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Is there any evidence at all for quantum counscoiusness

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    I know that Richard Feynman said that quantum physics has nothing to do with consciousness and that Victor J. Stenger is quoted as saying that there is no evidence for consciousness in quantum physics but I came across this

    << link deleted >>

    I have three questions: the first is this paper accurate or totally bogus and please if you could debunk it.

    The second question is there any real hard scientific evidence for quantum consciousness and Im not talking about that the brain possibly works using quantum physics, Im talking about consciousness causing collapse.

    The third question are the physicists who believe in quantum consciousness in the majority or minority and who are some physicists openly against the myth of quantum consciousness.

    Thank you any help would be greatly appreciated considering all the disinformation regarding quantum physics and how pop culture is determined to try to draw some sort of connection between consciousnesses and quantum physics as some means to scientifically justify spirituality.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2
    No I dont think so. I think the opposite is the case. We can collapse a wave function by observing it without consciousness. For example, consider the famous double slit. We see interference - no observation was made at the slits. We dont see interference - observation was made at the slits. Now we can unplug the monitor to the detector so that only the detector (which is presumably not conscious) observes the slits. No human (or consciousness) observes them. Do we see interference or not? If we do, then conscious or human observation at the slits was required to collapse. If we dont, then non-human or non-conscious observation was sufficient to collapse. I believe this experiment has been performed and the result is the latter. Non-conscious or non-human observation is sufficient to collapse the wave function at the slits.
  4. Mar 10, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    We don't engage in debunking non-published papers here. If it was actually published in a legitimate peer-reviewed journal, please feel free to re-post it along with a reference to the journal.
  5. Mar 10, 2013 #4
    Quantum or no quantum, is "consciousness" per se really an observable which one could attempt to correlate with some other observable?
  6. Mar 10, 2013 #5
    Of course, people study consciousness all the time. We correlate it with other observables regularly, hospitals do it en masse. The fact that it may be hard to strictly define philosophically doesn't change this.
  7. Mar 10, 2013 #6
    I could state that blue rocks strike me as conscious and red ones are not. And then I could say I am studying consciousness. I could do this regularly "en masse." There's more at work here than a philosophical problem, I'm afraid. In a purely empirical context, how would you determine which walking talking people (if any) are conscious and which (if any) are "mere zombies?" You could certainly study correlations between certain phenomena with *reported* consciousness. You might even program your automatic measuring apparatus to *report* consciousness... ?
  8. Mar 10, 2013 #7
    I dont see any of that as relevant. You are free to make up any unique and novel definitions you wish and study the resulting correlations. This is not unique to consciousness, all definitions are this way.
  9. Mar 10, 2013 #8
    If you have a purely empirical definition of consciousness or test for consciousness, such as could be used in a physical theory, perhaps you could share it.

    If for instance by consciousness "existing" you mean that whenever it is reported, it exists, that is one clear definition, but certainly not what humans mean when they use the word.
  10. Mar 10, 2013 #9
    Nah, thats a pointless exercise. You are free to google consciousness yourself, Im not going to do it for you.

    Funny that you purport to know what humans mean when they use the word, yet you proposed defining a blue rock as conscious looking for some sort of loop hole. Not a very useful or convincing tactic IMO.

    edit - I doubt the mods will like this kind of discussion going on. Let me try to bring it back to original post by saying that I think its well and sufficient that we consider a physicist looking at a monitor of data to be defined as a conscious observation and having the same situation where the physicist is not looking at the monitor of data to be a non-conscious observation. Admittedly there is a fuzzy boundary between those extremes, as is the case with nearly every word and concept in existence. But regardless, we can test at the extremes where we are not fuzzy as to the difference between conscious and non-conscious, also as we do with nearly every word and concept.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  11. Mar 10, 2013 #10
    I could google "God" but that would not help me to know how God might fit into physics. Do you think that "consciousness" is more like "God" or more like "electron" ?
  12. Mar 10, 2013 #11
    It should. You need to be informed about it somehow.
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