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(08-Jun-2009 at 04:33)


Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

This topic requires at least an introductory understanding of quantum mechanics. I thus link to an explanation of the two slit experiment.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

A short, five minute video that explains it all very decently. The end result: on a subatomic level, matter exists both as a wave and as a particle. In the absence of an observer, matter exists only as waves of probability. It is, like Schrödinger's cat, in many different states at once. Only when matter is observed is it finally forced to pick one state or the other.

The act of observation forces matter to collapse into one, tangible reality. Until it is observed, EVERY POSSIBLE VARIATION of itself exists, waiting to be picked.

We can use the results of these experiments and expands them into theoretical thought about the origin of the universe, and is helpful in answering a great number of questions. It is a known fact that the universe as we know it is perfectly set up to support life. If gravity were one part in a million weaker, solar systems would not hold together. If the various nuclear forces were even a small part different, nothing more complex than hydrogen would exist anywhere. I could go on.

There are three possible answers to why the universe exists in this state:

(1. Intelligent design. God (or something) made it that way on purpose.
(2. Random chance. The currently held view by most scientists is that we are the result of a lucky one in a trillion trillion trillion to the millionth power roll of the dice.
(3. Biocentrism.

The theory is that, following the laws of quantum mechanics, all matter in the universe existed only as waves of probability (like Schrödinger's cat) until it was beheld by a conscious observer. At that point, the universe collapsed into a single, tangible reality. However, out of all possible universes, it was restricted to only collapsing into a reality that allowed for the observer that collapsed it.

To give a simplified example with the hopes of explaining more thoroughly:

Imagine that, in the beginning of the universe, THREE possible states for Earth existed.

In the first state (A), the Earth was just a little bit farther away from the sun. Everything was coated in ice, there was no liquid water.

In the second state (B), the Earth was just a little bit closer to the sun. Everything was scorched, and all liquid water had evaporated away.

In the third state (C), Earth existed as it does now. The perfect place for life to flourish.

For billions of years, these three worlds existed simultaneously. The Earth existed as waves of probability. It was an ice ball, a scorched planet, and a life-giving oasis ALL AT ONCE. However, as time went on, life began to evolve on Earth C. This gave rise to the first consciousness. At this time, the universe was forced to collapse into one of the three possibilities. It could no longer exist as all three at once. A choice had to be made.

Earth A was not a viable choice. In Earth A, no consciousness existed to have caused the collapse.

Similarly, Earth B was not an available reality. No consciousness = no collapse into reality.

The ONLY available choice was to collapse into Earth C. Just as you yourself could not exist if your mother had never been born, reality could not exist without the consciousness that created it.

It is therefore only logical that reality is tailored to fit our needs. This understanding needs neither the leap of faith demanded of intelligent design, nor the surrender to astronomical odds that current prevailing theory touts. Life created the universe...not the other way around.

The less popular Sage
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(08-Jun-2009 at 04:45)


I just shat a brick wall =|

A couple of things. First, there should still exist an infinite number of universes, since surely this isn't the only one that supports life.

Second, since we can observe the effect of the electrons going through the slit, why doesn't that count as observing them and force them to act as particles?

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Last edited by Spectre19, 08-Jun-2009 at 04:52.
Edit reason: I had some other comments but I forgot them.
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(08-Jun-2009 at 05:34)


Why should there be an infinite number of universes? There's not a ton of evidence to support that theory, and therefore the simpler explanation of wave function collapse is, to me, preferable.

They're observing the electrons after the fact...after they've passed through the slit. So they do indeed collapse into particles...after the experiment has reached its end. Only when they observe them DURING the experiment (before passing through the slit) does their wave function collapse and force them through one slit or the other.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 05:46)


These things have wavefunctions and probabilities before you observe them and interactions between these wavefunctions are the physical world. You don't need to be a conscious being to make a measurement. The wavefunction collapses when a specific value is needed. For instance, light has a probability of going through a linear polarizer of one half. Before the photon goes through the polarizer, it is best characterized as a wavefunction. After it hits the polarizer, that wavefunction has collapsed because it either did or did not make it through. That would be the "observation." It doesn't require a conscious observer to cause that. The light will or will not make it through regardless of conscious minds.

