Consciousness ~=~ self-referentiality' (was Re: Consciousness, New Thinking About

On the wacky weed OnTheWackyWeed at
Tue Jun 4 07:11:32 EST 2002

Mark Horn <rama at> wrote in message
news:adh71i$qir$0 at
> Matt Jones wrote:
> > To say that we need something like a unified theory of physics before
> > contemplating theories of consciousness just isn't realistic. That's
> > not how classical physics arose, it's not how statistical mechanics
> > arose, it's not how relativity arose (close, though), it's not how
> > quantum electrodynamics or chromodynamics arose, it's not how modern
> > evolutionary or molecular biology arose, it's not how psychology
> > arose, etc etc etc.
> >
> > It's just not how people do science. They start with what they -do-
> > know, and speculate about things they -don't- know.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Matt
> Matt -
> I'm not going to disagree, but perhaps a representation of a point
> omitted would be useful, where I wrote:
> "Circumstantially it would appear that, ahead of such superunification
> (i.e., unification of all five forces), defining consciousness in
> physically meaningful terms may be too difficult.  On the other hand,
> one could also suggest that ahead of defining consciousness,
> superunification may not be possible..."
> My intent was to underscore the possible concurrency of acheiving
> superunification in theoretical physics, and a theory of consciousness,
> and what connections might exist between the models.  I also wished  to
> offer up a choice, and not necessarily -the- choice; given that
> contemporary science generally believes that a unified single model of
> physics is in our (hopefully near) future, either it will precede a
> physical theory of consciousness -- perhaps because consciousness cannot
> be fully understood without such superunification -- or quite the
> opposite, i.e., a physical theory of consciousness will precede a
> complete cosmology, because a "theory of everything" requires first a
> complete theory of the observer.  Yet another possibility may be that
> there is no connection between physics and consciousness at all, and
> defining the observer's place in the physical world will remain a
> philosophical question long after quantum gravity and wormholes become
> old points of fact.
> To my mind, science gets done by a progressive addition of new models
> that are well supported by previous models which stand the test of the
> best contemporary empirical methods, models ultimately accommodated to
> signigicant accuracy by new, and proportionately accurate, observations.
> It's as true now as it was 150 years ago, or 1150 years ago.

Unless of course you take into account the possibility of the many worlds
interpretation.  It might just be that the progressive approach that you
mentioned takes us progressively towards one of a possible myriad of truths,
rather than one absolute scientific truth.  What is considered scientific
truth in this universe might be considered fallacy in another.  What an
observer observes during experimental trials in this universe might be the
opposite of those seen in another.  How?  What if once the relationship is
established between the observer and the observed, the universe guarantees
the same result thereafter for all observers.  The scientific truths of this
universe might have resulted from the random effects of quantum uncertainty.
Alternatively, the observers might have played a subtle, yet active role in
establishing those truths.  Hehe...and you thought I was being serious :)

On The Wacky Weed

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