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Re: quantum mechanics

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  • Chris
    Hi there, ... I have enjoyed the discussion on this topic. It is nice to see like-minded folks pondering such issues in the context of SL. I am curious about
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 1, 2005
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      Hi there,

      > Today we have quantum reality, classical reality, and
      > the conscious observer. It's going to take a newton to unify all this
      > into one mathematical whole.

      I have enjoyed the discussion on this topic. It is nice to see like-minded
      folks pondering such issues in the context of SL.

      I am curious about one thing, though. Why is there this assumption that
      such a unified theory can be expressed mathematically? To my way of
      thinking, this seems to contradict the general thrust of the science: the
      facts suggest such frameworks and metaphors do not lend themselves to tidy
      and neat arrangements. In other words, it just shows that reality is a bit
      beyond the reach of our mind's grasp.

      Personally, I am of the opinion that you don't always reach an answer--you
      simply outgrow the question. I tend to think that this will be a good
      example of it. The urge to fit things into boxes is a necessarily
      small-minded way of perceiving the vastness of reality.

      So I guess on this matter I see reality and the mind in very different terms
      than an equation.

      I am not trivializing the hard work and effort of the quantum physicists. I
      think it serves a purpose. But ultimately, what is this assumption founded
      upon? God is not a mathematician (or an architect). What a cold, unfeeling
      supposition. I'd rather conceive the divine in terms of Coyote or a
      trickster than that.

      So for me, any unified theory will have to come from the other side of the
      fence: feeling, not reason.

      But then, isn't that where it has been all along? Unity is in the eye of
      the beholder.

      -Chris
    • Daniel N. Washburn
      ... This is the fundamental faith of the religion of science, that the world is rational and can be comprehended by beautiful mathematics. Logical rigor,
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 5, 2005
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        Chris wrote:

        >Hi there,
        >
        >
        >
        >>Today we have quantum reality, classical reality, and
        >>the conscious observer. It's going to take a newton to unify all this
        >>into one mathematical whole.
        >>
        >>
        >
        >I have enjoyed the discussion on this topic. It is nice to see like-minded
        >folks pondering such issues in the context of SL.
        >
        >I am curious about one thing, though. Why is there this assumption that
        >such a unified theory can be expressed mathematically?
        >
        This is the fundamental faith of the religion of science, that the world
        is rational and can be comprehended by beautiful mathematics. Logical
        rigor, precise expression, quantification in the cause of verification,
        manipulability to find new truths, these are all features of math that
        underlie the faith of the scientist. it goes beyond that to a sense of
        beauty, as well.

        There is a dark side to mathematics, however. It can become a computer
        black box. The quantum equations give us correct answers but the
        reality they express is so drastically different from our ordinary
        understanding that we have lost the ability to emotionally relate to the
        universe revealed. Physicists have been avoiding the implications of
        quantum mechjanics for years, only using the science for prediction and
        not working at resolving the conflicts involved between quantum,
        classical, and consciousness reality.

        > To my way of
        >thinking, this seems to contradict the general thrust of the science: the
        >facts suggest such frameworks and metaphors do not lend themselves to tidy
        >and neat arrangements. In other words, it just shows that reality is a bit
        >beyond the reach of our mind's grasp.
        >
        I hope not. A unified theory might leave us with a scientifically
        verified spiritual reality. I want a physics that includes both
        spiritual and material in its formulations - that resolves the question
        of two worlds that bugs Mark so much.


        >
        >Personally, I am of the opinion that you don't always reach an answer--you
        >simply outgrow the question. I tend to think that this will be a good
        >example of it. The urge to fit things into boxes is a necessarily
        >small-minded way of perceiving the vastness of reality.
        >
        Granted, but there can be the science of optics, the science of
        perspective, the science of paint chemistry and they still do not
        comprehend the reality of Leonardo's last supper. But we need those
        sciences still as foundations.

        >
        >So I guess on this matter I see reality and the mind in very different terms
        >than an equation.
        >
        >I am not trivializing the hard work and effort of the quantum physicists. I
        >think it serves a purpose. But ultimately, what is this assumption founded
        >upon? God is not a mathematician (or an architect). What a cold, unfeeling
        >supposition. I'd rather conceive the divine in terms of Coyote or a
        >trickster than that.
        >
        There are a lot of people who would say that God is a trickster, but I
        would much rather she be a master architect. Why do you think
        architecture is a cold unfeeling profession? Granted that most of its
        practioners have had any sense of beauty whipped out of them, but I am
        awe struck by some of the great buildings of the past.

        >
        >So for me, any unified theory will have to come from the other side of the
        >fence: feeling, not reason.
        >
        I wish you great luck with the project, but you will have a hard time
        communicating any progress you have made, since the world is awash in
        spiritual hucksterism.

        Of course, this is a message to myself as well, since I am writing a
        book that tries for a mysitical spiritual-material unification.


        >
        >But then, isn't that where it has been all along? Unity is in the eye of
        >the beholder.
        >
        >-Chris
        >
        >
        >
        That's the advantage of a scientific theory - it has consensual validity
        and is not just in the eye of the beholder.

        String theory may unify quantum math and general relativity. Now if we
        could add consciousness to the mix we might get a theory that would
        explain all the realms of the universe. Any one know about any
        mathematical theories of consciousness? Before we can integrate
        consciousness into a unified mathematical theory of everything, we need
        a mathematical theory of consciousness. Surely there is one out there.

        Dan

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      • Peggy
        Before we can integrate consciousness into a unified mathematical theory of everything, we need a mathematical theory of consciousness. Surely there is one
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 5, 2005
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          Before we can integrate
          consciousness into a unified mathematical theory of everything, we need
          a mathematical theory of consciousness.  Surely there is one out there.

          WOW! I'm really stuck on this statement! I'm not sure I'm following the line of thought. My response is; all that string theory implies is a holographic universe. I feel that all different realities are easily expressed in a very spiritual sense through the existence of multiple and even parralell dimensions. Consciousness does allow us to personally travel throughout time and space (no I'm not pchysofrantic) and our un-conscious self is probably even more talented and capable of undefinable gymnastics that we can't bear to remember, just like fleeting dreams. Mathematics can twist a theory any way you want to manipulate it but I like to think(?) that the platonic solids are a wonderful key to discovering just how mind, body, and spirit are interrelated. Just a thought.(!) Peggy

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        • Daniel N. Washburn
          ... You could be right, but until the theoretical physicists write equations for it and the guys in their lab coats check it out on machines calibrated to the
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 6, 2005
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            Peggy wrote:

            > Before we can integrate
            > consciousness into a unified mathematical theory of everything, we need
            > a mathematical theory of consciousness. Surely there is one out there.
            >
            > WOW! I'm really stuck on this statement! I'm not sure I'm following
            > the line of thought. My response is; all that string theory implies is
            > a holographic universe. I feel that all different realities are
            > easily expressed in a very spiritual sense through the existence of
            > multiple and even parralell dimensions. Consciousness does allow us to
            > personally travel throughout time and space (no I'm not pchysofrantic)
            > and our un-conscious self is probably even more talented and capable
            > of undefinable gymnastics that we can't bear to remember, just like
            > fleeting dreams.

            You could be right, but until the theoretical physicists write equations
            for it and the guys in their lab coats check it out on machines
            calibrated to the nanometer, it won't be real in our culture, it will be
            your personal intuition about things. I just wish that they would
            hurry up and catch up with you. String theory does imply something
            like 11 dimensions and there is an interpretation of quantum mechanics
            called the 'many worlds' interpretation that uses multiple universes.
            See the writings of Fred Alan Wolfe, a physicist, who has tried to
            understand shamanism and the occult via the many worlds interpretation
            of quantum mechanics. Can't see it myself, since the 'many worlds'
            interpretation violates every conservation law ever written.

            > Mathematics can twist a theory any way you want to manipulate it but I
            > like to think(?) that the platonic solids are a wonderful key to
            > discovering just how mind, body, and spirit are interrelated. Just a
            > thought.(!) Peggy

            Like are you equating mathematics with statistics as in 'how to lie with
            statistics'? Otherwise I can't agree with you on your math statement
            above.

            Your statement on the platonic solids intrigues me. How is it that you
            feel the platonics interrelate body mind and spirit?

            Dan

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          • Peggy
            Hi! I have to apologize. I was cruising last night on very little sleep. When I said platonic solids I meant to sight sacred geometry with reference (maybe
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 6, 2005
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              Hi! I have to apologize. I was cruising last night on
              very little sleep. When I said platonic solids I meant
              to sight sacred geometry with reference (maybe
              reverence) to the platonic solids. I feel,think that
              the solids embody the essence of truth just as
              mathematics do. Like a note of music; truth.
              Truth=purity as in...gold. Nothing can change it,
              truth. Over time truth can be applied in different
              ways as a perspective changes; if the focus is on an
              object as the line of sight takes in different angles,
              points of view, the object hasn't changed (truth) the
              angle of perception has. The old analogy of the
              elephant and the blind men! With the sacred geometry
              of the platonic solids you also honor the sphere,
              which isn't really acknowledged but without its
              perfect balance/symmetry nothing else would be
              possible.(another tangent is that all things that are
              real and support life and form aren't necessarily
              seen)You can apply the roundness to atoms,cells
              probably even nano particles. The balance of life to
              all the molecules that make all we are, along with
              this earth, use circular/spherical motion. I've never
              really put this in words before. I'm not a scientist
              or mathematician, but I understand enough that I am
              able to apply it through my spiritual experiences. No,
              I've never done drugs, I've done crystals which seem
              much more expansive. But that's my opinion too as is
              all of the above. Thanks for this forum. I love all
              the mind expanding ideas and validation that all
              thoughts are acceptable even when we question.

              ***
              Like are you equating mathematics with statistics as
              in 'how to lie
              with
              statistics'? Otherwise I can't agree with you on your
              math statement
              above.
              *
              I think statistics are used that way. But I remember
              watching someone prove numbers other than what they
              seem, I don't remember the specifics, but I catalogued
              the idea in my mind.

