• Mark Nyquist
    351
    There is something to work out as far as the specific mechanics of materialism producing mental content such as ideas, thought and the components of consciousness. I brought up the subject of ideas because they exist as brain state that should be identified as the physical brain and the emergent mental content. I get into trouble if I call it a contained non-physical but that is a loose discription of the problem. There might be something non-physical involved in consciousness. The work around is to call the contained non-physical...mental content.

    The point relating to consciousness is that mental content emerging from the physical brain is a component of consciousness and should be included in any model.
  • Rocco Rosano
    43
    RE: A Scientific Theory of Consciousness
    et al,

    I would like to open with a "Great Thanks, to Enrique, Gnomon, Benj96, and Mark Nyquist - and all, for the thought-provoking commentary in their contributions. I had originally thought that "consciousness" was a mystery better left to the Study in Metaphysics. I still think that the notion of "consciousness" is directly related to the understanding of what it means to be a "sentient being;" and if there are levels to "sentience."

    I was very amazed at "180 Proof's" contribution, not that I fully comprehend the meaning.

    Some investigators have tried to determine what is meant by the "mind;" and if there is a relationship between these Perceptions (Consciousness, Sentience, Mental Facilities).


    Most Respectfully,
    R
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    What about me? I showed how consciousness is made of states of pastry and that I am a croissant and that we have much to learn about consciousness from bakers.

    Material event of consuming croissant causes conscious state of enjoyment. Conscious state of enjoyment therefore is the material event of consuming the croissant, or it emerges from - or strongly pastryvenes on it.

    Therefore my mind itself is the croissant. Or mind pastryvenes on croissants.

    See?

    I can also show how I am a cup of coffee too.

    This raises the well known coffee croissant problem. How can mind pastryvene on a croissant and a cup of coffee at different times?

    Are zombie croissants possible, or do conscious states pastryvene on any relevantly arranged and baked lumps of pastry? We are learning more and more about different sorts of pastry and different ways in which croissants can be made, and I anticipate breakthroughs from bakery any day.

    If I make something out of paper that nevertheless functions as a croissant, will that have consciousness too? The original function of the croissant was to give offence to muslims. So does that mean that anything designed to give offence to muslims will be conscious?

    These are important questions.
  • Rocco Rosano
    43
    RE: A Scientific Theory of Consciousness
    et al,

    What about me?Bartricks
    (COMMENT)

    It seems I always leave somebody out of the Thanks when I do this. Certainly, "BRATRICKS" deserves recognition for helping me become more enlightened.

    Sincerely,
    R
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    "
    physically, but this energy flows smoothly through space (though rate transitions are nonlinear), more like a fluid, at the microscale and larger. From this perspective, the concept of an atom is somewhat arbitrary, for electromagnetism is really a bending and morphing of the aether field by the fields of nuclei.
    Heat, color, vibrational texture, etc. are an intrinsic signature of perception and energy, from both inside and outside. Awareness is simply an emergent byproduct of this energy field's organization. . . . "It is well-established that neural signaling is modulated by diffusion of ions through channels in a neuron’s membrane, but ion collisions cannot explain some features of signal transmission." . . . "Overall oscillation patterns within one of these minimum phase-locked assemblies may involve a continuum of relativities rather than simply being a steady state, on or off phenomenon, doing double duty in the formation of multiple percepts," . . .In the OP I could get a long ways with a couple basic premises: electromagnetic matter consists of density maxima/minima, "
    Enrique
    As usual all of this postulation of possibilities is over my head. But I keep seeing references to "organization", "signal", "steady-state", "modulation", and "density maxima/minima". Such terminology reminds me of the elements of coding, such as Morse Code. To transfer information from one point to another you need a steady-state background "field" upon which to superimpose a pattern of positive & negative signals (maxima/minima). And it's the flow of individual signals that add-up to a dynamic meaningful code that can be translated by reference to a pre-established "organization" : the code key.

    So, I imagine waves of information embedded in their frequency & wavelength, serving as the dots & dashes of Morse Code. Presumably, in space (Aether) only light-energy could carry the coded signals that our senses interpret as reality. But in the brain those signals could be conveyed by other physical means, but always in the form of a two-phase digital difference. Meaning is "the difference that makes a difference".

    From that digital-computer-like signaling in the outside world, the Brain would translate pulses of energy into abstract yes/no signals that could be further inferred in the Mind as specific concrete meanings or images. That would function like the random light/dark spots (background) on a TV screen upon which meaningful images (signal) are superimposed. The patterns of dots are not inherently meaningful until the "relativities" (inter-relationships) are inferred by a conscious mind.

