Sir Roger Penrose | Joe Rogan Experience #1216

Key Takeaways

  • Consciousness is what separates human communication and understanding from computers
  • In quantum mechanics, if it doesn’t make logical sense, it’s probably not the right theory
  • Hawking points are tiny dots of radiation leftover from the big bang  
  • The universe is in an infinite cycle of big bangs and constant expansion to the point where there’s no more energy  
  • Observing Hawking points and Hawkins radiation can demonstrate the Conformational Cyclic Cosmology (CCC)
  • It’s conceivable but unlikely that extraterrestrial intelligence exists and humans will be able to make contact
  • Things need to make mathematical sense and agree with observational facts

Introduction

On October 6, 2020 Oxford University mathematician Sir Roger Penrose (@penrose) was awarded a Nobel Prize for proving that black holes could exist. In this episode from December 2018, Joe Rogan and Roger Penrose discussed physics, cosmology, extraterrestrial intelligence, and quantum consciousness.

Host: Joe Rogan (@joerogan

The Science of Consciousness

  • “Some things don’t behave according to what quantum mechanics says” – Roger Penrose
  • Thinking and understanding are conscious activities   
  • There’s something non-computable involved in our understanding of things
  • Consciousness is what separates human communication and understanding from computers
  • Consciousness isn’t just about neuronal connections because the cerebellum is densely packed with neurons but is largely (arguably completely) unconscious
  • Hypothesis: microtubules (specifically A-lattice microtubules) in the brain are fundamental to consciousness  
  • Book on the topic: The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics by Roger Penrose

Breaking Down Quantum Mechanics

  • On the one hand, quantum mechanics makes complete sense when studied, on the other hand, the collapse of wave function muddies things  
  • The collapse of wave function involves a certain amount of displacement in mass
  • In quantum mechanics, if it doesn’t make logical sense, it’s probably not the right theory
  • People are reluctant to accept that we need a new theory when things get larger
  • Things need to make mathematical sense and agree with observational facts
  • There are things which require quantum mechanics to change in some ways

Cosmology: History, Theories, and Breakdown of Topics

  • 1915: Einstein’s general theory
  • 1917: Einstein’s cosmological constant
  • 1929: Hubble discovery the universe as a whole is expanding
  • Original theory of black holes: a cloud of dust collapses and becomes black hole – but made two assumptions: (1) dust (2) symmetry
  • 1962: discovery of the first quasar
  • What was described as a quasar produced more energy than the whole galaxy and may have actually been a black hole, or a quasar with a black hole in the middle
  • There must be a singularity in the middle of quasar for a black hole to exist
  • Singularity: expectation is that you have a spot where the density becomes infinite, so the curvature of space and time become infinite, so equations go to infinity and go wrong
  • In the presence of singularity, you can’t continue equations of Einstein in singularity
  • A general black hole will settle down and become a Kerr solution (rotating black hole)
  • A black hole has definable mass but an infinite density

Roger Penrose’s Theory of the Universe

  • Dark energy is the cosmological constant
  • Hawking point: tiny dots of radiation leftover from the big bang
  • Conformational cyclic cosmology (CCC): the universe iterates through infinite cycles, resulting from the Hawking radiation of supermassive black holes in a cosmic aeon prior to our own
  • The universe is in an infinite cycle of big bangs and constant expansion to the point where there’s no more energy  
  • Dark matter particles must exist
  • For our remote future to crossover to the big bang of the next aeon, you must have creation dominant new material that only interacts gravitationally

Are Multiverses Real?

  • Two reasons to believe in multiverses: (1) quantum reason (e.g., Schrodinger’s cat), (2) anthropic argument  
  • Penrose argues Schrodinger doesn’t explain the world we see – you have collapse in the world

Extraterrestrial Intelligence  

  • For other lifeforms to communicate or make contact with us, they would have had to have a head start on us in terms of timeline and development
  • It’s possible we are the furthest in terms of technological achievement and understanding
  • It’s conceivable but unlikely that extraterrestrial intelligence could have survived in the form of photons from previous aeons
  • It’s worth exploring but hard to say anything would come from it
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Notes By Maryann

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