Mod+ 276. DR. ALAN HUGENOT, IANDS AND THE FUTURE OF NDE RESEARCH

Yes I do believe the fundamental particles of reality are not real in the traditional "realist" sense. That is, of always being "physical" at a certain place and time - such as we assume is the case with say - billiard balls. I am not alone in this belief. Scientists such as Niels Bohr, John Von Neumann, Erwin Schrodinger, John Bell, Max Planck, Henry Stapp, John Wheeler, Werner Heisenberg, and many other scientists also came to the same scientific conclusion.

So I don't feel as if I'm going to far out on a limb here. These scientists were some of the best physicists we've had in the last century. I would imagine you've heard of some of them David.

You write:

This is an interesting statement. I am curious what scientific data makes you believe matter is something objective and independent of the observer?

In fact, physicists in Australia recently conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment. A write-up you can find here: http://m.phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html

How does this experiment work if particles are not dependent on the observer? And what makes them real when an observer is not present? I am curious what makes you believe that reality is independent and actually exists when not observed. Especially given John Bell's Inequality Principle was eventually proven?

My Best,
Bertha
I don’t accept the Copenhagen Interpretation. I stand with Einstein and his intuition that QM is an incomplete theory. I would say it is an incomplete transitional theory, similar analogically to Ptolemy’s mathematical astronomy.

I am not a physicist, but even if I were I could only offer an interpretation since this is not a matter that is settled. There has always been a significant body of dissent from the Copenhagen Interpretation since its formulation.

At the common sense level it is my direct experience and intuition that assures me of the world’s existence outside and independent of my mind.

As I wrote before, what exactly the fundamental physical nature of the world and matter is remains to be known.
 
I don’t accept the Copenhagen Interpretation. I stand with Einstein and his intuition that QM is an incomplete theory. I would say it is an incomplete transitional theory, similar analogically to Ptolemy’s mathematical astronomy.
Are you aware that John Bell's theorem has ruled out Einstein's local hidden variables? Or are you referring to something else Einstein wrote?

I am not a physicist, but even if I were I could only offer an interpretation since this is not a matter that is settled. There has always been a significant body of dissent from the Copenhagen Interpretation since its formulation.
Yes there has been dissent, but nothing has disproven the Copenhagen Interpretation, certainly there has been no theory based on classical physics which has disproven the Copenhagen Interpretation. To me and many other scientists it still remains the most reasonable and unambiguous interpretation extant. In addition, some of the more recent quantum physics experiments have confirmed the Copenhagen Interpretation, such as the paper I just cited.

I am curious why you feel the Copenhagen Intepretation is insufficient, and what is it you believe models the scientific data better? Do you have a particular Interpretation you feel is more acceptable than Copenhagen?

At the common sense level it is my direct experience and intuition that assures me of the world’s existence outside and independent of my mind.
Science has demonstrated our normal consciousness is extremely limited regarding what it can perceive. What seems like "common sense" perception and assumptions, turns out to often not exist in reality. This has frequently been demonstrated in modern physics as you probably already know. What we perceive is limited by our physical body and brain's capabilities, which are very poor measuring devices regarding the pervasive quantum effects of the actual reality demonstrated by quantum mechanics.

As I wrote before, what exactly the fundamental physical nature of the world and matter is remains to be known.
I agree there still is much to be known, but physics is not a completely empty vessel. We do have some scientific theories which are credible and verifiable - especially in quantum physics. The scientific men I referred to have provided credible scientific data with well established theory to explain the data they observed. Theory which has been confirmed repeatedly now since the very beginning of Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein's debates regarding the fundamental nature of quantum theory. It turns out, in many cases Einstein was wrong, and Bohr was right. This is not something that is debatable any more, especially regarding quantum entanglement and non-locality, or the incorrectness of Einstein's Hidden Variables EPR theory.

You do state QM is an incomplete theory. I do agree with you. However, no current credible quantum physicist would ever make the claim quantum physics will somehow return to classical physics. We left that shore a long time ago, and we're not coming back. However, if not the Copenhagen Interpretation, then what Interpretation do you feel is more valid, and would model accurately, for example, John Wheeler's delayed choice experiment? Personally I'm at a lost what other Interpretation could explain it.

