Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
What kind of universe do we live in? Many people have taken their shots at this question and today I’m going to give you my version. It is slightly different from other versions that I’ve read about so I don’t feel like I’m re-inventing the wheel. This area of physics is up in the air right now. Both physics and cosmology have been encountering unexplainable phenomena that has prevented current theories from holding up.
In particular, the accelerating expansion of the universe is giving cosmologists fits. Theories to account for this such as dark matter and dark energy have not been very successful. Dark matter hasn’t been found and dark energy has the problem of completely taking over the universe eventually. This is forcing scientists to explore other models.
In physics, string theory, the most popular model at the moment has morphed into M theory, which isn’t really a theory as of yet, but just a series of rough ideas. The problem with this model is that it involves at least 11 dimensions all crammed into a space too small for us to detect. (If we existed in a universe where the other dimensions were large, we would observe stuff popping in and out of our 3D world all the time.) The problem with String Theory is that there are an astronomical number of possible solutions. So it’s thought that an M theory would get to the heart of this and have an overall explanation. But 11 dimensional space is a mathematical nightmare and no one has gotten very far. (See The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin.)
All subatomic particles have a spin, and when they are paired, their spins are always synchronized. This occurs no matter how far apart they are. It could be next to each other, it could be across the universe, if one particle is spinning one way, the other particle will be synchronized with it. This is tested with the particles moving away from each other at the speed of light, which is the fast form of physical communication known. This demonstrates interconnectedness between all particles. Hence, entanglement.
The problem for most of the theories of the universe is that if everything is completely interconnected, then nothing is truly separated, including dimensions. Everything in the universe is essentially One Big Thing.
Let’s call this a non-dimensional universe since we need to have a way to understand it. The obvious question comes up then, what about our world. What creates it and distinguishes it from the rest of the universe? We look to the one thing that operates as though it were a One Big Thing: Consciousness.
This is probably the hardest part for scientists to wrap their head around. Consciousness does not seem like it is supposed to be anything but a trick of nature brought about by a bunch of neurons firing in the brain. Yet study after study contradicts this point of view. We have the entire field of parapsychology, in which the evidence for psi demonstrates that consciousness is operating beyond the reaches of our brain pan. We have the evidence for the afterlife which demonstrates that consciousness does not even need the brain to exist, we have seen consciousness and psi ability in animals, and it is now a well known fact that consciousness exists in plants. This argues for the idea that bodies of creatures and plants have adapted themselves to take advantage of existing consciousness, rather than it simply being a curiosity that sprang up magically from firing neurons.
The existence of consciousness has already been well established in physics, most notably with the observation that electrons switch from being waves to particles when they are observed.
When we view consciousness this way, it is easy to see why someone can miss its impact on our reality. Because it is everywhere and in everything and affects every conceivable action, we have no way to create a condition where it is absent. To put this in perspective, how easy is it to measure whether consciousness is affecting randomness when randomness itself is a product of consciousness? This may be a possible explanation for why the Global Consciousness Project is measuring such a small effect.
My version of the theory is that our universe is non-dimensional and this weird, self aware primal force known as consciousness has created a three dimensional holographic universe. Each bit of it (a kind of primal “idea”) is self aware and constantly expands. (This is a 3D concept, but there is no other way to understand it.) As it expands, each bit (idea) must be slightly different than every other even if only in the most minute way because if everything is One Big Thing, then two absolutely identical things (ideas) cannot exist separately. (Two identical “ideas” are the same idea.) Differentiation is vital to the holographic model.
The concept of time is how we experience this expansion, which is why we experience it only going in one direction, but can direct consciousness to “see” in both directions.
Physical reality forms as a result of a “large idea” and we are parts of that “idea.” We’re sort of like leaves on the tree. We’re part of the tree, but we’re not the center of it.
I think physics and cosmology are going to be forced into eventually going in this direction. Entanglement pretty much forces this path.