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  #41  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by godnotgod View Post
Specialized knowledge arrived at via thought is unnecessary in order to determine the nature of Reality. In fact, specialized knowledge cannot tell us that.
What I detailed is the (approximate) nature of reality. Everything we experience as humans are approximations of that, and normally very specific approximations to boot.
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Originally Posted by godnotgod View Post
OK. So tell me how the non-physical can emerge from the physical. This is the current hard question.
The non-physical is what an algorithm looks like from the inside. What's the issue?
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  #42  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PolyHedral View Post
What I detailed is the (approximate) nature of reality. Everything we experience as humans are approximations of that, and normally very specific approximations to boot.
That is a description of reality, not its nature. It is like trying to say that the Chopin Piano Concerto #1 are the notes used to play it.

For example, let's just say, without actually knowing for certain, that the nature of Reality is that the universe is illusory. There's no way of measuring that; of knowing that via logic, analysis, or reason, except that what we know about atoms from science almost points in that direction, and QM even moreso.


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The non-physical is what an algorithm looks like from the inside. What's the issue?
That you are using consciousness to tell me that.
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  #43  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Spinkles View Post

Contrast Chopra with the physicist he cited, Amit Goswami. In one video GNG posted, Goswami was very specific. He said that researchers in Mexico did an experiment. Without bothering with details, suffice it to say that after the experiment, measurements were compared to look for any (telepathic) influence of one human subject on another.

Now that's a theory I can sink my teeth into, so to speak. Either the measurements are correlated to each other beyond what is expected by random chance, or they are not. Call Goswami's theory what you will, but at least it isn't vague nonsense. (Personally I suspect it is wrong.) I have yet to see Chopra say anything about physics which rises to this level.
And yet, they both agree about how consciousness arises and its nature, in relation to the physical world, which is really the point in all this.

There are two ways home: the long road and the short road. Science and Religion are on the long road. Mysticism is already there.
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  #44  
Old 04-25-2013, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by godnotgod
While Chopra is a medical doctor, he is not a scientist.
Someone should tell Chopra that:
Quote:
"I think I'm going to have to say [about quantum physics] that science is now in a process of overthrowing ... the superstition of materialism ... that the essential nature of the physical world is not physical. Science also tells us ... that there are gaps between every two "ons" where you find a field of possibilities, a field of pure potentiality ... Science also tells us that there's a field of non-locality, where everything is correlated with everything else. ... Today, science tells us that the essential nature of reality is non-local correlation, everything is connected to everything else ... that there are quantum leaps of creativity; that there is something called the "observer effect", where intention orchestrates spacetime events which we then measure as movement, and motion, and energy, and matter. ... And all you have to do is understand the principles of science, that you have the resources within you to intuitively grasp this mystery."
-Chopra in debate with Harris and Shermer [emphasis added]

"[A physicist and myself have] several published papers, some of them in refereed journals like the Journal of Cosmology."
-Chopra, responding to a Reddit question from a physicist asking where Chopra obtained his knowledge of quantum physics, and how he responds to "the fact that so many members of the physics community feel that your presentation of quantum theory is misleading".

Harris (paraphrasing): "You are not a physicist. I am not a physicist. No one on this stage is qualified to lecture a room full of Caltech physicists on physics."
Chopra, responding to Harris: "I object to what Sam Harris said about my credentials. ... I took physics and biology and chemistry. The fact is, if anyone on this stage is qualified, it's me."
Harris: "We all took physics and biology and chemistry."
Later in that debate, Leonard Mlodinow (actual physicist) tries to explain how Chopra's use of "nonlocal" was incorrect; Chopra interrupts him.

Chopra and Mlodinow, writing about their book War of the Worldviews:
"Cosmos: Leonard describes Einstein's theory of relativity, and quantum theory, and how they are combined to create a scientific theory of how the universe began and evolved. He describes the impressive agreement between the theoretical predictions based on this picture and actual observations of the heavens made by astronomers. Deepak proposes a creative first cause that preceded the infinitesimally brief Planck epoch (10-43 seconds) following the Big Bang. He suggests that since the laws of nature and perhaps space and time emerged after the Planck epoch, any understanding of the pre-created universe remains outside the scope of objective science.
...
Life: We describe the cutting-edge ideas of modern genetics. Leonard argues that physical evolution occurs through random mutations and natural selection. Deepak argues that random mutations are not an adequate explanation for the variety and speed of viable adaptations."
I didn't hear Chopra admit "I'm not a scientist" anywhere in there, did you? Notice, friends, that Chopra says according to science there's a field of non-locality, where everything is correlated with everything else. Ask the baseball from the OP about this.
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Originally Posted by godnotgod View Post
And yet, they both agree about how consciousness arises and its nature, in relation to the physical world, which is really the point in all this.
Right, they both agree. But Chopra is talking nonsense because he has no clue about quantum physics, whereas Goswami is just wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by godnotgod
There are two ways home: the long road and the short road. Science and Religion are on the long road. Mysticism is already there.
Yes, mysticism is already there and it was already somewhere else, too. Just look at how mystics ran away with the luminiferous ether, for example, before that was disproved by science.
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  #45  
Old 04-25-2013, 07:56 PM
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Default "Conscious" Observers in Quantum Mechanics

