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Thread: Proving that the Universe is not Observer-Mind-Dependant

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    Proving that the Universe is not Observer-Mind-Dependant

    This is specifically a thread for those who are interested in consciousness and physics and mostly for those who believe that reality would collapse without the mind or observer. In a very small proof/arguement, I will show that the order created using set-theory can prove that reality is not observer-dependent.

    From now on, I will for this take assume that a subset is a subdimension. There is a specific condition which we must keep in mind when being a subdimension of a larger system[*].

    Let us denote consciousness (and everything related to) as a set . Let the universe then be the set . Thus if is a subset of then I can write



    It is taken for fact that exists as a subset of that it cannot be an exact copy[*]. No subsystem can model precisely the larger system it is made of. This is conjectured because I believe that can never contain all the information contained in . This conjecture would make sense for consciousness, because whilst our brain takes in two-dimensional images from the outside world, it never models the outside with exact precision.

    A final conjecture would be, that the mind exists but the universe doesn't depend on the mind whilst the mind does depend on the universe. This should clear up, once and for all the dichotomy of whether the universe is mind-dependant or not. Taking into consideration that the mind seems to be a late low-energy phenom as well, the mind emerges from the universe not the other way around.

    So in short, the universe is not observer-dependent, but the mind is universe-dependent. This means that quantum mechanics may still have a role in developing consciousness because we are ''not outside'' of spacetime.
    Last edited by Aethelwulf; 2012-May-10 at 04:59 PM.

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    Just to make clear, when I state the mind is a late-low energy phenomena, I mean that consciousness appeared long after the radiation era. We are a by-product of the low energy phase, when the universe cooled and geometry and matter appeared. This order is also an obvious clue that the universe can exist without a conscious mind present: assuming that all conscious beings require the late energy epoch to survive.
    Last edited by Aethelwulf; 2012-May-10 at 05:02 PM.

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    Your logic fails in at least two ways:

    1. You can't disprove solipsism.

    2. That consciousness is limited to this universe only is an unproven assumption.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amazeofdeath View Post
    Your logic fails in at least two ways:

    1. You can't disprove solipsism.

    2. That consciousness is limited to this universe only is an unproven assumption.
    1. You can't disprove solipsism.

    Solipsism is the idea that only one can be sure about their own minds existence. This is obviously far too philosophical and without scientific merit. After all, there is plenty of physical hard evidence to be sure that the universe trucked on quite fine without human minds being [present]. We have only been on the evolutionary stage for 250,000 years. Saying that we can only be sure of our minds reality is redundant in the eyes of science which deals with hard facts, physical evidence, not just the experience we all come to agree on.

    This is why I said we are a ''late phenomenon'' - in cosmological terms, we appeared within the low energy epoch, when matter fields dominated the universe. This order is important and thus according to science we can be sure of a reality outside of the experience of consciousness itself.

    2. That consciousness is limited to this universe only is an unproven assumption

    To think any other universe exists side-by-side this one, is an even bigger assumption. Pure speculation.

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    Perhaps for the latter, you should remind yourself what a ''universe'' by definition truly is. There can be no other universes isomorphic to this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Just to make clear, when I state the mind is a late-low energy phenomena, I mean that consciousness appeared long after the radiation era. We are a by-product of the low energy phase, when the universe cooled and geometry and matter appeared. This order is also an obvious clue that the universe can exist without a conscious mind present: assuming that all conscious beings require the late energy epoch to survive.
    This of this as an important chronological order. It is obvious to some but not obvious to many who support the philosophical justifications of solipsism. But as I said, science cares little for philosophical justifications, but rather rigorous physical facts. Saying we live in the low-energy epoch is an important chronological order because no scientist in his right mind could justify conscious intelligent lifeforms until geometry and matter appeared in the universe, and even then the early universe would have been far to chaotic for lifeforms to properly evolve on early planets in early star systems.

    More importantly, the conjecture that Fred Alan Wolf presented, stating that the big bang required consciousness, or that consciousness spilled from the big bang cannot be supported by my very short but I think elegant proof.

