What does it take to falsify materialism?

#41
Well, yes it does. Lets try a thought experiment. Lets say I am visiting the Sirius nebula, and you are here on earth. Each of us have with us an entangled quantum particle. Using the particle as a kind of binary information system, lets say spinning left equals 0 while spinning right equals 1
We would each just get random 0's and 1's, not a coherent message.

ETA: Even if my particle "tells" your particle which value to assume (which I believe is a mischaracterization of what's really happening), I have no way to control, or even determine, what value my particle will have; it's random.

Pat
 
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#42
I still think it's a mistake to make it a polarized issue such as physical vs non-physical, or material vs non-material. It's probably more of a continuum. I think we'll follow the same pattern we have been where we discover new theories like Quantum Mechanics that make the "material" world look nothing like the "material" world as we used to know it. With one caveat, we're reaching a point in science where direct experimentation/verification is hard to do (ala String Theory, etc) and also where subjective experience needs to be considered (ala psi, NDEs, etc). It may not be that we need to falsify materialism. It may be that science itself will transform to such an extent to accommodate new discoveries we'll forget about the whole physical vs non-physical debate. We'll just stop talking about it as polarized views along these lines become more and more an antiquated way of thinking.
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#44
Well Bart,

what this well known fact shows is that information can travel faster than the speed of light. 'Classical' information cannot, (utilising radio waves, microwaves etc, basically traditional methods of information transfer), but quantum information does. This makes it entirely possible, and in fact incredibly probable that when quantum computing really gets under way, we will begin through technology to open the door to superluminal communication. It is already happening, but its just that we have not yet found a practical way to utilise it.
But in terms of pointing you to an experiment? this is unnecessary, however any experiment on quantum entanglement is essentially just that, showing and confirming the transfer of quantum information at instantaneous speeds - infinitely faster than anything you can imagine.
Quantum entanglement itself is confirmation of information travelling at faster than light speeds. In fact light speed in comparison is like a snail.
It seems to me you are misunderstanding what quantum entanglement means.
Here is a short explanation, from the article:
But quantum entanglement does not enable the transmission of classical information faster than the speed of light. Quantum entanglement has applications in the emerging technologies of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, and has been used to realize quantum teleportation experimentally.
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#45
But he has an hypothesis that would overturn science! It's as if he's bored by his own paradigm-shattering idea.

At least he should stop complaining that no one else wants to do his homework.

~~ Paul
Exactly!
But this brings up another, maybe unrelated, question, could one make such a statement in the other forum?
 
#48
It seems to me you are misunderstanding what quantum entanglement means.
Here is a short explanation, from the article:
Bart, you should have read that article more carefully, and what I wrote. What it says is that quantum entanglement cannot be used to send classical information faster that light, but I already said as much earlier.
What it does is allow quantum information to be transfered. And as I said, if we set up a computer which has been programmed to interpret the actions of the entagled particle in such a way, say using binary code, then if you and I have the same computer, interpreting the activities of the entangled particle we each posses in the same way, we then have a way of performing instantaneous information transfer.
Why don't you get that?
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#49
Seriously then, if something doesn't move faster than light, how does one particle "communicate" with another across the universe in real time?
I am not going to pretend I understand, but that does not take away the fact that you can not choose the quantum information that is transmitted.
In experiments demonstrating entanglement, the quantum states are compaired through classical channels.
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#50
Bart, you should have read that article more carefully, and what I wrote. What it says is that quantum entanglement cannot be used to send classical information faster that light, but I already said as much earlier.
What it does is allow quantum information to be transfered. And as I said, if we set up a computer which has been programmed to interpret the actions of the entagled particle in such a way, say using binary code, then if you and I have the same computer, interpreting the activities of the entangled particle we each posses in the same way, we then have a way of performing instantaneous information transfer.
Why don't you get that?
How is that not communicating classical information?
 
#51
I am not going to pretend I understand, but that does not take away the fact that you can not choose the quantum information that is transmitted.
In experiments demonstrating entanglement, the quantum states are compaired through classical channels.
I'm no expert on this stuff, so I don't understand . . . content or your tone, actually.

Here's the simplified question:

Am I correct in saying that there can be two entangled particles and that they can be on opposite sides of the universe and respond to something that happened in the other at exactly the same moment? Yea or nay?

If so, and once again I'm certainly a layman with this stuff, but that seems to me to be at odds with the 'nothing faster than the speed of light' stuff. Correct or no?

If you go into anything else (more technical), please start from scratch and answer in uber-simplistic terms.
 
