The Observation Factor (part 2)
Why the Quantum? Classical physics would be impossible without the Quantum. Solid objects could not exist, atoms could not exist without something very much like the quantum laws we have. And certainly life would be impossible without the metabolic process made possible by quantum chemistry.
What about the measurement problem? Metabolic process are enzymatic. An enzyme process is paradigmatically a microscopic measurement process. It is anti-entropic because it is not statistical, because it robustly involves individualized molecules. The principle recordings of all these quantum measurement events are our healthy, negentropic bodies.
In general, quantum physics deals only with ensembles, while our ordinary experience refers only to particulars. There could be no experience without converting the quantum probabilities into experienced actualities. That is exactly what the measurement process is stipulated to accomplish. This is collapse of the wave function.
But what about our minds? Could we not just be content quantum zombies? Why do we go around creating, imagining, communicating and all the other strange things that we do with our minds?
A remarkable aspect of our minds is our memory. That, combined with our natural curiosity and our tool making abilities, has enabled us to cooperatively compile a comprehensive portrait or record of a significant portion of the observable universe, including especially of ourselves. This is far beyond the ken of zombiedom.
Is this just a very peculiar accident of nature, or might it actually be understandable as an extension of the observer principle, i.e. no phenomenon is real, unless observed? Any particular reality is garnered only by collapsing or bootstrapping itself through observation. And when we speak of a universe, we cannot just be referring to microscopic phenomena. One enzyme reaction record hardly constitutes a phenomenal world. To bootstrap a phenomenal world would require world observers. A record without a context is no record at all. It could just be a statistical fluctuation. Context implies coherence and coherence implies rationality. But where will that context be when the dying Sun incinerates the Earth? Where will the bootstrap be then, or where was it before the Earth was born? Is there a less fragile extraterrestrial connection?
To maintain logical consistency, something of an external nature must be posited. Why then do cosmologists, at least in public, generally refuse to entertain the stunningly obvious notion of a cosmic observer? Can they honestly say they have no need of that hypothesis? It certainly appears that the need is all but inscribed on the Quantum slate.
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