# Darwinism, Reproduction and QM

by Coldcall
Tags: darwinism, reproduction
P: 2,799
 Quote by Coldcall "The "sensors" of a physical systems in general are that it can respond to gravity, electromagnetic fields, strong and weak fields." Thats not the same as biologically evolved sensors. The fact that a particle is affected by gravity or radiation does not equate with it sensing those things.
To me it is. The difference is complexity. this is what I tried to convey in my first post, the ability to sense the interaction forces might be a result of evolution of physical law and it's representation in evolution of matter system.

When I ask a question, why does the laws of nature look like the do? I do have in mind an "explanation" in terms of evolved inference systems. And in my personal abstraction the "sensors" of an inference systems can be thought of as the boundary of the system, which is the first line of interaction, which is then further processes internally.

I can not answer this myself, but a typical question would be, why are there 4 fundamental forces? And the answer should hopefully follow as we scale the complexity of the "observer" up from a primordal observer, to where gravity is distinguished and then the strong and weak and electromagnetic interactions.

Why does a primordal quantum observer evolve the ability to distinguish gravity from the rst of the interactions? Probably in order to survive (to stay stable).

Further, why does this observer evolve the sensory capabilitis to distinguish the strong force from the electroweak? Well, probably because it's what the competition requires. (adapt or die).

My view of this unifcation scale is an evolutionary one. As more complex observers emerge, the diversity of sensory capatibiles increases - just like in biology.

 Quote by Coldcall Of course they do. Each and every quantum experiment is based on human knowledge and our observations either directly or through a proxy such as a geiger counter or whatever.
Hmm ok, if you mean in the sense that all measurement devices is operated an interpreted by humans, and that "science" as we know it, is indeed a human endeavour then you have a point.

But I was trying to keep the discussion at anothre level. In a sense everything I do or speak of, including anything I want is going on in my brain, yes.

I do not question any of that.

I just mean that quantum weirdness can't be entirely dismissed to human mind, since the interference patterns occuring in nature, are consistent with naturs parst acting upon each other AS IF they were observing each other.

/Fredrik
 P: 275 Hi Fra, "To me it is. The difference is complexity. this is what I tried to convey in my first post, the ability to sense the interaction forces might be a result of evolution of physical law and it's representation in evolution of matter system." Yes but that difference in complexity between a particle and a biological system is of an exponential nature. And yes the extra ability to sense the forces intelligently has emerged as the universe matures. Hence that capability and one i equate with the ability to process reality re qm, was not present until the universe had enough time to gain the complexity we are discussing. "...My view of this unifcation scale is an evolutionary one. As more complex observers emerge, the diversity of sensory capatibiles increases - just like in biology" I agree with the above. I think where we differ in opinion is that i believe the capacity to process reality is directly linked to our biological capacity to process complex information. So in my view, particles on not independently capable of causing reality to occur (or causing wave function to collapse). IMO, The only way a particle can act as a trigger for the processing of reality (through wave function collapse) is if that particle has been manipulated by a biological system. So that particle acting as an extension of biological consciousness may be able to collapse a wave function....but only beacause a biological system is entangled with it in the first place. "I just mean that quantum weirdness can't be entirely dismissed to human mind, since the interference patterns occuring in nature, are consistent with naturs parst acting upon each other AS IF they were observing each other." But i think that is exactly why it is so weird - qm being the framework of laws governing how our reality unfolds into what we call "objective" physicality.
PF Gold
P: 2,432
 Quote by Coldcall IMO, The only way a particle can act as a trigger for the processing of reality (through wave function collapse) is if that particle has been manipulated by a biological system. So that particle acting as an extension of biological consciousness may be able to collapse a wave function....but only beacause a biological system is entangled with it in the first place.
So in this view, what is the status of parts of the world or universe which are not being observed in a biologically complex fashion?

Say there is a strata of uranium deep in the ground. No complex senses are detecting it. Would it be decaying or remain in a state of superposition until some mining company comes along to dig it up, assay if for its value?

