The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Time: Why?

In classical and quantum Physics, equations are invariant with respect to time inversion. Future and past are equivalent. Time is only slightly different from space. Time is therefore a mere geometrical parameter. Because of this, Physics offers a static view of the universe. The second law of Thermodynamics made official what was already obvious: that many phenomena are not reversible, that time is not merely a coordinate in space-time.

In the 1970's Prigogine showed, using Boltzmann's theorem and thermodynamic concepts, that irreversibility is the manifestation at macroscopic level of randomness at microscopic level.

Prigogine then attempted a microscopic formulation of the irreversibility of laws of nature. He associates macroscopic entropy with a microscopic entropy operator. Time too becomes an operator, no longer a mere parameter. Once both time and entropy have become operators, Physics has been turned upside down: instead of having a basic theory expressed in terms of wave functions (i.e., of individual trajectories), he obtains a basic theory in terms of distribution functions (i.e., bundles of trajectories). Time itself depends on the distribution and therefore becomes itself a stochastic quantity, just like entropy, an average over individual times. As a consequence, just like entropy cannot be reversed, time cannot: the future cannot be predicted from the past anymore.

Traditionally, physical space is geometrical, biological space (the space in which biological form develops) is functional (for example, physical time is invariant with respect to rotations and translations, biological space is not). Prigogine's Time aims at unifying physical and biological phenomena.

 


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