Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Aug 11, 2016.
You sure? Check out this video by Dr. Thiese on Panpsychism:
No, good catch, I'm not sure at all I guess lol
I do also find it interesting/ironic/etc that light, which is pretty amazing from a physics perspective (imho) in the ways I mentioned, has throughout the ages been associated with eternity/consciousness/etc. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.
Not sure how far I agree with pan-psychism (haven't look into it much yet), but I think as somebody who leans heavily towards Idealism, there's got to be some common ground for me to find agreement with.
I'll check out the video later, thanks!
I think if one looks at top-down panpsychism and idealism they don't seem that different?
As you say it may just be how we define "mind" and "matter" in comparison to the ancients. In this 4 minute short Jonathan Black seems to consider "God"/"Universe" in a way that suggests both a Cosmic Consciousness and some Time-Transcendent Life-Energy:
When you look at it this way, as Kripal seems to, UFOs made out of consciousness doesn't seem that crazy...
(Obviously you know this, I am just using your quote to make a point)
IMHO this is the crux of the problem with Panpsychism, because an essential featureof QM, is that particles of a particular type are identical - i.e. indistibuishable . Even the colour of a photon is just a function of the (4-dimensional) coordinate frame in which you view it! The point is that you can't glue labels on fundamental particles, so if they feel anything, it has to be the same thing!
Furthermore, Panpsychism seems to be a peculiar cop-out. People play with the idea, but it doesn't seem to affect their ideas at all - they don't start to develop a QM of particles with thoughts, or some theory of how the experiences of protons contribute to the brain, they just carry on as before - Panpsychism is just too vague!
I agree that sentience is probably part of all life (except viruses), but for some peculiar reason, people think Panpsychism is 'safer' than Idealism or Dualism!
Awesome show. I like the long format. At an hour, it just gets to the substance when a guest is willing to go deeper than the basics. I'm going to go back and listen another time before I really get all of the material, I suspect. I like it all at once though, not cut up into pieces. But that's just me.
I've heard Cameron before. At times I have felt he has so much to say that it's hard to follow what he is actually trying to say. However, it was good to hear him try to explain things via Alex's questions. I appreciate Alex pinning him down (respectfully) a few times. It really brought out some of the things that annoy me about UFO-ology though. Perhaps these things annoy Cameron too. I think this phenomena as it traditionally lies is too distorted through entertainment and hoaxing stories for me to really have a solid position on.
1) Do I believe the UFO phenomena is real? Complicated answer. When I was a kid I desperately wanted to see a nuts and bolts UFO. However, over the years I've felt an internal desire to not want to be involved or believe in UFO's so much. There is always talk of the inevitable disclosure, and sightings that turn out to be hoaxes, and the Roswell story is so over covered and comic-book like. My internal desire to know combined with my external desire to distance myself from UFO's is interesting. The one story that caught my attention in the recent past was the Phoenix lights. However, going back to the essence of what I have a problem with - there is so much chicanery and hoaxing going on. I have a hard time with that. I don't know what to believe or even pay attention to. Again, here is the notable "push-pull" thing going on with UFO's and me. I am someone who makes my living watching the skies in a broad sense. I've seen strange things only once, and really, those things could have been explained away by many scenarios (though it was right around the Phoenix lights era and in the same geographical area). I've told very few people of my sighting. I've had only a few colleagues tell me they have seen things, and mostly those colleagues were younger, generationally speaking. The reports have always been balls of light. None have been officially reported as far as I know.
2) I am interested in the idea of consciousness being linked to ghosts, UFO's and psychic phenomena. So when I boil the idea of UFO's down to the essence of a connected phenomena, I suppose I will always be viscerally interested. I just don't think I'd ever go to a nuts and bolts UFO expo as they exist today.