              ***
              Your statement on the platonic solids intrigues me.
              How is it that you
              feel the platonics interrelate body mind and spirit?
              *

              It's hard to explain. If you scribe a circle, using
              string and a tack, then divide it manually into the
              different shapes, one per cicle and then work on the
              design with color, you are putting into action an
              awakening of the spirit. This exercise/experience
              encompasses body, to build it through movement, mind
              to execute it, and spirit through mind, heart, and
              imagination. As you view your creation there's a sort
              of blissful feeling that absorbs your whole being. The
              more you work with the shapes and colors the deeper it
              gets into your psyche. You start looking and
              perceiving things--everything,seen and unseen, with a
              different knowledge and a new side of truth. Remember
              the kalaidescopes and the total absoption and
              fascination they have? Stained glass windows, like
              rose windows,too.
              Talk to you later! Peggy







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            • Daniel N. Washburn
              ... Very nicely put. You should read Michael Schneider s book A Beginner s Guide to Constructing the Universe. It contains all sorts of similar exercises in
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 6, 2005
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                >
                >It's hard to explain. If you scribe a circle, using
                >string and a tack, then divide it manually into the
                >different shapes, one per cicle and then work on the
                >design with color, you are putting into action an
                >awakening of the spirit. This exercise/experience
                >encompasses body, to build it through movement, mind
                >to execute it, and spirit through mind, heart, and
                >imagination. As you view your creation there's a sort
                >of blissful feeling that absorbs your whole being. The
                >more you work with the shapes and colors the deeper it
                >gets into your psyche. You start looking and
                >perceiving things--everything,seen and unseen, with a
                >different knowledge and a new side of truth. Remember
                >the kalaidescopes and the total absoption and
                >fascination they have? Stained glass windows, like
                >rose windows,too.
                >Talk to you later! Peggy
                >
                >
                >
                Very nicely put. You should read Michael Schneider's book A Beginner's
                Guide to Constructing the Universe. It contains all sorts of similar
                exercises in contructing sacred geometry figures with great explanations
                of the symbolism. http://www.constructingtheuniverse.com/

                I was asking a while back for anyones experiences with doing meditation
                on geometric figures and it looks like you have come up with an
                eqivalent to yoga/tai chi for sacred geometry.

                Dan



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              • Chris
                ... I agree that the buildings of the past are indeed inspiring. I certainly do not feel think that architecture is an unfeeling profession--far from it!
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 14, 2005
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                  Hi, in answer to your earlier questions:

                  > I would much rather she be a master architect. Why do you think
                  > architecture is a cold unfeeling profession? Granted that most of its
                  > practioners have had any sense of beauty whipped out of them, but I am
                  > awe struck by some of the great buildings of the past.

                  I agree that the buildings of the past are indeed inspiring. I
                  certainly do not feel think that architecture is an unfeeling
                  profession--far from it! However, in terms of the divine, I believe
                  that people tend to get hung up on images and in this case I prefer
                  the loose and open-ended morphings of "coyote" or "trickster" to the
                  more limited and restricted "architect" or "mathematician". It is all
                  a question of terms to me: words are like yantras to get to the
                  divine--tools for meditation. I suppose I could meditate on an
                  architecture-divinity but I wouldn't get very far, personally. I just
                  see an old bearded pseudo-abraham figure. bleh. I would rather
                  something more dynamic and less entrenched in western tradition. so I
                  proposed trickster--it captures the spirited dynamic of the universe
                  that I see and sense so much more than the structured logic of
                  architecture. I don't know about you but I encounter altered states of
                  consciousness on a daily basis--not drugs but even just stepping from
                  the bath in a relaxed frame of mind is an altered "reality".
                  architecture could not possible articulate that for me. just my
                  opinion, of course...
                  >
                  > >
                  > >So for me, any unified theory will have to come from the other side
                  of the
                  > >fence: feeling, not reason.
                  > >
                  > I wish you great luck with the project, but you will have a hard time
                  > communicating any progress you have made, since the world is awash in
                  > spiritual hucksterism.

                  yes, but that is not quite what I meant. I believe we are likely
                  arguing the same point but from different angles. Mainly I posted
                  earilier because I felt the assumption that there is a mathematical
                  equation "waiting" to be discovered is somewhat like "waiting for
                  god". but hey, brilliant brilliant minds could very easily prove me
                  wrong. I am just not convinced that their equations will apply across
                  all states of mind--that certainly is a tall order! think of it as my
                  "anthropology of mathematical consciousness": being Canadian I tend to
                  defend minority views-- in this case, states of consciousness! : )
                  >

                  > That's the advantage of a scientific theory - it has consensual
                  validity
                  > and is not just in the eye of the beholder.
                  >
                  I was thinking more along the lines of metanoia-- not so much in the
                  sense of the term as it appears in the New Testament but along the
                  lines that Joseph Chilton Pearce uses it in "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg":

                  http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html

                  how some people can use their mind-over-matter ability to perform
                  incredible and law-of-science defying feats--particularly hot coal
                  walkers in India.

                  might as well read the other excerpt too:
                  http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html

                  anyway, I think this is interesting but if it is straying too far from
                  the list, by all means let me know.

                  cheers,

                  -Chris
                • Daniel N. Washburn
                  ... Of course I agree, whatever image of the divine that inspires you is the one to meditate on. I have had similar thoughts -- western culture is mad about
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 21, 2005
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                    Chris wrote:

                    >Hi, in answer to your earlier questions:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >>I would much rather she be a master architect. Why do you think
                    >>architecture is a cold unfeeling profession? Granted that most of its
                    >>practioners have had any sense of beauty whipped out of them, but I am
                    >>awe struck by some of the great buildings of the past.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >I agree that the buildings of the past are indeed inspiring. I
                    >certainly do not feel think that architecture is an unfeeling
                    >profession--far from it! However, in terms of the divine, I believe
                    >that people tend to get hung up on images and in this case I prefer
                    >the loose and open-ended morphings of "coyote" or "trickster" to the
                    >more limited and restricted "architect" or "mathematician". It is all
                    >a question of terms to me: words are like yantras to get to the
                    >divine--tools for meditation. I suppose I could meditate on an
                    >architecture-divinity but I wouldn't get very far, personally. I just
                    >see an old bearded pseudo-abraham figure. bleh. I would rather
                    >something more dynamic and less entrenched in western tradition. so I
                    >proposed trickster--it captures the spirited dynamic of the universe
                    >that I see and sense so much more than the structured logic of
                    >architecture. I don't know about you but I encounter altered states of
                    >consciousness on a daily basis--not drugs but even just stepping from
                    >the bath in a relaxed frame of mind is an altered "reality".
                    >architecture could not possible articulate that for me. just my
                    >opinion, of course...
                    >
                    Of course I agree, whatever image of the divine that inspires you is the
                    one to meditate on. I have had
                    similar thoughts -- western culture is mad about planning out projects
                    as in architecture, whereas
                    creativity is really organic. Something germinates within and what
                    emerges has its own life and
                    unique, unexpected beauty. I constantly run up against this in doing
                    software development.
                    People want projects planned down to the last detail, with estimated
                    dates cast in concrete.
                    But really there is a lot of stuff you don't know up front and the
                    project grows unexpectedly
                    by its own internal logic. At least it should if the software is going
                    to be any good.

                    >
                    >
                    >>>So for me, any unified theory will have to come from the other side
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >of the
                    >
                    >
                    >>>fence: feeling, not reason.
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>I wish you great luck with the project, but you will have a hard time
                    >>communicating any progress you have made, since the world is awash in
                    >>spiritual hucksterism.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >yes, but that is not quite what I meant. I believe we are likely
                    >arguing the same point but from different angles. Mainly I posted
                    >earilier because I felt the assumption that there is a mathematical
                    >equation "waiting" to be discovered is somewhat like "waiting for
                    >god". but hey, brilliant brilliant minds could very easily prove me
                    >wrong. I am just not convinced that their equations will apply across
                    >all states of mind--that certainly is a tall order! think of it as my
                    >"anthropology of mathematical consciousness": being Canadian I tend to
                    >defend minority views-- in this case, states of consciousness! : )
                    >
                    >
                    I understand your problem but I'm a believer in the basic scientific
                    faith, all of nature is
                    reducible to scientific, mathematical laws. The multiplicity of what
                    exists has an underlieing
                    order. If all of matter is reducible to 100 odd elements with known
                    atomic structures, why not
                    all of consciousness being reducible to 100 elements with known structures?

                    >
                    >
                    >>That's the advantage of a scientific theory - it has consensual
                    >>
                    >>
                    >validity
                    >
                    >
                    >>and is not just in the eye of the beholder.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >I was thinking more along the lines of metanoia-- not so much in the
                    >sense of the term as it appears in the New Testament but along the
                    >lines that Joseph Chilton Pearce uses it in "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg":
                    >
                    >http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html
                    >
                    >how some people can use their mind-over-matter ability to perform
                    >incredible and law-of-science defying feats--particularly hot coal
                    >walkers in India.
                    >
                    >might as well read the other excerpt too:
                    >http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html
                    >
                    >
                    I'm still thinking about these excerpts -- talk to you about it later.

                    Dan

                    >anyway, I think this is interesting but if it is straying too far from
                    >the list, by all means let me know.
                    >
                    >cheers,
                    >
                    >-Chris
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >Topics suitable for discussion in this e-list can be found at:
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                  • mikebispham@aol.com
                    Forgive the intrusion... In a message dated 7/21/05 11:43:49 AM GMT Daylight Time, ... For a good article on the physics of fire walking, see:
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 21, 2005
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                      Forgive the intrusion...

