I like to rebut the most important points in the article. Here is the link to the article http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/#more-6819
He mentions Sean- "Claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face one huge, insuperable obstacle: the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and there’s no way within those laws to allow for the information stored in our brains to persist after we die. If you claim that some form of soul persists beyond death, what particles is that soul made of? What forces are holding it together? How does it interact with ordinary matter"?
Leo- The laws of physics don't cover the whole of reality. Consciousness has an objective and subjective nature too it I think so its made of a different type of matter that is dual with the ordinary matter we have.
Sean- "Everything we know about quantum field theory (QFT) says that there aren’t any sensible answers to these questions. Of course, everything we know about quantum field theory could be wrong. Also, the Moon could be made of green cheese.
Leo- QFT opens the door that there can be souls.
Sean- Even if you don’t believe that human beings are “simply” collections of atoms evolving and interacting according to rules laid down in the Standard Model of particle physics, most people would grudgingly admit that atoms are part of who we are. If it’s really nothing but atoms and the known forces, there is clearly no way for the soul to survive death. Believing in life after death, to put it mildly, requires physics beyond the Standard Model. Most importantly, we need some way for that “new physics” to interact with the atoms that we do have.
Leo- The standard model of physics is known to be wrong. This is why physicists are looking for a unified theory of physics. Atoms (matter) are dual with the soul. No one who thinks a soul maybe true says that the soul is nothing but atoms and the known forces.
Sean- How is the spirit energy supposed to interact with us? Here is the equation that tells us how electrons behave in the everyday world:
[it's the Dirac equation.] . . . As far as every experiment ever done is concerned, this equation is the correct description of how electrons behave at everyday energies. It’s not a complete description; we haven’t included the weak nuclear force, or couplings to hypothetical particles like the Higgs boson. But that’s okay, since those are only important at high energies and/or short distances, very far from the regime of relevance to the human brain. If you believe in an immaterial soul that interacts with our bodies, you need to believe that this equation is not right, even at everyday energies. There needs to be a new term (at minimum) on the right, representing how the soul interacts with electrons. . .
Leo- This is assuming that because we cannot find a soul in a laboratory that it must mean it doesn't exist.
Sean- . . Nobody ever asks these questions out loud, possibly because of how silly they sound. Once you start asking them, the choice you are faced with becomes clear: either overthrow everything we think we have learned about modern physics, or distrust the stew of religious accounts/unreliable testimony/wishful thinking that makes people believe in the possibility of life after death. It’s not a difficult decision, as scientific theory-choice goes.
Indeed! Those who specify the existence of souls and afterlives in this scientific era must do more than issue fuzzy-minded gobbledygook. They must specify more precisely what they’re talking about, and how it’s supposed to work. If we’re supposed to survive after death, what part of us survives, and how? And what is this soul, exactly? We’re no longer in the Middle Ages, so theologians who make empirical claims must be empirically specific. There are biological questions as well. The first ones that occurs to me are these: where, exactly, in the human lineage did the soul emerge? (Or do other species have souls?) Was it put into that lineage by God, or did it evolve? If instilled by God, when? And where in our body does it reside? If we retain our memories and personalities in the afterlife, how do they exist without neurons?
Leo- Nowhere does he mention parallel universes and how they can shade light on these questions, nor does he mention how the observer our consciousness seems to be able to collapse the wave function in quantum mechanics. Neither does he mention the fact that atoms are made of mostly empty space. Also neither does he mention that particle appear to be in supposition two places at once. Also that particles can be entangled at large distances across space (Quantum Entanglement). If he did mention these his argument would be far more weaker. The soul is a duplicate of the physical body it vibrates that a higher frequency at death. The soul uses ESP and Telepathy as some of its spiritual senses (opposite of the physical senses).
Sean- Very roughly speaking, when most people think about an immaterial soul that persists after death, they have in mind some sort of blob of spirit energy that takes up residence near our brain, and drives around our body like a soccer mom driving an SUV. The questions are these: what form does that spirit energy take, and how does it interact with our ordinary atoms? Not only is new physics required, but dramatically new physics. Within QFT, there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments. Ockham’s razor is not on your side here, since you have to posit a completely new realm of reality obeying very different rules than the ones we know.
- Yes and quantum physics strongly indicate a hidden reality that can have very different rules than the ones we know.