I mentioned this in another thread but it's worth paraphrasing and discussing here: quantum mechanics does not require "conscious" observers. This is a mistake usually made by those outside physics. When physicists talk about "observers" doing a measurement they use that word for convenience; really, any "classical" object physically interacting with a quantum object can be considered an "observer" doing a "measurement".

So I really feel quite strongly (and most physicists would agree) that quantum mechanics does not need "consciousness" any more than it needs homo sapiens, or Earth, etc. Those things cost extra, so to speak.

I also feel that consciousness doesn't need quantum mechanics in principle, either. Suppose physics had stopped in 1900 and it turned out we lived in a classical world. Consciousness would still be a difficult problem. We could still have exactly the same debate: there would be people on one side arguing it arises from the complex operation of information-processing machinery (such as brains, computers), and there would be those on the other side arguing that there's a "ghost in the machine" directing the machinery, so to speak. This debate has nothing to do, in principle, with whether we are talking about quantum machines or classical machines. For example, the precise behavior of a block of metal is, at the end of the day, "quantum" but we are not tempted to call it conscious; likewise the behavior of an advanced robot or a brain could for all practical purposes be "classical" but we might still be tempted to call it conscious.
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  #46  
Old 04-25-2013, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by godnotgod View Post
While Chopra is a medical doctor, he is not a scientist.

When did medicine stop being a science? Have medical schools, medical doctors, as well as health-related government offices been informed of this?

Quote:
His view is not from science, but from that of the mystic. He is interpreting what science says through the mystical view, which is direct experience with Reality.

Everyone who deals with the sciences interprets (from those who by a book on global warming to teachers in schools and universities and incuding scientists). And perfectly capable scientists, from Dawkins to Behe, have worldviews which are clearly influenced by a lot more than scientific evidence and have little or nothing to do with their field.

The question isn't whether one's view is "from science", but how one views/interprets scientific research and evidence. There are some areas in probably any field where there a lots of theories and very little agreement.

Quote:
What that means is that, it is not Chopra's personal view, as that is transcended in the mystical view, which is a universal view. So what Chopra is telling us comes from the universe itself.


Then he should stop talking about physics.

Quote:
I tend to trust more what the universe tells us about itself rather than what a conceptual scientific model does.


If the mystical knowledge you refer to is superior to science in understanding scientific theories such as quantum nonlocality, then why is science necessary at all? Why do we need quantum physics or any physics rather than just utilizing the knowledge gained by those who can directly understand what "comes from the universe itself"?

Were it not for those scientific models, neither you nor Chopra would be saying a word about quantum physics. Instead, we'd still think that the Earth revolves around the sun, that health is a matter of things like excess black bile, humors, or that blood-letting is a general cure for a broad range of illnesses.

It's fine to realize that scientific theories are limited by their methods, and if one chooses to think that these methods are either useless or are only useful up to a particular point, I don't usually have any problem with this at all (exceptions would be things teaching creationism in schools or denying children medical care).

However, relying on scientific theories which are then distorted is a different matter altogether. It is to accept what scientific methods can produce while selectively determining when and where they can't for no reason other than that one has, for example, mystical knowledge.


Quote:
However, the scientific model can supply details which the mystical view cannot.


That's not what's happening here. We aren't talking about adding details not covered or impossible to cover in the models. We are talking about altering the models. And if the mystical view can tell us what details in physics are inaccurate, why can't it tell us all the details?

Quote:
That is why mystics have a healthy respect for science.

I don't doubt this is true in many cases. The same is true for many people who not mystics but are religious or spiritual. But respect for science would be something like "science is useful for what it can do, but at some point science can't give us the answers and we need God/the divine/the Goddess/Nature/etc. to tell us the rest"

What respect for science is not is to take scientific theories and, rather than add onto them, distort them.

Quote:
The scientist deliberately ignores the intuitive, that is, except for some, like Einstein, Planck, and Goswami.


