Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Physics

Will dualists win the consciousness argument?

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Quantum mechanics requires that the observer be part of the measurement; thus quantum measurements must include consciousness:

Angus Menuge: Well, likewise, what if physics will conclude finally that we can’t reduce consciousness to any ordinary physical phenomena? We just recognize it as its own kind of thing. And in fact, we need it in order to have a complete physics. After all, if you want the theory of everything that Stephen Hawking wants, in the end, as Thomas Nagel said, the theory of everything has to include the scientist as well as the world the scientist observes.

If I am going to have an account that fully explains what’s going on when a scientist measures a system in quantum physics and deals with entanglement and all these other things, what if it turns out that that account must appeal to consciousness? Does consciousness then become part of physics?

If it does, then — in a way — the debate between physicalists and dualists dissipates because the physical has just absorbed consciousness.

But the dualists would have won in the sense that consciousness doesn’t reduce to any of these other things. That is what they’ve been claiming for a few centuries…

News, “ Can a materialist consciousness theory survive quantum mechanics?” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: If quantum measurements must include consciousness, the dualists are correct, says philosopher Angus Menuge: Consciousness exists in its own right.

Here are the earlier discussions in this podcast:

Part 1: Angus Menuge explains why “red” is such a problem in philosophy. “Red” is an example of qualia, concepts we can experience that have no physical existence otherwise. Materialism would be easy if it weren’t for concepts like “red” which are quite real but abstracted from physical reality.

Part 2: Panpsychism is, in Angus Menuge’s view, a desperate move. But he thinks it is worth keeping an eye on as an understandable reaction to materialism. Menuge argues that one problem for panpsychism is that consciousness is unitary; it does not seem composed of innumerable tiny proto-conscious elements.

Part 3: Can quantum mechanics help decipher consciousness? Free will? Nobel laureate Roger Penrose, among others, looked to the quantum world for models. Angus Menuge thinks that physicists John von Neumann’s and Henry Stapp’s models of quantum mechanics provide some directions.

4 Replies to “Will dualists win the consciousness argument?

  1. 1
    William J Murray says:

    The won the consciousness argument. They lost the dualism argument.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “After all, if you want the theory of everything that Stephen Hawking wants, in the end, as Thomas Nagel said, the theory of everything has to include the scientist as well as the world the scientist observes.”

    The failure to find a quote-unquote ‘theory of everything’ is almost directly tied to the exclusion of ‘the scientist’ from the world that the scientist observes.

    Quantum Electrodynamics is considered the archetypical example of what a final, purely mathematical, ‘theory of everything’ might look like.

    Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity
    Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.
    In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to.?If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you’ll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity (i.e. General Relativity).
    http://www.infoplease.com/cig/.....ivity.html

    Theoretical Physicists were only able to unify special relativity and quantum mechanics into Quantum Electrodynamics by quote-unquote ‘brushing infinity under the rug’.

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    This ‘brushing infinity under the rug’ never set right with Richard Feynman.

    In the following video, Feynman rightly expresses his unease with “brushing infinity under the rug.”

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman – one of the founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Quote taken from the 6:45 minute mark of the following video:
    – Feynman: Mathematicians versus Physicists
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

    And indeed Feynman was right to be ‘always bothered’ by ‘brushing infinity under the rug.’

    In the ‘renormalization’ of the infinity that exists between special relativity and quantum mechanics, Feynman ended up brushing quantum measurement itself under the rub.

    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.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Yet, quantum measurement is precisely where the conscious observer, i.e. ‘the scientist’ himself, makes his presence known in quantum mechanics.

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

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

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    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

    Moreover, 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

    Thus since Quantum Electrodynamics is regarded by many theoretical physicists as the correct first step towards a purely mathematical theory of everything, and yet since Quantum Electrodynamics excludes quantum measurement and/or conscious observation, i.e. excludes the scientist himself, in that very first step, then Quantum Electrodynamics cannot possibly be the correct first step towards the correct ‘theory of everything.’