                      In a message dated 7/21/05 11:43:49 AM GMT Daylight Time, danw@... writes:

                      >how some people can use their mind-over-matter ability to perform
                      >incredible and law-of-science defying feats--particularly hot coal
                      >walkers in India.
                      >
                      >might as well read the other excerpt too:
                      >http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html

                      >
                      I'm still thinking about these excerpts -- talk to you about it later.

                      Dan



                      For a good article on the physics of fire walking, see:

                      http://www.csicop.org/genx/firewalk/index.html

                      Extract:

                      The Physics Instructor Who Walks on Fire  Matt Nisbet


                      David Willey is a science educator who is hot to trot on fiery coals, and who is bringing death-defying science demonstrations to national and international audiences. Generation SXeptic caught up with Willey on a recent firewalk in Buffalo, New York. We wanted to find out what in the name of science would motivate a man to walk on fire, stride across broken glass, sink his hand in molten lead, and pick up orange-hot space tiles with his bare hands. October 25, 2000


                      David Willey is not your ordinary science teacher. To put it mildly, he goes to extremes. Willey, an instructor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, walks across hot coals, sinks his hand in molten lead, strides across broken glass, and has concrete blocks smashed across his body while lying on a bed of nails. Each daring feat is a demonstration in science that Willey performs at venues ranging from college classrooms to NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.When I heard that Willey was scheduled to perform and lecture at the Center for Inquiry-International in Buffalo, New York, headquarters to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and Skeptical Inquirer magazine, I was compelled to investigate. On a Saturday afternoon in mid-September, I drove in from Ithaca, New York, to meet and interview Willey just before he began preparations for the evening's firewalk and demonstrations. "

                      The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) is a superb resource for those wishing to familiarsie themselves with scientific perspective on claims of the paranormal and much else. 

                      On Quantum mechanics see:  http://www.csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html

                      Extract:

                      Quantum Quackery

                      Quantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations.   Victor J. Stenger


                      Certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the revolutionary theory developed early in the century to account for the anomalous behavior of light and atoms, are being misconstrued so as to imply that only thoughts are real and that the physical universe is the product of a cosmic mind to which the human mind is linked throughout space and time. This interpretation has provided an ostensibly scientific basis for various mind-over-matter claims, from ESP to alternative medicine. "Quantum mysticism" also forms part of the intellectual backdrop for the postmodern assertion that science has no claim on objective reality. The word "quantum" appears frequently in New Age and modern mystical literature. For example, physician Deepak Chopra (1989) has successfully promoted a notion he calls quantum healing, which suggests we can cure all our ills by the application of sufficient mental power. According to Chopra, this profound conclusion can be drawn from quantum physics, which he says has demonstrated that "the physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world" (Chopra 1993, 5). Chopra also asserts that "beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell," and "the world you live in, including the experience of your body, is completely dictated by how you learn to perceive it" (Chopra 1993, 6). Thus illness and aging are an illusion and we can achieve what Chopra calls "ageless body, timeless mind" by the sheer force of consciousness.

                      Amit Goswami, in The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, argues that the existence of paranormal phenomena is supported by quantum mechanics:


                      " . . . psychic phenomena, such as distant viewing and out-of-body experiences, are examples of the nonlocal operation of consciousness . . . . "

                      Quantum
                      mechanics undergirds such a theory by providing crucial support for the case of nonlocality of consciousness. (Goswami 1993, 136)


                      Since no convincing, reproducible evidence for psychic phenomena has been found, despite 150 years of effort, this is a flimsy basis indeed for quantum consciousness.  "

                      About the Author

                      Victor J. Stenger
                      is professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of Not By Design: The Origin of the Universe (Prometheus Books, 1988) and Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses (Prometheus Books, 1990). This paper is based on his latest book, The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (Prometheus Books, 1995).

                      Cheers,

                      Mike


                    • Daniel N. Washburn
                      Hi, Mike - Thanks for the link to Stenger s article - from my own popular science knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing. Here are
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 22, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hi, Mike -

                        Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                        knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing.

                        Here are a couple of reviews of Stenger's book The Unconscious Quantum:
                        Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology taken from Amazon.

                        As to his claim that there have been no validated results from
                        parapsychology, did you read the paper on the direct intervention of
                        consciousness I posted a link to a while back. There have been
                        hundreds of reproduced results showing that human beings can change the
                        probabilities of things like radioactive emmissions and the throw of dice.

                        Dan

                        Dr. Stenger can be informative and even witty but ultimately I'd have to
                        say this book is more than a little misleading. Other reviewers have
                        walked away with the notion that quantum mechanics "makes perfect
                        sense", something few thoughtful physicists would be comfortable saying.
                        I'm an atheist who has no patience with New Age writers but Stenger
                        seems to be almost obssessively on guard against any hint of mysticism,
                        weirdness or even ambiguity. The book is published by an off-shoot of
                        the magazine SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, and it shares that publication's
                        tendency to strike an almost holier-than-thou tone -- or I should say a
                        "rationaler-than-thou" tone. Stenger does too much sneering and
                        dismissing. He tries to buffalo his readers by assuring them that the
                        mathematics of quantum mechanics isn't weird -- just the WORDS are.
                        That's a weak argument at best. Applied mathematics doesn't usually lead
                        to paradoxical physical concepts. Stenger's own preferred interpretation
                        of QM involves recognizing that the relativistic version of the
                        Schrodinger equation has solutions that imply backward travel in time.
                        In other words, he capitalizes on the weirdness implicit in the
                        purportedly unweird mathematics (Traditionally the "reverse" solutions
                        are ignored.) Incidentally, Stenger argues that time-travel on a
                        sub-atomic scale somehow doesn't even qualify as weird -- just
                        counter-intuitive. That, apparently, is a more rational word than "weird".

                        Stenger repeatedly belittles alternate interpretations of QM and points
                        out that functionally all serious interpretations are the same. This
                        means that the interpretations he favors have no more going for them
                        technically than the ones he derides. His objections are as much
                        philosophical as they are scientific -- and yet thoughout the book he is
                        contemptuous of philosophical considerations. He finds holistic hidden
                        variables implausible but then acknowleges (very much in passing) that
                        his time-travel variation of QM is also not accepted by most physicists.
                        Apparently one's philosophical perspective is more important than
                        Stenger wants to admit. He even goes so far as to say that most
                        practicing physicists don't think at all about philosophic stuff -- so
                        it can't be very important. That's another misrepresentation. Many,
                        maybe most, physicists simply memorize the formalisms of their
                        profession and contribute little to its development. The giants of QM,
                        on the other hand, were frequently aware of and intrigued by the
                        implications of their formalisms. John Bell, a man Stenger admires,
                        spent his career encouraging scientists to more closely examine the
                        assumptions of the Copenhagen interpretation -- and he made a hallmark
                        contribution to QM because of his philosophical curiosity.

                        Stenger seems always on edge at the thought of holism and this leads to
                        another of the book's repeated contradictions. His suggestion that
                        particles from the future travel back to the past and influence the
                        present seems pretty darned "holistic" to me. (That's not to say it
                        couldn't be true.) Why is spatial holism metaphysical while temporal
                        holism merely counter-intuitive? Both ideas have theoretical
                        justifications and neither has significant empirical support. Why should
                        only one of these theories be considered respectable? Why shouldn't both
                        be further developed?

                        Decoherence is an intriguing idea but also seems to have more than a
                        tinge of holism about it. (Sub-atomic particles, the theory says, have
                        an existence because of each other. What collapses all those mysterious
                        wave functions [or rather, what renders collapse unneccessary] is the
                        interactive nature of reality itself. The theory still seems to suggest
                        -- like its precusor interpretation, Copenhagen -- that if taken
                        individually particles don't always precisely exist.)

                        Contrast Brian Greene's new book with this one. Green has a deep
                        appreciation for De Broglie-Bohm hidden variables, while by no means
                        accepting that the theory is on the right track. He admires decoherence
                        but recognizes that to date it's still begging a few questions. Also
                        consider John Gribbin's Q IS FOR QUANTUM. It's a basic, excellent and
                        nuanced overview of the field in the form of an encyclopedia. Gribbin is
                        fair to all serious interpretations of QM, while making his own
                        preferences clear. He doesn't slight the partly-philosophical motivation
                        for those preferences.

                        Lastly, let me again stress that the weirdness of QM is not purely, or
                        even largely, a useless metaphysical misconception. Technicians have
                        forced a single atom to occupy two separate places at the same moment.
                        As Stan Lee would put it, "Nuff said."

                        [Dan - Brian Greene's book The Fabric of the Cosmos is brilliant]




                        Stenger sets himself up against almost all of the major figures of 20th
                        century quantum mechanics in denying the existence of nonlocality
                        (action at a distance). Many experiments have demonstrated nonlocality,
                        with one of the best performed by a French team headed by Alain Aspect
                        of the Institut d' Optique Theorique et Appliquee. Stenger admits that
                        the team "is probably right" and then goes on to present his own dubious
                        theory that tries to salvage every assumption of classical physics
                        except determinisim. Stenger holds the opinion that leading theorists
                        such as Bohm, Schrodinger, Stapp, Josephson, De Beauregard and many
                        others are all wrong. Why doesn't he include in his book comments on his
                        views from some of these theorists who disagree with him?

                        His motivation for attempting to remove nonlocality from QM is clear:
                        "At least this would put an end to mystical speculations about quantum
                        mechanics demanding a holistic universe" (page 197).

                        When he writes on subjects other than physics, his arguments are crude,
                        unsophisticated, and display his ignorance. For instance, "psychic
                        phenomena have failed to be verified after 150 years of attempts
                        involving thousands of independent experiments." (page 289). In the
                        first place , the first sophisticated and systematic research only goes
                        back to 1882 with the founding of the Society for Psychical Research,
                        not 1845 (his book was written in 1995). Postive results have been
                        consistently obtained, but they have always been discounted by critics
                        if the protocol was not 100% perfect, thereby allowing the possibility
                        of a 'normal' explanation - such as fraud. However, modern methods have
                        become virtually foolproof, and combined with modern statistical
                        techniques such as meta-analysis, they have obtained
                        independently-replicated results with odds against chance of over ten
                        thousand to one (see chapters 3-5 in The Conscious Universe by Dean
                        Radin, additional sources listed there).

