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At Scientific American: Quantum theory does not require a conscious observer

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double slit experiment

Science writer Anil Ananthaswamy Intro of surveys current theories:

If nothing else, these experiments are showing that we cannot yet make any claims about the nature of reality, even if the claims are well-motivated mathematically or philosophically. And given that neuroscientists and philosophers of mind don’t agree on the nature of consciousness, claims that it collapses wave functions are premature at best and misleading and wrong at worst.Anil Ananthaswamy, “What Does Quantum Theory Actually Tell Us about Reality?” at Scientific American

One wants to ask, if we cannot make any claims about the nature of reality and there is no agreement about the nature of consciousness, how does Ananthaswamy know that claims about the role of consciousness are “premature,” “misleading,” or “wrong?” Hasn’t he ruled out any basis for such decisions?

See also: At Nature: For now, “uncertainty seems the wisest position” on the implications of quantum mechanics

and

Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

80 Replies to “At Scientific American: Quantum theory does not require a conscious observer

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    Of course, Anil Ananthaswami is correct.

    Since “science” is what we study together, establishing a consensus determines scientific truth. These truths are of necessity compatible to our politico-philosophical perspectives, which we know to be true and self evident.

    The purpose of Scientific American is to enlighten and guide its readers in celebration of new Scientific discoveries and interpretation based on the fundamental axioms of Science:

    I. All true Science is based on materialistic determinism. We no longer need to invoke the irrational belief in God.

    II. All Truth is Scientific truth.

    III. Science is guided and guarded by an elite circle of Experts in each field as determined by the weight of their referenced papers, awards, and presentations.

    IV. It is the responsibility of each scientist and academic to submit their speculative observations to someone with greater recognition in their discipline for approval or amendment.

    V. It is the fundamental responsibility of each scientist and academic to support the consensus in other disciplines as well as their own in their presentations, classes, and publications.

    This is a brief summary of the Five-Fold Path to Scientific Enlightenment and Acceptance into the Scientific and Academic community.

    😉

    Q

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Q, those should be chiseled in stone at some university somewhere (if they are not already) 🙂

  3. 3
    jdk says:

    This article is a pretty good summary of current thinking, and consistent with a couple recent books on QM. We really don’t know what the situation is, and contrary to bornagain77, it is not an established consensus that consciousness is a necessary component of the “wave collapse”.

    Those interested should read the article carefully.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    “and contrary to bornagain77, it is not an established consensus that consciousness is a necessary component of the “wave collapse”.”

    HUH????

    oh its jdk

    Never mind

  5. 5
    jdk says:

    Did you read the article, ba? Do you discount what it says?

  6. 6
    jdk says:

    From a link in the OP

    Anil Ananthaswamy is an award-winning journalist and former staff writer and deputy news editor for the London-based New Scientist magazine. He has been a guest editor for the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and organizes and teaches an annual science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, India. He is a freelance feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’s Front Matter. He contributes regularly to the New Scientist, and has also written for Nature, Nautilus, Matter, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic News, and the UK’s Literary Review. His first book, The Edge of Physics, was voted book of the year in 2010 by Physics World, and his second book, The Man Who Wasn’t There, won a Nautilus Book Award in 2015 and was long-listed for the 2016 Pen/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Through Two Doors at Once will be published on August 7, 2018.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, first off you claimed that I believe “consciousness is a necessary component of the “wave collapse” is an “established consensus”.

    That is a flat out lie. I have never held the position that it is an “established consensus”.

    If you disagree with me calling you a liar then please provide the exact post of mine where I claimed that.

    Here is the middle of our last debate on the subject of quantum mechanics, search the thread to your heart’s content for me making the claim you falsely attributed to me,,,

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-nature-for-now-uncertainty-seems-the-wisest-position-on-the-implications-of-quantum-mechanics/#comment-662909

    The decent thing to do would be for you to apologize for your bad faith in debating me.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  8. 8
    vmahuna says:

    BA @ 7,

    “The descent thing to do”. You clearly meant “decent”.

    But then I’ve spent WAY too many years as an editor.

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    Pedro Jorge Romero Retweeted
    Anil Ananthaswamy
    Anil Ananthaswamy
    @anilananth
    Why the double-slit experiment should NOT be used to make definitive statements about
    #consciousness
    or the nature of
    #quantum
    reality: The experiment can be interpreted in many different ways and each offers a different view of what’s going on.
    @sciam

    From what I gather from both articles and his Twitter is that we should not jump to conclusions about quantum mechanics when we ourselves are not sure on how consciousness works in the first place. I both agree with this statement and his reasoning but I disagree with it. I feel it falls under the statement of “not even wrong“ The results still show that and observer does affect the outcome of the experiment, that hasn’t gone away. So this is All fine and well, but it should not just apply to quantum mechanics and the consciousness it should also apply to all forms of science about different forms of interpretations. One such field for example is the neuroscience of free will which is often interpreted that we have none and then years later after many misquotes of Libet’s original experiment, And multiple experimental errors and bias, which was pointed out recently at medical express on the topic, it turns out that many of the interpretations were incorrect.

    So in my personal opinion what’s good for the goose is good for the gander not just when it suits you, Yes quantum mechanics does appear to fly in the face of many philosophies of materialism, but exercising caution now after so many times before when caution was thrown to the wind and interpretations were made very blatantly in one direction is kind of annoying. Again I agree with him but it needs to be taken In consideration all the time

  10. 10
    jdk says:

    re 7: You are correct, ba, that it is not your stated position that it is an “established consensus” that consciousness is a necessary component of the “wave collapse”. You personally believe that is true about consciousness, and you believe the evidence fully supports that conclusion and no other, but you do not claim that is the “established consensus.”

    For instance, consider this thread by News, based on something you sent her:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/inspiring-philosophy-on-quantum-mechanics-and-the-death-of-materialism/

    It begins,

    Philip Cunningham kindly forwarded this, noting that “Quantum mechanics has repeatedly confirmed the startling conclusion that (material) reality cannot exist without consciousness.

    And in a comment 2, you wrote,

    Those who hold to the belief that reality can exist without consciousness have been repeatedly falsified by experimental evidence.

    Some scientist[s], and Seversky in particular, may not like the experimental results one bit, but that is anti-science. The experimental results are what they are. To quote Bernard Haisch after the Leggett inequality was violated. Experiments in Quantum Mechanics now rule “out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.”

    So I was wrong when I said that you believe that it is the “established consensus” that consciousness is a necessary component of the wave collapse, as you recognize, it seems, that there are those in the QM field who don’t accept that, but I believe it is correct to say that you believe it is a scientifically settled matter, and therefore those who believe otherwise are wrong.

    Is that a more accurate statement?

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    From the article in the OP we find that the author claims:

    “Mathematically speaking, however, what goes through both slits is not a physical particle or a physical wave but something called a wave function—an abstract mathematical function that represents the photon’s state (in this case its position).
    The wave function behaves like a wave. It hits the two slits, and new waves emanate from each slit on the other side, spread and eventually interfere with each other. The combined wave function can be used to work out the probabilities of where one might find the photon.”

    Okie Dokie, if he claims that the abstract mathematical function is not a physical wave, then how can he possibly claim that “The wave function behaves like a wave. It hits the two slits, and new waves emanate from each slit on the other side, spread and eventually interfere with each other.”

    He denies the physicality of the abstract mathematical wave function on the one hand and then, without missing a beat, proceeds to act as if the mathematical wave function has the physicality of a wave.

    That is a flat out contradiction.

    The best thing one can say about the “abstract” wave function is what leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger stated, “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 fact, (in the following experiment which extended John Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment to atoms instead of just photons), it is stated that “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,”

    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

    Moreover, we know that while a photon is doing whatever it is doing in the double slit, while it is in its “abstract” quantum wave state, between emission and absorption, that the photon is also 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

    ,, 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 it 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

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, when Feynman (and others) unified Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity into Quantum Electrodynamics, it still took “an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do”.

