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Old 03-24-2014, 11:25 PM   #406
Rizla
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The vast majority of subatomic interactions take place outside of experiments with detectors and conscious observers. They seem to do fine without us being present and paying attention.
That does not rebut the argument that their state is indeterminate until observed.

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It seems to me that a theory that requires consciousness is just introducing unnecessary complications.
Consciousness is fundamental to Quantum theory and it's explanation of how reality works. It is Lanza's position that this truth has been neglected.

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Old 03-24-2014, 11:48 PM   #407
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That does not rebut the argument that their state is indeterminate until observed.



Consciousness is fundamental to Quantum theory and it's explanation of how reality works., and it is Lanza's position that this truth has been neglected.
Consciousness being fundamental to quantum theory is one interpretation. There are other interpretations that don't require consciousness. This is a relatively busy area of quantum physics research over the last couple of decades. I am no expert in this area, but it seems that there is some move to removing observation as a necessity for measurement. It may just require another interaction to determine a "measurement".

To me, the argument that the state is indeterminate until observed sounds just like "Is the fridge light on when the door is closed?", or "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?". You can always argue that something else could be happening when we're not looking because you can't prove that it's not, but there doesn't seem to be any justification for it. You would have to prove to me what is so special about our consciousness that the rest of the world can only wait for its attention.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:41 AM   #408
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Consciousness being fundamental to quantum theory is one interpretation. There are other interpretations that don't require consciousness.
I didn't know that. I thought the role of consciousness in the double-slit experiment was inescapable. Do you have links?

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To me, the argument that the state is indeterminate until observed sounds just like "Is the fridge light on when the door is closed?", or "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?". You can always argue that something else could be happening when we're not looking because you can't prove that it's not, but there doesn't seem to be any justification for it.
The repeated observations of indeterminacy in the quantum world is justification for considering it. The paradox of Schrödinger's cat suggests that indeterminacy can exist on a macroscopic scale.

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You would have to prove to me what is so special about our consciousness that the rest of the world can only wait for its attention.
I never said "our consciousness." I said consciousness.

The double-split experiment shows that consciousness plays a "special" role in the behavior of reality. It collapses the wave function.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:17 AM   #409
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The repeated observations of indeterminacy in the quantum world is justification for considering it. The paradox of Schrödinger's cat suggests that indeterminacy can exist on a macroscopic scale.
Schrödinger's cat was a thought experiment devised to highlight the flaws/limits of the Copenhagen interpretation, not reinforce it!
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:37 AM   #410
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To me, the argument that the state is indeterminate until observed sounds just like "Is the fridge light on when the door is closed?", or "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?". You can always argue that something else could be happening when we're not looking because you can't prove that it's not, but there doesn't seem to be any justification for it. You would have to prove to me what is so special about our consciousness that the rest of the world can only wait for its attention.
Ill try answer this again. I know what you mean. This is where Lanzas book gets mindbending. He seems to be arguing that when matter is unobserved, it exists in an indeterminate state. This is hard to accept. However, as i understand it, Quantum theory does not preclude this interpretation. As I understand it, the multiple universe interpretation of Quantum theory attempts to explain where all the fuzziness of the quantum world goes when it meets the macroscopic scale. Lanza is providing a different but equally valid interpretation.

This fuzziness does seem to be real and can be utilised on the macroscopic scale. Take quantum computing, for example. It defies common sense, but it works.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:16 AM   #411
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The double-split experiment shows that consciousness plays a "special" role in the behavior of reality. It collapses the wave function.
It's been over 25 years since I looked into this stuff, so I'm pretty rusty on it. I don't recall the double-slit experiment having anything to do with consciousness. I remember that it was proof of the quantum theoretical view of the world as opposed to the classical view. It demonstrated wave-particle duality, and that interference and probabilities were correctly computed based on wave function amplitudes (one of the postulates of quantum theory). I don't remember wave function collapse being important to the experiment.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:03 AM   #412
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I didn't know that. I thought the role of consciousness in the double-slit experiment was inescapable.
The double slit experiment highlights the role of the "observer" in quantum mechanics, but doesn't necessarily require consciousness on the part of the observer. There is an interpretation which does postulate that (the Von Neumann–Wigner interpretation), but it's very much a minority position. A more widely held view is that a conscious observer is not required.

For example, from Heisenberg's "Physics and Philosophy":

"The observer has, rather, only the function of registering decisions, i.e., processes in space and time, and it does not matter whether the observer is an apparatus or a human being;".

/JB
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:06 AM   #413
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It's been over 25 years since I looked into this stuff, so I'm pretty rusty on it. I don't recall the double-slit experiment having anything to do with consciousness. I remember that it was proof of the quantum theoretical view of the world as opposed to the classical view. It demonstrated wave-particle duality, and that interference and probabilities were correctly computed based on wave function amplitudes (one of the postulates of quantum theory). I don't remember wave function collapse being important to the experiment.
The double-slit does indeed show the things you say, but in addition to that it does show the effect of the observer on wave function collapse - if the experimenter adds a detector to determine which slit a given particle goes through, the interference pattern disappears (indicating, per the Copenhagen interpretation, wave function collapse).

/JB
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:09 AM   #414
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Consciousness being fundamental to quantum theory is one interpretation. There are other interpretations that don't require consciousness. This is a relatively busy area of quantum physics research over the last couple of decades. I am no expert in this area, but it seems that there is some move to removing observation as a necessity for measurement. It may just require another interaction to determine a "measurement".
Interaction (with anything) collapses the wave function, not consciousness. Eg in the double slit experiment, the position of each photon is indeterminate until it interacts with the detector. When this occurs, the wave function collapses, and the photon is then is a definite place at a definite time. Consciousness has nothing to do with it, merely interaction.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:22 AM   #415
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I'm late to this thread but I didn't see this book mentioned in the first several pages. My favorite science book is Issac Asimov's 'A New Guide to Science'. It's OOP and not available as an ebook, but worth picking up a used one. There are several on Amazon. It's more of a history of science. Very good read.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:30 AM   #416
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The double-slit does indeed show the things you say, but in addition to that it does show the effect of the observer on wave function collapse - if the experimenter adds a detector to determine which slit a given particle goes through, the interference pattern disappears (indicating, per the Copenhagen interpretation, wave function collapse).

/JB
But again, it's interaction with the detector that causes the wave function to collapse, not the presence of the observer. The wave function will collapse regardless of the presence of the observer; all that's required is the presence of the detector.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:13 AM   #417
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But again, it's interaction with the detector that causes the wave function to collapse, not the presence of the observer. The wave function will collapse regardless of the presence of the observer; all that's required is the presence of the detector.
Agreed - that's exactly what I said in the post before the one you quoted!

/JB
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:45 AM   #418
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Agreed - that's exactly what I said in the post before the one you quoted!

/JB
Yes, sorry, only read that after I'd posted .
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:22 AM   #419
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But again, it's interaction with the detector that causes the wave function to collapse, not the presence of the observer. The wave function will collapse regardless of the presence of the observer; all that's required is the presence of the detector.
Lanza dedicates a chapter to the experiment and addresses your point and gives a physical example that rebuts your statement. I read this part several times because I needed to be sure. If I get a chance later, I will give you details of his example, but maybe you should just read the book yourself. He spends a chapter referencing the double-split experiment and it's very early in the book.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #420
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As I said in the beginning Lanza is full of it. A woo-master. His claims are not science.
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