This paper is written in the first person singular since it is initially based on a conjecture that has not been proposed by anybody else yet as far as I am aware and so subjective so that I prefer not to set it out in an impersonal passive voice. It is very much based on observation with some fairly sketchy knowledge of the problems facing the physics community currently and in particular the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the workings of quantum theory.
The word singularity can be used in many different ways so that there seems to be no specific definition evolved yet since it is used in a number of different pursuits: gravitational singularities, mathematical and geometrical singularities, isolated and moveable singularities. They all seem to have one common factor which is that they are the conclusion of a process or system that cannot apparently be achieved although it is usually possible to make close approaches to such an unattainable state. That is briefly how I shall describe my use of the fairly general expression singularity state.
Some of the more obvious examples are light speed, absolute zero of temperature, the notion of infinity, black holes, the minimum intervals of Planck length and time. My first fundamental observation is that whenever a singularity state is ascertained or discovered, and increasingly close approaches are made towards that state, it becomes apparent that the laws of nature as they were formerly understood have to be radically amended. This is initially a general observation on which I shall expand and qualify below. It is also an assumption that comprises a crucial part of an explanation I have propounded in another paper on the subject of memory. Being slightly surprised that nobody else to my knowledge has made a point of such a conjecture, I have come to realise it is worthy of being discussed in a separate paper.
The most obvious example and archetype of a singularity state is light speed. It is impossible for anything to do with mass to attain its velocity, but we have known since the early 20th century that although it cannot be achieved, when close approaches are made to that velocity, those very strange effects start to happen. Time slows down and mass starts to increase exponentially. This is familiar today to most but it was entirely unanticipated in 1900, and would not have been beloved were it not for those early mathematical proofs and later experiments.
Another obvious singularity state is the absolute zero of temperature. This cannot be achieved and as it is approached, superconductivity and super fluidity effects start to become apparent, not anticipated before such close approaches were first made possible. The curious qualities of Bose-Einstein condensates which have been produced relatively recently at temperature very close to absolute zero are another example of weird effects resulting from such close approaches. A black hole would seem to be in a different category of singularity since it can certainly be approached, but it is not possible to discern what happens in its interior and it has to be assumed that the laws of nature as we are familiar with them will be very different within.
Then there are the more theoretical singularity states such as infinity and the definitions being derived from the latter such as parallel lines meeting at infinity, the fifth axiom of Euclid on which the fundamental laws of geometry were first based. Once the concept of infinity was first analysed constructively by Zeno and Anaximander to start to develop mathematics and that ability to the point where Leibniz speculated about infinite numbers and produced his infinitesimal calculus as a result. Once Planck, rather to his surprise, discovered that it was impossible for dimensions of time and space to exist below a certain dimensions, then again the whole concept of physical science started to change radically and is still causing concern due to the consequent lack of full understanding of Quantum theory. This is yet another example of the discovery of a singularity state changing the laws of nature as they were then understood, and I have little doubt that there will be others ascertained in the not too distant future.
It might just be coincidence that whenever a new singularity state is ascertained, then anomalous effects become apparent, especially so when close approaches are made to this impossible to achieve perfect state. This requires established known laws of nature to be amended. However it seems to me quite reasonable to consider that it perhaps is not just coincidental, and if so, perhaps as we register new such singularity states, then we should not be too surprised to meet with surprising side effects as a matter of course.
Indeed one of the most challenging conundrums in physics at the moment is the possible existence of dark matter which causes the rate of rotation of the stars in elliptical galaxies not be in accord with the laws of motion as we have understood them to be for the last two or three centuries. The possible presence of dark matter indeed has been put forwarded as one of the possible answers, but again it seems possible that some sort of singularity state is at play here which once registered might open up a new vista of a crucial part of scientific understanding.
So that is a point I wish to emphasise as guidance of where to look if advances are to be made in the understanding of the universe. In other words those circumstances should be identified, which are capable of explanation to a degree but where there are some inconsistencies in the rationale, so that there is uncertainty as to whether the current understanding is complete and totally adequate. The most striking examples of these that occur to me are: superposition in quantum theory, renormalisation in quantum electrodynamics, the existence of dark matter, and why gravitation still eludes reconciliation with the other three fundamental forces. These are all well known problems yet to be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.
This indicates to me that wherever there is some doubt and obfuscation about circumstances which are not yet clearly explicable, then it might not be too surprising if there were a singularity state lurking about which has not yet been properly identified. This will not always be so, but as far as I am concerned, that is the case in the operation of memory, and from that, much of the mind’s operation in general terms. Research being done by a few physicists and neuroscientists on the latter seems to indicate that they are getting close to recognising the possible role of quantum entanglement in the mind.