    “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 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

    I don’t know about Richard Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’:

    “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

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

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John 1:1 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

    The reason why I find it rather comforting is because of John 1:1, which says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ‘The Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic.
    So that it would take an infinite amount of logic to know what tiny bit of spacetime is going to do is pretty much exactly what one should expect to see under Christian presuppositions.
    In fact, as a Christian Theist, I find both the double slit and quantum electrodynamics to be extremely comforting for Christian concerns. In the double slit experiment we found that while a photon and/or electron is “traveling” in the double slit experiment it is mathematically required to be defined as being in an infinite dimensional space.
    And we also found that the photon is also mathematically required to be described by an infinite amount of information.
    And then we also saw that when Quantum Mechanics and special relativity were unified into quantum-electrodynamics, (which many consider the most precisely tested theory ever in the history of science), that it still took an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do.

    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 rational explanation for why we should find these things to be as they are.

    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

    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 for God 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

    Verses:

    Acts 17:28
    ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    I’m sure the author of the article in the OP made more errors than just the one error of him assuming the physicality of the “abstract” mathematical wave function, but I hold that that one error on his part is in and of itself sufficient to discredit the ’empirical credibility’ of his entire article.

  13. 13
    jdk says:

    You posted all that before, but I don’t see any of that addressing consciousness.

    And to dismiss his whole article because of one sentence where he makes it sound like an actual wave rather than the wave function, whatever that is, passes beyond the slits, is pedantic.

    The point you objected to, to which I replied, is that I have now stated that you believe that the scientific evidence conclusively establishes that “consciousness creates reality,” to use your own words.

    Is this a true statement about your beliefs?

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    I still see no apology!

  15. 15
    jdk says:

    I said I was wrong. I apologize for being wrong.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    jdk says:

    For those interested (if there are any) the mistake that Anil made, which BA claims is “sufficient to discredit the ’empirical credibility’ of his entire article”, is to omit the word I have added in bold in the following paragraph.

    Mathematically speaking, however, what goes through both slits is not a physical particle or a physical wave but something called a wave function—an abstract mathematical function that represents the photon’s state (in this case its position). The wave function behaves like a wave. It hits the two slits, and new wave functions emanate from each slit on the other side, spread and eventually interfere with each other. The combined wave function can be used to work out the probabilities of where one might find the photon.

    Now I know just adding this one word might still be not as accurate as it could be, because this is a difficult subject to describe accurately, especially since one of the issue is in fact what is going on when the photon travels.

    If ba still objects to the paragraph as I have revised, it (and he may be satisfied), I wonder how he (in his own words) would want to state the situation.

    And, backing up,ba, have I stated your position accurately in the penultimate paragraph of 10?

    And last, do you have anything to say about the various points in the article that show that in the scientific community the claim that consciousness is a necessary component of the wave collapse is in fact not the consensus, or universally settled as a conclusion?

  18. 18
    daveS says:

    jdk,

    That is indeed a strange paragraph. The wave function doesn’t move through space or hit anything, obviously, just as the function f(x) = x^2 can’t hit my car windshield. I can see how it would be difficult to describe all this, especially in a SA article though.

  19. 19
    jdk says:

    Yes, Dave, I think it is agreed that we don’t really know, and can’t really describe, what is actually happening as a photon travels along without interacting with anything else. But I think it would be quite ponderous to talk about all this if that disclaimer had to be made all the time.

    However, here’s my attempt to describe the situation.:

    “The position of the photon, as it moves from the source to the screen, is represented by a mathematical function, the wave function, even though we don’t know what exactly a photon is as it does this. It’s resultant behavior is sometimes as a wave would behave and sometimes as a particle would behave, but we can’t actually say that it is a particle or a wave. Since we don’t know what it is, we use the wave function as a “substitute entity”, so to speak, in talking about the photon.

  20. 20
    jdk says:

    More on this. A number of physicists take the view that we shouldn’t even bother thinking about what is “really” going on, and only deal with the mathematical descriptions, which work with astonishing accuracy. Others, however, don’t accept that and want to discuss what quantum reality might really be like, and not just calculate.

    In different ways, two books I have read recently are about this: “How the Hippies Saved Physics” and “What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”. I’m thinking I’d like to read Anil’s book also.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    In further note to post 11, and the category error that the author of the article in the OP made of assigning the “physicality” of a wave to the “abstract” infinite-dimensional/infinite information quantum wave function.

    Here is an interesting quote about the infinite dimensional Hilbert Space in quantum mechanics that is much more apt in describing what is actually happening (than the author’s category error).

    The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem – Mark Steiner – (page 44)
    Excerpt: Let us now recapitulate: beginning with the concept of a Hilbert space, a certain kind of (usually infinite-dimensional) vector space, and the formal requirement that a unit vector on the space represents all possible information can be gleaned. First, the space cannot be a real vector space; the usual formalism is, therefore, based on a complex Hilbert space. With this formalism the Heisenberg uncertainty principle follows directly. So does the quantization of angular momentum, including the so called “space quantization”. So does the prediction that “electron spin” cannot be due to spatial rotation. And so do the selection rules for the spectrum of hydrogen, based on the “nonphysical” concept of parity.
    The role of Hilbert spaces in quantum mechanics, then, is much more profound than the descriptive role of a single concept. An entire formalism-the Hilbert space formalism-is matched with nature. Information about nature is being “read off” the details of the formalism. (Imagine reading off details about elementary particles from the rules of chess-castling. en passant-a la Lewis Carro;; in Through the Looking Glass.) No physicist today understands why this is possible..
    https://books.google.com/books?id=GKBwKCma1HsC&pg=PA44

    And in the following video we are given a glimpse of the ‘higher dimensional’ nature of the square root of negative one, (as well as given a glimpse at the higher dimensional nature of the 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity).

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

    Gauss’s work on complex numbers, like the square root of negative one, extend the idea of the one-dimensional number line to the two-dimensional complex plane by using the number line for the real part and adding a vertical axis to plot the imaginary part. In this way the complex numbers contain the ordinary real numbers while extending them in order to solve problems that would be impossible with only real numbers. This ‘higher dimensional number line’, particularly this understanding gained for the ‘higher dimensionality’ of the square root of negative one (i), is essential for understanding the ‘wave packet’ in quantum mechanics prior to measurement:

    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, (a devoted Christian), 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, as mentioned previously, we find that the “higher dimensional” square root of negative one is necessary for describing the 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

    Four dimensional space was also mentioned in ‘The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality’ video. As was the necessity for Four-dimensional space in the formulation General Relativity also mentioned in the video:

    Four-dimensional space – with 4-D animation:
    Excerpt: The idea of adding a fourth dimension began with Joseph-Louis Lagrange in the mid 1700s and culminated in a precise formalization of the concept in 1854 by Bernhard Riemann.,,,
    Higher dimensional spaces have since become one of the foundations for formally expressing modern mathematics and physics. Large parts of these topics could not exist in their current forms without the use of such spaces.,,,
    Einstein’s concept of spacetime uses such a 4D space, though it has a Minkowski structure that is a bit more complicated than Euclidean 4D space.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space

    What was not mentioned in the ‘The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality’ video is that special relativity is itself also based on a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. In fact, the higher dimensional nature of special relativity was a discovery that was made by one of Einstein math professors in 1908 prior to Einstein’s elucidation of General Relativity in 1915.

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

    And much like the tunnel curvature of space-time found for a ‘hypothetical’ observer falling into a gravitational well (i.e. Einstein’s General Relativity),,,

    Space-Time of a Black hole – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8

    ,,, Much like the tunnel curvature found for General Relativity, in the following video clip on Special Relativity, (which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors), we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    It is also very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know about Special Relativity (and General Relativity): For instance, (in regards to the topic at hand, i.e. tunnel curvature), many people who have had a Near Death Experience frequently mention going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension:

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively
    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightlin....._gydvW8jbI

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.
    https://www.near-death.com/science/research/tunnel.html

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel to a higher ‘eternal’ dimension:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, besides being able to see for the first time during in her life during her Near Death Experience, Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, Mary Neal and John Burke both testify that they firmly believed that they were in a higher dimension that is above this three-dimensional world and that the reason that they have a very difficult time explaining what their Near Death Experiences felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    Mary C. Neal, MD – To Heaven And Back pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    John Burke – Imagine Heaven pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    The relationship between eternity and special relativity is touched upon in this post from a few days ago:

    Excerpt: The eternity for special relativity is found when a hypothetical observer approaches the speed of light. In this scenario, time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop for that hypothetical observer as he reached the speed of light.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/why-we-cant-really-live-forever-via-advanced-technology/#comment-664736

    All of this is very interesting for the presuppositions of the Christian Theist in that, whereas atheists have no compelling evidence whatsoever for all the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have tried to put forth to try to explain away quantum wave collapse, fine-tuning, etc..,,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    ,,, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to our best theories in science, (Quantum Mechanics and Relativity respectfully), and the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity, (as well as appeal to Near Death Experience testimonies) to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Verses and Music

    Matthew 6:19-21
    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

    Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiIvtRg7-Lc

  23. 23
    Eugene S says:

    jdk

    Sorry for off-topic. I wanted to ask you, are you a java developer? 😉

  24. 24
    jdk says:

    re 23: No. I’m curious why you would ask me that???