Or what about the cosmic ray that struck some cell in my body many years ago and set in train cancerous changes. Did the cell have the complexity to collapse the wave function or does it all have to wait until I become aware of the fact of the cancer?
P: 12
 Quote by WaveJumper Anyway, the apparent 'collapse' happens instantaneously across the universe(otherwise we might have been able to see superpositions - at least in the realistic interpretations).
I guess I thought PAP would have a more gradual collapse of the wave function of various systems across the universe, thereby doing a more gradual fine tuning. Just for the sake of this discussion lets just make the huge assumption that wave function collapse is somehow linked to animal nervous systems and perception in some way. Could there then be an extending sphere of influence as wave functions are collapsed by a greater and greater number of observations? Also, as perceptual systems made "measurements" with greater accuracy these collapses might restrict values to a greater and greater degree.
 P: 3 Originally Posted by Coldcall Yes i am afraid i dont accept that one particle can "observe" another since it has no relatively complex information processing capabilities. So yes when i talk about observers i mean biological systems which have a) sensors to interpret the physical environment b) information processing ability.
 P: 3 Guys Im not a physicist(gcse level) but have a question.... If by the power of observation you bring the atom out of super position into a solid stae we percieve as reality, what was doing it before we the conscious observers were here to observe and create reality. I have the esoteric answer which is... the universe and everything in it is consciousness. The big bang happened because of the creators intention to expierience its self. so it manifested its self outwards as consciousness into everything that exists, so not only are we part of God( Im not religious in anway) but we also have all the power to create as God does and his greatest gift that he gave to us is free will......... but from your physics eyes what happened before we were around?
P: 2,799
 Quote by NWO If by the power of observation you bring the atom out of super position into a solid stae we percieve as reality, what was doing it before we the conscious observers were here to observe and create reality.
If you want to know what "normal science" says, "observer" in quantum mechanics really does NOT refer to a "human observer". This is a misconception. It traditionally refers to one system (a measurement device) interacting with another system.

"Observation" is an abstraction that refers to two subsystems systems interacting and observing each other.

This is the same in Einsteins relativity, observer really does not refer to "human", it can refers to any material systems "communicating" with another one.

So before you and me were around there where other humans, before they were areound there were monkeys. Before that there was other animals, all the way down to life with lowe and lower complexity. Before cellular life was around, there was also complex chemistry. Take this all the way down to the idea of the big bang.

But of course, as you picture this "scale" we also expect to scale the interactions back to a point of unification. So the simple observers would possible also see just "simple laws". All this w/o humans.

/Fredrik
P: 649
 Quote by Fra If you want to know what "normal science" says, "observer" in quantum mechanics really does NOT refer to a "human observer". This is a misconception. It traditionally refers to one system (a measurement device) interacting with another system. "Observation" is an abstraction that refers to two subsystems systems interacting and observing each other. This is the same in Einsteins relativity, observer really does not refer to "human", it can refers to any material systems "communicating" with another one. So before you and me were around there where other humans, before they were areound there were monkeys. Before that there was other animals, all the way down to life with lowe and lower complexity. Before cellular life was around, there was also complex chemistry. Take this all the way down to the idea of the big bang. But of course, as you picture this "scale" we also expect to scale the interactions back to a point of unification. So the simple observers would possible also see just "simple laws". All this w/o humans. /Fredrik

The problem with this is that you forgot to include the human as an essential part of the system "observer - observed". It's the human that does the measurement. If it's a machine by itself(human is absent),the system is in a superposition of states until knowledge of the system's state(measurement) forces it into a definite state.
P: 2,799
 Quote by WaveJumper The problem with this is that you forgot to include the human as an essential part of the system "observer - observed". It's the human that does the measurement.
Yes, humans build measurement devices, interpret data as part of human science and so one. There is no question about that.

But I wanted to point out to NWO that whenever one in relativity or QM talk about "observers", it really does not refer to humans. Quantum mechanics is not a theory of the human brain, nor is relativity a theory of how the human brain is affected my motion or gravity.