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    Fred Alan Wolf justified his own approach because he said that there needed to be some kind of observer in the beginning of time to collapse the wave function. He then may purport to this consciousness as being God.

    God is so far outside the realms of physics that no physical theorem could possibly say a God did not exist. This my proof cannot disprove, whether consciousness existed in the radiation era, or the first instant of big bang more precisely in the form of a superintelligence. It can only infer on the things we do know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Solipsism is the idea that only one can be sure about their own minds existence.
    No, solipsism is the idea that only one's own mind exists. And as such it is completely consistent with science, utterly useless perhaps, but consistent nevertheless.
    In other words, using your notation, there is no a priori reason to assume rather than .

    In any case, this makes your argument nothing more than a tautology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    No, solipsism is the idea that only one's own mind exists. And as such it is completely consistent with science, utterly useless perhaps, but consistent nevertheless.
    In other words, using your notation, there is no a priori reason to assume rather than .

    In any case, this makes your argument nothing more than a tautology.
    Bolded by me. I am finding your definition very little different to mine: If only ones mind can exist, what else can anyone be sure of? As I said, Solipsism is the contention we can only be sure about our own mind. I am freely able to swap this for yours, if that makes this easier to deal with.

    There is however, a unique priori... you might be missing the significance of the argument coupled with the extremely simply mathematical set-up. I have stated that this proof requires that the mind is a sub-dimension. This is what the symbols



    mean. It would make no sense from the argument to assume the negative direction



    Because then that would mean the universe is a subset of the mind - this just seems irrational to think that everything in the universe is contained within the mind - not only is that quite clearly an incorrect statement, but it neglects the fact that we have solid physical evidence of an objective world outside of the subjective experiences of it.

    Again, assuming the other order, is clearly incorrect. The entire universe cannot be a subset of the mind.

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    ''Universe'' encompasses everything by our own standard definitions. Another way to view this, is by saying that the mind does not encompass everything: if it indeed did, we would know everything there would be to know about the universe, because all that information is already in our consciousness. But this is directly against our own experiences. We learn as the objective reality unfolds to us and we process this information in our neural networks. This is another reason why you cannot assume the universe as a subset of the mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    There is however, a unique priori... you might be missing the significance of the argument coupled with the extremely simply mathematical set-up. I have stated that this proof requires that the mind is a sub-dimension.
    I know, that's why it's a tautology, your proof requires your conclusion. You assume that the mind is posterior to the universe to conclude that the universe is prior to the mind.

    Because then that would mean the universe is a subset of the mind - this just seems irrational to think that everything in the universe is contained within the mind - not only is that quite clearly an incorrect statement, but it neglects the fact that we have solid physical evidence of an objective world outside of the subjective experiences of it.
    There is no evidence whatsoever of an objective world, the existence of an objective world is an assumption. It cannot be proven to exist or not to exist.

    Again, assuming the other order, is clearly incorrect. The entire universe cannot be a subset of the mind.
    Have you never had a dream? Your mind was constructing a world around you then, so it is clearly possible. If you ever ran into a wall in your dream, you would likewise have solid physical evidence of an "objective world".

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    know, that's why it's a tautology, your proof requires your conclusion. You assume that the mind is posterior to the universe to conclude that the universe is prior to the mind.

    That's because it would be pure absurdity if someone calculated it the other way around... I mean yes... on you go. Treat it as a Tautology all you want, go treat my equations the other way round, but at the cost of your argument make no sense as science understands it. I haven't just chosen one way because I felt like it... I chose this specific way because it is the most logical and comprehensible.

    There is no evidence whatsoever of an objective world, the existence of an objective world is an assumption. It cannot be proven to exist or not to exist.

    ?? what??

    Of course there is. So every time my retina picks up a two dimensional image from a single photon, is not evidence of an objective world?

    If you say ''no'' I don't think I will want to continue this discussion with you of fear of speculative psuedoscientific discussions.

    Have you never had a dream? Your mind was constructing a world around you then, so it is clearly possible. If you ever ran into a wall in your dream, you would likewise have solid physical evidence of an "objective world".

