There is a fundamental inconsistency at the core of the scientific method / world-view that makes it unable to comprehend quantum mechanics (which seems paradoxical due to the inconsistency) nor can it comprehend consciousness or spirituality.
I have been identifying, explaining and challenging this inconsistency in a series of articles to help motivate the paradigm shift that will eventually make quantum mechanics understandable as well as making research into consciousness and spirituality understandable to modern science and recognised as vitally important.
There is an entry point here: http://anandavala.info/article/Are-we-today-as-wrong-about-any-scientific-fact-that-is-widely-accepted-as-geocentrism.pdf
If what I say is correct, which it seems to be, then these documents point towards the possibility for a radical paradigm shift!
Pass on the good news if you know people who would be interested, the more people who help figure this out, the sooner and the clearer the shift will be.
Especially people interested in the interface between science, consciousness and spirituality. As well as the hard problem of consciousness, psi-phenomena, scientific realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, cybernetic interpretation of quantum mechanics, virtual realism, virtual reality hypothesis, simulation hypothesis, computational metaphysics, reinterpretation of ancient mystic wisdom, etc... It's all connected!
Only a few hours ago the I Ching urged me to commit to my highest
aspiration and to announce my intention. It said "Make known
the arrival of a message from heaven and announce it at the Earth
altar. If you don't deliver your important message you will be cut
off and isolated. Call out. Tell us now. Now!" Then along
comes an invitation to do so on Facebook, which motivated this... :)
So, what is the highest
perceived benefit or aspiration of my Life?
The quotes below discuss reasons for the entrenched culture of denial within physics (as well and philosophy and science in general) regarding the consequences that quantum mechanics has for naive realism (AKA classical objectivism).
"After more than 50 years (now over 80 years) of unquestionable success as a theory, questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics continue to plague both physicists and philosophers. It is argued here that discussions about the meaning of quantum mechanics remain stymied as a result of the failure of physicists to formulate a cognitive paradigm adequate to their theory. The conventional interpretations which they offer can be seen as inadequate in one of two ways — implicitly, they retain one or the other of the two basic tenets of classical physics, the objectivity or the knowability of nature. This, it is argued, can be viewed as a form of cognitive repression of knowledge acquired, but not yet assimilated. A psychological explanation for the persistence of classical beliefs is proposed...
Piaget has invited the comparison between the historical development of scientific thought and the cognitive development of the child. Both, it is suggested, proceed through the emergence of discrete stages of structural organization, each stage brings with it new possibilities of conceptual integration, and concurrently, the possibility of a verbal articulation of the new level of organization perceived. Prior to the establishment of a new conceptual structure, knowledge already present in nonverbal forms (in e.g., sensorimotor rather than representation schemes) finds no avenue of expression, and, to the extent that it jars with the earlier established structures, demands cognitive repression. Piaget  tells us that an action schema which "cannot be integrated into the system of conscious concepts is eliminated... (and) repressed from conscious territory before it has penetrated there in any conceptualized form." Caught in a transition between stages, the child, when pressed to articulate perceptions requiring cognitive structures which are not yet available, displays confusion, denial and avoidance - a disequilibrium strikingly reminiscent of the mechanism of affective repression." (Cognitive repression in contemporary physics, Evelyn Fox Keller, http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.11911)
"There exists a cognitive repression of the interpretation problem by the majority of physicists. For that majority the questions concerning the meaning of quantum mechanics are answered once and for all by the Copenhagen interpretation, and all further inquiry is rejected as a sign that the inquirer does not understand the topic. Further questions are called "only philosophical" and thus not befitting a physicist. But if one inquires in depth what the Copenhagen interpretation says one gets a variety of different answers. According to Fox-Keller this, too, is a sign for evasion, whereby what is evaded is the necessity of a new cognitive structure which differs radically from the existing one. Fox-Keller calls the old structure classical objectivism. To her, the confusion concerning the interpretation of quantum mechanics exists, thus, in the attempt to retain one or more components of the classical position. While this may be as it is; I suggest that the search for interpretations different from the Copenhagen interpretation very often is motivated by trying to evade its radical consequences, that is, an act of cognitive repression on the part of the proposers." (On the Interpretation and Philosophical Foundation of Quantum Mechanics, Anton Zeilinger, http://typo3physik.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/zeilinger/philosoph.pdf)
I was recently asked: "Is QM in its abstract mathematical proceedure that applies to particles, and just abstract conceptualisations, not considered naive realism?"
No, it is called scientific realism because it claims that aspects of reality can be known scientifically. Scientific realism can be naïve realist, for example via claims that particles are real. This is naïve realist because it is based on the assumption that that which is portrayed by our observations is real.
However in the case of QM it is not naïve realist - it is in fact the antithesis of naïve realism because it claims that the observables that we apprehend are not in any way objective, they are created in the act of observing and are thus totally dependent on how we observe.
Thus QM claims that anything that is portrayed by our experiences cannot be objectively real - whilst naïve realism claims that that which is portrayed by our experiences is objectively real. The two are diametrically opposed.
QM is realist because it claims that that which is represented by wavefunctions are real. I.e. they exist independently of our observations - in fact they are inherently unobservable. Whenever we try to observe them what we experience are the 'observables' that are created in the act of observing.
So QM doesn't claim that particles or waves are real, these are just observables. It is that which is represented by wavefunctions that are real and which give rise to observations of either a particle or a wave depending on how we observe it.
