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Consciousness and the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind Hardcover – August 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1100 pages
  • Publisher: Cosmology Science Publishers (August 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982955200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982955208
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Penrose shared the Wolf Prize in physics with Stephen Hawking, and is renowned world-wide for his work in general relativity, quantum mechanics, geometry and consciousness. He is the author of many important papers and books including The Emperor s New Mind, Shadows of the Mind, The Road to Reality, and his latest Cycles of Time, which proposes serial universes.

Dr Stuart Hameroff, of the University of Arizona, is a world famous consciousness researcher and organizer of the conference series Toward a Science of Consciousness.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dr.James Paul Pandarakalam on October 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Consciousness of the new millennium

This bulky, elegantly written and intellectually rigorous book of Penrose et al is an impressively fluent compilation, cleverly converting the specialist knowledge of several investigators of consciousness into a succinct review of the many dimensions of consciousness. Those who are disenchanted with the current materialistic views of consciousness would find the book useful in expanding their model of consciousness. The chapter on extraterrestrial consciousness makes this book abreast of times. Quantum is only bedrock of matter, but some believe that mysticism inform us of the bed-rock of reality. The current world is in a transitional stage from the 20th century materialism to a new mysticism and this book clearly depicts such a switch over. Consciousness and the Universe is a 21st century way of approaching the issue of consciousness- consciousness of the New Millennium.

Reductionism is the assumption that nothing can be greater than the sum of its parts. There has always been pitched intellectual battle between the adherents of reductionist and non-reductionist ideologies and this book gives food for thought to both sides. In the reductionist view, mind is an epiphenomenon - caused by physical phenomena and incapable of causing anything. A non reductionist could argue that such a view is like believing that Olympic pool created the swimming events held there. In the 20th century the brain was accorded more significance than the mind; to the reductionist of 20th century, consciousness is nothing more than a causally ineffectual by-product of the grinding of our neural machinery, of which nobody is in charge.
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Format: Hardcover
****1/2
"Science as usually interpreted does not provide for consciousness. Accordingly, there has arisen a conflict ..., a conflict which is frequently dismissed because, it is said, science is not concerned with final issues. ... modern science is at a loss to explain the presence of life or consciousness in a cosmos governed by entropy, ... How is science to deal with this? ..., science is about to undergo a radical transformation, a revolution to rival any that has previously occurred." -- Arthur Young.
*

Penrose response to criticism of 'The Emperor's New Mind' resulted in three books, latest of which with anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff. They have expressed that consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in microtubules, which they called 'orchestrated objective reduction'. Penrose argued that the theorem showed that the brain had the ability to go beyond what could be achieved by axioms or formal systems. He argued that this meant that the brain had some additional function that was not based on an algorithm (a system of calculations), whereas a computer is driven solely by algorithms. Penrose asserted that the brain could perform functions that no computer could perform, dubbed as non-computable processing. Given the algorithm-based nature of most of physics, he decided that the random choice of position that occurs when a quantum wave collapses into a particle was the only possibility for a non-computable process.

The process by which collapse selects from a set of possibilities is seen by Stapp as literally a process of choice, and not merely a random pick, an approach having implications with regard to time.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Henri C. Ransford on October 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A hefty tome, featuring contributions from many A-list scientists from different areas of specialization and excellence, from around the world. Not quite finished reading it all yet, but from what I've read so far it already is appropriate to pay tribute to the scientific honesty and indeed, courage that leaps from these pages.

The authors do not fear to tackle and delve into subjects that others would shun - because deemed somehow too fringe or even taboo by the common denominators of consensual science and mayhap unconducive to the furtherance of their own narrow careers. This is how culture evolves and leading edge science progresses, regardless of current zeitgeist and browbeating. Now whether the authors' theses stand or fall will hinge solely on the arguments' merits and on experience - not on prior, mindless prejudices.

Kudos are in order.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Orrin Schwab on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is an edited compendium of articles on the nature of human consciousness
from a wide range of disciplines. Theologians, psychologists, other social scientists, neuroscientists
and quantum physicists espouse intriguing albeit controversial and unproven theories
of the mind and its relationship to universe. Some of the contributors suggest that consciousness
is not situated in the mind at all but is part of the universe- a dimension of space-time that
humans and other life forms have discovered. I found the work fascinating, stimulating and
a must read.
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