Friday, September 6, 2019

By Deepak Chopra, Menas Kafatos and Rudolph E. Tanzi


For a Consciousness-Based Science MANIFESTO Part 1

The greatest mystery of existence is existence itself. There is the existence of the universe and there is the existence of awareness. Were it not for awareness, even if the universe existed as an external reality, we would not be aware of its existence, so for all practical purposes it would not exist.

Traditional science assumes, for the most part, that an objective, observer-independent reality exists—that the universe, stars, galaxies, sun, moon and earth would still be there if no one was looking. However, modern quantum theory, the most successful of all scientific creations of the human mind, disagrees. The properties of a particle, quantum theory tells us, actually do not exist until an observation takes place. Quantum theory contradicts traditional, Newtonian physics.

Most scientists, although respecting quantum theory, do not follow its implications. The result is a kind of schizophrenia between what scientists believe and what they practice. When we examine the materialistic hypothesis of traditional science, we find it more a metaphysical assumption than a scientific assertion. How can we assert that an observer-independent reality exists if the assertion itself depends on the existence of a conscious observer? This raises an additional dilemma: Who or what is the observer, and where is this observer located?

When scientists in general describe empirical facts and formulate scientific theories, they forget that neither facts nor theories are an insight into the true nature of fundamental reality apart from any observer. According to quantum theory, what we consider to be empirical facts are entirely dependent on observation. The scientific observer in this case is an activity of the universe called Homo sapiens, usually with a Ph.D. in physics, biology, neuroscience or other branches of science. However, many scientists have never really asked the question, “Who am I?

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