                        The only evidence Stenger offers for his narrow opinion is one-sentence
                        reference to a highly-controversial 1987 report written by two
                        arch-skeptics, psychologists Ray Hyman and James Alcock. For a balanced
                        discussion of the Hyman-Alcock report, see Radin's book, pages 215-218.
                        If the new age goop in the bookstores needs to be balanced by Stenger's
                        book, then Stenger's book needs to be balanced with far more
                        sophisticated works like Radin's. For more balanced discussions of QM,
                        see The Mystery of the Quantum World by Euan Squires, and The Quantum
                        World by JC Polkinghorne.


                        mikebispham@... wrote:

                        > Forgive the intrusion...
                        >
                        > In a message dated 7/21/05 11:43:49 AM GMT Daylight Time,
                        > danw@... writes:
                        >
                        >> >how some people can use their mind-over-matter ability to perform
                        >> >incredible and law-of-science defying feats--particularly hot coal
                        >> >walkers in India.
                        >> >
                        >> >might as well read the other excerpt too:
                        >> >http://www.energybreath.com/Pages/crack2.html
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> I'm still thinking about these excerpts -- talk to you about it later.
                        >>
                        >> Dan
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > For a good article on the physics of fire walking, see:
                        >
                        > http://www.csicop.org/genx/firewalk/index.html
                        >
                        > Extract:
                        >
                        > The Physics Instructor Who Walks on Fire Matt Nisbet
                        > <http://www.csicop.org/genx/firewalk/#author>
                        >
                        >> David Willey is a science educator who is hot to trot on fiery coals,
                        >> and who is bringing death-defying science demonstrations to national
                        >> and international audiences. Generation SXeptic caught up with Willey
                        >> on a recent firewalk in Buffalo, New York. We wanted to find out what
                        >> in the name of science would motivate a man to walk on fire, stride
                        >> across broken glass, sink his hand in molten lead, and pick up
                        >> orange-hot space tiles with his bare hands. October 25, 2000
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > David Willey is not your ordinary science teacher. To put it mildly,
                        > he goes to extremes. Willey, an instructor of Physics at the
                        > University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, walks across hot coals, sinks
                        > his hand in molten lead, strides across broken glass, and has concrete
                        > blocks smashed across his body while lying on a bed of nails. Each
                        > daring feat is a demonstration in science that Willey performs at
                        > venues ranging from college classrooms to NBC's Tonight Show with Jay
                        > Leno.When I heard that Willey was scheduled to perform and lecture at
                        > the Center for Inquiry-International in Buffalo, New York,
                        > headquarters to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
                        > Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and Skeptical Inquirer magazine, I
                        > was compelled to investigate. On a Saturday afternoon in
                        > mid-September, I drove in from Ithaca, New York, to meet and interview
                        > Willey just before he began preparations for the evening's firewalk
                        > and demonstrations. "
                        >
                        > The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
                        > Paranormal (CSICOP) is a superb resource for those wishing to
                        > familiarsie themselves with scientific perspective on claims of the
                        > paranormal and much else.
                        >
                        > On Quantum mechanics see:
                        > http://www.csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html
                        >
                        > Extract:
                        >
                        > Quantum Quackery
                        >
                        > Quantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the
                        > mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special
                        > role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all
                        > observations. Victor J. Stenger
                        >
                        >
                        > Certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the revolutionary theory
                        > developed early in the century to account for the anomalous behavior
                        > of light and atoms, are being misconstrued so as to imply that only
                        > thoughts are real and that the physical universe is the product of a
                        > cosmic mind to which the human mind is linked throughout space and
                        > time. This interpretation has provided an ostensibly scientific basis
                        > for various mind-over-matter claims, from ESP to alternative medicine.
                        > "Quantum mysticism" also forms part of the intellectual backdrop for
                        > the postmodern assertion that science has no claim on objective
                        > reality. The word "quantum" appears frequently in New Age and modern
                        > mystical literature. For example, physician Deepak Chopra (1989) has
                        > successfully promoted a notion he calls quantum healing, which
                        > suggests we can cure all our ills by the application of sufficient
                        > mental power. According to Chopra, this profound conclusion can be
                        > drawn from quantum physics, which he says has demonstrated that "the
                        > physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer.
                        > We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world" (Chopra
                        > 1993, 5). Chopra also asserts that "beliefs, thoughts, and emotions
                        > create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell," and
                        > "the world you live in, including the experience of your body, is
                        > completely dictated by how you learn to perceive it" (Chopra 1993, 6).
                        > Thus illness and aging are an illusion and we can achieve what Chopra
                        > calls "ageless body, timeless mind" by the sheer force of consciousness.
                        >
                        > Amit Goswami, in The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates
                        > the Material World, argues that the existence of paranormal phenomena
                        > is supported by quantum mechanics:
                        >
                        > " . . . psychic phenomena, such as distant viewing and out-of-body
                        > experiences, are examples of the nonlocal operation of consciousness .
                        > . . . "
                        >
                        > Quantum
                        >
                        >> mechanics undergirds such a theory by providing crucial support for
                        >> the case of nonlocality of consciousness. (Goswami 1993, 136)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Since no convincing, reproducible evidence for psychic phenomena has
                        > been found, despite 150 years of effort, this is a flimsy basis indeed
                        > for quantum consciousness. "
                        >
                        > About the Author
                        >
                        > Victor J. Stenger is professor of physics and astronomy at the
                        > University of Hawaii and the author of Not By Design: The Origin of
                        > the Universe <http://www.csicop.org/q/book/0879754516> (Prometheus
                        > Books, 1988) and Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond
                        > the Senses <http://www.csicop.org/q/book/087975575X> (Prometheus
                        > Books, 1990). This paper is based on his latest book, The Unconscious
                        > Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology
                        > <http://www.csicop.org/q/book/1573920223> (Prometheus Books, 1995).
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        >
                        > Mike
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Topics suitable for discussion in this e-list can be found at:
                        > http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredland.html
                        >
                        > To UNsubscribe, send email to:
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                      • mikebispham@aol.com
                        Hi Dan You wrote: Hi, Mike - Thanks for the link to Stenger s article - from my own popular science knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 22, 2005
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                          Hi Dan

                          You wrote:

                          "Hi, Mike -

                          Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                          knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing."

                          I'm sure you did!  Your 'understanding' of the issues has to be broken before you can find a new understanding consistent with his.  Bear in mind: this guy is a trained and experienced physicist who, we might imagine, roughly knows his stuff.  Whereas you are a software engineer who's read a few popular books on the topic, as well as a range of mystical extensions that you find agreeable to your worldview and are keen to defend.  I know who I'd prefer to believe.

                          "... a couple of reviews of Stenger's book The Unconscious Quantum:
                          Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology taken from Amazon. "

                          Thanks, comments below

                          "As to  his claim that there  have been  no validated results from
                          parapsychology, did you read the  paper on the direct intervention of
                          consciousness I  posted a link to a while back.  "

                          No.  If you would like to repost it I may take a look.

                          "There have been hundreds of reproduced results showing that human beings can change the
                          probabilities of things like radioactive emmissions and the throw of dice."

                          Are these properly validated studies?  What are your references?  (Sorry to sound like an Old Git but unreferenced claims are utterly valueless)

                          As far as I'm aware there have never been any properly validated studies of suchlike.  As I recall, there's a been a million dollar prize waiting for several decades for someone who can show any of the so-called 'paranormal' phenomena to exist - it has never been claimed.  If you want to argue against established physics you'll need proper evidence. 

                          Of the reviews you've posted: first, you've been incredibly selective.  The great bulk of the reviewers recognise that it is the author's intention to demonstrate the ungrounded nature of 'mystical' 'quantum theories' and that he does a good job of doing so. 

                          Of your one-sided selection: the first reveals only that his nickname is 'diddydoddydave' or suchlike.  Why on earth we should want to utilyze his critique as part of our effort to determine the truth about posited relationships between quantum mechanics and 'psi' claims is beyond me.  The seconds _claims_ several degrees in vaguely related fields.  He's no quantum physicist; and his wish list reveals his metaphysical interest... 

                          He writes:


                          "If the new age goop in the bookstores needs to be balanced by Stenger's
                          book,


                          The notion that the separate authorities of science and mystism can somehow be 'balanced'  is incredible.  The idea that a febrile wishlist, a spiritual comfort blanket with absolutely no real ability, willingness or desire to distinguish truth from falsehood, no method of evaluating statements, no judgement as whether ideas are credible of not... can be compared with a multitrillion dollar, centuries-long global effort to discover the possibility of truths of nature... is utterly senseless.  It creationism vs evolution with knobs on.  It reveals the typical untrained mind of a new-ager - unable to distiguish between invaluable 'knowledge' and worthless 'opinion.'

                          ____________________



                          My point in all this Dan is to say the net - and the bookshops - are stuffed full of contradictory information, and that only by having a really good nose for both authorititive text and bullshit, and being prepared to look for, and look at - and then tentatively accept - only the very best evidence, can we build beliefs that will be valuble and durable.  If we select only those sources that comfort us and confirm our pre-conceptions we are _certain_ to end up believing in conceptual sand-castles. 

                          There are hundreds of them; and the vague web they form in your neck of the woods we can characterize as 'new-age.'  Their most outstanding feature is that they are confused and unproveable, and are _designed_ to prop up some kind of 'spiritual reality'.  They rely on one-another, and the 'higher' (some would say that should be 'lower') forms are skilled in imitating 'proper' studies.  The new-ageism you are (latterly) keen to defend is simply the lastest religious cult; designed - or evolved - to 'impart' comforting 'wisdom' to those unable to discern its fraudulence.  It major proponents are united by the mutual uncritical support they offer each-other, and the fact that they earn a living from it.  Its a business, trading on human fears.

