Origin of the Enformationism Hypothesis



Quantum Surreality :


By the end of the 19th century, pragmatic secular Science had finally asserted dominance over idealistic academic Philosophy by getting reliable, real-world results from its down-to-earth methods. Yet those fruitful methods were based on axioms that philosophers of science called Materialism and Determinism. But as pioneering scientists began to probe the bottom and top of reality---sub-atomic physics and Big Bang cosmology---the truth of those unproven postulates was again called into question.

Quantum Mechanics is one of the most thoroughly "tested & proven" concepts in science, but it also blurs the traditional definitions of Matter and Causation. For example, sub-atomic "particles" don't act like macro-level particles, because they seem to merge seamlessly into the “fabric” of space instead of remaining discrete dots of matter. This ethereal fuzziness makes them unpredictable, and difficult to even imagine. So the irksome question arose:  is it really matter if you can't put your finger on it? In practice, undetectable things are considered un-real. But in theory, such mundane distinctions are unnecessary, because Ultimate Reality seems to logically require some things we can’t detect, except by rational extrapolation: such as black holes and dark matter.

In recent years, some quantum theorists have decided not to worry about the materiality of those "probability clouds"*, and just treat them as idealized mathematical objects. In mathematical science an abstract definition can be substituted for an empirical piece of matter : an ideal particle is described as a dimensionless (hence undetectable) point in space. Clearly, what an empirical scientist calls an “object” is different from what a theoretical scientist refers to as an object: one is a tangible thing, the other is the definition of a thing. *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_cloud

So what’s the difference? A material object is made of stuff we can detect with our senses and our instruments. But a mathematical object is made of “something” that we can see only in our imagination. Mind objects are usually called ideas, hence such things are Ideal. But are they real? Do they have real-world consequences? Can we manipulate them in some way? Does it matter if they are immaterial? Should science study only “hard” things, or are “soft” ideas about things legitimate subjects for science? The answers to these questions may depend on your axiomatic beliefs.

Quantum theorists obviously consider the objects of their painstaking research to be "real" in some sense. They even ask Empirical physicists to be on the lookout for "theoretical objects", such as Neutrinos*, even though they are defined as next-to-nothing. But some principles of Quantum Theory are even farther from mundane reality than that. For example, particle decay (radioactivity) happens for no known reason on a completely random schedule. Even worse, wave-function collapse (don't ask) seems to be "caused" by the "virtual poke" of an observing mind. The list of paradoxes and contradictions goes on and on, and yet QT as a whole has become accepted as an essential component of the modern paradigm of scientific Reality.  *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino

So if your curiosity gets the better of you, and you start to follow the rabbit down the hole to Wonderland, be prepared to develop your own defenses against the perplexity of paradox. Because, as Alice observed, "it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser". Quantum Theory began as a serious scientific investigation into physical reality. But it opened Pandora's box, for religious and philosophical crackpots, when word got out that sub-atomic physics was essentially the same thing as metaphysics. This thesis will attempt to substantiate that controversial assertion, but not necessarily the imaginative inferences drawn from it.


What’s the Matter With Materialism?


Faced with the material success of Quantum Theory,  Materialists have been forced to update their original rock-solid definition to fit the emerging evidence of a fluffy-cloud subatomic realm. Ironically, ninety-nine percent of matter is empty space, and the rest is composed of  energy fields. After some initial grumbling, they have adapted to the idea that the material world is essentially made of an insubstantial substance. They now accept the scientific evidence that the matter we see is made of sub-atomic particles, which in turn are made of invisible, non-particulate energy waves. Before you insist that we can see or detect energy, please recall that electricity, for example, is not energy per se, it's simply the physical consequence of energy flowing from one material electron to another.  We can’t see it or touch it, we must infer it with our rational minds. The same energy that makes-up electrons also constitutes neutrons and protons and photons. If we can accept the idea of invisible forces taking material form as a reasonable concept, then why should we balk at the idea that physical energy is actually a manifested form of meta-physical information? In that case, there’s nothing wrong with Materialism, except that it is an outdated paradigm of 19th century science which doesn’t always fit with 21st century evidence. The following thesis sections will present a brief overview of that cutting-edge evidence.













And by understanding quantum information, they are understanding the substance of the universe---the very language of Nature.
—- Charles Seife
        Decoding the Universe

If the information in our heads is quantum information rather than classical information, then our minds take on a whole new dimension. . . . the quantum computer might be where our consciousness resides.
—- Charles Seife
        Decoding the Universe

I am not saying that materialism is false. The materialistic doctrine works fine while we investigate the objects whose entropy state is quasi-unchangeable during the experiment. But when we investigate the consciousness-related phenomena we cannot neglect the change of the entropy state of the object of investigation.
—-  Serge Patlavskiy
          Karl Jaspers forum

Quantum Man

Continued on . . ..