    Pardon my intrusion. I'm just riffing off the top of my pointy head from a vague image of energy flowing smoothly through space, but in the form of waves "bending & morphing" the Aether into the light we see from stars. Then that uniform coherent light is reflected from matter, picking up new patterns (such as color & texture) to be received by physical sensors, and interpreted (decoded) by meta-physical pattern-recognition receptors. :smile:

    PS___All this ineffable effing leads to one final question : who or what organized the coding system of the universe by which conscious minds can be influenced from the outside world, and by which one mind can influence another from afar?
  • Enrique
    848
    ...it's the flow of individual signals that add-up to a dynamic meaningful code...energy flowing smoothly through space, but in the form of waves "bending & morphing" the Aether into the light we see from stars. Then that uniform coherent light is reflected from matter, picking up new patterns (such as color & texture) to be received by physical sensors...Gnomon

    I think the basic concept is contained in statements such as these. Matter is quantized or discrete at a fundamental level, but evinces unity on emergent scales due to synchronization, much more than sand flowing through an hourglass for instance doesn't seem like separate grains unless you know what you're looking for and examine closely. My idea is that the unity of a visual scene for example results from the integrating effects of EM radiation, an ultrafine structure which causes emergent continuity in the mechanistic structure of matter to parallel the integration matter appears to evince perceptually. Emergent continuities modulate as photons, electrons and atoms interact in bulk to produce all the patterns we experience. So the substance of perceptual form is material mechanism.

    I keep seeing references to "organization", "signal", "steady-state", "modulation", and "density maxima/minima". Such terminology reminds me of the elements of coding, such as Morse Code.Gnomon

    I think the substance of mechanism and the concept of information are closely related. Any system we comprehend mechanistically will have resemblance to the constructs of information theory. Coherence fields and the emergent material/perceptual forms they give rise to are such a system.

    who or what organized the coding system of the universe by which conscious minds can be influenced from the outside world, and by which one mind can influence another from afar?Gnomon

    What makes these phenomena move and change at all is an interesting issue. I incline to think the perpetual activeness of matter is intrinsic, caused by all the local asymmetries that everywhere drive energy from higher to lower density, basically an absentia concept. But this does not necessarily preclude a designer who guides the process, though I of course wouldn't claim any privileged knowledge in this respect even as I do have my personal beliefs.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    I see why very few legitimate physicists are on TPF, even though they might be philosophical physicists.

    Of course, they have their own forums.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Well, "legitimate physicists" aren't really smart or learned enough to follow the "deliberations" (above) of TPF's Quantum-Woo Crew, now are they?
  • Enrique
    848


    Many physicists tend to think philosophy is bull and psychology is subjective. They can shut up and calculate if they want! All the physics forums do is chastise posters for their ignorance or act condescending, so I'm not surprised at the lack of "legitimate" abusiveness either. All the physicists at this forum got banned for flaming lol
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    Matter is quantized or discrete at a fundamental level, but evinces unity on emergent scales due to synchronizationEnrique
    Physicists do indeed make discrete measurements at sub-atomic levels of reality. But at the sub-quantum levels (superposition) they can't discriminate between "entangled" or "virtual particles" or "fields", which display holistic or analog behavior. This leads me to believe that reality is fundamentally continuous & inter-connected. & synchronized, but our perception requires discrete patterns. Does the collapse of unitary synchronous (block time) Superposition also break the static synchrony, allowing for the perception of discrete asynchronous moments of Time (illusion per Einstein)? Just a rhetorical question, since your statement sounds like just the opposite.

    Quantum Theory without Quantization :
    The only evidence we have for a discrete reality comes from quantum measurements; without invoking these measurements, quantum theory describes continuous entities. This seeming contradiction can be resolved via analysis that treats measurements as boundary constraints. It is well-known that boundaries can induce apparently-discrete behavior in continuous systems, and strong analogies can be drawn to the case of quantum measurement. If quantum discreteness arises in this manner, this would not only indicate an analog reality, but would also offer a solution to the so-called "measurement problem". ___Ken Wharton, Professor, Physics & Astronomy
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1106.1254

    So the substance of perceptual form is material mechanism.Enrique
    I'm trying to interpret that statement. Does human perception impose its own patterns on the incoming noise of energetic signals, or are the mechanical patterns prior to perception, or both? Is the brain programmed to expect certain logical patterns in Nature? Is Logic simply the organizing principle of nature. Perhaps Logic is the Mechanism of Nature. In that case the "substance" of meaningful Form may be abstract Essence or Qualia or Inter-Relationships.