I'm the first to admit that there are interesting analogies with actions of the brain, and actions of physical systems when it comes to weighting possibilities, but it's still two different domains of complexity. The conventional quantum mechanics is not a theory of the human brain.

I think we should try to see the relevant differences here and not confuse the unavoidable human role in EVERYTHING we do or talk about, since we are humans, and the scientific consensus that we are still able to produce about how nature works, that alll humans agree upon. One could also say that nature agrees upon it, since nature is largely consistent with our understanding.

I think trying to explain the interference patterns of double slit experients, the stability of atoms, the photoelectric effect, or the clock dilations or SR or GR by introducing the human mind more than what is already obvious anyway since we are humans is IMO out of reasonable focus.

/Fredrik
PF Gold
P: 2,432
 Quote by WaveJumper The problem with this is that you forgot to include the human as an essential part of the system "observer - observed". It's the human that does the measurement. If it's a machine by itself(human is absent),the system is in a superposition of states until knowledge of the system's state(measurement) forces it into a definite state.
Like I asked, Coldcall, what does this view then commit you to in some concrete cases?

Say there is a strata of uranium deep in the ground. No complex senses are detecting it. Would it be decaying or remain in a state of superposition until some mining company comes along to dig it up, assay if for its value?

Or what about the cosmic ray that struck some cell in my body many years ago and set in train cancerous changes. Did the cell have the complexity to collapse the wave function or does it all have to wait until I become aware of the fact of the cancer?

And besides, where was it ever proved that collapse does not happen in the absence of human observation? In the history of QM, the collapse was only placed in the human mind as a last resort - through a failure to place the collapse out in the environment.
P: 649
 Quote by Fra I think we should try to see the relevant differences here and not confuse the unavoidable human role in EVERYTHING we do or talk about, since we are humans, and the scientific consensus that we are still able to produce about how nature works, that alll humans agree upon. One could also say that nature agrees upon it, since nature is largely consistent with our understanding. I think trying to explain the interference patterns of double slit experients, the stability of atoms, the photoelectric effect, or the clock dilations or SR or GR by introducing the human mind more than what is already obvious anyway since we are humans is IMO out of reasonable focus. /Fredrik

I see no way to restore the old idea of atoms being billiard balls and the human mind being the result of a physical brain. I see no way to interpret the ontology of QFT as anything more than humans, objects, planets, etc. being instant excitations of fields comprising what we term "the universe". Atoms and molecules passing through a double slit as waves/fields when unobserved don't lend credibility to a realist picture of structured, localised objects in space.
Physical, invariant objects with definite properties in space is a misconception, found in our perception at the macro scale and adopting realism as a starting point for interpreting reality and nature is bound to failure IMO. Such a local realistic picture is inconsistent with experiments and needs adjustment.
P: 649
 Quote by apeiron Like I asked, Coldcall, what does this view then commit you to in some concrete cases? Say there is a strata of uranium deep in the ground. No complex senses are detecting it. Would it be decaying or remain in a state of superposition until some mining company comes along to dig it up, assay if for its value?

Multi-particle systems are best treated as fields. This is what gives QFT the edge over QM. Until obervers are present, i'd say, those fields don't have the definite properties that we seem to perceive as matter in space. There are no objects, there are events. QFT confirms this and QFT is the best tested of all physical theories.

 Or what about the cosmic ray that struck some cell in my body many years ago and set in train cancerous changes. Did the cell have the complexity to collapse the wave function or does it all have to wait until I become aware of the fact of the cancer?
Time is still very puzzling but Time 'flowing' and in only one direction is to be found in your head. It is an illusion. I'd say that all events exist out there(as pictured in GR) and the apparent distinction of past, present and future is an illusion created by awareness causing collapse of the 'proper' wavefunctions to create the macroscale we inhabit.

