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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 53806  
Subject: Re: Faith as Mental Illness Date: 11/21/2013 6:24 PM
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And finally, you don't treat quantum mechanical phenomena and chaos theory, for example, the quantum movement of a single electron to another energy level being the butterfly that changes one's conclusion. Does that change anything in your argument?

I think there are plenty of places where a consciousness COULD be intervening, coupling, with a physical brain. And indeed, the quantum randomness, even the classical randomness of thermal fluctuations, could mask the interaction.

But we would have to have something like this:

Consider a classic quantum switch a stream of electrons spin-polarized in one direction, +z, passing through a magnetic field oriented at right angles to the spin axis, call it +x. We know from quantum that 1/2 the electrons will "project" onto a +x spin and 1/2 will project onto a -x spin. I may have the details wrong, the point is in the usual physics interpretation we say that a +z polarized electron has a 50:50 chance of being in the +x state or the -x state.

Now for quantum randomness to be the hook between brains and consciousness, we would have to say that "as far as we know" 1/2 the electrons go +x and half go -x. But that in detail, there are little units of consciousness deciding for each electron which way it will go. And that this mechanism, taking place across all the neurons of our brains is how consciousness intervenes in physics to produce consciously directed action. And we can't detect this consciously directed action because each transition in detail on average shows the 50:50 split of +x/-x choices, but that in fact this is due to each of them being a part of a transition that was decided by consciousness.

We even have the tangential interesting result that consciousness must transcend the speed of light limit. Without going too much in to it, experiments to look for "local hidden variables," called EPR experiments, have shown there are no local hidden variables. A global hidden variable is what must then be determining the +x/-x choice that drives the electrons. But if it is global, that means it happens in some sense everywhere at once, it doesn't happen at a single point and then propagate out to the rest of the universe at the speed of light. But I digress.

Now if this is the case, we would expect to be able to eventually find an experiment which would show non-random statistics where they should be random. Not easily, but we should be able to. Indeed one could say that my decision to type 6 a's in a row aaaaaa and to carry that out is evidence of a non-random set of firings that might have seemed random to a simpler analysis of what my neurons were doing. Or something like that.

Do I know that there is no such conscious domain and no such connection to quantum "randomness?" No I don't. I just don't have any evidence that there is such a thing.
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