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Everything posted by bombus

  1. It's not a straw man as far as I am concerned. You have given a good answer there that I had not considered. Carry on the good work! Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Neal Adams website. I doubt it's made up. He may be a proponent of EET but I don't think he's a hoaxer, and claims to be using already existing data. I'd venture that if he is incorrect he is just misinterpreting the data, as ID proponents often do.
  2. We might be going around in circles here. I say that it is one of them according to some interpretations of QM. Can you please provide proof of your claim. I have provided proof of my claim. Here;s another: http://cogprints.org/3489/
  3. Only QM has provided scientific data that suggests that it could be a possibility. Without QM data it's pure conjecture.
  4. In that case, if it is possible for computers to become conscious (and many think they can), could a purely mechanical engine of enough complexity become conscious?
  5. Their dollars would be worthless unless their community exists within a larger one where the money has value (e.g. the USA).
  6. A thought experiment: Charles Babbage is thought of as the inventor of computers with his difference engine etc. This was a mechanical device. Modern computers are electronic rather than mechanical and work by having electrons flow through CPUs and other electronic devices. Is it theoretically possible to replicate the workings of a computer using mechanics?
  7. Interesting! After much heated debate about the merits of the Expanding Earth Theory nobody wants to discuss some of the possible failings of Plate Tectonic Theory...
  8. Why do you say 'but surely the wavefunction collapse occurred much earlier' ? There is no surely about it. This is IMHO a big issue in science where investigation can be influenced more by incredulity than impartial analysis of evidence. See here: http://cogprints.org/3489/
  9. Sorry, I have no idea what you are on about. Please explain.
  10. I would venture that it is you that is ignoring the evidence. You can explain away the evidence if you want, and choose to BELIEVE that its all an error, a hoax, or whatever. You can BELIEVE what you like. Do you really think the issues you mention have not been considered by the experimenters? They are not cranks you know! Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I am talking about some interpretations of QM
  11. . Yes, that's fair enough. It was those interpretations we were discussing, but I should have been more precise in my answer. . Well, I don't want to go off topic and debate the merits of plate tectonics and dark matter (but neither have been proven beyond all doubt) but that's not my point. My point is that just because a theory sounds too amazing is not in itself a good reason to discount it, as many accepted paradigms are quite amazing. Also, there is experimental evidence to suggest that conciousness can affect QM. I do get what you are saying and you are not wrong (it is an intractable problem) but it does not HAVE to go so far that we have to think that 'the moon disappears when your not looking'. Roger Pernrose's interpretation suggests that conciousness does play a role at the sub atomic level. He proposes that conciousnesss can affect sub-atomic particles, but not macro scale objects. He suggests that the greater the mass the more quickly wave function collapses (kinda) but that at the quantum scale conciousness can cause collapse. But the idea that it is just a result of the equipment does not correlate with the evidence either. E.g. observing one slit affects the particles passing through other. Anyway. Are we agreed that the subject of observer = interaction is still debateable and has not been resolved?
  12. Of course I am talking about QM. What do you think those paragraphs I have posted refer to? I think you are all forgeting that I am not the proponent of the theory, nor am I defender of it. This whole conversation is actually about whether or not the debate about the role of consciousness has been resolved. All I have been trying to demonstrate is that it has not, and why, according to some interpretations - and I think I have been able to prove that. If you think the debate HAS been resolved, can you please provide me with proof. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I understand that some interpretations do not require consciousness to cause wave function collapse, but other interpretations do.
  13. I concede I have been sloppy in my response. The thing is, you want proof that consciousness causes collapse of wave function (is that more or less what you are getting at?). There is no proof outside QM itself, because the only scientific study that suggests this could be a possibility is QM, so it becomes a circular argument. The possibility has not, as far as I am aware, ever been raised before as there has never been a need for the proposal before QM. There is no hard proof for any interpretations of QM - hence the list of interpretations (some more popular than others), but to say that as there is no proof of consciousness causing collapse means it can't be true simply avoids the issue so it can never be solved. It remains a possiblity that may yet gain evidence although probably indirectly, as it's pretty hard to prove directly (as is the brain in a box hypothesis, or simulation argument etc). As has been mentioned above the whole subject ends up being more like metaphysics than hard physics, but that is the nature of QM. I am not offering any solutions to intractible problems here, but I would say that we need to remain open minded and not reject theories just because they *seem* unbelieveable - as there is lots in QM - and science for that matter - that seems unbelievable but ends up being considered the paradigm. Plate tectonics could be thought of as quite unbelievable, but is widely accepted. Dark Matter too, I am sure you can think of others.
