Science considering experimental influence of the observer

I was recently inspired reading about the data showing the influence of human observation on the two slit experiment. Surely having an observer alter results of experiments in particle physics provides insight into the issues of existential reality. This should say volumes in the god vs science debate. I should this would be of great interest in groups around Richard Dawkins. Am I correct?
I was recently inspired reading about the data showing the influence of human observation on the two slit experiment.
Like what kind of data? How did they reach their conclusion?

This is the video I first saw:

This one points to current thinking on the evidence:

And this one shows years of experiments with strong (5 sigma) results based on human observation being a key input:

I hope this inspires some strong discussion. I have always felt science needs to examine the role of the “observer” more to bring a “life force” element into scientific evaluation. My intuition tells me this can be that crucial opportunity





sorry double post.

I’ve watched the second one already. I respect Ash and Al-Khalili from various other videos I’m already familiar with. They keep it within bounds, but Radin?


Okay, since you asked, I think it’s contrived mental entertainment. At 2:30 (Radin) is invoking “extra-physical” factors. That’s pushing religion.

Why not first examine if we are interpreting the data correctly, then if our conclusions are justified? Instead, it’s like Radin is trying to run from first base to home plate. 28:00 that does not impress. That’s a salesman’s tactic. Science by rhetorical tricks rather than factual persuasion and constructive teaching/learning. 33:33, That diagram is very scrambled, plus looking through the wrong end of the microscope.

33:55 I find it disingenuous claiming quantum tests and the double slit experiment is a fair representative for “The Physical World” that we experience every moment of our lives.

So my question. In the end, where does any of this lead you, or point you to?
Evidence that's slightly above random correlation "controlling the slit" or predicting it or whatever the claim. So what? Even if it were true, how's that going to impact anything in your life or your understanding of your world?

That subconscious things, or your mind, can impact/influence real world happening?. Yippy, isn’t that something most figure out intuitively anyways?


What really disturbs me about that sort of stuff, is escapism from facing yourself. Who you are, what you are feeling, and how you are interacting with the world you’re embedded within. If you want to learn about yourself, you need to look inward and when you look inward you also realize you need to back in to time and your origins and to also understand the evolution that created you and this world we inhabit. That gives you something to work with in a concrete, relevant, pragmatic, constructive manner.

This dreaming of finding answers for our lives, somewhere out there, is a dead end. But it sure does earn a lot of people a lot of money and fame.


Tell me, out of curiosity, have you read Donald Hoffman’s “Case Against Reality”?





I have not read the Hoffman book but did see him on TED talks and was intrigued so I will read him on your recommendation.

As to your read on the video I bow to your points, you clearly understand the material presented better than I.

My interest in this material comes from intellectual pursuit of existential understanding. I started following the God verses Science debates and came to most respect Dawkins/Hitchens/et al having come to see them as most closely presenting what I agree with…

But frankly I have become disenchanted with the polemic nature of the god/science war. I see both sides as failing to consider consciousness in meaningful ways. The god faction claim everything is created by god end of story… But the science camp seems to ignore anything that smacks of soul or conscious thought other than to present ways it evolved over time. To me the existence of the observer is critical to the full nature of existence being understood. It seems like an understanding of the impact of observation found in quantum mechanics is the perfect start to understanding the life existence questions. Since Schrodinger’s cat is just a thought experiment I hold out hope for the two slit interference experiment as described by Al-Khalili. You think anyone will claim the Nobel prize for that one?


Nah. Of late, I’ve come to fear physicist philosophers, they are too often, too in love with their own genius and ideas, to be trusted with explaining the nature of our human existence.

There really isn’t any need to invoke the super natural to explain consciousness, we just need to be willing to study nature and learn from her, that is the physical materialist world made out of elements and minerals and cells and neurons, developing along the fantastical evolutionary processes that unfolded upon this spectacular unique planet Earth.

I am a bit opinionated on this topic, since I’ve been doing a self study this couple years, and then did a dissection of Donald Hoffman “Case Against Reality” which I found irritating, insulting and quite dishonest when it came to representing biological medical science. But, I’m also willing to be challenged. After all we learn through our mistakes.