                          If and when new-age ideas manage to make an impact on 'proper' studies, they will be accepted and absorbed by science - even if by doing so they turn it on its head.  To date that hasn't happened; nor is it likely to. 

                          That 'quantum theories' of consciousness and generalised 'psi' events are of any real value can be shown to be nonsense.  Its not easy to do so - you have to look for, then look at, the evidence against - but you must do that.  They may lead in useful directions, and we'll all be very interested if they do - but the huge bulk of the claims made for them are both bunkum and fraudulent; and that position is agreed across the entire community of qualified persons - i.e. trained quantum physicists. 


                          Do tell me where you think I'm wrong Dan - but please do: a) include ref.s that I can track down (and critique); b) not bother quoting 'opinion' in defence of your position.  If you can't back it up properly, I can't take it seriously. 

                          Cheers,

                          Mike
                        • Daniel N. Washburn
                          Mike: Here is a statement by the physicist Evan Harris Walker http://users.rcn.com/wcri/wcri/ Position Statement: Members of the parapsychological community
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 24, 2005
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                            Mike: Here is a statement by the physicist Evan Harris Walker

                            http://users.rcn.com/wcri/wcri/


                            Position Statement:
                            Members of the parapsychological community are often asked about their
                            belief or skepticism about the reality of parapsychological phenomena. I
                            have this to say: the phenomena are real. I have 9 reasons for this
                            statement. I give them in ascending order of their importance.

                            1. I have seen them happen.
                            2. I have done them—made them happen.
                            3. I have experimentally verified their reality in formal, reported
                            experimentation.
                            4. J. B. Rhine adequately verified their reality experimentally.
                            5. A large number of competent experimental scientists have
                            independently confirmed and expanded on Rhine’s work.
                            6. The phenomena are consistent with quantum mechanical principles.
                            7. These phenomena can and have been incorporated into a theory known as
                            the Quantum Observer Theory of Psi Phenomena.
                            8. With these phenomena included, physics provides a more complete
                            scientific understanding than we would have in their absence.
                            9. Careful and competent researchers have independently tested and
                            verified surprising and unexpected predictions of this Quantum Observer
                            Theory of Psi Phenomena.

                            You can look at his Quantum theory of consciousness at

                            http://users.rcn.com/wcri/wcri/Consciousness%20text%2001.htm

                            Here is the paper summarizing hundreds of experiments that show that the
                            direct intentions of human consciousness can alter the probabilities of
                            such diverse things as radioactive emission and the fall of thrown dice.

                            I hope you can be open to the truth that it empirically demonstrates.

                            http://integral-inquiry.com/docs/649/intentions.doc.

                            Dan

                            mikebispham@... wrote:

                            > Hi Dan
                            >
                            > You wrote:
                            >
                            > "Hi, Mike -
                            >
                            > Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                            > knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing."
                            >
                            > I'm sure you did! Your 'understanding' of the issues has to be broken
                            > before you can find a new understanding consistent with his. Bear in
                            > mind: this guy is a trained and experienced physicist who, we might
                            > imagine, roughly knows his stuff. Whereas you are a software engineer
                            > who's read a few popular books on the topic, as well as a range of
                            > mystical extensions that you find agreeable to your worldview and are
                            > keen to defend. I know who I'd prefer to believe.
                            >
                            > "... a couple of reviews of Stenger's book The Unconscious Quantum:
                            > Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology taken from Amazon. "
                            >
                            > Thanks, comments below
                            >
                            > "As to his claim that there have been no validated results from
                            > parapsychology, did you read the paper on the direct intervention of
                            > consciousness I posted a link to a while back. "
                            >
                            > No. If you would like to repost it I may take a look.
                            >
                            > "There have been hundreds of reproduced results showing that human
                            > beings can change the
                            > probabilities of things like radioactive emmissions and the throw of
                            > dice."
                            >
                            > Are these properly validated studies? What are your references? (Sorry
                            > to sound like an Old Git but unreferenced claims are utterly valueless)
                            >
                            > As far as I'm aware there have never been any properly validated
                            > studies of suchlike. As I recall, there's a been a million dollar
                            > prize waiting for several decades for someone who can show any of the
                            > so-called 'paranormal' phenomena to exist - it has never been claimed.
                            > If you want to argue against established physics you'll need proper
                            > evidence.
                            >
                            > Of the reviews you've posted: first, you've been incredibly selective.
                            > The great bulk of the reviewers recognise that it is the author's
                            > intention to demonstrate the ungrounded nature of 'mystical' 'quantum
                            > theories' and that he does a good job of doing so.
                            >
                            > Of your one-sided selection: the first reveals only that his nickname
                            > is 'diddydoddydave' or suchlike. Why on earth we should want to
                            > utilyze his critique as part of our effort to determine the truth
                            > about posited relationships between quantum mechanics and 'psi' claims
                            > is beyond me. The seconds _claims_ several degrees in vaguely related
                            > fields. He's no quantum physicist; and his wish list reveals his
                            > metaphysical interest...
                            >
                            > He writes:
                            >
                            >> "If the new age goop in the bookstores needs to be balanced by Stenger's
                            >> book,
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > The notion that the separate authorities of science and mystism can
                            > somehow be 'balanced' is incredible. The idea that a febrile wishlist,
                            > a spiritual comfort blanket with absolutely no real ability,
                            > willingness or desire to distinguish truth from falsehood, no method
                            > of evaluating statements, no judgement as whether ideas are credible
                            > of not... can be compared with a multitrillion dollar, centuries-long
                            > global effort to discover the possibility of truths of nature... is
                            > utterly senseless. It creationism vs evolution with knobs on. It
                            > reveals the typical untrained mind of a new-ager - unable to
                            > distiguish between invaluable 'knowledge' and worthless 'opinion.'
                            >
                            > ____________________
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > My point in all this Dan is to say the net - and the bookshops - are
                            > stuffed full of contradictory information, and that only by having a
                            > really good nose for both authorititive text and bullshit, and being
                            > prepared to look for, and look at - and then tentatively accept - only
                            > the very best evidence, can we build beliefs that will be valuble and
                            > durable. If we select only those sources that comfort us and confirm
                            > our pre-conceptions we are _certain_ to end up believing in conceptual
                            > sand-castles.
                            >
                            > There are hundreds of them; and the vague web they form in your neck
                            > of the woods we can characterize as 'new-age.' Their most outstanding
                            > feature is that they are confused and unproveable, and are _designed_
                            > to prop up some kind of 'spiritual reality'. They rely on one-another,
                            > and the 'higher' (some would say that should be 'lower') forms are
                            > skilled in imitating 'proper' studies. The new-ageism you are
                            > (latterly) keen to defend is simply the lastest religious cult;
                            > designed - or evolved - to 'impart' comforting 'wisdom' to those
                            > unable to discern its fraudulence. It major proponents are united by
                            > the mutual uncritical support they offer each-other, and the fact that
                            > they earn a living from it. Its a business, trading on human fears.
                            >
                            > If and when new-age ideas manage to make an impact on 'proper'
                            > studies, they will be accepted and absorbed by science - even if by
                            > doing so they turn it on its head. To date that hasn't happened; nor
                            > is it likely to.
                            >
                            > That 'quantum theories' of consciousness and generalised 'psi' events
                            > are of any real value can be shown to be nonsense. Its not easy to do
                            > so - you have to look for, then look at, the evidence against - but
                            > you must do that. They may lead in useful directions, and we'll all be
                            > very interested if they do - but the huge bulk of the claims made for
                            > them are both bunkum and fraudulent; and that position is agreed
                            > across the entire community of qualified persons - i.e. trained
                            > quantum physicists.
                            >
                            > Do tell me where you think I'm wrong Dan - but please do: a) include
                            > ref.s that I can track down (and critique); b) not bother quoting
                            > 'opinion' in defence of your position. If you can't back it up
                            > properly, I can't take it seriously.
                            >
                            > Cheers,
                            >
                            > Mike
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Topics suitable for discussion in this e-list can be found at:
                            > http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredland.html
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                          • mikebispham@aol.com
                            Hi Dan, Thanks for the ref.s - I ll take a look around. Mike In a message dated 7/24/05 8:05:49 PM GMT Daylight Time, danw@netmastersinc.com writes: Mike:
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 25, 2005
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                              Hi Dan,
                               
                              Thanks for the ref.s - I'll take a look around.
                               
                              Mike
                               
                              In a message dated 7/24/05 8:05:49 PM GMT Daylight Time, danw@... writes:
                              Mike: Here is a statement by the physicist Evan Harris Walker

                              http://users.rcn.com/wcri/wcri/


                              Position Statement:
                              Members of the parapsychological community are often asked about their
                              belief or skepticism about the reality of parapsychological phenomena. I
                              have this to say: the phenomena are real. I have 9 reasons for this
                              statement. I give them in ascending order of their importance.

                              1. I have seen them happen.
                              2. I have done them—made them happen.
                              3. I have experimentally verified their reality in formal, reported
                              experimentation.
                              4. J. B. Rhine adequately verified their reality experimentally.
                              5. A large number of competent experimental scientists have
                              independently confirmed and expanded on Rhine’s work.
                              6. The phenomena are consistent with quantum mechanical principles.
                              7. These phenomena can and have been incorporated into a theory known as
                              the Quantum Observer Theory of Psi Phenomena.
                              8. With these phenomena included, physics provides a more complete
                              scientific understanding than we would have in their absence.
                              9. Careful and competent researchers have independently tested and
                              verified surprising and unexpected predictions of this Quantum Observer
                              Theory of Psi Phenomena.

                              You can look at his Quantum theory of consciousness at

                              http://users.rcn.com/wcri/wcri/Consciousness%20text%2001.htm

                              Here is the paper summarizing hundreds of experiments that show that the
                              direct intentions of human consciousness can alter the probabilities of
                              such diverse things as radioactive emission and the fall of thrown dice.