  25. 25
    Eugene S says:

    jdk

    It is just your initials then.

    JDK stands for Java Development Kit 😉 No offense meant of course. Lots of commenters here are from IT myself included 😉

  26. 26
    jdk says:

    ba, I would still be interested in a short reply from you as to whether the following is an accurate statement about what you believe:

    Material reality cannot exist without consciousness. The belief that reality can exist without consciousness have been repeatedly falsified by experimental evidence.

    There are people who do not believe this is true, but experiments rule out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made. In your opinion, therefore, such people are wrong.

    Is this an accurate summary of your position?

    What do you personally think?

  27. 27
    jdk says:

    re 25: Oh, I see. 🙂 No, those are just my initials.

  28. 28

    Materialists issue yet another unfounded promissory note contradicted by mountains of hard data and verified experimental results. This has been going on for decades as materialists have come up with one hypothesis after another, all of which have ended up supporting the essential nature of consciousness when actually tested.

    Go ahead, keep coming up with new experimental nails to put in materialism’s coffin.

  29. 29
    jcfrk101 says:

    I suppose if we follow Anil Ananthaswamy’s line of thinking we cannot reference gravity as a possible cause, give that it’s nature is not known, and many well respected physicists disagree on the nature of gravity. Determining that a causes b does not require understanding it’s nature, simply isolating the cause sufficiently to determine that a certain known phenomena leads to a certain effect. The number of studies done that isolate the wave collapse to a conscience observer are numerous and have been consistently replicated.

  30. 30
    jdk says:

    In a related thread, I quoted the following:

    News wrote,

    Philip Cunningham (bornagain77) kindly forwarded this, noting that quantum mechanics has repeatedly confirmed the startling conclusion that (material) reality cannot exist without consciousness.

    And in comment 2, ba wrote,

    Those who hold to the belief that reality can exist without consciousness have been repeatedly falsified by experimental evidence.

    This belief is also stated in 28 and 29 above.

    However, I know that many QM scientists have expressed doubts about this conclusion.

    So, I have some questions.

    Consider the classic dual-slits scenario depicted in the diagram in the OP. The electrons are in an indeterminate state as they travel from the gun to the screen, where the wave function collapses, and an interference patten develops as more and more electrons arrive at the screen.

    What happens if this takes place in a closed room with no one watching? Does the interference pattern not exist because there is no consciousness aware of it?

    And what happens if we are filming it, and later watch the film? Will we see the pattern?

    If in both cases above the pattern appears when we are not present, how is our consciousness making it real?

    Could any of you who support the statements I quoted above, or something like them, answer my questions and explain the role consciousness would be playing in the creation of the interference pattern?

  31. 31
    ET says:

    Wow, Jack- if there is a room that would mean that consciousness exists. If someone set up the room for the experiment it means that consciousness exits.

    How would anyone know what happens if no one is there to witness it?

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, because of his apparent apriori animus against God and Christianity in particular, wants desperately to save some type of view of reality where the material world exists independently of mind. i.e. jdk wants, for whatever severely misguided reason, ‘material’ to be primary instead of the Mind of God to be primary.

    Yet, as has been shown to jdk numerous times, the denial of the primacy of the Mind of God, and the denial of his own mind in particular, leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science.

    I briefly touched on this point recently in another thread in response to Seversky.

    This is where methodological naturalism commits epistemological suicide in regards to science. Logic and reason, i.e. goal directed thinking, simply can never be based on a worldview that holds “complete disorder and confusion” to be the basis of the universe as well as our thoughts.

    As Michael Egnor stated, “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.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-world-naturalism-prevents-us-from-seeing/#comment-664754

    Usually, when pressed on this point of the catastrophic epistemological failure inherent within naturalism, jdk will disingenuously switch from defending a purely materialistic and/or naturalistic view of reality to defending some concept of eastern mysticism, i.e. panpsychism and/or pantheism, where consciousness already exists in some form in the universe. A concept of eastern mysticism that he, as far as I can tell, (purposely?) leaves in an ill-defined state.

    Thus, as far as I can tell since he has never rigorously defines his philosophical position for me, jdk, when push comes to shove on the catastrophic epistemological failure inherent within his naturalism, abandons defending a purely naturalistic/materialistic view of reality and holds to some view of reality where consciousness is somehow already embedded within the universe on some level.

    Previously, Stephen Meyer has humorously called such disingenuous debating tactics by atheists, such as jdk’s disingenuous debating tactic in which he switches positions to avoid falsification, to be the ABG hypothesis, i.e. to be the “Anything But God” hypothesis. 🙂

    And as I asked him previously, (and never received a clear answer to), does jdk, since he holds to some type of eastern mysticism, also believe in a soul that can live past the death of our material bodies like Stuart Hameroff does?

    “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

    It is also interesting to note that Stuart Hameroff, though holding to eastern mysticism, is still, none-the-less, scorned by atheists:

    Being the skunk at an atheist convention – Hameroff – 2006
    Excerpt: In November 2006 I was invited to a meeting at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California called “Beyond Belief”. Other speakers and attendees were predominantly atheists, and harshly critical of the notion of spirituality. They included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Patricia Churchland, Steven Weinberg (the least venal), Neil deGrasse Tyson and others who collectively vilified creationists and religious warriors. But the speakers also ragged on the notion of any purpose or meaning to existence, heaped ridicule on the very possibility of a God-like entity (and those who believed in such an entity), declared that scientists and philosophers should set society’s moral and ethical standards, and called for a billion dollar public relations campaign to convince the public God does not exist.
    Near the end of the first day came my turn to speak. I began by saying that the conference to that point had been like the Spanish Inquisition in reverse – the scientists were burning the believers. And while I had no particular interest in organized religion, I did believe there could be a scientific account for spirituality. After pointing out faulty assumptions in conventional brain models for consciousness and summarizing the Penrose-Hameroff theory, I laid out my plausibility argument for scientific, secular spirituality, suggesting cosmic connections and influence in our conscious thoughts occurred via quantum interactions in microtubules. I closed with a slide of the DNA molecule which emphasized it’s internal core where quantum effects rule, suggesting a Penrose non-computable influence in genetic mutations and evolution (aimed at Dawkins in the form of a quantum-based intelligent design). At the end a few people clapped loudly, but most sat in steely silence.,,,
    http://quantum.webhost.uits.ar.....convention

    In regards to Hameroff’s model, although I very much enjoyed the feisty, “Galileo”, way in which Stuart Hameroff defended his model against the “atheists’ inquisition” at the convention, I hold that Hameroff’s model falls short of finding complete agreement with quantum mechanics, and thus I find his model falls short of truly explaining consciousness. The primary reason why I think Hameroff model falls short of finding complete agreement with quantum theory is primarily because of his pantheistic metaphysical view of reality. A metaphysical view of reality in which consciousness, for him, is somehow, if I read him right, co-terminus with the space-time of material reality at the Planck scale. Something he calls ‘proto-consciousness’ at the fine (Planck) scale. Simply put, he holds to ‘realism’, i.e. he holds to the view of reality that the universe exists independently of conscious observation.

    Yet, ‘realism’ is falsified.

    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

    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/

    Thus, although Hameroff himself appealed to quantum mechanics, i.e. ‘quantum micro-tubules’, to develop his model of quantum consciousness, quantum mechanics comes back around and falsifies his pantheistic view of reality. Simply put, Hameroff’s postulation of ‘proto-consciousness’ at the Planck scale of the universe falls short since, according to quantum mechanics, the universe ‘does not exist when we’re not observing it’.

    Pantheism aside and to move on to naturalism, the main epistemological failure within the atheist’s naturalistic worldview, as briefly touched upon previously, is his denial of free will. As Martin Cothran states, “The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.”

