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The theory of everything: what's holding physicists back ?


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Maybe they are missing the starting point: Consciousness being the fundamental constituent of this 'everything' by assuming a physicalist understanding of everything. 

Nondualism: Consciousness is primary and matter is a derivative of Consciousness

Materialism: Matter is primary and consciousness is a derivative of matter

 

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Max Planck

 

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Posted (edited)

  
I keep thinking about potentiality and actuality.   Consciousness has maybe limitless potential?  What can we not think of or imagine?  …while Matter/Energy is actual . .it’s physically active but confined by it’s own physical limits.   Formlessness  &  Form.        (I used to think maybe everything requires an opposite…but, sometimes, maybe just a potential to become opposite.) :unsure: ?????        :P
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-natphil/#:~:text=In a formulation closely matching,a thing is] warm in

just reading interesting stuff… https://centerforsacredsciences.org/index.php/Articles/from-form-to-formlessness.html
  

Edited by lightly
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I think AI will be able to help out with this in the future.

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For as long our understanding of universe and it's manifestations remains mostly theoretical , we would never be able to come up with a theory of everything. If we ever do , we will become one with God.

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5 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

For as long our understanding of universe and it's manifestations remains mostly theoretical , we would never be able to come up with a theory of everything. If we ever do , we will become one with God.

Umm..I don't really think so.

I think that IS part of or mostly the problem right there is that we hold onto theories as if they are 'fact' then go on to teach them as if they were so then drag our feet to change what we have been pumping into peoples heads once we discover or are forced to admit that scientists were wrong (often completely).

Also what holds us back is our own human arrogance and hubris, we think we totally understand the universe and physics then act surprised when our iron held assumptions are proven to be wrong then to try and save face we come up with all sorts of ridiculous theories claiming that physics has suddenly changed (conveniently within our relative lifetime) when in fact physics hasn't changed but our understanding has (or should).

Gravity, for example, has not changed in billions of years but our understanding of it gives the illusion that it has somehow changed in nature. Various energy frequencies has not changed nor has any of them actually been "invented" but only our understanding and 'discovery' of them again gives us the illusion that something has somehow magically changed and what we call 'physics' has once again mysteriously changed. We will never know everything nor is it even possible to come up with a singular theory that will conveniently explain everything (like most religions try to do, i.e "god did it, 'nuff said")

Real science should be able to look at their precious and long held theories objectively and be mature and honest enough to let them go once they discover that they were wrong from the beginning; even so-called 'facts' need to be scrutinized regularly to avoid being intellectually and scientifically rigid.

P.S: Sorry if I ramble, it is early at the time I write this so parts of my brain are in limp mode...

 

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Yeah, i mean everyrhing started simple with a big bang and one can lead to thenother. Surely there are forces in the universe similar to what we encounter here on earth and our system, but there is so much more undiscovered. Even after we discover everything about quantum, physics, chemistry manifestations  and maybe a new methaphisical plan , we will still have to corelate all and connect the dots between.  Likely only then it would be possible. 

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On 5/29/2024 at 9:35 AM, papageorge1 said:

Maybe they are missing the starting point: Consciousness being the fundamental constituent of this 'everything' by assuming a physicalist understanding of everything. 

Nondualism: Consciousness is primary and matter is a derivative of Consciousness

Materialism: Matter is primary and consciousness is a derivative of matter

 

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Max Planck

 

Yet isn’t consciousness as we know it none other than an evolved state of our early survival mechanisms? Think about it. Our early early ancestors,of the four-legged variety needed situational awareness in order to survive.They needed to understand their immediate environment and formulate escape routes.They were conscious of their environment.If they didn’t have some form of awareness they would be eaten by predators. As these prey animals became successful and continued to survive and reproduce the process responsible within the brain wouldn’t stop, it would continue to evolve to the point where the animal became aware of not just the environment, but of itself and ultimately of the universe and it’s place within it. 
Humans

 

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9 hours ago, khol said:

Yet isn’t consciousness as we know it none other than an evolved state of our early survival mechanisms? Think about it. Our early early ancestors,of the four-legged variety needed situational awareness in order to survive.They needed to understand their immediate environment and formulate escape routes.They were conscious of their environment.If they didn’t have some form of awareness they would be eaten by predators. As these prey animals became successful and continued to survive and reproduce the process responsible within the brain wouldn’t stop, it would continue to evolve to the point where the animal became aware of not just the environment, but of itself and ultimately of the universe and it’s place within it. 
Humans

 

We do indeed have a primitive brain.  Evolution didn't really replace that part of our brain, it just added to it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE DOWNSTAIRS BRAIN

The downstairs brain, often referred to as the reptilian or primitive brain, contains the brain stem, limbic region and the amygdala.  This instinctive part of the brain is well developed from birth and is responsible for:

