Tuesday, March 21, 2006

John von Neumann and other physicists came to the conclusion that "consciousness can be the only agency responsible for the collapse of the wave function." For that Copenhagen Interpretation subscribe the belief that "the mind, by collapsing the wave function, creates what we observe, from moment to moment."

This viewpoint, that the facts of quantum mechanics have rendered objective reality obsolete, I label quantum mysticism.

For this reason, those of us who have taken realism for granted need to take a close look at the quantum world.

Amit Goswami's The Self-Aware Universe: how consciousness creates the material world. "monistic idealism"

On one side are those who believe that the world exists independently of our awareness of it. These include Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Paine, Samuel Johnson, Einstein, Ayn Rand, most working scientists and engineers, and the author of this article. On the other side are those who believe that our awareness creates reality. These include Plato (to some extent), Bishop George Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Paul Watzlawick, Deepak Chopra, Amit Goswami, numerous mystics, a few physicists in our day, and a good fraction of the New Age movement. The first view is called realism or materialism; the second view is called idealism.

Ayn Rand has put a concise label on the two views; she calls them the "primacy of existence" and the "primacy of consciousness."

According to the Copenhagen Interpretation invented in the middle of the Carlsberg brewery 1926 by Niels Bohr, the world-as-known-to-science is not a model of the real world but is - at one step removed - a model of the human mind building a model of the real world. The science of sciences, then, THE SCIENCE, the fountainhead, becomes epistemology, which is a branch of human psychology, which is a branch of primate psychology and of primate neurology.

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