Is Nature Random?abracad, · Categories: purpose, science and spirituality
Life isn't always 'just'. 'Bad' things happen to 'good' people, and vice versa. When stuff happens seemingly regardless of our personal choices/actions it can cause us to question our beliefs about the nature of reality. And in particular whether there is some purpose or meaning driving the universe.
Science has been incredibly successful at discovering and explaining the mechanism by which the physical universe operates. However, science itself in the form of quantum physics has shown there to be not just a practical but an absolute theoretical limit to our knowledge of reality. At the very limits of our understanding the fundamental building blocks of the world around us behave randomly. It is the huge number of such random micro-events that statistically give the appearance of determinism (cause and effect).
But what might lie beyond this impenetrable veil at the limit of potential knowledge? And how might 'randomness' at the micro level give rise to apparent randomness at the level of our experience?
Perhaps there is nothing beyond the impenetrable veil, and nature really is random. Or perhaps there is some hidden purpose (God, Spirit, ...?) shaping the world we perceive, in accord with Einstein's assertion that "God does not play dice with the universe". In incarnate form we can never know. However, certain aspects of human experience hint at an underlying meaning.
The complexity of (our) life suggests non-randomness. Renowned astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle remarked: "The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein." But what about an infinity of universes over an eternity of time?
The anthropic principle notes that the laws of the universe are perfectly tuned to support life. But if that wasn't the case there could be no life to observe the universe or formulate principles; ie there could be an infinity of unobserved universes in which it doesn't hold.
Common to our individual experience is the notion of free will. That we can somehow act as a cause upon the universe without any external cause acting upon us. We certainly have numerous instances each day where we can seemingly choose freely between alternatives.
The realm of paranormal/supernatural phenomena also strongly suggests some hidden layer of reality beyond the material plane. Such phenomena include ghosts, communication with the dead, extra-sensory perception, synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) etc. There is a vast (so vast as to demand attention) body of evidence for these happenings as spontaneous occurrences, from psychics and mediums, and ever-increasingly from the laboratories of parapsychology, eg see Dean Radin's Parapsychology FAQ.
The Biophysics of Spirituality
Given current understanding and experience, quantum physics is the most likely candidate by which nature's hidden meaning manifests itself in the physical realm. More specifically research (Orchestrated objective reduction) by mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS and anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff MD proposes that consciousness is the result of quantum processes inside the brain.
Stuart Hameroff on quantum consciousness and mind over matter
TEDx Brussels 2010 - Stuart Hameroff - Do we have a quantum Soul?
Sir Roger Penrose — The quantum nature of consciousness
Philosopher of science and systems theorist Ervin László posits a field of information as the substance of the cosmos which he terms the Akashic field. This field is the realm of all consciousness, and thus our concept of 'self' is an extension of a particular part of consciousness residing in the Akashic field. Like the Akashic records described by some spiritual traditions, the Akashic field stores every aspect of conscious experience and provides a potential mechanism for the immortality of the soul.
So when something bad happens remember it is likely no more than the slightest drop in the infinite and meaningful ocean of reality.
Quantum Mind The objective of the Quantum Mind site is to keep users appraised of developments that are relevant to the concept of consciousness as a fundamental property in terms of biology and fundamental physics.
Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate, director of the Mind-Matter Unification Project of the Theory of Condensed Matter Group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, a project concerned primarily with the attempt to understand, from the viewpoint of the theoretical physicist, what may loosely be characterised as intelligent processes in nature, associated with brain function or with some other natural process.
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