  • Basic functioning – breathing, blinking, heart beating, flinching, digestion etc.
  • Innate responses – fight, flight, freeze and flop.
  • Producing strong emotions such as anger and fear. link
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9 hours ago, khol said:

Yet isn’t consciousness as we know it none other than an evolved state of our early survival mechanisms? Think about it. Our early early ancestors,of the four-legged variety needed situational awareness in order to survive.They needed to understand their immediate environment and formulate escape routes.They were conscious of their environment.If they didn’t have some form of awareness they would be eaten by predators. As these prey animals became successful and continued to survive and reproduce the process responsible within the brain wouldn’t stop, it would continue to evolve to the point where the animal became aware of not just the environment, but of itself and ultimately of the universe and it’s place within it. 
Humans

 

The non-physicalist argument is that consciousness cannot be created by molecules and cells following physical laws. What is our observer consciousness over trillions of atoms moving about? Why do we have a single pointed overseeing consciousness beyond all these individual molecules just following chemical laws? 

A physicalist will claim some undiscovered process produces consciousness. A non-physicalist will say non-physical consciousness incarnates the body to give consciousness to physical life.

That debate is endless, but for me personally, I have come to the non-physicalist view from a whole host of different types of paranormal phenomena that strongly suggest that consciousness and intelligence can exist without a physical brain producing it.

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2 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

That debate is endless

Your entitled to your opinion but there doesnt have to be a woo factor involved. People forget what billions of yrs of evolution and adaption can create within biological systems. For me the mystery isnt consciousnes at all its what have we become conscious of??  We really have no idea what the Universe is only theories to speculate on. That is the fascinating part. 

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3 minutes ago, khol said:

Your entitled to your opinion but there doesnt have to be a woo factor involved. 

I believe there does have to be to be what some people call the 'woo' factor (that pejorative term) to explain human experiences for a host of different paranormal/spiritual phenomena like NDE patients consciously observing later verified events from an out of body perspective. Or for children having verifiable reincarnation memories. And several other such things.

It seems to me that for physicalist theory to survive, it must be able to give all of these hosts of different types of paranormal phenomena an explanation consistent with the physicalist theory. I just can't see that being possible anymore. Something you would call 'woo' must be involved.

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59 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I believe there does have to be to be what some people call the 'woo' factor (that pejorative term) to explain human experiences for a host of different paranormal/spiritual phenomena like NDE patients consciously observing later verified events from an out of body perspective. Or for children having verifiable reincarnation memories. And several other such things.

It seems to me that for physicalist theory to survive, it must be able to give all of these hosts of different types of paranormal phenomena an explanation consistent with the physicalist theory. I just can't see that being possible anymore. Something you would call 'woo' must be involved.

This has all been discussed ad nauseum with NDE.  Not going to rehash it here.  The problem with Woo is...you have no clue what it even is...where it is...when it is...or how it is.  The only reason you haven't found plausibility in those accounts is because you haven't looked hard enough.  And you are too gullible.  Not everyone with outlandish stories are liars but most definitely some are.  So you cannot remove that from the mix either.  How do you...you personally... how do you know that these stories are even true?  You don't.  You choose to believe.  In order for Woo to exist there must only be those who believe it does...and then...it only exists in their minds.

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3 minutes ago, joc said:

  The problem with Woo is...you have no clue what it even is...where it is...when it is...or how it is.  

Actually, I have a good clue from Vedic (Hindu), Theosophical and a host of other schools all on the same page with this stuff.

7 minutes ago, joc said:

T The only reason you haven't found plausibility in those accounts is because you haven't looked hard enough.  And you are too gullible.  Not everyone with outlandish stories are liars but most definitely some are.  So you cannot remove that from the mix either.  How do you...you personally... how do you know that these stories are even true?  You don't.  You choose to believe.  In order for Woo to exist there must only be those who believe it does...and then...it only exists in their minds.

After a lifetime of consideration and observation I am very comfortable with the assumption that most (not all) people are being honest about their experiences to the best of their ability.

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This thread shouldn't have become a metaphysical one.🙄

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 The prevailing view on physics is that  physics is based on unchangeable laws. And never changes  ..but what if the universe does go through changes?  (I watched a special about dark matter & energy;)     Space is Expanding …accumulatively faster and faster  ..so whatever space is , is getting what?  thinner?  All space ..   Might that sooner or later, effect the physical interactions  therein?.?      My theory of everything is…Everything is Change.  :)

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23 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

This thread shouldn't have become a metaphysical one.🙄

Papa has to make everything about the Metaphysical.  I think if anyone has a clue about 'everything' it is Edward Witten.