One crucial element of the theory and experimental work in quantum entanglement is the importance of randomicity (a word I prefer to the clumsier randomness), for it is that quality which I have singled out as a new singularity state, although I dare say others will have done that already in different ways.
My postulate is that since it is obviously possible to have varying degrees of randomicity, it is then impossible for a system to attain perfect randomicity. But when close approaches are made to that singularity state, for that is what it is, unfamiliar effects should begin to be experienced which currently cannot easily be accounted for. What has caught my attention within the last couple of years is that recent experiments carried out on quantum entanglement are reliant on the systems involved being able to run absolutely randomly.
The way in which this entanglement can be rationalised mathematically is by reference to Bell’s inequality theorem, the maths of which is well beyond my grasp, but which theorem has come to be recognised as a major paradigm of 20th century physics. It seems that for photons which have been entangled and are later any distance apart, certain of their characteristics of these two separate photons such as their spin or polarisation, once one is ascertained, then the state of the other is instantly also determined and known. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair “knows” what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles. In short there is instant communication between the two separate entities not limited by any notion of the limiting speed of light. Such an astonishing result has smacks of having the potential to introduce a new a paradigm or at least of changing the way physicists approach their subject: a veritable cat amongst the pigeons.
Further to experiments carried out initially in laboratories by Alain Aspect of France in 1982 and others later, Anton Zeilinger demonstrated in 2012 instant communication between observatories more than 140 kilometres apart between the Canary Islands. This has now been updated by experiments in China in 2017 carrying out the same sort of experiments between satellites and observatories on the Earth. The crucial part in this for me is that Zeilinger’s book ‘The dance of the Photons’ explains how this teleporting process is totally reliant on the systems at either end of the transmission process being able to act as randomly as possible.
At the risk of repetition the following attempts a brief description of the significance of Bell’s theorems and the experimental results based thereon. It is possible for two objects such as photons or matter particles to enter into an exotic condition called entanglement, in which their states become so utterly interdependent that if a measurement to determine the property of one, the corresponding property of the other is instantaneously known, even if the two objects are separated by huge distances. This result was anticipated by physicist John Bell in his 1964 inequality theorem, and has been proved experimentally correct over the last two decades. It is quite clear the theory and the experimental results require that the source of the generated entangled particles must be random and also that the measurement device or detector at the receiving end must also act completely randomly. These experiments have to be carried out with quantum random number generators: the results are not satisfactory if the equipment involved cannot operate in a purely random manner.
In 1978 I attempted an explanation for the operation of memory in that it might be possible to transfer information across time if two structures were similar to almost quantum levels, although I had not heard of quantum entanglement as presumably not many had 40 years ago. It was only in 2016 that I started to try to understand the mechanism behind quantum entanglement, after which I was struck by the similarity of the principle involved to that on which duplication theory was based. One of the crucial assumptions of my theory is that perfect randomicity is an unattainable singularity state but that when close approaches are made thereto, the laws of nature with which we are currently familiar need to be amended in order to be better understood.
To reinforce such a claim a very brief explanation needs to be outlined of what I called Duplication Theory. By late 1979 I had set out in a brief draft paper the principles of this theory (more correctly hypothesis) in an attempt to demonstrate that a structure at one moment in time will start to resonate and interact with a later structure if it were similar to a point of near singularity on the further assumption that the surroundings of the two structures were similar, or as relatively similar as possible in an expanding universe. If this was the case then it provided an explanation in principle how information in the form of a structure of firing neurons, a particular thought or perhaps a recorded visual image, might be transferred from an earlier to a later time in the brain. In short it would be possible to explain perfect recall by a system of resonance. The conclusions of duplication theory transpired to be remarkably similar to those of biochemist Rupert Sheldrake’s hypothesis or morphic resonance to explain formative causation in the way cells develop, as set out in his first book published in 1981, which I read in 1984, albeit from a very different approach.
The thought process to arrive at an explanation for the mechanism behind memory was very roughly as follows. I had observed on a number of occasions that in a state of hypnotic trance, individuals were capable of not only perfect recall but also of being regressed to some earlier period in their existence to appear to be reliving it moment by moment. Whatever was going on in such hypnotic trances, it was clear that there was a very different mindset involved than was in normal consciousness, and one in which the subject could demonstrate capabilities out of the ordinary. Having seen a few stage hypnotists at work and read a fair amount about the subject, I made the assumption that when in the trance state, until the subject had been requested to carry out some specific instruction, that part of the brain that controlled consciousness would be totally relaxed and effectively blank: not registering actions of the external world observe through the senses.
