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Logic & First Principles, 21: Insightful intelligence vs. computationalism

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One of the challenges of our day is the commonplace reduction of intelligent, insightful action to computation on a substrate. That’s not just Sci Fi, it is a challenge in the academy and on the street — especially as AI grabs more and more headlines.

A good stimulus for thought is John Searle as he further discusses his famous Chinese Room example:

The Failures of Computationalism
John R. Searle
Department of Philosophy
University of California
Berkeley CA

The Power in the Chinese Room.

Harnad and I agree that the Chinese Room Argument deals a knockout blow to Strong AI, but beyond that point we do not agree on much at all. So let’s begin by pondering the implications of the Chinese Room.

The Chinese Room shows that a system, me for example, could pass the Turing Test for understanding Chinese, for example, and could implement any program you like and still not understand a word of Chinese. Now, why? What does the genuine Chinese speaker have that I in the Chinese Room do not have?

The answer is obvious. I, in the Chinese room, am manipulating a bunch of formal symbols; but the Chinese speaker has more than symbols, he knows what they mean. That is, in addition to the syntax of Chinese, the genuine Chinese speaker has a semantics in the form of meaning, understanding, and mental contents generally.

But, once again, why?

Why can’t I in the Chinese room also have a semantics? Because all I have is a program and a bunch of symbols, and programs are defined syntactically in terms of the manipulation of the symbols.

The Chinese room shows what we should have known all along: syntax by itself is not sufficient for semantics. (Does anyone actually deny this point, I mean straight out? Is anyone actually willing to say, straight out, that they think that syntax, in the sense of formal symbols, is really the same as semantic content, in the sense of meanings, thought contents, understanding, etc.?)

Why did the old time computationalists make such an obvious mistake? Part of the answer is that they were confusing epistemology with ontology, they were confusing “How do we know?” with “What it is that we know when we know?”

This mistake is enshrined in the Turing Test(TT). Indeed this mistake has dogged the history of cognitive science, but it is important to get clear that the essential foundational question for cognitive science is the ontological one: “In what does cognition consist?” and not the epistemological other minds problem: “How do you know of another system that it has cognition?”

What is the Chinese Room about? Searle, again:

Imagine that a person—me, for example—knows no Chinese and is locked in a room with boxes full of Chinese symbols and an instruction book written in English for manipulating the symbols. Unknown to me, the boxes are called “the database” and the instruction book is called “the program.” I am called “the computer.”

People outside the room pass in bunches of Chinese symbols that, unknown to me, are questions. I look up in the instruction book what I am supposed to do and I give back answers in Chinese symbols.

Suppose I get so good at shuffling the symbols and passing out the answers that my answers are indistinguishable from a native Chinese speaker’s. I give every indication of understanding the language despite the fact that I actually don’t understand a word of Chinese.

And if I do not, neither does any digital computer, because no computer, qua computer, has anything I do not have. It has stocks of symbols, rules for manipulating symbols, a system that allows it to rapidly transition from zeros to ones, and the ability to process inputs and outputs. That is it. There is nothing else. [Cf. Jay Richards here.]

What is “strong AI”? Techopedia:

Strong artificial intelligence (strong AI) is an artificial intelligence construct that has mental capabilities and functions that mimic the human brain. In the philosophy of strong AI, there is no essential difference between the piece of software, which is the AI, exactly emulating the actions of the human brain, and actions of a human being, including its power of understanding and even its consciousness.

Strong artificial intelligence is also known as full AI.

In short, Reppert has a serious point:

. . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

This brings up the challenge that computation [on refined rocks] is not rational, insightful, self-aware, semantically based, understanding-driven contemplation:

While this is directly about digital computers — oops, let’s see how they work —

. . . but it also extends to analogue computers (which use smoothly varying signals):

. . . or a neural network:

A neural network is essentially a weighted sum interconnected gate array, it is not an exception to the GIGO principle

A similar approach uses memristors, creating an analogue weighted sum vector-matrix operation:

As we can see, these entities are about manipulating signals through physical interactions, not essentially different from Leibniz’s grinding mill wheels in Monadology 17:

It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception [[i.e. abstract conception]. It is accordingly in the simple substance, and not in the compound nor in a machine that the perception is to be sought . . .

In short, computationalism falls short.

I add [Fri May 31], that is, computational substrates are forms of general dynamic-stochastic systems and are subject to their limitations:

The alternative is, a supervisory oracle-controlled, significantly free, intelligent and designing bio-cybernetic agent:

As context (HT Wiki) I add [June 10] a diagram of a Model Identification Adaptive Controller . . . which, yes, identifies a model for the plant and updates it as it goes:

MIAC action, notice supervisory control and observation of “visible” outputs fed back to in-loop control and to system ID, where the model creates and updates a model of the plant being controlled. Parallels to the Smith model are obvious.

As I summarised recently:

What we actually observe is:

A: [material computational substrates] –X –> [rational inference]
B: [material computational substrates] —-> [mechanically and/or stochastically governed computation]
C: [intelligent agents] —-> [rational, freely chosen, morally governed inference]
D: [embodied intelligent agents] —-> [rational, freely chosen, morally governed inference]

The set of observations A through D imply that intelligent agency transcends computation, as their characteristics and capabilities are not reducible to:

– components and their device physics,
– organisation as circuits and networks [e.g. gates, flip-flops, registers, operational amplifiers (especially integrators), ball-disk integrators, neuron-gates and networks, etc],
– organisation/ architecture forming computational circuits, systems and cybernetic entities,
– input signals,
– stored information,
– processing/algorithm execution,
– outputs

It may be useful to add here, a simplified Smith model with an in the loop computational controller and an out of the loop oracle that is supervisory, so that there may be room for pondering the bio-cybernetic system i/l/o the interface of the computational entity and the oracular entity:

The Derek Smith two-tier controller cybernetic model

In more details, per Eng Derek Smith:

So too, we have to face the implication of the necessary freedom for rationality. That is, that our minds are governed by known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence (so, warrant), fairness, justice etc. Rationality is morally governed, it inherently exists on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap.

That means — on pain of reducing rationality to nihilistic chaos and absurdity — that the gap must be bridged. Post Hume, it is known that that can only be done in the root of reality. Arguably, that points to an inherently good necessary being with capability to found a cosmos. If you doubt, provide a serious alternative under comparative difficulties: ____________

So, as we consider debates on intelligent design, we need to reflect on what intelligence is, especially in an era where computationalism is a dominant school of thought. Yes, we may come to various views, but the above are serious factors we need to take such into account. END

PS: As a secondary exchange developed on quantum issues, I take the step of posting a screen-shot from a relevant Wikipedia clip on the 1999 Delayed choice experiment by Kim et al:

Wiki clip on Kim et al

The layout in a larger scale:

Gaasbeek adds:

Weird, but that’s what we see. Notice, especially, Gaasbeek’s observation on his analysis, that “the experimental outcome (encoded in the combined measurement outcomes) is bound to be the same even if we would measure the idler photon earlier, i.e. before the signal photon by shortening the optical path length of the downwards configuration.” This is the point made in a recent SEP discussion on retrocausality.

PPS: Let me also add, on radio halos:

and, Fraunhoffer spectra:

These document natural detection of quantised phenomena.


310 Replies to “Logic & First Principles, 21: Insightful intelligence vs. computationalism

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Logic & First Principles, 21: Insightful intelligence vs. computationalism

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: TFD cluster on Intelligence:

    >>
    intelligence
    Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
    Related to intelligence: intelligence test, military intelligence
    in·tel·li·gence (?n-t?l??-j?ns)
    n.
    1. The ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge: a person of extraordinary intelligence.
    2.
    a. Information, especially secret information gathered about an actual or potential enemy or adversary.
    b. The gathering of such information: “Corporate intelligence relies on a slew of tools, some sophisticated, many quite basic” (Neil King and Jess Bravin).
    c. An agency or organization whose purpose is to gather such information: an officer from military intelligence.
    3. An intelligent, incorporeal being, especially an angel.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
    intelligence (?n?t?l?d??ns)
    n
    1. (Psychology) the capacity for understanding; ability to perceive and comprehend meaning
    2. good mental capacity: a person of intelligence.
    3. old-fashioned news; information
    4. (Military) military information about enemies, spies, etc
    5. (Military) a group or department that gathers or deals with such information
    6. (often capital) an intelligent being, esp one that is not embodied
    7. (Military) (modifier) of or relating to intelligence: an intelligence network.
    [C14: from Latin intellegentia, from intellegere to discern, comprehend, literally: choose between, from inter- + legere to choose]
    in?telli?gential adj
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
    in•tel•li•gence (?n?t?l ? d??ns)

    n.
    1. capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
    2. mental alertness or quickness of understanding.
    3. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
    4. the faculty or act of understanding.
    5. information received or imparted; news.
    6.
    a. secret information, esp. about an enemy or potential enemy.
    b. the gathering or distribution of such information.
    c. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
    d. an organization engaged in gathering such information: military intelligence.
    7. (often cap.) an intelligent being or spirit, esp. an incorporeal one.
    [1350–1400; Middle English >

    KF

    PS: Observe Wikipedia:

    >>Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.

    Intelligence is most often studied in humans but has also been observed in both non-human animals and in plants. Human intelligence research belongs to the field of psychology. Intelligence in machines is called artificial intelligence, which is commonly implemented in computer systems using programs and, sometimes, appropriate hardware. >>

    And again:

    >>In computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is used to describe machines that mimic “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.[1]

    As machines become increasingly capable, tasks considered to require “intelligence” are often removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect.[2] A quip in Tesler’s Theorem says “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.”[3] For instance, optical character recognition is frequently excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology.[4] Modern machine capabilities generally classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech,[5] competing at the highest level in strategic game systems (such as chess and Go),[6] autonomously operating cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks, and military simulations.

    Artificial intelligence can be classified into three different types of systems: analytical, human-inspired, and humanized artificial intelligence.[7] Analytical AI has only characteristics consistent with cognitive intelligence; generating a cognitive representation of the world and using learning based on past experience to inform future decisions. Human-inspired AI has elements from cognitive and emotional intelligence; understanding human emotions, in addition to cognitive elements, and considering them in their decision making. Humanized AI shows characteristics of all types of competencies (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence), is able to be self-conscious and is self-aware in interactions with others. >>

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Observe Wikipedia further:

    >>In philosophy, the computational theory of mind (CTM) refers to a family of views that hold that the human mind is an information processing system and that cognition and consciousness together are a form of computation. Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts (1943) were the first to suggest that neural activity is computational. They argued that neural computations explain cognition.[1] The theory was proposed in its modern form by Hilary Putnam in 1967, and developed by his PhD student, philosopher and cognitive scientist Jerry Fodor in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.[2][3] Despite being vigorously disputed in analytic philosophy in the 1990s due to work by Putnam himself, John Searle, and others, the view is common in modern cognitive psychology and is presumed by many theorists of evolutionary psychology.[citation needed] In the 2000s and 2010s the view has resurfaced in analytic philosophy (Scheutz 2003, Edelman 2008).[citation needed]

    The computational theory of mind holds that the mind is a computational system that is realized (i.e. physically implemented) by neural activity in the brain. The theory can be elaborated in many ways and varies largely based on how the term computation is understood. Computation is commonly understood in terms of Turing machines which manipulate symbols according to a rule, in combination with the internal state of the machine. The critical aspect of such a computational model is that we can abstract away from particular physical details of the machine that is implementing the computation.[3] This is to say that computation can be implemented by silicon chips or neural networks, so long as there is a series of outputs based on manipulations of inputs and internal states, performed according to a rule. CTM, therefore holds that the mind is not simply analogous to a computer program, but that it is literally a computational system.[3]

    Computational theories of mind are often said to require mental representation because ‘input’ into a computation comes in the form of symbols or representations of other objects. A computer cannot compute an actual object, but must interpret and represent the object in some form and then compute the representation. The computational theory of mind is related to the representational theory of mind in that they both require that mental states are representations. However, the representational theory of mind shifts the focus to the symbols being manipulated. This approach better accounts for systematicity and productivity.[3] In Fodor’s original views, the computational theory of mind is also related to the language of thought. The language of thought theory allows the mind to process more complex representations with the help of semantics. (See below in semantics of mental states).

    Recent work has suggested that we make a distinction between the mind and cognition. Building from the tradition of McCulloch and Pitts, the Computational Theory of Cognition (CTC) states that neural computations explain cognition.[1] The Computational Theory of Mind asserts that not only cognition, but also phenomenal consciousness or qualia, are computational. That is to say, CTM entails CTC. While phenomenal consciousness could fulfill some other functional role, computational theory of cognition leaves open the possibility that some aspects of the mind could be non-computational. CTC therefore provides an important explanatory framework for understanding neural networks, while avoiding counter-arguments that center around phenomenal consciousness. >>

  4. 4
    Brother Brian says:

    Are you feeling ignored over here? 🙂

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    laying out issues

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More from Wikipedia on intelligence:

    >>The definition of intelligence is controversial.[5] Some groups of psychologists have suggested the following definitions:

    From “Mainstream Science on Intelligence” (1994), an op-ed statement in the Wall Street Journal signed by fifty-two researchers (out of 131 total invited to sign):[6]

    A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—”catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.[7]

    From Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns (1995), a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association:

    Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of “intelligence” are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, and none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.[8] >>

    KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As I began my discussion on mind in IOSE, this is where I began:

    >>The first and most directly evident fact of “man-nishness” is that we are individual, conscious, intelligent, purposeful, designing, minded beings; with consciences. Thus, Aristotle long ago observed that rational animality is the essence of being human. So, not only must we be able to credibly account for our anatomical similarity to the mammalian primates (including the commonly made claim that our genes show a “98%” overlap with those of the chimpanzees), but also for the things that seem to make us unique: that pattern of conscious, language-using abstract reasoning, intuitiveness and sense of obligation to the truth and the right that embraces both the intellectual and the moral.

    (a) What is “mind”?

    We have always wondered about where we came from, and why we so obviously share bodily existence with the broad world of animals, but simultaneously seem to be ever so distinctively different from what some have called “dumb animals.”

    The word “dumb” offers a key clue: man is the user of words, those symbolic sounds and pen-strokes that are so important in both practical survival and abstract thought. So, no scientific account of man can be correct or credible, if it cannot coherently and satisfactorily account for not just the bodily facts of man, but the common evidence of our inner life. For, we are only aware of and can only analyse and argue about our bodily existence and the external world through the instrumentality of our inner life of the mind. In this sense, Descartes’ “I think, so I exist,” is undeniably and self-evidently true.

    This leads to what David Chalmers (1995) called The Hard Problem of Consciousness. As one might outline:

    >The term . . . refers to the difficult problem of explaining why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. It is contrasted with the “easy problems” of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc. Easy problems are easy because all that is required for their solution is to specify a mechanism that can perform the function. That is, their proposed solutions, regardless of how complex or poorly understood they may be, can be entirely consistent with the modern materialistic conception of natural phenomen[[a]. Hard problems are distinct from this set because they “persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained.”>

    Let us note a key phrase: “the modern materialistic conception of natural phenomen[[a].” That is, we again see the evolutionary materialistic presumption at work. As the University of California’s Center for Evolutionary Psychology at Santa Barbera posits:

    >Evolutionary psychology is based on the recognition that the human brain consists of a large collection of functionally specialized computational devices that evolved to solve the adaptive problems regularly encountered by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Because humans share a universal evolved architecture, all ordinary individuals reliably develop a distinctively human set of preferences, motives, shared conceptual frameworks, emotion programs, content-specific reasoning procedures, and specialized interpretation systems–programs that operate beneath the surface of expressed cultural variability, and whose designs constitute a precise definition of human nature.>

    But, the matter is not so simple as that, for as another generic source aptly summarises, there are many issues on mind and its relation to body, issues that (whether labelled science or not) are plainly directly relevant to any origins science project to account for the origin of man:

    [NWE, Mind:] >Mind is a concept developed by self-conscious humans trying to understand what is the self that is conscious and how does that self relate to its perceived world . . . Aspects of mind are also attributed to complex animals, which are commonly considered to be conscious. Studies in recent decades suggest strongly that the great apes have a level of self-consciousness as well.

    Philosophers have long sought to understand what is mind and its relationship to matter and the body . . . Based on his world model that the perceived world is only a shadow of the real world of ideal Forms, Plato, a dualist, conceived of mind (or reason) as the facet of the tripartite soul that can know the Forms. The soul existed independent of the body, and its highest aspect, mind, was immortal. Aristotle, apparently both a monist and a dualist, insisted in The Soul that soul was unitary, that soul and body are aspects of one living thing, and that soul extends into all living things. Yet in other writings from another period of his life, Aristotle expressed the dualistic view that the knowing function of the human soul, the mind, is distinctively immaterial and eternal.

    Saint Augustine adapted from the Neoplatonism of his time the dualist view of soul as being immaterial but acting through the body. He linked mind and soul closely in meaning. Some 900 years later, in an era of recovering the wisdom of Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas identified the species, man, as being the composite substance of body and soul (or mind), with soul giving form to body, a monistic position somewhat similar to Aristotle’s. Yet Aquinas also adopted a dualism regarding the rational soul, which he considered to be immortal. Christian views after Aquinas have diverged to cover a wide spectrum, but generally they tend to focus on soul instead of mind, with soul referring to an immaterial essence and core of human identity and to the seat of reason, will, conscience, and higher emotions.

    Rene Descartes established the clear mind-body dualism that has dominated the thought of the modern West. He introduced two assertions: First, that mind and soul are the same and that henceforth he would use the term mind and dispense with the term soul; Second, that mind and body were two distinct substances, one immaterial and one material, and the two existed independent of each other except for one point of interaction in the human brain.

    In the East, quite different theories related to mind were discussed and developed by Adi Shankara, Siddh?rtha Gautama, and other ancient Indian philosophers, as well as by Chinese scholars.

    As psychology became a science starting in the late nineteenth century and blossomed into a major scientific discipline in the twentieth century, the prevailing view in the scientific community came to be variants of physicalism with the assumption that all the functions attributed to mind are in one way or another derivative from activities of the brain. Countering this mainstream view, a small group of neuroscientists has persisted in searching for evidence suggesting the possibility of a human mind existing and operating apart from the brain.

    In the late twentieth century as diverse technologies related to studying the mind and body have been steadily improved, evidence has emerged suggesting such radical concepts as: the mind should be associated not only with the brain but with the whole body; and the heart may be a center of consciousness complementing the brain. [[New World Enc., article, Mind]>

    So, we may pose a cluster of challenges in seeking a scientific account of our human-ness.

    1 –> While the evolutionary materialists plainly dominate institutional science, it faces the hard — and plainly unsolved — problem of consciousness.

    2 –> Available philosophical resources and the history of ideas suggest that alternative explanatory models will raise the issue of the reality of an immaterial mind.

    3 –> A central challenge for any such alternative model, is whether it can produce empirically testable hypotheses, a key touchstone of science.

    4 –> Equally, the materialistic approach must face the challenge as to whether its favoured methodological naturalism imposes an undue censorship that hobbles science from being able to be an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) pursuit of the truth about our world.

    5 –> Similarly, we now must ask: what does (or should) “empirical” mean? And, does thoughtful reflection on our common inner life experience count as empirical evidence? Why, or why not?

    6 –> If not, how can we then use the deliverances of said inner life as we undertake scientific activities, which, are plainly an intellectual – i.e. minded – exercise?>>

    KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More on Computationalism:

    >>Computationalism in the Philosophy
    of Mind
    Gualtiero Piccinini
    University of Missouri – St. Louis

    Computationalism has been the mainstream view of cognition for decades. There
    are periodic reports of its demise, but they are greatly exaggerated. This essay
    surveys some recent literature on computationalism and reaches the following
    conclusions. Computationalism is a family of theories about the mechanisms of
    cognition. The main relevant evidence for testing computational theories comes
    from neuroscience, though psychology and AI are relevant too. Computationalism
    comes in many versions, which continue to guide competing research programs
    in philosophy of mind as well as psychology and neuroscience. Although our
    understanding of computationalism has deepened in recent years, much work in
    this area remains to be done . . . .

    Computationalism is the view that intelligent behavior is causally explained
    by computations performed by the agent’s cognitive system (or brain). 1
    In roughly equivalent terms, computationalism says that cognition is com-
    putation. Computationalism has been mainstream in philosophy of mind
    – as well as psychology and neuroscience – for several decades.
    Many aspects of computationalism have been investigated and debated
    in recent years. Several lessons are being learned: (1) computationalism
    is consistent with different metaphysical views about the mind, (2) com-
    putationalism must be grounded in an adequate account of computation,
    (3) computationalism provides a mechanistic explanation of behavior, (4)
    computationalism was originally introduced on the grounds of neurological
    evidence, (5) all computationalists (yes, even classicists) are connectionists
    in the most general sense, although not all connectionists are computa-
    tionalists, and (6) which, if any, variety of computationalism is correct
    depends on how the brain works.>>

    Also:

    >>Computationalism,
    Connectionism, and the
    Philosophy of Mind
    Brian P. McLaughlin

    The central questions of the philosophy of mind
    are the nature of mental phenomena, and how
    mental phenomena ?t into the causal structure
    of reality. The computational theory of mind
    aims to answer these questions. The central tenet
    of the theory is that a mind is a computer. Ac-
    cording to the theory, mental states and events
    enter into causal relations via operations of the
    computer. The main aim of the theory is to say
    what kind of computer – what kind of computa-
    tional mechanism – a mind is. The answer is still
    unknown. Pursuing it is the main research pro-
    gram of the theory.
    In the most general sense, a computer is,
    roughly, a system of structures functionally
    organized in such a way as to be able to com-
    pute. The structures, their functional organiza-
    tion, and the basic modes of operation of the
    system when it computes comprise the functional
    architecture of the computer. The two tasks of
    the computational theory of mind are: (1) to
    identify the functional architecture of the com-
    puting system that grounds our mental abilities
    and (2) to explain how those abilities are exer-
    cised via operations of the system. The tasks are
    related. The explanation of how operations of
    the system constitute exercises of our mental
    abilities will justify the claim that our possession
    of those abilities consists in our being at least
    partly constituted by the system.
    Computationalists hold that the functional
    architecture of the computing system that
    grounds our mental abilities resides in our
    brains. There is, however, no consensus as to
    what even the general character of that architec-
    ture is. The symbols-system paradigm and the
    connectionist paradigm are the two dominant
    research paradigms within the computational
    theory of mind. They differ primarily in what
    kind of computer the mind is assumed to be,
    and thus in the kinds of functional architectures
    explored. The symbol-system paradigm pre-
    supposes that the mind is a kind of automatic
    formal system, while the connectionist paradigm
    presupposes that it is a system of connectionist
    networks.>>

    Showing the general lie of the land.

    KF

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    There is a stark contrast between a silicon-based machine created with the sole purpose of emulating what we think and what we do

    Comically we ended up creating a machine with the duality software And hardware

    Nobody ever makes that distinction or points that out that the very thing our computers that didn’t exist until about 70 But is currently being used as an analogy for our brain and our mind

    We’re literally putting the cart before the horse as it is our brain that created the computer and our mind that drives it

    We often make these analogies because they do similar things

    But they do similar things because we made them do similar things based off of our understanding of ourselves and what we needed

    Our brain isn’t just a computer it’s a living organism
    A computer is not a living organism I no means

    There are a myriad of differences between the brain and a computer

    But there is one string of logic I would like to point out which was a statement made by Kristof Koch

    “A software program can faithfully simulate every droplet of water in a storm but that program will never be wet”

    Now Kristof might of been quoting someone else
    But I love that quote because of the fact that it does show a fundamental difference between plastic metal and electric and our carbon-based beautiful brains that rewire them selves when they need to

    We might be able to simulate every single thought that we have but it will never be anything more than a simulation and that’s it. It will never be wet much like a program created to simulate every drop of a storm and the storm itself will never produce moisture. The program can never produce wetness much like it will probably never produce consciousness unless we made it “alive”

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    Now I have a hypothetical for you KF

    Under the pretense of computational innovations, I was wondering what you thought or how you felt about these possibilities

    Innoway it almost seems like there is a drive to prove that the human mind is nothing more than a meat machine

    Therefore any purely physical system capable of reproducing exactly what we do, would show that many of the faculties that we think are uniquely human or products of the soul are nothing more than neurological processes in our brain

    I sadly feel that that is their goal when they’re trying to create neural networks and software programs that mimic our intelligence

    The other thing that they’re trying to do is train a neural network to predict 100% of our choices and brain activity

    Now even though I am 100% neural prediction is impossible To do for everyone as a whole it is still possible for neural network to be trained to protect at least one human being 100%

    Or that’s at least what they suggest

    I think both of these can be viewed as blows towards the possibility of an immaterial soul or an immaterial mind and also a major blow against free will

    So what do you think I would like to hear your input on this

  11. 11
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978, I think you make a good point. If we are capable of creating a computer that has thought processes indistinguishable from those of humans, which I think is only a matter of time, does that mean that it has free will, or that we don’t? Does it have a soul, or do we not?

    From an ID perspective, I would think that creating a computer that thinks like we do would be a breakthrough for ID. Much like KF’s claim that synthesizing a genome is an ID breakthrough.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (& AS),

    re: creating a computer that thinks like we do would be a breakthrough for ID. Much like KF’s claim that synthesizing a genome is an ID breakthrough. (And genome scope synthesis is a real, intelligently designed breakthrough relevant to how we should — but don’t — govern research programmes and education relevant to studies on OoL and Oo body plans including our own. Ideological imposition of a priori materialism is exposed as untenable.)

    If is a very big word.

    The fundamental problem is as I noted above, and as Reppert so succinctly pointed out: computation is categorically distinct from rational, insightful contemplation. The demonstration is direct, the logic is simple. Computational substrates are mechanically and/or stochastically governed, rational contemplation must be inherently free, insight driven and morally governed. As a result, their characteristics and capabilities are radically different.

    Let us consider the task, within sol system resources [10^57 atoms, 10^17 s to date, 10^12 – 15 chem rxns per s], of composing an arbitrary, relevant 500 ASCII character string that is meaningful and responsive to a given arbitrary set task, say by printing text in English [~ 72 characters,1/2 length of the older tweet] or computer code. 500 bits defines a config space of 3.27*10^150 possibilities, involving every such string there can be, all longer responses would be by concatenating strings from this set in suitable, functional patterns. BTW, this includes composing comments in this thread.

    Taking 10^14 as a good upper for organic reactions, ignoring how H dominates the composition of the sol system, in 10^17 s, in effect a number of coins to be flipped . . . or a paramagnetic substance in a weak aligning field storing the equivalent . . . equal to the number of atoms, would carry out 10^ [17 + 57 +14] = 10^ 88 operations, utterly negligible relative to the space to be searched. Blind mechanical necessity and/or chance are not a feasible device, as this space is dominated by gibberish and functional configurations are going to be in sparse, isolated islands of relevant functionality. And yet we routinely rapidly compose such strings.

    So, let us consider that somehow there may be a magic bullet, golden search that drastically reduces the challenge. The problem here is, searches are subsets sampled from the space. So, for a set of scope n, there are 2^n searches, the power set. When I went to an online big number calculator and asked it to directly calculate the value for a 500 bit config space, it said that it could not calculate a number that big. The common log of the number is ~ 9.84*10^149. Search for a golden search is exponentially harder than direct search.

    Where of course, a golden algorithm or mechanical and/or stochastic arrangement of the atoms of the sol sys to get such golden searches consistently is an even more futile task. Most arbitrary tasks of interest — the general AI challenge — are practically uncomputable from arbitrary start-points. That is, computational processes as a practical matter will be fine tuned to perform a particular range of tasks. Which requires a knowledgeable fine tuner to create an appropriate, functionally specific configuration. We are back to the practical need to design a computational substrate. Of course, properly designed software on well chosen tasks easily outperforms us, including the deep learning scheme for weak form AI that is all over our headlines. And we know from experience that we need to learn considerable background to carry out effective solution-finding in a domain of skilled expertise.

    I focus on the linguistic task as output may either directly answer or be the instruction code for some universal fabricator we may conceive of.

    Zooming out, Walker and Davies show this is very general:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    I am of course fundamentally shaped by this discipline and that’s why I approach the matter much as they do. Any arbitrary 3-d configuration may be described by a suitable string of y/n questions in some description language. This is what things like AutoCAD are about. So the bit string challenge and linked mathematics of binomial distributions are WLOG. This is also why any config can be reduced to an effective info equivalent. Take this as, a bill of components joined to assembly instructions for a suitable universal fab.

    Therefore, the challenge is ill-posed.

    While computational substrates are possible and can perform impressive tasks, the properties of general rational, responsible intelligent action are fundamentally non computational. Or rather, manifest (per Smith model as discussion f/w cf. OP as updated) an oracle supervising the observable cybernetic loop with a computational substrate. To get the performance you need the oracle, not just the cybernetic loop taken as a cut-down universal fab. (We, with technology we first assemble and organise, can do many things.)

    If you try to program another computational substrate to mimic the oracle, you are back to the same challenge, noting that this is a general oracle. There is no problem in composing a domain specific expert system, the task is the general oracle able to act effectively in arbitrary situations. This includes when one clusters oracles and has to have a tier 3 supervisory oracle to search for the right oracle.

    Moral government compounds the matter, computational substrates just are, they are programmed (including mechanical and/or stochastic elements), they are not executing free, rational, ought-based moral choice. It is the designer who handled the morality. Hence BTW Asimov’s laws of robotics as he pondered an advanced civilisation trying to create robots. R Daneel Olivaw is the classic case, and in his latest iteration abandoned the positronic brain for a human-like one.

    Even such a robot is not like us.

    Gotta go now.

    KF

  13. 13
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    The fundamental problem is as I noted above, and as Reppert so succinctly pointed out: computation is categorically distinct from rational, insightful contemplation.

    But if we get to the point where we can’t distinguish between human thought and computer thought, how do we know that they are not capable of rational, insightful contemplation? Surely it is not simply because they are designed. After all, you believe that humans are designed.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the assumption that we can do that is what is challenged, for cause. Again, IF is a huge word. In limited domains or clusters, we will likely get weak form AI’s that will succeed in capturing expertise or spotting patterns like signs of incipient plasma breakdown, but the general wisdom challenge is the real issue; especially on cases where rapid, highly agile sound judgement on the non-routine . . . rules that worked hitherto break . . . is critical, i.e. the OODA loop is at work and novelty and surprise are major factors. The sign is that we have an independent, rationally and responsibly free morally governed intelligent oracle that is not working on computation but on morally framed understanding — wisdom. In short, I point to Leibnitz’s insight that we are dealing with a different order of being, one not constrained by the dynamics of computational substrates. We further have good reason to infer that such a general intelligence is a search challenge on computational resources, and that a computational substrate, being FSCO/I rich, is itself an index of design. KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Wiki on Weak form AI:

    >> Weak artificial intelligence (weak AI), also known as narrow AI,[1][2][3] is artificial intelligence that is focused on one narrow task. Weak AI is defined in contrast to strong AI, a machine with the ability to apply intelligence to any problem, rather than just one specific problem, sometimes considered to require consciousness, sentience and mind).[citation needed]. Many currently existing systems that claim to use “artificial intelligence” are likely operating as a weak AI focused on a narrowly defined specific problem.

    Siri is a good example of narrow intelligence. Siri operates within a limited pre-defined range of functions. There is no genuine intelligence or no self-awareness despite being a sophisticated example of weak AI. Siri brings several narrow AI techniques to the capabilities of an iPhone. [4] AI researcher Ben Goertzel, on his blog in 2010, stated Siri was “VERY narrow and brittle” evidenced by annoying results if you ask questions outside the limits of the application.[5]

    Some commentators think weak AI could be dangerous because of this “brittleness” and fail in unpredictable ways. Weak AI could cause disruptions in the electric grid, damage nuclear power plants, cause global economic problems, and misdirect autonomous vehicles. [6] In 2010, weak AI trading algorithms led to a “flash crash,” causing a temporary but significant dip in the market.[7] >>

    Note above on the challenge of the higher order oracle to supervise a cluster of weak AI units sitting on top of the biocybernetic entity or general cybernetic entity. The search challenge is exponentially harder at each level. First order search for a 500 bit scale problem swamps sol system resources. a 1000 bit component even more decisively swamps observed cosmos scope resources.

    These are fundamental issues, fine tuning is everywhere and bounded rationality is a known problem for us, much less bounded computational power i/l/o search challenge on atomic and temporal resources.

    KF

    PS: Every month as I go pay a bill, I question Alexa there by the office, I will not put that spy in my own space. Alexa, routinely, gets stumped.

  16. 16
    daveS says:

    Brother Brian,

    But if we get to the point where we can’t distinguish between human thought and computer thought, how do we know that they are not capable of rational, insightful contemplation? Surely it is not simply because they are designed. After all, you believe that humans are designed.

    That is a very interesting question. [And note, KF, I’m not assuming anything, BB’s post is predicated on a conditional statement]. And whether we ever get to that point appears to be an empirical question.

    Further, there is now significant pressure not to engage in AI research which appears to be too “dangerous”, which could have a stifling effect on this research, so perhaps we will never actually get to that point.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, hypotheticals work by taking an antecedent as if it were true, thus the antecedent is assumed within the structure. My point is, the hypothetical is practically impossible. What I showed in outline is that we may have domain systems that will achieve human like achievement or better but not plausibly a general oracle that solves the global solution-search challenge and then instructs a general fab to implement on an accessible and organised catalogue of components. All along the way we have huge bases of FSCO/I to be searched to hit islands of function. recall, search for shorelines of function dominates hill climbing to higher performance from a shoreline of function. As Walker and Davies highlight, the fine tuning challenge is a global, general principles rooted problem based on the essential structure and quantity of contingency. Where WLOG, the bit space search challenge in given context is effectively the same challenge. KF

  18. 18
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the assumption that we can do that is what is challenged, for cause.

    I have learned two things in life. Never leave the toilet lid up and never underestimate what technology can do. I have little doubt that we will eventually have computers that will be indistinguishable from humans with regard to reasoning, abstract thinking, free will, etc. The bigger question is, when we get to that point, will we grant them the rights that we enjoy? My guess would be, no. There will always be those who will claim that it is all an illusion.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    I have little doubt that we will eventually have computers that will be indistinguishable from humans with regard to reasoning, abstract thinking, free will, etc.

    So what? I doubt very much that will ever happen. And I base my doubt on knowledge of what it would take to accomplish such a thing. Knowledge that you clearly do not have.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the limitations in question do not trace to technology but to the physics of large numbers of atomic particles and thence to the implied logic of structure and quantity. Thus, the issues raised by Walker and Davies. Search challenge in large config spaces is a real issue, and it leads to pervasive fine tuning and this is reflected in search challenge. Thus, we see the significance of supervisory oracles and thence of search for search. Computational entities cannot escape these constraints, and notice the computational substrate I refer to is the Sol system, our practical universe for chemical energy level atomic interactions. KF

  21. 21
    daveS says:

    KF,

    My point is, the hypothetical is practically impossible. What I showed in outline is that we may have domain systems that will achieve human like achievement or better but not plausibly a general oracle that solves the global solution-search challenge and then instructs a general fab to implement on an accessible and organised catalogue of components.

    Hm, perhaps we are not in disagreement. I’m just talking about AI that is indistinguishable from a human, not anything to do with oracles. An AI that you could see on a computer monitor, converse with, without being able to tell it’s not human.

    For example, consider building/training an AI simulation of a famous person, say the actor James Stewart circa the 1950’s, that could engage in real-time conversation well enough to fool people who are familiar with his life. So that recordings of these conversations could pass as “lost interviews”, say.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I am pointing out that the computational problem involves supervisory oracles, once we move up to actual intelligence in say a bio-cybernetic entity, per Smith. Such oracles solve the search problem that computation faces on physics — statistical issues — of large config spaces. Indeed, the programmer is an oracle, as would be the expert who provides domain knowledge for an expert system. those are canned oracles, and for example would be present in weak/narrow AI systems, such as a pseudo-person being interviewed or presenting as say a Si-skin robot, for conversation. Or what is now being called deep fakes where in effect a face can be pinned over an underlying reference person, e.g. bringing Mona Lisa to life. My concern is general or strong AI, which involves multiple domains and either a grand oracle or some sort of network of oracles, some supervisory, to provide golden searches. Obviously we could in principle design up to a certain level, but will run out of resources. So, I would see an inability to be agile and substantial, as a real person is. As to the notion that such could come about spontaneously through blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, that is simply not credible. KF

  23. 23
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Indeed, the programmer is an oracle

    That seems like a different definition of “oracle” than the one I am using.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I speak of an oracle as a non algorithmic source of meaningful information in a relevant context, i.e. an original source, not mechanically or stochastically determined. A significantly free source of meaningful information. KF

  25. 25
    ET says:

    It would be one heck of a program that could allow computers to think like humans. It would be one heck of a computer, too.

  26. 26
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the limitations in question do not trace to technology but to the physics of large numbers of atomic particles and thence to the implied logic of structure and quantity.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that humans, a reasoning being with free will (perhaps) were designed by a designer. If one designer can create something like a human with all that entails (including mental abilities), why can’t another?

  27. 27
    hazel says:

    Multiple-designer theory! That would explain a lot. Beetles, for instance! 🙂

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (& attn, H): The problem is ontological, as noted by Searle in the cite in the OP; kindly, read. Physical computation substrates are blindly processing signals, they are not operating on meanings. There is something there in our internal oracles that is not working in the way a computational substrate (refined rock) works. Indications are, per core characteristics, it is not of the same character . . . in effect, this points to mind over matter. A computational substrate is mechanically and/or stochastically governed, it simply is not constituted of “stuff” that gives it morally governed self-moved freedom to follow, understand, purpose, decide, will . . . be a first, initiating cause as Plato points out. And without genuine freedom, the rational credibility of mind collapses in self-referential discredit. KF

    PS: Let’s roll the tape:

    The Chinese Room shows that a system, me for example, could pass the Turing Test for understanding Chinese, for example, and could implement any program you like and still not understand a word of Chinese. Now, why? What does the genuine Chinese speaker have that I in the Chinese Room do not have?

    The answer is obvious. I, in the Chinese room, am manipulating a bunch of formal symbols; but the Chinese speaker has more than symbols, he knows what they mean. That is, in addition to the syntax of Chinese, the genuine Chinese speaker has a semantics in the form of meaning, understanding, and mental contents generally.

    But, once again, why?

    Why can’t I in the Chinese room also have a semantics? Because all I have is a program and a bunch of symbols, and programs are defined syntactically in terms of the manipulation of the symbols.

    The Chinese room shows what we should have known all along: syntax by itself is not sufficient for semantics. (Does anyone actually deny this point, I mean straight out? Is anyone actually willing to say, straight out, that they think that syntax, in the sense of formal symbols, is really the same as semantic content, in the sense of meanings, thought contents, understanding, etc.?)

    Why did the old time computationalists make such an obvious mistake? Part of the answer is that they were confusing epistemology with ontology, they were confusing “How do we know?” with “What it is that we know when we know?”

    This mistake is enshrined in the Turing Test(TT).

    In case you think he is setting up a strawman caricature, here is Zenon W. Pylyshyn in his “foundational” Computation and Cognition: Toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science:

    One of the central proposals that I examine
    is the thesis that what makes it possible for humans (and other members
    of the natural kind informavore ) to act on the basis of representations
    is that they instantiate such representations physically as cognitive
    codes and that their behavior is a causal consequence of operations
    carried out on these codes. Since this is precisely what computers do,
    my proposal amounts to a claim that cognition is a type of computation .
    Important and far -reaching consequences follow if we adopt the view
    that cognition and computation are species of the same genus .

    The point Reppert makes keeps on being systematically overlooked:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato’s provocative point, in The Laws, Bk X:

    Ath. Nearly all of them

    [= the materialistic sophists of his day, who considered that “that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only . . . “]

    , my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body? . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

  30. 30
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, you still haven’t explained why, if a designer created humans that can think, reason, etc., a human designer can’t do the same thing? Is it because we aren’t God? If that is the case, which most of your argument boils down to, then you are making a religious argument, not a scientific one.

  31. 31
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Multiple-designer theory! That would explain a lot. Beetles, for instance! ????

    The beetles were a great band. 😉

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    BB,

    the evidence is, independent, rationally and responsibly free, self-moved [as opposed to . . . x, x+1, . . . in a mechanical and/or stochastic causal chain] minded activity is not the result of a [material] computational substrate. Computational substrates are caught up in such causal chains and are inherently non-rational, as Reppert pointed out.

    So,

    if

    P: we are wholly material entities within the causal chains of a physicalist world, then

    Q: we are incapable of genuine reason and responsibility, which
    ______________________________

    R: then immediately undermines our pretensions to be reasoning or moral. On which,

    S: even this exchange is not a genuine conversation, it is not rational; it is just a playing out of unconscious programming that deludes us to think we are rational and/or responsible; i.e. reduction to absurd grand delusion.

    Rationality therefore implies
    _______________________________

    T: that our core being is not just material, that we are amphibians, with mind over matter, we have in us supervisory oracles that are the seats of our freedom to be self-moved, initiating causal agents.

    In effect, on pain of grand delusion, we are rational, enconscienced, ensouled [what “ANIMA-lity” actually means], intentional, conscious, self-aware, significantly freely responsible embodied entities. Where, no, I don’t buy the poof-magic view that somehow a sufficiently complex computational substrate will somehow have an emergent, rational, responsible, free mind. That is science fiction (or maybe a Gremlins/poltergeist fantasy on steroids . . . or just maybe an opening for a kind of spirituality we don’t want to even think about), not serious AI work. The dynamics are still there, rocks have no rationally contemplative dreams. I am rooting for the AI that just may tame the Tokamak plasma through a sort of anticipatory control based on reliable preliminary signs, but I don’t imagine we are creating a new rational creature.

    When we build computational substrates, unless and until we learn how to create a similar amphibian, we are simply making something caught up within the physical causal chain, not something that is genuinely, rationally and responsibly free. We may mimic chains of reasoning by manipulating symbols and signals, but these inherently are mechanical and/or stochastic dynamical systems, not freely rational entities. This even includes cases where our programming and organisation includes “knowledge-building” or “deep learning” etc. AI’s can mimic rational behaviour and expertise in domains where they in effect build in a sufficiently sophisticated supervisory program, but this is not a genuinely free oracle.

    Where, again, mechanical and/or stochastic manipulation of signals or symbols is categorically not free, self-moved rational inference. And yes, this implies that evolutionary materialistic scientism is necessarily irrational and amoral.

    Where, BTW, I am not making either a “scientific” nor a “religious” argument, but a logic of being argument. Kindly, set your anti-theistic biases aside.

    The pivotal fact I turn on is that we are manifestly freely and responsibly rational, on pain of self-referential grand delusion and absurdity. Secondly, material computational substrates [mechanically and/or stochastically governed combinations of material components] are by the force of the dynamics so outlined, precisely not rational, responsibly free entities. This last I know personally from having designed and built and worked with such substrates. Thus, I see that there is an ontological — logic of being gap — between the two. This leads to the puzzle of our embodiment, which then allows the Smith model to speak: supervisory controller, an extension of the line of thought in adaptive control cybernetic systems. Thus, the inference that there is such a controller in us that is a free supervisory oracle, which is not algorithmic or a computational substrate. Which we can call a mind or better a soul, which has facilities we term mind, conscience, emotions, volition etc.

    It is that, or reduction to utter grand delusion driven irrationality and amorality; however disguised.

    KF

    PS: Notice, again, Alex Rosenberg, as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside [–> So, just how did self-aware, intentional consciousness arise on such materialism? something from nothing through poof magic words like “emergence” won’t do] . Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

  33. 33
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the evidence is, independent, rationally and responsibly free, self-moved [as opposed to . . . x, x+1, . . . in a mechanical and/or stochastic causal chain] minded activity is not the result of a {material] computational substrate.

    With respect, you are dodging the question. If humans are designed, and have rational thought, free will, etc., why can’t another designer (ie, humans) reproduce this feat? If you can answer this without invoking your God, I would be interested to hear it. So far, you have used a lot of words, but they essentially boil down to a religious argument (ie, God is the designer).

  34. 34
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    KF, you still haven’t explained why, if a designer created humans that can think, reason, etc., a human designer can’t do the same thing?

    We do. Again, it’s called “biological reproduction”.

    And other than biological reproduction we just don’t know how to do so. Now grow up and get an education- meaning stop being so ignorantly belligerent.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If one designer can create something like a human with all that entails (including mental abilities), why can’t another?

    Lack of ability, duh.

    If humans can build cars then why can’t other organisms? Because they lack the ability to do so.

    Brother Brian- ignorantly belligerent, and proud of it.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, I have not evaded the question, I have pointed out that our candidate technology to do so, creation of computational substrates driven by mechanical and/or stochastic dynamics and based on material components, is inherently incapable of rational inference. Procreation does not count. KF

    PS: Yet again, I call your attention to Reppert:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I took time to add an answer to your “religious argument” tainting dismissive rhetoric — as in no scientific is not equivalent to logic/rational, religious is not equal to irrational, and there is the domain of logic of being (with implication of distinct identity on distinguishing characteristics) to address. For your convenience, I clip here:

    BTW, I am not making either a “scientific” nor a “religious” argument, but a logic of being argument. Kindly, set your anti-theistic biases aside.

    The pivotal fact I turn on is that we are manifestly freely and responsibly rational, on pain of self-referential grand delusion and absurdity. Secondly, material computational substrates [mechanically and/or stochastically governed combinations of material components] are by the force of the dynamics so outlined, precisely not rational, responsibly free entities. This last I know personally from having designed and built and worked with such substrates. Thus, I see that there is an ontological — logic of being gap — between the two. This leads to the puzzle of our embodiment, which then allows the Smith model to speak: supervisory controller, an extension of the line of thought in adaptive control cybernetic systems. Thus, the inference that there is such a controller in us that is a free supervisory oracle, which is not algorithmic or a computational substrate. Which we can call a mind or better a soul, which has facilities we term mind, conscience, emotions, volition etc.

    It is that, or reduction to utter grand delusion driven irrationality and amorality; however disguised.

  38. 38
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, I have not evaded the question, I have pointed out that our candidate technology to do so, creation of computational substrates driven by mechanical and/or stochastic dynamics and based on material components, is inherently incapable of rational inference.

    Well, that is one opinion, but certainly not proven. But that wasn’t the question.

    If one designer can produce a rational, thinking entity, why is it not possible for another? If it is absolutely impossible for us to ever do so, the question has to be asked if we are truly rational thinking beings.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If one designer can produce a rational, thinking entity, why is it not possible for another?

    Lack of ability. Just like your lack of ability to think and reason.

    If it is absolutely impossible for us to ever do so, the question has to be asked if we are truly rational thinking beings.

    The two are not connected. Clearly you are just a desperate loser on some asinine agenda.

    But please, do try to make a case. That would be very entertaining.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, I repeat, we are working with technologies that are inherently mechanically and/or stochastically governed, thus inherently not capable of rational, insightful contemplation, inference and decision. This is why, as we are rational, I infer that we don’t just have a fancy software and wiring supervisory controller but something with a different ontology that acts as supervisory oracle. That is, material entities, on our rationality, do not exhaust possible or actual reality. The counter-example and limitations of dynamic-stochastic systems even as computational substrates (wetware and otherwise) point to that. But, such will be very hard for many to accept in a radically secularistic culture. KF

    PS: As for “proof” I am simply giving the nutshell version of the physics of space-time, energy driven material entities. They are dynamic-stochastic entities, even when configured as computational substrates. Signals, analogues, symbols manipulated syntactically or by way of operational amplifiers [electronic or otherwise] or neural weighted sum arrays and feedback loops do not escape the framework of dynamic-stochastic systems. Your bare rhetorical assertions to the contrary don’t count. If you disagree with the framework of physics, kindly tell us what cybernetic system architecture you propose that escapes the constraints _____ and how you warrant the claim ____. I note, strong AI advocates, near as I can make out, imply that we are just naturally occurring computational entities, i.e. we do not have genuine first cause self-moved agency and rationality.

  41. 41
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, I speak of an oracle as a non algorithmic source of meaningful information in a relevant context, i.e. an original source, not mechanically or stochastically determined. A significantly free source of meaningful information. KF

    In that case I would say that such an oracle_KF could not be “canned” and implemented as part of an expert system.

    Anyway, if this James Stewart simulation were good enough, then it would begin to raise all sorts of questions about what makes us different from machines.

    Just like comparing nonhuman animals to humans raises many interesting questions.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I add to OP, a general sys model f/wk and . . . just now RW emergency permitting . . . will add on supervisory oracle architecture. KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, no, a canned oracle is a computational mech-stochastic entity not freely rational. KF

  44. 44
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, I repeat, we are working with technologies that are inherently mechanically and/or stochastically governed, thus inherently not capable of rational, insightful contemplation, inference and decision.

    Again, this is certainly up for debate, but that is not what I am arguing. My point is that humans are known to be able to use reason and thought to design many things. The designer of humans is proposed to be competent at this as well. So the question still stands, why is it impossible for humans to ever design a thinking, reasoning being?

    Off topic: you might want to put ET back on his leash. He is peeing on the carpet again.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    My point is that humans are known to be able to use reason and thought to design many things.

    You can’t.

    So the question still stands, why is it impossible for humans to ever design a thinking, reasoning being?

    We don’t have the ability to do so.

    Why is it impossible for Brother Brian to be a reasonable and thinking human?

  46. 46
    ET says:

    daves:

    Anyway, if this James Stewart simulation were good enough, then it would begin to raise all sorts of questions about what makes us different from machines.

    Anyway, if pigs could fly or if puddles could think…

    Just like comparing nonhuman animals to humans raises many interesting questions.

