We can no longer ignore consciousness or consider it as an emergent product of a physical brain. Obtaining information about a quantum object, in whichever what way, influences that object or rather influences the state wave of that object. If it does not matter how that information is obtained, we will always end up having to accept the role of the observer as a necessary ingredient. The observer seems to matter, and the only real important difference between any measuring instrument and any observer will therefore have to be the consciousness of the last.
In short, the observer creates the observed. This immediately raises the following important questions:
- How does the observer accomplish that? The projection postulate, that assumes a mechanism by which the consciousness of the observer projects what is perceived into an objectively existing reality, is very similar to what I call the “Harry Potter effect”, magic.
- How is it possible that we generally agree on what we perceive? If every observer creates his own part of reality by his observation then we will need some mechanism for the mutual agreement about their observations by different observers and also one about what or who decides who creates which part of reality.
- Consciousness cannot be a product of the physical brain that, in turn, by that logic produces the perceived world and therefore itself. A causal loop. To avoid that it seems then that we have to go for a Cartesian duality where interaction between physical matter and non-physical consciousness is possible. The question then is how something non-physical is able to exert a physical effect and vice versa?
Minimal requirements for a hypothesis
A good explanatory hypothesis should provide an answer to all of these important questions. So this is a shortlist of its requirements:
- Quantum physics tells us that it is about information and not about the way it is obtained and from that it follows that consciousness is a necessary part of the hypothesis.
- Consciousness cannot have a physical origin because we then will end up in a causal loop by having it creating its own material origin.
- No unexplainable “Harry Potter Magic” please.
- The consensus experience of multiple observers must be explained. As simple as possible but not simpler.
This explanatory hypothesis exists and it is very old. If you look carefully into old lore, oral tradition of ‘primitive’ tribes, stories from vastly different civilizations, religions, you will undoubtedly find it, time after time.