Since the firing of brain’s synapses between neurons never cease their action, then in trance state they would have to continue their motion passing electrochemical impulses between the neurons, and this action would therefore have to be random, without form or order. I was then able to apply this assumption to general observations on the nature of singularity states, which I had already subjectively defined as a condition where close approaches in nature might be made but never achieved. As already set out above, I had concluded that whenever a new singularity state was ascertained, bizarre side effects might be expected.
When considering that in trance the neurons of the brain controlling consciousness were firing in random motion, it suddenly occurred to me that here was possibly another singularity state. There have to be increasing degrees of near perfect randomicity, so that if two similar brains, one in the future, the other in the past, were both exhibiting states of near perfect randomicity, they would be effectively identical, or as identical as it was possible to be at different times. If they were strikingly near perfect duplicates of each other then it might not be unreasonable on the premise conjectured above to suppose that there might be observed some unexpected side effects, probably not yet acknowledged to exist by established scientific beliefs.
In my paper on duplication theory and on my website, there is an explanation in more detail using the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (and also Pauli’s exclusion principle) to justify why it is impossible to have two absolutely identical structures existing at the same time or indeed at any other time: another singularity state in short. But as close approaches are made to perfect duplication they start to interact at different times as if they were the same identity. I also realised that the firing the neurons and synapses would cause billions of electrochemical currents to flow between them within the brain and this would have to create complex interference patterns. If it was assumed that these patterns were highly ordered, then it was not impossible that their structure could effectively be the cause of holographic images projected out beyond the brain. This possibility was first suggested to me by the work of neuroscientist Karl Pribram who worked closely with eminent physicist David Bohm on consciousness. This would present a simple model for the operation of mechanism of memory and thought, and I was also to devise a simple possible answer for the way such images were experienced, but again any interested party will have to read the paper or the website for that.
To rehearse again this modus operandi for memory, if a complex highly ordered structure, generating a particular specific thought, was manifested in the mind of one individual, and then a similar complex structure of neurons occurred or was instigated at a moment much later in time whilst in an otherwise near trance state of neurons firing randomly, such a resonance effect would start to reproduce a near identical ensuing duplicate structure. Furthermore, since the earlier structure could not be absolutely static, then the inevitable ensuing small structural variations would be duplicated by the later structure, due to the minimum energy principle (the second law of thermodynamics). This would be a surprisingly simple method to explain a system of eidetic memory or perfect recall. This is one of the results that are common to the trance state
At that time, I had read of the work of Ilya Prigogine who was been awarded the Nobel prize in 1977 for his work on self organisation, so that if the entropy, or disorder, of a system was greatly increased, then that system would eventually become highly self ordering. Applied to a mass of firing neurons in near perfect random motion, then it seems there was a possibility that such a system within the brain could be regarded as only a step away from becoming self ordering. So here was at least a vestigial explanation in principle for perfect recall and it was not too hard for me to speculate that everyday working memory was just an abbreviated form of this resonance system, jumping from one episode rapidly to the next so that the individual could rapidly anticipate what the result of a certain earlier memory sequence was, and adjust his behaviour this time round to deal with it more effectively in order to enhance his chances of survival.
As I have already mentioned, when I first came up with such a scenario in the late 1970s, I had not heard about quantum entanglement and arrived at this general conclusion via a somewhat different route as explained in some detail on my website. Quantum entanglement as first anticipated by John Bell’s inequality theorem has now been demonstrated by Anton Zeilinger and others to transfer information (or rather correlated information) instantaneously over many kilometres, and I now understand a little more clearly that this process is totally reliant on the systems at either end being able to act as randomly as possible. My hypothesis for the working of memory is based on a surprisingly similar premise which I would like to think was not coincidental. Since there is not yet any rationale of how memory operates, none at all of any demonstrable viability, as far as I am aware, I find this encouraging.
The teleportation experiments carried out show that light speed is no longer the determining factor of the way in which time passes, so that our notion of time is also due for serious reappraisal. It seems not impossible that if this device of perfect randomicity is instrumental in passing information through space, then why should it not also apply to the transfer of information through time? What seemed impossible a few decades ago under the then current understanding of quantum mechanics has now started to be radically revised. This will make necessary a whole new set of rules, which I trust will make a start on a revised understanding of gravitation and inertia, especially as I have published one other paper on the academia.edu website on this last subject, but it is radical and independent of duplication theory.