After spending a lot of time on that project I came across one Mark Solms and through him Antonio Damasio (search YouTube - both give lots of talks), these are sort of 'leaders" in their field, but there are many other serious scientists studying consciousness from an evolutionary biological perspective, leaving out all the meta physical wishful thinking, and it’s utterly amazing the things they have discovered.

Our body/mind “problem” can certainly be understood without resorting to God or “consciousness” as some outside agent imposed upon biology. Consciousness is part of the fabric that biological creatures created through evolution. The story is amazing and so much more constructive than the rhetoric dependent pipe dreaming.


MARCH 1, 2021 Diary, “Get over it dude, why u so obsessed with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?”
There really isn’t any need to invoke the super natural to explain consciousness
I probably ought to refine that. There's no rational reason to invoke super natural causes. But there are emotional and personal reasons for doing so. Just as there are very good reasons that young children get so attached to their blankie or teddy bear.


My big deal that we ought to recognize as much.

Lausten and W4u knows what coming next: “The Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide”

It’s Not A “Body-Mind Problem” - It’s An “Ego-God Problem.”

As I’ve followed the philosophical roots of “dualism” back to Descartes (1600s) and Anselm (1000s), one thing is clear. The entire philosophical edifice of this Mind-Body “Problem” was formed from within a Christian God-fearing mindset and it continues to reflect their dubious metaphysical assumptions and unreal confabulations.

The Christian worldview is one that perceives people as isolated objects, not only from each other, but also from ourselves and the landscapes we exist within.

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It’s a confabulation.

Dr. Solms makes a wonderful analogy that highlights the error being made:

… Question: Was it lightning or thunder that killed the man?

… It’s a meaningless question.

… Lightning and thunder are simply different aspects of the same phenomena.

The “Mind” is the interior reflection of the living “Body” (both its interior happenings and its external interaction with the environment). You simply cannot have one without the other.

We are embedded within an interconnected web of life and are the direct products of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.

Why isn’t that reflected in modern philosophical discourse?

Learning to appreciate the deep-time pageant of Evolution puts an entirely different richer light upon our interior existence. An awareness that encompasses the whole of time and this planet that created us.

It also gives us a deep appreciation for the continuity of life. Life is good, life is precious, but death is no enemy, painful though it may be. Death is part of the cycle that brings forth new life. Revel in the pageant you are blessed enough to be witnessing. While you can.


Michael, if you do read Hoffman’s work, I’d recommend reading CC’s chapter by chapter responses as you do.

I get the feelings you have about the god/science debate. It has been beat to death and there are problems all around. Quantum physics however is not the answer. When that science was younger, sometime around the 60’s or 70’s, there was serious debate about how the quantum world could affect personality and maybe be used to help us understand ourselves. This did not last very long because of something called decoherence. The quantum movements don’t hold together as they pass on up the chain to neurons. This idea is no longer taken seriously by any respected physicist, but you can find everything from sciencey looking videos to yoga masters who still say it’s a thing.

Meanwhile, the science of religion has developed. There is much more to be learned from psychology, evolution, group dynamics, theories on how we learn, System 1/System 2 thinking and many other disciplines that cross over.


CCV3, I agree that study of the natural world is the path to understanding anything one wants to understand, this is science and this thinking process has evolved to become the scientific method. Where I disagree with you is that natural evolution will not logically extend to identify the source of human consciousness

Lausten, all the field theory work now speaks of the effect of the observer causing probability collapse resulting in observation of particles in place of the waves. My interest in this discourse is to promote the thinking that understanding this one observation should be scrutinized as thoroughly as possible and that results of such experimentation being successful would be uniquely significant

Significant in what way?

It’s not really science that’s considering Quantum-Consciousness - it’s people who are talking about “Quantum-Consciousness” - most of of them unqualified to understand the underlaying physics, or should I say the math. Sure science writers know a lot, but they are also journalists who can’t resist an exciting mystery, ginned up a lil to increase sales of books and tickets to talks, all in a days work.



The Double Slit Experiment Demystified. Disproving the Quantum Consciousness connection.

Robert Lea, July 4, 2018, MEDIUM-Science First, Science Communication Matters

Does the change in the behaviour of particles seen in Young’s double-slit experiment really suggest that consciousness can alter matter and exist separately from the brain?

