Saturday, November 11, 2006

New physics and the mind

G.J. has pointed out that there is a third recent book about physics that criticizes string theory.

It was written by Robert Paster who has earned his degrees from MIT and Harvard - much like one of the other critics (although Paster only has a master degree from Harvard) - and - much like the third critic of string theory - has taught mathematics. He's also been a successful employee of a major insurance company.

The book is the synthesis of two-year full-time efforts of the author to combine particle physics, gravity, quantum theory, atoms, matter, cognition, mind, brain, and perception, following the footsteps of Roger Penrose. Paster is now working 24 hours a day as a cutting-edge scientist.

The readers who like original ideas about physics and who enjoyed the other two books may want to buy this one, too. He may be the new genuine seer and he is the other authors' peer who goes even further than they did but who has similar scientific standards and the same focus on the conceptual basis of quantum mechanics (and relativity) as one of Paster's colleagues.

Additional books of this kind are promoted in the sidebar. I hope that I have done enough for the weekend to promote independent geniuses and the diversity of ideas in science which is now being manifestly expected from the physicists. ;-)

Official book description

Some physicists think that Big Science has kidnapped physics and left the mind and consciousness behind. New Physics and the Mind tells these radical physicists' stories - why the mind belongs in physics, and how recent discoveries in particle physics and cosmology combine with mind physics to produce a new scientific agenda for the twenty-first century. Brain surgery meets rocket science at New Physics and the Mind.

Basic principles of the book

String theory dominates academic physics, but more and more physicists are questioning its validity.

The mind and consciousness have been part of physics since the earliest days of quantum physics, and some physicists think the best alternatives to string theory require us to bring the mind and consciousness back into a central role.

Roger Penrose’s 1989 The Emperor’s New Mind placed the mind and consciousness at the intersection of relativity and quantum physics, and proposed that the mind and consciousness are at the heart of physics’ theory of everything.

Physicists have continued to develop theories that intimately relate to the mind. The best of these theories of physics and the mind also incorporate phenomena of new physics—extra dimensions, entanglement, entropy and information, black holes, tunneling, Bose-Einstein condensates, chaos and complexity, dark matter and dark energy.


You can see the undisputable and synchronized consensus among the three scientists - Paswolin - which surely shows that there must be something right about their ideas, as George Johnson would argue.


  1. I see New Physics and the Mind's basic principles posted, but I don't see where the author clarifies where he disagrees. These points seem inarguable to me:
    (1) String theory dominates academic physics today. (2) Some physicists feel string theory is misguided and propose other directions for physics. (3) Elements often included in these other directions are (a) the quantum jump at the heart of the theory, (b) integration of new physics phenomena which may challenge physics' standard models (dark matter, dark energy, entanglement, Bose-Einstein condensates, central roles for negentropy and information), (c) a role for consciousness and the mind. (4) Pitkanen's TGD maximally incorporates all of these elements. (5) To explain TGD to a general audience interested in science, the presentation must first summarize the search for a theory of everything, the elements of today's standard-model-challenging new physics, and the strand of physics involving the mind that dates back to the beginning of quantum physics.

  2. One point that will put off physicists and especially mathematicians from this book is the reference to the discredited Penrose book. Indeed, in the mathematical literature there is even a term for Penrose's mishandling of basic principles of Mathematical Logic, the "Lucas-Penrose fallacy." Physicists are not only wary of his unscientific postulating an explanation of consciousness on an inexistent theory of quantum gravity, but also understand his failure to take into account that quantum phenomena are too short-lived to influence the relatively slow processes in the brain. It is advisable to get rid of this reference to Penrose.