As a final after thought to this essay, over the last few months the following has occurred to me on the way in which sight and vision is made manifest in the mind. In my web site I describe how I adopted the premise I first came across through the work of neuroscientist Karl Pribram, in that the motion of electrochemical impulses between neurons in the brain will cause interference patterns to be radiated out and since these will be highly complex and presumably very ordered. If so it seems not impossible that they could produce some sort of hologram experienced by the individual concerned, as thought and/or memory. I refer to these as holocepts and I have an explanation in principle as to how they are viewed, the problem of the homunculus as Eddington referred to it, but for that the reader will have to refer to my website.
As a final after thought, the following has occurred to me on the way in which mind and vision might be connected. It is known that the occipital rear lobe of the brain plays a major part in the sense of vision, and in late 2016 it occurred to me that if this rear lobe acted in principle as a random number generator, then information taken in via the retinas and the prefrontal cortex and thence into the occipital lobe, might be able to duplicate the structure of the external world as observed through the eyes as a hologram projected by the interference patterns created by the brain. This would be a modus operandi for sight to depend on the randomness similar to that required by instantaneous transfer of information. The effect would be one of quantum entanglement if it is assumed that the neurons controlling vision when not in use would be capable of firing absolutely randomly. If physics is now to be increasingly governed by the concept of instant quantum connection, then once it is properly understood then perhaps a number of former imponderables might be resolved.
In the attempt to increase any possible small degree of credibility that my original thesis of duplication theory might have, I have attached some extracts below of correspondence received quite some time ago when an early draft of the paper was sent to a few experts in the field of research into mind and physics. The last one from laser physicist Arthur Chester is from a review of a novel I have published ‘Mind out of Time’ which incorporates an explanation of duplication theory as the central part of the plot. Working outside academia, it struck me that this might be an easier way of setting my proposals before the public than returning to university life.
Copy extracts from letters written to the author on early drafts of Duplication Theory:
“Thank you for your letter of January 31st and the essay. I found it immensely stimulating and particularly liked your resonance hypothesis. But I am of course no physicist and not qualified to judge. I have a hunch though that David Bohm might react positively, if you send him a copy.”
With regard to the basic duplication theory, I think what you are saying is so, but that a more sophisticated form of it might be in Leibniz’s monadology or Gabor’s holograms………..I do think you have written a most interesting piece and found your writing style to be superb. There are many quotations that you have gathered together that would be most useful to me in my teaching. In short you have done an excellent piece of scholarship, and with some revision and bringing it up to date, it might well be worth publishing.”
Professor Karl Pribram, neuroscientist, of Stanford
“Your manuscript is fascinating and enormous in scope. While I have not read is in its entirely, perhaps I have understood enough of it to make the following comments. You are aware, I am sure of it discursive character and its lack of mathematical precision, which will make it difficult to have it published. Nevertheless, the range it covers recommends that it be presented to public view……….”
Professor Henry Margenau of Yale, physics department
“Many thanks for your letter and your writings on Duplication Theory. In essence, it is indeed similar tithe theory IO am putting forward, and you explore many of the same areas. It seems we must have been writing at much the same time (1978-1979 when I was drafting my book in India). So ex hypothesi, we may well have had some influence on each other ……….. I too am fascinated by inertia and suggest (0n page 119 note 4) an idea similar to the one in the main text of your theory. This seems different from your later speculation along Machean lines which I find less convincing…….”
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake
I have followed Nick Greaves’ work with interest for a number of years and thought I understood it. However, as I read this enjoyable book I gained new insights. It’s an amazing achievement for a non-scientist to bite off such a large chunk of science, and then clothe it in a story that conveys it without pain, rather with joy. I congratulate the author on a very successful achievement, one that has not been attempted (or accomplished) before………………. I am a physicist, and there are elements of the book I could quibble with. However, I am also a reader of science fiction, and I know that fiction anticipates reality in surprising ways. Therefore I recommend any scientifically-minded reader to keep an open mind: it’s not necessary to agree with every detail to be impressed with and inspired by Greaves’ overall vision. I have read books by physicists attempting to treat such big subjects, and I can assert that Greaves outperforms them all in the scope and plausibility of his ideas. I highly recommend “Mind out of Time,” not only as an enjoyable read, but as a thought-provoking vision of mankind’s future.
Dr. Arthur Chester ,
President (retired) HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu (formerly Hughes Aerospace now owned by Boeing and GM): Amazon Review