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Philosophy, Science, & The Unexplained - Main Thread

henris42

Skilled Investigator
This is all very curious. But, if the phenoma is caused only by conciousness - why the photo and physical evidence?

The fact that there is real evidence, I'm not that fancy on all this co-creation conciousness stuff. The answer just cannot be that simple. My take is that there are actually many, many phenomenons. Maybe some of them are real, maybe some not.

That would also mean that there is simply not one answer. We probably cannot simply conceive the intricacies of the universe.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
This is all very curious. But, if the phenomena is caused only by consciousness - why the photo and physical evidence?
I guess it depends on what phenomena exactly we're referring to. Certainly the phenomena we call qualia are a product of consciousness. I'm not so sure about "physical evidence", because there's no way to be sure it's not also something subjective. However, personally, my views tend to fall into the general category of metaphysical realism as outlined here: Challenges to Metaphysical Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The fact that there is real evidence, I'm not that fancy on all this co-creation consciousness stuff. The answer just cannot be that simple. My take is that there are actually many, many phenomenons. Maybe some of them are real, maybe some not.
I guess that depends on how we define "real". If by "real" we mean that which exists, then surely the images we see in our dreams are real images. However the objects that those images represent, may or may not correspond to objects outside our dreams. So reality can be subjective or objective or a combination of both.
That would also mean that there is simply not one answer. We probably cannot simply conceive the intricacies of the universe.
The older I get, the more I tend to share that sentiment.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Correlation & Causation

We sometimes hear the argument that correlation doesn't imply causation. However, if we're using the primary definition of "imply", meaning to "suggest" ( as opposed to "equate to" ) then this addage is false. More correctly, correlation doesn't equal causation. However when one considers the standards by which we attribute causes and effects, correlation can certainly imply causation, especially when it is supported by a statistical model based on repeated observation.

Part of the reasoning for this is that all causes and effects are 100% correlative, and in science, when something is directly correlative in all cases where it is tested, it is not simply dismissed as sheer coincidence. It is also as much a logical fallacy to conclude that because causation hasn't been proven, that the correlation implies something else is the cause.

In fact, when correlations under controlled circumstances are the same 100% of the time, there is a very strong scientific argument for causation. With respect to brain states and mental states, the following paper covers this debate in some further detail and should be required reading for anyone wanting to take sides on this particular issue.

Cognitive Neuroscience and Causal Inference: Implications for Psychiatry
 

Jenny Chan

Skilled Investigator
Possibly related: Robert Lanza's biocentrism explains how the universe is created by life, and even that the universe is in our heads.

 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Possibly related: Robert Lanza's biocentrism explains how the universe is created by life, and even that the universe is in our heads.

The problem I see with biocentrism, or at least the kind of biocentrism that postulates that minds came before the universe, is that it is essentially the same as subjective idealism, which although impossible to disprove, seems very unlikely to me due to the vast numbers of illusions and logical inconsistencies that would require faith in order to accept.

One of the simplest of these is that the cosmological evidence suggests that biological life happened in only a tiny fraction of the timespan of the universe. If that is true, and there were no biological minds prior to this small fraction of time, are we supposed to believe that this cosmological evidence is all just a trick of our minds?

This is illustrated in the Cosmic Calendar, illustrated here by Carl Sagan.


Then again: What if we're living in a Matrix?​
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Old news now but worthy of mention:

PaulKeneddy-01b.pngVoice of IDEAS Paul Kennedy retires after 40 years with the CBC


'IDEAS gave me an education of the highest degree'

It's rare for someone to combine the roles of both host and producer, but Paul is celebrated for both. As his colleagues will attest, Paul Kennedy is down to earth and approachable, eager to understand and prioritize the thinking of everyone he speaks with.

He sees himself primarily as a storyteller, and has a rare gift for engaging listeners profoundly."
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Should We Widen Our Perspective on What Constitutes Life?

