4. C. W. Rietdijk, Consciousness and the Coherence of Natural Law

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Volume 19: Pages 200-224, 2006

Consciousness and the Coherence of Natural Law

C. W. Rietdijk

Pinèllaan 7, 2061 LH Bloemendaal, Netherlands

(1) As natural laws — what else? — can cooperate so “conspiratorially” as to produce books (i.e., via human organisms), a deep mutual coherence should be inherent in them. Actually, we do not delegate the intelligent goaldirectedness of life to “free will” but locate it in natural law. (2) Indisputably, consciousness and intelligence appear somewhere in nature. The problem: On what physical level, and by what specific features or processes, does this primarily happen? (3) Our answer: Consciousness can intervene in some natural processes by defining in a coordinated way some physical variables within their respective uncertainty margins. Consciousness “orchestrates” hidden variables. (4) Thus by mutually attuning the values of a number of observables, consciousness can intelligently work toward a purpose (say, producing a book). We discuss in detail how “the piano is played.” (5) In Section 2 we give three imaginable specimens from microphysics of the coordinated influencing of physical variables within their uncertainty margins (Δcoordination). We argue that such coordination, also in the psychical case, is part and parcel of the coherent cooperation of physical laws. (6) The above implies consciousness to be a specific but inherent aspect of the integrated complex of natural laws. As Einstein got the AhaErlebnis in discovering relativity, nature itself shows such inprinciple conscious intelligence in conceiving and making it work coherently in the first place. On the level of the relevant coherence, and of the mutual recognition of laws and processes, we locate elementary consciousness, the latter being as primary as energy and spacetime. Living organisms have the faculty of integrating not only many physical processes, but also their “elements of consciousness.”

Keywords: consciousness, natural law, organizm, uncertainty margins

Received: February 7, 2004; Published online: December 15, 2008