If you do not have another Interpretation you wish to refer to or are knowledgeable about, then that's fine. I will assume your assumptions are just based on what you feel is "common sense".

My Best,
Bertha
 
Last edited:
As I said, I stand with Einstein’s intuition, not with any particular objection or suggestion he made. During his lifetime Einstein did not successfully counter the Copenhagen Interpretation, or demonstrate his own intuition; therefore the theorem you mention does not change my mind on that issue.

On a side note according to Wikipedia:
“The present status is that no conclusive, loophole-free Bell test has been performed.”

Scientifically the matter is unsettled, and I choose not to accept the Copenhagen Interpretation.
I am not trying to argue or convince you I am right; I am only stating my personal conviction at this time.

I also do not accept the unreality of matter or any form of idealism. I am not even sure the Copenhagen Interpretation necessarily implies or requires the unreality of matter. But that seems to be your interpretation of it.

I am aware of the issues of sensory perception and epistemology and I do not argue for any kind of naïve realism.

I don’t propose a return to Classical physics.

I proposed an intuition about where the truth may lie; which is beyond where we are today, and I was very clear that this is only an intuition.
 
Wikipedia has been doctored by a number of known guerilla atheists/skeptics with an agenda. One must be wary of what one reads there.

I disagree with you and Wikipedia if the implied assertion is that John Bell's theorem is incomplete. It is complete and has been tested, many many times.

All the scientists I named (giants in the field of physics, and many of them colleagues of Albert Einstein) stated matter itself is not real, and the Copenhagen Interpretation does imply the unreality of matter - assuming we are using the same definitions of what has been known as "real" in classical terms. Now if you arbitrarily decide to change the definitions and claim what is "real" is whatever can be determined by science i.e. such as the new Stanford definition of Physicalism, then there is no debate, as you have changed "real" to be far more than it has been in the past. My contention is assuming the usual "classical" assumption of what "real" is.

That is fine regarding your intuition. And I appreciate your replies. My own intuition tells me consciousness will never be explained in terms of neurons and electro-chemical reactions in the brain - or highly complex neurological structures of inert matter will never create self-awareness or a single human thought. That no scientific laboratory will ever create life as we know it from inert, lifeless matter. But that is just my own "intuition". Cheers.

My Best,
Bertha
 
I obviously don't understand what your position is... as these statements would appear to be incompatible to me...

"...my direct experience [... ...] of the world’s existence outside and independent of my mind"

"I am aware of the issues of sensory perception and epistemology and I do not argue for any kind of naïve realism."

I didn't understand how you could have a "direct experience" of the external world which is "independent of [your] mind". And then later you also say that neither are you arguing for any kind of naive realism (direct perception).
 
Wikipedia has been doctored by a number of known guerilla atheists/skeptics with an agenda. One must be wary of what one reads there.

I disagree with you and Wikipedia if the implied assertion is that John Bell's theorem is incomplete. It is complete and has been tested, many many times.

All the scientists I named (giants in the field of physics, and many of them colleagues of Albert Einstein) stated matter itself is not real, and the Copenhagen Interpretation does imply the unreality of matter - assuming we are using the same definitions of what has been known as "real" in classical terms. Now if you arbitrarily decide to change the definitions and claim what is "real" is whatever can be determined by science i.e. such as the new Stanford definition of Physicalism, then there is no debate, as you have changed "real" to be far more than it has been in the past. My contention is assuming the usual "classical" assumption of what "real" is.

That is fine regarding your intuition. And I appreciate your replies. My own intuition tells me consciousness will never be explained in terms of neurons and electro-chemical reactions in the brain - or highly complex neurological structures of inert matter will never create self-awareness or a single human thought. That no scientific laboratory will ever create life as we know it from inert, lifeless matter. But that is just my own "intuition". Cheers.