    Yes... in effect, my mind indeed was constructing a world around me -- It certainly does not constitute a universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    That's because it would be pure absurdity if someone calculated it the other way around...
    So in effect you have not proven that the universe is mind-independent, you have merely stated that you think it would be absurd if it weren't.

    Mind you, i tend to agree with your conclusion. But this just isn't a proof, irrespective of whether i like the conclusion or not. It's a statement of preference, nothing more.

    Treat it as a Tautology all you want, go treat my equations the other way round, but at the cost of your argument make no sense as science understands it. I haven't just chosen one way because I felt like it... I chose this specific way because it is the most logical and comprehensible.
    In what way, in detail, is "the most logical and comprehensible" different from "I felt like it"?
    How would you grade "logical"? Is there perhaps some logical fallacy in doing it the other way round? If so, please point it out.
    Likewise, is "comprehensible" not a subjective notion?

    If you say ''no'' I don't think I will want to continue this discussion with you of fear of speculative psuedoscientific discussions.
    {...}
    Yes... in effect, my mind indeed was constructing a world around me -- It certainly does not constitute a universe.
    This is of course the crux of the problem. You see, your proof is by its very nature speculative pseudoscience. Or perhaps to use a more accurate term, it is metaphysical.

    Let me just ask you this. If you say that the world your mind constructs around you when you dream doesn't constitute a universe, and you state that this distinction is scientific, then what experiment would you perform to conclusively show whether you are at this moment dreaming or not? After all, if the distinction is scientific there must exist some experiment that differentiates between the two.

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    So in effect you have not proven that the universe is mind-independent, you have merely stated that you think it would be absurd if it weren't.

    Mind you, i tend to agree with your conclusion. But this just isn't a proof, irrespective of whether i like the conclusion or not. It's a statement of preference, nothing more.


    If you want the correct answer, you must see it from the logical order I give it. It is not merely a statement that the order must be this way: conclusive evidence points to a universe which long existed before advent of the human race. Carbon dating, is for one, a measurable scientific piece of evidence suggesting that objects have long preceded our existences - at least on the evolutionary scale of things. My order makes sense because science agree's with it, not because it is merely a statement.

    In what way, in detail, is "the most logical and comprehensible" different from "I felt like it"?
    How would you grade "logical"?


    You yourself have admitted you would agree with my order. What made it logical for you?

    Based on the hard scientific evidence that things have long existed before we came onto the map of things, is clearly enough evidence to suggest that my order of variables using the mind as a subset is clearly the most logical.

    This is of course the crux of the problem. You see, your proof is by its very nature speculative pseudoscience. Or perhaps to use a more accurate term, it is metaphysical.

    I see you could not refute the fact that a photon giving my retina information about the outside world was in fact definitive evidence of an outside world. I'll assume you have now changed your mind.

    See. I see it differently.

    those who purport to the world arising from the mind is pure psuedoscience. I am attempting to bring a calm to the waters by presenting this in the OP. I don't class as what it says as psuedoscience. It should in fact support the general view of the scientific mainstream, which means by definition it surely can't be psuedoscience. The definition fo psuedoscience is:

    ''A collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method''

    My conclusions are based on the scientific method. I have given reasons why my order of the variables is in fact the correct order, and explained thinking about it the other way would not have been the correct order. It is the correct order, because the scientific method agrees that it should be this order. If you had re-ordered it in a way like you had suggested before, it would be you ultimately distorting the true inherent, scientific basis of it's original order, and therefore, it would be you who is committing the psuedoscience, not me.

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    You think I am proposing a psuedoscience now?

    Here is something to imagine. Could you imagine the reception I would have received if I had presented this proof the other way around? Do you think it would have sat here quietly unchallenged?

