Many Worlds Interpretation of Paranormal Phenomena | Simeon Hein

Many Worlds Interpretation, Wave Collapse, and Paranormal Phenomena: Towards Explaining the Unexplainable

Simeon Hein

Institute for Resonance, Boulder, CO, USA

In the 1950’s, Hugh Everett III developed a new interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, known as the Many Worlds view, that removed the external observer from any quantum description and instead is based on the idea of continuously branching realities that interact with a “universal wave function.” This view is opposed to the observer-driven wave-function collapse suggested by Von Neumann which Everett accused of being too metaphysical and lacking any basis in quantum theory. The Copenhagen Interpretation, based on the dual-reality complementary paradigm of Bohr and Heisenberg, asserts that no quantum reality exists, only quantum measurement through classical apparatus. Measurement collapses the wave-function to the values observed by conscious observers. For Everett, the Copenhagen interpretation is too heavily based on classical physics: it was not a truly independent scientific theory nor an answer to the measurement problem of how quantum microscopic and macroscopic phenomena interact. Specifically, Copenhagen doesn’t adequately answer the question of how classical phenomena arise from quantum processes. Why does the world appear a particular way to each unique observer who himself is also a quantum system that obeys the laws of the Schrodinger equation? Why doesn’t the world look completely “smeared out” instead of definitive and exact?

For Everett, quantum entanglement is happening continuously everywhere. It does not need any special treatment or observation by external observers. What appears to be collapse is, in fact, the subjective loss of information to the observer. Instead, our awareness multiplies with each successive observation creating a continuously, infinitely branching tree-like structure of observers in separate worlds which never interact. Though shunned by most physicists at the time, the Many Worlds viewpoint, as developed later by Bryce Seligman DeWitt and others, has become an increasingly popular view in recent decades as expounded by Deutsch, Tegmark, Carroll, and others. In this talk, I will look at the implications of the Many Worlds view for so-called “paranormal phenomena” such as clairvoyance and remote viewing, PK, ghosts, and UFOs and show why these phenomena could be seen as quite “ordinary” from a many-worlds perspective. Specifically, I will look at a new incarnation of the Many Worlds paradigm, the Many Interacting Worlds (MIW) idea as espoused by Wiseman and Deckert. MIW theory claims that classical forces in atomic structures create subtle repulsive interactions: what appear to be quantum wave functions are merely the resonant epiphenomenon of the classical interference patterns between parallel dimensions. Specifically, MIW claims that exactly 41 parallel realities could explain the wave function of a single photon and hence, the double-slit experiment. Critics contend that both MWI and MIW are unfalsifiable, yet perhaps the abundance of paranormal phenomena may illustrate that near- parallel realities do indeed exist and interact with our own.

Recorded at the Society for Scientific Exploration Conference in Boulder, Colorado 2016.

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Published on November 22, 2018