Regarding consciousness causing wavefunction collapse

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What are the experiments that disprove the idea that consciousness causes wavefunction collapse?
 

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  • #2
Demystifier
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What are the experiments that disprove the idea that consciousness causes wavefunction collapse?
There are no such experiments (despite the fact that a paper coauthored by my brother (who is a psychologist by education) claims the opposite).
 
  • #3
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Is there any proof for the consciousness causes collapses idea?
 
  • #4
Demystifier
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Nope!
 
  • #5
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I believe this idea was entertained by a few in the very early days of QM and only for a short time, but the mythology persists.

Cheers
 
  • #6
atyy
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There are no such experiments (despite the fact that a paper coauthored by my brother (who is a psychologist by education) claims the opposite).
Does consciousness cause wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics?
 
  • #7
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Is there any proof for the consciousness causes collapses idea?
Of course not. Its very much like solipsism - inherently unprovable. Even the reason for its introduction, which leads to all sorts of weird effects - is no longer is relevant. Its very backwater these days - like Lorentz Ether Theory is to relativity. You cant disprove it, but modern presentations of SR based on symmetry make it totally irrelevant.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #8
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But didn't the scientists conducted the double slit experiment without anyone recording the results, but with the detector on?
 
  • #9
Demystifier
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Does consciousness cause wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics?
No, why do you ask?
 
  • #10
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But didn't the scientists conducted the double slit experiment without anyone recording the results, but with the detector on?
Yes, but scientists didn't check whether detector detected anything when nobody was looking at it.
 
  • #11
vanhees71
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Hm, but you can look later on the photoplate or (nowadays) the digitallly stored measurement data and check what the detector has registered. The investigated system only "cares" about what it's really interacting with, i.e., the detector and not with some "consciousness" (whatever that might be) looking at the result (maybe 100 years later)!
 
  • #12
Demystifier
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Hm, but you can look later on the photoplate or (nowadays) the digitallly stored measurement data and check what the detector has registered. The investigated system only "cares" about what it's really interacting with, i.e., the detector and not with some "consciousness" (whatever that might be) looking at the result (maybe 100 years later)!
Yes, but if you look later, you only know what is there later. You cannot know what was there before. You can only assume that it was there before, but you cannot prove that assumption by scientific method. You can "prove" it by using some philosophy, but philosophy is not science, right? :-p
 
  • #13
vanhees71
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Now you got me ;-).
 
  • #14
atyy
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No, why do you ask?
In Bohmian Mechanics, the wave function of the universe does not collapse. Yet Bohmian Mechanics says that predictions obtained with collapse are correct. Since objectively the wave function of the universe does not collapse, I thought wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics is subjective (ie. requires consciousness).
 
  • #15
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In Bohmian Mechanics, the wave function of the universe does not collapse. Yet Bohmian Mechanics says that predictions obtained with collapse are correct. Since objectively the wave function of the universe does not collapse, I thought wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics is subjective (ie. requires consciousness).
This is very much like saying that validity of Bayes formula for conditional probability requires consciousness. Would you say that Bayes formula requires consciousness?
 
  • #16
vanhees71
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With an argument involving Bayes and his (purely mathematical) theorem nowadays you can argue for anything you like, including a huge pile of bovine excrements. SCNR :mad:
 
  • #17
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With an argument involving Bayes and his (purely mathematical) theorem nowadays you can argue for anything you like, including a huge pile of bovine excrements. SCNR :mad:
How that works? I would also like to know that general powerful technique of argumentation based on Bayes. :biggrin:
 
  • #18
vanhees71
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Well, you can, e.g., create a whole new philosophy "of it all" called "quantum Bayesianism".
 
  • #19
atyy
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This is very much like saying that validity of Bayes formula for conditional probability requires consciousness. Would you say that Bayes formula requires consciousness?
I'm not sure. My instinct is to say it depends.