My Best,
Bertha
I agree with some of what you say, but my own understanding of this is that 'matter' is an objective fact. Once particles are measured, have decohered and become macroscopic, they become an objective fact, and that measurement affects future measurements. Before it decohere's (microscopic) it's just a probability, and the system has no objective factual state.

Whether we can say this is because what we are observing at the particle level, is the calculation process by which we recreate an objective external reality, or, whether it is our observation of a calculation process of a pure creation that has no direct relationship to an underlying reality, I don't know. I can't see how one can tell. But for me, 'matter' is an objective fact once it's been measured, but there is no objective state between measurements.
 
Hell
Wikipedia has been doctored by a number of known guerilla atheists/skeptics with an agenda. One must be wary of what one reads there.

I disagree with you and Wikipedia if the implied assertion is that John Bell's theorem is incomplete. It is complete and has been tested, many many times.

All the scientists I named (giants in the field of physics, and many of them colleagues of Albert Einstein) stated matter itself is not real, and the Copenhagen Interpretation does imply the unreality of matter - assuming we are using the same definitions of what has been known as "real" in classical terms. Now if you arbitrarily decide to change the definitions and claim what is "real" is whatever can be determined by science i.e. such as the new Stanford definition of Physicalism, then there is no debate, as you have changed "real" to be far more than it has been in the past. My contention is assuming the usual "classical" assumption of what "real" is.

That is fine regarding your intuition. And I appreciate your replies. My own intuition tells me consciousness will never be explained in terms of neurons and electro-chemical reactions in the brain - or highly complex neurological structures of inert matter will never create self-awareness or a single human thought. That no scientific laboratory will ever create life as we know it from inert, lifeless matter. But that is just my own "intuition". Cheers.

My Best,
Bertha
Yes I agree that Wikipedia is unreliable.

Re Bell’s Theorem: in spite of several tests which favour non-locality, what is known as the detection loophole has thus far not been resolved. So tests have supported the theorem, but not indisputably; and in fact the matter is still disputed. This recent article in Nature discusses it.

http://www.nature.com/news/physics-bell-s-theorem-still-reverberates-1.15435

My position about the reality of matter is not a metaphysical statement as to what matter actually is. So I have not arbitrarily changed any definitions.
What I have clearly said a number of times is that we do not know what matter is at this time.

My position is that matter and the world generally is something that exists independently of my mind. I reject idealisms and naïve realisms. There is something out there which our senses and our instruments are interacting with. Indeed our senses and our instruments are part of the material realm.

I also affirm the independent reality of consciousness. That is to say, my intuition arising from my examination of the data I have been able to review thus far leads me to the conviction that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the brain.

Monisms, require the a priori dogmatic elimination of the reality of one or other of the dual fundamental aspects of human knowing (subject and object; seer and seen) and thus cannot yield a coherent theory of human knowing or experience.

So I am philosophically a dualist. Both consciousness and matter are real. Our experience as human beings cannot be coherently reduced to either one.

In my opinion the Copernican moment for human mind and consciousness sciences will be when dualism is accepted as a general working model.
 
I obviously don't understand what your position is... as these statements would appear to be incompatible to me...

"...my direct experience [... ...] of the world’s existence outside and independent of my mind"

"I am aware of the issues of sensory perception and epistemology and I do not argue for any kind of naïve realism."

I didn't understand how you could have a "direct experience" of the external world which is "independent of [your] mind". And then later you also say that neither are you arguing for any kind of naive realism (direct perception).
I don’t have experience that is independent of my mind. I have experience, which is mental, of a world that is outside and independent of my mind. A world which enters my mind as sensory data.

I am aware of the many issues involved in the transmission of the physical data from the world to the senses; and then the transmission of the sensory data to the brain; and then the perception and interpretation of the data in the mind; all of which leads me to the, I think, sensible conclusion I mentioned as to naïve realism.

By naïve realism I mean the presumption that reality is precisely what and as I personally perceive and understand it to be. This is the epistemological foundation of all fundamentalisms.
 