  14. I am not trying to be evasive and moving the goalposts. The placing of goalposts IS the argument. If conscious observation is involved then it makes no difference when the observation takes place. That is the crux of the issue - at least according to some interpretations of QM. I get what you are saying, but I would still say it is a debate occurring within the subject of physics. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretation_of_quantum_mechanics Well, yes, I would agree. But ultimately physics and indeed all science is a branch of philosophy. Interpreting QM however does indeed blur the boundaries though. Again, that's at the crux of the problem when people try to make sense of QM. I am sure I don't need to highlight how many interpretations there are! To your satisfaction maybe, but perhaps not to everyone's. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Detection of electrons passing through just one slit affects electrons passing through the other where there has been no interaction. This is difficult to explain through purely the detector affecting the experiment. Yes, acording to some interpretations Well, yes, it is an extraordinary claim. Astonishing and unbelievable in fact. However, some of the greatest minds have struggled to interpret the results, and if it is simply a case of the physical interaction affecting the result I doubt QM would have caused such a fuss (and continues to do so). But another standpoint is that it is not really that astonishing. The very question 'Why is there anything?' cannot be answered by science (or even gods for that matter) and yet the fact that existence exists () is astonishing. From the big bang/beginning of existence is anything really THAT astonishing? What about not looking at one of the slits? I disagree that I am moving the goalposts. As said above, the placement of the goalposts are integral to the issue, some (but not all) interpretations involving conscious observation suggest that it's a goalpost that does continually move... Only to those that believe in the many worlds interpretation;) Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged You are correct of course, and one can't argue with this. But in the case of QM and it's wierd results maybe its acceptable? I think that QM pushes the issue of philosophy/science into our faces and we should not retreat from tackling the problem. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedNdi, To answer your question... In general terms you are correct, but experiments have been undertaken with pre-recorded data where 'observers' have been asked to try to influence the data e.g make data recorded by a random number generator produce numbers above 50. The effect seems to work with real-time random number generators but also works with pre-recorded data (the results cannot be accounted for by chance)! I find this astonishing, unbelievable, and though I'm willing to remain skeptical, am also willing to believe it could be possible. But to get back to my original question (where all this debate stemmed from) I am not sure that I agree that the issue about observation and interaction being the same thing is universally accepted. E.g. In Einstein's theory, any object that has mass causes a warp in the structure of space and time around it. This warping produces the effect we experience as gravity. Penrose points out that tiny objects, such as dust specks, atoms and electrons, produce space-time warps as well. Ignoring these warps is where most physicists go awry. If a dust speck is in two locations at the same time, each one should create its own distortions in space-time, yielding two superposed gravitational fields. According to Penrose's theory, it takes energy to sustain these dual fields. The stability of a system depends on the amount of energy involved: the higher the energy required to sustain a system, the less stable it is. Over time, an unstable system tends to settle back to its simplest, lowest-energy state: in this case, one object in one location producing one gravitational field. If Penrose is right, gravity yanks objects back into a single location, without any need to invoke observers or parallel universes.[1] Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Yes that is right. But we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many emminent scientists who are vey serious about some of the implications of QM that some find unpalatable. !