                              I hope you can be open to the truth that it empirically demonstrates.

                              http://integral-inquiry.com/docs/649/intentions.doc.

                              Dan
                               
                            • Daniel N. Washburn
                              ... Yes but he is a skeptic wacko (your word) and you don t even have a pop science understanding of quantum mechanics, so you can believe whatever you want,
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 25, 2005
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                                mikebispham@... wrote:

                                > Hi Dan
                                >
                                > You wrote:
                                >
                                > "Hi, Mike -
                                >
                                > Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                                > knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing."
                                >
                                > I'm sure you did! Your 'understanding' of the issues has to be broken
                                > before you can find a new understanding consistent with his. Bear in
                                > mind: this guy is a trained and experienced physicist who, we might
                                > imagine, roughly knows his stuff. Whereas you are a software engineer
                                > who's read a few popular books on the topic, as well as a range of
                                > mystical extensions that you find agreeable to your worldview and are
                                > keen to defend. I know who I'd prefer to believe.

                                Yes but he is a 'skeptic' wacko (your word) and you don't even have a
                                pop science understanding of quantum mechanics, so you can believe
                                whatever you want, but as an uninformed opinion it is totally valuless.
                                I am the one here who has some (very small) basis for separating the
                                wackos from the genuine scientists. And since you have no hesitation in
                                refering to such giants as Sir Roger Penrose as a wacko, please grant me
                                the same right in my estimation of Stenger.

                                >
                                > "... a couple of reviews of Stenger's book The Unconscious Quantum:
                                > Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology taken from Amazon. "
                                >
                                > Thanks, comments below
                                >
                                > "As to his claim that there have been no validated results from
                                > parapsychology, did you read the paper on the direct intervention of
                                > consciousness I posted a link to a while back. "
                                >
                                > No. If you would like to repost it I may take a look.
                                >
                                > "There have been hundreds of reproduced results showing that human
                                > beings can change the
                                > probabilities of things like radioactive emmissions and the throw of
                                > dice."
                                >
                                > Are these properly validated studies? What are your references?
                                > (Sorry to sound like an Old Git but unreferenced claims are utterly
                                > valueless)
                                >
                                > As far as I'm aware there have never been any properly validated
                                > studies of suchlike. As I recall, there's a been a million dollar
                                > prize waiting for several decades for someone who can show any of the
                                > so-called 'paranormal' phenomena to exist - it has never been
                                > claimed. If you want to argue against established physics you'll need
                                > proper evidence.

                                I have posted the paper by Braude on the evidence for Direct Intention
                                of Human Consciousness and the statement by Evan Harris Walker. Here
                                are some more references to Walker's work:

                                http://www.parapsych.org/members/e_h_walker.html

                                http://users.rcn.com/wcri/Dualism

                                >
                                > Of the reviews you've posted: first, you've been incredibly
                                > selective. The great bulk of the reviewers recognise that it is the
                                > author's intention to demonstrate the ungrounded nature of 'mystical'
                                > 'quantum theories' and that he does a good job of doing so.

                                I chose the ones that I thought had interesting and possibly valid
                                criticisms of his work.

                                >
                                >
                                > Of your one-sided selection: the first reveals only that his nickname
                                > is 'diddydoddydave' or suchlike. Why on earth we should want to
                                > utilyze his critique as part of our effort to determine the truth
                                > about posited relationships between quantum mechanics and 'psi' claims
                                > is beyond me. The seconds _claims_ several degrees in vaguely related
                                > fields. He's no quantum physicist; and his wish list reveals his
                                > metaphysical interest...


                                Having metaphysical interests does not disqualify one from being a
                                scientist. Newton believed in God, studied alchemy, was interested in
                                hermetic philosophy, and spent more time in bible research than he did
                                on physics. (He also invented the cat flap, by the way. He got tired
                                of letting the cat in and out while he was working in a dark room on
                                optical experiments.) Kepler was one of us -- he had a whole theory of
                                the planetary orbits based on the nesting of the platonic solids. etc.

                                >
                                >
                                > He writes:
                                >
                                >> "If the new age goop in the bookstores needs to be balanced by Stenger's
                                >> book,
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > The notion that the separate authorities of science and mystism can
                                > somehow be 'balanced' is incredible. The idea that a febrile
                                > wishlist, a spiritual comfort blanket with absolutely no real ability,
                                > willingness or desire to distinguish truth from falsehood, no method
                                > of evaluating statements, no judgement as whether ideas are credible
                                > of not... can be compared with a multitrillion dollar, centuries-long
                                > global effort to discover the possibility of truths of nature... is
                                > utterly senseless. It creationism vs evolution with knobs on. It
                                > reveals the typical untrained mind of a new-ager - unable to
                                > distiguish between invaluable 'knowledge' and worthless 'opinion.'


                                This just shows your science bias, Mike. You discount any form of
                                knowledge acquisition other than the scientific method, such as inborn
                                structures of human consciousness, the collective unconscious, artistry,
                                empathy, psychic perception, intuition, revelation, channeling, or
                                communications from extra-terrestrials, and then attack those with other
                                beliefs as having untrained, new-age minds. I can show you a thousand
                                instances of mystical experience of the I became one with the
                                transcendent type that you cannot and will not integrate into your
                                narrow scientific reality. I can even show you eye-witness accounts of
                                miracles. In my estimation there are other valid ways to knowedge that
                                involve turning inward. What does Jane Austen know that you don't
                                know? What does Gandhi know that you don't know? What does Mother
                                Theresa know that you don't know?

                                >
                                > ____________________
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > My point in all this Dan is to say the net - and the bookshops - are
                                > stuffed full of contradictory information, and that only by having a
                                > really good nose for both authorititive text and bullshit, and being
                                > prepared to look for, and look at - and then tentatively accept - only
                                > the very best evidence, can we build beliefs that will be valuble and
                                > durable. If we select only those sources that comfort us and confirm
                                > our pre-conceptions we are _certain_ to end up believing in conceptual
                                > sand-castles.
                                >
                                > There are hundreds of them; and the vague web they form in your neck
                                > of the woods we can characterize as 'new-age.' Their most outstanding
                                > feature is that they are confused and unproveable, and are _designed_
                                > to prop up some kind of 'spiritual reality'. They rely on
                                > one-another, and the 'higher' (some would say that should be 'lower')
                                > forms are skilled in imitating 'proper' studies. The new-ageism you
                                > are (latterly) keen to defend is simply the lastest religious cult;
                                > designed - or evolved - to 'impart' comforting 'wisdom' to those
                                > unable to discern its fraudulence. It major proponents are united by
                                > the mutual uncritical support they offer each-other, and the fact that
                                > they earn a living from it. Its a business, trading on human fears.
                                >
                                I remind you that Frithof Capra was a highly regarded phsicist and
                                Deepak Chopra was a highly regarded doctor. What they are engaged in
                                doing is trying to reconcile the two cultures, science and humanism. A
                                noble endeavor indeed, not a 'trading on human fears'. Yes, there is a
                                lot of loopy, goopy new agism around. There is also a genuine effort to
                                understand the farther edges of science, such as the quantum entaglement
                                experiments that show a transcendence of space and time, and reconcile
                                it with psi phenomena and mystical experience.


                                >
                                > If and when new-age ideas manage to make an impact on 'proper'
                                > studies, they will be accepted and absorbed by science - even if by
                                > doing so they turn it on its head. To date that hasn't happened; nor
                                > is it likely to.
                                >
                                You show a high level of naivete here. There is a huge bias toward
                                'hard' science. I used to feel it when I was a psychologist. And
                                despite its results, parapsychology has been an orphan science for years.

                                >
                                >
                                > That 'quantum theories' of consciousness and generalised 'psi' events
                                > are of any real value can be shown to be nonsense. Its not easy to do
                                > so - you have to look for, then look at, the evidence against - but
                                > you must do that. They may lead in useful directions, and we'll all
                                > be very interested if they do - but the huge bulk of the claims made
                                > for them are both bunkum and fraudulent; and that position is agreed
                                > across the entire community of qualified persons - i.e. trained
                                > quantum physicists.
                                >
                                Most of the community of trained quantum physicists have not even looked
                                into quantum theories of consciousness or into psi. To do so would be
                                to endanger their careers. So what you are hearing is the voice of a
                                few skeptics claiming the mantle of the profession, but in reality they
                                are the voice of classical physics hard science bias, the voice of
                                ignorance.

                                >
                                >
                                > Do tell me where you think I'm wrong Dan - but please do: a) include
                                > ref.s that I can track down (and critique); b) not bother quoting
                                > 'opinion' in defence of your position. If you can't back it up
                                > properly, I can't take it seriously.
                                >
                                See my refererences above.

                                Dan

                                >
                                > Cheers,
                                >
                                > Mike
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Topics suitable for discussion in this e-list can be found at:
                                > http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredland.html
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                              • mikebispham@aol.com
                                ... ”Yes but he is a skeptic wacko (your word) and you don t even have a pop science understanding of quantum mechanics, so you can believe whatever you
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 26, 2005
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                                  mikebispham@... wrote:

                                  > Hi
                                  Dan
                                  >
                                  > You wrote:
                                  >
                                  > "Hi, Mike -
                                  >
                                  >
                                  Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                                  >
                                  knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing."
                                  >
                                  > I'm sure you did!  Your 'understanding' of
                                  the issues has to be broken
                                  > before you can find a new understanding
                                  consistent with his.  Bear in
                                  > mind: this guy is a trained and
                                  experienced physicist who, we might
                                  > imagine, roughly knows his
                                  stuff.  Whereas you are a software engineer
                                  > who's read a few
                                  popular books on the topic, as well as a range of
                                  > mystical extensions
                                  that you find agreeable to your worldview and are
                                  > keen to defend. 
                                  I know who I'd prefer to believe.