Re Bell’s Theorem: in spite of several tests which favour non-locality, what is known as the detection loophole has thus far not been resolved. So tests have supported the theorem, but not indisputably; and in fact the matter is still disputed. This recent article in Nature discusses it.

http://www.nature.com/news/physics-bell-s-theorem-still-reverberates-1.15435
Thank you David for this link. I reviewed the article and did not see any kind of credible invalidation of Bell's original theorem (in 1964) even with his expanded theorem in 1976. If anything, it just confirmed it even more i.e. "Nature violates local causality."

All I see in Howard Wiseman's paper is an argument over "definitions" which is similar to the silly Skeptical nonsense being conducted (I am not saying however Wiseman is a Skeptic). To me, it is clear localists have decided to arbitrarily argue over the meaning of non-locality (much like the physicalists have changed the meaning of materialism) to forward their materialistic "classical" positions i.e. we don't know really what locality is, therefore no one can conclude anything about it! To say that two entangled particles immediately and non-locally share state (when observed) is correlated with no reason, is to me, a preposterous argument defying logic and common sense -it's a type of super-correlation that is even more unbelievable than the assumption that causation does occur faster than light, which seems pretty clear. OK, so no loophole-free Bell experiments have yet to be conducted. But on that same note, no experiments have been conducted that have DISPROVEN John Bell's theorem.

My position about the reality of matter is not a metaphysical statement as to what matter actually is. So I have not arbitrarily changed any definitions.
What I have clearly said a number of times is that we do not know what matter is at this time.
We don't know what non-locality is. Hell, we don't even know what gravity is. That is not the claim being made regarding John Bell's theorem. It is describing what matter is not: local. We have determined a great deal of what matter IS NOT. It is not real or objectively present unless observed (or measured) regardless of what materialists continue to assert. This much we do know in quantum physics. What it actually is, yes, nobody really knows right now.

My position is that matter and the world generally is something that exists independently of my mind. I reject idealisms and naïve realisms. There is something out there which our senses and our instruments are interacting with. Indeed our senses and our instruments are part of the material realm.

I also affirm the independent reality of consciousness. That is to say, my intuition arising from my examination of the data I have been able to review thus far leads me to the conviction that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the brain.
Interesting. So you are a dualist? That makes things a lot more complicated IMO. But it is certainly a valid philosophical position one can take. With a number of arguments for and against of course.

Monisms, require the a priori dogmatic elimination of the reality of one or other of the dual fundamental aspects of human knowing (subject and object; seer and seen) and thus cannot yield a coherent theory of human knowing or experience.
Disagree. But this is a deeply metaphysical/philosophical debate that I don't wish to entertain right now.

So I am philosophically a dualist. Both consciousness and matter are real. Our experience as human beings cannot be coherently reduced to either one.
Ah ok. Yes, I just read this line see comment above.

In my opinion the Copernican moment for human mind and consciousness sciences will be when dualism is accepted as a general working model.
Fair enough.

I am beginning to suspect consciousness really is the fundamental "atom" of reality. Especially given what was established in quantum physics, and continuing QM experiments, such as the most recent paper confirming John Wheeler's delayed-choice gedanken experiment with a single atom: http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys3343.html Consciousness is non-local and boundless, is both subject and object. It precedes form. Form does not precede consciousness.

My Best,
Bertha
 
Last edited:
Thank you David for this link. I reviewed the article and did not see any kind of credible invalidation of Bell's original theorem (in 1964) even with his expanded theorem in 1976. If anything, it just confirmed it even more i.e. "Nature violates local causality."

All I see in Howard Wiseman's paper is an argument over "definitions" which is similar to the silly Skeptical nonsense being conducted (I am not saying however Wiseman is a Skeptic). To me, it is clear localists have decided to arbitrarily argue over the meaning of non-locality (much like the physicalists have changed the meaning of materialism) to forward their materialistic "classical" positions i.e. we don't know really what locality is, therefore no one can conclude anything about it! To say that two entangled particles immediately and non-locally share state (when observed) is correlated with no reason, is to me, a preposterous argument defying logic and common sense -it's a type of super-correlation that is even more unbelievable than the assumption that causation does occur faster than light, which seems pretty clear. OK, so no loophole-free Bell experiments have yet to be conducted. But on that same note, no experiments have been conducted that have DISPROVEN John Bell's theorem.


