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MANIFESTO For a Consciousness-Based Science By Deepak Chopra, Menas Kafatos and Rudolph E. Tanzi T


he greatest mystery of existence is existence itself. There is the existence of the universe and there is the existence of awareness. Were it not for aware-


ness, even if the universe existed as an external reality, we would not be aware of its existence, so for all practical purposes it would not exist. Traditional science assumes, for the most part, that an ô


RôL UL 3ô Rô ] õô ô õô ô 3 3 ô33 ô U ôT 3 3m 3 ô ^ ô


of the human mind, disagrees. The properties of a particle, quantum theory tells us, actually do not exist until an observation takes place. Quantum theory contradicts traditional, Newtonian physics. Most scientists, although


respecting quantum theory, do not follow its implications. The result is a kind of schizo- phrenia between what sci- entists believe and what they practice. When we examine the materialistic hypothesis of õ


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universe, stars, galaxies, sun, moon and earth would still be there if no one was looking. However, modern quan- ô


3


have never really asked the question, “Who am I?” Many neuroscientists still don’t believe that quantum


theory has anything to do with the brain. They would assert that “I,” the conscious observer, is solely an epiphe- nomenon of the brain—that consciousness is produced by ô


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and bile is produced by the gall bladder. But any neuro- scientist worth his or her tenure will admit that there is no satisfactory theory in neuroscience to explain how neurochemistry translates into conscious experience. How do electrochemical phenomena in the brain create the ap- preciation of the beauty of a red rose, the taste of garlic, the 3


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intuition, imagination, creativity, free will, or awareness of existence of self and the uni- verse? There is no physicalist theory based on classical physics to explain ô3ô 3


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How can we assert that an observer-independent reality exists if the assertion itself depends on the existence of a conscious observer? This raises an additional dilemma: Who or what is the observer, and where is this observer located? When scientists in general describe empirical facts õ


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ther facts nor theories are an insight into the true nature of fundamental reality apart from any ob- server. According to quantum theory, what we con- sider to be empirical facts are entirely dependent on 3ô R


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activity of the universe called Homo sapiens, usu- ally with a Ph.D. in physics, biology, neuroscience or other branches of science. However, many scientists


58 hinduism today april/may/june, 2017 3U3 ô GK & ô


is there any obvious means for coming up with such a theory. With traditional science in this impasse, it might be time to question some of the basic assumptions about so-called independently existing reality. We must remind ourselves that science is a methodology and not an


ontology. Current science is based on a physicalist ontology—the basic be- lief that reality is physical and mind


is an epiphenomenon of matter (the nervous ô ô33 Sô


ô ô ^ 33 ô ^ô õ3L _ôõ S ô 3K .ô ô3L S Rô3L ôRô 3 ôõ ôT-


plain how matter becomes mind. We suggest here a fundamental revision in our most ô 3 ôõ 3 ô L


õ U 3 55ô3 ô


space and time are not denizens of fundamental reality but that they are perceptual and cognitive experiences in consciousness. This proposal concurs with the theories of most of the great physicists who founded quantum theory almost a hundred years ago. But we are also going beyond, taking the statements of quantum theory to the next level: All of physical reality


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