- Morowitz complains that – as of 1980 – over the last 100 years, while science has been moving to involve the mind in quantum physics, biologists have been getting increasingly out of step by moving in the opposite direction – of the increasing hard-core materialism exemplified by 19th-century physics.
- He complains about Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden not mentioning “mind” or “consciousness” in its index, simply focusing on reductive biology. Also, Francis Crick’s Of Molecules and Men claims – in an attack on vitalism – that the ultimate aim of modern biology is to explain all biological phenomena in terms of physics.
- But – he says – Einsteinian physics re-introduces the observer – all observations are observer-relative – as does quantum mechanics1.
- This strikes me as a fundamental mistake in his analysis of the situation. Nothing in Relativity refers to conscious observers – they can happily be machines (and always are in relativistic physics). This is a more controversial claim in QM, but I don’t think the photographic film that records interference patterns waits for a conscious observer to look at it before it collapses the wave functions. Also, Schrodinger’s cat has already interacted with the non-conscious observer – the macroscopic apparatus – before the conscious observer peeks inn to see whether it’s alive or dead. Or so it seems to me.
- He mentions the “new age physicists” of the time that claimed to see a connection between QM and Eastern mysticism, namely:-
→ "Capra (Fritjof) - The Tao of Physics", and
→ "Zukav (Gary) - The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics".
- To be continued …
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