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    And as to presuming ‘a perspective outside the physical order’ for free will so as to preserve a ‘logical’ universe that can be rationally understood, we find that free will, much to the consternation of atheists, is ‘built’ into quantum mechanics. As Steven Weinberg, who is an atheist himself, stated, “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) 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://www.nybooks.com/article.....mechanics/

    Basically Weinberg, since he is an atheist, rejects the instrumentalist approach because of free will. (In fact he has basically ‘given up’ on understanding quantum mechanics altogether.),,, It is just plain bizarre that someone would think it ‘reasonable’ to reject the instrumentalist approach of quantum mechanics because of free will.

    As mentioned previously, to reject free will is to undermine any ability that we might have had to reason rationally in the first place. i.e. It is epistemologically self-defeating.

    As Michael Egnor recently pointed out, the denial of free will is self-refuting:

    Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield on Free Will – Michael Egnor – July 26, 2018
    Excerpt: For a philosophical example, consider that affirmation or denial of free will is a proposition, which is a statement that may or may not be true. But matter has no truth value — propositions aren’t material things. Matter just is; it is neither true nor false. Thus, when a materialist claims that material causes preclude the possibility of free will, he is also claiming that his own opinion cannot be true (or false). Denial of free will on the basis of materialistic determinism is self-refuting. …
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/neurosurgeon-wilder-penfield-on-free-will/

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, besides the denial of free will being self-refuting, in quantum mechanics we find that the reality of free will is now supported by what is termed ‘contextuality and/or the Kochen-Speckter Theorem

    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” and “Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.”

    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

    And as leading experimental physicist 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

    One concluding thought, 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, (infinity if you will), with God, or Eternal life, (infinity again if you will), without God. C.S. states it 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.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    And exactly as would be expected on the Christian view of reality, we find two very different eternities in reality. An ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with General Relativity and a extremely orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Verse:

    Isaiah 1:18
    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

  34. 34
    jdk says:

    I see that ba didn’t address my questions.

    I think they are good questions that one who believes that “that (material) reality cannot exist without consciousness” needs to be able to at least attempt to answer.

    So ba, what happens to the interference pattern if no one ever looks inside the room? How is consciousness collapsing the wave function in that case?

    What do you think?

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk asks

    “So ba, what happens to the interference pattern if no one ever looks inside the room? How is consciousness collapsing the wave function in that case?”

    LOL you are kidding right?

    ha ha ha ha ha

  36. 36
    jdk says:

    Humor me, ba. Answer the questions.

    People much more knowledgeable than me consider them important questions to answer. If the answer is as simple as you seem to imply, you ought to be able to explain.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk asks:

    “Humor me, ba. Answer the questions.”

    I will as soon as you look into the room without being consciousness.

    🙂

  38. 38

    JDK asks @30:

    Consider the classic dual-slits scenario depicted in the diagram in the OP. The electrons are in an indeterminate state as they travel from the gun to the screen, where the wave function collapses, and an interference patten develops as more and more electrons arrive at the screen.

    What happens if this takes place in a closed room with no one watching? Does the interference pattern not exist because there is no consciousness aware of it?

    Not sure if the premise of your questions are based on a correct understanding of the experiments.

    You might familiarize yourself with this basic primer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

    First, they shot many electrons through dual slits and got an interference pattern. They thought the electrons were bouncing off of each other and creating an interference pattern when they should have gotten two bar clumps of electron landings (two slits). They started shooting one electron at a time at the two slits and still got an interference pattern.

    Then, in order to see which slit each electron “actually” went through, they fixed a device to observe which slit the electron “actually” went through right at the entry side of the slits.

    The electrons stopped acting like waves as soon as we had the capacity to determine which slit they went through. The results was the two-bar clumps and the only thing that had changed was a sensor placed just before the slits that could detect which slit the electrons went through.

    And what happens if we are filming it, and later watch the film? Will we see the pattern?

    If in both cases above the pattern appears when we are not present, how is our consciousness making it real?

    Could any of you who support the statements I quoted above, or something like them, answer my questions and explain the role consciousness would be playing in the creation of the interference pattern?

    There are any number of two-slit experiment videos on YouTube that directly answer your question about observed vs unobserved experimental processes.

    The question is not really about “observation” itself, but how much knowledge about what we are observing is possible with regards to how we are observing and the limits of information that can be ascertained from our observation.

    When we just set up a basic two-slit experiment, we are still observing the entire process, but we have very limited potential knowledge about what we are observing. We don’t know “which” slit the electron is passing through, so we observe an interference pattern even when we shoot one electron at a time.

    When we add a sensor just prior to the two slits, our observational capacity includes the ability to determine which slit the electron passes through. The interference pattern stops and the two-bar clump pattern emerges. Think about that. Why would observing which slit an electron goes through change it from behaving like a wave to behaving like a particle?

    The real interesting experiments are those that set up a series of sensors and half-silvered mirrors on the far side of the slits. Here’s a video about the quantum eraser / delayed choice experiments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnpCH9VRvPg

    If the path of the electrons can be determined by which sensor they arrive at, they form clump patterns. If the path of the electron (or perhaps they were using photons, I believe it works with either) cannot be determined by their landing at a particular sensor, we get an interference pattern.

    What that means is that how each electron interacts with a sensor (wave or particle) depends on the scientist’s capacity to determine (even if initially unobserved) which slit any particular electron came from. Because two of the many sensors were set up in a way where electrons from both slits could land on either sensor, those two sensors showed interference patterns.

    So, it’s not just about “observing”. It’s about when and how one observes, and how much and what kind of information can be gathered by your experimental structure.

    The implication is clear: if we can know which slit an electron passes through either before or after it passes through it, it acts like a particle. If we cannot determine which slit it goes through, it acts like a wave.

  39. 39
    jdk says:

    re 37, to ba: I see that are not taking this seriously.

    I am not doubting that consciousness exists.

    I am saying that the act of hitting the screen collapses the wave function, not the act of our observing that happen.

    This is a position held by many QM scientists.

    If I run the experiment on Sunday, and don’t look into the room until Friday, has there been an interference pattern recorded on the screen during the week, even though no consciousness has perceived the pattern?

  40. 40
    jdk says:

    re 38: Thanks for taking time to write your thorough reply, wjm.

    I believe I understand the additional elements that you described concerning the situation.

    At one point, you wrote,

    There are any number of two-slit experiment videos on YouTube that directly answer your question about observed vs unobserved experimental processes.

    I prefer to read rather than watch videos (much more efficient use of my time), but could you point me to one of those videos?

    I think I also understand the points you make about information, including your last two paragraphs.

    However, you didn’t address the role of consciousness (other than saying videos exists on that subject.)

    The issue here is what constitutes an “observation” in QM. A standard understanding is that an observation is the same as a measurement. The various devices you mention (either the screen, the sensor before the slits, or the sensors after the slits) are not conscious, and our consciousness does not have to be present for them to have their affect.

    That is the issue I am addressing.

  41. 41

    jdk asks:

    If I run the experiment on Sunday, and don’t look into the room until Friday, has there been an interference pattern recorded on the screen during the week, even though no consciousness has perceived the pattern?

    As I’ve explained, none of this is about any consciousness directly perceiving the phenomena at the time it occurs; it’s about how much knowledge about the position/pathway of the electron/photon we have set our observational experiment up to gather and when in the course of the experiment it is gathered. If you set the sensor up prior to the slit entrance, all electrons behave as particles so it is not the sensor screen they land on which collapses the wave function. I don’t know where you got that idea, but no QM theorists thinks that as far as I know.

    If you set the sensor up before the slit, it doesn’t matter if anyone is currently watching or if they don’t check the results for a week. Simply “interacting” with a sensor does not collapse the wave behavior into particle behavior as demonstrated in the 2nd video I posted above. The clear determining factor was whether or not the supposed pathway of an electron could or could not be determined by the sensor it lands on.

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk, the entire room, indeed even the entire universe can be described by a wave function. i.e. Schrodinger’s cat!

    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

    Of note: at the 8:30 minute mark of the following video, Schrodinger’s cat and Wigner’s Friend are highlighted:

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    https://youtu.be/qCTBygadaM4?t=512

    jdk, You want to desperately to presuppose that the room can exist independently, in the past, apart from consciousness, i.e. you want “realism” to be true, but, again as the articles I’ve already referenced indicated, quantum mechanics has simply taken that option of ‘realism’ away from you and has falsified realism.

