[LINK] Consciousness, and the real world

Stephen Wilson swilson at lockstep.com.au
Mon Nov 14 06:20:57 AEDT 2011

On 13/11/2011 11:01 PM, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:

>  Regarding www.quantum-mind.co.uk ..
> > [Steve Wilson] Horseshit!
>  Haha .. yes, well, the science of human consciousness is necessarily
>  at the edge of Occam's razor. And some Linkers love this, others
>  drink beer.
>  Sure the science is not easy going.

Au contraire. Some of this stuff that passed off as science is all too 
easy going.

>  This new scientific approach to
>  the study of the CORE of all human existence, our human
>  consciousness, must necessarily be at the nexus of quantum physics,
>  neuroscience, biology, clinical psychology, etc, and even philosophy.

Where is the *necessity* of quantum mechanics in consciousness theory?

>  As such, it's a new and unique field of scientific endeavour.

I would agree that an explanation of consciousness is likely to require 
brand new science, but the intuition of some that this new theory must 
be quantum mechanical in nature shows a confusion of levels (ironic that).

Quantum mechanics is an interesting model in the *history* of science.  
It was radically new, nay shocking, and it was the only way through some 
serious conundrums and inexplicable experimental results c. 1900.  So 
the crucial emergence of QM suggests that another paradigm shift is 
needed to deal with consciousness -- but it need not be QM itself.  QM's 
supreme success in physics doesn't make it apt for any old tough question.

My own reading of consciousness is best informed by the works of Daniel 
Dennett ("Consciousness Explained" etc.).  I read Roger Penrose's "THe 
Emporer's New Mind" -- his treatise on QM and consciousbess -- and found 
it quite nutty.  But it's not unusual for physicists to range 
ostentatiously and ambitiously into "softer" fields, and make a complete 
hash of them.  Think Fred Hoyle and the origins of life, and Paul Davies 
and religion.


Steve Wilson.

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