Also, after it makes it through, it is still a wavefunction but it is one of a certain set because it has to be polarized in the direction that would make it through another polarizer set at the same angle. Basically the "observation" eliminates certain solutions to Schrodingers equation but others still exist.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 05:49)


This made me squee a little bit. The infinite part makes sense to me. At least in the 2 slits method. Because we are observing it and forcing it to make a 'decision' about which one it goes through, then in that moment of collapse the universe has two different ways it can go. What's to say it doesn't go both ways? That the collapse isn't just the universe splitting, or however it would be best described.

I must admit that the holes in my quantum physics knowledge are gaping, to put it lightly. So there's a good chance I'm completely misunderstanding this theory.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 05:58)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by Brightbane: View Post
This made me squee a little bit. The infinite part makes sense to me. At least in the 2 slits method. Because we are observing it and forcing it to make a 'decision' about which one it goes through, then in that moment of collapse the universe has two different ways it can go. What's to say it doesn't go both ways? That the collapse isn't just the universe splitting, or however it would be best described.

I must admit that the holes in my quantum physics knowledge are gaping, to put it lightly. So there's a good chance I'm completely misunderstanding this theory.
I didn't watch the video but from what I've read that's the theory I like. Each possibility gives birth to another universe.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 06:02)


I'm curious...what is it about the Many Worlds Interpretation that people find to be more reasonable than wave function collapse? Is it just the fact that "it would be really frickin cool?" Or is there more to it?

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(08-Jun-2009 at 06:47)


Quote:
It is, like Schrödinger's cat, in many different states at once. Only when matter is observed is it finally forced to pick one state or the other.
The whole point of Schroedinger's cat is that it was *not* in some undetermined state. It was alive or dead, there is no in-between, and it didn't matter whether it was being observed or not.

On your understanding of this, why can't the cat observes itself and eliminate all indeterminacy?


Quote:
It is a known fact that the universe as we know it is perfectly set up to support life.
It is a known fact that life is perfectly adapted to the universe as it exists. Your comment is like remarking how incredible it is that the Antarctic is perfectly set up for penguins to live in.

If the universe where different, it would be populated by life adapted to that different state.


Quote:
The act of observation forces matter to collapse into one, tangible reality. Until it is observed, EVERY POSSIBLE VARIATION of itself exists, waiting to be picked.
No, it doesn't have to be an observation. Any form of interaction will do.


Quote:
The theory is that, following the laws of quantum mechanics, all matter in the universe existed only as waves of probability (like Schrödinger's cat) until it was beheld by a conscious observer. At that point, the universe collapsed into a single, tangible reality. However, out of all possible universes, it was restricted to only collapsing into a reality that allowed for the observer that collapsed it.
Where did that conscious observer live before there was a universe to live in?

What do you think happens to the the universe when that observer dies - does it cease to exist, or does it carry on unobserved?

What happens if, at the moment of creation of the universe, there are two observers. Whose observation forces the universe to become real?


Quote:
Why should there be an infinite number of universes? There's not a ton of evidence to support that theory, and therefore the simpler explanation of wave function collapse is, to me, preferable.
"At that point, the universe collapsed into a single, tangible reality. However, out of all possible universes, it was restricted to only collapsing into a reality that allowed for the observer that collapsed it."


Quote:
They're observing the electrons after the fact...after they've passed through the slit. So they do indeed collapse into particles...after the experiment has reached its end. Only when they observe them DURING the experiment (before passing through the slit) does their wave function collapse and force them through one slit or the other.
If the waves are unobservable, because observing them forces them to become particles, how do you know that the waves exist at all?

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.
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(08-Jun-2009 at 07:52)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by The Other Sage: View Post
I'm curious...what is it about the Many Worlds Interpretation that people find to be more reasonable than wave function collapse? Is it just the fact that "it would be really frickin cool?" Or is there more to it?
Many worlds interpretation is one way of explaining wavefunction collapse.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 09:09)
Contradiction does not arise in observing the universe, it arises in the failure to observe yourself.
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(08-Jun-2009 at 09:11)


Quote:
I'm curious...what is it about the Many Worlds Interpretation that people find to be more reasonable than wave function collapse? Is it just the fact that "it would be really frickin cool?" Or is there more to it?
As Mars says, MWI is an alternative explanation rather than an alternative.

I suspect it is popular because it avoids the uncomfortable solipsism inherent in 'the universe exists because I observe it', or maybe that it verges on the relgious by offering quamtum immortality.