    It is not me that you have a problem with, it is the experiments of quantum mechanics that have consistently falsified local realism, as well as your apriori naturalistic beliefs, that you are having a problem with.

    I’m doing quite well with my Christian presuppositions in regards to what quantum mechanics is consistently telling us from experiments. 🙂

    You are, since you refuse to give up your atheism, the one in an irresolvable jam!

    As to your erroneous belief that the past can exist independently of conscious observation, I simply point you to Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment to falsify your belief:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    “That’s the enigma. That our choice of what experiment to do determines the prior state of the electron. Somehow or other we had an influence on it which appears to travel backwards in time.”
    Fred Kuttner – Univ. Of California

    “We have become participators in the existence of the universe. We have no right to say that the past exists independent of the act of observation.”
    – John Wheeler

    Reflecting light off satellite backs up Wheeler’s quantum theory thought experiment – October 26, 2017 – Bob Yirka
    Excerpt: Back in the late 1970s, physicist John Wheeler tossed around a thought experiment in which he asked what would happen if tests allowed researchers to change parameters after a photon was fired, but before it had reached a sensor for testing—would it somehow alter its behavior mid-course? He also considered the possibilities as light from a distant quasar made its way through space, being lensed by gravity. Was it possible that the light could somehow choose to behave as a wave or a particle depending on what scientists here on Earth did in trying to measure it?,,,
    The experiment consisted of shooting a laser beam at a beam splitter, which aimed the beam at a satellite traveling in low Earth orbit, which reflected it back to Earth. But as the light traveled back to Earth, the researchers had time to make a choice whether or not to activate a second beam splitter as the light was en route. Thus, they could test whether the light was able to sense what they were doing and respond accordingly. The team reports that the light behaved just as Wheeler had predicted—demonstrating either particle-like or wave-like behavior, depending on the behavior of those studying it.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-10-satellite-wheeler-quantum-theory-thought.html

    “The concept of the objective reality of the elementary particles has thus evaporated…”,,,; “The idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist, independently of whether or not we observe them,,, is impossible.,,, We can no longer speak of the behavior of the particle independently of the process of observation”
    – W. Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy, Harper and Row, New York (1958)

    In quantum mechanics, as the following video clearly shows, “the now of the mind” takes precedence over past events in time:

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  43. 43

    The issue here is what constitutes an “observation” in QM. A standard understanding is that an observation is the same as a measurement. The various devices you mention (either the screen, the sensor before the slits, or the sensors after the slits) are not conscious, and our consciousness does not have to be present for them to have their affect.

    I’ve answered this. The final behavioral state of the electron is directly determined by the capacity of an observer to know which slit the photon came from. It is not otherwise related to the simple fact that the electron interacts with screens, sensors or silvered mirrors. The brute physical nature of the interaction makes no difference; what makes the difference is if the interaction can inform an observer of the pathway it took. If it cannot, there is an interference pattern at the final screen sensor. If it can, there is a clump pattern at the final screen sensor.

    I’ve also already posted two explanatory videos.

  44. 44
    jdk says:

    re 41: Thanks, wjm. (I posted 44 before I saw 43, by the way.)

    You write,

    As I’ve explained, none of this is about any consciousness directly perceiving the phenomena at the time it occurs; it’s about how much knowledge about the position/pathway of the electron/photon we have set our observational experiment up to gather and when in the course of the experiment it is gathered.

    I agree with that. I am trying to describe the QM position that consciousness observation is not a necessary component of wave function collapse, which you seem to be agreeing with here.

    If you set the sensor up prior to the slit entrance, all electrons behave as particles so it is not the sensor screen they land on which collapses the wave function. I don’t know where you got that idea, but no QM theorists thinks that as far as I know.

    I agree with that. My statement that the wave function collapses at the screen was in respect to the basic two-slit situation, not the one where a sensor is present before the slits.

    If you set the sensor up before the slit, it doesn’t matter if anyone is currently watching or if they don’t check the results for a week. Simply “interacting” with a sensor does not collapse the wave behavior into particle behavior as demonstrated in the 2nd video I posted above. The clear determining factor was whether or not the supposed pathway of an electron could or could not be determined by the sensor it lands on.

    Yes, and again, it is the act of measurement, and the way the measurement is set up, that determines the eventual information we can and do obtain.

    But it is not conscious observation of the results that causes anything to happen. That is all I am trying to say. I understand and accept the results of QM and the ways they change our notion of the ultimate nature of the world. I’m not questioning that.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    jdk says:

    wjm, I watched the first two minutes of the video Quantum Eraser.

    The video shows the wave that has passed through the slits still travelling as a wave, and then when the observer opens his eyes the electrons become particles.

    Surely this is only meant metaphorically? Or is the video really implying that if the observer kept his eyes shut a interference pattern would show on the screen, but if his eyes were open two bars would show?

  47. 47
    jdk says:

    re 45: ba, can you summarize in your own words what the video explains about the measurement problem?

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    The measurement problem is a problem only if you refuse to accept that the observer plays a fundamental role.

    i.e. atheism is, once again, shown to be untenable,

  49. 49

    jdk,

    You say

    Yes, and again, it is the act of measurement, and the way the measurement is set up, that determines the eventual information we can and do obtain.

    Here’s the essential difference you don’t seem to understand: whether or not an electron/wave simply interacts with sensors, silvered mirrors and landing screens does not determine whether or not they form interference or clump patterns. What determines the clump or interference pattern is whether or not the particular landing screen is an indicator that the photon must have gone through slit A or B.

    Please watch the first video I posted first (introduction to the 2-slit experiment), and the 2nd after (delayed choice/quantum eraser). They aren’t that long and are both pretty entertaining.

    You seem to think that the mere interaction with a physical device determines whether or not we will see a clump or an interference patterns. That has been repeatedly proven to NOT be the case. The determining factor is whether or not an observer can know, from the experiment, the slot it went through. If we cannot know, we get an interference pattern. If we can know, we get a clump pattern. The only difference is if we can know which slit the electron or photon goes through.

    Why would the landing pattern change simply because we CAN determine which slit the electron passed through?

  50. 50
    jdk says:

    re 48: This discussion has nothing to do with atheism. There are theists who question the conclusion that consciousness is necessary for wave function to collapse to specific states.

    I’ll note that other than posting quotes and links to videos, you have not offered any answers to the questions in 30 and 47

  51. 51

    jdk @ 46:

    You are obviously not serious about learning even the fundamentals about the two slit experiment if you cannot even be bothered to watch a couple of short videos that explain it. Until you watch the videos and then have a cogent question, you’re being deliberately ignorant and wasting everyone’s time.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    “This discussion has nothing to do with atheism.”

    So you really believe the fact that “Mind” is fundamental to quantum mechanics has nothing whatsoever to do with atheism?

    And then you have the gall to accuse me of not answering your supposed honest questions forthrightly in the very next sentence.

    Well, I let WJM deal with you, I refuse to try to reason with those who refuse to be reasonable or simply can’t be reasonable.

    I suggest you not troll me anymore.

    I have no patience for stupidity.

  53. 53
    jdk says:

    re 51: I’m sorry you feel that way. I have read a lot about these issues, and I understood your description back in 38.

    For instance, could you answer my question in 46: is the man opening his eyes just meant to be a metaphor for observing?

    I will try to find time to watch the videos. I am genuinely trying to understand the distinctions you are making.

  54. 54
    jdk says:

    re 52: sorry ba, I’ll not troll you anymore by asking you questions and expecting that you might answer them.

    I appreciate the effort wjm is putting into the discussion.

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM states, “you’re being deliberately ignorant and wasting everyone’s time.”

    My sentiments exactly. If he persists in this behavior, I will request that he be banned (once again) from UD for trolling.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    No, don’t ban Jack as he is evidence that ID’s opponents don’t care about reality and evidence.

  57. 57
    jdk says:

    FYI. I watched the video that wjm linked to at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc, from the movie “What the Bleep Do we Know: Down the Rabbit Hole.”

    This was a simple explanation of the situation, all of which I was previously familiar with.

    It also was, I think, sloppy, about a number of details, and implicitly assumed a perspective on the very issue we are discussing. First, it started by called the electron a “tiny bit of matter”. Then, it anthropomorphized the sensor after the slits as an eye, and at one point (about 4:15) says, “The very act of measuring, or observing …” In this way it presumes that a conscious observer is part of the situation. It does not address the issue we are discussing: whether a conscious observer is necessary, or whether the measurement apparatus is enough to collapse the wave function.