If interpreted in a frequentist sense, then Bayes's theorem does not require consciousness.

If interpreted in a subjective Bayesian sense, then Bayes's theorem does require consciousness.

I don't believe the objective Bayesian approach makes any sense.
 
  • #20
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Well, you can, e.g., create a whole new philosophy "of it all" called "quantum Bayesianism".
Surely no need to "create" since the name at least is already in use? E.g.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-bayesian/

https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0608190.pdf

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~ericc/SQF2014/slides/Ruediger Schack.pdf

etc.

I know about this only because it is one of many interpretations discussed in Michael Raymer's July 2017 book from Oxford U. Press, Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

And certainly @atyy is correct when he says "If interpreted in a subjective Bayesian sense, then Bayes's theorem does require consciousness"; here's a syllogism from the last link above, a slide show put together by Schack:

A quantum state determines probabilities through the Born rule.
Probabilities are personal judgements of the agent who assigns them.
HENCE: A quantum state is a personal judgement of the agent who assigns it.​
 
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  • #21
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Surely no need to "create" since the name at least is already in use? E.g.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-bayesian/

https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0608190.pdf

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~ericc/SQF2014/slides/Ruediger Schack.pdf

etc.

I know about this only because it is one of many interpretations discussed in Michael Raymer's July 2017 book from Oxford U. Press, Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

And certainly @atyy is correct when he says "If interpreted in a subjective Bayesian sense, then Bayes's theorem does require consciousness"; here's a syllogism from the last link above, a slide show put together by Schack:

A quantum state determines probabilities through the Born rule.
Probabilities are personal judgements of the agent who assigns them.
HENCE: A quantum state is a personal judgement of the agent who assigns it.​
Sounds wise. How does the personal judgement of the agent affect a future interaction or measurement of the state. Is there still a state if there is no agent ?
 
  • #22
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I heard from Sean Carroll that if our consciousness does indeed affect the experiment, then it is through the four fundamental forces or an unknown fifth force. He argued that the "fifth force" would have already been detected if it exists, but the fact that nothing is found shows that psychokinesis is wrong, we cannot change the wavefunction with our consciousness.
 
  • #23
vanhees71
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Ok, it's a matter of opinion, but I consider this subjective interpretation of probabilities as gibberish. Nobody following this new idea (why it is attributed to poor Bayes is not clear to me either by the way) has ever been able to explain to me what this means for real-world measurements, which use of course the frequentist interpretation of probabilities, and the frequentist interpretation just works. So why do I need a new unsharp subjective redefinition about the statistical meaning of probability theory?
 
  • #24
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Thats why i would say that the global consciousness project, dean radins double slit experiment are pseudoscience. The conclusion are all derived from cherry picking of data.
 
  • #25
stevendaryl
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Ok, it's a matter of opinion, but I consider this subjective interpretation of probabilities as gibberish. Nobody following this new idea (why it is attributed to poor Bayes is not clear to me either by the way) has ever been able to explain to me what this means for real-world measurements, which use of course the frequentist interpretation of probabilities, and the frequentist interpretation just works. So why do I need a new unsharp subjective redefinition about the statistical meaning of probability theory?
I would say that Bayesian probability is probability done right, but luckily for frequentists, the difference between a correct Bayesian analysis and in incorrect frequentist analysis disappears in the limit of many trials.:wink:

Suppose I flip a coin once and I get heads. So the relative frequency for heads is 1. Does that mean that the probability is 1? Of course not! I don't have enough data to say that. So I flip the coin 10 times, and I get 4 heads and 6 tails. Does that mean that the probability of heads is 40%? No, those 10 coin flips could have been a fluke. So I flip the coin 100 times or 1000 times. How many flips does it take before I know that the pattern isn't a fluke? The answer is: there is never a time that I know for certain that it isn't a fluke.

Bayesian reasoning is reasoning in the presence of uncertainty, when there is a limited amount of data. But we're ALWAYS in that situation.
 

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