BTW QM doesn't claim that the mathematical proceedures are real - these are just symbolic models via which we comprehend quantum systems.
Hence this type of realism is scientific realism because the things that are considered to be real can only be apprehended by the mind via 'abstract' scientific conceptualisations. The fact that these are 'abstract' doesn't imply that they are unreal - in fact it implies the opposite.
Within a naïve realist paradigm 'abstract' means 'unreal' because it can never be portrayed by the content of an experience no matter how augmented that experience may be (e.g. by microscopes or telescopes or particle accelerators etc). Due to naïve realism we are in the habit of thinking that only the things portrayed by our experiences can be real and that everything else is abstract and unreal.
However, when we step away from naïve realism and seriously consider the role of experience we realise that if experience is fundamental and not just an anomaly then that which is most real must underlie our ability to experience. Furthermore, "that which underlies our ability to experience" cannot be "that which is portrayed by our experiences". Thus that which can be observed is unreal and that which is real would seem 'abstract' because it can never be observed.
In other words, to use a metaphor, reality is the sight within seeing rather than that which is seen. Hence the most real is the most abstract.
BTW it is very rare to find a coherent discussion of the non-naïve realist nature of QM. Most discussions try to introduce naïve realist features or apply it within a naïve realist context.
This is because over the past 80 or so years there have only been a handful of physicists who could think outside of naïve realism. Thus the standard attitude is that we should focus on the world that we know via naïve realism (i.e. the physical universe) and we should use QM to make calculation about that world. Meanwhile we should avoid any attempts to think about what QM really means, i.e. what it is really saying about the nature of reality.
Thus it has been declared over and over that QM makes no sense and that attempts to think deeply about it will drive you insane. This attitude arises because a naïve realist cannot conceive that there is anything beyond naïve realism, thus someone who thinks outside of naïve realism must be insane, or so it seems to them.
There are now a few physicists who are beginning to see beyond naïve realism, but the vast majority of physics and science in general is still thoroughly naïve realist.
Here is a very short article that I wrote for a fringe science newsletter regarding the paradigm shift that is slowly emerging within physics: http://anandavala.info/article/EmergingParadigm.pdf
A more detailed analysis is conducted here: http://anandavala.info/OIPVSE.pdf
Note: in order to conduct this research I had to break away from habitual ways of thinking by dropping out of academia, however this means that this work has no way of being heard by academics or others engaged in similar work. If these ideas resonate with you then you can help by bringing it to their attention.
Thank you for listening and helping! I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me to develop a clearer understanding of the nature of reality.
Some questions regarding the relation between a 'process' and a 'schema'.
Note: in this context a 'schema' is structured information that symbolically represents a process.
Examples of schemas are sheet music (for a musical sound-scape), written language (for a linguistic speech act), computer code (for a running application), DVD encoded data (for a digital movie) , html/php/... (for a website), wavefunction (for the dynamical evolution of a quantum system), neural activity (for a sensory or cognitive impression), etc. More >
Here I discuss some basic aspects of quantum mechanics that are
not often explained and are often at the heart of common
misconceptions about the role of consciousness in reality and the
type of reality that is implied by quantum mechanics. More >
There are some who believe that only sentient beings such as
humans can collapse quantum wavefunctions. IMHO this is a fallacy and
it leads to a paradox, which can be resolved by developing a deeper
understanding of consciousness.
The paradox is, if sentient being are required to collapse a
wavefunction, then how could the classical universe exist before
sentient beings evolved, and how could sentient beings evolve if the
classical universe didn't yet exist? At what stage did the pure
quantum potential suddenly start collapsing into particular classical
actualities? How did this new ingredient
"wavefunction-collapsing-sentience" arise from the pure
quantum potential? There is a maze of paradoxes here...
In fact any interaction with another system will collapse the
wavefunction. Any observation will do it, because whenever an
observable is required by another system as part of an interaction
the wavefunction must collapse to provide an observable. This
approach is a natural part of an efficient simulation algorithm,
which only computes the state of a virtual system when another
virtual system requires an observable in order to experience and
interact with it.
The sensitivity to collapse is why researchers are having so much
trouble building quantum computers, they call it the "decoherence
problem". In order to perform computations with wavefunctions we
can't have them collapsing willy-nilly, but the slightest interaction
with any aspect of the surrounding universe will collapse the
wavefunction. So how can one develop a framework within which to
compute with wavefunctions?
If it was only sentient beings who collapse wavefunctions then
the decoherence problem would be easy to solve, just put the quantum
computer in an opaque box and don't let anyone open the box until the
computation has had plenty of time to complete. Then a sentient being
can open the box to collapse the wavefunction and observe the final
result of the computation. This is not what happens in reality.
The only way out of the quantum-sentience-paradox is to accept
that not only complex systems with complex forms of awareness (such
as ourselves) are involved in the collapse of the wavefunction, but
even simple systems with simple forms of awareness. Hence the way out
of paradox is to overcome anthropocentric concepts of consciousness
and accept some form of panpsychism, such as
Even a fundamental particle has its own primitive form of
consciousness - nowhere near as complex and rich as ours, but it is
aware nevertheless. A particle couldn't interact with other particles
if it wasn't aware of their existence and their state of being. It
needs to observe their state of being in order to react to them, and
this observation collapses the wavefunction of the other particles.
Thanks to Tim Cumper for raising this issue and inspiring me to
write this article...