  15. If there was no conscious observer then there was no experiment. The observation just occurred later - which hinders the argument that it is mere interaction that causes the effect. Yes exactly my point, but it is occurring in Physics and as a result of physics therefore it is a physics debate. I would suggest that you are incorrect, otherwise why would the issue be raised as in the links provided earlier. : Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP) Main article: Anthropic principle Viewed by some as mysticism (see "consciousness causes collapse"), Wheeler's Participatory Anthropic Principle is the speculative theory that observation by a conscious observer is responsible for the wavefunction collapse. It is an attempt to solve Wigner's friend paradox by simply stating that collapse occurs at the first "conscious" observer. Supporters claim PAP is not a revival of substance dualism, since (in one ramification of the theory) consciousness and objects are entangled and cannot be considered as distinct. Although such an idea could be added to other interpretations of quantum mechanics, PAP was added to the Copenhagen interpretation (Wheeler studied in Copenhagen under Niels Bohr in the 1930s). It is possible an experiment could be devised to test this theory, since it depends on an observer to collapse a wavefunction. The observer has to be conscious, but whether Schrödinger's cat or a person is necessary would be part of the experiment (hence a successful experiment could also define consciousness). However, the experiment would need to be carefully designed as, in Wheeler's view, it would need to ensure for an unobserved event that it remained unobserved for all time [2]. Anyway, I merely asked a question. It is another that made an assertion without backing it up. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Can you prove this? What is the interaction? Does the interaction occur at the time of measuremen or at the time the measurement is recorded. It cannot be proven to be the former. Why involve a brick? If you just looked, no crash! In the double slit experiment observation of just one slit effected the results of the non-observed slit which was not 'interacted' with. That is an opinion. One cannot prove this. It's all just belief my friend:-). Maybe it is time to realise this and enter a new universe.
  16. Thanks, but thats a link to [an] 'observable' not 'observation'. There is a subtle but important difference. The page doesn't tackle the issue directly. FYI, the role of consciousness and observation/measurement in Qm is being discussed here: http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-126077.html Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I get what your saying - the trouble is that the intention of the measurement in the double slit experience affects the outcome. If you try to see which slit the electron actually goes through it behaves as a particle, if not it behaves as a wave. The act of observation affects the outcome. This is not the case in classical physics.
  17. But wasn't it QM experiments (double slit and all that) that brought the issue of observation into sharp relief? Before then it was just a philisophical question (falling trees making noises in woodlands etc). QM suggests that such philosophical thinking could have some basis in reality. Can you direct me to a definition of observation with regard to QM? I'm happy to be corrected.
  18. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm Also, read up on John Archibald Wheeler and his Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics#Participatory_Anthropic_Principle_.28PAP.29 A quote from the following page proving the debate - see for yourself: the Many Worlds Iinterpretation is just one of many. MWI removes the observer-dependent role in the quantum measurement process by replacing wavefunction collapse with quantum decoherence. Since the role of the observer lies at the heart of most if not all "quantum paradoxes," this automatically resolves a number of problems; see for example Schrödinger's cat thought-experiment, the EPR paradox, von Neumann's "boundary problem" and even wave-particle duality. Quantum cosmology also becomes intelligible, since there is no need anymore for an observer outside of the universe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation#Wavefunction_collapse_and_the_problem_of_interpretation That will do. There's enough here to prove that the subject is open to debate.
  19. OK, I will find some for you. Maybe you can find me some citations that everyone is in agreement.
  20. Yes, you are absolutely correct, one can do it indefinitely. But no-one can draw the line between when it stops being 'QM' and becomes solipsism? This is the big issue with QM and however unpalatable it will not go away by ignoring it. In laymans terms, some physicists do choose to ignore it so have a different interpretaton of observation than those that do not. As far as I am aware, the issue cannot be resolved by scientific experimentation. It's down to belief - which one could say has no place in science. And there we are all stuck!
  21. Consciousness being interaction is an opinion of some physicists I think. The results of any expts or measurements can only be recorded once a conscious observer is involved. A machine that records data has recorded nothing until the results are analysed by a conscious observer. There is no way out of this as far as I can see.
  22. It has been speculated that matter creates a drag on the expansion of space. This drag causes time to slow around matter and that gravity is a result of this. I wonder whether matter is purely a time differential in space. I.e. divisions/demarcations in spacetime.
  23. how can anything be observed without the interaction of conscious humans? No consciousness means no observation. ???
  24. Is that not part of a current debate? I did not know the question had been settled.
  25. Have you heard about the Big Wow Theory? The Big Wow theory is the colloquial name for a paper by Italian astrophysicist Paola Zizzi entitled “Emergent Consciousness; From the Early Universe to Our Mind” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paola_Zizzi You also might be interested in the following link. It's Dr. Stuart Hameroff being 'the skunk at an atheists conference'. He's not treated with much respect! He presents a suggestions about universal consciousness being a secular, non-religious, science-based approach to God. http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-science-religion-reason-and-survival Go to session 4. The rest of the conference is very good by the way!
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