    What is pattern recognition in perception? :
    Recognizing patterns allows us to predict and expect what is coming. The process of pattern recognition involves matching the information received with the information already stored in the brain. Making the connection between memories and information perceived is a step of pattern recognition called identification.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_recognition_(psychology)

    I think the substance of mechanism and the concept of information are closely related.Enrique
    To me, Mental Information seems to be a logical meaningful arrangement of Causal Energy. But is the logical pattern inherent in the incoming energy or overlaid as a template by the brain? As the Ken Wharton & Recognition quotes above imply : measurement (importing information into the mind) seems to impose "boundary constraints" on incoming data.

    But this does not necessarily preclude a designer who guides the process, though I of course wouldn't claim any privileged knowledge in this respect even as I do have my personal beliefs.Enrique
    My question about a Cosmic Coder or Programmer was intended to distinguish between meaningful logical patterns (signals) in Nature, and meaningless accidental impacts (noise) of random energy. If Nature had no rational Logos to impose order on Chaos, how could novel (progressive) Information (Forms) emerge from mere round & round clockwork Mechanisms?

    Information, Mechanism and Meaning :
    A collection of selected papers written by the information theorist and "brain physicist," most of which were presented to various scientific conferences in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of this collection concerns MacKay's abiding preoccupation with information as represented and utilized in the brain and exchanged between human beings, rather than as formalized in logical patterns of elementary propositions.
    https://direct.mit.edu/books/book/4240/Information-Mechanism-and-Meaning

    PS__I'm still just riffing on some of your ideas. As an amateur philosopher, I don't know the answers to my own questions. :smile:
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    I see why very few legitimate physicists are on TPF, even though they might be philosophical physicists.
    Of course, they have their own forums.
    jgill
    Hey, give Enrique a break! He's not reporting on settled science, but exploring the fuzzy fringes of Epistemology. As a modern philosopher though, he's spring-boarding from the current cutting edge of Quantum Physics and Neuroscience. "Legitimate physicists" tend to cling closely to Classical Newtonian Science, and studiously avoid feckless Philosophy, lest they be accused of taboo woo-woo.

    Among the "philosophical physicists" who do explore similar uncharted territory many are "information scientists" and those who examine the spooky world of Quantum Weirdness. Pragmatic Physicists typically limit their studies to Matter & Energy. But "philosophical physicists" include immaterial Mind in their scope of work. But that allows Physics to bleed-over into Meta-Physics. They go where pragmatists fear to tread : the inner world of the human mind. :smile:

    PS__I don't know if his theory is correct, but I'm willing to engage in the expedition with him. After all, many of the wagon trains on the Oregon Trail never made it to the promised land. But some settled along the way.


    Reality, according to Heisenberg, is built not out of matter, as matter was conceived of in classical physics, but out of psycho-physical events – events with certain aspects that are described in the language of psychology and with other aspects that are described in the mathematical language of physics – and out of objective tendencies for such events to occur. ‘The probability function…represents a tendency for events and our knowledge of events’ (Heisenberg, 1958, p. 46).”
    ― Paul Davies, Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics
    Physicist, Astrophysicist, Cosmologist
  • Enrique
    848
    Physicists do indeed make discrete measurements at sub-atomic levels of reality. But at the sub-quantum levels (superposition) they can't discriminate between "entangled" or "virtual particles" or "fields", which display holistic or analog behavior. This leads me to believe that reality is fundamentally continuous & inter-connected. & synchronized, but our perception requires discrete patterns.

    As the Ken Wharton & Recognition quotes above imply: measurement (importing information into the mind) seems to impose "boundary constraints" on incoming data.

    Is the brain programmed to expect certain logical patterns in Nature? Is Logic simply the organizing principle of nature. Perhaps Logic is the Mechanism of Nature. In that case the "substance" of meaningful Form may be abstract Essence or Qualia or Inter-Relationships.