    Such as?

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the basic framework of physics is not up for debate. The issue is reality beyond what that framework of physics covers, that grounds rational freedom. We are back to phusis — nature and metaphusis — beyond nature, here conceived in terms of what physics studies. If we are genuinely rational and responsible, physics’ subject matter and dynamic-stochastic frameworks do not exhaust reality. If physics does exhaust reality, we are not rational and physics itself is suspect, as it is an allegedly rational enterprise. I hold, it is undeniably true that we are rational and responsible, so reality transcends physics to enfold a domain of rational, morally governed entities that evidently are not composed of proper interacting parts that thus give rise to capabilities and characteristics. KF

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, easy on rhetorical voltage please. It is clear where balance on merits is. KF

    PS: Emergency here, I have to engage RW developments and issues. UD in the gaps, for now.

  49. 49
    Brother Brian says:

    KF@47, That still doesn’t answer the question. If the designer of humans can produce something with rational thought, free will, moral governance, whatever, .. why can’t humans, eventually, do the same?

    We both know what the answer is but that would require you to admit that your argument is a religious one and not a scientific one.

  50. 50
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If the designer of humans can produce something with rational thought, free will, moral governance, whatever, .. why can’t humans, eventually, do the same?

    If the designer of cars can produce something that goes where we drive it, why can’t cars, eventually do the same?

    If the designer of houses can produce something that houses people, why can’t houses, eventually, do the same?

    If Brother Brian can keep producing his ignorant question, why can’t his ignorance, eventually, go away?

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added to the OP following the general dynamic-stochastic system diagram, a chart showing a bio-cybernetic agent based on the Smith model. KF

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, physics is why, as already pointed out. KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: let me make a very broad outline, using the phase/configuration space concept. Systems that change state across time can be represented as taking up positions in an abstract space that maps the states, when motion is important, a phase space, otherwise configuration space. The path across states can be mechanically driven and/or stochastic, or it can be under intelligent control. For instance, a heavy object that is not supported near earth’s surface will fall at initial acceleration g N/kg, by mechanical necessity. If it is a die, and it hits and tumbles, which face is uppermost is effectively chance following in general some sort of relevant distribution. Strictly, we have chaos, driven by eight corners and twelve edges, so there is sensitive dependence to initial conditions, leading to effective unpredictability. Pulling in the quantum world, some things seem to be directly random and stochastic. By contrast, one could set up a six state code and string dice to spell out a message by setting the uppermost face by intelligently directed configuration. The question is, that computational substrates are mechanical and/or stochastic, rather than intelligent. KF

  54. 54
    daveS says:

    KF,

    BB, physics is why, as already pointed out. KF

    What if a person performed the same modification as seen in the Syn61 case on a particular human genome, then used cloning technology to “create” a human being from that genome? Would that not be an example of designing a being with rational thought, free will, etc.?

  55. 55
    hazel says:

    re 54: that’s a fascinating question. If human beings, working in a lab, assembled the genome of a human being, possibly improving it in various ways including the work explained in the OP, and then cloned that and grew it into human being, would that human being have consciousness, free will, the ability to think abstractly, etc? If so (and you would think that would be the case), what would that say about the nature of consciousness, et al?

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    H, try it. KF

    PS: Notice IVF. Also, notice the basis on which I have reasoned, not genomes and codes in such, but the dynamics of atomic matter and any reasonable facsimile: bio-cybernetic systems and by ready extension non-bio-cybernetic systems. If configurations and mechanical/stochastic interactions of matter were the whole story, we would not be relevantly rational.

  57. 57
    daveS says:

    I think this will have to remain a thought experiment (unless that guy in China tries it).

    But I don’t know of any barriers that would prevent people from designing (or significantly modifying) humans this way [and perhaps building them from scratch]. Not that I would know, of course.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    hazel:

    If human beings, working in a lab, assembled the genome of a human being, possibly improving it in various ways including the work explained in the OP, and then cloned that and grew it into human being, would that human being have consciousness, free will, the ability to think abstractly, etc? If so (and you would think that would be the case), what would that say about the nature of consciousness, et al?

    Genomes do not determine what the final form will be. So it wouldn’t say anything about the nature of consciousness

  59. 59
    ET says:

    daves:

    But I don’t know of any barriers that would prevent people from designing (or significantly modifying) humans this way [and perhaps building them from scratch].

    One BIGGIE:

    We don’t know what it is that makes a human a human. We know that genetics influence and control development. But influencing and controlling are not determining factors.

    The reason this synthesized genome works with bacteria is simple- no body plan; no body parts; no cellular differentiation.

  60. 60
    Brother Brian says:

    Dave@54, very interesting point. What I would be interested to hear KF’s response to is this: if we used the same technology described in the other thread to synthesize a human genome and somehow cloned it and grew it to adulthood, would it have a soul? Would it be a rational thinking being? Or would it just be an illusion?

    KF

    If configurations and mechanical/stochastic interactions of matter were the whole story, we would not be relevantly rational.

    The scenario presented above and by DaveS are the result of configurations and mechanical/stochastic interactions of matter. In your own words you believe that producing such a life form from scratch is feasible, if not inevitable. So the question stands, would such a being be a rational thinking being with a soul or won’t it be an illusion, a meatbot?

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (& attn H, DS, ET et al), the physics is quite plain, and so the combinations and interactions of material components (from atoms and molecules on up) for cause are known to be irrelevant to rational relationships of meaning, intention, implication, inference, conscious self-awareness etc. Further, future laws will be compatible with the present framework, so we are not going to build up intelligence, rationality and moral government from the bottom up. In short, the known and plausible future laws do not account for such, indeed that’s why there is a literature that such aspects of our being are delusional, and another literature that seeks forms of naturalism that somehow evades such an import. The latter — on fair comment — consistently fails by falling into the former on close inspection or else by being in effect a repudiation. The obvious solution is that we have a supervisory oracle that rises above computation, which oracle is our core self in the relevant sense; something that is not built up from separate interacting components (which would simply extend the realm of physics). So even if in a few generations a human zygote can be chemically synthesised and implanted or nurtured in some sort of incubator, such would only account for the bodily aspect of our being. If I were to put a bet, it would be somewhere on the lines of an extension to or adaptation of hylemorphic views that look to the form of the human as a core of distinct unified identity that transcends the composition and near-neighbour interactions of parts — so, it forms and informs, and/or to quantum influences on resolution of states, tied to an observer that is able to so interact . . . but this is only a pointer it is not a solution worked out. The problem is, that dominant radically secularist ideologies of our time tend to make us blind to the issues at stake. KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For what it is worth, here is SEP on Aristotle’s conception:

    Hylomorphism in General

    In De Anima [–> the soul], Aristotle makes extensive use of technical terminology introduced and explained elsewhere in his writings. He claims, for example, using vocabulary derived from his physical and metaphysical theories, that the soul is a “first actuality of a natural organic body” (De Anima ii 1, 412b5–6), that it is a “substance as form of a natural body which has life in potentiality” (De Anima ii 1, 412a20–1) and, similarly, that it “is a first actuality of a natural body which has life in potentiality” (De Anima ii 1, 412a27–8), all claims which apply to plants, animals and humans alike.

    In characterizing the soul and body in these ways, Aristotle applies concepts drawn from his broader hylomorphism, a conceptual framework which underlies virtually all of his mature theorizing. It is accordingly necessary to begin with a brief overview of that framework. Thereafter it will be possible to recount Aristotle’s general approach to soul-body relations, and then, finally, to consider his analyses of the individual faculties of soul.

    ‘Hylomorphism’ is simply a compound word composed of the Greek terms for matter (hulê) and form or shape (morphê); thus one could equally describe Aristotle’s view of body and soul as an instance of his “matter-formism.” That is, when he introduces the soul as the form of the body, which in turn is said to be the matter of the soul, Aristotle treats soul-body relations as a special case of a more general relationship which obtains between the components of all generated compounds, natural or artifactual.

    The notions of form and matter are themselves, however, developed within the context of a general theory of causation and explanation which appears in one guise or another in all of Aristotle’s mature works. According to this theory, when we wish to explain what there is to know, for example, about a bronze statue, a complete account necessarily alludes to at least the following four factors: the statue’s matter, its form or structure, the agent responsible for that matter manifesting its form or structure, and the purpose for which the matter was made to realize that form or structure. These four factors he terms the four causes (aitiai)

    KF

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Oderberg summarises eight theses, building on the Aristotelian-Thomist synthesis:

    the central theses to be defended are as follows. (1) All sub-
    stances, in other words all self-subsisting entities that are the bearers of
    properties and attributes but are not themselves properties or attributes
    of anything, are compounds of matter (hyle¯) and form (morphe¯). (2) The
    form is substantial since it actualizes matter and gives the substance its
    very essence and identity. (3) The human person, being a substance, is
    also a compound of matter and substantial form. (4) Since a person is
    defined as an individual substance of a rational nature, the substantial
    form of the person is the rational nature of the person. (5) The exercise of
    rationality, however, is an essentially immaterial operation. (6) Hence,
    human nature itself is essentially immaterial. (7) But since it is immate-
    rial, it does not depend for its existence on being united to matter. (8) So
    a person is capable of existing, by means of his rational nature, which is
    traditionally called the soul, independently of the existence of his body.
    (9) Hence, human beings are immortal; but their identity and individu-
    ality does require that they be united to a body at some time in their
    existence.

    KF

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N3: More from Oderberg, to help us open up our thinking:

    It will not do to respond (as would most defenders of the idea that
    artificial intelligence captures the essence of human cognition) that since
    computers can do arithmetic, and by their very nature have no conscious
    experience, it must be the case that what I claim to exist for people is an
    illusion. For the response assumes that what we do and what computers
    do when they calculate that two and two make four is the same in the first
    place. As a matter of scientific sociology, for what it is worth, no one has
    the faintest idea of what humans do when they do arithmetic, specifically,
    what goes on in the brain when even the simplest of calculations is
    carried out. Ipso facto there is no agreement on what physical system best
    models what we do. 8 But the logical point is that one may not assume that
    what humans and computers do is fundamentally the same; rather, this is
    a proposition that has to be proven. Moreover, the phenomenological
    evidence in the human case is so strong that we have a priori reason for
    thinking that whatever physical model is proposed, it will not capture
    what we do. One could, of course, seek to show that some physical model
    captures what we do if one took there to be no problem concerning the
    reduction of conscious experience in the first place. However, this is a
    claim that dualists of all stripes deny, so minimizing the problem will gain
    no traction. Nor, again, is it of any force to claim that since humans can
    perform unconscious calculation, such an activity can have no phenom-
    enology. For the question is not about what we can do unconsciously.
    Similarly, if unconscious perception were a genuine phenomenon (a mat-
    ter of dispute), 9 this would not disprove the existence of subjective expe-
    rience during conscious perception. Thus, one cannot neutralize the claim
    that there is a phenomenology of psychological activity by appealing to
    unconscious kinds of the same or similar activity.

    KF

    PS: In digital computers, in principle a full adder is made up of half adders and combining circuitry based on physical instantiations of bitwise boolean algebra logic operations. In theory X-OR, AND, OR, NOT, in praxis NAND or NOR as these are closer to the natural circuit behaviour and are faster. For analogue and neural nets, we look to weighted combinations, amplifications and passing on. However, the functionality lies in the imposed architecture, not the particular components and near neighbour interactions. These components neither know nor care that addition, subtraction by complements, shifting etc are happening in ways that more or less reliably effect arithmetic operations and extensions, often taking advantage of properties of bit based systems. Presentation in decimal forms is often a conversion. Working in binary coded decimals is inefficient. Notice BTW how we architecturally impose a form and framework, composing a system that uses particular components, purposefully and with understanding to effect the result we want, here as a self-moved chosen action. And self-moved indicates that the rational self is reflexive, memory using [memories are based, generally, on feedback and storage structures] and cumulative. There is succession, a trajectory, a self-shaping at work that is influenced by successive choices, actions, results, evaluations etc.

  65. 65
    Brother Brian says:

    KF@61, if I am reading you correctly, any human synthesized being that is indistinguishable from a human in behavior or abilities, would be incapable of reason. Their thinking, reasoning and free will would be an illusion because there has been no input from some immaterial oracle. I hate to beat a dead horse, but that is a religious one, not a scientific one.

    If it is impossible to distinguish our manufactured human from natural born humans, then the best conclusion we can draw is that it is human.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N4: Feser is also relevant:

    someone could have good philosophical reasons for thinking that there must be some way to combine hylemorphism and dualism.

    That, I submit, is precisely the position Aquinas finds himself in. As an Aristotelian, he is convinced that the human soul is the form of the living human body. It is therefore responsible for all the various human capacities — nutrition, reproduction, growth, sensation, appetite, locomotion, intellect, and volition — in just the way the souls of plants and non-human animals are responsible for their capacities. But Aquinas is also convinced that our purely intellectual capacities cannot have a corporeal organ. The reason is that he endorses philosophical arguments for the immateriality of the intellect of the sort that go back to Plato and Aristotle. That much gives him grounds for concluding that the soul carries out immaterial operations alongside its corporeal ones. Add to this the (independently motivated) Scholastic thesis that agere sequitur esse — that “action follows being,” so that the way a thing acts reflects the manner in which it exists — and we have grounds for concluding that, though the soul is the form of the body, it must in some way have a kind of subsistent immaterial existence. The view might seem odd, but it is hardly unmotivated or ad hoc. On the contrary, it is a natural way of trying to reconcile two theses that Bill himself would acknowledge to have serious philosophical arguments in their favor.

    Nor . . . is Aquinas somehow departing radically from Aristotle. For Aristotle too was committed both to hylemorphism and to the view that the intellect is immaterial — indeed, to the view that the active intellect is immortal . . . . Needless to say, Aristotle had no Christian theological ax to grind; he was simply following the philosophical arguments where they led. There is no reason to accuse Aquinas of doing anything different, and it is hardly unreasonable to suggest that the way to harmonize the various aspects of Aristotle’s position is the way Aquinas does. That does not mean that one might not still question whether Aquinas’s position is ultimately coherent . . . or criticize it on other grounds. But the charge that it is “wholly unmotivated and ad hoc” — a piece of Christian apologetics with no independent philosophical rationale — is, I think, completely unwarranted.

    Now, does Aquinas’s dualism cohere with his hylemorphism? . . . Let’s note first that there is nothing in hylemorphism that requires that we deny that a form per se can have an existence apart from matter. Aristotle’s opposition to Platonism might seem to rule this out, but it doesn’t. What Aristotelianism rules out is that universals can exist both apart from their instances and apart from any mind. But when Aquinas says that certain forms exist without matter — the human soul, or an angel — he is not talking about universals existing apart from matter. Nor is he even talking about a form by itself existing apart from matter, but rather a form plus an act of existing. Hence he is talking about concrete particulars, albeit immaterial ones. (Aristotle himself, who knew a thing or two about hylemorphism, allowed for immaterial things — the “Intelligences” which he took to move the heavenly spheres.)

    So, there is nothing necessarily un-Aristotelian in the notion of a form without matter. But what about the form of a material thing? The soul is, for Aquinas, the form of the body. So how could it possibly exist apart from the body? {An objector being replied to] asks why things should be any different with human beings than they are with Fido. But Aquinas is quite clear about the answer to that question: The difference is that the human soul carries out immaterial operations (i.e. intellectual ones) while a dog’s soul does not. And if it operates apart from matter and agere sequitur esse, then it must subsist apart from matter. True, it would not subsist as a complete substance since (qua form) it is only part of a complete substance. But it would subsist as an incomplete substance, like a severed hand which subsists at least for a time apart from the body (as can be seen from the fact that the hand can be reattached) . . . .

    Necessarily, a form is a form of that of which it is the form. But a subsistent form is possibly such as to exist apart from that of which it is the form . . . . That they can both be true can be seen when we keep in mind how Aristotelians understand concepts like necessity, possibility, essence, and the like. Suppose we say that it follows from the nature or essence of a dog that it has four legs. Does that mean every single dog necessarily has four legs? No, because a given dog might have lost a leg in an accident, or failed to develop all four legs due to some genetic defect, or (if only recently conceived and still in the womb) may simply not yet have developed all four legs. What it does mean is rather that a mature dog in its normal state will necessarily have four legs. As Michael Thompson and Philippa Foot have emphasized, “Aristotelian categoricals” of the form S’s are F convey a norm and are not accurately represented as either existential or universal statements of the sort familiar to modern logicians. “Dogs have four legs” is not saying “There is at least one dog, and it has four legs” and neither is it saying “For everything that is a dog, it is four legged.” It is saying that the typical dog, the normal (mature) dog, has four legs.

    Similarly, to say “Human souls are associated with bodies” is to say that the human soul in its normal state is associated with its body, just like the human hand in its normal state is associated with its body. But it doesn’t follow that it cannot exist apart from the body, any more than it follows that the hand (at least while its tissues are still alive) can exist apart from the body . And again, the reason this is possible with the human soul and not with Fido’s soul is that the human soul, unlike Fido’s soul, carries out immaterial operations even when it is associated with the body.

    Food for rethinking, especially given the extended Smith model in the OP with a candidate supervisory oracle highlighted.

    KF

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    BB,

    the matter is deeper than and different from that. The bodily, material components and their near-neighbour (thus, field of influence) interactions do not account for essential phenomena of the human as whole, functional being.

    Therefore, on the premise that rationality is real, this does not exhaust human nature.

    In cybernetic terms, we can identify a supervisory, non-computational oracle that observes, interacts with, is a self-moved initiating causal agency integral to a properly functioning human bio-cybernetic entity. The living meat entity is not the whole story. That is independent of how such comes to be.

    How does such a mind over matter amphibian come to be, we do not fully know, but there are hints here and there that there are transcendent dimensions of reality at work. Just think of the 4 vs 3 dimension issues on a Klein bottle. That I don’t know the answer to origin (and do not venture to speculate for the moment lest it shifts focus from what is primary and a premise for onward reasoning) does not entail that I do not have a reason to hold, existent and important. Once we see distinction of characteristics there is distinct identity.

    The problem is to see how they are so in a whole, and it is evident that consciousness is pervasive across the gamut of the body but not constrained by the physics of material components and interactions.

    A simple solution is to posit a — as opposed to THE — 5th dimension [viewing time as no. 4] whereby an entity or point or locus there is present in correspondence to points in the common four. This is similar to how the N pole is simultaneously due north of all points on the seemingly flat surface of the earth. Because there is a third dimension and the globe is just that, a 3-d not 2-d or near 2-d entity, with a closed form that has poles. So, for argument, consider that there is a 5th dimensional pole that is intimately connected to each point in our bodies but is not working as simply a mechanical and/or stochastic component.

    A partial candidate is the nervous system with info flows and storage, but this does not capture the whole, especially rational, responsible freedom. It does point to information and influence that can be present and influential on a pervasive basis. We thus come to the supervisory oracle with memory and interactions in the cybernetic loop. There is need for a unitary entity, a monad, which functions as a rational, responsible, morally governed centre of self-aware, conscious, volitional identity. Thus, the rational ensouled agent is back on the table. Tied to, embodied in, being the form of but not merely emergent from and controlled by the body. Feser’s point on remaining life in a recently detached, potentially re-attachable hand seems insightful.

    Where, what if such an entity forms with the body and is deeply connected to its informational, formational aspects (maybe even is part of the shaping fields that seem to guide bodily formation) but is not a composite entity, and is detachable. On detachment, the body eventually is unable to continue and decay processes take over, but the monad continues in its own domain.

    These are speculative but are intended to open up room for re-thinking.

    KF

  68. 68
    daveS says:

    Brother Brian,

    In your own words you believe that producing such a life form from scratch is feasible, if not inevitable. So the question stands, would such a being be a rational thinking being with a soul or won’t it be an illusion, a meatbot?

    Good luck getting a clear answer on that 🙂

    But to be fair, I wouldn’t be able to give an informed answer until I could observe such a being, and that likely won’t happen in my lifetime, I wager. Still, if I could interact with this being, I think it would be fairly easy to determine whether they are a normal, rational human (as you point out in #65).

  69. 69
    hazel says:

    kf is saying that the physical body, as produced by the biological genetic processes that pervade it, has to be accompanied by something else: he speculates on a being from an additional dimension:

    In cybernetic terms, we can identify a supervisory, non-computational oracle that observes, interacts with, is a self-moved initiating causal agency integral to a properly functioning human bio-cybernetic entity. The living meat entity is not the whole story. That is independent of how such comes to be. … Thus, the rational ensouled agent is back on the table. Tied to, embodied in, being the form of but not merely emergent from and controlled by the body.

    That is, God has to add the soul to the body, in some way, to give it free will, consciousness, etc.

    The question is, then, if humans designed this genome which produce a person, as we are speculating on, would God automatically and inevitably give it a soul, or would God say, “I didn’t do this”, and leave it a meatbot?

    And then the next question would be, would we be able to tell the difference? Would decisions made by a meatbot appear different from a rational, morally governed agent with free will?

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    H (& attn BB),

    I have not at all argued or assumed that God has to “add” a soul, I have simply pointed out that the physics that governs computational substrates is manifestly inadequate to support genuinely free rationality. So, if we are rational and so free, embodiment does not account for rationality.

    That requires that if we are free there is more to reality than the domain of physics. And if there is not, then we are not rational and not free; we are in the grip of a grand delusion, which is exactly what Rosenberg or Crick etc have argued or directly implied. I find the latter self-referentially incoherent. (Indeed I am not even confident that we can get to a point where a computational substrate has enough awareness — consciousness — to have a delusion. [Kindly see the infographic in the OP on rocks, dreams and delusions.])

    I therefore conclude that there is more to reality, which grounds our ability to confidently do physics and associated mathematics.

    This points to something like the Smith model applying to our bio-cybernetic loops. I infer, for cause, a supervisory oracle which has essential unity. We may debate precise ontology and source, but just to be able to genuinely debate, it is there.

    Can we genuinely debate?

    I take it, yes.

    It is after that that I point to the moral government of our rationality through inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness/justice etc, and to the challenge that such implies that rationality operates on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap. This needs to be bridged and that points to the roots of reality, thus we may infer that those roots lie in a necessary being that is inherently good as well as capable of founding a cosmos.

    How this specifically translates into how we come to have the requisite supervisory oracle, is an onward issue. To get there we must first fully recognise that this is what we are.

    That is why I prioritise the first issue: are we genuinely rational and free, or not?

    If there is unwillingness to address this and answer yes, any subsequent questions are pointless.

    If you agree yes but hold that the physical world exhausts reality, you need to ground rationality on physical entities. There is cause to hold, this is not possible but if you disagree, kindly adequately ground rationality on a purely physical reality: ______

    If you disagree, rational discussion would be impossible on your premises.

    KF

  71. 71
    hazel says:

    You used the phrase “ensouled body”. Where does this soul come from if it doesn’t arise from the body? If ascribing this to God is not accurate, how would you explain how the body becomes ensouled?

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    H, first things come first. Do you agree that we are genuinely rational and so free, i.e. are self-moved initiating causes? If yes, whatever gives us this can reasonably be called the soul, which you will see I argued towards, not from, above. Indeed, my argument was to something in the context of cybernetics where we are clearly cybernetic entities, a supervisory oracle (as opposed to merely a supervisory controller — see the added diagram in the OP extending the Smith model) that is non-computational, so able to be what is termed a first cause. I then pointed out that such an entity can be termed the soul; a point that goes back to at least Plato, as was excerpted above at 29. KF

  73. 73
    hazel says:

    kf, you ask, “H, first things come first. Do you agree that we are genuinely rational and so free, i.e. are self-moved initiating causes? ”

    I have explained my tentative metaphysics in the past, which includes a belief that we are genuinely rational and can freely make choices.

    You write, “If yes, whatever gives us this can reasonably be called the soul.”

    The word “soul” carries lots of connotations, so we would have to discuss specifics before I could agree to that.

    But I am asking further questions:

    Where does this soul come from if it doesn’t arise from the body? If ascribing this to God is not accurate, how would you explain how the body becomes ensouled?

    And to the point of the OP, if human beings were able to create, from scratch, a duplicate of the human genome, which grew into a human being indistinguishable from other human beings, would that “creature” have a soul, and if so, how would it come by it?

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the prior question is, are we rational. We certainly are cybernetic, thus embed a computational substrate (brain and CNS). This substrate is not enough to account for genuine rationality, so I trust your agreement is along the lines of, this is truth not opinion, truth which holds on pain of reduction of reason to absurdity. In that context from the OP on, there is reason to see why our bio-cybernetic systems have an intelligent supervisory oracle, which is neither computational nor composite. A self-moved agency beyond what physics accounts for, i.e. physics does not exhaust reality. That entity has been termed mind, soul or even spirit. How (means) does it originate? None of us has a clear answer but existence and origins story are different things. I have suggested that we look at the hylemorphic conception as a start, further suggesting that this helps to shape bodily formation, also interface to the nervous system and brain. Those are speculative, and because we do not have answers to questions n on does not mean that answers to earlier ones are discredited. Onward hypothetical work in a molecular biology lab to synthesise a zygote and implant or incubate it successfully is far, far more speculative. Nor does it undermine what we do know. KF

  75. 75
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    The question is, then, if humans designed this genome which produce a person, as we are speculating on, would God automatically and inevitably give it a soul, or would God say, “I didn’t do this”, and leave it a meatbot?

    That’s a fascinating idea, that if humans were to synthesize a human-like organism, then God might step in and supply it with a soul. Perhaps a good basis for a science/speculative fiction story.

  76. 76
    hazel says:

    kf, I agree, existence and origins are different issues. Also, I realize now that I have been referring to the other OP about manipulating the genome as support for ID, not this OP: they all run together sometimes. And last, of course this is a thought experiment, and thus speculative, not about something that is likely to happen soon, if at all.

    With that said, it’s still relevant to ask the questions I’m asking (even though I don’t expect you to have answers): if human beings were able to create, from scratch, a duplicate of the human genome, which grew into a human being indistinguishable from other human beings, would that “creature” have a soul, and if so, how would it come by it?

    I’ll leave that on the table, for future speculation, perhaps.

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    H, major ifs. Now, start with a zygote, what makes it human? Genome and cell type, at bodily level. This already implies a lot of highly specific information and organisation. Assume it develops as a body (thus a member of our species), what do we know already: if all that is is the physical, there is no basis for the rational; the genuine human is a mind over matter amphibian. That is our stopping point, we do not understand what specifically we are dealing with to get that amphibian. We may however have tests: rationality and responsibility. The question is secondary to the primary focus, that rationality is not computational. KF

  78. 78
    hazel says:

    Kf writes, after correctly pointing that this a speculative thought experiment full of “if”s:

    Start with a zygote, what makes it human? Genome and cell type, at bodily level. This already implies a lot of highly specific information and organisation. Assume it develops as a body (thus a member of our species), what do we know already: if all that is is the physical, there is no basis for the rational; the genuine human is a mind over matter amphibian. That is our stopping point.

    Well, no, we don’t know that. We don’t know if the mind, whatever it is, as a rational, causal agent, is “in the genome” or not: we don’t know whether it is “mind over matter” or “mind with matter.” That is what the thought experiment brings out: if we created a genome, from scratch, based on thorough knowledge of the genome of human beings, and grew a “creature” from that genome that was from all external appearances a human being, would that creature be “ensouled”, or a meatbot, and how could we tell?

    Kf writes, “We may however have tests: rationality and responsibility.” But how, externally, could you tell whether a creature was internally rational and responsible, in the free will sense, if in fact its behavior looked like just a regular human being?

    Last, kf writes, “ The question is secondary to the primary focus, that rationality is not computational.” Granting that is not the same as granting that genome, as it develops, is purely computational.

    To be blunt, if God designed the genetic code and had a hand, so to speak, in the eventual development of the human genome, why is it not possible that the mind and all that goes with it is not embedded, and thus arises, concomitantly, with the growth of the physical body? The genome, being ultimately a quantum phenomena, may tap into mind at the quantum level, so that both grow as the genome develops.

    And if this is so, then if we truly recreated the human genome, we would get an “ensouled” being, and not a meatbot.

  79. 79
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    I have not at all argued or assumed that God has to “add” a soul, I have simply pointed out that the physics that governs computational substrates is manifestly inadequate to support genuinely free rationality. So, if we are rational and so free, embodiment does not account for rationality.

    With respect, you are just dissembling. If an intelligent being can create a human with rational, thinking, free will, etc, then there is no reason why another intelligent being can’t. The only argument against it is religious (ie you need God to add the soul). You can talk about physics all you want, but your argument still comes down to a religious one.

  80. 80
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel@76, good points. But on the flip side, how do we know that us baseline humans are not elaborate “meatbots”. Obviously, we all think that we, as individuals, are more than this, but how do we know that others we meet are not? And if the only way to know is their behavior (which is the only measure) how could we deny the benefit of the doubt to a synthesized human that we grant to a natural born human? Isn’t this the same sort of dehumanizing thought that resulted in genocides and slavery throughout history?

  81. 81
    hazel says:

    Hi BB. I assume that other human beings are like me, with an internal conscious life. I know there is no way to prove this, but I have no reason to think that other beings aren’t like me in this regard, so I take this assumption as true.

    So if we created a being, as in my speculative scenario, and it acted as a human being, including talking about aspects of its inner life, I would assume that was it true that it had an inner life: I would have no more reason to be skeptical than I am of human beings now whose genome begins in the normal way, via procreation. Thus, I would treat it as a human being.

    As I’ve said to kf, I’m certain that we don’t know how mind and body exist and work together, and I lean, fairly heavily, in believing both arise simultaneously as a human being develops, so locating the source of that development in the genome, whether created by procreation or, speculatively, through artificial creation by another human being, seems a reasonable thing to hypothesize, in my opinion.

    Also, as I’ve said, given the ID theory that the genetic code and the development of the human genome have been designed (by, it seems obvious, so power far beyond our comprehension), it seems reasonable to me that the genome could tap into the source of mind and guide it’s development just as it guides the development of the body.

    So if we could create a new creature from scratch based on the human genome, I think it would be as rational and willed as we are. That’s my very speculative 2 cents on this issue.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    H (attn BB):

    First, I note that I have not defined mindedness as somehow programmed in the genome or the cell line for that matter. What I have pointed to is the hylemorphic perspective as a start-point for onward clarification. A different thing.

    I have also laid out the essential physics in outline from the OP on. Opinions are not the issue (and count for nothing save insofar as they are well warranted), the physical realm is precisely the realm of dynamic-stochastic entities, starting with particles, atoms, molecules, then macroscopic entities. This is the setting in which main theories from quantum mechanics, statistical thermodynamics on up to those of General Relativity and cosmology explain preferably on quantitative patterns of laws, some being laws of necessity, others stochastic. Where, currently, there are four main recognised forces: strong, weak, electro-magnetic, gravitational.

    Nor is this general pattern novel, it is there in Plato, the laws c. 2360 years ago, as immemorial in his day. We know more details and math now, but the physical world is still studied on such terms.

    Beyond these, there are intelligent actions, which engage the mechanical world through intelligently directed configuration. It has been repeatedly shown, that such entities subsume computational substrates in generic cybernetic architectures, which are built up from such components. Which is what we know how to design.

    Notice, the Smith model, and its context of a two-tier controller, with the question as to a higher order contoller being a supervisory oracle. Computational processes are framed by organisation and are mechanically and/or stochastically governed.

    Such, are not free to act in the relevant sense required for rational inferences to be voluntarily taken on meaning and warrant judged as adequate. Reppert, again, is clear:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Ponder again a zygote, as first bodily expression of a member of our species. A cell with a unique but human genome and cell type. I never said the mind (considered here as candidate to be a supervisory oracle) is in the genome. Indeed, I implied that if a mind is to be free it cannot be so confined as a physically assembled computational entity. Such an entity will not be free enough to be rational.

    I repeat, the first thing to be understood is the limits of physically governed computation, under government of mechanical and/or stochastic forces. These exclude rational inference, as not free enough. That I repeatedly pointed to and drew out. As, yet again.

    That said, a human zygote is biologically human. Whether synthesised or coming from biological parents, human. That such could biologically develop in principle is not in doubt, but as I noted, we do not have in hand a definite understanding of how a developing human embryo becomes minded in the relevantly free sense if we are in fact free. The consequences of not being rationally free undermine genuine rational discussion. And if we are capable of delusion, we can believe [here, falsely, not merely perceiving inaccurately but misunderstanding and accepting as true what is false and misleading . . . requiring understanding and inference], requiring self-aware, self-moved mindedness, so we must be free.

    We do not know how, or of what character, but we know that. We don’t know how we become that way, we don’t know how to observe, but we know that such a supervisory oracle cannot be a composite entity, which is a part of computational substrates. Such must be inherently unitary, not assembled from interacting, independently existing component parts. Or, it would reduce to being a novel form of computational substrate. And ironically, we know from the first person self-aware perspective but lack further observational base other than seeing others credibly as we are. Tests of agility, choice-freedom, moral government etc can be devised, but simply allow us to infer to the invisible. But then, current physics is full of invisible entities we study indirectly, starting with the Thomson electron of 1897.

    We know how to create computational substrates but are not able to synthesise a mind. Of course, as ET highlighted, through procreation, we are parties to the conception and growth of new minded individuals. But that is not engineering work, it is fitting in with somebody else’s engineering work. Down to drives that make us willing to take on tasks that on cold calculation would be so onerous and risky that we would likely back away absent those impulses. And yet, the crimes of rape etc and the institution of marriage testify to responsible freedom.

    So, we must recognise our limits and gaps.

    KF

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    BB,

    On the contrary. I am not dissembling, I am dealing with a case of the invisible apprehended intellectually through its effects. Where in the added diagram in the OP we must recognise that system diagrams are abstract representations, showing functional interactions not necessarily particular discrete entities, i.e. elements may but need not overlap.

    (And indeed the suggestion of a fifth dimension as a way to perceive, allows us to see that while a supervisory oracle may present itself as embodied, and may have in effect attachment points where influences/interactions go back and forth, it may not be isolable to any particular locus in the body, and indeed the idea that such may be able to access remote locations in our space is on the table too. We note that the head and chest are noted centres of consciousness, with the heart being the traditional locus of emotional feelings and conscience, the head of intellectual activity, haptic perceptions being localised throughout the body.)

    That on theism [which is downstream of what we are dealing with, it is not the root of the argument] we are created as minded where minds are logic-of-being different from matter as currently known and future extensions, highlights a current difference of creative power. But that is only a highlight, without assuming or going into theism’s world-picture we can recognise that we routinely carry out intellectual and volitional, conscience guided feats that are not accounted for on a computational substrate. Even coming to believe falsely or freely following an argument or drawing a meaning-based insightful inference [as opposed to programmed output based on orgamisation, input, stored information etc] are manifestations of things a mechanically and/or stochastically driven and governed computational substrate cannot do. Reppert’s point holds, as does Leibniz’s longstanding argument in Monadology 17, cited in the OP:

    It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception [[i.e. abstract conception]. It is accordingly in the simple substance [–> the inherently unified monad], and not in the compound [–> composite made up from independently existing parts] nor in a machine [–> composite entity with function based on mechanical and/or stochastic interactions not insight, understanding, conceptualising, inferring based on meaning etc] that the perception is to be sought .

    In this context, our ability to design and build is of course an intelligent exercise. So far, we do so by taking advantage of the structures and properties of the materials of the physical world and of forces, laws and interactions that are mechanically and/or stochastically governed, to configure structures that work through blind cause effect chains amenable to our goals. The mill in view just above is a classic example, harnessing water or wind power through machinery to do desired work in the physical sense of forced, ordered motions. To grind, to saw, to stamp and crush ore, etc all being typical cases. The old mechanical calculator, Babbage’s difference and Analytic engines, Kelvin’s analogue integrator based tide predicting machines, the Ford series of naval gunfire aiming computers etc are all classic mills, though of course motive power moved to steam then electricity. Electronic machines are similar, using gate elements in amplifiers to effect desired outcomes, analogue operational amplifiers using structured feedback with high gain devices to effect mathematical operations. Digital devices use cutoff and saturation or the FET equivalents, by and large (emitter-coupled logic being a main exception historically superseded once shottky clamped transistors speeded up switching). Neural networks effect weighted summations by coupling signals to different degrees, effecting scaling, the memristor being one case in point. And the like. None of these are inherently about insight and intent of the substrate, apart from that of a designer.

    And of course those are what we know how to do. Using the fifth dimension picture, we can conceive of such and represent in a vector: (x, y, z, t, f) but that is not something that we can physically instantiate on compositions of components. Hence the appeals to emergentism. Which, generally fail by reduction to mill wheels grinding or by being manifestly a dimension f element in disguise. If free enough to do what a supervisory oracle does, then independent of and distinct from the xyzt elements, if bound tightly to xyzt elements, then reducing to their interactions. As Reppert pointed out.

    So, no, not dissembling or evading or confused or the like, just grappling with the challenge of mindedness. Where, recall, if we have enough of dimension f at work to be actually delusional, that is already enough to require a supervisory, non algorithmic, non computational, non-composite, inherently unified oracle. Calling it mind or soul or even a monad only responds to thought and terminology back to Plato and beyond.

    We cannot [yet?] do the job because our designs and technologies are locked to xyzt. We do not know how to access f technologically, though of course “emergence” gets pulled in regardless of the problems of being an inherently unstable concept. Dahak or Petey or maybe HAL or Mr Data etc just manifest the matter in our speculative “science” fiction, which is the eschatology of many devotees of evolutionary materialistic scientism. And yes, AI in strong form is the great hope, but the logic above persists.

    KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    H, tapping into as you suggested is an implicit form of emergentism; not likely to work that way around. The tapping into concept likely works the other way around, on a design hyp. That is, there may be a dim-f portal, a wormhole if you will, in the zygote . . . and onward across the human lifespan; hylemorphism is now present in a speculative way. Which of course brings up the latent issues of speculative quantum theory so beloved by some of our long-time contributors. That portal would be a bridge from which things come into the new human bio-entity, however and wherever formed. But that is speculation, not science. KF

    PS: I almost hate being driven in this way by the tide of a chain of ideas and linked duties of the mind, but this also ties into the world of abstracta present in any possible world, starting with those of structure and quantity and associated logic. Recall, identity and distinction point to archetypes in common and those that are particular, first to get to world W distinct from W’, as in particular aspect A so W = {A|~A} thence distinction from W’ a near naighbour. From this, we get that A is causally connected to framing W as distinct, which ties onward into how we may identify causal factors between close neighbour possible worlds. Then of course the partition of W manifests duality, simple and complex/composite unity, nullity, leading through von Neumann etc to ultimately the surreals, hyperreals and complex numbers [recall, vector-rotation structural forms]. I hate to admit it but Plato was onto something with his notion of forms, though like Aristotle, I am not buying his store. I think reality is rooted in ultimate mind which contemplates and acts, self-moved as Agent-0. We are obviously subsidiary agents. And no, WJM — I just know you are lurking out there somewhere — I am not reducing the world to effectively a grand mental exercise. I believe for cause in the substantial reality of the physical world. But, again, WJM has a point.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    NOTICE: I just notified WJM of his half-victory. And others. KF

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: The thought that someday, a speculation like a hyper-bridge to dim-f in us may become settled science is I confess unsettling. I guess, in part as it seems a back-door with a key. A key — maybe through quantum interactions and influences — that no zygote controls in the first instance and that maybe we gradually take over as we grow but may lose control of. As in, this is shockingly like a portal for things from our nightmares, or worse. The prospect is not entirely happy, but at least it opens up the world of what spiritual regeneration, indwelling and anointing may refer to — complete with how this last can charge an atmosphere and reach out across space, stirring resonances in the sensitive; something, I have noticed for decades. An experience that is happening here on a national scale just now in aftermath of an unsettling visit by a guest preacher. Too many things are tying together here for me to be comfortable. I warning label, speculative.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: This — by way of further stirring the pool — takes me back to App 8 in my longstanding always linked note (click my handle):

    22 –> So, we see Douglas Hofstadter — a critic, BTW, of such extensions of Gödel –conceding in his Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid:

    . . . Godel’s proof suggests — though by no means does it prove! — that there could be some high-level way of viewing the mind/brain, involving concepts which do not appear on lower levels, and that this level might have explanatory power that does not exist — not even in principle — on lower levels. It would mean that some facts could be explained on the high level quite easily, but not on lower levels at all. No matter how long and cumbersome a low-level statement were made, it would not explain the phenomena in question. It is analogous to the fact that, if you make derivation after derivation in [Peano arithmetic], no matter how long and cumbersome you make them, you will never come up with one for G — despite the fact that on a higher level, you can see that [the Godel sentence] is true. What might such high-level concepts be? It has been proposed for eons, by various holistically or “soulistically” inclined scientists and humanists that consciousness is a phenomenon that escapes explanation in terms of brain components; so here is a candidate at least. There is also the ever-puzzling notion of free will. So perhaps these qualities could be “emergent” in the sense of requiring explanations which cannot be furnished by the physiology alone [p. 708; emphases added.]

    23 –> Pulling the various threads together, we may now find a way for conscious reason to be credible [even if provisional], thus for the conscious reasoning mind that is sufficiently independent of — though obviously strongly interacting with — the brain-body system, that we can be confident in our thought. Otherwise, science itself falls into self-referential incoherence, absurdity and confusion. A first step to that, would be to examine some implications of quantum uncertainty and related phenomena for the brain and the mind. For instance, Harald Atmanspacher, writing in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy observes:

    It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness . . . .

    The original motivation in the early 20th century for relating quantum theory to consciousness was essentially philosophical. It is fairly plausible that conscious free decisions (“free will”) are problematic in a perfectly deterministic world,[1] so quantum randomness might indeed open up novel possibilities for free will. (On the other hand, randomness is problematic for volition!)

    Quantum theory introduced an element of randomness standing out against the previous deterministic worldview, in which randomness, if it occurred at all, simply indicated our ignorance of a more detailed description (as in statistical physics). In sharp contrast to such epistemic randomness, quantum randomness in processes such as spontaneous emission of light, radioactive decay, or other examples of state reduction was considered a fundamental feature of nature, independent of our ignorance or knowledge. To be precise, this feature refers to individual quantum events, whereas the behavior of ensembles of such events is statistically determined. The indeterminism of individual quantum events is constrained by statistical laws.

    24 –> This brings in a new level of considerations, but is itself not unproblematic. For, mere randomness is not enough; we need a viable mechanism of orderly, intelligent interaction.

    25 –> To get to that, we may not only use the above noted indeterminacy of particle behaviour as is found in Quantum theory; but also, we apply Einstein’s energy-time form of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For, at microscopic level force-based interactions between bodies can be viewed in terms of exchanges of so-called “virtual particles.” That is, once the product of the energy and time involved in a particle being exchanged between two interacting bodies falls below the value of Planck’s constant h (suitably multiplied or divided by a small constant), bodies may interact through exchanging undetected — so, “virtual” — particles. We can in effect have a situation crudely similar to two people tugging or pushing on opposite ends of a stick: they interact through the means of the intervening stick; which we then see as attractions or repulsions between the bodies. Thus, as the just linked explains in more details, the quantum theory of forces and interactions between bodies is now strongly based on Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty; yet another case where the deterministic view has been undermined, and one that opens the doorway to a model of the workings of the brain-mind interface.

    26 –> As Scott Calef therefore observes:

    Keith Campbell writes, “The indeterminacy of quantum laws means that any one of a range of outcomes of atomic events in the brain is equally compatible with known physical laws. And differences on the quantum scale can accumulate into very great differences in overall brain condition. So there is some room for spiritual activity even within the limits set by physical law. There could be, without violation of physical law, a general spiritual constraint upon what occurs inside the head.” (p.54). Mind could act upon physical processes by “affecting their course but not breaking in upon them.” (p.54). If this is true, the dualist could maintain the conservation principle but deny a fluctuation in energy because the mind serves to “guide” or control neural events by choosing one set of quantum outcomes rather than another. Further, it should be remembered that the conservation of energy is designed around material interaction; it is mute on how mind might interact with matter. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn’t say that He couldn’t do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we? [Article, “Dualism and Mind,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.]

    27 –> Within this broad framework, there have been several interesting suggestions. Of these, the Penrose- Hameroff proposal is quite original:

    It is argued that elementary acts of consciousness are non-algorithmic, i.e., non-computable, and they are neurophysiologically realized as gravitation-induced reductions of coherent superposition states in microtubuli . . . . Penrose’s rationale for invoking state reduction is not that the corresponding randomness offers room for mental causation to become efficacious (although this is not excluded). His conceptual starting point, at length developed in two books (Penrose 1989, 1994), is that elementary conscious acts must be non-algorithmic. Phrased differently, the emergence of a conscious act is a process which cannot be described algorithmically, hence cannot be computed. His background in this respect has a lot to do with the nature of creativity, mathematical insight, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and the idea of a Platonic reality beyond mind and matter . . . . With his background as an anaesthesiologist, Hameroff suggested to consider microtubules as an option for where reductions of quantum states can take place in an effective way, see e.g., Hameroff and Penrose (1996). The respective quantum states are assumed to be coherent superpositions of tubulin states, ultimately extending over many neurons. Their simultaneous gravitation-induced collapse is interpreted as an individual elementary act of consciousness. The proposed mechanism by which such superpositions are established includes a number of involved details that remain to be confirmed or disproven.

    28 –> In short, there is much room for both potentially fruitful speculation and future empirical research to test the ideas. (Yet another instance where the design-oriented view is anything but a science-stopper.)

    29 –> The Derek Smith model for cybernetics offers a further fruitful line of thought for understanding the mind-brain interface and also for developing an architecture for artificially intelligent robotic systems. Take a multiple input-multiple output control loop, with many effectors, sensors and feedback loops. A lower order controller acts to co-ordinate the processes, based on a projected path and a moment by moment comparison between actual and projected. Corrective action is taken to adjust performance to desired. A higher order controller provides a supervisory level, with the creative, imaginative insight and projections that lay out the path for action for the lower order motion etc. controller. Thus, the brain here can be viewed as the mind’s front-end input-output controller, with informational interfaces going both ways: brain-body and mind-brain:

    Back to the future?

    Tossing in a few blocks of C4, let us not forget that with dark energy and dark matter on the table, we may have a good grasp of maybe 4 – 5% of our visible cosmos. What if these dark things are in our bodies from the zygote on, implicit in the suggested hyper-bridge?

    I’m just saying, we need to realise how much may be going on that we don’t understand. I am not even willing, in this context, to dismiss gravitons as exchange particles.

  88. 88
    daveS says:

    KF,

    You’ve got to go easy on those energy drinks. 🙂

  89. 89
    hazel says:

    Yes, it would take an excessive amount of time to plough through all that and figure out what kf is saying.

    But this does jump out at me:

    The thought that someday, a speculation like a hyper-bridge to dim-f in us may become settled science is I confess unsettling. I guess, in part as it seems a back-door with a key. A key — maybe through quantum interactions and influences — that no zygote controls in the first instance and that maybe we gradually take over as we grow but may lose control of. As in, this is shockingly like a portal for things from our nightmares, or worse. The prospect is not entirely happy, but at least it opens up the world of what spiritual regeneration, indwelling and anointing may refer to — complete with how this last can charge an atmosphere and reach out across space, stirring resonances in the sensitive; something, I have noticed for decades. An experience that is happening here on a national scale just now in aftermath of an unsettling visit by a guest preacher. Too many things are tying together here for me to be comfortable. I warning label, speculative.

    I stand warned! 🙂

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, no energy drinks or other substances were involved — the strongest thing I drink normally is chocolate [as in cocoa powder not silly branded drinks]. But that does bring up the point of chemical imbalances, diseases and drug influences on the brain and perceptual side as well as potential to modify quantum effects. The dim-f or dim-5 concept is mathematical but is a mathematical portal in itself . . . an opening that simply invites us to explore a possible consilience of clues. Take it as exploratory, speculative model intended to allow us to see in ways we might not have, hitherto. Riddle: I build a house that is a perfect square, and each side faces south; I look through a window and see a bear, what is the colour of its coat? KF

  91. 91
    hazel says:

    White.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: to further open up our thinking, I think a few thoughts on the Casimir effect will be helpful. First, Enc Brit, on fair academic use:

    Casimir effect, also called Casimir-Lifshitz effect, effect arising from the quantum theory of electromagnetic radiation in which the energy present in empty space might produce a tiny force between two objects. The effect was first postulated in 1948 by Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir.

    In acoustics the vibration of a violin string may be broken down into a combination of normal modes of oscillation, defined by the distance between the ends of the string. Oscillating electromagnetic fields can also be described in terms of such modes—for example, the different possible standing wave fields in a vacuum inside a metal box. According to classical physics, if there is no field in the box, no energy is present in any normal mode. Quantum theory, however, predicts that even when there is no field in the box, the vacuum still contains normal modes of vibration that each possess a tiny energy, called the zero-point energy. Casimir realized that the number of modes in a closed box with its walls very close together would be restricted by the space between the walls, which would make the number smaller than the number in the space outside. Hence, there would be a lower total zero-point energy in the box than outside. This difference would produce a tiny but finite inward force on the walls of the box. In 1996 American physicist Steven Lamoreaux measured this force for the first time. The amount of the attractive force, less than a billionth of a newton, agreed with the theory to within 5 percent.

    In 1956 Russian physicist Yevgeny Lifshitz applied Casimir’s work to materials with different dielectric properties and found that in some cases the Casimir effect could be repulsive. In 2008 American physicist Jeremy Munday and Italian American physicist Federico Capasso first observed the repulsive Casimir effect between a gold-plated polystyrene sphere and a silica plate immersed in bromobenzene. The attractive Casimir effect can cause parts of nanomachines to stick together, and use of the repulsive Casimir effect has been proposed as a solution to this problem.