Any student of physics, and in particular quantum mechanics will tell you that reading articles in the media that concerns any element of quantum physics can be a minefield. Ideas are frequently misunderstood or purposefully misrepresented. This is never truer than when Young’s Double-slit experiment is presented as evidence that the presence of a human being can fundamentally change the behaviour of matter at a particle level.

Of all the publications I expected a nasty dose of ‘quantum-woo’ from, it was not PC Magazine. And yet there it was today (02/07/18) …

… What I hope to do is demonstrate that the double-slit experiment doesn’t suggest that consciousness collapses the wave function of a particle. I’ll also attempt to go further with this article. I believe that the double-slit experiment provides considerable evidence that the “Quantum-consciousness” (QC) hypothesis, the idea that consciousness can exist away from the brain and can affect particles in the double-slit, must be false.

But first…

Check out this video I found, Garret really strives to explain why a mystical interpretation of quantum weirdness via “Quantum-consciousness” is a fabrication of the imagination and misunderstanding, data and theory. It’s actually fascinating, so I owe you a thank you for stirring up my curiosity.


Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don't Want You to Know

Google Tech Talk, January 6, 2011

Ron Garret

Then this guy does a nice job of summarizing the video, for us regular humans, as opposed to professional physicists. :wink:

theangrydev in Mathematics, Physics

January 5, 2017

Ron Garret’s “The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don’t Want You to Know” Google Tech Talk
Way back in January 2011,

Ron Garret gave a Google Tech Talk titled “The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don’t Want You to Know”.

A bit more about Garret at “Humanistic Community in Silicon Valley”


www. humanists. org/blog/2019-11-17/

How We Know What We Know: Quantum Mechanics
About Ron Garret
11 a.m., November 17, 2019

This is another in a series of talks on the history of science and how we came to our present understanding of how our world works. This installment focuses on quantum mechanics.

Ron Garret is a software engineer by trade. He is currently working on easy-to-use-cryptography software. He was a co-founder and CTO of Virgin Charter, and an early hire at Google. He was previously a rocket scientist. He also made a feature-length documentary about homelessness …


For a transcript of the video visit singjupost._com/transcript-what-popularizers-of-quantum-mechanics-dont-want-you-to-know-by-ron-garret/

Question; Does observation interfere with an event at the point of the event or at the point of the observer?

My understanding is, it’s not the eye, it’s not the existence of a being that can observe, it’s the measuring device. The things being measured are so sensitive to anything trying to measure it, that the introduction of those devices throws off the result. In other words, we can’t know what’s going on in those tiny particles because when we measure them, it changes what’s going on.

So, it’s pretty much regular Newtonian physics causing this.

[quote=“lausten, post:17, topic:7932”]
In other words, we can’t know what’s going on in those tiny particles because when we measure them, it changes what’s going on.

So, it’s pretty much regular Newtonian physics causing this.

That sounds as if the observer is projecting something that causes the interference…

I could understand that when a light wave hits the eye the wave function collapses and that wave is observed as a particle in the eye. I cannot imagine that observation would have any effect on the emitter of the lightwave.

Else one could make a case that if you look at a red rose long enough it will turn white and that is simply not true.

It’s not the eye at all. The graphics where there is an eye and then waves and particles and slits and a wall or whatever, are misleading. The “eye” is some sort of particle or wave detector or something. It’s a measurement device. The human eye only comes in at the point of reading the output of that device.

Now you’re making me go and look this all up and find out if I know what I’m talking about or not. Good thing I’m retired. :slight_smile:

[quote=“lausten, post:19, topic:7932”]
It’s not the eye at all. The graphics where there is an eye and then waves and particles and slits and a wall or whatever, are misleading. The “eye” is some sort of particle or wave detector or something. It’s a measurement device. The human eye only comes in at the point of reading the output of that device.

Strange isn’t it?
I understand the scientific term “observer”, but that does not alter the fact that if the event is somehow affected by the measurement, the observer must be projecting something that has an influence on the event.

But then we run into a time paradox. When the observer detects an event, the event has already transpired and is in the past. It can no longer be influenced in any way.