Cognitive neuroscience tells us how we perceive objects. Evolutionary and developmental biopsychology tells us what objects we can perceive. Cosmology tries to tell us what objects are there to be perceived. We are forced into anthropic or design arguments to explain "why this universe?" because even quantum cosmology spectacularly fails to do so.
Quantum cosmology asks how the "classical world" of ordinary experience—the world of observers and observable objects—emerges from a quantum universe, one initially packed into a tiny, high-energy dot. The standard answer is decoherence, a process that encodes classical information about a bounded quantum system into its surrounding environment. Decoherence theory allows the precise calculation of what information about any bounded object—an electron, a red Ferrari, a human-habitable planet—its environment provides to observers.
The boundaries between objects and their environments must, however, be specified as inputs to such calculations. The central question of cosmology—"why this universe, and hence these objects?"—is thus left unanswered. I suggest we abandon both the question "why this universe?" and the entire subsequent story about emergence. A quantum universe is an entangled universe. Any two components of an entangled state encode classical information about each other. All such information is relational and conditional, not absolute or universal: it is information of the form "if I am X, my partner is Y." Viewing observation as entanglement instead of decoherence suggests a universe full of energy but with no boundaries: no space, no time, no objects. What it would mean to live—and do science—in such a timeless, boundary-less universe is fascinating to contemplate.
Find out more about Chris Fields at his website
“Definitely these galaxies are a big deal, but it remains to be seen how exciting they will look in the context of a few months’ progress with JWST,” Carnall says. The best is yet to come.
Cheese is not just a tasty snack — it’s an ecosystem. And the fungi and bacteria within that ecosystem play a big part in shaping the flavor and texture of the final product.
Taking a long view of life on Earth, Robin Wall Kimmerer explores how mosses—ancient beings who transformed the world—teach us strategies for persisting amid a changing climate.
Dr. Long has investigated thousands of near-death experiences (NDEs) with the results of his research published in the New York Times bestselling book Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences.
Maybe the brain isn't "classical" after all.
Exploring how the mind extends beyond the physical self.
I am a body plus. A body plus trauma, plus illness, plus pollen, plus spores, plus caretakers and friends and loved ones and wild kin.
the challenge of choosing deep-focus work and connection over superficial distraction and stimulation
Susana Martinez-Conde gives her understanding of perception, brains, reality, memory, experience, music, aesthetics, and language from her experience as Laboratory Director of SUNY Downstate Medical Center
So how does our brain create this illusion of stability?
Even with its explanatory power, Big Bang theory takes its place in a long line of myths.
Scientists are slowly understanding collaboration’s role in biology
For many people, psychedelic drugs are intimately connected to the 1960s American counterculture, with…
Listening to/with/as the whole planet is listening and sining, a conversation with world renoun bioacoustic researcher
While scientists can anticipate how climate change will affect larger regions, predicting the fate of a given 100-acre forest plot can be trickier.
Every creature lives within its own sensory bubble, but only humans have the capacity to appreciate the experiences of other species. What we’ve learned is astounding.
A well-documented feature of trauma, one familiar to many, is our inability to articulate what happens to us.
explore psychedelics and their therapeutic uses in two entertaining and informative talks from SAND 18 and 19
The meaning of death and dying in a death-phobic culture and more on Sounds of SAND Episode 2
An exploration of a groundbreaking assertion of a new paper published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Please enter your email and we’ll send you instructions to reset your password