    In short, this is real stuff, in fact IIRC Nobel prize stuff.

    Wikipedia now:

    In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect and the Casimir–Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. They are named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir who predicted them in 1948.

    The Casimir effect can be understood by the idea that the presence of conducting metals and dielectrics alters the vacuum expectation value of the energy of the second quantized electromagnetic field.[1][2] Since the value of this energy depends on the shapes and positions of the conductors and dielectrics, the Casimir effect manifests itself as a force between such objects.

    Any medium supporting oscillations has an analogue of the Casimir effect. For example, beads on a string[3][4] as well as plates submerged in noisy water[5] or gas[6] illustrate the Casimir force.

    In modern theoretical physics, the Casimir effect plays an important role in the chiral bag model of the nucleon; in applied physics it is significant in some aspects of emerging microtechnologies and nanotechnologies.[7] . . . .

    The typical example is of the two uncharged conductive plates in a vacuum, placed a few nanometers apart. In a classical description, the lack of an external field means that there is no field between the plates, and no force would be measured between them.[8] When this field is instead studied using the quantum electrodynamic vacuum, it is seen that the plates do affect the virtual photons which constitute the field, and generate a net force[9] – either an attraction or a repulsion depending on the specific arrangement of the two plates. Although the Casimir effect can be expressed in terms of virtual particles interacting with the objects, it is best described and more easily calculated in terms of the zero-point energy of a quantized field in the intervening space between the objects. This force has been measured and is a striking example of an effect captured formally by second quantization.[10][11]

    The treatment of boundary conditions in these calculations has led to some controversy. In fact, “Casimir’s original goal was to compute the van der Waals force between polarizable molecules” of the conductive plates. Thus it can be interpreted without any reference to the zero-point energy (vacuum energy) of quantum fields.[12]

    Because the strength of the force falls off rapidly with distance, it is measurable only when the distance between the objects is extremely small. On a submicron scale, this force becomes so strong that it becomes the dominant force between uncharged conductors. In fact, at separations of 10 nm – about 100 times the typical size of an atom – the Casimir effect produces the equivalent of about 1 atmosphere of pressure (the precise value depending on surface geometry and other factors).[13]

    A bit more:

    The causes of the Casimir effect are described by quantum field theory, which states that all of the various fundamental fields, such as the electromagnetic field, must be quantized at each and every point in space. In a simplified view, a “field” in physics may be envisioned as if space were filled with interconnected vibrating balls and springs, and the strength of the field can be visualized as the displacement of a ball from its rest position. Vibrations in this field propagate and are governed by the appropriate wave equation for the particular field in question. The second quantization of quantum field theory requires that each such ball-spring combination be quantized, that is, that the strength of the field be quantized at each point in space. At the most basic level, the field at each point in space is a simple harmonic oscillator, and its quantization places a quantum harmonic oscillator at each point. Excitations of the field correspond to the elementary particles of particle physics. However, even the vacuum has a vastly complex structure, so all calculations of quantum field theory must be made in relation to this model of the vacuum.

    The vacuum has, implicitly, all of the properties that a particle may have: spin[15], or polarization in the case of light, energy, and so on. On average, most of these properties cancel out: the vacuum is, after all, “empty” in this sense. One important exception is the vacuum energy or the vacuum expectation value of the energy. The quantization of a simple harmonic oscillator states that the lowest possible energy or zero-point energy that such an oscillator may have is

    E = 1/2 h-bar w.

    Summing over all possible oscillators at all points in space gives an infinite quantity. Since only differences in energy are physically measurable (with the notable exception of gravitation, which remains beyond the scope of quantum field theory), this infinity may be considered a feature of the mathematics rather than of the physics. This argument is the underpinning of the theory of renormalization. Dealing with infinite quantities in this way was a cause of widespread unease among quantum field theorists before the development in the 1970s of the renormalization group, a mathematical formalism for scale transformations that provides a natural basis for the process.

    When the scope of the physics is widened to include gravity, the interpretation of this formally infinite quantity remains problematic. There is currently no compelling explanation as to why it should not result in a cosmological constant that is many orders of magnitude larger than observed.[16] However, since we do not yet have any fully coherent quantum theory of gravity, there is likewise no compelling reason as to why it should.[17]

    The Casimir effect for fermions can be understood as the spectral asymmetry of the fermion operator (-1)^F , where it is known as the Witten index.

    Relativistic van der Waals force
    Alternatively, a 2005 paper by Robert Jaffe of MIT states that “Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies. They are relativistic, quantum forces between charges and currents. The Casimir force (per unit area) between parallel plates vanishes as alpha, the fine structure constant, goes to zero, and the standard result, which appears to be independent of alpha, corresponds to the alpha approaching infinity limit,” and that “The Casimir force is simply the (relativistic, retarded) van der Waals force between the metal plates.”[18] Casimir and Polder’s original paper used this method to derive the Casimir-Polder force. In 1978, Schwinger, DeRadd, and Milton published a similar derivation for the Casimir Effect between two parallel plates.[19] In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.

    Opening us up to see more.

    KF

    PS: I add,

    http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/b.....simir.html

    Calculation by Don Koks, 2002
    Original by Philip Gibbs, 1997

    What is the Casimir Effect?

    The Casimir effect is a small attractive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged conducting plates. It is due to quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field.

    The effect was predicted by the Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir in 1948. According to the quantum theory, the vacuum contains virtual particles which are in a continuous state of fluctuation (see physics FAQ article on virtual particles). Casimir realised that between two plates, only those virtual photons whose wavelengths fit a whole number of times into the gap should be counted when calculating the vacuum energy. The energy density decreases as the plates are moved closer, which implies that there is a small force drawing them together.

    The attractive Casimir force between two plates of area A separated by a distance L can be calculated to be,

    F = [(pi h c)/ (480 L^4)] * A

    where h is Planck’s constant and c is the speed of light.

    The tiny force was measured in 1996 by Steven Lamoreaux. His results were in agreement with the theory to within the experimental uncertainty of 5%.

    Particles other than the photon also contribute a small effect but only the photon force is measurable. All bosons such as photons produce an attractive Casimir force while fermions make a repulsive contribution. If electromagnetism was supersymmetric there would be fermionic photinos whose contribution would exactly cancel that of the photons and there would be no Casimir effect. The fact that the Casimir effect exists shows that if supersymmetry exists in nature it must be a broken symmetry

    According to the theory the total zero point energy in the vacuum is infinite when summed over all the possible photon modes. The Casimir effect comes from a difference of energies in which the infinities cancel. The energy of the vacuum is a puzzle in theories of quantum gravity since it should act gravitationally and produce a large cosmological constant which would cause spacetime to curl up. The solution to the inconsistency is expected to be found in a theory of quantum gravity.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    H, correct and correct on the special polar point recognised in a closed surface that appears on first sight to be effectively 2-d but is a closed 3-d space. At that point, every vector in the space pointing away points S-ward. So, dimensionality is a subtle phenomenon with potentially significant effects. KF

  94. 94

    Note how misleading the terms “energy” or “force” are, such as in the sentence “the casmir effect is a small attractive force …” Effect? Yes. Force? No. Drawing an equivalence between models of behavior and that which is causing the behavior is one of the major breakdowns of science, philosophy and logic.

    Just as there is no such thing as matter, there are no such things as forces and energies. Science has disproved the former, careful thinking disproves the latter. While the terms are useful as colloquialisms, they have no place in serious arguments about the nature of existence.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A few summaries:

    Force — intuitively a push or pull, rate of change of momentum. F = dP/dt

    Work: forced, ordered motion, where dW = F*dx

    Energy — what has ability to do work (= cause ordered forced motion) is or contains energy

    Power: rate of work or of energy transfer.

    Potential — energy connected to state or location, thus configuration in a space

    KF

  96. 96
    hazel says:

    Yes, I wonder how WJM would suggest that physicists talk about the world? What words and concepts would they use? Does he have practical suggestions?

  97. 97

    I didn’t say anything about physicists or how the terms are used as placeholders in computational models. Both Hazel and KF should probably try and read my comment again.

    By “breakdown in science” I’m referring to the terminological and conceptual breakdown that happens when you reify the model of effects as the cause of the behavior.

    “Energies” and “forces” are not causing anything to happen; they are predictive models of behavior (a computational constant or variable that predicts outcomes) reified as the cause of that behavior.

    The question is, what actually causes the effects we refer to as “forces” and “energy”?

  98. 98
    hazel says:

    What is causing things to happen, then? Or are “predictive models of behavior” good enough, and “causes” are not something we can study? I recall a famous saying of Newton’s about this, I think.

    I know WJM has a particular view about the “nature of existence”, which we’ve discussed before. If that is what he is talking about, then I leave that to him.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, energy is a central concept in physics, tied to work, i.e. forced, ordered motion such that dW = F*dx. Here we see that energy is implied in work, and that displacement or deflection of points of application are involved. Thus, motion and change across time. Motion, tied to mass gives a quantity of motion, momentum P = m*v, bringing to bear inertial mass . . . which is connected to gravitational mass. F = dP/dt. Mass of course manifests energy through E = m_0 *c^2, m_0 being rest mass. Similarly, for light of frequency f, photon energy is E = h*f. Likewise, Einstein form uncertainty ties the product of uncertainties in energy and time to h multiplied by a small factor. This cluster comes up all over physics in various guises, and the sub-discipline, thermodynamics [in its various forms] studies energy and change. That these may be secondary, within a going concern cosmos does not alter their centrality as key parameters as we understand causal chains, factors and parameters etc within that cosmos. Energy in particular can be seen as the currency of physical processes, medium of transaction, store of value, yardstick of effort, metric of accounting [compare energy conservation and the balance sheet eqn where money flows], etc. And of course through the bridge that physical work is connected to economic activity, it ties to the economic world too. KF

    PS, from kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion,

    v^2 = u^2 + 2ax

    Introduce m as metric of inertia, resistance to acceleration:

    m(v^2 – u^2) = 2 max

    Taking out F = ma and taking the 2 across:

    1/2 * m(v^2 – u^2) = F*x

    Change in kinetic energy of a uniformly accelerated mass m is the work done to displace it through x by applied force F, and is reflected in the change of velocity. This also hints of what is absolute 0 for velocity, i.e. we look forward to one of the relativity issues.

    This is a first glimpse of energy, work and energy conservation.

    Bring in, that bodies interact in pairs, exerting equal sized, oppositely directed forces:

    Fx_1 = – Fx_2

    This points to flow of energy to perform work, thus conservation.

    In parallel, the same kinematics gives:

    v = u + at (we can see these from a graph of such motion with time)

    m (v – u) = mat

    m(v – u) = F*t, uniform acceleration

    Change of momentum is impulse (F here being average, this is how in a fast collision, with very fast change in momentum, peak force is very high).

    Going to differentials,

    mdv = Fdt

    Or, F = d/dt [mv]

    F = m dP/dt.

    Force is the rate of change of momentum.

    Likewise for bodies 1 and 2, Force F on 1 has opposite force -F on 2, so that

    Ft [on 1] = -Ft [on 2], momentum conservation.

    Consilience.

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    In post 97 WJM states:

    “I’m referring to the terminological and conceptual breakdown that happens when you reify the model of effects as the cause of the behavior.”

    re·i·fy
    verb
    make (something abstract) more concrete or real.

    A perfect example of this reification of a mathematical description into an actual cause is what has happened with Gravity. Although Newton himself originally held God to be the cause of Gravity,,,

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; ”
    Sir Isaac Newton – “Principia”

    Although Newton himself originally held God to be the cause of Gravity, Gravity has now been reified to the point, (especially by materialists), as being a stand alone cause. Although Gravity being seen as a stand alone cause in its own right is usually an unspoken assumption by physicists, Hawking himself was not so reticent and baldly stated the current situation as such.

    “Because there is a law of gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”
    – Hawking

    Yet despite this reification of Gravity as a cause unto itself, the fact of the matter is that Gravity is NOT a stand alone cause. The fact that General Relativity breaks down at blackholes is enough in and of itself to prove that Gravity is not a cause unto itself as is falsely assumed by many physicists.

    Professor Budziszewski puts the illegitimate reification of Gravity as such, “between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

    As Professor Budziszewski also alluded to in the preceding article, the thing that gets lost in this reification of gravity, (or the reification of energy, or of force, or of etc. etc…), is the Agent Causality of God and even our own agent causality.

    In fact, as Paul Nelson points out in the following article, this reification of purely ‘natural causes’ at the expense of the Agent Causality of God, and even at the expense of our own agent causality, has now been illegitimately codified as a supposed ‘ground rule for science’, by materialists, by what is termed ‘methodological naturalism’.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.
    If ID satisfied MN as that philosophical doctrine is usually stated, the decades-long dispute over both wouldn’t have happened. The whole point of invoking MN (by the National Center for Science Education, for instance, or other anti-ID organizations) is to try to exclude ID, before a debate about the evidence can occur, by indicting ID for inferring non-physical causes.
    That’s why pushing the MN emergency button is so useful to opponents of ID. Violate MN, if MN defines science, and the game is over.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

    kf seemed to be a bit reluctant to accept WJM’s observation that “”I’m referring to the terminological and conceptual breakdown that happens when you reify the model of effects as the cause of the behavior.” when kf stated this in response to WJM, “WJM, energy is a central concept in physics, tied to work,”.

    Yet WJM did not claim that energy was not a ‘central concept in physics’. If I understand WJM correctly, WJM merely claims that energy (and force) have been reified (especially by materialists) as a cause that is sufficient unto itself and this leads to a breakdown in physics as to properly ascertaining what the ‘real cause’ of physical behavior actually is.

    Moreover, energy, like gravity, is not a cause that is sufficient unto itself. As Anton Zeilinger, a leading experimentalist in quantum mechanics, states in the following video, “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    In this following video, Anton Zeilinger goes on to state that “”We know what the particle is doing at the source when it is created. We know what it is doing at the detector when it is registered. But we do not know what it is doing in-between.”

    “We know what the particle is doing at the source when it is created. We know what it is doing at the detector when it is registered. But we do not know what it is doing in-between.”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    Prof Anton Zeilinger Shows the Double-slit Experiment – video
    http://www.dailymotion.com/vid.....iment_tech

    Moreover, contrary to Zeilinger’s claim that “We know what the particle is doing at the source when it is created. We know what it is doing at the detector when it is registered. But we do not know what it is doing in-between.”, the fact of the matter is that not only do we not know what the photon is doing in between in the double slit experiment as it is traveling between emission and absorption, we really don’t even know how photons are emitted and absorbed in the first place.
    This following wikipedia article on quantum electrodynamics states that ‘It is important not to over-interpret these diagrams. Nothing is implied about how a particle gets from one point to another. The diagrams do not imply that the particles are moving in straight or curved lines. They do not imply that the particles are moving with fixed speeds. The fact that the photon is often represented, by convention, by a wavy line and not a straight one does not imply that it is thought that it is more wavelike than is an electron. The images are just symbols to represent the actions above: photons and electrons do, somehow, move from point to point and electrons, somehow, emit and absorb photons. We do not know how these things happen, but the theory tells us about the probabilities of these things happening.’

    Quantum Electrodynamics
    The key components of Feynman’s presentation of QED are three basic actions.[1]:85
    *A photon goes from one place and time to another place and time.
    *An electron goes from one place and time to another place and time.
    *An electron emits or absorbs a photon at a certain place and time.
    These actions are represented in a form of visual shorthand by the three basic elements of Feynman diagrams: a wavy line for the photon, a straight line for the electron and a junction of two straight lines and a wavy one for a vertex representing emission or absorption of a photon by an electron. These can all be seen in the adjacent diagram.
    It is important not to over-interpret these diagrams. Nothing is implied about how a particle gets from one point to another. The diagrams do not imply that the particles are moving in straight or curved lines. They do not imply that the particles are moving with fixed speeds. The fact that the photon is often represented, by convention, by a wavy line and not a straight one does not imply that it is thought that it is more wavelike than is an electron. The images are just symbols to represent the actions above: photons and electrons do, somehow, move from point to point and electrons, somehow, emit and absorb photons. We do not know how these things happen, but the theory tells us about the probabilities of these things happening.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_electrodynamics#Introduction

    And although, according to Anton Zeilinger, we cannot know exactly what the photon is doing in the double slit experiment between emission and absorption, we do know that while a photon is doing whatever it is doing ‘in between’ in the double slit, that the photon is mathematically defined as being in an infinite dimensional state,,,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

  102. 102
    bornagain77 says:

    ,, an infinite dimensional state that also takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the superposition of the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt: real numbers with their infinitely many decimals have infested almost every nook and cranny of physics, from the strengths of electromagnetic fields to the wave functions of quantum mechanics: we describe even a single bit of quantum information (a qubit) using two real numbers involving infinitely many decimals.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25344

    Now, saying something is in an infinite dimensional state to me, as a Christian Theist, sounds very much like the theistic attribute of omnipresence.

    Jeremiah 23:23-24
    “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away?” “Can a man hide in secret places where I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and earth?” declares the LORD.…

    And then saying something takes an infinite amount of information to describe to me, as a Christian, sounds very much like the Theistic attribute of Omniscience to me.

    Psalm 139:4-6
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

    Psalm 147:5
    Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding is infinite

    Moreover, the square root of negative one is also interesting to look at. In the following video, the discovery of the higher dimensional nature of the square root of negative one, which is integral to quantum mechanics, and the discovery of higher dimensional geometry, which is integral to General Relativity, are discussed:

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxy3JhPRlV0

    The history of the square root of negative one is particularly interesting to look at. Descartes had rejected complex roots and coined the derogatory term “imaginary” to describe the square root of negative one. Whereas, Gauss, who was the mathematician who finally clearly explained the higher dimensional nature behind the square root of negative one, suggested that complex magnitudes be called “lateral” instead of “imaginary” magnitudes since they represent a dimensional extension of the continuum. Gauss also proposed that complex magnitudes be awarded “full civil rights.”
    The author further comments, in the language of Plato’s allegory of the cave, complex numbers represent “forms” from a higher dimension casting “shadows” on the real number line.

    Complex Magnitudes
    Excerpt: Descartes had rejected complex roots and coined the derogatory term “imaginary” to describe the square root of negative one, , but Leibniz thought that “The divine spirit found a sublime outlet in that wonder of analysis, that portent of the ideal world, that amphibian between being and non-being, which we call the imaginary root of negative unity.”
    Gauss invented the “complex plane” (shown below) to represent these quantities. He suggested that complex magnitudes be called “lateral” instead of “imaginary” magnitudes since they represent a dimensional extension of the continuum.
    Gauss also proposed that complex magnitudes be awarded “full civil rights.”
    In the language of Plato’s allegory of the cave, complex numbers represent “forms” from a higher dimension casting “shadows” on the real number line.
    http://www.keplersdiscovery.com/ComplexNum.html

    And in quantum mechanics, we find that the square root of negative one is necessary for describing the “infinite dimensional’ wave packet prior to measurement.

    Why do you need imaginary numbers (the square root of negative one) to describe Quantum Mechanics?
    “Quantum theory needs existence of an x such that x^2= -1. The reason for this is that orthogonal function spaces, of dimension greater than 2, cannot exist otherwise. In fact the only place where i (the square root of negative one) is needed is in the wave packet prior to measurement. Even the Canonical Commutation Relation doesn’t need it. And nor do the eigenvalue equations. In those, any general scalar will do. But in the wave packet, you need an i.”
    – Steve Faulkner – Philosophy of Science, Logic, Epistemology
    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_do_you_need_imaginary_numbers_to_describe_Quantum_Mechanics2

    Now all this is pretty much exactly what we would expect to see under Christian presuppositions. But, on the other hand, under Atheistic materialism and/or naturalism, and the presuppositions therein, there simply is no coherent explanation for why we should find these ‘higher dimensional’, even ‘infinite dimensional/infinite information’, descriptions for the quantum wave packet to be as they are.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the basics of quantum wave collapse dovetail perfectly into some of the oldest philosophical arguments that were made by Aristotle and Aquinas for the existence of God, and even offers empirical confirmation for those ancient philosophical arguments. Michael Egnor states that ‘Aristotle 2,300 years ago described the basics of collapse of the quantum waveform (reduction of potency to act),,,’

    Stephen Hawking: “Philosophy Is Dead” – Michael Egnor – August 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The metaphysics of Aristotle and Aquinas is far and away the most successful framework on which to understand modern science, especially quantum mechanics. Heisenberg knew this (Link on site). Aristotle 2,300 years ago described the basics of collapse of the quantum waveform (reduction of potency to act),,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98261.html

    “In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But atoms and the elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts … The probability wave … mean[s] tendency for something. It’s a quantitative version of the old concept of potentia from Aristotle’s philosophy. It introduces something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality.”
    – Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy. London: Allen and Unwin. (1958), p. 41

    What Is Matter? The Aristotelian Perspective – Michael Egnor – July 21, 2017
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, almost alone among the great physicists of the quantum revolution, understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory and evidence.,,,
    Heisenberg wrote:
    “,,,The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater… was a quantitative version of the old concept of “potentia” in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality…The probability function combines objective and subjective elements,,,”
    Thus, the existence of potential quantum states described by Schrodinger’s equation (which is a probability function) are the potency (the “matter”) of the system, and the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act. To an Aristotelian (like Heisenberg), quantum mechanics isn’t strange at all.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/

    Here is a technical explanation and video of Aquinas’ First way argument for God where you can, at your leisure, see just how well the argument from motion dovetails into what we are seeing in quantum mechanics

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

    Or to put Aquinas’ argument much more simply “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”:

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    Thus in conclusion, if we demand that our causal explanations in science have causal sufficiency, instead of just mathematical consistency (as kf seemed willing to settle for in his response to WJM), then we are driven to the conclusion that God must be the ‘uncaused cause’ of energy. i.e. God is the explanation that brings causal sufficiency, i.e. closure, to our scientific explanations.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    Job 38:19-20
    “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?”

    Acts 17:28
    for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

  104. 104

    Thank you, BA77, for taking the time and effort to actually understand my point and flesh it out with (per your usual) extraordinary resource material.

    None of that, however, makes any sense if one insists that an physical, external world with actual properties exists independent of the status of the observer. The existence of such a world has been as experimentally disproved as much as anything in science has been or can be (local realism), yet materialists and theists alike resist letting it go. The true substance of reality has been revealed; it is information – boundless, limitless, infinite information. The true organizer of the experience of reality has been revealed – mind. It is both logically inescapable and scientifically proved.

    That anyone does not like it or ignores it is entirely irrelevant.

  105. 105
    Brother Brian says:

    WJM

    The true organizer of the experience of reality has been revealed – mind. It is both logically inescapable and scientifically proved.

    Then I guess there is no point talking about it.

  106. 106
    Axel says:

    But BB, that is true of all naturalists’ arguments. If you cling to the atheism, so comprehensively disproved, today, you are truly fortunate that you have non-atheist interlocutors on here. However, the latter seem to have inifinite patience. Maybe they believe that at the very least, deism could register with you some day in the future.

    It is not your intelligence that is impugned here, but your reluctance to comprehend the cogency of elementary arguments that is at issue. And the only remedy for that is supernatural grace ; which sometimes does break through eventually.

    You see, your response, although intended as a mild putdown, ironically says it all. Nevertheless, I doubt if you will want to stop arguing, for whatever mysterious reason.

  107. 107
    Brother Brian says:

    Axel

    You see, your response, although intended as a mild putdown, …

    Then I failed to make my point. My response wasn’t intended to be mild.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM & BA77 (and others),

    The focus for the OP is actually on ourselves as bio-cybernetic entities exhibiting rational, responsible, morally governed significant freedom. Without this datum, all else collapses as undermining rational freedom leads to grand delusion thence an infinite cascade of delusions/ discrediting, and absurdity. This applies to both sides, the rational mind and the embodiment. If the perceived embodiment is delusional, this too is a gateway to grand delusion.

    So, we need instead a framework whereby the one and the many are bridged and mind pervades embodiment at individual scale and onwards to cosmological scale. Where, let us refresh our understanding, in the electron beam version of the double slit exercise, the presence of structures/instruments that detect post-slit, is enough to resolve towards the particle model. That is, observer includes instrumentation, suggesting fields of extended influence as the Casimir effect explores for a pivotal case. That is, it is credible that within the Einstein energy-time uncertainty framework, there are field exchanges influencing outcomes that can act at appreciable distance and even reflect into macroscopic effects.

    That framework then leads to the issue that our intellectual functions cannot be reduced to computational substrates. Put another way, the manifest reality of physical embodiment in a common physical world [more on that later] — even with concepts like emergence — cannot escape the implication that this is a partial manifestation of reality, there is more. That is, we need a two-tier supervisory controller for the cybernetic loop, an i/o in the loop component [brain-CNS] and a higher order component that functions as a non-computational, non-algorithmic supervisory observer and oracle. Where quantum influence is a candidate for interactions. Such an oracle cannot be a composite of mechanically and/or stochastically interacting components, or it would fall under the problems of computationalism (perhaps extending our catalogue of reality’s contents), i.e. it is inherently unified. Such an observer and oracle can properly be termed mind or, historically, soul. Where, weak emergence [it comes along for the physically driven computationalist ride] falls back under Reppert’s exposure of want of capacity to effect rational inference. Strong emergence similarly lacks a credible account of how such emergence arises and by recognising — massively evident — top-down, mind over matter causation implies that we are amphibians, minded, self-moved embodied creatures who act as significantly free, morally governed agents and initiating causes.

    Above, I suggested as a window to help us conceive of the matter, that the four conventional dimensions need augmentation of a fifth: {x,y,z,t,f} which then allows spatial interface but also transcendence. Debates over zygotes led to suggestion that the zygote contains a quantum portal, open to that dimension, so that mindedness is opened up from conception and likely helps program fetal and onward development.

    Further to such, moral government implies mind operates on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap, requiring a sound bridge. Post Hume, that is only feasible at world-root. Thus, on centuries of debates, we see the only serious candidate [this is phil, not empty dogmatism, if you doubt, put up your own ____ and defend ____ i/l/o comparative difficulties . . . ] for such: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    Where, too, such is adequate to constitute, order and sustain a cosmos fine tuned for C-Chem, aqueous medium cell based life and the actual life in that cosmos, proverbially “by his powerful word,” i.e. by ordering principles, parameters, laws and linked dynamics etc. Much, as we observe.

    Where also, we have already established in this series that once a distinct world W is possible, it has in it some particular aspect A that marks it apart from a close neighbour W’. So, we see W = {A|~A} thus duality, unity [simple and complex], nullity [the partition is empty]. From this, a logic of structure and quantity is framework to any possible world, i.e. we see necessary being. From this, we readily see the necessity of natural numbers and associated sets: N, Z, Q, R, C, the transfinites, hyperreals, infinitesimals and surreals. Worlds are necessarily ordered, structural, quantitative, embedding intelligible rational principles and framework abstracta that constrain and structure being itself. Such abstracta are logically embedded and invite the inference they are eternally contemplated by mind. This is not empty reification, it is apprehension by mind of that which is of root-level mind.

    Hence, too, the relevance of my pointing out how at ordinary scales and speeds etc, there is a consilience of core principles tied to energy, momentum, space-time, force etc. Let me bring these down from above — and yes, I start from the humble case of simple Galilean kinematics:

    from kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion,

    v^2 = u^2 + 2ax

    Introduce m as metric of inertia, resistance to acceleration:

    m(v^2 – u^2) = 2 max

    Taking out F = ma and taking the 2 across:

    1/2 * m(v^2 – u^2) = F*x

    Change in kinetic energy of a uniformly accelerated mass m is the work done to displace it through x by applied force F, and is reflected in the change of velocity. This also hints of what is absolute 0 for velocity, i.e. we look forward to one of the relativity issues.

    This is a first glimpse of energy, work and energy conservation.

    Bring in, that bodies interact in pairs, exerting equal sized, oppositely directed forces:

    Fx_1 = – Fx_2

    This points to flow of energy to perform work, thus conservation.

    In parallel, the same kinematics gives:

    v = u + at (we can see these from a graph of such motion with time)

    m (v – u) = mat

    m(v – u) = F*t, uniform acceleration

    Change of momentum is impulse (F here being average, this is how in a fast collision, with very fast change in momentum, peak force is very high).

    Going to differentials,

    mdv = Fdt

    Or, F = d/dt [mv]

    F = m dP/dt.

    Force is the rate of change of momentum.

    Likewise for bodies 1 and 2, Force F on 1 has opposite force -F on 2, so that

    Ft [on 1] = -Ft [on 2], momentum conservation.

    Consilience.

    Where, we now recall that the correspondence principle obtains, i.e. there is a massive observation base sustaining this core as empirically valid so a constraint on quantum and relativistic theories is that they must reduce to this in the classical limit on pain of being inconsistent with observations. Where of course this helps to shape the said theories and opens up a broader understanding of key terms, e.g. the significance of Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence, the joining of gravity, inertia and acceleration in General Relativity, the pivotal role of Einstein’s energy-time form of uncertainty in the exchange particle view of the main forces of nature . . . hence the empirically confirmed Casimir effect, which points to a huge implicit energy store in the fabric of the observed cosmos.

    In this context, there is not an undue reification of such parameters and principles so much as a respect for empirically well grounded observations that this is how the world is ordered on lawlike frameworks that are in part at least intelligible to us. Also, manifesting a fine tuned pattern that points to designing mind as world-root [even through a multiverse].

    Here, let me note Wikipedia as outlining the”conventional wisdom, evolutionary materialism-shaped ideological viewpoint” threshold we must exceed:

    In physics, the observer effect is the theory that the mere observation of a phenomenon inevitably changes that phenomenon[1]. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure in some manner. A common example is checking the pressure in an automobile tire; this is difficult to do without letting out some of the air, thus changing the pressure. Similarly, it is not possible to see any object without light hitting the object, and causing it to reflect that light. While the effects of observation are often negligible, the object still experiences a change. This effect can be found in many domains of physics, but can usually be reduced to insignificance by using different instruments or observation techniques.

    An especially unusual version of the observer effect occurs in quantum mechanics, as best demonstrated by the double-slit experiment. Physicists have found that even passive observation of quantum phenomena (by changing the test apparatus and passively ‘ruling out’ all but one possibility), can actually change the measured result. A particularly famous example is the 1998 Weizmann experiment.[2] Despite the “observer” in this experiment being an electronic detector—possibly due to the assumption that the word “observer” implies a person—its results have led to the popular belief that a conscious mind can directly affect reality.[3] The need for the “observer” to be conscious has been rejected by mainstream science as a misconception rooted in a poor understanding of the quantum wave function ? and the quantum measurement process,[4][5][6] apparently being the generation of information at its most basic level that produces the effect.

    At macro level that is a typical point, to measure V and I in a circuit, the instrument necessarily interferes and so embeds an unavoidable inaccuracy. Extending to the quantum domain with wavicles, observation is disruptive, reflecting position-momentum and energy time uncertainties tied to h as parameter of granularity of the world. Where, yes, presence of instruments or natural circumstances that resolve the usual smearing out force an outcome and can lead to distinct possible cases, wave vs particle in double slit interference being paradigmatic.

    Let us refer to a Sci Daily report:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

    REHOVOT, Israel, February 26, 1998–One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.

    In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of “watching,” the greater the observer’s influence on what actually takes place.

    The research team headed by Prof. Mordehai Heiblum, included Ph.D. student Eyal Buks, Dr. Ralph Schuster, Dr. Diana Mahalu and Dr. Vladimir Umansky. The scientists, members of the Condensed Matter Physics Department, work at the Institute’s Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Center for Submicron Research.

    When a quantum “observer” is watching Quantum mechanics states that particles can also behave as waves. This can be true for electrons at the submicron level, i.e., at distances measuring less than one micron, or one thousandth of a millimeter. When behaving as waves, they can simultaneously pass through several openings in a barrier and then meet again at the other side of the barrier. This “meeting” is known as interference.

    Strange as it may sound, interference can only occur when no one is watching. Once an observer begins to watch the particles going through the openings, the picture changes dramatically: if a particle can be seen going through one opening, then it’s clear it didn’t go through another. In other words, when under observation, electrons are being “forced” to behave like particles and not like waves. Thus the mere act of observation affects the experimental findings.

    To demonstrate this, Weizmann Institute researchers built a tiny device measuring less than one micron in size, which had a barrier with two openings. They then sent a current of electrons towards the barrier. The “observer” in this experiment wasn’t human. Institute scientists used for this purpose a tiny but sophisticated electronic detector that can spot passing electrons. The quantum “observer’s” capacity to detect electrons could be altered by changing its electrical conductivity, or the strength of the current passing through it.

    Apart from “observing,” or detecting, the electrons, the detector had no effect on the current. Yet the scientists found that the very presence of the detector-“observer” near one of the openings caused changes in the interference pattern of the electron waves passing through the openings of the barrier. In fact, this effect was dependent on the “amount” of the observation: when the “observer’s” capacity to detect electrons increased, in other words, when the level of the observation went up, the interference weakened; in contrast, when its capacity to detect electrons was reduced, in other words, when the observation slackened, the interference increased.

    Thus, by controlling the properties of the quantum observer the scientists managed to control the extent of its influence on the electrons’ behavior. The theoretical basis for this phenomenon was developed several years ago by a number of physicists, including Dr. Adi Stern and Prof. Yoseph Imry of the Weizmann Institute of Science, together with Prof. Yakir Aharonov of Tel Aviv University. The new experimental work was initiated following discussions with Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Shmuel Gurvitz, and its results have already attracted the interest of theoretical physicists around the world and are being studied, among others, by Prof. Yehoshua Levinson of the Weizmann Institute.

    That is, we here see that a material entity acting as instrumental detector with adjustable effect, triggers a response in a double-slit situation in proportion to its action. This points to the sort of field effects suggested and hammers home the reality of quantum influence. There is room for our supervisory observer, oracle and controller interacting with the in the loop computational controller element, per the Smith model.

    So, yes, the cosmos is credibly rooted in and sustained by designing mind. Yes, that leads to partly intelligible, observable ordering regularities that can be seen as secondary causal factors, e.g. energy is the “currency” of physical interactions. Yes, those regularities lead to observer-interference effects which can be through a minded intervention or an instrument, or even just the effect of structures and entities that are present. Where, energy-time uncertainties and position-momentum uncertainties tied to field effects illustrated by the Casimir effect, are highly relevant.

    We have every reason to take both mind and matter seriously, though how they are real is in many ways ever more mysterious as our investigations advance. Indeed, “we see through a glass, darkly.”

    KF

  109. 109
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, you appealed to a ‘detector causes collapse’ experiment. I think you should read up on interaction free measurements which refute your position.

  110. 110
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes:

    “The question of whether detectors in double slit experiments physically cause the wave function to collapse was settled by experiments like the 1999 ‘Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser’ experiment. It was performed by a team of physicists led by Dr. Marlan O. Scully,,,. The experiment showed that the wave property of a photon could not possibly be collapsed into a particle by some physical effect of the detectors. That’s because there were no detectors between the slit and the screen so that the which path information was effected after the photons were already registered on the screen. Here is David Watkinson explaining the experiment.,,,”
    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9bXolOFAB8

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    The Renninger Negative Result Experiment – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3uzSlh_CV0

    An Interaction-Free Quantum Experiment (Zeilinger Bomb Tester experiment, and in the double slit experiment, the Detector can be placed at one slit during the double slit experiment and yet the photon or electron still collapses in the unobserved slit) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOv8zYla1wY

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?
    One common answer is that, in a measurement, the spin (or whatever else is measured) is put in an interaction with a macroscopic environment that jitters in an unpredictable way. For example, the environment might be the shower of photons in a beam of light that is used to observe the system, as unpredictable in practice as a shower of raindrops. Such an environment causes the superposition of different states in the wave function to break down, leading to an unpredictable result of the measurement. (This is called decoherence.) It is as if a noisy background somehow unpredictably left only one of the notes of a chord audible. But this begs the question. If the deterministic Schrödinger equation governs the changes through time not only of the spin but also of the measuring apparatus and the physicist using it, then the results of measurement should not in principle be unpredictable. So we still have to ask, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    Moreover, if decoherence really explained the measurement problem, then how is it possible that a photon is able to survive all the way to detection at the retina? The following paper found that the human eye can detect the presence of a single photon, the researchers stated that “Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,

    Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light – July 21, 2016
    Excerpt: Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had established that human subjects acclimated to the dark were capable only of reporting flashes of five to seven photons.,,,
    it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,” says Vaziri. “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    The gathered data from more than 30,000 trials demonstrated that humans can indeed detect a single photon incident on their eye with a probability significantly above chance.
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?
    – per physorg

    Human Eye, that “Clunky Design,” to be Used to Confirm, or Disconfirm, Quantum Mechanics – July 12, 2018
    Excerpt: Whether people can actually see a single photon, which requires the rod signal to propagate through the rest of the noisy visual system and be perceived in the brain, has been the subject of research for nearly 100 years. Early experiments hinted that people could see just a few photons, but classical light sources are poor tools for answering these questions. Single-photon sources have opened up a new area of vision research, providing the best evidence yet that humans can indeed see single photons, and could even be used to test quantum effects through the visual system.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/human-eye-that-clunky-design-to-be-used-to-confirm-or-disconfirm-quantum-mechanics/

    In related note to ‘interaction-free measurement’, it is now proven that quantum entanglement is possible without the physical interaction of the particles first. To drive the point home, in the following 2018 article Professor Crull provocatively states “entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted,,, it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.”

    You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time – Feb. 2018
    Excerpt: Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder, a team of physicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported in 2013 that they had successfully entangled photons that never coexisted. Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement swapping’ had already showed quantum correlations across time, by delaying the measurement of one of the coexisting entangled particles; but Eli Megidish and his collaborators were the first to show entanglement between photons whose lifespans did not overlap at all.,,,
    Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?,,,
    The data revealed the existence of quantum correlations between ‘temporally nonlocal’ photons 1 and 4. That is, entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted.
    What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.
    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    The following video also explains why decoherence does not solve the measurement problem: The irresolvable problem of deriving the “Born rule” within the MWI is discussed at the 4:30 minute mark

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    Bottom line, all materialistic conjectures that try to ‘explain away’ non-local wave collapse and entanglement fail for one reason or another. In short, Consciousness must be, and actually is, central to our understanding of quantum mechanics

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

  111. 111

    KF said @108:

    The focus for the OP is actually on ourselves as bio-cybernetic entities exhibiting rational, responsible, morally governed significant freedom. Without this datum, all else collapses as undermining rational freedom leads to grand delusion thence an infinite cascade of delusions/ discrediting, and absurdity. This applies to both sides, the rational mind and the embodiment. If the perceived embodiment is delusional, this too is a gateway to grand delusion.

    Your reasoning is demonstrably faulty, even as is your supportive evidence (as BA77 has already pointed out). A misapprehension about the actual nature of what we refer to as the “external physical world” is not the same thing as a delusion, nor does it necessarily “lead to” a state of grand delusion. Being mistaken about the nature of experience is not the same thing as being in a delusion – it just means the model of what we are experiencing is wrong.

    The mind is fully capable of error, misapprehension, cognitive faults, as well as experiencing things others around us that seem like fully real and physical phenomena, in both individuals and groups. We don’t accept that “all is lost to delusion and error” because the mind is capable of these things; in fact, even though the mind is prone to such issues, we must completely rely upon it to sort out the different kinds of experiences we have and judge them according to the principles of logic and evidence, AND to find errors. We have no option but to depend on an arbiter we know is prone to mistakes, misapprehension, and perceptual, interpretive and cognitive flaws. This is true regardless of whether or not there is an actual, external physical world because the only place we experience that world, even if it exists, is in our mind.

    If we see an illusion, like an oasis in the desert, it doesn’t mean that “all is lost to delusion.” If we misapprehend the nature of what we are observing, such as the sun moving through the sky or the solidity of matter, it doesn’t mean “all is lost to the potential of error.” Just because we have misunderstood the nature of what we are experiencing when it comes to a shared, continuous, consistent physicality, doesn’t mean that it is a “delusion”. It just means our model is wrong.

    Feel free to snippet my posts and BA77’s responses here (I’m sure he’d be okay with it) and make a new thread if you wish to examine this further; I’d like to see your best argument that an external (to mind – and note, I did not say “external to an individual loci of consciousness”) physical world is necessary in order for there to reason itself to be useful – and I’d be really careful making that argument because there are implications I don’t know that you’ve reasoned through – including any non-physical entity’s capacity to employ reason. I’d also be careful about any assumptions you may have about what I mean by “mind” – I’m talking about universal mind.

  112. 112
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If an intelligent being can create a human with rational, thinking, free will, etc, then there is no reason why another intelligent being can’t.

    Of course there is. It is called “ability”. That you are unable to think just exposes your agenda of ignorance.

  113. 113
    ET says:

    hazel:

    That is what the thought experiment brings out: if we created a genome, from scratch, based on thorough knowledge of the genome of human beings, and grew a “creature” from that genome that was from all external appearances a human being, would that creature be “ensouled”, or a meatbot, and how could we tell?

    LoL! As if anyone can grow a human with just a genome.

  114. 114
    ET says:

    We don’t know what it is that makes a human a human. We know that genetics influence and control development. But influencing and controlling are not determining factors.

    The reason this synthesized genome works with bacteria is simple- no body plan; no body parts; no cellular differentiation.

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    BA 77, my remarks specifically included the after the slits case. If the detectors influence in that case they exert a field of influence, likely they are interacting with the slit plate. KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the claim being addressed is that we are deluded about freedom to be rational, which leads straight through self referential incoherence to grand delusion. If we are not significantly free we cannot reason, and computational substrates are inherently non-rational. So, we are free to ask, what is required for a world to be such that rational freedom is possible. I add that being prone to error is not equal to grand delusion, indeed that error exists is a first case of an undeniably true claim. To be significantly free and rational is not to be error-free but that is different from catastrophic undermining of rationality by reduction to blind mechanically and/or stochastically governed computations etc. KF

    PS: If an instrument after a two-slit plate affects events in front of the slit, almost by definition of causal impact it is influencing the relevant phenomena, likely by interaction with the plate through virtual particle energy-time uncertainty effects.

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Being too busy to instantly give a major focus, I put up as FFThot, a Wiki clip on the 1999 delayed choice expt:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed-choice_quantum_eraser#Retrocausality
    Delayed-choice experiments raise questions about time and time sequences, and thereby bring our usual ideas of time and causal sequence into question.[note 1] If events at D1, D2, D3, D4 determine outcomes at D0, then effect seems to precede cause. If the idler light paths were greatly extended so that a year goes by before a photon shows up at D1, D2, D3, or D4, then when a photon shows up in one of these detectors, it would cause a signal photon to have shown up in a certain mode a year earlier. Alternatively, knowledge of the future fate of the idler photon would determine the activity of the signal photon in its own present. Neither of these ideas conforms to the usual human expectation of causality. However, knowledge of the future, which would be a hidden variable, was refuted in experiments.[21]

    Experiments that involve entanglement exhibit phenomena that may make some people doubt their ordinary ideas about causal sequence. In the delayed-choice quantum eraser, an interference pattern will form on D0 even if which-path data pertinent to photons that form it are only erased later in time than the signal photons that hit the primary detector. Not only that feature of the experiment is puzzling; D0 can, in principle at least, be on one side of the universe, and the other four detectors can be “on the other side of the universe” to each other.[22]:197f

    However, the interference pattern can only be seen retroactively once the idler photons have been detected and the experimenter has had information about them available, with the interference pattern being seen when the experimenter looks at particular subsets of signal photons that were matched with idlers that went to particular detectors.[22]:197

    Moreover, the apparent retroactive action vanishes if the effects of observations on the state of the entangled signal and idler photons are considered in the historic order. Specifically, in the case when detection/deletion of which-way information happens before the detection on D0, the standard simplistic explanation says “The detector Di, at which the idler photon is detected, determines the probability distribution at D0 for the signal photon”. Similarly, in the case when D0 precedes detection of the idler photon, the following description is just as accurate: “The position at D0 of the detected signal photon determines the probabilities for the idler photon to hit either of D1, D2, D3 or D4”. These are just equivalent ways of formulating the correlations of entangled photons’ observables in an intuitive causal way, so one may choose any of those (in particular, that one where the cause precedes the consequence and no retrograde action appears in the explanation).

    The total pattern of signal photons at the primary detector never shows interference (see Fig. 5), so it is not possible to deduce what will happen to the idler photons by observing the signal photons alone. The delayed-choice quantum eraser does not communicate information in a retro-causal manner because it takes another signal, one which must arrive by a process that can go no faster than the speed of light, to sort the superimposed data in the signal photons into four streams that reflect the states of the idler photons at their four distinct detection screens.[note 2][note 3]

    In fact, a theorem proved by Phillippe Eberhard shows that if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects.[23] (See reference[24] for a treatment emphasizing the role of conditional probabilities.)

    In addition to challenging our common-sense ideas of temporal sequence in cause and effect relationships, this experiment is among those that strongly attack our ideas about locality, the idea that things cannot interact unless they are in contact, if not by being in direct physical contact then at least by interaction through magnetic or other such field phenomena.[22]:199

    Note, the observers involved are instruments.

    KF

  118. 118
    bornagain77 says:

    kf’s reification of detectors into conscious ‘observers’ that collapse the wave function. Too funny. Perhaps we should award detectors full civil rights. 🙂

    Anyways, consciousness and free will are not so easily dismissed as kf via wikipedia pretends that it is

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.”
    – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

    As Steven Weinberg, an atheist himself, states in the following article, In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Moreover, although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, here is another recent interesting experiment by Anton Zeilinger, (and about 70 other researchers), that insured the complete independence of the measurement settings in a Bell test by using the free will choices of 100,000 human participants instead of having a super fast randomizer determine the measurement settings (as is usually done in these quantum experiments).

    Challenging local realism with human choices –  A. Zeilinger – 20 May 2018
    Abstract: A Bell test, which challenges the philosophical worldview of local realism against experimental observations, is a randomized trial requiring spatially-distributed entanglement, fast and high-efficiency detection, and unpredictable measurement settings. While technology can perfect the first two of these, and while technological randomness sources enable device-independent protocols based on Bell inequality violation, challenging local realism using physical randomizers inevitably makes assumptions about the same physics one aims to test. Bell himself noted this weakness of physical setting choices and argued that human free will could rigorously be used to assure unpredictability in Bell tests. Here we report a suite of local realism tests using human choices, avoiding assumptions about predictability in physics. We recruited ~100,000 human participants to play an online video game that incentivizes fast, sustained input of unpredictable bits while also illustrating Bell test methodology. The participants generated 97,347,490 binary choices, which were directed via a scalable web platform to twelve laboratories on five continents, in which 13 experiments tested local realism using photons, single atoms, atomic ensembles, and superconducting devices. Over a 12-hour period on the 30 Nov. 2016, participants worldwide provided a sustained flow of over 1000 bits/s to the experiments, which used different human-generated bits to choose each measurement setting. The observed correlations strongly contradict local realism and other realist positions in bi-partite and tri-partite scenarios. Project outcomes include closing of the freedom-of-choice loophole, gamification of statistical and quantum non-locality concepts, new methods for quantum-secured communications, a very large dataset of human-generated randomness, and networking techniques for global participation in experimental science.
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.04431

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, humans are indeed “brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

  119. 119
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, the following quote might help you understand quantum mechanics a bit more clearly: “when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.”

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

    New Book, Cosmological Implications of Heisenberg’s Principle, Argues for Purpose and Design in Nature – Casey Luskin – August 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Physicist Stephen Barr explains his view of quantum indeterminacy:
    “The death of determinism is not the only deep conclusion that follows from the probabilistic nature of quantum theory. An even deeper conclusion that some have drawn is that materialism, as applied to the human mind, is wrong. Eugene Wigner, a Nobel laureate, argued in a famous essay that philosophical materialism is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.” And Sir Rudolf Peierls, another leading physicist, maintained that “the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being . . . including its knowledge, and its consciousness, is untenable.”
    Why does it destroy materialism? Because any material system is subject to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics. Only once a mind observes (or doesn’t observe) some event can you have a definitive answer about whether the event did (or did not) happen. As Barr puts it: “As long as only physical structures and mechanisms are involved, however complex, their behavior is described by equations that yield only probabilities — and once a mind is involved that can make a rational judgment of fact, and thus come to knowledge, there is certainty. Therefore, such a mind cannot be just a physical structure or mechanism completely describable by the equations of physics.” Minds, therefore, cannot be strictly material entities or they too would be subject to such indeterminacy.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98321.html

    Further note:

    Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?
    Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm
    By Bernardo Kastrup on April 19, 2018
    Excerpt: ,, according to the current paradigm, the properties of an object should exist and have definite values even when the object is not being observed: the moon should exist and have whatever weight, shape, size and color it has even when nobody is looking at it. Moreover, a mere act of observation should not change the values of these properties. Operationally, all this is captured in the notion of “non-contextuality”: ,,,
    since Alain Aspect’s seminal experiments in 1981–82, these predictions (of Quantum Mechanics) have been repeatedly confirmed, with potential experimental loopholes closed one by one. 1998 was a particularly fruitful year, with two remarkable experiments performed in Switzerland and Austria. In 2011 and 2015, new experiments again challenged non-contextuality. Commenting on this, physicist Anton Zeilinger has been quoted as saying that “there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure [that is, observe] about a system has [an independent] reality.” Finally, Dutch researchers successfully performed a test closing all remaining potential loopholes, which was considered by Nature the “toughest test yet.”,,,
    It turns out, however, that some predictions of QM are incompatible with non-contextuality even for a large and important class of non-local theories. Experimental results reported in 2007 and 2010 have confirmed these predictions. To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself, the science press felt compelled to report on this by pronouncing, “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality.”
    The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/should-quantum-anomalies-make-us-rethink-reality/

  120. 120
    StephenB says:

    I understand that quantum mechanics refutes materialism (matter is all there is) but it is not quite so clear to me why it would rule out the existence of matter altogether.

