These are obviously a great set of questions. And surely it
would be silly for such great physicists to consider a question about
the physics that enables consciousness at this point in time.
However, there is a theory of consciousness I call "The Qualia Theory
of Consciousness" which, if it turns out to be true, in retrospect
people will consider another question about physics to be more
important than all these.
All the current 11 questions about physics are strictly about
the cause and effect nature of the universe. This qualia theory of
consciousness predicts there is more then just "causal effects" to the
universe. It predicts something in it (particularly, at least
something in our brain) has phenomenal qualities which are
categorically different than the simple causal properties today's
science is limited to observing, because of it's inability to "eff"
(as in ineffable).
This theory predicts that our brain represents conscious
knowledge with a configuration of matter which has phenomenal
properties. Not only are these phenomena causal, they are also
phenomenally "like" something. A qalia, red for example, has
phenomenal qualities no abstract representation or mere causal
representation has (at least as far as we scientifically know).
Which physical phenomena has these phenomenal properties and
how are they realized in the brain is this much more important
question about the universe. I'm working on a paper detailing this
representative theory (which many great philosophyers like Descartes
and Lock have advocated ideas very close to this for centuries) which,
despite this support, for some reason is being completely ignored as a
possibility by almost everyone, especially extropians and physicists.
Francis Crick, one of the Discoverers of DNA says science is
at the same point now, with consciousness, as it was with the
mysterious "life force" right before he and Watson discovered it was
simply DNA. If this theory of consciousness is true, it predicts
science is about to make the discovery which will answer this 12th and
much more important question about the universe. It details how
science will eventually expand its scope to include more than just the
causal natures of the universe.
In this paper I detail some of why this will be by far the
most significant scientific breakthrough ever made. I discuss some of
its drastic implications on the future as we make these discoveries
and achieve the technologies required to "eff". This will all
ultimately enable us to expand and merge what I consider to be our
conscious "spirit worlds", finally freeing us, consciously, from the
lonely isolated small spiritual prison that is our mortal skull...
We've had several discussions on this list where I've argued
for parts of this theory. I'm attempting to put this all in a more
coherent and complete description. This is a draft of a work in
progress which I'd love to try to get published some day. (Hopefully
before science makes this discovery.) So I'd love to hear any thoughts
any of you may have on this issue!
html version: <URL: http://www.frii.com/~allsop/qualia.htm>
msword version: <URL: http://www.frii.com/~allsop/qualia.doc>
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