Wednesday, February 24, 2016
THE DANGER OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE
THE DANGER OF ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE
IS SCIENCE BRINGING ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD?
Warning: That which follows may be hazardous to your mental health!
Consider the following well-known philosophical statements:
1.) Knowledge is Power
2.) Power Corrupts; and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
If these two statements are true, and there is abundant evidence in human history to support them, then we must conclude that:
3.) Absolute Knowledge is Absolute Power, which Corrupts Absolutely.
And therein lies the danger.
Beyond simple physical survival, the goal of seeking knowledge is to know the truth. Defining reality as truth and truth as reality, i.e., truth and reality are identically the same, we seek to know as much as we possibly can about the nature of reality. It would seem that the more we know, the more control we have, to avoid the disasters of pain, sadness and death, and prolong our enjoyment of freedom, happiness and life; …that is, up to a point. As to the possibility of having absolute knowledge, Science and mathematics tell us that we can never know everything because the universe expands away and shrinks away from us at the same time, faster than we can learn to see it, ever revealing new mysteries of the very large and the very small, while we remain stuck in the middle, and Gӧdel’s incompleteness theorems tell us that we can ask questions that have no answers in the logical system within we ask them.
But this state of affairs exists only if we confine our search for reality to domains within a closed, finite universe. The instant infinity is accepted as real, everything changes. If intelligence is more than the mechanism of the brain, if it is infinite, then that intelligence can, effectively, know everything. In fact, the way the universe works, the intelligence need not be infinite, only effectively infinite in the same manner as the expanding universe. Let me explain:
Science cannot prove, and therefore cannot say, that reality is finite. Mathematics cannot prove, and therefore cannot say, that the logical system describing reality is finite. Our knowledge of reality is finite as long as our observation and measurement of it is limited by the finite three-dimensional domain of our physical senses and extensions of them. In fact, the nature of scientific observation, and the proof of Gӧdel’s incompleteness theorems prove that the physical universe, and the reality it is part of, are effectively infinite. Here’s why:
If the physical universe is expanding away from us at speeds that approach the speed of light at the farthest distance, as indicated by the red-shift data, it is only finite if we freeze it in time, like a snapshot, and this is what we do with any observation or measurement. If we expand our observation and measurement to the farthest reaches of today’s snapshot, we find that, because we cannot exceed the speed of light within the finite portion of reality we occupy, reality has expanded beyond our reach. The logical system of mathematics that describes our current knowledge of reality is based upon axiomatic principles that are correct within the logical system describing finite reality as we know it.
But, what if we discover new aspects of reality? To obtain a logical mathematical system that encompasses the new expanded reality, we need to find the additional axiomatic principle or principles appropriate to the expanded observable reality. So the expanding universe, and our expanding knowledge of it, make reality and the mathematical system that describes it effectively infinite.
Importantly, it appears that we now stand at a point in the expansion of our knowledge of reality where we are ready to take the third step into a complete understanding of the nature of physical reality, i.e., Absolute Knowledge. The first step was the paradigm shift to Einstein’s four-dimensional space-time, mass-energy reality. The second step was the shift of Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrӧdinger’s quantum physics with quantized reality. The third step is the Close-Neppe nine-dimensional space-time-consciousness reality, a true theory of everything.
A DISAPPEARING GENIUS
Most readers of the posts on this website know that I joined MENSA more than 30 years ago based on my Graduate Record Exam scores that indicated an IQ much higher than the 132 required for membership in MENSA. I enjoyed the MENSAN magazine and attended several MENSA gatherings and spoke at some of them including the Colloquium on Consciousness in suburban Detroit in 2002. Impressed by articles written by members of the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry (ISPE), an organization that required, among other things an IQ of 150 or above, I took their test in 2006 and became a member. I rose rapidly through the ranks of the ISPE to Senior Research Fellow, and based on my score there, I was recruited into two additional high IQ societies with even more restrictive requirements including even higher IQ scores, a high level of creativity, with documented accomplishments, and a high level of professional integrity.
In 2011 my wife Jacqui and I were invited to speak at a conference in Brisbane Australia. I knew that the founder of one of the high IQ societies I belonged to, was living in a remote part of Queensland south of the Cairns Rainforest. His documented IQ was 197. I wanted to meet him and see what he thought of TDVP. So I contacted him by email to let him know when I would be in Australia and attached some information and links to books and papers Dr. Neppe and I had published, related to our consciousness-based relativity/quantum physics paradigm shift. I received a reply from him stating that he had discovered much the same thing some years ago, but realized that general knowledge of the discovery would mean the end of the world as we know it. He also made it clear that he had retired to this remote tropical area in Eastern Australia to avoid publicity, and did not want to be disturbed. He gave me no specifics concerning exactly what he had discovered that he believed would spell the end of the world, and no specifics concerning his location, so I was unable to meet with him, and because he asked me not to contact him further, I couldn’t learn anything more about his misgivings concerning his, and presumably our, findings.
