The origin of conscious has been a hot subject among scholars, and there are many theories to substantiate each claim. Scientists from different fraternity work on this topic to crack its code. Today we have many theories revolves around it, and materialism dominates among them. Materialism propagates that consciousness originates from matter. Looking for an example, we can easily compare it the way how neurons fire inside the brain.
So, as per the theory if we take the brain out of context then it is evident that there is no consciousness exists. Most of the renowned scientists are materialists, and when they take the brain out of the equation, they were able to understand the limitation of materialism. It will be easy for you to understand the incompatibilities when you look into the inconsistency between quantum mechanics and relativity or the uncertainty principle of Heisenberg.
The mind and body dualism are the second theory, which are the fundamentals of spirituality or religion. As per this theory matter and consciousness are different. In religious terms, it is known as the soul, which is another individual character. Then comes the third theory, the panpsychism, which is gaining popularity among the scientific community. As per panpsychism, consciousness is everywhere in the universe.
Many scientists are already working on the possibility of this theory, and it is still a hot subject among the scientific community. The theory of panpsychism resembles close to the mythological beliefs of Hindu and Buddha spiritual thoughts, which consider it as the universal supreme power and we are all part of it. As per Buddhism, the only thing exists is consciousness.
Everything around us, what we experience is a filtered process rationally inferred by the mind. Out of the many Zen Koan quotes, this has precisely addressed by asking, “When a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around there to hear the falling sound, does it make a sound?” It clearly indicates that without a conscious observation, nothing exists even the universe. It is also known as proto-consciousness field among physicists.
According to quantum mechanics, no particles shall have a particular shape or in a location, until they are identified and measured. Many people start wondering whether it is the proto-consciousness stage. According to John Archibald Wheeler, a philosopher, and scientist, who introduced the term ‘black hole’ the particles might form a proto-consciousness level of play. He says, all matter shall have a small piece of consciousnes`s, which derives from the proto-consciousness field.
He coined his theory as ‘participatory anthropic principle,’ and he speculates that the human observation nature is the key to synthesize this process. He even said that ‘the human are the participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago.’ The statement stays very close to Buddhist thoughts, “nothing exists unless there is conscious effort to apprehend it.”
Panpsychism has many supporters, and Christof Koch from the Allen Institute of Brain Science is one among them. He is a very famous neuroscientist with brain science background. According to him, consciousness is a level of awareness that one creates around himself in this world. As per his belief, biological organisms maintain a high alert of consciousness, and they mold their behavior according to the situation. Koch is now working on various methods for measuring the consciousness level of an organism.
He is doing some experiments on mice by wiring the brains of two mice together, to check the consciousness level. His research is targeting to identify if it is possible to flow the information between the two mice? Also, he wants to find out whether the consciousness of the two mice will fuse together and integrate to work like a uni-creature. If all these experiments have turned positive upon testing them with animals, then he might wire up two human brains and continue testing with them.
Panpsychism has many supporters, and Sir Roger Penrose is a well-known UK Physicist one among them. He had some deep studies on consciousness and 1980 he presented studies that the consciousness located in the synapses of the brain and its exists at the quantum level. He linked some of the developments in quantum mechanics with consciousness and his works to this effects are very famous.
Dr.Penrose won’t like to know as a panpsychist. As per his observation, the law of physics produce complex systems, and it can take to a consciousness stage, which further produces mathematics. And this calculation code shall have the ability to encode in an exciting and laconic style the very fundamental laws of physics which can lift the consciousness.
Gregory Matloff, a veteran physicist, attached to New York City College of Technology, states that he has some primary proof indicating that panpsychism is possible in the lowest form. In a recent interview with NBC News, he told panpsychism is highly speculative and it might be possible to validate or reject the concept.
In 2006, Bernard Haisch, a theoretical physicist has opined that the consciousness can produce and it can transfer through empty space or quantum vacuum. Consciousness can generate or transmit at any given point of time if the system can generate a particular level of energy and enough complexity. He further approached an Orthodox German physicist for conducting an observational study and test the parameters of consciousness.
Their main experiment was to check the effect of Parenago’s Discontinuity. It is something similar to the observation, how the sun like cooler stars spin around the center of the Milky Way faster than the hot stars. As per some scientists, it may happen due to the interaction with gas clouds. Matloff maintained a different view on it, and he published a detailed study about it in Journal ofConsciousness Exploration and Research.
He is of the opinion that cooler stars may move faster than their hotter siblings because of the emission of a uni-directional jet. The cooler stars may happen to emit a jet in the early stage of their formation. As per his calculation, the cooler stars shall deliberately manipulate to increase the momentum.
The observational date does portray a reliable pattern collected from various locations confirm the existence of Parenago’s Discontinuity. As per the current theory, if it happens due to the interaction with gas clouds, it may be possible for the cloud to develop different chemical combinations. If that would have been the case, that may force the stars to move indifferently. So, the bothersome question is, why all stars show a similar pattern of behavior?
The opinion can be further established or rejected by having the data collected from European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope analyzed. The space telescope mission is to map stars and study their nature. Dr. Matloff also shares the opinion that, the existence of a proto-consciousness field may be a reason for dark matter replacement.
Even though dark matter is not visible, it covers about 95% of the universe. If consciousness is a property emerges on the subatomic level with a union of particles, and if we agree on it for argument’s sake, what could be the reason for these microparticles of consciousness tend to unite?
Eminent psychiatrist and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have different perception about panpsychism, and he precipitated a theory on this matter, known as the integrated information theory. As per his theory, consciousness is a manifestation remain in an unknown destination of the universe with real physical location. It may be radiating consciousness similar to that of sun how it radiates heat and light. We have to find yet it to know and experience it better.
The unit to measure consciousness is Phi, which is the invention of Dr. Tononi. The measurement will let us have an idea about the consciousness field around an object. The theory for the metric treat intelligent, and consciousness is different entities. But some people differ with this finding, and they argue that both are the same, present in a single form and inclusive.
Can we compare it with artificial intelligence? It has immense programmed power and can beat humans various segments where speed and accuracy are imperative. But it has no conscious intelligence. It can only become conscious by receiving programmed external commands and can do incredible things. However, we have to be prepared to meet conscious intelligence machines, as predicted by optimistic scientists like Elon Musk, Ray Kurzweil, etc. We are very close to accomplishing the objectives.
Panpsychism is an exciting subject, and you can find many intriguing lectures available on this subjects. Click the link below to listen to the speech of Sir. Roger Penrose.