    If Nature had no rational Logos to impose order on Chaos, how could novel (progressive) Information (Forms) emerge from mere round & round clockwork Mechanisms?
    Gnomon

    Those are some interesting issues you raised. I suppose all discreteness would only be so in a relative way. Atoms are discrete in their adjacency to separate atoms, electrons are relatively discrete when ionized from an atom, nuclei are discrete compared to separate nuclei and the electromagnetic field, a proportion of light energy is absorbed and emitted as discrete photons, galaxies are discrete in comparison to separate galaxies, etc. Measurement imposes those energetic forms upon themselves and would be similarly discrete in the relations involved, only as you suggest delimited by the conditions within which conversion to a form discernible by sense organs and perception generally can occur. The brain then mediates the perceptual/memory field such that energetic forms fit a template evolution adapted humans to possess, the manifold within which a huge range of truncations practical for past circumstance obtain.

    The realism vs. antirealism of all those pervasive divisions can only be approximated by theory, but my inclination is to think the absentia phenomenon causes a constant agitation from self-perpetuating disequilibration that prevents absolute emptiness from ever materializing. So discreteness is real but constrained, and so are its quantification and perception. Perhaps discreteness is relative discontinuity within what is essentially a continuum, and I think the coherence field concept encompasses this, for decoherence is always from this perspective a relative and local state.

    The only fundamental logic of reality is the abolishment of absentia, but this principle is in effect no matter how intellecting the reference frame, so certainly doesn't exclude the possibility of logos as an intrinsic property of substance. I think the existence of absolute Logos is not strictly necessary to postulate because many discontinuities within the continuum are so huge that absentia dynamics driving evolutionary change can never be exhausted. Again, that doesn't disprove the possibility though.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    "Legitimate physicists" tend to cling closely to Classical Newtonian Science, and studiously avoid feckless Philosophy, lest they be accused of taboo woo-woo.Gnomon

    Would you find quantum physicists doing that? Clinging to Newtonian ideas?

    I recall two PhD physicists here, one of which, @Kenosha Kid, advanced transactional theory, which has time moving both forward and backward. Roll over Sir Isaak!

    I can't recall who the other one was, but perhaps a graduate of an old alma mater of mine, Georgia Tech.

    (My sole personal discovery about QM was that the Schrödinger equation is a hyped-up version of the simple fact from elementary calculus that a rate of change can vary with amount. )
  • jgill
    2.6k
    All the physicists at this forum got banned for flamingEnrique

    Kenosha Kid is still a member. But has gone on an extended holiday. :smile:
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    the absentia phenomenon . . . . The only fundamental logic of reality is the abolishment of absentia,Enrique
    I googled "absentia" and found a paper on "absential physics". But it was in a technical journal that I don't have access to. So, I'm still in the dark about the logic of absence/presence.

    However, I am familiar with Terrence Deacon's notion of "absence and constraints" in his book Incomplete Nature. Does absential physics have anything to do with Deacon's concept of "constitutive absence" (essence)? Also, do you "abolish absentia" by causing something that exists only in potential to become actual? Please describe how such abolishment is the "logic of reality" How does Nature replace Absence (unreal ; nothingness ; Potential) with Presence (realness ; somethingness ; actuality)? . :smile:

    Absence as Potential :
    Absential: The paradoxical intrinsic property of existing with respect to something missing, separate, and possibly nonexistent. Although this property is irrelevant when it comes to inanimate things, it is a defining property of life and mind; elsewhere (Deacon 2005) described as a constitutive absence
    http://absence.github.io/3-explanations/absential/absential.html

    Constitutive absence :
    A particular and precise missing something that is a critical defining attribute of 'ententional' phenomena, such as functions,
    http://absence.github.io/3-explanations/absential/absential.html
  • Enrique
    848
    However, I am familiar with Terrence Deacon's notion of "absence and constraints" in his book Incomplete Nature. Does absential physics have anything to do with Deacon's concept of "constitutive absence" (essence)? Also, do you "abolish absentia" by causing something that exists only in potential to become actual? Please describe how such abolishment is the "logic of reality" How does Nature replace Absence (unreal ; nothingness ; Potential) with Presence (realness ; somethingness ; actuality)?Gnomon

    My understanding is derived from Terrence Deacon. What I mean is that energy flows from more (relative presence) to less (relative absence) in pursuit of equilibrium, but the combination of vast quantities of such motions unbalances a system to make even the most equilibrated states dynamic, a constant unsettlement. All systems (frames of reference) evince this dynamism, but a system's structural properties make it dynamic in a particular way, introducing intrinsic constraints, hence being and becoming with all the logiclike form that seems to be embodied. The pursuit of abolishing absentia or equivalently a void, which can never be conclusively actualized, applies from atoms in a solution to the goal-driven behaviors of human cognition.
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    "Legitimate physicists" tend to cling closely to Classical Newtonian Science, and studiously avoid feckless Philosophy, lest they be accused of taboo woo-woo. — Gnomon
    Would you find quantum physicists doing that? Clinging to Newtonian ideas?
    jgill
    I just finished reading Physics and Philosophy, by Werner Heisenberg, and The Philosophy of Physics by Max Planck. And they both noted that some physicists (e.g Einstein) grudgingly accepted the evidence for counterintuitive quantum behavior, yet tried to interpret those apparent paradoxes in terms of Classical Physics (e.g. deterministic causation). But that was a century ago. And the evidence to support the non-classical aspects of reality has forced physics professionals to learn to deal with Reality's unreal undergirding.