    And last, it anthropomorphizes the electron itself, saying at the end that the electron “decided” and “was aware”.

    I know you are making additional points, wjm, but this video does not address them, is inaccurate in some important ways, and implies that the observer has to be a person by making the sensor a little eye.

    Also, for what it’s worth, “What the Bleep Do we Know” was produced by adherents of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, and was widely seen as an new-agey blend of physics and spiritualism, not a reliable source of information about QM.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    For the unbiased reader, and to add weight to WJM’s second referenced experiment: This following experiment extended Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment to highlight the centrality of ‘information being available to the observer at the end of the experiment’ in the Double Slit Experiment, and refutes any ‘detector’ arguments for why the wave function may collapse:

    “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 Experiment That Debunked Materialism – video – (delayed choice quantum eraser)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xKUass7G8w

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    (Double Slit) A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at D0 (Detector Zero) at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    And here is an experiment entitled “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”

    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

    Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping – Oct. 2012
    Abstract: Motivated by the question, which kind of physical interactions and processes are needed for the production of quantum entanglement, Peres has put forward the radical idea of delayed-choice entanglement swapping. There, entanglement can be “produced a posteriori, after the entangled particles have been measured and may no longer exist”. In this work we report the first realization of Peres’ gedanken experiment. Using four photons, we can actively delay the choice of measurement-implemented via a high-speed tunable bipartite state analyzer and a quantum random number generator-on two of the photons into the time-like future of the registration of the other two photons. This effectively projects the two already registered photons onto one definite of two mutually exclusive quantum states in which either the photons are entangled (quantum correlations) or separable (classical correlations). This can also be viewed as “quantum steering into the past”.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.4834

    In regards to the “delayed-choice entanglement swapping” experiment, Asher Peres states they quote unquote “‘mimic’ future actions on past events”:

    “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)

    You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the entanglement swapping experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    It is also important to note that the delayed choice-quantum eraser experiment and entanglement swapping experiment is part of a broader mosaic of experiments in quantum mechanics which have consistently pointed to the central importance of the conscious observer within the experiments.

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Five intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Double Slit, Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: 5 Experiments – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5qphmi8gYE

    More interesting still, Einstein himself has now been refuted in his dispute with philosophers of his time where Einstein held “the experience of the now can never be a part of physics”.

    In quantum mechanics, several lines of experimental evidence have now demonstrated, as the following video clearly shows, “the now of the mind” takes precedence over past events in time.

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Quote:

    “It begins to look as we ourselves, by our last minute decision, have an influence on what a photon will do when it has already accomplished most of its doing… we have to say that we ourselves have an undeniable part in what we have always called the past. The past is not really the past until is has been registered. Or to put it another way, the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present.”
    – John Wheeler
    – The Ghost In The Atom – Page 66-68 – P. C. W. Davies, Julian R. Brown – Cambridge University Press, Jul 30, 1993

  59. 59

    jdk,

    Let’s go at this another way, then.

    If you have two slits and cover one up, whether you fire one or a hundred electrons at a time, you get a correspondingly located one-slit clump pattern on the screen behind it.

    If you uncover the other slit, and cover the first one, you get a one-slit clump pattern that corresponds to the now open slit.

    However, if you open both slits, you get an interference pattern whether you shoot one or a hundred electrons at a time.

    Additionally, if you put observational device that can see which slit the photon goes through in front of the slit barrier, then even if you leave both slits open you will still get two corresponding clumps and no interference pattern.

    How do you explain this?

    By the way, you said:

    It does not address the issue we are discussing: whether a conscious observer is necessary, or whether the measurement apparatus is enough to collapse the wave function.

    This is a nonsensical query because in every experiment there is a measurement apparatus or else you wouldn’t be able to gather any results.

    If the presence of a “measurement apparatus” was enough to collapse the wave and produce the slit-corresponding clump patterns, then just firing the electrons through a two-slit barrier at a sensor screen beyond would result in two clump distributions that corresponded to the slits, because the sensor landing screen is, in fact, measuring the distribution of electron strikes on it.

  60. 60
    R J Sawyer says:

    But does this answer the age old question, “if a man says something and his wife isn’t around to hear him, is he still wrong?”?.

  61. 61
    jdk says:

    re 59: First, I did watch the video on the delayed choice experiment, and read some other things about it, so I hope to have a response to that later.

    However, as to 59, you explain the simpler double slit experiment, and then ask “How do you explain this?”

    I accept that that is how particles work on the quantum level: if they “travel” to the screen through two slits, the eventual manifestation of their nature is wave-like, but if we adjust the situation so that a measurement device observes them as they travel, the present as a particle. I’m not arguing that this doesn’t happen, or that it doesn’t presents fundamental questions about the nature of reality.

    I’m just asking about the role that consciousness plays. Where is a conscious observer in this process? What differences are there, if any, if a conscious observer is or isn’t observing any of the process, or the final results? That’s the question that doesn’t seem to be being addressed.

  62. 62
    ET says:

    R J Sawyer:

    But does this answer the age old question, “if a man says something and his wife isn’t around to hear him, is he still wrong?”?.

    Only if he’s a materialist. 😎

  63. 63
    jdk says:

    I watched the Quantum Eraser video, which wjm linked to, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnpCH9VRvPg. This video was part of a documentary, “The Simulation Hypothesis”, about which topdocumentaryfilms.com says, “The Simulation Hypothesis … argues that matter and ideas are the result of a complex digital simulation, something akin to a video game.” I find that a difficult hypothesis to entertain.

    But the description of the delayed choice experiment was good, and I think I understand some things better that wjm has been trying to explain, although I still don’t see how consciousness is critical to the results.

    I also looked at a few other videos, and read some more. What I discovered is that the disagreement about what this all means about the nature of reality and its relationship to consciousness covers a wide spectrum, from people who believe it all relates to the mind of God to those that think the beliefs about consciousness and QM are new-agey quantum woo, and everything in between.

    So at this point I’m going to read more (I got Anil Ananthaswamy’s book, “The Edge of Physics”), and maybe watch a selection of videos from different viewpoints.

    So I appreciate wjm’s involvement (despite his thinking I was being “deliberately ignorant and wasting everyone’s time”), and even ba’s a bit (I may look at some of the videos he linked to), even though he called me a troll for asking him questions (which I don’t believe he has answered.)

    So that’s it for me.

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a interesting recent experiment from Anton Zeilinger and company that pushed the “free-will loophole” back to 7.8 billion years ago using quasars to determine measurement settings.

    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

    It should be noted that this present experiment is a vast improvement over their last Cosmic Bell Test which only went back 600 years.

    Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness – 2017
    Excerpt: In the first of a planned series of “cosmic Bell test” experiments, the team sent pairs of photons from the roof of Zeilinger’s lab in Vienna through the open windows of two other buildings and into optical modulators, tallying coincident detections as usual. But this time, they attempted to lower the chance that the modulator settings might somehow become correlated with the states of the photons in the moments before each measurement. They pointed a telescope out of each window, trained each telescope on a bright and conveniently located (but otherwise random) star, and, before each measurement, used the color of an incoming photon from each star to set the angle of the associated modulator. The colors of these photons were decided hundreds of years ago, when they left their stars, increasing the chance that they (and therefore the measurement settings) were independent of the states of the photons being measured.
    And yet, the scientists found that the measurement outcomes still violated Bell’s upper limit, boosting their confidence that the polarized photons in the experiment exhibit spooky action at a distance after all.
    Nature could still exploit the freedom-of-choice loophole, but the universe would have had to delete items from the menu of possible measurement settings at least 600 years before the measurements occurred (when the closer of the two stars sent its light toward Earth). “Now one needs the correlations to have been established even before Shakespeare wrote, ‘Until I know this sure uncertainty, I’ll entertain the offered fallacy,’” Hall said.
    Next, the team plans to use light from increasingly distant quasars to control their measurement settings, probing further back in time and giving the universe an even smaller window to cook up correlations between future device settings and restrict freedoms.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170207-bell-test-quantum-loophole/

    Quantum Entanglement & the Cosmic Bell Test – video (February 2017)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGPJKJWY-7o

    And here is another recent interesting experiment by Anton Zeilinger, (and about 70 other researchers), that insured unpredictable measurement settings in a Bell test from the free will choices of 100,000 human participants instead of having a physical randomizer determine measurement settings.