If there are many universes, then there must also me many 'me', and MWI gets around that by saying that I can experience only one universe at a time. If I die in this universe, I will also continue to live in another universe and 'me' as a conscious entity should split to a universe in which I continue to live.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.
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(08-Jun-2009 at 14:18)
Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by The Other Sage: View Post
The act of observation forces matter to collapse into one, tangible reality. Until it is observed, EVERY POSSIBLE VARIATION of itself exists, waiting to be picked.
While the interpretation of what a wave function collapse really is is still debated, you'll be hard pressed to find real physicists who believe that a conscious observer has anything to do with it.
Quote:
It is a known fact that the universe as we know it is perfectly set up to support life. If gravity were one part in a million weaker, solar systems would not hold together.
How did you reach that conclusion? All that would happen is that planets would circle slightly slower at a given distance from their star.
Quote:
If the various nuclear forces were even a small part different, nothing more complex than hydrogen would exist anywhere.
Fine tuning om some physical constants is a bit more interesting problem, although it may just be that we lack imagination in understanding who such a universe would work. It might still contain interesting structures although we haven't figured it out.
Quote:
There are three possible answers to why the universe exists in this state:

(1. Intelligent design. God (or something) made it that way on purpose.
(2. Random chance. The currently held view by most scientists is that we are the result of a lucky one in a trillion trillion trillion to the millionth power roll of the dice.
(3. Biocentrism.
It is possible there exist an infinite number of universes in which case the fact that we exist in one that supports life is trivial. Just as it is trivial that out of all the countless planets that exist in the universe we happen to live on one suitable for our kind of carbon based life.
Quote:
It is therefore only logical that reality is tailored to fit our needs. This understanding needs neither the leap of faith demanded of intelligent design, nor the surrender to astronomical odds that current prevailing theory touts. Life created the universe...not the other way around.
It's a fun theory, I'll give you that, but how do you plan to test it? Does it make any testable predictions?
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(08-Jun-2009 at 16:04)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

ROFL. This isn't a new theory. George Berkeley already knew it 300 years ago.

Originally Posted by Bernel: View Post
It's a fun theory, I'll give you that, but how do you plan to test it? Does it make any testable predictions?
Of course not, it's metaphysics. But neither does (by definition) the infinite multiverse hypothesis.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 17:23)


Originally Posted by Caelis666:
I COMMAND ALL OF YOU TO FEEL INADEQUATE IN THE PRESENCE OF MY SUPREME KNOWLEDGE OF METAPHYSICAL THEORIES
Nobody gives a shit. Not all of us have heard of it, and it's interesting.

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(08-Jun-2009 at 18:50)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
ROFL. This isn't a new theory. George Berkeley already knew it 300 years ago.



Of course not, it's metaphysics. But neither does (by definition) the infinite multiverse hypothesis.
Come on Caelis... Bishop Berkley was talking about Solipsism, not quantum physics. There is a huge difference between saying all our knowledge of the world is from perceptions, and saying that the act of observing an event affects that event.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.
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(08-Jun-2009 at 20:03)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
The whole point of Schroedinger's cat is that it was *not* in some undetermined state. It was alive or dead, there is no in-between, and it didn't matter whether it was being observed or not.

On your understanding of this, why can't the cat observes itself and eliminate all indeterminacy?
Schrodinger's point was that, according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the cat had to be both simultaneously alive and dead. He found that idea to be silly, and he was hoping its inherent silliness would convince people. A cat that's alive AND dead? Pfft! Regardless of his intent, the thought experiment is very useful in discussing quantum mechanics with those who are unfamiliar with the topic, as they're likely to have heard of the cat before...and if not, it's very easy to grasp.

Obviously, the cat in question is there out of convenience (and to help prove his silliness point), so the question of why it doesn't observe itself is moot. If you would prefer, we can rephrase the thought experiment so that a conscious entity is not in the box.


Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
It is a known fact that life is perfectly adapted to the universe as it exists. Your comment is like remarking how incredible it is that the Antarctic is perfectly set up for penguins to live in.

If the universe where different, it would be populated by life adapted to that different state.
I was hoping people might give me some leeway on this for the sake of time. Oh well. I brought up numbers at random, alluding to the whatever they actually were, hoping people would fill in the blanks. Ok...I shall research.