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    (The conclusion does not prove the argument. (e.g. we might all agree (or not) that the Universe is not Observer-Mind-Dependant; but that won't make any particular argument that reaches that conclusion a good argument.))
    Thank you, members of cosmoquest forum, you are a part of my life I value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Here is something to imagine. Could you imagine the reception I would have received if I had presented this proof the other way around? Do you think it would have sat here quietly unchallenged?
    I imagine you would receive the same reception if you had presented this proof the other way around. It would have been challenged for the same reason: It's not really a proof, it's a tautology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stutefish View Post
    I imagine you would receive the same reception if you had presented this proof the other way around. It would have been challenged for the same reason: It's not really a proof, it's a tautology.
    The order is not reached sporadically, unless you are disagreeing with the FACT that science agrees with the order?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    (The conclusion does not prove the argument. (e.g. we might all agree (or not) that the Universe is not Observer-Mind-Dependant; but that won't make any particular argument that reaches that conclusion a good argument.))
    I'll say the same thing to you, do you not agree that science itself agrees with the order? If the order is scientifically accurate to things like carbon dating, then how can you say that my order does not prove its conjecture?

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    To say you can have it either way, would be a serious misunderstanding of things like carbon dating, or when organisms similar to ourselves appeared when the universe had sufficiently cooled to form matter itself...

    You lot are not making sense at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    You yourself have admitted you would agree with my order. What made it logical for you?
    As a personal preference. It is not more logical than its inverse argument. Both are tautologies.

    I see you could not refute the fact that a photon giving my retina information about the outside world was in fact definitive evidence of an outside world.
    What photon? What retina? You mean the one i dreamt about last night? You consider that definitive evidence of an outside world? Or do you mean the one i may be dreaming about right now? See next paragraph.

    My conclusions are based on the scientific method.
    You state so, yet you have not answered my question as to what experiment you would perform that would differentiate a "real" universe from one that is constructed by your mind around you (as in a dream).

    The scientific method is empirical, so what experiment differentiates a "real" universe from a "mind-constructed" one? How do you determine, experimentally, whether you are dreaming right now or not?
    If there is no experiment that differentiates between them, then the distinction is not based on the scientific method. And your belief that it is would then be, by your own quoted definition, pseudoscience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    (The conclusion does not prove the argument. (e.g. we might all agree (or not) that the Universe is not Observer-Mind-Dependant; but that won't make any particular argument that reaches that conclusion a good argument.))
    Maybe you are not arguing about the order.

    If (no if's but), if the order is correct, then the mind must be sub-dimension. The conjecture is that no subdimension can accurately collect the same amount of information to form an exact copy. The arguement is, which system is making the copy?

    Obviously the subdimension is making the copy, therefore, the mind preceded the universe. So by logical default, you cannot say that the universe is mind-dependent because the universe existed long before any minds where there to calculate it, observe it, in all its wonders.

    That is a logical proof in itself. No?

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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    As a personal preference. It is not more logical than its inverse argument. Both are tautologies.



    What photon? What retina? You mean the one i dreamt about last night? You consider that definitive evidence of an outside world? Or do you mean the one i may be dreaming about right now? See next paragraph.



    You state so, yet you have not answered my question as to what experiment you would perform that would differentiate a "real" universe from one that is constructed by your mind around you (as in a dream).

    The scientific method is empirical, so what experiment differentiates a "real" universe from a "mind-constructed" one? How do you determine, experimentally, whether you are dreaming right now or not?
    If there is no experiment that differentiates between them, then the distinction is not based on the scientific method. And your belief that it is would then be, by your own quoted definition, pseudoscience.
    How can you say, it is no more logical than in one order than another, in face of the hard scientific facts WHICH CLEARLY support it?

    Please, answer this.

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    This is supposed to be a science forum. If no one is capable of realizing that one order does not make sense in the face of hard scientific facts, then you might as well close this thread. I can't prove something to an audience which cannot distinguish between one order being scientific and another order which is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    Here is something to imagine. Could you imagine the reception I would have received if I had presented this proof the other way around? Do you think it would have sat here quietly unchallenged?
    I can't speak for others, but i for one would have reacted in exactly the same way. I don't really care which personal preference you have on the matter, that's up to you to decide. It is however incorrect to state that you have proven it, one way or the other. Or to even assume that such a question falls within the purview of science. It is a question of metaphysics, not science. The existence of an objective world is nothing more than an assumption, it can't be proven or disproven. From which directly follows that it can't be proven or disproven whether the universe is a function of the mind or the other way round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    I can't speak for others, but i for one would have reacted in exactly the same way. I don't really care which personal preference you have on the matter, that's up to you to decide. It is however incorrect to state that you have proven it, one way or the other. Or to even assume that such a question falls within the purview of science. It is a question of metaphysics, not science. The existence of an objective world is nothing more than an assumption, it can't be proven or disproven. From which directly follows that it can't be proven or disproven whether the universe is a function of the mind or the other way round.