    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

    All of this plays into the recent ‘free will’ thread here on UD on Antoine Suarez

    Suarez: Quantum nonlocal correlations come from outside space-time – September 2, 2018
    Excerpt: Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way. The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/suarez-quantum-nonlocal-correlations-come-from-outside-space-time/

  65. 65

    jdlk said:

    But the description of the delayed choice experiment was good, and I think I understand some things better that wjm has been trying to explain, although I still don’t see how consciousness is critical to the results.

    The both experiments show that if the experiment is set up so that the experimenters have the capacity to know which slit the electron passes through, it behaves like a particle. If they do not have the capacity to know, it behaves like a wave.

    It doesn’t matter how complicated the experiment is; how many physical objects the electron interacts with, or if the capacity to know precedes or comes after the slit barrier.

    Where do you think a “capacity to know” resides, if not in the mind of a consciousness (more precisely, those who set up and conduct the experiment)?

    Also, I said that if you did not have the time to watch basic information videos offered on the subject, then you would be deliberately ignorant and a waste of time. I stand by that and I think any reasonable person would agree.

  66. 66

    Great stuff BA @64.

    The main takeaway for those who refuse to accept the primary role of consciousness in deciding the fundamental aspects of our physical experience is this: for decades physicists have attempted to find explanations for these phenomena that does not require a fundamental relationship with the presence of a conscious mind and what that mind can discern in an experiment, and in how it chooses to approach the experiment.

    “Closing the loopholes” experiments (which have been exhaustively conclusive) have been about dreaming up any potential way, no matter how thin, controversial or in conflict with known facts, to disprove the role of consciousness in deciding this phenomena – not only in the here and now, but retroactively backwards in time.

    Every experimental result for decades has fully supported the fundamental role of consciousness in determining fundamental states of the substrate of our physical experience. To then say that “we don’t know” what the data means is ludicrous. We know exactly what it means.

    The originators of quantum theory – the true giants in the field – knew what it meant and bluntly stated that the root arbiter of physical reality was consciousness/mind. To backpedal after all the experimental evidence since then has supported that view and say “we don’t know” is absurd. We know as much as we know anything in science. The evidence is overwhelming and clear even to laymen.

    The idea that there is some kind of “hidden variable” that accounts for the experimental results has itself been thoroughly disproved via hidden variable experiments that are also unambiguous.

    Materialism-oriented scientists just don’t like the what the experimental results demonstrate.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk states

    So I appreciate wjm’s involvement (despite his thinking I was being “deliberately ignorant and wasting everyone’s time”), and even ba’s a bit (I may look at some of the videos he linked to), even though he called me a troll for asking him questions (which I don’t believe he has answered.)

    jdk may not like the answer, but I have answered his question at post 32. I even took into consideration his ill-defined concept of eastern mysticism and showed, via Hameroff, how it was not compatible with the falsification of realism.

    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/at-scientific-american-quantum-theory-does-not-require-a-conscious-observer/#comment-664871

    As the falsification of realism shows, without conscious observation, the past, (i.e. jdk’s hypothetical room), simply does not exist.

    I went on in that post to show how naturalism is falsified by quantum mechanics in its denial of free will (this is one place where jdk’s ill-defined concept of pantheism differs from naturalism, i.e. when cornered, jdk does not deny the existence of consciousness and free will as is presupposed in naturalism. He just, as far as I can tell, disingenuously refuses to be specific in his claims about them.

    Despite all that jdk still said that I refused to answer his question.

    Like I said, he might not like the answer but answer his question I did.

    If jdk wants to presuppose that his hypothetical room exists without an observer, (i.e. similar to the box that Schrodinger’s cat is in), then he needs to deal with the falsification of realism that I presented against Hameroff’s more specifically defined eastern mysticism.

    Then in post 58, in support of WJM, I referenced this experiment.

    “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

    then in 63, after I specifically referenced the preceding experiment, jdk then again accuses me of not answering his question.

    That is rhetoric not honesty!

    As the unbiased reader can hopefully tell by now, after months of dealing with him. I find that jdk is not a man honestly searching for truth so much as he is troll that seeks to obfuscate.

    It is not simply a matter of honest disagreement between people so much as It is that I find jdk to be insincere in the way he goes about things.

  68. 68
    Axel says:

    ‘“Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler’

    “That’s the enigma. That our choice of what experiment to do determines the prior state of the electron. Somehow or other we had an influence on it which appears to travel backwards in time.”

    Fred Kuttner – Univ. Of California

    Surely, ba, all the imponderable mysteries of QM constitute a little bit (or a universe, depending on your perspective) of mockery of atheists by God, who ‘scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts.’

    ‘It’s crazy ; but is it crazy enough to be true ?’

    One of many ‘bon mots’ of Niels Bohr (who claimed to lean towards views of reality found in mainstream eastern religions) on the subject of the mysterious nature of reality at the quantum level, a consilience that evidently intrigued him no end.

  69. 69
    Axel says:

    Sorry. I couldn’t edit it. The syntax is unparadoxically jumbled.

  70. 70
    Seversky says:

    In case there was any doubt, let me confirm that I am not a quantum physicist and neither, I suspect, is anyone else here. Thus we are all taking the observations and interpretations of the nature of the quantum world on faith.

    I accept that there are quantum phenomena like entanglement, “spooky action-at-a-distance’ and wave/particle duality which are at odds with our experience of the macro world. What I question is whether there is yet one broadly-accepted interpretation of these phenomena – such as is being implied by some here – or whether it is still the subject of intense debate in the scientific community.

    What I challenge are the attempts to extrapolate from what is observed at the quantum level to claims about the macro world which lead to absurdities.

    For example, there have been loosely-phrased claims about reality not existing until we observe it at the quantum level which have been argued as supporting the claim that nothing exists unless it is being observed. But is that what is being claimed about quantum phenomena.

    Yet, if you remember the famous thought experiment by that notorious metaphorical abuser of cats, Erwin Schroedinger, which was offered to illustrate the fact that not only can we not know whether the cat in the box is alive or dead until we look but that, arguably, it exists in a superposition of both states until observed. What he did not argue was that another possibility was that the cat could also have vanished altogether.

    As I understand it, the observer or measurement effect broadly refers to the observation that certain quantum “entities” can exists in a number of different states but that which we observe or measure is not decided until the act of observation. Further, that an act of observation or measurement by a conscious observer is required to “collapse the wave function” to a specific observed state.

    It is not the claim, therefore, that there is literally nothing there until somebody looks, either at the quantum or macro level. I once asked BA77 if he believed that he did not exist unless some other conscious being was observing him. I also posed the obvious chicken-and-egg question: if nothing exists until it is observed then what is the observer observing in the first place? On the other hand, if there is something already there for the observer to observe, then existence of something does not depend on it being observed.

    As for the primacy of consciousness, as has been pointed out many times before, the only observable instances are always closely correlated with the existence of a physical substrate, specifically the brain. When the brain dies or is destroyed, the associated consciousness disappears. Permanently, as far as we can tell. That is strong, observational support for the materialist interpretation.

    Speculations about some all-embracing universal field of consciousness sound more like The Force from Star Wars than anything else. Personally, I rather like the idea of The Force but the sad reality is that while it has clearly-observable effects in that far away galaxy we see nothing like it here in the Milky Way, more’s the pity.

    Understandably, we would all like the Universe to turn out to fit our own notions of the way things are and the way things ought to be. But it seems to me that, good as some of our theories are, their limitations indicate that there is still a lot that we don’t yet know, that we still don’t have a good handle on what all this is about. What I suspect is that whatever it is, it is not like what I as an a/mat believe nor like what followers of the various faiths believe but something we have yet to even imagine. We have managed to get our hands on a few good pieces of the puzzle but the whole picture is still a long way from coming together.

  71. 71
    random.dent says:

    “As I understand it, the observer or measurement effect broadly refers to the observation that certain quantum “entities” can exists in a number of different states but that which we observe or measure is not decided until the act of observation. Further, that an act of observation or measurement by a conscious observer is required to “collapse the wave function” to a specific observed state.”

