elementary particles.
So your fundamental premise is wrong, and because it is, your entire argument collapses.
2. A second, equally ruinous false assumption
Even if your first premise were correct, your argument from it fails because it contains a false assumption.
if there were only upward causation in the world, quantum collapse would be a paradox.
As stated earlier, science does not insist on this spurious 'upward causation' principle of yours. But there is another problem. The necessity of an
observer (in practice, a measuring device, not a mind at all) to give definition to an event is only paradoxical if it can be proved that the observer
affects the outcome. And we have already shown that the observer cannot control or predict the outcome. See my reply to
3. Giant assertions unsupported by the slightest evidence
Consciousness has the ultimate power, called downward causation, to create manifest reality by freely choosing among the possibilities
Consciousness has no
power to affect a quantum outcome.
There is nothing in quantum mechanics - not the double-slit experiment, not the EPR paradox, not Bell's Theorem, not even Bohm's ideas of an
immanent 'quantum potential' - that invests consciousness with this power. Consciousness chooses nothing, determines nothing. It is an innocent,
unwilling bystander - an observer who, by definition, has no control over the way his presence changes the experiment.
Yes, by definition
- the Uncertainty Principle sees to that. So much for your transcendent mind determining the motion of particles and
bringing the universe into being. The pretence that it does is waffle, mumbo-jumbo, snake-oil, New-Age gobbledygook, and nothing more.
There is no time or causation.
More gobbledygook. Neither time nor causality are exorcised by quantum entanglement. In the EPR experiment causality is implicit in the fact that
changing the spin orientation of particle A results in a change in the spin orientation of particle B. As for time, it is part of the overarching
framework within which the experiment is conducted. In effect, it is part of the experimental apparatus.
4. A wilful misapplication of Bell's Theory
In another post you make much of Bell's Theorem and the apparent violation of locality in the EPR experiment. From a philosophical or epistemological
point of view this is certainly a very important result. It is also very important because it calls into question some popular assumptions about
reality that are also shared by science. However, this paradoxical result in an obscure experiment is open to any number of different interpretations,
and the one you have espoused is about the least likely. Bell's Theorem itself does not favour it above others. A near-infinitude of evidence from
science and common experience cries out against it, showing the world to be causal, relativistic and predictable.
5. Miscellaneous howlers
I will content myself by pointing out only the most egregious of your scientific and epistemological howlers.
we ourselves are nothing but material possibilities, how can our observation collapse waves of possibility?
Every time I flush the toilet I am reminded that at least some part of me is a material reality. A material reality is just what it takes to collapse
a wave function - I take it that is what you mean by a 'wave of possibility'.
The interaction of possibility with possibility only begets more possibility, never actuality.
Particles interact. Objects interact. People interact. Possibilities are not physical entities and therefore cannot interact, in this world or any
Correlated quantum objects must be interconnected in a domain which trascends space and time.
'Correlated quantum objects' or rather, entangled particles (I love these pseudoscientific coinages of yours) are rather obviously, as their name
implies, connected in
space and time. They originate from the same source. This could well suffice to account for the apparent paradoxes of
Nonlocality implies transcendence.
No, it merely implies that quantum mechanics is not a perfect description of reality. We sort of knew that anyway.
6. Disingenuousness and waffle
Is possibility less real than actuality? It may be the other way around. What is potential may be more real than what is manifest because
potentia exists in a timeless domain whereas any actuality is merely ephemeral; it exists in time. This is the way Easterners think, how mystics all
over the world think...
It is how wishful thinkers think.
First they invent a domain of irreality based on the flimsy evidence of some paradoxes in quantum mechanics, conveniently ignoring an all-but-literal
infinitude of day-to-day evidence that shows the universe is causal, deterministic and predictable.
Next they dream up a set of purely hypothetical possibilities and assert that the imaginary domain of irreality is their home - as if possibilities
are physical creatures that need somewhere to live!
Then they try to convince us that this irreality of theirs is more real than reality. Nice try, chaps.
Finally, and on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, they claim that the domain of irreality is (or is shaped by) consciousness.
One would admire such propagandist audacity were it not so incompetently fabricated and expounded.
And by the way, I am an Easterner - a South Asian. Do not presume to tell me how I think.
for anything to BE anything, it must be actualized from the realm of immaterial quantum potentia (what physicist David Bohm called the
"implicate order" of quantum potentia)
No, this was just a hypothesis Bohm used to try to account for quantum violations of Bell's Inequality. It is conjectural and theoretical, not based
on direct empirical evidence, so you are being disingenuous when you present it as scientific fact. It is a hypothesis at best - not even a theory.
That's not waffle, but a valid point.
Sorry, chum, it's waffle. Your New Age pals have taken a paradoxical result in quantum mechanics and built a vast contraption of unwarranted
assumption and cargo-cult mumbo-jumbo on top of it. Nonlocality doesn't mean what you think it does, the holographic principle is not some kind of
cosmic Politburo and Mind does not make reality, no matter how hard you meditate. The reason you don't understand why this is so is because you
don't really have the science. I recommend that you acquire a scientific education. Once you really understand what you're talking about, you will
cease to confuse yourself and others.
[edit on 23/6/09 by Astyanax]