    Besides, my quoted assertion was not describing the scientific methods of modern quantum physics, but the philosophical worldviews of the scientists themselves. Classical Realism is just more intuitive & familiar, than weird Quantum Idealism. Classical Atomism remains more sensible than the abstract Quantum notion of mathematical Fields forming the foundation of Physics. Apart from brute-force atom-smashing, most modern quantum physics is done with abstract computer-driven mathematics, which is inherently abstract & idealistic.

    Nowadays, most physicists seem to be comfortable with the abstruse math (e.g. imaginary numbers) of quantum weirdness, but they still find the philosophical implications untenable & unbelievable. That's where the "shut-up and calculate" attitude came from. So yes, it is possible for pragmatic physicists to do their subatomic work without committing to a position on such non-classical notions as the Observer Effect or the Measurement Problem. Hence, Practical scientists and theoretical philosophers tend to differ on their interpretation of what's really happening down there in the realm of reality beyond human senses. The PhilPapers Survey 2020 indicates that there is still room for disagreement on Classical vs Quantum worldviews. :smile:

    Einstein's skepticism of the "new physics" :
    Einstein saw Quantum Theory as a means to describe Nature on an atomic level, but he doubted that it upheld "a useful basis for the whole of physics." He thought that describing reality required firm predictions followed by direct observations.
    https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/einstein/legacy/quantum-theory
    Note -- Bohr interpreted statistical & uncertain quantum physics in non-classical terms, but Einstein tried to retain the deterministic certainty of Newton's physics.

    Is Quantum Physics a Sort of Idealism? :
    https://realitysandwich.com/is-quantum-physics-a-sort-of-idealism/

    Observer Effect :
    The observer effect is the phenomenon in which the act of observation alters the behavior of the particles being observed.
    https://www.scienceabc.com/pure-sciences/observer-effect-quantum-mechanics.html

    There is no quantum measurement problem :
    The idea that the collapse of a quantum state is a physical process stems from a misunderstanding of probability and the role it plays in quantum mechanics.
    https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.5027
  • jgill
    2.6k
    Classical Realism is just more intuitive & familiar, than weird Quantum Idealism. Classical Atomism remains more sensible than the abstract Quantum notion of mathematical Fields forming the foundation of PhysicsGnomon

    That's true. I grew up with little BBs circling a big BB, which was easy to visualize - what happens at cosmic scales happens at atomic scales. Now, although I have worked with mathematical vector fields, the notion of a wave rippling through emptiness is challenging.

    Maybe one of these science-themed articles by non-scientists will spur a breakthrough in hard science. That would be refreshing.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    Nowadays, most physicists seem to be comfortable with the abstruse math (e.g. imaginary numbers) of quantum weirdness, but they still find the philosophical implications untenable & unbelievable.Gnomon

    Complex numbers and complex analysis, for one thing, simplify wave equations due to Euler's formula:
    .
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    What I mean is that energy flows from more (relative presence) to less (relative absence) in pursuit of equilibrium, but the combination of vast quantities of such motions unbalances a system to make even the most equilibrated states dynamic, a constant unsettlement.. . .but a system's structural properties make it dynamic in a particular way, introducing intrinsic constraints, hence being and becoming with all the logiclike form that seems to be embodied.Enrique
    That description sounds like quantum vacuum fluctuations boiling with "excitations". But those manifold "unsettled" states (noise) are merely Potential or Virtual (equilibrated ; offsetting?) until Actualized by some intervention (interference) that unbalances the field. Is that de-stabilizing (directional) interference from an internal or external source? Can the human brain/mind intentionally destabilize itself in order to convert unthought ideas into active concepts and causal choices? Or must the unbalancing energy have to come from outside the system?