                                  ”Yes but he is a 'skeptic' wacko (your word) and you don't even have a
                                  pop science understanding of quantum mechanics, so you can believe
                                  whatever you want, but as an uninformed opinion it is totally valuless. "



                                  Hi Dan

                                   

                                  Stenger doesn’t come under my definition of ‘whacko’ (outside the accepted scientific consensus) as you know.  Describing him as a ‘whacko’ is ludicrous; characterizing him as a ‘skeptic’ is dishonest. (co-opting and reversing the normal meaning of the term - this I expect from Fox tv but not you).  

                                   

                                  If I did have a pop science understanding of quantum physics I still wouldn’t go arguing with experts – but I would still base my understanding on the massive scientific consensus, not the few oddballs on the edge.

                                   

                                  “I am the one here who has some (very small) basis for separating the
                                  wackos from the genuine scientists.”

                                   

                                  Since your understanding is the complete opposite of that of the scientific consensus I have to say that I have as much faith in your authority as a scientist – or as a judge of what constitute science - as I have in Exxon’s analysis of climate change!   

                                   

                                  "And since you have no hesitation in refering to such giants as Sir Roger Penrose as a wacko… “

                                   

                                  This misrepresents my statements completely – as I’ve already pointed out to you.  To mis-quote me once is understandable - to do it again after I've pointed out the mistake seems very much like a dishonest attempt to misrepresent me.

                                   

                                  “please grant me the same right in my estimation of Stenger.”

                                   

                                  I’ll continue to prefer the words of qualified scientists, expert in the field, addressing the very subject.  (And dismissing it lucidly.) 

                                   

                                  The difference between those who allow only validated data to form the basis of their understanding of the world, and those who allow non-validated data to do so, forms the divide between 'orthodox' or 'scientific/academic consensual' and those I described, clumsily, as 'wacko.'   I think most people know who I meant, and the point I was making.  Perhaps 'clumsy' or 'non-scientific' 'paranormalists' might describe them well enough.  ( To me the term ‘paranormanist’ already carries meanings of clumsiness) 

                                   

                                  Anyone researching the 'paranormal' within the proper methodology of science wouldn't. (I personally know one such person - a close friend.) 

                                   

                                  Stenger cannot be described as a 'wacko' according to any sensible definition as he sits firmly inside the orthodox 'science' camp. 

                                   

                                  The question is, do your citations come from people we can agree to be 'good' scientists, or 'clumsy paranormalists'?  I feel sure we can say the latter; and I’ll explain why.

                                   

                                  “I have posted the paper by Braude on the evidence for Direct Intention
                                  of Human Consciousness…”

                                   

                                  I’ve scanned Braude’s paper and find it hard to form any clear conclusions.  (It would help if he included all the tables he refers to in the text)  I think what most informed judges would say is that small indications (if I’ve read him right we’re talking very small) of influence sometimes occur, but these are within the range of expected errors and anomalies. 

                                   

                                  I would like to read a sober (and impartial) overview of the issues, if you come across one.

                                   

                                  “…and the statement by Evan Harris Walker.  Here
                                  are some more references to Walker's work:

                                   

                                  http://www.parapsych.org/members/e_h_walker.html

                                   

                                  You seem happy to base your 'knowledge' in the question of links between quantum theory and consciousness/supposed psi events on Walker's unsupported (indeed authoritatively criticized) assertions.  (You are not the only one – there are some very fine sand-castles resting precariously on Walker’s work to be found on the net)

                                   

                                  A little searching turns up the following review of Walker's book by a competent critic.  It contains a clear dismissal of the consciousness aspects of his work.

                                   

                                  A Review of The Physics of Consciousness by Evan Harris Walker
                                  by

                                  Matthew J. Donald
                                  The Cavendish Laboratory
                                  Madingley Road
                                  Cambridge CB3 0HE
                                  U.K.

                                   

                                  http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v7/psyche-7-15-donald.html

                                   

                                  An extract:

                                   

                                  “At least three books struggle to emerge from this volume. One book, at the level of popular science, leads us through the development of physics, from Newton's laws to Bell's inequalities, in order to argue for the relevance of consciousness to the understanding of quantum theory. This is followed by a sketch of an interpretation of quantum mechanics. Interwoven with both is a memoir of Walker's teenage girlfriend, who died of Hodgkin's disease nearly fifty years ago. The theme which holds the volume together is Walker's insistence on the importance of looking beyond materialism.

                                   

                                  Walker attempts to tie together quantum theory and neuroscience by arguing that quantum tunnelling has a vital role in synaptic transmission. This depends upon very specific and technical assumptions about the mechanism involved, for which he refers to Walker (1977). In that paper, he claims that his theory "predicts specific results for future experimental work. Its utility will be measured by the validity of these predictions." It is disturbing, therefore, that his book gives no more recent references to work in this area, despite the fact that synaptic structure and function are among the most studied topics in neuroscience. A magnificent survey of the entire field which has just appeared (Cowan, Suedhof, & Stevens, 2001), ***certainly leaves no space for his hypotheses.***"

                                   

                                  As the links demonstrate, this reviewer seems to know what he's talking about.  His criticisms are of the English understated manner - when he says…

                                   

                                  "A magnificent survey of the entire field which has just appeared (Cowan, Suedhof, & Stevens, 2001), certainly leaves no space for his hypotheses." 

                                   

                                  …what he means is that Walker is, in this instance (his attempts to tie together quantum theory and neuroscience by arguing that quantum tunneling has a vital role in synaptic transmission) – has been shown to be utterly wrong.  End of story.  We've seen this  argued by another recognised expert in the field of consciousness studies, Susan Blackmore. 

                                   

                                  We really don’t need to spend any more time on this.  (Though you might want to read that survey…)

                                   

                                  I think my own views are sympathetic to the following review on Amazon (by nobody in particular):

                                   

                                  “I'm Sorry, What?
                                  What a wonderful read this was for the first 8 chapters. The amazing mysteries of quantum mechanics are well covered, if somewhat more deeply than necessary. What makes it unique though, is that it is interwoven with a concurrent story about a long-dead lover and the inherent questions that death entails. This made for some really gripping, moving reading. It's quite well written, and I was excited that the author seemed to be approaching the questions raised by quantum mechanics in exactly the same way that I had approached them myself. Then, in chapter 9, BAM - a left turn into Zen Buddhism. Not just a left turn into Zen Buddhism, which I understand has some well respected philosophical underpinnings, but a left turn into Zen Buddhism that presupposes that the reader, like the author, accepts that Zen is The Way To Enlightenment. Note this sentence at the beginning of chapter 9: "It was not until recently that I found Zen Buddhism, timeless and sparkling, hidden amid its oriental foil." Timeless and sparkling? Says who? Buddhism, like all religion/philosophy, is the product of the mind of man, and if the reader is to look at it as anything more, the reader should come to it on his own, not have it thrust upon him as if it just simply were so. This whole chapter has this air of presupposition, as if the author realizes that his audience probably knew all this about Zen Buddhism long before he did, and he is now, at long last, agreeing with them. It was so distasteful to me I was unable to finish the book. What a shame. Perhaps I will skim through it at a later date so I can find out more about Meryl. “

                                   

                                  (Back to me) 

                                  From these reviews we can form the view that Walker clearly knows his way around history of quantum theory, and has spent his life in pursuit of a theory that provides the means to marry it with supposed supernatural phenomena; thus satisfying his desire to make meaning from the tragic loss he suffered as a young man.  His desire to form such a theory is entirely understandable; and it is perhaps a good case study in the psychology of grief in an intelligent man. 

                                   

                                  He does – according to our competent reviewer - supply a good introduction to quantum theory - but he's overstretched his material in a deeply unscientific manner.  While many people have been (and remain) fascinated by what appears to a breakthrough in consciousness studies, a sober approach shows he does not have the support of his peers - and that's all that matters. 

                                   

                                  I think I’d like to leave this one here Dan.  We can see that in this instance you are happy to make the foundations of your beliefs not just the wilder edges of scientific hypotheses, but dreamy theories assembled in order to satisfy very understandable human desires.  In this case, a particular theory that can be seen to be comprehensively dismissed by those people qualified to judge it.  We can see how others wishing to use them for their own ends and needs seize upon such things, despite such condemnation. 

                                   

                                  I hope I’ve been able to show the list you are wrong to claim scientific credibility for this issue.  The basis of scientific ‘truth’ is peer-acceptance; and the theories of ‘quantum consciousness’ you advocate have - in my view - no such foundation. 

                                   

                                  Cheers,

                                   

                                  Mike

                                   

                                • Daniel N. Washburn
                                  Hi, Mike - I don t have time to answer this with my usual laser-like logic, since I am off to Vancouver, Canada until next tuesday. Sorry bout that. Regards
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jul 28, 2005
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                                    Hi, Mike -

                                    I don't have time to answer this with my usual laser-like logic, since I
                                    am off to Vancouver, Canada until next tuesday. Sorry bout that.

