Nature is weird, so weird in fact that IMHO it had to have been designed – programmed – that way, much like we have programmer alternate realities like “The Twilight Zone”; “The Outer Limits”; and “Tales from the Crypt” to name just a new. So…

“What is real? How do you define, real?” [The Matrix]

OUR MATHEMATICAL COSMOS: CHANCE OR DESIGN?

We surely live in a mathematically designed cosmos, easily confirmed by examining the contents of any standard physics or chemistry; astronomy or cosmology textbook. As has been oft declared, the book of nature has been written in the language of mathematics. There are rules and the rules are mathematical.

In fact most people aren’t really considered to have a well-rounded education unless they have some basic knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, geometry, statistics and of course arithmetic, one of those famous (or infamous) 3-R’s.

Quite related, we’ve adopted mathematics as well to guide us through our everyday world, from speed limits to measurements for use in cooking recipes; from doing your tax return to balancing your budget; from considering investments to your banking; from calculating interest owing on your home loan to making sure you get the right change when you go shopping. You are not only constantly manipulating monetary values but time and distances and temperatures and pressures. The brain seeks patterns, order and predictability and mathematics fits that bill.

Further, the human has mathematics on the brain, albeit subconsciously. An obvious example being the pleasantness of symmetry and symmetrical objects. But nowhere might this mathematical brain be more apparent and more at home than when it comes to the love of music. The effect of music on the mind, which is part of the physics of vibrations, harmonics, wavelengths, frequencies, nodes and all that sort of technical jargon jazz that goes into the production and explanation of sound, has been well documented. I very much doubt that there’s ever been a human anywhere with auditory perception who didn’t like some form of tonal sounds (i.e. – music).

Now IMHO, mathematical equations are designed; results (answers) are fine-tuned.

Now the question is, if we live in a mathematically designed cosmos, who did the designing, or was it all by pure random chance? Two scenarios present themselves.*

Scenario One

The laws, principles and relationships of physics are determined by Mother Nature. Humans get no say in the matter.

The equations that symbolise those laws, principles and relationships are also determined by Mother Nature. Again, humans get no say in the matter.

The coefficients and exponents of those equations are determined by Mother Nature. Humans get no say in the matter.

The constants of physics and their values are determined by Mother Nature and not by humans.

Humans are responsible for units assigned to those various constants.

Now just substitute “a computer / software programmer” for “Mother Nature”.

Scenario Two

The laws, principles and relationships of physics are determined by a computer / software programmer. Humans get no say in the matter.

The equations that symbolise those laws, principles and relationships are also determined by a computer / software programmer. Again, humans get no say in the matter.

The coefficients and exponents of those equations are determined by computer / software programmer. Humans get no say in the matter.

The constants of physics and their values are determined by a computer / software programmer and not by humans.

Humans are still responsible for units assigned to those various constants.

Now what is the essential difference between Scenario One and Scenario Two? In Scenario One, the Mother Nature scenario, all is by random chance and random chance alone. In Scenario Two, the computer / software programmer scenario, everything is designed and fine-tuned. The question arises, which scenario appears to be the better reflection of reality? Is it the apparent really real reality represented by Mother Nature, or is it the virtual reality as represented by a computer / software programmer?

Let’s look at a trio of related particular examples.

We are aware that as matter approaches the speed of light, various peculiarities are observed. Time (rate of change) slows down; mass increases; and the length contracts (Lorentz contraction). These relationships all have equations, which spelled out are:

Time: New Time equals Old Time minus Velocity times Original Length divided by the Speed of Light Squared all over the square root of One minus Velocity Squared divided by the Speed of Light Squared.

Length: New Length equals Old Length minus Velocity times Time all over the square root of One minus Velocity Squared divided by the Speed of Light Squared.

Mass: New Mass equals Rest Mass all over the square root of One minus Velocity Squared divided by the Speed of Light Squared.

