We know that people are conscious , because we can experience and feel things. However, scientists and great thinkers cannot explain what consciousness is. They are also confused about the source of consciousness.
According to the MSN Science and Technology column author David Crookes (David Crookes), mathematician and theoretical physicist Johannes Kleiner stated that the conscious experience-is obviously part of reality. People all have it, but they don’t understand the relationship between it and known physics, and the human understanding of the universe is incomplete.
Kleiner, who works at the Center for Philosophy of Mathematics in Munich, Germany, hopes that mathematics can help him define consciousness precisely. He is collaborating with Sean Tull, a mathematician at Oxford University in England, and the two are driven to some extent by a philosophical view called panpsychism.
Pan-psychology claims that even the tiniest matter is born with consciousness—according to this concept, the basic components of reality also have conscious experience. The point is, it implies that consciousness is ubiquitous throughout the universe .
Can the brain help us understand the universe?
Kleiner and Tal say that if researchers can answer how our brains produce subjective experiences, then their mathematical models may also extend to inanimate matter.
Kleiner said in an e-mail interview with the American space magazine “All Aabout Space”: “If you develop a mathematical model for consciousness based on the data obtained from the brain, you can apply this model to other In systems (such as computers or), see what it says to them about the conscious experience.”
Some outstanding thinkers attach great importance to the view of panpsychism. The famous Oxford physicist Sir Roger Penrose is one of them. He was the first scholar who proposed that we should surpass neuroscience when examining consciousness. one.
He strongly recommends that we consider the role of quantum mechanics . In his book “The Emperor’s New Thinking: About Computers, Thinking, and the Laws of Physics” published in 1989, he proposed that human consciousness is the product of quantum effects.
This idea evolved into a hypothesis called “Orchestrated Objective Reduction” (Orch OR) in collaboration with the anesthetist and psychologist Stuart Hameroff (Stuart Hameroff) .
This hypothesis believes that consciousness may be produced by quantum vibrations in microtubules deep in the brain’s neurons, rather than the traditional view that consciousness is due to connections between neurons.
However, it is important to note that “Orch OR shows that there is a connection between the brain’s biomolecular processes and the basic structure of the universe.” Penrose and Hamerov in “Physics of Life Reviews,” March 2014 The magazine’s paper “Consciousness in the Universe: A Review of “Orch OR” Theory”.
Kleiner and Tours worked on this basis. They were also inspired by the neurologist and psychiatrist Giulio Tononi, who is the distinguished distinguished professor of consciousness studies at the University of Wisconsin.
Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) was published in the journal BMC Neuroscience and is one of a small class of promising consciousness models. “IIT is a very mathematical theory.” Kleiner said.
IIT says that consciousness is a fundamental aspect of reality: it exists and is structured, specific, unified and clear. One of the core concepts is that when information moves between the subsystems of the overall system, consciousness will appear: to be conscious, the entity must be unitary and comprehensive, and must have something called “phi” (symbol means: Φ) property, it depends on the interdependence of subsystems.
In other words, you can have a pile of coins on your table, and each coin has a pile of neurons on it. If the information that travels along these paths is critical to these coins, then you have a high “phi” and therefore awareness.
If these coins can function correctly as a subsystem without any information flowing to and out of other coins, then there will be no “phi” and no consciousness. The greater the interdependence between subsystems, the more conscious something is.
Kleiner said, “Comprehensive information is an abstract quantity. If you have a good detailed description of the system, you can calculate it.” He added that the system is not necessarily biological.
“The result is a number, represented by “phi“, so if you have a Mac, you can ask how much comprehensive information is in it, just like you can ask how much energy is in it. You can talk about how much comprehensive information is in a computer , Just like you can talk about entropy.”
According to IIT, this theory largely supports panpsychism, because even a proton can have “phi“. Just like Apple, air conditioners and computers can have it, and your chairs and tables can also have various other substances in the universe.
Now When it comes to experimental evidence, there are several independent studies that point to a connection between comprehensive information and consciousness.” Kleiner said.
So does the subsystem have a conscious experience? No; are all systems conscious? It’s not.
Kleiner said: “The theory consists of a very complex algorithm. When it is applied to a detailed mathematical description of a physical system, it can provide information about whether the system is conscious and what it is aware of.”
“Mathematics is like this. Now If something conscious based on theory then the components that make up the system cannot have their own conscious experience. There is only the overall conscious experience, not the parts. Applied to your brain, it means you Some of the cerebral cortex may be conscious, but the particles that make up the cerebral cortex are not consciously conscious.”
What does this mean for the universe?
“Assuming that there is a pair of isolated particles floating somewhere in space, if they interact in the right way, they have a certain primary form of consciousness.” Kleiner said.
Therefore, according to IIT, the universe is indeed full of consciousness. But does it have any meaning for the physical part of the universe? The mathematics of the theory says that it does not. A physical system will operate independently, regardless of whether it is consciously experienced or not.
Kleiner gave an example of a computer. He said that the mathematics of IIT suggests that it may be conscious, but that will not change the way it works.
“This is contrary to the metaphysical basis of the theory. In fact, the theory has strong idealistic characteristics.” Kleiner said. “It puts consciousness first and materiality second. We may see some changes in mathematics at some point in order to more appropriately consider this foundation.”
This is the problem to be solved by his and Tour’s research. The emergent theory of consciousness tends to claim that materiality is everything.
Modern physics issues related to it
Kleiner said: “They will deny that consciousness is independent of matter or more important than substance. They will say that consciousness is nothing more than a specific physical phenomenon, which arises from the interaction of basic physical quantities under specific conditions.”
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On the other hand, his and Tour’s mathematical version of IIT is intended to be a so-called “basic theory of consciousness.” Kleiner said: “It tries to weave consciousness into the basic structure of reality, albeit in a very special way.” What if it shows that the universe is conscious? What is the after-effect?
“It may have a moral meaning. For systems without conscious experience, we tend to treat systems with conscious experience differently,” Kleiner said.
However, if it turns out that consciousness plays a causal role in the universe, it will have a huge impact on the scientific outlook of the world. He said: “This may trigger a scientific revolution, comparable to the one initiated by Galileo.”
And this is indeed something to keep in mind.
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