We don't know what non-locality is. Hell, we don't even know what gravity is. That is not the claim being made regarding John Bell's theorem. It is describing what matter is not: local. We have determined a great deal of what matter IS NOT. It is not real or objectively present unless observed (or measured) regardless of what materialists continue to assert. This much we do know in quantum physics. What it actually is, yes, nobody really knows right now.


Interesting. So you are a dualist? That makes things a lot more complicated IMO. But it is certainly a valid philosophical position one can take. With a number of arguments for and against of course.


Disagree. But this is a deeply metaphysical/philosophical debate that I don't wish to entertain right now.


Ah ok. Yes, I just read this line see comment above.


Fair enough.

I am beginning to suspect consciousness really is the fundamental "atom" of reality. Especially given what was established in quantum physics, and continuing QM experiments, such as the most recent paper confirming John Wheeler's delayed-choice gedanken experiment with a single atom: http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys3343.html Consciousness is non-local and boundless, is both subject and object. It precedes form. Form does not precede consciousness.

My Best,
Bertha

I never argued that Bell’s Theorem had been disproven. I was very clear about that. I only pointed out it is not undisputed. I also never argued for or against local or non-local variables. I posited instead the possibility of some future physics which might get us closer to the nature and structure of matter. You want to hold me to the fire for things I never said or argued for. I do wonder are you arguing with me or a phantom.

I have asserted the independent reality of matter and the world. I assert that the objects in my drawer continue to exist and be there in my drawer whether I look or not. And I also assert there are no cats in my drawer (or my drawers) either!

I wonder, if matter is unreal, a product of mind, and only apparently real when observed, why do we need to do these complex physics experiments?
Should not the question be resolved by logicians and mathematicians; or perhaps psychologists?
 
I never argued that Bell’s Theorem had been disproven. I was very clear about that. I only pointed out it is not undisputed. I also never argued for or against local or non-local variables. I posited instead the possibility of some future physics which might get us closer to the nature and structure of matter. You want to hold me to the fire for things I never said or argued for. I do wonder are you arguing with me or a phantom.
Perhaps I am. Maybe too much time arguing with irrational Skeptics and I'm starting to see phantoms.

I have asserted the independent reality of matter and the world. I assert that the objects in my drawer continue to exist and be there in my drawer whether I look or not. And I also assert there are no cats in my drawer (or my drawers) either!
Well in this your assertion would be incorrect IMO. But that doesn't seem quite like what is being argued above regarding Bell's Theorem. It's not whether the cat is there or not, but whether causality has anything to do with the cat being there or not.

I wonder, if matter is unreal, a product of mind, and only apparently real when observed, why do we need to do these complex physics experiments?
Should not the question be resolved by logicians and mathematicians; or perhaps psychologists?
Actually the problem has been approached by psychologists such as Carl Jung or Frederic Myers for that matter. And parapsychology has addressed the problem of consciousness frequently as well. However, quantum physics is also another approach to consciousness, as it too has touched consciousness with the observer problem.

My Best,
Bertha
 
Perhaps I am. Maybe too much time arguing with irrational Skeptics and I'm starting to see phantoms.


Well in this your assertion would be incorrect IMO. But that doesn't seem quite like what is being argued above regarding Bell's Theorem. It's not whether the cat is there or not, but whether causality has anything to do with the cat being there or not.


Actually the problem has been approached by psychologists such as Carl Jung or Frederic Myers for that matter. And parapsychology has addressed the problem of consciousness frequently as well. However, quantum physics is also another approach to consciousness, as it too has touched consciousness with the observer problem.

My Best,
Bertha

In the paper in which Schroedinger introduced the cat paradox he began the section dealing with it with this sentence:
"One can even set up quite ridiculous cases."
 