Here's a topic that came to mind when @marduk brought-up Nick Redfern's recent book The Martians for which he has some seemingly very different perspectives than Redfern. I suspect we'd be much in agreement on most points, and in the end find that seemingly contradictory perspectives on the small scale merge into a more coherent bigger picture.

Moving in this direction it occurred to me that we'd probably agree on virtually every fact about the situation up to some point. One of the first logical points of divergence could be where we advocate differing positions about this question:

QUESTION: Are the very interesting artifacts on Mars that Nick refers to:​
  1. Natural?
  2. Engineered?
  3. Alive?
Here we'd have to decide what those words mean. I think we'd probably agree on all of them up to a point. Maybe another question will materialize, like: What if the interesting artifacts on Mars that Nick refers to aren't life in the way we normally think of it, but might come very close or even qualify as life under a different point of view?

Then we'd have to look at an example, and I might pick the artifacts that look like photos of groves of trees taken from some distance above. And that's when things could get really interesting. Let's go along with the position that these artifacts are nothing more than materials native to the planet that have formed according to the rules of nature, into shapes that look surprisingly like trees.

Can we not make the same claims about ourselves? Are we not made out of materials native to our planet? Have these materials not formed themselves according to the rules of nature into shapes surprisingly like humans? Perhaps some things we might assume to be inanimate, can legitimately be considered life if we widen our perspective?
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
A Second Loophole That Allows For Afterlives ( Sort Of )

During The January 10th 2021 interview with futurist Gray Scott, we covered the idea of afterlives in the context of a Matrix-like universe, and Gray pointed out how computer game characters can re-spawn ( come back to life in a game ). This is analogous to the first loophole, where it is possible that an exact duplicate of ourselves is reborn into another universe.

During this discussion it occurred to me that a more accurate analogy would be to look at afterlives as changing game levels. In other words, if the physical universe as we experience it, including our bodies, landscape, and everything else, is a manifestation of some vastly powerful universe maker, then rather than reconstituting us from a backup after we die, it could surround our existing consciousness with another universe.

To those in the universe being replaced, it would appear to be identical to the death of the individual. This loophole, facilitates continuity of consciousness. I presently doubt that either loophole is the case, but I can't think of any reason that prevents them from being possible. This loophole also doesn't solve a number of issues with continuity of personality or identity, so it's far from a perfect solution.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
At last an article that helps explain the quantum woo I've been attempting to debunk on other threads!
"Schrodinger's Cat was simply a teaching tool that Schrodinger used to illustrate how some people were misinterpreting quantum theory ... Some scientists at the time that quantum theory was being developed (1930's) drifted from science into the realm of philosophy, and stated that quantum particles only collapse to a single state when viewed by a conscious observer. Schrodinger found this concept absurd ..."

 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
The problem I see there is two-fold: 1. there may not actually be any information transferred between entangled particles - it may just be the way the universe works, and 2. no information transfer is actually possible via entanglement, because it's actually measuring randomness.
Have to disagree.

Re this: "1. there may not actually be any information transferred between entangled particles - it may just be the way the universe works," aren't we attempting in physics, biology, philosophy and other disciplines to find out 'how the universe works'? That's the question, and it does not seem sensible or rational to respond to the question about quantum entanglement with a shrug while saying "it may just be the way the universe works."

And re your second point: "2. no information transfer is actually possible via entanglement because it's [referent ?} actually measuring randomness." The statement is confusing because you imply that entanglement itself is measuring randomness. Isn't it the case that early in the development of quantum mechanics researchers thought, or assumed, that they were seeing/measuring 'randomness' but gradually realized the mind-boggling phenomena of quantum entanglement? And that going forward we continue to argue about the significance/the meaning of q. entanglement and its expressions in physical reality as classically conceived?
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Have to disagree.

Re this: "1. there may not actually be any information transferred between entangled particles - it may just be the way the universe works," aren't we attempting in physics, biology, philosophy and other disciplines to find out 'how the universe works'? That's the question, and it does not seem sensible or rational to respond to the question about quantum entanglement with a shrug while saying "it may just be the way the universe works."
what I meant by that is not that we shrug our shoulders and walk away from the interesting conundrum here, but what I meant (I think, this is a while back) that while our brains/minds mind in fact be quantum systems, and even entangled systems, that doesn't mean that information transfer is possible at all. It may turn out that entanglement is part of the basic operating system of the universe, and just the way it works - like the strong nuclear force just works, or why it's so much bigger (and yet smaller) than the weak nuclear force.