Good point, and pretty sure I agree David. However, when it comes to things like this I am reminded of Rudolph Steiner. He talked about how, as we go down the chain from humans to animals to plants, we lose the ego and a well-defined sense of individuality more and more. And, by the time we get to the plants, we're talking more about a "group soul" consciousness that incarnates where conditions are viable (across multiple instances of the particular plant in question) rather than separate "individualized" souls incarnating.. Carrying this over to photons, I never did mention a specific subtlety in our conversations above - all photons are just a particular manifestation of the quantum electromagnetic field (localized interactions with said field upon measurement). That's the reason all photons (or any particle, massless, or not) are indistinguishable - they're just the smallest blips any particular field can come in. Perhaps the field itself has some level of awareness that can fit under panpsychism?
As I type this, I'm not really buying into it myself, but I think this makes more sense than individual photons having awareness ... maybe? As someone who tends towards Idealism, I think everything is mind ... somehow. And, again, I can't help but hark back to how light is often equated with consciousness across so many myths.
I remember many a year back, when I was much more into scientific research than I am nowadays, watching a few excellent documentaries about light and had a few books and articles swirling round in my head.....I once proclaimed on another forum "Once you understand light, you will understand all the mysteries of consciousness and reality!".
If I recall correctly, at the time I knew what I meant. Alas, I haven't got the foggiest idea now
I think you're probably right! Light is also a HUGE feature in NDEs. Eben Alexander was rescued by a dancing light. At the end of the tunnel, a blinding light that one can look into without being blind (meaning you don't have eyes, but can perceive the light via consciousness?) Deities show up as beings of light. Everything on the "other side" gives off its own vibrant light, as if everything is "made of light" in that place. Etcetera, and so on. There's a definite theme here in these descriptions - there's something awfully special about light! I say physics is starting to agree, as I outlined in the posts above. In NDEs, which are often said to take place in a timeless realm, light suddenly takes on a much bigger role than "down here". And, physics seems to suggest that light is indeed timeless, imho.
Why do particles - if they exist at a fundamental level - have to feel the same thing?
I can see how it could seem to be a cop-out though a lot of people have, in fact, attempted to work through a comprehensive explanation of both top-down & bottom-up panpsychism. I thought Dr. Thiese did a decent job of running through his ideas in that video I linked to.
Do you think Idealism has done a better job trying to explain reality than panpsychism?
On this idea of photon consciousness, friend put me on to this site:
Does mind pervade the universe? Do individual atoms make choices? Don't laugh, says Freeman Dyson; modern physics is full of such weird possibilities.
Well because the wave equation for a number of particles is antisymmetric in the case of electrons and protons, so that (in the case of two electrons (say) ψ(e1,e2) = -ψ(e2,e1) even if the particles are at great distance from each other. The minus sign doesn't make any difference really because the probabilities are given by |ψ|^2, but the real point is that when you think about it, there are no distinct particles. If you think of the wave function for the universe (!!) all the particle coordinates are there, and if you swap a couple over, absolutely nothing (is supposed to) change!
Yes, but maybe that would not count as panpsychism, because the field is (supposed to be) everywhere. In this case we aren't looking at little bits of consciousness scattred across the universe.
Well that would be top-down panpsychism AFAICTell?
Wow - I somehow hadn't realised that you were wobbly about GR - and I think I'm right that the Standard Model is built on GR - so that is a big wobble! I am pleased to know that I am in good company in my dislike of space-time curvature!
I don't know if you viewed the Ron Hatch video, but here is one of the designers of the GPS system saying that the GPS results are inconsistent with GR - definitely not the usual story! Unfortunately most of that lecture went over my head!
What is the PPN framework (in simplified form)?
Nothing is supposed to change in the dynamics that are being measured. If particles have some sort of experience - even rudimentary - does that necessarily entail a shift in the measurable dynamics of the particle? Could two different particles play interchangeable roles in some respects but have slightly different experiences?
Also, I think we have to be careful in using the assumptions of QM to rule out possible additional properties not currently modelled on QM. The assumptions may simply be wrong, or the new property may not affect the dynamics enough to affect our calculations.
