Entanglement

Daniel asks, Does the Mind Influence Physical Processes?

Proof: our mind sets out to modify our environment in particular ways (i.e. set goals); then we act in ways consistent with that intention; more often than chance, our environment changes in those intended ways (i.e. goals are achieved).

This is a form of entanglement — spooky action at a distance — between our minds and the environment (which includes other minds), but we usually dismiss this as trivial, not very spooky. On the other hand, we know that quantum entanglement exists and it seems spooky to us because we have no mechanism to explain it.

We also observe that there are quantum effects in the basic architecture of the brain (nanotubules) and wonder if these are somehow the “ghost in the machine” of consciousness. But this could be just a red herring. Perhaps quantum effects matter to consciousness, perhaps they don’t. Still quantum effects are part of the human experience in some sense — and so are biological, chemical, social, psychodynamic, etc. Each of these realms involve entanglement of their own variety. Chemically, there are bonds. Biologically there is autopoiesis and function. Psychodynamically, there is empathy. Socially, there is community. And so on.

In our quest to limit explanations to single realms, perhaps we are ignoring Einstein’s advice about simplifying as much as possible, but no simpler.  What if more than one — maybe even all? — realms (levels) of a system are required to fully explain the phenomena we wonder about….