    If matter doesn’t exist, then does that mean that human bodies, which are composed of matter, also do not exist?

    Given that the intelligent agent arranges and rearranges matter, and given that we detect design by recognizing that same arrangement, what exactly does the intelligent agent arrange, if not matter, and how can we detect the arrangement?

    Also, not one here has yet defended the proposition that we know things solely through “models.” Everyone seems to be assuming that point without defending it.

  121. 121
    bornagain77 says:

    Well it rules out matter as traditionally conceived:

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    Werner Heisenberg – As quoted in The New York Times Book Review (March 8, 1992). – “Uncertainty,” David C. Cassidy’s biography of my father, Werner Heisenberg

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I am not “reifying” detectors, I am pointing out that in relevant experiments the observations are taken by instruments of relevant kinds. Just a note in passing by for a moment. As for materialism, its refutation starts with its utter inability to ground the responsible, rational, significantly free mind; without which we cannot even credibly reason. F/N, since the 1920’s when Thomson jr did interference expts with electrons demonstrating wave properties and effectively since Rutherford established the nuclear atom c 1912 and so the atom as mostly empty space, the traditional picture of matter was dead. The whimsical term wavicles speaks to such. Above I gave a basic classical entry point due to the correspondence principle and its shaping role on how theories of the very small, very fast and very large are framed. KF

  123. 123
    StephenB says:

    I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

    Werner Heisenberg – As quoted in The New York Times Book Review (March 8, 1992). – “Uncertainty,” David C. Cassidy’s biography of my father, Werner Heisenberg

    I have no idea what Heisenberg means by that comment. This appears to be a classic case of philosophical overreach. If, as he suggests, the smallest units exist as “forms,” then he needs to provide a new definition for that word, which was always understood to mean an arrangement of matter.

    Is he saying that a form is not an arrangement of anything or he is saying that a form is an arrangement of other forms? How can I know if he, or someone else, doesn’t tell me? What is a form if not an arrangement of matter? How does one know that Mount Rushmore was designed in the absence of matter? Someone needs to explain that to me.

    Also, all my other questions persist.

    Another question would be this: Do we know more about what a dog is by observing or speculating on its atomic (or subatomic) structure, or by observing its nature? By whose authority do we choose the first formulation over the second?

  124. 124
    bornagain77 says:

    “the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense”

    That statement is pretty straightforward.

    As to his definition of forms, he referenced Plato, hence:

    The Allegory of the Cave
    Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.
    The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.
    In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Here is an illustration of Plato’s Cave:
    Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.
    So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says “I see a book,” what is he talking about?
    He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word “book.” What does that refer to?
    Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly:
    “And if they could talk to one another, don’t you think they’d suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?”
    Plato’s point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato’s view) to the real things that cast the shadows.
    If a prisoner says “That’s a book” he thinks that the word “book” refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He’s only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word “book” he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around.
    Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.
    When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds.
    Plato’s aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak depends on the Forms. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by “naming” the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in.
    The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word “book” refers to something that any of them has ever seen.
    Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive.
    https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm

    Here is another quote by Heisenberg where he bluntly states ‘atoms are not things”.:

    “The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct ‘actuality’ of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible…Atoms are not things.
    (Werner Heisenberg (1962). “Physics and philosophy: the revolution in modern science”, Harpercollins College Div.)

    Of further note:

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    (48:35 minute mark)
    “In the beginning was the Word”
    John 1:1 (49:54 minute mark)
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT
    https://youtu.be/s3ZPWW5NOrw?t=2984

    The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics? – May 18, 2009
    Excerpt: it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round. The implication is extraordinary: that somehow, information is the ghostly bedrock of our Universe and from it, all else is derived. That really is mind-blowing.
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/413515/the-foundation-of-reality-information-or-quantum-mechanics/

    “The thesis of my book ‘Being as Communion’ is that the fundamental stuff of the world is information. That things are real because they exchange information one with another.”
    Conversations with William Dembski–The Thesis of Being as Communion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYAsaU9IvnI

    and again, “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, (i.e. information), and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.”

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

  125. 125
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus may be of interest to some:

    Anton Zeilinger interviewed about Quantum Mechanics – video – 2018
    (The essence of Quantum Physics for a general audience)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z82XCvgnpmA
    40 sec: Every object has to be in a definite place is not true anymore.,,,
    The thought that a particle can be at two places at the same time is (also) not good language.
    The good language it that there are situations where it is completely undefined where the particle is. (and it is not just us (we ourselves) that don’t know where the particle is, the particle itself does not know where it is). This “nonexistence” is an objective feature of reality.,,,
    5:10 min:,,, superposition is not limited to small systems,,,
    7:35 min:,,, I have given lectures on quantum physics to children, 6 and 7 years old, and they understand the basic concepts of quantum physics if you tell them the right way.,,,
    9:00 min:,,, the main issue (with quantum mechanics) is interpretation. What does it mean for our view of the world.,,, “emotional” fights happen over what it means,,,
    15:45 min:,,, the fact that some of the brightest minds in physics have been working on this issue, (i.e. The unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics), for 80 years now at least, and have not found a solution means that the solution will be extremely deep. It will be extremely significant if somebody found it, and it will probably be in a direction where nobody expected it.,,,
    16:55:,,, Dark matter and Dark energy smell a little bit like the (fictitious) ether in the old electrodynamic theory.,,,
    17:30:,,, In quantum mechanics we have the measurement paradox (i.e. measurement problem),,, I think it (the measurement paradox) tells us something about the role of observation in the world. And the role of information.,, Maybe there are situations where we have to reconsider the “Cartesian cut”*,,,
    *Cartesian Cut
    The Cartesian cut is a metaphorical notion alluding to Decartes’ distinction of res cogitans (thinking substance) and res extensa (extended substance). It plays a crucial role in the long history of the problem of the relationship between mind and matter and is constitutive for the natural sciences of today. While the elements of res cogitans are mental (non-material) entities like ideas, models, or concepts, the elements of res extensa are material facts, events, or data. The conventional referents of all natural sciences belong to the latter regime.
    http://see.library.utoronto.ca.....utdef.html

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    John Wheeler (1911–2008) summarizes his life in physics – February 2014
    Excerpt: “I think of my lifetime in physics as divided into three periods. In the first period, extending from the beginning of my career until the early 1950?s, I was in the grip of the idea that Everything Is Particles. I was looking for ways to build all basic entities – neutrons, protons, mesons, and so on – out of the lightest, most fundamental particles, electrons, and photons.
    I call my second period Everything Is Fields. From the time I fell in love with general relativity and gravitation in 1952 until late in my career, I pursued the vision of a world made of fields, one in which the apparent particles are really manifestations of electric and magnetic fields, gravitational fields, and space-time itself.
    Now I am in the grip of a new vision, that Everything Is Information. The more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability to comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible fundamental roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical theory.”
    – J. A. Wheeler, K. Ford, Geons, Black Hole, & Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics New York W.W. Norton & Co, 1998, pp 63-64.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....n-physics/

    John1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

  126. 126
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Thus may be of interest to some:

    Well, we all have unachievable dreams.

  127. 127
    bornagain77 says:

    In post 122 kf claims that:

    BA77, I am not “reifying” detectors, I am pointing out that in relevant experiments the observations are taken by instruments of relevant kinds.

    And yet the clip that kf cited from wikipedia did not mention the role of the conscious observer, i.e. human observer, at all, only detectors. In fact kf stated at the end of post 108,

    “Note, the observers involved are instruments”.

    If that is not reifying detectors I don’t know what is.

    How kf, (given wikipedia’s overt bias against all things ID), would trust wikipedia as a authoritative source on this topic is beyond me.

    The following video clearly explains the crucial role of conscious observers, i.e. conscious humans, in the quantum eraser experiment:

    2:50 minute mark quote: “Observation is about knowledge. A conscious observer having knowledge of a system. And this is argued is what causes a particle to have a definite position. The act of observing (and thereby gaining knowledge) is the mechanism of collapse.”
    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    The following experiment went even further

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    i.e. The preceding experiment clearly shows, and removes any doubt whatsoever, that the ‘material’ detector recording information in the double slit is secondary in the experiment and that a conscious observer being able to consciously know the ‘which path’ information of a photon, is of primary importance in the experiment. As Asher Peres himself stated, “quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    i.e. The detectors must be secondary in regards to the primacy of the conscious observer’s specific knowledge about the system.

    Besides kf’s clip from wikipedia completely ignoring the central role that conscious observers play in the experiment, here is another peculiar statement from kf’s wikipedia citation in post 108,

    In fact, a theorem proved by Phillippe Eberhard shows that if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects.[23] (See reference[24] for a treatment emphasizing the role of conditional probabilities.)

    The reason I consider that statement to be peculiar is because one of the unintended consequences of “brushing infinity under the rug (Feynman)” in the unifying of Special Relativity with Quantum Mechanics was that quantum measurement itself was left on the cutting room floor

    As the following article states, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.,,, Bell never completed his planned quantum mechanics textbook because he could not devise a suitably relativistic theory of measurement.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.,,,
    Bell never completed his planned quantum mechanics textbook because he could not devise a suitably relativistic theory of measurement.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Thus for wikipedia to state that “if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects” is a complete non-sequitur since quantum measurement itself was left on the cutting room floor and isn’t even a part of quantum field theory.

    For crying out loud, quantum measurement is precisely where conscious observation makes its ‘spooky’ presence fully known and yet, to reiterate, quantum measurement is not even a part of quantum field theory. .

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    As the following researcher stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it.”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Thus since QED, quantum field theory, and by extension the standard model itself, has left quantum measurement, i.e. conscious observation, on the cutting room floor by “brushing infinity under the rug”, then it necessarily follows that our best theory of the interactions of the fundamental particles of the universe, i.e. our best ‘theory of everything’ thus far, i.e. the standard model, will never include an adequate account of consciousness.

    Moreover, to reiterate, fundamental attributes of Consciousness and the actions witnessed within quantum mechanics, despite what wikipedia may try to falsely portray to the public, correlate in very strongly.

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    i.e. We have very strong empirical reasons to believe consciousness is central to quantum mechanics.

  128. 128
    bornagain77 says:

    correction: this paragraph in post 127 should instead read as such,,,

    i.e. The preceding experiment clearly shows, and removes any doubt whatsoever, that the ‘material’ detector recording information in the double slit is secondary in the experiment and that a conscious observer being able to consciously know the ‘which path’ information of a photon choose how to measure a photon is of primary importance in the experiment. As Asher Peres himself stated, “quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77

    Passing by for a moment, again.

    In most relevant experiments, observations are taken instrumentally, and often the systems are automated. Even, back in the old days, film was often used to make record.

    The way my prof, way back, put the focal point on position-momentum uncertainty was, that to observe or measure you had to hit say an electron with something like a photon. That was going to bounce it, disturbing your measurement. Heisenberg’s expression gives in effect the tradeoff. But again, the actual process is one of physical interaction under controlled circumstances.

    Just for a reference, Wikipedia:

    Reification (from Latin res „thing“ and facere „make“) Is the process of reconceptualization of the immaterial, or abstract, by regarding it as a material construct, force, or value. bringing something into being, or making something concrete, and may refer to:

    Reification (computer science), the creation of a data model
    Reification (fallacy), the fallacy of treating an abstraction as if it were a real thing
    Reification (knowledge representation), the representation of facts and/or assertions
    Reification (linguistics), the transformation of a natural-language statement such that actions and events represented by it become quantifiable variables
    Reification (Marxism), the consideration of an abstraction of an object as if it had living existence and abilities
    Reification (statistics), the use of an idealized model to make inferences linking results from a model with experimental observations
    Reification, the perception of an object as having more spatial information than is present

    I note, detectors are pretty concrete entities.

    That said, earlier in this series I took time to show that certain abstracta are inherent to the logic of being of worlds and things in them, e.g. logic of structure and quantity thus numbers. The notion that such abstracta are somehow not real is highly dubious. Likewise, such abstracta can and do constrain how beings operate or what happens: || + ||| –> ||||| is an instance.

    Pondering particle physics way back when, one imposes a B-field as then electrical charges will have a centripetal force that allows inferring charge-mass ratios. A body of vapour that triggers a condensation trail, or a body of liquid that’s on superheat triggering local boiling on passing of same, led to path visualisations and the classic spirals. Today, there are huge arrays of detectors with coincidence triggering and counting, all duly computerised.

    Film is another well known detector.

    The designer sets up, the instrument arrays do the observing and measuring.

    The physics, depends on rational, responsible, free, very well trained minds.

    And, if you will scroll up to the OP, you will see how issues tied to that lead to discussion of bio-cybernetic entities with supervisory oracles as computational substrates are inherently non-rational.

    KF

  130. 130
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, you state,

    In most relevant experiments, observations are taken instrumentally, and often the systems are automated.

    You have yet to acknowledge the primacy of a conscious human observer in the experiments. You seem, especially with your repeated citation of Wikipedia on the subject, very much to give primacy to the instruments themselves as conscious ‘observers’ i.e. as far as I can tell with your current exchange with WJM and repeated citation of wikipedia, you have illegitimately ‘reified’ detectors to the status of conscious observers themselves.,, Should we grant detectors full civil rights?,,, Again, Consciousness and free will are of primary importance to our understanding of quantum mechanics. The detectors are of secondary importance.

    For instance, in regards to free will, we find that as leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    As well, with contextuality we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    Thus kf, unless you want to hold that the detectors are somehow choosing their own measurement settings, you might want to honestly admit that human observers are playing a far bigger role in quantum mechanics than you have thus far been willing to clearly acknowledged in this thread.

    As Steven Weinberg, an atheist himself, states in the following article, In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Moreover, although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, here is another recent interesting experiment by Anton Zeilinger, (and about 70 other researchers), that insured the complete independence of the measurement settings in a Bell test by using the free will choices of 100,000 human participants instead of having a super fast randomizer determine the measurement settings (as is usually done in these quantum experiments).

    Challenging local realism with human choices – A. Zeilinger – 20 May 2018
    Abstract: A Bell test, which challenges the philosophical worldview of local realism against experimental observations, is a randomized trial requiring spatially-distributed entanglement, fast and high-efficiency detection, and unpredictable measurement settings. While technology can perfect the first two of these, and while technological randomness sources enable device-independent protocols based on Bell inequality violation, challenging local realism using physical randomizers inevitably makes assumptions about the same physics one aims to test. Bell himself noted this weakness of physical setting choices and argued that human free will could rigorously be used to assure unpredictability in Bell tests. Here we report a suite of local realism tests using human choices, avoiding assumptions about predictability in physics. We recruited ~100,000 human participants to play an online video game that incentivizes fast, sustained input of unpredictable bits while also illustrating Bell test methodology. The participants generated 97,347,490 binary choices, which were directed via a scalable web platform to twelve laboratories on five continents, in which 13 experiments tested local realism using photons, single atoms, atomic ensembles, and superconducting devices. Over a 12-hour period on the 30 Nov. 2016, participants worldwide provided a sustained flow of over 1000 bits/s to the experiments, which used different human-generated bits to choose each measurement setting. The observed correlations strongly contradict local realism and other realist positions in bi-partite and tri-partite scenarios. Project outcomes include closing of the freedom-of-choice loophole, gamification of statistical and quantum non-locality concepts, new methods for quantum-secured communications, a very large dataset of human-generated randomness, and networking techniques for global participation in experimental science.
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.04431

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    kf, I can go on with other experiments that further verify my point about the primacy of the conscious observer in these experiments. And the secondary importance of the detector.

    My main point is that WJM is correct in his claim about the primacy of mind.

    If you disagree with WJM we will continue on with the evidence, at a snails pace if need be, until you finally understand.

  131. 131
    Brother Brian says:

    I haven’t followed this discussion on reality and the observer, and I have no intention of reading thousands of obtuse words written by BA77 and KF. But I assume that it is the same nonsense about reality not existing until it is observed.

    How do you explain historic temperature estimates based on stable isotope ratios? Do the stable isotope ratios not exist until they are observed? Or do the historic temperatures not exist until the isotope ratios are observed?

    What about the discovery of fossils? Do the fossils not exist until we observe them? Do the animals that lived millions of years ago not exist until we observe the fossils?

  132. 132
    StephenB says:

    Since matter is said not to exist (as it has been understood in the past), we must find a way to explain what that can mean. To say that matter exists, but not in the traditional way of understanding matter is a long way from saying that it does not exist at all. Yet these two ideas are being conflated

    It has been proposed here that Plato’s theory of forms can serve that purpose of explaining this riddle, but as far as I can tell, only an Aristotelian explanation can make sense of it. Without going into much detail, the idea is this: From a quantum perspective, matter exists potentially and after a certain point, it exists in actuality. I don’t think any other solution can be made to work. One we take this approach, we can address all my other questions about design detection.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    SB,

    you will notice, when such issues came up, I started from a very simple point, to establish the relevance of energy, force, momentum and work, concepts that had been challenged when they appeared in the context of the Casimir effect, one of those paradigmatic test cases that brings out the substantial import of a domain of study.

    By putting up basic kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion, introducing mass as a metric of resistance to acceleration and noting that bodies interact in pairs, exerting equally sized, oppositely directed forces, we can see that energy, work, force and momentum form a cluster at the core of physics. Indeed, energy and momentum conservation are already apparent and these extend across classical physics. I then noted that these results are strongly observationally confirmed and lead to the correspondence principle: results that obtain for more modern theories adapted to the very small and/or fast moving must reduce to this core in the classical limit of large scales and slow moving objects.

    This leads to these concepts and their extensions and reinterpretations being keys to more advanced topics. In particular, work and energy as well as momentum tend to be cross-cutting themes. Further to this, matter as commonly experienced becomes recognised as a quantised, atomic and molecular system, with fields of influence playing a key part.

    The atom is mostly empty space and constituent particles are not like classic tiny cricket balls, instead we deal with a duality of waves and particles, which manifest different results depending on circumstances, in the case of extended two-slit interference experiments, we may get particle or wave effects in contexts that raise questions about time-reversed causation. Resolving such issues leads to key insights or at least appreciation that at micro scale the world is a very strange place.

    Of course, in experiments, detectors are commonly used to make observations, and exploit quantum interactions.

    That such are not just matters of experiments we set up or our active observation can be seen in the case of rocks that exhibit radio-halos as RA decay leads to a ring — strictly, a sphere — of altered, discoloured material. The rock matrix with a RA particle embedded is a natural detector and the chain of decays as nuclides migrate down to lead can lead to concentric rings. In the case in the linked article, U-238 is the suspected source.

    Of course, “observer” is here used in an odd sense, but that is common in science and engineering, my favourite being the question of observability of a system’s state.

    Going beyond, with a lot of complex work, we arrive at Quantum Field theory, which extends to many interacting particles . . . wavicles is a whimsical term . . . and to domains of investigation that deal with fast moving particles such as we often encounter in particle physics. The math is hairy, but this is now state of the art.

    However, as we trace back to that historic observationally warranted core, the correspondence principle will obtain, concepts of momentum and energy etc are extended and deepened but they are locked to a compatibility with the empirically well supported classical results. Thus, we should not speak as though the classic concepts of energy, work, momentum, force, inertia/mass, etc are discarded or meaningless, that only creates a fog of bewilderment.

    I should add, that the concept of a field is at core, spatially distributed quantities, e.g. a magnet exerts measurable influence around it, and so does a massive object.

    KF

    PS: Let us look at that humble classical case:

    from kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion,

    v^2 = u^2 + 2ax

    Introduce m as metric of inertia, resistance to acceleration:

    m(v^2 – u^2) = 2 max

    Taking out F = ma and taking the 2 across:

    1/2 * m(v^2 – u^2) = F*x

    Change in kinetic energy of a uniformly accelerated mass m is the work done to displace it through x by applied force F, and is reflected in the change of velocity. This also hints of what is absolute 0 for velocity, i.e. we look forward to one of the relativity issues.

    This is a first glimpse of energy, work and energy conservation.

    Bring in, that bodies interact in pairs, exerting equal sized, oppositely directed forces:

    Fx_1 = – Fx_2

    This points to flow of energy to perform work, thus conservation.

    In parallel, the same kinematics gives:

    v = u + at (we can see these from a graph of such motion with time)

    m (v – u) = mat

    m(v – u) = F*t, uniform acceleration

    Change of momentum is impulse (F here being average, this is how in a fast collision, with very fast change in momentum, peak force is very high).

    Going to differentials,

    mdv = Fdt

    Or, F = d/dt [mv]

    F = m dP/dt.

    Force is the rate of change of momentum.

    Likewise for bodies 1 and 2, Force F on 1 has opposite force -F on 2, so that

    Ft [on 1] = -Ft [on 2], momentum conservation.

    Consilience.

    Onward developments, however complicated and abstruse, must in the classical limit correspond to these well-confirmed findings for large slow moving objects. The concepts drawn out therefore have a subtle, pervasive influence.

  134. 134
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, if you can’t be bothered to actually read and follow a discussion, snide dismissive commentary serves only to show that you are failing the test of good faith participation in a fairly significant albeit somewhat tangential discussion. I suggest, you would be well advised to reconsider the significance of moral government of our intellectual life in light of the inescapability of manifest duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant), fairness and justice etc. Your triple fail here in a dismissive attempt speaks volumes. KF

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I suggest you ponder the case of radio-halos in rocks as illustrative of naturally occurring detectors of quantum, radioactive processes, credibly antecedent to human observer action . . . we come along and slice open the rock, seeing the halos and inferring their source, here, likely a U-238 decay chain towards lead leaving rings corresponding to the quantised energy released (in effect, high energy particles affect rock compounds until energy is exhausted the ring marking the quantisation of their MeV level energy coming from RA decay reactions in the nucleus); this is similar to how, 8 minutes after emission by the sun, we can capture the spectrum of absorption lines showing quantum processes that we did not set up or twiddle the knobs on, etc, with similar Fraunhoffer lines in stellar spectra extending the detection to things that are many light years away, easily exceeding creation of instruments capable of detecting. In this case, continuous spectrum light interacts with fairly scattered atoms which absorb lines corresponding to quantum jumps and re-radiate in all directions, reducing the intensity on the direct line to us, appearing as dark lines corresponding to known emission lines. Thus we have a detection process involving a radiation flux and remote spectrometers that pick up at classical macro-level a process that is micro and quantum. Yes, speaking of detectors and measuring instruments as observers is odd terminology but it is long since there as common enough practice. The case in view shows that a rock matrix can be enough of an observer to be relevant. KF

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A clip from SEP on retrocausality and the “bilking” argument:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-retrocausality/#ObjeAgaiRetrQuanMech

    Retrocausality in Quantum Mechanics
    First published Mon Jun 3, 2019

    Quantum theory provides a framework for modern theoretical physics that enjoys enormous predictive and explanatory success. Yet, in view of the so-called “measurement problem”, there is no consensus on how physical reality can possibly be such that this framework has this success. The theory is thus an extremely well-functioning algorithm to predict and explain the results of observations, but [there is] no consensus on which kind of objective reality might plausibly underlie these observations.

    Amongst the many attempts to provide an “interpretation” of quantum theory to account for this predictive and explanatory success, one class of interpretations hypothesizes backward-in-time causal influences—retrocausality—as the basis for constructing a convincing foundational account of quantum theory. This entry presents an overview of retrocausal approaches to the interpretation of quantum theory, the main motivations for adopting this approach, a selection of concrete suggested retrocausal models, and a review of the objections brought forward against such approaches . . . .

    2.1 Causality

    There is a tradition that stretches back at least as far as Russell (1913) that denies that there is any place for causal notions in the fundamental sciences, including physics: the notion serves no purpose, and simply does not appear, in the fundamental sciences. The argument goes that, since at least the nineteenth century, the laws that govern physical behavior in fundamental sciences such as physics are almost always differential equations. Such equations are notable for specifying, given some initial conditions, exact properties of systems for all time. And thus if everything is specified for all time, there is no place left for causality. Thus Russell advocates that “causality” should be eliminated from the philosophers lexicon, because it is certainly not a part of the scientific lexicon. [–> I suggest, thermodynamics brings back cause, grounding a temporal-causal view of physical reality tied to entropy and thermodynamic equilibrium.]

    In contrast to Russell’s position, Cartwright (1979: 420) claims that we do have a need and use for a causal vocabulary in science: “causal laws cannot be done away with, for they are needed to ground the distinction between effective strategies and ineffective ones”. One of the main contemporary accounts of causation, the interventionist account of causation (Woodward 2003; see also the entry on causation and manipulability), is an embodiment of Cartwright’s dictum. In a nutshell, the interventionist account claims that A is a cause of B if and only if manipulating A is an effective means of (indirectly) manipulating B. [–> try, neighbouring worlds W and W’ with state of A the material difference and state of B as an observable result, e.g. oxidiser, heat, fuel, combustion chain reaction and fire] Causality in the present entry, unless specified otherwise, should be understood along broadly interventionist lines. According to accounts of quantum theory that hypothesize retrocausality, manipulating the setting of a measurement apparatus can be an effective means of manipulating aspects of the past . . . .

    2.2 Locality

    According to Bell’s theorem (Bell 1964; Clauser et al. 1969; see also the entry on Bell’s theorem) and its descendants (e.g., Greenberger, Horne, & Zeilinger 1989; see also Goldstein et al. 2011; Brunner et al. 2014 for an overview), any theory that reproduces all the correlations of measurement outcomes predicted by quantum theory must violate a principle that Bell calls local causality (Bell 1976, 1990; see also Norsen 2011; Wiseman & Cavalcanti 2017). In a locally causal theory, probabilities of spatiotemporally localized events occurring in some region 1 are independent of what occurs in a region 2 that is spacelike separated from region 1, given a complete specification of what occurs in a spacetime region 3 in region 1’s backward light cone that completely shields off region 1 from the backward light cone of region 2. (See, for instance, Figs. 4 and 6 in Bell 1990 or Fig. 2 in Goldstein et al. 2011.)

    In a relativistic setting, then, the notion of locality involves prohibiting conditional dependences between spacelike separated events, provided that the region upon which these spacelike separated events are conditioned constitutes their common causal (Minkowski) past. This characterization of locality implicitly assumes causal asymmetry. Thus locality is the idea that there are no causal relations between spacelike separated events.

    There is another sense of “local” that is sometimes used that will be worth avoiding for the purposes of clarity. This is the idea that causal influences are constrained along timelike trajectories. Thus, given Costa de Beauregard’s suggestion of “zigzag” causal influences, it is perfectly possible for a retrocausal model of quantum phenomena to be nonlocal in the sense that causal relations exist between spacelike separated events, but “local” in the sense that these causal influences are mediated by timelike trajectories. To avoid ambiguity, it will be useful to refer to this latter sense as “action-by-contact” (set apart from action-at-a-distance) . . . .

    7.1 General Arguments Against Retrocausality

    There is a tradition in philosophy for regarding the very idea of retrocausality as incoherent. The most prominent worry, forcefully made by Black (1956), is the so-called “bilking argument” (see the entry on time travel). Imagine a pair of events, a cause, C, and an effect, E, which we believe to be retrocausally connected (E occurs earlier in time than C). It seems possible to devise an experiment which could confirm whether our belief in the retrocausal connection is correct or not. Namely, once we had observed that E had occurred, we could then set about ensuring that C does not occur, thereby breaking any retrocausal connection that could have existed between them. If we were successful in doing this, then the effect would have been “bilked” of its cause.

    The bilking argument drives one towards the claim that any belief an agent might hold in the positive retrocausal correlation between event C and event E is simply false. However, Dummett (1964) disputes that giving up this belief is the only solution to the bilking argument. Rather, according to Dummett, what the bilking argument actually shows is that a set of three conditions concerning the two events, and the agent’s relationship to them, is incoherent:

    i There exists a positive correlation between an event C and an event E.
    ii Event C is within the power of an agent to perform.
    iii The agent has epistemic access to the occurrence of event E independently of any intention to bring it about.

    It is interesting to note that these conditions do not specify in which order events C and E occur. On simple reflection, there is a perfectly natural reason why it is not possible to bilk future effects of their causes, since condition (iii) fails to hold for future events: we simply have no access to which future events occur independently of the role we play as causal agents to bring the events about. When we lack that epistemic access to past events, the same route out of the bilking argument becomes available.

    Dummett’s defense against the bilking argument is especially relevant to quantum mechanics. In fact, once a suitable specification is made of how condition (iii) can be violated, we find that there exists a strong parallel between the conditions which need to hold to justify a belief in bringing about the past and the structure of quantum mechanics. Price (1996: 174) points out that bilking is impossible in the following circumstances: rather than suppose that a violation of condition (iii) entails that the relevant agent has no epistemic access to the relevant past events independently of any intention to bring them about, suppose that the means by which knowledge of these past events is gathered breaks the claimed correlation between the agent’s action and those past events. Such a condition can be stated as follows:

    iv The agent can gain epistemic access to the occurrence of event E independently of any intention to bring it about and without altering event E from what it would have been had no epistemic access been gained.

    The significance of this weakened violation of condition (iii) is that it is just the sort of condition one would expect to hold if the system in question were a quantum system. The very nature of quantum mechanics ensures that any claimed positive correlation between the future measurement settings and the hidden variables characterizing a quantum system cannot possibly be bilked of their causes because condition (iv) is perennially violated. Moreover, so long as we subscribe to the epistemic interpretation of the wavefunction, we lack epistemic access to the “hidden” variables of the system and we lack this access in principle as a result of the structure of quantum theory.

    Another prominent challenge against the very idea of retrocausality is that it inevitably would give rise to vicious causal loops (Mellor 1998). (See Faye 1994 for a response and the entry on backward causation for a more detailed review of the objections raised against the idea of retrocausality.) . . . .

    7.3 Contextuality for Exotic Causal Structures

    Recall (§3.2) that Spekkens’ (2005) claim that no noncontextual ontological model can reproduce the observed statistics of quantum theory based on his principle of parsimony (that there can be no ontological difference without operational difference) was sidestepped by retrocausal approaches due to the explicit assumption of the ontological models framework that the ontic state is independent of the measurement procedure (i.e., that there is no retrocausality). It was noted there the possibility that Spekkens’ principle of parsimony might be recast to apply more generally to retrocausal models. Shrapnel and Costa (2018) achieve just this in a no-go theorem that applies to any exotic causal structure used to sidestep the ontological models framework, including retrocausal accounts, rendering such models contextual after all.

    Shrapnel and Costa’s result is based on a generalization of the ontological models framework which replaces the operational preparation, transformation, and measurement procedures with the temporally and causally neutral notions of local controllables and environmental processes that mediate correlations between different local systems, and generate the joint statistics for a set of events. “These include any global properties, initial states, connecting mechanisms, causal influence, or global dynamics” (2018: 5). Furthermore, they replace the ontic state ?
    with the ontic “process” ?

    :

    our ontic process captures the physical properties of the world that remain invariant under our local operations. That is, although we allow local properties to change under specific operations, we wish our ontic process to capture those aspects of reality that are independent of this probing. (2018: 8)

    As a result, the notion of ?
    -mediation (encountered in §4.1) is replaced by the notion of ?-mediation, in which the ontic process ?

    completely specifies the properties of the environment that mediate correlations between regions, and screens off outcomes produced by local controllables from the rest of the environment. Shrapnel and Costa (2018: 9) define the notion of “instrument noncontextuality” as a law of parsimony (along the lines of Spekkens’ own definition of noncontextuality): “Operationally indistinguishable pairs of outcomes and local controllables should remain indistinguishable at the ontological level”. They then show that no instrument noncontextual model can reproduce the quantum statistical predictions.

    Crucially, what is contextual is not just the traditional notion of “state”, but any supposedly objective feature of the theory, such as a dynamical law or boundary condition. (2018: 2)

    Since preparations, transformations, and measurements have been replaced by local controllables, there is no extra assumption in Shrapnel and Costa’s framework that ?

    is correlated with some controllables but independent of others. Thus the usual route out of the ontological models framework, and so the no-go theorems of §3, open to retrocausal approaches—that the framework assumes no retrocausality—is closed off in the Shrapnel-Costa theorem, rendering retrocausal approaches contextual along with the rest of the models captured by the ontological models framework.

    This presents a significant worry for retrocausal approaches to quantum theory. If the main motivation for pursing the hypothesis of retrocausality is to recapture in some sense a classical ontology for quantum theory (see §3.4), then the Shrapnel-Costa theorem has made this task either impossible, or beholden to the possibility of some further story explaining how the contextual features of the model arise from some noncontextual footing. On this latter point, it is difficult to see how this story might be told without significantly reducing the ideological economy of the conceptual framework of retrocausality, again jeopardizing a potential virtue of retrocausality.

    As mentioned above (§7.2), contextuality can be construed as a form of fine tuning (Cavalcanti 2018), especially when the demand for noncontextuality is understood as a requirement of parsimony, as above. The worries raised in this section and the last underline the fact that the challenge to account for various types of fine tuning is the most serious principled obstacle that retrocausal accounts continue to face.

    In short, yes, there are advocates of retrocausality and there are QM interpretations in that direction but there is not a simple consensus. Again FFthot.

    KF

  137. 137
    bornagain77 says:

    kf you state,

    Thus, we should not speak as though the classic concepts of energy, work, momentum, force, inertia/mass, etc are discarded or meaningless, that only creates a fog of bewilderment.

    Yet in post 101 it was specifically stated,

    kf seemed to be a bit reluctant to accept WJM’s observation that ”I’m referring to the terminological and conceptual breakdown that happens when you reify the model of effects as the cause of the behavior.” when kf stated this in response to WJM, “WJM, energy is a central concept in physics, tied to work,”.

    Yet WJM did not claim that energy was not a ‘central concept in physics’. If I understand WJM correctly, WJM merely claims that energy (and force) have been reified (especially by materialists) as a cause that is sufficient unto itself and this leads to a breakdown in physics as to properly ascertaining what the ‘real cause’ of physical behavior actually is.

    Moreover, energy, like gravity, is not a cause that is sufficient unto itself. As Anton Zeilinger, a leading experimentalist in quantum mechanics, states in the following video, “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/animal-minds/logic-first-principles-21-insightful-intelligence-vs-computationalism/#comment-678118

    and then in post 103 it was concluded that

    Thus in conclusion, if we demand that our causal explanations in science have causal sufficiency, instead of just mathematical consistency (as kf seemed willing to settle for in his response to WJM), then we are driven to the conclusion that God must be the ‘uncaused cause’ of energy. i.e. God is the explanation that brings causal sufficiency, i.e. closure, to our scientific explanations.
    https://uncommondescent.com/animal-minds/logic-first-principles-21-insightful-intelligence-vs-computationalism/#comment-678120

    Thus no one is arguing that “the classic concepts of energy, work, momentum, force, inertia/mass, etc are discarded or meaningless,”. Much less is WJM creating a “fog of bewilderment.”

    The main point is that the classic concepts of energy, work, momentum, force, inertia/mass, and especially detectors are NOT causally sufficient within themselves to explain quantum wave collapse. WJM is arguing for causal sufficiency in his scientific explanation, not just for mathematical consistency as you seem to be doing.

    kf you then go on to state,,,

    Going beyond, with a lot of complex work, we arrive at Quantum Field theory,,,,
    I should add, that the concept of a field is at core, spatially distributed quantities, e.g. a magnet exerts measurable influence around it, and so does a massive object.

    It seems that you are basing much of your rebuttal to WJM on quantum field theory. Yet as was pointed out already in post 127, Quantum Field theory left the entire enigma of quantum measurement on the cutting room floor

    Besides kf’s clip from wikipedia completely ignoring the central role that conscious observers play in the experiment, here is another peculiar statement from kf’s wikipedia citation in post 108,

    In fact, a theorem proved by Phillippe Eberhard shows that if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects.[23] (See reference[24] for a treatment emphasizing the role of conditional probabilities.)

    The reason I consider that statement to be peculiar is because one of the unintended consequences of “brushing infinity under the rug (Feynman)” in the unifying of Special Relativity with Quantum Mechanics was that quantum measurement itself was left on the cutting room floor

    As the following article states, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.,,, Bell never completed his planned quantum mechanics textbook because he could not devise a suitably relativistic theory of measurement.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.,,,
    Bell never completed his planned quantum mechanics textbook because he could not devise a suitably relativistic theory of measurement.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Thus for wikipedia to state that “if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects” is a complete non-sequitur since quantum measurement itself was left on the cutting room floor and isn’t even a part of quantum field theory.

    For crying out loud, quantum measurement is precisely where conscious observation makes its ‘spooky’ presence fully known and yet, to reiterate, quantum measurement is not even a part of quantum field theory. .

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    etc.. etc..

    Thus kf, with quantum field theory you are simply not even in the right conceptual theoretical ballpark to address WJM’s concern that ”I’m referring to the terminological and conceptual breakdown that happens when you reify the model of effects as the cause of the behavior.” . In fact kf, with your appeal to quantum field theory, you are actually underscoring WJMs main point. Since the primacy of Agent causality itself was discarded from quantum mechanics and other entities end up being ‘reified’ in place of Agent Causality.

    Moreover, when we address the ‘measurement problem’ head on, (that is when we address the mysteries of quantum mechanics head on without ‘brushing them under the rug’ as the measurement problem is brushed under the rug in quantum field theory), then the central importance of the Agent Causality of God, and of our own agent causality, in regards to bringing causal sufficiency to our scientific explanations in Quantum theory, is brought front and center.

    kf, The point I find weirdest of all, is that you, a long time ID advocate and devoted Christian, ironically seem to be giving God Himself short rift when you stop short of demanding casual sufficiency in your scientific explanations, and seemingly want to award detectors themselves ‘full civil rights’ as conscious observers, instead of acknowledging the primacy of the Agent causality God, and even of our own agent causality, in quantum theory..

  138. 138

    KF, I suggest that referring to cases or experiments that are not set up to examine how the characteristics, history and trajectories of phenomena change depending upon the behavior of the consciousnesses involved, including fail-safes against equipment variances that might be affecting the outcome (as you say, independent of the involvement of consciousness), are not examples of evidence to the contrary.

    Also, reiterating the line about the breakdown of reason is not an argument that explains, logically, why a misapprehension about the nature of physical experience leads to such. As far as I can tell, you have not made that argument – you’ve only asserted it as true. Let me set the nature of what you are arguing against explicitly:

    Instead of an actual, external physical world, what appears to be such is a specific kind of experience in universal mind, which we all, as individual consciousnesses operating within universal mind and having a localized, individualized aspect of mind, have immediate access to. We can call that quality of universal mind “consensual, consistent physicality”. One might make an analogy to a shared, highly consistent, highly detailed dream with behavioral rules (in terms of mathematics, geometry, logic, etc.) sewn in because such conceptual principles are necessarily imposed on all subset experiences of universal mind.

    We can measure, test and experiment, and compare results of activities and research into this shared physicality the same way we can as if there was an external, physical world, but the conceptual component that is at the root of both the behavior of phenomena and our capacity to successfully examine it is no longer a mystery and no longer has an interface problem. The quantum physics qualities we witness are no longer a mystery. Certain proved psi capacities are no longer a problem. Spooky action at a distance is no longer a problem. The infinite information capacity of our local minds (directly accessing infinite information potential) is no longer a mystery. Dualism itself is no longer a real concern. The fine-tuning problem is no longer a “problem” – it would be a necessity in such a situation. Continuation of consciousness after death and other such phenomena are to be expected.

    Also, I don’t see how any of this even contradicts with any of your Christian beliefs, so it baffles me why you insist such a set-up necessarily leads to self-delusion but refuse to make your case why you think that. Just because we are mistaken about the nature of our shared, consistent physical experience doesn’t add any extra potential for self-delusion as far as I can tell, as long as what we are experiencing is still governed by the conceptual principles that provide warrant and protection against such error when properly utilized.

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Fine tuning issues — not quite the same as cosmological or the sort of config space paths concerns Walker and Davies put on the table:

    7.2 Retrocausality Requires Fine Tuning

    Causal modeling (Spirtes, Glymour, & Scheines 2000; Pearl 2009) is a practice that has arisen from the field of machine learning that consists in the development of algorithms that can automate the discovery of causes from correlations in large data sets. The causal discovery algorithms permit an inference from given statistical dependences and independences between distinct measurable elements of some system to a causal model for that system. As part of the algorithms, a series of constraints must be placed on the resulting models that capture general features that we take to be characteristic of causality. Two of the more significant assumptions are (i) the causal Markov condition, which ensures that every statistical dependence in the data results in a causal dependence in the model—essentially a formalization of Reichenbach’s common cause principle—and (ii) faithfulness, which ensures that every statistical independence implies a causal independence, or no causal independence is the result of a fine-tuning of the model.

    It has long been recognized (Butterfield 1992; Hausman 1999; Hausman & Woodward 1999) that quantum correlations force one to give up at least one of the assumptions usually made in the causal modeling framework. Wood and Spekkens (2015) argue that any causal model purporting to causally explain the observed quantum correlations must be fine-tuned (i.e., must violate the faithfulness assumption). More precisely, according to them, since the observed statistical independences in an entangled bipartite quantum system imply no signaling between the parties, when it is then assumed that every statistical independence implies a causal independence (which is what faithfulness dictates), it must be inferred that there can be no (direct or mediated) causal link between the parties. Since there is an observed statistical dependence between the outcomes of measurements on the bipartite system, we can no longer account for this dependence with a causal link unless this link is fine tuned to ensure that the no-signaling independences still hold. There is thus a fundamental tension between the observed quantum correlations and the no-signaling requirement, the faithfulness assumption and the possibility of a causal explanation.

    Formally, Wood and Spekkens argue that the following three assumptions form an inconsistent set: (i) the predictions of quantum theory concerning the observed statistical dependences and independences are correct; (ii) the observed statistical dependences and independences can be given a causal explanation; (iii) the faithfulness assumption holds. Wood and Spekkens conclude that, since the faithfulness assumption is an indispensable element of causal discovery, the second assumption must yield. The contrapositive of this is that any purported causal explanation of the observed correlations in an entangled bipartite quantum system falls afoul of the tension between the no-signaling constraint and no fine tuning and, thus, must violate the assumption of faithfulness. Such causal explanations, so the argument goes, including retrocausal explanations, should therefore be ruled out as viable explanations.

    As a brief aside, this fine-tuning worry for retrocausality in the quantum context arises in a more straightforward way. There is no good evidence to suggest that signaling towards the past is possible; that is, there is no retrocausality at the operational level. (Pegg 2006, 2008 argues that this can be explained formally as a result of the completeness condition on the measurement operators, introducing an asymmetry in normalization conditions for preparation and measurement.) Yet, despite there being no signaling towards the past, retrocausal accounts assume causal influences towards past. That these causal influences do not show up as statistical dependences exploitable for signaling purposes raises exactly the same fine-tuning worry as Wood and Spekkens raise.

    An obvious response to the challenge set by Wood and Spekkens is to simply reject the assumption of faithfulness. But this should not be taken lightly; the intuition behind the faithfulness assumption is basic and compelling. When no statistical correlation exists between the occurrences of a pair of events, there is no reason for supposing there to be a causal connection between them. Conversely, if we were to allow the possibility of a causal connection between statistically uncorrelated events, we would have a particularly hard task determining which of these uncorrelated sets could be harboring a conspiratorial causal connection that hides the correlation. The faithfulness assumption is thus a principle of parsimony—the simplest explanation for a pair of statistically uncorrelated events is that they are causally independent—much the same way that Spekkens’ (2005) definition of contextuality is, too (see §3.2); indeed, Cavalcanti (2018) argues that contextuality can be construed as a form of fine-tuning.

    There are, however, well-known examples of systems that potentially show a misapplication of the faithfulness assumption. One such example, originating in Hesslow (1976), involves a contraceptive pill that can cause thrombosis while simultaneously lowering the chance of pregnancy, which can also cause thrombosis. As Cartwright (2001: 246) points out, given the right weight for these process, it is conceivable that the net effect of the pills on the frequency of thrombosis be zero. This is a case of “cancel ling paths”, where the effect of two or more causal routes between a pair of variables cancels to achieve statistical independence. In a case such as this, since we can have independent knowledge of the separate causal mechanisms involved here, there are grounds for arguing that there really is a causal connection between the variables despite their statistical independence. Thus, it is certainly possible to imagine a scenario in which the faithfulness assumption could lead us astray. However, in defense of the general principle, an example such as this clearly contains what Wood and Spekkens refer to as fine tuning; the specific weights for these processes would need to match precisely to erase the statistical dependence, and such a balance would generally be thought as unstable (any change in background conditions, etc. would reveal the causal connection in the form of a statistical dependence).

    Näger (2016) raises the possibility that unfaithfulness can occur without conspiratorial fine tuning if the unfaithfulness arises in a stable way. In the quantum context, Näger suggests that the fine-tuning mechanism is what he calls “internal cancel ling paths”. This mechanism is analogous to the usual cancel ling paths scenario, but the path-cancel ling mechanism does not manifest at the level of variables, but at the level of values. On this view, such fine tuning would occur as a result of the particular causal and/or nomological process that governs the system, and it is in this sense that the cancel ling paths mechanism is internal, and it is the fact that the mechanism is internal that renders the associated fine tuning stable to external disturbances. Thus

    if the laws of nature are such that disturbances always alter the different paths in a balanced way, then it is physically impossible to unbalance the paths. (Näger 2016: 26)

    The possibility raised by Näger would circumvent the problem that violations of faithfulness ultimately undermine our ability to make suitable inferences of causal independence based on statistical independence by allowing only a specific kind of unfaithfulness—a principled or law-based unfaithfulness that is “internal” and is thus stable to background conditions—which is much less conspiratorial, as the fine-tuning is a function of the specific process involved. Evans (2018) argues that a basic retrocausal model of the sort envisaged by Costa de Beauregard (see §1) employs just such an internal cancel ling paths explanation to account for the unfaithful (no signaling) causal channels. See also Almada et al. (2016) for an argument that fine tuning in the quantum context is robust and arises as a result of symmetry considerations.

    In short, we need to be aware that all sorts of complex debates are at work here.

    KF

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, did you notice my emphasis on the correspondence principle and how it subtly influences the development of modern physical theories addressing the small, fast and ultra-large? That is the connexion I am highlighting, and obviously the modern theories open up a deeper, wider understanding of the relevant concepts, including on matter. At no point have I suggested that the classic picture by itself is enough to account for the phenomena explored over the past 100+ years. If it were, there would be no modern physics. KF

  141. 141
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, I simply find it extremely strange that you, of all people, would be arguing, with your critique of retrocausality, etc.., against the Agent Causality of God.

    But anyways, to dive a bit deeper into why it is more than reasonable to conclude that the Agent causality of God is required to explain the actions we observe, including retrocausality, in quantum theory.

    Dr. Michael Egnor, who is a neurosurgeon as well as professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, states six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable to the view that the mind is just the material brain. Those six properties are, “Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,”

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    For the purpose of demonstrating that certain properties of our immaterial minds and/or consciousness are irreconcilable with reductive materialism and are yet that some of those same properties are consistent with what we are seeing in our present experiments with quantum mechanics, I will focus on two primary, even defining, attributes of immaterial mind that were listed by Dr. Egnor in his article. Those two defining attributes are Persistence of Self-Identity through time (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and free will, respectfully.

    Specifically, the mental attributes of the ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and ‘free will’, although being irreconcilable with reductive materialism, nonetheless, make their presence known to us in recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics.

    As to defining the specific mental attribute of the ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (and/or ‘the experience of ‘the Now”) in particular, it is first important to note that we each have a unique perspective of being outside of time. In fact we each seemingly watch from some mysterious outside perspective of time as time seemingly passes us by. Simply put, we seem to be standing on an island of ‘now’ as the river of time continually flows past us.

    In the following video, Dr. Suarez states that the irresolvable dilemma for reductive materialists as such, “it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. (In other words) We must refer to God!”

    Nothing: God’s new Name – Antoine Suarez – video
    Paraphrased quote: (“it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. i.e. We must refer to God!”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOr9QqyaLlA

    In further defining the mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’, in the following article Stanley Jaki states that “There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,, ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.”

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    And ‘the experience of ‘the now” also happens to be exactly where Albert Einstein got into trouble with leading philosophers of his day and also happens to be exactly where Einstein eventually got into trouble with quantum mechanics itself. Around 1935, Einstein was asked by Rudolf Carnap (who was a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”
    Rudolf Carnap – Philosopher

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”
    Einstein

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video.