---Strong Nuclear Force is attractive between .7 and 2 fermis (1 fermi = one quadrillionth of a meter). If those numbers had been slightly different, atoms could not exist. Any less than .7 fermis, all subatomic particles would merge together. Any more than 2 fermis, and everything would drift apart.

---If we were to tweak the Weak Nuclear Force, heavy elements (which are manufactured inside stars), would never escape the star.

---The Planck time (The expansion of the universe in the moments after the Big Bang) is 5.3906(40) x 10^-44. Had the universe expanded slightly slower, it would have collapsed back into itself. Had it expanded slightly faster, it would not have allowed time for galaxies (or anything else) to form.


If you're interested in learning all the various ways that we exist in a Goldilocks Universe of "just right," a quick google search will bring up PLENTY of results from creationists trying to use the long odds as proof of God.

I was not trying to say that it's remarkable that penguins live in the Antartic. In a universe with a different constant of strong or weak nuclear force, not only would life as we know it not exist, nothing but hydrogen or helium would exist!


Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
Where did that conscious observer live before there was a universe to live in?
There was never no universe to live in. The universe existed in an infinite number of possible states. In some of those states, nothing but hydrogen existed. In other states, things existed as they do now. It was in one of those states that life (also existing as waves of probability) evolved into the consciousness that collapsed the universe into a single reality.

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
What do you think happens to the the universe when that observer dies - does it cease to exist, or does it carry on unobserved?
I'm not that well learned in quantum mechanics, so I don't know the actual answer to this. I don't believe that, once something has collapsed, it can uncollapse, can it?

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
What happens if, at the moment of creation of the universe, there are two observers. Whose observation forces the universe to become real?
Whichever came first? Does it matter? The nature of the observer doesn't seem to have any effect on the result, only the act of observation itself.


Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
"At that point, the universe collapsed into a single, tangible reality. However, out of all possible universes, it was restricted to only collapsing into a reality that allowed for the observer that collapsed it."
Yes...I said "many possible universes." I was questioning the belief in "many real, tangible universes existing parallel to each other."


Originally Posted by Voice of Reason: View Post
If the waves are unobservable, because observing them forces them to become particles, how do you know that the waves exist at all?
That was explained quite well in the video I posted. Waves create an interference pattern that particles do not.

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Really...most people forget who I am
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(09-Jun-2009 at 03:29)


Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

That's one of the coolest explanations of that experiment I have ever watched! I'm totally posting it on facebook.

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(09-Jun-2009 at 05:59)
Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by The Other Sage: View Post
I was hoping people might give me some leeway on this for the sake of time. Oh well. I brought up numbers at random, alluding to the whatever they actually were, hoping people would fill in the blanks. Ok...I shall research.

---Strong Nuclear Force is attractive between .7 and 2 fermis (1 fermi = one quadrillionth of a meter). If those numbers had been slightly different, atoms could not exist. Any less than .7 fermis, all subatomic particles would merge together. Any more than 2 fermis, and everything would drift apart.

---If we were to tweak the Weak Nuclear Force, heavy elements (which are manufactured inside stars), would never escape the star.

---The Planck time (The expansion of the universe in the moments after the Big Bang) is 5.3906(40) x 10^-44. Had the universe expanded slightly slower, it would have collapsed back into itself. Had it expanded slightly faster, it would not have allowed time for galaxies (or anything else) to form.


If you're interested in learning all the various ways that we exist in a Goldilocks Universe of "just right," a quick google search will bring up PLENTY of results from creationists trying to use the long odds as proof of God.

I was not trying to say that it's remarkable that penguins live in the Antartic. In a universe with a different constant of strong or weak nuclear force, not only would life as we know it not exist, nothing but hydrogen or helium would exist!
But none of this give credence to your theory that there were multiple universes. All it does is demonstrate that the universe as we know it can only exist under very specific conditions. Not that there must have been a few billion 'test' universes out there to get the 'right' result.
Quote:
There was never no universe to live in.
I am no physicist, but I would have thought that the big bang theory disagreed with you there.
Quote:
The universe existed in an infinite number of possible states. In some of those states, nothing but hydrogen existed. In other states, things existed as they do now. It was in one of those states that life (also existing as waves of probability) evolved into the consciousness that collapsed the universe into a single reality.
What do you base this on? How does your theory predict a result that is different from other theories?
Quote:
I'm not that well learned in quantum mechanics, so I don't know the actual answer to this. I don't believe that, once something has collapsed, it can uncollapse, can it?
Not true. If you run the two slit experiment like this:

s-----=-------=--------t

where s is the electron source, = is a double slit, and t is the target screen. Imagine that you measure the electrons at the first double slit, making them pass through as though through two single slits without interference. They will now carry on to the unobserved double slit, and pass through this as a wave, resulting in a two-slit interference pattern on the target screen. The electrons have 'uncollapsed' (as you would put it) to act like waves again.

