This is a continuation from: Can Science Prove Parapsychology?
Those who are neither religious nor interested in philosophical questions believe that what they experience with their senses is reality itself. They feel that the world exists independent of their senses: when they see a flower it is because there is a flower; the existence of the inside of a brick is not a model but the way bricks work, and an electron is not a model but an actual practical.
They will not deny that human senses can be fooled and do not always convey the true world, and sensual distortions, such as optical illusions, do exist. However, they say that these are only minor distortions, and our subjective experience closely resembles the really ‘out there’.
Followers of this model believe that science is an attempt to describe reality, and every new theory brings us closer to true understanding. God is a figment of human imagination or, if such an entity ever existed, it’s irrelevant to the running of the world; scientific theories produce the best estimate of the age of the world, and evolution resulting from random events, is the most plausible explanation for human existence.
This is a pragmatic approach that serves us well in daily life, and eliminates a great deal of headache. Its limitation became obvious for the first time with quantum mechanics: the science that deals with the behavior of matter and energy on the scale subatomic particles. According to quantum mechanics, the observer affects what he or she observes.
For example, in the famous double-slit experiment, the way the scientist arranges the experiment will determine if a single electron passing through a slit will behave like a wave or a particle, as if the electrons knew whether the scientist was thinking of light as waves or particles.
If a second slit, much farther from the one the electron passes through, is open, the electron will behave as if it were a wave and will pass through both slits; if the second slit is closed, the electron will behave as if it were a little ball. That is, the electron ‘has the knowledge’ of whether the scientist has opened a second slit or not.
How does an electron change its behavior based on whether we open a second slit or not. Can it read the mind of the scientist? Or is it the scientist’s mind that decides what the electron will do? This is something that, as of today, no scientist can answer.
But what does it mean about the world we live? Is it possible that it’s our minds that create it?
To be continued