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The nature of the universe as interpreted quantum information

  1. Jan 9, 2010 #1
    Note: This is a revised re-post of an earlier thread that I started, but I feel there was some misunderstanding in it's purpose so I have attempted to clarify with the current revisions. This is not intended to be a thread on metaphysical speculation, but rather an observation on a property of the nature of the universe as a physical reality. I feel these properties are readily observable with theories like Relativity which show how everything is relative... meaning that reality is, by nature, subjective. On top of that, the true nature of the universe is also probabilistic and not deterministic as displayed by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. So, considering we live in a probabilistic and relative universe, here is my second attempt at hashing out these ideas. I Look forward to hearing your thoughts:

    As many of you may be well aware, there is a rare condition known as "phantom limb." For those of you that don't, it's when a recent amputee still physically feels the sensation (usually in the form of discomfort or pain) of still having the limb. The perceived sensation is very often directly related to the way in which the limb was lost (doctor amputation, accident, etc.)

    This implies that the nerves were not necessarily the result of sensation in the first place. The brain has begun receiving information from a new set of neurons and interpreting the stimulus as though it were received by the original set of neurons. The logical brain can see there is no limb, but the rest of the brain creates the limb and gives it full sensations of movement, pain, interaction, etc.

    Now, think of the brain itself... or perhaps for clarification, not the organic structure... but the function. The mind or the state of consciousness (I'm hesitant to use these words because they have transcendental stigmas attached to them, but let me attempt to redefine them as "the result of processing and interpreting quantum information".) The brain itself resides, tucked away in the dark and isolated housing of the skull. The brain has never touched a table or actually been hit by the photons emitted from a nearby light source, it never in essence even experienced these things in the form it actually perceives them as. All the brain has done is to interpret an electrical representation of an arbitrary impulse conjured up by a nerve cell somewhere (which itself is the result of another interpretation). In essence, the brain (or mind) has created what it thinks a table feels like, or what the color red looks like.

    The implications this has is that there are not actually a table or photons as we know them... but simply information. Information that exists on some level and is interpreted by the mind and essentially "fabricated" to form our "virtual" environment. I have been fascinated with the idea of many scientists comparing the universe to a massive quantum computer in the fact that information is always created and never destroyed... even in entropy information is still created. When energy becomes unusable in entropy, information still increases about the system because the system has become more complex in the sense that it has processed multiple state changes. The universe itself is computing it's own existence, and we are interpreting a part of it. We do not see x-rays or hear incredibly high-pitched frequencies... yet they are out there. We only perceive a small fraction of the information.

    What could be the source of this information? What is the true nature of the universe? How can you actually differ "reality" from that of a vivid dream without using the idea of being asleep? Biologically both can affect you, and you have real emotions and experiences while sleeping, because the mind is creating the reality by interpreting information and creating perception via the senses. If we exist then because our mind is creating perception... do we even exist at all in the traditional sense? Or do we exist as some sort of interpretation of quantum information?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2010 #2


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    check out this website


    all of existance is so simple. numbers,logic
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3

    David Mermin's 'Ithaca Interpretation' is along similar lines - that the nature of the universe is correlations (i.e, information etc) without correlata (things). He explains it a lot better than me:
  5. Jan 10, 2010 #4
    These links you've provided are very fascinating! I'm glad you shared your ideas. Thanks.
  6. Jan 12, 2010 #5
    Evolver, the reason why i didn't post here was because there wasn't anything substantial i could add. I agree that we can't be 100.00% sure of the existence of anything but information. All the other ideas of matter, space and time are interpretations and assumptions that need to be verified. I have yet to see a proposed model of the universe that fits the experiments of modern physics and coincides with the worldview of the average Joe. There doesn't seem to be any way of coming back to our thousands-year-old pre-conceived notions.
  7. Jan 12, 2010 #6
    i find your thread fascinating, i ponder the nature of existence and feel that to get to the bottom of this mystery, we would have to filter out the type of descriptive language we use to understand the system itself. i find that it is like back engineering a flying saucer we are trying to find out how to make it fly, but we need to understand the reason it was made to fly. i ask myself the question why have a universe? why have anything ? what would be the benefit to any system simple or complex. does our quest to understand throw us of the trail.

    when we began our observation and quantification of the known universe, did we start with the right tools to discover the truth or has our observation collapsed the one wave-function that could of revealed the true nature of things.

    just a thought
  8. Jan 13, 2010 #7
    I have been kicking around another idea that attempts to explain why the universe must exist:

    Think about the concept of 'nothing' or 'zero'. These are simply just that, concepts to help illustrate a human-made string of reasoning. But these concepts are not, themselves, physical properties of the universe. When we hold an apple in our hand we can say we have an apple, but when we take it away we cannot say we are holding no apple anymore than we can say we are holding no egg, or no rock, or no anything for that matter. It's just a man-made concept to help illustrate that line of thinking.

    In actuality, there is no such thing as 'nothing', and that is a physical property of the universe itself. Even in 'empty' space there are a slew of virtual particles bubbling in and out of existence as well as various forces interacting with each other. Since matter and energy are never created nor destroyed, simply altered, it can be assumed that the universe would never stop existing by it's very own physical properties. It can also be conjectured, from this line of logic, that since 'nothing' is not a physical property of the universe itself, that it therefore MUST exist in accordance with it's own physical nature.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
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