This leads to a question I have about what is meant by hidden variables and how we can know they are all ruled out. Is it possible that some additional property, such as what we're talking about here, do actually subtly shift the dynamics and that is the hidden variable or what is responsible for the uncertainty of QM? Would something like that be ruled out by the loophole closing experiments? Is it possible to make such a determination?
The Standard Model doesn't include GR, but don't worry, there is still plenty of room for big wobbles in the Standard Model, even without GR ;-) Quantum Gravity is supposed to unite GR and the Standard Model, but as you know, serious work in progress. You'll also be pleased to know there were at least 3 folks in my graduating class that did not like astrophysics - they didn't trust it, because they couldn't bring the objects of study down into the lab. Maybe distrust is a bit strong, but they at least had an uneasy feeling about astrophysics and cosmology.
I've got work colleagues that work in the GPS area and have looked into the corrections being used. I haven't looked into it myself, but the math used to make those corrections supposedly comes straight out of GR and SR . It's part of the calculation (there are a host of non-relativistic corrections too) and it works, so I'm not sure how we can say it's wrong, or inconsistent with Relativity?
I might watch the video, but to be honest I don't really find the Electric Universe crowd very convincing, especially when it comes to the technical details (which they seem to avoid more often than not, or at least that's my impression). I do find it aesthetically pleasing in some ways, but that's about as far as it goes with me. It's like the one video Lone Shaman put up a ways back. I just thought it was a really bad mathematical argument against GR. I could have made a very similar argument about Electromagnetism, the very phenomenon they're in favor of. Anyhow, I'm of the personal opinion to take anything those guys say with a grain of salt, but I know many on here would disagree
Looks like Wiki has a decent page on PPN, just skip to the section about alternate formulations.
EDIT: I probably should have mentioned, that the Standard Model is kind of built on Special Relativity, in that Quantum Field Theory essentially combines Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity. But, the further details of GR aren't really included.
This was a humdinger of a show, but it's just so hard for us poor mortals to try to stretch our brains over a framework of the UFO/mental consciousness thread. It's those elements of high strangeness. We want to understand the connecting tissue so we can actually make sense of the logical progress that is involved.
David and Arouet, I could be talking out my you know what, but I thought the idea behind pan-psychism was that the level of awareness was directly proportional to the number of choices present? If that's true, all electrons basically have the same set of choices, but I suppose given the uncertainty in QM they could pick something different. One takes spin down, the other takes spin up? So, perhaps we could say they have the same level of awareness, but different experiences .... ?
That's the basic gist behind hidden variables, but Bell's theorem rules out local hidden variable theories. Bell's Theorem basically says that results between any local hidden variable theory and QM would be incompatible, meaning their predictions would be inconsistent and QM would ultimately fail if there were local hidden variables in nature. So, that's how we know, but .... last I checked (and believe it, or not, the field is progressing fairly rapidly) non-local hidden variable theories have not yet been ruled out.
I was going to touch on some of that if I ever get around to replying to the other thread we were on!
I definitely think you're onto something there! Light is also a HUGE feature in the creation-cosmological narrative of most mystery schools & religions, I suppose? And by extension their theology & practices too.
Actually, I think the tantric paradigm is suffused with it, light and sound being the primal cause of creation, and there's so such much nuance in the language of tantra relating to all the different aspects and functions of light, both theologically/comsologically AND on a practical experiential level, that the English language doesn't have because it doesn't have these practices and beliefs.
And to follow on from that, just wanted to question, wasn't Eben rescued by by a beautiful enchanting sound/music as much, if not more so than, the "dancing light"??! In eastern philosophy, they are two aspects of the same "thing"
Just watched this during my lunch break. Great little video, very interesting! Thanks again for sharing Sci ;-)
I'm pretty sure you're right manjit, I think he emphasized the melody over the light, IIRC.
One other semi-random thought - I always liked how, in the Bible, there is the saying "let there be light", but the Sun was created like a day, or two, later. Sort of sounds like they're referring to something other than "physical" light, like maybe more along the lines of the nascent participation of awareness, consciousness in creation, or within the realm of space-time. Not a unique theme, I'm pretty sure!
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