Besides, where did you get the idea that 'life' had to observe the electrons? The electrons will behave exactly the same regardless of whether a person is there to see it or not. It is the presence of something that can interact with the electron that causes the electron the become particle-like, NOT the presence of sentient undestanding of its position.
Quote:
Whichever came first? Does it matter? The nature of the observer doesn't seem to have any effect on the result, only the act of observation itself.
We still haven't quantified what you mean by the 'act of observation'. I think you will find it is a lot more complex than you think.
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(09-Jun-2009 at 07:06)
Re: Life Created the Universe, not Vice Versa

Originally Posted by The Other Sage: View Post
I'm not that well learned in quantum mechanics, so I don't know the actual answer to this. I don't believe that, once something has collapsed, it can uncollapse, can it?
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0806140128.htm
You'll have to locate the original article if you want the details. Popular descriptions of anything involving quantum mechanics are always somewhat misleading.
Quote:
Yes...I said "many possible universes." I was questioning the belief in "many real, tangible universes existing parallel to each other."
How can you tell if all those other universes you think are needed exist for real or not?
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(09-Jun-2009 at 08:22)


Quote:
I was hoping people might give me some leeway on this for the sake of time. Oh well. I brought up numbers at random, alluding to the whatever they actually were, hoping people would fill in the blanks. Ok...I shall research.

---Strong Nuclear Force is attractive between .7 and 2 fermis (1 fermi = one quadrillionth of a meter). If those numbers had been slightly different, atoms could not exist. Any less than .7 fermis, all subatomic particles would merge together. Any more than 2 fermis, and everything would drift apart.

---If we were to tweak the Weak Nuclear Force, heavy elements (which are manufactured inside stars), would never escape the star.

---The Planck time (The expansion of the universe in the moments after the Big Bang) is 5.3906(40) x 10^-44. Had the universe expanded slightly slower, it would have collapsed back into itself. Had it expanded slightly faster, it would not have allowed time for galaxies (or anything else) to form.
Which tells us that if you change the laws of physics, you change the physical nature of the universe. It does not say that the universe would cease to exist.

If the universe were different, then that would also include any life in that universe being different, but perfectly adapted to the new conditions.


Quote:
There was never no universe to live in. The universe existed in an infinite number of possible states. In some of those states, nothing but hydrogen existed. In other states, things existed as they do now. It was in one of those states that life (also existing as waves of probability) evolved into the consciousness that collapsed the universe into a single reality.
1) If the universe already existed, then you obviously don't need a conscious observer to create it.

2) The universe started with the Big Bang. Before that there was no universe, so where did the observer live before the Big Bang - or are you rejecting the Big Bang theory?


Quote:
Yes...I said "many possible universes." I was questioning the belief in "many real, tangible universes existing parallel to each other."

These other universes you refer to cannot have a physical existence, unless you are proposing that every time we open the box to look at Schroedingers Cat we actually create a whole new physical universe. I am sure I don't have to point out what that idea does to conservation of energy. If they have no physical existence, where do the observers that make them real live prior to the universe becoming real?

If these other universes are only 'possible', and by WMI de-cohered, you are setting up an unfalsifiable, unproveable theory, which puts it in the same league as believing in God or invisible dragons.


Quote:
I'm not that well learned in quantum mechanics, so I don't know the actual answer to this. I don't believe that, once something has collapsed, it can uncollapse, can it?
Quote:
Whichever came first? Does it matter? The nature of the observer doesn't seem to have any effect on the result, only the act of observation itself.
Then every observer subsequent to that first one must have no effect at all on the universe, so we are right back at square one with an unchanging universe that we have to adapt to.


Quote:
That was explained quite well in the video I posted. Waves create an interference pattern that particles do not.
Looking at the interference pattern is observation. There is no magnifying glass powerful enough to directly observe an electron.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self- interest.
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