From Stuart Clark at New Scientist:
Although the scope of our definition determines the complexity of the puzzle, physics should still supply the solution, says philosopher Tim Maudlin of New York University. Physics is about just two questions, he says: “what exists?” and “what does it do?”. “If you answer both of those questions, then I think you have answered the question ‘what is reality?’.” More. (paywall)
Reality isn’t “made of” anything. What is the number 2 “made of”? What is the political idea of proportional representation “made of”? What is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam “made of”? Almost certainly, they will get nowhere, but at least they will be able to reaffirm their basic vision of life. Not bad for the dead of midsummer.
Note: No more news blogging tonight. Off to other alternate night job.
See also: What great physicists have aid about immateriality and consciousness
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3 Replies to “New Scientist asks, what is reality made of?”
In order to even properly define reality in the first place, as WJM has made clear here on UD, mind must be primary.
WJM is in excellent company:
As an interesting footnote to the claim that mind must be primary in any proper definition of reality, in the following study, researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, found out, much to their surprise, that the memories of people who had experienced an NDE were ‘more real than real’:
Exactly how does something become ‘more real than real’ in an NDE unless this reality is just a mere shadow of the heavenly reality that awaits us after death and that is above this one?
Moreover, we have fairly strong, and consistent, physical evidence from quantum mechanics that Mind, with a capital M, must precede reality. Due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
My favorite recent advance in quantum mechanics is this experiment:
There is even mathematical evidence that the Mind that is collapsing the wave function must be omniscient. That is to say, an ‘uncollapsed’ photon, in its quantum wave state, is mathematically defined as ‘infinite information’:
Moreover, this ‘infinite information’ quantum qubit is also mathematically defined as being in an ‘infinite dimensional’ state:
Also of note,
Thus every time we observe/measure, (i.e. collapse a quantum wave of), a single photon we are actually seeing just a single bit of information that was originally created from a very specific set of infinite information that was known by the infinite consciousness that preceded material reality. In other words, infinite information that was known only by the infinite Mind of omniscient God!
Also of related note: In order to join quantum mechanics with special relativity, in order to formulate Quantum Electrodynamics, it was necessary for Richard Feynman to brush “infinity under the rug.”
Feynman rightly expresses his unease with “brushing infinity under the rug.” here:
I don’t know about 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’:
Stuart Clark in New Scientist writes
It seems that Stuart Clark has gotten behind in his reading by a few years . . .
Vlatko Vedral is a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, here’s how he expresses reality:
And here’s how Anton Zeilinger, a physicist at the University of Vienna, the Scientific Director of the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, and President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences puts it:
Or maybe Clark is simply a victim of confirmation bias.