The upshot of course is that there is no coefficient more complicated than One (exactly One); no exponent more complicated than Two (exactly Two).

One other interesting point: the operations in solving these fundamental mathematical equations are exceedingly simple. There’s just addition and subtraction. Okay, there’s multiplication and division too, but in reality multiplication is just multiple applications of addition; division is just multiple applications of subtraction.

On the other hand, totally human-derived equations, for example those relating one system or units of measurement to another like Centigrade to Fahrenheit / Fahrenheit to Centigrade; Dollars to Euros / Euros to Dollars; Ounces to Grams / Grams to Ounces, etc. are messier when it comes down to the coefficients in particular.

What’s potentially very interesting is that could there be a special anthropic design element that enables just humans to use (and misuse) and appreciate our mathematical cosmos?

*Both the God Hypothesis and the Multiverse Hypothesis have been eliminated from consideration due to lack of any plausible evidence. Both are pure speculation whereas we can grasp the ideas of Mother Nature and a computer / software programmer.

FINE-TUNING

The first possible bit of fine-tuning was the Big Bang event itself. What (before the Big Bang) actually banged and why? We don’t know the probability of the “why”. Fast-forward a nanosecond or two and in the beginning you had this cosmic soup of elementary stuff – electrons and quarks and neutrinos and photons and gravitons and muons and gluons and Higgs bosons (plus corresponding anti-particles like the positron) – a real vegetable soup. I assume there had to have been some (fine-tuned?) mechanism to produce this myriad of fundamentals instead of just one thing. I mean I can imagine a cosmos where the sum total of mass was pure neutrinos and all of the energy was purely kinetic.

Next step. Why do some things annihilate (i.e. – matter – antimatter) and some things decay (i.e. – muons)? Is fine-tuning involved here? For that matter, why antimatter at all (symmetry by design) and why muons (a programmer’s / designer’s oops)? Once matter – antimatter have had their wicked way with each other, that left a surplus of matter (all by design?) to ultimately make stuff. The next mystery is how do you go from particle physics to chemistry?

You’d think free (three quark) positive protons and electrons would just join up, and given their opposite electric charges. Perhaps they would just collectively form neutrons. If an equal number of electrons and protons had been formed post Big Bang then the cosmos would be a soup on neutrons and perhaps neutrinos, but that would then be pretty much that. But that wasn’t to be.

How is it that an electron, protons and neutrons can arrange themselves just so as to eventually produce macro stuff, including us? How do you go from particle physics to chemistry?

THE OBSERVER EFFECT

The Observer Effect implies Panpsychism since, if true, that the observer effects what is being observed, then what is now being observed knows it is being observed and changes behaviour accordingly, like going from both this AND that to either this OR that. Were it not for a red herring or two, I’m say that the observer effect (oft known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics) is pure bovine fertiliser.

An observer can have NO effect on what is being observed unless what is being observed is actually conscious of being observed. Data is transmitted from what is being observed to the observer. The observed, assuming it is just an inanimate (non-living) bit of fluffy stuff with no sensory apparatus and no conscious perception of its external world is unaware of the observer’s state – eyeballs open / shut; camera shutter open / shut; film inside camera / not inside camera; some measuring device turned on / off.

It should make no difference to some system whether or not the camera shutter is open or closed; whether or not there is film in the camera; whether any measuring device (like a Geiger counter) is turned on or off; whether the human eye is open or closed.

An observer may not know the exact state of a micro something due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, but that’s not because the state of the observer (eyeballs open / shut) is influencing the system – that what’s under possible scrutiny.

The Moon doesn’t orbit the Earth clockwise when nobody is looking then counter-clockwise when it is being observed. A coin isn’t tails up unobserved on the table then heads up when someone (an observer) goes to pick it up. An unobserved apple doesn’t turn into an orange when someone walks into the room where the apple / orange is. An atom of gold is an atom of gold – observer or no observer. Observing an unstable atomic nucleus has no effect on when that nucleus will go “poof” and decay.