    What would it take to prove it? As I have explained just recently:

    ''If (no if's but), if the order is correct, then the mind must be sub-dimension. The conjecture is that no subdimension can accurately collect the same amount of information to form an exact copy. The arguement is, which system is making the copy?

    Obviously the subdimension is making the copy, therefore, the mind preceded the universe. So by logical default, you cannot say that the universe is mind-dependent because the universe existed long before any minds where there to calculate it, observe it, in all its wonders.''


    So by default, it proves itself. Now I posited a question to you above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    How can you say, it is no more logical than in one order than another, in face of the hard scientific facts WHICH CLEARLY support it?

    Please, answer this.
    Let me tell you two interpretations of those hard scientific facts you talk about.
    1. There is an objective world that i subjectively probe with experiments that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.
    2. Like in a dream, my subconscious mind constructs a world around me that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.

    You state that there is a scientific difference between the two, which means there exists an experiment that differentiates between these two.
    So i ask you again, what experiment would you perform that would show whether it is one or the other? Either provide an experiment or admit that the distinction is not scientific.

    That doesn't mean that the distinction cannot exist, or that the discussion cannot be interesting, just that there is no proof (in the scientific sense) of one or the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    Let me tell you two interpretations of those hard scientific facts you talk about.
    1. There is an objective world that i subjectively probe with experiments that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.
    2. Like in a dream, my subconscious mind constructs a world around me that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.

    You state that there is a scientific difference between the two, which means there exists an experiment that differentiates between these two.
    So i ask you again, what experiment would you perform that would show whether it is one or the other? Either provide an experiment or admit that the distinction is not scientific.

    That doesn't mean that the distinction cannot exist, or that the discussion cannot be interesting, just that there is no proof (in the scientific sense) of one or the other.
    I'll get to this in a moment, but for someone who mentions that there is no evidence of the objective world, external to our feeling of it, makes me worried if his overall view of the scientific facts are clearly understood in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelwulf View Post
    What would it take to prove it? As I have explained just recently:

    ''If (no if's but), if the order is correct, then the mind must be sub-dimension. The conjecture is that no subdimension can accurately collect the same amount of information to form an exact copy. The arguement is, which system is making the copy?

    Obviously the subdimension is making the copy, therefore, the mind preceded the universe. So by logical default, you cannot say that the universe is mind-dependent because the universe existed long before any minds where there to calculate it, observe it, in all its wonders.''

    So by default, it proves itself. Now I posited a question to you above.
    (my bold)

    Of course by default it proves itself, that's what it means to be a tautology. I can turn this around just as easily. If the order is incorrect, then the universe must be a subset, and the opposite conclusion follows.

    What it would take is an experiment, not a statement that basically says "If i am correct then i am correct". The scientific method is based on experiments, it is empirical.

    You complain that this is supposed to be a science forum, however it seems to be you that are having difficulty with the distinction between science and metaphysics.

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    1. There is an objective world that i subjectively probe with experiments that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.
    2. Like in a dream, my subconscious mind constructs a world around me that seems to be consistent with certain models about it that i make up.

    Notice, the second assertion is ''like'' a dream. In this instance, we are [likening] something to something else. This does not mean that reality is a dream - in fact our very consciousness dictates that being ''awake'' is something quite different to ''being asleep''.

    Dreams are mostly manufactured by our subconscious. The other small remainder would be just chemical signals possibly replaying things it had done during the day. The experiment which differentiates the two is the objective and subjectivity of consciousness and dream states. In a dream state we are not completely fully aware of our surroundings, whilst when awake, we are.

    It becomes all very ''Martixy'' and ''Alice in Wonderlandish'' to think we are constantly in a dream state. Neurological science can quite clearly differentiate between the two.

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