I found Hardy’s paper here: Proposal to use Humans to switch settings in a Bell experimentTheoretical physicist Lucien Hardy wants to push the boundaries of quantum physics by performing a Bell test, using humans as links. This could potentially shed light on the existence of human consciousness and just what it is made of.
Basically he wants to test for Cartesian dualism in a rigorous scientific way. For now, I skipped over all the meat of the paper and just read the intro and the philosophy part at the end since I have no mathematical or physics training besides Intro to Stats and Astronomy 101, but I think it sounds cool and as far as I’m aware is the only (potentially) non-woo idea utilizing quantum mechanics to look for novelties about consciousness. I might read the whole paper soon to allow myself to soak up whatever is simple enough for me to get, but mostly I’m just interested in the idea of using science to test for a philosophical subject with such a long and prominent history.In this paper I discuss how we might go about about performing a Bell experiment in which humans are used to decide the settings at each end. To get a sufficiently high rate of switching at both ends, I suggest an experiment over a distance of about 100km with 100 people at each end wearing EEG headsets, with the signals from these headsets being used to switch the settings.
The radical possibility we wish to investigate is that, when humans are used to decide the settings (rather than various types of random number generators), we might then expect to see a violation of Quantum Theory in agreement with the relevant Bell inequality. Such a result, while very unlikely, would be tremendously significant for our understanding of the world (and I will discuss some interpretations).
Possible radical implications aside, performing an experiment like this would push the development of new technologies. The biggest problem would be to get sufficiently high rates wherein there has been a human induced switch at each end before a signal as to the new value of the setting could be communicated to the other end and, at the same time, a photon pair is detected. It looks like an experiment like this, while challenging, is just about feasible with current technologies.
I’m sincerely hoping that our resident physicist and dispeller of delusion
will weigh in on whether the experiment seems interesting and worthwhile, assuming you have the time and interest Mike.
So, what do you all think?