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4 hours ago, lightly said:

@joc Speaking of Edward Witten ,   Here is an Interesting interview with him.       (I saw an interview with him once …he is fascinatingly strange!).         https://www.quantamagazine.org/edward-witten-ponders-the-nature-of-reality-20171128/

Nice pull Lightly.  I especially liked this question from the interview. “Observing a quantum system irreversibly changes it, creating a distinction between past and future. So the observer issue seems possibly related to the question of time, which we also don’t understand. With the AdS/CFT duality, we’ve learned that new spatial dimensions can pop up like a hologram from quantum information on the boundary. Do you think time is also emergent — that it arises from a timeless complete description?”

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I’m trying to understand how/why the observation of a quantum system irreversibly changes it.  Can anyone elaborate or explain?  @psyche101 @Piney @joc

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I left  university after getting my BS in physics, but I have several friends that stayed on and made academia a career, one biophysicist and two astronomers.  This I know from our conversations.  After some time constantly begging for grants, professionals come to realize there is a deep rut that many get stuck in because grant funding likes the certainty of the old familiar rut. New ideas are hard to sell, and sometimes they become a new rut, like string theory.  My biophysicist friend finally left  to work on pacemakers and other electronic implants for a private company.  Astronomers have a harder time of finding alternatives,  and, it is hard to leave the insulation and respect of the community. 

So new ideas are not thrown into the mix  as frequently as progress might like.  Somebody else might comment on that.

However, I do think one thing remains true, in order to be useful as an explanation, a new theory has to be testable in the neighborhood before it is expanded to the universe.  The article did a good job or mentioning that Eddington validated Einstein by observing the transit of Mercury across the sun accurately enough to say for certain Newton couldn't explain the observation, but Einstein could.  Bending of light of distant stars due to the mass of the sun has been observed during eclipses. 

If a theory does not provide any opportunities for testing, it remains  a subject for beer and whiteboards but never  validated to explain a condition of the universe.

Consciousness is one of those that seems untestable.  No offense to anyone,  many good times are had with beer and whiteboards,  and it may have more impact on a person's life than  ideas like string theory.

 

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10 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

The non-physicalist argument is that consciousness cannot be created by molecules and cells following physical laws.

Isn't it then an amazing coincidence though that almost any aspect of consciousness can be altered or eliminated by the physical?  Anesthesia seems to work by temporarily eliminating consciousness, or at least that's been the case in my experience.  It's not really sleeping or dreaming, it's nothing.  So if consciousness is external and giving my body life, why don't I have any memory or awareness of what my consciousness was doing while I was under anesthesia?  If my consciousness is not dependent on the physical, what was it doing while I was out?

10 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

It seems to me that for physicalist theory to survive, it must be able to give all of these hosts of different types of paranormal phenomena an explanation consistent with the physicalist theory. I just can't see that being possible anymore.

That explanation has been given too you countless times and is evidenced on a daily basis:  people misperceive and misinterpret things.  Ask the experts.  That's why real evidence is valuable, it resolves all that, something more anecdotes and stories cannot do.

9 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I am very comfortable with the assumption that most (not all) people are being honest about their experiences to the best of their ability.

That's too narrow a focus.  The real question isn't about honesty it's about accuracy.

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1 hour ago, Guyver said:

I’m trying to understand how/why the observation of a quantum system irreversibly changes it.  Can anyone elaborate or explain?  @psyche101 @Piney @joc

 

1 hour ago, Guyver said:

 

1 hour ago, Guyver said:

I’m still trying to fully understand the definition!  This is interesting.  @Sherapy @eight bits @Liquid Gardens 

 You already have the answer. 

Go through the list below, one at a time and read up and come to an understanding of each one.  The problem is that you didn't know what you need to know before you can know what you want to know.  Now you know...what you need to know...
 

The shortest answer is that a quantum system is any system that obeys the laws of quantum mechanics. This means that:

  1. The system's state at a given time is described by a vector in a complex vector space. This vector is called the system's wave function.
  2. The system's wave function evolves over time following the Schrodinger wave equation.
  3. Each attribute of the system that can be measured (an "observable") is represented by a linear operator on its vector space.
  4. The act of measuring an observable of the system causes the system's wave function to "collapse" to an eigenstate of the corresponding operator. The result of the measurement will be the eigenvalue of that eigenstate.
  5. The probability that a measurement of an observable of the system at a given time will return a given value is the squared modulus of the complex amplitude of the projection of its wave function (immediately before the measurement) onto the corresponding eigenstate.

This explanation probably gives rise to even more questions - "what is a complex vector space ?", "what is a linear operator ?", "what is an eigenstate ?" etc. - which are best answered by reading an introduction to quantum mechanics such as this one at Wikipedia

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