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Does Physics have a soul to save?

Rejected submission by Anonymous Coward at 2019-03-08 21:06:23 from the physicsisjustappliedmath dept.

A recent article in Scientific American [] makes the claim that Quantum Monism could save the soul of physics.

TLDR version;

Quantum Mechanics either does or does not describe a multiverse. If it does describe a multiverse then physics loses it's "soul" because if a theory predicts that everything can happen, then it is not really a scientific theory it's just philosophy. On the other hand, the probabilistic nature of QM means we get a lot of weirdness at the quantum level that we don't see in our every day lives.

The author appears to do everything they can to avoid discussing what Monism is and how it would save physic's soul other than to say it preserves order, structure and beauty by assuming that the observer is entangled with the observation and if we could just look at the universe as a whole we would see all the hidden information and realize why things went the way they went. But it makes the mistake of assuming that the information is in the future instead of the past.

I have no real fight with monism. In truth monism just says that a whole is more than the sum of its parts. But the reality is that nothing can be more than the sum of it's parts. If it appears that way, it's only because you aren't counting all the parts. So the whole monism vs dualism debate just seems silly to me.

Take the brain for example. How do all these specialists networks produce your thoughts? It's not just the parts, it's the synchronicity between them. There are waves of information traveling through your brain and your conscious experience is what that information feels like as it's being processed.

To that end, I've always had a problem with the Everett interpretation at a more fundamental level. It violates the second law of thermodynamics. If new universes are coming into existence at every quantum opportunity where is the energy coming from?

There is a better, much more simple explanation. I call it the Anti-Everett Interpretation. In short, the Anti-Everett Interpretation says that Everett isn't wrong, just backwards.

The big bang didn't happen as a single unified macroscale event. Instead it was a random quantum function. A fluctuation in a higher order hyperspace, a math problem and the key thing here is that there was more than one of them. Each of these produced an alternate history. This means that instead of diverging, the universe is computing the sum of all possible histories and this is experienced by us as a universal wave function collapse resulting in divergent histories converging on a whole. In otherwords, as in monism, we are entangled with the universe. But what is actually unknowable is not the future per se, but the past. As these histories come together, things come out in the average and this is what we experience as observation, because our conscious experience is what the information that is you, feels like as it's being processed. []


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