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Home Jack Sarfatti's Blog Larry Lowe Interview of Jack Sarfatti on Physics of Consciousness

"Jack Sarfatti, PhD is no inside-the-box thinker by any means. He is and long has been a cutting edge physicist with a reputation for eclectic conceptualization. His work includes the notion of consciousness affecting humanity from the future, a sort of non-locality across time due to quantum entanglement. And he has done a lot of thinking about quantum consciousness.

Even so, Sarfatti scoffs at the notion that consciousness is one of the fundamental forces of physics. It's the kind of notion, it seems, that physicists are fond of saying is so badly over-simplified that it is 'not even wrong'.

To follow Sarfatti’s argument, you need to get deep into the equations of physics, but a simplified discussion goes roughly as follows:

Classical physics was based on two components: "particles" and classical "fields". The experiment that lead to Quantum Mechanics involved sending light through a lattice and observing that the photons (the quantum particle of electromagnetism, including light) seemed to also behave as waves in a field, forcing a deeper examination of their nature. While quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous experimental testing, many of these experiments are open to different interpretations.

Sarfatti subscribes to the interpretation offered by David Bohm. In Bohm's theory, there is an additional purely informational "quantum potential" Q that guides the particles and the fields. Therefore a quantum field is the combined effect of a classical field and its (super) quantum potential. As Sarfatti puts it, “All the nonlocal quantum weirdness is in Q that is intrinsically ‘mental’ in contrast to material particles and classical fields.”

Under certain conditions, Sarfatti explains, the mind emerges as a property of Q not of any classical field. But it’s not even that simple. “Brain waves are classical waves of the Bohm hidden material variables. So how do you get inner qualia from a classical machine? That's called the ‘hard problem’”. Sarfatti continues, “We need something else before conscious qualia emerge - and that is "signal nonlocality" that violates quantum theory the way general relativity violates special relativity.”

The philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett explains qualia as "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us."

So when we find the signal nonlocality that Sarfatti says we need to derive a definition of conscious quala - our sense of awareness - we’ll potentially have a mathematical definition of consciousness."

Category: MyBlog

Written by Jack Sarfatti

Published on Tuesday, 03 January 2012 19:16

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