Cosmological Aspects of Consciousness II

Cosmological Foundations of Consciousness (by Chris King): How the biological brain generates subjective consciousness remains the principal abyss in the scientific description of reality, a problem complementary to the cosmological theory of everything, and equally as challenging, because it takes the scientific model beyond the confines of objective reality. This paper examines the cosmological basis of consciousness and subjective experience in biological organisms. It draws on principles of symmetry-breaking and interactive non-linear dynamics to establish the cosmological status of biogenesis, and biological tissues as fractal forms of interactive symmetry-breaking. It then investigates the Archaean genetic expansion as a source of the envelope of functional machinery forming the basis of neural activity, based on the universal excitability of all living cells. Finally it examines the biophysical basis for consciousness, both in single cells, and in the human brain and its ‘Cartesian theatre’ of consciousness, to elucidate cosmological principles underlying the mind-body relationship.

The ‘Self-Aware’ ‘Emptiness’ of the Quantum-Epiontic Universe (by Graham P. Graham): A recent encounter with a quantum physicist has prompted me to examine the claims made by some interpreters of the work of Wojciech H. Zurek, and perhaps by Zurek himself – he does not seem to be clear on this point, that the quantum Darwinian approach to decoherence provides a means to establish the ‘objectivity’ of the classical world through the quantum ‘epiontic’ mechanism. A detailed and rigorous philosophical analysis of Zurek’s perspective indicates that the kind of objectivity provided by the quantum Darwinian physical-metaphysical perspective corresponds to what Bernard d’Espagnat terms ‘weak objectivity’, which is in fact a mixture of objectivity and subjectivity. Some of Zurek’s remarks seem to indicate that he thinks that his analysis undermines the ‘ultimate evidence’ that the classical world is entangled and dependent upon consciousness. However, a rigorous analysis shows that the opposite is the case; Zurek’s epiontic quantum Darwinian classical universe is ultimately dependent upon consciousness. I also indicate some remarkable points of contact with Buddhist metaphysics.