    Obviously the scientist himself is a very important part of the ‘everything’ that any purported ‘theory of everything’ must successfully explain.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    And although special relativity and quantum mechanics were, via the mathematical sleight of hand of renormalization, mathematically unified with one another in order to produce theory of Quantum Electrodynamics, no such mathematical sleight of hand exists for unifying General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics.

    Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    And as the following theoretical physicist noted, “You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the ‘infinite’ mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:, Specifically he states, “The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    William Dembski – The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31

    Philippians 2:8-9
    And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company,

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 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

    ,,, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics as the closing of the free will loophole now empirically demands, then that 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”.

    In regards to gravity being dealt with in the Shroud of Turin, ?The following article 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.’

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. 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. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    https://academicjournals.org/journal/SRE/article-full-text-pdf/CC774D029455

    And in the following video, Isabel Piczek states,,, ‘The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity.’

    “When you look at the image of the shroud, the two bodies next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But if you create, for instance, a three dimensional object, as I did, the real body, then you realize that there is a strange dividing element. An interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange you discover is that the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the clothe was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body, and all of the sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut.”
    Isabel Piczek –
    Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains the ‘event horizon’ on the Shroud of Turin) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Ru3_TWuiY

    Kevin Moran, an optical engineer, describes the Shroud Image in this way, “The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity,,,”

    Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples – Kevin E. Moran – 1999
    Discussion
    Pia’s negative photograph, from 1898, showed what looked to be a body that was glowing, but slightly submerged in a bath of cloudy water. This condition is more properly described as an image that is visible, at a distance, but by locally attenuated radiation. The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity and, if moving at light speed, only lasted about 100 picoseconds. It is particulate in nature, colliding only with some of the fibers. It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique,,,
    Theoretical model
    It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed.
    Discussion
    The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/moran.pdf

    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with on the Shroud of Turin, the Shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics itself 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.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Moreover, the following rather astonishing study on the Shroud, found that it would take 34 Trillion Watts of what is termed VUV (directional) radiation to form the image on the shroud.

    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 only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://www.predatormastersforu.....er=3014106

    So thus in conclusion, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics then a very plausible solution to the number one unsolved mystery in science today, of finding a reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, readily pops out for us in that, as the Shroud of Turin gives witness to, both Gravity and Quantum Mechanics were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Matthew 28:18
    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Personally, I firmly believe that Christian founders of modern science, who very much viewed their practice of science as a way worshiping God, would be very pleased to learn about by this recent development in science.

    Here are a few quotes to that effect:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.”
    (Newton 1687, Principia)

    “When I reflect on so many profoundly marvellous things that persons have grasped, sought, and done, I recognize even more clearly that human intelligence is a work of God, and one of the most excellent.”
    (Galileo, as cited in Caputo 2000, 85).

    “To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge.”
    (Copernicus, as cited in Neff 1952, 191-192; and in Hubbard 1905, v)

    “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”
    (Kepler, as cited in Morris 1982, 11; see also Graves 1996, 51).

    “I think men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of.”
    (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 404-405)
    – James Clerk Maxwell

    “Overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie all around us; and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us through Nature the influence of a free will, and teaching us that all living things depend on one ever-acting Creator and Ruler.”
    (Kelvin 1871; see also Seeger 1985a, 100-101)

    “Wishing them also a most happy success in their laudable attempts to discover the true nature of the works of God, and praying, that they and all other searchers into physical truths may cordially refer their attainments to the glory of the Author of Nature, and the benefit of mankind.”
    — Robert Boyle (1627-1691) largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, speaking of the Royal Society in his will

    “The examination of the bodies of animals has always been my delight, and I have thought that we might thence not only obtain an insight into the lighter mysteries of nature, but there perceive a kind of image or reflection of the omnipotent Creator Himself.”
    (Harvey, as cited in Keynes 1966, 330)

  4. 4
    Viola Lee says:

    I think it is likely that WJM is right: both the physical world at the quantum level, which we participate in as a physical body, and conscousness, which we participate in as a mind, are part of of an whole (a Oneness) that lies “below” both the physical and the mental that we experience, and integrates the two at every moment.

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