#52
I am not going to pretend I understand, but that does not take away the fact that you can not choose the quantum information that is transmitted.
In experiments demonstrating entanglement, the quantum states are compaired through classical channels.
At this point in time Bart you are right, we cannot manipulate the entangled particles for us to utilise as a means of communicating classical information faster than light, but in principle, it is possible, hence the thought experiment.

Here is Michiu Kaku confirming that faster than light communication exists, but also confirms we cant yet use it.

The fundamental point is that at a quantum level, faster than light communication is happening. Materialist explanations do not work, as here we have evidence of a thing interacting with the material world, but not being subject to its laws, as it is outside of the limits of space and time (which all matter is subject to and depends upon for its existence, which is why big bang theory bangs on about space and ti e being created at a single instant, and all matter created flooding into space-time ).
The bizzare twist is that all matter is built upon this stuff which acts outside space and time, which is by definition, non material, in the sense that it breaks material laws.
 
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#53
Materialism doesn't adequately explain what we see, which is why the term died long ago. Now we use physicalism or naturalism.

What would kill physicalism for me is the discovery of something that simply cannot be called physical. It would have to defy logic, or require a completely new set of natural laws that only barely overlap with the physical laws. When I say "completely new," I mean laws way more bizarre than those of quantum mechanics, which is still physical. Even if we discover that some fundamental form of consciousness exists, I'd see no reason to call that nonphysical just on principle.

I'm not sure there is much value to tagging parts of reality with metaphysical tags.

~~ Paul
Lets see:

Quantum mechanics and newtonian mechanics aren't unified. Like, at all. So here you say that we would need a set of natural laws that seem to ' defy logic ', but quantum mechanics does exactly that; It is in no way reducible from Newtonian mechanics of our macro world where our logic is valid. So you're just pushing the bar back, much like materialists push the bar back when going from materialism, to physicalism, to naturalism. So what you're telling me is that a belief in physicalism and naturalism is just a matter of semantics? That if there's a new discovery that comes along that lies completely at odds with our current understanding ( Quantum mechanics ), we'll just tag it as under the umbrella of physicalism and be on our merry way? What's your parameter for ' too weird ', and why does that sound to me like a psuedoscientific approach to the question? Your subjective ' I'll know it when I see it ' qualifier without any identifiable parameters other than ' it has to be weirder than quantum physics '.

It sounds like your position is unfalsifiable. You could always just change your ' weirdness ' value, since that's the only thing that's apparently keeping you from rejecting physicalism. Sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo pseudoscience to me..
 
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#54
Lets see:

Quantum mechanics and newtonian mechanics aren't unified. Like, at all. So here you say that we would need a set of natural laws that seem to ' defy logic ', but quantum mechanics does exactly that; It is in no way reducible from Newtonian mechanics of our macro world where our logic valid. So you're just pushing the bar back, much like materialists push the bar back when going from materialism, to physicalism, to naturalism. So what you're telling me is that a belief in physicalism and naturalism is just a matter of semantics? That if there's a new discovery that comes along that lies completely at odds with our current understanding ( Quantum mechanics ), we'll just tag it as under the umbrella of physicalism and be on our merry way? What's your parameter for ' too weird ', and why does that sound to me like a psuedoscientific approach to the question? Your subjective ' I'll know it when I see it ' qualifier without any identifiable parameters other than ' it has to be weirder than quantum physics '.

It sounds like your position is unfalsifiable. You could always just change your ' weirdness ' value, since that's the only thing that's apparently keeping you from rejecting physicalism. Sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo pseudoscience to me..
You have captured very succinctly what I have been trying to say. Totally agree with you, and eagerly await Pauls response.
 
#55
No, they would not, because the moment these are proven they are quantified which makes them part of the natural world.
If they require another set of physical laws why does that make them non material?
What makes them material/physical is they have been quantified or measured. As time goes by what is defined as physical become more inclusive.


Which is why else where it occurs to me that Naturalism is really not saying anything, and I allude to as much elsewhere. Its central premise is that all existing things and phenomena have natural causes. Anything super or para natural is so only by definition of the paradigm we ascribe to, which defines such things as either natural, or unatural, or supenatural (paranormal). Change the paradigm (in this case materialist reductionism), and you redifine the boundaries of the natural order. So arguments from naturalism, really get us nowhere. And yes, it is unclear what the NDE is fully, but it is clear what it is not. It is not a brain based hallucination, that is clear.
If it's fully unknown then it can't be stated what it is not. The bold part expresses what you hope it is - proof of an afterlife.