    Being & becoming sounds like an either/or dual state, similar to on & off, or something & nothing, or one & zero. Is that the basis of all Logic, and especially of human meaning? As usual, this is way over my head (or underlying my observed reality), so I'm just trying interpret your ideas in terms of my limited knowledge of Quantum Theory and Information Theory. Have you gotten useful feedback from specialists in these arcane areas of science? :smile:

    The pursuit of abolishing absentia or equivalently a void, which can never be conclusively actualized, applies from atoms in a solution to the goal-driven behaviors of human cognition.Enrique
    How can you accomplish the abolishment of that which doesn't yet exist (void ; emptiness ; absence)? By converting its Potential into Actual? Deacon has some ideas, but they were also nebulous to me. The quote sounds like striving toward a goal (willing) might in some sense effect the achieving of the goal. They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step in the direction of the destination. Does the quote imply some kind of causal power for human will-power? Again, I'm just playfully shooting in the dark here. :cool:

    EXCITATIONS OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS FIELD?
    maybe the blobs are actualized ideas
    quantum_ill-1200x573.jpg?format=jpg&width=1200


    Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals".
    ___Aristotle
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    That's true. I grew up with little BBs circling a big BB, which was easy to visualizejgill
    Back when I was first exposed to the notion of light as a wave function, I imagined it as an actual machine gun spray of bullets that only appear to come in waves. But later, I found that quantum theorists insist that the wave is real, and the particles are illusions. :cool:
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    Complex numbers and complex analysis, for one thing, simplify wave equations due to Euler's formula:
    eiθ=sinθ+icosθ.
    jgill
    As I interpret the necessity for imaginary numbers in the wave function equation, it allows a metaphysical (ideal ; mental) concept to be calculated as-if physical. For example, the square root of a negative number makes no sense in physical reality, but in mathematics it is just as logical as the root of a positive number. So it seems that math is an idealization of physical logic. Since the notion of Uncertain Statistics (possible future states) is mental & mathematical instead of natural & physical, it requires some "simplification" (interpretation) from high levels of abstraction (space waves) down to analogies from mundane concrete observation (matter waves). :nerd:

    Does quantum mechanics need imaginary numbers? :
    The square root of negative one doesn’t correspond to any physical quantity, but that doesn’t mean it has no place in the physical sciences.
    https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.4955

    "The electromagnetic waves were interpreted, not as 'real' waves, but as probability waves"
    ___Werner Heisenberg
    Note -- Probability waves are statistical, hence not-yet real. So they are literally imaginary.

    "Mathematicians . . . work with an imaginary unit, the square root of -1 . . . does not figure among the natural numbers. . . .These relations are rendered more comprehensible by the introduction of the abstract concept of square root of -1, although that concept is not basically needed for our understanding. . . . mathematics introduces ever higher stages of abstraction . . ."
    ___Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy
    Note -- our mental & mathematical abstractions are not real, but realistic. They are not natural or physical, but mental & meta-physical.
  • RogueAI
    1.2k
    Oh, no one is interested in my bakery theory of consciousness.Bartricks

    Poking bread doesn't change my consciousness, but poking my brain does. To the extent that bread does affect my consciousness (e.g., the conscious state of tasting bread when I eat it), the reaction goes like this: substance capable of producing sensation (e.g., bread), then brain state, then conscious state, with the brain being a necessary condition for consciousness, but bread not. That's how I would answer your bread objection that as a materialist. Bread is nether a necessary nor sufficient condition for consciousness. Brains are.
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    Microscopic platinum sensors have been inserted into individual neurons, revealing a crystalline structure located just beneath the axon’s outer membrane, wrapped around a core support framework of microtubules.Enrique
    Again, I'm coming from a completely different angle -- Information Theory -- and trying to tread water in the deep end of the Neuroscience pool. But from my cursory review of your presentation of Coherence Field Theory -- maybe I missed it -- but I don't remember a specific mention of Hameroff & Penrose's theory of microtubules, to explain how the Consciousness function could emerge from hot, wet & mindless Matter. Yet it seems to be poking around in a similar neighborhood.

    I'm currently reading the 1992 book, The Matter Myth, by physicist/cosmologist Paul Davies and astrophysicist John Gribbin. Although they were discussing Cosmology -- specifically Inflation & quantum fluctuations -- the topic of Cosmic Strings came up, and reminded me of similar cylinders & loops on the quantum scale. Apparently, the hypothetical tubule bounds & encloses its own little "domain" of reality.