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    And here is an article that goes into bit more detail of that specific encounter between Einstein and Rudolf Carnap:

    The Mind and Its Now – May 22, 2008 – By Stanley L. Jaki
    Excerpt: ,,, Rudolf Carnap, and the only one among them who was bothered with the mind’s experience of its now. His concern for this is noteworthy because he went about it in the wrong way. He thought that physics was the only sound way to know and to know anything. It was therefore only logical on his part that he should approach, we are around 1935, Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist of the day, with the question whether it was possible to turn the experience of the now into a scientific knowledge. Such knowledge must of course be verified with measurement. We do not have the exact record of Carnap’s conversation with Einstein whom he went to visit in Princeton, at eighteen hours by train at that time from Chicago. But from Einstein’s reply which Carnap jotted down later, it is safe to assume that Carnap reasoned with him as outlined above. Einstein’s answer was categorical: The experience of the now cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement. It can never be part of physics.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    Prior to that encounter with Carnap, Einstein also had another disagreement with another famous philosopher, Henri Bergson, over what the proper definition of time should be (Bergson was also very well versed in the specific mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’). In fact, that disagreement with Henri Bergson over what the proper definition of time should actually be was one of the primary reasons that Einstein failed to ever receive a Nobel prize for his work on relativity:

    Einstein, Bergson, and the Experiment that Failed: Intellectual Cooperation at the League of Nations! – Jimena Canales
    page 1177
    Excerpt: Bergson temporarily had the last word during their meeting at Société française de philosophie. His intervention negatively affected Einstein’s Nobel Prize, which was given “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect” and not for relativity. The reasons behind this decision, as stated in the prize’s presentation speech, were related to Bergson’s intervention: “Most discussion [of Einstein’s work] centers on his Theory of Relativity. This pertains to epistemology and has therefore been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles. It will be no secret that the famous philosopher Bergson in Paris has challenged this theory, while other philosophers have acclaimed it wholeheartedly.”51 For a moment, their debate dragged matters of time out of the solid terrain of “matters of fact” and into the shaky ground of “matters of concern.”52
    https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3210598/canales-Einstein,%20Bergson%20and%20the%20Experiment%20that%20Failed%282%29.pdf?sequence=2

    The specific statement that Einstein made to Carnap on the train, “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”, was a very interesting statement for Einstein to make to the philosopher since “The experience of ‘the now’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, established itself as very much being a defining part of our physical measurements in quantum mechanics.

    For instance, the following delayed choice experiment with atoms demonstrated that, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The Mind First and/or Theistic implications of quantum experiments such as the preceding are fairly obvious. As Professor Scott Aaronson of MIT once quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

  142. 142
    bornagain77 says:

    Besides such experiments as the preceding from quantum mechanics demonstrating that ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of present day quantum physics, there is also what is known as the ‘Quantum Zeno Effect’ in quantum mechanics which also clearly demonstrates that ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of present day quantum physics.

    An old entry in wikipedia described the Quantum Zeno effect as such, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Likewise, the present day entry on wikipedia about the Quantum Zeno effect also provocatively states that “a system can’t change while you are watching it”

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: Sometimes this effect is interpreted as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    And here is a fairly recent experiment which verified the ‘Quantum Zeno Effect’:

    ‘Zeno effect’ verified—atoms won’t move while you watch – October 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Graduate students,, created and cooled a gas of about a billion Rubidium atoms inside a vacuum chamber and suspended the mass between laser beams.,,,
    In that state the atoms arrange in an orderly lattice just as they would in a crystalline solid.,But at such low temperatures, the atoms can “tunnel” from place to place in the lattice.,,,
    The researchers demonstrated that they were able to suppress quantum tunneling merely by observing the atoms.,,,
    The researchers observed the atoms under a microscope by illuminating them with a separate imaging laser. A light microscope can’t see individual atoms, but the imaging laser causes them to fluoresce, and the microscope captured the flashes of light. When the imaging laser was off, or turned on only dimly, the atoms tunneled freely. But as the imaging beam was made brighter and measurements made more frequently, the tunneling reduced dramatically.,,,
    The experiments were made possible by the group’s invention of a novel imaging technique that made it possible to observe ultracold atoms while leaving them in the same quantum state.,,,
    The popular press has drawn a parallel of this work with the “weeping angels” depicted in the Dr. Who television series – alien creatures who look like statues and can’t move as long as you’re looking at them. There may be some sense to that. In the quantum world, the folk wisdom really is true: “A watched pot never boils.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-10-z.....-wont.html

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    Excerpt: The references to observations and to wavefunction collapse tend to raise unnecessary questions related to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Actually, all that is required is that some interaction with an external system disturb the unitary evolution of the quantum system in a way that is effectively like a projection operator.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any materialistic explanation. And thus the original wikipedia statement of, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay”, stands as being a true statement.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Moreover, on top of the quantum zeno effect, the mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’ is also now verified by recent experiments in quantum mechanics that have shown that “entropy is always dependent on the observer.”

    As the following article states, the deletion of data, under certain conditions, can create a cooling effect instead of generating heat. The cooling effect appears when the strange quantum phenomenon of entanglement is invoked.,,, In the new paper, the researchers,,, show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. Applied to the example of deleting data, this means that if two individuals delete data in a memory and one has more knowledge of this data, she perceives the memory to have lower entropy and can then delete the memory using less energy.,,,

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 1, 2011
    Excerpt: Recent research by a team of physicists,,, describe,,, how the deletion of data, under certain conditions, can create a cooling effect instead of generating heat. The cooling effect appears when the strange quantum phenomenon of entanglement is invoked.,,,
    The new study revisits Landauer’s principle for cases when the values of the bits to be deleted may be known. When the memory content is known, it should be possible to delete the bits in such a manner that it is theoretically possible to re-create them. It has previously been shown that such reversible deletion would generate no heat. In the new paper, the researchers go a step further. They show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. Applied to the example of deleting data, this means that if two individuals delete data in a memory and one has more knowledge of this data, she perceives the memory to have lower entropy and can then delete the memory using less energy.,,,
    No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    The implications of the preceding experiment are of direct importance to the whole ID vs. Darwinism debate. As the following top expert in the field explained, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”,

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all. Instead, the cost of erasure can be paid in terms of another conserved quantity, such as spin angular momentum.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

  143. 143
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, in the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position turns information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    And as the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Think about that statement for a second.

    These developments in quantum information theory go to the heart of the ID vs. Evolution debate and directly falsify Darwinian claims that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from some material basis.
    That is to say, immaterial information is now empirically shown to be its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, is completely separate from matter and energy. Moreover, this distinct physical entity of immaterial information is, via experimental realization of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, shown to be a product of the immaterial mind. Specifically, to reiterate for importance, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”.

    If that does not send chills down your ‘scientific’ spine then you are not paying attention.

    The reason why I am very impressed with the preceding experiments demonstrating that the mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of entropy, is that the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, is very foundational to any definition of time that we may have.

    As the following article states, “Entropy explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,”,, “Even gravity,,,, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy.,,,”

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy.,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    On top of the fact that “(Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe”, Entropy is also, by a wide margin, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the Big Bang. Finely tuned to an almost incomprehensible degree of precision, 1 part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. As Roger Penrose himself stated that, “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    Roger Penrose – How special was the big bang? – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    Roger Penrose – The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them?
    http://irafs.org/irafs_1/cd_ir.....enrose.pdf

    In the following video, Dr, Bruce Gordon touches upon just how enormous that number truly is. Dr. Gordon states, “you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with a zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is.”

    “An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you’ve got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and neutrons. No suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing. ”
    Dr Bruce Gordon – Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 – video – 1:50 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=110

    In fact, entropy is also the primary reason why our own material, temporal, bodies grow old and eventually die in this universe,,,

    Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both – 2007
    Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,,
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0030220

    Dr. John Sanford Lecture at NIH (National Institute of Health): Genetic Entropy – Can Genome Degradation be Stopped?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mfn2upw-O8

  144. 144
    bornagain77 says:

    And yet, to repeat the last sentence from the quantum information paper, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    That statement is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should the finely tuned entropic actions of the universe, entropic actions which happen to explain time itself, even care if I am consciously observing them unless ‘the experience of ‘the now’ really is more foundational to reality than the finely tuned 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe is? To state the obvious, this finding of entropy being “a property of an observer who describes a system.” is very friendly to a Mind First, and/or to a Theistic view of reality.
    For instance Romans chapter 8: verses 20 and 21 itself states, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Besides the Quantum Zeno effect, Quantum information theory and the experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment all confirming that the mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of present day quantum physics, Quantum Mechanics also now shows that Stanley Jaki’s contention that “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future” is confirmed by recent experimental breakthroughs in quantum mechanics.

    As to the ability of the mind to extend from its experience of the now to past moments in time, in recent experiments in quantum mechanics, it is now found that “quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    Qubits that never interact could exhibit past-future entanglement – July 30, 2012
    Excerpt: Typically, for two particles to become entangled, they must first physically interact. Then when the particles are physically separated and still share the same quantum state, they are considered to be entangled. But in a new study, physicists have investigated a new twist on entanglement in which two qubits become entangled with each other even though they never physically interact.,,
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-q.....ement.html

    Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time – 2016
    Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.
    Excerpt: Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,
    “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said Caslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said — as is the case in experiments he has proposed — then “you don’t have space-time.”,,,
    Quantum correlations come first, space-time later. Exactly how does space-time emerge out of the quantum world? Bruner said he is still unsure.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160119-time-entanglement/

    And as the following 2017 article states, “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.”

    Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past
    July 5, 2017 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html

    And to drive the point further home, in the following 2018 article Professor Crull provocatively states “entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted,,, it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.”

    You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time – Feb. 2018
    Excerpt: Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder, a team of physicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported in 2013 that they had successfully entangled photons that never coexisted. Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement swapping’ had already showed quantum correlations across time, by delaying the measurement of one of the coexisting entangled particles; but Eli Megidish and his collaborators were the first to show entanglement between photons whose lifespans did not overlap at all.,,,
    Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?,,,
    The data revealed the existence of quantum correlations between ‘temporally nonlocal’ photons 1 and 4. That is, entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted.
    What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.
    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    In further confirmation of Stanley Jaki’s contention that, “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future.”, in further confirmation of that contention, not only does “quantum mechanics show us that “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.”, but quantum mechanics also shows us that our present conscious choices ultimately determine what type of future will be presented to us in our measurements of quantum systems.
    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    As well, with contextuality we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    Thus, Stanley Jaki’s contention that “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future.”, is now experimentally established to be true by the fact that “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.” and is also established by the fact that, “We are not just passive observers,,, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure”.

    Thus, these recent experiments in quantum mechanics, contrary to what Einstein himself thought was possible for experimental physics, have now shown, in overwhelming fashion, that ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of experimental physics. In fact, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to rephrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher Rudolph Carnap in this way:

    “It is impossible for “the experience of ‘the now’” to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    On top of all that, this very recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

  145. 145
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus, the Agent Causality of God and also now the agent causality of man himself, is empirically established by numerous lines of empirical evidence to, IMHO, overwhelming degree, and to deny the central important of Consciousness and/or immaterial mind in quantum theory, (as you presently seem to be doing in your disagreement with WJM, kf), is to refuse to follow the evidence where it leads.

    As to the mental attribute of free will in particular, I’ve already shown in post 130 that “Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years”.

    Thus since the mental attribute of free will is now also an empirically established fact in quantum mechanics, I will go on to the implications.

    Allowing free will and/or Agent causality into the laws of physics at their most fundamental level has some fairly profound implications for us personally.

    First, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:

    Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bill-nye-should-check-wikipedia/#comment-671672

    (April 2019) Overturning the Copernican principle
    Thus in conclusion, the new interactive graph by Dr. Dembski provides a powerful independent line of evidence, along with several other powerful lines of evidence, that overturns the Copernican principle and restores humanity back to centrality in the universe, and even, when putting all those lines of evidence together, brings modern science back, full circle, to Christianity from whence it originated in the first place.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bill-dembski-and-colleagues-create-an-updated-magnifying-the-universe-tool/#comment-675730

    I will reiterate my case for Christ’s resurrection from the dead providing the correct solution for the much sought after “Theory of Everything”.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bill-nye-should-check-wikipedia/#comment-671692

    (February 19, 2019) To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image.’,,,
    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673178
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673179

    Supplemental notes defending the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/viruses-devolve/#comment-674732

    To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ resurrection from the dead, the following recent article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://westvirginianews.blogsp.....in-is.html

    Besides the empirical verification of ‘free will’ and/or Agent causality within quantum theory bringing that rather startling solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, there is, to put it mildly, also another fairly drastic implication for individual people being “brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” as well.

    Although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.

    C.S. Lewis stated the situation for people as such: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    To support of C.S. Lewis’s contention that “Without that self-choice there could be no Hell”, all I have to do is to point to the many people of today who are fanatically ‘pro-choice’ as far as abortion in concerned, demanding the unrestricted right to choose death for their unborn babies no matter what stage of development their babies may be at. Unbelievably, infanticide itself, unthinkable in our society just a few short years ago, is now being demanded as a right by many on the ‘pro-choice’ side.

    Proverbs 8:36
    But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

    On top of that, in order to support the physical reality of heaven and hell, I can appeal directly to two of our most powerful and precisely tested theories ever in the history of science. Special Relativity and General Relativity respectfully. As the following video shows, with General Relativity we find an ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with it. And with Special Relativity we find an extremely orderly eternity associated with it:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    I can also appeal to advances in quantum biology to support the physical reality of our immaterial soul:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

  146. 146
    bornagain77 says:

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video ‘it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul’.

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    To put the drastic implications for us even more clearly, we, with either our acceptance or rejection God and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ on the cross, are choosing between eternal life with God or eternal death separated from God:

    Verse:

    Deuteronomy 30:19-20
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Because of such dire consequences for our eternal souls, I plead with any atheists who may be reading this to seriously reconsider their refusal to accept God, and to now choose God, even eternal life with God, instead of choosing eternal death separated from God. Not to sound cliche, but that decision is, by far, the single most important ‘free will’ decision that you will ever make in your entire life. Words fail me for trying to underscore just how important this decision is for you.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  147. 147
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, if you can’t be bothered to actually read and follow a discussion, …

    Are you serious? I simply refer you to comments 103, 108, 109, 110, 111, 117, 118, 119, 124, 125, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 136, 137, 139, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145 and 146. These posts are hundreds of words each, constituting thousands and thousands of words (maybe hundreds of thousands). All over a two day period. Do you honestly think anyone is reading all of this, let alone comprehending it?

  148. 148
    hazel says:

    Especially when so much of it is quotes or rhetorical phrases that have been posted before.

  149. 149
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel, did you make an attempt to read it all? And, a more important question, appropriate to what is being discussed, if nobody really reads (observes) it, does it even exist?

  150. 150
    hazel says:

    You mean, does the wave function of a post ever collapse if no one does anything other than quickly scroll past without looking? (ba’s position), or is the interaction with the pixels on my screen sufficient to bring the post into existence (kf’s) position, and is the whole thing just part of the universal mind (wjm’s position), or does it really exist as part of an objective reality (Stephen B’s position)

    See, I have been paying attention! 🙂

  151. 151
    Brother Brian says:

    Or is it all just mental self gratification?

  152. 152
    Brother Brian says:

    KF and BA77 have posted 29,355 words in the last two days. Given that a typical novel is about 100,000 words, they will have written the equivalent of a novel in six days if they keep up this pace. Even Stephen King isn’t that prolific.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, it is clear that you have not actually looked at what is happening, by lumping two very different individuals together with quite diverse patterns (esp. over the past few days). I have made some preliminary notes and comments, being particularly busy RW with several convergent issues. In my remarks I have put up some placeholder info that

    1: via correspondence principle the insights on energy etc that go back hundreds of years are still relevant. This primarily responds to WJM in 94: “Just as there is no such thing as matter, there are no such things as forces and energies . . .” Energy moved to the heart of physics across C19, and it is still there. So coming in from kinematics and seeing where it came in, how it connects to force, work, momentum, etc, how first glimpses of conservation of energy and momentum arise, and hints of the importance of these, are a key first step. And of course these are key abstract quantities that are in effect the equivalent of money in running a business. Inertia is also key.

    2: in response to various claims about observers and detectors, I took time to point to how experiments are done so that detectors are observers enough for quantum state resolution purposes. Likewise, Fraunhoffer lines and rock materials hosting radio-halos in natural rocks provide natural detectors. These are concrete facts.

    3: I have used a brand new article at SEP to highlight just how contoversial and unsettled retrocausation and the like are. Yes, there are advocates, but this is not settled stuff. And given the highly abstruse nature of core issues with the hairiness of involved mathematical exposition, this is not a context for a general argument. This, by contrast with the core point about search challenge, needle in haystack blind search and functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information; especially in an information age. Cosmological fine tuning has in it fairly technical stuff but it has been sufficiently developed and summarised to be communicable to reasonably informed people. And astronomy remains the science with a significant amateur practitioner community, which tends to make for good, widely available lay level exposition.

    4: Where possible, I have refocussed attention on the fundamental point from the OP, that we are dealing with a biocybernetic loop and the challenge that computation cannot credibly account for rational, responsible freedom, pointing to the need for a supervisory oracle.

    5: Onward, when there is a window of time, I intend to pick up enough to address reduction of reality to mind and at least some of the quantum claims and clips. Meanwhile, there are a few markers.

    KF

  154. 154
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, it is clear that you have not actually looked at what is happening, by lumping two very different individuals together with quite diverse patterns (esp. over the past few days).

    You are absolutely correct. You were only responsible for about 10,000 of the 30,000 words. Therefore, it would take you at least ten days to produce a novel’s worth of words.

  155. 155
    Axel says:

    Is it any wonder that QM should be discovered to be more and more mysterious ? Is it not the interface of matter with spirit/mind ? Anyone else see it that way?

  156. 156
    hazel says:

    My very speculative hypothesis is that matter and mind arise from a common, unknowable, underlying source, and that both manifest themselves through QM effects.

    (Word count: 25)

  157. 157

    Axel @155,

    That might be a reasonable perspective if matter actually existed. The rational implication of modern physics is that matter does not exist; it is an observational, experiential phenomena caused by a consciousness observing and interpreting information.

  158. 158
    hazel says:

    wjm: have you read the Carlos Castaneda books about the Mexican shaman Don Juan?

  159. 159
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Hazel
    June 6, 2019 at 3:02 pm
    My very speculative hypothesis is that matter and mind arise from a common, unknowable, underlying source, and that both manifest themselves through QM effects.

    (Word count: 25)

    Then you must be wrong. Correct opinions require between 10,000 and 30,000 words. Everybody knows that.

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    Observer-dependent locality of quantum events
    Philippe Allard Guérin and ?aslav Brukner – 25 October 2018
    Excerpt: In general relativity, the causal structure between events is dynamical, but it is definite and observer-independent; events are point-like and the membership of an event A in the future or past light-cone of an event B is an observer-independent statement. When events are defined with respect to quantum systems however, nothing guarantees that the causal relationship between A and B is definite. We propose to associate a causal reference frame corresponding to each event, which can be interpreted as an observer-dependent time according to which an observer describes the evolution of quantum systems. In the causal reference frame of one event, this particular event is always localised, but other events can be ‘smeared out’ in the future and in the past. We do not impose a predefined causal order between the events, but only require that descriptions from different reference frames obey a global consistency condition. We show that our new formalism is equivalent to the pure process matrix formalism (Araújo et al 2017 Quantum 1 10). The latter is known to predict certain multipartite correlations, which are incompatible with the assumption of a causal ordering of the events—these correlations violate causal inequalities. We show how the causal reference frame description can be used to gain insight into the question of realisability of such strongly non-causal processes in laboratory experiments.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/aae742/meta

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Passing by for a moment, I should note two key fundamental theorem of the Calculus relationships pivoting on force. Intuitively, of course, forces are pushes or pulls, things that we are directly aware of. Work is the cumulative effect of force acting across space: dW = F*dx, and [change in] momentum is the cumulative effect of force acting across time: dP = F*dt. In turn, energy is understood operationally as ability to do work, i.e. if something can be turned into forced, orderly motion, it is or contains a form of energy. The kinematic expression above shows how motion of a massive body expresses energy, and potential energy is energy stored in position or state of an entity, the first common case being gravitational potential in a field of strength g, where E_p = mgh, h height relative to a baseline. Electrical voltage is a measure of electrical potential energy. The voltage — strictly, potential difference — between points A and B in an electrified region is the work done or energy converted (often, to heat, light, sound, radiation or motion) per unit of charge passed between A and B. This last is a bridge to the micro-world, where a common unit of energy is the electron volt, the energy an electron gains or loses in moving across a potential difference of 1 volt. The relationship E = hf then connects the energy and frequency of photons, e.g. a photon of red light has a typical energy of 2 eV. Einstein’s famous explanation of the photoemissive photoelectric effect . . . largely responsible for his Nobel Prize . . . pivoted on the concept that a metal surface in vacuo has a potential barrier so an incident photon has to at least cover this threshold, say p, to release an electron from the surface with kinetic energy (energy of motion) K: E = hf = K + p. That’s why very faint light above the threshold triggers release of electrons, whilst below it even intense light fails. This result was a key step in grounding Quantum theory. KF

  162. 162
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this claim:

    kf: ” Einstein’s famous explanation of the photoemissive photoelectric effect,,, was a key step in grounding Quantum theory.”

    And yet,

    “We have become Antipodean in our scientific expectations. You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I firmly believe, but I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the quantum theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.”
    Einstein – (The Born-Einstein Letters, p.146)

    “I cannot make a case for my attitude in physics which you would consider at all reasonable. I admit, of course, that there is a considerable amount of validity in the statistical approach which you were the first to recognise clearly as necessary given the framework of the existing formalism. I cannot seriously believe in it because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance. I am, however, not yet firmly convinced that it can really be achieved with a continuous field theory, although I have discovered a possible way of doing this which so far seems quite reasonable. The calculation difficulties are so great that I will be biting the dust long before I myself can be fully convinced of it. But I am quite convinced that someone will eventually come up with a theory whose objects, connected by laws, are not probabilities but considered facts, as used to be taken for granted until quite recently. I cannot, however, base this conviction on logical reasons, but can only produce my little finger as witness, that is, I offer no authority which would be able to command any kind of respect outside of my own hand.”
    Einstein – (The Born-Einstein Letters, p.155)

    Einstein: An Exchange – 2007
    Excerpt: In fact, a quantum mechanician like Bohr would say that, in the absence of an experiment to determine them, these quantities have no existence at all. This is what Einstein objected to. He once walked back from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton with the late Abraham Pais. The moon was out and Einstein asked Pais, “Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....-exchange/

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    Of Einstein and entanglement: Quantum erasure deconstructs wave-particle duality – January 29, 2013
    Excerpt: While previous quantum eraser experiments made the erasure choice before or (in delayed-choice experiments) after the interference – thereby allowing (the possibility of) communications between erasure and interference in the two systems, respectively – scientists in Prof. Anton Zeilinger’s group at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna recently reported a quantum eraser experiment in which they prevented this communications possibility by enforcing Einstein locality. They accomplished this using hybrid path-polarization entangled photon pairs distributed over an optical fiber link of 55 meters in one experiment and over a free-space link of 144 kilometers in another. Choosing the polarization measurement for one photon decided whether its entangled partner followed a definite path as a particle, or whether this path-information information was erased and wave-like interference appeared. They concluded that since the two entangled systems are causally disconnected in terms of the erasure choice, wave-particle duality is an irreducible feature of quantum systems with no naïve realistic explanation. The world view that a photon always behaves either definitely as a wave or definitely as a particle would require faster-than-light communication, and should therefore be abandoned as a description of quantum behavior.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-e.....ructs.html

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Wednesday 24 June 2015
    Excerpt: The meeting of April 6 was supposed to be a cordial affair, though it ended up being anything but.
    ‘I have to say that day exploded and it was referenced over and over again in the 20th century,’ says Canales. ‘The key sentence was something that Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”’
    It’s hard to know whether Bergson was expecting such a sharp jab. In just one sentence, Bergson’s notion of duration—a major part of his thesis on time—was dealt a mortal blow.
    As Canales reads it, the line was carefully crafted for maximum impact.
    ‘What he meant was that philosophers frequently based their stories on a psychological approach and [new] physical knowledge showed that these philosophical approaches were nothing more than errors of the mind.’
    The night would only get worse.
    ‘This was extremely scandalous,’ says Canales. ‘Einstein had been invited by philosophers to speak at their society, and you had this physicist say very clearly that their time did not exist.’
    Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity.
    Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the committee from awarding the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time.

    So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities.
    Bergson was fond of saying that time was the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a glass of water. It was a declaration that one could not talk about time without reference to human consciousness and human perception. Einstein would say that time is what clocks measure. Bergson would no doubt ask why we build clocks in the first place.
    ‘He argued that if we didn’t have a prior sense of time we wouldn’t have been led to build clocks and we wouldn’t even use them … unless we wanted to go places and to events that mattered,’ says Canales. ‘You can see that their points of view were very different.’
    In a theoretical nutshell this expressed perfectly the division between lived time and spacetime: subjective experience versus objective reality.,,,

    Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory and with it the possibility of a Bergsonian universe of indeterminacy and change. God did, it seems, play dice with the universe, contra to Einstein’s famous aphorism.
    Some supporters went as far as to say that Bergson’s earlier work anticipated the quantum revolution of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg by four decades or more.
    Canales quotes the literary critic Andre Rousseaux, writing at the time of Bergson’s death.
    ‘The Bergson revolution will be doubled by a scientific revolution that, on its own, would have demanded the philosophical revolution that Bergson led, even if he had not done it.’
    Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

  163. 163
    daveS says:

    matter does not exist; it is an observational, experiential phenomena caused by a consciousness observing and interpreting information.

    I’m going to try that the next time my wife reminds me to take out the trash.

  164. 164
    ET says:

    hazel:

    My very speculative hypothesis is that matter and mind arise from a common, unknowable, underlying source, and that both manifest themselves through QM effects.

    In what way is that a hypothesis?

  165. 165
    hazel says:

    A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon

    (Wikipedia)

  166. 166

    Hazel @165,

    In what way is postulating something “unknowable” a viable “explanation” for the phenomena you purport it (an unknowable thing) causes?

  167. 167
    hazel says:

    re 166: Note the words “very speculative”. Note the absence of the word “viable”.

    Mine is a metaphysical speculation. Other metaphysical explanations hypothesize that God is an explanation, or an Intelligent Designer, or a universal mind. I don’t think any of those are about anything more “knowable” that my hypothesis. I believe you have stated something that I agreed with (you can correct me if I’m wrong): we create narrative stories to “explain” lots of different things in our lives. They are important and useful to us, but not necessarily ontologically “true”. Our understanding of the base level of reality, whatever it may be (kf’s root of reality, ba’s Christian God, your universal mind), is ultimately unknowable. I just don’t have a name for mine.

  168. 168
    StephenB says:

    Let me understand how this works. In our earlier naivete, we deluded ourselves into believing that such a thing as matter exists. We noted, among other things, that intelligent agents can arrange matter for a purpose. From our side, we detected design by noting that certain material patters were unlikely the result of time and chance. So the obvious question persists: In the absence of matter, what exactly is the intelligent agent arranging and how can we detect it as an arrangement? If its all about our projected consciousness onto the natural world, how do we know that we are not projecting design when no design is present?

  169. 169
    ET says:

    Exactly, hazel. Yours didn’t reach the hypothesis stage. Yours didn’t explain anything.

  170. 170
    hazel says:

    re 169: see 167.

  171. 171
    ET says:

    re 170- I read 167- it’s gibberish. It doesn’t help you as you still don’t have a hypothesis.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A discussion on the photoeffect and the significance of Einstein’s contribution. Remember, this is Nobel prize winning work that was crucial to establishing quantum theory. Indeed, IIRC, Einstein invented the term, photon {nope, seems, G N Lewis.] . This is, of course, a case of unexpected particle interaction of light with matter, where the particles were governed by the constraint E = hf, i.e. the higher the frequency, in direct proportion the higher the energy of the quanta of light. Planck had earlier shown how in cavity radiation, to solve the UV catastrophe, emission had to be penalised based on the same relationship, i.e. higher frequency light had to come in more energetic lumps, but the thought was the radiation field was still effectively viewed in wave terms. KF

  173. 173
    bornagain77 says:

    And yet, per post 162, Einstein never accepted quantum theory. Go figure.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, he was one of the founders. He was uncomfortable with the Copenhagen standard interpretation. Indeed, his Energy-time form of uncertainty was formulated to pose a reductio [IIRC, at the Conference], but the others there took it up as valid, successfully. KF

  175. 175
    StephenB says:

    I have yet another question. Apparently, some quantum theorists say that the wave function is a real physical thing (ontological theorists) and others say that it is merely an expression of our perception (epistemic theorists). It appears that WJM is in the latter camp (matter doesn’t exist at all) and BA is also in that camp, though in a qualified sense (matter doesn’t exist in the way we once understood it). I am not sure where KF stands on the matter.

    If the wave function is a real physical thing (as opposed to our projected image or subjective perception) then doesn’t that mean that, insofar as a wave function is real, matter is also real? Also, my original question persists: If the intelligent agent doesn’t arrange matter, what exactly is he arranging?

    And what are we to say about Heisenberg himself, who claims that Plato’s theory of forms provides the only solution to the riddle (it’s all about forms and ideas) while at the same time, clinging to Aristotle’s notion of potency and act, such that particles first exist as potentials and later as (actual things). I am oversimplifying only for the purpose of describing these problems in as few words as possible.

  176. 176
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, “he was one of the founders”

    So what? He never accepted quantum theory once it became more fully developed since “the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance.”

    And that is precisely the point. Einstein has repeatedly been proven wrong on that point (and has also been proven wrong in his belief in ‘realism’). Non-local, beyond space and time. entanglements, i.e. ‘spooky actions at a distance’. are a pervasive feature of reality and even a pervasive feature of quantum biology.

    Information is Quantum – Charles Bennett – video
    39:30 minute mark: “Entanglement is ubiquitous: Almost every interaction between two systems creates entanglement between them… Most systems in nature… interact so strongly with the environment as to become entangled with it almost immediately.”… 44:00 minute mark: “A classical communications channel is a quantum communication channel with an eavesdropper (maybe only the environment)… A classical computer is a quantum computer handicapped by having eavesdroppers on all its wires.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/philip-cunningham-offers-information-is-quantum/

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    And even, to repeat, the existence of a single photon cannot be explained without appealing to a non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, cause in order to explain the collapse of the infinite-dimensional, infinite-information wave packet (post 102 and 103).

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    Atheistic materialists simply have no non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, cause to appeal to explain ‘non-local’ entanglement and collapse of the wave packet. Whereas, Christians do have a beyond space and time cause to appeal to.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Another major flaw in your reasoning kf is that you, (when you say such and such ‘triggered’ such and such response, or when you say something similar to that,) is that you are illegitimately invoking agent causality where it ought not be invoke. That is cheating.

    i.e. There is no mechanical and/or blind causality as such in the universe, only the Agent Causality of God and of our own agent causality. (Post 101, Professor J. Budziszewski)

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, I was raised under Copenhagen and normally hold with shut up and calculate: we have an empirically reliable algorithm even though interpretations are problematic (noting the role of the correspondence principle as a sanity check); there is no need to invest with ultimate truth. However, it looks like I will have to address why it is reasonable to accept that a substantial physical world is credible as well as why it is reasonable to take it that we have minds that are radically different from what computational substrates can do and what entities functioning on organisation and interaction of independently existing parts can do — as opposed to facets of a unified whole or a hologram. Along the way, I will have to speak to why it is reasonable to accept the reality of certain key, intangible abstracta, namely, work/energy and momentum (I take it, force is sufficiently tangible) — entities on the cumulative side of a rate-accumulation calculus pairing. Where, the basic kinematics with extensions through inertia and force allow us to see into the heart of the key parameters. So, it is reasonable to see ourselves as embodied, mind over matter amphibian bio-cybernetic entities with two-tier controllers, the upper tier of which is on logic of being considerations, a bio-cybernetic oracle. And BTW, the Casimir effect remains pivotal — regardless of being the break-in point for all of this exchange: it shows the credibility of key quantum field theory claims and thus of how virtual influences can have measurable effects. When, I have enough time to focus. Meanwhile, I am putting up some check-points that should moderate our thinking. KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I have made use of his key contributions to quantum theory, which are closely tied to the empirical; debates over his doubts on Copenhagen are tangential. In science, theories of any sophistication are always provisional and it is empirical reliability which is their chief warrant. KF

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the design inference DOES NOT POSTULATE OR IDENTIFY A DESIGNER. It is absolutely vital to correct this pernicious distortion. As the weak argument correctives will show, it is about exploring empirically reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration as causal process; as opposed to what blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can credibly do. On the strength of signs of design as credible causal process, we infer onwards that such reflects the work of an intelligence. What is implicit is that a designer as agent doing intelligently directed configuration is possible at relevant causal locus. If a designer of some sort is possible then reliable signs strengthen warrant for inferring design and holding consequently — not question-beggingly — that agent responsible was active. As an example functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits has been observed on design trillions of times with nil cases by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, where needle in haystack search challenge on sol system to observed cosmos scope resources show the latter to be maximally implausible. After a considerable time around UD it is reasonable to expect you to accurately represent what we are arguing instead of setting up a notorious, pernicious strawman caricature. KF

  180. 180
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “H, the design inference DOES NOT POSTULATE OR IDENTIFY A DESIGNER.”

    I understand that it doesn’t identify a designer. I don’t see how you can say it doesn’t postulate a designer? Do you, or others who accept the design inference, think that design can arise without a designer?

    Also, my speculative metaphysics doesn’t identify an underlying unity which manifests itself both as mind and matter. It is an inference that such exists, but not an identification of any kind. Is that any different than the design inference not identifying a designer?

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    H, a postulate is a 50c word for a guess serving as a start-point assumption. That is precisely what is not done. On considerable empirical evidence of what intelligently directed configuration does vs blind chance and mechanical necessity we can see reliable signs of design. Thus, on signs one can infer to process of design, esp given that this is the only known causally adequate process. So, once a designer is possible [as opposed to pre-assumed], we may infer that a designing agent is the most plausible explanation of intelligently directed configuration; this being inferred as process on signs. In short, accelerants –> arson. Arson –> there was an arsonist. KF

    PS: Further issues, later as noted, I am waiting on an OCR to finish.

  182. 182
    hazel says:

    But you infer an Intelligent Designer, even if you don’t identify that designer. True? Did I say differently?

    Also, I wrote, “Also, my speculative metaphysics doesn’t identify an underlying unity which manifests itself both as mind and matter. It is an inference that such exists, but not an identification of any kind. Is that any different than the design inference not identifying a designer?”

    Any comment on this statement?

  183. 183
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    So, once a designer is possible [as opposed to pre-assumed], we may infer that a designing agent is the most plausible explanation of intelligently directed configuration;

    No, a designing agent is the only explanation of intelligently directed configuration. There is no other possibility.

  184. 184
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    I understand that it doesn’t identify a designer. I don’t see how you can say it doesn’t postulate a designer?

    They shy away from this because then they would have to admit that their designer is God. KF May declare the refusal to hypothesize about the nature of the designer and the mechanisms it uses to bring the design to fruition to be a weak argument, but declaring it so doesn’t make it so.

    The basis of the ID inference is comparison of biological structure (DNA, IC) to human design. The argument is that we have the ability to discern human design and human designed information. Just by examining it (which is not a certainty). Therefore, if we see biological structures with similar levels of complexity, the best explanation of cause is an intelligent agent. But the big difference is that, with regard to human design, we gain a huge level of confidence about our conclusion because we have a good understanding of the designer, it’s capabilities and limitations, and the mechanisms available to it. We have none of that for the ID designer.

  185. 185
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, “In science, theories of any sophistication are always provisional and it is empirical reliability which is their chief warrant.”

    The consistent empirical warrant is exactly why WJM has the upper hand in his disagreement with you.

    Moreover, you yourself unwittingly concede his overall point when you have illegitimately used teleological language, i.e. the language of goal oriented Agent causality, several times already when you have listed your various empirical evidences for detectors ‘triggering’ and such and such as that.

    Even the mathematics that you have appealed to, as Godel has shown in his incompleteness theorems, is not causally sufficient within itself to explain the actions we see in the universe. In short, ALL your explanations are not causally sufficient within themselves to explain the actions we see in quantum theory and even the actions we see in the “classical’ universe.

    Again, there is, and can be, no mechanical and/or blind causality as such in the universe, only the Agent Causality of God and of our own agent causality. (Post 101, Professor J. Budziszewski).

    WJM critique is valid. Period!

    Further comment from Dr. Michael Egnor,

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

  186. 186

    They shy away from this because then they would have to admit that their designer is God.

    You’ve confused yourself. No one has to shy away from anything, and its perfectly logical for people to separate their material arguments from whomever or whatever they think the designer may be. I bet if I asked you direct questions about the origin of life you’de eventually say that “no one knows yet, but yadda yadda”. and then you’d go one to tell me that you don’t believe life was designed by a transcendent anything whatsoever. And I would then ask what the hell is wrong with you? Do you think you can evaluate physical evidence and speculate about the unknown origin of those critical systems underlying life and evolution — making life possible in a physically determined universe — but no one is allowed to evaluate the same evidence and speculate anything else? If your’e going to use that rhetoric, we are obliged to assume you must believe such a thing is true. That would make you about as closed-minded and anti-science as you could possibly get. In fact, it may be the greatest of all science stoppers; it robs science of the very thing it requires to be science — a means to correct itself. I sure hope you don’t cling to the inscrutable thought that when human beings speculate about our most enduring mysteries, everyone must agree with you, or you’ve thus defeated their arguments. Your problem isn’t that someone believes in a transcendent being; your problem is that your position has all the power afforded to it by being the dominant ideological strain, yet you can’t even explain the first thing about biology with materialism. You have absolutely nothing but the mere assumption that you’re right.

    KF may declare the refusal to hypothesize about the nature of the designer and the mechanisms it uses to bring the design to fruition to be a weak argument, but declaring it so doesn’t make it so.

    Again, more rhetoric. A physical mechanism? An organizational mechanism? The physical mechanism enabling life has been well documented for decades; it requires a description encoded in a multi-referent medium of information, as well as the means to establish what the description specifies and capacity to construct it (…just as it was thoroughly predicted to be). The physics of that organization have been carefully deposited in the literature for half a century or better. Some of it goes back much further. The relationships between the different parts of the system and the operating conditions which they must obtain is certainly no secret, and the molecular evidence that establishes the model isn’t even in question. You have nothing to connect a material origin of life to those organizational and operational conditions. You don’t. Sutherland doesn’t. Szostak and Joyne and Yarus don’t either. That’s the situation. Here’s a couple of questions for you: Do you think that Francis Crick’s adapter hypothesis was a logical conclusion, or just a wild-assed guess? If it was logical, how so? Also, the pioneering biologist and Nobel laureat Sydney Brenner wrote in his memoirs that Crick surely connected (intellectually) with John von Neumann, i.e. that before Francis Crick ever grasped DNA, von Neumann’s had already showed “how it was done”. Von Neumann’s prediction was based on a description encoded in a medium, along with the physical constraints required to interpret the encoding. There were four fundamentals that had to be satisfied: a) construction, b) control, c) copying, and d) open-ended potential — all organized in a dissipative process that would drive the system (using the universal laws of nature) to properly and successfully actualize the description. I was wondering which of these these fundamentals you think von Neumann got wrong, and why you think so? One last question: why should any interested person ignore the well-documented fact that the only other place in the cosmos that physicists can describe an organization like the gene system is in human language and mathematics? On what grounds do you feel like they should ignore that fact?

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    There is a world of difference between imposing an assumption at the start and drawing a two-stage empirical inference based on the logic of signs. The design inference does the latter.

    Preliminary: We live in a world where arson is possible.

    Stage 1: Accelerants at the MNI Court registry fire –> arson.

    Stage 2: arson –> arsonists.

    For the further, I defer as I still have to focus time, effort, energy on RW developments. The good news is this is a long weekend with the Queen’s Birthday. Happy Official Birthday, good queen Bess!

    BB:

    We have gone over the relevant ground more than once. I draw the conclusion at this stage, that you simply are not open to acknowledge that what I and others have argued is what we have argued.

    The rhetorical strawman seems to be too convenient.

    I do not have time for things which are focal but require some major argumentation just now, even more I do not have time to pointlessly try to correct someone who on track record refuses to be corrected.

    All I would say is that if the initiators of modern design theory thought the evidence of design of life on earth — start with code (thus language), complex algorithms (thus goal-directed finite process) and associated molecular nanotech in the living cell — directly warranted the further differentiation of inferring to designer within/beyond the cosmos, they would have stated it. Further to this, there is an active thread sitting at the top of most popular posts for the past month that addresses issues including identified lab techniques, where you participated and have been adequately corrected. See https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/id-breakthrough-syn61-marks-a-live-case-of-intelligent-design-of-a-life-form/

    Next, evident fine tuning of the observed cosmos directly supports inference of its design and warrants onward inference to a designer as agent of design that by definition is antecedent to our observed cosmos.

    Further to this, that cosmos is so ordered by fine tuning as to support C-chem, aqueous medium, cell based life — a semi-popular article is here: https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-fine-tuning-of-natures-laws .

    On inferring to God as Creator, Lord, Judge etc, I point to our morally governed rationality, with the inescapable duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to fairness & justice etc that in a parallel thread you were found appealing to thrice in an attempt to deny it:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-must-fine-tuning-be-classed-as-a-problem-not-just-a-fact/#comment-678164 comment 18 kairosfocus June 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

    PS [to BB]: The evidence supporting that we are under undeniably known duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness and justice etc include how in order to persuade you assume that we acknowledge that duty. The denial of such government radically undermines rationality, turning reason into a clever means of manipulation and deception. This is reductio ad absurdum, and it tells us a lot about you that you resort to assertions such as “there is absolutely no evidence supporting [==> appeal to the binding nature of the duties just denied] objective moral governance, and a plethora of evidence suggesting otherwise, the logical and rational conclusion [–> appeal again] is that there are no merits [–> appeal again] to the manifest moral government of rationality” first tells us that your ability to recognise self-referential incoherence on your part is nil. Second, that you have no credibility.

    Mind clearly operates on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap, requiring that it is bridged, only feasible at world root. You can try to put up any candidate you please: _______ and address on comparative difficulties: ______ Your admitted evolutionary materialism fails, as it is self-referentially incoherent on mind and is inherently amoral. After centuries of debates, the only serious candidate necessary being world root able to fill the bill is: the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; worthy of our loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. (And yes, the latter points to the centrality of built-in natural law.)

    For those who are actually interested and open to acknowledge, I refer to the UD weak argument correctives: https://uncommondescent.com/faq/

    UB:

    Yup, but the question is whether there is willingness to actually listen.

    KF

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, kindly, respond to the already linked case of natural detection of a quantum process and associated discrete energy levels through radio-halos in a rock matrix, here: https://web.archive.org/web/20041225080437/https://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/sep102004/662.pdf Likewise, the natural detection of discrete energy levels and jumps connected to emission of light given through Fraunhoffer lines. After that, we may look at how the photoeffect is tied to quantisation through E = hf = K + p as was introduced above. Beyond, we may consider automated instrumental arrays with double slit interference and coincidence gating on alternatives as was also indicated above. Later, DV, I will address why it is very reasonable to accept the evident reality of our physical embodiment in a physical cosmos that shows signs of being a designed world. Right now, I just point to the issue of a chain of grand delusions, once major aspects of mind functioning in proper environment are brought under hyperskeptical doubt. Which, is a besetting intellectual challenge of today’s climate of ideas. KF

  189. 189
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    They shy away from this because then they would have to admit that their designer is God.

    That is what the willfully ignorant say, anyway. In reality the evidence does not point to any particular intelligent agency. An also science doesn’t care if the Designer was God. But you, being ignorant of science, wouldn’t understand why that is so.

    KF May declare the refusal to hypothesize about the nature of the designer and the mechanisms it uses to bring the design to fruition to be a weak argument, but declaring it so doesn’t make it so.

    And more ignorant gibberish. We can and do hypothesize of the nature of the designer and mechanisms used. 1997 Dr. Spetner wrote of “built-in responses to environmental cues”.

    It’s just that ID is not about that, just as evolution is not about the OoL. Also, evolution is supposed to be all about the how and yet your side doesn’t know anything about it.

    But the big difference is that, with regard to human design, we gain a huge level of confidence about our conclusion because we have a good understanding of the designer, it’s capabilities and limitations, and the mechanisms available to it.

    Pure stupidity. How do we “know” that ancient humans were capable of producing Stonehenge? Stonehenge! Meaning we know what the designers are capable of by what they leave behind.

    Also your side has all of the power. You could refute ID if your side had a way to test its claims, tested them and confirmed them. But your side doesn’t even have a testable methodology. All you can do is try to derail ID because you have nothing else. You can’t even muster testable hypotheses for your position’s claims.

  190. 190
    bornagain77 says:

    kf asks:

    kindly, respond to the already linked case of natural detection of a quantum process and associated discrete energy levels through radio-halos in a rock matrix, here:

    There is certainly nothing “natural” about detection of a quantum process. As already referenced in post 101 and post 102, the photon wave function, prior to collapse, is mathematically described and being in an infinite-dimensional, infinite information state. Moreover as also mentioned, the wave packet, prior to collapse, also requires the higher dimensional square root of negative one to describe it properly,,,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the superposition of the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt: real numbers with their infinitely many decimals have infested almost every nook and cranny of physics, from the strengths of electromagnetic fields to the wave functions of quantum mechanics: we describe even a single bit of quantum information (a qubit) using two real numbers involving infinitely many decimals.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25344

    Why do you need imaginary numbers (the square root of negative one) to describe Quantum Mechanics?
    “Quantum theory needs existence of an x such that x^2= -1. The reason for this is that orthogonal function spaces, of dimension greater than 2, cannot exist otherwise. In fact the only place where i (the square root of negative one) is needed is in the wave packet prior to measurement. Even the Canonical Commutation Relation doesn’t need it. And nor do the eigenvalue equations. In those, any general scalar will do. But in the wave packet, you need an i.”
    – Steve Faulkner – Philosophy of Science, Logic, Epistemology
    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_do_you_need_imaginary_numbers_to_describe_Quantum_Mechanics2

    Complex Magnitudes
    Excerpt: Descartes had rejected complex roots and coined the derogatory term “imaginary” to describe the square root of negative one, , but Leibniz thought that “The divine spirit found a sublime outlet in that wonder of analysis, that portent of the ideal world, that amphibian between being and non-being, which we call the imaginary root of negative unity.”
    Gauss invented the “complex plane” (shown below) to represent these quantities. He suggested that complex magnitudes be called “lateral” instead of “imaginary” magnitudes since they represent a dimensional extension of the continuum.
    Gauss also proposed that complex magnitudes be awarded “full civil rights.”
    In the language of Plato’s allegory of the cave, complex numbers represent “forms” from a higher dimension casting “shadows” on the real number line.
    http://www.keplersdiscovery.com/ComplexNum.html

    Moreover, as already mentioned in post 162, the collapse of the wave function is now also empirically shown to be a non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, affair,

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

  191. 191
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus kf, for you to hold that the ‘detection’ of a photon is a completely “natural” process, that is not dependent on the Agent causality of God in any way, you would have to hold that a material detector, whether it be a ‘rock matrix’ or a man-made detector, (which are by definition unconscious objects), somehow had the non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, power within itself to collapse the infinite-dimensional, infinite information wave function to its finite state. (Not to mention the fact that the detector must have the ‘natural’ power within itself to collapse its own “infinite-dimensional, infinite information” wave function that is associated with its own existence.)

    As should be needless to say, that is a rather huge, indeed infinite, non sequitur that you are forced to hold as a starting presupposition in regards to your supposed ‘natural’ collapse of the wave function by a ‘rock matrix’ detector.

    Moreover, for you to hold that a rock matrix can somehow collapse the wave function, or even just ‘trigger’ the collapse of the wave function, is for you to impart agent causation where it ought not be imparted. Rocks don’t trigger or collapse anything. They are dead to the world. They are aware of nothing, period! They may be acted upon by an outside causal agent but certainly have no power within themselves to act on anything else. i.e. They ARE, by definition, NOT causal agents! Moreover, as C.S. Lewis noted, the fatal flaw for anyone presupposing methodological naturalism is their dependence on the teleological language of agent causation,

    Rupert Sheldrake on The Science Delusion at TED Talk – Feb. 2016
    Excerpt: “to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen”
    – CS Lewis
    https://singjupost.com/rupert-sheldrake-on-the-science-delusion-at-ted-talk-full-transcript/

    The same problem of improperly imparting agent causation where it ought not be imparted is when naturalists claim laws can cause things to happen in this universe

    Can Law Make Worlds? – Joshua Youngkin July 2, 2012
    Excerpt: Filippenko apparently wants a first cause of some sort, but not a personal first cause, not a mind, not an agent. So he subtly turns physical law into a mind-independent reality, something that is self-sufficiently “there” at the beginning, something that can thus be filled with world-creating agency and power. But what would you call “law” that lives nowhere in particular yet could of its own accord decide when, where and how to apply itself? In seeking to identify such a strange power, the one name we cannot give it is “law.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....61551.html

    And as CS Lewis again noted, “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”

    “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”
    The Laws of Nature by C.S. Lewis – doodle video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk

    This problem of imparting agent causation where it ought not be imparted is rampant within the ‘natural’ sciences. This is especially true for Darwinian evolution. As Sedgewick told Darwin, “You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.”

    From Adam Sedgwick to Charles Darwin? 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    “You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.”
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    In fact, as William Dembski pointed out, the improper imparting of agent causation where it ought not be imparted is built into the very term ‘natural selection’ itself:

    “,, intelligent design is a thoroughly apt phrase, signifying that design is inferred because an intelligent agent has done what only intelligent agents can do, namely, make a choice. If intelligent design is a thoroughly apt phrase, the same cannot be said for the phrase natural selection. The second word of the phrase natural selection, is of course a synonym for choice. Indeed the l-e-c in selection is a variant of the l-e-g that in the Latin lego means to choose or select, and that also appears as l-i-g in intelligence. Natural selection is therefore an oxymoron. It attributes the power to choose, which properly belongs to intelligent agents, to natural causes, which inherently lack the power to choose.”
    – William Dembski – Science and the Myth of Progress – pg 294 – 2003
    https://books.google.com/books?id=9w53fjGdnAoC&pg=PA294

    Even ‘random chance”, the supposed thing that Darwinists claim the false agent of natural selection ultimately acts, is not a cause of anything .