 And besides, where was it ever proved that collapse does not happen in the absence of human observation? In the history of QM, the collapse was only placed in the human mind as a last resort - through a failure to place the collapse out in the environment.
That was my point in my previous reply to Fra - we can't divorce the conscious human from the system "measurement apparatus - measured event". In the end, it is always the human awareness that objectifies the results of measurements, now, tomorrow or in 1 billion years.
PF Gold
P: 2,432
 Quote by WaveJumper Multi-particle systems are best treated as fields. This is what gives QFT the edge over QM. Until obervers are present, i'd say, those fields don't have the definite properties that we seem to perceive as matter in space. There are no objects, there are events. QFT confirms this and QFT is the best tested of all physical theories. .
So you would be believing that uranium does not decay independent of a human observation? The deposit just is a wavefunction evolving and waiting to be collapsed into a history of events going back to when each uranium atom was first created in a supernova? Or because the supernova was not being witnessed at the time, part of prior wavefunctions back to the first moment?

 Quote by WaveJumper Time is still very puzzling but Time 'flowing' and in only one direction is to be found in your head. It is an illusion. I'd say that all events exist out there(as pictured in GR) and the apparent distinction of past, present and future is an illusion created by awareness causing collapse of the 'proper' wavefunctions to create the macroscale we inhabit. .
I thought we were talking quantum reality? Time does flow in a background dependent formalism like QM. GR and this blocktime reply is based on precisely the classical reality you want to deny.

The wavefunction actually does exist in time. So if consciousness is required, then it was my awareness of the cancer that is the collapse event. Coldcall perhaps believes the cell itself perhaps had the biological complexity.

Now I'm wondering what if I die without ever realising I had a cancer caused by a cosmic ray? Maybe it even caused a brain cancer, so disabling my awareness is ways that absolutely prevented my making the observation?

 Quote by WaveJumper That was my point in my previous reply to Fra - we can't divorce the conscious human from the system "measurement apparatus - measured event". In the end, it is always the human awareness that objectifies the results of measurements, now, tomorrow or in 1 billion years.
First, we can divorce ourselves from the modelling of reality in any regard. Second, the basics of good modelling is to divorce ourselves as much as possible.

The formalism of QM does not specify a machinery of collapse. That is why it has become a matter of interpretation. In practice, when using QM models, people work round the collapse issue in practical ways. And that is why I am suggesting you talk about your chosen interpretation in relation to everyday life concrete examples. As it stands, we are left free to place the collapse anywhere we want it. Why not start with where it makes the most commonsense - out in the busy world of interacting things?
P: 649
 Quote by apeiron So you would be believing that uranium does not decay independent of a human observation? The deposit just is a wavefunction evolving and waiting to be collapsed into a history of events going back to when each uranium atom was first created in a supernova? Or because the supernova was not being witnessed at the time, part of prior wavefunctions back to the first moment?

Yes. Essentially, definite properties exist only when measured/observed. This is perfectly in agreement with experiments.

 I thought we were talking quantum reality? Time does flow in a background dependent formalism like QM. GR and this blocktime reply is based on precisely the classical reality you want to deny.
What do you mean by "Background dependent QM"? The background is missing, the relationship between state space and physical space is matter of constant debates. Time flowing in the quantum world is a misconception as well, you should not confuse the ability to extract amplitude probabilities in time, with time flowing.

 The wavefunction actually does exist in time. So if consciousness is required, then it was my awareness of the cancer that is the collapse event. Coldcall perhaps believes the cell itself perhaps had the biological complexity.
"Awareness" as the agent causing collapse is a very loose term but is consistent with all evidence. Before accepting it as an actual cause or dismissing it, we have to actually know what it is and its properties. We do not.

 Now I'm wondering what if I die without ever realising I had a cancer caused by a cosmic ray? Maybe it even caused a brain cancer, so disabling my awareness is ways that absolutely prevented my making the observation?

Yes, at some point in a copenhagenish type of interpretation, the mind of god has to step in. But this is a problem of all interpretations. Is there an interpretation that explains all events in the universe without resorting to vague and ridiculous claims of the existence of 100 billion trillion universes?

 First, we can divorce ourselves from the modelling of reality in any regard.
This is a slogan and experiments are not in agreement with it.