    Almost correct. The first sentence is correct. The second is not. “observation collapses the wave function” leads people to think “human eyeballing the system collapses the wave function.” This is not correct. In the physics parlance, in this situation, observation means “the system interacting with other particles/waves in the act of measurement inevitably collapses the system.” No consciousness required. To be really explicit, you can easily have a physical setup which measured whether, say, an electron went through this slit or that slit, and print the result on a piece of paper. The wave function collapses and the device takes a reading and dutifully prints it out, whether a human is looking in that direction or not.

    I’m not a quantum physicist, but I did have 3-4 quantum classes on the way to getting one of my degrees. You haven’t known tedium until you’ve calculated a few pages of Clebsch–Gordan coefficients. IIRC for each one I had to solve 3D integrals in spherical coordinates.

  72. 72
    jdk says:

    Thanks for 70 and 71.

  73. 73
    R J Sawyer says:

    Jdk@72. Ditto.

  74. 74

    As Von Neumann suggests, all that’s left to do now is explain how the record of a measurement came to be on a piece of paper without recourse to another record.

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    Upright BiPed states

    As Von Neumann suggests, all that’s left to do now is explain how the record of a measurement came to be on a piece of paper without recourse to another record.

    Exactly,,,, the infinite regress of the Von Neumann chain, that must necessarily terminate with a conscious observer (and I would further argue that it must necessarily terminate with God as the ‘unobserved observer’), is discussed starting at the 2:00 minute mark of the following video:

    The Measurement Problem
    https://youtu.be/qB7d5V71vUE?t=122

    Von Neumann also stated, “we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”

    How (conscious) observation is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics:
    Quote: “We wish to measure a temperature.,,,
    But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955
    http://www.informationphilosop.....s/neumann/

    The following fairly recent video by InspiringPhilosophy is also very good, after going though all the failed attempts of materialist to ‘explain away’ wave collapse, for showing how conscious observation is inextricably bound to measurement:

    17:50 minute mark “reality is dependent on conscious observers”
    The Death of Materialism – (2018) video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE

    And let’s not forget that it is not only conscious observation that materialists have to deal with in quantum mechanics. Materialists also have to deny the reality of the free will of the conscious observer in the experiments.

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time…
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/suarez-quantum-nonlocal-correlations-come-from-outside-space-time/

    And the supposed “free will loop-hole” of materialists was just dealt a death blow by Anton Zeilinger and company

    Quantum mechanics: Pushing the “free-will loophole” back to 7.8 billion years ago – September 14, 2018
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/pushing-the-free-will-loophole-back-to-7-8-billion-years-ago/

    Not that experimental evidence ever mattered to Darwinian atheists, but if it did, the work by Zeilinger and company should definitely make them become Theists.

  76. 76

    random_dent said:

    In the physics parlance, in this situation, observation means “the system interacting with other particles/waves in the act of measurement inevitably collapses the system.”

    No, it does not. As explained thoroughly in this thread. If all it took was interacting with other wave/particle systems to collapse a wave into a particular location or quality, there would be none of these quantum effects at all.

    No consciousness required.

    How about you provide a link, then to an experiment where the capacity to know which slit the electron passed through was not required in order to get a clump pattern instead of an interference pattern?

  77. 77
  78. 78

    Seversky said:

    For example, there have been loosely-phrased claims about reality not existing until we observe it at the quantum level which have been argued as supporting the claim that nothing exists unless it is being observed. But is that what is being claimed about quantum phenomena.

    I don’t know of anyone who claims that “reality” doesn’t exist, or that “nothing exists” until it is observed (which would be absurd, since there wouldn’t be anything to observe, real or otherwise). Rather, the claim is that what we experience as physical space-time does not exist in any particular configuration except in our experience, experience being the interface between conscious mind and what we call a quantum field of potential.

    IOW, the actual claim is that reality is not what we think it is (an external, material world), and “what exists” doesn’t exist the way we commonly think. There’s no such thing as “nothing”.

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this previously cited quote from von Neumann

    How (conscious) observation is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics:

    Quote: “We wish to measure a temperature.,,,
    But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955
    http://www.informationphilosop.....s/neumann/

    In quantum mechanics, as you can see from von Neumann’s quote, the exact place where ‘observation’, and/or “wave collapse”, is said to occur is arbitrary. Von Neumann goes on to note the arbitrariness of ‘observation’ in quantum mechanics,

    “The boundary between the two is arbitrary to a very large extent. In particular we saw in the four different possibilities in the example above, that the observer in this sense needs not to become identified with the body of the actual observer: In one instance in the above example, we included even the thermometer in it, while in another instance, even the eyes and optic nerve tract were not included. That this boundary can be pushed arbitrarily deeply into the interior of the body of the actual observer is the content of the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism — but this does not change the fact that in each method of description the boundary must be put somewhere, if the method is not to proceed vacuously, i.e., if a comparison with experiment is to be possible. Indeed experience only makes statements of this type: an observer has made a certain (subjective) observation; and never any like this: a physical quantity has a certain value.”
    – von Neumann

    Moreover, it is also important to note that, in atheistic materialism, it is presupposed that the observer is just passively observing some pre-existent value of some physical system.

    Yet that materialistic presupposition of ‘passive observation’ is now known to be false.

    In regards to Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment, Wheeler stated:

    “It begins to look as we ourselves, by our last minute decision, have an influence on what a photon will do when it has already accomplished most of its doing… we have to say that we ourselves have an undeniable part in what we have always called the past. The past is not really the past until is has been registered. Or to put it another way, the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present.”
    – John Wheeler
    – The Ghost In The Atom – Page 66-68 – P. C. W. Davies, Julian R. Brown – Cambridge University Press, Jul 30, 1993

    But even Wheeler’s contention that “the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present” is found not to be such an ironclad rule in quantum mechanics as some have thought it to be.

    As Asher Peres stated in 2000, “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).

    Zeilinger and company experimentally realized Peres’s thought experiment

    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

    And as Professor Crull states in the following article “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: 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

    And as the following author stated: “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.,,,”

    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/

    That is just plain bizarre and is certainly completely antagonistic to materialistic presuppositions of ‘passive observation’. As Pascual Jordan, put it: “observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [a quantum particle] to assume a definite position.” In other words, Jordan said, “we ourselves produce the results of measurements.”

    The Strange Link between the Human mind and Quantum Physics – By Philip Ball – 16 February 2017
    Excerpt: The physicist Pascual Jordan, who worked with quantum guru Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in the 1920s, put it like this: “observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [a quantum particle] to assume a definite position.” In other words, Jordan said, “we ourselves produce the results of measurements.”
    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story.....um-physics

    And as Anton Zeilinger stated, “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://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/suarez-quantum-nonlocal-correlations-come-from-outside-space-time/

    To say all of this is incompatible with materialistic presuppositions which hold that we are just ‘passive observers’ would be an understatement.

    It is also interesting to point out that this line of evidence is very friendly to Dr. Michael Egnor’s (Theistic) contention (via Aristotle) that “Perception at a distance is no more inconceivable than action at a distance.”

    Perception and the Cartesian Theater – Michael Egnor – December 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Perception at a distance is no more inconceivable than action at a distance. The notion that a perception of the moon occurs at the moon is “bizarre” (Torley’s word) only if one presumes that perception is constrained by distance and local conditions — perhaps perception would get tired if it had to go to the moon or it wouldn’t be able to go because it’s too cold there. Yet surely the view that the perception of a rose held up to my eye was located at the rose wouldn’t be deemed nearly as bizarre. At what distance does perception of an object at the object become inconceivable?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....01471.html

    Of related interest to this, in the following article, Dr. Egnor points out that Aristotle (and Aquinas) anticipated the basics of Quantum Wave Collapse thousands of years before quantum mechanics was discovered.

    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/

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  80. 80
    juwilker says:

    Sev @ 70

    “But it seems to me that, good as some of our theories are, their limitations indicate that there is still a lot that we don’t yet know, that we still don’t have a good handle on what all this is about.”

    And it will never change. To that I say “Amen”. Something we find agreement. That’s why God tells us “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”

    Epistemologically, us humans find ourselves at all different levels. We can stay shallow and God will entreat us “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. Or we can go deep, study the greats minds of the past/present and ponder the mysterious before us and God will still entreat us “fear the of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”

    So in a sense we just give up and look to the LORD for our wisdom. Everything changes when we do.

    juwilker

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