    “Sproul argues effectively that chance is not a cause of anything. Chance is nothing more than a statistical description of unknown or complex physical causation. Chance, therefore, cannot have any physical effects, since it is not a physical cause. 13,,,”
    13. Sproul RC. – Not a Chance: the Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books; 1994
    – David Abel

    In fact, as Wolfgang Pauli pointed out, when biologists, (Darwinists in particular), appeal to ‘chance’ as a cause, they are not appealing to a realistic estimate of probability, but are in fact appealing to a ‘miracle’.

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234f/4989e039089fed5ac47c7d1a19b656c602e2.pdf

    Thus in conclusion kf, you have unwittingly, in your appeal to a completely “natural detection of a quantum process” (like very many people before you), improperly imparted agent causation where it ought not be imparted.

    In effect kf, you have turned ‘rock matrix’ detectors, and even the mathematical laws of the universe themselves, into false idols that you falsely imagine somehow have agent causation endowed within themselves.

    One final note, because of the rampant, and even ‘natural’, tendency of man to ignorantly impart Agent causation where it ought not be imparted, is it any wonder that one of the very first commandments that God starts off the ten commandments with is to start with a stern warning against man making false idols in the place of God?

    Exodus 20
    4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    Psalm 115
    1 Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness.
    2 Why do the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
    3 Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.
    4 But their idols are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
    5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
    6 They have ears, but cannot hear,
    noses, but cannot smell.
    7 They have hands, but cannot feel,
    feet, but cannot walk,
    nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
    8 Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

  192. 192

    StephenB @168 asks:

    In the absence of matter, what exactly is the intelligent agent arranging and how can we detect it as an arrangement? If its all about our projected consciousness onto the natural world, how do we know that we are not projecting design when no design is present?

    An intelligent agent …? I prefer the term “conscious agent.” What does it mean to exist in a mental reality? What does the “mental” mean? It means a “universe” of information. Infinite information.

    There are fundamental informational structures and rules involved in being an individual conscious agency and to have those terms represent anything both ontologically and epistemologically. First and foremost are the logical principals (universal rules of mind) that govern identity, which also necessarily implies basic mathematics. “Intelligence” requires the comprehensibility of our self-and-not-self situation.

    Each individual, or loci of consciousness, exists within a localized mental state within universal mind, meaning it has attached itself to various structures of information – some by logical necessity, some by free will choice (meaning, it has chosen to put its attention on certain things and adopt certain information structures we call beliefs). The things it chooses to attach itself to also have necessary logical additions and conditions. In for a penny, in for a pound, so to speak, that pound often coming in the form of cognitive biases.

    The information we have attached ourselves to by necessity or choice is developed into a 4D mental representation which we experience as an external, consensual, consistent space-time physicality. The only way the quantum evidence makes any sense is if what we call “physical reality” is an experiential representation of mental information being processed by the individual, localized mind and organized, as much as possible, into consensual agreement with other consciousnesses. The same basic “external” forms and processes can fulfill the needs of many, many consciousnesses, while cognitive biases can provide each consciousness with more individualized interpretations of those consensual forms.

    In this scenario, what does it mean to call something the “natural” world? Perhaps it would be the available infinite information. Is information meaningful as such without a sentient, conscious observer, processor and interpreter? No. Could that information, in itself, be called “chaos”? Maybe. Without the organization (order) provided by an sentient observer, there would be no inherent order as far as I can tell. Everything (as information) that could be processed would exist at the same time in the same place (zero point information/energy). Information is thus meaningless, really, without an observing mind to order it.

    Are we “projecting” order (which would **always** be intelligent design, logically speaking, even if we cognitively blind ourselves to that logical necessity) out of chaos? Well, that’s one way of saying it, but I don’t know that “chaos” is a good word for “infinite information”. Chaos itself would have to be comprehensible as such, placing it in a wider context that included order (principle of identity). Order is the only thing that can provide comprehension of order or chaos as such (which means, even chaos requires intelligent design if anyone is going to recognize it as such.)

    I’m not really sure you can call any of this a “natural” world because what would that term even mean in such a situation, when everything one can experience is necessarily a form of intelligent design, even if subconsciously or unconsciously orchestrated? There really would be no way to experience a “natural” world other than via cognitive biases that allowed you to believe you were experiencing a “natural” world.

    IMO, there is no such thing as a “natural” world – that concept is rooted in materialist ideas and framing.

  193. 193
    hazel says:

    kf, I understand the distinction you have made between inferring a designer and postulating a designer.

    Also, as I written, my speculative metaphysics infers an underlying unity which manifests itself both as mind and matter, but doesn’t identify it or claim to know how it produces the world, life, and consciousness. It is an inference that such exists, but not an identification of any kind. Is that any different than the design inference inferring but not identifying a designer?

  194. 194

    StephenB asks:

    If the intelligent agent doesn’t arrange matter, what exactly is he arranging?

    Information. Information is being collapsed and processed into the experience of “matter.” We already have an example of this – dreams. What is being processed and experienced as a 4D physical reality in a dream, if not information? Where is that 4D reality taking place, if not in the mind?

  195. 195
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Doesn’t the fact that you believe there is an omnipresent, conscious (I presume) being intervening in the natural world complicate your position?

    In order to conclude these halos in rocks formed “naturally”, you must assume the absence of any divine “feet” in the vicinity, à la Lewontin.

  196. 196
    mike1962 says:

    William J Murray,
    If “the universe” is actually “just” information being processed by nodes of consciousness (I am very friendly to this idea), in your view, where do the interpretive rules exist that govern the way information is processed by consciousness, what invented them, and why? What observer is processing, say, the information that constitutes the core of our sun?

  197. 197
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    There is a world of difference between imposing an assumption at the start and drawing a two-stage empirical inference based on the logic of signs. The design inference does the latter.

    Preliminary: We live in a world where arson is possible.

    Stage 1: Accelerants at the MNI Court registry fire –> arson.

    Stage 2: arson –> arsonists.

    A better analogy to ID would be:

    Preliminary: we know than humans can cause fire with intent.

    Observation: we see a fire.

    Inference: the best explanation for fire is man.

  198. 198

    I want to take the time here to first thank BA77 for doing all the heavy lifting on the evidence side of the argument, and to also recognize his tremendous accomplishment in #191 where he extrapolates and explains how the erroneous reification of law & energy & force models into causes has made us all think that anything whatsoever in the so-called “natural world” (absent conscious agency) can “cause” anything. That was the most satisfying and brilliant thing I’ve read in ages, and 100% on-target. There are absolutely no known non-conscious, non-sentient, unintelligent causal agencies, period; there are only models of behavior mishcharacterized as causing themselves.

  199. 199
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    A better analogy to ID would be:
    Preliminary: we know than humans can cause fire with intent.
    Observation: we see a fire.
    Inference: the best explanation for fire is man.

    Only a willfully ignorant person on an agenda to spread nonsense would say that.

    We fully understand that not all fires are arsons.

    Preliminary: we know than humans can cause fire with intent.

    Observation: we see a fire. So we look for signs of intent, that is agency involvement.

    During the investigation we find the origin of the fire and it has all of the hallmarks of agency involvement. And we also have eliminated natural causes.

    Inference: the best explanation for fire is man.

  200. 200
    ET says:

    hazel:

    It is an inference that such exists, but not an identification of any kind. Is that any different than the design inference inferring but not identifying a designer?

    The design inference is open to scientific testing and is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships. You cannot say the same for yours.

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, 190. Please read the paper and look at the radio halo pics, showing the discrete state energy levels of nuclear emissions leading to discoloured rocks in the patterns shown. That is natural detection, made visible by looking at the rocks. Similarly, Fraunhoffer lines are dark spectral lines in stellar spectra due to absorption and re-emission in all directions of radiation. This reflects quantisation of energy levels and it has been crucial in astrophysics. KF

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, again, you continue to act as though errors were not corrected already. In simplest terms, we already know that humans are not the only designers, e.g. beavers and their dams. Further to this, we are contingent creatures so we cannot exhaust the field of potential designers, indeed the existence of SETI and the literature of Sci Fi shows that this is well known and commonly accepted. What we infer is intelligent action, rational action and part of the OP shows that genuinely free rationality is not accounted for on computational substrates, much less the particular ones we possess in the shapes of our brains. The argument is simply not serious. KF

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, that under theism God creates and sustains the ordered system of reality does not imply that all quantum states are instantly collapsed because of his presence — there would be no unresolved states. Instead, he established a natural world, in which events proceed in lawlike fashion including even stochastic ones, which tend to follow laws. Quantum phenomena follow laws, which are studied in Physics and Chemistry. KF

  204. 204
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus @ 203

    DS, that under theism God creates and sustains the ordered system of reality does not imply that all quantum states are instantly collapsed because of his presence — there would be no unresolved states. Instead, he established a natural world, in which events proceed in lawlike fashion including even stochastic ones, which tend to follow laws. Quantum phenomena follow laws, which are studied in Physics and Chemistry. KF

    Are you saying that you subscribe to deism rather than theism, then?

  205. 205
    bornagain77 says:

    kf. you claim “That is natural detection” of a quantum process.

    Once again, there is NOTHING natural about detecting a quantum process. See post 190 and 191.

    Particularly the start of post 191

    Thus kf, for you to hold that the ‘detection’ of a photon is a completely “natural” process, that is not dependent on the Agent causality of God in any way, you would have to hold that a material detector, whether it be a ‘rock matrix’ or a man-made detector, (which are by definition unconscious objects), somehow had the non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, power within itself to collapse the infinite-dimensional, infinite information wave function to its finite state. (Not to mention the fact that the detector must have the ‘natural’ power within itself to collapse its own “infinite-dimensional, infinite information” wave function that is associated with its own existence.)

    As should be needless to say, that is a rather huge, indeed infinite, non sequitur that you are forced to hold as a starting presupposition in regards to your supposed ‘natural’ collapse of the wave function by a ‘rock matrix’ detector.

    Moreover, for you to hold that a rock matrix can somehow collapse the wave function, or even just ‘trigger’ the collapse of the wave function, is for you to impart agent causation where it ought not be imparted. Rocks don’t trigger or collapse anything. They are dead to the world. They are aware of nothing, period! They may be acted upon by an outside causal agent but certainly have no power within themselves to act on anything else. i.e. They ARE, by definition, NOT causal agents!,,, etc.. etc..
    https://uncommondescent.com/animal-minds/logic-first-principles-21-insightful-intelligence-vs-computationalism/#comment-678285

    It is ironically humorous that DaveS would be the one to remind you kf, the one who has quoted Lewontin’s ‘divine foot’ quote quite regularly here on UD, that you, the proclaimed Christian, are the one resolutely refusing to let God have a divine foot in the door.

    per DaveS’s post at 195

    “In order to conclude these halos in rocks formed “naturally”, you must assume the absence of any divine “feet” in the vicinity, à la Lewontin”

    Even Seversky, of all people, chipped in at 204

    Are you saying that you subscribe to deism rather than theism, then?

  206. 206
    vividbleau says:

    BA
    “In fact, as Wolfgang Pauli pointed out, when biologists, (Darwinists in particular), appeal to ‘chance’ as a cause, they are not appealing to a realistic estimate of probability, but are in fact appealing to a ‘miracle’.”

    More than a miracle actually. As Sproul rightfully points out chance is No Thing, it is nothing. To appeal to chance as a cause of anything is to assert nothing is the cause which shows the vacuous absurdity of those that claim such a thing.
    Vivid

  207. 207
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    Information. Information is being collapsed and processed into the experience of “matter.” We already have an example of this – dreams. What is being processed and experienced as a 4D physical reality in a dream, if not information? Where is that 4D reality taking place, if not in the mind?

    I understand that many quantum theorists interpret micro-events in just such a fashion. However, interpretations can easily be false. It might be just as reasonable to discuss the surprising new role that matter can play in theses discussions rather than to argue that it doesn’t exist at all. Is there no such thing as the mind/body (non-matter/matter) connection? Is it really all about mind and nothing else?

    What these experiments seem to show is that we we cannot yet make any claims about the nature of reality, even if the equations “work” (as they clearly do) and even if they are well-grounded mathematically (as they surely are). As far as I can tell, there is no logical pathway from the observation – “that wave collapsed” – to the conclusion – “matter doesn’t exist.”

    Meanwhile, no one has yet addressed the point that Heisenberg seems to contradict himself by appealing to Plato’s theory of forms (to justify the radical claim that only forms and ideas exist) while also clinging to Aristotle’s notion that matter can exist both “potentially,” and, one gathers, “actually.” There is no way to make a case for philosophical idealism based on such a conflicted and incoherent foundation. I am very suspicious that Descartes irrational notion of substance dualism has been smuggled into the scientific arena.

    Indeed, these same experiments have often been misinterpreted to mean that the laws of non-contradiction and causality have become obsolete. That point alone should prompt us to step back and ask more questions about what quantum physics is all about, which no one yet seems to grasp in any meaningful way.

  208. 208
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 194

    Information. Information is being collapsed and processed into the experience of “matter.” We already have an example of this – dreams. What is being processed and experienced as a 4D physical reality in a dream, if not information? Where is that 4D reality taking place, if not in the mind?

    It sounds to me as if, to paraphrase Dembski, WJM’s position is just the subjective idealism of George Berkeley restated in the idiom of information theory.

    While I would agree that we only have direct access to the information that appears to come in through our senses or already exists in our minds, that does not, of itself, mean that there is no “out there” out there.

    In my view, there is a key difference between an illusion and a model. Put simply, an illusion is an image or representation of something that is not there whereas a model is an abstracted representation of something that is held to be there. The perceived world we all inhabit is a model of what I assume is out there. It is imperfect and incomplete in many ways but, in terms of survival in an actual objective – and dangerous – reality, it is fit for purpose.

    If we follow WJM’s argument to its logical extreme, solipsism, then all that exists is what I am perceiving at this time. Everything – including all of you – are figments of my imagination (which means I need to have a serious talk with my imagination). This would account for the observation that my cast of characters all perceive the same world but not how some of those characters can know more than my conscious self does. There are simulacra in my imaginary world who apparently know far more about mathematics or quantum physics than I do – unless I’m doing a Donald Trump and making it up as I go along.

    On the other hand, if you are all actually separate conscious entities but there is no external reality, why do we all see pretty much the same thing? If I point to a red Chevrolet Impala driving down the street, the chances are other observers will see the same car. Why? Why isn’t someone else seeing a tree or a cat?

    If you argue that there is an external reality but that it is better understood in terms of information theory, I would be willing to entertain that notion but I would have to ask how it helps? As I see it, Samuel Johnson’s “refutation” of Berkeleyan idealism stands. If I kick a stone with my bare foot it still hurts. Yes, our current understanding of the nature of matter at the sub-atomic level is radically different from what it was two hundred years ago but what has that knowledge changed about the world we experience daily? If you really believe that this is some Matrix-like reality whose behavior can be changed by some deep insight into its immaterial nature, then you should be able to walk in front of a speeding truck and it will pass right through you but I really would not recommend it.

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, that is a rather strange, unwarranted inference. Insofar as someone asked about theism, I gave an answer in brief, Creator-sustainer of the world is part of the standard theistic understanding of God. But that is an aside FYI, not yet another tangent in this thread; where I need to find time to deal with a set of issues already that are actually tangential but seem to be somehow relevant. KF

  210. 210

    Mike1962 asks:

    If “the universe” is actually “just” information being processed by nodes of consciousness (I am very friendly to this idea), in your view, where do the interpretive rules exist that govern the way information is processed by consciousness, what invented them, and why? What observer is processing, say, the information that constitutes the core of our sun?

    There are innate, inviolable rules of interpretation that govern things associated with the principles of logic, mathematics and geometry (for self to exist, “other” most also exist; there are no 4-sided triangles; 1+1=2); and then there are idiosyncratic, local rules of interpretation that have more to do with the psychological state and attention of the observers. Individuals create (or adopt) their local rules. Nobody created the inviolable ones – they are fundamental.

    I’m not sure how to understand “What observer is processing, say, the information that constitutes the core of our sun?” The way that is phrased is as if there is a subset of information that innately about a physical location and process, or as if the warmth and light of the sun cannot be experienced unless someone or something is observing it the core of the sun. What is causing the light and warmth we experience in a dream? Is someone observing the core of a dream sun? At any location there is infinite information; what anyone would observe at the core of a sun is the same as when anyone observes anything: personalized interpretation guided by inviolable mental rules.

  211. 211
    hazel says:

    Lots of interesting comments today.

    My first comment is that I basically agree with Stephen at 207, and I think Sev’s comments at 208 are very good. We don’t know what the ultimate, underlying nature of QM is, and surely matter at that level is not what we thought matter was 100 years ago, but it does eventually manifest itself at the level of our experience of rocks we can kick. I see no value in not adopting the position that a real world of something separate from our experience of it exists.

  212. 212
    hazel says:

    At 204, Sev quotes kf:

    DS, that under theism God creates and sustains the ordered system of reality does not imply that all quantum states are instantly collapsed because of his presence — there would be no unresolved states. Instead, he established a natural world, in which events proceed in lawlike fashion including even stochastic ones, which tend to follow laws.

    Then Sev asks, “Are you saying that you subscribe to deism rather than theism, then?”

    kf responds to that with,

    Insofar as someone asked about theism, I gave an answer in brief, Creator-sustainer of the world is part of the standard theistic understanding of God.

    The “standard” theistic view about this subject is actually, I think, the sticking point between two different theistic views of design. In one view, which kf expresses (but he won’t agree with this description) God has created natural laws and is deistically present as they play out, periodically being more actively present (intervening, some would say) for specific events such as the origin of life: sort of a punctuated deism.

    Others claim that God is actively present in all events, including the moment-by-moment flow of natural events, including ones that appear to be chance to us, so that his design appears “naturally”, as opposed to there being a distinction between what happen by natural law and what happens by design.

    My speculative hypothesis about an underlying source of mind and matter is more like this second interpretation, although I don’t conceive of it as acting like a “person”, with conscious intent and purpose.

  213. 213
    hazel says:

    At 206, Vivid writes, “To appeal to chance as a cause of anything is to assert nothing is the cause which shows the vacuous absurdity of those that claim such a thing.”

    I certainly think it is a case of reification to consider “chance” a cause.

    There are several ways to think of chance. First, chance applies to situations where one of a number of things can happen with various probabilities: I throw snake eyes with two dice, which has a chance of 1/36 of happening. The cause was the physical throwing the dice, and the word chance describes that event happening in comparison to all the other things that could have happened. Chance was certainly not a cause here.

    A somewhat different situation is when one event has an effect on another through an intersection of effects that are not otherwise related to each other. For example, a classic scene from Buster Keaton-like movies: the protagonist bends down to pick up a coin, just as a swinging wrecking ball swings over where his head just was. He was “lucky”: it was by chance that he survived. Both events happened according to their own causes, and chance describes the intersection of those two causal chains, but chance itself is not a cause.

    The difficult case is QM: it is by chance that a radioactive atom with a half-life of one day decayed today: quantum events are probabilistic. It is a matter of disagreement as to whether this is true chance – truly a manifested probability with no underlying cause, or a result of some underlying cause beyond our understanding.

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Obviously, one is always free to hold a particular metaphysics, and to address it on comparative difficulties; including the longstanding problem of the one and the many. That is not my concern here. My concern is narrower than that (and I will defer quantum issues for now), stemming from your remarks in 94, regarding force and energy (thus also matter):

    Just as there is no such thing as matter, there are no such things as forces and energies. Science has disproved the former, careful thinking disproves the latter. While the terms are useful as colloquialisms, they have no place in serious arguments about the nature of existence.

    Immediately, it is false that science has somehow disproved the reality of matter. What is true is that we have come to a more subtle understanding of the material constituents of the familiar macroscopic world, but not in such a way as to dismiss matter as unreal. We still study the 100+ chemical elements, and the “zoo” of particles as well as how they interact through the four generally accepted forces: strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravitational. Yes, when I stand barefoot on the floor, the solidity that pushes back, which I experience as a familiar upward push, is manifested through repulsions of electron clouds around atoms and molecules. But that does not mean that molecules, atoms, electron clouds, nuclei and other more exotic particles are not real.

    Discoveries as to how matter exists are categorically different from inferring that as older views have been modified, matter as such has become an illusion. This last is unwarranted.

    Similarly, forces are often directly palpable, as pushes or pulls that act to deflect material bodies and/or to accelerate them. There is no warrant for inferring that forces are not real.

    Forces act across space and time and we may easily see that work is a cumulative effect of force acting across a distance, that is forced, ordered motion. At differential level, dW = F*dx, a vector dot product, strictly. Likewise the cumulative effect of force acting across time is [change in] momentum, dP = F*dt. Where, energy is at one remove from work: that which has ability to perform work is or contains a form of energy. Of course, as an ultimate link, E = m*c^2 shows the interconvertibility of mass and energy. Perhaps, most relevantly, if one takes the mass of protons and neutrons and adds them up per known nuclear composition, the comparison with actual atoms shows a mass deficit, which is now known to be associated with the binding energy per nucleon, creating a curve which peaks at about 8 MeV/nucleon for Fe. This is connected to power from nuclear fusion and fission, which move towards the Fe peak by combining light nuclei or splitting heavy ones. The former is especially relevant to the behaviour of stars.

    Above, I started from kinematics and introduced inertia and forces, drawing out a cluster of relationships that give a first glimpse of force, energy, momentum and key conservation laws (and which through the correspondence principle tie in relativistic and quantum results through their need to correspond with the empirically well supported classical limit . . . a subtle but pervasive influence):

    from kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion,

    v^2 = u^2 + 2ax

    Introduce m as metric of inertia, resistance to acceleration:

    m(v^2 – u^2) = 2 max

    Taking out F = ma and taking the 2 across:

    1/2 * m(v^2 – u^2) = F*x

    Change in kinetic energy of a uniformly accelerated mass m is the work done to displace it through x by applied force F, and is reflected in the change of velocity. This also hints of what is absolute 0 for velocity, i.e. we look forward to one of the relativity issues.

    This is a first glimpse of energy, work and energy conservation.

    Bring in, that bodies interact in pairs, exerting equal sized, oppositely directed forces:

    Fx_1 = – Fx_2

    This points to flow of energy to perform work, thus conservation.

    In parallel, the same kinematics gives:

    v = u + at (we can see these from a graph of such motion with time)

    m (v – u) = mat

    m(v – u) = F*t, uniform acceleration

    Change of momentum is impulse (F here being average, this is how in a fast collision, with very fast change in momentum, peak force is very high).

    Going to differentials,

    mdv = Fdt

    Or, F = d/dt [mv]

    F = m dP/dt.

    Force is the rate of change of momentum.

    Likewise for bodies 1 and 2, Force F on 1 has opposite force -F on 2, so that

    Ft [on 1] = -Ft [on 2], momentum conservation.

    Consilience.

    Thus, the classical limit gives us a polar point where the lines of evidence converge in a core point of coherence. This is part of why energy, work, force, momentum and linked conservation laws are so pervasive throughout the physical sciences.

    So, now, we come to the sharp dismissiveness as cited, which fits with the denial of a material reality, reducing the world to in effect a multi-dimensional movie or simulation played out in a mind, an interplay of information, logic, mathematics etc that leads to our personal and shared perception of a physical world. This reduces the material to an informational artifact of mind.

    The problem with such a worldview, first, is that the obvious processors on which such a simulation runs, would be particles — better, wavicles — with particular identities and properties interacting through fields, forming atoms and molecules in a world. In that context, the issue is not whether such are real but how, and to be real as creatures of creating primary mind would be to be real. Where, wave particle duality, uncertainty relations, interactions that lead to wavelike or particle like behaviours and the like would be part of the framework.

    A second concern, is our own self-aware minds. If we are caught up in a pervasive delusion such that key entities do not actually exist, we are in grand delusion. This radically undermines confidence in what we perceive, how we think and much more. It would be self-defeating.

    In that context, there is no good reason to dismiss the credibility of our minds.

    But, isn’t the perceived world of solid objects etc at macroscale utterly false?

    No. What we have learned is not that there is not a solid world but how it comes to be. In particular, contact forces are produced through mutual electrostatic repulsion. The atomic molecular picture does not render the macro world delusional.

    Of course, this is still an outline fitted in around the edges of addressing RW issues.

    Later, more as we look at the issues raised on the quantum picture.

    KF

  215. 215
    hazel says:

    kf writes,

    Immediately, it is false that science has somehow disproved the reality of matter. What is true is that we have come to a more subtle understanding of the material constituents of the familiar macroscopic world, but not in such a way as to dismiss matter as unreal. We still study the 100+ chemical elements, and the “zoo” of particles as well as how they interact through the four generally accepted forces: strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravitational. Yes, when I stand barefoot on the floor, the solidity that pushes back, which I experience as a familiar upward push, is manifested through repulsions of electron clouds around atoms and molecules. But that does not mean that molecules, atoms, electron clouds, nuclei and other more exotic particles are not real.

    I agree with all that.

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    H, themes like, in him we live, move and have our being and upholding all things with his powerful word etc are a little more active than a clock winder picture would suggest; as one consequence, miracles are not “violations” of the movement of an otherwise perfectly functioning clock. Again, this is neither the right context for a full orbed exposition nor do I have time to focus on it. Besides, I think others have drawn out the matter in works of systematic theology etc. KF

  217. 217
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I have RW issues to address and things take time. I note to you again, that the radio halos and Fraunhoffer lines are examples of naturally occurring detection similar to what we may contrive. I think here of cloud and bubble chambers or film stacks used to track particles closely similar to the rock matrix. KF

  218. 218
    hazel says:

    re 216: Good clarification, kf. It looks like you subscribe, perhaps, more to the second view that I described.

  219. 219
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, for whatever severely misguided reason, you, as a professing Christian Theist, desperately want “naturally occurring detection” of quantum processes.

    And again, there is NOTHING natural about any material object detecting a quantum process. The mathematical definition of a photon existing in a infinite dimensional, infinite information state prior to collapse empirically refutes your claim that it is a ‘natural’ process. Period!

    Why you cannot understand this simple point I have no idea.

    I’ve already referenced the empirical evidence that has demonstrated that the collapse of the infinite dimensional, infinite information wave function of a photon is a non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, affair. But here goes again, highlighted for your convenience,,

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    Again, I don’t know why you are having such a hard time understanding this simple point. You, as a Christian, should be giddy that such empirical confirmation for ‘non-local’ actions have come forth. In fact, atheistic materialists have been the ones who have fought tooth and nail, for decades, against the evidence that has been coming forth for ‘spooky action at a distance’. Yet all their loopholes, that they have sought refuge in so as to protect the atheistic worldview, have all been closed one by one. The last one, and IMHO, the most important one to be closed was the free will loophole. The reason I consider it the most important loop-hole to be closed is because the Agent Causality of God, as well as the agent causality of man, is shown to be a fundamental feature of reality.

    All of this is VERY FRIENDLY to Christian presuppositions.

    That DaveS and Seversky would have to be the ones to point out that you are toeing the Deistic party line on this issue is telling.

    It is puzzling why you would take a position that is, for all practical purposes, impossible to differentiate from Deism. To paraphase what Bohr said to Einstein one time, “Don’t tell God how to run the universe.”

  220. 220

    KF & Seversky,

    Imagining that something exists outside of mental experience cannot grant you any additional guarantee against either solipsism or delusion.

  221. 221

    Seversky @308 said:

    If you really believe that this is some Matrix-like reality whose behavior can be changed by some deep insight into its immaterial nature, then you should be able to walk in front of a speeding truck and it will pass right through you but I really would not recommend it.

    I 100% agree that unless my model provides a means to experiment, validate and offers practical benefit and results beyond what the external-world model can offer, it’s entirely useless and not worth the time to even discuss.

  222. 222
    hazel says:

    I’ll bite: what “means to experiment, validate and offers practical benefit” does your model offer?

  223. 223

    Hazel @222:
    Basically, applying common attention and thought techniques towards a goal, then observing what happens.

  224. 224
    hazel says:

    That’s not very specific. By common attention do you mean in common with others? And what thought techniques? Can you give an example?

  225. 225
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I simply noted a fact, the observable halos. Particles of RA materials in rocks undergo chain decay to Pb, and in so doing emit particles at various energies that then have diverse penetration differences leading to discoloured rings. This speaks to different discrete energy levels in the nucleus and thus to quantisation. The detection comes through discolouration, and the ring radius is an index of energy of emitted particles. Fraunhoffer lines are another case where absorption in thinner regions of a star’s envelope and re-radiation in all directions creates a characteristic pattern of dark lines. This indicates species, transitions [line frequency patterns are identifying characteristics], and even, through Doppler frequency shifting radial velocity relative to us, i.e. an index relevant to seeing expansion of the cosmos. That such cases occur is simply a fact that is acknowledged as part of the catalogue of observations of the cosmos and its contents. There is no warrant to infer particular design of the stones, they do not constitute a set up experiment. Similarly, thin outer gaseous layers are an evident natural feature of stars. These and other cases point to how in some cases quantum phenomena manifest themselves naturally and there are natural detectors we may observe. We then fit such facts into our explanatory frameworks. By contrast, there are set up experiments, and in many cases, they use similar natural effects, I spoke to cloud and bubble chambers as well as stacks of film. In the case of one double slit type experiment, detectors are set up to pick up the two different outcomes, and coincidence circuits identify events. It seems some go one way, some the other, KF

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    H, nature itself is credibly designed, but that is most evident from cosmological fine tuning. Taking the world as going concern, upheld from moment to moment, that it should have predictable, stable patterns is in part inevitable; as was discussed months back, even hypothetical no detectable pattern would be a pattern. But, beyond that we see general order. However, there are various phenomena that do not merely reflect order playing out mechanically and/or stochastically. Mind vs capability of computational substrates is one example, focal to the OP. The code-using information and linked molecular nanotech systems in the world of life are a second, pointing to intelligent design of cell based life. We observe and participate in a world of intelligently directed configuration, which once it rises to FSCO/I’s 500 – 1,000 bit threshold, is recognisable reliably on sign. Just this week, I had a car ignition key that would not work, it had been somehow bent. Some judicious counter-bending restored proper function, and out of caution I bought a blank and had a duplicate cut, transferring the remote access module myself. The key uses multiple patterns of slots and symmetric prongs to allow turning on of the car, i.e. it and linked systems are FSCO/I in action, indeed a hardware password. A couple days earlier, I came out to see a flat tyre, so we had a tyre change exercise and went to the local garage. That a machine screw was picked up and punctured seems chance and the mechanical clash of sharpish points and rubber tyre materials; likely aided by rains. That, having lodged, the head of said object wore quickly on the road was mechanical necessity, the precisely cut threads and head adapted to a screwdriver were obvious design. If we were to run into a seemingly crashed alien vessel on Mars and find a key-lock system, we would for cause infer design. Ironically, a very similar prong-height system is used to encode genetic information but somehow many cannot recognise the significance of code, algorithms and execution machinery. KF

  227. 227

    Hazel @224 asks:

    That’s not very specific. By common attention do you mean in common with others? And what thought techniques? Can you give an example?

    My interest here lies in debating mental vs external reality logic, not in attempting to explain the basics of mental reality thought techniques. I’m sure you know how to use Google.

  228. 228
    bornagain77 says:

    kf restates his (apparently) foundational belief in naturalism and/or Deism,

    I simply noted a fact, the observable halos. Particles of RA materials in rocks undergo chain decay to Pb, and in so doing emit particles at various energies that then have diverse penetration differences leading to discoloured rings. This speaks to different discrete energy levels in the nucleus and thus to quantisation.,,,
    There is no warrant to infer particular design of the stones, they do not constitute a set up experiment.,,,
    “These and other cases point to how in some cases quantum phenomena manifest themselves naturally and there are natural detectors we may observe.”

    Again, there is NOTHING natural about any material object, whether a rock or a man-made detector, detecting a quantum process. Period!

    Apparently, despite every photon and material particle in the universe being subjected to non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, collapse of its wave function, you still want to cling to your naturalistic belief that radioactive decay is somehow a completely ‘natural’ process that God has no control over. You are wrong in your presupposition on both a theological and scientific level. Theologically, Romans 8 clearly states that “creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    Scientifically this Theistic position of God subjecting creation to decay by His will is born out by first noting the Quantum Zeno effect and then by subsequently bringing in Quantum Information theory.

    An old entry in wikipedia described the Quantum Zeno effect as such, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Likewise, the present day entry on wikipedia about the Quantum Zeno effect also provocatively states that “a system can’t change while you are watching it”

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: Sometimes this effect is interpreted as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    Excerpt: The references to observations and to wavefunction collapse tend to raise unnecessary questions related to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Actually, all that is required is that some interaction with an external system disturb the unitary evolution of the quantum system in a way that is effectively like a projection operator.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected even without interacting with a single atom.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists, (or Deists such as kf), may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any materialistic explanation. And thus the original wikipedia statement of, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay”, stands as being a true statement.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    – per wiki 2018

    Penrose’s 1 in 10^10^123 precision for the initial entropy of the universe plays into this in an interesting way, but we will skip that discussion and fast forward to quantum information theory so as to address kf’s foundational belief in naturalism.

    Moreover, on top of the Quantum Zeno effect, in quantum information theory we find that “in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    As the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    Think about that statement for a second.

    These developments in quantum information theory go to the heart of the ID vs. Evolution debate and directly falsify Darwinian claims that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from some material basis.
    That is to say, immaterial information is now empirically shown to be its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, is completely separate from matter and energy. Moreover, this distinct physical entity of immaterial information, via experimental realization of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, is shown to be a product of the immaterial mind. Specifically, to reiterate for importance, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”.

    To more clearly illustrate how all this plays out in the ID vs. Evolution debate, at about the 41:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Wells, using a branch of mathematics called category theory, demonstrates that, during embryological development, ‘positional information’ must somehow be added to the developing embryo, ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method, in order to explain the transdifferentiation of cells into multiple different states during embryological development.

    Design Beyond DNA: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Wells – video (41:00 minute mark) – January 2017
    https://youtu.be/ASAaANVBoiE?t=2484

    The amount of ‘positional information’ that is somehow coming into a developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method is immense. Vastly outstripping, by many orders of magnitude, the amount of sequential information that is contained within DNA itself. As Doug Axe states in the following video, “there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”

    “There is also a presumption, typically when we talk about our genome, (that the genome) is a blueprint for making us. And that is actually not a proven fact in biology. That is an assumption. And (one) that I question because I don’t think that 4 billion bases, which would be 8 billion bits of information, that you would actually have enough information to specify a human being. If you consider for example that there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”
    Doug Axe – Intelligent Design 3.0 – Stephen C. Meyer – video
    https://youtu.be/lgs6J4LqeqI?t=4575

    And as the following article states, the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000.

    In a TED Talk, (the Question You May Not Ask,,, Where did the information come from?) – November 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Sabatini is charming.,,, he deploys some memorable images. He points out that the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000. Later he wheels out the entire genome, in printed form, of a human being,,,,:
    [F]or the first time in history, this is the genome of a specific human, printed page-by-page, letter-by-letter: 262,000 pages of information, 450 kilograms.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/in-a-ted-talk-heres-the-question-you-may-not-ask/

  229. 229
    bornagain77 says:

    As to how thermodynamics itself relates to this immense amount of positional information that is somehow coming into the developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method, work done on bacteria can give us a small glimpse into just how far out of thermodynamic equilibrium multicellular organisms actually are.
    The information content that is found to be in a simple one cell bacterium, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, is found to be around 10 to the 12 bits,,,

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    ,,, Which is equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘In comparison,,, the largest libraries in the world,, have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – The Creation-evolution Controversy

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    Thus since Bacterial cells are about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.

    Size Comparisons of Bacteria, Amoeba, Animal & Plant Cells
    Excerpt: Bacterial cells are very small – about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.
    https://education.seattlepi.com/size-comparisons-bacteria-amoeba-animal-plant-cells-4966.html

    And since there are conservatively estimated to be around 30 trillion cells in the average human body,

    Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body – 2016
    Abstract: Reported values in the literature on the number of cells in the body differ by orders of magnitude and are very seldom supported by any measurements or calculations. Here, we integrate the most up-to-date information on the number of human and bacterial cells in the body. We estimate the total number of bacteria in the 70 kg “reference man” to be 3.8·10^13. For human cells, we identify the dominant role of the hematopoietic lineage to the total count (?90%) and revise past estimates to 3.0·10^13 human cells. Our analysis also updates the widely-cited 10:1 ratio, showing that the number of bacteria in the body is actually of the same order as the number of human cells, and their total mass is about 0.2 kg.
    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533

    Then that gives us a rough ballpark estimate of around 300 trillion times 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Or about 300 trillion times the information content contained within all the books of the largest libraries in the world. Needless to say, that is a massive amount of positional information that is somehow coming into a developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method.

    On top of all that, as was highlighted earlier, as far as quantum information theory is concerned, this positional information is found to be a “property of an observer who describes a system.”

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    In other words, some ‘outside observer’ who, due to quantum non-locality must necessarily outside the space-time of the universe, is now required in order to give us an adequate causal account so as to explain how it is even possible for this immense amount of positional information to somehow be coming into the developing embryo ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method.

    Christian Theism just so happens to give us an adequate causal account for exactly Who this outside observer might be Who is imparting this immense amount of positional information into developing embryos. As Hebrews chapter 4 verse 13 states, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

    Hebrews 4:13
    And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    And as Psalm 139:13-14 states, “For You formed my inward parts;” and,, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,,”

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77,

    You have said a great many things above, so I can only respond selectively, hopefully focally.

    One theme you picked up is reification, in effect on the idea that secondary, created causes such as gravitation have been treated as though they are autonomous and even able to create a world. That’s fair enough as an observation, though it is not relevant to what I have pointed out, starting with the Casimir effect. Which is where the exchange began.

    But also, we need to recognise that we live in an evident, going concern world with natural regularities and stochastic patterns. A major, institutionally dominant school of thought — descriptively, evolutionary materialistic scientism — holds that somehow that physical world and its antecedents exhaust reality and suffice to explain all phenomena, including ourselves as bio-cybernetic entities. From the OP, I have pointed out that, inherently, this is not so. For, computational substrates (which are mechanically and/or stochastically driven and controlled, even with programming) are not capable of rational, responsible, morally governed freedom where duties to truth, right reason, prudence (so, warrant), fairness and justice etc guide and guard rational inference and creativity etc. Mind, to be mind, must be inherently free and morally governed, which directly implies that it transcends the reach of composite, assembled computational substrates working on physical cause-effect bonds rather than reasoned inference. Reppert, has played a key role in my argument:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    In that context, I pointed to quantum influences that allow a supervisory oracle — which also observes — to supervene effectively upon a bio-cybernetic entity [see the Smith model] and act as self-moved initiating, limited sense “first” or “agent” cause. That is, I here speak of mind, and even in the phil sense, soul. (The theological sense is related but is predicated on discussions not germane to this thread, we are discussing the in-common domain of reasoned thought; or at least what remnants there are, in an increasingly polarised and patently suicidally irrational civilisation.)

    Across the course of the thread, in response to challenges, I suggested that we might be well advised to use the concept of dimensionality to add a — not THE — fifth dimension: (x,y,x,t,f) as this allows us to see how an entity may interface in our space-time world at any given locus, in praxis for us the human body especially the head and the chest, though consciousness clearly pervades the body and just possibly extends beyond it, sometimes under our control. In that context, I suggested that we consider whether the zygote has in it in effect a quantum bridge to the f-domain, in context of various issues raised.

    It is here that I pointed to the Casimir effect as illustrating how the virtual quantum domain lurking in Einstein’s Energy-Time uncertainty framework, shows a case where quantum influences already have observable effects that lead to a small (usually attractive but sometimes repulsive) force between close enough plates in vacuo. In turn, this points to the domain of quantum field theory. I am not offering a proof, I am pointing to something suggestive.

    Now, at this juncture, you made several interventions.

    At first, I have not had time to focus and speak to points one by one, but a focal one was that it is mind that resolves quantum states. That is why I pointed to two cases, radio-halos and Fraunhoffer lines. Both are naturally occurring and are able to resolve the states through interactions. That is, we see natural detectors. I also pointed to how designed experiments are often automated, using devices and structures that resolve such states. These seem to be part of the going concern world.

    One of the issues you raised is retrocausality. On this, I first clipped a brand new SEP discussion, which points out that while some argue that way, it is by no means a consensus. Let me clip again, as it rebalances:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-retrocausality/#ObjeAgaiRetrQuanMech

    Retrocausality in Quantum Mechanics
    First published Mon Jun 3, 2019

    Quantum theory provides a framework for modern theoretical physics that enjoys enormous predictive and explanatory success. Yet, in view of the so-called “measurement problem”, there is no consensus on how physical reality can possibly be such that this framework has this success. The theory is thus an extremely well-functioning algorithm to predict and explain the results of observations, but [there is] no consensus on which kind of objective reality might plausibly underlie these observations.

    Amongst the many attempts to provide an “interpretation” of quantum theory to account for this predictive and explanatory success, one class of interpretations hypothesizes backward-in-time causal influences—retrocausality—as the basis for constructing a convincing foundational account of quantum theory. This entry presents an overview of retrocausal approaches to the interpretation of quantum theory, the main motivations for adopting this approach, a selection of concrete suggested retrocausal models, and a review of the objections brought forward against such approaches . . . .

    2.1 Causality

    There is a tradition that stretches back at least as far as Russell (1913) that denies that there is any place for causal notions in the fundamental sciences, including physics: the notion serves no purpose, and simply does not appear, in the fundamental sciences. The argument goes that, since at least the nineteenth century, the laws that govern physical behavior in fundamental sciences such as physics are almost always differential equations. Such equations are notable for specifying, given some initial conditions, exact properties of systems for all time. And thus if everything is specified for all time, there is no place left for causality. Thus Russell advocates that “causality” should be eliminated from the philosophers lexicon, because it is certainly not a part of the scientific lexicon. [–> I suggest, thermodynamics brings back cause, grounding a temporal-causal view of physical reality tied to entropy and thermodynamic equilibrium.]

    In contrast to Russell’s position, Cartwright (1979: 420) claims that we do have a need and use for a causal vocabulary in science: “causal laws cannot be done away with, for they are needed to ground the distinction between effective strategies and ineffective ones”. One of the main contemporary accounts of causation, the interventionist account of causation (Woodward 2003; see also the entry on causation and manipulability), is an embodiment of Cartwright’s dictum. In a nutshell, the interventionist account claims that A is a cause of B if and only if manipulating A is an effective means of (indirectly) manipulating B. [–> try, neighbouring worlds W and W’ with state of A the material difference and state of B as an observable result, e.g. oxidiser, heat, fuel, combustion chain reaction and fire] Causality in the present entry, unless specified otherwise, should be understood along broadly interventionist lines. According to accounts of quantum theory that hypothesize retrocausality, manipulating the setting of a measurement apparatus can be an effective means of manipulating aspects of the past . . . .

    2.2 Locality

    According to Bell’s theorem (Bell 1964; Clauser et al. 1969; see also the entry on Bell’s theorem) and its descendants (e.g., Greenberger, Horne, & Zeilinger 1989; see also Goldstein et al. 2011; Brunner et al. 2014 for an overview), any theory that reproduces all the correlations of measurement outcomes predicted by quantum theory must violate a principle that Bell calls local causality (Bell 1976, 1990; see also Norsen 2011; Wiseman & Cavalcanti 2017). In a locally causal theory, probabilities of spatiotemporally localized events occurring in some region 1 are independent of what occurs in a region 2 that is spacelike separated from region 1, given a complete specification of what occurs in a spacetime region 3 in region 1’s backward light cone that completely shields off region 1 from the backward light cone of region 2. (See, for instance, Figs. 4 and 6 in Bell 1990 or Fig. 2 in Goldstein et al. 2011.)

    In a relativistic setting, then, the notion of locality involves prohibiting conditional dependences between spacelike separated events, provided that the region upon which these spacelike separated events are conditioned constitutes their common causal (Minkowski) past. This characterization of locality implicitly assumes causal asymmetry. Thus locality is the idea that there are no causal relations between spacelike separated events.

    There is another sense of “local” that is sometimes used that will be worth avoiding for the purposes of clarity. This is the idea that causal influences are constrained along timelike trajectories. Thus, given Costa de Beauregard’s suggestion of “zigzag” causal influences, it is perfectly possible for a retrocausal model of quantum phenomena to be nonlocal in the sense that causal relations exist between spacelike separated events, but “local” in the sense that these causal influences are mediated by timelike trajectories. To avoid ambiguity, it will be useful to refer to this latter sense as “action-by-contact” (set apart from action-at-a-distance) . . . .

    7.1 General Arguments Against Retrocausality

    There is a tradition in philosophy for regarding the very idea of retrocausality as incoherent. The most prominent worry, forcefully made by Black (1956), is the so-called “bilking argument” (see the entry on time travel). Imagine a pair of events, a cause, C, and an effect, E, which we believe to be retrocausally connected (E occurs earlier in time than C). It seems possible to devise an experiment which could confirm whether our belief in the retrocausal connection is correct or not. Namely, once we had observed that E had occurred, we could then set about ensuring that C does not occur, thereby breaking any retrocausal connection that could have existed between them. If we were successful in doing this, then the effect would have been “bilked” of its cause.

    The bilking argument drives one towards the claim that any belief an agent might hold in the positive retrocausal correlation between event C and event E is simply false. However, Dummett (1964) disputes that giving up this belief is the only solution to the bilking argument. Rather, according to Dummett, what the bilking argument actually shows is that a set of three conditions concerning the two events, and the agent’s relationship to them, is incoherent:

    i There exists a positive correlation between an event C and an event E.
    ii Event C is within the power of an agent to perform.
    iii The agent has epistemic access to the occurrence of event E independently of any intention to bring it about.

    It is interesting to note that these conditions do not specify in which order events C and E occur. On simple reflection, there is a perfectly natural reason why it is not possible to bilk future effects of their causes, since condition (iii) fails to hold for future events: we simply have no access to which future events occur independently of the role we play as causal agents to bring the events about. When we lack that epistemic access to past events, the same route out of the bilking argument becomes available.

    Dummett’s defense against the bilking argument is especially relevant to quantum mechanics. In fact, once a suitable specification is made of how condition (iii) can be violated, we find that there exists a strong parallel between the conditions which need to hold to justify a belief in bringing about the past and the structure of quantum mechanics. Price (1996: 174) points out that bilking is impossible in the following circumstances: rather than suppose that a violation of condition (iii) entails that the relevant agent has no epistemic access to the relevant past events independently of any intention to bring them about, suppose that the means by which knowledge of these past events is gathered breaks the claimed correlation between the agent’s action and those past events. Such a condition can be stated as follows:

    iv The agent can gain epistemic access to the occurrence of event E independently of any intention to bring it about and without altering event E from what it would have been had no epistemic access been gained.

    The significance of this weakened violation of condition (iii) is that it is just the sort of condition one would expect to hold if the system in question were a quantum system. The very nature of quantum mechanics ensures that any claimed positive correlation between the future measurement settings and the hidden variables characterizing a quantum system cannot possibly be bilked of their causes because condition (iv) is perennially violated. Moreover, so long as we subscribe to the epistemic interpretation of the wavefunction, we lack epistemic access to the “hidden” variables of the system and we lack this access in principle as a result of the structure of quantum theory.

    Another prominent challenge against the very idea of retrocausality is that it inevitably would give rise to vicious causal loops (Mellor 1998). (See Faye 1994 for a response and the entry on backward causation for a more detailed review of the objections raised against the idea of retrocausality.) . . . .

    7.3 Contextuality for Exotic Causal Structures

    Recall (§3.2) that Spekkens’ (2005) claim that no noncontextual ontological model can reproduce the observed statistics of quantum theory based on his principle of parsimony (that there can be no ontological difference without operational difference) was sidestepped by retrocausal approaches due to the explicit assumption of the ontological models framework that the ontic state is independent of the measurement procedure (i.e., that there is no retrocausality). It was noted there the possibility that Spekkens’ principle of parsimony might be recast to apply more generally to retrocausal models. Shrapnel and Costa (2018) achieve just this in a no-go theorem that applies to any exotic causal structure used to sidestep the ontological models framework, including retrocausal accounts, rendering such models contextual after all.

    Shrapnel and Costa’s result is based on a generalization of the ontological models framework which replaces the operational preparation, transformation, and measurement procedures with the temporally and causally neutral notions of local controllables and environmental processes that mediate correlations between different local systems, and generate the joint statistics for a set of events. “These include any global properties, initial states, connecting mechanisms, causal influence, or global dynamics” (2018: 5). Furthermore, they replace the ontic state ?
    with the ontic “process” ?

    :

    our ontic process captures the physical properties of the world that remain invariant under our local operations. That is, although we allow local properties to change under specific operations, we wish our ontic process to capture those aspects of reality that are independent of this probing. (2018: 8)

    As a result, the notion of ?
    -mediation (encountered in §4.1) is replaced by the notion of ?-mediation, in which the ontic process ?

    completely specifies the properties of the environment that mediate correlations between regions, and screens off outcomes produced by local controllables from the rest of the environment. Shrapnel and Costa (2018: 9) define the notion of “instrument noncontextuality” as a law of parsimony (along the lines of Spekkens’ own definition of noncontextuality): “Operationally indistinguishable pairs of outcomes and local controllables should remain indistinguishable at the ontological level”. They then show that no instrument noncontextual model can reproduce the quantum statistical predictions.