Not at all the it's not interesting or worthwhile to explore.
And re your second point: "2. no information transfer is actually possible via entanglement because it's [referent ?} actually measuring randomness." The statement is confusing because you imply that entanglement itself is measuring randomness. Isn't it the case that early in the development of quantum mechanics researchers thought, or assumed, that they were seeing/measuring 'randomness' but gradually realized the mind-boggling phenomena of quantum entanglement? And that going forward we continue to argue about the significance/the meaning of q. entanglement and its expressions in physical reality as classically conceived?
What I'm saying is detailed here:
In physics, the no-communication theorem or no-signaling principle is a no-go theorem from quantum information theory which states that, during measurement of an entangled quantum state, it is not possible for one observer, by making a measurement of a subsystem of the total state, to communicate information to another observer. The theorem is important because, in quantum mechanics, quantum entanglement is an effect by which certain widely separated events can be correlated in ways that suggest the possibility of communication faster-than-light. The no-communication theorem gives conditions under which such transfer of information between two observers is impossible. These results can be applied to understand the so-called paradoxes in quantum mechanics, such as the EPR paradox, or violations of local realism obtained in tests of Bell's theorem. In these experiments, the no-communication theorem shows that failure of local realism does not lead to what could be referred to as "spooky communication at a distance" (in analogy with Einstein's labeling of quantum entanglement as requiring "spooky action at a distance" on the assumption of QM's completeness).

In other words, that while entanglement is truly weird and seems to bypass space/time... it does not categorically allow for information transfer. If it did, that might in fact violate causality and the way the whole universe works.

I wish there was an ansible, but there doesn't seem to be, and entanglement doesn't seem to make it any more possible. In fact, the reverse.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I wish there was an ansible, but there doesn't seem to be, and entanglement doesn't seem to make it any more possible. In fact, the reverse.
It seems however, that QE can be used to increase the precision of GPS measurements. This might not be FTL Communication the way we were looking at it above, but someplace in there it seems like there is data transfer happening.


 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
what I meant by that is not that we shrug our shoulders and walk away from the interesting conundrum here, but what I meant (I think, this is a while back) that while our brains/minds mind in fact be quantum systems, and even entangled systems, that doesn't mean that information transfer is possible at all.
I don't see how you can be sure that the evident connection and interaction between q particles at immense distances does not implicate 'information transfer' in ways we cannot at present understand and explain. It certainly suggests communication, and how would that work without information transfer?
It may turn out that entanglement is part of the basic operating system of the universe, and just the way it works - like the strong nuclear force just works, or why it's so much bigger (and yet smaller) than the weak nuclear force.
That does not seem to be an answer to the question, but rather a waving away of the question. Why not just admit that we do not yet know how to fit q entanglement into our TOE at present?
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member

OK, WTF Are ‘Virtual Particles’ and Do They Actually Exist?​



For the record, I'm in the non-believer camp where virtual particles are seen as inventions to explain certain experiments and smooth-out the math. Same goes for "curved space". There is no actual evidence or logic that fits the real world for either one. It seems to me that more believerism goes on in theoretical physics than the scientific skeptics seem to realize, and of course the believers don't see themselves as "believers", because after all, it's science, not belief, which is no better than claiming God is real because he said so ( For the record I'm also non-religious ).
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member

Weird ‘Vanishing Stars’ Could Potentially Be Aliens, Study Claims​

"New research published in the Astronomical Journal calls them “red transients,” of which roughly 100 have been chronicled by the authors, a team led by Beatriz Villarroel from Stockholm University and the Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias in Spain. More colloquially, they’re referred to as “vanishing stars,” and they’re baffling scientists."​
 

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