I have been reluctant to tell anyone about this, and reluctant to pursue it further because of what appears to be a great danger to humanity. This is the first time I have written about it. I think it may have to do with the nature of multi-dimensional time and the collapse of the Schrӧdinger probabilistic wave function by conscious observation. While contemplating the mathematics of three-dimensional time a few years ago, I saw a way that time travel might actually be possible. My experience in the Great Pyramid of Giza, which I wrote about briefly in the last post, seemed to confirm this. But because time travel has the potential to destroy the world as we know it, I promised my beautiful wife Jacqui that I would not attempt to build a time machine.
WHAT HAPPENS IF ALL THE UNKNOWN BECOMES KNOWN?
The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics was Bohr and Heisenberg’s answer to the Einstein Podolsky Rosen (EPR) paradox. It said that physical systems do not have finite objective properties like particles or waves prior to being measured, and quantum mechanics can only predict a range of probabilities that measurements will produce certain results. Furthermore, the act of measurement done or arranged by conscious observers affects the system, causing the set of probabilities to reduce to only one of the possible values with the measurement. This was known as the wave-function collapse, where the wave function was the Schrӧdinger wave equation, actually a probability distribution function describing the possible quantum states before observation.
Because the basic philosophical position of most physicists was, and is, materialistic, many object to the Copenhagen Interpretation because it seems to require the involvement of the consciousness of the observer. Even Erwin Schrӧdinger, one of the architects of quantum mechanics objected to it. I think everyone has heard of Schrӧdinger’s famous cat who was said to be in a superimposed state, neither dead nor alive, in a box where a quantum process determined whether or not a poison was released, because, according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the quantum state of the mechanism that could release the poison was just a range of probabilities until observed by the experimenter. [Incidentally, if consciousness does actually cause the wave function to ‘collapse’ from a state of multiple probabilities to a single objective state, there is a flaw the famous Schrӧdinger’s cat scenario: the consciousness of the cat was not considered. In fact, it is presumptuous to think that the consciousness of a human observer is the only effective form of consciousness at work.
Of course, Schrӧdinger never believed that the cat could be in such a state. He posed the situation as a thought experiment to underline the absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation. But to the surprise of virtually every physicist, Bell’s inequality, sometimes called Bell’s theorem, and the Aspect experiment proved that the Copenhagen interpretation was correct, at least in principle.
Physicists who objected to the Copenhagen interpretation tried to think of alternatives that would avoid the EPR paradox without the implication that consciousness is directly involved in the shaping of reality. Alternatives include the many-worlds interpretation, the De Broglie-Bohm (pilot-wave) interpretation, and quantum de-coherence theories. But they all involve consciousness and a redefinition of time. From the simple double-slit experiment where we are able to see light as either particle or wave by the way we choose to observe it, to Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiments where the past can be determined by choices we make in the present, to resolutions of the EPR paradox, the unescapable conclusion is that the nature of reality is a product of the interaction of consciousness with a probabilistic physical universe.
REALITY: THE RESULT OF OBSERVATION
Quantum physics tells us that reality exists in a state of multiple possibilities described by the Schrӧdinger wave equation until an observation is made. At the small end of the scale of the physical universe, we have a smallest possible distinction: the TRUE unit quantum distinction multiples of which define distinct finite quanta appearing out of the many possible states upon observation by a conscious observer. With the discovery of the TRUE quantum unit, defined by the limits of relativity, we have reached the bottom, so to speak, of reality. Reality at the TRUE quantum unit level has been condensed out of a range of possible states and stabilized as quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules, organic and inorganic compounds, living organisms, planets, solar systems, and galaxies, by the act of drawing finite distinctions, the act of observation. As we extend observation to the edge of the universe, we bring more and more of reality into finite non-probabilistic manifestation. Relativity and quantum mechanics has revealed the lower limit of reality. Is there an upper limit?
LOOK-BACK TIME AND THE BIG BANG
Hubble’s discovery of the red shift in light from distant stars increasing with distance, suggested that the universe began with an explosion from a beginning point in space and time. So we have a universe of many possibilities expanding from an unobserved quantum past. As we expand our observation farther and farther into the past by developing more and more powerful means of observation, what happens when we observe the first moment in space and time? Quantum physics tells us that the multiplicity of possibilities will be reduced to one. The ever-expanding possibility of many worlds will be reduced to one concrete finite reality. The end of knowledge and learning will be in sight: we will have absolute knowledge of the nature of reality. But is this a good thing? Or will we have destroyed the goose that laid the golden eggs?
The universe of many possibilities is one we are very familiar with. It could be argued that it is what makes life interesting, and perhaps even what makes life worth living. A world of infinite possibilities is an infinitely interesting place. The mental imagery of music and art suggest an infinity of possible worlds. Could it be that without quantum indeterminacy, the fountain of human thought, creativity, love and hate, and even self-awareness, the basis of consciousness itself, would dry up and disappear? Is the end result of science the end of the world?
The answer in the next post..