    Crucially, what is contextual is not just the traditional notion of “state”, but any supposedly objective feature of the theory, such as a dynamical law or boundary condition. (2018: 2)

    Since preparations, transformations, and measurements have been replaced by local controllables, there is no extra assumption in Shrapnel and Costa’s framework that ?

    is correlated with some controllables but independent of others. Thus the usual route out of the ontological models framework, and so the no-go theorems of §3, open to retrocausal approaches—that the framework assumes no retrocausality—is closed off in the Shrapnel-Costa theorem, rendering retrocausal approaches contextual along with the rest of the models captured by the ontological models framework.

    This presents a significant worry for retrocausal approaches to quantum theory. If the main motivation for pursing the hypothesis of retrocausality is to recapture in some sense a classical ontology for quantum theory (see §3.4), then the Shrapnel-Costa theorem has made this task either impossible, or beholden to the possibility of some further story explaining how the contextual features of the model arise from some noncontextual footing. On this latter point, it is difficult to see how this story might be told without significantly reducing the ideological economy of the conceptual framework of retrocausality, again jeopardizing a potential virtue of retrocausality.

    As mentioned above (§7.2), contextuality can be construed as a form of fine tuning (Cavalcanti 2018), especially when the demand for noncontextuality is understood as a requirement of parsimony, as above. The worries raised in this section and the last underline the fact that the challenge to account for various types of fine tuning is the most serious principled obstacle that retrocausal accounts continue to face.

    In short, controversial, unsettled, abstruse. Indeed, there is an attached issue of co-adaptation or fine tuning, that becomes problematic also:

    7.2 Retrocausality Requires Fine Tuning

    Causal modeling (Spirtes, Glymour, & Scheines 2000; Pearl 2009) is a practice that has arisen from the field of machine learning that consists in the development of algorithms that can automate the discovery of causes from correlations in large data sets. The causal discovery algorithms permit an inference from given statistical dependences and independences between distinct measurable elements of some system to a causal model for that system. As part of the algorithms, a series of constraints must be placed on the resulting models that capture general features that we take to be characteristic of causality. Two of the more significant assumptions are (i) the causal Markov condition, which ensures that every statistical dependence in the data results in a causal dependence in the model—essentially a formalization of Reichenbach’s common cause principle—and (ii) faithfulness, which ensures that every statistical independence implies a causal independence, or no causal independence is the result of a fine-tuning of the model.

    It has long been recognized (Butterfield 1992; Hausman 1999; Hausman & Woodward 1999) that quantum correlations force one to give up at least one of the assumptions usually made in the causal modeling framework. Wood and Spekkens (2015) argue that any causal model purporting to causally explain the observed quantum correlations must be fine-tuned (i.e., must violate the faithfulness assumption). More precisely, according to them, since the observed statistical independences in an entangled bipartite quantum system imply no signaling between the parties, when it is then assumed that every statistical independence implies a causal independence (which is what faithfulness dictates), it must be inferred that there can be no (direct or mediated) causal link between the parties. Since there is an observed statistical dependence between the outcomes of measurements on the bipartite system, we can no longer account for this dependence with a causal link unless this link is fine tuned to ensure that the no-signaling independences still hold. There is thus a fundamental tension between the observed quantum correlations and the no-signaling requirement, the faithfulness assumption and the possibility of a causal explanation.

    Formally, Wood and Spekkens argue that the following three assumptions form an inconsistent set: (i) the predictions of quantum theory concerning the observed statistical dependences and independences are correct; (ii) the observed statistical dependences and independences can be given a causal explanation; (iii) the faithfulness assumption holds. Wood and Spekkens conclude that, since the faithfulness assumption is an indispensable element of causal discovery, the second assumption must yield. The contrapositive of this is that any purported causal explanation of the observed correlations in an entangled bipartite quantum system falls afoul of the tension between the no-signaling constraint and no fine tuning and, thus, must violate the assumption of faithfulness. Such causal explanations, so the argument goes, including retrocausal explanations, should therefore be ruled out as viable explanations.

    As a brief aside, this fine-tuning worry for retrocausality in the quantum context arises in a more straightforward way. There is no good evidence to suggest that signaling towards the past is possible; that is, there is no retrocausality at the operational level. (Pegg 2006, 2008 argues that this can be explained formally as a result of the completeness condition on the measurement operators, introducing an asymmetry in normalization conditions for preparation and measurement.) Yet, despite there being no signaling towards the past, retrocausal accounts assume causal influences towards past. That these causal influences do not show up as statistical dependences exploitable for signaling purposes raises exactly the same fine-tuning worry as Wood and Spekkens raise.

    An obvious response to the challenge set by Wood and Spekkens is to simply reject the assumption of faithfulness. But this should not be taken lightly; the intuition behind the faithfulness assumption is basic and compelling. When no statistical correlation exists between the occurrences of a pair of events, there is no reason for supposing there to be a causal connection between them. Conversely, if we were to allow the possibility of a causal connection between statistically uncorrelated events, we would have a particularly hard task determining which of these uncorrelated sets could be harboring a conspiratorial causal connection that hides the correlation. The faithfulness assumption is thus a principle of parsimony—the simplest explanation for a pair of statistically uncorrelated events is that they are causally independent—much the same way that Spekkens’ (2005) definition of contextuality is, too (see §3.2); indeed, Cavalcanti (2018) argues that contextuality can be construed as a form of fine-tuning.

    There are, however, well-known examples of systems that potentially show a misapplication of the faithfulness assumption. One such example, originating in Hesslow (1976), involves a contraceptive pill that can cause thrombosis while simultaneously lowering the chance of pregnancy, which can also cause thrombosis. As Cartwright (2001: 246) points out, given the right weight for these process, it is conceivable that the net effect of the pills on the frequency of thrombosis be zero. This is a case of “cancel ling paths”, where the effect of two or more causal routes between a pair of variables cancels to achieve statistical independence. In a case such as this, since we can have independent knowledge of the separate causal mechanisms involved here, there are grounds for arguing that there really is a causal connection between the variables despite their statistical independence. Thus, it is certainly possible to imagine a scenario in which the faithfulness assumption could lead us astray. However, in defense of the general principle, an example such as this clearly contains what Wood and Spekkens refer to as fine tuning; the specific weights for these processes would need to match precisely to erase the statistical dependence, and such a balance would generally be thought as unstable (any change in background conditions, etc. would reveal the causal connection in the form of a statistical dependence).

    Näger (2016) raises the possibility that unfaithfulness can occur without conspiratorial fine tuning if the unfaithfulness arises in a stable way. In the quantum context, Näger suggests that the fine-tuning mechanism is what he calls “internal cancel ling paths”. This mechanism is analogous to the usual cancel ling paths scenario, but the path-cancel ling mechanism does not manifest at the level of variables, but at the level of values. On this view, such fine tuning would occur as a result of the particular causal and/or nomological process that governs the system, and it is in this sense that the cancel ling paths mechanism is internal, and it is the fact that the mechanism is internal that renders the associated fine tuning stable to external disturbances. Thus

    if the laws of nature are such that disturbances always alter the different paths in a balanced way, then it is physically impossible to unbalance the paths. (Näger 2016: 26)

    The possibility raised by Näger would circumvent the problem that violations of faithfulness ultimately undermine our ability to make suitable inferences of causal independence based on statistical independence by allowing only a specific kind of unfaithfulness—a principled or law-based unfaithfulness that is “internal” and is thus stable to background conditions—which is much less conspiratorial, as the fine-tuning is a function of the specific process involved. Evans (2018) argues that a basic retrocausal model of the sort envisaged by Costa de Beauregard (see §1) employs just such an internal cancel ling paths explanation to account for the unfaithful (no signaling) causal channels. See also Almada et al. (2016) for an argument that fine tuning in the quantum context is robust and arises as a result of symmetry considerations.

    Again, abstruse, controversial, unsettled. Not the sort of soil where we should be rooting credible conclusions.

    I think I need to pause for now,

    KF

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Above you have projected to me deism or naturalism, which are patently inapplicable.

  232. 232
    hazel says:

    WJM suggests I Google “mental reality thought techniques”.

    Here’s the first hit: Thought Power – Your Thought – Your Reality

    This is quackery. That’s enough for me.

  233. 233
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, for crying out loud, I did not even reference retrocausality to overturn you belief that radioactive decay was a ‘natural’ process. I referenced the quantum zeno effect, quantum information theory, and experimental realization of the Maxwell demon thought experiment, respectfully. That is a straight up empirical falsification of your claim that it was ‘natural’. It seems you are confused in how you are seeing this in that you are trying to mix the Agent Causality of God with the far more limited agent causality of man, via retrocausality, as well it seems the falsification of realism may have you a bit confused as well.

    As to retrocausality in particular, I am VERY confident that in the near future this particular line of evidence will not go nearly as well for your present belief in naturalism/Deism either as you apparently want that particular line of evidence to go for you:

    Observer-dependent locality of quantum events
    Philippe Allard Guérin and ?aslav Brukner – 25 October 2018
    Excerpt: In general relativity, the causal structure between events is dynamical, but it is definite and observer-independent; events are point-like and the membership of an event A in the future or past light-cone of an event B is an observer-independent statement. When events are defined with respect to quantum systems however, nothing guarantees that the causal relationship between A and B is definite. We propose to associate a causal reference frame corresponding to each event, which can be interpreted as an observer-dependent time according to which an observer describes the evolution of quantum systems. In the causal reference frame of one event, this particular event is always localised, but other events can be ‘smeared out’ in the future and in the past. We do not impose a predefined causal order between the events, but only require that descriptions from different reference frames obey a global consistency condition. We show that our new formalism is equivalent to the pure process matrix formalism (Araújo et al 2017 Quantum 1 10). The latter is known to predict certain multipartite correlations, which are incompatible with the assumption of a causal ordering of the events—these correlations violate causal inequalities. We show how the causal reference frame description can be used to gain insight into the question of realisability of such strongly non-causal processes in laboratory experiments.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/aae742/meta

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, retrocausality is implicit in delayed choice etc. For instance, detector after the double slit — and in principle, after can be at astronomical or at least appreciable scale, where light travels ~ 1 foot/nanosecond, well within reach of current electronic instrumentation. Recall, too, I am busy with RW issues and lack time to go into point by point details . . . I was just dealing with more of same RW. KF

    PS: The radio halo and Fraunhoffer lines are still on the table. These are natural detectors resolving quantum states.

    PPS: You are repeating a corrected claim about my worldview.

  235. 235
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, “retrocausality is implicit in delayed choice etc. ”

    You have no clue what you are talking about. The delayed choice is one of at least two lines of evidence that have falsified ‘realism’, the other one being Leggett’s inequality.

    Those lines of evidence falsifying ‘realism’ have nothing to do with the present empirical falsification that I laid out for your belief that detection of a quantum process in the past is a ‘natural’ process that is completely free of the Agent Causality of God.

    To repeat, I referenced the quantum zeno effect, quantum information theory, and experimental realization of the Maxwell demon thought experiment, respectfully.

    As to:

    “You are repeating a corrected claim about my worldview.”

    And yet if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck,,,

  236. 236
    Brother Brian says:

    When KF, WJM and BA77 have finished arguing over whether or not matter exists if their is no consciousness is there to observe it, might I suggest they discuss whether or not a tree falling in the forest makes any sound if a person isn’t there to hear it. Or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Both would be equally as important and relate to to the ID community.

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, 110:

    “The question of whether detectors in double slit experiments physically cause the wave function to collapse was settled by experiments like the 1999 ‘Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser’ experiment. It was performed by a team of physicists led by Dr. Marlan O. Scully,,,. The experiment showed that the wave property of a photon could not possibly be collapsed into a particle by some physical effect of the detectors. That’s because there were no detectors between the slit and the screen so that the which path information was effected after the photons were already registered on the screen. Here is David Watkinson explaining the experiment.,,,”
    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – video

    BA77, 127:

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Also note, KF, 117:

    117 kairosfocus June 5, 2019 at 10:53 am

    F/N: Being too busy to instantly give a major focus, I put up as FFThot, a Wiki clip on the 1999 delayed choice expt:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed-choice_quantum_eraser#Retrocausality

    Delayed-choice experiments raise questions about time and time sequences, and thereby bring our usual ideas of time and causal sequence into question.[note 1] If events at D1, D2, D3, D4 determine outcomes at D0, then effect seems to precede cause. If the idler light paths were greatly extended so that a year goes by before a photon shows up at D1, D2, D3, or D4, then when a photon shows up in one of these detectors, it would cause a signal photon to have shown up in a certain mode a year earlier. Alternatively, knowledge of the future fate of the idler photon would determine the activity of the signal photon in its own present. Neither of these ideas conforms to the usual human expectation of causality. However, knowledge of the future, which would be a hidden variable, was refuted in experiments.[21]

    Experiments that involve entanglement exhibit phenomena that may make some people doubt their ordinary ideas about causal sequence. In the delayed-choice quantum eraser, an interference pattern will form on D0 even if which-path data pertinent to photons that form it are only erased later in time than the signal photons that hit the primary detector. Not only that feature of the experiment is puzzling; D0 can, in principle at least, be on one side of the universe, and the other four detectors can be “on the other side of the universe” to each other.[22]:197f

    However, the interference pattern can only be seen retroactively once the idler photons have been detected and the experimenter has had information about them available, with the interference pattern being seen when the experimenter looks at particular subsets of signal photons that were matched with idlers that went to particular detectors.[22]:197

    Moreover, the apparent retroactive action vanishes if the effects of observations on the state of the entangled signal and idler photons are considered in the historic order. Specifically, in the case when detection/deletion of which-way information happens before the detection on D0, the standard simplistic explanation says “The detector Di, at which the idler photon is detected, determines the probability distribution at D0 for the signal photon”. Similarly, in the case when D0 precedes detection of the idler photon, the following description is just as accurate: “The position at D0 of the detected signal photon determines the probabilities for the idler photon to hit either of D1, D2, D3 or D4”. These are just equivalent ways of formulating the correlations of entangled photons’ observables in an intuitive causal way, so one may choose any of those (in particular, that one where the cause precedes the consequence and no retrograde action appears in the explanation).

    The total pattern of signal photons at the primary detector never shows interference (see Fig. 5), so it is not possible to deduce what will happen to the idler photons by observing the signal photons alone. The delayed-choice quantum eraser does not communicate information in a retro-causal manner because it takes another signal, one which must arrive by a process that can go no faster than the speed of light, to sort the superimposed data in the signal photons into four streams that reflect the states of the idler photons at their four distinct detection screens.[note 2][note 3]

    In fact, a theorem proved by Phillippe Eberhard shows that if the accepted equations of relativistic quantum field theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects.[23] (See reference[24] for a treatment emphasizing the role of conditional probabilities.)

    In addition to challenging our common-sense ideas of temporal sequence in cause and effect relationships, this experiment is among those that strongly attack our ideas about locality, the idea that things cannot interact unless they are in contact, if not by being in direct physical contact then at least by interaction through magnetic or other such field phenomena.[22]:199

    Note, the observers involved are instruments.

    Having noted the issue, I draw attention to the general observation in the SEP article:

    Quantum theory provides a framework for modern theoretical physics that enjoys enormous predictive and explanatory success. Yet, in view of the so-called “measurement problem”, there is no consensus on how physical reality can possibly be such that this framework has this success. The theory is thus an extremely well-functioning algorithm to predict and explain the results of observations, but [there is] no consensus on which kind of objective reality might plausibly underlie these observations.

    Just passing through,

    KF

  238. 238
    hazel says:

    I agree with the quote from the SEP that kf linked to, except I think the last phrase could better worded as “but [there is] no consensus on what the nature of reality is that might plausibly underlie these observations.”

  239. 239
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, It’s hopeless. You are not even in the right ballpark.

    It is clear this is going to go nowhere. Adios.

  240. 240
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 235

    And yet if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck,,,

    … and if you kick a stone it will still hurt your toe. If a pedestrian walks in front of a speeding truck, neither Bell’s theorem nor Leggett’s inequality nor Maxwell’s demon will make the outcome any less unfortunate for the pedestrian, Just how real do you want “realism” to be?

  241. 241
    daveS says:

    And if you are struck by a stray bullet, you may die (something we in the US are all too familiar with). Without ever being aware of the bullet’s existence, let alone observing it. It’s interesting how pure information can kill you.

  242. 242
    bornagain77 says:

    I wasn’t going to comment on kf’s thread anymore since it is going nowhere, but I will make an exception for you Seversky.

    Seversky, perhaps you care to tell me how you can possibly know that kicking a rock, or getting hit by a bus, hurts without you first being conscious of the pain, i.e. the qualia, of kicking a rock, or by getting hit by a bus?
    Consciousness is the prerequisite of all prerequisites for anything to be real for you in the first place. You don’t have to take my word for it. Quantum pioneers Planck, Schrodinger, and Wigner all made the same point.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the main founder of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    Thus there is certainly nothing inconsistent with the Theist’s belief that consciousness, specifically the Mind of God, precedes material reality, and thus there is nothing inconsistent with the falsification of ‘realism’, i.e. the falsification of the belief that matter can exist apart from consciousness.

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Whereas on the other hand, you, as a atheistic materialist, have no earthly clue how subjective conscious experience can possibly arise from matter. i.e. The ‘Hard Problem of Consciousness’.

    The Hardest Problem in Science? October 28, 2011
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    – David Barash – Professor of Psychology emeritus at the University of Washington.
    https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hardest-problem-in-science/40845

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness.”
    – Jerry Fodor – Rutgers University philosopher
    [2] Fodor, J. A., Can there be a science of mind? Times Literary Supplement. July 3, 1992, pp5-7.

    “Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”
    Sebastian Seung – Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist – “Connectome”:

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”
    Roger Wolcott Sperry – Nobel neurophysiologist
    As quoted in Genius Talk : Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries (1995) by Denis Brian

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    – Eugene Wigner – Nobel prize-winner – Quantum Symmetries

    Thus, since consciousness is the prerequisite of all prerequisites for anything to be real for you in the first place, you have greatly misunderstood what your very own parable about getting hit by a bus and/or kicking a rock tells you about reality.

    As to pain making something real to us in the first place, i.e. ‘getting hit by a truck’. I think the following may be interesting for you.

    The following man was run over by a semi-truck and had a very deep Near Death Experience. Here is what he had to say about the ‘reality’ of the experience of heaven compared to ‘reality’ of the pain he endured after getting hit by a truck:

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

  243. 243
    hazel says:

    I think the rest of us would know that the person Dave mentions was dead, irrespective of the fact that that person’s consciousness had come to a rather abrupt end.

  244. 244
    hazel says:

    If I recall correctly, I think this is the second time that ba has made a point of leaving one of kf’s threads. Interesting way to cope.

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, with all respect, 237 lays out highly material facts, including from yourself. KF

    PS: I have attached to the OP, a web clip from Wiki regarding Kim et al. The layout shows automated detection on alternative detector sets that act accordingly as photons definitively go through one identifiable slit or not. Yes, there is a distribution and both clearly happen; here in the same experiment under the same physical circumstances but not at the same time, the source being low enough that one original photon enters and is split into two half-frequency entangled ones at any given time. Coincidence counter ckts detect events, automatically. The net result is as I now further clip:

    The beam splitters and mirrors direct the idler photons towards detectors labeled D1, D2, D3 and D4. Note that:

    If an idler photon is recorded at detector D3, it can only have come from slit B.
    If an idler photon is recorded at detector D4, it can only have come from slit A.
    If an idler photon is detected at detector D1 or D2, it might have come from slit A or slit B.
    The optical path length measured from slit to D1, D2, D3, and D4 is 2.5 m longer than the optical path length from slit to D0. This means that any information that one can learn from an idler photon must be approximately 8 ns later than what one can learn from its entangled signal photon.

    Detection of the idler photon by D3 or D4 provides delayed “which-path information” indicating whether the signal photon with which it is entangled had gone through slit A or B. On the other hand, detection of the idler photon by D1 or D2 provides a delayed indication that such information is not available for its entangled signal photon. Insofar as which-path information had earlier potentially been available from the idler photon, it is said that the information has been subjected to a “delayed erasure”.

    By using a coincidence counter, the experimenters were able to isolate the entangled signal from photo-noise, recording only events where both signal and idler photons were detected (after compensating for the 8 ns delay). Refer to Figs 3 and 4.

    When the experimenters looked at the signal photons whose entangled idlers were detected at D1 or D2, they detected interference patterns.
    However, when they looked at the signal photons whose entangled idlers were detected at D3 or D4, they detected simple diffraction patterns with no interference.

    In my original citation above, I highlighted presence of automatic, “mechanical” detection and detectors. We can add here, the presence of a stochastic process (later exercises in 2012 would manipulate across the spectrum from one extreme to the other), i.e. a reflection of deep rooted probability in quantum events, not merely oh it’s too complex to calculate (as one may argue over flipping a coin or tumbling a die or using the clash of divergent uncorrelated deterministic streams such as value of pi vs decimal digits that seems to make tables of digits of pi work as random number tables). We also have the now usual weirdness that has led to a breakdown of consensus, including matters that raise questions of retrocausality.

    I note that on the case here, in some instances there is an interaction that seems to be one-slit, particle like behaviour leading to outcome D3/4 AND in a stochastic pattern, in other cases we have wavelike interference, leading to outcome D1/2 for idler photons. Given known quantum patterns, it is likely that we cannot predict which photon will do which, there is a probability distribution. At the micro scale entities are wavicles and behave in ways that puzzle us.

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Some further reading in this context: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1007.3977.pdf KF

    PS: I added a clip from this to the OP. Notice, how Gaasbeek, having run the analysis, observes: “the experimental outcome (encoded in the combined measurement outcomes) is bound to be the same even if we would measure the idler photon earlier, i.e. before the signal photon by shortening the optical path length of the downwards con?guration.” If a consequent C1 vs C2, is independent of antecedents A_m vs A_n, we have removed correlation of effects. Here, the two options of interference or diffraction can occur, per the analysis, whether or not the idler photon is observed before/after the signal photon ends up at detector D_0. This is the sort of case contemplated in the SEP article.

  247. 247

    Hazel said @232:

    This is quackery. That’s enough for me.

    Why do you think it’s quackery?

    Dave said @241:

    And if you are struck by a stray bullet, you may die (something we in the US are all too familiar with). Without ever being aware of the bullet’s existence, let alone observing it. It’s interesting how pure information can kill you.

    There’s an infinite amount of information we are consciously unaware of that affects us all the time – I never implied otherwise. I’m not sure why you think this is a meaningful point to make.

    Hazel said @243:

    I think the rest of us would know that the person Dave mentions was dead, irrespective of the fact that that person’s consciousness had come to a rather abrupt end.

    Let’s call the person Dave is talking about “Mary.” Are you saying that you know as a fact what everyone’s personal experience is of the event, including Mary’s? You know that her consciousness has come to an end?

    (Just so everyone knows, I’m only interacting with Dave and Hazel for the benefit of onlookers, like Axel, StephenB, BA, KF, Mike, etc. I don’t expect them to be able to understand any of this, or to give it anything remotely like a fair hearing.)

    Mental experience (personal mental experience) is both ontologically and epistemologically primary – there’s just no escaping that fact. The “external world” is an abstraction – a model created by and entirely held within mind that attempts to explain aspects of mental experience.

    Key aspects of experience that the “external world” explanatory model attempts to explain are: (1) the apparent consensuality of experience between people, and (2) phenomena in our experience appearing to act independently of our personal volition. In attempting to model this behavior, we assign a second layer of abstractions on the first one (the existence of an external world): the layer of external-world commodity attributes. We even go further by adding a third layer of abstraction: that these attributes have behavioral tendencies caused by things we call “forces”, “laws” and “energy”. This third layer of abstraction comes at both a great epistemological cost, being a third-layer abstraction, but at a great cognitive cost as well, as behaviors of experiential phenomena in the primary ontological domain is considered “explained” by the mischaracterization of a model as the cause of the behavior described by the model.

    I’ll go further than the self-evident truth of the mental ontological and epistemological primacy, because the word “primacy” implies that something might be “secondary.” Both ontologically and empistemologically, mind is not just primary, it is exhaustive because we cannot experience anything outside of mind, and we cannot find a way to know something, hypothesize, model or intuit without using it and absolutely nothing else. Our experience is entirely locked in mind both onotologically (what we experience as reality) and how we explain it via abstractions (epistemology).

    This is a self-evident truth once one understands what it means. Now consider this: some here insist than an abstract model of something that can never be experienced (a world external to and independent of mental experience) is primary with regards to how mental experiences are generated. How delusional is it to insist that something that can never be directly verified, accessed or used ontologically or epistemologically is, in any sense, primary, or “the cause” of any of our mental experiences?

    The reason this has become an almost intractable problem is because virtually everyone – both physicalists and non-physicalists alike – have fallen for the reification of abstractions that attempt to model mental experiences, into things that have independent existence and causal agency. In this, the idea (an abstract model) of an external, independent world has been mistakenly reified as an actual, causal, independent thing in the same way we have reified the model of a pattern of behavior as an independently existing force that causes the behavior.

    You cannot exist outside of mind; you cannot experience outside of mind, you cannot gain any knowledge outside of mind, you cannot theorize outside of mind, you cannot perceive outside of mind. Reifying mental abstractions as extra-mental, independently existing causal agencies is – logically speaking – delusional – because mind is both ontologically and epistemologically exhaustive, and there is no way to avoid that fact short of delusion – and even delusion takes place entirely within mind.

  248. 248
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For record, I have added two infographics that illustrate radio halos and Fraunhoffer spectra, documenting natural detection of quantised phenomena through interactions. In the first, halo radius is a function of alpha particle energy as emitted. In the second, the absorption lines come about as atoms in outer layers of a star (Sol, here) absorb specific energies to promote electrons to higher orbitals. These are then re-radiated in all directions and so lead to a drop in intensity at a frequency corresponding to the energy level. In addition, a subtler result is the overall blackbody pattern of intensity reflecting the “penalising” of higher frequency lumps of light that Planck found as the answer to the UV catastrophe. I just note in passing on the pervasive significance of energy in all of this, which of course through the correspondence principle traces back to the explanation of work as forced ordered motion that comes from applying inertia and force to kinematics results. Energy, appears then as cumulative effect of or source for forced ordered motion, with energy conservation a natural result of bodies interacting in pairs through equally sized, oppositely directed forces (Newton’s 3rd law). Forces, intuitively, are pushes or pulls and cumulative effect of force across time is impulse or change of momentum. NL3 similarly leads to conservation of momentum; NL1 points out that absent a force, momentum is constant; NL2 identifies force as rate of change of momentum; the term “motion” for the three laws is an older term for what we now call momentum, P = m*v. The absence of a natural zero for momentum then points to relativity. KF

    PS: I will continue the for record as time permits. Today is the Queen’s Official Birthday.

  249. 249

    Once we’ve established the exhaustive ontologically and epistemologically mental nature of our experiential reality, we can see the sheer folly of making models that include extra-mental commodities and investing in those abstract commodities as independently existing causal agencies. It is folly for several reasons. First, it reifies an abstract model as the cause of what the model describes. Second, it generates intractable problems like the hard problem of consciousness (personal experience being ** caused** by physical commodities that have no inherent capacity to cause any such thing, or – the hard problem of personal experience).

    Hazel’s speculation (and other have speculated this) that the “material world” and “mind” are phenomena generated by an “unknowable,” mysterious deeper substrate is a form of this cognitive error – reifying a model as an independently existing cause (and, it further suffers from sheer lack of predictive or explanatory capacity – basically, it’s a cognitive dodge).

    KF (and others capable of following a logical argument): Let’s follow the logic of “external reality” further. What is one of the reasons (perhaps the most important one) that we theorize an external, consistent world in the first place? It is the apparent consensuality of experiences between observers. IOW, whatever one theorizes is the ultimate nature of a tree, different observers experience “the tree” in a very similar fashion – where it is, the colors of the leaves and bark, its basic structure, etc. The theory claims that the independent nature of the tree (independent from mind) is causing fairly universal mental states in all observers. We’ll skip the model reification issue here and go another route: think about what you’ve just proposed: an independent, non-mental commodity has caused a particular mental state/experience in all observers.

    However you slice it, you are promoting a materialist principle: that mental states can be caused by independently existing non-mental commodities. You’ve reduced us to being externally-caused entities and you’ve effectively given up free will. There is no escaping the self-annihilating logical consequences of the premise that mental states can be caused by external commodities.

  250. 250
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    (Just so everyone knows, I’m only interacting with Dave and Hazel for the benefit of onlookers, like Axel, StephenB, BA, KF, Mike, etc. I don’t expect them to be able to understand any of this, or to give it anything remotely like a fair hearing.)

    And likewise, I’ll participate to satisfy my own curiosity; I’m not expecting any miracles.

    There’s an infinite amount of information we are consciously unaware of that affects us all the time

    Let’s start there.

    1) How do you know there is an infinite amount of information affecting us all the time, and not just a finite amount? Have you taken measurements?

    2) You use the phrase “consciously unaware of” here. In the scenario I described, do you believe Mary was actually aware, at perhaps an unconscious level, of the bullet speeding toward her head?

    3) I might as well ask, are you claiming that your theory is actually true? Or do you choose to “believe” it simply because that’s what works best for you?

  251. 251
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The Zener “when does the arrow move” paradox, in quantum form, also needs to be specifically taken up, as BA77 highlighted it. Here is a handy summary, using Wikipedia:

    The quantum Zeno effect (also known as the Turing paradox) is a feature of quantum-mechanical systems allowing a particle’s time evolution to be arrested by measuring it frequently enough with respect to some chosen measurement setting.[1]

    Sometimes this effect is interpreted as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”.[2] One can “freeze” the evolution of the system by measuring it frequently enough in its known initial state. The meaning of the term has since expanded, leading to a more technical definition, in which time evolution can be suppressed not only by measurement: the quantum Zeno effect is the suppression of unitary time evolution in quantum systems provided by a variety of sources: measurement, interactions with the environment, stochastic fields, among other factors.[3] As an outgrowth of study of the quantum Zeno effect, it has become clear that applying a series of sufficiently strong and fast pulses with appropriate symmetry can also decouple a system from its decohering environment.[4]

    The name comes from Zeno’s arrow paradox, which states that because an arrow in flight is not seen to move during any single instant, it cannot possibly be moving at all.[note 1]

    This goes on to note:

    According to the reduction postulate, each measurement causes the wavefunction to collapse to an eigenstate of the measurement basis. In the context of this effect, an observation can simply be the absorption of a particle, without the need of an observer in any conventional sense. However, there is controversy over the interpretation of the effect, sometimes referred to as the “measurement problem” in traversing the interface between microscopic and macroscopic objects.[7][8]

    Another crucial problem related to the effect is strictly connected to the time–energy indeterminacy relation. If one wants to make the measurement process more and more frequent, one has to correspondingly decrease the time duration of the measurement itself. But the request that the measurement last only a very short time implies that the energy spread of the state in which reduction occurs becomes increasingly large. However, the deviations from the exponential decay law for small times is crucially related to the inverse of the energy spread, so that the region in which the deviations are appreciable shrinks when one makes the measurement process duration shorter and shorter.[–> This applies the Einstein Energy-time form of the uncertainty principle] An explicit evaluation of these two competing requests shows that it is inappropriate, without taking into account this basic fact, to deal with the actual occurrence and emergence of Zeno’s effect.[9]

    Closely related (and sometimes not distinguished from the quantum Zeno effect) is the watchdog effect, in which the time evolution of a system is affected by its continuous coupling to the environment.

    In 142, BA77 points to this effect, highlighting a case that involves quantum field effects (cf. the Casimir effect — virtual particles in the Energy-time uncertainty substructure). He observed:

    here is a fairly recent experiment which verified the ‘Quantum Zeno Effect’:

    ‘Zeno effect’ verified—atoms won’t move while you watch – October 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Graduate students,, created and cooled a gas of about a billion Rubidium atoms inside a vacuum chamber and suspended the mass between laser beams.,,,
    In that state the atoms arrange in an orderly lattice just as they would in a crystalline solid.,But at such low temperatures, the atoms can “tunnel” from place to place in the lattice.,,,
    The researchers demonstrated that they were able to suppress quantum tunneling merely by observing the atoms.,,,
    The researchers observed the atoms under a microscope by illuminating them with a separate imaging laser.
    [–> interaction is with photons] A light microscope can’t see individual atoms, but the imaging laser causes them to fluoresce, and the microscope captured the flashes of light. When the imaging laser was off, or turned on only dimly, the atoms tunneled freely. But as the imaging beam was made brighter and measurements made more frequently, the tunneling reduced dramatically.,,,
    The experiments were made possible by the group’s invention of a novel imaging technique that made it possible to observe ultracold atoms while leaving them in the same quantum state.,,,
    The popular press has drawn a parallel of this work with the “weeping angels” depicted in the Dr. Who television series – alien creatures who look like statues and can’t move as long as you’re looking at them. There may be some sense to that. In the quantum world, the folk wisdom really is true: “A watched pot never boils.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-10-z…..-wont.html

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    Excerpt: The references to observations and to wavefunction collapse tend to raise unnecessary questions related to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Actually, all that is required is that some interaction with an external system disturb the unitary evolution of the quantum system in a way that is effectively like a projection operator.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom. [–> atom is here pivotal, interaction is with other things]
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2…..S-20150415

    In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any materialistic explanation.

    The abstract for this last, gives crucial context:

    Abstract

    Quantum mechanics predicts that our physical reality is influenced by events that can potentially happen but factually do not occur. Interaction-free measurements (IFMs) exploit this counterintuitive influence to detect the presence of an object without requiring any interaction with it. Here we propose and realize an IFM concept based on an unstable many-particle system. In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom. Contrary to existing proposals, our IFM does not require single-particle sources and is only weakly affected by losses and decoherence. We demonstrate confidence levels of 90%, well beyond previous optical experiments.

    The highlighted note refers (perhaps too subtly) to quantum field effects and virtual particles, similar to what the Casimir effect demonstrates. Space itself is full of energy, with virtual particle actions below the Energy-time uncertainty threshold influencing and interacting with more visible entities.

    Again, the crucial issue is to notice subtle ways in which interactions may occur.

    Of course, a materialistic objector aware of this would then likely point to such interactions and dismiss the case for a mind that rises above what computational substrates can do. This is an error, failing to notice the central problem in trying to reduce mindedness to computational substrates, inadvertently locking out insightful, free reasoning by logical inference. Reppert, again, to keep us on-focus:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Mind simply cannot be explained on combinations and interactions driven and controlled without residue by mechanical necessity and/or blind stochastic process. We instead need something not composite, not mechanical and stochastic but insightful, as Leibnitz pointed out in Monadology 17, the too long neglected analogy of the mill (and Frosty, thanks yet again if you are lurking):

    It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception [[i.e. abstract conception]. It is accordingly in the simple substance, and not in the compound nor in a machine that the perception is to be sought . . .

    Computationalism falls short, inescapably.

    So, then, how do we deal with the brain, indisputably a computational substrate?

    Refer to the extended Smith Model in the OP, contrasting the general dynamic-stochastic model. Here, we find a two-tier controller, where the brain and CNS would serve as I/O in the loop controller. However, extending adaptive control theory insights, a higher order controller supervises the loop, influencing and observing it. Of course, such controllers in technological systems are themselves computational. But the difference here is, the supervisory, non algorithmic oracle. Here, seen as meeting the Leibnitz and Reppert criteria and exerting quantum influence on the in the loop controller. (Do not overlook interaction with shared memory and so with perceptions and record. I add, giving impressive teeth to Plato’s “self-moved” first cause entity. Influenced but not determined by record and perception, processing etc, i.e. open to be rationally, responsibly free.)

    I here clip App 8, my always linked, longstanding briefing note:

    23 –> Pulling the various threads together, we may now find a way for conscious reason to be credible [even if provisional], thus for the conscious reasoning mind that is sufficiently independent of — though obviously strongly interacting with — the brain-body system, that we can be confident in our thought. Otherwise, science itself falls into self-referential incoherence, absurdity and confusion. A first step to that, would be to examine some implications of quantum uncertainty and related phenomena for the brain and the mind. For instance, Harald Atmanspacher, writing in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy observes:

    It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness . . . .

    The original motivation in the early 20th century for relating quantum theory to consciousness was essentially philosophical. It is fairly plausible that conscious free decisions (“free will”) are problematic in a perfectly deterministic world,[1] so quantum randomness might indeed open up novel possibilities for free will. (On the other hand, randomness is problematic for volition!)

    Quantum theory introduced an element of randomness standing out against the previous deterministic worldview, in which randomness, if it occurred at all, simply indicated our ignorance of a more detailed description (as in statistical physics). In sharp contrast to such epistemic randomness, quantum randomness in processes such as spontaneous emission of light, radioactive decay, or other examples of state reduction was considered a fundamental feature of nature, independent of our ignorance or knowledge. To be precise, this feature refers to individual quantum events, whereas the behavior of ensembles of such events is statistically determined. The indeterminism of individual quantum events is constrained by statistical laws.

    24 –> This brings in a new level of considerations, but is itself not unproblematic. For, mere randomness is not enough; we need a viable mechanism of orderly, intelligent interaction.

    25 –> To get to that, we may not only use the above noted indeterminacy of particle behaviour as is found in Quantum theory; but also, we apply Einstein’s energy-time form of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For, at microscopic level force-based interactions between bodies can be viewed in terms of exchanges of so-called “virtual particles.” That is, once the product of the energy and time involved in a particle being exchanged between two interacting bodies falls below the value of Planck’s constant h (suitably multiplied or divided by a small constant), bodies may interact through exchanging undetected — so, “virtual” — particles. We can in effect have a situation crudely similar to two people tugging or pushing on opposite ends of a stick: they interact through the means of the intervening stick; which we then see as attractions or repulsions between the bodies. Thus, as the just linked explains in more details, the quantum theory of forces and interactions between bodies is now strongly based on Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty; yet another case where the deterministic view has been undermined, and one that opens the doorway to a model of the workings of the brain-mind interface.

    26 –> As Scott Calef therefore observes:

    Keith Campbell writes, “The indeterminacy of quantum laws means that any one of a range of outcomes of atomic events in the brain is equally compatible with known physical laws. And differences on the quantum scale can accumulate into very great differences in overall brain condition. So there is some room for spiritual activity even within the limits set by physical law. There could be, without violation of physical law, a general spiritual constraint upon what occurs inside the head.” (p.54). Mind could act upon physical processes by “affecting their course but not breaking in upon them.” (p.54). If this is true, the dualist could maintain the conservation principle but deny a fluctuation in energy because the mind serves to “guide” or control neural events by choosing one set of quantum outcomes rather than another. Further, it should be remembered that the conservation of energy is designed around material interaction; it is mute on how mind might interact with matter. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn’t say that He couldn’t do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we? [Article, “Dualism and Mind,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.]

    27 –> Within this broad framework, there have been several interesting suggestions. Of these, the Penrose- Hameroff proposal is quite original:

    It is argued that elementary acts of consciousness are non-algorithmic, i.e., non-computable, and they are neurophysiologically realized as gravitation-induced reductions of coherent superposition states in microtubuli [–> non algorithmic and non computable oracular action is exactly what we need; gravitons are an interesting suggestion] . . . . Penrose’s rationale for invoking state reduction is not that the corresponding randomness offers room for mental causation to become efficacious (although this is not excluded). His conceptual starting point, at length developed in two books (Penrose 1989, 1994), is that elementary conscious acts must be non-algorithmic. Phrased differently, the emergence of a conscious act is a process which cannot be described algorithmically, hence cannot be computed. His background in this respect has a lot to do with the nature of creativity, mathematical insight, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and the idea of a Platonic reality beyond mind and matter . . . . With his background as an anaesthesiologist, Hameroff suggested to consider microtubules as an option for where reductions of quantum states can take place in an effective way, see e.g., Hameroff and Penrose (1996). The respective quantum states are assumed to be coherent superpositions of tubulin states, ultimately extending over many neurons. Their simultaneous gravitation-induced collapse is interpreted as an individual elementary act of consciousness. The proposed mechanism by which such superpositions are established includes a number of involved details that remain to be confirmed or disproven.

    28 –> In short, there is much room for both potentially fruitful speculation and future empirical research to test the ideas. (Yet another instance where the design-oriented view is anything but a science-stopper.)

    So, properly rebalanced, issues of observation and interaction beyond the material world and similar extensions become a central consideration.

    So, now, we can begin to think about why we must address the problem of the ONE and the MANY, without falling into monisms [and yes, materialism is effectively one form of monism], self-referential discredit of our thinking, etc.

    More to follow as time permits, RW duty calls.

    KF

  252. 252
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As it may help, I added a chart on MIAC to the OP. Links to the Smith model should be clear. KF

  253. 253
    hazel says:

    On Saturday, wjm and I had an exchange: he said his model had practical benefits, but when I asked for an example, he said I should just Google “ mental reality thought techniques.” Here’s the exchange, and then my result.

    221 wjm: “I 100% agree that unless my model provides a means to experiment, validate and offers practical benefit and results beyond what the external-world model can offer, it’s entirely useless and not worth the time to even discuss.”

    222 hazel: “what “means to experiment, validate and offers practical benefit” does your model offer?”

    223 wjm: “Basically, applying common attention and thought techniques towards a goal, then observing what happens.”

    224 hazel: “That’s not very specific. By common attention do you mean in common with others? And what thought techniques? Can you give an example?”

    227 wjm: “My interest here lies in debating mental vs external reality logic, not in attempting to explain the basics of mental reality thought techniques. I’m sure you know how to use Google.”

    So I Googled, and found this, which I promptly labeled as “quackery”.

    My question to wjm is is this: is this an example of how your model can be used to “experiment, validate and offers practical benefit”

    My question to others is this: does this look like quackery?

    Thought Power – Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

    By Tania Kotsos

    2.1K
    Thought power is the key to creating your reality. Everything you perceive in the physical world has its origin in the invisible, inner world of your thoughts and beliefs. To become the master of your destiny, you must learn to control the nature of your dominant, habitual thoughts. By doing so, you will be able to attract into your life that which you intend to have and experience as you come to know the Truth that your thoughts create your reality.

    For Every Outside Effect There is an Inner Cause: Every effect you see in your outside or physical world has a specific cause which has its origin in your inner or mental world. This is the essence of thought power. Put another way, the conditions and circumstances of your life are as a result of your collective thoughts and beliefs. James Allen said it best when he said “circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him”. Every aspect of your life, from the state of your finances to the state of your health and your relationships, is accurately revealing your thoughts and your beliefs.

    It’s an Inside Job: Most people have it back to front, believing that they feel or think a certain way because of their circumstances, not knowing the truth that it is their thought power that is creating those very circumstances, whether wanted or unwanted. By internalizing and applying this Truth, that your thoughts create your reality, you will grant yourself the power to create the changes you want to see manifest in your life. Reality creation is an inside job.

    Your Thought Power is Limitless: There is a single, intelligent Consciousness that pervades the entire Universe, which is all powerful, all knowing, all creative and present everywhere at the same time – the Universal Mind. Your mind is part of this One Universal Mind and since your thoughts are a product of your mind, it follows that your thought power too is limitless. Once you truly understand that your mind is one with the Single Source of All Power and that this power is within you, you will have found the only true source of infinite power for which nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing. Know that thought power comes from within. Accessing the source of All Power starts by looking inwards.

    Your Thoughts are Alive: The greatest mystics and teachers that have walked the Earth have told us that everything is energy. This has now been undeniably confirmed by modern science. Your thoughts too are energy. William Walker Atkinson told us that “where mind is static energy, thought is dynamic energy – two phases of the same thing” and Charles Haanel went on to say that “thought power is the vibratory force formed by converting static mind into dynamic mind”. Your thoughts are alive. Each time you entertain a specific thought, you emit a very specific, corresponding frequency or energy vibration.
    What Frequency Are You On: The basic premise of the Law of Attraction is that like energy attracts like energy. You attract to yourself those things and circumstances that are in vibrational harmony with your dominant frequency, which is itself determined by your dominant mental attitude, habitual thoughts and beliefs. Mike Dooley, one of the presenters of the movie The Secret, fittingly suggests that if you want to know what a thought looks like, just look around you. Keep in mind these three words “thoughts are things”.

    Not All Thoughts Are Created Equal: The attractive power of any particular thought is determined by how often you have that thought and by the strength of the feelings or emotions associated with it. The more energy you give to a particular thought, the greater its power to attract its corresponding circumstance into your physical world through the Law of Attraction. Your one-off, passing thoughts do not have the same creative power as your habitual thoughts and beliefs. Remember, that it is of little use to entertain positive thoughts for just a short burst of time each day if you then proceed to think negative or unwanted thoughts for the rest of the day. A negative thought cancels the benefit of a positive thought and vice versa. Since your reality is the sum total of all your thoughts there are many factors influencing your life. This makes it difficult to directly join the dots between the cause (thought) and the effect (circumstance) but the causation is always there.

    Use Thought Power to Change Your Life: It is your subconscious mind that is the storehouse of your deep-seated beliefs and programmes. To change your circumstances and attract to yourself that which you choose, you must learn to programme and re-programme your subconscious mind. The most effective and practical way to do so, is to learn the simple process of creative visualization. It is the technique underlying reality creation, making use of thought power to consciously imagine, create and attract that which you choose. Your imagination is the engine of your thoughts. It converts your thought power into mental images, which are in turn manifested in the physical realm.

    Become Aware of Your Thoughts But Not Obsessed: It is important that you learn to be aware of your habitual thoughts and to appropriately adjust them so as to maintain an overall positive mental attitude. However, be careful not to become obsessed with every thought that enters your mind as this would be equally counter-productive, if not more so, than not being aware of them at all. Remember that to obsess over your negative, unwanted thoughts, is to give them power and as the saying goes, what you resist persists. So instead of resisting any of your negative thoughts, simply learn to effortlessly cancel them by replacing them as they arise.

    Instantly Replace Unwanted Thoughts: To instantly neutralize the power of a negative thought, calmly and deliberately replace it with its opposite, positive equivalent. For instance, if you think to yourself “I’m not good enough, I will never succeed”, mentally replace that thought with “I am good enough and success comes to me easily”. You can also use the “cancel, cancel” technique made famous by the Silva Method. Each time you catch yourself thinking an unwanted thought, mentally tell yourself and the Universe “cancel, cancel” and immediately follow it up with a positive statement.
    Tame Your Dominant Thoughts and Your Random Thoughts Will Follow Suit: It is estimated that the average person has between 12,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. This is evidence enough to suggest that your goal should not be to control every thought. It is your dominant thoughts and beliefs that you must learn to bring under your conscious control as they are what largely determine your mental attitude. As you do, you will find your random thoughts themselves becoming more positive and more deliberate.

    The following words of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha perfectly capture the essence of thought power:
    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

    In a nutshell, your life is the perfect mirror of your thoughts, beliefs and dominant mental attitude. Whether you realise it or not you are already creating your reality through your thought power. Every effect you see in your outside world has its original cause within you – no exceptions. To gain access to the greatest creative power at your disposal, you must learn to control the nature of your habitual thoughts and to align yourself with the One Source of All Power of which you are a part. Your thoughts create your reality – know, internalize and apply this Truth and you will see your life transform in miraculous ways.

  254. 254

    DaveS asks:

    1) How do you know there is an infinite amount of information affecting us all the time, and not just a finite amount? Have you taken measurements?

    That’s a surprisingly good question, Dave. First, is there an infinite amount of information? That can be answered rather simply; what is the last number that can be counted to? Well, there is no last number. Just in mathematics alone, information is recognizably infinite.

    Since I assume you will be interpreting this from an “external reality” perspective, I use that to explain how we are being affected by infinite information we are not aware of consciously. Picture all the information that comprises “you” as a sphere of information. Now picture the information you hold as “external” to you, that you are aware of (like the environment you observe, news you read, hear or watch, etc.) as a larger sphere that encompasses the “you” sphere and extends outward to a certain point (“you” being an informational sphere within the sphere of “exterior” information you are aware is affecting you observationally). What lies outside of the outer sphere? Information you are not consciously aware of. Is that information affecting you? Yes, indirectly, because it houses, informs, structures and is the environment in which the information you are aware of resides. The information you are aware of, in fact, is entirely dependent upon information you are not consciously aware of. As we have established, that information is infinite.

    Therefore, my statement.

    2) You use the phrase “consciously unaware of” here. In the scenario I described, do you believe Mary was actually aware, at perhaps an unconscious level, of the bullet speeding toward her head?

    Do you think that being “aware of” X information, and X information residing in one’s “unconscious-ness”, are not mutually exclusive? You might be aware that information in general exists in your unconscious, but as soon as you are aware of any specific information, you cannot be “unconscious” of that information.

    “Conscious of” is a synonym of “aware.”

    For most people, subconscious and/or unconscious information (as a kind of programming) dictates everything about them, even their conscious perceptions, interpretations and choices. Most people are completely unaware of this even in general.

  255. 255

    Hazel @253:

    Asking others if the information “looks like quackery” to others in no way addresses my question: “Why do you think it is “quackery”?”

  256. 256
    hazel says:

    Wjm, consider these three quotes from the article:

    Once you truly understand that your mind is one with the Single Source of All Power and that this power is within you, you will have found the only true source of infinite power for which nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing.

    You attract to yourself those things and circumstances that are in vibrational harmony with your dominant frequency, which is itself determined by your dominant mental attitude, habitual thoughts and beliefs

    It is the technique underlying reality creation, making use of thought power to consciously imagine, create and attract that which you choose. Your imagination is the engine of your thoughts. It converts your thought power into mental images, which are in turn manifested in the physical realm.

    Do you believe that “Once you truly understand that your mind is one with the Single Source of All Power …nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing.

    Do you believe you, and everyone, has a “dominant vibrational frequency” which attracts harmonious circumstances to yourself?

    Do you believe that your mental images “are manifested in the physical realm.”: that is, your thoughts actual create reality.

  257. 257

    Hazel,

    Why are you refusing to answer my question?

