Within this website I explore whether there is a spiritual realm, a supernatural realm, containing God, mind, souls, consciousness with its contents (ideas, emotions, love, reason, etc) — this, from a purely philosophical and unreligious point of view.
In this article, I first assume there is a spiritual realm so as to explore the implications; then I present my conclusions elsewhere.
If there is a soul or God, or an intelligent designer, there must be a way for these entities in the spiritual realm to communicate with the body (and the physical universe). The only way I can think of for this is via quantum mechanics (but there are serious philosophical difficulties with this solution which I discuss elsewhere).
Materialists and atheists seem to assume there is no way a spirit being could interact with the physical universe. But they just haven't thought about it hard enough, possibly as a side effect of their assumption of materialism — no need to look for something you assume doesn't exist.
The only way I can imagine that these spiritual beings can communicate with and affect the motions of matter (without violating the laws of physics) is by guiding the usually random wave function collapse — (so that an electron, for example, appears on this side of the atom instead of that side).
Perhaps spiritual beings only do this occasionally as needed, with the default being randomness.
In biological evolution, the intelligent designer observes what is happening within a species and notices that a certain mutation would be able to thrive. He/she triggers wave function collapse to nudge the interactions of the electrons causing mutations.
My entire system of thought about there being both a physical realm and a spiritual realm hinges on the contents of this article. If both realms exist, then God and souls and spirits and the intelligent designer; these all must have a way to communicate with physical matter without violating the natural laws of physics. The only possible way is via the randomness of quantum mechanics.
But this requires extreme micromanagement on their part and, therefore, seems unlikely. Also, there is no way around the conundrum of God being evil because evil exists in the world — conscious creatures suffer.
When the quantum mechanics wave function collapses, the particle (an electron, for example) appears in a random location, the only constraint being that over the long run, the probability of where it appears matches the probability of the wave function.
But how can randomness be guided? Here's how. If you repeatedly toss a coin and it comes up with the pattern HHTTHHTTHHTT etc, unless you notice the pattern, you will say it's random. No matter how many tosses, it lands heads 50%.
I propose that this randomness provides a "window" between the spiritual realm and the physical realm in which souls and spirits (spiritual entities) can reach over into the physical realm and effect physical matter.
All of life is biochemical and sensitive to wave function collapse of the electrons. A spiritual entity can "guide" the interactions occasionally and as needed, so they design complex biological machines.
Thus, evolution is both guided (by intelligent design) yet also random.
But I find it hard to believe that randomness plays such a key role in reality. I claim instead, that the randomness of wave function collapse is not random. (I agree that the probabilistic formulas and equations are proven to be true via experiments.)
Just because the mathematical equation describing a phenomena uses probability does not imply that the energizing principle actually is randomness. Randomness is not a force, not an agent capable of choosing when and where events occur.
I propose that the source of so-called randomness is free-will choice by conscious souls (including God) residing in the spiritual realm. It only seems to be random because these free-will choices are constrained by the probabilistic formulas and equations. Using a coin toss as an analogy, whenever the soul chooses heads, it must later choose tails, to preserve the probability.
This implies that every so-called random event at the sub-atomic quantum level is guided by somebody; but perhaps randomness is the default but can be overridden when desired.
If the soul controls the body, doing so requires extreme micromanagement by the soul.
If there is an intelligent designer guiding evolution (and the unfolding of the universe), doing so requires extreme micromanagement.
It might seem odd they would micromanage like this, but perhaps it's analogous to the brain, having the complexity necessary to micromanage the body. We might wonder why biological life is so incredibly complex, so micromanaged.
The souls guide physical reality via ideas and mental templates for reality which influence the quantum interactions.
In the case of biological organisms, perhaps God provides the templates but the souls actually guide the location of electrons (for example) upon wave function collapse.
Explaining quantum entanglement with my view:
The spiritual realm is outside the physical realm, not a another dimension, but as a different realm having full access and visibility to every tiniest detail of space and time.
For two entangled particles that must obey the conservation of spin (for example), this conservation law resides in the spiritual realm, as does the rules governing quantum entanglement. In the spiritual realm it's as if entangled particles form a contract with one another. This contract is enforced from the spiritual realm, which is not limited by the constraint of the speed of light.
When the wave function of one particle collapses, the spiritual realm instantaneously collapses the other in such a way as to conserve spin (for example). The instantaneous communication occurs in the spiritual realm, not the physical realm.
If an ant is walking on a tabletop, you can see his/her journey the whole time from above. In this example, the 3D space above the tabletop is analogous to the spiritual realm while the surface of the table with the ant on it to the physical realm. Again, I don't like to think of this spiritual realm as merely another physical dimension — it is not physical at all.
The question of who is performing these activities within the spiritual realm; I spoke about it as if the spiritual realm itself is the actor performing the activities.
Some assume that consciousness (an observer) is required to trigger wave function collapse, but I doubt this. And having God be the conscious being who triggers wave function collapse doesn't solve the problem. Why would God only observe some things but not others?
I think Roger Penrose is correct in his view that wave function collapse occurs on its own based on exceeding some sort of threshold. It's just that wave function collapse can also be triggered by setting up a measurement apparatus which also triggers it, leading to the faulty conclusion of some that only measurement (presumably by a conscious entity) triggers it.
I can think of two ways someone could affect the location of a particle (for example, an electron) after wave function collapse. I call these: where and when.
In both cases, if no spiritual entity interacts with the particle, it will naturally appear in a random location.
Someone chooses where the particle will appear after wave function collapse. This assumes, I suppose, either that they have to wait for it to collapse on its own, or that they trigger the collapse.
This is based on the idea that the particle before wave function collapse is "spinning" though all its its possible states according to the specified probabilities. When the wave function collapses, the particle appears where it actually was at that instant. Thus, triggering the timing of wave function collapse is what determines where the particle will be located after collapse.
In my view, the soul communicates to the body by determining where the electron (for example) is located after wave function collapse. But this is micromanagement in the extreme; how could a soul determine the effects of an electron appearing on one side of an atom rather than on the other?
Perhaps if the soul develops along with the body and is tightly integrated with the body at the atomic level. The brain does this kind of incredibly complex micromanagement at the cellular level, so if the soul develops along with the brain (even guiding the development?) this is not hard to conceptualize.
But maybe God doesn't have this difficulty of predicting the effect of his/her meddling via the location of particles after wave function collapse. Perhaps God triggers wave function collapse merely by looking at it — no need for him/her to perform any complex mathematical calculations at all. God's looking encapsulates the mathematics because the universe is, in essence, mathematical.
But even this involves micromanagement in the extreme.
Roger Penrose thinks proto-consciousness arises during wave function collapse. In my view, consciousness only exists in the spiritual realm.
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Pseudo-science (philosophical speculation): (1) many worlds theory (a new universe appears upon each wave function collapse), (2) consciousness arises upon wave function collapse, (3) the big bang as a result of a quantum effect (it popped into existence because it's possible for this to occur). There is no proof for these so they are not science. Rather, they are philosophy.