I don't understand the question. Let me see if I get this. Are you asking me if acceptance of the reality of telepathy or precognition or the NDE occuring as something beyond the brain would require a reworking of our physical laws? Perhaps not. It would only require a reworking of the assumptions being made, and the paradigm under which these physical laws are funtioning. My statement was in response to someone elses assertion, and perhaps itself was hasty. I don't get what you mean by "why does it make them non material?"
I have to say, I am struggling with your line of reasoning here.
As I recall you stated new physical laws would be needed. New physical laws don't make telepathy... non material. I'm pretty sure I did not say non material.


And the assumption that all things in the universe are material things which obey material laws. Material laws suggest that one thing cannot be in two places at the same time. That matter exists independently of the observer. That no information can travel faster than the speed of light. That when you turn your back on the world, Things don't mysteriously turn into probability waves, and that when you return your attention, those waves return to discrete particles in space and time.
What you say above is true, the act of measuring or observing is what makes them physical yes, but as I said, when they are not being observed, they are not strictly physical. How much more fundamentally against the idea of matter being primary can you get, when we are forced to say, its very existence depends upon there being a conscious observer to collapse the probability waves into actual particles?
Do keep up ;)
And here you totally miss my point. I was asking what about quantum wierdness allows the materialist to rest easily on his assumptions that matter is primary?
Too the underlined texts.
Using the 19th century definition of materialism here's where things go astray. Understand how modern physics uses the word and the word physicalism. Anything that can be quantified ( measured) makes it material/physical. Light for example, which has no rest mass is just as material as the surface upon which you'll be resting your rump when you type your next reply. So, even though QM is really weird it can be quantified making it material/physical. By the way. Matter at it's smallest size may be nothing more than vibrating strings of energy and yet still material/ physical.


its very existence depends upon there being a conscious observer to collapse the probability waves into actual particles?
Quoting myself: It's a common misunderstanding what this actually means. It means taking a measurement, nothing more.
More precisely, if a person is observing the experiment, light is reflecting off that person and disturbing the quantum system being observed thereby causing the quantum system to take a definite state. It's not your mind, but the light that's doing it. That's how it occurs.
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#56
Seriously then, if something doesn't move faster than light, how does one particle "communicate" with another across the universe in real time?
It doesn't. Think of entanglement as a correlation between the two particles. If we learn the state of one, then we simply know the state of the other. If we poke one, the other reacts predictably.

It may be that it's easier to formulate this behavior as an instantaneous transfer of some magical kind of information. The stunning thing will be if we can learn to use this to transfer predetermined information. Holy crap!

~~ Paul
 
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#57
It doesn't. Think of entanglement as a correlation between the two particles. If we learn the state of one, then we simply know the state of the other. If we poke one, the other reacts predictably.

It may be that it's easier to formulate this behavior as an instantaneous transfer of some magical kind of information. The stunning thing will be if we can learn to use this to transfer predetermined information. Holy crap!

~~ Paul
That was my point. There is no reason to believe scientist will not find a way in the not so distant future to do that. Faster than light communicaion would then be a reality. For now, it is a reality only at the quantum level, but a reality nontheless.
 
#58
Well, yes it does. Lets try a thought experiment. Lets say I am visiting the Sirius nebula, and you are here on earth. Each of us have with us an entangled quantum particle. Using the particle as a kind of binary information system, lets say spinning left equals 0 while spinning right equals 1, we suddenly have the makings of a type of morse quantum telegraph computer type thingy (highly technical term, don't get caught up in the lingo ;)).
If we use it to communicate, then rather than the god knows how many years it would take utilising 'classical' information transfer like radio waves, we would be communicating instantaneously. By definition, faster than light - instant.
The entangled particles you see can be said to outside space and time, hence the term 'non local'. So in one sense, it is not faster than speed of light, as it has no speed at all. It is beyond speed.
So, I think you can see categorically, by definition of quantum entanglement being possible, faster than light communication is also something built into our universe, though it is non physical in the sense of being beyond space and time.
I'm not certain, but once you change the spin on your particle which makes the other particle take the opposite spin the particles become disentangled eliminating further communication.
 
#59
I'm not certain, but once you change the spin on your particle which makes the other particle take the opposite spin the particles become disentangled eliminating further communication.
If this is certain, then I was completely unaware.
However, I want to be sure we all agree that faster than light communication can and does happen as part of the natural order of the quantum world. Agreed?

By the way, I would like to confirm the entanglement thing. Do you have a link?
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#60
That was my point. There is no reason to believe scientist will not find a way in the not so distant future to do that. Faster than light communicaion would then be a reality. For now, it is a reality only at the quantum level, but a reality nontheless.
I wouldn't say it is a reality now. Since no information is exchanged, what is the point of saying that there is faster-than-light communication? Exactly why does there have to be any communication?

~~ Paul
 
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