The proof of the idiocy of the Observer Effect is that in the beginning and for quite some time thereafter, there were NO observers in the cosmos. The cosmos was devoid of life, yet the cosmos got along just fine. Of course some might argue for Panpsychism and that even a humble elementary particle can observe. Others might say that’s pure bovine fertiliser. But, and why is there always a “but”… ?

So how does wave behaviour become particle behaviour when a camera lens (or equivalent) is opened up in the emission of one-at-a-time bits with both-slits-open double-slit experiment? See (4) below.

EIGHT SOFTWARE-GENERATED ILLUSIONS

#1 – Lack of causality is really illusionary (as in for example radioactive decay). IMHO causality is absolute. Nothing happens without a reason; without a cause. When and wherever something, like radioactive decay or why the Big Bang banged, happens for no apparent reason, then either there are really hidden variables (i.e. – a reason; a cause) or else it’s due to the special effects that software can generate.

# 2 – The creation of something from nothing is illusionary (i.e. – the accelerating Universe). IMHO those conservation laws are also absolutes. You cannot, any time, any place, create an absolute something with structure and substance out of absolute nothing. That applies to the Big Bang event; that also applies to the concept of dark energy which apparently is driving the expanding Universe to ever and ever greater speeds. It’s stated that the energy density of the Universe is constant even though the volume of the Universe is ever increasing, That’s a pure violation of those conservation laws. That dark energy has to come from somewhere. It can’t be manufactured out of less than thin air. If there is no apparent origin for this dark energy, then it is illusionary.

#3 – The speed of light: going from 0 to 186,000 miles/second instantaneously is illusionary. There’s no question that is what is observed, but as anyone who has ever fired a bullet from a gun, started up and driven a car, or hit / pitched a baseball knows, you do not, you cannot, go from zero to any finite speed instantaneously. Conclusion: instantaneous speed is yet another software-generated illusion.

#4 – There is one case at least where the Observer Effect has been verified – the Double-Slit experiment. The Observer Effect as in the Double-Slit experiment is, must be, illusionary IMHO when the very act of observation changes wave behaviour into particle behaviour (and even implies time travel). Let’s go through the details.

The equipment is pretty basic. You have an ‘electron’ gun that can fire particles (either elementary as in electrons; or whole atoms, molecules, even Buckminsterfullerene a.k.a. Bucky-Balls or C-60) acting as tiny ‘bullets’. There’s no question here about the status of these ‘bullets’ – they are ‘particles’ with structure and substance – they have mass. This ‘electron’ gun can fire these ‘bullets’ either in rapid-fire mode, down to one-at-a-time. You have two slits as the target in front of the gun that can each be either open or closed. You have a detector screen behind the two slits to record where the ‘bullets’ hit, and finally you have an observer or measuring instrument equivalent, like a camera.

Methodology: Fire the ‘bullets’ from the ‘electron’ gun at a slit or at both slits rapidly or one-at-a-time, detect the resulting patterns where they hit the detector screen and as a separate exercise observe the ‘bullets’ actually going through the slits (to determine independently which slit or both the ‘bullets’ actually went through). In another separate exercise, observe the ‘bullets’ after they pass through the slit(s) but before they hit the detector screen. That way there is no absolute way the ‘bullets’ can morph from wave-behaviour to particle-behaviour or vice-versa. This final bit is called the Delayed Double-Slit experiment. Now prepare to get a headache so have some aspirin on standby.

Experiment One – Rapid-Fire Mode with One Slit Open:

– Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

– Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Two – Rapid-Fire Mode with Two Slits Open:

– Expected Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

– Actual Results: No blobs just a wave-interference pattern! Take an aspirin.

Experiment Three – One-At-A-Time Mode with One Slit Open:

– Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

– Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Four – One-At-A-Time Mode with Two Slits Open:

– Expected Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

– Actual Results: No blobs, just that wave-interference pattern! Take an aspirin.

