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Physics & consciousness

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Bigthink. The irrationality of how we think has long plagued psychology.

bigthink

When someone asks us how we are, we usually respond with "fine" or "good. " But if someone followed up about a specific event — "How did you feel about the big meeting with your boss today? " — suddenly, we refine our "good" or "fine" responses on a spectrum from awful to excellent. Consciousness could be a side effect of 'entropy', say researchers.

This physicist says consciousness could be a new state of matter. Consciousness isn’t something scientists like to talk about much.

This physicist says consciousness could be a new state of matter

You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, and despite the best efforts of certain researchers, you can’t quantify it. And in science, if you can’t measure something, you’re going to have a tough time explaining it. But consciousness exists, and it’s one of the most fundamental aspects of what makes us human. And just like dark matter and dark energy have been used to fill some otherwise gaping holes in the standard model of physics, researchers have also proposed that it’s possible to consider consciousness as a new state of matter.

To be clear, this is just a hypothesis, and one to be taken with a huge grain of salt, because we’re squarely in the realm of the hypothetical here, and there's plenty of room for holes to be poked. Consciousness occurs in 'time slices' lasting only milliseconds, study suggests. The question of how exactly we experience the world through our perception of consciousness is one that's long intrigued scientists and philosophers.

Consciousness occurs in 'time slices' lasting only milliseconds, study suggests

And at its core are two divergent hypotheses. On the one hand, it could be that consciousness exists as a constant, uninterrupted stream of perception, like how it feels to watch a movie. You sit down with your popcorn and experience a film from beginning to end in one continuous flow, unaware of any segmentation or breakup as you go. Quantum Physics and the Abuse of Reason. Patriotism has been called the “last refuge of a scoundrel,” and for good reason.

Quantum Physics and the Abuse of Reason

But over the last few years, I’m afraid that phrase has become outdated. Patriotism is now the second-to-last refuge. Free will is dead, let’s bury it. I wish people would stop insisting they have free will.

Free will is dead, let’s bury it.

It’s terribly annoying. Insisting that free will exists is bad science, like insisting that horoscopes tell you something about the future – it’s not compatible with our knowledge about nature. According to our best present understanding of the fundamental laws of nature, everything that happens in our universe is due to only four different forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear force. These forces have been extremely well studied, and they don’t leave any room for free will.

Big Bang Nixed "Our Universe Evolved from the Black Hole of a Collapsed 4-D Star"? While the current Planck outcomes “verify that inflation is correct”, they leave open the question of how actually the inflation took place.

Big Bang Nixed "Our Universe Evolved from the Black Hole of a Collapsed 4-D Star"?

A new study could help to show how inflation was caused by the motion of the Universe over a higher-dimensional reality. The event horizon of a black hole — also known as the point of no return for anything that falls in — is a sphere-shaped surface. In a higher-dimensional reality, a black hole might have a three-dimensional event horizon, which could start an entire new universe as it forms. It might be time to bid the Big Bang bye-bye. Cosmologists have guessed that the Universe made from the wreckage expelled when a four-dimensional star collapsed into a black hole — a situation that would help to clarify why the cosmos appears to be so uniform in all the ways. Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness. Where in your brain do you exist?

Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness

Is your awareness of the world around you and of yourself as an individual the result of specific, focused changes in your brain, or does that awareness come from a broad network of neural activity? How does your brain produce awareness? Vanderbilt University researchers took a significant step toward answering these longstanding questions with a recent brain imaging study, in which they discovered global changes in how brain areas communicate with one another during awareness. Their findings, which were published March 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, challenge previous theories that hypothesized much more restricted changes were responsible for producing awareness. Modern theories of the neural basis of consciousness fall generally into two camps: focal and global. No Longer Science Fiction: Start-Up Unveils Radical Consciousness Technology. CONSCIOUSNESS APP from Subtangle on Vimeo.

No Longer Science Fiction: Start-Up Unveils Radical Consciousness Technology

The world reads news together. The world listens to music together. Massachusetts Physicist Claims He Solved Mystery Of How Life Emerged From Matter. Reuters / Toby Melville The origin of life is often attributed to luck or labeled as some kind of miracle, but one physicist believes that under the right conditions the creation of life is predictably unavoidable.

Massachusetts Physicist Claims He Solved Mystery Of How Life Emerged From Matter

According to Jeremy England, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, matter naturally reorganizes itself to acquire the crucial physical characteristic of life – the ability to disperse great quantities of energy – when driven by an outside source such as the sun and bathed in the right atmospheric or oceanic conditions. As the 31-year-old physicist explained to the science publication Quanta Magazine, if that’s the case, if matter consistently changes to disperse more and more energy, then the existence of life“should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

“You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said. Jeremy L. Source: Science, Religion, and the Big Bang. Victor Stenger: The Myth of Quantum Consciousness. Robert Lanza, MD, is a regular blogger on Huffington Post.

Victor Stenger: The Myth of Quantum Consciousness

On his website he bills himself as "one of the leading scientists in the world. " I first learned about Lanza in 1992 when he wrote an article called "The Wise Science" published in The Humanist Vol. 52, No. 6, p. 24. (link not available). It was so full of dubious science that I felt compelled to reply, which I did in The Humanist, May/June 1992, Vol. 53, Number 3, p. 13. Here was my response, which still applies to the claims he continues to post in this venue.