Einstein is perhaps the most ardent critique of quantum physics ever. That nonlocality stuff you reference? He tried for years and years to show it meant QM had to be inaccurate. Why? Because QM is counter-intuitive.
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  #47  
Old 04-25-2013, 10:22 PM
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Right, they both agree. But Chopra is talking nonsense because he has no clue about quantum physics, whereas Goswami is just wrong.
Wrong on both counts.


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Yes, mysticism is already there and it was already somewhere else, too. Just look at how mystics ran away with the luminiferous ether, for example, before that was disproved by science.
Cool. I never said 'all mystics are absolutely correct'.
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  #48  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:27 PM
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My position in all of this is that man errs in seeking factual knowledge first to provide an understanding of the nature of the universe and of Reality. Having said that, I am NOT saying factual knowledge is inconsequential. But in order to understand factual knowledge correctly, it must be seen in the proper context, and that context is what the true nature of Reality* is. Since science cannot answer this question via its own methods, a different approach must be made, and that is the intuitive path in order to access and experience Reality directly, without conceptual thought. When this approach is taken, the ordinary world we refer to as 'reality' becomes transformed, not because anything in it has changed, but because our consciousness has.

One might say, however, that this change is to a delusive state, but a delusive state is one which differs from what true Reality actually is, and that is the state which most of mankind is already in, without being aware of it. Our current consciousness is already a highly altered consciousness away from its natural state, and that includes science.

Our natural state of consciousness is unconditioned, ungrown, unborn, deathless, and reflects Reality as it is, rather than how the conditioned, rational mind tells us it is. Of course, we don't notice this conditioning much, simply because we have been socially indoctrinated from the get-go. A quick example in terms of the current discussion is the nature of matter, which, upon further investigation, shows that it is not like our classical conditioning has told us it is. Mystics have, more or less, pointed to the illusory nature of the material world for centuries, although science has not gone so far as to say that.

Regarding QM, therefore, it must be seen and understood in light of Reality, and not the other way around, which is the path that science seems to be taking. The general idea is that, via subjective/objective intellectual study of the individual 'parts', an understanding of the universe and of Reality will be reached someday. This approach, by itself, will result in no understanding, but a sterile and mechanical view of the universe. That is, in fact, already the case.

The mystical view, OTOH, shows us a universe that is alive, creative, and intelligent. As Alan Watts put it, 'you don't understand it as much as it understands you.'

Chopra comments about his video:

"I held that modern science, although a great thing, makes the mistake of separating the observer and the observed. By positing a universe "out there" that can be measured at a safe distance, physics overlooks the obvious fact that we ourselves are part of the universe; in fact, we are an activity that cannot be separated from the total activity of the universe. This is by no means an outrageous claim. The eminent physicist John Wheeler argued passionately for a participatory universe, and the necessary link between observer and observed is part of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics."

*I distinguish here between the ordinary, conditioned view we call 'reality' and true, unconditioned Reality, or 'things as they are'.
*****


The following video is in response to a lecture given by Richard Dawkins, which is also referenced below, should you desire more context.

From the archive: Deepak Chopra


Richard Dawkins: Militant atheism | Video on TED.com

Also, for qualifying comments from Deepak Chopra concerning the video noted above, see here:

https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/vi...been_settled?_
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  #49  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:38 PM
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Godnotgod,

Legion made a very good point. Einstein believed everything was determined by strictly deterministic laws of physics (as opposed to the statistical/probabilistic laws of QM). This seems incompatible with your ideas about consciousness controlling matter through QM. Do you think in light of this it's a mistake to invoke Einstein in the service of those ideas?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:51 PM
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Godnotgod,

It would help instead of always speaking in general, abstract terms to throw in more specific examples that illustrate what you mean. A lot of the time, I really have no idea what you mean. For example, notice how I talked about robots, brains, a hunk of metal, etc. I mentioned those things to try to put my ideas in action and make it more likely that you will understand what I mean. Now, I know you're going to be tempted to accuse me of some sort of closed-mindedness by requesting "concrete" examples when you want to focus on abstract things. But I don't mean it literally has to be "concrete". For example, maybe you could illustrate your points using the optical illusion of the Necker cube, or things of that nature. Anything to help put your ideas "into action" so we can see what you actually mean.

For example, you say: "Regarding QM, therefore, it must be seen and understood in light of Reality, and not the other way around, which is the path that science seems to be taking."

Could you give examples of what you mean here? Maybe you could cite some recently discovered phenomenon and talk about how scientists understand it. You could contrast how the "path" you favor in regard to QM helps to unravel the phenomenon, whereas "the other way around" does not. This way we can see your ideas in action and see how they work under pressure, so to speak.
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