                                    Regards

                                    Dan

                                    mikebispham@... wrote:

                                    > mikebispham@... wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> Hi Dan
                                    >>
                                    >> You wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >> "Hi, Mike -
                                    >>
                                    >> Thanks for the link to Stenger's article - from my own popular science
                                    >> knowledge of quantum mechanics I found it confused and unconvincing."
                                    >>
                                    >> I'm sure you did! Your 'understanding' of the issues has to be broken
                                    >> before you can find a new understanding consistent with his. Bear in
                                    >> mind: this guy is a trained and experienced physicist who, we might
                                    >> imagine, roughly knows his stuff. Whereas you are a software engineer
                                    >> who's read a few popular books on the topic, as well as a range of
                                    >> mystical extensions that you find agreeable to your worldview and are
                                    >> keen to defend. I know who I'd prefer to believe.
                                    >
                                    > ”Yes but he is a 'skeptic' wacko (your word) and you don't even have a
                                    > pop science understanding of quantum mechanics, so you can believe
                                    > whatever you want, but as an uninformed opinion it is totally valuless. "
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Hi Dan
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Stenger doesn’t come under my definition of ‘whacko’ (outside the
                                    > accepted scientific consensus) as you know. Describing him as a
                                    > ‘whacko’ is ludicrous; characterizing him as a ‘skeptic’ is dishonest.
                                    > (co-opting and reversing the normal meaning of the term - this I
                                    > expect from Fox tv but not you).
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > If I did have a pop science understanding of quantum physics I still
                                    > wouldn’t go arguing with experts – but I would still base my
                                    > understanding on the massive scientific consensus, not the few
                                    > oddballs on the edge.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “I am the one here who has some (very small) basis for separating the
                                    > wackos from the genuine scientists.”
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Since your understanding is the complete opposite of that of the
                                    > scientific consensus I have to say that I have as much faith in your
                                    > authority as a scientist – or as a judge of what constitute science -
                                    > as I have in Exxon’s analysis of climate change!
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > "And since you have no hesitation in refering to such giants as Sir
                                    > Roger Penrose as a wacko… “
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > This misrepresents my statements completely – as I’ve already pointed
                                    > out to you. To mis-quote me once is understandable - to do it again
                                    > after I've pointed out the mistake seems very much like a dishonest
                                    > attempt to misrepresent me.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “please grant me the same right in my estimation of Stenger.”
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I’ll continue to prefer the words of qualified scientists, expert in
                                    > the field, addressing the very subject. (And dismissing it lucidly.)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The difference between those who allow only validated data to form the
                                    > basis of their understanding of the world, and those who allow
                                    > non-validated data to do so, forms the divide between 'orthodox' or
                                    > 'scientific/academic consensual' and those I described, clumsily, as
                                    > 'wacko.' I think most people know who I meant, and the point I was
                                    > making. Perhaps 'clumsy' or 'non-scientific' 'paranormalists' might
                                    > describe them well enough. ( To me the term ‘paranormanist’ already
                                    > carries meanings of clumsiness)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Anyone researching the 'paranormal' within the proper methodology of
                                    > science wouldn't. (I personally know one such person - a close friend.)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Stenger cannot be described as a 'wacko' according to any sensible
                                    > definition as he sits firmly inside the orthodox 'science' camp.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The question is, do your citations come from people we can agree to be
                                    > 'good' scientists, or 'clumsy paranormalists'? I feel sure we can say
                                    > the latter; and I’ll explain why.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “I have posted the paper by Braude on the evidence for Direct Intention
                                    > of Human Consciousness…”
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I’ve scanned Braude’s paper and find it hard to form any clear
                                    > conclusions. (It would help if he included all the tables he refers
                                    > to in the text) I think what most informed judges would say is that
                                    > small indications (if I’ve read him right we’re talking very small) of
                                    > influence sometimes occur, but these are within the range of expected
                                    > errors and anomalies.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I would like to read a sober (and impartial) overview of the issues,
                                    > if you come across one.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “…and the statement by Evan Harris Walker. Here
                                    > are some more references to Walker's work:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > http://www.parapsych.org/members/e_h_walker.html%e2%80%9d
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > You seem happy to base your 'knowledge' in the question of links
                                    > between quantum theory and consciousness/supposed psi events on
                                    > Walker's unsupported (indeed authoritatively criticized) assertions.
                                    > (You are not the only one – there are some very fine sand-castles
                                    > resting precariously on Walker’s work to be found on the net)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > A little searching turns up the following review of Walker's book by a
                                    > competent critic. It contains a clear dismissal of the consciousness
                                    > aspects of his work.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > A Review of The Physics of Consciousness by Evan Harris Walker
                                    > by
                                    >
                                    > Matthew J. Donald
                                    > The Cavendish Laboratory
                                    > Madingley Road
                                    > Cambridge CB3 0HE
                                    > U.K.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v7/psyche-7-15-donald.html
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > An extract:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “At least three books struggle to emerge from this volume. One book,
                                    > at the level of popular science, leads us through the development of
                                    > physics, from Newton's laws to Bell's inequalities, in order to argue
                                    > for the relevance of consciousness to the understanding of quantum
                                    > theory. This is followed by a sketch of an interpretation of quantum
                                    > mechanics. Interwoven with both is a memoir of Walker's teenage
                                    > girlfriend, who died of Hodgkin's disease nearly fifty years ago. The
                                    > theme which holds the volume together is Walker's insistence on the
                                    > importance of looking beyond materialism.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Walker attempts to tie together quantum theory and neuroscience by
                                    > arguing that quantum tunnelling has a vital role in synaptic
                                    > transmission. This depends upon very specific and technical
                                    > assumptions about the mechanism involved, for which he refers to
                                    > Walker (1977). In that paper, he claims that his theory "predicts
                                    > specific results for future experimental work. Its utility will be
                                    > measured by the validity of these predictions." It is disturbing,
                                    > therefore, that his book gives no more recent references to work in
                                    > this area, despite the fact that synaptic structure and function are
                                    > among the most studied topics in neuroscience. A magnificent survey of
                                    > the entire field which has just appeared (Cowan, Suedhof, & Stevens,
                                    > 2001), ***certainly leaves no space for his hypotheses.***"
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > As the links demonstrate, this reviewer seems to know what he's
                                    > talking about. His criticisms are of the English understated manner -
                                    > when he says…
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > "A magnificent survey of the entire field which has just appeared
                                    > (Cowan, Suedhof, & Stevens, 2001), certainly leaves no space for his
                                    > hypotheses."
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > …what he means is that Walker is, in this instance (his attempts to
                                    > tie together quantum theory and neuroscience by arguing that quantum
                                    > tunneling has a vital role in synaptic transmission) – has been shown
                                    > to be utterly wrong. End of story. We've seen this argued by
                                    > another recognised expert in the field of consciousness studies, Susan
                                    > Blackmore.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > We really don’t need to spend any more time on this. (Though you
                                    > might want to read that survey…)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I think my own views are sympathetic to the following review on Amazon
                                    > (by nobody in particular):
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > “I'm Sorry, What?
                                    > What a wonderful read this was for the first 8 chapters. The amazing
                                    > mysteries of quantum mechanics are well covered, if somewhat more
                                    > deeply than necessary. What makes it unique though, is that it is
                                    > interwoven with a concurrent story about a long-dead lover and the
                                    > inherent questions that death entails. This made for some really
                                    > gripping, moving reading. It's quite well written, and I was excited
                                    > that the author seemed to be approaching the questions raised by
                                    > quantum mechanics in exactly the same way that I had approached them
                                    > myself. Then, in chapter 9, BAM - a left turn into Zen Buddhism. Not
                                    > just a left turn into Zen Buddhism, which I understand has some well
                                    > respected philosophical underpinnings, but a left turn into Zen
                                    > Buddhism that presupposes that the reader, like the author, accepts
                                    > that Zen is The Way To Enlightenment. Note this sentence at the
                                    > beginning of chapter 9: "It was not until recently that I found Zen
                                    > Buddhism, timeless and sparkling, hidden amid its oriental foil."
                                    > Timeless and sparkling? Says who? Buddhism, like all
                                    > religion/philosophy, is the product of the mind of man, and if the
                                    > reader is to look at it as anything more, the reader should come to it
                                    > on his own, not have it thrust upon him as if it just simply were so.
                                    > This whole chapter has this air of presupposition, as if the author
                                    > realizes that his audience probably knew all this about Zen Buddhism
                                    > long before he did, and he is now, at long last, agreeing with them.
                                    > It was so distasteful to me I was unable to finish the book. What a
                                    > shame. Perhaps I will skim through it at a later date so I can find
                                    > out more about Meryl. “
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > (Back to me)
                                    >
                                    > From these reviews we can form the view that Walker clearly knows his
                                    > way around history of quantum theory, and has spent his life in
                                    > pursuit of a theory that provides the means to marry it with supposed
                                    > supernatural phenomena; thus satisfying his desire to make meaning
                                    > from the tragic loss he suffered as a young man. His desire to form
                                    > such a theory is entirely understandable; and it is perhaps a good
                                    > case study in the psychology of grief in an intelligent man.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > He does – according to our competent reviewer - supply a good
                                    > introduction to quantum theory - but he's overstretched his material
                                    > in a deeply unscientific manner. While many people have been (and
                                    > remain) fascinated by what appears to a breakthrough in consciousness
                                    > studies, a sober approach shows he does not have the support of his
                                    > peers - and that's all that matters.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I think I’d like to leave this one here Dan. We can see that in this
                                    > instance you are happy to make the foundations of your beliefs not
                                    > just the wilder edges of scientific hypotheses, but dreamy theories
                                    > assembled in order to satisfy very understandable human desires. In
                                    > this case, a particular theory that can be seen to be comprehensively
                                    > dismissed by those people qualified to judge it. We can see how
                                    > others wishing to use them for their own ends and needs seize upon
                                    > such things, despite such condemnation.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I hope I’ve been able to show the list you are wrong to claim
                                    > scientific credibility for this issue. The basis of scientific
                                    > ‘truth’ is peer-acceptance; and the theories of ‘quantum
                                    > consciousness’ you advocate have - in my view - no such foundation.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Cheers,
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Mike
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Topics suitable for discussion in this e-list can be found at:
                                    > http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredland.html
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                                  • mikebispham@aol.com
                                    Hi Dan Have a good trip, Mike In a message dated 7/28/05 11:42:24 AM GMT Daylight Time, danw@netmastersinc.com writes: Hi, Mike - I don t have time to answer
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jul 28, 2005
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                                      Hi Dan
                                       
                                      Have a good trip,
                                       
                                      Mike
                                       
                                      In a message dated 7/28/05 11:42:24 AM GMT Daylight Time, danw@... writes:
                                      Hi, Mike -

                                      I don't have time to answer this with my usual laser-like logic, since I
                                      am off to Vancouver, Canada until next tuesday.  Sorry bout that.

                                      Regards

                                      Dan
                                       
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