  258. 258
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    On that note, I’d like you to please answer my third question before I go to the effort to respond to your post.

  259. 259

    DaveS asked:

    3) I might as well ask, are you claiming that your theory is actually true? Or do you choose to “believe” it simply because that’s what works best for you?

    What theory are you referring to?

  260. 260
    daveS says:

    WMJ,

    Perhaps “proposition” is a better word than “theory”. Do you claim that the proposition “matter does not exist” is actually true? Do you care whether it is actually true?

  261. 261
    hazel says:

    I think it’s quackery because of the quotes I offered: anyone who thinks that if you tap into the Universal mind you can make circumstances conform to your vibrational frequency, that you can make reality be whatever you want it to be through thought, and that nothing is impossible, is a quack.

  262. 262
    ET says:

    The quack is the person who cannot form a coherent argument. And hazel obviously cannot form a coherent argument that shows the quotes to be wrong.

  263. 263
    hazel says:

    ET, do you think that if you learn to harness the power of the Universal Mind, nothing is impossible, and that your thoughts could change reality?

  264. 264
    ET says:

    hazel is still unable to form a coherent argument. Does hazel realize that eastern religions tell us that “if you learn to harness the power of the Universal Mind, nothing is impossible, and that your thoughts could change reality”?

  265. 265
    hazel says:

    Yes, that is quackery, too. What is your answer to my questions at 263?

  266. 266
    ET says:

    My answer is that you are a quack who couldn’t form a coherent argument if your life depended on it. 😛

  267. 267
    hazel says:

    You’re not trying very hard today, ET. You can do better than that. 🙂

  268. 268
    ET says:

    I am doing much better than you. You can’t even form a coherent argument.

  269. 269

    DaveS @260:

    My understanding of a “theory” is the following: a model that describes phenomena in a useful (predictive) way. Theories (including scientific ones) are not asserted as “true”, but rather, “effective” or “useful.” My theory, or model, of reality being entirely mental in nature (it’s not just my model, others have come up with versions of it as well throughout history, the latest that I am aware of is from Bernardo Kastrup) is offered in that manner. I don’t bother myself with whether or not it is “true”, but whether or not it is sound logically, is supported by evidence, resolves issues other models cannot resolve, and offers increased, better, and/or new predictive and useful capacity. I operate as if it is true until such time as a better, more effective or more useful, or more efficient model (theory) comes along.

    Hazel @261 said:

    I think it’s quackery because of the quotes I offered: anyone who thinks that if you tap into the Universal mind you can make circumstances conform to your vibrational frequency, that you can make reality be whatever you want it to be through thought, and that nothing is impossible, is a quack.

    That’s a reiteration of your original statement, Hazel – you think those statements indicate quackery. I asked you why you think those statements indicate quackery. Please answer my question: why do you think those statements are “quackery”?

  270. 270
    hazel says:

    Because they are wrong! People can’t just make anything happen by thinking about it.

    For instance, can I fix my air conditioner? Heal my friend’s cancer? Walk though a wall? All by thinking about what I want reality to be?

  271. 271

    Hazel, to be fair, charitable and open, I don’t think you’re going to be able to answer the question, so I’ll try to help you. I think it would a large investment of effort and time for you to understand why you had that reaction; let me take a shot and you tell me if I’m near the target: the statements run contrary to your normal and very effective conceptual model of the order of things in terms of the relationship of internal mind and whatever “the external world” is. It also runs counter to your entire life of observation: we don’t see people flying around, creating millions of dollars in their bank account out of air, turning themselves into physically perfect and younger versions of themselves overnight, etc., and SURELY if such things were possible and at least a significant number of people had mastered this capacity, we would observe such things. How’s that? Am I close?

  272. 272
    hazel says:

    Of course. You said that your model “provides a means to experiment, validate and offers practical benefits.” But you can’t/don’t provide evidence of experiments or validates. The website I found is nothing but of assertions with no evidence they are true.

    Where is some evidence that people can have these powers?

  273. 273
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    If the following:

    I don’t bother myself with whether or not it is “true”, but whether or not it is sound logically, is supported by evidence, resolves issues other models cannot resolve, and offers increased, better, and/or new predictive and useful capacity.

    also holds for the proposition “matter does not exist”, then my enthusiasm for this discussion is greatly diminished.

  274. 274
    ET says:

    hazel:

    For instance, can I fix my air conditioner? Heal my friend’s cancer? Walk though a wall? All by thinking about what I want reality to be?

    No. You are too closed minded to be able to do any of that. So you are very limited in what you can do. Very limited. And that you attempt to project your limits onto others demonstrates your limits are confined to being a projectionist. The A/V clubs of the world await you.

  275. 275
    hazel says:

    So where is the evidence that others have these powers?

    And what are some examples of things you have done based on your model that us ordinary non-believers would consider impossible?

  276. 276

    Hazel @272,

    There are many, many websites on the matter; many papers, books, videos, essentially dating back thousands of years. etc. Let’s be reasonable: you basically went to one or a couple of sites, read what you read there, had your reaction, then came here and posted what you reacted to under the assumption that it was so outrageous everyone (or most everyone) would agree with your “quackery” assessment, without you even having to explain why you considered the statements “quackery.”

    You also (unintentionally, I’m sure) characterized my statement to you at 227:

    My interest here lies in debating mental vs external reality logic, not in attempting to explain the basics of mental reality thought techniques. I’m sure you know how to use Google.

    … as me telling you to google those specific words. If I had meant those specific words, I would have put them in quotation marks. My meaning here is that there is a wealth of information available on the subject and that since I am not interested (as I explicitly stated) in explaining those techniques (additionally, not interested in trying to provide you with a basic, conceptual understanding of a very deep subject), you are certainly capable of perusing the available information and educating yourself. Does that mean that every single site that pops up on any particular search combination is going to provide you great information? Of course not. You already know I disagree with the model that we are manipulating an external, physical world – why would you ask me if I agreed with that statement, as you did at the bottom of #256? I assume you’re paying some attention to what I actually say here.

    Did you take time to even marginally educate yourself on the subject? How many books did you read? How much research did you peruse? How many experiments did you run utilizing the techniques? Did you watch any videos? Listen to an TED talks?

    I want to take this time to demonstrate your utter ignorance of the subject you insist is “quackery.” In 272, you say,

    But you can’t/don’t provide evidence of experiments or validates. The website I found is nothing but of assertions with no evidence they are true.

    I know that you don’t know the first thing about the model, not even a whisper of conceptual understanding, from the above statement. I also know that you are evaluating the model, judging it, entirely from an “external world” model – again, from the above statement. If you’re going to evaluate any existential model, the first rule is to adopt the premise arguendo, then see where the logic goes and what “evidence” would even mean in such a model before one attempts to assess the evidence. You cannot argue against an existential model from the perspective of a competing model, other than by comparing the usefulness of the models; you cannot assess the usefulness of the mental model if you have zero significant understanding of it – which you clearly is the case here.

    So, “evidence”; in a mental reality model (as I’ve already explicitly pointed out), conscious thoughts account for a tiny fraction of how anyone’s reality experience is generated. I’ve pointed out that there is an infinite amount of information we are consciously unaware of that is affecting us. As I pointed out to DaveS @254:

    For most people, subconscious and/or unconscious information (as a kind of programming) dictates everything about them, even their conscious perceptions, interpretations and choices. Most people are completely unaware of this even in general.

    Also, here’s what I said @192:

    There are fundamental informational structures and rules involved in being an individual conscious agency and to have those terms represent anything both ontologically and epistemologically. First and foremost are the logical principals (universal rules of mind) that govern identity, which also necessarily implies basic mathematics. “Intelligence” requires the comprehensibility of our self-and-not-self situation.

    Each individual, or loci of consciousness, exists within a localized mental state within universal mind, meaning it has attached itself to various structures of information – some by logical necessity, some by free will choice (meaning, it has chosen to put its attention on certain things and adopt certain information structures we call beliefs). The things it chooses to attach itself to also have necessary logical additions and conditions. In for a penny, in for a pound, so to speak, that pound often coming in the form of cognitive biases.

    The information we have attached ourselves to by necessity or choice is developed into a 4D mental representation which we experience as an external, consensual, consistent space-time physicality. The only way the quantum evidence makes any sense is if what we call “physical reality” is an experiential representation of mental information being processed by the individual, localized mind and organized, as much as possible, into consensual agreement with other consciousnesses. The same basic “external” forms and processes can fulfill the needs of many, many consciousnesses, while cognitive biases can provide each consciousness with more individualized interpretations of those consensual forms.

    What do those statements mean? It means I cannot provide you evidence because evidence is **always** internal – the literal meaning of empirical – the personal experience of a thing. Under the model, it is literally impossible for me to coerce into your reality experience that which your internal information (unconscious, subconscious) structure denies. It’s literally impossible for you to experience that which your internal information structure insists does not exist. This is the actual root of cognitive blindness, cognitive dissonance and other psychological cognitive impairments because, ultimately, psychology (from the unconscious to the conscious) = our experience of what we call reality.

    Is there scientific research about this? Certainly. Can you find it? Can you see it? Even if you can, what is your information structure reaction to it? I don’t know. But here, in this very brief exchange, note how you interacted with my comments: you didn’t try to gather up even a rudimentary understanding of what I was talking about; you didn’t even try it out; you went with the most superficial emotional reaction to very superficial information that even contradicted some of the things I was saying (apparently oblivious to the fact that there are good and bad sources, deep and light sources, sources with bad logic and good available on EVERY SUBJECT in any google search, and that different sources can have different takes on the same essential subject); you didn’t even bother to take my own prior words into account to see how they compared to what your source said (or you would have found the glaring contradiction I pointed out above.)

    No, your reaction was to take a bunch of quotes from one source (if you even bothered looking at more than one source) and post them up here in the hopes you’d get confirmation from like-minded (do you see what that means, under a mental reality perspective?) people that the information there represented “quackery,” even though it had NO BEARING on my question whatsoever and doing so was, in fact, a colossal failure on your part to even begin to understand the most basic aspects of “mental reality” theory and our capacity to experiment, validate and verify, and what those terms mean within that paradigm.

    So, not to be too harsh, I understand the model is very difficult to incorporate into a mind trained deeply into external-world perspective. Even the language works against comprehending the idea internally, much less expressing it to anyone else not already deeply involved in it. You can only “prove” (provide evidence of) the effectiveness of the model (because of the nature of the model) to yourself and to others who have the informational substructure that can experience and cognitively understand the evidence and what it means. You can never violate the free will of someone who denies it. Free will is absolute. Cognitive blindness provides free will to even deny self-evident truths and logical necessities. Cognitive blindness can literally make you not see something that is right in front of your face.

    The only way to gather up evidence of the theory is to give it a fair, open minded (inasmuch as possible) test yourself, but that would require enough of an understanding of the model to understand WTF you’re doing – and even that is not a guarantee that your deep informational structure would allow you to experience it. One might have to invest some time in breaking up, uprooting and reprogramming a sizable chunk of that information just to be able to let positive results past cognitive barriers. I’ve been doing this for about 30 years now and I’m STILL finding and uprooting subconscious and unconscious “external world” programming.

    This is why I focus on the logical arguments; logic is a universal mental structure that everyone has access to (even if they refuse to look at it or refuse what it dictates – free will is absolute). I don’t want to try to navigate the deep, local, personalized information structures of people I don’t really care about.

  277. 277
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    So where is the evidence that others have these powers?

    And what are some examples of things you have done based on your model that us ordinary non-believers would consider impossible?

    Well, they were successful in getting ID taught in the science classrooms of the world. They were successful in getting abortion banned, in getting contraception banned and in preventing the legalization of same sex marriage. 🙂

  278. 278

    DaveS @273 said:

    …then my enthusiasm for this discussion is greatly diminished.

    I actually find that a fascinating statement. I wonder, do you know your own psychology well enough to explain why you feel that way?

  279. 279
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    And what are some examples of things you have done based on your model that us ordinary non-believers would consider impossible?

    I once suggested a simple (to describe) task: Factorizing a relatively large semiprime quickly and by hand. For example:

    65684014182473718943197423145144592700931035327289
    88929440326027487769754478715458394550835327226157
    79229553357594009087769559273633612475356221411856
    90816568838929020600472014560818700114417750695396
    01278610639778177655067429242013437127323309976164
    02992843991085242914198920331115810558137776563516
    88061996559416142501663142642716294554138356091865
    91744572021892637693405957032111175864104781437584
    21835492761018736031674819082609800706602483368015
    97146066429228091089866030330410946845403797055868
    89109632005097576035694290691643227713859012203698
    43038541922014887078333388967857631242346490654663

    So far, no volunteers.

  280. 280
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    I actually find that a fascinating statement. I wonder, do you know your own psychology well enough to explain why you feel that way?

    Well, I generally am interested in what is true. It appears your preferences are different from mine.

  281. 281
    hazel says:

    Amazing discussion!

  282. 282

    Dave @280,

    Another interesting comment. My inference is that you are interested in knowing or pursuing knowledge about the truth of your existence – what you are, how you exist, what you are, the nature of your experiences, what they are, etc. What I don’t understand is why my lack of commitment to the “truth” value of the model I propose would decrease your enthusiasm for understanding and debating the proposed model in order to ascertain whether or not you might find any truth value in it.

    It seems to me that the reason for your loss of enthusiasm for the discussion isn’t related to whether or not the model itself has truth value for you personally (perhaps you’ve already concluded it does not), but rather requires that **I** am invested in it as true. To shorten that up: it seems you’re relatively disinterested in the potential truth value of the model and more interested in my commitment to it. The only explanation I can think of for that (inform me otherwise) is if (1) you’ve already concluded it has no truth value for you (otherwise, you’d be enthusiastic about discussing it whether I held it as true or not), and (2) your enthusiasm stems from a desire to dislodge its (hypothetical) truth value for me. The only other enthusiasm generating option for continuing discussion would be to support or prove its (hypothetical) truth value to me, in which case you would still be enthusiastic since I am not currently invested in it as “truth.”

    To state even more succinctly, your enthusiasm doesn’t stem from an interest in truth per se, but rather stems from the desire to dislodge others from what you consider to be false truths. I don’t know of any other rational inference given you are not enthusiastic about discussing the model unless I am committed to it as true.

  283. 283
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    To state even more succinctly, your enthusiasm doesn’t stem from an interest in truth per se, but rather stems from the desire to dislodge others from what you consider to be false truths. I don’t know of any other rational inference given you are not enthusiastic about discussing the model unless I am committed to it as true.

    The issue is that I am interested in whether matter truly exists or not. I don’t care so much about whether this model is “useful”, etc. We would therefore be talking about two different things.

  284. 284

    DaveS,

    Okay – can I get an answer to the following question: What difference does it make if matter exists or not? And if it makes no difference, what’s the point in pursuing the truth of the matter? (ooopss … pun not intended!)

  285. 285
    Brother Brian says:

    I am trying to wrap my tiny little mind around WJM’s belief that matter does not exist until it is observed by some consciousness. Does this mean that Kepler’s Supernova (which was observed in 1604), did not actually occur until it was observed in 1604? That would be interesting because in was 20,000 light years from earth, which means that it had to have happened roughly 18,400 years before it was actually detected by a human consciousness. Or that the thousands of galaxies that were detected by pointing the Hubble telescope towards a dark piece of the sky didn’t exist until that time, even though it took millions of years for their light to reach us.

  286. 286
    hazel says:

    BB, you are getting the players mixed up. It is ba who thinks that matter, such as it is, for the appropriate definition of “matter”, doesn’t exist until it is observed by some consciousness. wjm thinks that matter doesn’t exist, period. kf, and even more StephenB, believe that matter does exist irrespective of anyone’s consciousness.

  287. 287
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel, thanks for the correction. I need a program to tell the characters apart.

  288. 288
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    I am trying to wrap my tiny little mind around WJM’s belief that matter does not exist until it is observed by some consciousness.

    I would think that the Intelligent Designer would qualify. It doesn’t have to be us.

    How’s life in your little box?

  289. 289
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    Okay – can I get an answer to the following question: What difference does it make if matter exists or not? And if it makes no difference, what’s the point in pursuing the truth of the matter?

    If matter does not exist, that would mean that we (most of us) are under one heckuva grand delusion. That would be of great interest to me.

  290. 290
    StephenB says:

    WJM asks,

    Okay – can I get an answer to the following question: What difference does it make if matter exists or not? And if it makes no difference, what’s the point in pursuing the truth of the matter?

    I would argue that the truth of the matter should be our first consideration, since it seems evident that, in principle, knowledge is better than ignorance. Then there is the equally important point that some kinds of knowledge are more important than others.

    If we are merely projecting our own consciousness onto the world, as opposed to apprehending the world as an extra-mental reality, we cannot really know anything worth knowing. We can only know ourselves – and in a very limited way.

    In the absence of matter, how do I know that the cat I thought I just experienced is really nothing more than a green ball of slime, or worse, just a figment of my imagination. I submit that it is through matter that we come to learn most of what we know – by understanding a things *whatness* and its *nature,* not by their studying its atomic or subatomic structure.

    In the absence of matter, how can we explain the phenomenon of change? How does the intelligent agent refashion the wood from a tree into the siding of a house if there is no such thing as wood? How would we even know that a change had been made, except by knowing that matter has been rearranged? Or, to extend that point further, how can I detect the design in a sand castle if there is no such thing as a grain of sand?

  291. 291

    DaveS @289 said:

    If matter does not exist, that would mean that we (most of us) are under one heckuva grand delusion. That would be of great interest to me.

    If matter does not exist, why would that mean we are living in a grand delusion?

    StephenB said:

    I would argue that the truth of the matter should be our first consideration, since it seems evident that, in principle, knowledge is better than ignorance. Then there is the equally important point that some kinds of knowledge are more important than others.

    Unless you can explain (1) how one could know the truth value of the existence of external matter even in principle, and (2)why knowledge that external matter (or whatever it is) exists could be significant even in principle, then – as I’ve laid out in a prior thread, whether or not “matter” (or anything external to mental experience) exists is 100% irrelevant epistemologically and ontologically.

    If we are merely projecting our own consciousness onto the world, as opposed to apprehending the world as an extra-mental reality, we cannot really know anything worth knowing. We can only know ourselves – and in a very limited way.

    That statement is so bundled up in external-world assumption it’s incoherent from a mental-reality perspective. But, that’s common, when people don’t understand the basics of a thing but attempt to dive right into what the concept means.

    In the absence of matter, how do I know that the cat I thought I just experienced is really nothing more than a green ball of slime, or worse, just a figment of my imagination. I submit that it is through matter that we come to learn most of what we know – by understanding a things *whatness* and its *nature,* not by their studying its atomic or subatomic structure.

    It seems to me you don’t know enough about the model to ask a coherent question, much less challenge it or compare it to external world models, StephenB.

    In the absence of matter, how can we explain the phenomenon of change? How does the intelligent agent refashion the wood from a tree into the siding of a house if there is no such thing as wood? How would we even know that a change had been made, except by knowing that matter has been rearranged? Or, to extend that point further, how can I detect the design in a sand castle if there is no such thing as a grain of sand?

    Is this how we know things change in dreams? We move around the “matter” of a dream? I get the feeling you’re not even trying, Stephen, which is fine. I know first-hand how exhausting and confusing it can be.

  292. 292
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    Most of us believe that matter exists, and consider that to be quite obvious. If matter does not exist, then we are deluded.

  293. 293

    Dave@ at 292 said:

    Most of us believe that matter exists, and consider that to be quite obvious. If matter does not exist, then we are deluded.

    No, Dave. It just means you’re mistaken.

  294. 294
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    Deluded: believing something that is not true.

  295. 295
    Brother Brian says:

    DaveS, do you think WJM actually believes this nonsense, or do you think it more likely that he is trying to see how far he can lead us atheists along an obviously absurd path?

  296. 296
    daveS says:

    BB,

    I’m pretty certain he “believes” it. That apparently has little to do with whether he judges it to be true, on the other hand.

  297. 297
    hazel says:

    He seems to be a combination of ontological idealism and new age woo. That’s what it looks like to me. He strongly believes that he is right (but so do bornagain, kf, and at other times StephenB, in respect to their own beliefs). Believe or not I’m closer to kf on all this than wjm or ba. Amusing thread to mildly participate in.

  298. 298

    DaveS @ 294: so, every time we are mistaken in our beliefs, we are delusional?

    Care to provide a source for that definition?

  299. 299

    If anyone cares to continue the mind/matter conversation, I’ve created a thread so we can stop bogarting KF’s.

  300. 300
    hazel says:

    Bogarting! 🙂

  301. 301
    StephenB says:

    SB:
    I would argue that the truth of the matter should be our first consideration, since it seems evident that, in principle, knowledge is better than ignorance. Then there is the equally important point that some kinds of knowledge are more important than others.

    WM

    Unless you can explain (1) how one could know the truth value of the existence of external matter even in principle, and (2)why knowledge that external matter (or whatever it is) exists could be significant even in principle, then – as I’ve laid out in a prior thread, whether or not “matter” (or anything external to mental experience) exists is 100% irrelevant epistemologically and ontologically.

    I certainly don’t need to explain why, in principle, knowing the truth about anything is better than not knowing it. The point is obvious. If one is wrong about his understanding of the world, he will make unwise decisions about what to think and how to live. I am surprised you would question the point.

    Meanwhile, I have already provided several examples about why the existence of matter could be or would be an important element for knowing the truth. Again, I am asking this these simple questions: please explain how you can detect a design pattern in nature in the absence of matter. For that matter, please explain how, in the absence of matter, you can know the difference between a dog and a cat.

    That statement is so bundled up in external-world assumption it’s incoherent from a mental-reality perspective. But, that’s common, when people don’t understand the basics of a thing but attempt to dive right into what the concept means.

    My statement is not bundled up with external-world assumptions. You seem to be confusing *your* claim (the quantum phenomenon justifies the claim that matter doesn’t exist) with *my* claim (if extra-mental reality doesn’t exist, then the only reality left to know about is our own consciousness and experience), The latter is a simple logical truth that cannot be escaped. If you can sort out the difference between your claim and my claim, you will be more successful at responding to my comment.

    It seems to me you don’t know enough about the model to ask a coherent question, much less challenge it or compare it to external world models, StephenB.

    Again, you seem to forget that we are discussing your claims and your philosophy. I didn’t say anything about the “model.” I was responding to your claims about what the model could possibly mean. You will recall that I stated earlier that no one knows the relationship between quantum events and ultimate reality – at least not yet.
    If you think that your model explains ultimate reality, then it is you, not me, that does not understand it; and it is you, not me, that needs to explain how the phenomenon of quantum physics proves that matter doesn’t exist.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Further following up on quantum claims, for record. Recall, RW constraints, so one step at a time. Wikipedia is again handy (and on this sort of topic does not tend to pull in trolls):

    The Leggett–Garg inequality,[1] named for Anthony James Leggett and Anupam Garg, is a mathematical inequality fulfilled by all macrorealistic physical theories. Here, macrorealism (macroscopic realism) is a classical worldview defined by the conjunction of two postulates:[1]

    1] Macrorealism per se: “A macroscopic object, which has available to it two or more macroscopically distinct states, is at any given time in a definite one of those states.”

    2] Noninvasive measurability: “It is possible in principle to determine which of these states the system is in without any effect on the state itself, or on the subsequent system dynamics.”

    A macro-level system of course has two different kinds of state (from a statistical thermodynamics, phase space perspective). A macrostate that is based on macro, collective variables such as temperature, pressure, volume etc, and usually a great many microstates associated therewith that in principle relate to ststes of its constituent microparticles consistent with a macrostate, where thermodynamic equilibrium is associated with the clusters of microstates with the highest statistical weight. From this, we may recognise that entropy is definable as a metric of average degree of missing info to specify particular microstate on observing [in principle] macrostate. In short, states and systems tend to have fuzzy borders, but we can for many purposes identify a system and its state with sufficient precision and distinguishability to practice physics and engineering. And yes, law of identity is relevant. Especially, when the issue is, a system with an unambiguous state.

    . So, the notion of state is already subtle.

    As to state characterisation and observability [including, monitoring with instruments], it gets even more complicated. For, state variables may be discrete or continuous (for practical purposes) and it is widely acknowledged that many measurements effect small perturbations, e.g. electrical instruments. In cases where sensitive dependence to initial conditions obtains, that may have radical effects, as state path then migrates unpredictably even for an ideal deterministic system. Factor in noise and things can get hairy for a dynamic-stochastic system.

    So, the L-G inequality test, to a certain degree, may set up a straw picture of classical macrosystems. And as measurement is involved, one cannot simply say that measurement is non-invasive or non perturbing. There is a difference between mathematical idealisation where we can see variables and how they interact and actually setting up and observing a physical entity.

    Quantum systems, notoriously, have uncertainty relationships and interactions can involve even space itself, as the Casimir effect shows. Or, with a rock matrix, etc. I find an Arxiv review:

    Leggett-Garg Inequalities
    Draft: 31 January 2014
    Clive Emary
    Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Hull, Kingsto
    n-upon-Hull,
    HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
    Neill Lambert
    CEMS, RIKEN, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan
    Franco Nori
    CEMS, RIKEN, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan
    Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-
    1040, USA
    Abstract.
    In contrast to the spatial Bell’s inequalities which probe entanglement between spatially-separated systems, the Leggett-Garg inequalities test the correlations of a single system measured at different times. Violation of a genuine Leggett-Garg test implies either the absence of a realistic description of the system or the impossibility of measuring the system without disturbing it. Quantum mechanics violates the inequalities on both accounts and the original motivation for these in equalities was as a test for quantum coherence in macroscopic systems. The last few years has seen a number of experimental tests and violations of these inequalities in a variety of microscopic systems such as superconducting qubits, nuclear spins, and photons. In this article, we provide an introduction to the Leggett-Garg inequalities and review these latest experimental developments. We discuss important topics such as the significance of the non-invasive measurability assumption, the clumsiness loophole, and the role of weak measurements. Also covered are some recent theoretical proposals for the application of Leggett-Garg inequalities in quantum transport, quantum biology and nano-mechanical systems.

    In 141 above, BA77:

    the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The Mind First and/or Theistic implications of quantum experiments such as the preceding are fairly obvious. As Professor Scott Aaronson of MIT once quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    Of course, this is little more than the issue of resolution of states in quantum systems. That can be by intervention of a conscious observer (note, how I have argued in respect of the brain as computational substrate) or it can be by interaction with various detectors, including something as simple as having U-238 bearing minerals embedded in a rock matrix and generating concentric radio-halos or light passing through outer layers of a star and thus creating absorption lines, cf. the illustrations appended to the OP.

    I again note, the non-computability of actually freely rational mind (multiplied by the self-discrediting import of implying that our minds are unfree by being computational substrates) is a more promising context of discussion.

    Taking up theistic views, scripture such as that in Him we live, move and have our being, or that he upholds all things by His powerful word, etc or concepts such as God’s omniscience or power to act out of the usual course of events and processes for good cause are not undermined by noting that there are lawlike regularities and stochastic processes at work. It is not deism or naturalism to observe and hold beliefs about orderly, regular, predictable patterns in a world created by the God of order. Indeed, absent order, we could not operate rationally as acts and reasoning would be unpredictably chaotic. Consequently we could not be morally responsible. Proteins, D/RNA etc would be unpredictable and cell based life would be impossible.

    KF

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: While waiting on an OCR to complete (third try) let’s look at a further case, Quantum Information theory.

    The heart of this, is the Qubit, which can have a phased superposition of definable 0 and 1 states, continuously across the surface of the unit radius Bloch sphere; giving three degrees of freedom. This is radically different from the classical bit which is in 0/1 states, discretely.

    This means Qubits are radically distinct from ordinary bits.

    In quantum mechanics, the general quantum state of a qubit can be represented by a linear superposition of its two orthonormal basis states (or basis vectors). These vectors are usually denoted as |0> = [ 1, 0 ] -column vector and |1> = [ 0 1 ] col-vec again, i.e. we are effectively using complex numbers on the vector understanding. However, that does not cover the full story as combinations of qubits require adding two dimensions to the vector per additional qubit.

    They are written in the conventional Dirac—or “bra–ket”—notation; the |0> and |1> are pronounced “ket 0” and “ket 1.” Extending, the bra half denotes the corresponding row vector, but that interferes with HTML coding so let me denote {a|b> which is the inner or scalar product of vectors; we can take an outer product also. In physics these can be expressed in many ways, representing even transfinite dimensionality. A Qubit state is a weighted combination of the |0> and |1> states: |s> = a |0> + b |1> where a and b can in general be complex numbers. These are constrained by the requirement that a^2 + b^2 = 1, which is the superposition rule allowing probabilistic interpretation and viewing a and b as probability wave amplitudes. Here, let us recognise that probabilities are indexes of ignorance, so this boils down to saying that an unresolved qubit state is uncertain across the surface of the bloch sphere, with three degrees of freedom due to the probability sum constraint.All this points back to Copenhagen. Where, a powerful and compact symbolism is always useful. Unfortunately, it gives trouble with HTML. Greek letters and special characters add to our woes.

    Going on to Quantum info theory, again Wiki is helpful in what is now a mini tutorial in order to address a one liner claim . . . the rhetorical advantage of hurling an elephant is plain. But, at some point, enough has to be addressed cogently to resolve the balance on merits. I did not pick this place or time — which, RW is extremely inconvenient — or throw the first rhetorical punch but I will take enough time to resolve enough that the overall picture will be clear:

    In physics and computer science, quantum information is the information of the state of a quantum system. It is the basic entity of study in quantum information theory,[1] and can be manipulated using quantum information processing techniques. Quantum information refers to both the technical definition in terms of Von Neumann entropy and the general computational term.

    Quantum Information, like classical information, can be processed using digital computers, transmitted from one location to another, manipulated with algorithms, and analyzed with the computer science mathematics. In recent history, the field has Quantum computing has become an active research area because of the possibility to disrupt modern computation, communication, and cryptography . . . .

    Quantum information differs strongly from classical information, epitomized by the bit, in many striking and unfamiliar ways. While the fundamental unit of classical information is the bit, the most basic unit of quantum information is the qubit. Classical information is measured using Shannon Entropy, while the quantum mechanical analogue is Von Neumann entropy. Given a statistical ensemble of quantum mechanical systems with the density matrix d, it is given by S ( d ) = ? Tr ? ( d ln ? d ) . [–> this is obviously related to the weighted sum probability measure for entropy and information] [1] Many of the same entropy measures in classical information theory can also be generalized to the quantum case, such as Holevo entropy[2] and the conditional quantum entropy.

    Unlike classical digital states (which are discrete), a qubit is continuous-valued, describable by a direction on the Bloch sphere. Despite being continuously valued in this way, a qubit is the smallest possible unit of quantum information, as despite the qubit state being continuously-valued, it is impossible to measure the value precisely. Three famous theorems describe the limits on manipulation of quantum information.[1]

    1: no-teleportation theorem, which states that a qubit cannot be (wholly) converted into classical bits; that is, it cannot be “read”.
    2: no cloning theorem, which prevents an arbitrary qubit from being copied.
    3: no-deleting theorem, which prevents an arbitrary qubit from being deleted.
    4: no-broadcast theorem, Although a single qubit can be transported from place to place (e.g. via quantum teleportation), it cannot be delivered to multiple recipients.

    These theorems prove that quantum information within the universe is conserved. They open up possibilities in quantum information processing.

    Quantum Information Processing

    The state of a qubit contains all of its information. This state is frequently expressed as a vector on the Bloch sphere. This state can be changed by applying linear transformations or quantum gates to them. These Unitary transformation (quantum mechanics) are described as rotations on the Bloch Sphere. While classical gates correspond to the familiar operations of Boolean logic, quantum gates are physical unitary operators.

    Due to the volatility of quantum systems and the impossibility of copying states, the storing of quantum information is much more difficult than storing classical information. Nevertheless, with the use of quantum error correction quantum information can still be reliably stored in principle. The existence of quantum error correcting codes has also led to the possibility of fault tolerant quantum computation.

    Classical bits can be encoded into and subsequently retrieved from configurations of qubits, through the use of quantum gates. By itself, a single qubit can convey no more than one bit of accessible classical information about its preparation. This is Holevo’s theorem. However, in superdense coding a sender, by acting on one of two entangled qubits, can convey two bits of accessible information about their joint state to a receiver.

    Quantum information can be moved about, in a quantum channel, analogous to the concept of a classical communications channel. Quantum messages have a finite size, measured in qubits; quantum channels have a finite channel capacity, measured in qubits per second.

    Quantum information, and changes in quantum information, can be quantitatively measured by using an analogue of Shannon entropy, called the von Neumann entropy.

    In some cases quantum algorithms can be used to perform computations faster than in any known classical algorithm. The most famous example of this is Shor’s algorithm that can factor numbers in polynomial time, compared to the best classical algorithms that take sub-exponential time. As factorization is an important part of the safety of RSA encryption, Shor’s algorithm sparked the new field of post-quantum cryptography that tries to find encryption schemes that remain safe even when quantum computers are in play. Other examples of algorithms that demonstrate quantum supremacy include Grover’s search algorithm, where the quantum algorithm gives a quadratic speed-up over the best possible classical algorithm. The complexity class of problems efficiently solvable by a quantum computer is known as BQP.

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) allows unconditionally secure transmission of classical information, unlike classical encryption, which can always be broken in principle, if not in practice. Do note that certain subtle points regarding the safety of QKD are still hotly debated.

    The study of all of the above topics and differences comprises quantum information theory.

    Relation to quantum mechanics
    Quantum mechanics is the study of how microscopic physical systems change dynamically in nature. In the field of quantum information theory, the quantum systems studied are abstracted away from any real world counterpart. A qubit might for instance physically be a photon in a linear optical quantum computer, an ion in a trapped ion quantum computer, or it might be a large collection of atoms as in a superconducting quantum computer. Regardless of the physical implementation, the limits and features of qubits implied by quantum information theory hold as all these systems are all mathematically described by the same apparatus of density matrices over the complex numbers. Another important difference with quantum mechanics is that, while quantum mechanics often studies infinite-dimensional systems such as a harmonic oscillator, quantum information theory concerns both with continuous-variable systems [3] and finite-dimensional systems [4] [5][6] .

    When BA77 took up QIT, he did so in connexion with Maxwell’s Demon, which forces an additional in a nutshell. The idea is that Max is at a gate of a two-chamber gas cylinder say
    [ chcch | ______ ] at first.

    Gas molecules are slow [c] or fast [h], and Max somewhow observes molecules flying towards the gate. If h and heading R-wards he opens it so eventually we have:

    [ ccc | hh]

    We can then couple a heat engine to the two chambers and extract work from information. Though, we can see from the discussion on kinematics that work is forced ORDERLY motion, i.e. it is inherently informational.Szilard long since showed that the extra work of detecting the state of h, c molecules etc leads to preservation of 2nd law of thermodynamics. Max does not do his detections and info processing or gate opening and shutting for free in terms of energy, and someone has to pay the energy source and degradation bills. There are no free lunches for energy and information. Creating info is work, and work is paid for. Pondering the expanded Smith Model, work beyond the FSCO/I threshold demands not only machines and energy but intelligence to create the information rich order or organisation more properly. Piles of building materials do not spontaneously transform themselves into houses.

    So, clipping 143:

    in the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position turns information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20…..nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican……rts-inform

    And as the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,, quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,, Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    This is little more than is in a clip from Harry S Robertson in my longstanding note (and yes, statistical thermodynamics is the road I travelled to arrive at recognising the soundness of the design inference on FSCO/I):

    Summarising Harry Robertson’s Statistical Thermophysics (Prentice-Hall International, 1993) — excerpting desperately and adding emphases and explanatory comments, we can see, perhaps, that this should not be so surprising after all. (In effect, since we do not possess detailed knowledge of the states of the vary large number of microscopic particles of thermal systems [typically ~ 10^20 to 10^26; a mole of substance containing ~ 6.023*10^23 particles; i.e. the Avogadro Number], we can only view them in terms of those gross averages we term thermodynamic variables [pressure, temperature, etc], and so we cannot take advantage of knowledge of such individual particle states that would give us a richer harvest of work, etc.)

    For, as he astutely observes on pp. vii – viii:

    . . . the standard assertion that molecular chaos exists is nothing more than a poorly disguised admission of ignorance, or lack of detailed information about the dynamic state of a system . . . . If I am able to perceive order, I may be able to use it to extract work from the system, but if I am unaware of internal correlations, I cannot use them for macroscopic dynamical purposes. On this basis, I shall distinguish heat from work, and thermal energy from other forms . . .

    And, in more details, (pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36, cf Appendix 1 below for a more detailed development of thermodynamics issues and their tie-in with the inference to design; also see recent ArXiv papers by Duncan and Samura here and here):

    . . . It has long been recognized that the assignment of probabilities to a set represents information, and that some probability sets represent more information than others . . . if one of the probabilities say p2 is unity and therefore the others are zero, then we know that the outcome of the experiment . . . will give [event] y2. Thus we have complete information . . . if we have no basis . . . for believing that event yi is more or less likely than any other [we] have the least possible information about the outcome of the experiment . . . . A remarkably simple and clear analysis by Shannon [1948] has provided us with a quantitative measure of the uncertainty, or missing pertinent information, inherent in a set of probabilities [NB: i.e. a probability different from 1 or 0 should be seen as, in part, an index of ignorance] . . . .

    [deriving informational entropy, cf. discussions here, here, here, here and here; also Sarfati’s discussion of debates and the issue of open systems here . . . ]

    H({pi}) = – C [SUM over i] pi*ln pi, [. . . “my” Eqn 6]

    [where [SUM over i] pi = 1, and we can define also parameters alpha and beta such that: (1) pi = e^-[alpha + beta*yi]; (2) exp [alpha] = [SUM over i](exp – beta*yi) = Z [Z being in effect the partition function across microstates, the “Holy Grail” of statistical thermodynamics]. . . .

    [H], called the information entropy, . . . correspond[s] to the thermodynamic entropy [i.e. s, where also it was shown by Boltzmann that s = k ln w], with C = k, the Boltzmann constant, and yi an energy level, usually ei, while [BETA] becomes 1/kT, with T the thermodynamic temperature . . . A thermodynamic system is characterized by a microscopic structure that is not observed in detail . . . We attempt to develop a theoretical description of the macroscopic properties in terms of its underlying microscopic properties, which are not precisely known. We attempt to assign probabilities to the various microscopic states . . . based on a few . . . macroscopic observations that can be related to averages of microscopic parameters. Evidently the problem that we attempt to solve in statistical thermophysics is exactly the one just treated in terms of information theory. It should not be surprising, then, that the uncertainty of information theory becomes a thermodynamic variable when used in proper context . . . .

    Jayne’s [summary rebuttal to a typical objection] is “. . . The entropy of a thermodynamic system is a measure of the degree of ignorance of a person whose sole knowledge about its microstate consists of the values of the macroscopic quantities . . . which define its thermodynamic state. This is a perfectly ‘objective’ quantity . . . it is a function of [those variables] and does not depend on anybody’s personality. There is no reason why it cannot be measured in the laboratory.” . . . . [pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36; replacing Robertson’s use of S for Informational Entropy with the more standard H.]

    In short, naturally occurring or lab made detectors are possible.

    Thus, clearly, the root problem is conflation of observation with conscious observers. Likewise, that quantum states may be superposed and reflect ignorance until resolved, thus probability amplitude waves, does not imply that the resolution requires direct action of a conscious observer. Radio halos and fraunhoffer lines in stellar spectra answer to that decisively.

    This brings us right back to the OP’s point about noncomputational, non composite supervisory oracles and bio cybernetic entities.

    At this point, I think the point is sufficiently made.

    KF

    KF

  304. 304
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: p. 741 of 1304. After a break, I turn to WJM. I may have to cross-reference as there is now a second thread.

  305. 305
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: WJM in 249 seems to summarise his argument. So, on points:

    >>249 William J Murray June 10, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Once we’ve established the exhaustive ontologically and epistemologically mental nature of our experiential reality,>>

    1: Referring to the extended Smith model in the OP, we can see that consciousness would be part of the self-aware self moved behaviour of an oracle, but by an interface to brain and thence to wider body, there is no incoherence in an onward interaction with a real, physical world.

    2: On theism, that world is a creation, and is the natural domain of our common experience. Such a domain is antecedent to our particular existence.

    3: On naturalism, we in effect have — modulo, emergentism — the inverse monism, of the physical world. However the inability of computational, composite substrates to sustain rationality radically undermines such monism.

    >> we can see the sheer folly of making models that include extra-mental commodities and investing in those abstract commodities as independently existing causal agencies.>>

    4: This gives mostly perspective and implies appeal to idealistic monism on parsimony. We therefore face the challenges of the ancient but still very live problem of the ONE and the MANY, with its ramifications.

    5: The assertion on INDEPENDENTLY existing causal agencies is not quite right. Independent of us and our particular error-prone and often causally ineffective notions, yes . . . if wishes were hoses, beggars would own stables . . . but that is very different from what sounds like a clock-winder characterisation of an utterly independent natural, physical world. We are by no means locked up to idealism or monism.

    6: It seems apt to draw upon Plato in The Laws Bk X as he discusses first, self-moved cause, chains of consequent effects, life and soul — and yes, we here delve into philosophy, not of my choice but to respond to serious questions taken seriously:

    Cle. You are right; but I should like to know how this happens.

    Ath. I fear that the argument may seem singular.

    Cle. Do not hesitate, Stranger; I see that you are afraid of such a discussion carrying you beyond the limits of legislation. But if there be no other way of showing our agreement in the belief that there are Gods, of whom the law is said now to approve, let us take this way, my good sir.

    Ath. Then I suppose that I must repeat the singular argument of those who manufacture the soul according to their own impious notions; they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

    Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

    Cle. Certainly.

    Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

    Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

    Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]

    >>It is folly for several reasons. First, it reifies an abstract model as the cause of what the model describes. >>

    7: Reminder, to reify is:

    reify
    Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
    re·i·fy (r???-f??, r??-)
    tr.v. re·i·fied, re·i·fy·ing, re·i·fies
    To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence.
    [Latin r?s, r?-, thing; see r?- in Indo-European roots + -fy.]
    re?i·fi·ca?tion (-f?-k??sh?n) n.
    re?i·fi?er n.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
    reify (?ri???fa?)
    vb, -fies, -fying or -fied
    (tr) to consider or make (an abstract idea or concept) real or concrete
    [C19: from Latin r?s thing; compare deify]
    ?reifi?cation n
    ?reifi?catory adj
    ?rei?fier n
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
    re•i•fy (?ri ??fa?, ?re?-)

    v.t. -fied, -fy•ing.
    to convert into or regard as a concrete thing: to reify a concept.
    [1850–55; < Latin r?(s) thing + -ify]
    re`i•fi•ca?tion, n.
    Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    8: This seems to beg the question by positing that we in effect live in a Plato’s cave where our in-common world is a shadow show on the wall, a sort of simulation, similar to the notion that on a grand multiverse, the most plausible explanation for the perceived world shared with others is that a Boltzmann brain by fluctuation of the underlying quantum foam has popped into composite being, programmed with a simulation of a world perceived but which has no reality in concrete sense beyond the somehow simulation.

    9: In short, we already see the critical foundational crack: grand delusion at level 1. But then once loosed, level 2 delusion beckons, that this level 1 perception is itself delusion, thence levels 3, 4 ad infinitum.

    10: We can take as a first principle of responsible rationality comparable to the law of distinct identity and its corollaries (LNC, LEM, number, etc) that a scheme of thought reducing to a grand delusion is absurdly self defeating by utterly undermining rationality.

    11: We could stop here, but it is important to continue.

    12: Now, one of the tainted fruit of modernity is the dismissal of abstracta, even though without resort to such, we can neither think nor communicate. Instead we can take it that per logic of being in any possible world, certain abstracta must obtain, starting with the panoply of numbers. These constrain what is possible of being. In a simple case, there is no world where we will but obtain: || + ||| -> |||||.

    13: Many intangible and abstract things are real, not just internalised mouth noises running on wetware. Absent that, including things like meaning and understanding, implication and import, rationality collapses. Reppert, again, is helpful:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    14: This is of course an answer to evolutionary materialistic scientism, but its force is general. Abstracta can be as real as concrete particulars like the labelled keys I am using, just they are real in a different, characteristically mental way. Contemplation and recognition by mind, tied to being integral to the logic of being.

    15: For instance, consider a possible world W distinct from a near neighbour W’ because of some aspect A, so W = {A|~A}, thus we see simple and complex unity [A vs ~A], duality [A with the distinct ~A] and nullity [partition is empty]. From this numbers come, {] –> 0, {0} –> 1, {0,1} –> 2 and so on by unlimited succession, thence N, Z, Q, R, C, and transfinites thence hyperreals and surreals.

    16: None of these is concrete, none can be found in some ghostly repository but we can see they are necessary entities and that they are discovered not invented in the sense of not existing until we come along and first think of them as figments of our imagination. (I of course do not exclude their being eternally contemplated by world root, necessary being mind.)

    17: So, no, we can and credibly do have abstract and concrete entities that are antecedent to our thinking about them, and we have no good reason to dismiss the physical world as not being just that, objectively real regardless ow what we think.

    >>Second, it generates intractable problems like the hard problem of consciousness (personal experience being ** caused** by physical commodities that have no inherent capacity to cause any such thing, or – the hard problem of personal experience).>>

    18: Consider again the extended Smith Model. There is no intractable problem of consciousness arising from interactions of a computational substrate. All that problem does is it exposes the bankruptcy of materialism. But materialism and mentalism as opposed monisms do not exhaust our options.

    >>Hazel’s speculation (and other have speculated this) that the “material world” and “mind” are phenomena generated by an “unknowable,” mysterious deeper substrate is a form of this cognitive error – reifying a model as an independently existing cause (and, it further suffers from sheer lack of predictive or explanatory capacity – basically, it’s a cognitive dodge).>>

    19: Again, not relevant. See extended Smith model i/l/o Reppert etc.

    >>KF (and others capable of following a logical argument): Let’s follow the logic of “external reality” further. What is one of the reasons (perhaps the most important one) that we theorize an external, consistent world in the first place?>>

    20: We experience an objective in common reality, in-common mass delusions are implausible, we have no reason to reduce the world to a computational simulation or dream. Such would all reduce to grand delusion, axiomatically an absurdity.

    >> It is the apparent consensuality of experiences between observers.>>

    21: No, it is not agreement that is primary, but evidence that the world is, despite what we imagine or desire, fear or wish. Surprises like quantum theory are a good case in point.

    22: And BTW, we are seeing what has happened to our civilisation as it abandoned its Judaeo-Christian heritage, we are wandering, helplessly into questions we don’t have a clue how to resolve and rebuild a sound consensus on.

    >> IOW, whatever one theorizes is the ultimate nature of a tree, different observers experience “the tree” in a very similar fashion – where it is, the colors of the leaves and bark, its basic structure, etc. The theory claims that the independent nature of the tree (independent from mind) is causing fairly universal mental states in all observers.>>

    23: The best explanation for the breadfruit tree experiences on going out the front door, is, the real breadfruit tree. Similarly, the banana tree, the Christmas Palm tree, the mango tree, the Avocado, the cashew, etc.

    >> We’ll skip the model reification issue here>>

    24: Already answered.

    >> and go another route: think about what you’ve just proposed: an independent, non-mental commodity has caused a particular mental state/experience in all observers.>>

    25: The best explanation for the breadfruit tree experiences on going out the front door, is, the real breadfruit tree. Similarly, the banana tree, the Christmas Palm tree, the mango tree, the Avocado, the cashew, etc. Observers come and go, or may err, the trees are there.

    26: Also, the independence is independence from our error-prone opinions and perceptions.

    >>However you slice it, you are promoting a materialist principle: that mental states can be caused by independently existing non-mental commodities. >>

    27: Nope, this is not materialism. That we have organs and senses capable of working to provide a body of information recognised and understood as a world does not imply that the world has been reduced to a simulation or model.

    28: Agaim refer to the extended Smith Model.

    >>You’ve reduced us to being externally-caused entities>>

    29: causal influence is not causal determinism. Yes, our senses respond to the external world and generate signals in differing ways that are integrated to form an understanding of ourselves in the world, that on sound common sense we take very seriously. That is not the same as that those determine our actions, we are self-moved.

    >> and you’ve effectively given up free will. >>

    30: Not at all, again see the extended Smith Model. Plato long ago got this right.

    >>There is no escaping the self-annihilating logical consequences of the premise that mental states can be caused by external commodities.>>

    31: Are causally influenced by is not deterministic. We perceive, we act, we respond.

    32: It further seems we need to clarify cause. That an external entity is sensed and is interacted with does not entail that it controls us. Our eyes or ears for example are designed to sense and feed processing that assembles a gestalt, thence a world-picture. This is a mostly reliable though sometimes defective cybernetic subsystem. That does not determine what the supervisory oracle will do.

    KF

  306. 306
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    do you think WJM actually believes this nonsense, or do you think it more likely that he is trying to see how far he can lead us atheists along an obviously absurd path?

    LoL! Look how many people believe the nonsense that blind and mindless processes produced living organisms and the diversity of life on earth! And look, they are trying to see how far they can lead everyone else down that very absurd path.

    Brother Brian is totally clueless…

  307. 307
    ET says:

    WJM:

    Is this how we know things change in dreams? We move around the “matter” of a dream?

    The dream exists in our brains which is made of matter.

  308. 308
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, it’s time to put your pet sock back in his cage (refer to 306). He is soiling the carpet.

  309. 309
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Brother Brainless! YOU are a soiled carpet. (refer to all of your posts)

  310. 310
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, a substantial issue has been on the table, that should be focal. There is no need for barbed rhetoric. KF

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