Does the "Many Worlds Theory" require conscious beings?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 2 days, 17 hours ago.

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  • #29416

    Unseen
    Participant

    As typically explained, the so-called “many worlds theory” holds that the world is always branching, and a typical sort of example might be something like this: confronted with the option of having pie after dinner, you either accept the offer or you don’t. But actually you do both according to the theory. In one world you accept the pie and in a separate branch you get up from the table without having pie. And branches like this are happening all day long.

    Here’s a question, though: Would many worlds exist where no one is making choices? A world with no free will. A world entirely without life.

    #29418

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    In spite of what some reputable physicists say, I think the many-worlds theory is just philosophical conjecture if not absurd. I forgot what the most popular alternative theory to that is, but either theory may never be provable or disprovable. At least one thing is true, I think, and that is that it takes conscious physicists to make up these theories. 🙂

    So speaking of “consciously affecting quantum spins (which is what I think were ultimately getting at here?), I have to admit that I still don’t understand the mathematics of the Bell Inequality which supposedly supports entanglement at a distance, and so in my feeble unphysicist mind I’ve landed on the conviction that there’s still something going on that’s not understood by physicists, like some version of pilot wave theory that hasn’t been uncovered, yet. I.e., I think there must be some hidden variable, e.g. entangled particles that are just sharing a ride on the same wave that we can’t yet detect that’s in one of those extra dimensions. Maybe dark matter and dark energy are hiding there, too. (And I don’t mean they’re “consciously” hiding there, just for their own amusement.)

    I am most definitely open to your suggestions on this one. 😉

    I think that Sean Carroll wrote about this in his latest book, and I don’t know of anyone one who can explain these things more clearly to normal folk.

    #29419

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I find it very implausible that when I choose to do “this” rather than “that”, it creates an entire new universe.

    #29420

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Well….we can toss out the old adage “You can’t have your pie and eat it too.

    #29423

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m still wondering if a conscious being is required, or, for example, does an earthquake both happen and not happen? I haven’t really found a quantum theorist addressing this question.

    #29428

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I think this is a pretty good summary, in the simple version of wikipedia. But I would still need to re-read stuff like descriptions of more involved double-slit experiments to get more into discussion about it.

    #29433

    does an earthquake both happen and not happen ?

    At the quantum level everything is measured in probabilities. We will know when we make an observation if the earthquake happened.

    When we say “particles can exist in 2 states simultaneously ” (the double slit experiment) we seldom continue to say that both particles cannot be measured simultaneously.

    #29435

    Unseen
    Participant

    When we say “particles can exist in 2 states simultaneously ” (the double slit experiment) we seldom continue to say that both particles cannot be measured simultaneously.

    But does a particle in two different states simultaneously exist in two different worlds?

    #29441

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    But does a particle in two different states simultaneously exist in two different worlds?

    Seems to me yes, at least in a sense.

    Here’s a video I gave up trying to understand after about seven minutes into it, but will revisit. (It might have been posted here at AZ before, but I don’t remember where it would be.)

    #29443

    Davis
    Participant

    We don’t remotely know enough to make any theories that aren’t just fanciful speculation.

    Are we in a universe that is nothing but overlapping existences representing the infinite possible results of a vortex of probabilities that can only collapse if a conscious being observes or tests it? Maybe. I guess that means nothing was collapsed nor existed in the way we understand it until the first conscious creater on Earth (or some other part of the galaxy) first observed something. Whether that conscious actor is as simple as a one celled organism with primative sensory organs, a more advanced animal that can analyse its enviroment in a sophisticated way, a slightly more advanced primate or a proto-homosapian…who knows. How could we go back in history and find out? How could we test if the quantum field collapses if a snail is the agent observing it?

    Or are we all agents who have our own universes which is each the collapsed quantum field as seen from our own conscious perspective? Or inifinite universes for every decisision each individual has or could ever make? Or are there infinite ones not just for decisions but any possible state of every single particle during the shortest possible unit of time? Or is there simply one universe and the quantum field is simply not well understood by us? Who knows. You haven’t read a good theory proposed on the subject because the theories can only go as far as a tiny little bit of slightly evidence based science (there are some pretty doubtful claims that the multiverse theory is actually quite likely) and of course, the addition of the limitless human imagination.

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