 Second, the basics of good modelling is to divorce ourselves as much as possible.

Yes, but it appears impossible. Unobserved entities do not have defined physical properties.

 The formalism of QM does not specify a machinery of collapse. That is why it has become a matter of interpretation. In practice, when using QM models, people work round the collapse issue in practical ways. And that is why I am suggesting you talk about your chosen interpretation in relation to everyday life concrete examples. As it stands, we are left free to place the collapse anywhere we want it. Why not start with where it makes the most commonsense - out in the busy world of interacting things?
Yes, that is my point. The reality we perceive only exists as a relationship of correlated events. Ours is a universe of events, not of fixed, immutable, FOR-independent objects. You can choose to include or not a mind, but without a mind, the perception of reality is very problematic.
 P: 1 Hi, first post here :) Your statement sounds interesting but I have a few problems with it, for instance: Reality exists without our perception of it, the individual or collective need not witness anything for it to occour or have occoured. If on the right track of your argument here I believe what you are saying is that existence is maintained by reproduction and that a chain of events governed by time can mutate the subject given certain conditions. This is evolution. Having said that a strange thought lingers, temperature may change due to global warming, other factors may invoke illness for the poor and prosperity for the rich yet evolution keeps advancing at the same pace despite all these gradual changes in circumstances. What is the driving force behind this, mother nature? This seems like another meaningless word for something that has absolutely no logical explanation.
P: 12
 Quote by apeiron So you would be believing that uranium does not decay independent of a human observation? The deposit just is a wavefunction evolving and waiting to be collapsed into a history of events going back to when each uranium atom was first created in a supernova? Or because the supernova was not being witnessed at the time, part of prior wavefunctions back to the first moment?
Yes, this is actually what I thought PAP says. Other aspects of the system would have been restricted by previous observations, but the main point I thought was, as Wheeler said:"no elementary phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."

Think of Wheeler's delayed choice experiment, only not with photons but with radiated particles from uranium in a distant galaxy. It seems pretty clear then that the uranium doesn't decay until it is observed.

 Now I'm wondering what if I die without ever realising I had a cancer caused by a cosmic ray? Maybe it even caused a brain cancer, so disabling my awareness is ways that absolutely prevented my making the observation?
Well this gets back to what an observation is. Maybe it has something to do with the nervous system, and since our bodies are bundles of nerves, anything that affects could in some sense be observed.
P: 871
 Quote by tj8888 Well this gets back to what an observation is. Maybe it has something to do with the nervous system, and since our bodies are bundles of nerves, anything that affects could in some sense be observed.
If observation is treated as physical, as you imply above, then why should it be restricted to human nervous systems? Other physical systems can "observe" as well as human can, in which case reality progresses as expected.

It is only when observation is treated as an epistemological issue that the human becomes a factor. But in this case, you, are that observer and it is your knowledge that is being updated, nothing else.

Either observation is only about your own personal knowledge, or any physical thing can do it.

In neither case is there any contradiction or great dilemma. Just be sure not to confuse the two. We have no reason to believe that humans are a special type of observer.

Also, hi GCMax .
PF Gold
P: 2,432
 Quote by GCMax Having said that a strange thought lingers, temperature may change due to global warming, other factors may invoke illness for the poor and prosperity for the rich yet evolution keeps advancing at the same pace despite all these gradual changes in circumstances. What is the driving force behind this, mother nature? This seems like another meaningless word for something that has absolutely no logical explanation.
No, this is all perfectly understandable from the second law of thermodynamics. Everything that happens in the universe is entrained to this gradient or purpose - the relentless increase in entropy over time.

So if you study modern ecology or dissipative structure theory, you will learn all about why it is absolutely logical that order in the form of bios - life and mind - arises. It is because we accelerate the heat death of the universe.

From the second law's view, it is right and natural that humans are blowing ancient geo-deposits of petroleum. All that locked-up hydrocarbon is order or negentropy that needs degrading.

Not so good for us and our children of course.

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