In the paper in which Schroedinger introduced the cat paradox he began the section dealing with it with this sentence:
"One can even set up quite ridiculous cases."
I agree with Schrodinger. For example, a ridiculous argument such as: there is no reasonable correlation between the observer and the quantum wave function collapse, or no causation. Either way an absurd statement given the experimental results which have been tested now for decades, and substantiated by Bell's theorem. Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Bohr, von Neumann would never agree to such silliness (IMO).

My Best,
Bertha
 
Last edited:
I don’t have experience that is independent of my mind. I have experience, which is mental, of a world that is outside and independent of my mind.
I still don't really understand how one can have any experience of something [insert anything] which is independent of ones mind.
 
Almost all loop holes have been closed on local realism. Experimental designs are in the works, I would not be betting against quantum theory.

In the last decades, Bell’s inequality has been violated in numerous experiments and for several different physical systems such as photons and atoms. However, in experimental tests, “loopholes” arise that allow the observed correlations – although they violate Bell’s inequality – to still be explained by local realistic theories. The advocates of local realism can defend their worldview falling back on essentially three such loopholes. In the “locality loophole” the measurement result of one party is assumed to be influenced by a fast and hidden physical signal from the other party to produce the observed correlations. Similarly, in the “freedom-of-choice” loophole the measurement choices of Alice and Bob are considered to be influenced by some hidden local realistic properties of the particle pairs. These two loopholes have already been closed in photonic experiments [2-4] by separating Alice and Bob by large distances, and enforcing precise timing of the photon pair creation, Alice’s and Bob’s choice events, and their measurements. The local realist would then need superluminal signals to explain the measured correlations, but influences which are faster than light are not allowed in the local realistic world view.
The third way out for the local realist is called the “fair-sampling loophole” [5]. It works in the following manner: if only a small fraction of the produced photons is measured, a clever advocate of local realism can conceive a model in which the ensemble of all produced photons as a whole follows the rules of local realism, although the “unfair” sample of the actually measured photons was able to violate Bell’s inequality. (Think of randomly flipping many fair coins but looking at only some of them, where the coins showing heads tend to hide and thus have a smaller probability of being observed than those showing tails. When looking at only this incomplete and "unfair" subset of the coins, it wrongly appears as if the coins had a special distribution with more showing tails than heads.) This type of loophole has even been explicitly exploited in an experiment faking Bell violations without any entanglement [6]. The way to close the fair-sampling loophole is to achieve a high detection efficiency of the produced particle pairs by avoiding losses and using very good measurement devices. Until now, this has been accomplished for particles with mass such as ions and atoms [7,8], but never for photons. However, for such particles, the other two loopholes are very difficult to close and indeed have not yet been closed.

A recent experiment has, for the first time, closed the fair-sampling loophole for photons [9]. It employed a significantly optimized source of entangled pairs achieving excellent fiber coupling efficiencies and state-of-the-art high-efficiency superconducting detectors to reach the necessary total detection efficiency. The researchers were able to measure about 75% of all photons in each arm. This rules out all local realistic explanations that rely on unfair sampling using a form of Bell’s inequality developed about 20 years ago by the American physicist Philippe Eberhard, which requires an efficiency of only two thirds [10]. The recent experiment makes the photon the first physical system for which all three loopholes have been closed, albeit in different experiments.
Although most scientists do not expect any surprises and believe that quantum physics will prevail over local realism, it is still conceivable that different loopholes are exploited in different experiments. It is this last piece in the history of Bell tests which is still missing – a final and conclusive experiment violating Bell’s inequality while closing all loopholes simultaneously [11]. It is not yet clear whether such an experiment will be achieved first for photons or atoms or some other quantum system, but if it can be successfully performed, one needs to accept at least one of the following radical views: there is a hidden faster-than-light communication in nature, or we indeed live in a world in which physical properties do not always exist independent of observation. Almost 50 years after the formulation of local realism, its endgame clearly has begun.
http://www.2physics.com/2013/06/quantum-experiment-preludes-endgame-for.html
 
If you know someone who wears spectacles, ask them why?
Perhaps they will be able to tell you something about the physiology of sight and the science of optics.
How do you think that will help me understand how one can have any experience of something [insert anything] which is independent of ones mind?
 
Top