In order to qualify, shouldn’t an “observer” have a specific awareness, or understanding of the experiment at hand (whether it be Schrodinger’s cat, the double slit, etc.)? I’m not sure that a cat, a vial of poison, or a detector could observe or collapse anything . . . but I do suspect that these things, like most objects, are regularly collapsed by means of Probability. In this way, Probability is a kind of “observer.” That is, Probability really exists (with or without the existence of humans), it’s the specific idea of how things collapse (evolve) in each moment, any idea is an awareness in the truest sense, so could Probability itself be a specific awareness necessary to collapse an object?

Has anyone explored whether a cat, a nematode—or a QM-unaware human for that matter—could bring about (“observe”) the wave or particle result of a double slit experiment?

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Why can’t the dark matter be the tiny grains of a quantized, background-dependent space? Grain size would vary; smaller in regions where matter is dense and larger where it is sparse. Wouldn’t this explain the strange rotation curve of spiral galaxies as well as the distortions of gravitational lensing (see link)? The dark matter is undetectable simply because the grains consist of unmeasured space-time properties with only one measured (discrete) property of volume—not enough for detection.

https://garyblaise.medium.com/dark-matter-a-shy-unicorn-4667ae72073b

Dark energy, on the other hand, could simply be the continuing, ubiquitous emergence of new grains from the background pushing everything apart, just as we observe?

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Thanks for your excellent presentation, though, it seems (many?) physicalists think consciousness is a physical effect. Wouldn’t that make the semantic problem you present go away?

But going further, I suspect that consciousness is actually an abstract effect . . . and that true abstraction cannot emerge from a physical thing. If so, is the “hard problem” actually an impossible problem? TMI for here but, if interested, you can peruse an unfortunately dense (but short!) summary of this idea under my name here in Medium—the one about consciousness.

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Hello Deepak, and thanks for another great article.

Though we may never know WHAT the abstraction of consciousness is, we should be able to evolve a satisfying and scientifically compliant description of HOW an immaterial reality interacts with a material brain. I think we can learn something useful about the process through possibilities offered by quantized space, non-locality, and the observer effect— space-time “clues” to the workings of an abstract entity and the experiential process. (more on this …)

And as we work together, we should remember that abstraction, while outside of physics . . . is not outside of Nature!

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