    After picturing those "fluctuations" as "phase transitions", they mention something like a "topological defect". Then, "One feature that would be produced by these mismatches is a series of slender tubes. Outside the tubes there would be the usual empty space . . . . but inside the tube the quantum state would remain trapped in its excited primordial phase . . . . the result is an object known as a cosmic string. . . . They are not made of matter, they are essentially tubes of field energy." That reminds me of how fiber optics work to carry information from one end to another.

    From that point on, their description of universe-spanning Cosmic Strings sounds like the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny Quantum Strings on the opposite end of the scale. The authors conclude, "cosmic strings play a key role in structuring the universe on a large scale". Apparently, Penrose thinks their quantum cousins also structure the brain to produce Consciousness. I don't follow the logic or the math, but I have to take their expert conjectures as serious extensions of current science into unproven realms.

    Anyway, do you see a connection between topological tubes of energy on the cosmic scale, and the wavy loops that are proposed to produce matter (and mind??) on the immeasurably small scale of sub-atomic reality? If so, maybe aligning your theory with that of a certified genius could offset some of the criticism that it borders on woo-woo metaphysics. Unfortunately, my own referenced geniuses are not yet certified with Nobel medals. :smile:


    Microtubules :
    Hameroff suggests that microtubules are the quantum device that Penrose had been looking for in his theory. In neurons, microtubules help control the strength of synaptic connections, and their tube-like shape might protect them from the surrounding noise of the larger neuron.
    https://nautil.us/roger-penrose-on-why-consciousness-does-not-compute-236591/

    Woo-monger or Genius? :
    "Conventional wisdom goes something like this: The theory is almost certainly wrong, but Penrose is brilliant."
    https://nautil.us/roger-penrose-on-why-consciousness-does-not-compute-236591/
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    There is something to work out as far as the specific mechanics of materialism producing mental content such as ideas, thought and the components of consciousness. I brought up the subject of ideas because they exist as brain state that should be identified as the physical brain and the emergent mental content. I get into trouble if I call it a contained non-physical but that is a loose discription of the problem. There might be something non-physical involved in consciousness. The work around is to call the contained non-physical...mental content.

    The point relating to consciousness is that mental content emerging from the physical brain is a component of consciousness and should be included in any model.
    Mark Nyquist
    That's exactly why I have concluded, along with some professional physicists*1, that Matter is not the fundamental element of reality. Instead, Information*2 (the power to enform) is viewed as the precursor of Energy, which is the precursor of Matter. To indicate the relationship of Information & Energy*3, I call the fundamental Substance (non-physical essence per Aristotle) of the universe : EnFormAction*4.

    Since the term "Information" originally referred to the contents of a mind, it's easy to imagine a process by which Generic Information (Potential for change) could transform (via phase transitions) into causal Energy, thence into physical Matter, and finally into metaphysical Mind. We know that the material Brain somehow generates the immaterial Functions we call "Ideas" & "Feelings". But exactly how that happens remains a mystery. A recent hypothesis focused on quantum scale micro-tubules as the locus of the magical transformation. But without including Information in the recipe, the Mind Magic remains unexplained. However, in my Mind model, Consciousness is the tip of the evolutionary pyramid*5, and Generic Information is the base. :smile:

    PS__Human Consciousness was a late emergence from eons of Evolution. So, instead of PanPsychism, I would call that funda-mental Cosmic substance "Information". Hence the worldview could be known as PanEnformationism. Enforming (causal) Power is the essence of Reality and Ideality.


    *1. Is Information Fundamental? :
    Could information be the most basic building block of reality?
    https://www.closertotruth.com/series/information-fundamental

    *2. Information Fundamental :
    Could information be the fundamental "stuff" of the universe?
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/is-information-fundamental/

    *3. Both Information and Energy are defined in terms of dueling dualities : 1/0, hot/cold

    *4. EnFormAction :
    As a supplement to the mainstream materialistic (scientific) theory of Causation, EnFormAction is intended to be an evocative label for a well-known, but somewhat mysterious, feature of physics : the Emergent process of Phase Change (or state transitions) from one kind (stable form) of matter to another. These sequential emanations take the structural pattern of a logical hierarchy : from solids, to liquids, to gases, and thence to plasma, or vice-versa. But they don't follow the usual rules of direct contact causation.
    http://bothandblog3.enformationism.info/page23.html
    Note -- the tip of the logical causal pyramid is the emergence of Mind from Matter

    *5. THE HIERARCHICAL INFORMATION PYRAMID
    220px-DIKW_Pyramid.svg.png
    BASE = GENERIC INFORMATION (potential causation) >> PHASE 2 = ENERGY (causation) >> PHASE 3 = MATTER (causal effect) >> PHASE 4 = MIND (energy as intention)
  • Enrique
    848
    From that point on, their description of universe-spanning Cosmic Strings sounds like the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny Quantum Strings on the opposite end of the scale. The authors conclude, "cosmic strings play a key role in structuring the universe on a large scale". Apparently, Penrose thinks their quantum cousins also structure the brain to produce Consciousness.Gnomon

    I do not claim any special knowledge in the ways of cosmic or itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny strings lol The concept of a coherence field is based on a fact that continues to be proven by experiment: EM radiation combines with atomic structure to produce fields of coherent energy.