Experiment Five – One-At-A-Time Mode with One Slit Open [+] Observer:

– Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

– Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Six – One-At-A-Time Mode with Two Slits Open [+] Observer:

– Expected Results: Based on Experiment Four, a wave-interference pattern, not two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

– Actual Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit. Take another aspirin.

Experiment Seven – Rapid Fire Mode with One Slit Open [+] Delayed Observation:

– Expected Results: You’ll see particle ‘bullets’.

– Actual Results: You see particle ‘bullets’. OK!

Experiment Eight – Rapid Fire Mode with Two Slits Open [+] Delayed Observation:

– Expected Results: You’ll see a wave-interference pattern.

– Actual Results: You see particle ‘bullets”. If your stomach can handle it, take another aspirin.

Discussion: The delayed Double-Slit experiment not only implies the Observer Effect hence Panpsychism but even also time travel. Overall, the Observer Effect changes wave-interference behaviour into particle behaviour! Perhaps we have another pure software-generated illusion to hand.

#5 – Superposition-of-state and collapse of the wave-function. Superposition-of-state states that something when not being observed can be both AND that at the same time and in the same place. That is, an unobserved coin that’s rolled under the bed is both heads-up and tails-up at the same time. The collapse of the wave-function is when an observer observes and the state of both this AND that collapses into a state of either this OR that. Saying that Schrodinger’s Cat is both alive AND dead at the same time is illusionary.

#6 – Illusion of solidness when atoms are nearly all empty space.

#7 – Non-locality (i.e. – entanglement) otherwise known according to Einstein as “spooky action at a distance”, would seem to depend on the reality of there actually being a superposition-of-state (see (5) above). If something is entangled with something else*, neither of which are both this AND that at the same time albeit not in the same place, then no spookiness will come to the fore due to the Observer Effect. If however two somethings can each be both this AND be that at the same time, albeit again not in the same place (and that dear reader defies logic) then if those two somethings are entangled and one is subjected to the Observer Effect and forced to make an either/or choice, then the other is so forced as well, instantaneously, even if separated by millions of light years and thus trillions of miles. This also violates causality which has to proceed at light speed or slower, which rules out instantaneously. Now if I am to believe the textbooks, the latter has been experimentally confirmed. Thus, non-locality, a.k.a. spooky action at a distance, actually exists and Einstein was wrong about spookiness. Conclusion: another software illusion.

*For example, in classical physics I buy both a Batman and a Robin bobble-head figure as an entangled pair. I bury one in a time capsule and rocket the other into deep interstellar space. One million years later, when the time capsule is opened, if the enclosed figure was the Batman bobble-head, then one automatically knows that the Robin bobble-head figure was the one sent into space. In quantum mechanics and in the Copenhagen Interpretation, both bobble-head figures take on both configurations simultaneously – as long as no one is looking. So we have a Batman/Robin bobble-head and a Robin/Batman bobble-head. One is buried in the time capsule; the other sent into space. A million years later, the box containing the superposition of Batman/Robin or Robin/Batman bobble-heads is removed and observed. The wave-function collapses and it morphs into the Batman bobble-head. Instantaneously, faster than the speed of light, the other figure, deep in interstellar space, morphs into just the Robin bobble-head. As I said, this dear reader absolutely defies logic.

#8 – In quantum mechanics, an electron can have this energy state or that energy state or even the next energy state. The electron quantum jumps instantaneously from one energy state to another when it absorbs a photon (up an energy state or states) or emits a photon (drops down an energy state or states). The $64,000 question is, where is the electron when it is in the forbidden/twilight zone between energy states and how can it jump faster than the speed of light and how does an electron ‘know’ when to release a photon, give up a quantum unit(s) of energy and drop down and energy state or states? Illusions just keep on keeping on and piling up.