Does Consciousness Collapse the Quantum Wave Function?

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The idea that consciousness plays a role in quantum measurement has been present since the begining of quantum theory, with several of the founders and core contributors to quantum theory defending that the measurement of a quantum system seems to evoke the observer's mind in some intrinsic way. While there are still reputable physicists and philosophers who defend this controversial position, it can be hard to find a clear account of why. The popular discussion is often polarized, with detractors too quick to dismiss consciousness-involving interpretations as naive silliness, but with the most vocal proponents often seeming too quick to allie with New Agey and spiritual ideas.

When I was writing about this subject, I wanted to provide a clearer account of the intuitions that lead physicists to continue defending a possible role of consciousness in the quantum world. Why do reputable physicists like Andrei Linde, Paul Davies, Bernard d'Espagnat, Freeman Dyson, Henry Stapp, and Roger Penrose continue to stand by this view? And if it's really true that mind participates in quantum reality in some fundamental way, what does this mean for science?

In today's episode of Waking Cosmos (listen below on YouTube, iTunes, and SoundCloud) we explore the reasons why consciousness-involving interpretations of quantum measurement are here to stay. 

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