    In the OP I discussed how exposure to UV light has been shown to result in coherent energy fields within microtubules due to aromatic amino acids such as tryptophan they contain. My hypothesis is that infrared radiation saturates matter typical for Earth to render the entire planet, including brains of course, a coherence field. But this EM radiation is compartmentalized somewhat by solids and thoroughly modulated in complex ways by atoms (into visible light etc.) so that the planet's coherence field has a complex structure. I hypothesize that this intricate modulation of coherence field electromagnetism is at least partly responsible for the existence of percepts (more exotic forms of matter and properties which cause nonlocality may also be involved in coherence field structure). Recent developments in our understanding of neural anatomy seem to suggest the brain may be built around coherence field modulation mechanisms, and thus coherence field theory might guide science to the link between matter and the first-person substance of mind.

    EM radiation can superposition and entangle much more readily than electrons or atoms, so is key to my hypothesis regarding the source of percepts. I think the proposed role for EM radiation is what Orch-Or was lacking and why it sustained so much criticism.
  • Mark Nyquist
    351
    Hey you guys, Enrique and Gnomon, off the top of my head a neuron is something like 10 to the 12th power greater in scale that the atomic level so what mechanism are you talking about other than a vague reference to nanotubes. And why not just the normal functioning of neurons in the classical sense?

    I'm looking at my little finger and it's a little bigger than a centimeter across. If you multiply a centimeter by 10 to the 12 power you get a distance of 40 times the earth to moon distance. At these increased scales it's very reasonable to assume that any quantum effects would be completely washed out unless you know of a specific mechanism.
  • Mark Nyquist
    351
    I case you are wondering where I'm going with this... I want you two to either make good or do a complete 180 U turn or you will never hear the end of it...Happy Thanksgiving guys.
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    I do not claim any special knowledge in the ways of cosmic or itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny strings lol The concept of a coherence field is based on a fact that continues to be proven by experiment: EM radiation combines with atomic structure to produce fields of coherent energy.Enrique
    My knowledge of Coherence Fields is also superficial (Googled). But in laser light "coherence" basically means "organized or focused" instead of randomized and incoherent. The effect is to turn ordinary harmless light waves into guided missiles of energy. In the terminology of my Information thesis, the light is "enformed" : it is no longer a diffuse acausal field, but a condensed zone of causal "power to enform".

    As I understand it, in laser light (coherent EM radiation) the waves interfere with each other without canceling-out (stationary interference): producing "constructive interference" (standing waves??). So, in my information terminology, the coherent enformed light is causal and capable of creative organizing. Unfortunately, the effect of laser light on matter is usually destructive. So how does the interaction of coherent EM radiation and atomic structure produce positive (constructive) results? Specifically, a phase transition from mechanical to mental properties?

    Also, is it the material conduits (tubules) that focus random EM light waves into coherent energy? I'm just grasping at quantum straws here. Trying to understand how EM fields can be stimulated into human awareness. See image below, for my imagined analogy. But it fails to show how the coherent light becomes conscious meaning & knowledge. :smile:

    Coherent Waves :
    In physics, two wave sources are coherent if their frequency and waveform are identical. Coherence is an ideal property of waves that enables stationary interference. ___Wikipedia

    Coordination : the organization of the different elements of a complex body or activity so as to enable them to work together effectively.

    Which type of interference is taking place in laser? :
    This is because the laser light diffracts around both edges of the hair, and those two diffraction patterns interfere with each other. We see dark spots at areas of destructive interference, and bright spots at areas of constructive interference.

    RANDOM LIGHT FOCUSED INTO NON-RANDOM LIGHT by internal reflection in a tubule
    1204lfw05f1.png?auto=format,compress&fit=fill&fill=blur&w=1200&h=630
    BUT WHERE IS THE CONSCIOUS ENLIGHTENMENT?
  • Mark Nyquist
    351
    Okay, don't take me too seriously.
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